Michael Berryman

Michael Berryman

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Birmingham MCM Comic Con

Michael Berryman - Birmingham MCM Comic Con - Day 2 - Birmingham, United Kingdom - Sunday 23rd March 2014

Michael Berryman

Hell's Kitty premiere

Barbara Nedeljakova, Michael Berryman and Nina Hartley - Hell's Kitty premiere at Mann's 6 Theatre - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 21st August 2013

Michael Berryman

Speak No Evil Premiere

Gabrielle Stone, Suze Lanier-Bramlett and Michael Berryman - Speak No Evil Premiere at Music Hall Theatre in Beverly Hills - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 30th May 2013

Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Dee Wallace and Michael Berryman
Michael Berryman and Suze Lanier-Bramlett
Michael Berryman and Suze Lanier-Bramlett

The Devil's Rejects Review


Excellent
House of 1000 Corpses, the last song on Rob Zombie's 2001 album The Sinister Urge, also served as the title track to the metal frontman-turned-filmmaker's 2003 directorial debut, but the cut's country twang-inflected ghoulishness would have made a more apt musical accompaniment for Zombie's The Devil's Rejects. Less a sequel than a spiritual follow-up, the director's latest revisits House's serial-killing Firefly clan as they're cast into the backwater dustbowls of rural America by a sheriff (William Forsythe) intent on exacting vigilante revenge for the murder of his brother. A gritty Western-via-grindhouse modern exploitation flick imbued with the ferocity of independent '70s horror, Zombie's splatterfest wisely alters virtually everything (narratively, stylistically, thematically) that characterized his campy, cartoonish and awkward first film. And from its coarse, graphic visual aesthetic, profusion of classic Southern rock tunes, and portrait of unrepentant mayhem, his film reverentially exults in the deranged spirit and impulsive, unpredictable energy of seminal genre masterpieces The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes.

The Devil's Rejects diverges from its predecessor beginning with its opening frames, in which the depiction of the Firefly residence - no longer a remote, forest-shrouded funhouse of horrors but, rather, a dilapidated structure situated in a stretch of open land - speaks to the film's rejection of atmospheric claustrophobia in favor of wide-open anarchy. A fascination with rampant disorder certainly fuels the tour de force intro sequence, a bullet-strewn siege on the Firefly home by Sheriff Wydell (Forsythe) and an army of police officers heightened by Zombie's sly use of freeze frames, Sergio Leone-esque close-ups, and The Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider." Exhibiting a directorial maturity devoid of his former MTV-ish gimmickry (no hyper-edited montages with varying film stocks or bludgeoning industrial heavy metal here), the director orchestrates the chaotic events with feverish abandon, his shaky handheld camera set-ups and scraggly, sun-bleached cinematography (courtesy of Phil Parmet) placing us directly inside the carnage. By the time murderous siblings Otis (Bill Moseley) and Baby (Sheri Moon) escape their now overrun home to seek shelter in the rotting, blindingly white desert, Zombie has demonstrated a newfound adeptness at lacing nasty action with a breakneck thrust and vicious wit.

Continue reading: The Devil's Rejects Review

Weird Science Review


Grim
Like something dug out of the back of John Hughes's closet, among all the back issues of Amazing Tales, Playboy, and Mad - adolescent fantasy writ large and kind of creepy. It shouldn't be forgotten, I suppose, that back before his career as a screenwriter, Hughes was a writer for National Lampoon. Weird doesn't even really begin to describe this spotty misfire.

As its Hughes-land, we're back again in the suburbs of Chicago's North Shore, circa 1985, when apparently even bullies (embodied here by Robert Rusler and Robert Downey before he added the "Jr") could wear bad Wave-head fashions to the mall. A slightly more adult Anthony Michael Hall (look how much he's grown since the previous year's Sixteen Candles!) and the nasally-voiced Ilan Mitchell-Smith play best friends Garry and Wyatt. Losers beyond compare and hopeless with girls, they come up with the idea - while staying over at Wyatt's house while his parents are out of town - of creating the perfect woman on Wyatt's computer (you can almost see their bug-eyed, leering faces in a bad Playboy cartoon, drooling over some centerfold on the monitor). A few Frankenstein clips and some extremely bad special effects later, the door to Wyatt's bedroom explodes (of course) and standing in the smoke is their perfect woman: Kelly LeBrock.

Continue reading: Weird Science Review

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Review


Essential
Nicholson went nuts in The Shining, but he did the time in Cuckoo's Nest as a rough-and-tumble felon looking to escape hard prison by spending a little quality time in a psychiatric institution. Little does he realize his phony illness is about to get him into all kinds of trouble. Louise Fletcher's Nurse Ratched, however, is the character who has since entered into the American lexicon, as have a host of other characters and scenes (most memorably: Nicholson's narration of a World Series game that's not on TV). Faithfully adapted from Ken Kesey's stirring novel.

Continue reading: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Review

Michael Berryman

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