Friday, June 29, 2012



A specially curated film programme, live music, and visual art, all examining the meaning and construction of rituals and the creation of sacred spaces.

The Banditas will be projecting 16mm archival anthropological films (including Maya Deren's seminal Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti) that explore various ritualistic histories and environments. Accompanying these films will be specially composed live soundtracks by Cut Hands and Howie Reeve (Tattie Toes) with guests.

Also joining us on the evening will be artist Ariadne Xenou who will be presenting upon the theme of death rituals and exhibiting a site-specific installation.

Saturday 21st July
Doors are 19.00 for a 19.30 start
Tickets £7

book tickets

Venue: Church of the Sacred Heart
Lauriston Street, Edinburgh.
map of location and more info


Sunday, June 24, 2012


Mac & Devin Go To Highschool, 2012 (****) 
hilarious Rudy Ray Moore-inspired comedy vehicle for Snoop which also functions as a paean to the joys of smoking weed, has a top soundtrack, and a sexy cast clearly having a lot of fun making a movie that, like RRM's films, is anomalous to the usual Hollywood industry drivel

A Star Is Born, 1976 (***) 
it's all about the casting: already shuddering at the prospect of Tom Cruise and Beyoncé's remake, it's a shame that Streisand's first choice of Marlon Brando wasn't in this rock version of A Star Is Born because that would have been awesome - instead we're stuck with the beady-eyed puny-voiced Kris Kristoffersen with whom LS clearly has such little chemistry that she constantly feels the need to tilt her head sideways and/or brace to avoid too much intimate KK contact; three stars for her outfits and singing alone

Elevator, 19 (**)
obscure Dutch Stephen King-ish horror that has quite a creepy atmosphere and some reasonably scary moments to enjoy, sadly it soon gets heavily bogged down in that backwards-and-forwards mystery-solving drudgery so popular in European thrillers

... even more shakycam/fake documentaries

Welcome To The Jungle, 2007 (*)
my personal quest for shakycam/fake documentary bottom-of-the-barrel completism finds a dud when all could and should have been so great: essentially a remake of Cannibal Holocaust on location in the beautiful lush forests of New Guinea! the outcome is sabotaged by some hapless hopeless directing and irritating try-hard repertory-quality acting from the protagonists

Poughkeepsie Tapes, 2007 (**)
the promising concept of a serial killer's cache of personal tapes ends up even drearier than one of those real late night cable true crime documentaries, interminable talking detective-heads, endless laborious TV reports, atrocious acting, and the killer's 'shocking' footage is laughably coy

Skew, 2007 (**)
in a genre you can tolerate slow pace and even boredom if there's a sense of a decent pay-off coming, Skew is a severe letdown; for fuck's sake, I even forgave them the supernatural elements

Troll Hunter, 201 (****) 
enjoyable mockumentary of a group of students following a hunter on the trail of some real trolls within the icy forests of Scandinavia; whilst I suspect the plentiful Norwegian in-jokes aren't quite as funny as the producers like to think, the troll scenes and scenery and overall tension make the movie fun right to the end

Evidence, 2012 (*) 
Blair Witch meets Modern Warfare 3 meets Predator; in fact so insanely ridiculous is this it's almost worth seeing - it's as if the producers wanted to make a big-scale zombie/alien action blockbuster on a budget of $5,000

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday, June 02, 2012


Piranha 3DD, 2012 (*) 
after Alexander Aja's gleefully entertaining Piranha 3D, my modest hopes for this sequel were quickly dashed by the pathetic rubber piranhas, by the cheesiest use of 3D since Friday The 13th 3D (without the attraction of Jason), by the ridiculous coyness of the lead 'actresses' in the 'sex' scenes, by the sub-American Pie humour, and by a David Hasselhoff barely able to stand up let alone deliver a coherent line 

Atrocious, 2011 (*****) 
if you're as much a shaky-cam/fake documentary diehard as myself, then you're in for a treat - for me, Atrocious goes straight into the pantheon of POV greatness and arguably ranks 3rd only to The Blair Witch Project and the likewise Spanish [Rec]; note, get the 75 minute original and avoid the awful English dubbed version

The Devil Inside, 2012 (***) 
the potential pay-offs for these shaky-cam horror films is staggering; for a budget of $1,000,000 this exorcism mockumentary has apparently already grossed more than $50m in the USA alone - it's certainly more than watchable: the locations are perfect and the exorcisms themselves boast surprisingly shocking effects, even with a suspension of disbelief for the supernatural that is less than willing; on the downside, the priests themselves are not credible and way too much English is spoken, reducing one's credulity further, though never quite fatally 

Sweet Karma, 2009 (***)
mute Russian girl goes underground in the Toronto sex trade to avenge her missing sister; you get lots of gritty and believably sleazy action with some appropriately hard-hitting IDM beats throughout and, most thankfully of all, no Lukas Moodysson-style religious symbolism and/or moralising 

Human Tornado, 1976 (*****) 
the sequel to Dolemite sees even more of Rudy Ray Moore's genius - the opening live stand-up scenes mixed with music and dancing in the club are amazing in their own right, whilst the film proper is as outrageously entertaining as the original 

Iron Sky, 2012 (*) 
teenage boys from Finland in between sessions on their Xbox 360 game consoles make spectacularly unfunny sci-fi comedy drivel about Nazis on the dark side of the moon, all as a vehicle to make the most inanely stupid cheap shots imaginable about America; what an incredible waste of ten million dollars