The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #7 – Battle Royale (2000) by Mark Pidgeon

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #7:

The Ecstasy of BATTLE ROYALE (2000)

br1As we hit the end of our first E&A week, it’s Mark Pidgeon’s turn to tackle a film he just can’t get enough of. Here, Marky Mark picks iconic J-shocker Battle Royale to marinate in his love-filled juices…

Being part of UKHS has been a real pleasure for much of this past year. It’s given me ample real estate and freedom to express opinions, to direct readers towards great movies and, hopefully, to steer them away from a few not so good ones. Being involved has been an amazing opportunity, and in the process I have made some great friends who I hope are around for as long as I am!

As writers we rarely get the chance to wax lyrical about the things that we truly love; the movies that are for most us the reason we became critics and genre-based writers in the first place. That film for is Kinji Fukasaku’s 2000 opus Battle Royale.

The premise is simple: the forty-two classmates of class 3B are … Continue reading

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #6 – Cabin In The Woods (2012) by Joey Keogh

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #6:

The Agony of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012)

citw1Up next in our award winning (maybe) Ecstasy & Agony run, Joey aims both barrels of her critical shotgun at director Drew Goddard’s much loved meta monster mash…

The marketing campaign for the Joss Whedon-scripted “horror-comedy” (it’s neither) The Cabin In The Woods was incredibly effective. In spite of the fact that the film sat on the shelf for years – long enough for Chris Hemsworth to be known as Thor by the time it finally came out, instead of just some random Australian fellow – when the promotional material was eventually unleashed, it felt new, fresh and even original, thanks to a cracking trailer and a poster that hinted there was more to the titular cabin than was at first obvious.

For me, Cabin was one of the biggest disappointments of a life spent obsessing over horror movies. Relentlessly smug and self-congratulatory – not to mention much less clever than it thinks it is – it renders a decent cast completely useless … Continue reading

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #5 – A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) by Dave Wain

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #5:
The Ecstasy of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET PART 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE (1985)

anoesfr1Today in our ongoing Ecstasy & Agony series, well-oiled UKHS reviewing machine Dave Wain takes a loving look at perhaps the most underrated entry in the Elm Street saga…

When I was fourteen, I was brutally mauled by an intruder armed with a chainsaw who broke into my parent’s home. It was a senseless, premeditated attack. I could see the tip of the chain burrowing its way through the front door with the hefty crazed lunatic who was holding it making his way in shortly after. I was alone and my life was in great danger.

At fourteen years of age and with a year of watching horror movies under my belt, my mind had a propensity to take the most mundane aspect of daily life and let it spiral out of control ’til it hit the point of the ridiculous. What actually happened was a tree surgeon had an appointment to lop some overhanging branches in the garden, and being … Continue reading

House of Good & Evil (2013) DVD Review

 

HOUSE 001HOUSE OF GOOD AND EVIL (2013) DVD

Review by: Dave Wain

Stars: Rachel Marie Lewis, Christian Oliver, Marietta Marich, Jordan Rhodes

Written by: Blu de Golyer

UK Certification: 15

UK RRP: £14.99

UK DVD Region: 2

Runtime: 104 minutes

Directed by: David Mun

UK Release Date: 12th May 2014

Distributor: Safecracker Pictures

Having spent much of his career on the production side of things in projects as diverse as D.E.B.S (2004), and the TV show Sons of Anarchy (2008), David Mun steps into the director’s chair for this psychological horror film which was shot on a tight budget of $150,000.

The movie opens with a traumatic moment for our featured couple Maggie (Lewis) and Chris (Oliver) Conley as during a mad dash to the local hospital it becomes obvious that Maggie is enduring a miscarriage. The film swiftly moves on to a lighter scene as following their tragedy we discover the couple are on their way to their new house. They’ve bought a property in … Continue reading

Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979) BFI BluRay Review

ntv1Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979) – Limited Edition Steelbook (BluRay)

Released by BFI on May 19th 2014.

Director – Werner Herzog

Starring – Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz.

 

The story of Dracula has been told a thousand times before on the silver screen, the characters lasting appeal is evident in the luscious and romanticised interpretations presented across generations; it is F W Murnau’s 1922 expressionist masterpiece Nosferatu which is an undoubted influence on German director Werner Herzog’s reinterpretation of this classic story, his love song to the pinnacle of German cinema’s expressionist era.

Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz, Downfall), a real estate agent from Wismar, Germany is tasked with an ill fated journey through the Carpathian Mountains to close a deal with the mysterious Count Dracula (Klaus Kinski, Aguirre, Wrath of God). Despite several bad omens on his arduous journey Harker makes the trip only to discovers all is not as it seems with the count and his mansion.

The Pallid Count, his sickly pale skin, almost transparent exudes an aura in every scene he appears in. Kinski, the … Continue reading

Eurohorror Spotlight #10: Belphegor, Phantom of the Louvre (France, 2001) by James Simpson

 

belphegor1Eurohorror Spotlight #10: Belphegor, Phantom of the Louvre (France, 2001)

aka Belphegor, Le Fantome du Louvre.

