Cherry Tree (2015) Review

cherrytree1Cherry Tree (Ireland, 2015)

Dir: David Keating

Starring: Naomi Battrick, Sam Hazeldine, Anna Walton

UK release TBC from Studio Canal

Plot:Faith (Battrick), a bullied teenager, is worried about her Dad (Hazeldine). He’s suffering from leukaemia and treatment isn’t going well. When it looks like it might be terminal, Faith is approached by Sissy (Walton), Faith’s hockey coach and secretly the head of an ancient witches coven that has haunted the town for generations.Faith makes a deal with Sissy, Sissy will save her father but at the expense that Faith has a baby. There is treachery and Satanic dealings and it’s unclear if Faith can save her Dad, or herself.

This is the film that opened this year’s Film4 FrightFest and from the get-go it seemed like an odd choice. It’s not a film that I could get excited about, I don’t know about other Fright Festers. David Keating is most notable for directed Wake Wood, and that alone didn’t get me hyped.

cherrytree2Cherry Tree has a lot going on, but for me it didn’t work. It doesn’t make sense. It’s the … Continue reading

Shiver of The Vampires (1971) DVD Review

sotv1Shiver of the Vampires (1971)

Directed by: Jean Rollin

Written by:  Monique Natan, Jean Rollin

Cast:  Sandra Julien, Jean-Marie Durand, Jacques Robiolles

Running Time:96 Minutes

UK Certificate: 18

Format: DVD

Studio: Redemption – Out Now

Once you get past the minute long, soft core, low definition, logo video for Salvation Films we finally find ourselves at the disc menu. I actually believed that this opening video was the opening to the movie, but no, just a very, very long logo video. Issue #1.

sotv3We open our movie in a church yard, heavily coloured in sepia like tones. Two caskets are being carried into a tomb; the only mourner is a woman dressed in a black veil. The opening sequence is very reminiscent of the cold openings from Hammer Studios back catalogue. We cut to too young women sitting in a castle, the pallet has changed dramatically, and gels are used unashamedly. The two women climb the castle tower and we are introduced to two men chained to the wall, both with stakes in their chests. The tallest declares that he must die with the … Continue reading

Some Kind of Hate (2015) Review

skoh1Some Kind Of Hate (2015)

Running Time: 82 minutes

Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer

Cast: Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Sierra McCormick, Spencer Breslin, Lexi Atkins

Having had its UK Première at this year’s FrightFest, Some Kind of Hate, is an angry, loud film with a death count that continually grows. It will no doubt appeal to the older teen market, depicting a revenge killing spree against the bullies that so deserve it. It’s a film that knows what it wants to say, with little time for light heartedness.

The story centres on Lincoln (Ronen Rubinstein), a high school student with an unpleasant home life, who is mercilessly bullied at school. Withdrawn and solitary, he finally snaps, turning on his tormentor and stabbing him in the face. The moment is nicely punctuated and comes as a surprise, crashing straight in to the credits and on with the story. Fast forward to Lincoln being sent to what seems to be some sort of reform camp, in the middle of nowhere.

skoh3The camp set-up is odd, as are the three adult leaders and the rest … Continue reading

Wind Walkers (2015) Review

windwalkers1Wind Walkers (2015)

Director: Russell Friedenberg

Stars: Glen Powell, Zane Holtz, Phil Burke

DVD Release Date: 21 Sept. 2015 from Tri-Coast UK

Seven friends head off into the wilderness to begin their annual hunting trip. As a hurricane fast approaches, things begin go awry. Isolated and paranoid, the men begin to question their friendship and loyalties. Soon they are stalked by an ancient curse, which takes them over one by one.

Wind Walkers is a horror/thriller directed by Russell Friedenberg. This is his third film he has directed and his first horror, the other two being comedies. He also acts, as he does in all the films he writes and directs. Russell does a decent job creating a paranoid and uneasy atmosphere here. The atmosphere is possibly this films greatest strength as the plotting is incoherent, although this does action crank the tension and atmosphere up a notch.

windwalkers2The plot is almost similar to Dawn of the Dead, in the way that the story puts a small group of people into a situation where paranoia and fear of a virus/curse pits … Continue reading

A Blade in The Dark (1983) Blu-Ray Review

abitd1A BLADE IN THE DARK (1983)

Director: Lamberto Bava

Starring: Andrea Occhipinti, Anny Papa, Michele Soavi, Valeria Cavalli, Fabiola Toledo

UK Blu-Ray & DVD Release 24th August 2015 from 88 Films

BEHOLD! My first entry into the annals (that’s annals, people!) of UKHS’s/The Slaughtered Bird’s review writing multi-universe! And what better way to begin than with a bit of Bava – Lamberto, not Mario. “How unfortunate” I hear you exclaim, but you’d be wrong with this one – A BLADE IN THE DARK is a giallo joy!

Although considered the predecessor of the modern slasher genre, giallo is the Marmite of horror lovers and continues to divide audiences. While I’m a fan, I can understand people’s difficulty in totally immersing themselves in a world of brash, overpowering synth scores, vibrant lighting, aggressive editing, and often hilariously dubbed vocal acting (all of these, incidentally, being the reasons I loves ‘em!). Also, when your old man is Mario Bava – a horror legend, mentioned in the same glowing terms as Dario Argento – you’re going to struggle winning people over. Make no mistake, though; A BLADE IN THE DARK (only Lamberto’s 2nd film) is … Continue reading

Indiegogo launched for new UK horror SINema

sinema1Sinema is a feature length film that is set and will be exclusively filmed in the North East of England. With a large cast and multiple locations, including a gripping snowstorm finale, it is set to be the largest independent film production the North East has ever seen.

