Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alyce

Alyce
Directed by: Jay Lee
Horror/Thriller 93 min
USA, 2011

If you had told me beforehand that this was made by the same guy that wrote/directed Zombie Strippers 2008, I’d probably never have slipped the disc into my machine. Zombie Strippers is a movie that I still haven’t seen, and never really been interested in, although find myself curious as of now. Because I would never have thought that the same person who made a spoofy zombie flick could have made a genuinely disturbing and haunting flick as Alyce.

Following a party where a common sleazy trait is exposed by boyfriend Vince [James Duval], Alyce [Jade Dornfeld] and her best friend Carroll [Tamara Feldman] take to partying on their own, so that Carroll can tend to her disappointment. But the girls’ night of bonding and confessions comes to a harrowing end when Alyce accidentally knocks Carroll of a rooftop. The accident becomes a catalyst for the deterioration of Alyce, as she becomes snared in a downward spiral taking her through a maze of drugs, sex and violence finally landing her in a deep dark place.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [1865, Charles Lutwige Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll] may just be one of the most important works ever written. Despite being within the fantasy realm, it’s a story that strongly influences the horror genre, and perhaps it’s something of an underestimated gem if you look at it through the horror goggles. As a child that animated Disney flick used to freak me out, and to some extent still does. So one can easily see how it metaphorically can be applied to movies on the genre scene. But this isn’t something new; as early as 1903, when cinema was in it’s infancy, Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow directed a ten minute short version, and with its stop motion animation and in camera effects, it’s certainly breathes an eerie sensation. Jaromil Jires loosely based his Valerie a týden divu (Valerie and her Week of Wonders), 1970 on Carroll’s novel, Czech stop motion wizard Jan Svankmajer made a bizarre version in 1980, and it comes as no surprise that the subject matter appealed to GothBoy Tim Burton either. Therefor one would think that it would be easy to get lost in Wonderland, stuck in convention and repetition after being such a heavily sourced material, but instead Jay Lee’s Alyce reveals itself to be an intriguing dark gem of modern genre cinema.
The reason Alice in Wonderland appeals to these days, and probably all those genre directors too, is that within that great source material lies a coming of age tale which gives the opportunity to deconstruct the main character, take them from innocence and propel them to adulthood. Alice goes from naïve little girl to powerful woman, hence the adult version directed by Bud Townsend in 1976, and the obvious attraction the original text has on genre directors.
Referents to Alice in Wonderland are riddled throughout the movie, from audio cues – A cover of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit is heard early on. Lines of dialogue, such as the bartender holding up shots in front of Alyce as he in a childish voice says “Drink me, Drink me”, and Alyce at one point says “off with his head”, as anyone familiar with the original text will know to be a frequent line uttered by the Queen of Hearts. Images, set design and scenery refer to the book - several times Alyce is seen with a white rabbit in the foreground of the composition, as she takes different drugs to achieve different “outer body” experiences, metaphorically changing her persona. Names especially reflect the source material; Alyce is the obvious referent, but even her friend Carroll Lewis, which is an obvious one.

