Santa’s Slay (2005) Review


Santa’s Slay (2005)

Dir David Steiman  –  80 minutes

Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

As Christmas is approaching , I will be watching and reviewing a few Xmas related horror films . Some may be obvious like this and others may be a little more tenuous.

I love Christmas based horror films so I may be a little biased in this area , but hey tis the season to be jolly!!

Now it appears that there were two immaculate conceptions , the first was Jesus the son of God and the second was Santa son of Satan .
So Santa is a demon and 1000 years ago he lost a bet with an angel and so for the past millennia he has had to be the giver of joy and happiness , but that 1000 years has ended and my Santa is pissed off.

Nicolas Yuleson (Douglas Smith) is a teenager who really doesn’t enjoy Christmas , and soon his Grandpa (Robert Culp) reveals to Nicolas the history of Santa and his relationship to them.

Now Nicolas and his girlfriend Mary (Emilie de Ravin) have to defend themselves against the demonic Santa as he pursues them before time runs out … Continue reading

The Loved Ones (2009) Review


lovedonesThe Loved Ones (2009)

Optimum Releasing – 84 minutes

Sometimes less is more , and with The Loved Ones that is definitely the case . This films doesn’t try to be clever it is just a really grim , dark and nasty film set in a small town in Australia . It is beautifully acted , the sets are perfect and the script is funny yet utterly terrifying.

The film starts with student Brent (Xavier Samuel) driving along with his dad when a mysterious figure appears in the middle of the road forcing Brent to swerve and smash head first into a tree killing his father.

Six months later we rejoin Brent who is still struggling to come to terms with his fathers death and his part in it.
Slowly withdrawing from his friends and his mother Brent finds solace in marijuana, self harm and his loving girlfriend Holly (Victoria Thaine).

It’s the day of the prom and Brent is asked to the prom by Lola (who is played by the fantastic Robin McLeavy) but he has to politely … Continue reading

Twixt (2011) Review


Twixt (2011)

Dir. Francis Ford Coppola – 88 minutes

Francis Ford Coppola really needs no introduction , a writer , director , producer . He is also a successful businessman and vintner as well being a septuagenarian .

So why I wonder did he decide to return to directing with the 2011 film Twixt ? I know he hasn’t *been away* but I wonder why go through the whole writing/producing/directing process at that age and why anyone didn’t say STOP , STOP THIS NOW!

Well apparently the whole influence for the film was he had a vivid alcohol induced dream and upon awakening this was conceived .

Anyhow – onto the film .

Failed author and alcoholic Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer) arrives in a small town to do a book signing in a hardware store . While there he gets talking to the sheriff (Bruce Dern) who tells Hall about a mass murder many years ago and also explains he has a fresh corpse back in the morgue that has died in suspicious circumstances .

He decides to stay on in town and try to write his next book . Help comes in the form of alcohol induced dreams … Continue reading

Nightmare At Elm Manor (1961) Short Film Review


Nightmare at Elm Manor (circa 1961)

George Harrison Marks – 5 minutes

This is a wonderful little 5 minute nudie/horror short directed by legendary British glamour photographer Harrison Marks .

Rather than me randomly babble about him here is a brief biography from the site .

Harrison Marks, as he came to be known, first got involved in glamour photography in 1953 after he met, and started a relationship with Pamela Green (1929-2010), a photographic model. He was 27, she was 24 and together they were to transform the British glamour scene and gain world-wide recognition. They started out by producing postcard-sized black and white glamour photographs in sets of five packed in cellophane bags, which they sold through book shops and newsagents in the Soho area of London where they had established their home and studio together. These tastefully posed pin-ups quickly became popular and the business expanded rapidly.
In 1957, they launched ‘Kamera’, their first printed publication. The 7 x 5 inch, 36 page, monthly pocketbook of nudes was an instant success.
They followed Kamera with an array of similar publications and an annual, 13 page colour calendar. Their success grew, and at the … Continue reading

A Visit From The Incubus (2001) Short Film Review


A Visit From The Incubus (2001)

Anna Biller Productions – 26 minutes

Set in the old west , this 26 minute short deals with a young lady being visited by an incubus .

Lucy (Anne Biller) visits her friend Madeleine (Natalia Schroeder) and tells her of sleepless nights due to visits from an incubus while she sleeps . We are told he takes many forms in these encounters including rats and even the devil himself .

Madeleine then confesses that she has been visited by the incubi , but they are actually vampires who feed not on blood but on sex ! . Madeleine also tells Lucy that she is no longer visited by the incubus – and she seems almost sad and wistful that it has now stopped .

Madeleine asks Lucy to stay over so they may fight the demon together should he appear , but Lucy has some shopping to do to take her mind off this , and needs to get some groceries , you know onions and things .

