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For anybody who saw the last tour of Slash, Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators one thing lingered in their mind after the show. Sure we were all thinking about how amazing the main act was but we were all expecting that – the other thing in our mind was just how impressive the opening act were. For many that was the introduction to Devilskin – a four piece hard rock outfit from New Zealand, fuelled by the amazing vocals of one Jennie Skulander who can only be described as one of the best female vocalists in the heavy music scene today.

Now for all of those that fell in love with the music of Devilskin that night the band return with their brand new album, Red, and we recently had the privilege of being able to chat to Skulander while she was caught up in the current Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand.

“We really just wanted to make a kick-ass album,” says Skulander with a laugh when I ask her whether or not the band had any plans of wanted they wanted to achieve with this album. “We really thought the best way to achieve that was to make sure that every song didn’t sound the same. We’ve got our heavier songs and we have our ballads and then we have our emotional songs and that really is our formula. We like to mix it up a little bit and I think we really achieved that once again with Red.”

As the interview goes on I also learn that there is no set writing process for the band either. “We’ve kind of been working on these tracks since our last album, Be Like The River, so we ended up with quite a lot of songs” she explains. “We also had some older songs that didn’t make Be Like The River that we had kind of forgotten about as well. So we had those that had to be completely re-written. We had done some song-writing weekends though where we had just gone away to the beach and try to come up with some stuff.”

“But a lot of the time it would just start with somebody having a riff,” she says continuing. “Or sometimes Nic (Martin – the band’s drummer) would have a whole song because he can play everything, and he would sometimes present us with a whole song without vocals. But it is always different – I always have lyrics and Paul (Martin – bass guitar) will always have lyrics. But yeah it isn’t always the same – we all have different approaches all the time.”

One of those song-writing weekends also resulted in one of the most heartfelt tracks on the album – but not in the way that anybody would have expected. “We were coming back from one of those weekends and out in the middle of nowhere we came across a car crash,” she says sadly. “It had just happened and there were two kids laying on the road because they had been thrown from the van. We were there before any of the emergency appliances could arrive and yeah that took a toll on everyone. Everybody was affected by that and in the end we ended up writing about it.”

There is no shortage of personal lyrics on Red. On the track “Endo” Skulander talks about suffering from endometriosis and she says it does help to put such emotional lyrics into a song. “Sometimes I will just put lyrics to a song and not tell the rest of the band what it is about,” she says as I ask whether that kind of song-writing leads to it feeling like the band is reading her diary. “But then they will be like – what are you saying there and I will be like ‘oh blah blah.’ Or they will be like ‘what does that mean’ and I’ll tell them and they will be like ‘woah, woah, okay.’ But everybody is really supportive.”

“I mean there is also our song “Sweet Release,”” she says again talking to me about one of the most personal tracks she has written. “I came up with some of the lyrics and that made it really sad song but then Paul came up with the rest of the lyrics which was about this guy here in Hamilton named Matthew Stevens who was under mental health care in a hospital. He was let out for an unsupervised smoke break and he pretty much took off and killed himself. His family have been trying to get an apology for five years because what happened is wrong.”

If you a lover of hard rock then Devilskin is certainly a band that needs to be in your album collection. Start with Red and then work your way back their back catalogue and you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Red is out now.

 

Artist: Devilskin

Album: Red

Date Of Release: 25th March 2020

Label: Independent

Track Listing:

1. Do You See Birds

2. All Fall Down

3. Corrode

4. Eyes Red Heavy

5. Same Life

6. The Victor

7. Blood & Bone

8. Endo

9. Bright Lights

10. Sweet Release

11. Be Like The River

12. Everybody’s High But Me

 

Review:

I still remember the first time I saw Devilskin. It was before a Slash, Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators show in Melbourne. This band came out before them called Devilskin that I had never even heard of before, then they hit with such power and intensity they not only won over the crowd but threatened to blow the roof off Margaret Court Arena. My question at the time was whether or not they brought that some intensity to their albums and after listening to their latest offer, Red, I have to say – yes… yes they do.

