1989 / Director. Thierry Notz.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
When I was 12 years old I had a huge poster of THE TERROR WITHIN hanging on my bedroom wall. The image mesmerised me and to this day I wish I still had it. I first saw the movie when it was a new release rental on VHS. My dad's love of sci-fi infected me and I remember being giddy with excitement by this schlockiest of rip-offs. Almost every movie that Roger Corman produces is derivative of something popular and THE TERROR WITHIN is no exception. Taking it's cues from ALIEN and THE THING the story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where the Earth's surface is occupied by vicious mutants while the remaining humans live underground. As this is a low budget affair these remaining humans are represented but a small handful of researchers living in a research facility. When they find a distressed young woman on the surface they take her inside. Unbeknownst to them she is pregnant and within hours a grotesque mutant bursts from her stomach and escapes into the ventilation system. From this moment the movie is a search and destroy flick. Flame throwers, lasers and the biggest walkie talkies you've ever seen. As cliched and uninspired as the movie is, it's still a hell of a lot of fun. The mutant creature is both awesome and hilarious with it's rubbery man-suit coated in slime and equipped with massive claws. It looks like the creature from the black lagoon... I love this quality and it elevates an ordinary movie to something far more B and cult worthy. The gore is also wonderful, albeit contrived, and no vials of blood were spared. It had been years since I watched THE TERROR WITHIN and I think it has help up remarkably well. Check it out movie nerds. It was followed by a sequel and I'll be sure to revisit that again soon too. Stay tuned.
2013 / Director. Joel & Ethan Coen.
Review by Glenn Cochrane
You can never underestimate the Coen brothers and just when you think that they couldn't possibly outdo themselves they make a film like INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. When the credits rolled on this wonderful movie I immediately started processing their work in my mind and tried to put them into a preferential order. It's almost impossible to do but I definitely think that INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS fits into their top five. It tells the story of Llewyn Davis, a down on his luck folk singer in 1960's New York. Living from sofa-to-sofa and struggling to earn a living from his music we follow him as he tries to find his place in the world. That is essentially all that the film encompasses in terms of narrative... it's one man, the people he knows, and the cat he has inadvertently adopted. Once again the Coen brothers have crafted a film that is much more an expression than it is a story. It's transcending and it completely charmed me with its beautiful design and use of music. From the opening scene to the closing moments, I was in a very comfortable place and didn't want to leave. Oscar Isaac is brilliant in the lead as a musician who struggles to be taken seriously and desperately yearns for credibility and as usual the Coen's have surrounded him with a solid supporting cast including John Goodman, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake. And boy can these guys write a script... they spent years developing this film from a very simple concept to a fully realised exploration of one man's day to day life. It is packed with immaculate detail and littered with nuances. From drab, cold colour schemes to the evenly spaced musical interludes... and as a direct example of their brilliance, the performance they wrangle from the cat in this film is amazing. The cat deserves second billing on the poster... ah Coens, I heart you so much. We all have our favourite Coen Brothers movies and we could argue which is their best until we're blue in the face. It's very much a personal thing and my favourite is FARGO... but then I chop and change my mind with their other films. Do I like THE BIG LABOWSKI more than MILLERS CROSSING? And is BLOOD SIMPLE better than NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN? I just don't know... but what I DO know is that INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS has earned a permanent place on the mantle. It just might be their next best thing to FARGO. Fantastic.
2013 / Director. Gareth Edwards.
Review by Sean Dumee (12 years old)
I recently asked my son if he would like to contribute a review for GODZILLA. These are his words.
Godzilla was for me and all the real fans out there AWESOME! It was better than the 1998 Hollywood film, which was the worst Godzilla film I've seen. In comparison it crapped all over the 1998 movie. In this film the Japanese Godzilla came back to life, the way it was a humanoid monster again and breathing fire topped it off like the icing on a cake. My only quarrel was Godzilla's origin. The traditional Godzilla was a komodo dragon that was a subject of nuclear radiation because of testing nukes in the pacific and in this one he predated dinosaurs (T-Rex etc.). The lust for radiation comes from when earth was young the surface was high in radiation (they lived on it). In all the movie was the best Hollywood Godzilla but needed the floppy rubber spine which would have 100% won me over but I'm a comfortable 90%.
