Tagged Zeus

The Kettering Incident – Episode 8: “The Homecoming”

Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 8: “The Homecoming”
Directed by Tony Krawitz
Written by Victoria Madden

* For a review of Episode 7, “Madness” – click here
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Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki) is now a patient. She recognises the world around her, but continues having visions of Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, of Gillian Baxter in her red coat, of lights in the forest. The devious Dr. Fiona McKenzie (Kris McQuade) tells Anna she has lesions on her brain, and that her blood is changing. Just like her mother experienced. “I think I know who killed Chloe,” Anna tells the doctor. Although nothing she says is heeded. McKenzie reveals that someone or “something” tried running her off the road recently. She may not seem devious, but she is, certainly.
When Anna opens her little notebook, THEY’RE LOOKING FOR YOU is scrawled across it in bold lettering. Naturally, Anna’s breaking out of the hospital, not content with resting in bed while something strange and terrifying still lurks in their little Tasmanian town.
Can’t forget about Liza Grayson (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). She and Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young) were up at the ridge, last we saw them. She wallows in a big, dark hole below. Eventually, Dane is able to haul her out of a hole after searching all night to find her. “I think there are people down there,” she tells him in a state of shock. You can be sure with everything going on – secret tunnels below the ridge or not – you wouldn’t want to be around, now that state authorities are there, as well as Craig Grayson (Ben Oxenbould) and Max Holloway (Damien Garvey), and to a lesser extent Roy Macy (Anthony Phelan), trying to cover up whatever nastiness they buried there once upon a time.
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Kettering, Tasmania is in a bad spot. Forget all the oddities, there’s a serious socioeconomic shift happening because of the quarantine. All sorts of work shut down, plus the mill’s being sold off. So the depth of what’s been going on becomes greater, simply for the human factor.
We start to see maybe Dr. McKenzie isn’t so bad after all. I guess she’s more so worried about Anna, and still in the dark as to anything Roy, for instance, might know. She further believes Roy is hiding something from his daughter.
Detective Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) and Constable Fergus McFadden (Henry Nixon) are still trying to get everything straight on their own heads. Fergus manages to actually impress Dutch, a little. He’s managed to figure out that Craig sent letters to Max, the threatening ones. Turns out he was trying to “teach him a lesson” for getting too close with the Greenies. I find it hard to believe Craig had anything to do with Chloe’s death, though. You can’t be sure. Not yet.
Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty) goes to her sister Barb Holloway’s (Sacha Horler) place. She lets her know that she’ll likely leave Kettering soon, what with her daughter never turning up and now Travis (Kevin MacIsaac) supposedly running away; except we know the difference in the latter. “I know my grief drives people away, no one can understand the pain,” says Renae. Then she reveals knowing about Barb and Dutch, even Chloe knew. Most of the town does, it seems. Yikes.
At home, Craig finds her daughter carving a moth tattoo into her arm. He’s also not pleased to know she has Chloe’s camera. Maybe I was wrong about him. He definitely has a temper. Just not so positive that correlates to murder.
Everyone is a bit on edge now. Anna’s looking for Dominic Harrold (Neil Pigot) and finds him dead, what looks like a gunshot to the face. Whatever’s happening, it is starting to get treacherous. She gathers up whatever information she can find in Dominic’s camper before heading off.
So Craig didn’t write those letters. It was his daughter. She freaks out on her father, Dutch, and Fergus. Following their altercation, Dutch notices strange markings on the girl’s shoulders. She almost has a strange strength. Afterwards, Dutch and Fergus flick through the pictures on Chloe’s camera. This leads to the detective confessing to his relationship with Barb; that’s where he was the night of Chloe’s death, having sex with her mother.
Anna has Dutch meet her. She tells him about Dominic’s death. She shows him the pictures of the Dyatlov Pass Incident-related deaths, a picture of a strange orb with markings like those over the skin of people in Kettering. Worse, Dutch reveals the murder weapon used on Chloe found in Anna’s car. “Someones setting me up,” she tells Dutch. The detective further explains to Anna that her father Roy took money in the ’90s from a company dealing in radioactive waste.

