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The Device is essentially a three-hander involving two sisters, estranged, and one's fiancé. Abby and Rebecca Powell (Angela DiMarco and Kate Alden) haven't seen each other for over a decade, reuniting for a road trip to spread their mother's ashes at a secluded lake. They stay at a nearby family cabin, a cabin they were warned not to venture. A traumatic event in the girls' past is alluded to involving the younger Rebecca. As they spend more time together we find out more about it especially when a strange ball-like object is found and they attempt to fathom out its purpose. It is then that Abby becomes troubled by dreams involving an alien. Everything is spelt out for the viewer but alas appears to allude our protagonists as they struggle to make sense of it all.
The film's title would lead one to believe that the thrust of this flick is sporting action, indeed American audiences at the time were left scratching their heads at the lack of such action. Rollerball's is more talkative with an Orwellian slant predicting a near future society where corporations rule the world. The team sport of Rollerball serves to remind the easily-led global masses of the futility of individual effort and of how much better their lives are now that the corporations take care of our needs, controlling access to housing, food, luxury and transport.
And that's not all, the corporations also control other aspects of your life. Your wife can be taken from you at any-time and given to another man who has more social status than that afforded to you. This rather miserable change of fortune has plagued Rollerball's top world player Jonathan E. (James Caan) as he pines for his relocated wife. If that wasn't enough injustice Jonathan is now being asked by company representative Bartholomew (John Houseman) to retire from the game he excels at for 'the common good'.
The Kingdom, or Riget as it was known in its native country, was created by Danish enfant terrible Lars von Trier. Broadcast in two seasons (1994 & 1997), with four episodes in each, The Kingdom is now finally available for the first-time ever in the UK on DVD in its original broadcast form.
Prior to this DVD release it had been edited into a five-hour movie for the UK and American markets. Both seasons are rightly highly regarded by critics and fans and have won a number of awards as well as a deserved cult following. Shot documentary-style and given a healthy dose of humour that doesn't jar with the central premise makes for solid entertainment.
In Copenhagen's Rigshospitalet the neurosurgical staff, plus one particularly inquisitive patient-cum-psychic, find that it's not just petty internal squabbles that threaten to undermine the city and country's main hospital's general well-being. There are dark forces and supernatural occurrences threatening to take control.
Following on from Son of Frankenstein, The Ghost of Frankenstein sees the rather bonkers Ygor find the Monster preserved in sulphur, whilst he is fleeing the destruction of their castle by villagers. As the odd couple flee, rather surprisingly, no one notices a limping hunchback or a hulking presence doing their best to tip-toe out of the castle and into the surrounding countryside.
Upon being struck by lightening, the Monster perks up a bit, rather than suffering any ill-effects. Ygor gets to thinking that perhaps they should visit Frankenstein's original son Ludwig (Sir Cedric Hardwicke from The Ghoul and The Invisible Man) with a view to working on keeping the Monster alive.
Things were never going to be smooth going for the Monster, where even a friendly gesture towards a young girl ends up freaking out the local villagers and sees the Monster in court. Ludwig is reluctant to get involved, fearing that doing so would ruin his life as it did for both his father and brother. Blackmailed by the naughty Ygor, Ludwig concedes to the hunchback's plans, all the while seeking to destroy the Monster...That is until he is visited by the ghost of his father Henry.
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- The Device (2014) Review
- Rollerball (1975) Review
- The Kingdom I & II (1994) Review
- The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) Review
- The Comedy of Terrors (1963) Review
- Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) Review
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- The Girl Who Knew Too Much (AKA La ragazza che sapeva troppo) (1963) Review
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 40th Anniversary Edition (1974) Review
- The 'Burbs (1989) Review