Category Archives: Online Issues

Issue 52: Apocalypse Now


Apocalypse Now: deserted cities, sinister machines, survivalist dogs

To mark the publication of our first book, The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology, we explore apocalyptic cinema with an interview with Gregg Araki for his new film Kaboom, a delirious conspiracy comedy, and reviews of new vampire road movie Stake Land, landmark animé Akira and Spanish 70s chiller Who Can Kill a Child? plus a Comic Strip Review of Richard Stanley’s legendary Hardware. We also have articles on Mad Max, Richard Kelly, dogs in survivalist fantasy and the British apocalypse while rocket scientist and SF writer Simon Morden chooses Twelve Monkeys‘ hero James Cole as his end-of-the-world alter ego.

Two masterworks of cinema can be seen on UK screens this month: Carlos Saura’s haunting drama Cr&#237a Cuervos and Jan &#352vankmajer’s wonderfully sinister Alice – read our interview with &#352vankmajer. New releases include Congolese gangster film Viva Riva!, anarchic French farce Mammuth and the re-release of intriguing Jeff Bridges thriller Cutter’s Way. We also review the standout of this year’s Sci-Fi London, the inventive cerebral puzzle You Are Here.

In the DVDs, we look at Bu&#241uel and Dal&#237’s surrealist classic L’&#226ge d’or, Sam Peckinpah’s brilliantly bitter Cross of Iron, New Orleans saga Treme and Lucio Fulci’s bad-taste shocker The New York Ripper. In the Blog you can read reports on Cannes and Terracotta.

Kim Newman on Nightmare Movies: Horror maestro Kim Newman discusses the new, updated edition of his essential book Nightmare Movies: Horror on the Screen since the 1960s with Virginie Sélavy.

Issue 51: Secret Societies

From Hell

Secret Societies: Freemasons, religious cults, suicide clubs and spy organisations

To mark the themed day of screenings at the East End Film Festival on May 2, we explore Secret Societies this month with articles on Jack the Ripper and the Freemasons, David Fincher’s (a)social clubs, acronymic 60s spy organisations and Sion Sono’s Suicide Club. We also have reviews of Dark Days, a documentary on an underground homeless community, Darren Aronofsky’s paranoid debut Pi and Hiroshi Teshigahara’s sensual and sinister Woman of the Dunes. Our Reel Sounds column focuses on The Wicker Man while Naomi Wood picks Sergeant Howie from the same film as her alter ego and Plinkett’s Secret Army is the subject of our Online Movie column.

Out at the cinema we have Guillem Morales’s slice of Spanish Gothic Julia’s Eyes (with a video interview with producer Guillermo del Toro), Jerzy Skolimowski’s darkly poetic portrait of 1970s London Deep End, Takashi Miike’s take on samurai action 13 Assassins, Rachid Bouchareb’s controversial historical epic Outside the Law, and Italian rural contemplation Le Quattro Volte.

In the DVDs, we look at Jules Dassin’s classic film noir Rififi, Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic, Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and 70s British filmmaker Richard Woolley. Short Cuts focuses on the work of Al Jarnow and in the Blog you can read about Nippon Connection.

Secret Societies – part 1: In connection with the East End Film Festival’s Secret Societies day of screenings, Virginie Sélavy discusses Jack the Ripper and the Freemasons in cinema with Mark Pilkington, Strange Attractor Press publisher, and Richard Bancroft, contributor to both Electric Sheep and Strange Attractor.

Issue 50: Aliens

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Aliens: Spaced out pop stars, extra-terrestrials and foreign organisms

As the 10th Sci-Fi London opens on April 27, we celebrate Aliens with an article on The Man Who Fell to Earth, whose central character is also sci-fi author Philip Palmer‘s alien alter ego. We have articles on racism and science fiction, Tim Burton and Long Weekend, and our Online Movie column looks at alien fashion films while Reel Sounds focuses on the soundtrack of Liquid Sky.