But even the villains, the druggies, these characters are obviously reflections of characters in the books. Rex [Eddie Rouse] the drug dealer wears hats, much like The Hatter. He’s the supplier, just like in the books, where he’s the supplier of tea, and just like his metaphorical namesake he’s in trouble with the law. There’s also traits of the Caterpillar found in Rex, as he is the one person who whilst smoking, questions Alyce and her identity crisis… oh, by the way Rex is Latin for King, and in this inversion world, Queen is King. Rex is in other words a composite of several key characters in the books. By his side he has his cohorts, March [Brian McGuire] - a nod to the March Hare and the character is just like his book counterpart, something of an oddball, prankster and when push comes to shove, he’s the sidekick from hell! Finally there’s Mouse [Catero Colbert] – like the mouse that swims in Alice’s tears in the book, Mouse shares the numbing effects of the drugs with Alyce, and spends most of his scenes sleeping. Referents and metaphors like this are found all over the place in Alyce, but I’ll leave some of them for you to discover by yourself.
I’m convinced that this movie would never have had been anything as charismatic and powerful as it is without the outstanding performance given by Jade Dornfeld! She completely mesmerizes me, she has me falling head over heels in love with her, and her transformation from the fragile, delicate character we are first introduced to, to the raw, psychotic death machine in the last scene is truly one of the most spellbinding transformations I’ve seen in ages. And I’ll tell you why it works right now! When we’re first introduced to Alyce, she’s obviously playing second fiddle to Tamara Feldman’s Carroll. Gently we learn more and more about Alyce, and it’s apparent that she’s previously had issues with her own identity. This is hinted at in scene between the two women after the subplot concerning Carroll and Vince is instigated. Scorned, frustrated, angered and seeking ways to scorn Vince, Carroll brings important backstory into the piece. At one point in time, Alyce mimicked Carroll. In such a way that Carroll refers to it as the “Single White Female” incident. This backstory and the restrained reactions Alyce gives when Carroll tries to seduce Alyce, along with the initial distance Alyce keeps between her and drug dealer Rex, all help the audience to empathise with Alyce. Empathy needed before she starts her decent.
We want to help her, we want to comfort her, and we want her to come through the ordeal. This makes us empathise with her. When the envelope is pushed to far, starting with the fucking for drugs, the degradation at the funeral, the obnoxious visit from Vince, the physical and mental taunting, the nightmarish condition, we have an emotional recognition with Alyce. The most of us have done things we regret, been blamed for something outside of our control, treated wrongly, and we have all felt that strong urge to lash out and settle the score. This is exactly what happens in Alyce, and this is why we cheer Alyce on as she goes off that deep dark end… that violent and bloody rampage in the last act.
Seeking the core of Alyce was a fantastic journey. If you are a regular reader, then you know that I have a few corner stones that I rely upon when yapping on about what makes a great genre movie… and the crown jewel of all these traits is GUILT! Alyce is all about guilt. From the inciting incident on the rooftop, Alyce’s guilt drives her deeper and deeper into the abyss, or rather further down the rabbit hole towards her own transformation. Guilt is a magnificent tool, and in Alyce it’s like clockwork, at first it forces her to retrace her steps… i.e. to the club, to relive the moment in a desperate attempt to change reality, which takes her to her to doing more drugs, which in it’s own turn leads to her degrading herself to gain even more drugs (at mid point, the point of no return), which leads to the nightmarish world of abusive sex, necrophilia, violence and death. The fact that the film at times looks and feels like a mix of Dario Argento’s Suspira 1977, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion 1965 and David Lynch’s Lost Highway 1997, with effects in the vain of key splatter films of the eighties – courtesy of Patrick Magee and Josh Russell - makes me bond with the movie even more!
Beautiful death, accompanied by the atmospheric industrial rumblings of Billy White Acre’s sublime soundtrack. The final reel of Alyce is a symphony of destruction leaving no holds barred. From frail delicate and reclusive girl to fucking machine of mayhem, Alyce tears a hole in your soul large enough for your next-door neighbour to peek through, and I loved every warped minute of it!

A somewhat "Spoilerish Trailer..."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Iron Sky

IRON SKY
Directed by: Timo Vuorensola
Finland, Germany, Australia, 2012
Sci-fi/Comedy/Drama, 93 min

In a near future, 2018 to be precise, an American venture to the moon stumbles over a secret that’s been lurking on the dark side of the moon for seventy years! After their defeat during the second world war, the Third Reich have been hiding out of sight on the back of the moon. There they have been tending to their wounds, licking their sores and preparing to rise again. Now regrouped, restructured and full of faith, The Fourth Reich is ready to reclaim their earth!

I really got a kick out of Iron Sky, and it’s already on my list of movies that I need to see again! Unlike the so-so curiosity it could have been, it’s a Wagnerian blitzkrieg, taking its public on a captivating ride through action, lust, love, power and greed, but still managing to deliver a message to its audience.
Characters are presented in a straight and stern manner, polarizing good guys from bad guys. The Nazis come with their historic luggage and you get the badass vibe from their strict and futuristic storm trooper suits already in the first four minutes. The use of Nazis in any form is a great move, as this does two things in the blink of an eye.

One: you need not waste time on backstory – we all know that the Nazis where amongst the evilest form - take a look at Mike Mignola’s early Hellboy comics or even the first Guillermo Del Toro movie of the same comic, Kroenen and Ilsa Hauptstein don't just look awesome, we know from the word go that he's gonna be a bad ass, because they are Nazis! Look at Michael Mann’s The Keep 1983, or even read the original source – superior to the movie – written by F. Paul Wilson in 1981, Ken Weiderhorn’s Shock Waves 1977 or even contemporary stuff like Steve Barker's Outpost 2008… you get the jest, no need for backstory, just get right in there and let the Nazis stir shit up.

