5 Low Budget Masterpieces

Proving that money isn’t everything, film critics Colin & Mitch suggest five low budget films that might appeal to a gamer.

Tetsuo

Shocking black and white underground masterpiece that shows you can realise apocalyptic destruction, the melding of man and machine, giant death dealing mecha and industrial carnage and still have enough change from a tenner. Given an extra couple of quid Tetsuo 2: Body Hammer was filmed in colour.

Pi

Mixing mathematics and shady underground cabalist sects in order to predict an organic stock exchange is the unlikely but compelling premise for a structured and bewildering kaleidoscope of black and white images. Not the happiest film ever, Aronofsky went on to depress everyone further with the excellently miserable Requiem for a Dream.

Dark Star

Waiting For Godot meets Dr Strangelove. In a spaceship. Full of bickering hippies, a naughty alien and a bomb that discusses philosophy, John Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon’s student film turned feature still manages to amuse and charm. They went on to B-Movie genius with Assault on Precinct 13 and Return of the Living Dead respectively, then Carpenter later directed such SF and horror classics as Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York…

Eraserhead

Industrial drones and Jack Nance’s perpetual bemusement tie together a sequence of increasingly bizarre and horrific/hilarious scenes. The ultimate cult movie, Lynch went on to make Dune and Inland Empire. Oh and Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway…

El Mariachi

The genius of selling your body to medical science in order not only to fund your film but to have time to write the script in the experimentation centre is matched only by the verve of Rodriguez’s debut feature, a genre gun flick full of stunts and violence. Later seen in Hollywood as Desperado.

Film critics Colin and Mitch (aka Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc) are authors and broadcasters who have been writing together for over 12 years. They have written more than 10 books about film directors and genres, the latest is about the marvellous films of Japanese animators Studio Ghibli. Their website is at www.colinandmitch.com where you can also check out their capsule tanka film reviews.

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