It starts with a killer opening. It’s a hot night in Malaya, clouds passing over the face of the moon allowing us to see a man stumble out of a colonial house and into the dark as a woman races after him and fires six bullets into his body, most of which entering him after he has already hit the ground. Trees silently weep rubber in the background.

The woman is Leslie Crosbie although she looks just like Bette Davis. She is the wife of the manager of a rubber plantation and when the authorities arrive she explains the dead…


I was told that the Steve McQueen film ‘Le Mans’ (1971) was best viewed as a time capsule and that’s certainly the case as the entire movie serves as an excellent document of early Seventies racing. It is, indeed, a great time capsule.

Which is just as well because viewed as a movie its fucking awful! In fact, I don’t even think ‘Le Mans’ qualifies as a movie because isn’t a film supposed to have things like a plot and characters or ANYTHING to hold the viewer’s interest? Christ, this movie was dull.

So what’s ‘Le Mans’ about? Well, Steve…


All I knew about Luis Buñuel’s ‘Death in the Garden’ (1956) was that it was, apparently, a “surreal adventure story”. Cool! So you can imagine my disappointment when, after 40 minutes or so, I was finding it neither particularly adventurous nor exceptionally surreal. Yet as the film went on I found it slowly, unnoticeably, wrapping itself around my attention like a vine round an ankle or a glistening creeper tightening on an unsuspecting neck. ‘Death in the Garden’s surface might seem placidly innocuous but it contains deep, dark and terrifying depths.

The story starts in an unnamed South American country…


I knew nothing about the musical ‘Show Boat’ (1936) until last night, although I knew a little about director James Whale so was curious as to how this director I knew best for horror flicks would bring a stage musical to the screen. The result is, technically, a musical (it has got songs in it after all) but it’s even more emphatically a James Whale movie on every level and what we’re seeing has nothing to do with the stage or theatre and everything to do with cinema.

Show boat The Cotton Blossom is run by the Hawks family who…


I’m not that familiar with the music of Sparks but what little I’ve heard of them always made me assume they were an upbeat pop band with a dry and quirky sense of humour. However, either my assumptions were totally wrong or I’ve completely misread them as their film ‘Annette’ (2021), directed by Leos Carax, is neither upbeat nor humourous. Tedious, repetitive and grating? Oh, absolutely. Good god, I couldn’t stand this movie.

Adam Driver plays Henry McHenry, an abrasive stand up comic going by the name The Ape of God. Marion Cotilliard is Ann, a successful opera singer who…


Watching Hitchcock’s last five films in one week can be a somewhat infuriating experience: ‘Marnie’ is an uncomfortable misfire; ‘Torn Curtain’ never takes flight; ‘Topaz’ is dull and ‘Family Plot’s silly, albeit kinda fun. They all contain great elements, and all are gorgeous to look at, but none really work as a satisfying whole. Then there’s ‘Frenzy’ (1972), nestled away in Hitchcock’s filmography like a fish head in some soup or a corpse amongst potatoes. …


“Why the hell am I watching this?” I thought last night as Umberto Lenzi’s ‘The Tough Ones’ (1975) hit me with a second piece of nasty, sordid horribleness in as many minutes and leaving me shaking my head in utter disapproval. “There’s no plot, morality, social commentary, character development, intelligence, subtext, text or taste in the slightest!” Five minutes later these weaknesses not only didn’t bother me but I found myself champing at the bit to see what new piece of tasteless, immoral, repugnant, sordid idiocy ‘The Tough Ones’ was going to throw at me next. I was egging the…


When I discovered that the director of ‘Top Hat’s (1935), Mark Sandrich, background was in engineering and physics I immediately thought “Well, that explains a lot!” as I hadn’t been too sure if I’d been watching a couple of human beings for the last 100 minutes or two subatomic particles creating arcing patterns inside a bubble chamber. My hunch is it was the latter.

Fred and Ginger fall in love with each other. Fred is a force that can’t stop moving and Ginger knows to play along for the thrill of unexpected acceleration. Yet Ginger thinks Fred is married, and…


My friend was delighted when they discovered I was going to watch ‘Roman Holiday’ (1953) last night for the first time. “Oh, you’ll love it!” they told me. “It’s delightful and charming.” And yes, ‘Roman Holiday’ is delightful and charming, but hold it up to the light at just a slightly different angle and it’s also sordid, sleazy, grubby and possibly the least romantic movie I’ve ever seen. Don’t believe me? Try playing the movie back in your mind but with ‘Steptoe and Son’s Wilfred Brambell in the Gregory Peck role and let me know how it plays for you…


What a load of insufferable wank!

If you ever thought ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ (1975) was the silliest movie made about the Knights of King Arthur then you couldn’t be more wrong because may I present to you Eric Rohmer’s ‘Perceval’ (1978), a movie so ridiculous and screamingly boring that if you ever wanted to put someone off French cinema FOR LIFE then this is the movie to show them. Although if you did show this movie to anyone then I’d be amazed you had any friends to begin with.

Perceval is a naive youth who lives a…

Colin Edwards

Comedy writer, radio producer and director of large scale audio features.

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