Two: you present a threat that comes with all the trimmings in one go. There’s no need to explain what they are, their genesis or even set rules for the antagonist. They are Nazis it doesn’t get any easier. Adding the pizazz of Nazis hiding behind the moon for seventy years is just sheer genius on the behalf of originators Johanna Sinisalo, Jarmo Puskala and screenwriter Michael Kalesniko. Not forgetting director Timo Vuorensola for bringing it all to life.
The Stormtroopers are led by Führer to be Klaus Adler [Götz Otto], also introduced in the first few minutes, hell, even the Führer himself Wolfgang Kortzfleich [the majestic and iconic Udo Kier] is posed against the heroic character James Washington [Christopher Kirby] immediately after the bombastic opening titles with their hard electronic Laibach score. Which leads us to the main character of the piece Renate Richter [Julia Dietze] Richter is presented in a fashion that shows the audience the conscious and determined brainwashing of both her, and the generation of Nazi youth that she educates in her work as school teacher. In her world the message of the fourth Reich is Love and understanding. To such a degree that when she show’s her students “Chaplin’s most famous short movie” it’s The Great Dictator 1940, cut down to a ten minute shape, only showing the dictator at his happiest and most peaceful, like playing with the globe balloon… It’s a smart and intelligent way of explaining what has been going on and the indoctrination taking place on the back of the moon for the last seventy years.

This all changes when the Space Nazis are forced down to earth to take part of new technology. Captured Astronaut Washington’s modern day cell phone manages to bring a spark of life into the Götterdämmerung – the largest of all the spaceships hidden in the darkness of the moon. Alder see’s his chance to side step the current leader and take his rightful place as Führer through a daring mission to earth to find more “computer plates” as to prepare the invasion. With the aid of Washington they take off for earth and upon arrival realize that Renate has snuck on-board the spaceship… time for culture crash, and moral awakening.

The Nazi’s become the focus of Vivian Wagner [Peta Sergeant] a razor sharp, no bull public relations advisor to the President of the United States of America [Stephanie Paul] – an obvious Sarah Palin gag. With the attention comes hubris, and Renate soon has a terribly rude awakening, whilst Adler, who in his turn has been playing Wagner for his own needs, slowly moves towards his plan of becoming Führer and invading earth.

Despite all the intrigue, action sequences, space battles and ironic comments, Iron Sky still manages to deliver a biting satire over the US, and other leading countries exploitation of new sources, and the greed that comes with it. In Iron Sky the object of desire is Helium 3, and despite claiming that sending an African-American to the moon will help popularize the residing female president, it’s the Helium 3 they are really after. It’s a great move to have the female president cheer as she realizes that going to war always guarantees a second period of presidency, and a comedic moment which is way to close to reality to really be laughed at.

What surprised me the most with the movie, is that when you look at the heart of Iron Sky, you find a quite tender, but at the same time gloomy, tale of morale! If there’s a message to take with you after a viewing it’s that revenge is messy and only leads to further violence. Violence of the most nihilistic kind of way, Because notwithstanding the laughs that have been obtained during the ninety minutes of Iron Sky, and despite the clear polarization of Nazis versus so called good guys, there’s a stern finger pointed at us the citizens of modern age… a warning is given much more threatening than Space Wehrmacht hiding behind the moon!

But the road there is hilarious. It’s Mars Attacks 1996 versus Where Eagles Dare 1968 seen through a filter of Steam Punk, live action Animation and the films of Jeunet and Caro, coming out in a result which is undoubtedly the most kick ass Space Nazi invasion film ever made!

