The Ornament by Pat Dorian is a festive themed stop motion animation that's somewhat lacking in festive cheer.
The Ornament by Pat Dorian is a festive themed stop motion animation that's somewhat lacking in festive cheer.
What must be a couple of years back now, Jim Groom (Revenge Of Billy The Kid, Room 36) mentioned he had a project in the works called Zombie God Squad. At the time he was finally bringing cult noir comedy Room 36 to the big screen after a serious of unfortunate events and disasters saw it languish for more than a decade. Since then Room 36 was released on DVD and then out of the blue this little teaser pops up.
When a sniper guns down 14 pedestrians at random on the streets of New York City, cop with a troubled personal life, Peter Nicholas, is up for the job of reasoning with him. Though he doesn’t manage to talk him down from his killing spot atop the water tower, he does elicit a reason from him before he throws himself to his death. As Nicholas investigates further killings across the city it becomes apparent that something connects them all; the killer’s dying confessions reveal that “God told me to.” As the investigation takes shape, the common ground for each killer is having met an elusive long-haired stranger shortly before their crimes, but who is this ubiquitous being and what will Detective Nicholas’s connection to them be? Find out in Larry Cohen’s genre-busting cult classic.
New York City in the 70’s had a tendency to be portrayed in the movies and the seemingly endless cop shows of the same era as the perfect site of public paranoia; a sprawling concrete metropolis breeding suspicion and uncertainty where anything could be possible, and usually was, egged on by the media to fuel the almost palpable air of unrest that floated around the dirty streets. Writer/director Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To is certainly no exception and exploits this feeling well with his bizarre mix of the strange and the serious in this detective/mystery/horror/sci-fi hybrid that is as compelling as it is peculiar.
God Told Me To, despite being a mixed bag generically, belongs for the most part, particularly tonally, to the detective/mystery genres. With the opening scenes of a nauseatingly claustrophobic New York, our troubled detective has to act fast when a sniper opens fire, causing hysteria in the streets below. Reminiscent of the earlier Dirty Harry, God Told Me To uses the detective figure as an urban hero, combating one of the city’s most feared attackers; the sniper. This kind of crime perfectly utilises the self-perpetuating urban fear; a crime which preys on the city but which the city conversely and simultaneously conceals in safety. And if you are thinking there’s nothing too strange or unusual about this, well then you’d be right, but it is as the investigation gets underway that we gain the bizarre turn that has earned Cohen (Q The Winged Serpent and It’s Alive!) his rightful cult status.
Indeed, it’s only as the story develops that the bizarre horror/sci-fi elements begin to enter the arena. As we learn more about the tangled personal life of our hero, of his devout Catholicism, the parallel mystery similarly unravels. But don’t be fooled by Cohen’s crazy generic mix for it masks some grave undertones. There are some serious and still very relevant ideas about religion at play here, which helps to make this film timeless. Cohen presents some surprisingly open ideas about religion which won’t be to everyone’s taste; “You got all the blessing’s who needs religion?!” points to a false and almost greedy human search in desperation for a higher power which, as Cohen rather aptly presents, won’t necessarily be a good one.
Whilst there is some bloodshed in this film it is more a horror of ideas with some creepy and genuinely unpleasant and difficult scenes made only the more so as it is so plausible. As we discover that religion has a hand in the city hiding something more deadly, invested with the power of destruction more precise than a sniper, it is truly chilling. It is an idea even more relevant now than when Cohen wrote it; that the more modernised society becomes the more we search for some lost meaning and the more we open ourselves up to religion, fanaticism and the need to feel the presence of a deity to restore the human purpose (it is no accident that the sniper opens fire above the icon of modern American consumerism that is Bloomingdales). But fear not, if this all sounds a little heavy you can still relax and enjoy the bizarre story, direction and generic mix that make it peculiarly entertaining as this, after all, is what makes this a Cohen Classic; a strange film with intelligent undertones, and who can say fairer than that?
Part warning for modern society, part bizarre generic mix, but all-round Cult Classic.
Nico B's Cult Epics DVD label specialises in Cult, horror, art House, world cinema and erotica. Releasing the likes of Fernando Arrabal's' I Will Walk Like A Crazy Horse, Walerian Borowczyk The Beast, Agustín Villaronga In A Glass Cage and the majority of Tinto Brass's directorial outings.
The label is also home to "The Bettie Page Collection" for fans of legendary 1950's pin-up icon and various collection of classic erotic short films.
Richard Gale's epic comedy horror short has picked up and slew of awards and been viewed around 1.5 million times on YouTube so far.
Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi Hausu (House) is an unforgettable mixture of bubblegum teen melodrama and grisly phantasmagoria, Obayashi's deranged fairy tale Hausu (House) is one of Japanese cinema's wildest supernatural ventures and a truly startling debut feature.
Distressed by her widowed father's plans to remarry, Angel sets off with six of her schoolgirl friends in tow for a summer getaway in her aunt's isolated mansion. But all is not well - in this house of dormant secrets, long-held emotional traumas have terrifyingly physical embodiments and the girls will have to use all their individual talents if any are to survive.
A rollercoaster ride without brakes, Hausu is by turns sinister, hilarious and curiously touching, with ceaseless cinematic invention and a satirical, full-blooded approach to the horror genre. A gigantic smash upon its original release in Japan, the Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present its UK premiere on DVD, released on 25 January 2009.
How could something so wrong be so right? Featuring a wealth of Horror, Sci-Fi and B-Movie trash images sourced for your eyeballing guilty pleasure is how! Covering such deliciously moreish genres as Carsploitation, Bruceploitation, Prehistoric and Burlesque, Wrong Side Of The Art is a dedicated picto-gallery of high-res images featuring such delights as aliens and monsters from retro imaginings, boobs, violence and maybe even violent boobs. After all, any site that's got the good taste to feature the 'ode to the violence in women' poster for Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! that adorns my own wall can't be wrong, right?
Second trailer for Jon Harris' sequel to Neil Marshall's 2005 horror hit The Descent, aptly titled The Descent: Part 2.
Emerging from the cave system alone, distraught and covered in the blood of her missing companions, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) is incoherent and half-wild with fear. Sceptical about her account of events and convinced Sarah's psychosis hides far darker secrets, Sheriff Vaines (Gavan O’Herlihy) doesn’t waste time. Along with his partner Rios (Krysten Cummings), and their cave rescue team Dan (Douglas Hodge), Greg (Joshua Dallas), and Cath (Anna Skellern), Vaines forces Sarah back into the caves to help the rescuers find her friends.
Biff Juggernaught productions presents The Voice Inside, a black and white short film for fans of the slightly more extreme. The Voice Inside is a kinetic short following one characters battle with and final decent into madness. The film opens with an unnamed man sat on a subway train, at first all seems normal, but soon we learn just why the film is called The Voice Inside.
The main and only role is played by Elias who you can see in a very different role as the hapless reporter in LovecraCked! The Movie. This is a good turn from Elias as well, as we see him tormented by an inner voice. He at first tries to suppress it with medication, but is told it is now to strong to be held at bay. After returning home from the subway, he again tries his medication, but only finds himself vomiting heavily. Next he goes for blunt force trauma as a means to fight the voice in his head. Head butting walls and pushing himself with the Iron rings from the stove. He manages to smash his face up pretty good, but the inner voice will not be silenced. Finally he is defeated and now the voice has its turn at desecrating the leads body, which means we are treated to a very nasty use of a hammer.
The Voice Inside is an impressive short film that will have many drawing comparisons to Darren Aronofsky' PI and Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo, all be it not reaching the heights either of those full length outings achieve. The medium it was shot on does mean the picture is not the best, but in many way's it suits the films content. The Biff Juggernaught team manage to mix shock value with real skills, understanding that shock on it's own is in no way enough. The effects, both practical and camera trickery are fairly low level and not overdone, but are used to full effect. Normally I am not a huge fan of "shaky cam", but here the camera work is suited to the subject matter and defiantly adds to the quality of the short.
The Voice Inside is a short well worth watching, but be warned, its graphic nature is maybe suited only to those more used to extreme film.
Biff Juggernauts "The Voice Inside" is available as an extra on the LovecraCked! The Movie DVD
To celebrate Halloween, we've collected together a selection of horror themed short films.
The French Doors ... a dark DIY tale from New Zealand, written and directed by Steve Ayson.
Chainsaw Maid ... A faithful maid takes on flesh munching zombies in Takena's claymation masterpiece.
Forklift Driver Klaus ... Stefan Prehn and Jorg Wagne show u why health and safety regulations really should be followed
Cornucopia ...Paul Couvela takes us on a vist to a very strange pub indeed.
Toxic ...In Andrew McEwan's short an unusual evil has arisen, requiring equally unusual hero's to defeat it.
The Cat With Hands ... the story of a cat who, legend has it, longs to become human.
What They Ate ...In this animated short conceived and created by Nadia Moss a most unsettling meal is consumed.
Insanophenia ...Two dim-witted exterminators face a truly horrific stop motion terror, in Steven Kostanski's short film.
Hell ...An nightmarish experimental stop motion vista from David Firth, Jimi Mwng and Crusty Crayfields.
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello ...A disgraced aerial navigator flees his Plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself.
Greed ...has consequences
For all you horror fans who can't bear to let go of that spookily festive feeling, London is playing host to over 2 weeks worth of camp retro horror celebrations by way of the Hammer London Festival. Hamming it up from October 28th - November 15th in three locations (Idea Generation Gallery, Lexi Cinema and Curzon Soho,) the HFL will pay homage to the golden age of British horror with a selection of screenings and an exhibition of previously unseen photos, prints and artwork, as well as a detailed look at the Hammer legacy (hopefully they'll skip past the studio's bloodless resurrection.)
Check out the exhibits at the RIBA award-winning space that is the Idea Generation Gallery.
(Please note: although the Lexi Cinema is screening the decidedly horrific sounding Sing-A-Long Wizard of Oz, this does NOT constitute part of the festival's output.)
2002 Short film detailing a dark DIY tale from New Zealand, written and directed by Steve Ayson.
MrDisgusting posted this over at bloody-disgusting.com and its really is a very cool bit of claymation. From youtube user 'takena' comes this excellent claymation short about a faithful maid and flesh munching zombies.
You can check out takena's website Here
German short film from 2000 by Stefan Prehn and Jorg Wagner spoofing instructional videos.
Automatic Vaudeville Studios short animated film What They Ate.
Two dim-witted exterminators are about to find there are more disturbing things than the sexual advances of their maniacal supervisor as they descend into a nightmarish world of indescribable terror.
"Set in a world of iron dirigibles and steam powered computers, this gothic horror mystery tells the story of Jasper Morello, a disgraced aerial navigator who flees his Plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself."
It was a pleasant surprise to see Anthony Lucas' BAFTA and Oscar nominated short film "The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello" appear online over at Quiet Earth. This was a favorite of Fiona's when we attended the KinoFilm festival a couple of years ago and it really is a superb film.
Leif Jonker directed what could probably be called the best splatter gore movie you've never seen. Darkness (Released later as Darkness The Vampire Version) is'nt really that far away from the early works of Sam Rami and Peter Jackson. Its a an ultra low budget classic, you really should seek out. Demon Machine was to be his next project, but sadly the years slipped by and funding meant it never to fruition. Which when you look at this promo is such a shame, it was bound to be all kinds of fun. Someone really should seek the guy out and get this made, especially now digital is a viable format.
Palisades Tartan brings together three Korean chillers as a three-disc collection that includes Kim Sung-ho's Into The Mirror, Park Ki-hyung's Acacia and Won Shin-yeon's The Wig.
Recently given the Hollywood remake treatment as ‘Mirrors', directed by Alexandre Aja (Switchblade Romance; The Hills Have Eyes) and starring Keifer Sutherland, Kim Sung-ho's Into The Mirror is a creepy and highly stylized horror tale involving Wu Young-min, a cop who has quit the police force after inadvertently killing his partner. Now working at a department store, Wu encounters his ex-rival, who is in charge of investigating a series of murders at the store, and finds himself being pulled into the sinister investigation.
Park Ki-hyung's Acacia tells of an obstetrician and his wife who, unable to have a child of their own, decide to adopt a 10-year-old boy, Jin-seung. When the wife later falls pregnant and has a baby, Jin-seung becomes so incensed by jealousy he runs away. During his absence a dead tree in the garden, where he used to play, mysteriously comes to life and fills the house with a heavy scent. Then a variety of strange events begin to occur, all of them seemingly related to the mysterious tree.
Creepy chills meet visceral horror in Won Shin-yeon's beautifully shot The Wig, the tale of Ji-hyeon, a young woman who buys her terminally ill sister a new wig to hide the hair loss resulting from her treatment. After her sister starts making an alarming comeback in mental health to the point of being hostilely aggressive and overbearingly sexual, Ji-hyeon soon discovers the disturbing truth about the history of the wig.
VFX Shotgun blast to the head of actor Michael Campbell's head in Michael A. Nickles independent horror XII.
I love the way this is set to such an upbeat tune, I'd love to see a whole horror movie set to ridiculously upbeat music.
If that little vfx shot has peaked your interest in the movie the synopsis is as follows: Claire Norris (Emily Hardy), a young waitress in a small-town diner, sat on a jury, along with eleven others and listened to the evidence against a man accused of a crime against a minor. After days of difficult deliberation, the man - Leonard Karlsson, Jr.(Jeremy Fitzgerald) - was found guilty.
In prison, the "unspoken rule" regarding such crimes was enforced - Karlsson was beaten by the other prisoners to within an inch of his life, his face severely disfigured as a result. Now out of prison, Karlsson returns to the town that held his trial. Still severely scarred and barely recognizable, he conceals his wounds…and his identity.
In one horrifying night, he once again faces the twelve jurors who decided his fate.
Also check out "XII beneath the skin" a short featurette about the making of the film XII
This month, AMC presents AMC FEARFEST, the most highly anticipated horror movie marathon of the Halloween season. A celebration of the best in contemporary and classic horror films, AMC Fearfest features over 50 horror titles, three AMC Celebrates events, and interviews with some of Hollywood’s most renowned horror filmmakers. The eight-day marathon airs from October 23 until Halloween Day, October 31 from 7:30am-midnight.
Headlining AMC Fearfest is a star-studded lineup of acclaimed filmmakers, who will host and introduce the presented films and offer insight on what creates a great horror flick. Among the AMC Fearfest hosts are on-screen legend Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein), actress Margot Kidder (Amityville Horror), award-winning writer/director, George Romero (Night of the Living Dead), actor Lance Henriksen (Aliens and Aliens 3) and special effects producer, Shane Mahan (SFX Creature Effects Aliens).
AMC Fearfest will also feature three AMC Celebrates events, honoring the milestone anniversaries of some of horror’s greatest movies :
AMC Celebrates Alien 30th Anniversary – Airing Friday, October 23 at 8pm ET.
AMC Celebrates Young Frankenstein 35th Anniversary – Airing Friday, October 30 at 8pm ET.
AMC Celebrates The Amityville Horror 30th Anniversary – Airing Friday, October 30 at 10 :30pm ET.
In addition, AMC Fearfest will include film classics by directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott, Stephen King, James Cameron, John Carpenter, Joss Whedon, Peter Jackson and Brian De Palma, as well as a special Halloween Day Marathon featuring the world premiere of the digitally restored and re-mastered Night of the Living Dead, airing at 6pm ET.
As part of the network’s online promotions of AMC Fearfest, amctv.com will feature extended video interviews with Romero, Mahan and Henriksen. Also, available will be countless horror-focused trivia quizzes about such classic movie franchises as Alien, Dracula, The Exorcist, Ghostbusters, and Halloween. In addition, online will feature horror-related tournaments, including battles between the ‘Brides of Horror,’ ‘Evil Children,’ ‘Sinister Satans,’ and much more. Finally, the website will also be adding two new fright flicks to its ever-growing online B-Movie catalogue: Werewolves on Wheels and Fiend without a Face.
