Untrusting and cloned, John Carpenter works The Thing as a finely tuned thriller and a consistent, murder-filled mystery. That is the downfall that kept it from reaching the highs it should have on its initial release, but the firm hand behind the camera with fixed ideas keeps it far more relevant and engaged than most of the films that tried to replicate or ruin it. But they can never touch The Thing, a perfect example of shifting tones, uneasy tensions and an ensemble coming together as they drift apart. It is the iconography and systematic devaluation of Alien and all the boxed-in horror tropes of a group of characters not knowing how to deal with a presence beyond their conception that makes it so broad and exciting.
Before his turn as the alien tree or angry driver man, Vin Diesel was piling his plate high with science-fiction horror shows. Pitch Black, the jargon-heavy romp through the final frontier is about as awkwardly confused as it gets for his early career. Editing devoid of logic crashes these characters on a planet of unknown origin but breathable atmosphere. One of the many great strokes of luck for this doomed crew of space travellers. A disaster of no concern presents the setting for David Twohy’s feature, which hopes to throw its audiences in the deep end of science-fiction. The least he could do is help us float, but many will drown in the thick waters of specialised vernacular.
What can be said about Uwe Boll? A man so hated by Hollywood that he quit the industry and opened up a restaurant. A director so vilified by critics that he offered them out for a boxing match, and proceeded to hospitalise the vast majority of them. Uwe Boll is a creator of content that would fall gracefully into the shlock and awe category, films that are so disgusting, random, repugnant and vile that they have some bleak and charming energy to them. They do to me, anyway, and I do find myself somewhat a fan of his work. If that makes me the world’s biggest idiot or a scholar of modern art, it’s up in the air for now though. What I do know though is that Fuck You All: The Uwe Boll Story is a superbly crafted documentary that really digs in deep with its subject.