GHI Triple Bill

Forging ahead with a efficiency that will surprise many, not least myself, the 2015 Alphabet Film Project continues unabated, albeit in entirely predictable fashion, today brought to you by the number 3 and the letters G-H-I

The first and much-loved Gremlins film must have got wet and been fed after midnight to spawn Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Joe Dante, 1990), which is a much more anarchic, mischievous and rowdy being. Much derided on its release 25 years ago (25 YEARS!!!), it's a pity it isn't a better film, because there's a lot of terrific invention in it, not least in daring to be a 'meta-sequel' which gleefully takes the piss out of its predecessor by poking fun at the Gremlin 'rules' and key sequences from the film. Not only that, it also takes satirical side-swipes at sequels in general, film tie-in merchandising, film critics and Donald Trump, as well as throwing in several film references along the way. Unfortunately, it lacks a proper plot, meaning it becomes little more than a series of Gremlin gags, not all of which hit the mark. It was probably ahead of its time in what it was trying to do, as several other meta-films followed to better reception towards the end of the 90s, but then again none of them had Hulk Hogan breaking the fourth wall and challenging the Gremlins to a fight when they break the film half-way through. Gizmo dressed as Rambo was just stupid though.

Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais, 1959) is an elliptical love story between a French actress and Japanese architect  set against the backdrop of WWII. A major influence n the French New Wave movement, it's an arresting hybrid of documentary and drama, with the main interest being the innovative editing and use of image and dialogue to connect time, space and people, particularly the use of brief flashbacks to suggest memories. As such, it's a key film in cinema history and works well in an experimental sense, although it doesn't really sustain an emotional resonance throughout. Still a worthwhile watch, though, and a heartfelt tribute to the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

Ils (Xavier Palud & David Moreau, 2006) is a fairly assured French-Romanian home invasion horror. Unlike the perpetrators, it doesn't outstay its welcome at only 74mins long, and also understands the value of keeping threats mostly unseen to ratchet up tension. I couldn't help thinking the terrorised couple brought it on themselves a bit by living in a stupidly large, shabby-chic, perfect-for-stalking-people house in the middle of nowhere, though. It would all be more horrific if it all really happened, but a quick bit of research reveals that in this case the 'based on a true story' promise seems to be code for 'completely made up'. It worked for the Coen brothers, I suppose, but these two directors haven't really gone on to better things, with the limp US remake of The Eye their only notable output since. And it was rubbish.

Next time folks, it'*consults alphabet*......J-K-L!!!

This series has been brought to you by the number 26 and the letters A to Z. The entire list of reviews can be viewed in one handy list here, in reverse order for extra excitement. Or you can click on the links below because it's still Christmas and I'm feeling helpful. Until next year, farewell

Previously on the Alphabet Film Project....


Atlantic City
Blood of Fu Manchu
Curse of Frankenstein


Esio Trot


Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Hiroshima Mon Amour


Julius Caesar
Late Chrysanthemums



Perks of Being a Wallflower
Quatermass and the Pit
Roman Holiday

Sherlock Holmes & the Scarlet Claw
Tender Mercies
Under the Skin

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

You're Next
Zombie Flesh Eaters

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