Sunday, 23 April 2017
There has been a new breed of found footage horror movies lately, over the past year I have continually been impressed with what I have seen due to them innovating and trying new things. Chupacabra Territory though is quite old fashioned in it's found footage, the biggest inspiration seeming to be 1999's The Blair Witch Project. While it has been a while since I have seen a traditional 'lost in woods' film it still suffers from being pretty generic.
In 2012 four friends head out to the remote Pinewood Forest in order to document evidence of the existence of the legendary Chupacabra creature. Despite warnings from the locals, and a park ranger telling them the trail they intend to take is closed off due to the dangerous animals that live there they still decide to continue. On screen text at the films start states that the footage shown was pieced together from cameras found in the area, and that the friends are missing, presumed dead, and so you can guess that things are not going to go well for them...
Saturday, 22 April 2017
Currently my inbox is flooded with requests to watch films, and so I have been slightly neglecting actually watching films of my own volition. After being nagged at by a friend on the issue of making sure I make time to watch new horrors (that are eligible for the Fright Meter Awards of which I am a committee member of) I decided today would be the day I headed out on my own, and watch something of my choosing. As We Go On was on Shudder, and a contender for the 2017 awards I chose that movie, and I am kind of glad I did.
Clark Freeman stars as Miles; a man who has lived his life scared of everything due to his fear of dying, a fear that he gained after the tragic death of his father when he was a child. One day Miles decides to face his fear head on, he places an ad in the local paper offering $30,000 for anyone who can prove to him without a doubt that an afterlife exists. Of the hundreds of replies he receives he whittles down the list to just a handful of plausible people, and along with his sceptical mother Charlotte (Annette O'Toole) heads out to meet them to see if they can give him the proof he desires. However after discovering the answer he seeks he soon begins to wish he hadn't...
Friday, 21 April 2017
Triple Six Horror Film Festival, Islamic Exorcist, Red Christmas and Red Eye - Horror Event and Film News
So back in December last year I mentioned the Manchester based Triple Six Horror Film Festival that was due to happen in 2017, well I have some further information on that as the full line up has now been announced and tickets are now on sale. So to save on time (and to be lazy) here is what the press release says of the event:
'The line-up includes nine feature films and 12 short films. Highlights include the 1990 horror sci-fi classic Hardware screening in 35mm with director Richard Stanley in attendance for a live Q&A following the screening. Also there is a world premiere for UK horror mockumentary Tone Death plus premieres for Quarries, The Forest of Lost Souls, Hounds of Love, Offensive and Roddy Piper's last film The Chair. Plus exclusive screenings with Cruel Summer and The Unkindness of Ravens.'
Weekend tickets cost £30 and can be brought here, sounds like there are going to be some cool films showing so if your in the area be sure to check it out!
The guys at Artsploitation Films have picked up the US rights to controversial abortion-themed horror Red Christmas. The film stars horror legend Dee Wallace (The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, Halloween, Critters) who also co-produced. She plays the mother of a dysfunctional family living in the Australian outback who on Christmas eve are visited by Cletus; a mysterious deformed man, this man brings with him terror and violence. The film is said to bring together comedy, outlandish gore, and of course the topic of abortion. Red Christmas is getting a limited theatrical run in August and is due to be released on DVD/Blu-ray and VOD in October. Check out the trailer below...
Indian international horror film Islamic Exorcist has had the reveal of it's movie poster. The film made by controversial Indian film maker Faisal Saif is in English, and is to star Kavita Radheshyam, and apparently it is based on a true event. The film has been picked up by Cinema Epoch and is due to be released later this year.
Finally comes the new trailer for Red Eye; no not a remake of the 2005 Cillian Murphy film, but an entirely new film. I must have contributed to an Indiegogo campaign for the film at some point in the past as I'm always getting updates on its progress, yet have no idea what the film is about. They have released an official trailer which I shall watch now...wow, it has Jessica Cameron and Heather Dorff in it, after seeing them in bloody torture film Truth or Dare that makes me look more forward to this. It seems a bunch of teens head out to remote woodland to explore the legend of 'Red Eye' for a film project, but when out there they discover too late the legend is real. The film is getting it's world premiere on May 27th at the Gateway Film Center in Columbus Ohio. Check out the trailer for yourself below...
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
I had a very long day at work in my day job and so I really didn't feel like sitting down to watch a film for review. However my list is long and so I decided to see Teenage Ghost Punk (written and directed by Mike Cramer), and boy am I glad I did. This is a feel good movie in every sense of the word, for the entire hour and a half run time I was sat with the biggest grin on my face, it really cheered up my day.
Teenage Amanda (Grace Madigan), her young brother Adam (Noah Kitsos), and their recently divorced mum Carol (Adria Dawn) move to a new town to have a new start. After a series of strange events Amanda starts to suspect their new home is haunted, and it turns out it is. Brian (Jack Cramer); a ghost of a teenage punk who died in the 1980's haunts the building and soon him and Amanda start to hit it off, but with ghost hunters and a spirit medium in the area is this new love doomed to fail?
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
The Book of the Not Dead Enough: Admin Errors from the Other Side (2015) by Richard T. Watson - Zombie eBook Review
I had gotten into the habit of point blank turning down any requests I got sent to review eBooks, this was due to having a backlog five years long. However I received such a polite email from Richard T. Watson about his collection of short stories; The Book of the Not Dead Enough: Admin Errors from the Other Side that I decided I would buy a new eBook reader in order to finally make an effort to get on top of things. I am very rusty when it comes to book reviews, but it is all practice!
