HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
Old
   
 
Newest Articles
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
   
 
  Brimstone A 19th Century Terminator
Year: 2016
Director: Martin Koolhoven
Stars: Guy Pearce, Dakota Fanning, Kit Harington, Carice Van Houten, Paul Anderson, Carla Juri, Emilia Jones, Ivy George, William Houston, Jack Roth, Naomi Battrick, Vera Vitali, Tim Ahern, Fergus O'Donnell, Jack Hollington, Justin Salinger, Frederick Schmidt
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Liz (Dakota Fanning) is a midwife in the Old West, though as she is mute after her tongue was cut out, she relies on her young daughter Sam (Ivy George) to give instructions to her patients, which she relays by sign language. She is married to Eli (William Houston), who has a son of his own from a previous marriage that ended when his last wife died, so for Liz this marriage is one of convenience as it lends her a respectability and gives her a roof over her head that she would not have received if she had been a single woman. However, one Sunday morning she attends church with the rest of the townsfolk and is horrified to see who the new preacher is: someone unwelcome from her past.

He is played by Guy Pearce with scar makeup, and as the film progresses, both forward and backwards, we find out how he got those marks and also the marks he doles out to others, because The Reverend as he is known is not a nice man at all. Indeed, he was a religious maniac who manages to suppress that mania until he is alone with one of his flock, whereupon if he has a personal point to make he will let out his insanity in the most dreadful manner possible, and Brimstone was criticised for its violence, much of it inflicted upon women and children, in some quarters where the audience and critics alike were expecting a more traditional Western.

Or even a Quentin Tarantino-style Western, which this was not, being more stately than that and less indulgent of the cultural references. Both Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight had proposed social and political conclusions to their violence, but with this it was more arthouse, and in its way curiously fable-like, as Charles Laughton's cult classic The Night of the Hunter had evidently been an influence writer and director Martin Koolhoven had been happy to court. Certainly the chief antagonist as a murderous holy man was a strong element both shared, though this lacked the saviour figure as poor Liz is ultimately forced to do her own saving of both herself and her child.

Divided into four chapters with suitably portentous, one-word titles, there was a lot Old Testament about how morals are applied to both the evil and noble characters, with the goodies suffering, if anything, far more than the baddies since they can tell what is decent and true in this harsh world, and this insight makes them lament how their experiences there lag behind what they know about the best of humanity. The Reverend, no matter his learning in the scripture, has no concept of how his actions can be so damaging for believing he has God on his side excuses his brutality and perversions in his own mind, believing he is fully justified to abuse women and children alike because God told him to. We've seen this the world over, no matter what the faith, and you don't even have to be religious to suffer under these delusions.

With that in mind, Brimstone could be regarded as an uncompromising critique of life's ardent conservatives and how they would be hypocrites in the view of Koolhoven, who took the best part of seven years to bring this particular vision to the screen in a manner he approved of (two years of that was securing the funding - don't let anyone tell you movie making is easy). It was well seen his opinions on the global community were being brought out in his work, and that is either going to appeal to you or it isn't: you could completely understand why not only would this not be everyone's cup of tea, but also why it would elicit such anger in response. Add to that its humourless, self-important qualities, and there were two other reasons to take against it, yet it had such an uncompromising drive about it that the more receptive may find themselves admiring what was obviously precisely what its creator wanted to concoct. With a cast who were on his wavelength throughout, this was a stark, Gothic Western that kept the genre alive in insistent style. Music by Junkie XL.

[Thunderbird's Blu-ray features loads of interviews with cast and director as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2028 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: