Reviews & Commentary

The Rape of the Vampire (1968)

Rape of the Vampire is French exploitation auteur Jean Rollin’s first feature-length film, for which he received financing after a producer saw Rollin’s short film of the same name. Rollin shot a second part, slapped it together with the original short and the result is what is reputedly the first French vampire film. Because of the strike and student protests in May 1968, French distributors froze new releases, which meant that Rape of the Vampire became the most successful French movie of that year. I’m sure Rollin would agree with Homer Simpson, that the two most beautiful words in the English language are “de” and “fault”.


Written by Kalle on Friday March 19, 2010
Permalink - Category: Film - Tags: 1960s, jean-rollin, vampire

Mass Effect 2 (2010)

Shortly after defeating rogue spectre Saren, his Reaper master Sovereign, and their Geth army, our hero, Commander Shepard, is killed in an attack by the mysterious Collectors. This being science fiction, even death won’t keep Shepard down, and she (or he) is brought back by the pseudo-terrorist human-first group Cerberus (whom you might remember from Mass Effect, where they were involved in all manner of disreputable business). With her old crew having moved on and with a brand-new Normandy, Shepard must now gather a new team (but with a couple of familiar faces) to join her on a suicide mission through the uncharted Omega 4 relay to stop the Collectors and their masters — the Reapers.


Written by Kalle on Friday March 5, 2010
Permalink - Category: Video games - Tags: 2000s, sf

Skate 2 (2009)

The first Skate, released in 2007, was a revelation — it turned the skateboarding game on its head, reinvigorating a genre that seemed doomed to consist of nothing more than increasingly tired Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater sequels. The analogue controls of Skate were fluid and intuitive and, combined with the open game-world, helped propel the game to the top of both sales charts and critics’ year-end lists.

Here, then, is its sequel. And, let’s get it out of the way early: it is a good game. But it’s also basically the same game. There are new features, of course, which range from the good — footplants — to the atrocious — walking. This latter surprised me, since you’d think Black Box would have learned from THPS‘s continually poor off-the-board controls that an engine designed for skating will never be good at walking.


Written by Kalle on Friday October 23, 2009
Permalink - Category: Video games - Tag: 2000s

Taken: "Beyond the Sky" (2002)

My mother always talked to me a lot about the sky. She liked to watch the clouds in the day, and the stars at night. Especially the stars. We would play a game sometimes, a game called “What’s beyond the sky?” We would imagine darkness, or a blinding light, or something else that we didn’t know how to name.


Written by Kalle on Monday August 24, 2009
Permalink - Category: Television - Tags: 2000s, sf

Snakewoman (2005)

There are good directors, there are bad directors, and then there are directors like Jesús “Jess” Franco. I like Franco, but the man is a cipher: his œuvre consists of a great many bad films and a few gems; he seems often to be technically incompetent, but he was good enough to A.D. for Orson Welles; his films are often blatantly pornographic and shamelessly exploitative, but a very few of them are honest-to-god works of genius. You can watch ten of his movies, and nine of them will be awful. Then, just when you’re about to dismiss him as a hack, the tenth will be a weird, surreal, seemingly-accidental masterpiece. I honestly can’t decide if he’s just a hack who happened to make a few good films from some twisted law of probability or if he’s a good director who only occasionally cared enough, was given enough money, and free enough reins to put in some effort. My relationship with Franco’s work is a constant search for those aberrations in his œuvre.

Snakewoman, I’m afraid, isn’t one of those aberrations


Written by Kalle on Monday August 17, 2009
Permalink - Category: Film - Tags: 2000s, jess-franco, lina-romay