Taking a listen to Red and you can see that Devilskin is not a band that is ever likely to die from wondering. The album sees the band not only try different styles but also genre hop from time to top as well.

Opening track “Do You See Birds” starts with a dirty hard rock vibe before the brutal vocals of Jennie Skulander hit showing why she needs to be considered one of the finest female vocalists going around in the heavy music scene. Then comes “All Fall Down” a more melodic track that feels like Evanescence with grunt.

“Corrode” and “Eyes Red Heavy” are smooth hard rock tracks that are lifted higher by the sheer brilliance of Skulander’s vocals, and then her harsh vocals return on “Same Life” – a track that is reminiscent of early Tura Satana.

Then it is Tony Vincent’s time to show with some epic guitar sounds on “The Victor” while “Blood & Bone” has a haunting opening until his guitar screams to life early on. The bands willingness to try things differently is also present on “Sweet Release” which has a distinct blues guitar vibe to it.

Slower tracks like “Endo” reveal a more personal side to the band that will really strike a chord with their fans while it is very obvious after just one listen to “Everybody’s High But Me” that the track is destined to become a live favourite.

After big tours overseas it is clear to see that Devilskin is maturing more and more every year. Red shows just how far they have come and tells us all that this is a band that has reached a stage where they don’t mind trying to be a little bit experimental.

Rating (out of 5): 

 

When Nergal isn’t thrilling the world with his amazing talents with the mighty Behemoth he is exploring the darker side of folk music with his side project Me And That Man. Their first album Songs Of Death And Love landed in 2017 and was well received by both critics and fans alike.

Now three years later he has once again put his Me And That Man hat on and returned with their sophomore album – New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol 1. He recently took time out of his hetic schedule to sit down and chat to me about the album.

“I’ve found myself inspired by the same kind of music for quite awhile now,” he says as we talk about his love of folk music. “My idea though was not to replicate the old blues players or the old folk players. The plan was just to get to together with a bunch of dudes that I respect and just make some music of our own – because it is all rock ‘n’ roll at the end of the day. The bottom line was to enjoy it, have fun, be proud of it but here we are at the end of the day with eleven songs and I am very happy with the record.”

Those amazing bunch of dudes on this album include the likes of Matt Heafy from Trivium and Corey Taylor from Slipknot so I ask Nergal at what point of the song-writing process does he know who the guest vocalist will be on each track. “Every story kind of has a different formula behind it,” he says. “That is really hard to say actually because I end up putting every song out on a plate and then I put the album together piece by piece. Every song has a different approach and has a different treatment so I would have to so no, no because some of the guys would know exactly what I wanted to achieve and other songs which just have a certain feel and I would know who to reach out to. Then we would just see what happens.”

And if anybody out there has a fantasy about Nergal pulling all these talented musicians into a studio at one time to work on the tracks then think again because this is all done though the wonders of the internet. “That is basically how it is all done,” he says laughing when we begin to talk about how easy it is to send tracks online these days. “It really is done as a long distance relations and collaborations. That is the only way to make it, honestly. That is the way of being a musician now, even when you are musicians in one band you tend to be spread around so we just communicate that way. I think with what we are facing now that way of doing things is going to become even more common.”

“I mean let’s say twenty years ago that I wanted to record this kind of record,” he goes onto explain. “It probably would have taken us five years to have completed and it probably would have cost me ten times the amount that it cost me”.

One of the highlights of the album is Matt Heafy’s amazing vocals on the beautifully dark “You Will Be Mine” and it turns out that the track impressed Nergal just as much as it did me. “Absolutely, absolutely,” he says pretty much lost for words when I ask him whether he was blown away when he first heard the track. “It is one of the best performances on the record. He took two shots to get there though, the first version of the song that he sent me he just over did it – it was just exaggerated so much, he just made it so evil, it was just like *growls over and over* So I was like ‘man that is too much, relax you know, just step back and relax.’”