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Up at Harrold’s camper, Fergus and Dutch investigate. Turns out Fergus used to talk with the man about his own father’s disappearance, the tides; I suppose that’s why he’s always out kayaking in that one area. Could Fergus’ father still be somewhere out there? Maybe up at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge? Either way, they may be getting somewhere.
In a big warehouse owned by Amber Arrow Industries, source of that triangle we keep seeing, Anna makes her way illegally down into the bowels of the structure. There, she comes in contact with one of those spiked orbs, like from the picture Dominic had and the same type of one Jens Jorgenssen (Damon Gameau) was seen burying last episode. It sits behind a pane of glass, surrounded by little glowing orbs. She also finds Lofty Sullivan (Nathan Spencer), along with Jens. She confronts him about being David Owen, the fingerprint. A moment later Jens offers up some information. He found Chloe dead, so he moved her. In order to “protect” people; like himself and Anna, so Jens claims.
The mysteries deepen.
Jens, a.k.a David, shows Anna bits of what he studies. There are x-rays of lesions on the brain. Many more things. Then, Anna sees a woman she believes to be a grown up Gillian who disappears quickly. “I want to know who I am,” Anna explains desperately, but only gets more cryptic answers.
Meanwhile, Fergus finds a clue at Renae’s place: a lipstick. It was the last photo on Chloe’s camera the night of her death, laying in the grass. There’s a letter left behind signed by Renae, describing the pain and torture she suffered after the disappearance of Gillian.
Oh, my. “Chloe had to pay the price for you all,” writes Renae in her letter.
What I find most interesting is how there’s all this nasty business going on Kettering, and the death of Chloe in particular has dredged the swampy hearts of the residents, brought out the secrets, turned over many stones that might have gone un-turned otherwise. So while Chloe’s murder might have been this big mystery that felt connected to a larger mystery, it was a mere catalyst for all the dirt to be uncovered in their little town.


At Chloe’s funeral, the word gets out about Renae, even though Fergus and Dutch try keeping things quiet. When Barb finds out she nearly collapses, as one would. Then the constable and detective receive word of gunshots up on Mother Sullivan’s Ridge.
But still, the mystery of Gillian Baxter’s not been solved. Despite now understanding who killed Chloe, that old disappearance has yet to be figured out.
In the forest, Dutch takes a bullet from Dane. Surrounding them are a bunch of people with guns, including Adam Holloway. Up at the ridge, Jens is taking Anna down below. To find her answers. Amongst the dark Anna meets: herself. It is a frail, pale, emaciated version of herself. But her, nonetheless. Has someone been cloning up on the ridge? Lots of instances of doubles. Even Jens, a moment earlier, references the King’s lomatia, which is a self-cloning species of plant. The two moons in the sky.
However, does this mean Gillian’s still out there? Obviously Chloe died. But maybe the weird behaviour from Adam and others can explain the concept of clones wandering around Kettering.

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Wow! I understood this was a mini-series, but now we need a second series. Come on! This was fucking brilliant. It kept me guessing until the very end, even while I had so many theories bouncing around my noodle. What a great instance of writing throughout, always keeping people on their toes.
Could the Greek goddess of duality, Nephele, have inspired parts of this series? Or maybe Lamia, the mistress of Zeus, whose grief and envy of others turned her into a literal child-eating demon (similar to what Renae has become)? There are plenty of ways to tie this into Greek mythology. At least we do know that the clones are roaming Kettering. So it’s now plausible how Jens could be David, among other mysteries. No wonder Anna can barely remember anything, as she’s been cloned, and the effects are untold.
Let’s hope there’s a second season. If not, that’s fine, too. I just dig that we were given eight amazing episodes. Anybody who finds themselves let down at the end, you should go back and look through everything that’s already been given. Plenty of clues to add up and lots of mysteries are unravelled through their information.

