With the arrival of the new Zombies map for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - 'Rave in the Redwoods' today I needed a nice and easy blog post to do. Luckily earlier this month George Allen contacted me with a link to the music video he had made which is perfect for such an event.
The music is very reminiscent of the Italian zombie film soundtracks from the 1980's, while it is set to a back drop of a multitude of different undead classics. It was quite nostalgic being reminded of all these great films, you have Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue to name just a few. Just a warning there are some gruesome death scenes included here, including an excellent eyeball piercing scene from Lucio Fulci. Check it out below for a nice four minute break in your day...
Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Sunday, 29 January 2017
After the frankly fantastic playable teaser for Resident Evil 7 a lot of people had high hopes that the once scary zombie fighting series was about to get back on track. While Resident Evil 4 is an astounding game it really did herald in the age of action over survival, with Resident Evil 5 being a copy of that format, and Resident Evil 6 being a bit of a mess (that I admit I am quite a fan of regardless). So with the promise of a return to just what made the games originally great in the first place; namely survival horror, and almost a soft reset of the very convoluted over arching plot there was much for this new entry to live up to.
You play as Ethan; a man whose wife Mia went missing three years previously. One day he receives an email from his lost love, the email gives him an address of an abandoned plantation in deep Louisiana as the place he will find her. It isn't long after he arrives however that he finds himself kidnapped by the Baker family; three sadistic and brutal psychos who it appears have been infected by some mutative virus. Escaping his captors Ethan must locate Mia and find a way to escape the nightmare he has gotten himself into...
Saturday, 28 January 2017
While primarily a console gamer I know enough about PC games, and Steam in particular to be aware of the sheer amount of games that get released each week. It is in this busy landscape that retro zombie shooter Outbreak (from Drop Dead Studios) found itself released on 17th January, but does it do enough to stand out?
In Outbreak you play as one of four characters; a cop, a computer scientist, a student, and a paralegal. During a city wide zombie outbreak these four find themselves in a barricaded hospital, yet with the hospital itself breached they decide to find a way to escape the madness. There are four chapters in the game, all of which can be accessed right away, so it is not a spoiler to say that as well as the hospital there is the underground, resident housing (I think), and the lab where it seems the Outbreak originated from. There are also four levels that are just pure wave based survival.
Friday, 27 January 2017
Today I am going to talk about two different films; We Are the Flesh (2016) and Psychomania (1973), both of which are coming out on Blu-Ray and DVD thanks to Arrow Video US. Both these films are also available to get if your in the UK so don't worry if your from here!
We Are the Flesh is a Mexican arthouse film that 'takes you on a nightmarish journey into a post-apocalypse hell. The plot involves a brother and sister who take refuge with a strange hermit in a ruined city. This hermit acts out his most dark depraved fantasies which the siblings find themselves getting caught up in. It has been described as an all-out psychedelic head-trip, the blurb reads: 'visionary, unrelenting, and certainly not for the prudish or faint-hearted'. It has received praise from directors Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant), as well as places such as Total Film and SFX. It comes out on 14th February for $29.95 (Blu-Ray) and $19.95 (DVD) with a host of extras including interviews with the cast and two short additional films; Dentro and Videohome. Arrow Video are releasing the UK version on 13th February (my birthday) for £12.99, at least on Amazon anyway.
Psychomania is another interesting sounding release, this time as it features that most wonderful of movie monsters the zombie. This British movie is about an English biker gang called The Living Dead whose name becomes literal when they discover the key to immortality, it is directed by Don Sharp (Kiss of the Vampire, The Devil-Ship Pirates) and co stars Beryl Reid (Dr. Phibes Rises Again) and George Sanders (Village of the Damned). This one is described as 'a wonderfully offbeat gem, outlandish and eccentric in equal measure'. Psychomania is due for release on 21st February, the extras include interviews with the cast and crew as well as an archive making of feature. This can also be found to buy in the UK if you so wished.
Thursday, 26 January 2017
American Scumbags is the latest feature length film from Dakota Bailey. This follows his style of having interconnected stories that combine together, such as what was seen with My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence. Dakota again writes and directs this, as well as features as an actor in the piece. While it is not horror it works as an off shoot of that as it has a very nihilistic view of the world.
The general plot of the film centres around drug dealer Chester and his customers. There is twitchy Lucifer who Chester has threatened will be killed by his hitman Johnny (Dakota Bailey) if he doesn't give him the money he is owed. Another guy who owes the dealer money is Billy, though he is more concerned with getting perceived revenge on his ex girlfriend than paying up. Lastly you have the homeless Vietnam veteran Wheelin' Deals who makes the most of the trashy opportunities that come his way.