The Indiegogo page is here – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sinema-the-movie-based-on-the-best-selling-novel#/story

Critically acclaimed North East director, Kev Harte has been brought on board to create a stunning and gritty film adaptation of Rod Glenn’s original best-selling novel, Sinema: The Northumberland Massacre. The novel dominated the Amazon book charts in 2011/12 and has received widespread critical acclaim, being described as “One of the most heart-racing, jaw-dropping novels I have ever dared to finish” by Crack Magazine and “Masterful writing” by Friday the 13th star and horror icon, Adrienne King.

As an actor as well, Rod Glenn will star as the infamous Han Whitman. Some of local lad, Rod’s recent roles include Ripper Street, Fury, The Fairy Flag, Bliss and The Hollow Crown. We are currently casting the rest of the roles and looking at showcasing a host of local talent. We are in talks with several high profile names to join the cast, as well as casting exciting … Continue reading

The Master of Horror RIP Wes Craven

wescIt was with great sadness that this morning I read of the death of Wes Craven.

For me Wes Craven changed the horror genre and indeed changed the way people watch, make and love horror films. This is just a short and completely unscripted ramble that I wanted, no needed, to write.

The first Wes Craven film I ever saw was the 1972 ‘video nasty’ The Last House on The Left. Myself and a friend rented it from a local video store and sat down to watch what we had heard was the nastiest film ever made and (as my friend told me) was a real snuff film. What I actually saw was a dark, nasty and deeply disturbing film that left a lasting impression on me. It was nihilistic and shows America post Vietnam, post the hippie summer of love and post the Manson Murders. This was an angry America.

lhotlposterFrom the early 1980s I was hooked on horror and going through Wes Craven’s back catalogue it is obvious what an effect he has had on my own horror journey … Continue reading

Che Gilson’s Netflix Roulette #5 – The Omen (1976)

Join Che as she plays Netflix Roulette and watches a randomly selected horror film. Will it be awesome? Will it be torture? What horrors await?? Find out every month with Netflix Roulette!

Omen posterTitle: The Omen

Year: 1976

Director: Richard Donner

Starring: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw,

Netflix Rating: 3.6

Seen it before: DUH!

First Impressions: Yay! A not sucky movie! I can’t even believe Netflix Roulette (the app) spit this out! And the link was working (for once!). I do not mind, in the least, watching this again. I will say that I had no idea Richard Donner directed this. So that was a surprise to me.

The Verdict: It definitely holds up. I read some of the Netflix reviews from viewers after I watched it and the main complaint from those who gave it a low rating was that The Omen is boring. And I think that’s a fair judgment as well, though I don’t agree. It’s a long movie with a slow build, but it all comes together flawlessly (or near enough).

Omen 1The main … Continue reading

A Plague So Pleasant (2013) Review

apspA Plague So Pleasant (US, 2013)

Dir: Benjamin Roberds

Starring: David Chandler, Eva Boehnke, Maxwell Moody

Plot: A Plague So Pleasant starts off with Clay (Chandler) and Todd (Moody) discussing over breakfast about how Todd would like to ask out Clay’s sister Mia. Clay thinks this is a great idea, Mia has been down recently and could use the company. Having given his blessing, Clay leaves for work and as he leaves he faces up against a group of zombies. Clay is living in a post-zombie-apocalypse world.

It turns out that the zombies don’t attack unless provoked and society has continued as usual. It’s back to the grind. However when Mia rejects Todd’s advances because she still loves her zombie ex-boyfriend, Clay takes action. His actions result in another violent zombie outbreak. Can Clay stop the zombies and get his sister and friend together?

As soon as the film begins it’s made the notable choice of being in black and white. It’s a stylistic choice that can’t help but make the audience think of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead as soon as the zombies show up. It also … Continue reading

Icon Film Distribution & FrightFest Announce Launch Titles for ‘FrightFest Presents’

FrightFest Presents logo-1ICON FILM DISTRIBUTION AND FRIGHTFEST ANNOUNCE LAUNCH TITLES FOR ‘FRIGHTFEST PRESENTS’

Icon Film Distribution (IFD) and FrightFest, the UK’s leading horror fantasy film festival, have announced the first films which will be released under the curated banner ‘FrightFest Presents’.

The seven titles selected will all have their UK theatrical premieres at the FrightFest five day festival in August at the Vue Leicester Square and represent some of the most exciting genre filmmakers working today.

The exclusive Icon and FrightFest partnership, first announced in April, will see titles released across the UK and Ireland via the distributor’s digital partners (including iTunes, Virgin Movies, Sky, Google Amazon, Xbox , Blinkbox, Google, Wuaki, TalkTalk and Volta) giving film fans instant access to some of their favourite FrightFest titles.

‘FrightFest Presents’ launches officially on 19 October with a consumer campaign pushing out from the beginning of the month. Each release has the collective backing of IFD and FrightFest across all marketing, PR and social channels.

The seven titles to be released under ‘FrightFest Presents’ are:

AAAAAAAAH_ONESHEETAAAAAAAAH!, the world premiere and feature directorial debut of … Continue reading