So contained within this there are twenty one short stories spread over 171 pages all dealing with a different version of the traditional zombie tale. The stories all take place in a world where due to an administration error in the afterlife a percentage of the world's population upon dying stay in their bodies rather than move on. These N.D.E's (Not Dead Enough's) aside from being dead are no different than when they were alive, they don't hunger for brains or any of the traditional wants the undead have. Most of the stories here explore different issues the dead face, usually to do with bureaucracy such as the issues of life insurance, marriage rights, and job security.
Monday, 17 April 2017
Anoxemia was first released on the PC back in 2015, though it was only released on the Playstation 4 and X-Box One on 28th March. As this underwater adventure contains moments of horror I felt it was a good enough fit for a review on my blog.
Set in a post apocalyptic world recovering from a devastating distant war you play as an operations drone named ATMA who is escorting scientist Dr. Bailey deep below the waves in a dangerous region covered in acid, in order to retrieve important samples. Unfortunately your submarine crashes on the ocean floor, trapping you there with the Dr, who decides that despite loosing his sub the mission is too important to abort and so sets off in diving gear. However being trapped isn't your only problem as there are many still operational relics left over from the war, ones that are programmed to kill...
Sunday, 16 April 2017
I figured from the title alone that Antibirth (written and directed by Danny Perez) was going to be about a demonic child, yet this Canadian horror delves more deeply into issues of drug use and even has some Sci-Fi elements to it. This is a slice of life horror in which we get to follow a heavy drink and drugs user as she tries to live as best she can.
Living on the edge of society in a washed out remote town, habitual drug user Lou (Natasha Lyonne from #Horror) wakes up one day after a messy night out in which she blacked out, with all the signs of being pregnant, despite not having slept with any one in the past six months. As her condition worsens she begins to get hallucinations and lost time, while her skin starts to rot and fall off in places. She is found by Lorna (Meg Tilly from Psycho II) who seems that she may have the answers to Lou's inexplicable condition. Is her strange illness down to the new drug she has been taking, or is there a more insidious cause?
Saturday, 15 April 2017
Indie media production company Sodom & Chimera Productions have recently released a trailer for their upcoming horror film Flesh of the Void. The film is designed to be a provocative and experimental film that tries to deal with the question 'what if death really were the most horrible thing one could experience?' and attempts to show a visualisation of what dying could be like if that was the case. From the blurb in the press release alone this sounds like it is going to share a lot with art house films.
It seems like this is going to be about exploring a theme rather than telling a story, the trailer (included below) is certainly darkly trippy with black and white grainy footage and seemingly unrelated images, kind of like the video that plays in The Ring, but extended out to an entire film, or that was the impression I got anyway. Writer and director James Quinn (previously responsible for the award winning The Law of Sodom) says of Flesh of the Void:
"If death really were something absolutely terrifyingly horrible, I imagine it would probably feel like a long, incoherent trip where all your deepest fears, everything you were ever afraid of, just starts hammering on your mind and senses, in such a traumatic, horrible way that no one could even imagine what it could feel like. I wanted to depict exactly that in this film. An arrangement of primal fears, trauma and anxiety. Something people have never seen before, and will never forget."
It is currently in production with shooting to finish in April. This has been almost entirely shot on Super 8 which will help with the creepy factor. It was only the other day I was saying in my review of The Dark Tapes that the Super 8 scene there added a lot. Flesh of the Void should have it's post production finished in May/June time before heading to the festival circuit and eventually getting released on Blu-ray and VOD. Check out the Sodom & Chimera Productions website (here) for more details, and check out the trailer for this below.
Friday, 14 April 2017
The idea behind award winning English short zombie film Still (written, produced, and directed by Carl Timms in his debut as director) sounded so unique and interesting that even before watching it I had a strong feeling it would be good. Thankfully it was good, it takes a very simple idea and runs...well, limps with it. I have a fondness with shorts as there is so much more scope for them to be enjoyable than feature length films.
Still stars Joe Capella as a gold painted living statue street performer who finds himself in the midst of an unfolding zombie outbreak. Luckily for him the undead haven't realised he is a human and not actually a statue, but on the flip side he can only hold his breath, and be still for so long before needing to move...
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Back in August of last year I was provided with a rough copy of Slashermania, one that contained about two thirds of the overall graphic novel. I put up a blog post at the time talking about my thoughts on what I had read, and now I have had the chance to read the whole thing. At the time there was a Kickstarter to get funds to print and distribute the comic, I actually ended up donating some money to that as I enjoyed what I had read, reminding me both of Battle Royale and Slashers. As a result though I don't feel comfortable doing a traditional review as technically I contributed towards it's completion, and so I won't be putting up a score at the end of this, nor shall this be too detailed as I said quite a lot last year about it.
So I summed up the story in my news post about Slashermania, but to recap...A group of fifty teenagers are taken to a remote camping ground where they are told they are to be trained as camp counsellors, in reality however they are going to be the unwilling victims of Slashermania. This yearly event sees a number of serial killers tasked with murdering as many teens as possible with awards giving in a number of categories such as 'Best Male Kill'. As they do so they are watched by an audience of super rich people who pay highly for a ticket to watch the event.
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
It seems crazy to think it was only last year that each time a found footage horror film dropped in my inbox I would recoil in fear, fear at the 90 minutes I would have to waste watching the (usually) boring movie. The genre felt irredeemable to me, each film a collection of dull day to day life sections and poorly lit shaky cam night sections, just recycling ideas to infinity. Yet award winning (nominated for over 60 awards over 30 different film festivals) indie film The Dark tapes is the fourth found footage horror I have seen in the past 6 months that has really impressed me (Be My Cat: A Film for Anne, A Guidebook to Killing Your Ex, and Capture Kill Release were the others). This is also the first ever found footage anthology film I have seen, a style of film that this type of horror seems perfect for.