2013 / Director. Kenneth Branagh.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT is an insult from the get go. The poster proudly declares that it is based on characters created by Tom Clancy but who are they kidding? This isn't a Jack Ryan story. There are nine novels in Clancy's Jack Ryan series (five of which have not been adapted yet) as well as a further eight spin-off books... and yet this new movie claims to be the fifth instalment in the film franchise, following THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, PATRIOT GAMES, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER and THE SUM OF ALL FEARS... ha. What a joke. This is an entirely new story. Tom Clancy's character has a history and a back-story. He was born in 1950 and through the book his entire life and career can be mapped out... but this new film has the audacity to rewrite his story. SHADOW RECRUIT has Jack attending college on the day of the 9/11 terrorist attack. He's young guy in a modern world and that just doesn't sit right with me.
And so the only way I could watch SHADOW RECRUIT was to dissociate it from the character I already know so well. While I cringe whenever his name is mentioned I was eventually able to suspend my disbelief enough to fully enjoy the movie on a more basic level. Kenneth Branagh directs (and acts in) this film with Chris Pine in the lead and support performances from Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley. As far as spy and espionage films go, SHADOW RECRUIT is a belter. Jack is recruited into the CIA and assigned to investigate suspicious financial transactions on Wall Street in the wake of 9/11. After 10 years undercover he discovers hidden Russian finances that suggest a pending terrorist attack. It's from this moment that he is sent to Russia under the guise of a company man that things ramp up, leading to an action-packed suspense thriller that moves at lightning speed. While the film does rely on some contrived and caricatured bad-guy elements, it feels classic. There's an almost Hitchcockian feel to the movie and in a further departure from the Clancy character, Ryan is now a Jason Bourne style action hero. The chases and fight scenes are well handled and the overall film is top notch in my mind.... Chris Pine plays the character really well and adds sincerity and humanity that was perhaps lacking from previous films. I can only imagine how great he would have been as Jack Ryan in a faithful adaptation, set some years ago. I don't need historical context or relevance in this series... I want something that is true to the world that Tom Clancy created.
But Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan this IS NOT!
1985 / Director. Lamberto Bava
Review by Justine Ryan.
Demoni aka Demons is set in Berlin. Two students, Cheryl (Natasha Hovey) and Kathy (Paola Cozzo) are given free tickets to attend a movie screening at a new cinema, Metropol, by a mysterious metal-masked man (Michele Soavi – Director of THE CHURCH). The girls decide to skip school and as the sun goes down, they arrive at the Metropol.
Soon as the other patrons arrive (featured are a blind man and his wife, a teenage couple (Dario Argento’s eldest daughter, Fiore who also appeared in PHENOMENA and THE CARD PLAYER, two best friends, George (OPERA’S Urbano Barberini) and Ken (Karl Zinny), a married couple celebrating their anniversary, a pimp, Tony (Bobby Rhodes), two hookers, Rosemary (Geretta Geretta) and Ruth (Nicole Tessier) and usherette Nicoletta Elmi (DEEP RED)) the film begins.
The movie starts with two couples in a cemetery digging up the tomb of the 16th century prophet Nostradamus, who predicted the future and the coming of the demons. Inside his tomb is an ancient book and an old cursed mask (in a nod to the death mask in Mario Bava’s BLACK SUNDAY). It is inscribed that demons are instruments of evil, whoever wears the mask will become a demon, spreading pestilence and contaminating the world, making cemeteries their cathedrals and tombs your cities. However, one of the characters (again, played by Michele Soavi) in the film within the film, makes the mistake of trying on the mask, cutting the side of his face, mirroring what happened earlier to Rosemary when she tried on a replica of the mask in the lobby of the cinema.
Soon the fun begins when Rosemary transforms into a demon and begins attacking.
The original story is written by Dardano Sacchetti (when he brought the script to Lamberto Bava, it was originally a three episode concept named HORROR MOVIE. They expanded on the first story, where two men are taken over by evil forces that emerge from a cinema screen). A fun and energetic screenplay by Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Dardano Sacchetti and Franco Ferrini.