Since 1996, AMC Fearfest franchise has become a top Halloween tradition and television’s most popular destination for the avid horror movie fan, offering more Halloween programming than any other network on television. Last year, AMC Fearfest ’08 became one of AMC’s most-watched events of the year.
October 2009 sees the highly anticipated Blu-ray release of George A. Romero's classic zombie movie Dawn of the Dead, presented as a special three-disc edition – exclusive to the UK – that represents the ultimate presentation of the film available anywhere in the world. Released just in time for Halloween, this is undoubtedly the horror movie Blu-ray release of the year.
Produced and compiled by Arrow Video with the kind of loving care and attention only the most devoted of zombie aficionados are willing to provide, this must-have three-disc set includes the George A. Romero approved Theatrical Cut of the film in 1080p resolution on Blu-ray, plus the Director's Cut and the Dario Argento Cut on DVD, the latter being made available on DVD as part of this collection for the first time in the UK.
Also included is a host of extras that include the rarely seen "Scream Greats" documentary on the career of special effects wizard Tom Savini, audio commentaries by the filmmakers and, for the first time, French Romero fanatic Nicolas Garreau's fascinating travelogue-come-documentary "Fan Of The Dead". Additionally, exclusively designed packaging features four different sets of artwork from which fans can choose to display the collection, including the little-seen "gasmask" artwork and an all-new, specially commissioned oil painting commemorating this landmark release of the film.
Promo poster for director Jay Woelfel's Live Evil which stars B movie legend's Tim Thomerson (Near Dark, Trancers) and Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead, The Devil's Rejects). As well as modern B movie regulars Lee Perkins and Mark Hengst.
"A hunter dressed in black. This cowboy-hat-wearing samurai-sword-wielding Priest is on a quest for blood. Vampire blood. He's out for revenge on a "clique" of four vampires who are traveling across country in search of "pure blood." The human blood stream has become polluted by drugs, alcohol, Aids, Diabetes, anti-depressants, cigarettes, anything that changes the blood even a small amount makes it undrinkable for Vampires, who, like hi-performance automobiles need "hi test" fuel= Blood in order to survive. This has started a sort of underground civil war between various groups of vampires and vampires themselves have mutated due to the pollution of their life blood."
UK Poster For The Descent: Part 2 in which Shauna Macdonald (Mutant Chronicles, The Descent) returns as Sarah, continuing the story of 2005’s hugely successful horror thriller The Descent, in which a group of young women disappear during a caving trip in the Appalachian Mountains.
Emerging from the cave system alone, distraught and covered in the blood of her missing companions, Sarah is incoherent and half-wild with fear. Sceptical about her account of events and convinced Sarah's psychosis hides far darker secrets, Sheriff Vaines (Gavan O’Herlihy) doesn’t waste time. Along with his partner Rios (Krysten Cummings), and their cave rescue team Dan (Douglas Hodge), Greg (Joshua Dallas), and Cath (Anna Skellern), Vaines forces Sarah back into the caves to help the rescuers find her friends.
Alongside Macdonald, The Descent: Part 2 also features Natalie Mendoza reprising her role as Juno. Krysten Cummings, Anna Skellern, Gavan O’Herlihy (Seven Days of Grace), Joshua Dallas (Ghost Machine, “Doctor Who”) and Douglas Hodge (Mansfield Park) also star.
The Descent: Part 2 is written by James McCarthy, J. Blakeson and James Watkins (Eden Lake). The film is produced by Academy Award® winner Christian Colson (Slumdog Millionaire) and Ivana Mackinnon (The Scouting Book for Boys). Neil Marshall who directed the original film serves as executive producer with Paul Smith (The Descent, Slumdog Millionaire). Previously a well-known editor on films including Kick-Ass, Eden Lake, Stardust and Layer Cake, as well as The Descent; Jon Harris makes his debut as director.
The film is released in the UK and Ireland on 4th December 2009
Trailer for 2009's Dorian Gray direced by Oliver Parker (St. Trinian's - remake) an adapted from Oscar Wilde's classic tale "The Picture of Dorian Gray".
Dorian Gray stars Colin Firth, Ben Barnes, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Maryam d'Abo, Emilia Fox,Caroline Goodall and Ben Chaplin
Episode 15 of North East England's premier movie podcast. This episode the boys review Mad Max 3, the final film in Mel Gibson's classic post apocalyptic trilogy. Also being reviewed is 1989's Cyborg directed by Albert Pyun (Knights, Nemesis, The Sword and the Sorcerer) and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme (Kickboxer, Bloodsport , The Eagle Path).
Movie News: No 'Expendables' news but they still manage to talk about it, Sam Raimi to direct 'Warcraft', Nic Cage as 'Green Hornet' villain, Shane Meadows' 'Beware The Devil'.
Also on the show Steven Seagal Fun Facts and the return of Jamie's "wierd news" section.
For full show notes and to comment / leave feedback visit the Revolving Video blog or email them revolvingvideo [at] hotmail.co.uk. Also remember to subscribe to the feed and vote for the guys at Podcast Alley. You can also follow Chris from Revolving Video on Twitter @snoog and Jamie @JamieJohnston7
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"True Blood is a supernatural drama based on the Sookie Stackhouse Mystery novels by author Charlaine Harris. It takes place in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, in the not too distant future, where vampires and humans uneasily co-exist. This is due to the development of TruBlood, a synthetic liquid created by the Japanese that slakes a vampires thirst. They can now survive without the need to feed on humans ("need" being the operative word)."
The show which is currently in it's second season in the US premiered on FX on Friday the 17th of July. Repeat showings are every Sunday at 10pm so those that missed the premiere can catch it tonight. The show stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley and Nelsan Ellis.
Really rather like this video for "Dynamic Tension" by Mr. Dead featuring M. Sayyid. Kind of has that gritty early 80's New York exploitation look / feel, you got in films like Driller Killer and Basket Case. The tune itself is OK and it does sample the classic Morricone ditty from A fist Full Of Dollars, which vies for the title of my favorite film ever.
On a side note "pencil Fighting" seems to be an inner city version of classic English kids pastime Conkers.
Trailer for Daybreakers which is written and directed by Michael Spierig and twin brother Peter Spierig. They where behind 2003's Australian cult zombie comedy horror Undead.
Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Isabel Lucas, Sam Neill and Claudia Karvan star.
"Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a researcher in the year 2019, in which an unknown plague has transformed the world's population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race."
Oliver Parker (St. Trinian's - remake) directs this adaption of Oscar Wilde's classic tale "The Picture of Dorian Gray".
After having his portrait painted by the artist Basil Hallward (Ben Chaplin) Dorian Gray (Ben Barnes) no longer seems to be effected by the ravages of time. However the painting is a different story, Dorian's debauchery is reflected in the ever increasing ugliness of the painting.
Dorian Gray stars Colin Firth, Ben Barnes, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Maryam d'Abo, Emilia Fox,Caroline Goodall and Ben Chaplin
UK trailer for director Chris Nahon live action adaption of Blood: The Last Vampire the now classic anime from 2000. French director Nahon previously directed Jet Li in Kiss of the Dragon and Jean Reno in Empire of the wolves.
"A vampire named Saya, who is part of covert government agency that hunts and destroys demons in a post-WWII Japan, is inserted in a military school to discover which one of her classmates is a demon is disguise."
Gianna Jun (My Sassy Girl, Uninvited) stars as government sponsored half breed vampire Saya. Liam Cunningham, JJ Feild, Koyuki and Colin Salmon also star.
The film opens in the UK on June 26th
*New International (UK) trailer added
Trailer for Korean rampaging giant pig movie Chaw. Jeong-won Shin directs a cast that includes Josiah D. Lee (The Red Machine) Yu-mi Jeong (A Bittersweet Life). The IMDB describes the movie as "a black comedy about the events that are set into motion in a town after a man-eating boar goes on a rampage."
While you might laugh, it's not the first time a movie has been made bout a giant boar on the rampage. I've always been a fan of Russell Mulcahy's (Resident Evil: Extinction) 1984 big box VHS classic Razorback. A film about a crazed giant boar that terrorizes the Australian outback.
Trailer for the re-make of 1987's The Stepfather which was directed by Joseph Ruben and starred Terry O'Quinn (Lost). The remake see's TV director Nelson McCormick take the rains and Dylan Walsh of "Nip/Tuck" fame take the O'Quinn role.
Elias Koteas look-a-like Christopher Meloni also stars along with Amber Heard (Zombieland), Sela Ward and Penn Badgley of "Gossip Girl".
It's doesn't look to bad from the trailer as remakes go, but the director, cast and look of the thing make me think TV movie.
Trailer for Zombieland which is directed by Ruben Fleischer. Bill Murray, Amber Heard, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson star.
"Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has made a habit of running from what scares him. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) doesn't have fears. If he did, he'd kick their ever-living ass. In a world overrun by zombies, these two are perfectly evolved survivors. But now, they're about to stare down the most terrifying prospect of all: each other."
Episode 14 of North East England's premier movie podcast. This episode the boys review the classic British horror-mockumentary Ghostwatch. Only ever shown once on the BBC on 31 October (Halloween) 1992. Also being reviewed is 1989's "so-bad-it's-good" classic Samurai Cop directed by Amir Shervan and starring Robert Z'Dar (Maniac Cop, Dragonfight, Tango & Cash) , Matt Hannon and Jannis Farley.
In movie news Steven Seagal Expendable? ... [Rec 2] Trailer, Shia LaBeouf's Indiana Jones 5 comment, Blofeld to return to Bond?
... News on the next Revolving Video Podcast special
For full show notes and to comment / leave feedback visit the Revolving Video blog or email them revolvingvideo [at] hotmail.co.uk. Also remember to subscribe to the feed and vote for the guys at Podcast Alley. You can also follow Chris from Revolving Video on Twitter @snoog
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Trailer for Jeremy Benson's independent horror Live Animals. A group of college kids must decide what price they will pay to gain their freedom after being kidnapped by a ruthless White Slave trader.
Live Animals, will be released nationally (US) on DVD September 8th, 2009 through EchoBridge Entertainment.
Trailer for Pandorum, a terrifying thriller in which two crew members wake up on an abandoned spacecraft with no idea who they are, how long they've been asleep, or what their mission is. The two soon discover they're actually not alone -- and the reality of their situation is more horrifying than they could have imagined.
Christian Alvart who directed Antibodies takes the directors chair. Ben Foster, Dennis Quaid, Cam Gigandet, Antje Traue and martial artist Cung Le star
Trailer for I Sell The dead. The harrowing tale of Arthur Blake and Willie Grimes, two bumbling grave robbers embroiled in a series of adventures wit the dead and not so dead, is told by Blake to a strange priest
The film is directed and written by Glenn McQuaid and stars Dominic Monaghan (Lord Of The Rings), Brenda Cooney and Larry Fessenden (Habit) alongside genre legends Ron Perlman and Angus Scrimm.
Episode 12 of the cult podcast Revolving Video. This episode the guys talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger's role in Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables. Shinya Tsukamoto's long awaited Tetsuo III, the passing of Dom Deluise and the upcoming Rotoscoped Spaghetti western ‘Hired Guns’. Along with Jackie Chans ‘Chinese Zodiac’ and news that Fox is suing an Indian company over a re-make.
Then Chris reviews The Yakuza Way, which stars the legendary Riki Takeuchi (Big Man Japan, Fudoh: The New Generation, Dead or Alive, Deadly Outlaw: Rekka). Jamie reviews The Da Vinci Code and looks forward to Angels & Demons.
All that plus some music and as usual weird news to start including a man who ate his own fingers as a protest and a stone baby. Plus they get to mention Gary Daniels (Fist Of The North Star, Cold Harvest, Knights) again.
For full show notes and to comment / leave feedback visit the Revolving Video blog or email them revolvingvideo [at] hotmail.co.uk. Also remember to subscribe to the feed and vote for the guys at Podcast Alley.
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A violent thriller set in the outback of remote La Plata region, I'll never Die Alone (aka No moriré sola) is a tough and pounding story of revenge for rape, mercilessly carried out by a group of women intent on pursuing their attackers to the bitter end
I'll never Die Alone was written and directed by Spanish born Argentine director Adrian Garcia Bogliano. The film won Best foriegn film and Best Directoe at A Night Of Horror , Sydney, and In Competition at Amsterdam AIFFF, and Bruxelles BIFFF.
Next monday (18th May) Momentum Pictures will finally be releasing independent horror Mulberry Street on DVD. Re-titled for the UK market as Zombie Virus On Mulberry Street.
It's the heart of a sweltering summer in New York City and the residents of 51 Mulberry Street are going about their daily business in the knowledge that they are soon to be evicted from their run down building. Among them is Clutch (Nick Damici), a retired boxer waiting for his daughter Casey's (Kim Blair) imminent return home from the war in Iraq.
Elsewhere in the city, a previously unknown rat-borne virus is spreading throughout the human population so quickly the emergency services are struggling to contain it. As day turns to night, the victims of this new plague begin to mutate into flesh-hungry creatures forcing the authorities to quarantine the island of Manhattan by sealing off all bridges and tunnels.
Back at Mulberry Street, Clutch and his neighbours have heard the news and are preparing to make a stand against any attack from outsiders, infected or otherwise, unaware that Casey is already in New York and fighting her way home through the bloody streets. What they do know is that while they are bolting doors and barring windows to keep the rodent-like zombies out, what's left of Manhattan will be trying to find a way in.
Poster for Horror / Sci-fi movie Pandorum in which a pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities
Directed by Christian Alvart and starring Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Wotan Wilke Möhring, André M. Hennicke, Cung Le, Antje Traue, Cam Gigandet, Norman Reedus, Asia Luna Mohmand
Trailer for director Jake West's (Evil Aliens) Doghouse which stars Danny Dyer (The Business, Outlaw), Stephen Graham (Pit Fighter, This Is England) and Noel Clarke (Adulthood, Dr Who)
A group of men head to a remote village to help one of their friends get over his divorce; when they get there, though, they discover that all the women have been infected with a virus that makes them man-hating cannibals.
Some of the greatest names in B-movie horror combined to make this, undoubtedly one of the greatest B-movie horrors of the 80’s. From 1985, Re-Animator, produced by Brian Yuzna (director of the excellent Society and surprisingly good The Dentist), starred Jeffrey Combs (the underrated The Frighteners), was based on supreme horror writer of days-gone-by’s work, H.P. Lovecraft, and was helmed by Stuart Gordon (the very worthwhile Dagon and King of the Ants). “One of the greatest horror movies ever made,” says Entertainment Weekly on the box for this Anchor Bay special edition. Certainly it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. Despite being his first feature and gaining recognition for his other works, Gordon did such a great job in his debut that he has forever been labelled Stuart “Re-Animator” Gordon, so synonymous with the genre that he earned himself a place of the recent Masters of Horror series’.
Based on Lovecraft’s story Herbert West, Re-Animator, Gordon co-wrote the screenplay that would give new life to the stubborn eccentricities of the titular Doctor. Fresh from his work with Swiss Doctor Gruber, West (Combs in perfect high-strung form) is back on American soil at Miskatonic University, keen to continue, at any costs, Dr. Gruber’s study of re-animation. However, this is not going to be easy under the eye of “grant machine” Dr. Hill (a hammily menacing David Gale), with whom West clashes on the subject of brain death, and that's not to mention the suspicions of fellow medical student and flatmate Dan Cain’s (Bruce Abbott) girlfriend Megan Halsey (Barbara Crampton). Yes, the course of West’s madcap antics doesn’t run smoothly, and enlisting the help of mild mannered Dr. Cain does nothing to avert this. With more than one love triangle, heads will roll, but West is still intent on more mayhem with his life-giving luminous serum.
