Harvey Miller had only just got out of prison having spent 12 months inside. Once reunited with his best pals Dempsey, Dodd and Charlie, he became hellbent on revenge, determined to get back at the man who put him inside in the first place: Steven Roper. After a 'business proposition' was made to him by a fellow prisoner, Harvey sets about planning the ultimate heist - a job that could bring them over £100,000, and not only that, he's willing to do anything to bring Roper down. Unfortunately, his plans go awry when he is subsequently arrested with a handful of eye-witnesses naming him as a criminal. Detective Inspector West, baffled at how the boys could've got a robbery so desperately wrong, hands over the opportunity to tell the truth from his point of view.
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With 26 short segments, it's expected that this horror anthology will be hit and miss. But the experiment is an intriguing one, as the producers gave 26 filmmakers a letter of the alphabet and complete artistic freedom. The result is a mix of clever invention, pointless silliness, head-scratching indulgence and blatant misfires. Oddly, while all of them indeed deal with death, only a couple are actually creepy.
From Nacho Vigalondo's Apocalypse to Yoshihiro Nishimura's Zetsumetsu, these films are packed with black humour and grisly violence. Some are produced to a very high standard, while others look like cheesy school projects. Highlights include the mind-bendingly clever Cycle (by Chile's Ernesto Diaz Espinoza), about a guy caught in a freaky time-loop, and XXL (from France's Xavier Gens), a rather revolting commentary on super-thin models. Other viciously inventive clips include Marcel Sarmiento Dogfight, set in a deranged fight club underworld, Jorge Michel Grau's Psycho-inspired Ingrown and Ben Wheatley's Unearthed, which offers a frenetic new perspective on the vampire genre. All of these add some social relevance to their brief scenes of nastiness.
Most shorts weave comedy into the grisliness, such as the Thai short Nuptials (by Banjong Pisathanakun), which takes an amusingly awful turn. Others are more gimmicky: Exterminate (by Angela Bettis) is a witty attempt to kill a spider, while the very brief Miscarriage (by Ti West) ends on a particularly yucky gag. And some are just wrong in every way: Libido (by Indonesia's Timo Tjahjanto) is the most repulsive game show you've ever seen; Hydro-Electric Diffusion (by Norway's Thomas Cappelen Malling) features a Nazi cat tormenting an Allied dog; and Fart (by Japan's Noburu Iguchi) is an indescribably outrageous tale of apocalyptic survival.
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This film may look sleek and urgent, but it never feels like anything more than a run-of-the-mill London drugs thriller. The cast is good, and the imagery is striking, but it never adds anything new to the genre. And it certainly doesn't have the bracing impact of the original 1996 film, which introduced the world to Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive).
It centres on the young drug dealer Frank (Coyle), who with his friend Tony (Webb) is trying to bring a huge stash of drugs from Amsterdam to London. The cops are brutally trying to force Frank into turning in evidence against his supplier Milo (Buric), which puts him in a very bad position. With Milo's henchman (Ferda) breathing down his neck, Frank tries to call in his debts and raise enough cash so he and his stripper girlfriend Flo (Deyn) can get away. But all of his plans seem to go awry, which strains his relationship with Flo because he doesn't want to tell her the truth.
This is one of those movies in which events squeeze in on the central character from every side, forcing him to increasingly desperate actions. And Spanish director Prieto has a lurid visual style that jolts the screen with energy, even if it leaves everything feeling rather superficial. Coyle finds Frank's intriguing edges, playing him as a cocky nice guy whose confidence is beaten out of him. As he becomes a shell of himself, we have quite a bit of sympathy with him. So it's a shame that we never really feel much chemistry between Frank and Flo.
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Ray Collishaw and Mickey Mannock are two highly respected gangster cousins approaching retirement. Their visions of a relaxing retreat to a straight life are ruined when their gang loses a massive overseas delivery of the Russian Mafia's cocaine during a storm. Chased by enraged Russians and a vengeful police detective, the mob races across the continent through London, Amsterdam and Berlin in a bid to find a way to pay the Mafia back. Ray and Mickey hatch a devious robbery plan disguised as football hooligans for the upcoming England Vs. Germany match; they are about to embark on a diamond heist that could either define or terminate their criminal careers - and with a double agent among them, who knows which way it could go?
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Introverted but polite young man Joe is overcome with grief after beloved brother John is murdered by a violent gang following a heated disagreement in the local pub. The bereavement incites the arrival of one of John's old friends, Piggy, at his brother's doorstep.
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Bill, known to his friends as Wild Bill, has just been imprisoned for eight years for drug dealing. Now out on parole, he returns to his flat in a tower block in East London to find his two sons, Dean and Jimmy, living alone. Their mother abandoned them a while ago, so the respective fifteen and eleven year olds have been fending for themselves.
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