“The you know the next version that he sent was way too soft,” he goes on to explain. “It was way too angelic and I was like ‘man let’s put it away, do something that is in between these two takes.’ And it is that final version that you hear on the record.  I remember that he asked me if I wanted to auto-tune it so I went to the studio with our drummer and we went over the track once and then we went over it twice and we were looking at each other and we were like why do we have to auto-tune this he has done it perfectly. Even if there are a couple of imperfections here and there then that makes it perfect so I said to him ‘Matt we are not changing anything because we fucking love your performance and it would be so wrong to even tweak anything.’ But yes to answer your question, it is an absolutely amazing performance.”

 

New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol 1 is out now.

 

 

Artist: Me And That Man

Album: New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1

Date Of Release: 25th March 2020

Label: Napalm Records

Track Listing:

1. Run With Devil (feat Jorgen Munkby from Shining NO)

2. Coming Home (feat Sivert Hoyems from Madrugada)

3. Burning Churces (feat Mat McNerney from Grave Pleasures)

4. By The River (feat Ishahn from Emporer)

5. Mestwo

6. Surrender (feat Dead Soul and Rob Caggiano from Volbeat)

7. Deep Down South (feat Johanna Sadonis from Lucifer and Nicke Anderson from Entombed)

8. Man Of The Cross (feat Jerome Reuter from Rome)

9. You Will Be Mine (feat Mat Heafy from Trivium)

10. How Come? (feat Corey Taylor from Slipknot/Stone Sour and Brent Hinds and Rob Caggiano from Volbeat)

11. Confesson (feat Niklas Kvarforth from Sining SE)

 

Review:

There is just something about blues, folk and country that seems to go hand-in-hand in metal. Artists such as Nick Cave has shown over the years that there is a darker side to blues and folk that needs to be explored while for generations country singers have been singing about oppression and murder. It was therefore no surprise that when Nergal (who many would know as the Behemoth frontman) formed his dark blues/folk side project Me And That Man that their debut album worked so well.

That brilliance that stunned the music world with Songs Of Love And Death back in 2017 once again rears its head on New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1 and album that I get the feeling I will be playing over and over for a great many years to come.

One of the joys of listening to a Me And That Man album is the album takes you on two very different journeys. The first being a story-telling journey, if you sit and actually listen to the lyrics of each of these songs you will see that each track tells a story in itself, it’s like dark poetry or a Gothic short story. The second journey is the one the listener is taken on as the array of musicians that lend their vocals to the album each bring their own tone and mood to the ‘story’ that we are listening to at the time.

This isn’t an album that is all about the vocalists though, no, even musically things change here quite quickly. For example opening track “Run With The Devil” is a foot-stomping, catchy blues driven rock track complete with saxophone. Then there is the gospel sounding “Surrender”, while the banjo, piano and harmonica infusion on “Deep Down South” makes it sound like it was recorded at a good old fashioned jamboree at a Western Tavern.

Nearly every track on this album is worth listening to on repeat but there are some stunning highlights. The dark folk nature of “Burning Churches” makes it sheer brilliance while the amazing vocals of Ihsahn on “By The River” are only bettered by the stunning guitar work.

Then there is the smooth “How Come” – a rock track with the brilliant Corey Taylor at the helm, but the highlight for me is the violent love song “You Will Be Mine” which features vocals by Matt Heafy. Not since “Where The Wild Roses Grow” has there been such an intriguing murderous love ballad.

There is a beautiful, moody darkness that comes from listening to Me And That Man. The atmosphere created by the music on New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol 1 is simply perfect for this global lockdown. It is the soundtrack to this period of time that we need. Hauntingly beautiful and a song-writers dream this album is true genius.

