Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Crickets Were The Compass by Chvad SB (2014) - Horror Album Review


At the start of last year I reviewed a grim indie film called Gut which was about a man and his friend who discover a real life snuff film and become hypnotised by it. The best thing about the film was the soundtrack that conjured up a real sense of unease. The artist responsible for that soundtrack Chvad SB has released a new album that came out on May 13th via Silber Records.

I am never comfortable doing reviews of music, I just do not feel I have a true grip on music, for me visual media is something that I am confident of reviewing well. Still here I am, I can only try my best and practise makes perfect as they say. Crickets Were the Compass features six tracks of droning terror and unease. Now this is not the music you would play to woo a loved one, nor one you would stick on to listen to after a hard days work. I personally listened to it as I searched for jobs on the Internet, making brief notes about each track as I went.

In his own words the album is a testament to loss, a story of coming to terms with fond memories and letting them go. While this is purely a instrumental album each song has its own beautiful little poem in the CD case that certainly backs this idea up as they read like someone who has lost the light in their life. The CD case features artwork from Richard Sala of a sad looking dog in an apocalyptic landscape.

Opening track It Haunts Her gets things off to an unsettling start, this is the sort of music I imagine would be playing over crackly speakers as you sweat it out in a third world interrogation room, or maybe be on in the background as you awake one evening to find yourself caked in blood and a dead body in the bathtub. For the rest I came up with key images that the sounds evoked from me. Second track A Hair Before Sundown brought to mind a nuclear wasteland. Next was The Dust Cloud Permeates which is what I would have on my iPod if I was lost in a maze of back alleyways in a bad neighbourhood in the dead of night. Now the fourth track People Keep Asking And I Say You're Well would be the background accompaniment to hallucinating a loved one is unable to stop puking up blood but doesn't seem to realise this. The penultimate track There Isn't A Day That Goes By made me think of a strange, hostile Alien landscape while the final track Crickets Were The Compass And The World Goes 'Round evoked severe depression; long days stuck in bed with not the energy to get up or look after yourself.

They were just what entered my brain pan as I searched for jobs (boy do I currently dislike my current day one) though obviously not the intention of the artist. I really don't know what the ideal place to listen to this album would be, maybe while lying in bed working through problems, or maybe whilst writing blog posts on a worldwide famous horror blog. Each track is full of droning horror and doom,, each unsettling, menacing yet at times just full of sadness and regret.

If this is your thing (and I realise to a lot of people it might not be) then please give this a listen, while I admit to not knowing much music in this genre I still feel that this is a decent 55 minutes of doom and gloom and found it personally satisfying to hear.

SCORE:

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Last of Us (2013) - Survival Horror Videogame Review (PS3)


I brought The Last of Us for my best friends birthday, I thought it would be a nice gesture giving her a game that I really wanted to play. We played through the game together in the old style of levels and lives but I had enough of an experience with it that I am comfortable to be able to review it.

The meat of the game starts twenty years after the emergence of a worldwide fungal spore outbreak that turned everyone it infects into brainless ghouls intent on spreading their disease. You play as Joel a smuggler in his forties based in Boston which is now a protected area under military control. Through circumstances you and your partner Tess come to agree to deliver a young girl (Eliie) across the country to a Firefly safe houses (Fireflies being resistance fighters who are against the militaries control of resources). The world outside of the Boston stronghold is a harsh place though, full of bands of violent bandits, and of course the deadly zombie like infected.


The Last of Us is a third person survival horror that has much of the cover based shooter about it. I was expecting a game that revolved around fighting zombies but I was actually surprised to find out that only around a third of the game has you fighting against these monsters, instead human enemies are your biggest foes. As I always say in the world of zombie apocalypse humans are always the real danger. What blew me away was that I found I didn't mind that the infected only played a small part, the people you fight are usually evil, and have various motivations.

The game takes place over a year and was much longer than I expected. It took us around 14 hours to see the game to it's conclusion and for the whole ride it was a hell of a lot of fun, though fun is perhaps the wrong word to use for such a bleak, dark world. Split between combat and basic puzzles with exploration it can at times feel a bit gamey, when you enter an area to see waist high blockades everywhere it is very apparent you are in for a fight sooner or later. The puzzles on the other hand are simple, and often repeated but never feel boring or outstay their welcome. The amount of times you must find a wooden pallet to ferry Ellie (unable to swim) across a stretch of water nearly becomes ridiculous, but even the characters make a joke about this.