There are four different short films contained within The Dark Tapes, each dealing with a slightly different theme, but all centring around the paranormal in some fashion. The wrap-around film is titled To Catch a Demon and has a university professor and a couple of his students using experiments with R.E.M sleep in order to try and capture footage of a demon. This was the most complex in terms of scientific descriptions, it was also really interesting. I have no idea if the facts stated here are real or not, but in terms of describing how people are able to see ghosts, and how time dilates when you are dreaming it was damn fascinating. The British horror show Urban Gothic (2000-1) had an episode where contestants of a game show were stalked and killed by the sandman while trying to stay awake during a multi-day challenge to be the last person touching a brand new car. This wrap around short totally explains that episode in a new light to me, being reminded of that episode was an unexpected bonus. There were some pretty messed up moments in this one that called to mind Silent Hill.
Sunday, 9 April 2017
I have an admission to state; I totally suck at reading eBooks and back in the day I wasn't happy to refuse any books sent my way, and so over the years my pile of shame continued to grow. The main issue I have with eBooks is that they don't feel 'real' to me over traditional books, there is no sense of satisfaction having read what is essentially a file. The other edge of this defeatist sword is that I am kryptonite to eBook readers, they always die on me. Enough was enough though and I brought a Kindle that turned up this morning. Now Sean Thomas Fisher sent me a copy of A Little More Dead two years ago, over that time I had managed to read 78%, so today I mopped up that one, so huge apologies for the slow read! Parts will also be foggy as I have been reading this for so long.
A Little More Dead takes place in the 18 days following a sudden apparently world wide zombie apocalypse. Dan, his best friend Paul, and Paul's wife Sophia are on the road attempting to find a place of safety, along the way they pick up other survivors such as a mother and her two young boys, and Wendy; a woman they find hiding out in a strip club. The group are forever harassed, whenever they stop they come under assault from the furious, deadly undead, things seem quite hopeless...
Saturday, 8 April 2017
Obviously one look at the title of Tales of Dracula would tell you this is a vampire film, and one based on Bram Stoker's original blood sucker at that. The most interesting thing about this is that it is filmed in tribute to the classic Universal Studios horror films of the first half of the 20th century, most notably 1931's Dracula in which Bela Lugosi gave what many believe to be his best performance as the titular vampire. Due to being a homage this is filmed in black and white, and is even set out in the same style.
Set up as a sequel to Universal's Dracula this has the count (Wayne W. Johnson from Night of Something Strange and Brackish) fleeing England and heading back to his castle in Transylvania after his defeat at the hands of Von Helsing. Meanwhile in a village nearby to the castle arrives a man named Creighton Reed (Tom Delillo) who is looking to go to the estate of Victor Frankenstein to look for a cure to a dark secret he holds within him. Meanwhile Victor himself is away on a mission of his own, in his stead is his grand daughter; Victoria (Courtney Bennett) who is looking after Frankenstein's monster (Joe DeMuro who also co-wrote and directed this) and sees an opportunity to make him stronger by injecting him with the blood of Dracula, something which the Lord of Darkness is none too happy to discover...
Thursday, 6 April 2017
People have been saying that Life is the best Sci-Fi horror since Aliens and after watching it I would agree, not that there have been too many of note over the years. The original Alien has been stated to be a direct influence on this and it really shows with the plot being in a way almost identical in a broad sense, though stuck into a modern setting rather than the far flung future. Of course this can't be said to be a better film than Alien, personally I have never rated that one too much, though it has been decades since I last checked it out.
A team of scientists are aboard the International Space Station awaiting the return of a probe which had headed to Mars to collect soil samples. When they start analysing the findings they are shocked to discover a dormant alien life form. This life form is so small it is invisible to the naked eye, yet a huge deal is made back on Earth with the being lovingly named 'Calvin'. After managing to reanimate this creature it quickly begins to grow in size until soon it has little tentacles. However an accident occurs which results in one of the scientists getting attacked and the creature escaping from the lab it was contained in. With the creature continuing to grow and getting more intelligent the crew are faced with the task of killing it, however Calvin is seemingly indestructible, and is determined to kill everyone on the I.S.S and escape to Earth where it will be unstoppable...
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
The official trailer for German horror film Reyes is now avaliable to watch online. If you have never heard of that film then don't worry, me too! The film that's currently still in production is directed by Patrick Templin and Rene Wiesner (ABC's of Superheroes) and stars the prolific Kim Sonderholm (Sinister Visions, Little Big Boy: The Rise and Fall of Jimmy Duncan). It is also going to star Bill Hutchens (Human Centipede 2 and 3), Shawn C. Phillips (The Corpse Grinders), Antonio Monroi (Texas Rising) and Patrick Jahns (Bunker of the Dead) among others.
In Reyes Sonderholm plays Mick; an author in a slump who is looking for inspiration for his next book. While on this quest he stumbles across something very sinister occurring in his home town. Apparently the film is going to feature occult rituals and human sacrifice. The trailer has a nice sense of atmosphere to it, though as always is hard to gauge the quality, though Sonderholm always puts in a solid performance. Check out the trailer for Reyes below and see what you think.
