I went into Vincenzo Natali’s sci-fi horror, sadly enough, with the hindsight of spoilers firmly imbedded into my disturbed awareness. Otherwise, how else would a pervert-cum-rubberneck get to feast his eyes on bestiality and incest without previous knowledge and a guarantee of the surprise element remaining intact? With so many films being churned out and the oppressive trade-off of modern life, it’s nigh impossible to keep up. Continue reading

El Topo (1070)

“Credit the sixties for giving us the acid strip, jazz and now the Western,” I assume was the opening line of many an El Topo review had there been edgy online publications like Cinemaholism in 1970. Alas there wasn’t. And so it was now, in 2017, certainly overdue but not quite too late, that somebody had the opportunity to open with those precise words. And if it were up to me I’d go one further except modern time constraints prevent me from doling out more puns. Continue reading


Often misunderstood and mis-romanticized—and such was the power of Mario Puzo’s Godfather screen adaptation—the mob genre is mistakenly celebrated at each cycle of reinvention. The Italian mafia in films has undergone a persistent makeover, resurrecting in newer, grimier skin each time around to the shortsighted delight of amnesiac critics. When The Sopranos was hailed as a gritty ode to America’s ages-old vicarious thrillseeking via its Italo American diaspora, it was as if backroom deals weren’t incessantly struck in hole-in-the-wall Missouri diners and ethnic markets courtesy of Scorsese a decade or so prior. Continue reading

Thesis on a Homicide (2013)

Your reception to Thesis on a Homicide will vary depending on your appreciation for ambiguity and tolerance for redundancy. Thankfully, Thesis keeps both criteria to one instance of each. But before another word is said, it is incumbent upon your boy to point out that this is a film literal in name and intentions. There are no thematic allusions or double meanings. Thesis, you guessed it, revolves around a law school murder with the added caveat of the thesis in question being an actual fucking murder investigation! The school of applied sciences, indeed. Political sciences, that is. Granted, the story (ahem) freely plagiarizes a similarly conceived film by none other than Chile film ambassador to Spain meaning not even the colossal Andes range can stop these two nations from adhering to boundaries. Continue reading

The Descent (2005) Re-Appraisal

It is something of an ongoing (budding) practice here at Cinemaholism to not only take a respected critic up on their recommendation via the films they review—usually favorably—but to attempt the same. And what better way to uphold tradition than by keeping a focus on films I’d seen some time back to discover whether the reception has changed? Think of it as the meta in film reviews; reviewing my own mental review. Real talk though, the viewing habits of film freaks allow for a variety of consumption patterns. You can watch them in marathons of one particular director’s films, by movement, genre, or year of release, etc. Besides it makes the site portfolio that much more dynamic and compelling in its content for the time 30 hits per day comes. Haha. Not that I do a write-up on every single film I see, but having just gotten finished watching the spelunking nightmare The Descent I’m amped to put the final word on a one-time personal favorite. Oops, guess that gave away which way the verdict is headed. But I liked The Descent very much in 2006, as it left me with a visceral after-effect. It was a gut-punch of a movie then and still is today. Depending on which ending you saw first, a picture has never spoken a thousand words so resoundingly as its last frame, and luckily for me, I believe I saw that version in both cases. Little things like this, when they tie into the whole piece, do wonders to an otherwise frugally set film. Continue reading

Wild Coast, Eastern Cape

Given that Cinemaholism is primarily a hotbed of film coverage, well, a fledgling one albeit half-assed, logic and proven pattern dictate there are few better ways to usher in change than with some variety. I know it’s been dormant on that front sinc we last spoke, and here we are now. I’ve been to Africa. I’ve done Africa. Not only that. I’m about to show you the T-shirt, too, son. And so it was that the first of many aborted attempts at some diversions, material wise, mainly in the form of podcast and sports coverage, has become… the first travelog entry! Dum, Dum, Dum. But wait, it gets better because there’s more! We also got Dubai in a separate post to decide whether all the hype is real or overblown. But first things first, I’ll get the first leg of my trip out of the way, first. Continue reading


While accurate, to dismiss Jonathan Glazer’s unorthodox alien sci-fi as enigmatic is a simplistic exercise in reductionism, but also the easiest. Though tangential, comparisons to 2001: A Space Odyssey were inevitable, they would prove only insofar as creative intent. What Kubrick sought to ask would ultimately eclipse what his epic attempted to answer. Glazer’s film toys with similar obscurities, except two arguments could be made for and against his effort adapting Under the Skin to the screen. Stacked against the Starchild’s trajectory, for one, said ambiguity is backloaded. Put another way, and notwithstanding source material, Scarlett Johansson’s alien has no backstory to glean any moral or emotional reference from. And, two, the very same obtusity could be misconstrued here as a deliberate narrative cop-out, and it was largely behind the film’s lack of mainstream appeal. It was a colossal commercial failure, although that is another topic. But just as easily this charge could be overlooked as another among the plethora of misinterpreted reactions the film has spawned, not in the least because the similarities to Kubrick’s Space Odyssey are, um, (rising Valley girl tone) tangential? The two films are narrative contrasts to even remotely qualify as kin. Continue reading


Despite being categorically different in tone, Nightcrawler is similar to Carancho in featuring cottage industries named in generic, often pejorative fashion. Except an honest assessment of Nightcrawler would do well without two things, to be fair: heaping plaudits on the performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, and; partaking in fanboy fuckery extended to a character that no sooner than encountered in real life would send said fanboys for the hills. As a satire—and Nightcrawler ultimately shouldn’t be seen beyond one—the cheers are expected. Same with the idolatry for a sleeper hit. But its Shakespearean undertones and eye for zeitgeist are worthy of highlight. Continue reading