The world of The Last of Us just feels real, it is quite linear but this is disguised well and the game features the very best graphics I have seen on the PS3, it is a beautiful rendering of Apocalypse with vegetation growing through the dilapidated city streets and buildings, rusting cars covered in moss, wild animals running amok. There is a lot of variation as well with not just towns but also the countryside to explore at times. The apocalypse has never looked so damn pretty, a real roadtrip of a game.

Combat is mostly done via guns, there was more gun play than I thought but it is all brutal and quite grimace inducing to watch. As well as an assortment of guns you get access to limited use melee weapons and even a bow and arrows. Bricks and bottles can be thrown to distract the enemies and you can also craft crude bombs and Molotov cocktails. This is a very violent game with Joel messily embedding axes in people and head stomping downed foes. The scream the enemies make as you set them on fire is near harrowing, this is backed up by Ellie your constant companion who usually says 'my God Joel!' after a suitable act of uber violence. A game in which shooting someone with a shotgun close range usually results in them losing their face in crimson gore equals goodness.


The infected are blind but react to noise and are mostly melee fighters so different tactics are need than the human foes who try to outflank you and hide from your gunfire. If I had one complaint for the infected it is that there is not that many different types, you get the runners, clickers who can kill you in one hit, and large lumbering giant ones who spit acidic pollen pods at you. It is also a shame that you never fight both humans and infected together, that would have made for some great three way fights.

Items hidden in the game world can not only be used to upgrade your abilities and weapons but also can be used to craft items. If you need a first aid kit for instance you must craft one, but the same ingredients are also used to make Molotov's so it is always a gamble to decide what to use them for. Alongside these items are many collectibles that shed more light on the games giving you diary excerpts as well as maps and even comics.


If it were merely a steady diet of fighting and exploration then it would still be a good game but what makes The Last of Us really special is the various set pieces. An early one sees Joel hanging upside down caught in a trap as he is swarmed by infected, a later highlight was a chase by a very persistent armoured vehicle. Horse riding, hunting for food, and even stealth sections all help change up the tempo.

The plot is very well realised. Joel is a morally ambiguous character who it is hinted did some terrible things in the past while Ellie is a jaded youngster who has never known anything but the hell the world has become. The people you meet are all interesting characters, you meet real evil (a great appearance by Nolan North) as well as others like you just looking to protect their interests. The plot is excellent and led to many surprises and horrors, nothing is ever simple in this dark, dark world. While it can sometimes break the realism by characters your with talking loudly and walking around seemingly invisible to enemies they never become a burden and actually help out quite a lot and provide lots of incidental dialogue.


Now I don't know just what the replay value will be like, and the multiplayer while fun did not seem essential, but I believe this will always be considered a true classic. Great looking, well designed and with some fantastic acting The Last of Us is a game that simply must be played. I for one cannot wait for the PS4 re-release (not that I have a PS4 but dreams and all that). A beautiful haunting and expertly crafted experiance.

SCORE:

Monday, 26 May 2014

Godzilla (2014) - Horror Film Review


Back in 1998 I was quite excited to be going to see the new Godzilla film. Now that film was kind of boring and so with the new Godzilla film appearing I had some trepidation, yet hearing some pretty good things about it I entered expecting a real fun monster movie. There will be some mild spoilers ahead just as a warning.

After some blurry archival footage of a Godzilla type monster the film opens in 1999 where Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad) is the manager of a nuclear power plant in the Japanese town of Janjira. A massive disaster occurs which results in the death of his wife and the evacuation of the town.  15 years later and Joe's son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson from Kick-Ass) has come back on leave from the Army to see his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and child. Hearing his father has been arrested in Japan whilst trying to enter the sealed Janjira region he heads there to assist. What they discover is that a huge egg has secretly been kept in the area by the military for the past 15 years, this egg hatches and releases a giant monster that flies off towards America, pursued by Godzilla who it turns out is a real thing that lives peacefully in the seas. What follows is a series of events that always seem to involve Ford being in the epicentre of the chaos as the army attempt to stop the rampaging beasts from wiping out humanity.


I was so bored by this film, after just an hour I was constantly checking my phone to see if it was nearly ending. I had hoped with the 1998 Godzilla movie that mistakes would be learnt and a more exciting experience could be gained, but alas not. Archival footage not counting it was over an hour before Godzilla made an appearance, the giant instectoid creature called MUTO (massive unidentified terrestrial organism) came before this, and at first I mistook it for Godzilla not knowing there was more than one giant monster in the film. The MUTO design really reminded me of the beast from Cloverfield which was a much better film. For the most part scenes of utter destruction are present but no monsters, I never understand how these giant monsters in films such as this seem to be so camera shy.