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
With season 6 ending on a huge and devastating cliffhanger my impatience was high for the return of The Walking Dead. I would class myself a huge fan of the show, yet with recent seasons I had started to become too irritated by plot decisions and a lack of any real new ideas. This irritation does continue with season 7, yet I found myself better able to look past the flaws due to the fresh feeling this new season brought. There has been a lot of online moaning about the direction The Walking Dead has gone to, with many people feeling this was a mediocre season, to me though I would say it is definitely up there with the best. There will be spoilers from previous shows, as well as mild unavoidable spoilers for this season in my review.
So Rick and his band of followers were last seen having just been captured by The Saviours and their leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The new show picks right off with Negan enacting bloody vengeance on at least one of Rick's group. Completely defeated Rick agrees to surrender to the band of thugs. With Rick and New Alexandria now under The Saviours control it is up to the rest of the group to try and fight on. Maggie heads to the Hilltop colony where she starts to assert herself as the new leader, meanwhile Morgan and Carol end up at a bizarre Medieval styled place called The Kingdom, ruled over by King Ezekial and his pet tiger (!). It soon starts to become clear to all these places that living under Negan's law is no way to live at all, and that they need to unite to defeat him...
Sunday, 2 April 2017
For someone who has the word 'zombie' in his blog's title I sure don't watch as many zombie films as I should do. So it was refreshing to have an excuse to watch one when I got sent the undead anthology film Empire State of the Dead. This movie is made up of eight short films featuring everyone's favourite rotting cadavers that all take place in New York State, and that were all directed by New York filmmakers.
The plot comes mainly from the wraparound segments (directed by Ron Bonk). In this story a zombie outbreak has occurred in New York. A local crime boss named Ray has used the opportunity of the chaos the outbreak has caused to try and consolidate his power over the region, mainly by battling the local military forces, and by sabotaging all the local civilian refugee centres. A small group of soldiers are tasked with travelling to these centres in order to bring any survivors back to military HQ.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
The Madame in Black (Sverta Madam in it's native Swedish) comes from indie filmmaker Jarno Lee Vinsencius who produced, wrote, directed, as well as did the cinematography. This 24 minute horror short is based on a true urban legend from Sweden, one that people from other parts of the world will see shares many similarities with the Bloody Mary urban legend.
Alex (Demis Tzivis) and his girlfriend have gone to the remote house of his sister Emma (Ida Gyllensten) and her husband to celebrate her birthday. As a gift Alex surprises her with an old mirror that used to belong to their grandmother, this reminds her of a game they used to play with the mirror as children; looking into it and saying 'madame in black' three times which a local urban legend said would summon the ghost of a woman who in the distant past supposedly murdered her husband and children. Though this resulted in young Alex suffering nightmares as a child, they decide to play the game again for a laugh, this time with quite horrific consequences...
Monday, 27 March 2017
Though my memory of Nier is very patchy I do have a very fond spot for it. Over the years since it's release it has become something of a cult classic so I feel pleased that I fell in love with it long before that particular bandwagon was created. Nier was an offshoot of the Drakengard series of video games (that I have never played, though I do own the first one), it took place in the same game universe but was mostly unrelated. Nier: Automata too takes place in the same universe as those games, again it is only tangentially related.
Hundreds of years in the past aliens invaded Earth and brought with them a deadly robotic army. This army virtually wiped out humanity and in desperation the survivors fled the planet and headed to the moon. It is from the moon that an army of androids were created to head back and reclaim the Earth from the robot hordes, and drive out the aliens. The game begins with the war having continued in a stale mate for hundreds of years, you play as 2B; a YoRHa soldier android who along with her support 9S has been sent down to the planet to establish contact with a resistance group stationed in a large ruined city. To say much more would ruin the surprises so I will leave it at that.
Sunday, 26 March 2017
I first heard of Scottish horror Night Kaleidoscope back at the start of 2016. This indie film by Grant McPhee was filmed in the span of a week for a micro budget of just £4,000. It is quite a bizarre and trippy piece, yet it is also an example of a film that proves lack of money does not mean you can't still make a compelling film with decent actors.
Patrick O'Brien stars as Fion; a Scottish alcoholic psychic who investigates the more stranger side of crime, stuff that the police won't concern themselves with. After a tip off about a series of strange and violent murders by his detective acquaintance Pollock (Craig-James Moncur) Fion discovers that there is a vampire type creature on the loose. This being soon becomes aware she is being pursued by the psychic. Teaming up with a woman named Isobel (Mariel McAllen) Fion becoems determined to hunt down and stop this danger.
Saturday, 25 March 2017
Much like the classic cinema showings of old I have decided to combine the last two bits of horror related news I currently have into one blog post in this, my inaugural weekend blog day. In no particular order we have a new horror anthology film (they are usually always fun), as well as the release of a new digital zombie novel.
Hex Media founder Lawrie Brewster (responsible for the memorable Lord of Tears) and producer Alex Harron have announced a new horror anthology they are making called For We Are Many. The anthology is going to be created by a whole bunch of indie film makers as a way to get their names out there in the public mind. For We Are Many has daemonology and the occult as a central concept all the shorts must abide by, to put it in a better way: 'For We Are Many will feature a large selection of horror shorts, each based on a particular demonic entity or occult theme, with an emphasis on intense horror, imaginative practical effects and original stories.' Among the directors already announced are Liam Regan (Banjo), Brad Watson (Hallow's Eve) and Kate Bonham (Mindless). The film is set for release Spring 2018. If you are a filmmaker and want to get involved then head here for more details.
