Sunday, 21 May 2017
57 years ago today, Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was born. With the upcoming release of Marc Meyers adaptation of Dahmer's school friend, Derf Backderf's My Friend Dahmer, it's pretty terrifying to realise how little society has actually changed, and that support for mental health issues is still pretty shocking in many places.
Dahmer is the perfect example of what can happen when a lonely, disturbed person is fighting personal demons without the necessary help they require...help that "could" have made a difference. It might not have. But it could have.
Dahmer fell through the cracks of a broken system and 17 young men ultimately paid the price before Dahmer was beaten to death in prison. And that's not even counting all those affected by his actions, most notably Tracy Edwards, the man who led the police to Dahmer in the first place; before he too fell into those cracks and was connected to murder himself.
My Friend Dahmer focuses on a young Jeff (played by R5's Ross Lynch), before he became Jeffrey Dahmer. The story of him becoming the monster and fading to black. It is based on Derf Backderf's graphic novel of the same name, that was published in complete in 2012 after an original shorter release in 2002. One of my favourite lines from the book, the one point that could have made all the difference in the outcome of Dahmer's story..."where were the damn adults?"
I wrote a bit about this when it was first announced here. Since then, the film has been complete and had its world premier on 21st April at the Tribeca Film Festival, to extremely positive reviews. The film will see a release towards the end of the year, including a theatrical release which I am assuming will be limited...but you never know. I for one will be doing my damned best to check it out on the big screen though, that you can bet on, haha.
Inverse recently did a couple of good features about My Friend Dahmer, one with Derf Backderf himself which is a really interesting read, and one with director Marc Meyers as well, which again is a really good read that I would recommend checking out. I also found this blog from Backderf about the movie and visiting the set and stuff, which again is totally worth a look. :)
I adore David Jacobsen's Dahmer starring Jeremy Renner. My Friend Dahmer though, this is the closest I feel we shall ever get to knowing Jeffrey Dahmer. Not only was it written by his childhood friend and part of the "Dahmer Fan Club", it was also shot in his childhood home. The eeriness of these two elements alone already make this compulsive viewing for those wanting to get behind the mind of a serial killer. And like Jacobsen's Dahmer, My Friend Dahmer is sure to bring about those same feelings of being able to relate to him in some way, shape or form, and that is something that most are not prepared for....this is not a film about an evil serial killer...it's a film about a young and troubled man who struggled with his mind to the point that it eventually snapped, and this is something which people obviously struggle with.
Monday, 30 January 2017
So last night I went to the cinema to see the eagerly anticipated, for twenty years in fact, sequel to one of the most culturally important films of our times. And a Scottish indie flick at that! Of course I'm talking about Trainspotting 2....although the T2 is giving me mixed feels, hahahaha. Terminator yo!!
Seeing Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie, back together again, with their colourful array of supporting characters in the mad world around them...it was pretty fucking special! This is absolutely going to raise major feels and nostalgia for so many people and that is a beautiful, albeit fucked up (haha) thing!
Trainspotting came out in 1996 when I was 16/17 and in 5th year at school. It was during the height of Britpop and the time where my friends and I would spend every weekend in the pub. There are so many songs that as soon I hear them, I am immediately transported back to that time. One such song in particular is Underworld's Born Slippy. I think out of all the songs on the Trainspotting soundtrack, that let's face it, was so popular you'd be lucky to find a single one of your mates that didn't own it at the time (within the 16-27 age group at least), that Born Slippy is definitely the definitive Trainspotting track for me. Total summer of '96 tune!
It's weird, this was a total time of rock and roll, where the politics of the UK drastically changed with New Labour, and the future actually looked kinda bright! (Now it's just VERY orange! Sorry, couldn't resist, haha!) I think that is definitely reflected in the nostalgia that people feel towards the film and of the Britpop era in general. Of course, everything soon went downhill in the world of UK politics not too long afterwards....into the shit encrusted, piss soaked, vomit splattered, cum percolated toilet of misery and despair that we know today. The one that the people of Scotland are desperately trying to climb their way out of! Let's face it, Scotland has always been shat on, but it is now worse than ever with us being dragged out the EU despite voting to remain. Renton's speech in Trainspotting is one of the truest things ever said on film, and I won't even attempt to pretend that I haven't quoted the fuck out of it, haha!
What made Trainspotting 2 particularly important and appealing to me was the fact that twenty years have passed. Look at what Scotland has been through as a country! I genuinely think that T2 is the perfect representation of this. Of the referendum, of Brexit. Of the shit storm that we have been continually stuck in for the past twenty years....despite trying to move forward! This basically sums up our protagonist's lives!