A highlight is the film's music by Goblin’s Claudio Simonetti and additional rock music by Accept, Motley Crue, Billy Idol, Rick Springfield, Go West, Saxon, Pretty Maids and The Adventures.
Demons will appeal to any fans of Italian horror cinema with its offerings of Helicopter decapitations, glowing eyes, a demon bursting through a victims back, demons being hacked up by a samurai sword, claws emerging through fingernails and a galore of other delightful visuals all created by makeup FX, Sergio Stivaletti.
A must see!
2004 / Director. Ernie Babarash.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I recently revisited the CUBE trilogy. The first film is rightfully considered a cult classic and the sequel is mostly ridiculed amongst sci-fi geeks... but few people (at least in Australia) are aware that there was a third film and that it is a prequel. CUBE ZERO is a much more fitting instalment that almost compliments the original film. It shares most of the same aesthetic with it's grim industrial tones and steely constructions. I have often discussed what makes the original CUBE such a good film and that it's ambiguity and unanswered questions are where it's strength lies. That whole mystery of "how, what & why?" is what divided a lot of people and for those seeking answers CUBE ZERO is what they want to see. This film removes itself from the cube and predominantly takes place from the control room of an underground facility with every room within the cube monitored by two low-grade employees. We learn how people are selected for the cube and some secrets of the original film are revealed. This instalment frustrates me a lot. While it has done a decent job of recreating the atmosphere of the first film it is let down by poorly written characters and a tacky el-cheapo control-room set design. The secrets revealed are satisfying, even if we never really wanted answers, but the execution of these revelations is really bad. Dreamy flashback sequences of people's lives before the cube drag the entire thing into telemovie territory and cheapen what is already a borderline experiment. It also goes for the shock value, cashing in on the popularity of torture-porn at the time. The kills in this movie belong in the SAW series and they are far too gratuitous for this franchise. CUBE ZERO doesn't get much love for me but it does receive faint kudos for being better than part 2.
1997 / Director. Albert Pyun. Movie #30
CRAZY SIX is a strange, surreal and mystifying film. Albert Pyun has never considered himself a conventional filmmaker and this is a film that attests to that. Set in Europe in an alternative future, the film tells the story of street level criminals who find themselves up against mafia bosses and a merciless sheriff quick on their trail. The story itself is kind of irrelevant to me because I was so taken aback by it's style and aesthetic. I think this is a very underrated film indeed. The story plays out in a strange mesmerising way. Almost every scene is lit with saturated colour schemes and shot in close up. The score is persistently hypnotic and seductive and most of the shots are cross-dissolved. The cast is strong with Rob Lowe, Burt Reynolds, Ice T and Mario Van Peebles playing the key characters and they're supported by Pyun regulars Thom Mathews & Norbert Weisser. I have no idea about the production on this one and I am not sure how involved Albert was in the editing process but I would guess that he had a hand in it. The unconventional and experimental nature of the storytelling has his stamp all over it and I can't recall many films that play out like this. I could understand CRAZY SIX testing the patience of average movie-goers but for people like myself, who love strong atmospheric films, this one has a heap of appeal. I would go so far as to say that it has a lot of David Lynch qualities. Sadly CRAZY SIX gets lost amongst some of Albert's lesser-received films and I think it deserves a lot more credit.
The trailer really does the film a disservice.
2014 / Director. Spike Jonze.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
HER is more or less ELECTRIC DREAMS meets LARS AND THE REAL GIRL. Set in a not-too-distant future Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, a lonely and depressed letter-writer (that's a future occupation) who is struggling to cope with his marriage breakdown and pending divorce. When he purchases a new operating system for his computer, he becomes besotted with the system's innovative ability to replicate the human condition. The OS is named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) and she sounds just like a regular woman and expresses human emotion. A bond soon forms and before he knows it Theodore has entered into a full-blown relationship with her. This is a curious film and has been widely misinterpreted by people. People seem to get stuck on the technological side of the story and view it as some kind of statement about the current world we live in... and while the film may take advantage of our tech-savvy society and offer a light-hearted satire, it only uses such things as a setting for an otherwise human story. This is a film about love and loss and the overall human condition. To capture a slightly futuristic setting much of the film was shot in Shanghai to represent Los Angeles and aside from the various exterior shots, the film is very much a minimalist piece. With a beautiful (and Oscar winning) screenplay, Joaquin Phoenix delivers another incredible performance. He carries the entire film and occupies 100% of it's screen time. For the most part he is performing alone, reacting to no one... it's fantastic to watch. Heaps of kudos to Scarlett Johansson too because her voice work is stunning. She give Phoenix's character a reason to fall in love with just the sound of her voice alone. I think HER is a wonderful film, albeit too long. 120 minutes is a stretch and unnecessarily long... nevertheless the film doesn't lag and it's exploration of the effects that love has on the mind is provoking and sincere. I expect it will test a lot of people's patience but I definitely recommend it.