In cinema releases, we review the excellent sci-fi thriller Source Code – read the interview with Duncan Jones. We also have seasoned provocateur Sion Sono’s deliriously bloody Cold Fish, thought-provoking Danish war documentary Armadillo, brooding Western Meek’s Cutoff, slow-paced Arctic drama How I Ended this Summer, Johnnie To’s light-hearted Sparrow, supernatural 1937 Yiddish drama The Dybbuk, and Korean serial killer drama I Saw the Devil – read the interview with director Kim Ji-woon. Intense survival tale starring Vincent Gallo Essential Killing is also out, and we have an interview with legendary Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski. Our Comic Strip tackles the Luc Besson adaptation of the well-known comic book heroine Adele Blanc-Sec.

New DVDs include Quentin Dupieux’s killer tyre horror Rubber, Zhang Yimou’s reimagining of the Coen brothers’ Blood Simple, Oxide Pang’s murder mystery The Detective and sci-fi romance Monsters. Rockabilly gunslinger Dan Sartain picks this month’s Film Jukebox and in the Blog we have a feature on the Flatpack festival, an extract from the book Trashfiend and you can watch a trailer for the fantastic-looking sci-fi Kenyan short Pumzi.

Indie Movies Online: With more and more people wanting to download movies off the internet, a new company has come along to help people do this legally with a wide range of films that includes British gems and cult classics. Alex Fitch talks to James Rowley-Ashwood about they discuss how the collection of films on the site were curated – from Evil Aliens to the site’s one paying movie A Serbian Film, short films by Lotte Reiniger and the Brothers Quay and back catalogue titles from Peter Greenaway and Alex Cox, some of which are out of print on DVD – and how the site’s funding and distribution are achieved.

Issue 49: Women in Horror

Les Diaboliques

Women in Horror: Scream queens, she-devils and scare mistresses

To coincide with the celebration of ‘Bloody Women’ at the Bird’s Eye View Festival, we look at women in horror with articles on Ingrid Pitt, Amber Heard, Alien‘s Ripley, Halloween‘s Laurie Strode and emerging UK female horror directors. Clouzot’s noir masterpiece Les diaboliques and intriguing Korean revenge tale Bedevilled are on cinema screens. Filmmaker Jennifer Eiss wonders if women prefer psychological horror, Jessica Fostekew explores horror from a comic perspective and artist Lisa Gornick offers her take in a Comic Strip. Our Reel Sounds column is on Delia Derbyshire’s score for The Legend of Hell House while writer Sarah Pinborough picks Ripley as her horror alter ego. In Short Cuts, we review Birds Eye View’s programme of horror shorts.

To mark the BFI Nic Roeg season we have a feature on the Venice of Don’t Look Now. Also on cinema screens this month are Haruki Murakami adaptation Norwegian Wood and controversial Japanese corruption saga Confessions of a Dog – read the interview with director Gen Takahashi.

New DVDs include Czech 60s political satire Larks on a String and Lucio Fulci’s surreal zombie shocker The Beyond and we have an interview with Clio Barnard about The Arbor. Our Online Movie column looks at paper theatre and folk-punk combo Pete and the Pirates pick their favourite films in the Film Jukebox. In the Blog, we report on the Rotterdam Festival and we have a capsule review of Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Bloody Women: To coincide with the Birds Eye View Film Festival’s focus on women in horror, Virginie Sélavy leads a discussion with three women filmmakers working in this traditionally male-dominated genre: Melanie Light, director of Switch, Kate Shenton, director of Bon Appetit, and Jennifer Eiss, co-director of Short Lease.

Issue 48: Confessions


Theme: Confessions
-William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist trilogy

Tetsuya Nakashima: Confessions

Film Reviews
Never Let Me Go
Animal Kingdom

DVD Reviews
In Their Sleep
A Blonde in Love
Man Hunt

Comic Strip Review
The Last Lovecraft

Reel Sounds
I Walked with a Zombie

Alter Ego
Mary Horlock

Short Cuts
London Short Film Festival: Music and Video

Film Jukebox
Sic Alps

The Antonioni Project
Shibuya Minoru

The Antonioni Project

Confessions: Tricky revelations, poetic admissions and Catholic guilt

Our February theme was inspired by the brilliant, devilishly twisted revenge tale Confessions – read our interview with director Tetsuya Nakashima, who also made Kamikaze Girls and Memories of Matsuko, and watch the trailer. Also on cinema screens this month, Howl explores Allen Ginsberg’s revolutionary confessional poem. We also have articles on nunsploitation, and on faith and guilt in William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist trilogy, as well as a Reel Sounds column on I Walked with a Zombie.