Bizarrely Godzilla has a lot in common with World War Z in it's pacing. Both films feature a male lead who travels around the world, always in the centre of the action seemingly by accident, both looking for a way to stop the madness and get back to their family. Zombies are just so much cooler than a couple of giant monsters though. It is silly how important a character Ford is in the plot when he is so minor, just makes it all feel even more unrealistic.


The special effects are quite good, Godzilla in particular (when you actually get to see him) looks great and the brief fight sequences are impressive but they are few and far between. Fights are teased and then don't occur, scenes involving the army are ultra boring as their guns and vehicles have zero effect on the beasts, not even scratching their skin. The beasts themselves don't pay too much attention for the most part either to the humans making for some nice looking but very dull sequences.

Godzilla emerging out the smoke and dust, soldiers halo dropping into San Francisco, these and others parts are both iconic sequences but these small flashes of enjoyment are short lived. For every fun scene you get unimaginative ones plucked from the most generic disaster films; a dog miraculously outrunning danger, or army people sitting around po-faced talking about the cost to human life. When the main Japanese character earnestly shows the Army commander his Dad's broken watch (a result of Hiroshima) to remind him of the folly of using nukes I almost walked out the cinema such was the seizure I felt I was getting from my intense eye rolling. Such a ham fisted comment on the dangers of nuclear weapons was just not needed.


Two hours sat bored out my mind waiting for anything at all to happen does not make a happy film watcher, dull as dishwater and manages to be much less exciting than the 1998 effort, least that had Jean Reno to save it. Don't just avoid to save money, avoid to save precious hours of your life!

SCORE:

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Evolution of the Zombie - Infographic of the history of zombies in popular culture

It is a Sunday and I am hot and instead of watching a film for review like I should I am instead putting up this infographic I got sent a while back about the evolution of zombies in popular culture. Shame on me, I will review my outstanding films this week though, well at least make a start on them!

The Evolution of the Zombie

Sure that probably did not blow your mind but as a quick history of zombies it was fun enough even if some bizarre things are included. Still I am currently playing through The Last of Us with my best friend and having a whale of a time on it so this chart is at least in some places relevant.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Birth of the Living Dead - A Documentary (2014) - Zombie Horror Documentary Review


I spoke about this a month or so ago but released 12th May on DVD and VOD was a new documentary on The Night of the Living Dead (1968) from Solo Media. That film of course is a stone cold classic and really is the father of the modern zombie film. Where before Voodoo and strange rituals were the cause for the creation of these strange beings now they were universal, rising from their graves in their thousands to feast upon the flesh of the living.

I have seen The Night of the Living Dead so many times that I was very interested to see this new documentary. It was the very first zombie film I saw (excluding the fantastic Thriller music video) and was a source of delight and a wonderful gateway entrance to my beloved zombie genre; surely the source of some of the best horror films of all time. What I really enjoyed about this new look was just how much I learnt that I had no clue about.


The format is a natural progression from the conception (George Romero being influenced by Richard Matheson's I Am Legend novel) through the whole films process to it's eventual release. I found the middle section particularly fascinating. A lot of the actors also helped in the creation of the film with producers, and even make up artists comprising the main characters. Real police and news reporters feature, and the vast majority of the cast and crew were made up of friends and family members, as well as local towns people. George Romero himself is even in the film which I did not realise!

At just 27 years old when he made the film and with such a small budget it truly is a remarkable piece of filming. Birth features a lot of interviews with Romero that show some real insight into his mind frame at the time. Created as a reflection of the troubles of 1960's America with commentary on the race riots of the time, as well as a critique of the Vietnam war that was ongoing, and an accidental commentary on race itself due to Romero refusing to change the script once a black man was cast in the lead male role.


At 76 minutes long Birth never gets bogged down with too much detail but is instead a fun journey through the creation of a real classic. Mixed in with plenty of interview footage is a lot of scenes from the film being talked over, from the initial grave yard chase all the way to the bleak, dark ending, nothing feels skipped over. Animations by Gary Pullin fit well as does the use of archival footage used. The whole copyright incident, and how the film came to be so popular from it's humble grind house beginnings finish off the documentary well. If I had one complaint it would be that not many of the original actors are interviewed at all, though I have a feeling that the majority of these people may well be deceased.