When Iron Sky hit’s home video I challenge you all to a movie referent drinking game, because it’s loaded with them. Heck there’s even a gag where that viral “Hitler get’s angry” scene from Oliver Hirshbiegel’s Der Untergang (Downfall 2004 – in which Götz Otto had a part), is mimicked. Working that gag in there is hilarious, and one of many great laughs.
I recall hearing about Iron Sky back in the early 2000’s when Richard Raphoorst’s eagery awaited fan financed project Worst Case Scenario folded and went down in flames. Just like that one, I was never expecting to really see Iron Sky, despite my mates coming back from Cannes with great stories of Nazi clothed hostesses promoting the movie at some of the greatest parties they’d been to. But never the less, it's here and it's a fact, Iron Sky is a winner; it looks amazing and was definitely worth the semi decade wait! Iron Sky is the hidden behind the moon movie of the decade and The Götterdämmerung puts those god-awful Cybertronian pieces of shit from that “Makes-no-sense” Michael Bay flick from last year to real shame!

Heil Iron Sky!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Night of the Living Dead 3D : Re-Animation


Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-AnimationDirected by: Jeff Broadstreet
USA, 2012
Horror/Comedy,

Gerald Tovar Jr. [Andrew Divoff] runs the Tovar mortuary – a character previously played by Sid Haig in Broadstreet’s previous installment Night of the Living Dead 3D 2006, although this time around the movie is a prequel and takes place a day before that previous movie… Anyways, Gerald has a problem with his mortuary, as the dead won’t stay dead. Trying his best to keep the brooding undead epidemic – by keeping it secret from his staff, Aunt Lou [Melissa Jo Bailey], Handyman Russell [Adam Chambers] and Goth-Lolita necro-crush DyeAnne [Robin Sydney], and newly employed mortician Christie Forrest [Sarah Lieving]. To complicate things even more, Gerald’s younger brother Harold Tovar [Jeffery Combs] turns up on his doorstep after a long time of absence with grudge as he feels he was mistreated in the will… in short, he want’s the money he feels entitled too. Needless to say, things get complicated and Gerald has more than one shocking surprise hidden away behind locked doors.


Well, they do say don’t fuck with the classics for a reason…
Andrew Divoff, Jeffery Combs, and zombies… it sounds like a horror buffs wet dream… For some it probably will be, but for me it never took off, which is a damned shame, because I really wanted this flick to kick ass!But all is not lost in the land of the dead… I’m just very picky when it comes to my zombie fun, and anything trying to hitch a ride on Romero’s groundbreaking classic or Fulci’s companion piece, rubs me the wrong way. But if you can get your head past the semi-pretentious vibe that comes with a movie sticking its self with the “Night of the Living Dead” title, there’s a pretty fun flick behind all of the façade building.

Divoff is great here, and he’s obviously giving it all he can. He manages to give a grand performance as the morally tormented Tovar – there’s a real neat shock when the reason for his keeping zombies alive concealed in there – and the way he eases the audience into his personal hell works like a charm.

I have issues with flicks that try to blend horror and comedy, sometimes for no apparent reason, but I find Night of the Living Dead 3D : Re-Animation more of a satire than a horror comedy. A satire, which makes for some laughs through the Sister Sarah [Denise Duff] character in the shape of a  Sarah Palin parody. This despite fucking up the time line… I was under the impression that this movie was a prequel to a movie that was made in the sixties and supposedly took place then too, not four decades later…

Despite being something of a slow mover– with the obligatory zombie beat every few minutes – I really liked the rift between the brothers and the reveal of the exploitative idea of Tissue Farming… But Gerald is all about family values and stopping at nothing to keep his fathers work in prime focus. There’s some great dimension to the character that Divoff presents. Combs get’s the job done, but not really much more, and despite a sudden plot curve, they still manage o kick in a shock twist at the very end of the flick.



Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation just about get’s a three out of six possible. The reason for this is that I don’t really feel that it’s either creepy enough or funny enough, although still enjoyable… it almost feels like a TV show... I don’t really know what they want with the movie, and I would have given the digital effects a second spin. When it comes to zombie horror I prefer the old school approach to special effects over CGI (sorry Fred), and when you have a movie set in a morgue, why not go all in with a classic gut spill? Although on the plus side, I’m sure this movie is a blast in it’s 3D version, as that’s what the movie primarily is made as, a 3D horror shock!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

COMPETITION = Free stuff for you guys! [ENDED]

OK, so I passed 200.000 visits a week or so back, and I’ve been wanting to celebrate this in some appropriate manner… So here’s a little competition for you to dig away at, and there's some nice goodies to win at the end of it all!
1. The Crime Package
Well basically the Fernando DiLeo boxset, the gun stays with me. Four brilliant, hard and kick ass crime flicks that put others to shame. Starring the likes of Jack Palance, Henry Silva, Al Cliver, Barbara Bouchet, Gisela Hahn uncredited performances by Dario Argento regularFulvio Mingozzi and Ulli “Bogeyman” Lomel as a dancer. Then there’s the spiffy soundtracks by none other that Luis Bacalov and Armando Trovajoli - EuroCrime at its finest!