I won't even lie, through a large part of Trainspotting 2, I felt nothing but patriotic pride. We have a story about addicts, and truly deplorable people, but we also have a story of friendship and hope! People that have been pushed into a truly horrific situation....something that Scotland as a whole has been fighting against and is trying to move forward from. T2 is a statement against our times. We try to move forward, to progress. But there is always something in our way. For our characters, it is drug addiction. Individuals trying to change their paths....change the story...choosing life! I don't think we see this in anyone more than we do Spud. Sweet lovely Spud. Spud represents the character that is even more desperate for change....for progress. His story so far has been written, but he has an almost childlike enthusiasm and a sense of self that needs to be further explored. Like Scotland, Spud's story is far from over.
I won't even lie, I had total teenage pangs of 'eeeeeee' for Jonny Lee Miller and Ewan MacGregor, both of whom I adored back in the day. With Jonny Lee Miller as well, there is a sad sense of melancholy when I remember this German guy I met on my Berlin exchange who was so like Miller! Steve Schliemann. I approached him and asked him to dance with me in German when I spotted him at the school dance. I was totally in love with Trainspotting and Hackers at the time. We kept in contact but then a year later, his dad messaged me to tell me that he had killed himself. This has always stuck with me and made me sad. Especially now, 19 years later....he was just a fucking kid!
These memories though; the nostalgia, the love of my Germans...we might be 20 years on, but I genuinely believe that Scotland still feels the same! The level of love in T2 for Scotland and the EU, it is something beautiful. This is clearly a political film. But Trainspotting was always a political film! And at the end of the day, all you need to do is follow all these guys on Twitter for two seconds and you realise they stand up against the bullshit that we are dragged into as a country!
Visually and story wise, this is a wonderful follow-up to a cult classic. The only thing that makes it second best I would say is the soundtrack. But that is PURELY for the nostalgic reason such as I stated above. This was the music of our time. Our youth! In 1996, it all gelled together so perfectly well. In 2016, it's still almost pretty fucking perfect! And that is going on one viewing. I already want to watch it again and so that says a lot.
To my American friends, I hope I've not given away any spoilers....this is more of a political rant to be fair....which you probably kinda expected from me, haha. All I can say; is don't judge a book by its cover.....unless it is a sexist, misogynistic, racist, narcissistic prick of a book. Then you can judge it all you fucking like!
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Plan Z is the awesome new Scottish zombie flick from Stuart Brennan. Released on Monday 16th January 2017, this is totally a film for both zombie fans and indie film fans to check out. You can check out my review here.
Here, star Mark Wake answers some very Morley, zombie questions!! :) Check it! And FYI, I would totally have Mark on my team in a zombie apocalypse, dude kicks ass!! *fistbump*
Plan Z has the ultimate plan...head to a remote island! Now I personally am all about Skye as well, however, it’s always nice to big up this incredible place; so why Skye!?
(Director Stuart Brennan)
Skye was actually one of Stuart’s favourite locations which he visited a good few years back. From the get go he told me that’s the destination he wants for the escape so it was a case of planning a journey to their from Dunfermline and where we might end up along the way, with a detour to Perth of course but I’ll say no more.
This was a very human take on a zombie apocalypse, how important was that for to you to achieve?
(Pictured above - Mark Wake and Eugene Horan)
The importance of the humanity aspect in this film was why we used the actors we did. Each one of the cast was a very emotional adaptive actor so Stuart could draw true feelings from each of them to convey a very gritty and real apocalypse. I myself aim to create three-dimensional characters so to have Stuart lead with that in mind was a dream so we got to work on expanding the character of Bill and at one point even contemplated having him with bandages around his wrists after the time jump to show he attempted suicide but failed, showing the character clearly become so mentally weak he thought best to take his life, but looking at the chances of someone surviving such an injury with no medical care seemed a little off. Yet it was great to envision that Bill being pushed to that state of mind.
(Mark Wake getting ready to be a badass yo!)
We all like to think (or a large percent of us, haha) that we would totally be able to survive a zombie apocalypse. Anyone that knows me knows that my biggest concern would be zombies munching my precious Beagle, I mean...he already eats waaaay too much so zombie Alfie....the HORROR!! 😉 On a serious note though, what would be the thing that scared you most? Except Beagletoes on the prowl? (Stuart still needs to have the pleasure, haha!)
Lack of Beagles to protect us, that’s the fear! I believe Stuart touches on this a lot and it’s the emotional toll of your actions. You would go through situations and do things which you will have never done before. Even though they are undead you are still breaking that notion of harming something else and seeing the wreckage you leave behind, I’ve never seen a skull smashed open but it would probably not be a great sight.