If you have any interest at all in the works of Romero, or in zombie films in general then this is essential viewing. If you want a definite cause for the uprising of the ghouls in his films then you get that here, as he says 'God changed the rules, there was just no more room in Hell...' Zombie films really are the best and it is hard to see how the genre would exist today if not for the vision of this one man whose rules really did shape zombies as they are perceived today. A lot of new information is to be found in this documentary, at least for me.

SCORE:

Friday, 23 May 2014

The Winedancers - Horror Film News (2014)


It has been nearly two weeks off from my blog, though this is for good reason as I have taken a much needed rest from my life in which I have been able to think long and hard about plans for the future. To get back into the world of horror I have chosen to do a post about upcoming horror The Winedancers which recently has released an official trailer.

The trailer reminds me a lot of The Wicker Man (1973) with crazed cults, near naked people dancing and strange happenings a plenty. A group of friends head to a remote Southern French chateau for some wine tasting, there they find a host of odd people as well as bloody murder and madness. The blurb describes The Winedancers as a classic whodunit full of suspense.

Starring among others the prolific Kim Sonderholm who just seems to be in everything nowadays this looks like it has the potential to be interesting if the acting holds up. Filmed in 2013, and now edited I assume the film will be out later this year. Anyway, check out the trailer below and see what you think.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Mid Ohio Valley White Zombie 2014 Premiere - Zombie Film News


I don't usually bother with localised news events as it only really speaks to a small number of people and being brutally honest I don't get hundreds of thousands of visitors to this dusty old blog! Still there is actually a short video to go with this news so I thought why not?

I spoke before about the 2014 remake of White Zombie by RagNBone Productions, I wont give a link to that as you may discover me repeating myself (it's been a long day). I was not keen on the original White Zombie, but then that was made back in 1932 when films were tamer. Anyway White Zombie 2014 may well be more scary, though can't see it featuring undead of the flesh eating variety.

The premiere of this film is to be at the Twin City Opera House in McConnelsville, Ohio on 12th July. If you live in the area then I highly recommend you check it out, I myself am not going what with living 3,779 miles away. The cast and crew shall be in attendance, all these details are in the trailer below anyway. Anyway I'm off to bed!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Too Young to Die - Zombie Horror Film News


Indiegogo campaigns are not exactly a rarity but any opportunity I get to write about zombie films I will, especially ones filmed in my native homeland of Blighty. Too Young to Die is one such project I was made aware of, it has an optimistic goal of raising £500,000 and currently has £215 of that with 10 days left to (Indiego)go.

This film is shown from the perspective of a child whose small North English home town becomes the centre of a zombie outbreak after a train carrying most likely suspect cargo crashes nearby. With all the adults gone it is up to the survivors; all consisting of kids to find a way to survive the horror.

It would be interesting to see just what danger children can face, kids being killed in zombie films and in films in general is a very rare thing so it would stand to see if there could be any terror if this taboo was not broken much. The idea kind of reminded me of The Walking Dead Telltale adventure game and if it could make you care even 1/10th of the amount that game makes you care about young Clementine then this could be good.

Anyway I guess that is a moot point if the film doesn't get created. If you fancy donating some cash to this project then head over to the Indiegogo page where there is a variety of rewards based on how much you are willing to give. Check out the mellow teaser trailer below to see if this might appeal to you...

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Luigi's Mansion 2 (2013) - Horror Videogame Review (Nintendo 3DS)


The first Luigi's Mansion was released on the Gamecube back in 2001, and in my opinion was one of it's best games, an underrated classic if you will. I was very excited for this 3DS sequel.

The game takes place in Evershade Valley where Professor E.Gadd resides as he is studying the friendly ghosts who live there. One day the dark moon (a giant crystal like moon that floats above the valley) shatters which results in all the friendly ghosts becoming evil. Due to Luigi saving the day in the original Gadd decides to summon him, teleporting the cowardly man to Gadd's ghost proof bunker. A purple mist covers the valley, Luigi must travel to several mansions, in each one he must find and defeat a 'possessor' ghost who holds a part of the dark moon in order to recreate the moon, clear away the mist to reveal new locations, and bring peace back to the land.


