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Posts Tagged ‘Shudder’

Blood Machines

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

BLOOD MACHINES is a very strange, kinda psychedelic retro-sci-fi thing that’s new on Shudder. I thought it was gonna be a movie but they list it as season 1, which almost scared me off. Turns out it’s only three episodes of around 20 minutes each, so it’s less of a time commitment than a movie.

If I had to describe it with a formula of existing movies I would say it’s DARK STAR meets MANDY with the TRON: LEGACY soundtrack. It drops you into a world straight out of Heavy Metal magazine (but with a score by French “synthwave” dude Carpenter Brut, not Sammy Hagar and shit) where an A.I.-controlled warship called the Mima crashes on a barren planet. A ship crewed by two men – arrogant captain Vascan (Anders Heinrichsen, “Police Officer,” VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS) and friendly old mechanic Lago (Christian Erickson, HITMAN) – shot it down, but when they try to salvage it they’re blocked by the all-female inhabitants of the planet, who see it as an injured being they must help. (read the rest of this shit…)

Blood Quantum

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

I keep having to write this same exact preamble, so here’s the short version: yes, we all think we’re sick of zombie movies, but here’s another really good one. (See also: TRAIN TO BUSAN, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS.) The fresh spin on BLOOD QUANTUM – a Canadian one that opened the Midnight Madness portion of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and got a surprise release on Shudder this week – starts with it taking place on a First Nations reserve (or Indian reservation as people here call it).

It has a vivid weird-day-unfolding feel, like a serious THE DEAD DON’T DIE, rolling out the odd characters in town through the point of view of Red Crow reserve chief of police Traylor (Michael Greyeyes, DANCE ME OUTSIDE, FIRESTORM, Fear the Walking Dead, True Detective). But it starts on his dad, Gisigu (Stonehorse Lone Goeman, a sturdy, bald old badass with no other acting credits) gutting a bunch of salmon he caught. The fucking things won’t stop flipping around like they’re in that Faith No More video. (read the rest of this shit…)

Downrange

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

DOWNRANGE is a simple, solid 2017 film by Ryûhei Kitamura (AZUMI, GODZILLA: FINAL WARS, BRADLEY COOPER IN BRADLEY COOPER’S THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, NO ONE LIVES) that’s exclusively on the streaming service Shudder in the U.S., though it’s on disc in some other countries. Written by Kitamura and Joey O’Bryan (MOTORWAY, TRIPLE THREAT), it’s about six road-tripping college students who get a flat tire on a highway out in the middle of nowhere and soon realize they’re being targeted by a cruel, patient sniper.

It’s a little odd how abruptly it starts with the blowout – no chance to see them in their normal state of driving. And I was confused by their relationships – some of them don’t know each other, and I thought they were talking about being involved in some kind of race or contest, but I guess I must’ve misunderstood? No matter. You get enough seeds of who they are and what they’re up to in their lives that I genuinely didn’t know which characters were included just to suddenly get shot and kick this thing off. They all seem like they’ll be around for a while. (read the rest of this shit…)