Saturday, 12 October 2013

MOVIES: In Brief (October 12th 2013)

Another round-up of recently seen movies...

Sleepwalker (UK 1985, 51 mins, BFI)

A wealthy couple visit a brother and sister in their country home. After an evening of drinking, political bickering and sexual tension, things take a turn for the worse as the guests fall victim to a crazed attacker...

Taking a timely swipe at 80's Britain and its values whilst referencing Argento, Hammer House Of Horror, The Old Dark House and more, it's remarkable that anyone tried making a short film like this in the UK industry climate of the time. The film is perhaps more admirable for what it attempts than what it actually achieves, coming across as an intriguing taster for a bigger, more fully formed project which never came. A comprehensive interview with director Saxon Logan runs for 71 minutes, and is a fascinating watch in its own right. Logan is evidently chuffed to see Sleepwalker available after many years out of circulation. If not a classic, it is worth investigating. 5.5/10

*** Double-billed with... ***

The Insomniac (UK 1971, 45 mins, BFI)

After a long day of work, a man (Morris Perry) struggles to get to sleep. He eventually enters a dream of escape, which the audience follows in full as he goes on a lone car journey, ends up at a strange party in a country house and meets up with a mysterious girl (Valerie Van Ost)...

Tucked away on the same disc as Sleepwalker is this quite different tale of nocturnal activity. Juxtaposing the man's dream state with the daytime fantasies of his children is an imaginative touch, and the end twist is quite effective. Director Rodney Geisler (usually a maker of industrial information films) captures the surreal and otherworldly state effectively. Beautifully shot, it's an interesting period piece. 6.2/10

Deranged (Spain/UK 2012, 78 mins, Phase 4 Films)

Four young girls head to a remote house in Spain for a small hen party before one of them gets married. However, after a male stripper arrives they start to get bumped off, and the survivors have to work out who the killer is before they become the next victims...

It's impossible to believe that these four girls would ever be friends in the first place, and the "twist" can be seen a mile away (the cover kind of gives the game away as well), but it's an entertaining enough romp which doesn't outstay its welcome. Marcia Do Vales' dialogue does require subtitles on occasion, though. Sadly these aren't supplied. 5/10

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