Next up horror novel Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising is now out on the Kindle. Personally I really really struggle with reading e-books, as my to-do list of e-books waiting for review will attest some of them I've had in a queue for five damn years! Think I am just old fashioned in that I want a physical paper based item if I'm going to read. Anyway Voodoo Child is written by William Burke (producer/director for TV show Hauntings and Horrors, Cinemax's Forbidden Science, and cult comedy Sweet Prudence and the Erotic Adventures of Bigfoot).
The plot sounds bananas; Army pilot Maggie Child is shot down over Iraq where she is saved from certain death by a demon. Next she is abducted by a private military corporation conducting depraved experiments on their patients. Escaping this she ends up on a Caribbean island where a female dictator and a voodoo spirit are preparing to unleash a worldwide zombie plague. Sounds like one of those days! Check out the trailer for the book below...
Friday, 24 March 2017
Well finally tomorrow I shall be taking the time to watch a few films for review, my back-log of films to watch is getting somewhat daunting. However it being Friday and the end of a long work week a news post is in order. So onto the oddity that is CRUST...
Sean Whalen (The People Under the Stairs) has written and plans to star in a new horror comedy called CRUST. It is also to star Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween I and II). The movie is said to be a creature feature in the vein of Little Shop of Horrors, Gremlins, and Willard. The basic story for this crazy sounding film is that depressed former child actor Vegas Winters (Whalen) works at a laundromat and in his depressive state cries into a pile of socks one fateful night, this somehow creates CRUST; a sock monster. This creature wants to help Vegas improve his life, unfortunately it also happens to have quite a mean side to it. It sounds quite similar to a horror short I saw a long time back about a man whose disgusting fridge spawned a mould monster that wanted to help his creator, but who also had a violent streak. Annoyingly I can't recall it's title but my memory tells me it wasn't amazing, this would likely be bound to be an improvement.
Whalen states the idea for this film come from his real world struggles with depression after getting divorced, moving, and having his father pass away all in the space of a year. He says of it: "It's a horror comedy. It's fun, it's different, and it has a heart. The heart is CRUST, because I believe we would all love to have a little monster that would do anything for us when we are in our darkest times." CRUST currently has an Indiegogo Campaign going to raise funds to begin physical production, currently it has raised $3,776 of it's $60,000 goal, but with 22 days left on the campaign there is still time for it to be successful, I wish Whalen all the best. As always there is a variety of perks, check out the Indiegogo page here.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
I set myself the aim this year of reading one book a month. Coming from someone who used to read fifty plus books a year this shouldn't have been a problem, yet here I am near the end of month three and I have just finished my second book of the year; Duncan P. Bradshaw's Chump which is a collection of zombie stories, a twelve chapter novella, and one poem. I fare badly at reviewing novels, even more so when it comes to compilations so bear with me as I stumble through this.
Previously I have read his excellent and clever zombie novels Class Three and Class Four: Those Who Survive and so knew at least I would enjoy the writing style in Chump. Bradshaw has a way of writing that seems so welcoming and inclusive and that is again in evidence here, as is his love of similes which as always are in abundance. From the bright and exaggerated zombie art throughout the book (drawn by Jon Dixon) I assumed these stories would all be quite humorous, but this is more of an eclectic selection with more serious tales sitting alongside ones of the farcical that cover both Pre-Apocalypse, Apocalypse, and indeed Post-Apocalypse.
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
It is quite rare when a horror film gets into the public consciousness, so I was pleased to see Get Out achieve that. All my work colleagues had heard of it and appeared interested that I was off to see it, my favourite podcast did a big segment about it, and going into the cinema there was a broad section of both old and young people in attendance. If only all horror was this broad in its viewers, though if only all horror was quasi-original and socially relevant as this, rather than the same old tedious paranormal stuff that is so prevalent these days.
British actor Daniel Kaluuya (Black Mirror) stars as Chris; a twenty something black man who is heading away with his white girlfriend; Rose (Allison Williams) for the weekend to meet her parents. Worried how they will react to their daughter dating a black guy she puts his mind at ease explaining they are quite liberal, Things start off ok, the family are welcoming to Chris, though there is a sense of awkwardness around their interactions with him, while Rose's brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones who looked distractedly like a guy I used to know) comes across as a bit shady. With odd acting black staff, and a strange hypnotism incident at the house Chris becomes more and more convinced he needs to...get out.
Sunday, 19 March 2017
I'm usually pretty busy every other weekend and so I find myself doing smaller blog posts. Today is another news post about an upcoming horror, this time a remake of the 1973 horror Don't Look in the Basement called Death Ward 13. Rather than a straight up remake this is more going to take the original idea as a basis and expand on it, the Edgar Allen Poe short story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether has also been cited as an inspiration.
Fittingly set in 1973 Death Ward 13 takes place in a mental asylum days before it is due to close permanently. Four nursing students arrive to care for the last remaining 'harmless' patients in the near deserted facility. However they find themselves trapped and at the mercy of a group of vicious lunatics and must fight to survive within...Ward 13.
The plot sounds awesome, while I have never seen either the film, or read the book this tale is inspired by I hope it turns out to be good. Shooting is to begin sometime this year and is to be directed by Todd Nunes (All Through the House). Most interestingly Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein has been confirmed to play one of the lunatics in what will be his first starring role in a film, he said of the role: "It's time to release the beast on the big screen. Let the killing begin!". Doyle is also in talks to provide music tracks for the soundtrack. Death Ward 13 promises to 'deliver a thrilling grindhouse-inspired remake with a shocking collection of criminally insane patients: botched lobotomies, necrophilia, sexual deviance, and violent psychopaths.' The movie is also said to include an updated and disturbing twist ending.
Friday, 17 March 2017
I had to do overtime today so I wanted a nice and quick blog post to write. I have been a bit lax lately of keeping up to date with my inbox and so while rooting through it I found an email about upcoming horror Anders Manor. I don't have any news such as when this is actually coming out but I do have a general synopsis as well as cast members.
Amy (Christina Robinson from Dexter) is released from a mental institute on her 18th birthday. Her mum decides to take her on a family get away to Anders Manor so she can get used to normal life, however that's when the terror begins...
The film is currently in post production and has been made by Woodhave Media in partnership with 2 Cousin Productions. Joining Robinson will be Godsmack frontman Sully Erna, Rachel True (The Craft), Kevin Nash (The Punisher, John Wick) as Reverend Thomas, and TNA Impact Wrestling superstar Michael Bennett as a redneck called Darsaw. That's all the information I have at the moment so it is impossible to tell even what type of horror this is going to be. Still check out some...stills from Anders Manor.
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
I had zero desire to see Kong: Skull Island when I first heard yet another King Kong movie was coming out. I've never really found the idea of a giant ape that appealing, in my opinion The Lost World: Jurassic Park did a much better job of a giant creature loose in a city. Well it turns out I really wasn't paying attention to the 'Skull Island' part, it was only after I accidentally saw the trailer that I realised this latest incarnation might not actually be that bad, an island full of giant monsters rather than an ape loose in city appealed far more.
Set during the 1970's a team of explorers headed by Bill Randa (John Goodman) head to a newly discovered island that is surrounded by a perpetual storm, with the Vietnam war drawing to a close they are accompanied by a group of soldiers led by Preston Packard (Samuel L.Jackson). Also included is survival expert James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston whose characters name seems to have been influenced by Heart of Darkness) and war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson). They go there to survey the lost world but secretly Randa has gone there in search of monsters. He soon finds what he is looking for when the intruders are immediately set upon and nearly wiped out by the beast that needs no introduction; Kong. With all their helicopters destroyed the survivors must cross Skull Island on foot within the space of a few days to get to the rendezvous point, otherwise they will be trapped there forever...
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
I never thought I would hear myself say the words but it seems lately that the much hated found footage genre is making a bit of a comeback. As usual when the film started my heart sank to discover it was found footage, yet Capture Kill Release is another watchable and interesting piece, even if it follows the current vogue of the footage being filmed by the antagonist.
Jennifer (Jennifer Fraser) has recently brought herself a new camcorder and has decided to film everything her and her husband Farhang (Farhang Ghajar) get up to. Things take a turn for the murderous when from dialogue the characters share it becomes apparent they are planning to kidnap and kill a random stranger just for the thrill of it. However when the plan is forwarded into motion by an impatient Jennifer, Farhang begins to get second thoughts on if this actually something he honestly wants to do...
Sunday, 12 March 2017
The Ladybird Book of the Zombie Apocalypse (2016) by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris - Zombie Horror Book Review
The Ladybird Book of the Zombie Apocalypse is an adult version of the usual Ladybird children books, it is set out as if it is written for children and as such there is not much to it, each double page is made up of a picture and some simple text, usually not more than a few paragraphs, and usually under fifty words. There are a huge range of these types of books, it seems they have been quite successful as new ones are always being released.
The intro blurb states: 'This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books which have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.
As in the other books in this series, the large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. The subject of the book will greatly appeal to grown-ups.' What follows isn't a story as such, each double page deals with an entirely new situation and featuring new characters, nearly all are set up as jokes on the zombie apocalypse, and nearly all of them are actually pretty amusing. I don't know if the art was drawn especially for this as there are actually aren't any depicting zombies at all, some that are meant to feature the undead instead seem to have used art from a 'cowboy and indian' back drop.
There are 24 of these double page spreads, the artwork is realistic rather than cartoony which helps with the absurdity of what is being talked about on the text side of things. As an example one part in simple language describes how minor crimes such as looting can be easily dealt with by neighbours working together, the accompanying picture is of a man hanging from a post with a noose around his neck. Throughout there are references to not only zombie films but also other post apocalyptic situations. One describes a Mad Max style world not being likely with the picture alongside it showing a boarded up petrol station, another one mentions a vegetarian being blinded while looking for food in a green house; a reference to Day of the Triffids. There are a few which miss, either I didn't understand them, or they just were not funny, overall though it's an entertaining read.
On that note though it is possible to breeze through this in under ten minutes, with a RRP of £6.99 that is not great value for money. However this is designed as a micky take of Ladybird children's books and so it wouldn't work if it had been bigger. Also it is high quality with a nice thick cover and thick paper. Personally I love it, it is a unique addition to my library of zombie books, and as it was a gift the relative high cost doesn't bother me.
Saturday, 11 March 2017
As I turned out to be one of only ten people who actually enjoyed Rings; the third film in the American remake of Ringu I felt that the newly released Sadako vs Kayako would be a good film to cast my eye over. Sadako of course is the antagonist of The Ring/Ringu series of films, while Kayako is the evil female spirit from The Grudge films. Villains of different franchises facing off has obviously been done before, both with the awful Alien vs Predator films, and more fittingly with 2003's Freddy vs. Jason. I figured this latest mash up would pretty much be that but with an Asian spin.