Other cinema releases include elegant nightmare Never Let Me Go, adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro by Alex Garland, intense Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom and Mohamed Al-Daradji’s Son of Babylon. In the DVDs, we review eerie French psycho-thriller In Their Sleep, Milo&#353 Forman’s 60s Czech New Wave classic A Blonde in Love and Fritz Lang’s 1941 espionage thriller Man Hunt, and we have a Comic Strip Review of The Last Lovecraft.

In Short Cuts, we report on the music programme of the London Short Film Festival while writer Mary Horlock chooses an animated furry creature as her filmic alter ego and lo-fi psych trio Sic Alps tell us about their favourite films in the Jukebox. In the blog, you can read about Diana Thater’s video installation Chernobyl, The Antonioni Project and the Berlinale, including a feature on Shibuya Minoru.

The Antonioni Project: Alex Fitch talks to director Ivo van Hove about his innovative theatrical production The Antonioni Project, which combines elements of cinema and theatre as it blends three screenplays by Michelangelo Antonioni with the latest technological achievements.

Issue 47: Bitterness


Theme: Bitterness
Haneke Bitte
-Bittersweet: The Late Billy Wilder

Darren Aronofsky: Black Swan

Film Reviews
Black Swan
The Ward

DVD Reviews
Deep Red
Bay of Blood
Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment

Comic Strip Review
Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Short Cuts
London Short Film Festival: Leftfield and Luscious

Alter Ego
John Niven

The Cursed Cassette

Tetsuaki Matsue

Bitterness: Fallen women, sour love and toxic memories

Dreamy Belgian neo-giallo Amer leads us to ponder cinematic bitterness this month with articles on Mizoguchi’s Street of Shame, Michael Haneke‘s anatomy of hatred and the bittersweet cinema of late period Billy Wilder while a review of forgotten 60s surreal nightmare Duffer is the occasion to lament the British cinema that might have been. And writer John Niven explains why his bitter cinematic alter ego is Don Logan in Sexy Beast.

In cinemas, Darren Aronofsky’s extravagant ballet melodrama Black Swan is itself not devoid of acrimony and frustration, all wrapped up in gorgeous obsessiveness and sweaty sensuality. Read our interview with Aronofsky.

In other releases, John Carpenter perfects his B-movie recipe with The Ward while new DVDs include beautifully packaged editions of Dario Argento’s Deep Red and Mario Bava’s Bay of Blood, just so we can revisit the films that inspired Amer. We also review British counterculture oddity Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment and British horror hoodie F. and we have a Comic Strip Review of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

In Short Cuts, we have a preview of the Leftfield and Luscious programme showing at the always brilliant London Short Film Festival, which starts on January 7. Watch Paul Cheshire’s The Cursed Cassette, which screened at LSFF’s Music and Video programme.

Tetsuaki Matsue in Conversation at the Zipangu Festival: In the first Electric Sheep podcast of 2011, Alex Fitch presents a Q&A conducted by Jasper Sharp with director Tetsuaki Matsue recorded at the Zipangu festival in November 2010. The director discusses his work in independent documentary cinema, focusing on his two most recent films, Annyong Yumika (2009), a documentary portrait of the adult performer Yumika Hayashi, and Live Tape (2009), the acclaimed one-guitar, one-camera, one-tape and one-take live concert film of Kenta Maeno’s street performance.

Issue 46: Freeze

Rare Exports

Theme: Freeze
Rare Exports
The Big Chill: Frozen Emotions in American Independent Cinema
-Freeze Frames and Stasis in La jetée
Attack of the Frozen Things!
Reel Sounds: The Shining

Srdjan Spasojevic: A Serbian Film
Hisayasu Satô

Segundo de Chom&#243n

Film Reviews
A Serbian Film
Until the Light Takes Us
On Tour

DVD Reviews
Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot + Playtime

Comic Strip Review
Boudu Saved from Drowning

Online Movie
Horse Glue

Short Cuts
Aston Gorilla

Alter Ego
Sarah Moss

Review of 2010

Film Jukebox
The Loves

Guerilla Filmmaking and Fleeing Monsters

Freeze: Iced up Santa, freeze frames, Antarctic creatures

Read about the real evil Santa in his ice prison in twisted Finish fairy tale Rare Exports, chilled emotions in American independent cinema, freeze frames and stasis in La jetée, Lovecraftian ice monsters + a Reel Sounds column about The Shining‘s soundtrack.

This month sees the release of the much talked-about A Serbian Film, which was heavily cut by the British censors – read the interview with director Srdjan Spasojevic. Norwegian black metal documentary Until the Light Takes Us also provoked controversy at festival screenings this year. Also out is Mathieu Amalric’s acidic burlesque comedy On Tour and charming British sci-fi romance Monsters.

In the DVDs, we review Jacques Tati’s Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot and Playtime, and we have a Comic Strip Review of Boudu Saved from Drowning. Our Online Movies column looks at the wonderful Horse Glue, Short Cuts focuses on Tom Browne’s football gorilla nightmare Aston Gorilla while in Alter Ego author Sarah Moss is Filippa in Babette’s Feast.

We have an interview with one of pinku eiga‘s Four Devils, Hisayasu Satô, and a feature on Spanish pioneer Segundo de Chom&#243n. You can read festival reports on Zipangu and Cine-City in the Blog while retro popsters The Loves pick their favourite films in the Film Jukebox. For a look back at the year in film, check out our review of 2010.

Guerilla Filmmaking and Fleeing Monsters: In a Q&A recorded live at this year’s Sci-Fi London Oktoberfest and broadcast on Resonance FM, Alex Fitch talks to British director Gareth Edwards about his genre-crossing film Monsters, which features a photo-journalist escorting a spoilt rich girl across Mexico following an alien invasion. Gareth Edwards discusses his use of special effects and the pros and cons of shooting guerrilla-style with a small cast and crew South of the Border.

Issue 45: Women on the Verge


Theme: Women on the Verge
Dream Home
Tears for Sale
Reel Sounds: The Innocents

Apitchatpong Weerasethakul: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Michael Rowe: Leap Year
Hammer and Tongs
Zhao Dayong

Peeping Tom: Staring into Medusa’s Eyes

Film Reviews
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
We Are What We Are

DVD Reviews
Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide

Comic Strip Review:
Big Tits Zombie

Short Cuts
Lewis Klahr

Alter Ego
Rebecca Hunt is Ferris Bueller

7th Chinese Independent Film Festival

Dangerous Women and Foxy Heroes

Women on the Verge: Psychotic spinsters, possessed housewives, troubled temptresses

This month is dominated by fraught females, from the homicidal young professional in Dream Home and the desperate Serbian spinsters of Tears for Sale to Isabelle Adjani’s unhinged demon lover in Possession and the murderous sister in Czech extravaganza Morgiana. Plus our Reel Sounds column focuses on The Innocents‘ soundtrack to a governess’s unravelling.

Possession was banned as a ‘video nasty’ and new documentary Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide provides a timely context for its UK DVD debut. Another notorious film vilified on its release is celebrating its 50th anniversary: Michael Powell’s seminal Peeping Tom.

Thai reverie Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is on UK screens this month – read our interview with director Apitchatpong Weerasethakul. We also review intriguing Mexican cannibal tale We Are What We Are and we talk to Michael Rowe, director of the Mexico-set psycho-sexual drama Leap Year.

In the DVDs, we have a Comic Strip Review of Big Tits Zombie while Hammer and Tongs discuss their work. Short Cuts focuses on collage artist Lewis Klahr while writer Rebecca Hunt’s Alter Ego is Ferris Bueller. The blog has previews, including onedotzero, and reports on Raindance and the 7th Chinese Independent Film Festival – read the interview with director Zhao Dayong.

Dangerous Women and Foxy Heroes: To complement this month’s theme, we present a pair of Q&As recorded at Electric Sheep film club screenings. Alex Fitch talks to Zoe Baxter, the presenter of Resonance FM’s radio show about Asian culture in the UK, and they discuss the epic ‘wuxia’ film Hero, which featured memorable roles for female action heroes Maggie Cheung and Ziyi Zhang. In the main interview, Electric Sheep editor Virginie S&#233lavy talks to Brixton-based filmmaker Rebecca Johnson, director of Top Girl, about the classic ‘blaxploitation’ film Foxy Brown, starring Pam Grier.