2014 / Director. Michael Polish.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
During my formative years, when I was discovering all of the various arts and artists, I had a fascination with Jack Kerouac. Upon reflection I am sure that I was initially drawn to the whole concept of Kerouac, rather than his writing itself, but over the years the true importance of his work became clear. If you're unfamiliar with him you should look him up. Following the phenomenal success of his novel On The Road Kerouac became disconcerted with the fame that came with it. Needing a break from it all, he retreated to a small cabin at Bixby Canyon in Big Sur (California). During his time at the cabin he documented his every thought on paper and documented his own downward spiral into madness. It's an amazing book and one that has been deemed impossible to adapt into a film. So here it is... the film... and director Michael Polish has done the impossible. His adaptation of Big Sur is wonderful. He has approached the story with a fundamental truth and used Kerouac's own words to narrate. This is very much THE book in film form. It's a narrative from inside Kerouac's own head and all of the characters from within the book and their influence on him are depicted beautifully. The cast is great with Jean-Marc Barr in the lead as Kerouac himself (the resemblance is uncanny) and his ability to omit emotion through expression is amazing to watch. The support cast is strong too including Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Anthony Edwards and Henry Thomas. Together with stunning cinematography, a soulful score and delicious spoken-word BIG SUR represents Kerouac's book as best that a film can. Making it all the more satisfying is the fact that the last Kerouac adaptation, ON THE ROAD, was bitterly disappointing. That film forced me to suspend all expectations for BIG SUR and left me feeling inspired and satisfied when the final credits rolled. What the film never reveals, however, is that Kerouac wrote the entire novel on one long piece of paper scroll. There's something about that that strikes me. It adds to the story's power and lends it a mystique. What a way he had with words... lovely.
FYI. I highly recommend the album ONE FAST MOVE OR I'M GONE by Benjamin Gibbard and Jay Farrar as well as the accompanying documentary that followed. The music is stunning and every song's lyrics are extractions from the book. Well well worth the purchase.
2014 / Director. Gareth Edwards.
Review by Glenn Cochrane (minor spoilers)
For the past six months I have been educating my son with all of the dozens of classic Godzilla movies. It has all been in preparation for this new film, which we've been itching to see. For my son it was like all of his Christmases came at once... sadly for me, I was left underwhelmed. It's a curious film because lots of it impressed the hell out of me while the rest of it was hugely disappointing. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a lot from any new Godzilla film when there's such a strong history behind it. Firstly credit where credit is due and I was relieved to see that the film is conceptually true to the whole ethos of Godzilla. He still looks a little stupid, he still comes to battle enemy creatures and the film still concludes with an epic smack-down (that's not exactly a spoiler). Stylistically the film looks great too and is jam-packed with cool set-ups and action sequences... unfortunately this new version is still very much a Hollywood movie. There's far too much bravado and a sense of patriotism for my liking. The story may start in Japan but shifting the focus to America really lets it down. Changing Godzilla's origins was also a blow. While the cast is good, and without giving away any spoilers, it's fair to say that most of them were under-utilised. Ken Watanabe is a superb actor and he was an exciting addition to the cast and yet he spends the entire film wandering around, speechless. His character could have stolen the show. The 123 minute running time is also quite gratuitous and drawn out. The first half of the film meanders at a snail's pace and attempts to set up an emotional anchor for the rest of the story... epic fail. I honestly do not give a shit about anything except for humongous monsters destroying cities and locking horns. THAT'S what Godzilla is all about and this film tries far too hard to make more of it. With all of that said I can still step back and say that I was entertained. My expectations were possibly too high and I will revisit it on blu-ray... although I think that PACIFIC RIM was a hell of a lot more fun... I'll be curious to see how others rate GODZILLA. At the end of the day I'll still take miniatures and rubber costumes over this in a heartbeat.