2. The Smut Package
Four Scandinavian Smut flicks from the golden age of Swedish Sin. Two Mac Ahlberg’s, a Torgny Wickman, and one Paul D. Gerber. Marie Ekorre is in two of them, Christina Lindberg has a small cameo in one of them, oh and did I mention that bloke of Emmerdale Farm? Funky music, fury chicks and lot’s of bonus features, such as Wickman’s never completed lost movie Drömdoktorn.

ALSO! Top winner will be receiving the complete CiNEZiLLA mixtapes on a smoking hot USB stick! So far there’s seven of them:


  1. Velvet Razorblades - The Sounds of Dario Argento
  2. Postcards from Hell - The Sounds of Lucio Fulci
  3. Sleazy Succubus - The Sounds of Jess Franco
  4. Perdu dans le cimitère – La Symphonie d’un Jean Rollin
  5. From the Land Ice and Snow – The Sounds of Swedish Sin
  6. Make them Cry Slowly – The Vocal Sounds of Italian Cinema
  7. The Masala Meathook Massacre – The Sounds of Indian Horror
This package will even contain the not yet released SATANIK [Vol.666], SOLARIS - An Audio Experiment and SHAKIN’ ASS IN THE GRAVEYARD!So what do you have to do? Well pretty easy actually, the basic rule is that the person who can name and/or identify the most movies/characters in the CiNEZiLLA ident, get’s to take home one of the packages!

You can only name the character/movie once, so if you say SLIMER and then GHOSTBUSTERS, this is still only one point… and no, Slimer isn’t in there.

Send your answers to me via email: killfinger (at) Hotmail (dot) com, write COMPETITION – SMUT if you want the smutflicks, COMPETITION – CRIME if you want the DiLeo crime flicks!

Deadline is crack of dawn, April 1st (no joke) and then a few days after that I’ll declare a winner!Have fun and good luck.
J.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dead End Drive-In




Dead-End Drive In
Directed by: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Australia, 1986
Sci-Fi/Drama, 87min
Australian Post-Apocalyptic cheapie, that tells the tale of Crabs [Ned Manning], who takes his girlfriend Carmen [Natalie McCurry] to the Star Drive-In only to have the wheels of the car, a car he borrowed of his mate Frank, stolen. With the tires stolen, Crabs and Carmen find themselves trapped inside the drive in, which has been closed by the government to detain the restless delinquents within and keep them off the roads. Inside the electrified walls of the drive-in, a whole society has been erected… and held captive in this world where government control – as in feeding the kids drugs, bad movies and keeping the Sheila’s on the pill – Crabs starts desperately searching for a way out!

Because low-budget Ozploitation flicks are fucking brilliant, kicks convention ass, and Brian Trenchard-Smith was one of the greatest directors of the niche. Yes, a man with the motto “When in doubt blow it up, or at least set fire to it!” or “Fire is cheap, and gives high production value!” is a goddamned hero in my book.

Contemporary Aussie Rock Music, sinister delinquents, floozy chicks, a record breaking car stunt, climactic shootout and the most terrifying thing of the future…punks – think about it, people must have been scared shitless of punks in the eighties, as almost every goddamned post apocalyptic flick has mohawked punks in leather and boots as the thug villains of the waste lands. Although the real fear is presented in a smart piece of social commentary concerning racism. Which also works as a motivator for the community now faced with the dilemma, where The Star Drive-In once was a safe heaven free from “rice gobblers”, there’s a growing problem now that there’s non-white’s as part of the community. An intelligent reflection on Australian society in the late seventies, early eighties. See, exploitation films aren’t all about tits, ass and violence; they also want to say something.

Any movie with a 'Rambo 8' gag is worth the time watching, and inside the drive-in Escape 2000 (aka Turkey Shoot) 1982, and The Man From Hong Kong (aka Dragon Files) 1975, are screened. Both of them Trenchard-Smith flicks, and both movies that Carmen can’t take her eyes off… “I’ve got to see how it ends!” I love the balls of writing a scene like that into your movie, a scene, which shows just how damned great Trenchard Smith really was.