Re-Animator’s one of those infamous titles from horror’s golden age that you grew up with or, if you didn’t, like me you’d wish you had. As Gordon goes straight for the eyeball horror in the intro and the bright title sequence floats and flashes to the sound of Richard Band’s Psycho-like strains, you know you’re in for a treat. And what a treat this is as you bear witness to one of the most inventive and successful comedy horrors. Much as Russ Meyer did with Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Stuart Gordon instructed that the film to be played straight rather than comic, giving the deadpan humour that endures today. There’s plenty of gore on offer and, whilst not actually scary, the horror if perfectly silly and pre-empts films like Peter Jackson’s 1992 film Braindead with the whole wonderful over-the-top-ness of it all. I’m one for whom the movie is the meat, but this special edition is packed with extras and I thoroughly recommend the 70-minute featurette, Re-Animator: Resurrectus. It will really confirm your love of the film as you get e peek at the low-budget, old-school effects and feel the genuine love that went into this project. Horror as horror should be.
Quite simply a classic, spot-on, comedy horror. If you’ve missed it, you’ve missed out, so be sure to catch up 9/10
A music professor and former cellist lives an ordered life with her husband, 2 daughters, and her sister until this status begins to unravel in Korean horror/chiller Cello. Hong Mi-ju (Seong Hyeon-ah) has a nice house, loving family, and enviable career, but cracks start to appear when she's threatened by a former pupil over a failed exam. Sinister texts, a dead bird and a near-miss in a car park are all worrying signs for Mi-ju, but these tangible proceedings are only the beginning of the increasingly bizarre events which befall her. Could the pupil be behind the goings on? Or Maybe the creepy housekeeper? Find out in this surprisingly decent film from writer/director Lee Woo-chul.
Korea is increasingly becoming a nation of horror producers on a par with Japan for the ever-popular Asian Horror market. Films like A Tale of Two Sisters and names like Park Chan-wook have upped the Korean bid to be forthright in the market dominated by Japanese Ringu-type scares. Recent Japanese horrors like Ju-On: The Grudge 2 have milked the now tiresomely familiar frights dry, with the narrative taking a backseat as a fluff filler for the effects. Cello, though, thankfully does the opposite as an engaging, story-driven horror where minimal scare effects function to enhance the story, rather than the other way around.
Woo-chul's film works for the most part by an ascending feeling of off-key, rather than blatant shock tactics. Paranoia and suspicion fuel the general feeling of unrest, while the few but well-placed frights elevate the horror elements. As less of an effects-laden film, the odd well-framed shot inputs a creepy atmosphere, with the house itself taking on an especially noticeable characteristic of the very subtly surreal. Weirdness personified by the housekeeper and Mi-ju's silent, autistic child keep you guessing, as does her former pupil in a superb turn of effectively creepy bimbo-ness. What begins as a complex weave of plot devices culminates in a traditional ghost-story ending, with the odd inclusion of the Asian-type scares we've become accustomed to. There is a slightly arthouse feel to the film at times, which aids the off-key atmosphere and the initial complexities of the plot make you think rather than just absorb the chills. The subtly creepy atmosphere only heightens the effect of the shocks, none more so than the genuinely brutal realism of Mi-ju's unintentionally horrific act towards the end. You get the feeling that this film wasn't intended to be a cinematic great, but rather an above average and quietly individual chiller, and as such it succeeds.
If long black hair as a scare tactic has worn a little thin with you, then this engaging, story-driven horror could be what you need to perk the Asian horror genre up 7/10
The US website for director Chris Nahon's live action adaption of Blood: The Last Vampire has launched. The film is being released through Sony Pictures and should hit screens sometime in the summer. You can also see the US trailer on the site, though it's not that different from the UK trailer.
"From a Producer of Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon comes Blood: The Last Vampire, based on the cult hit series. Demons have infested the earth. And only one warrior stands between the dark and the light: Saya, a half-human, half-vampire samurai who preys on those who feast on human blood. Joining forces with the shadowy society known as the Council, Saya is dispatched to an American military base, where an intense series of swordfights leads her to the deadliest vampire of all. And now after 400 years, Saya's final hunt is about to begin."
Gianna Jun (My Sassy Girl, Uninvited) stars as government sponsored half breed vampire Saya. Liam Cunningham, JJ Feild, Koyuki and Colin Salmon also star.
Blood: The Last Vampire - Poster (UK Poster)
Blood: The Last Vampire - Trailer (UK Trailer)
This episode the boys talk about Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables which stars Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Gary Daniels, Terry Crews amongst others. Robert Rodriguez's new projects Machete (Danny Trejo) and Predators. Eli Roths Thanksgiving, Richard Linklaters semi-sequel to Dazed & Confused and Alex Cox's Repo Chick. They also review comedy classics The Cannonball Run and Tom Hanks The Burbs.
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Thanks to Joost you can watch Herk Harvey's 1962 masterpiece Carnival of Souls right now. Just press play make the video play in full screen and sit back.
Mary Henry (Candace Hillingoss) miraculously appears from what should have been her watery grave as the sole survivor of a car accident only to be plagued by visions of a man who is apparently stalking her. - Carnival of Souls (1962) - Review
5 posters for Norwiegen horror movie Dead Snow (Død snø) which is directed by Tommy Wirko.
A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies.
Nazi Zombies bring to mind cult classic Shock Waves and Steve Barker's 2008 low budget UK horror Outpost.
In the US IFC Films has give the film a limited theatrical release on June 12. They will also be releasing it on VOD on the same day for those who don't live near a theater or just prefer to watch at home.
Trailer for The Machine Girl Written and directed by Noboru Iguchi (Sukeban Boy) and starring former Japanese porn star Asami (Sukeban Boy) alongside hot, up-and-coming newcomer Minase Yashiro.
Boasting more arterial spray than any gorehound could ever wish for, this fun celebration of gratuitous violence features everything from graphic, bloody dismemberment, decapitation, necrophilia and yakuza ninjas to chainsaw- and machine gun-wielding girls, a flying guillotine and – the showstopper of them all – a flesh ripping drill bra!
The Machine Girl is released on UK DVD and Blu-Ray 18th May 2009. The US edition has been available since last year.
In a dramatic and highly physical opener, a SWAT team swoops on wanted man Gabriel Engel. Captured after a reign of terror spanning more than six years and thirteen young male victims, it seems as though the cops finally have their man. Meanwhile, cop-cum-farmer, Michael Martens, is continuing to aggravate his townsfolk and further alienate himself by his obsession with the unsolved and brutal murder of a girl in his own village a year and a half ago. Will the capture of Engel bring closure for Martens, or will it in fact be just the beginning of a new and horrifying chapter? One thing’s for sure, Engel will shake Martens’ beliefs to their very foundations.
In one throwaway reference, Antibodies acknowledges the film to which it owes a considerable debt. Though Antibodies lacks the taught class of The Silence of the Lambs, and, indeed, much of the ‘horror,’ it does replicate the psychological mould of the interplay between killer and cop to good effect. Minus the charismatic charm of Hannibal Lecter, Gabriel Engel is a thoroughly nasty piece of work. And Martens, the Clarice to Engel’s Lecter, has a dour priggishness to replace her checked vulnerability. Like its better-known counterpart, though, writer-director Christian Alvart’s film pushes the psychological aspect of the serial killer sub-genre as well as the boundaries of our detecting protagonist.
Antibodies is more grit than gloss and following Engel’s goadings and revelations, along with Martens’ moral decline, is as grubby as it is expected. Alvart clearly seeks to implicate a link between sex and moral decay, which is fine but for the eve-increasing dominance of the religious overtones. His theologising descends from the sublime to the ridiculous and, whilst tackling such enormous subjects is undoubtedly admirable, his handling of them is not. You can’t help but feel that he has bitten off more that he can chew, that at only his second directorial feature, he has yet to develop the skills to engage his subjects with sensitivity and subtlety (if you’ve not picked this up by the heavy-handed channel-changing splice then there’s a good chance this will all slip by unnoticed anyway).
What he does have the skills to do, though, is create a decent if run-of-the-mill thriller. Following a tried-and-tested formula, Alvart does keep you guessing and works a twist well. Though you get the feeling that he has his head just above water with his ability to develop fully the magnitude of the issues he’s taken on, he does mesh nicely the opposition of small-town moral paranoia’s with seedy big-city strife. It’s hard to say if it’s Wotan Wilke Möhring’s performance as Michael Martens or his pious character that’s a trifle irritating, but again he works well in opposition to worldly-wise big-city cop, Seiler (Heinz Hoenig). It’s Hauke Diekemp’s rightly award-winning performance as Martens’ troubled son, Christan, though, which threatens to steal the show. Similarly show-stealing are the beautiful shots of rural Germany and the industrial score. It’s touches like these which flesh out the by-numbers plot.
Good, but not quite as good as it thinks it is. Fans of the serial killer genre will find the body-count low, but it’s well worth a watch for those partial to a psychological thriller
Young College student James (Sean Andrews) decides to spend summer break on his fathers Homestead. His father Hezekiah’s (Darrell Sandeen) has been living out in the desert since the death of James mother and this will be the first time James see's the ranch. Once their he finds that his father is now living with a busty vixen named Cheryl (Mary Carey), James finds himself instantly attracted to her and her various "Charms".
Pervert is an unashamed homage to the skin flicks of the 60's and 70's particular the genres godfather Russ Meyer. Sure it’s the kind of thing that is politically incorrect, but it's not "mean spirited" at all, which I think some of the modern movement to "react" against "political correctness" is. Pervert! Is really just good ole fashion soft-core fun and titillation with large slice of humour.
Writer and director team Mike Davis and Jonathan Yudis have proved that you can create a "homage" film while keeping it feeling fresh and original. They have achieved a huge amount on a limited budget. I think the reason Pervert! Works so well is that they set out first and foremost to deliver a movie that was fun. They have certainly achieved the fun factor, pervert is a really enjoyable ride and genuinely very funny in places. Yes its tongue in cheek, but it never derides the films it homage’s there’s a genuine love for those movies that shines through. Russ Myers films are not the only homage’s the movie also made me think of Frank Henenlotter's films in particular the under seen and underrated Brain Damage (for reasons that will be obvious when you watch Pervert!). The soundtrack itself provides constant references to films and genres of years gone by as well as being a great collection of music.
The film itself looks really good, helped a lot by the fact that the desert always makes a great location. That’s not to detract from the fact that this really looks like a labour of love. The acting is a bit cheesy from some of the stars, intentional to a point I guess. Mary Cary won't win any acting awards in the near future but she makes a great onscreen cheeky Vixen. Sean Andrews nails the classic sexually inept type young male lead character well and Darrell Sandeen as his father is easily the films standout performer.
While this is not the stuff of classics, I do believe the filmmakers have achieved what they set out to do and that in itself is a real achievement. They have captured the vibe of the films they homage well (something that is harder than people think). The constant double entendres are excellent and the comedy writing is often spot on. They have managed to avoid pushing the film into the realms of childish humour while keeping a silly edge.
Big breasted vixens, crazy rednecks, a voodoo master, oodles of female flesh and some of the best comic lines I have heard in some time mean this is should be a must for fans of irreverent independent cinema. Russ Meyer fans should really check this out Mike Davis and Jonathan Yudis have done a great job of drawing on the spirit of his work.
Maybe not for the easly offended or those that are not keen on bare breasts, but highly recommended cheeky fun for the rest of us! 8/10
Peter from Horror's Not Dead gives us Five: Adaptations of stories you probably don’t have on Your bookshelf
These days horror adaptations from the literary world are so rare (unless the source is Stephen King or a Manga) that one may forget a time when they were the bread and butter of genre productions. Obvious monster lineage (Frankenstein et al) and genre staples (Jaws, The Shining et al) aside, there are plenty of terrific adaptations of fairly underplayed short stories or novels. Some a little more common than others, but the following five all owe their existence to that wonderful breed of horror unique to tried and true prose.
Incident on and off a Mountain Road
Directed by the fan friendly Don Coscarelli, Incident is an adaptation of a short story by the relatively prolific Joe R. Lansdale. Perhaps best known as the author of Bubba Ho-Tep, Lansdale has a tendency to write darker than most and Incident is no different. Written without a prepared plot, Lansdale started his short story with a woman driving down the road and naturally shaped it into one delightfully demented chase through the woods. The adaptation was the premiere episode of Masters of Horror (and one of the best of the first season), didn’t wear its welcome out at its sub 60 minute runtime, has some badass makeup effects and one very cute Bree Turner as the damsel in distress. If you haven’t seen the episode or read the short (which can be found with a quick google to Lansdale’s homepage), both are quick and reliable entertainment.
A Boy and his Dog
I love A Boy and his Dog, but not everyone does. Overlooked outside of the genre community, this L. Q. Jones directed adaptation of the Harlan Ellison short story of the same name is perhaps as imaginative a journey through a post-apocalyptic wasteland as one could ever hope for outside of the Fallout game series. If you’re still not sold, you have to at least respect the originality of a story about an 18 year old who uses his psychic relationship with his dog, Blood, to traverse the wastelands and find women to rape. It has an ending that will make you double over from its sheer lack of politics, but even the build up is fascinating. Plus, the dog who played Blood is capable of more emotions than most child actors are these days.
Another overlooked, but easily recommendable film, Altered States was originally written as a novel by Paddy Chayefsky, who’s more popular Network won the 1976 Academy Award for best screenplay, and adapted for the screen by Ken Russell (from Chayefsky’s own script). Imaginatively based on the sensory deprivation experiments of real life scientist John Lilly, Altered States is one beast of a creative film that all too often gets lumped in as an acid trip film. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out on a phenomenal film. Remove the psychedelic plot and you still have an expertly crafted film that weaves one winding story without handicapping itself for the sake of mass audience understanding.
Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man)
I’ve never read the Tiziano Sclavi novel that Dellamorte Dellamore is based on, but predictably (hence its place on this list) I dig the hell out of Michele Soavi’s direction here. I honestly believe it to be some of the most inspired camera work ever put to screen, in and out of the horror genre. It’s no surprise that Soavi was an assistant director on several of Dario Argento’s films, but his command over Dellamorte Dellamore – for me – exceeds anything Argento has done in terms of complete cohesion. There are no ups and downs, but rather a steadfast and hypnotic ride through the life of a man surrounded by death with little more but job obligation keeping him sane. A great source of quotes and practical camera effects, Dellamorte Dellamore is one of the more unique zombie films out there.
Everyone has seen the story of the Fly in some shape or another, be it the original film, one of its sequels, remakes or even the Simpson’s Tree House of Horror’s take on it, so no description is needed, but few have probably actually read the short story by George Langelaan. It was originally published in a 1957 issue of Playboy with a – surprisingly – more heart wrenching outcome than any of its film adaptations. I prefer the David Cronenberg adaptation (and, for the record, consider it one of the best horror films ever made) to them all, but no matter what incarnation you’re watching, you’re still guaranteed a fairly solid variation of what I consider one of the most emotional science-gone-wrong stories ever written.
Read more from Peter at Horror's Not Dead
The Machine Girl, is the debut release from Cine Asia's new imprint, Cine Asia Extreme. This super gory and hilariously over-the-top Japanese exploitation splatterfest has had genre movie fans in an anticipatory frenzy ever since its amazing trailer debuted on the internet.
Written and directed by Noboru Iguchi (Sukeban Boy) and starring former Japanese porn star Asami (Sukeban Boy) alongside hot, up-and-coming newcomer Minase Yashiro, THE The Machine Girl is the ‘grindhouse' movie Quentin Tarantino (Death Proof) and Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror) can only dream of making. Boasting more arterial spray than any gorehound could ever wish for, this fun celebration of gratuitous violence features everything from graphic, bloody dismemberment, decapitation, necrophilia and yakuza ninjas to chainsaw- and machine gun-wielding girls, a flying guillotine and – the showstopper of them all – a flesh ripping drill bra!
