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.