Monday, 23 January 2017
The Neon Demon is the last film I needed to watch before casting my votes in the Fright Meter Awards 2016 finals. It is up for best cinematography, best soundtrack, while Jena Malone who plays Ruby is up for best supporting actress. I had heard this film (written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn of Drive fame) was divisive when it came out, I usually enjoy arty ones such as this so I figured I would probably enjoy it.
Sixteen year old Jesse (Elle Fanning from Super 8) has newly arrived in Los Angeles hoping to make it big as a model. Everyone who sees her is blown away by her looks and it seems her success is a sure thing, however there are also those who are envious of her natural beauty and will do anything to ensure she is not a threat...
Sunday, 22 January 2017
Split is the latest film from M. Night Shyamalan, of course he needs no introduction as everyone has heard of at least The Sixth Sense. Personally I would put his super hero flick Unbreakable as one of my top 30 films of all time, yet as the years went by he began to seem like a one trick pony, cursed with the expectation that there would be a huge twist at the end of whatever film of his you were watching. For me I had lost faith, none of his films after the first couple were memorable to me, the twists became obvious (The Village, The Visit) and despite always choosing the perfect actors the films just had lost the zing that I had come to expect. As such going in to see Split my expectations were pretty low.
Three teenage girls including loner Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy from Morgan and The VVitch) are just about to head home from a party when they get abducted by a serious looking man (James McAvoy) . They awaken in a make-shift prison cell and soon discover that their captor has dissociative identity disorder, the most dominant personalities being the stern OCD inflicted Dennis, matriarchal Patricia, and a nine year old called Hedwig. Learning that someone dangerous referred to as 'the beast' is going to come for girls they must try and find a way to escape their confinement.
Thursday, 19 January 2017
Clown is up for nomination for the 2016 Fright Meter Awards in the 'best makeup' category so as a member of the committee I had to see it. It always seems so fashionable to say your afraid of clowns, personally I have never had a problem with them, my strongest childhood memories of clowns is Roger Moore dressed up as one in the classic James Bond film Octopussy, so maybe that's why I associate them with the side of good. This horror is directed by Jon Watts (who directed the new Spiderman film that is due out later this year), and as the advertising screams at you everywhere this film had the backing of horror master Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) who is one of the producers. This is another film that was made a few years back but has only recently seen a U.S release.
The horror all starts off with the very best of intentions when mild mannered Kent (Andy Powers) decides to dress up as a clown for his son Jack's 10th birthday party, after the clown Kent's wife Meg (Laura Allen) had booked cancels at the last moment. The problems starts after the party is over when realtor Kent discovers he is unable to take off the old costume he had discovered in one of the houses he was in charge of. At first it is almost amusing, but the longer he wears the costume the more he begins to transform into something monstrous, something with a taste for children...
Tuesday, 17 January 2017
From the title alone I had the feeling Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space! (created and written by Jave Galt-Miller who describes it as 80's B-movie in style) would be something different to the norm. I wondered just how lesbian zombies would actually work and if the portrayal of women would be offensive. The answer to that last question is that this comedy horror is offensive in many ways, but if your the sort of person who would buy a comic with that title then your going to find lots to love here. Volume 1 contains the first four issues which originally came out in 2015.
Gwen and her girlfriend are out in woodland when they hear a mighty crash. Going to investigate they come across a smoking crater with a naked women in the centre, the strange women quickly seduces the girlfriend using some strange powers, but Gwen runs away in terror to report the incident to the police. Later on that day porn obsessed comic store clerk Wally (or Ace as he likes to be known) has arranged to secretly film his friend having a threesome, however his excitement turns to horror when the two females turn on his friend and bite off his manhood. It seems a female based zombie apocalypse has started. Ace too heads to the police station just as this unfolding situation begins to be a major threat to the town...
Sunday, 15 January 2017
I had long wanted Severed and so when I saw it on sale on the Playstation store I immediately brought it, downloaded it and started playing, I finished the whole six and a half hour game in three sittings. It is from the makers of Guacamelee! which is very apparent by the bright visual art style.
You play as Sasha; a teenage girl who awakens in the ruins of her home and discovers she that is now in some strange alternate world. A glimpse in the mirror reveals that she has lost an arm somehow, not only that but her brother and parents are missing. A mysterious being materialises and tells the girl that if she finds her missing family she will be able to return to her own world.
Saturday, 14 January 2017
I first heard of The Bye Bye Man two days ago when I had a look at the latest cinema releases for my local. It made sense that some sort of horror would come out on Friday 13th, yet part of me knew seeing the title of this that it would likely not be very good.
