Phantasm: Ravager, the fifth instalment in Don Coscarelli’s intermittent franchise, is about as heart-warming as a no-budget horror sequel can get. It maintains the series’ logic defying, incoherent, trans-dimensional lore, twisting the story with multiple timelines for a kind of post-apocalyptic spin. Ravager nods its head so relentlessly to instalments gone by that it feels like a stampede down memory lane – nearly every character from the series’ past is shoehorned in somewhere or other, whether it makes sense or otherwise. Despite all its frantic incoherence, then, there’s something charming, even loveable about Ravager. Newcomers to the series will be hopelessly lost; long time followers should relish in the nostalgic insanity.
In his unusual, unsettling and often utterly brilliant new documentary, Kate Plays Christine, director Robert Green explores a number of disparate yet flexible layers of reality and fiction. As much as this is a documentary about the tragic on-air suicide of American news reporter Christine Chubbuck, it is about the processes and pains of performance and the inherent sadism in spectatorship.