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Immortals a.k.a Greek Mythology on Steak and Eggs

Immortals. 2011. Directed by Tarsem Singh. Screenplay by Charley & Vlas Parlapanides.
Starring Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Joseph Morgan, Anne Day-Jones, Greg Bryk, Alan Van Sprang, Peter Stebbings, Daniel Sharman, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz, & Steve Byers. Relativity Media/Virgin Produced/Mark Canton Productions.
Rated 18A. 110 minutes.
Action/Drama/Fantasy

★★★★
POSTER
Tarsem Singh is an interesting director. He has music video sensibilities, which is where he really got his start doing videos for such artists as En Vogue and more important R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” and it helps because his films have their own sort of flow. He doesn’t direct like everybody else. And while not all his films are that special, some of his work is undeniably impressive, visually exciting, and with a flair all his own. The Cell grabbed me when when it first came out, around the time I was about 15. It is such a unique and brutal serial killer film, and one of the three movies I can actually stand, as well as enjoy, Jennifer Lopez’s acting skills. The Fall is a beautiful film, a trippy piece of cinema. Then comes Immortals.
This is one hugely underrated action-fantasy mash-up. Whereas stuff like Clash of the Titans never really hits its mark, Immortals has so much to offer. Again, the visual style Singh employs makes this into, as he describes it himself, an action movie steeped in the look of Renaissance paintings. In addition, people like Mickey Rourke, a pre-Superman Henry Cavill, Luke Evans, even a bit of John Hurt, helps the acting rise above standard and stale melodrama you might amongst other similar offerings.
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This screenplay is interesting because the writers chose to change pieces where they found themselves able. For instance, Zeus and Poseidon (Luke Evans/Kellan Lutz) are young men instead of the standardized old men we’re used to seeing. They apparently attributed this to the fact, and it is fact, that the Greeks themselves would often adapt certain aspects of the stories re: their Gods to in turn adapt with modern issues and times. So it’s only fitting some things get rearranged. Most of all, despite the stylized look of Immortals I’m glad that they chose to write this not as a modernized, contemporary adaptation. Due to that we’re treated to some amazing locations, many wonderfully designed sets which take you away from merely some desert, to the desert of another plane, a place where Tartarus and other mythical locations exist. Something I admire about Singh is how it’s very clear even as a director he takes great interest in set design, as well as design of the overall production. I’m convinced that’s a sign of a director’s grasp, as lesser directors likely leave that task completely to a production designer without having a hand in it. The style of Singh’s films is singular across them all. Like The Cell with its ability to take us inside the deranged and rotting mind of a serial killer, here Singh transforms the world in front of the lens into a lost place of Greek myth. He and production designer Tom Foden (who has worked with him before several times and other solid films like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village and Mark Romanek’s chiller One Hour Photo) really take us away to another realm. These types of films concerning Greek mythology could easily be set simply in regular deserts and other similar landscapes. Instead we’re pulled right into the books and poems which describe Heaven, Tartarus, an Earth where Gods still came and left their mark.
