art by @vanguardcomic
art by @vanguardcomic
Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, TJ Miller, Ed Skrein
Vomit Incidence: Minor but irritating
A wisecracking mercenary with terminal cancer undergoes torturous experimental treatment at the hands of a sadistic British villain and emerges as a disfigured superhuman on a revenge mission with a truckload of nob gags for good measure.
I saw this movie in the cinema for Valentine’s Day and I loved it. After the first godawful outing for Marvel’s ‘Merc with a Mouth’ (where they stitched up said mouth so he couldn’t speak – go figure) Ryan Reynolds finally got to bring his pet mutant to the masses and he did not disappoint. Despite being rated ‘R’ in the US and 15 in the UK, the film deservedly took the box office by storm and spawned the currently filming sequel.
The film’s budget might not have stretched to the full line-up of lycra-clad X-Men to assist Mr Pool, but they managed to pick two interesting mutants to add to the mix. Colossus (finally done right) the hulking metal man with delicate sensitivities (more on those in a moment) and the girl with the best superhero name ever: Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Brought along to rein in Deadpool’s antics (good luck with that) the two end up helping him in his quest to bring down the man who tortured him, Ajax aka Francis (the magnificent Ed Skrein).
Although the car attack sequence and the obligatory end battle bring some well-crafted action to the film, it’s the humour that lifts it consistently above your average superhero fare. Although not for everyone (lots of swearing, violence and a year-long sex scene apparently don’t appeal to all movie goers), I laughed out loud more times during the opening credits than I have during any film in the past ten years. Fourth wall breaks, Hugh Jackman gags and even jibes at the star, Deadpool has ’em all.
However, this film does come with a warning for emetophobes. For some reason it was decided that a good way to demonstrate Colossus’ soft side / get some more laughs was to SPOILER ALERT have him throw up after Deadpool shoots Francis in the head at the end of the final battle. Oh Pool, and we were so enjoying the movie up until that point, despite our OCD being triggered by you hiding a ring up your butt at the beginning. Gah. Needless to say I didn’t laugh at Colossus. I just crossed my arms and freaked out quietly in my seat.
Film Score: 9/10
NB OCD: 4/10 for unnecessary puking and hiding stuff up bottoms
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston
Vomit Incidence: Multiple, zombie-related
Jim awakes from a coma to discover that well-meaning animal activists have unleashed a rage virus which has zombified the majority of the UK. Things do not get better for Jim from there.
Zombie films had died a bit of an undeath before the release of this cracking UK film from Danny Boyle. Rather than the shambling, brain chompers of old, this lot are strong, fast and very cross indeed (they are British zombies after all). The speed and strength add an extra level of terror for poor old Jim as he attempts to locate fellow survivors in the post-apocalyptic UK.
If the rage-filled undead weren’t enough to contend with, not all of the survivors Jim meets are entirely friendly and/or sane. Particular mention in this regard goes to Christopher Eccleston’s mildly unhinged army Major. With a captive zombie and a desire to ‘repopulate’ the UK, he’s even more dangerous than the blood-spewing corpses wandering around.
Yup, blood spewing again. It seems gone are the good old days when zombies would chomp on someone to infect them, now they have to projectile-vomit blood all over them. Thanks guys, just what we needed. So if you’re an emetophobe like me you probably want to close your eyes/ears every time a zombie hoves into view. Which is a lot, so you may miss the majority of the film. Don’t blame me, blame Alex Garland, he wrote the damn thing.
Film Score: 9/10 (point docked for not using the post-apocalyptic scenes shot in my previous hometown of Croydon)
NB OCD: 7/10 for blood-spewing and also that scene with Christopher Eccleston and the rotten egg. Put me off eggs for years.
A family live a secluded but safe existence while an unspecified threat terrorises the world, until a couple with a young son appear and ask for their help. Cue everything going to hell in a depressing apocalyptic hand-basket.
I hadn’t seen the trailer or read the blurb going in to this film so I was, rather optimistically, expecting an atmospheric horror movie with some nasty psycho-monster attacking people at night (clearly I was watching totally the wrong film with IT in the title). I was also encouraged by the presence of Joel Edgerton who was so impressive in 2015 movie ‘The Gift’. My hopes were dashed pretty much instantly however with the appearance of this chap:
Oh great, another world-ending virus movie then. Bugger. Because if there’s one thing we all know about world-ending viruses – it’s that they make people puke blood. Great.
In actual fact there isn’t a massive amount of blood-spewing present here which would be good news if it weren’t for the unfortunate fact that there isn’t much of a story here either. The ‘It’ mentioned in the title is never really explained (what is It, why does It come at night? Why am I watching It rather than IT?) and the story focuses on paranoia and mistrust instead. Not a bad idea but other movies have done it better. Edgerton does a decent job of making you feel for the main character but he doesn’t get a lot to do, apart from glower, wave firearms about and murder old people.
On the whole I wouldn’t recommend this movie either to horror fans or to emetophobes. Not enough horror for the former and too much upchucking for the latter. Also as a side note, not related to sick, let the above picture serve as a warning to animal lovers. There is a dog in this movie, and we all know how that ends. Probably best not to watch.
Film Score: 5/10
NB OCD: 5/10
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, Ian Holm
Vomit Incidence: Robotic goo and Alien-induced blood spatter
A deep space mining vessel receives an unidentified signal. Assuming it to be a distress call they land on a desolate planet only to find they aren’t the first life forms to do so. Hilarity ensues. Just kidding, it really doesn’t.
