The Neon Dead (2015)

neondeadThe Neon Dead (2015)

Director: Torey Haas

Stars: Marie Barker, Greg Garrison, D. Dylan Schettina

Writer: Torey Haas

For as long as I have been watching horror, it seems that the it has been the de facto genre for first time film makers to cut their teeth on. In a way, it makes me proud that the genre I love has helped blood some of the best directors in the game. The latest rookie director to choose a horror film to lose his directorial virginity is The Neon Dead’s Tory Haas. So will we be holding Haas in the same esteem as Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, well, read on and find out!

The Neon Dead introduces us to Desmond (played by Greg Garrison) and his best friend Jake (D. Dylan Schettina). The two gamer nerds spend the day counting the hours away in their day job in a shop, because by night they are paranormal investigators and exterminators! One night they get a call from Allison(Marie Barker), who has just found out the home she has inherited is haunted by some … Continue reading

Hot Button Politics and Attack The Block!

atb1Hot button politics and ‘Attack the Block.’

I’m going to lay down a marker right now; Attack the Block is one of the most crudely underrated films of recent years. A brilliant film and for my mind the 21st Century’s Evil Dead. Gory, low budget (by today’s standards), funny, fast paced and a superb soundtrack by Basement Jaxx together with composer Steven Price. A soundtrack that combines electronica with classic overblown horror music. It is not straight horror in the manner of Evil Dead, but its not hard to see where comparisons can be drawn.

In terms of genre literacy, it leans heavily on Aliens – with it being an action sci-fi film following a ragtag group outnumbered by a hostile alien force – and the literature of J.G. Ballard and John Wyndham. Both of whom are explicitly referenced in the film (keep your eyes on the signs)

Moreover, though writer and director Joe Cornish put together a daring film about poverty, racism, police profiling and the brutal gentrification of London.

atb2 Continue reading

Tales of Poe (2014) Review

poe1Tales of Poe (2014)

Directed by Bart Mastronardi and Alan Rowe Kelly.

Written by Alan Rowe Kelly, Bart Mastronardi and Michael Varrati

Starring Caroline Williams, Debbie Rochon and Adrienne King.

Out Oct 11th 2016 from Wild Eye!!

“Based on the classic works of Edgar Allan Poe – a unique spin on three of Poe’s popular stories (The Tell Tale Heart, Cask of Amontillado & Dreams). Directors Bart Mastronardi & Alan Rowe Kelly weave together a compelling and suspenseful anthology that will captivate Poe enthusiasts and horror fans alike!”

I will always hold my hand up and admit to being a fan of Poe. As a writer I’m indebted to the legacy he’s left behind with exemplary works from genres such as murder mystery, the emerging genre of science fiction and, of course, horror. And it’s because of this passion for Poe that I was so keen to look at this film. I love Poe and firmly believe his stories deserve to be reimagined for contemporary audiences.

And, in two thirds of the stories presented here, that reimagining is thoroughly enjoyable.

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Creepy (2016) Review

creepy1CREEPY (2016)

Starring Hidetoshi Nishijima, Teruyuki Kagawa and Yuko Takeuchi

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Written by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Chihiro Ikeda based on the novel by Yuketa Maekawa

CREEPY is to be released in cinemas (UK & Ireland) on 25 November 2016 from Eureka!

Takakura is a former detective. He receives a request from his ex-colleague, Nogami, to examine a missing family case that occurred 6 years earlier. Takakura follows Saki’s memory. She is the only surviving family member from the case. Meanwhile, Takakura and his wife Yasuko recently moved into a new home. Their neighbor, Nishino, has a sick wife and a young teen daughter. One day, the daughter, Mio, tells him that the man is not her father and she doesn’t know him at all.”

From its taut, tense prologue to its bleak, subtly twisted ending, CREEPY is 130 minutes of pure, get-under-your-skin dread the likes of which we so rarely get to see.

After a violent and nearly fatal encounter with a psychotic young man, Takakura leaves the force to teach criminal psychology at University. With his wife Yasuko … Continue reading

Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four (2015) Review

doomed1Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four (2015)

Director: Marti Langford

Starring: Alex Hyde-White, Oley Sassone, Rebecca Staab, Jay Underwood, Joseph Culp, Michael Bailey Smith

“Nobody ever thought it could have this kind of life.”

Doomed lays out the story of the Fantastic Four movie that never made it to theaters. Though it can be found as a bootleg (and I mention this because everyone involved is pleased that there even IS a bootleg), Roger Corman’s cheap and fast Fantastic Four movie was cut short for somewhat shadowy reasons. The main story seems to be that the film was made in the first place only to extend the rights to the option while still being shopped to bigger and better studios. Once it landed somewhere else the film was killed JUST before it was to premier.