Your main weapon is your ghost sucking hoover. Ghosts must be first stunned via your flash light before a mini game in which you power up the hoover to suck away hit points takes place. Other ghosts, as well as environmental dangers can make these more challenging. The ghosts are not that exciting, green ones are the cannon fodder, red ones are strong, while the blue ones hide in objects, and a few others also appear to break up the flow. There are quite a few different types but it still felt like I was doing the same thing time and time again. You also have access to a dark light which can make hidden objects and ghosts appear and was a cool addition

Starting off I will say this is not as good as the original. Maybe it is rose tinted glasses I am wearing but the first games chunky visuals are more appealing than the more far away camera here. The 3D is used to great effect with the locations at times looking almost like a dolls house with a good sense of depth as you walk down corridors and secret passages. Each of the mansions is different in feel to the others and along with a traditional haunted house you gets one built around a huge tree, a frozen lodge, dusty mines and more. Each of these are expertly designed full of secret doors, puzzles and traps. The last mansion in particular is very well designed, those last few levels were a joy to play.


Each of the mansions has a variety of missions that take place in them, the initial few will be you searching for signs of a dark moon piece, objectives marked on your map (on the bottom screen) with exclamations. For example one level may see you collecting pieces of a large key in order to open a door, while others will see you searching for Toad assistants who have become trapped in magical paintings. All the mansions end with a boss battle that by far are the highlights of the game with plenty of inventive fights occurring such as sucking up mats to trip over suit of armours, or firing bombs at an icy monstrous face in order to smash it apart.

Luigi's Mansion 2 is a big game, it took me just under 17 hours to complete, I think the first game was around 5 hours in length. Usually I would not moan about a game being long, but just after two thirds through I got huge fatigue that lead to a 6 month break before mopping up the rest. There are Boo ghosts hidden in each level, finding all of these opens up a secret level for each mansion. Also hidden around each mansion are jewels, collect all the jewels and a boring reward is given. I did this once but wasn't compelled to get all of them. Money is hidden absolutely everywhere, most objects can be interacted with such as opening cupboard doors, or sucking up curtains. This money is used to get upgrades for your equipment but I found that not even halfway through the game I had purchased everything it was possible to, disappointing and made me less eager to search later levels.


While this is a good game I felt that it's length actually detracted from my overall enjoyment. Luigi is a great character and the cut scenes at times are genuinely laugh out loud, the music and sound effects are fantastic throughout and the boss battles fun but I wish there had been more variety put into the mission structure, and that there had been more of a challenge. All in all this is good, but sadly not essential.

SCORE:

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Year Walk (2013) - Horror Videogame Review (iOS)


Year Walk is a unique looking survival horror that originally came out on i-OS devices. My friend was kind enough to buy it on her phone for me at the time but apart from one session on it I never actually got that far. Now I have my own i-Phone I just had to check it out.

Year Walk is a Swedish tradition in which someone who has been fasting would then go out on the last night of the year and walk through the woods in order to gain knowledge of what the future would bring. The process was said to be very dangerous as you would reveal yourself to spirits that may not take kindly to someone trying to find hidden knowledge. In the game you play as one such person. After visiting your girlfriend at a mill (who warns you of the danger of doing a year walk) you head back to your house, emerging at midnight, setting out into the black of night to find answers.


It is a adventure game of sorts in which in a first person perspective you move left and right through woodlands, while swiping with your finger to travel up paths. The game has a very unsettling visual style to it, kind of like if South Park became a serious horror show. Solving five main puzzles arcs, each related to a different Swedish mythological creature or being (the Huldra, the Brook Horse, the Myling, the Night Raven, and the Church Grim) it is a unnerving experience, and has quite a few jump scares. The puzzles are inventive and involving lots of touch commands. For example you see a large stone with a thumb print on it, by putting your finger on that part of the screen and holding it a doorway is revealed, another puzzle has you needing to follow a woman through the forest, multiple exits seek to trick you but the tone of a note that plays as you approach each one informs you of the correct approach.

I actually completed this game in less than 45 minutes, I somehow just never got lost at all, was a natural progression and I am kinda glad I didn't get stuck but it made the game over all too quick. Luckily there is some replay value. A free companion app is available that not only gives you information on the myths covered in the game but also has a secret part that consists of a lot of diary entries of a man researching the year walk idea which was very interesting and adds to the game a lot.


Year Walk is a must play if you own a i-Phone and like horror (also due out on Steam I believe) but be aware that it can have a short run time if you happen to stumble upon the right solutions to each of the puzzles. Still, not much like it around.

SCORE:

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Zombie Dream - 1st May 2014


Nowadays zombie dreams for me are few and far between, I do try to make an effort to chronicle them on this blog when I do have them. Now I had been watching Demon Resurrection just before going to bed that night so am totally convinced that the zombies of that film influenced my night time adventure.