Where everyone else is seemingly content with being captive in the Drive-in, Crabs becomes a natural protagonist as he’s consistently trying to create change, i.e. get the hell out of the drive in controlled by Thompson. There’s a great tension that builds between Crabs and Carmen, as she becomes more and more adaptive to life within the fences, where Crabs becomes more and more determined to get the hell out.

Written by Peter Carey who you should recognize as the writer of another great Ozploitation classic, the deep dark comedy Bliss 1985, and one of the writers on Wim Wenders Until the End of the World 1991

Despite being something of a failure at the box office – but it did find it’s audience on the cult circuits later albeit the cultural elitists – the movie was nominated for a Australian Film Institute Award for Lawrence Eastwood’s production design. And I'll be damned if there isn't a drinking game somewhere in all that graffiti and detail in frame.


Dead End Drive-In get’s a four out of six as it’s a damned neat little movie. Yes it’s slow and tediously works it’s way towards the action packed climax for almost eighty minutes. But that’s part of the charm with certain cheap exploitation flicks, they are quite meditative and half the challenge is trying to keep awake whist watching them. Oh, and the Anchor Bay version has a great commentary track by Trenchard-Smith who is always entertaining to hear talk shop.






Friday, March 16, 2012

Borderland [QuickFix]



Borderland
Directed by: Zev Berman
Mexico/USA, 2007
Thriller/Horror, 105min.

Three dopey kids with only a few weeks left before heading out to college take a road trip down south, to Mexico. In the small town of Manzanita, they just so happen to get caught up with a local cult. A cult intent on using a white man as part of their ritualistic sacrifice!


Supposedly based loosely on a real case concerning the Narcosatanicos (Why everything looks so damned much cooler in Latino spelling I’ll never know) A band of drug dealers, who performed ritual sacrifices and dabbled in the occult, left fifteen buried corpses on the Rancho Santa Elena – from then on known as Devil Ranch – thought that the magic would protect them from the police and one of them claimed to be invisible upon his arrest… Most of the fifteen bodies the police excavated from the ranch surroundings where missing brain and spine as these parts where used in the occult rituals performed. Fact always defeats fiction when it comes to bizarre stories like this one.


Borderland has a brilliant initial attack in its almost ten minute opening. Not only does it take us from Ordinary world into the realm of horror that we are about to be committed, but it also establishes a very potent and real threat to any protagonists presented after the prologue. Through a dark, disturbing and terrifyingly violent process, Police officer Ulises [Damián Alcázar] and his partner are captured, tortured, followed by Ulises being forced to watch whilst Gustavo [Marco Bacuzzi] and his mate slaughter Ulises partner with the warning “You go back to your cop buddies and tell them who did this”… Well if the cops, armed with weapons, and all their crime-fighting skills aren’t even safe, then how the hell are the poor kids – presented after the opening titles. From here on we also know that this is all about a Mexican occult sect with a passion for torture! Bring on the fresh meat.

Characters are established right off the bat, dope pushing Henry [Jake Muxworthy], Phil [Rider Strong], the virgin, who only want’s to get laid and Eddie [Brian Presley] the completive one of the bunch, nursing a conscious and holding a secret from his friends - all twenty something canon fodder way to familiar for comfort, and Mexico has all the remedies they need.
Needless to say we’re here for the carnage, but where I was expecting a pretty mindless torture porn flick, I actually ended up with a tense thriller with some damned hard moments of harsh violence and one of the best-goddamned goat scares in a long time.
Sean Astin has a great part as Randal, a mystic and sadistic go-between, serving Santillian [Beto Cuevas] as they prepare their “gringo” sacrifice for the occult ritual.

Oh, did I mention the hot mamacitas? Forget the old toothless witches of the Mexploitation flicks of the seventies, Ed’s romantic interest Valeria [Martha Higareda] and her cousin Lupe [Francesca Guillén] are if nothing else a damned good reason to watch Borderland. Ay Caramba!

Borderland get's a four out of six possible. It hooks me straight away, builds a severe atmosphere and catches my attention, but after that impressive intro, the movie sags and more or less drags on for a good forty minutes... Luckilly the last act is a nail biter and well worth the wait.