"Cine-Excess III is delighted to confirm that Italy’s iconic horror legend Dario Argento (Director of Deep Red, Suspiria, Tenebrae, Opera and Sleepless) and his long-time composer Claudio Simonetti (of rock-supergroup ‘Goblin’ fame) have just been confirmed as this year’s Guests of Honour."
Ricardo from U.N.L.O.A.D.E.D gives us five overlooked and underrated vampire films.
Pixelated imagery (shot with a toy pixel vision camera of all things) along with slick B&W cinematography pulled me right in. This David Lynch produced flick mixes art film with horror and a nice dash of humor to boot. Nadja (Elina Lowensohn) and her man slave arrive in New York City to claim the remains of their father, Dracula, who was taken out by Dr. Van Helsing played perfectly by Peter Fonda. A young couple, Lucy (Galaxy Craze) and Jim (Martin Donovan) are pulled into Nadja's web of seduction which complicates matters as Jim is the Nephew of Van Helsing. Enter Nadja's brother Edgar, who has no love for Nadja and things get even more dicey. The film is an allegory about family dysfunction and while disjointed in parts, the style and unique approach to the genre won me over. Some may find this gem pretentious but I just saw director Michael Almereyda trying to be unique in his delivery. I also wanted to get my hands on that toy pixel vision camera but never found one. Guess I could always try eBay.
Nice little film by Larry Fessendem who wrote, starred and directed this one. This film also takes place in New York City where Sam (Fessenden) plays a down on his luck guy that drinks a little too much and seems to be headed down the road to nowhere. He's shabby but has his heart in the right place. Things start going wrong when he meets an mysterious woman named Anna (Meredith Snaider) who doesn't fit the plastic definition of movie siren but delivers a performance that oozes with sex appeal. They have wild, savage lovemaking sessions that involve some blood drinking. She'll only see him after the sun goes down, she mysteriously vanishes and suddenly appears in Sam's dreams. Hmm..... somethings awry with this young lady. Sam becomes isolated from his friends but Anna starts making some inroads with them as well during a countryside retreat. There's a feeling of realism that this film is able to hold and capture quite well. Matters of loneliness, addiction ad depression seem to be well represented here. I was hoping to see more of Meredith Snaider in other films but this is her only one. I read somewhere that she's a social worker. Too bad in a way, she had something and so does Fessendon with this one.
3. Vampyros Lesbos
Lesbian vampires, what more could a movie fan want? This wonderful 70's cult gem by Jess Franco has so much vampiric sex and tripped out music that it reminded me of a spaghetti western on crack with vamps instead of cowboys and sex instead of gunfights. The plot involves the stunning Countess Carody (Soledad Miranda) that has an appetite for female blood. Running around alleys and biting women is not her style. She's got an island where she lures women to wine and dine them and then, suck them dry. The story focuses on Linda Westinghouse (Ewa Stromberg) falling into the Countess's trap and later tries to escape the living hell that follows. But that's not really the point either. See this for the sheer outrageousness of it all. The camera work, the music, the camp factor. It must be seen to fully comprehend.
4. Graveyard Shift aka Central Park Drifter
I'm not referring to the Stephen King adaptation circa 1990. This blood sucking film came out in 1987. While Vampyros Lesbos cashed in on 70's camp, this one made the most of 80's gloss. The story isn't the best there is but has promise. NYC Taxi driver Steven Tsepes (Silvio Oliviero) uses his graveyard shift credentials to pick up women in despair with the desire to die. Once he's pinpointed the right candidate, he feeds on them in the back seat of the cab, thus turning them into vampires. He falls for one of his converts, Michelle (Helen Papas), and her jealous ex-husband tries to take them both out. In the meantime, his other female converts have begun to go on a rampage around the Big Apple and the body count starts going through the roof. With a script that's in need of a few rewrites, the film still wins me over. The visuals are rich in color and lighting, the sex scenes are hot and ridiculous, and the mood and atmosphere seem to hold for it's time on the screen.
OK this isn't really a vampire film which may lead you to think I'm cheating but I don't think I am. I'll explain. The film is about Capt. John Boyd (Guy Pierce) who is transferred to an outpost in the middle of nowhere just after the Mexican-American War. The top brass feel he was less than brave in defeating the enemy hence the demotion of sorts. The outpost is filled with an eclectic group of soldiers and 2 Indians that help around the place. It's not until a hysterical fellow by the name of Colqhoun (Robert Carlyle) stops by and tells the story about how he and a party became stranded that the horror begins to unfold. He had to consume the other members of the party to survive. Boyd and the others stationed at the outpost must investigate the site where Colqhoun was to see if they're any survivors. There is cannibalism, yes, but the lust seems to be more blood based with the flesh being more of a by product. The elements of hunger, addiction, desire, over consumption and destruction that are rich in vampire lore are here as well. The film tries to draw a parallel with these themes by doing a little blurb on the concept of manifest destiny. A very interesting take on the history of how the USA came to be, but it's not fully explored. No matter, this film is so overlooked that it's a crime. If your a vampire film fan, looking for a well made film written with intelligence, this one will do very well.
So there's my 5. Sure there's lots of vampire flicks out there but these didn't seem to get a fair shake. We've all seen "Interview" with Pitt and Cruise, "Blade" with Snipes, and a few episodes of "Buffy" here and there but these still stick in my mind after all this time. And while I took a shot at writing my own vampire flick which I didn't like.
... more Late Fives
This episode, the boys take a look at horror movies that use the controversial technique known as shaky cam. Covered in this special episode are the movies Cannibal Holocaust, The Blair Witch Project, The Last Broadcast and [REC] which was remade in the US as Quarantine.
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Classrooms and cafeterias, school ties and pool parties, teenage lives full of promise - all get a terrifying makeover as the best days of your lives become your worst nightmare.
Justine Fielding (tuppence middleton) is the gorgeous head girl of her plush suburban grammar school, Fairview High. She has just won a place at Oxford University when In-Crowd hunk Alexis (Dimitri leonidas) asks her out on a date.
All seems perfect.... except that Alexis and his circle of friends aren't quite as good as they look. Led by tormentor-in-chief Bradley (Alex Pettyfer), the clique’s 'too cool for school’ veneer hides a pack of inventive and merciless bullies who find it vastly amusing to persistently tease anyone they consider a worthless loser.
Their main target Darren Mullett (Calvin Dean) knows what his classmates did last summer. They bullied him to death. The overweight, asthmatic nerd was so relentlessly victimized by their cruel taunts, website intimidation and 'happy slapping' mobile phone recordings he committed suicide.
But being dead allows Darren to finally find the courage to stand up for himself. With nothing left to lose, he takes murderous revenge on his former classmates in increasingly brutal, bloody and imaginative ways. And the In-Crowd soon discover, to their horror, that there is little point reasoning with a very pissed off zombie ghost
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This Asian triptych sees the collaboration of three prominent directors from three different countries maximising the appeal of Tartan's Asia Extreme label. Director's Kim Jee-Woon (South Korea), Nonzee Nimibutr (Thailand), and Peter Ho-Sun Chan (Hong Kong) each provide a segment in this trio of spooky stories.
Memories, the primary instalment, comes from Kim Jee-Woon (A Tale of Two Sisters) and in it we see a husband fret over his wife’s disappearance. The man (Jung Bo-Seog) sits in lonely silence in his apartment having visions of his wife, which he’s informed is all part of his 'separation disorder'. Concurrently, a woman gains consciousness on a road, apparently having had an accident, and struggles to make her way home. The lack of dialogue and comfortably languid takes in this film makes for a fittingly sombre air to this gently chilling ghost story. Kim Hye-Soo puts a good performance of big-eyed lost confusion which helps to make an empathetic connection which is lacking in her coldly detached husband. The muted colours of the bleak surroundings, coupled with the score, give an atmosphere of drained life, but where this film should’ve stuck with the slightly emotive ghost story, it unfortunately panders to the audience expectations of Asian horror and throws in some completely unnecessary gore which batters the subtleties.
Nonzee Nimibutr (producer of Tears of the Black Tiger and The Eye 2) helms the second segment, The Wheel. With a traditional setting, Nimibutr tells the story of a Thai village, the leader of which dies mysteriously amid rumours of a curse. Like the villagers, he belonged to the Khon, whose status leaves them to covet the highly ornate puppets used in theatre by the socially superior Hun Lakorn Lek. When the leader dies, another seeks to take possession of the puppets for financial benefit, despite the curse. It's just as well this film has the lushness of Thailand and the beauty and intrigue of their traditions to detract from the fact that the content of this film is a bit lacking. More emphasis on atmosphere and less on scares means this piece never goes beyond a sense of the untoward and too many superfluous characters make it less cohesive than it ought to be.
Peter Ho-Sun Chan's final instalment, Going Home, is the most engaging of the three tales. A policeman and his young son go to live in the grimmest possible tenement building which is empty but for the couple opposite, a man and his lifeless, wheelchair-bound wife. When the young boy disappears, the father seeks to find him in the couple’s apartment only to become a hostage of the man with his bizarre behaviour and omnipresent mysterious boiling vats. Christopher Doyle (Infernal Affairs, Dumplings) provides the cinematography here, giving the film a broody feel of unrest. It’s the more modern feeling of the three films in that it goes for more immediate and ongoing shocks than the others. Working its way to a twist ending, Going Home culminates as a sick love story and as such generates the empathy of the viewer which means it's the one with the greatest effect.
Visually accomplished anthology let down by the content which never manages to rise above adequate 6/10
UK Poster for director Chris Nahon live action adaption of Blood: The Last Vampire
On the surface, Saya is a stunning 17-year-old, but that youthful exterior hides the tormented soul of a 400-year-old “halfling.” Born to a human father and a vampire mother, she has for centuries been a loner obsessed with using her samurai skills to rid the world of vampires, all the while knowing that she herself can survive only on blood like those she hunts.
When she is sent onto an American military base in Tokyo by the clandestine organization she works for, Saya immediately senses that this may be her opportunity to finally destroy Onigen, the evil matriarch of all vampires. Using her superhman strength and her sword, she begins to rid the base of its evil infestation in a series of spectacular and elaborate showdowns. However, it is not until she forms her first human friendship in centuries with the young daughter of the base’s general that Saya learns that her greatest power over Onigen may well be her ability for human connection…
Gianna Jun (My Sassy Girl, Uninvited) stars as government sponsored half breed vampire Saya. Liam Cunningham, JJ Feild, Koyuki and Colin Salmon also star.
French director Pascal Laugier's Martyr's is both impressive and questionable, its mix of revenge horror and torture porn takes it right out on the limb, with only a few other films. Smarter and better than Saw and Hostel it is, one should not however fall into the trap of saying American / Hollywood "bad torture porn", European cinema "justified explorations of human depravity". This is pretty exploitative for all its esoteric and existential justification, and while fans of extreme cinema and the aforementioned "torture porn" style movies can probably stomach it well enough, I personally would be a bit cautious if you are not naturally a fan of that kind of cinema.
A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, on a terrifying journey into a living hell.
French beauties Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï star
Watch the original French trailer over at wildbunch films You tube channel
What begins as one man’s fascination with spirals soon infects a whole town as it becomes ominously besieged by the shape.
In the last few years Japan has shown itself to be somewhat of a leading light when it comes to horror films. Whether it be ghastly gore or ghostly goings on, this nation has brought some innovative terrors our way. But if the post-Ringu style knock-offs has become a little stale to you then Uzumaki could well be right up your street. Combining the arty/surreal/horror/strange town movie elements to full effect, director Higuchinsky shows us all once more that the Japanese still have some terrifying tricks up their sleeves.
Ok, I know that the idea of a town, er, spiraling out of control doesn’t sound all that horrific or, for that matter, believable, but Uzumaki is both of these things. Taking a subtle, creeping paranoia and mixing it with moody, artistic visuals, a smattering of gore and some nicely down-played characters, this film is a beautiful, frightening and highly original horror quite unlike anything else. And just like its namesake (Uzumaki literally translates as ‘vortex’) it draws you in and envelops you in itself until you are as curiously and unwittingly spellbound as its characters.
It’s hard to believe this is Higuchinsky’s first feature film as it is a project as ambitious and inviting of failure as any other he could have chosen. Based on a manga comic (to bring these to life without courting criticism is a notoriously hard feat in itself, prone as they are to lose much of their charm in the move to live-action adaptation) and featuring one of the most conceptually bizarre ideas in cinematic history, it transfers miraculously well to the big screen.
Visually this film is strikingly morose, capturing the imaginary origin nicely as a town that lives in an almost-reality; basking permanently in a green haze and having the feeling of a bubble-like existence, this is a place which dwells in an exaggerated reproduction of reality. The town retains a mixture of innocence and foreboding in its fairytale-like unreality where the inhabitants reside in their dingy green-hued world where some comic style wipes help keep the manga roots. As is fitting for a film about shapes, Uzumaki has an emphasis on the visual with a highly, but not overly or pretentiously, stylised appearance. Though it is a horror and there are some gruesome deaths, the gore is not as relished or as lingered upon as we’ve come to expect from the Japanese, this is more nightmarish and atmospheric than tangibly horrific.
Whilst Uzumaki conjures a fantastically surreal atmosphere of a nightmare taking shape, it wisely retains some semblance of normality. Though nothing is ever really defined and so much is ambiguous there are some elements which keep it rooted in reality; the investigation and the relationship between the protagonist and her childhood friend keep a more traditional foundation to the otherwise bizarre goings on. There is a tinge of humour to the proceedings, too, which feels slightly familiar to 1989’s gross-out horror, Society, giving the edge of the film being able to make light of itself and not taking itself too seriously. Eriko Hatsune and Fhi Fan, too, are perfectly cast as childhood chums with an inkling something’s up, Kirie Goshima and Shuichi Saito respectively. But it is the incredible visuals and surreal atmosphere that make this film not only an amazing success as an adaptation, but also as a film in its own right. The fact that a film about a shape, with all the horrors that we see on our screens these days, is capable of being in any way frightening at all is a testament to the success of Higuchinsky’s direction. Very different, very strange, very good.
Extremely artistic, bizarre, surreal and creepily atmospheric; a wonderfully weird treat. Please, sir, can I have some more?
Faux trailer for Gobstopper directed and written by Eric Appel who has previously written for Crank Yankers, The Andy Milonakis Show, Human Giant.
The "movie" features a demented Willy Wonka (played brilliantly by Back to the Future's Christopher Lloyd) terrorizing a group of teens that come to visit his Chocolate Factory. The teens are played by Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), Paul Rust (I Love You, Beth Cooper), Martha Maclsaac (Superbad), and Nicky Whelan. The always entertaining Paul Sheer (Human Giant) and Wee Man (Jackass) also make appearances.
A family on vacation is car-jacked and kidnapped by a couple of criminals. To elude the authorities, the criminals take the family deep into the woods that is cursed by the spirits of the undead. There, the group must face their inescapable karma and destiny.
Yoroi: Samurai Zombie is the second feature directorial effort from the baddest zombie killer himself, Tak Sakaguchi (Versus, Death Trance). Sakaguchi once again teams up with screenwriter Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus), for a film that is not only sure to satisfy your blood thirst but also offers some incredible next generation “real action” stunts (no CG or camera trick) by Sakaguchi’s own action stunt team, Team Zeros. (Synopsis courtesy of AFI Dallas)
If you're finding the Masters of Horror series' a bit hit and miss, then this could be right up your well-manicured suburban street. Yes it's all hit in John Landis's (An American Werewolf in London) episode which sees George 'Cheers' Wendt firmly ensconced in a pristine but pretty messy suburban horror. Wendt plays Harold, the seemingly perfect neighbour who's outwardly friendly yet with an air of reserve (just ideal for that picket-fenced parade!). Newcomers to the street, Celia and David, find Harold the ideal, welcoming neighbour and a tentative relationship of social niceties prevails between the three. But who is what they seem when the glossy veneer of manners and acceptability begins to crack?