I have to admit, this isn’t so much of as review as it is an unadulterated fangirling. Alien is my favourite movie of all time, although I have to be the only person in history to have been relieved when John Hurt had an alien explode from his insides as I had been worrying he was about to throw up.
Very few films have truly earned the title ‘genre-defining’ in the way that Alien has. Since 1979 every single sci-fi or horror film has borrowed from it somehow and yet no one has quite managed to replicate the tension or the atmosphere. A few dodgy practical effects aside (the alien definitely looks like a tall bloke in a hat a couple of times) this film is utter perfection and I have to watch it at least once a year.
Emetotophobes beware though. There is some associated blood upchucking when the alien emerges from John Hurt but not enough to worry me. What did freak me out however, and what you may wish to skip through, is when Ash (Ian Holm) goes homicidal. The resulting robotic goo-spew was unpleasant and (as ever) pretty unnecessary. Yes, we get it, robots are filled with white shit. We didn’t need it demonstrated in this fashion thank you.
I’d like to finish this sick sense review by warning you never to watch Prometheus or Alien: Covenant. Not because of vomiting, because they’re shit.
Film Score: 10/10
NB OCD: 3/10
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow
Vomit incidence: Multiple
In the near future a special police unit is able to arrest people before they commit crimes. It all goes horribly wrong when the lead detective is accused of a so-called future crime and has to go on the run while solving the murder he’s sure he isn’t going to commit. Or something like that.
Yes, I know it’s another one of those futuristic films based on a story by Philip K Dick (if my last name was Dick, I’d be adding a middle initial sharpish too) but, like Bladerunner way before it, it’s actually a great watch. Tom Cruise is at his best despite having to contend with a scene-stealing Colin Farrell in a breakout role and Spielberg manages to contain the schmaltz (at least until the last 5 minutes, which are god-awful – do what I do and switch off before the glowy shit starts).
There’s a lot of great ideas on show, not least because they did their research and included plausible future inventions (no laser guns or teleportation devices here, although we do sort of get the flying cars) and it’s one of these inventions that provides the majority of the ‘v’ word incidences.
If I was a police person in the future and I wanted to apprehend a felon, the last thing that I’d personally want to help me would be something called a ‘sick stick’. Who wants to make the person they’re chasing puke all over them? Weirdos, that’s who. And the police in Minority Report. So emetophobes out there be warned, when the coppers get their sticks out they’re not just going in for a traditional ‘beat the fucker senseless’. Also you probably don’t want to watch the bit where a recently eye-transplanted Cruise gropes his way to the fridge and tries to drink lumpy milk.
Sick-sticks notwithstanding, this is one of my favourite underrated Spielberg films and marks the start of Colin Farrell’s Hollywood career (I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s a good thing or not…). The action sequences are superb and there’s even some feels thrown in to boot (it is a Spielberg movie after all). Just remember – turn off before they switch the futuristic blue filter for the happy glowy yellow filter – or you won’t be needing sick-sticks to make you nauseous.
Film rating: 8/10
NB OCD: 5/10
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith
Vomit Incidence: Zero
In crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop is used as an experiment by an evil corporation and returns as a part human, part cyborg badass with some disturbing memories and a penchant for shooting men in the groin (I may have embellished that last part a little).
I picked the original (and the far superior) Robocop for my first Sick Sense review for a few reasons but mainly because I just had the chance to see it in the cinema for the first time courtesy of my husband’s 40th birthday celebrations.
I think even the most ardent fan of this eighties classic would have to admit that some aspects of the film haven’t aged terribly well. The effects are a bit iffy (Dick Jones’ stretchy arms, anyone?) as are the hairstyles (unless dystopian Detroit had a sudden eighties revival) and in the cinema there were more than a few giggles at some of the dialogue and I’m not even going to mention the badly judged uber-camp henchman. Just, no.
Underneath all the eightiesness though, the film remains surprisingly relevant (big corporations manipulating the population through fear ring any bells?), Peter Weller and Nancy Allen’s performances hold up well and Clarence Boddicker is a delightfully hissable villain from the time before all movie bad guys had to have a sympathetic side. Don’t go looking for Clarence’s, he really doesn’t have one. It’s a massively entertaining blood-spattered sci-fi action film with a great story. What more could you ask?
NB OCD: There may be no actual vomiting in this movie (hurrah!) but, for those of you with germ-centred OCD you may want to look away when Dick Jones comes out of the toilet cubicle (presumably after producing a smaller browner version of himself) and proceeds to rub his hands all over Bob Morton’s face WITHOUT WASHING THEM FIRST! OK, so grosser things happen in this movie (the splatting of the melting henchman springs to mind), but this freaked me the fuck out and if you are of a similar mind then be warned.
Film Score: 9/10
OCD Rating: 3/10 (watchable but be advised)
Just a note to say that I will shortly start posting random film reviews on the site with an OCD slant.
As a life-long emetophobe (puke-o-phobe) it winds me up no end that filmmakers think that having vomit scenes enhances their movie somehow or, even worse, that it’s funny.
It’s not funny, it’s not clever and I’ll be reviewing films with an appropriate warning to sick-sensitive folk such as myself when the ‘v’ word is used as a plot-point/joke/gross-out moment.
As I like a good pun as much as the next person, these reviews will appear under the header ‘Sick Sense Reviews’. Because I SEE SICK PEOPLE.