In my dream I was in Northampton town centre and zombie apocalypse was happening. There was a section in the middle of the town that was not yet over run by zombies, there was a military blockade surrounding it, beyond the blockade random zombies stumbled around, oblivious to us. I was hiding out in a ruined building that had no roof on it, a barber was with me for some reason. The army had orders not to fire on uninfected civilians but soldiers were questioning if these orders had to be followed. There was a green tank patrolling the outer edges of the safe zone.

Knowing that this was the end of civilisation as I knew it I really wanted to leave and make my way home. The barber warned me against it saying it was a suicide mission but I just really wanted to get home and experience normalcy one last time before I started my life of forever running and hiding from the zombies.

The rest of the dream I guess I will never know as in the real world my next door neighbour's child squealing loudly awoke me from my dream and I was unable to get it back. Still it was a cool one and I hope I soon once again meet the living dead in my slumber.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Demon Resurrection (2008) - Horror Film Review


While Demon Resurrection was released back in 2008 it was not a widely watched film due to what William Hopkins (the director and writer) refers to as 'less than entirely successful attempt at self distribution'. The film was created as a homage to the horror films of the 1970's and also works as an imitation of early 80's horrors.

A bunch of friends of a woman named Grace turn up to her and her new boyfriend's house to hold an intervention. Grace used to be a wild outgoing girl but has now become sickly and withdrawn so her friends fear she has become a drug addict. By conversations with the couple it becomes clear that something more sinister may be to blame. John is a paranormal researcher and via his work Grace came to join a demon worshipping cult where she was drugged and impregnated with demon spawn before John was able to rescue her. Now the leader of the cult; the rich and charismatic Toth has arrived to get Grace back and he will go to any means necessary, he will even raise the dead...


From the bare bones title alone you can tell this is a film that knows exactly what it is and it falls into it's genre comfortably. Demon Resurrection is old school in every sense of the word, at times reminding me of The Evil Dead (1981) and also with strong resemblance to the Amando De Ossorio Blind Dead quartet, especially when it comes down to monster design. The film was filmed on a very small budget but it is actually surprisingly good looking with some decent acting and great effects used, and some delightful scenes of gruesome violence.

There are zombies in this film, that is a good thing, a very good thing in fact as it actually led me to having a really awesome zombie apocalypse dream the night I watched it. What is not so good is the digital effects used to create a green mist around these undead beasts, the effect reminded me of the type of effect used in the kids horror show Goosebumps. The rest of the special effects are really great though, no CGI violence here, all real. At first it seemed whenever someone got killed it would happen just off screen but just when I began to think that would be the norm for the rest of the film some great deaths happen in full view, my favourite being someone who is dragged out a broken window and gets their stomach sliced open on the jagged glass remains and ends up with their insides falling out, looked great. The trauma effects can seem fake but this just adds to the charm, one character whose face becomes very mutilated asks meekly if she looks ok not realising the extent of her injuries, a fun little scene that reminded me of a similar bit in Hostel.


Back onto zombies - they are ancient and almost more skeleton looking than the traditional zombie style, they have skull heads which while not able to move do look quite cool even if in some shots you can see the eye holes in the back of the empty eye sockets. Also these are some lethal creatures, seemingly even getting touched by these leads to pain and misery, their arms most be made of razor blades or something, this makes every encounter the characters have with these really quite thrilling and made me wince once or twice; you wouldn't believe the injuries just trying to push one of these skeletal undead off a makeshift ladder would cause! Also some other creatures that appear look fantastic it must be said.

While it does imitate these 70's and 80's horror's well there are some things which are not quite so great. First off there is an early sex scene which was really quite soppy and didn't bring anything to the film that we didn't already know. The female characters on the whole appear to be more weak than the males, often if a character encounters a zombie they will just stand there screaming, frozen to the spot, to be fair male characters do act this way too but to a lesser degree. The low budget can be seen occasionally which doesn't really take anything away, as I said the acting is actually decent, just stuff like the fact the good guys and the bad guys are both meant to have an identical magical book and yet the books are never seen together (as obviously there is only the one physical book prop).


The plot is quite simple but does have echoes of a H.P Lovecraft story with tales of demons from other realms and ancient cults. I loved that there was a mid film twist where the character you assume is the hero becomes replaced with another character who then becomes the film's hero. All in all the characters are likeable, even the irritating ones are fine really, the main bad guy seems to have too little screen time but other than that it is a fun enough yarn.

Demon Resurrection does what it sets out to do and does it well, certainly not scary (though the third part with a Night of the Living Dead style house assault was exciting and well done). A great throwback to when horror films were more about being a thrill ride rather than just trying to be mean, dark and depressing.

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