If you had to be stuck in a zombie apocalypse with anyone, who would it be?
Could be your Gran, your first crush, favourite star, pet fish...take your pick!
I would be stuck with my younger brother. Mainly because it would be a mixture of brains and brawn plus I wouldn’t have any doubts that he would always have my back the same I would his…I hope haha! Plus having to stay alive to save your family member would hopefully add to the focus and survival instincts…
Weapons are essential, what is your ultimate pick and why?
(Pictured above - Mark Wake and Stuart Brennan)
I would have to go for the old short baseball bat, it’s not a full sized one e but has some swing on it meaning if I was done a tight staircase I could still cause some damage plus it’s light enough to fire down the belt to make a runner.
What is your preferred zombie type and which do you feel to prove the greatest threat, slow or fast?
Greatest zombie experience of modern day which altered the way I looked at them was 28 Days Later, amazing film. (Oh yes it is! Yay Jeremy! Haha.) The Crazies was great too!
The thumbs going through the eyes in 28 Days still gives me the jeebies. Rec was also a new experience as well, the Spanish one obviously, just some intense. Good old George’s Dawn Of The Dead would be my old school fav, I believe it was the first movie I saw with the shambling zoms.
Last but not least, what is your ultimate dream project?
My ultimate dream project would be a zombiesque feature I wrote about 10 years ago which still gives it a fresh look even though a decade has passed. It would be a great project to make and from the script feedback I’ve received, it would be one heck on a twisting turning apocalyptic tale. Who knows what the future will hold but I hope it’s not running zombies…well excluding the ones on set.
You can check out the trailer for Plan Z below. Also be sure to check out the Facebook page as well. :)
You can buy or rent Plan Z from:
Thank you for supporting Scottish Film!
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
A refreshingly gritty, beautifully bleak look at Scotland after a zombie apocalypse.
I have always been a fan of zombie films. From everything from I Eat Your Skin to I Sell the Dead....with all your Raimi, Romero and Zombie Flesh Eaters in between. They can be overly brutal and bloody to downright quirky fun and I truly believe that in spite of the blood and gore...they can be exceptional character pieces in their own right. Hell, I think The Walking Dead alone has proved the latter point repeatedly!
(Stuart Brennan as Craig)
Plan Z is the latest effort from writer, director, actor and producer Stuart Brennan and his incredible frequent collaborators David Izatt, Mark Paul Wake and Eugene Horan. The film follows photographer Craig and his friend Bill through their plan to survive the zombie apocalypse, leading them to leave their hometown of Dunfermline and head up to the remote, yet utterly stunning Isle of Skye on the west coast of Scotland. (Right from the get go, I am onboard with this plan....Skye would totally be my number one choice to flee to as well.)
(Mark Paul Wake as Bill)
With a small, yet exceptional cast (and lots of zombies), Plan Z feels a lot more personable than many other zombie films, something which I feel adds to its humanity and in that respect, the believability as well. Coupled with Brennan's direction and Izatt's wonderful cinematography, the situation seems like it could actually happen! It's a shite state of affairs to be in at the end of the day...as cool as we'd all like to think it would be, haha.
What I love about this film, and what is incredibly refreshing to see in a zombie film, is that despite the fact we all love to think we'd totally be Daryl Dixon or Tom Savini...ya know...a total bad ass, just splitting heads, left, right and centre, it just doesn't happen that way! The reality...especially in the early times...is that we are human. This level of brutality doesn't come easy to most, and let's face it, survival of the fittest more often than not comes down to being smart in dangerous and volatile situations. This makes the kills so much more believable and realistic, at the same time retaining our human connection with the characters.
In so many ways, the film totally reminded me of recent personal favourites such as Stake Land and The Day in how utterly bleak and beautifully depressing it is. I adore these kinds of films and it is always refreshing to find shit like this done so well. We totally need more films like this dammit!
Also starring Victoria Morrison, Brooke Burfitt and Terry Deary, the whole cast are excellent and genuinely likeable as well. David Izatt even sneaks in as a zombie! Stuart Brennan took home the Best Actor award at the Horrorhound Film Festival for his portrayal of Craig and was also nominated for Best Director as well as the film being nominated for Best Film as well. The film also picked up Best International Film at the Canada International Film Festival.
You can check out the trailer HERE!