Issue 44: Dario Argento


Theme: Dario Argento
The animal ‘trilogy’
Transatlantic Trauma
Reel Sounds: Operatic Terror

Joe Dante

Bruno the Black

Film Reviews
A Town Called Panic
Jackboots on Whitehall

DVD Reviews
Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

Online Movie
The Alder Woodwasp and Its Insect Enemies

Comic Strip Review:
City Lights

Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada

Short Cuts
London International Animation Festival

Film Jukebox
Piney Gir

London Film Festival
L’Etrange Festival


Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper – Masters of Horror

Dario Argento: The Lush Colours of Terror

This month, we celebrate the sumptuous world of Dario Argento with an article on his early animal ‘trilogy’, Transatlantic Trauma, a feature on his unhappy foray into Hollywood and a Reel Sounds column on his use of opera.

Animated features are fairly rare but this month sees the release of two on the same day: Hammer and Tongs’ surreal tale A Town Called Panic and Jackboots on Whitehall, an alternative history of the Second World War. Also on UK screens is French 70s terrorist saga Carlos. The Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada focuses on Kashmiri film Autumn, and we have a review of Raindance highlight Legacy. Watch the trailer for Confessions, Tetsuya Nakashima’s superb new revenge tale, which premieres at FrightFest Halloween All-Nighter.

New DVDs include Takeshi Kitano’s only American film Brother and animé series Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights gets the comic strip treatment and our new Online Movies columnist looks at The Alder Woodwasp and Its Insect Enemies.

We also have the second part of our Joe Dante interview and an article on the recently departed Bruno S, most famous for his role in Herzog’s Kaspar Hauser. In the Short Cuts we report on the London International Animation Festival, and in the blog you can read coverage of the London Film Festival. We have reports on the Venice and Toronto festivals as well as on L’Etrange Festival. In the Film Jukebox, Kansas-born country chanteuse Piney Gir picks 10 bright and colourful films.

Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper – Masters of Horror: To coincide with the start of a month of horror film releases in the cinema and on DVD in the run-up to Halloween, Alex Fitch interviews two veterans of horror cinema, Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper.

Issue 43: Futuristic Cities


Theme: Futuristic Cities
Futuristic Cities on Film
Escape from New York
Reel Sounds: Things to Come
Alter Ego: Ed Hollis is Wall-E

Gaspar No&#233 on Enter the Void
Joe Dante on Splatter
interview Fr&#233d&#233ric Temps on L’Etrange Festival

Film Reviews
The Last Exorcism
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
Winter’s Bone
Enter the Void

DVD Reviews

Comic Strip Review:
Pet Shop of Horrors

Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada
Frank Cole

A Serbian Film Censored
Film4 FrightFest Festival Report
Shinsedai Festival Report

Filming the Last Exorcism

Futuristic Cities: Cinematic visions of metropolises to come

To celebrate the release of Fritz Lang’s restored silent classic Metropolis, we have articles on futuristic cities on film and Escape from New York and a Reel Sounds column on Things to Come while Ed Hollis tells us why he would be Wall-E if he were a film character.

In the cinema releases, we review The Last Exorcism, Herzog’s brilliantly skewed police procedural My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, the harsh and beautiful hillbilly tale Winter’s Bone, Franti&#353ek Vl&#225&#269il’s subtle war tale Adelheid and we interview Gaspar No&#233 about his latest provocation, Enter the Void.

New DVDs include Bong Joon-ho’s fantastic Mother, Richard Fleischer’s take on the Leopold and Loeb murder case Compulsion, starring Orson Welles and we have a comic strip review of Pet Shop of Horrors, courtesy of the Queen Mum. We also have an interview with Joe Dante about his new interactive series Splatter.

We interview Fr&#233d&#233ric Temps, founder and director of the wonderful L’Etrange Festival and Frank Cole is the subject of this month’s Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada.

In the blog, we have an opinion piece on the much talked about A Serbian Film, as well as reports on the Film4 FrightFest and Shinsedai festivals.

Filming the Last Exorcism: During Film4 FrightFest, Alex Fitch interviewed producer Eli Roth and director Daniel Stamm about their new ‘mockumentary’ horror film The Last Exorcism. Daniel Stamm talks about how using a documentary style to make supernatural movies helps break the fourth wall for the audience to help draw them into events, while Eli Roth talks about how his experience of producing his own movies Cabin Fever and Hostel differs from his more advisory role on this film.