1997 / Director. Yossi Wein.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The franchise ball is rolling and while I'm watching one OPERATION DELTA FORCE movie I may as well watch 'em all. MAYDAY is the second in the "Operation" series (5th overall Delta Force) and features an entirely new Delta Force team (these guys carry through to the next few instalments). I find it difficult to criticise films like this because they're exactly what you would expect them to be. No matter how bad they are, so long as the action is a-plenty there's not much more you can take from them. In this case I actually think it's a better movie than the previous, despite its lack of star power. To it's credit MAYDAY separates itself from the last movie and offers an entirely new scenario, almost polar opposite to the previous. Most of the movie takes place at sea with the Delta Force called into action when a criminal mastermind hijacks both a cruise ship and a Russian submarine. The overall convention of the movie is generic, as expected, but the overall concept is something different. The action is good enough to hold my attention and clearly most of their budget was blown on pyro. The explosions in the first five minutes alone are enough for ten DIE HARD movies. Unfortunately the same expense wasn't afforded to the set design of the Pentagon interiors. Hilariously the echoed sounds of footsteps can be heard on the faux floors of the stage and I'm sure the walls wobbled at one point. The fact that such things bring amusement to me allows me to forgive... oh and the Russian sub captain is groomed to look just like Sean Connery in HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. For a television movie MAYDAY delivers. You definitely need a grain of salt to take with this one but if you're looking for a no-brainer action flick... it'll do!
1997 / Director. Sam Firstenberg.
Review by Glenn Cochrane
DELTA FORCE was a profitable film for Cannon films in the late 80s and it remains a classic (and one of Chuck Norris's best). That film spawned two sequels which were consecutively lesser in quality but still a whole lot of fun. The producers of the trilogy and the director of part 3 continued the franchise with five additional TV movies under the banner OPERATION DELTA FORCE. The first in the new series starred Ernie Hudson, Jeff Fahey and Hal Holbrook and their presence gave the movie more credibility that it deserved. Being a TV flick OPERATION DELTA FORCE was never going to live up the the standard of the theatrical films but for a television jaunt, it's still good fun. The movie delivers what fans would expect... ie non-stop action... firefights, explosions, train chases, boat chases, car chases and sky diving marines... who gives a shit about the substandard acting when we 'ka-booms' are huge and the shooting is abundant? America's elite commando squad, the Delta Force, is deployed to South Africa to chase a group of terrorists in possession of a deadly virus and it's antiserum. That's all that matters and the movie shifts along from one action set-up to another. Don't get me wrong because OPERATION DELTA FORCE is definitely a crap movie but it's that type of crap that's easily relished. The score is ludicrously excessive, the editing is terrible and the dialogue is brilliantly cliched. The quality of television has changed (improved) over the past two decades and were a show like 24 to be made back then, this is probably what it would look like. It's a good dose of fun nonsense. I'm already prepped to persevere with the next four instalments.
