The Showreel | 20 [Ft. The Jinx]

Our weekly round-up of film news and trailer reviews featuring some human centipedes, a jinx and 5 films to be awesome with this week… it’s The Showreel!

Film News

Human Centipede 3  Due in May

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It is important, when you are talking about sowing people together end to end, that a certain amount of logic is employed. I was disappointed that in The Human Centipede there was only three people sewn together… that’s six legs and I’ll be damned if I call anything with six legs a centipede. Furthermore in The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence there was 12 people comprising the singular alimentary canal. It was getting there but, alas, not quite a centipede. And now we have, supposedly, the final part of the “centipede” trilogy, and it will feature a centipede that is 500 people long… yes, you heard me, 500 people sown from anus to mouth 500 times. I expected things might escalate but jeez, that’s a bit far, right? The official synopsis is thus:

Bully prison warden Bill Boss (Dieter Laser), leading a big state prison in the US of A, has a lot of problems; his prison statistically has the highest amount of prison riots, medical costs and staff turnover in the country. But foremost he is unable to get the respect he thinks he deserves from his inmates and the state Governor (Eric Roberts). He constantly fails in experimenting with different ideas for the ideal punishment to get the inmates in line, which drives him, together with the sizzling heat, completely insane. Under threats of termination by the Governor, his loyal right hand man Dwight (Laurence R Harvey) comes up with a brilliant idea. A revolutionary idea which could change the American prison system for good and save billions of dollars. An idea based on the notorious Human Centipede movies, that will literally and figuratively get the inmates on their knees, creating the ultimate punishment and deterrent for anyone considering a life of crime. Having nothing to lose, Bill and Dwight create a jaw-dropping 500-person prison centipede.

The Human Centipede 3 is due for release on May 22nd in America and VOD. I shall be calling it The Human Millipede by the way… just sayin’. They also released a teaser trailer which you can watch here… if you really really want to.

Furious 7  has Furious Opening

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It’s hard to believe that this franchise is on its seventh film. What’s harder to believe is that the series actually seems to be going from strength to strength with the previous three films all being both huge commercial successes along with being relatively liked by the majority of critics. It seems they have hit a sweet spot in terms of over the top action and adrenaline pumping chases, which is now dished out with ease. Furthermore, this balance of brainless action and macho manliness is no longer corny within the realms of this series and that may be the key reason why the films are not being panned by critics… the factors that define the series would be completely laughable if found in any other film. The Fast and Furious franchise has its own brand now, a definable style and they’ll be damned if they are gonna change it any time soon.


There is no doubt that the death of Paul Walker was a huge loss for the series, however clever thinking and deft editing allowed the completion of the seventh film and so far the box office takings have been HUGE! $200 million from it’s opening weekend worldwide, smashing records in the US and here at home. It could be the first Universal film to reach the $1 billion mark. It is populist stuff… I mean ever since the Romans watched chariot races, people have been so amused by speed, action and peril. Of course there will be more Furious films to follow and they would be mad to stop now.

Trailer Watch

The Jinx – The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst  Dir. Andrew Jarecki

Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki examines the complicated life of reclusive real estate icon, Robert Durst, the key suspect in a series of unsolved crimes.

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This 6 part documentary series premiered on HBO in America back in February and was met with both huge ratings and critical acclaim. Now, it is coming to this side of the pond and will show on Sky Atlantic, with the first episode airing on 16th April. The series follows the many trials and tribulations of Robert Durst, an heir to a Manhattan real estate fortune, and suspect in 3 murders including the disappearance of his wife back in the 1980s. I was lucky enough to catch it and it truly is fantastic television. One piece of advice… if you haven’t already read articles about it then don’t… watch it clean from the start and the pay-off will be worth it.

The director of the series is the wonderful Andrew Jarecki who becomes as much a part of the show as Durst himself. Previously Jarecki was Oscar nominated for his unsettling and wholly candid documentary Capturing the Friedmans in 2001 which detailed a family being torn apart by allegations of child sexual abuse by the father and youngest son of the family on a group of young boys. Jarecki maintained a policy of objectivity with Capturing the Friedmans and was content with laying all the evidence of the case out in front of the viewer, effectively turning the audience into a jury who can debate whether the protagonists are guilty or not. In The Jinx, Jarecki dons a similar style for much of the early part of the series until the situation changes, dramatically, and he is entwined into the narrative.

The series will run over 6 weeks and we will have a full and detailed review on Headstuff when it’s done.

Slow West   Dir. John Maclean

Slow West follows a 16-year-old boy on a journey across 19th Century frontier America in search of the woman he loves, while accompanied by mysterious traveler Silas.

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This odd western won many plaudits when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January, along with picking up the World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic Winner. Produced by and starring Michael Fassbender, along with the fantastic Ben Mendelsohn (Killing Them Softly, Animal Kingdom) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, Let Me In), and directed by first time feature director John Maclean, Slow West is due for release in June 2015 in selected cinemas. The Scottish director also wrote the screenplay and seems to have a great working relationship with Hollywood superstar Fassbender who previously acted in Maclean’s two previous short films Pitch Black Heist and Man on a Motorcycle.

Westerns are great but in recent years they have been decidedly dark, moody and tonally wrought with the likes of Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and John Hillcoat’s The Proposition being prime examples. Slow West seems to mix a blend of surreal situational comedy with tough action in what looks like a thoroughly original production.

So What Films are on TV This Week?

The Debt  (2010) – Film4 – Thursday 9th 11.35pm

The Debt -

In 1965, three Mossad agents cross into East Berlin to apprehend a notorious Nazi war criminal. Thirty years later, the secrets the agents share come back to haunt them.

Sporting a great cast including Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson, The Debt is a honest, well-made thriller with deft action and a well paced script, written, surprisingly, by Matthew Vaughn amongst others.



Transsiberian  (2008) – BBC3 – Friday 10th 9.00pm

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A Trans-Siberian train journey from China to Moscow becomes a thrilling chase of deception and murder when an American couple encounters a mysterious pair of fellow travellers.

Brad Anderson brought us two fantastic films in the early 2000s with the mucho unsettling Session 9 and then the darkly captivating The Machinist starring a rather thin Christian Bale. Transsiberian was his follow up and while it has plenty of suspense and is dripping in Hitchcock-ian overtones, it was not quite the step forward that Anderson was looking for. It is still a good film mind.

Backdraft  (1991) – ITV1 – Saturday 11th 10.20pm

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Two Chicago firefighter brothers who don’t get along have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose.

Kurt Russell and Stephen Baldwin play tough ass brothers who don’t like each other. Nothing like a good oul fire to get them back talking in this Ron Howard action flick that really stands up after nearly 25 years. King Kurt is tough and gruff as usual and the rest of the cast is perfectly over the top, including a delicious little performance from Donald Sutherland.


Mars Attacks  (1996) – ITV4 – Sunday 12th 9.00pm

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Earth is invaded by Martians with unbeatable weapons and a cruel sense of humour.

Tim Burton’s comic take on a Martian invasion stars pretty much everyone who’s anyone in Hollywood, except Bill Pullman… poor Bill Pullman. The humour is about as black as it comes and the film is as funny as it is visually impressive with a pastel spectrum reflecting the 1950s era it is lampooning.



North by Northwest  (1956) – BBC4 – Monday 13th 10.oopm

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A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Probably one of Hitchcock best known and most loved suspense thrillers that just gets everything right. The music is simply superb… have a listen. Cary Grant is charming yet aloof and perfectly cast as the everyday man caught up in a web of intrigue. It also features that crop duster scene which is dripping in awesome.



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