Starring debuts #12: Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate (1967)

Film Title

The Graduate

Synopsis

A newly graduated boy-man tries to make his way in life

Director

Mike Nichols

Cast

Dustin Hoffman
Anne Bancroft
Katharine Ross
Murray Hamilton
William Daniels
Elizabeth Wilson

There’s a scene in The Graduate where Benjamin Braddock (Hoffman) is lying supine on a hotel bed while Mrs. Robinson (Bancroft), the sophisticated older woman who’s introduced him to the mysteries of sex, sits alongside clad in a black bra slowly unbuttoning his white shirt and running her hands over his smooth chest. Accompanied by […]

Annoying Fuckers

Most people are annoying. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a droning colleague, that snarky online twat who just won’t see sense, some random queue jumper, a younger sibling, the halitosis-afflicted taxi driver taking the long way round, a right wing foreign president, a neighbor loudly playing music or that hotty in the supermarket who looks […]

Fucked-Up Films #2: Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975)

Film Title

Ilsa:She Wolf of the SS

Synopsis

Mein Gott!

Director

Don Edmonds

Cast

Dyanne Thorne
Gregory Knoph
Tony Mumolo
Richard Kennedy
George Buck Flower

What are these sick bastards doing? Obviously inspired by Dr Josef Mengele’s ‘pioneering’ work in Auschwitz, this is a flick that concentrates on the more extreme Nazi obsessions. Ilsa (Thorne) is a ‘fraulein doctor’ in charge of a small medical experimentation camp that at first glance looks like a converted garden center. She’s aided by […]

Staring Debuts #11:Jeffrey Combs in Re-Animator (1985)

Film Title

Re-Animator

Synopsis

A medical student becomes infatuated with the reanimation of dead tissue. Birth is always painful.

Director

Stuart Gordon

Cast

Jeffrey Combs
Bruce Abbott
David Gale
Barbara Crampton
Robert Sampson

It’s apt that Herbert West (Combs) resembles both Harry Potter and Scottish necrophile Dennis Nilsen. His small stature and precocious schoolboy looks suggest he’s harmless, enabling him to obscure a deep-rooted fascination with corpses while committing murder if necessary. It’s a plum role, all right, and Combs seizes it with such memorable relish that he […]

Fucked-Up Films #1: The Exterminator (1980)

Film Title

The Exterminator

Synopsis

Life is war whether you’re in Nam or the Big Apple

Director

James Glickenhaus

Cast

Robert Ginty
Christopher George
Steve James
Samantha Eggar

I have a clear recollection of standing in a video shop aged twelve with On Golden Pond on one side and The Exterminator on the other. I can’t remember too much about the cover of the first, except it featured smiley old farts and had the word pond in the title. Even at that tender […]

Frenzy (1972)

Film Title

Frenzy

Synopsis

Necktie party has new meaning in this Hitchcock thriller

Director

Alfred Hitchcock

Cast

Jon Finch
Barry Foster
Alec McCowen
Barbara Leigh-Hunt
Anna Massey
Billie Whitelaw
Bernard Cribbins

Hitch does tits! Well, there’s a bit more to this blackly comic, London-based thriller than bare breasts, but they’re the most obvious sign the legendary director had embraced the early seventies’ newfound freedoms. Frenzy is graphic at times, much more so than other serial killer efforts such as Shadow of a Doubt and Psycho, but […]

Bitches

My all-time favorite bitch remains She’s Ayesha, a spectacularly malevolent girly who is happy to murder lovers, execute slaves en masse and ponce around in public wearing an over-feathered ceremonial outfit that makes her look like a mad chicken queen. Fucking ace, and I once had a girlfriend just like her. Still, much as I […]

Seconds (1966)

Film Title

Seconds

Synopsis

A middle-aged man wants out

Director

John Frankenheimer

Cast

Rock Hudson
John Randolph
Salome Jens
Will Geer
Murray Hamilton

Sinead O’Connor called her fantastic second album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, although she could’ve just said I Want What I’ve Got. But what if you no longer want what you’ve got? What happens if all your responsibilities, connections and habits are nothing but burdens? Given the chance, would you cast them […]

Hard Bastards

During the 1980s Mike Tyson was an important part of my adolescence. Not that we used to spar or anything, but I used to love running downstairs on a Sunday morning to catch ITV’s delayed transmission of the previous night’s big title fight in which he’d undoubtedly battered the shit out of some poor fucker […]

Newman, Old Brilliance

Paul Newman’s glorious cinematic career was brought to an end by a machine gun-toting Tom Hanks. “I’m glad it’s you,” he says to his imminent murderer during the rain-soaked finale of Road to Perdition. Of course, this sort of far-fetched rubbish (patiently waiting to be gunned down before paying a compliment to your assassin) can […]