2004. Director. Albert Pyun. Movie #38
MAX HAVOC is possibly the most controversial of Albert Pyun's films. Its production is notorious due to the producer defaulting on a loan granted to the production from the Gaum government and the case being dragged through the courts for several years. A lot of mis-reporting and false information has been put out onto the internet and sadly Albert has been wrongfully dragged through the mud alongside the producer. The fact of the matter is that Albert was never paid for his work on MAX HAVOC and actually lost a shitload of his own investment. The specifics of the backstory can be found online and the film, which was released was a producers cut, which I am reviewing right now. Albert has recently completed his long-awaited director's cut, which he produced without a single cent of Gaum's funding. I will review his new cut as soon as I get a chance to see it. And so the producers cut... it has copped a shellacking and is often regarded as one of Albert's worst. I do take exception to this because, while clearly not amongst his best work, MAX HAVOC has a lot of merit. It's important to know that the movie was made as lead-in to a television series. The series never eventuated and so the movie had to stand on it's own. For what it is, it's good. Max is a former kickboxing champion, turned photo journalist, who is sent to Gaum for a laid-back assignment. He finds himself caught up with the yakuza, who are on a destructive and deadly path to retrieve a stolen artefact. The acting is definitely sun-standard but the story is decent enough and in true Pyun form, the action is sensational. Say what you want about Albert Pyun but you cannot deny his knack for action sequences. The fight scenes in this are amongst the best he's ever shot... and there's plenty of them to carry the movie home. At times the tropical Guam setting looks more like a travelogue but it also offers a criminal underworld that's aesthetically different to the typical Hollywood convention. David Carradine brings some welcome cred to the movie and keeps it respectable. The heightened action score also held my attention and kept reminding me that none of MAX HAVOC is to be taken seriously. I cannot wait to watch the director's cut but in the mean time this version aint nearly as bad as the loser armchair critics will have you think. Go in with the right frame of mind and you'll get a kick out of it (a roundhouse kick to the head!).
2002 / Director. Andrzej Sekla.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
CUBE was an unexpected film. It was original, intelligent and rhetorical. It presented a situation that required acceptance from the viewer. People were trapped inside a complex labyrinth of cubed rooms, some rooms booby trapped, and had to mathematically find their way out. Viewers who asked what the cube was and why these people were in it are the people who missed the point. Those questions were irrelevant and we just had to accept the circumstances. It was a film that should have stood alone and a sequel, as inevitable as it was, would only present us with an inferior rehash. And that's exactly what happened with CUBE 2: HYPERCUBE. A group of new people wake inside a second-phase cube. The dark, industrial design of the first films has been upgraded to a bright, fluorescent & sanitised setting for this follow-up. There are no serial numbers and the entire place presents itself with inter-dimensional portals, parallel universes and gravitational variances. If the first film was asking a lot of the viewer to suspend their disbelief than CUBE 2 is being totally fucking unreasonable. There is no shred of reality to this movie and for us to accept it for what it is is ludicrous. The performances from everyone involved are terrible, though the actors were given an atrocious script to work with. The story gets more convoluted and ludicrous as it goes and leads to a truly dumb and disappointing conclusion. CUBE 2 was a money grab movie. There was never any creative influence behind it and I doubt the producers cared whether or not it was any good. It's an insult to sci-fi fans when movies like this come along. Fortunately the trilogy was capped off with a much better 3rd instalment, which served as a prequel. If you ever consider a CUBE trilogy marathon I would recommend skipping this one and making it a double-feature instead. This is a turd!
2013 / Director. Ben Stiller.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I was late to the party on this one. I never got around to seeing THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY at the cinemas and I wish had. Ben Stiller's acting career may be hit & miss but when it comes to directing, he's a sure bet. In my mind he is yet to make a bad film and so far they've all been great. WALTER MITTY is no exception. Based on a short story, which was also adapted in 1947, the film tells the story of a day dreamer. Walter Mitty leads a boring life and despite being a loyal and productive employee for LIFE magazine, he faces an uncertain future when the publication moves online. Instilled with the responsibility of producing the magazine's final (and best) cover, he loses the film negative and embarks on an impromptu and uncharacteristic adventure to find it. This is a fantasy film of the highest degree. It has been beautifully realized and Stiller has total command over the whole thing. Full of wonderful imagery, fantastical FX and a truckload of warmth THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is exciting, funny and endearing. Stiller is fantastic on screen too. He balances the various emotional stretches of the character effortlessly and he is supported by some equally good performances. Kristen Wiig is delightful as the woman of Walter's dreams and she brings a lovely subtlety that never oversteps its bounds. Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott and Sean Penn are all great too. I felt like a giddy school boy watching this film. Everything is right about it. The soundtrack is brilliant. The landscapes as magnificent and it's end scene is beautiful. I LOVED this film and my sense of wonder was invigorated. My mind kept casting back to JOE VS THE VOLCANO. A very similar film. Hugely underrated and now on my list of movies to revisit.