After buying a second hand VHS player at a store Yuri (Mizuki Yamamoto) and her best friend Natsumi (Aimi Satsukawa) discover there is an old VHS tape still inside it. Natsumi decides to give the tape a view and is horrified to discover it is the cursed tape spoken about in urban legends. She has just two days before Sadako arrives to kill her. Meanwhile Suzuka (Tina Tamashiro) moves with her parents to a house that is next door to an abandoned household that is said to be where a murder and then suicide happened, she soon finds herself drawn to the haunted place. After Yuri seeks the aid of a renowned spirit medium; Kyozo (played by Masanobu Ando from Battle Royale) he comes up with a plan to end both the curse of the videotape, and the curse of the house by pitting the evil spirits of both against each other.
Friday, 10 March 2017
I'm back! For the first two months of this year I was pretty pleased with myself on how many blog posts I had managed to do, sure it helped that in that time I had had two weeks off of my day job. A few weeks back I did begin to think it would be nice to take a small break from here as I was feeling slightly burnt out. Well it turns out the Gods, or maybe Demons were listening to me, and they were happy to assist me, but in typical Faustian fashion there was an unforeseen catch to my blog holiday, one which led my break to not be the happiest one. Still I have seen fit to return today and may I never wish for a blog holiday again anytime soon as the payment is too high a price.
With that preamble over onto the actual point of this blog post; a review of Killing Floor 2. I have often waxed lyrical about my love for the Zombies mode in the Call of Duty series of games, the wave based survival against hordes of undead is so much fun in co-op mode. Where that mode was just one section of the latest Call of Dutys in Killing Floor 2 for better or for worse that is all there is.
Wednesday, 1 March 2017
Bloodrunners has a few things going for it that piqued my interest. Firstly it is a period piece set during the prohibition era of 1930's America, I was interested to see how this would be handled with a low budget film. Secondly it features vampires who while not my favourite movie monster (zombies obviously!) are usually entertaining when it comes to films. Lastly it stars Ice-T, I had a feeling this meant I would be in for a fun time.
Bloodrunners takes place towards the end of prohibition in 1933, in a small American town where the corrupt police take bribes from local businesses in order to turn a blind eye to their dealings with alcohol. One such cop; world weary Jack Malone (Michael McFadden) is suspicious about the activities of a newly opened speakeasy, he figures that the owner of the establishment (Chesterfield played by Ice-T) has more going on than simple boot-legging. His hunch turns out to be correct, but unfortunately for him it turns out that both Chesterfield and his staff are all vampires, and they don't appreciate his meddlings...
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
A Cure for Wellness is a pseudo horror film directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean, Rango) with a story by Justin Haythe (The Lone Ranger). I had no great desire to see this as the trailer didn't really excite me, however it is a horror of sorts and so I did my duty and gave it a view.
A young and ruthless American businessman named Lockhart (Dane Dehaan from 2012's Chronicle) is tasked by his bosses to travel to Switzerland to a remote mountain top sanitarium where a key board member is staying, in order to bring the man back to New York as he is needed to help complete a merger. However the car Lockhart is travelling in hits a deer and he finds himself a patient at the strange facility. He soon discovers it is one thing to get to the sanitarium but quite another to actually be able to leave...
Monday, 27 February 2017
A notorious serial killer is on the loose in the city, he gets his victims from online dating sites. During this media panic Jack Roper (Ben Kaplan) has arranged to go to the country for the weekend on a first date with Kristy Smith (Morgan Carter) who he met coincidentally on a dating site. They rent a cabin off a redneck family that includes Jesse Myers (R.A. Mihailoff from Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and Hatchet II), his wife Momma Myers (Jewel Shepard from The Return of the Living Dead) and their daughter Caitlin. All seems to be fine, that is until the new couple wake up tied to chairs in the basement of the Myers's house...
Sunday, 26 February 2017
The other day I put up the trailer for Face of 4; the directorial debut of muscian Alexander Azzi, and now thanks to the awesome Tracy George at TAG publicity I have had the chance to see the whole award winning short film (Best Narrative Film Award at the International Film Awards in Encino, CA).
Azzi has requested that no real plot details be revealed so my summery will be brief. Basically a man (William Galatis) awakes to find himself seated at a desk in a near pitch black room. He discovers he is chained to the floor, and he notices on the desk in front of him is a box that contains a series of dice with '4' being the only number visible on them. Instructions in the box state that if he rolls the dice and doesn't get a 4 then he will be able to escape the room. However, should he roll that number something truly awful will happen...
Saturday, 25 February 2017
'Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe' T-Shirt (2016) - Thoughts on the 'Fantastically Offensive' Walking Dead Merch
This past week The Walking Dead has gotten into worldwide news, this time around not due to complaints of extreme violence, instead due to an incident outside of the show. What it does share in common though is Negan and his infamous baseball bat Lucille. Don't worry about spoilers for the latest season of The Walking Dead as there are none to be found!
British clothing store Primark had a line of The Walking Dead t-shirts that simply featured a bloody baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire along with the rhyme 'Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe'. For even a casual fan of the show this is obviously all to do with the new psychotic antagonist Negan (played by Jeffery Dean Morgan) who uses this baseball bat and that rhyme to pick out which of Rick Grimes group shall be killed off. However for Methodist minister Ian Lucraft visiting Primark he and his wife's day was ruined when they saw this shirt, in his own words:
"We were shocked when we came face to face with a new t-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text. It was fantastically offensive and I can only assume that no one in the process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of it's subliminal messages".
