14th Aug2019

Pass Horror Notes: ‘Landing Lake’ Review

by Aaron Shakespeare



Stars: Franck Assi, Emma Bown, Joanna-Leigh Hewitt, Veronica Osimani, Craig Peritz, Lee Ravitz, Aaron Stielstra, Victoire Vecchierini, Phil Zimmerman | Written and Directed by Cesare P. Libardi di K.

Name: Landing Lake
Age: 2019

Appearance: Distorted head scratcher of a science fiction horror filmed in Super 35mm around some woods in Italy. It looks both very weird and very beautiful. The throbbing 80s style synth that accompanies the action accentuates the oddball atmosphere.

Landing Lake horror weirdness.

Landing Lake horror weirdness.

Oooh, I feel a bit strange.

And so you might. Everything about Landing Lake feels off-kilter. The faded colours and odd angles brings a sense of menace and foreboding. The synth thumps about like a digital creature lurking in the background and the acting style, which lurches from either being very shouty or very quiet, makes it feel as if we are peeking into another dimension where the characters are people just like us but not quite…

Does it remind you of watching Italian horror from the early 80s?

It reminds me of watching Italian horror from the early…. Hang on, have you been reading my notes?


Well don’t!

So, tell me about how the plot seems to ramble about appearing to sacrifice logic in favour of imagery and atmosphere?

The plot rambles about appearing to… Well, yes, the lack of any comprehension to the story adds to the surrealism of the film but if you were hoping for something more straightforward, this will certainly put you off.

Tell me about the “Angry Mick Jagger” man?

I’ll get to him in a moment. Now stop looking at my notes.

Sorry – tell me about the how the story centres around some…

Bickering satellite technicians who go off to the woods to fix a broken communication tower come across a crashed aeroplane with some other bickering characters. Everyone shouts and swears at one another until they discover a lake that has a forcefield around it. Among our angry techies are Georgie (Victoire Vecchierini), who has visions of half naked men with spears wandering about the trees, Mike (Lee Ravitz), who is constantly in a rage and Phil (Franck Assi), who really, really likes his boom box. At some point we meet the survivors of the plane crash, which includes Jack (Phil Zimmerman), who is in an even bigger rage than Mike. He struts about like an angry Mick Jagger and SCREAMS HIS LINES! It’s never explained why all the characters are so bloody angry all the time but I put it down to the effects of the forcefield.

And what about the milk, eggs and bacon… oh, that’s your shopping list.

Yes, now stop cheating. It’s obvious from the start that Angry Mick Jagger has a secret and isn’t being entirely honest about his intentions. Dare I say it, but I rather enjoyed Phil Zimmerman’s performance as he overacts wildly, flailing his arms and screeching class lines such as “Before you start playin’ with yer tits, where’s me fackin’ money” and “Yer fackin’ ball baaaaaster”. I just hope he doesn’t take that tone with his mother.

You’ve not mentioned the horror bit yet. Where’s the horror bit?

What happens in the second half of the film will please those who like icky special effects. We get body melt scenes, rotten corpses and even a rather nice look alien creature. It’s obvious that the film is a labour of love for those involved. They’ve tried to make something original and highly strange that wears its influences proudly. The ambiguous narrative may annoy some and challenge others but overall you get an atmospheric slice of gory weirdness.

Don’t Say: Crash landing.
Do Say: Cleared for landing.


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