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WraithApe has written 129 reviews for films rated ★★★★ .

  • For No Good Reason

    For No Good Reason

    ★★★★

    Some have been critical of Johnny Depp's attachment to this project, but I don't have a problem with it - he's clearly genuinely inspired by both Steadman and Hunter S. Thompson's work and pretty much keeps out of the way, allowing Ralph to tell his own story. He really just acts as a proxy for the audience; a receptive eye and ear.

    The most rewarding aspect of this documentary is in watching the artist at work. Starting with a single…

  • The Eternal Evil of Asia

    The Eternal Evil of Asia

    ★★★★

    Cat III delivers again. A guy turned into a literal dick head, a girl giving a BJ to an invisible, astrally projecting wizard, mid-air copulation and a man eating his own arm.

    TEEoA tells the story of a group of bozos who are picked off one by one having been cursed when they gang banged and accidentally murdered a sorcerer's sister while on holiday in Thailand. This much I gathered as the movie gradually started to make some kind of…

  • The Battle of Algiers

    The Battle of Algiers

    ★★★★

    Taking its cues from Italian Neorealism, The Battle of Algiers is a war film that strives for verisimilitude in depicting the Algerian struggle for independence. It achieves an admirable level of realism through verité style filming - elegant but understated camera work and underplayed, naturalistic performances, stripped almost entirely of the kind of sentimentalism or one-sided bias you might expect to find in war films of the period.

    You could certainly argue that being commissioned by the Algerian government means…

  • Redline

    Redline

    ★★★★

    Incredible barrage of colour and fury that in its most frenetic moments of Yellowline and Redline racing action resembles the adrenaline smash of Dead Leaves. It's not as poundingly relentless, but when it hits, it hits hard.

    Featuring high quality visuals, as you'd expect from Madhouse, the animation is hand-drawn (over 100,000 cels) and fluid with only limited computer work. The main focus is on two racers, James Dean wannabe Sweet JP and badass green-haired geek girl Sonoshee. Romance is…

  • King Kong

    King Kong

    ★★★★

    First time watch believe it or not! A first time watch ruined by a couple of inconsiderate 🔔🔚s talking through the entire thing and clinking ice in their glasses like goddamned dice jars*. But hey ho, when I wasn't silently fuming in my seat or turning around to give them the evil eye, I still enjoyed the hell out of this seminal classic.

    Yeah the acting is a special kind of wooden, the dialogue ranges from casually misogynist, "Oh, you're…

  • The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man

    ★★★★

    As a kid I remember being scared of the cover every time I passed it in the video store; that misshapen sack with a rough eye-hole cut in it... the promise of unspeakable horror for a monster-obsessed young mind. I don't recall what my 10 year old self thought of the movie after finally getting my parents to rent it. I was probably disappointed - sad to say, I'm sure I had more in common with the Night Porter than…

  • Don't Torture a Duckling

    Don't Torture a Duckling

    ★★★★

    I always wondered whether the title of this film was one of those fantastically random titles gialli were often blessed with but no, it actually makes sense, kinda! The literal translation of the Italian title, Non si sevizia un paperino, is Don't Torture Donald Duck but the international title has another level of meaning beyond the cruel beheading of a plastic toy.

    For a film about child killings, Fulci is remarkably restrained. Most of the murders are tastefully done and…

  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    ★★★★

    I overheard a couple on the way out of the cinema; the fella apologizing to his missus for his choice of film. Not sure why really - sure, it's a stressful, anxiety-filled punisher that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until the jaw-dropping sucker punch of an ending, but it's a pretty thrilling ride. It's not bland. Maybe it was a first date.

    It's a more accomplished film, but it gave me a similar feel to Joe…

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    ★★★★

    Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, given when the film was made, but I wasn't expecting this to be so damn Noirish! An unexpectedly appropriate pick for Noirvember. It's there in the visuals, in black & white Superscope, DOP Ellsworth Fredericks's sumptuous shadowplay creating a palpable atmosphere of small town paranoia; it's in the way the story is relayed via flashback with a hardboiled voiceover courtesy of Kevin McCarthy and it's there in the bleak af resolution. "You're next!"

    Like most sci-fi…

  • November

    November

    ★★★★

    When your film begins with a cow being abducted by a cow skull helicopter made of farm implements, you know you're in for something a bit special.

    To be honest with you, I find detailed plot synopses tedious at the best of times (for writer and reader alike), but it would be more redundant here than usual, given that the primary appeal of November isn't to the intellect, but to the senses. Sure, there are some discernible sub-plots concerning witchcraft,…

  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God

    Aguirre, the Wrath of God

    ★★★★

    A vertiginous descent of a perilously steep and narrow mountain path into the jungle below by Gonzalo Pizarro's retinue sets the scene for Herzog's journey into another, earlier heart of darkness. This monumental, breathtaking long shot is as memorable as the slow circular movements of the camera that circumscribe Aguirre's sinking raft at the film's close, completing the titular character's descent into madness and nature's reclamation; stunning set pieces to bookend the film that both highlight man's smallness and insignificance…

  • Muscle

    Muscle

    ★★★★

    Move over Bait, there's another low budget black n white indie in town and it's called Muscle! Writer and director Gerard Johnson returns with a tightly wound psychological thriller that skewers toxic masculinity in the same way Bait exposed the damaging fallout of gentrification. Both feel incredibly timely.

    Johnson's film is built around two electrifying performances from Cavan Clerkin, as classic beta male Simon, and Craig Fairbrass playing Terry, a volatile ex-military PT, prone to eruptions like a testosterone volcano.…