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As opposed to 300 with its CGI, Cavill’s physique as the lead, Theseus, is commendable work. He insisted on achieving his chiseled look naturally instead of having it all drawn on in post-production. The entire story behind it is mad, as financing troubles ended up having him effectively build up his body a few times before the money finally went through. Regardless, he also does some proper acting. So that’s really a double threat when it comes to action-oriented actors, which he’s turning out more and more to be; he can act, he can look the part and kick some ass. He does well with the choreographed fight sequences, which show off his athleticism, and in part his theatricality. It’s no wonder he’s gone on to even bigger things, as he has the gait and attitude of a Hollywood leading man.
Further than that, Rourke provides the essential villain that is Hyperion. In actual mythology, Hyperion is a little obscure, and though the film’s plot/story are linked quite a bit to the Titanomachy he also barely appears there at all anyways. So the writers have really come up with using Hyperion as a tabula rasa, where the Titan rebellion is sort of thrown on his shoulders, as he searches out the Epirus Bow to release them and find revenge on the Gods. Rourke is unsettling, even just Hyperion and his men are scary, scarring their faces and smashing the genitals of their recruits, going into battle like complete and utter savages. The ruggedness of Rourke makes for an imposing character in Hyperion, plus he looks absolutely mental with the big helmet on, such a perfect costume design that makes him look like some kind of jackal, or something of the like.
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Added to these two lead roles, Evans is great as a young Zeus. He is a serious looking dude to begin with, and here he gives that youthful God a stern, calculating gaze, and fierce intensity that makes him formidable. Playing the oracle Phaedra is Freida Pinto; she is a nice choice, even if her role isn’t as massive as the men. But her feminine power as the oracle, a respected and revered role, is clear by the way she performs and how she makes the character feel. Also, really have to mention Robert Maillet – he plays the Minotaur, who in this version is just a massive, beastly man with a helmet and horns made from barbed wire-like steel wrapped around his head; terrifying. Maillet used to perform in the WWE, before it was WWE, as the wrestler Kurrgan. He does well here with a horrifying character. Honestly, that part actually freaks me out, and I’m a horror veteran. Great to see him here, using his physicality no less.
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Lots of action, plenty excitement, a nice ass kicking showdown between Hyperion and Theseus. What more could you want? There are a couple pieces of CGI that I wasn’t big on, as well as some dialogue in parts (Stephen Dorff’s character wasn’t overly well written or at all developed; his acting doesn’t help much either). But overall, Immortals is a 4-star fantasy flick with heavy action, even some nice moments of bloody madness. Cavill, Rourke, and Evans too, they drive the cast, making this more than action fodder with a Greek mythology twist. Straying slightly from the myths and carving their own path, Tarsem Singh and Co. make a fine effort out of this one. Not enough people give this the credit it deserves, which is a shame. Let’s hope after a few missteps Singh does more fantastical work like this and The Cell down the road.