Students Elliot (Douglas Smith), his best friend John (Lucien Laviscount), and his girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas) move into an old house. Elliot discovers some strange writing scrawled in a bedside table that says 'don't think it, don't say it' over and over again, then under that he sees 'The Bye Bye Man' scratched into the wood of the table. He thinks it strange and mentions it to his friends, but it isn't much longer when they realise the danger they have exposed themselves too. A dark figure is stalking the group, knowing his name and thinking about it gives him power and gives him greater abilities to cause deadly hallucinations. It wants it's name spread so that it's power can increase, so the group have to find a way to defeat him without being able to tell anyone else about what is going on.
Friday, 13 January 2017
As Baskin is a finalist in the makeup category for the 2016 Fright Meter Awards I had to give it a watch. I thought that rather than illegally download this I would instead do the honourable thing and buy it. Now the English DVD was ridiculously expensive and so I decided to buy an Italian import that was half the price. Somewhat arrogantly I assumed there would be an option of English subtitles for this Turkish horror...there wasn't, and so I had no idea what was happening, this confusion will be reflected in my review.
So the story as I saw it was thus; a group of policemen get called to a disturbance at a large abandoned building. On the way their driver accidentally hits something and the Police van crashes into a river. Thanks to some homeless people the gang meet they eventually get to the building, but inside all literal Hell breaks loose...
Thursday, 12 January 2017
The Z Virus is a new zombie webisode style show that looks to be comprised of short snappy episodes. I had the pleasure to see the first episode Bunker Fever so here are my thoughts on it and what I would hope the rest of the six episode first season would entail.
It is post zombie Armageddon and a man living in a bunker is going a bit stir crazy. He decides to tool up and go for a little exploration where he encounters the walking dead as well as other troubles...
Wednesday, 11 January 2017
I really do not like insects in horror, I feel they are a lazy way to induce chills, and rather than scare they instead just gross me out. Bite is a film about insects, yet they never really come to the forefront of what transpires on screen so I can almost accept this. The story for this is by Chad Archibald (The Drownsman) who also directed.
While on a bachelorette party in Costa Rica Casey (Elma Begovic) gets bitten by something while swimming. She thinks nothing of it and returns home to her life where she is due to reluctantly marry her landlord's self obsessed son Jared (Jordan Gray). Instead of healing, the bite she got continues to grow in size and leak viscous fluid making Casey more and more ill. As her condition worsens she begins to physically change, becoming more insect like and vomiting up eggs...
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (aka The Japanese Evil Dead) is an Asian horror that has been made to resemble a long lost 'video nasty'. In fact it was only after I read the press release that I realised this is a relatively modern film, having been made just a few years back, not that you would know that if the film was all you had seen.
Shinichi Fukazawa (who also wrote and directed this) stars as Shinji; a body builder who agrees to help his photo journalist ex girlfriend who wants to do an article on haunted houses. He takes her and her psychic friend to his dad's abandoned home as it is said to inhabited by an evil spirit. Once there the psychic accidentally awakens a ghost of a woman who died in the property 30 years earlier, the ghost promptly possesses the man, using his powers she manages to seal in the remaining survivors. Now the only way to leave the house is to defeat the cursed soul; the evil dead...
Monday, 9 January 2017
It wasn't that long ago that I had little to no idea how big of a genre the Christmas themed horror film actually was. I knew of a few such as Black Christmas, Gremlins, and Jack Frost but it is only really in the last two years I discovered there are countless others. All Through the House is a new addition to the genre and is heavily influenced by the slasher films of old.
It is the Christmas season and a deranged killer dressed up as Santa has arrived in a small neighbourhood to cause mischief and mayhem. Rachel Kimmel (Ashley Mary Nunes) is with some friends helping to decorate the house of harmless local crazy woman Mrs Garrett (Melynda Kiring who is one of the final nominees for best supporting actress in the 2016 Fright Meter Awards) when the killer shows up. Now Rachel must find a way to survive against the seemingly unstoppable garden shears wielding maniac...
Sunday, 8 January 2017
Commune is an award winning British short horror film that was written, directed, edited and produced by Thomas Perrett. This is the first film he has made in fifteen years, he was inspired after going to a Halloween party at a dilapidated 1930's house. That very house is the one that the short was filmed in.
A man gets a job as a house sitter for an abandoned property in London that once belonged to a strange commune. As the days progress more and more strange things start to happen, building up into a horrific crescendo. The film is about 16 minutes long and as with most shorts quite simple in scope so there isn't much more to add to that brief synopsis.
