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Set in the year 2293 Zardoz sees society split between the hippy-like 'Eternals' and the poverty-stricken Brutals. The Eternals have established a new order, following the breakdown of civilzation, and are separated by the more undesirable elements of society, the Brutals, by a force field called The Vortex. For The Eternals there's is no illness and no death, hence their name. They are immortal - well, pretty much but this comes at a price. The Eternal males can no longer achieve erection and therefore no future offspring and frankly look too effete to be up for the challenge either way.
They have established and control The Tabernacle, an artifical intelligence similar to the Internet now although without irritating pop-up advertisements and each Eternal is linked to The Tabernacle via a crystal surgically-implanted in their forehead. This enables them to tap into the vast source of information the artificial intelligence holds whenever they chose. The Eternals also wear a communication ring that permits them to issue orders and transmit holograms.
If the film's title Bloodsucking Bastards hasn't given you a clue as to what to expect here then maybe the tagline 'Work it sucks the life out of you' will. Yep, this a vampire comedy horror billed as 'Office Space meets Shaun of the Dead'. By comparing itself to two cult flicks where laughs are high sets an awfully high precedent for director Brian James Connell's movie. It is a level that it fails to reach but that doesn't mean that his premise, where the bosses are literally sucking the staff dry in order to improve a company's performance, is without any charm or fun along the way.
It's initially difficult to warm to our lead character Evan (Fran Kranz). He's no Shaun, as in Shaun of the Dead. Sure Shaun is put upon at work, has a slobby best mate and girlfriend issues, but his circumstances are more or believable, and therefore more relatable. Evan is too much of a victim. for the most part, so it's no easy to emphasis with him.
Evan has messed up with HR director Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick), with whom he is romantically entangled, or was until he responded badly to her saying she loved him one evening. Evan finds solace in believing that a forthcoming promotion to Sales Manager will be his only to find it offered to a company outsider. The outsider is smarmy, slimy, slick Max (Pedro Pascal), an old rival of Evan's. No sooner has Max made himself known co-workers start disappearing and/or change into a more aggressive persona with Evan's colleagues slow to pick up on the changes.
Back in the summer of 2008 I was ostracised by two good friends. I had arranged to meet with them for a couple of drinks before viewing The Happening, the then latest twist-in-the-tale flick from twist-in-the-tale merchant M. Night Shyamalan. Shyamalan had made his name with 1999's The Sixth Sense a film with a twist that became a major talking point (even if it was effectively pulling the same end 'shock' as Jacob's Ladder and the original Carnival of Souls before it) and both critics and audiences alike felt subsequently cheated when he repeated the same stunt of plonking a twist in each tale he then committed to the big screen.
What I felt was missed by mainstream critics is that Shyamalan may have incorporated the same gimmick of w twist each time however he was also bold enough to come up with an original story that was indeed unique that in itself is a rare beast in commercial cinema. I'm not saying his ideas necessarily worked but fair game to him for attempting to pull off something different. 2008's The Happening being one such example.
I was unable to meet my friends for The Happening as my bus back from Exeter, some hundred miles from home, was caught up in bad traffic. My friends saw the film and both shunned me soon after telling me I didn't show up on purpose. It was some months later that I watched the same film with my then partner and I could see why.
There was an interesting idea at work in The Happening but the execution of it was shoddy. The Happening also played as if the studio had recut the film to a shape where it played shorter but made less sense than it should have. Subsequently Shyamalan's name on a film became a dirty word. But that could be about to change. The Visit is about the writer/director wrestling back artistic control after seeing many of his prior movies taken away from him and final cut denied, such as with the aforementioned The Happening.
A group of friends venture out into the remote Florida Everglades for their annual hunting trip. In doing so they have inadvertently upset the spirit realm and consequently become hunted by an ancient and rather grumpy curse in the form of 'wind walkers'. Our protagonists are soldiers, two of which have recently returned from combat abroad.
Whatever it is that the duo have witnessed abroad has had a rather detrimental effect on one of them Sean Kotz (Zane Holtz). We know this because Sean is unable to give his girlfriend the quickie she is gagging for at the back of the store she works at. He is also taking medication for schizophrenia. Writer/director Russell Friedenberg also offers up the possibility that Sean may be possessed by the wind walkers. One thing is certain, Sean is pretty nifty at running and he does an awful lot of it throughout the film.
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