There are few premises as timeless and workable as that of what lies beneathe the facade of the suburban idyll, and Landis works this to more than satisfying effect, coupled with the scribing talents of Frailty's Brent Hanley. In a turn that knowingly owes much to Psycho, our Portly but peachy man of the seemingly unsullied street, Harold, unravels during Wendt's tight performance to prove he is quite, quite mad. Yes, the mental rot has set in below the outwardly controlled and contained face to the world and some very dark things are lurking beneathe the show-home exterior.
If you're expecting to find the checked tongue-in-cheek humour of American Werewolf then you won't be disappointed here. Landis crafts (sometimes that word gets bandied about quite unneccessarily, but this certainly exhibits craftsmanship, especially if you watch the extras) a subtle yet shocking horror that encorporates pretty much all you could ask for in an episode of a TV series. It carefully balances the right levels of menace and dark humour, with Landis showing he still knows just how and where to extrapolate a bit of empathy. Like any good horror, there's social commentary thrown in to boot, but Family has the smarts to leave you to pick this up for yourself, leaving you to put the meat on the bones. Be sure to check out the extras, too, as, if you're a fan of horror directors with an exuberant passion for the job, plus some long-time buddying, you'll be most pleased indeed. Not as gory as some, but highly enjoyable and deliciously dark.
Sad, funny and very, very well-rounded 9/10
An artist and her obstetrician husband live a comfortable suburban life, but have been unable to conceive a child and with the wife’s body clock ticking they decide to adopt. They settle upon a quiet, intelligent and artistically gifted young boy named Jin-seong who spends most of his time drawing quietly under an old tree at the local orphanage. Things appear to be going well although the 6 year old Jin-seong is a little odd and spends most of his time with the long dead acacia tree in the couple’s back yard. However, the couple manage to conceive a child of their own and things take a decidedly darker turn in the household.
Poor orphaned Jin-seong; a child with almost semi autistic ways is never quite able to fit in, his distant manner and quiet intelligence mean he is never going to be the couples dream child. They do, however, share some loving moments and life seems happy enough. His adopted Grandfather who lives with the couple seems to be closest to him while the wife’s Mother is very unkind talking as though he is not there and desperately voicing the opinion that there is still time for the couple to have a “real” child of their own. The sickly 8 year old girl from next door becomes Jin-seong’s close friend and together they while away their time riding Jin’s bike and sitting under the acacia. One night Jin overhears a phone conversation and, feeling spurned by his adopted mother, cycles off into the night. The days pass and Jin does not return and at the same time the seemingly dead acacia begins to grow leaves and finally blooms and as the smell of the blossom drifts through the family home life deteriorates for its' inhabitants
All the performances are strong, particularly the children with miniature lead Jin-seong (Mun Oh-bin), who was just 6 years old at the time the film was released in Korea, giving an astonishing performance for a child of that age. Quite probably the creepiest child since the Omen films, but at the same time Oh-bin and the director manage to play it just right so although he is odd and creepy in some way’s he is also very vulnerable, lost and tragic, there’s no “Mu Ha haa” cartoon evil here.
South Korean movie Acacia is one of those films that for the most part relies on giving very normal things a creepy spin; tree’s, paintings, wool, children and bicycles become objects of fear. The whole thing is shot in an aesthetically pleasing and clever way, with the carefully chosen shots adding to the films dark feeling. The film opts for a traditional score and some very well used sound effects, which is very effective and really helps set the tone of the piece. The film, however, loses it’s chance at being a work of genius for two main reasons; the first and maybe the lesser sin is the editing, which leaves the film feeling a bit choppy at times (scenes don’t seem to slide together well enough, which might not matter in a slasher-type horror but in a mood driven piece its very important,) the second problem with this film is in my opinion the script needed another rewrite, the basic premise is fantastic but it feels rough around the edges and as this is a story, mood driven piece the story needs to be a little more cohesive. The film, although a little surreal and certainly a touch weird, is not “out there” enough for the viewer to just dismiss the plot in a kind of “Oh well its another weird Asian flick” way. The couples change in behaviour to each other with the stress of the situation and the influence of the Acacia tree, whilst explainable, doesn’t have the right build up. I’m not sure if this is script, editing or cutting room floor related but its very noticeable and a great opportunity to add a powerful element to the film is lost, leaving you with the feeling of something which has been rushed.
Editing and script issues aside, Acacia has a great basic concept and still manages at times to be very effective in its creepy tone and style. The way the mostly inanimate objects are given such a sinister feel is fantastic, especially the dark and foreboding presence of the Acacia tree itself. Even when the tree has rejuvenated from it's dead form and goes into bloom something which should be a thing of beauty remains the stuff of nightmares. Although the movie has similarities in feel to many other Asian particularly new wave Japanese horror films (No need to mention them here, I am pretty sure you all know what I mean,) it avoids the use of cheap jump scenes and twisty ghosts for the most part, although it is guilty of giving the characters short dream sequences to spice up the fear levels. These, though, are for the most part pretty effective. Certainly some of the twisty plot elements are great and will leave many viewers guessing right to the end, although the various twists and plot revelations are part of the movie's charm and not the “one trick wonder” crap that has certain elements hailing the ridiculously overrated M. Night Shyamalan as a genius.
This movie has no doubt only seen the light of day in the west to ride the tsunami of Asian horror as more and more DVD labels dig deeper to find products to release, however while it has it’s failings, it is an effective little movie and should not be written off as just another cash-in on the genres current popularity. For those that rent it’s probably better to do so than buy with this one, as some people will hate it’s slow place, but for those with some patience and the ability to forgive its obvious flaws there's still some great touches to be found here.
Lackluster editing and a slightly ragged script mean this film fails to achieve creepy child genius, but it's still got to be the best "Boy and his tree", movie ever made 7/10
Lock up your loons, there's a sequel on the loose! Due to descend onto a big screen near you this May is the temperately anticipated The Descent: Part 2. Hailing as the directorial debut of one Jon Harris (also lending his skills as editor, which he's previously honed on the original instalment of ladies-in-caving-peril and the more recent hot horror topic, Eden Lake) this subterranean sequel certainly looks to be plummeting to some not insubstantial depths, and I don't mean geologically.
Penned in part by Eden Lake writer/director, James Watkins, this follow up from Neil Marshall's glorious 2005 horror will see troubled heroine Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) return to the scene of rampant gut-munching horror that cost the lives of her friends. But is she the victim of unspeakable, murderous horror, or just a loon who's forgotten to take her meds?
Certainly that seems to be the precarious premise of a film which seems as desperate to unearth the hope of a bit of buried Brit talent as it is postulate what else might lie beneathe. The Descent was one of the more blantantly talented and ballsy modern horrors in the vein of Switchblade Romance which, minus SR's sadly try-hard twist ending, is happily entrenched in simplistic, escapist, survivalist horror. Sometimes, you just don't need psycho-drama interfering with pure terror (particularly where creatures are concerned) and unless you're cooking up the type of intelligent psycho-horror that can rest easily at the lofty heights achieved by something like Calvaire, this is something best left alone.
So, throw in a bunch of Americans on a witch hunt in a please-the-masses nonsense pseudopsycho 'twist' and what have you got? The Descent: Part 2 or: How I Learned To Start Worrying About Blatant Cinematic Bombs.
Looks about as enticing as Wrong Turn 2. What a pity. On the plus side, at least they seem to have dropped the misguided notion of a rather belated attempt at the born-tired, got in with a crowbar, numerical spelling i.e. The De2cent. (Um, that doesn't even make any sense.)
Sublime is the first feature directed by Tony Krantz who is best known for his work as a producer. The film like Rest Stop (which he produced) is another production from the Raw Feed stable. How ever unlike its stalemate which draws on the generic and mixes the supernatural with gore porn pretty unsuccessfully, Sublime is an all together different Beast. Sublime I am pretty sure will be one of those "love it or hate it films" and although it’s a "horror" movie I get the feeling a lot of the hate will come from horror fans confused by its complete failure to pay attention to many of the unwritten rules of modern mainstream horror filmmaking. Apart from its bending of genre rules its also fairly unique in that although the cover of the DVD may suggest otherwise this film is really not aimed at a teenage demographic at all. That's not to say they can't like it, but I get the feeling the aspect of life Krantz casts his directorial eye over is really not relevant to them. I think it would be fair to describe this as a adult horror film for that reason and that's not meant in any kind of condescending this is a film for people who think kind of way.
Sublime revolves around George Grieves (Thomas Cavanagh) who we are introduced to celebrating his 40th birthday. George is a successful IT consultant living just the life millions of us where told to aim for during a school days. He has a well paid job, an attractive M.I.L.F of a wife, two healthy children and a big house. He has the right kind of friends and the "dinner party" lifestyle that many people fall into as they hit their late twenties and onwards. The day after his part George is due to check into hospital for a routine procedure at Mt. Abaddon Hospital, though a little apprehensive it should be nothing to worry about ...
Waking up some time after his operation George quickly learns things did not go according to plan and he has been given someone else procedure. Visited alternately by a beautiful white female nurse named Zoe (Katherine Cunningham-Eves) who seems very concerned about him and a black male nurse named Mandingo (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) who seems anything but concerned. You can figure out for yourself what these two represent for yourselves when you watch the film (and you really should watch it) as I assume most people who drop by this site are bright enough to do that. Meanwhile try as he might George can never seem to leave the increasingly sinister medical facility as new complications are discovered as a result of his mistaken treatment.
Sublime is a strange blend of Daytime soap, Cronenberg, music video, psychological drama with a dash of Jacobs's ladder and a splash of nasty gore. In many way’s it should not work and according to most reviews in particular those on horror dedicated websites it doesn’t. How ever even though it does several things which would normally put me off a movie, I found that here they worked well. Where a constant musical backdrop and MTV influenced visual styling would normally irritate the hell out of me they work in Sublimes favour. Certainly the inoffensive and slightly banal ambient chill out type music and light sugary pop kind of reflect just the music that would back a modern middle class dinner party and is probably the soundtrack to many a banal life. I loved the fact the stylings like the music almost represents the look of the kind of TV the demographic of the characters would watch. While sublime does bring elements of traditional horror, including creepy characters and gore, it’s really a movie which relies on loss of control over what happens to ones self for it fear. More so even than that it’s a look at the thing many people really spend their time worrying about and fearing. Things like does the good looking wife who I managed to attain through my career success and material wealth really love me or the life I provide. And the constant fear that she will look elsewhere for carnal excitement. I won't go into those things really I just wanted to review this because I thinks it one of those films that’s been hard to market as it has no clear demographic and I would like to do my small part to urge more people to at least try it, some will hate it sure its one of those films, but I think I lot of people will be very surprised by just how good this under the radar straight to DVD film is. I will go out on a limb and say in my opinion this has a shot at not just being one of the best non theatrical horror films of the year, but there's a good chance it will be one of the best North American horror films of the year period.
Sublime is like one of those glossy "everyone's successful" high budget TV drama's except something has gone very wrong and the plot has taken an exceedingly dark turn.
Lovely Laura Gemser stars as a saucy undercover journalist of questionable ethics whose investigations take her on a perilous journey deep in the heart of cannibal country.
It’s safe to say it's not only a good scoop Emanuelle was after when she undertook the brave task of going beyond the call of duty following a nasty breast munching incident involving a girl in a metal hospital. Our intrepid reporter is soon whisked away to the Amazon in search of the cannibals who apparently raised the breast chomping loon in this sex and horror combo from Aristide Massaccesi, better known to most as Joe D'Amato, champion of the Black Emanuelle series.
As you may expect there's less gore and more phwoar in this flesh filled film from the seventies where the libidos are as wild and unchecked as the pubic regions. In keeping with the soft-core genre the story acts as a pretty flimsy means by which to screen copious amounts of copulation so expect a case of story fitting around content rather the other way around. If you're expecting a horror in the excessive tradition of the Italian cannibal genre therefore, you’ll be disappointed. The gore is extremely few and far between but when Massaccesi gives it he gives it pretty raw i.e. much intestinal carnage and a bit more booby snacks. This is down to the focus not being on the horror element and the fact that it was so low budget, you're often left to fill in the bloody blanks for yourself as much of it takes place away from the camera.
What we do have though is the staple of the Italian Cannibal film; the juxtaposition of the urban/rural with the opening city shots and the obligatory move to the Amazon where time has left the barbaric natives untouched. This kind of genre and setting does enable Massaccesi to place his saucy heroine in a situation steeped in animalistic behaviour with humans driven by the most basic needs of survival, and that folk’s means fornication. Emanuelle and co. are certainly feeling the animal magnetism, and Massaccesi brings this to the fore with the horny white woman lusting after the black guide, the sight of him cleaning his gun being a scene of such stereotyping and phallic suggestiveness that it just proves too irresistible. Well, after all her husband is impotent.
Emanuelle owes more to the Russ Meyer school of smut than just the economical camerawork. This group of lusty ladies know what they want and know how to get it. These women volley between pure feminine desire and sexual voracity, the territory of the predatory female has never looked so natural. Emanuelle herself can be lost in erotic fantasy or prone to what can only be described as abuse. Massaccessi's camera makes neat work of presenting the women without objectifying them. Whilst he does seem to fetishise the vagina, because these women are so sexually aware and commanding, it never feels like a perversion of the male gaze, rather an emblem of female sexuality. This isn't a film which could be taken as female objectification; these women are in control, with men at their service by command, any man found trying to cop a feel uninvited is reprimanded by a punch and those words which cannot fail to put you in your shameful place - "Have you gone mad? Dirty bastard!"
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (Emanuelle e gli ultimi cannibali | Emanuelle's Amazon Adventure | Trap Them and Kill Them ) could certainly not be described as a good film, but it's perfectly inoffensive. Massaccesi wisely steers clear of placing the sex and horror together coupled with a refusal to fetishise the rape scene, making this an all round harmless piece of eroticism, a little more than innocence but less than perversion.
Harmlessly exploitative, if rather boring, with some strong leading ladies and a good old Italian horror/porn soundtrack. A perfectly silly piece of soft-core nonsense 3/10
Partly inspired by the grisly, real-life exploits of serial killers Fred and Rosemary West, and starring Shane Meadows regular Perry Benson (Somers Town; This Is England), the film puts a unique spin on the British horror genre, setting its tale very close to home (quite literally) and resulting in a brutally realistic horror story.
Directed by Steven Sheil and co-starring Dido Miles, Olga Fedori, Toby Alexander and newcomer Ainsley Howard, this boundary-pushing journey into suburban terror is not without its moments of dark humour, but, viewers be warned, MUM & DAD is definitely not a film for the squeamish or the easily offended.
Acclaimed shlock-horror director Frank Henenlotter (the Basket Case trilogy, Frankenhooker, Brain Damage) makes a deliciously perverse and hugely welcome return to outrageously repulsive form with his first film in 16 years, Bad Biology, a bizarre and twisted story of a genitally-endowed young woman's search for sexual fulfilment.
Opening with the voice-over line, "I was born with seven clits," the film introduces us to Jennifer (Charlee Danielson), an insatiable nymphomaniac whose multi-pronged sexual organ has given her a constant craving for penile stimulation. Unfortunately, the sexual satisfaction Jennifer seeks is proving very hard to find. Worse, each disappointing sexual encounter she experiences results in a two-hour pregnancy period that produces an always-unwanted mutant baby.
Unknown to Jennifer, just across town lies the solution to her frustration in the form of a young man called Batz (Anthony Sneed), whose own sexual shortcomings have led him to inject growth steroids directly into his penis. Thanks to some unfortunate side effects, Batz has now become the concerned owner of a 24-inch member with a drug addiction and a mind of its own! Naturally, Batz and Jennifer are destined to meet, but will their eventual encounter prove to be what either of them is looking for?
Proving he's lost none of his crazed enthusiasm for putting on screen what most people wouldn't even dare to imagine, Henenlotter delivers a jaw-dropping horror-comedy guaranteed to shock even the most hardened horror fans who think they've seen it all. From penis point-of-view shots to topless models in vagina masks and endless orgasms to an anthropomorphic cock bursting through walls and floorboards on a rampage of rape and destruction, BAD BIOLOGY is a tour-de-force of extreme cinema. Bizarre, outrageous, offensive and riotously funny, it is almost certainly destined for cult classic status amongst fans of off-the-wall horror flicks.
BAD BIOLOGY (cert. 18) will be released on DVD (£12.99) by Revolver on 16th February 2009.
Korean language trailer for The Truck , directed by Hyung-jin Kwon and starring Goo Jin and Hae-jin Yoo.
Chul-min is a simple truck driver whose usual cargo is liquor, vegetables and other necessities. When his daughter is diagnosed with congenital heart disease, he scrambles to borrow money from friends to pay for the operation. Unable to raise the necessary funds, he tries his luck at gambling. When he loses everything, the gang boss who runs the gambling house gives him an unusual job: to deliver some freshly stabbed corpses to a faraway province. On his nerve-racking journey carrying dead bodies in his truck, Chul-min turns to the radio for company only to hear about a serial killer on the loose. After spotting a car that has fallen into a ditch, he is flagged down by a policeman who is heading to the same province. When Chul-min unravels the real identity of his passenger, his nightmare really begins...
Oh my! There's film news and there's super-good film news, and this little tidbit certainly falls into the latter. Has anyone ever told you I love 3D movies (yeah, you, every time you see me)? Ok, I probably did tell ya before, but 3D movies are one of my most favouritest things for giving a bit of kiddified magic into the piss and shit world of adulthood. Well, a less well-known fact could be that I also really rather adore Brian Yuzna for having a hand in some of my fave horrors (Society, Re-Animator, The Dentist, Necronomicon, Dagon,) ergo, with all the remake/sequel news to boot, this unique piece really excites me.
This trio of goodness, the first of which will be giant sea scorpion-based Amphibious (!), is to be Indonesia-made in conjunction with distributor Queen Imperial Films. The second 3D feature output from this shingle will be Necronauts, a Terry Bisson-written journey into the realm of death which will be helmed by Lawnmower Man's Brett Leonard. Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil and an infamously short stint on Dr. Moreau) will helm the final instalment of this terrific tryptich, Cold Blooded, an island survival story featuring komodo dragons (!) Happily, all films will be shot in English sourcing local talent and will even more happily be low-budget. Yippee!
Trapped in an isolated gas station by a veracious Splinter parasite that transforms its still living victims into deadly hosts, a young couple and an escaped convict must find a way to work together to survive this primal terror.
Splinter is directed by Splinter is the first feature length film from American based British visual effects specialist Toby Wilkins. The film won six awards at Screamfest including Best Directing and Best Picture.
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Legendary UK TV film critic Barry Norman looks at the making of two early 90's Low budget UK horror movies. Jim Grooms 1992 cult horror-comedy Revenge of Billy the Kid and Cult director Richard Stanley's horror / sci-fi Hardware.
This segment is taken from the BBC's long running film show Film '90 (now obviously Film 2008). Barry Norman presented the show for 25 years starting in 1972 up until he left and in 1999 and was replaced by current host Jonathan Ross.
Though Hardware was slated as a Terminator rip off by some at the time it made a profit and Richard Stanley went on to make another film with a cult following the Namibian serial killer movie Dust Devil in 1993. DVD label put out a remasterd directors cut of Dust Devil in 2006 which you can still pick up from Amazon. However his career stalled when he was thrown off the set of the 1996 production of The Island of Dr. Moreau and replaced in the director’s chair by John Frankenheimer. 2006 saw him contribute to the screenplay for Nacho Cerdà's hit indie horror The Abandoned and next year should see the release of his return as a genre director, the post apocalyptic movie Vacation.
The team behind Revenge of Billy the Kid fared worse if anything, which personally I think is a shame as it was not a bad little flick if you like low budget horror comedy. Jim Groom was to direct only one other movie Room 36 which was beset with so many problems it took over a decade to reach its first Screen release and as far as I know has never had any distribution outside festivals and screeners. Tim Dennison one of the films writers has gone on to be a producer involved in various films including Simon Hunters The Mutant Chronicles.
On an island “somewhere” off the English coast (but obviously Cornwall), farmer Gyles MacDonald opts for a spot of drunken bestiality with his goat, the end result being Billy- half man, half beast. Shunned as a freak by his own father, the goat-child turns feral, only to return much later to wreak his revenge on the family that turned against him.
Doing nothing for the image of Westcountry folk as dim-witted inbred’s, Revenge of Billy the Kid similarly upholds the British cinematic tradition of bawdy humour and self-deprecating mockery. With the British heritage of the gothic and anthology horror genres made famous by such institutions as Hammer and Amicus long gone, the 80’s and early 90’s dipped into the international move toward gross-out, in this instance heavily tinged with our own special brand of saucy mirth.
As a general rule of thumb you can pretty much rely on Medusa Pictures to bring you something gloriously terrible, and they certainly haven’t bucked their own trend here. “The dirtiest film in the history of British cinema” says Fear, and I don’t doubt that as this film proves itself to be utterly filthy in every respect. With a tone very reminiscent of Peter Jackson’s early work, Revenge of Billy the Kid is minimal budget ridiculousness. With its vile tale of one freaks revenge against its maker, this highly original comedy-horror bears witness to one of the most repulsive families to ever grace the screen. Playing like a more revoltingly incestuous version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre family, they are proof that the family that lays together stays together. Nauseating, abhorrent and absolutely loathsome in every single way possible, the MacDonald’s are shunned by the mainlanders, and they’re not quite right either. The link to the mainland is mostly seen through the love story between MacDonald daughter Ronnie (Samantha Perkins) and shop keeper's son Lance Allot (Dean Williamson), a love forbidden on both sides and in a horribly comic Jackson-esque fashion, is repulsive in its own way. Though Lance must prove to be Ronnie’s knight in shining armour in the style of a hero in a heavy nod to another horror great.
Yes, this is horror for the fans by the fans territory and that is always heart-warming to me. There’s nothing that gives you that Readybrek glow like knowing that all the bloody unpleasantness is by someone who’s as passionate about it as you are. Though Billy is more comedy than horror. Despite the majority of the comedy being derived from the unbelievably foul MacDonald clan, it manages to maintain a constant level rather than burn itself out with over the top caricatures and childish humour, helped in part by Michael Balfour’s spot-on performance as questionable parent Gyles MacDonald. Most of the horror comes towards the end of the film as Billy, a silly and grotesque creation, wreaks his revenge. This is mostly done to some comic amounts of fog and dramatic lighting and, whilst it is enjoyably silly, would have been better suited to a more Braindead level of outrageous bloodshed. That said you can’t really deconstruct this film into negative’s and positives. It’s wholly disgusting and offensive on every level and you’ll either love it or hate it, and I absolutely loved it. A brave and unusual film that does a certain justice to the British contribution of contemporary horror, albeit in our own questionable way.
A tasteless but oh so enjoyable slice of British comedy-horror. Evil Dead it certainly isn’t, but more the rare thing of a super low budget delight.
Promo trailer for the UK DVD release of R-Point director Su-chang Kong's The Guard Post (aka GP506), a similarly genre-bending foray into the cinema of fear that further cements his reputation as one of the most original filmmakers working in Asian cinema today.
Toronto After Dark 2008 Festival Preview Trailer featuring scenes from the *first eight announced feature titles
* Repo! The Genetic Opera, Red , Let The Right One In , Idiots and Angels, Tokyo Gore Police, Mirageman, Trailer Park Of Terror , Who is KK Downey?
Trailer for Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro's Brazilian post-apocalyptic horror Porto dos Mortos.
In a devastated post-apocalyptic world where the rules of reality are transformed by magic and madness, a vengeful police officer searches for a possessed serial killer in a battle of the not-so-good versus absolute evil. (IMDB)
America’s Dumbest Family embark on a disastrous house swap holiday where they encounter creatures whose master plan is to turn them into vegetables and eat them.
Troll 2; it’s not a sequel and there aren’t any trolls in it. No, really. And yes you should take that as a measure of the overall quality of this film. Totally unrelated to the original and no doubt superior Troll, Troll 2 actually features goblins with the dietary requirements of vegetarians who have honed their favourite meal to vegetables which are both man in size and man in origin. The trouble is, only Joshua, youngest of the Dumb family, knows their secret, for the cunning of these creatures is plenty as they masquerade as humans with a great sense of hospitality who, consequences abound, inhabit the town of Nilbog, which just happens to be the family’s holiday destination. So it is left to Joshua to save both his family and presumably mankind from becoming goblin fodder, which he does with the help of his dead Granddad and a bologna sandwich (a reference to the film in general, or just the hammy acting?)
I don’t know what is more disturbing about this film, the fact that it was ever made or the fact that it was made in 1990. Currently occupying position number 8 in the IMDB’s bottom 100 films poll and with a user rating of 1.8, this film belongs to the ‘so bad it’s good’ school of filmmaking. Despite all the actors being American and it actually being filmed in America, this is an Italian film, which may explain a few things (those guys sure made some weird crap didn’t they?) This film is so bad it’s quite unbelievable, though it is hugely entertaining for this very reason. This is definitely one of the best worst films I’ve ever seen; the acting is diabolical, the dialogue quite shockingly bad (there are so many superbly bad lines but my favourite has to be ‘you just pissed on hospitality’), terrible editing (I’m not really one for noticing continuity errors but there are some shockers here), crap effects (an awful lot of green poster paint and not a lot else) and costumes (potato sacks and masks no self respecting trick or treater would venture out in) , and just plain old peculiar story ideas (lust among popcorn being just one of them.)
Troll 2 is so worth a watch if, like me, you’re partial to really bad films and they make you laugh when you know they’re not supposed to. It seems to be generating a bit of a cult following theses days which is good to see because this film shouldn’t be written off as rubbish, there’s too much unintentional entertainment value to be had here. Although there were times during this peculiarly anti-vegetarian film when I did wonder if it was actually meant as a bit of a joke, or can it really be that bad? So, is it a joke on us or another nail in the Italian filmmaking coffin? I know where I stand on that one.
This is a tricky one to rate as it makes no contribution to filmmaking whatsoever in the usual sense, so in that respect it’d probably be ½/10. As sheer entertainment value goes I’d give it 8/10. If you come across a cheap copy bag yourself one and I promise you’ll have a laugh.
A small van pulls up outside a recently vacated Château. The occupants carry barrels of industrial waste down into the catacombs beneath to dump. While down there, two of the men decide to rob the coffins of the houses former occupants, the recently deceased Catherine Valmont and her mother. While they pry jewels from the bodies a barrel of the waste tips over and the contents run towards the body of Catherine, releasing gas as it does so. The waste it seems has the unexpected effect of resurrecting the dead, now Catherine is back and she is terribly hungry!
Jean Rollin’s (Les Demoniaques, Requiem pour un Vampire), 1982 cult classic La Morte Vivante (The Living Dead Girl) finds him firmly in territory he loves, with yet another tale of lesbian vampires. This film how ever lacks some of the visual style and inventive locations of some of his other work. How ever the story itself is slightly tighter and more controlled, so while it loses in some area’s it gains in others.
Perhaps Rollins most visceral film, as it’s more definable as straight horror than his other more expressionistic, surreal, dark erotica. With simple yet fairly effective gory effects from Benoît Lestang who would go on to work on films such as Christophe Gans Brotherhood of the Wolf and Lars von Trier's Manderlay. The gore effect here are actually quite nasty as Catherine’s vampiric tendencies are surprisingly for a Rollin film anything but erotic (Unless you’re the kind of person that likes fried penis in garlic butter). No discrete puncture wounds in the neck here, Catherine’s blood lust has her desperately chewing and ripping you to bits to get at your blood.
The tale is a simple one taking place for the most part in and around the Châteaux which was Catherine’s former home. On awakening from the dead disorientated Catherine instantly falls upon the men dumping the waste chewing out there blood. She then wanders upstairs driven partly by memories of her former life and partly in need of a snack. Finding a young female estate agent and her lover sexually compromised Catherine one again indulges her new found taste for blood. It’s not long before Barbara, Catherine’s childhood friend, turns up and after getting over the mild surprise of finding freshly chomped bodies in the house she quickly renews their friendship. Barbara quickly decides to help Catherine live on by luring victims for her to poke to death with her very long fingernails and them munch on. Meanwhile a couple of meddling Americans (mainly the wife) decide in true 80’s cheesy style to investigate the strange girl they catch a glimpse of.
The Château itself is an imposing building, although Rollin refers to it as a castle, its more akin to what we in England would call a stately home or large manor house. The interior decor which is forms the majority of the films backdrop, looks like the kind of place where many and 80’s pornographic magazine shoot would have taken place. The acting is pretty reasonable for a Rollin outing with the lovely Francoise Blanchard adding and outstanding performance in the films final scenes. The one jarring downside in the way the special effects are edited in, with a drastic cut to special effect each time, but the effects themselves while very low tech practical make-up stuff are really fun.
While I did miss some of Rollins more stylish touches from some of his other work, the film itself is one of, if not his most enjoyable and you have to love those fingernails of death.
Buy It: hkflix.com
A car flees from pursuers through the narrow roads of the French countryside. Close on it's tail are unknown occupants in a second vehicle. Shots are fired from both cars, the fleeing car escapes down a hidden track and the pursuers are lost, but the male driver is fatally wounded. The cars remaining occupants step out of the vehicle, set it on fire and the leave the scene dressed as clowns.
Welcome to the world of cult French exploitation director Jean Rollin (Les Demoniaques, Levres de Sang, La Morte Vivante). A world seemingly populated by an endless supply of lesbians, piano players, cannibals, vampires, clowns, twins and very pretty young woman who feel restricted by having to wear clothing.
Marie-Pierre Castel stars as Marie and with twin sister Catherine not available; Mireille Dargent co-stars as her friend Michelle. The two girls who flee the car dressed as clowns at the start of the movie. So with his two young nubile female leads in place Rollin sets off on making a surreal Gothic sexploitation movie with an artistic edge.
With a run time of two hours the plot is surprisingly thin (or not when you consider it’s a Rollin film). The story sees the girls wander the country side, stealing food, a motorbike and being accidentally buried in a fresh grave. Finally after about 25 minutes (but seems like an eternity) of dialogue free "action" the girls stumble upon a seemingly deserted castle and the fun begins ...
Unfortunately for the girls the castle is not as deserted as it seems, in fact it is the home of an ancient vampire and his acolytes. After slipping out of their clown suits for some naked action the girls are disturbed by a noise and go to investigate. Its not long before they cross paths with the vampire's minions who naturally decide the best course of action is to strip the girls naked and abuse them (Well this is a sexploitation film, it’s not like they where going to offer them a cup of tea). After witnessing the drawn out abuse of two other unfortunate girls Marie and Michelle decide to flee. The problem is Marie has been bitten by a female ghoul and which ever way they run it takes them back to the castle. It appears there is no escape, at least not until more firm bosoms have been squeezed to bruising point anyway.
The plot is far too threadbare to sustain the running time, even with the sweet flesh on display (Weird to think those cute young actresses are in their 50’s now), the film drags. Normally that would be a nail in the coffin for an exploitation film, they can be crap yes, but boring is a step too far. How ever Rollin has a fantastic knack for finding brilliant locations to shoot, a great eye for the artistic and a wonderful ear for music to fit his films. Requiem Pour Un Vampire is undoubtedly a film atheistic pleasing way beyond it limited budget should allow. Rollin's surrealist and expressionist cinematic touches lift it above the dross it could have been. With great touches like moving from the outside of a castle on a beautiful French summer day to the contrastingly dark and gloomy interior where Michelle is forced to whip her friend Marie into submission. For many fans one of the most memorable scenes features Louise Dhour (Les Demoniaques) playing a grand piano in the middle of a remote graveyard.
Requiem Pour Un Vampire is both artistic and exploitative in equal measure, but there’s just not enough going on to justify its length.
Poster for the US remake of Oxide and Danny Pang's 2002 jump horror The Eye (Gin Gwai)
Synopsis: Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) is an accomplished, independent, Los Angeles-based concert violinist. She is also blind, and has been so since a childhood tragedy. As our story opens, Sydney undergoes a double corneal transplant, a surgery she has waited her whole life to have, and her sight is restored. After the surgery, neural ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Faulkner (Alessandro Nivola) helps Sydney with the difficult adjustment, and with the support of her older sister Helen (Parker Posey), Sydney learns to see again.
But Sydney's happiness is short-lived as unexplainable shadowy and frightening images start to haunt her. Are they a passing aftermath of her surgery, Sydney's mind adjusting to sight, a product of her imagination, or something horrifyingly real? As Sydney's family and friends begin to doubt her sanity, Sydney is soon convinced that her anonymous eye donor has somehow opened the door to a terrifying world only she can now see.
The Eye is a bone-chilling supernatural thriller that tests the boundaries of perception and reality. Directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud, the team who directed the suspenseful international hit Them (Ils), The Eye stars Jessica Alba, Alessandro Nivola and Parker Posey. Produced by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner with Mike Elliott, Don Granger and Michelle Manning serving as executive producers.
On the coasts of Northern Europe at the end of the 1800's a small group of wreckers make their living by enticing ships to their destruction on the rocky coastline. After a successful wrecking two beautiful young women are washed ashore and encounter the four deadly wreckers. The girls find themselves raped and beaten to death, how ever they return from the beyond to seek out their revenge.
Les Demaoniaques carries the sub title "Un film expressioniste de Jean Rollin" and it certainly does tip it hats towards expressionist era cinema as much as it does the adventure serials shown at the cinema in times before television proliferated the homes of the majority. As with allot of low budget cinema from the late 60's and 70's the backers put the money forward under the proviso that the film contained a certain amount of nude and sex scenes so it could be sold to an "International" audience, something which Rollins cinema is famous for. Rollins actually was accused of then selling on his young female starlets into "White slavery" for the North African market. As with many of the director’s films the plot plays second fiddle to the visuals, both sexual and surreal, Rollin is one of those directors who is maybe more about hamaging and experimenting with cinema as he is about producing cohesive well told stories. That said there is an interesting if simplistic ghost story at the heart of Les Démoniaques.
The actors are of as you would expect in exploitation cinema of varying competence, but all make interesting visual impact even if their acting skills are questionable to say the least. The four wreckers in particular do manage to camp up the serial inspired pirate roles to wonderful levels. John Rico (A gay Mexican actor I think), plays the character known as captain in his only starring role and he does a great job as the open shirted macho leader of the wreckers. Rollins long time friends Willy Braque (Le Jouisseur, Lèvres de sang ) and Paul Bisciglia (Les Raisins de la mort) play Bosco and Paul respectively and both make great characters. The stand out character in their deadly crew though has to be Tina played by the very attractive Joëlle Coeur (Jeunes filles impudiques), who manages to camp up the stereotypical pirate body movements while in various states of dress and undress to the point of genius. Lieva Lone and Patricia Hermenier who play the wronged girls (the Demoniac’s from the title) both do a competent job in their only film appearances, not that they have to do much more than wander about getting in and out of their clothes without speaking.
When Encore Filmed Entertainment sent me out this DVD to review I let it sit for a week or two, knowing that Rollin films tend to be the kind of cinema I need to be in the mood to watch, this is a world away from the popcorn munching brainlessness of modern cinema. Les Démoniaques contains some great imagery, locations and surrealism and these are things you really need to be able to appreciate to enjoy this film. if you where to come at this looking for a linier story with tight editing and high production values that makes quickly digestible entertainment you will be left no doubt feeling like some of the negative commentors on the IMDB.
For me the film is certainly one of the better Rollin films I have seen, the high camp mixed with the stark gothic imagery works well, certainly you have to accept things which are down right silly like the Magus and clown who live together in an old ruin. Well the magus maybe you can accept to be keeping an eye on the imprisoned devil there, but the clown you just have to write off as being one of the directors screen fetishes.
Les Démoniaques is certainly a movie worth seeking out for fans of the cult director Jean Rollin, sexploitation, French cinema and of course those who just want to experience something a bit different.
Buy It: hkflix.com
UK trailer for David Moreau and Xavier Palud's highly rated French horror movie Ils (Them) which hits UK cinema's on January 26th. David Moreau and Xavier Palud are set to direct the American re-make of The Bangs brother's much loved Asain new wave horror The Eye.
There's a fun teaser as well, which you can watch HERE
When Neil Marshall’s super-fun, homage-laden howler, Dog Soldiers, tore through screens in 2002, his name rightly became linked with fresh talent in horror. Three years later, Marshall follows suit with the deadly serious The Descent, proof that despite an acclaimed start, the best was yet to come. Where the former pitted an almost all-male cast against a bunch of beasties in a lycanthropic lock-down in the Scottish Highlands, the latter leads ladies on a caving nightmare in the Appalachian Mountains. Werewolves are replaced by humanoid cave-dwellers, though that’s not the only aspect proving this film contains more than a case of ‘mild peril.’
The scene is set as six good friends, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald), Juno (Natalie Mendoza), Beth (Alex Reid), Rebecca (Saskia Mulder), Sam (MyAnna Buring) and Holly (Nora-Jane Noone), enjoy a spot of white-water rafting. We see they are a close-knit group whose bond of friendship is strong and fearless. Point made. The Casualty-style beginning hints at impending doom, and sure enough, scenes of girly buddies at one with nature give way to a shock tragedy which places Sarah at the fore, stepping forward as our tragic heroine. A year later, hard-nosed self-appointed group leader, Juno, arranges a caving adventure sure to reinforce group bonds whilst simultaneously giving a sense of individual achievement. Hmm. No points for guessing the exact opposite happens as our courageous cavers confront just about every calamity possible. And that’s before even the creatures make an appearance.
It soon becomes apparent that Juno has an ulterior motive for the trip, and as such it descends into a suitably hellish nightmare. More than just a creature feature, Marshall plays on every conceivable angle to garner wince-inducing horror. The phrase ‘edge-of-your-seat’ could’ve been coined for this very film. With the confidence of one who knows he is creating a superbly effective film, Marshall splits The Descent into halves. The first half sees the horror generated by real-life fears as we are plunged into the omnipresent darkness. When the point of entry is blocked, we have the fear of entrapment to add to the extreme claustrophobia. As if that’s not enough, we have the finely converged terror of immense space and drop.(Is it worse not to be able to see what is touching you or the vast spaces around you?) The second half sees the pace cranked right up as the creatures (crawlers) make their presence felt as the horror becomes physical, with your eyes delivering the gory goods in place of mentally suggestive fears.
Differentiating so precisely between terrors probably sounds like a recipe for a bizarre mess, and indeed so easily could this have been the case. Fortunately, we are in more than capable hands as Marshall adeptly weaves the many facets of his cleverly constructed horror. Those finicky about plot will find that not everything satisfactorily adds up, but to be honest, like the dialogue, you get by knowing the effort has gone into the areas that he is clearly both passionate about and skilled in. What Marshall’s crafted here is a tight and classy creature feature where monsters matter (these lithe humanoids prove the devolution of your own kind is something to be truly feared), and where his flawless judgement works your fears into overdrive, with perfectly timed jumps and plenty of gore. The result is, simply, an exercise in successful horror.
Expertly constructed fright-fest which serves as proof that there is still talent in the genre, all it takes is some genuine ability 9/10
Trailer for animated horror City Of Rott which Unearthed Films released on DVD August 8, 2006
"They live in our water, and take over our bodies. They drive us. Till there's nothing left. The worms are taking over." Mankind has been wiped out. Zombies roam every abandoned street, desperate to devour any sign of human life, to feed the unquenchable worms residing in their rotting brains...
When you want multiple bad guys for a horror movie, often the first groups that come to mind are Nazi’s and Zombies, everybody (Who is not a complete prick) hates Nazis and Zombies are simply the best generic multiple foe monsters out there. So its not surprising genre fans calmer to the idea of zombies with a Nazi twist. Sadly the results of previous attempts have not always lived up to the promise of horror movie gold, Shock Waves (1977) and Zombie Lake (1981). But Shock waves certainly had one of the most memorable VHS covers ever and there has got to be a way to make Nazi zombies rising out of the water work. Now Director Richard Raaphorst and Producer Bart Oosterhoorn are trying to get a new project Worst Case Scenario off the ground. With the intent of finally making a quality Nazi Zombie hybrid flick.
There are currently two Promo clips available and they do look rather good, although the nationalistic comedy for the first trailer is of no interest to me and verges on pathetic, If you live in England, Germany and football world cup jokes is something that has been done to death over the decades, but I guess there are some who will manage to find the same joke funny no matter how many times its told.
Pop over to filmstalker.co.uk for more on this one.
On Halloween weekend Bad Reputation played to a packed house at the Chicago Horror Film Festival, where it won the People's Choice Award for best film.
Bad Reputation premiered at the Eerie Horror Film Festival in Erie, PA on October 7 to an enthusiastic crowd. At the awards ceremony the following night, the festival's jury gave Bad Reputation its top prize as Best Feature and named star Angelique Hennessy (Michelle) Best Actress.
Interview with star Angelique Hennessy: Bloody-disgusting.com
The trailer for Panik House Entertainment's spring release of the horror The Univited has been posted at youtube.com.
The film is described as a modern classic and has been collecting awards at film festivals worldwide for the past two years.
Make no mistake: this is a whole new type of horror film -one of utter emotional isolation and character development unseen in horror since The Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby. The harrowing finale had audience members fainting in the aisles in its homeland (Korea).
Well, five teens have wandered off there Levi's advert set and into Texas for MTV style slasher fun!
No, not the classic 1974 Tobe Hooper original but the utterly pointless and, quite frankly irritating 2003 remake. Though the basic plot follows pretty similar lines, the outcome is a far cry from the genuinely horrifying 70's version. Though the remake will, no doubt, appeal to those misguided individuals whose concept of horror consists solely of the seemingly endless stream of teen junk slasher movies churned out in the name of reinventing a sadly largely forgotten genre, those of us gifted with the ability to form our own opinions know such is not the case.
Basically the film is effective enough as a gore-fest horror in its own right, the trouble is that it isn't a film in its own right, it's a remake, and as such it stinks. It just makes you wonder how people have the audacity to take it upon themselves to produce something so obviously doomed to failure, which seems a shame considering Marcus Nispel could have made a success of something more achievable. The problem of remaking such an infamous film is that it was a product of an era, just as this one is. Hooper's film was and still is truly horrific, not because it was so gory but because of the creepiness of its low budget 16mm grainy appearance. You had that voyeuristic feeling that you were really witness to the actual events which also seemed plausible. Maybe Nispel's music video background added to this but you just know that with a glossy big budget movie you can't achieve that good old low budget creep.
Similarly, aspects of the plot badly misfire. You know what Nispel was aiming for in the classic weird town scenes but he misses the mark so badly it's embarrassing to watch. Leatherface's facial disfigurement being offered as some kind of possible motivation is neither pitiful enough nor reason enough to explain just exactly what in the hell is wrong with everyone else. As casting and performances go, I feel a good measure of shame should be portioned on those responsible, with the exception of R.Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket and the sadly underrated The Frighteners) who turns in a typically solid performance as the sheriff with an unusual taste in women (Protect and serve, that's what we do-hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.) As for our hapless bunch of teens, led by token eye-candy in the shape of the lovely but dull Jessica Biel of skincare advert fame, they're just so bland you find yourself willing their slaughter.
Despite its faults, and they are many, this film does offer some beautiful cinematography, including Leatherface in a feather snow which I found to be particularly touching (is that so wrong?) It just seems a shame that this film is burdened by the title of remake as it could have stood on its own two feet perfectly well without such big shoes to fill.
Overall a decent enough horror, with plenty of gore, but few genuine scares. Get the popcorn out it's a 5/10
A car load of pesky kids have a Halloween nightmare with a family that love the occasion a bit more than most.
Well if it isn't the long awaited, much fabled and hotly debated House of 1000 Corpses. If ever a film had a troublesome start it's this one. Poor old Rob Zombie had his work cut out getting a release for this, his first film, so it really must have been a labour of love, and I for one think it's really paid off with the end result of a horror like they used to make 'em.
House of 1000 Corpses was actually quite different to what I had expected though that doesn't mean I was disappointed, totally the opposite in fact. Despite this I can see why it's been such a bone of contention. This is strictly a horror fans film and anyone else should probably give it a wide birth. It's not creepy or even particularly scary but it's the most fun film I've seen in a really long time. This is a horror made more if the 80's tradition of silly OTT nonsense rather than the genuinely frightening earlier styles of the genre. Yes, it does owe a lot to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre's but there are so many respectful nods to some of the genre's classics , that I never once had the feeling that it was a blatant steal.
There is so much packed into a relatively short space of time that there is never a dull moment. The highlight would have to be up to and including the opening credits, with Captain Spaulding one of the most refreshing character's to have been committed to celluloid in a very long time. The scenes involving the family did begin to drag a little for me but that was more than made up for by the sheer inventiveness of the rest of the film.
This film is purely for entertainment value though and as such did have it' s faults. This being most notably an over characterisation of the family which made them grate on my nerves a little and the fact that this film tried to do too much. You can tell this is Rob Zombie's first film because he tries to do so much all at once, as if it's the only chance he's ever going to have. The editing is great but it's overused as is the use of negatives which becomes a bit gimmicky. That said, Rob Zombie shows great promise in my favourite genre so I for one will be eagerly awaiting his next move.
This film was just so entertaining it made me feel like I finally knew the enjoyment people get from watching musicals, but without the songs. And that folks, is an achievement. This film used nods to the greats in a really fresh and inventive way and is like a breath of fresh air after the glut of post-modern slasher flicks and pointless remakes (TCM 03 anyone?) I really have respect for Mr.Zombie for such a brave attempt and anyone who can't just enjoy this film needs to get their head out of their arse and stop taking things so seriously.
Two close college friends, Marie (Cécile De France) and Alex (Alexia Maïwenn) make a rural retreat to Alex’s secluded family farm in search of some peaceful study time and find anything but in this eagerly anticipated French slasher flick from director Alexandre Aja.
For a genre that likes nothing more than a spot of blood-spilling, life-force ending, artery severance, the slasher genre has maintained incredible staying power not to mention a firm fan-base amongst the fickle horror buffs. Currently in mid renaissance, the horror genre seems to be going full circle. Post-parody glut, teen stream and pointless remakes galore, there has recently been a move towards a distinctly more serious effort to put horror back in the media consciousness. Well placed in this gently creeping generic resurrection zeitgeist, Switchblade Romance makes its own heartfelt bid to win over some old fans and even glean some new ones. So, with all the underground hype, is this modern recreation of a classic formula on the bleeding edge or just a fading pulse?