Lucy returns home later (minus any onions I may add) and retires to bed . She falls into a deep sleep and is once again … Continue reading

The Wicker Tree (2010) Review


The Wicker Tree (2010)

Director – Robin Hardy

Anchor Bay Films – 95 minutes

Oh Dear , just oh dear .
I was looking forward to watching this as I am a major fan of the original and knowing Robin Hardy both wrote this (it is based on his book Cowboys for Christ) and directed this , I was intrigued as to see what he could do almost 40 years on from The Wicker Man .

After five minutes I realised this was going to be both awful and at the same time fun .

The film starts in Dallas when we see famous singer Beth Boothby (Britannia Nicol) and her (thick as a brick) cowboy boyfriend Steve (Henry Garrett) attending a church service where she sings on stage , after this the preacher explains to the congregation that Beth & Steve are going to Scotland for two years as redeemers to convert the locals .
The preacher explains “There are people there that have forgotten the Lord – many I hear don’t even believe in Angels” . Well as good a reason as any then to jet off to the heathen wastelands of Scotland .

Upon … Continue reading

Him Indoors (2012)


him-indoors-2Him Indoors

Kesslerboy Productions – 11 minutes

I saw this at the Grimmfest film festival in Manchester in October 2012 . I remember looking through the listings and seeing this and it really just stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb .

Firstly it stars Reece Shearsmith ,who is an absolute idol in my eyes , from League of Gentlemen to Catterick to Shaun of the Dead to Psychoville – he just is a wonderful dark comic actor .

Secondly it also stars Pollyanna McIntosh who was just sublime in The Woman and the best thing in Burke & Hare .

So to the film (well short) – Reece Shearsmith plays Gregory Brewster an agoraphobic serial killer whose new next door neighbour Lizzie (Pollyanna McIntosh) turns up unannounced for a cup of tea (or a shag) . And what follows is 11 minutes of hilarious , dark and very British horror.

So much praise must go to director Paul Davis ( who I also saw starring in another great short – The Other Side) who catches this one perfectly from the great … Continue reading

Contagion (2011) Review


contagionContagion (2011)

Director – Steven Soderbergh

Warner Brothers – 108 minutes

Firstly watching this was a very last minute decision and the premise is not something I would be immediately drawn to .However I had a spare 2 hours free and had been online discussing some of the movie highlights of 2012 and this film was brought up (Cheers DL) , so I grabbed it and away I went .

I knew very little about the film before watching it , but the first thing you notice is a very strong cast made up of many of *household* names , including Jude Law , Matt Damon , Gwyneth Paltrow , Lawrence Fishbone , Kate Winslett and Elliott Gould to mention a few . Also there are a huge amount of unaccredited actors that are recognisable in many background scenes .

Its rather difficult reviewing this as there is so much going on worldwide , a large cast and I could give so many spoilers – so here is a short condensed summary and review .

The story starts with Beth (Paltrow) returning … Continue reading

Testament – Manchester HMV Ritz 29/11/2012 – Review



Manchester HMV Ritz 29th Nov 2012

I first heard Testament back in 1987 with their legendary 1st album The Legacy which is still a favourite of mine . They were prolific over the next few years releasing some great stuff and they have been still active over the years but really returned to form with the release of the 2012 LP – Dark Roots of Earth , that is a stomping heavy metal machine .
I first saw Testament on 14th Nov 1987 supporting Anthrax at the Manchester Apollo and what a gig that was !!
So a mere 25 years later I was made up to see them back again in my local city .
I had seen them earlier this year at the Bloodstock festival but they seemed lost and lifeless on the big stage playing during the day in the August sun , and I hoped they would be better in a much smaller intimate venue .
And on to the venue The Ritz Manchester . This is now an exclusive concert venue after many many (Commandant Lassard) years of being a nightclub . It did host a few gigs back … Continue reading

Cassadaga (2011) Review



cassadagaCassadaga (2011)


Poiley Wood Entertainment – 108 mins


I only heard of this after a recommendation from a friend , and I really didn’t know what to expect .
Now if you were to decide to watch a film purely by the front cover of the DVD then I would not have watched this , as the cover portrays a young woman with hooks screwed into her hands and knees and being operated as a human marionette . It looks like a very low budget gorefest .
Now how wrong would I have been , this is a fantastic little ghost film , with a serial killer , romance and a twist by having a deaf lead character .
The film starts with Lily a deaf teacher (wonderfully played by Kelen Coleman ) who loses her younger sister to a traffic accident . After this event she leaves town and moves to the quiet town of Cassadaga (the psychic capital of America) to take up a scholarship and part-time art teaching role .
While there … Continue reading