Due to this Lucraft felt compelled to write a stern letter to the store demanding that what he saw as an offensive shirt was removed. Primark of course immediately complied. This was totally reasonable, as with a world population of 7.5 billion people if just one of those people should personally find something offensive then by all means remove the offending item. While the minister has been getting a lot of the flack it is Primark's knee jerk response that is the real issue here, it was pathetic they bowed down to one person's wishes for fear of getting bad publicity (when I am sure they can't be thrilled with how that has turned out for them).
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Just last month I got the opportunity to read volume 1 of 'Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space!'. I was dubious going into it as to any level of quality over needless titillation and female exploitation, however the warmth that the main characters shared, coupled with over the top expressive art, and sunny bright colours meant that I came away having had a fun time reading it. Now volume 2 has came out, this is comprised of the final three issues of the seven comic arc.
Porn obsessed Ace and his lesbian ally Gwen once again get involved in a series of crazy capers whilst trying to survive the female focused zombie apocalypse sweeping their town. During this a familiar face appears and provides Ace with the knowledge he needs to defeat the plague. However to enact the solution Ace is going to have to travel into the heart of darkness to face the originator of the curse...
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Last month I put up a review of the first episode of The Z-Virus; a new zombie themed web series, and now I am happy to be able to review the second episode of this six part series, this one titled Uninvited Guests. Apparently this show has had over 303,000 minutes viewed on Amazon Instant Video alone which sounds impressive when you consider each episode is only around nine minutes in length.
Last episode we followed a man leaving the safety of his bunker after an incident and discovering the undead now walk the Earth. This time around to spice things up...we again follow a man (this time played by Freddie De Grate) leaving the safety of his bunker. However this is a different man, and he has his wife and daughter with him, and the danger he discovers is of the human variety...
I was worried the potential shown in the first episode would be squandered, but Uninvited Guests again left me wanting more. The short length is frustrating, I guess in a good way as I really wanted to know more about what was occurring. What was great about the second episode is that it runs concurrently with the first, it was pretty cool how these crossed over with each other, showing the other perspective of episode one's cliffhanger. I actually enjoyed this one more. The man (AJ) has more of a character due to his interactions with his family, and the strangers he meets, while there is a nicely choreographed fight sequence. De Grate brings a quiet intensity to his role which adds a lot to the performance. It also felt novel that an explanation was provided for the state of the world, both visually and with on screen text explaining. If I had one complaint (other than sound issues popping up in places again, making it hard to hear dialogue) it would be that there were no zombies to be found here. However I didn't actually mind that as it is all setting up the continuing adventures of these survivors, obviously more are to come.
For a low budget, short length show there is potential to be impressed by here, this is something I would recommend. I do hope the rest of The Z-Virus manages to be as cohesive as this. The Z-Virus can be viewed at TheZVirusSeries.com, ScreenMagicTV.com, Amazon Prime, Vimeo on Demand and on the ScreenMagic TV Roku channel.
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Rave in the Redwoods is the second Zombies map to be released for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and was included in the Sabotage DLC pack. With regards to the multiplayer DLC I just have to first say the map Noir is great, it takes place in a city at night with the rain pouring down. Anyway onto the Zombies info. As always this is merely my first impression, I in no way have seen everything this map has to offer.
The intro sequence is set up once more as a cartoon, the style didn't impress me the first time around so left me cold once again. After the four characters (Andre, Sally, AJ, and Poindexter) defeat the undead hordes in Zombies in Spaceland a portal opens up that teleports the group somewhere new. They are dismayed to find that once again they are slap bang in the middle of a zombie outbreak, this time they are in the 90's, the location; a remote rave in the redwoods.
Scream was a revelation when it first came out, over the years the films had gotten more and more cliche ridden and ridiculous, yet here was a TV show that not only rebooted the plot, but also made it ever so slightly more realistic with it's vision. Season 2 of Scream while again pretty great did make me start to wonder how future tales could remain effective, and how often it could get away with the same group of characters finding themselves at the mercy of yet another killer. Some months after the second season aired, and in time for Halloween 2016 came a two part Scream special, mostly unrelated to the main show, but giving us yet another killer going after the unluckiest group of friends that ever existed. Warnings that there will be spoilers for the previous seasons, as well as a needed spoiler for the very start of the special.
It is some months since Kieran's reign of terror was brought to an end, and in fact the special picks up with his trial. After being sentenced to life imprisonment he is taken to a holding cell where a new mask wearing killer carries out his own sentence on the guy, albeit a more swift and brutal one. Meanwhile Noah and Gustavo who are now business partners are about to head to a place known locally as 'Murder Island' with their agent to carry out research for a new book. Emma wanting to get away from the media buzz surrounding her once again decides to tag along, with Audrey and Brook following for their own reasons. However the gang now find themselves at the mercy of a new psycho, one who is looking to meld together the Lakewood Killer persona with that of the 1920's based Murder Island persona...
Saturday, 18 February 2017
When dark fantasy RPG Diablo first came out in 1996 I ended up with a demo of it. The game took place in one huge procedurally generated dungeon under the town of Tristram, it saw you hack and slashing your way to the bottom where the demon Diablo awaited. Up until getting Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition that small demo was all I had played of the series. As such I went into this fully expecting barely any story, and just the one dungeon, much in the way Torchlight was. I was pleased to discover not only quite a big plot, but also that you travel to many, many different places.
The game takes place in a fantasy world where there are three layers of existence; Hell, Sanctuary (Earth) and Heaven. After choosing your character you arrive in the small town of Tristram to investigate reports of a fallen star that has caused the dead to rise from their graves. From this humble beginning you uncover a plot by the arch demons of Hell to once again try and conquer Sanctuary.