Friday, 6 January 2017
When I was a child I really wanted the Where's Wally? books, of course you know I mean the ones that feature double paged environments full of people with the aim being to find Wally (Waldo in America) and various other items on the page. I had to make do with a knock-off called Hunt for Hector then. Where's the Zombie? is the undead version of the 'find the person' style of books.
There is actually a rough story of sorts, the intro details how there was an accident at Hart Laboratories in New York. Scientist Joel Peters got infected with a virus, he was quarantined but not before inadvertently passing on the strange new disease to his family. The book details a wide view of an unfolding zombie apocalypse that sweeps America, starting off in a city hospital and ending with assaults on the last remaining human strongholds. Each double page (seventeen different scenes) has a date stamp to it, I did find some scenes seemed out of order. For example the fall of the White House happens before panic buying in supermarkets stops which seemed odd.
Thursday, 5 January 2017
Brackish is an indie horror from Mad Angel Films that was directed and co-written by Matthew A.Peters whose previous work has included Half Dead. How do I know that last fact? During the film some characters are discussing their favourite horrors and state that film was the best one, a quick Google search reveals that is an actual film also by Peters; was a fun moment in a sometimes meandering movie.
In an attempt to try and cheer her brother Jake (Ryan Santiago) who is in depression after the violent death of his fiance six months previous, Tila (Charity Buckbee) organises an excursion with some friends to go on a camping trip to a remote ghost town where her and Jake's father used to live. There is a rumour that the town had become deserted due to a cult that had rose up in the area decades back and killed most the inhabitants. Unfortunately for Jake and his friends the cult is very much real, and is still operating to the present day...
Monday, 2 January 2017
A Guidebook to Killing Your Ex is Hungarian director Jozsef Gallai's fourth found footage horror and so you would imagine he has quite the handle on the bloated genre now. Of his previous films I saw Bodom (2014) that felt like quite an old school found footage horror. Then I watched last year's Moth that was again quite traditional, though that time in a cheeky way. His latest movie joins the current vogue for crazies purposely filming the footage.
Balazs Szitas stars as the unnamed creator of the footage being shot throughout the film. He soon announces that it is his intention to kill his ex girlfriend and her fiancee and that he is making a video to serve as a guide for anyone else looking to kill their ex. The footage takes place in the 72 hours leading up to the enactment of his plan...
Sunday, 1 January 2017
Hello, as it is the first day of a whole new year I thought I may as well stick up a rambling general blog post to set out my aims for the year. Now though I am a huge fan of horror I don't actually really ever keep my ear to the ground on what is coming out. As such ridiculously the only horror film I know for sure is coming out in 2017 is Rings (the third film in the American version of The Ring). The Fright Meter Awards always give it's members a big spreadsheet of upcoming films for 2017 so I guess I will gain a lot of my knowledge from there. On that topic the winners of the 2016 Fright Meter Awards will be announced at the end of the month.
For a blog that has 'zombie' in the title I sure did not review a lot of zombie stuff in 2016. In fact aside from a few films here and there it was the UK Festival of Zombie Culture in November that got me watching the undead. This wouldn't be so bad if it were not for the ever growing pile of zombie DVDs I have piled up in my office. So this year I am going to make more of an effort to get through some of them. I have an unlimited supply of horror books to read, as well as a huge back log of e-books, I hope to get at least some of those read this year! I also want to experiment more with my YouTube channel, it is very rough at the moment but I am using it more as a test bed than as a genuine finished product.
On the TV side of things there is a lot coming. In February will be the second half of season 7 of The Walking Dead, while Z Nation and Ash vs Evil Dead are both confirmed for new seasons later on in the year. I hope to finish watching iZombie season 2, and may well take another stab at Fear the Walking Dead: Season 2. When it comes to video games I have no end of horrors waiting to be played. In terms of new stuff coming out there is going to be four zombies maps for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare releasing this year. The first titled Rave in the Redwoods is due at the end of January. I really hope the new Call of Duty coming out November no doubt will also see fit to include a zombies mode as it is damn near essential now having been included in the last three titles. Resident Evil VII is also due out in January, the whole game is playable in PSVR and so I cannot wait to try that, though the demo does make me feel quite motion sick.
I will finish by saying I do hope to be more organised this year in my blog, it is hard sometimes to come home from a long day at the lab and have the motivation to use my free time to do more work. I did 191 blog posts last year, the sixth most in the 9 years my blog has been going but want to aim to beat that this year. Anyway I hope anyone reading this has a great 2017, let's hope it isn't as bad as 2016, would be nice!