Rating (out of 5): 

Summary: Miles is stuck in a dead-end job, still in love with his ex-girlfriend Nova. Unbeknownst to him, a gang called Skizm is running a deadly competition within his city in which complete strangers fight to the death for the entertainment of an online audience of millions. Miles soon finds himself caught up in the game and forced to fight in a battle to the death. Initially, Miles’ lifetime of running from his problems pays off as he manages to elude his first opponent but when Nova is kidnapped, he must finally stop running and overcome his fears to fight for the girl he loves.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th February 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 9th April 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand

Director: Jason Lei Howden

Screenwriter: Jason Lei Howden

Cast: Anne Alexander-Sieder (Martha Seabert), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Nova), Grant Bowler (Degraves), Milo Cawthorne (Hadley), Logan Cole (Daddy Doubletaps), Rhys Darby (Glenjamin), Ned Dennehy (Riktor), Hanako Footman (Ruby), Stephen Grey (Vadim), Jacqueline Lee Guerts (Irine Degraves), Aaron Jackson (Clement), Richard Knowles (Xander), Aaron McGregor (Jock), Colin Moy (Clive), Racheal Ofori (Effie), Bella Paddin (Young Nix), Daniel Radcliffe (Miles), Jack Riddiford (Shadwell), Mark Rowley (Dane), Set Sjostrand (Fuckface), Josh Thomson (Grim), Janos Tiborcz (Graveworm), Samara Weaving (Nix), Joe Witkowski (Longshot), Edwin Wright (Stanton)

Running Time: 95 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR GUNS AKIMBO REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Guns Akimbo Review:

I have always felt for young actors and actresses who seem to have their careers tarnished by the very role that made them famous. A lot of people seem to disagree that it even happens but then how many times did you hear ‘not that guy from Twilight’ when Robert Pattinson was recently cast as Batman?

What the actor really needs is a role that is so far removed from their early career that it makes audiences see them in a different light, why do you think so many young stars try to do a role that involves nudity as soon as they turn eighteen?

One actor that has been desperately trying to break the mould set for him by his breakout role is Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe has tried so valiantly to try and shake off the Harry Potter tag – he’s done Australian films, gone to the dramatic extremes in Kill Your Darlings but the tag only seemed to lift a little when he stunned cinema-goers with the obscure but brilliant Swiss Army Man. Now Radcliffe hopes to shrug off the rest of that tag with a sheer brilliant performance in a film that is guaranteed to become a cult classic – Guns Akimbo.

Here Radcliffe plays Miles, a games programmer who is stuck in a dead-end job that he loathes with a boss who is nothing but a bully. While he hates his job, he hates his life even more as his recent separation from his girlfriend Nova (Natasha Liu Bordizzo – Hotel Mumbai) only seems to remind him just how in love with her he was.

In a state of boredom one night he leaves a trolling comment on the website of a popular death match reality game that is being run by an extremely violent organisation called Skizm. Angered by the comment the group’s leader, the psychopathic Riktor (Ned Dennehy – Mandy) has Miles captured and then has his goons bolt weapons to his hands. He then places Miles in the game and has him compete against the reigning champion, the criminally insane Nix (Samara Weaving – Ready Or Not), who believes one more kill will see her free of the game and then finally able to live her life the way that she wants to.

If the plot sounds insane it is because that is exactly what it is. It is the last kind of film that you would ever expect Radcliffe to want to be cast in yet somehow his performance grouped together by the fact that the film is in the capable hands of Deathgasm director Jason Lei Howden sees it become a cult classic that cinema lovers are going to lap up right away.

One of the keys to the film working is the fact that Howden is a cult film lover himself. His love for video games and 1980s action films here is so obvious. The film almost seems to have ‘levels’ that the characters have to get past while the fact that his graphic violence was certain to attract a R Rating also didn’t seem to scare him. At times it feels like as a director he was saying ‘let’s put another headshot in there’ and see what they do. Then there is also a killer soundtrack that features everyone from Dead Or Alive to Cypress Hill and even Iggy Pop. What Howden has made here is a film that he himself would want to watch and the result is one of the best action films of the past few years.