Dircetor: Jean-Paul Salome

Starring: Sophie Marceau, Frederic Diefenthal, Michel Serrault, Julie Christie

Egypt, 1935: We see some men exploring the inside of a pyramid where they find a tomb. Inside is a mummy that is over 3,000 years old. They take it to the Louvre and set sail. The finder becomes ill and frightens the ship’s crew mates. They begin to go insane and kill themselves.

Fast forward to present day, the Louvre museum in Paris. The same tomb has been found in a ‘forgotten storage room’. The name and face of the mummy have been scratched off of it, highly unusual for ancient Egyptians to do. The experts at the Louvre scan the bandaged body in an MRI to find out the identity: there is a metal mask covering the face furthering the mystery. Just then a ghostly skeleton flies out of the mummy and into … Continue reading

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #4 – A Serbian Film (2010) by Oli Ryder

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #4:
The Agony of A SERBIAN FILM (2010)

asf1It’s day four of our Ecstasy & Agony Showcase, where each of the UKHS take it in turns to profile a film they love and a film they hate. Today finds Oli Ryder waxing angry about his most hated horror experience, the dark and deeply controversial A Serbian Film. Safe to say, **SPOILERS FOLLOW**. It ain’t pretty, y’all!

Now don’t get me wrong: despite what I’m about to say, all the hubbub and controversy is exactly what drew me to A Serbian Film in the first place. Like the moth to the flame that I am, I simply had to see what all the fuss was about.

In this day and age it’s become so hard to shock horror audiences with something they haven’t seen before. In a junkie-like manner, many of us still find ourselves chasing that elusive dragon; the thrill of fear and joyful disgust that we first got when discovering this wonderfully dark strand of cinema for the first time.
However, in … Continue reading

Delivery aka Delivery: The Beast Within (2013) DVD Review

 

DELIVERY 001DELIVERY aka DELIVERY: THE BEAST WITHIN (2013) DVD

Review by: Dave Wain

Stars: Laurel Vail, Danny Barclay, Rob Cobuzio, Colter Allison, Rebecca Brooks

Written by: Brian Netto, Adam Schindler

UK Certification: 15

UK RRP: £12.99

UK DVD Region: 2

Runtime: 84 minutes

Directed by: Brian Netto

UK Release Date: 12th May 2014

Distributor: Metrodome Distribution

The first video I rented from Blockbuster was a rather questionable DTV horror film called Devil’s Child (1997) with Matthew Lillard and Kim Delaney. A pointless snippet of trivia if ever there was one, but whenever a supernaturally orientated pregnancy film shows up I tend to think back to the long line of similarly themed movies that have gone before, from the sublime The Brood (1979) to the ridiculous Blessed (2004) – Heather Graham… so so bad. My point being here is that upon watching Delivery you can’t help but compare it to similarly themed movies, and when one of those is Rosemary’s Baby (1968) then originality may be a tall order. … Continue reading

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #3 – Sleepstalker (1995) by Matty Budrewicz

The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #3:
The Ecstasy of SLEEPSTALKER (1995) by Matty Budrewicz

ss1It’s day three in our special love and hate themed spotlight, and today finds Matty Budrewicz stepping up to bat with an affectionate gush about the little-seen mid-nineties pleasure giver (so to speak) Sleepstalker…

Man, I love Sleepstalker. A long-time discount pit favourite, I’m ninety nine per cent sure that most of you fine lot will be more than familiar with it — well, at least its striking DVD cover anyway.

Sleepstalker is available everywhere. Like, seriously EVERYWHERE: pound stores, pawn shops, car booties, village fetes… Heck, check your uncle’s bookcase ‘cos it’ll be there too, sandwiched between a copy of Beefy’s Cricket Tales and his back issues of What Car?. Like a rat or a Greggs, you’re never more than ten feet away from a copy of Turi Meyer’s 1995 schlocker; yet the mad thing is very few people have actually seen it. And boy, they are sure missing out ‘cos Sleepstalker is a doozy of a flick.

Sleepstalker deals with a young man … Continue reading

An Interview with producer and script supervisor Sandy King Carpenter

Interview with Sandy King Carpenter for UK Horror Scene

S1UKHS: Hi Sandy! First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us! You seem to be a creative type who enjoys having a huge number of fingers in incredibly varying pies, does it ever get confusing or difficult hopping from one medium to another? Would you class yourself as a total workaholic?

SKC: HA HA HA!! Oh my God, I don’t think so. I prefer to think I just have a very active and interesting life. There are many ways to tell a story and they all offer interesting challenges and opportunities to reach new audiences. I find that there is a more organic flow than one might think from one medium to the other when the various avenues present themselves. My path into film making came from animation, which had come from my being an artist first, so there is more of a common thread between these worlds (say the comic books and the movies) than it might first appear.

UKHS: Of all your many projects … Continue reading