Turbo Kid: Blood, Nostalgia, Video Games, & a Whole Lot of Fun

Turbo Kid. 2015. Directed/Written by François Simard, Anouk Whissell, & Yoann-Karl Whissell.
Starring Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Edwin Wright, Aaron Jeffery, and Romano Orzari. Epic Pictures Group/Timpson Films.
Rated R. 93 minutes.
Action/Sci-Fi


★★★★★
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Always interesting to see the different 1980s (& further) throwbacks coming out now over the past 8 years or so since Grindhouse brought the whole concept back. Ever since Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive especially, there’s been a want for the retro 80s style soundtracks, or the entire aesthetic. Even before that with stuff like Ti West’s The House of the Devil, film fans have gotten a taste for the homage films being made by directors and writers who grew up watching movies in the 1980s and that’s where they cut their teeth in terms of influence. What’s even cooler is a lot of these retro homages are coming from indie filmmakers, bonafide genre filmmakers, and so it’s exceptionally cool that these are being made outside of the Hollywood system mostly. Furthermore, even with the heavy dose of homage in films like these, the concepts and premises are often innovative and fresh compared to so much of the recycled, rehashed, rebooted, remade material we’re being fed in theatres nowadays.
While some of these movies opting to go for a throwback retro aesthetic don’t actually do a period piece, or particularly set things in the 1970s or 1980s, Turbo Kid is straight out of both the ’80s and ’90s. At the same time, it’s futuristic. Set in 1997, it’s as if things stopped in the 1980s and everyone’s stuck.
Probably what excites me most about Turbo Kid is the fact this is a film spun off from the short segment “T is for Turbo” that was meant to be in The ABCs of Death. Though the segment did not make it into the film, I’m super happy it ended up being made into a film. Now out on iTunes and other VOD platforms, this is a new indie film that deserves much attention. Not simply because of its origins from the horror anthology in which it was hoped to be included, Turbo Kid is also an example of how neat, interesting movies can get made with the support of film fans. Paying a few dollars to see an awesomely original, independent film ought to be a privilege, and this is one of the latest new films that will hopefully remind people how indie filmmakers are still thinking outside of the box, not following all the latest trends to the letter and still thinking for themselves. Because like I said, while this is pure retro homage filmmaking, there’s a highly original quality to Turbo Kid which evokes equal parts hope and nostalgia.
IMG_1849Turbo Kid takes place in the year 1997, in a post-apocalyptic vision of the world. The Kid (Munro Chambers) wanders around in the wasteland, fending for himself, reading salvaged comic books of Turbo Rider. Along the way he meets the chipper, upbeat Apple (Laurence Leboeuf). She attaches herself to him immediately and tags along for the ride. The Kid is reluctant at first, however, he warms to her quickly.
Meanwhile in other parts, an arm wrestler named Frederic (Aaron Jeffery) is also fending for himself across the barren lands plagued by drought and acid rains. He’s trying to find his brother, fighting against a one-eyed man named Zeus (Michael Ironside), Skeletron (Edwin Wright) and a band of other insane henchman. Zeus kills people, feeding them to a contraption built for extracting water from human remains.
After The Kid saves Frederic and Apple from Zeus, captured in his savage fighting arena, the fight and the chase are on. Across the wasteland Apple and The Kid venture, Zeus on the warpath, and there’s no telling what might happen in the unstable post-apocalyptic world amongst the dirt, the blood, and the acid rains.
IMG_1859Naturally one of the greatest parts about Turbo Kid is the incredibly authentic retro ’80s score. With original music from Jean-Philippe Bernier, Jean-Nicolas Leupi, and Le Matos, there’s an incredible part of the aesthetic in this film that’s built up through the music. Particularly during some of the small intense sequences, like when The Kid (Chambers) is pedalling fast as he can away from a villain on his bike, there’s this amazing synth chase piece that blew me away. I expected lots of this, however, to hear it composed so well and fit so perfectly with the scenes and sequences is a damn treat!
The score’s individual pieces are so fitting when it comes to the ’80s homage because we get a bunch of great little montages, typical of that era of filmmaking. So not only is the score awesome, it plays into the film in so many ways I think work directly towards cultivating that super cool throwback feeling. You’d swear this was done back in the ’80s, all around.
My favourite part of the score is during a massive fight involving Frederic and The Kid versus Skeletron and the rest of Zeus’ henchman crew. It’s just PUMPING the whole time and it makes you want to kick some ass. Coupled with the incredible practical effects, all the blood and gore we’re treated to, the music makes this section full of adrenaline and a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
IMG_1851The apocalyptic angle of the film comes off really well. Particularly I love their use of locations and the sets; not sure how much of this is on location and how much, if any, was done on a set/soundstage. Either way, the post-apocalyptic feeling comes across excellently simply through virtue of how they use their locations. We get the post-apocalyptic settings and sense from everything together, as well as the very palpable sense on top of all that of when the apocalypse happened through the ’80s costuming.