That is further enhanced by the fact that as a filmmaker Howden doesn’t try to make Guns Akimbo anything that it’s not. It’s a basic shoot-‘em up with a little bit of humour thrown in for good measure. And while the film doesn’t strive to be anything else it does end up making a lot of commentary about the morals of modern day reality television and delivering a better female hero than even Birds of Prey could manage.

Yes, we may have been blown away by Samara Weaving’s recent performances in The Babysitter and Ready Or Not but here she takes her acting to a whole new level. Weaving doesn’t just stop at having fun during some daring action sequences instead she brings real characterisation to a character that could have easily become a one-dimensional anti-hero. Even when she is trying to hunt down and kill everyone’s favourite loser – Miles – you can’t help but feel a little bit of remorse for Nix, despite her being a bad-ass.

Then there is Radcliffe who seems to embrace the fact that he is given the opportunity to play such an off-beat character. Like Weaving he mixes characterisation with action and seems to deliver just the right amount of method acting to show that perhaps a lot of cinema-goers have misjudged Radcliffe on just how good his acting ability can be. His scene with Rhys Darby in this film shows he also has a flair for comedy as well.

If you like your action flick to be a little left of centre and bordering on the gruesome then Guns Akimbo is the film for you. The fresh creative nature of the film shows why Jason Lei Howden is a director who can potentially breathe a new sense creativity into the action genre, while the film itself is the perfect vehicle to show that world that Daniel Radcliffe has well and truly outgrown his Harry Potter wand.

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Guns Akimbo (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Guns Akimbo Reviews:

Nil.

 

Trailer:

 

A time-traveling assassin finds himself on a cruise ship, where he falls for the women he’s supposed to kill, in Same Boat – coming this April from Dark Star Pictures!

James is a time travelling assassin from the 28th century sent to 2018 to kill a woman, but when his intern gets sick and he loses his paperwork he has some time to kill, so to speak, while enjoying the cruise he accidentally falls in love with the woman he’s supposed to kill. Same Boat is a film about duty, love, friendship, and how kindness is more powerful than destruction.

Chris Roberti, Tony Glanz and David Bly star in a Chris Roberti film. Josh Itzkowitz, Chris Roberti and Mark Leidner wrote.

Shot secretly on a cruise ship, the wonderful sci-fi rom-com Same Boat hits April 7 On Demand from Dark Star Pictures.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has ground daily life to a halt around the globe, Arrow Video is proud to announce the US release of Why Don’t You Just Die!, a blood-soaked black comedy in the vein of Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright.  Making his feature debut, writer/director Kirill Sokolov presents a rousing tale of family, modern relationships and the dark places they can take you to when things turn sour.  Why Don’t You Just Die! will be available nationwide on Digital HD April 20th.
Why Don’t You Just Die! has received critical acclaim from festivals around the globe, taking home the New Flesh Award for Best First Feature and Silver Audience Award at Fantasia, Best European Feature Film at MOTELx, Best Director at Fantaspoa, Best Feature, Best Director and Best VFX Awards at Grimmfest.  Following a screening at Fantastic Fest, Film School Rejects raved that “Russian cinema has a new filmmaker to champion”.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Arrow Video had planned an April 10th theatrical release in a number of markets around the US and the UK.  Planned theatrical markets included Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Knoxville, Ithaca, Houston, Lubbock, El Paso and Phoenix.
Ahead of the release, Sokolov shared, “Despite our exaggerated use of genre tropes and all the flashy effects, Why Don’t You Just Die! remains, for me, an incredibly personal and sincere story. The film’s inherent violence is the result of reflection on the realities of life in Russia, modern relationships, and societal attitudes. The gallows humor which pervades the film is the only true reaction whatsoever to all of this. The film is intended as an emotional rollercoaster, making the audience laugh, cry, and laugh again – but then immediately feel a sense of unease for having laughed.”
Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) has just one objective: to gain entry to his girlfriend’s parents’ apartment and kill her father Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev) with a hammer to restore her honour. But all is not as it initially seems, and Matvey’s attempts to bludgeon the family patriarch to death don’t quite go to plan as Andrey proves a more formidable – not to mention ruthless – opponent than he anticipated… and Matvey, for his part, proves stubbornly unwilling to die.

