Friday, 22 July 2011

Lupine Lore & Simian Shenanigans

Albert Finney, Gregory Hines and a young James Olmos star in Wolfen a supernatural thriller from the pen of Whitley Strieber. When one of the city's finest and his Mrs are found chewed to pieces in a public park a pair of detectives are tasked with the investigation and a bunch of Native American cult members come under suspicion. It does reek of the 80's with some early-predator style POV camera work and some ropey dialogue but it's not all bad with a modicum of tension and a couple of greasy kills along the way. It's not a classic by any means but it's smarter than expected and quite enjoyable nonsense: a little 80's curiosity, think of Q Winged Serpent but with paws.

George A Romero's Monkey Shines, about a paraplegic terrorised by his Capuchin chum, doesn't even manage the modest success of Wolfen as hampered as it is by it's unintentional hilarity. So some dude gets mowed down during his morning jog and ends up in a chair, paralysed from the neck down. His scientist mate gets one of his lab monkeys trained as a helper and it's not long before the protagonist and his hirsute hombre develop a "special" bond but things turn ugly and eventually homicidal. The acting is alright and a fairly decent cast and Romero does manage a few moments of dread but it's so ridiculous, so steeped in silliness that it never achieves it's ambitions and I spent the last 20 min laughing my face off. If you want some non-zombie Romero I stick with Martin.

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