This well put together documentary follows story of the 1994 The Fantastic Four from inception to its unfortunate end. In the beginning the producers were looking for someone to make the F4 fast and cheap. They first went to Troma who turned down … Continue reading

LA Contagion aka Killer Party (2014) Review

lacontagionLA CONTAGION aka KILLER PARTY (2014)

Starring Kurt Ela, Rachel Drummond and Evan Gamble

Written & Directed by Alex Drummond

On VOD now from Grimm Entertainment

“A group of friends get trapped at a baby shower when a mysterious outbreak starts turning people into homicidal maniacs.”

The best horror comedies work because both the horror and humour come naturally from the story and the characters. Gremlins, Grabbers, Shaun of the Dead, An American Werewolf in London. So many classic examples, proof that when they work, they work really well.

Nick (Ela) is an unemployed screenwriters heading with his pregnant, unsuccessfully actress wife Mary (Drummond) to her baby shower, where some of the most horrible and irritating people in LA are gathered for the celebration. But as word gets out that riots are happening elsewhere in the city, the group is besieged by crazy zombie types, or more like “crazies” who like to eat flesh. But the outbreak isn’t the only issue. Everyone in there has beef with each other, and there’s no time like the apocalypse to have a row.

With the … Continue reading

London Horror Festival 2016 – Show Listings

lhf1London Horror Festival 2016

10th – 30th October 2015 (times vary)
The Old Red Lion Theatre, Angel

It’s BACK! The UK’s original and largest festival of horror in the performing arts returns to London in its new home at the Old Red Lion Theatre for three jam-packed weeks this October. Scaring the living daylights out of audiences since its inception in 2011, the London Horror Festival is a celebration of the ghoulish, the thrilling and the downright macabre through the medium of live performance.

You will find over 20 different shows to choose from; including horror theatre, LGBTQ cabaret, live podcast recordings, comedy, clowning, storytelling, magic, a Virtual Reality immersive film experience, midnight Séance shows AND a short horror play competition, making 2016 their biggest festival yet!

The LHF continues to support new writing and provide a platform for emerging talent in the horror theatre scene, with ‘Badass Women’ – a short horror play writing competition designed to create more empowering female roles. Dozens of entries have been received from across the UK and the top 3 shortlisted plays will be … Continue reading

A Walk Down Elm Street and Middle America’s Nightmare

anmoesA Walk Down Elm Street and Middle America’s Nightmare.

One night, in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, a young boy, supposed to be asleep looks out of his bedroom window. He sees an old man walking down the street wearing a black and red striped jumper. The man pauses, turns and stares straight at the young boy. Terrified, the boy quickly shuts his curtains and scrambles under the covers. Sometime later. Seconds, maybe even minutes, the scared young boy gingerly peeks through the curtains and out into the street.

The old man is still there, staring intently, coldly at the window and the petrified little boy. Maybe that old man was planning terrible things or maybe he was just a creepy old bastard who got a kick out of scaring a child. Either way, for a callow young boy raised in a strict Baptist household, it is an event that would leave its mark for the rest of that boy’s life. Because that young boy was called Wesley Earl Craven and if that black and that old man (along with a school bully named … Continue reading

Unspoken (2015) Review

unspoken1Unspoken (2015)

Starring: Jodelle Ferland, Chilton Crane, Chanelle Peloso, Sunny Suljic

Director: Sheldon Wilson

Out NOW on DVD from Arrow Films

Writer/Director Sheldon Wilson has at last been given the opportunity he needed to showcase himself. With a fifteen year portfolio mostly consisting of B-movie creature-feature horrors for TV, he has well and truly paid his dues not only in the genre, but in the film-making gig in general. It was high time he was able to make a movie of his own calibre, and it is The Unspoken.

If nothing else, this movie, Wilson’s main leap from TV B-movies to budgeted feature length, shows exactly how versatile and studied an auteur he is. Where his considerable experience in cheese-horror could have seen him continue down a similar route at a greater budget, Wilson shows remarkable appreciation for horror of a more relatable nature. Surprisingly, it’s that almost out-dated kind, domestic horror.

unspoken2If this term puts you in mind of Rosemary’s Baby or, more … Continue reading

Blair Witch (2016) Review

blairwitch1BLAIR WITCH (2016)

Dir- Adam Wingard

Starring- James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Corbon Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry

In UK Cinemas NOW!

It was not long ago that Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett had been linked to a film called THE WOODS, and what seemed like a project mysteriously under wraps was soon to be revealed by distributor Lionsgate as a sequel to THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT at this years San Diego Comic Con in July, and given a new title, BLAIR WITCH, to raise the hype and publicity levels to a new high for horror fans. Here now and forthcoming was a sequel to one of the most famous low budget horror films of all time, and one that might banish the memory of BLAIR WITCH 2: BOOK OF SHADOWS from 2000, which was seen as a rushed misstep thanks to the studios decision to butcher and force re-shoots to Joe Berlinger’s original idea (read up on the history of this sequel and you will be wanting a directors version to be released now!).

THE BLAIR WITCH … Continue reading