 

Summary: A group of online friends travel to a Pop Culture convention to try and buy a rare comic they believe can warn them of an upcoming pandemic.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Toby Haynes

Screenwriter: Ryan Enright, Gillian Flynn

Regular Cast: Deson Borges (Wilson Wilson), Dan Byrd (Ian), John Cusack (Dr. Kevin Christie), Christopher Denham (Arby), Sasha Lane (Jessica Hyde), Ashleigh LaThrop (Becky), Jessica Rothe (Samantha), Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton (Grant), Rainn Wilson (Michael Stearns)

Guest Cast: Josh Bywater (Carson), Rammel Chan (Starweaver/Josh Chandler), Jose Antonio Garcia (Donald Resnick), Jenna Heffernan (Jenny), Dustin Ingram (Tallman), Farrah Mackenzie (Alice),  Jeanine Serralles (Colleen), Cory Michael Smith (Thomas Christie), Michael B Woods (Rod)

Running Time: 50 mins

Classification: TBC (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

OUR THE UTOPIA REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Utopia Review:

They say that art mirrors life and that has never been more true than when it comes to the brand new Amazon Prime series Utopia. The pilot gives us an early glimpse that a new pandemic is about to spread across the globe, yes it could be plucked straight from our headlines at the moment, but what separates Utopia from the hundreds of other pandemic or post-apocalyptic television shows or movies out there is the fact that here the prediction of the pandemic may have already surfaced in a graphic novel of all places.

Utopia centres around a group of four ‘friends’ who have all met online after they realised a pattern in a strange graphic novel titled Dystopia. When an ultra rare copy of its sequel, titled Utopia, is put up for auction by a naive couple at a convention named FringeCon the four friends – Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges – Living With Yourself), Ian (Dan Byrd – Easy A), Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop – Fifty Shades Freed) and Samantha (Jessica Rothe – Happy Death Day) – all travel to the convention with the intention to buy Utopia so they can explore their theory that the comics predict the world’s pandemics.

But they are not the only people after Utopia after a rich art collector wins the auction suddenly a young boy called Grant (Javon Walton – Euphoria) breaks into the penthouse to steal it while at the same time two assassins – Arby (Christopher Denham – Argo) and Michael Stearns (Rainn Wilson – The Office) – also pay a visit to the penthouse to retrieve the valuable item.

The best way to approach the Utopia remake is to have never seen the original British series. From the pilot episode you can tell that this is a series that is going to have many twists and turns throughout – so not knowing what is going to happen next is going to be key. Especially with the cliffhanger of the pilot which sees a character turn up that may just hint that everything in the graphic novels is based on real life.

Tone wise Utopia feels like a nineties show such as Buffy but with some edge. As soon as Samantha drops the ‘c’ word you know that the show is going to go into adult territory, the head shots that the assassins deliver as they hunt their victims later on only enhance that theory. Having said that though there is a deep intelligence to the show. The theory that the graphic novels can predict what pandemics are to come gives the show a real suspense element that you feel is only going to get expanded even further and a brief news report we hear hints that a pandemic is just starting as well.

The key to the show working though are the characters and whether they are interesting to the audience, luckily Utopia seems to have that problem well and truly solved. Wilson Wilson seems to be one of the most interesting characters to have surfaced on television for awhile, while the other three friends also could easily carry the show. After the pilot the relationship between Ian and Becky is not so much ‘will they’ but instead ‘what will they do now’ while the great acting that we know Jessica Rothe is capable of also means we are very curious to see what happens with Samantha next.

