Sophie Compton & Reuben Hamlyn’s Another Body (2023): deep-fake porn and stolen identity

It's impossible to trust the reality of what you see on-line in Sophie Compton & Reuben Hamlyn's Another Body (2023)

Sophie Compton & Reuben Hamlyn’s Another Body (2023) is an unsettling documentary which is also a horror movie and a detective story; when a college student discovers that she’s a victim of deep-fake revenge porn and that the legal authorities can’t/won’t do anything about it, she sets about tracking down the identity of her victimizer – which takes her to really disturbing corners of the Internet – and regains some control over her own identity.

Lost films and alternative histories

A cultured ape (Zain Rahnat) teaches life lessons in Donn Greer's The Rare Blue Apes of Cannibal Isle (1975)

Film restoration is usually seen as an effort to preserve the canon, but there are vast areas of film history which may be less reputable, but still represent significant aspects of the past century’s most popular art form. In their recent six-disk, ten-movie set Lost Picture Show, Vinegar Syndrome highlight their own efforts to unearth and give new life to cheap, obscure, frequently disreputable examples of movies made far from the mainstream – sex. violence, politics and an occasional talking animal are on display in this ragged, sometimes enlightening, sometimes frustrating collection.

Murder, mayhem, sex and madness from Arrow

The respectable doctor finds ecstasy in unrestrained violence in Gérard Kikoïne’s Edge of Sanity (1989)

Two new Arrow releases – and one older one – plunge into sexual confusion, insecurity, violence and romantic longing: Robert Day’s TV movie The Initiation of Sarah (1977) riffs on themes from Stephen King’s Carrie; Gérard Kikoïne’s Edge of Sanity (1989) gives Anthony Perkins a chance to unleash his inner demons in a career-topping dual performance as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; and Kathleen Turner is fearless as a businesswoman who moonlights as a prostitute inspires romantic passion in one man and murderous passion in another, the latter another ferocious, jittery performance from Anthony Perkins.

The low-budget art of Edgar G. Ulmer

Enid Elliot (Margaret Field) has a close encounter in Edgar G. Ulmer's The Man from Planet X (1951)

A pair of recent Blu-rays from Kino Lorber bookend the career of “King of the Bs” Edgar G. Ulmer, who began his off-Hollywood career with a social issues drama about syphilis called Damaged Lives (1933) and ended it with a pair of cheap sci-fi movies, The Amazing Transparent Man and Beyond the Time Barrier (both 1960), with one of the highlights between being The Man from Planet X (1951), the latter three included in KL’s Edgar G, Ulmer Sci-Fi Collection triple-bill.

Early winter viewing, part 2

A Chinese demon possesses a New York businessman in Barry Rosen's Devil's Express (1976)

I continue my cold-weather plunge into the cheap, cheesy and outre depths of exploitation, finding a few gems among the dross of low-budget horror, science fiction, fantasy and comedy, ending up with an unsettling documentary about someone who devoted his life to filmmaking at the expense of everything including his identity.

The Lure of Paradise

If I had watched Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy a few weeks earlier, these three films would have made it into my year-end post as one of 2013’s highlights. I first encountered Seidl’s work (the documentary Animal Love and drama Dog Days) around the same time I came across Michael Haneke (The Piano Teacher and Time […]

Blasts from the past

DVD of the Week: Petropolis (2009)

The revival of Flipside

Criterion Blu-ray review: Kenji Mizoguchi’s The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Michael Radford’s adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 (1984)

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