Posts Tagged ‘Film’

Flashback to… F/X Murder By Illusion

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Reviews
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This week I bring you another 1986 gem.   A sadly very obscure film called F/X: Murder By Illusion.  In this film directed by Robert Mandel, starring Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy we are taken into the world of professional special effects.

Roland ‘Rollie’ Tyler is played by Australian born Bryan Brown (Cocktail, Australia, Gorillas in the Mist) is the best special effects man in the business who gets approached by a government agent and is asked to help them stage the murder of a high profile mob boss who is turning states witness and is being put into witness protection.

Having agreed Rollie sets about preparing everything for his stunt and executes it as asked.  He realizes something went wrong and discovers that the murder of the mob boss is being blamed on him.   He then sets out  to clear his name of the murder by using all his skills as a special effects wizard.  He recruits his friend and partner Andy (Martha Gehman) to help him and eventually joins forces with Lt. Leo McCarthy (Brian Dennehy), the policeman initially tasked with finding the killer of DeFranco, the mob boss.   Soon Rollie and Leo are knee deep in secrets, dirty cops and, like Rollies’ effects, nothing is truly as it seems.

F/X eventually spawned a TV series by the same name in 1996 which chronicled more cases that Leo asks Rollie to help on.  While not quite true to the movies it wasn’t a bad tie in, even though it came ten years after the first movie and 5 after the sequel.

A fun action adventure romp, F/X is well written despite one or two of the plot twists not being too surprising, and while the basic premise is not new the execution is original and entertaining.   All the actors felt well cast and play their roles very well and manage a fine equilibrium between seriousness and occasionally quite funny dry wit.

Rollie (Bryan Brown) with Rosebud (the monster) and Lipton (Cliff De Young) from the Justice department.

If you are looking for a fun movie that is slightly different from the norm then I can strongly recommend F/X Murder By Illusion.

All in all: 4 out of 5


Hottest Horrors

Posted: August 14, 2011 in List!
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Facebook research has never hurt anyone, so I decided to find out from Facebook peeps which they think are the best horror films of all time.

Let Film Cocaine present the best horrors presented by the kind Facebook folk and then, Film Cocaine’s top 3 list of greatest horror films EVER made.


The terrifying shenanigans in Event Horizon deserve a special mention. Released in 1997, directed by Paul W. Anderson (Resident Evil) and starring the exquisite Laurence Fishburne (Apocalypse Now, The Matrix), this film scared its’ audience with dark lighting, hallucinatory responses and the sensation of PURE evil whilst watching the film. It is a modern day creep-fest which gave many brave audiences wet seats in the cinema.


 “Event Horizon, have to agree with JP – nothing else has freaked me out that much before or since.”


Zane Marc Gentis, Film Cocaine is in agreement. Event Horizon was one of the most terrifying films ever created. Not due to the BOO moments, but the essence of what made this film such a cult classic, the really, REALLY terrifying realization that something evil happened out there in the middle of the cold emptiness of space…


The American remake of The Grudge was released in 2004 and starred the now defunct Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer). The film contained elements of classic Asian horror and also a truly creepy dead child with a death rattle in his throat.  Takashi Shimizu (The original Ju-On director) took the helm of this horror fest and gave it an equally disturbing make-over. The Grudge redefined popular American horrors and came a close second after the exceptional American remake of The Ring. The Grudge was so popular that pop culture parodied the dead kid to death (no cliched pun intended).


 “The Grudge”. ED: A lovely little Facebook heart was on the right hand side of the quote. 


Agreed! The Grudge redefined the genre to American audiences and gave the more sinister original a Hollywood creep appeal. The difference between the two? Hollywood enjoys an adrenaline fueled jump every now and then.


Ah, one of the greatest classic horror films EVER made. Carrie was released in 1976 to an unsuspecting audience. The novel was written by Stephen King and starred a much younger Sissy Spacek (JFK), Piper Laurie (Children of a Lesser God) and Steven Spielberg’s ex wife, Amy Irving (Hide and Seek). This tension fueled work shop on how NOT to treat a fellow psychic class mate became one of the most popular cult classics ever made. Directed by the sensational Brian De Palma (Scarface), Carrie truly is a powerful tour de force in both film making and terror. The scene with the blood on Carrie at the school prom is one of the most iconic scenes in the history of horror cinema and as every horror film aficionado SHOULD know, is also seen as one of the most powerful scenes in horror cinema, bar none.


“Carrie – Brian De Palma”


Yes, Peter, your choice is truly exceptional. Carrie is an iconic classic and is one of the most important horror films to watch before you die. John Travolta deserves special recognition for his bit role in Carrie. An exemplary choice. Carrie MUST be watched. It won’t be forgotten easily and will influence your horror film watching until the day you die.


Remember the days when you were too young to watch Nightmare? You wanted to watch Freddy Kruger slice open people in their dreams! One of the most influential horror films of the past 3 decades. A Nightmare On Elm Street created an entire franchise which is still popular after the extremely disappointing remake in 2010. The Nightmare films contained the perfect recipe of horror and cemented Wes Craven as the god of horror cinema in the United States.

A scary, burnt pedophile in your dreams, who planned to slice open your gut and spill the gory contents on the floor. Terrifying. The now defunct Heather Langenkamp, with her ingenue performance, gave Nightmare on Elm Street exactly what it required, a horror heroine. Most film historians agree that the almost unidentifiable line between reality and dreams is what made this film so unique, much like the brilliant Inception. The audience never knew what was reality and what was Freddy’s nightmare and the mistrust created in the audience’s perceptions is what garnered this film and its’ weak B-film franchise, universal acclaim.


Gisela Valcarcel – ” A Nightmare on Elm Street- Wes Craven aaaall the way.”


Yes! Yes! Yes! Wes Craven truly is the idol of modern day horror/slasher cinema. A Nightmare on Elm Street was his baby and one of his greatest creations. The original Scream and Scream 4 are a close second. Thank you, Gisela, for choosing this beaut classic!


No exclusion is an option, so these are the films that receive special recognition as presented by Facebook peeps.


House of a Thousand Corpses

Amityville Horror

The Excorcism of Emily Rose


The top 3 greatest horror films ever made as presented by Film Cocaine are:

3. Martyrs

A deeply unsettling French horror/thriller combo. One of the most disturbing films EVER made. Martyrs is on this list due to its’ emotionally wrenching and soul destroying quality. It is terrifying, life changing and deserves the top three spot due to its’ literal levels of intensity as the film progresses. A mixture of horror, surrealism, terror, existentialism and spiritual symbolism, Martyrs is released to its’ audience at the beginning of the second act  through one of the most nauseating and gut wrenching shooting sprees ever witnessed in cinema. Some will argue that Martyrs is not a horror, therefore does not deserve a spot on this list. I disagree. Martyrs IS a horror and is one of the most realistic horror films I have ever seen.

2. The Shining

The Shining deserves this spot due to the utter hallucinatory terror contained in this film. REDRUM, Johnny’s Here and that screeching sound when Danny links up psychically with the Chef, are three of the most intense moments in horror cinema history. Stanley Kubrick, quite possibly one of the greatest directors to have ever lived, brought this novel by Stephan King to life in horrifying, cry-worthy terror. Kubrick was infamous for his repetition of filming and Shelly Duval (Wendy) was driven to a nervous breakdown by the incessant repetition and mental fatigue Kubrick induced in his actors. She was quoted as saying that The Shining was the moment she lost her mind. This director/actor tete-a-tete gave the film an intense and hysterical atmosphere. It is seen by most film historians as one of the most terrifying films ever created. I agree, The Shining scared me into a stupor.

And now, for our coveted number one spot, the greatest horror film ever made –

1. The Exorcist

Tubular Bells, demonic possession, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, subtle imagery flashing onscreen of a demon’s face, screaming, Latin, green vomit and urinating on a carpet. The Exorcist is seen by many as one of the most terrifying films ever released. In fact, it was so terrifying that people fainted in cinemas and were treated for shock, back when the film was released in 1973. There is no greater fear than watching this quite innocent young girl (played fantastically by Linda Blair) turn into a demon of note. The terror contained in The Exorcist is to this day, unrivaled. For me, one of the moments where I concluded that film is my passion came from The Exorcist, when Regan (Blair) was laughing demonically at the priests (which included the brilliant Max Von Sydow) and screamed with one of the most blood curdling screams ever heard on cinema. It terrified me beyond anything I have ever experienced before and to this day, whenever I watch The Exorcist, I sleep with lights on for months on end. The Exorcist is not easily digestible and leaves you with life changing sub-conscious imagery which is burnt into your memories until the day you die. The Exorcist truly is, THE most terrifying film ever made.

FILM COCAINE NOTE: A special thank you to everyone that partook in this little survey of hottest horrors. You’re welcome to (dis)agree with our choices. What do you think? Did we get it right with our top three greatest horror films ever made?

Your chances of becoming a film star is as good as the next person’s, IF you want it, really, really badly.

Therefore, an extremely important check list you should read before even CONSIDERING entering the film world.

  • There is no clear cut way to become an actor. Some are found in shopping malls, some are pitched by agents and others are found in closets with pink haired trolls and suffer from a terrible lack of acting ability (please refer to most up and coming actors currently residing in Hollywood). Ninety nine percent luck. One percent talent.
  • Becoming an actor is like eating an apple. The first bit tastes REALLY good and you yearn for more of the fleshy bits and sugary juice which ever so eloquently escapes the sides of your mouth. You munch like an idiot, until you reach the bitter middle part and realize that you’re full and your teeth feel weird. This is much like acting. It begins with a passion and ends with becoming a brand name and business.
  • Fame and fortune is NOT all that. Fame can be found on every street corner. She is the one with the red hair and the blue corset.  Fame and fortune is very 1995.
  • If you’re really serious about this film star business and wish to see your name in flashing lights or your hand prints on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, then you should seriously consider getting a makeover. No look is EVER the right look for Hollywood.
  • If all else fails and you realize there is NO way into the elite of Hollywood, enter a reality show. The 15 minutes of fame you achieve from either being voted off the island, being the last team to arrive or leaving the house immediately, really brings some extra spice and buzz to your future as an actor. Hey, if Elizabeth Hasselbeck (contestant on Survivor Season 2: Australian Outback) could become a conservative prude on The View, you could do it too!
  • Please note, never ever wish to become Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal. They are old, outdated and as I mentioned above, REALLY 1995.
Have you always wanted to become an actor? Share your experiences below!
   BEFORE FAME                   AFTER FAME