Keeping the acting in mind the casting of Rainn Wilson in such a sinister role is also a stroke of genius. We are so used to seeing his comedy side that his cold-heartedness here is a bit of surprise and there still seems to be a lot of room to further expand his character as well.

There is little doubt that once you start watching Utopia that you will continue to watch. There are just too many questions that are left after the pilot for you not to want. Questions around who the hell Grant is, what the four friends will do next and even whether or not the assassins will go after them are more than enough to keep you watching. And then there is of course the big mystery – who the hell is Jessica Hyde and is she real? Yes television fans I think our answer to iZombie has finally landed.

 

 

 

 

 

They say that the lights never go out in Hollywood. Well if they aren’t fully out at the moment then they are certainly very, very dim. As the Covid-19 virus goes on its deadly wave right across the planet Hollywood and the world’s film industry has become one of its biggest victims.

Right now as i write this this most of the world’s cinemas are in darkness – the projectors have stopped and the doors are closed. In Thailand cinemas are closed until April 1st while in America the cinemas are closed indefinitely. In Australia the cinema chains desperately tried to keep the doors open, but finally the week came where only one new film opened in cinemas and as people had started to fear going out in public the film was playing to empty cinemas. When you consider that film was The Current War starring the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon and Tom Holland the fact it wasn’t drawing an audience just went to show how afraid people really were. Luckily the nation’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the decision for the cinema bosses when he included cinemas in the list of non-essential services that had to close as the nation went into a Stage One lockdown.

For the rest of the world the first inkling that Covid-19 was going to hit the cinema industry hard was when Sony Pictures made the announcement that they were postponing the release date of the latest Bond film No Time To Die. Sony, it seemed made the right call especially after we all saw the hit that the much-hyped Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel took upon its released. Its studio decided to brave the Covid affected cinema numbers and released the film amidst the chaos – the result was taking just nine million dollars at the box office in its first week of release in the USA. Desperate not to see the same fate happen to Diesel’s other blockbuster – Fast & Furious 9 – its studio decided to push its release back to 2021.

Some companies decided to get creative. Realising that they were going to have a captive housebound audience for potentially the next few months Universal Pictures have decided to chance its arm and in some territories has released potential blockbusters The Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour onto streaming services. It now seems likely that Disney will do the same with the eagerly anticipated Pixar animation Onward.

While the release dates of some of the year’s biggest films seem to be moving around like chess pieces on a board it leaves us with one big question – if Thailand’s cinemas do re-open on April 1st what do audiences have to look forward to? While films such as Daniel Radcliffe’s all action affair Guns Akimbo and new horror film Fantasy Island are slated for release not long after the doors open for several months audiences will have to watch locally made films and smaller international films while Hollywood prepares to re-launch itself with their all-conquering blockbusters. That is not necessarily a bad thing though as it means for awhile locally made films will have very little competition at the box-office for awhile.

Of course box office aside Covid-19 has also had catastrophic affect on the people of Hollywood and film industries right around the world. At the moment every major studio in America has shutdown production meaning that hundreds of thousands of people are currently out of work – many not knowing when those studio doors will open again.

The human side of Covid-19 in Hollywood became even more apparent when two of its biggest stars tested positive to the deadly virus. In Australia working on a new movie about the life of Elvis Presley Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson contracted the virus resulting in Australia’s Nine Network television network having to place some of their on-air talent in isolation after they had come in contact with the pair. It was later proven that Nine’s head Entertainment Reporter Richard Wilkins had actually contracted Covid-19 after interviewing Wilson.

The next Hollywood celebrity to test positive to Covid-19 was Thor: Ragnarok and Star Trek Beyond star Idris Elba and only a few hours ago it was confirmed that former Hollywood producer and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein has tested positive to the virus in prison.

Globally nobody has been able to safely predict when the Covid-19 crisis might be over but the one thing we do know is it is going to take a long time for Hollywood to recover from cinema’s darkest days.