Random facts -
*When the guys were filming, they freaked people out and the cops got called out....and they got THIS reaction from a Beagle....a photo that has always cracked me up, haha. You know there was a big ARRROOOOO there! Mwahahaha. :)
*Stuart Brennan, also co-wrote, starred in and produced frequent Scorsese collaborator Martha Pinson’s new film Tomorrow, which was also produced by Scorsese. Eugene Horan also starred in the film, Mark Paul Wake was an assistant editor and David Izatt the photographer on the film. Pretty freakin' cool right!? :)
*Actor Eugene Horan won this year's Budweiser Ireland's Dream Big competition for a chance to head to the States to pursue his acting dream! (Pictured below with Dream Big Ambassador Rosario Dawson)
*If we WERE actually in a zombie apocalypse, I would soooo want these guys on my side! They're not just actors....they can actually fight! David and Mark are trained sword fighters as well! Yup....trained by Seoras Wallace, the very man who trained Mel Gibson for Braveheart and Russell Crow for Gladiator. He also trained that boy Craig McGinlay who I kinda like! He's a'ight! The three of them are SO good! :)
Check the film out for yourself when it comes out later this month, and to keep up with all the Plan Z goodness, be sure to LIKE the Official Facebook page.
Monday, 25 July 2016
My Friend Dahmer, Finally Getting the Film Treatment it Deserves from Director Marc Meyers, Starring Ross Lynch!
Jeffrey Dahmer utterly fascinates me. Always has done. His story is so sad and tragic, so lost and desperate, and so completely horrific, that for 25 years I have been a wee bitty obsessed! I have always looked behind the face of the monster, and researched to death what could have made him turn out the way he did.
When David Jacobsen's Jeremy Renner starring Dahmer was released in 2002, I fell so much in love with it that even I realised how kinda nuts I was! :) What I loved so much about this film, and what made it all the more horrific, was that it DIDN'T focus on all of the gorier details of his story....quite the opposite. It was just a really melancholic film....and worse...one I could totally relate to so much of. I think that's why so many people hated it....it scared them because it showed him as a human being.
What infuriates me most about his story was the shocking lack of help he received throughout his life. Dahmer is the ultimate story of an individual who constantly slipped through the cracks of society. A man so riddled with loneliness and guilt at being different, he lost himself completely. And this cost 17 young men their lives!
My Friend Dahmer was originally published in a shorter form in 2002. 2002 being a VERY good year to be a Dahmer fan FYI, haha. Author/artist Derf Backderf wasn't happy with it though....knowing there was so much more to be told to this story. So he literally went back to the drawing board and in 2012 he released his full graphic novel to a mass of critical acclaim.
Like David Jacobsen's Dahmer, My Friend Dahmer is a coming of age tale...just one with a horrific outcome. But one I think we can ALL relate to in some way....even if we don't like to admit to it!
Playing Dahmer is 20 year old Ross Lynch. I had never heard of this Disney star/musician before, but after checking him out, I can totally see him having the potential to play a really special part.
Looking at the kind of films director Marc Meyers has previously made, I still need to check them out but he really seems to have an incredible grasp on coming of age melancholy, which is EXACTLY what we need for this project.
Checking his films out are one of my top priorities this week when I actually have a well deserved week off! :) Needless to say....I am super psyched about this film!
Past Dahmer blogs I have written -
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
So with the final trailer for Suicide Squad having just dropped, and been fabulously Rick Flag heavy, I figured a wee Kinnaman geek fest was in order!
I have been a fan of this incredible Swedish actor ever since I first watched The Killing, one of my all time favourite shows. Joel gave that show so much heart and to watch him progress into such an incredible actor, with so much range and depth....it's so fucking rad! You can check out my Manflesh Monday's post on Joel that I wrote after saying goodbye to Stephen Holder for the final time....it pretty much sums up my love of him as both an actor and a character!
With the long awaited Suicide Squad almost here, and with Joel having returned to Netflix in the latest season of House of Cards....add to that recent performances in films such as Run All Night, Child 44, Knight of Cups and Robocop to name a few...his star is most definitely on the rise...proving to be an incredible dramatic actor, action star and downright funny guy too! What more could you want!? :) His new film, Edge of Winter, with Spidey himself, Tom Holland, looks incredible as well, check out my recent blog for it HERE.
A video posted by Joel Kinnaman (@joelkinnaman) on
Be sure to check out the article 12 Things You Need to Know About Rick Flag as well peeps! :)
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
So ever since The Killing started, I developed an insane looooooooooove for Joel Kinnaman! He is such an absolutely incredible, and still shockingly underrated actor who deserves so much fucking love and adoration!
With Suicide Squad almost here, it's shit hot to see my Kinnaman in indie thriller Edge of Winter, starring young wee Spidey, Tom Holland. :) Joel is also in the new season of House of Cards, which totally gives me an excuse to check it out now, haha.
Check out the trailer, see what you think, and EVERYONE listen to me.....you NEED to start obsessing over this man if you haven't already! Yups! :)