Not only is there a science fiction-ish aspect to Turbo Kid with the apocalypse’s destruction of civilization, this movie has BUCKETS OF BLOOD and PLENTY OF GORE. I thought there’d definitely be a fair share, but man was I pleasantly surprised! Not only that, the practical special makeup effects were out of this world. Just absolutely something to behold. The gory moments get even better once The Kid discovers the Turbo Rider’s gear in a crashed plane; he picks up the glove and begins to blast away at the villains threatening him and his friend Apple.
IMG_1854 IMG_1856Inarguably, one of the best gory scenes is when a friend of The Kid, Bagu (Romano Orzari), is captured by Skeletron and Zeus. They tie a hook into his guts, which are ripped slightly out of his abdomen, attached to a bicycle then Skeletron proceeds to pedal hard and haul a big string of intestine out. It’s an awesome practical effect that’s pretty savage and awesomely gnarly. Hard to say the ULTIMATE BEST, because there are just so many unreal gory, bloodletting moments.
We get a bunch of real awesome bloody shots when The Kid blasts people with the Turbo Rider glove. It’s so video game-like that I can’t help love it. Even the glove itself sort of reminds me of the Nintendo Power Glove, as well as how Apple’s little heart monitor is pretty much (wonderfully) torn out of The Legend of Zelda. But the head shots and the torso blow-ups from the glove look perfectly like something you’d see in a video game, it adds tons of flavour to the retro ’80s feeling. Brings me right back to childhood.
IMG_1850 IMG_1853 IMG_1857Almost all the performances in this movie are spot on. Incredible talent, especially in the younger actors.
Munro Chambers plays The Kid and I found him both charming and funny. He’s got a likeable quality to him instantly, but seeing him rock out to a Walkman and painting his helmet, just hopping about the post-apocalyptic wasteland, it’s a lot of fun. The charm he brings to the role of The Kid helps because there are moments in the script which are purposely cheesy, and he sells these scenes and little brief bits. The performance he gives is awesome. The best thing, though? He actually seems to be having a ton of fun, while still playing his character.
I’ve loved Laurence Leboeuf ever since her turn on the wickedly dark Canadian show, alongside Hugh Dillon playing her father, Durham County. Here she is quite different than that character, which is fun to see. She has a lot of range. Here, Leboeuf plays a beyond quirky, hyper young lady named Apple who turns out to be a synthetic human being, or a robot; whatever you prefer. I cannot count how many times she made me laugh out loud, over and over. There’s energy in her performance unparalleled in this film, maybe unparalleled in most of the roles out of 2015. Honestly, she’s a joy to watch here, as a character who is slightly familiar but plenty innovative. Well cast in this role, there’s no doubt about it, and Lebouef – like Chambers – seems to revel in a chance to do something different, fun, and a bit wild.
Along the edges there’s Aaron Jeffery, whose character Frederic is the typical badass yet with his own square jawed charm and intensity, on top of a rough machismo so familiar from the films of the 1980s. Plus, legendary actor Michael Ironside shows up here as the villainous Zeus, controlling the water sources amongst the desert-like lands of the post-apocalyptic landscape; as usual, Ironside gives a solid performance with the right material and this is one sci-fi/horror I hope he’ll be known for in these later portions of his career. Even the eternally silent Edwin Wright as Skeletron does a fantastic job with a fun, video game/cartoon-ish character who is also a solidly creepy villain alongside Ironside’s Zeus.
IMG_1852 IMG_1858This is a 5 star film. I know some may roll their eyes, but whatever. Fuck those eye rollers. This is an incredibly retro 1980s throwback, which is not simply full of homage and an attempt at capturing a nostalgic feel but a very fun, innovative movie in its own right. Part of what works in its favour is absolutely nostalgia. However, this is not all that works for it. The performances are worth a good deal of enjoyment, the blood and gore are ABSOLUTELY PERFECT with the practical effects to make everything worthwhile, and the original music for the score is something I can’t truly describe that’s how much I love it to the core.
So PAY for this because it is one amazing example of how the dreams of filmmakers can come alive when a bunch of people work towards a collective and unique vision; there’s so much effort behind every bit of this film, I was impressed. Watch it and support indie film. Maybe you won’t love it as much as I did, but I guarantee you’ll walk away with at least some degree of respect for how well all its retro elements work together to make an outstanding homage to a simpler time in filmmaking, as well as it makes for a super enjoyable to spend 90 odd minutes. Kudos to the filmmakers for giving it their best effort and pulling out ALL the stops.
Check it out – available on iTunes (not sure if it’s out on VOD anywhere else yet) – and tell me what YOU think! I dig it so hard that it’s not even sensible. You may or may not. Either way, I’d love to hear your opinion, too.