“I’ll never let anyone come between us anymore” plea’s the traumatized and horrifically scarred Marie as she leads us into a morbid recollection of gruesome events gone by. As is fitting for such a physical film, the opening scenes of carefree friends cut with our first foreboding glimpse of the killer, serve to set the scene as a killing ground as we are soon made aware that this film is unencumbered by plot. This is a film about killing. Killing and survival and nothing more. Like a heartbeat, Switchblade Romance, or Haute Tension (High Tension) as it is known in its mother tongue, pounds with the most primal of instincts. Credited only as Le Tueur (The Killer,) Philippe Nahon provides a monolithic presence as the murderous figure who, dressed in grimy overalls and cap, slaughters Alex’s family one by one as if it’s his job. Like a juggernaut of death, he wields his razorblade with all the expertise and speed of an executioner, only his vile grunts belie his pleasure. Though it is when heroine Marie makes the unenviable choice to pit herself directly against The Killer that the film really kicks in with the High Tension of the title.
Marie admirably picks up the Last Girl baton handed down from a legendary heritage of some pretty tough competition and flicks one bloodied finger at the lot of them as she turns on her bare heel and leaves them all behind for a class all of her very own. It is De France, therefore, whose stellar performance as the tomboyishly tough force to be reckoned with rules this particularly horrific show. Though Maïwenn and Nahon put in perfectly cast performances as wretched and morbidly driven respectively, and Aja’s direction carries the film with all the desperate energy of a victim’s fight for survival, it is the score with which De France must share her glory. Rarely silent, it grinds like audible adrenalin. From ambient hums to industrial throngs it wafts infectiously over their claustrophobic seclusion.
The only downside to this otherwise stunningly superb slasher film is the unfortunate ‘twist’ ending. Who knows what possessed writing duo Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur to retreat from the fantastically effective simplicity of the entire film and do an about-turn, throwing pretty much the entire premise out of the window. Not only is this ending absolutely unnecessary, but it also has the peculiar effect of self- mockery. Similarly, though knowingly reminiscent of its classic predecessors and maintaining generic conventions, the film on the whole is brazen in its fresh approach…that is until the final scene which bizarrely descends into such cliched drivel it’s almost offensive. But even if the pay-off leaves you feeling short-changed, the ride you’ll have will be well worth it. This film is the rare thing of a treat that a disappointing plot cannot detract from. As Marie repeats once more to encapsulate her terrible tale, “I’ll never let anyone come between us anymore,” this time these words fall as if in promise from the genre itself to its faithful audience that it has returned in such awesome style to set the standard for which all others must now follow.
A delightfully thrilling treat for horror fans to revel in. Switchblade Romance is a razorblade’s cut above the rest, sweeping with brash ease to take its rightful place amongst the genres classics. An infuriatingly close 9/10, this film is almost slasher perfection.
*This is a review of a hardcore film it will contain some bad language, graphic images and I have used some spoilers (its a porno though so I shouldn't worry) ... YAY*
Mike is a wanker (He masturbates), he enjoys nothing better than sitting down with some hardcore porn action in the DVD player and wanking himself into oblivion. A hobby I am sure he shares with many of you out there. Mikes “hobby” has become more of an addiction and he scours the sex shops in search of more and more hardcore action to get the lead in his pencil sharpened. One faithful day while checking out a copy of some circus clown related porn, he comes across a XXX magazine advertising the ultimate hardcore experience featuring a porno vixen named Andromeda Strange, he orders the DVD and when it arrives events take a nasty turn.
Once the DVD arrives Mikes thows it in the player, gets his member lubed up with hand lotion and settles back for some quality wanking time. Andromeda appears on screen and asks him to make his selection if he dares. Mike of course does dare as his sack needs draining ASAP and he needs that hit only hardcore filth can give to sate his addiction. Andromeda gets down to business quickly and before no time she is on screen pusing a dildo deep into her pierced crevice while having a period all over it (Mmm high class girl). Soon she is rubbing the blood all over herself and for a finally slits her own throat with a cutthroat razor. Not deterd Mike goes on to make another three selections each one bringing him more filth as Andromeda engages in some hardcore with a couple of male porn stars and a dash of soft-core with Mikes estranged girlfriend(She dumped him for being a wanker … isn’t that always the way?) And all ending with increasing degree’s of nasty gore as the black widow Andromeda finishes her prey.
Slaughter Disc from steel web studios / Carnal Morgue is a horror porn hybrid, although really it’s far more like regular porn than it portrays. When they contacted us to ask for a review I was pretty interested the premise of a horror movie with hardcore sounded interesting hoping of a horror done similarly to French rape revenge movie “Braise Moi”. Unfortunately Slaughter disc does not stray far enough from formulaic porn for that. What we get is basically a series of sex scenes, very much like those you can download from the net which are interspersed by comedic sketch show inserts which follow the adventures of Mike as he try’s to hold his life together at the same time as fitting in his constant need to punish the pole. The character of Mike is amusing with his layback “rock dude” style and ever increasing need for porn to help him get the white rabbit out of its borrow.
The gore in this movie although not plentiful (coming only at the end of a long hardcore porn insert) is very effective and very nasty, on this I have to give this independent production props this matched with the semi effective story comedic elements shows some real potential, but their going to have to make a choice Indie film or Porn and I say they should loose the naff hardcore scenes and make a film with some hardcore sex elements it would be far more interesting and far more effective, they defiantly have the potential and hopefully if enough wankers buy Slaughter disc they will have the funds.
My main problem with this is no matter how good the horror elements and added comedy wanker dude sketch scenes this is still just a porno and one with very limited appeal if you find Caroline Piece in her Andromeda strange guise attractive and want to see her perform gratuitous acts this is probably for you, if you don’t find her attractive and really are not turned on by gore in your porn (I don’t and I am not) the majority of this is just a waste of good wanking time. Still if alt girls in porn with a touch of nasty gore is your thing, this one may be for you.
Get this movie for the hammer scene it is nastiness supreme …
Like Caroline Pierce and want to see her bleed all over her dildo and perform other acts of gory filth 8/10
No interest in her or her filthy way’s 2/10 (I’m in this camp)
Find out more from slaughterdisc.com
Kisses which carries the tagline "Love hurts. Bad.", is a short film by writer / director Dominic Travero and cinematotographer / editor Vincent Anton Obriskie. Their production base is split between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Bologna, Italy (At least that's what their website say's). The short film is indeed very short with a running time just under three minutes. It's little difficult to review this one as it really depends on one twist midway for it's impact and while I am pretty sure most of you will never come across the film, it still seems a shame to spoil it. For me this works well as a "calling card" type short, i.e. to showcase the skills of those involved rather than as something anyone would seek out. Although the subject matter will attract a certain audience who enjoy very unorthodox sex and gore cinema. I can't really say I am one of those people, that stuff does very little for me, but each to their own.
The film has some interesting shots, but it also suffers from something which plagues most digital shot stuff. I.e. a camera follows something around, for this short that thing is mainly the lead actors head. In my opinion if you only allow yourself 3 minutes for a short you really need to cram something more inventive in when it comes to camera work. Sure there are some cool practical effects towards the end, but it was nothing ground breaking. I think they just got a bit to reliant on their "twist" and really something this short could have done with a lot more stylisation, at least that's the way I see it. That said for what it is, it’s professionally done and if its primary purpose is to showcase some of the production companies skills it does a reasonable job. The score suits what they where trying to achieve well. I guess it could do Ok in short film competitions and might make an interesting edition to a DVD anthology of short film, but in and of itself there's not really anything above and beyond many of the films you can see on triggerstreet.com, Myspace, dovetail.tv, Veoh and others.
I forget now where the DVD was sent to me from, but it must be either the US or Italy I guess. That makes me wonder why they bothered, something of this nature would be far better off showcased online either on their site or one of the video streaming sites I mentioned above. Certainly that's the best way to create a buzz for a short of this nature and maybe gain a following. I did look for it online, but it does not seem available, which is a shame as I would have linked to it so you could judge it for yourselves.
The locals is the debut feature film from New Zealand director Greg Page, who has spent most of his career making award winning music video’s in his homeland. The Locals takes place over the course of one night and is shot almost entirely at night. Before you grown and think your going to be straining to see anything in the murky night, Page’s film is different. Page pours light all over the action making this quite possibly one of the brightest night shot films ever. Car headlights are beamed at actors along with floodlights meaning the action crystal clear and the night is almost enhanced as anything outside the range of the lights become very pitch black indeed. The scenery of New Zealand made famous by Colin Jackson and his LOTR trilogy and Pages choice of lighting means this is a great looking film for its budget.
The plot is fairly simple, but for this kind of directorial debut I think that’s the right choice, over ambition can often make lower budget films an overstretched disaster. Here Page concentrates on making this simple outline as effective as he can and for the most part succeeds. The main characters of Grant and Paul, are played to perfection, with some of the best onscreen chemistry seen in any film, they really do feel like two friends who have known each other for years and are relaxed in each others company. Again I think part of this can be attributed to the films simplicity, Page has given them real life dialogue and not that awful post Dawson’s creek era babble we have become used to in American PG-13 horror movies. The script has some nice little touches at the start that flesh out the characters more like the LOTR’s conversation and waving at the Japanese girls on the bus.
Greg Page’s debut is a fun film that achieves a great look for the budget; his “Bright Night” style is great and is a concept that works really well. The actors are all good in their roles injecting a lot of humour and personality in the film, particularly the leads who are perfect. Featuring some good twists and turns, humour, action and the occasional scare the locals won’t be giving your brain cells to much of a work out but it certainly provides good popcorn horror fun that’s a cut above a lot of its higher budget competitors.
Young female embalmer Miyako is called in to restore the body of a young man who has committed suicide, before the funeral. While performing the embalming process she finds herself pricks by a needle buried deep in the boy’s flesh where it should not be. During the night the head is removed from the body and stolen, Miyako begins a desperate search for it so she can finish her work. Miyako search finds her encountering organ harvesting, religious cults, incest, psychopathic schizophrenics as well as some very dark secrets from here own past.
EM Embalming, is one of those movies that does not really fit into any definable genre, art house with horror elements might be the best description, but it also dips in and out of many other genres at will, as is common with many movies from the east, having no respect for the rules Hollywood set in stone of the ability of stores and video libraries to put the film in an appropriate section. Directed by Cannes award winning director Shinja Aoyama and starring Reiko Takashima (Black Angel) as well as featuring a fabulous Dead Pan performance by Toshio Shiba as the mysterious man with a very dark past Dr Fuji.
Some people have been calling this a masterpiece and sure there is a lot to enjoy there, but I get many of these people have kind of gone oh well its foreign and glossy so it must be great. Actually what makes this film great for me is not the “art house” visuals and deep character study, but the fact that the plot is like some kind of warped “sunset beach” style soap opera on acid. With each new scene more and more ridiculous revelations are made about the various characters and there pasts as if the script is constantly trying to up the stakes and top itself for ridiculas revelations as the film moves forward. There where points where revelations that where meant to be dark and forbidding had me in stitches as fi (Who was also watching) and I waited for the director to through in kitchen sink wielding aliens.
So I guess your wondering about the notorious embalming scenes and if they are nasty (You freaks you), well yes while this is not a horror movie the subtle and cold embalming scenes are very nasty and very realistic as bits are hacked off, organs are scooped up and large needles are inserted …blood pours down the embalming table and things get nasty.
As with much art house it’s character study where this film really works (even though many of the character are ridiculous and there back story’s insane). Myko striving to “understand death” through her embalming. The crazy sect leader seeking to use needles to cure the insane, the worst cop in the world seeking to be constantly in Miyakos company, the twisted girl who seeks to revive her dead boyfriend, The fabulous Dr Fuji (he needs to return in his own film) and his dark past and the politician parents who seek only to preserve their honour.
I don’t want to give away much of the plot in the form of spoilers because it’s the insane plot which makes for the high point in this movie, but Dr Fugi and his specially equipped organ harvesting truck is certainly a high point to look out for.
This is the stuff cult movies are made of, there is no way it can appeal to the mainstream and even some cult movie fans will be put off by the art house sensibilities, but the art house style pretentiousness combined with a plot so ridiculous I am smiling as I think about it now makes this a movie many lovers of “Wierdsploitation” will see as a collection must.
The Quiet Family is the tale of an urban family who after an offer to buy a mountain hiking lodge move to the Korean countryside with dreams of a new peaceful life. How ever life never goes as you plan and in this very black farcical comedy by writer and director Kim Ji-woon (Foul King, Tale of two sisters) that’s certainly the case. The lodge attracts no guests at first and then when people do begin to stay things take a dark twist.
The quiet family is probably best known in the west for being the source material for Takashi Miikes “The Happiness of the Katakuris”, and while Miike has lifted scenes directly from this movie, the two films do differ enough even for hardcore fans of Miikes film to want to see this, for one thing this is not a musical which as a long time hater of the musical genre, no matter how hip or weird it is means I enjoyed this film much more. Anyway enough of Miike, this is Kim Ji-woon’s movie and with the recent success in the west of “A tale of two sisters” he is now a very respected genre director in his own right.
The quiet family is the Kang’s, a couple and there three children to teenage girls and a son of twenty one, also living with them is the fathers brother, together they hope to build a new life for themselves in the idyllic mountainous countryside which is popular with hikers. After getting the Lodge spick and span the family waits for there first guests to arrive un-fortunately the hikers seem to pass by without stopping and the only visit they get is from an insane old woman who rants widely about evil and spits a lot I can’t find the name of the actress who plays her as the titles of the film are in Korean (sadly not a language I can read), but the performance she gives is fantastic, delivering an insanely (Pun intended) good performance. The Kang's though don’t loose hart as there is a road due to be built near the lodge making it more accessible to tourists. The road is delayed but the kang’s receive there first guests and thing appear to be on the up, that is until at check out time when they turn up dead. Not wishing to have the reputation of the struggling lodge ruined the Kang’s decide the best course of action is to bury the unfortunate lodgers in the woods near the house, they have however forgotten there’s a road due for construction in that area soon.
Kim Ji-woon’s “the Quiet family” is an excellent farcical comedy, the humour is very black, but genuinely funny and translates well even to a western audience watching with subtitles (The Tai Seng DVD does contain an optional dubbed language track, if you really are bothered by subtitles). Each of the members of the Kang family are realized well and it’s easy to get a sense of each of their personalities, which really helps the film to hit target. Son Kang-ho who played the lead character in Park Chan-wook’s powerful movie “Sympathy for Mr Vengeance” is great here as the young son balancing his performance perfectly managing to be very funny while not becoming cartoonist. Choi Min-sik who played Oh Dae-su in “Oldboy” here plays the good hearted uncle who is constantly referred to by his brother as an idiot. All the cast however turn in a top notch performance that fits the tone and feel of the movie.
The soundtrack is great and each track fits the scene it accompanies very well, nice to see music chosen because it fits the movie and not the market for Soundtrack tie in CD’s which seems all to popular with films produced in the west these day’s. The Tai Seng (Region 2) DVD itself contains a featurette with the guy who put the soundtrack together and he explains the reasons for his choices.
Farcical and black comedy can often fall flat on it’s face (See the Coen Brothers recent remake of “The Lady Killers”), in fact comedy in general is often very hit and miss of course it’s partly down to an individual sense of humour to a point, but for me the quiet family hits the spot. I think it helps that Kim Ji-woon is not pushing to hard for laugh out loud comedy and signposted “Funny scenes”, rather he lets the film flow at it’s own pace and allows the viewer to decide what is funny and amusing.
Kim Ji-woon’s “The Quiet family is one of the finest black comedies in the last decade, cruelly funny and wickedly original
Buy It: amazon.co.uk