April 22, 2014



USA, 2013
Director: Corey Norman


After seeing Corey Norman's cool short fim "Natal", I was pretty curious about his future projects. In March, I stumbled upon a news post on Dread Central about Norman's debut feature "The Hanover House", shot in a real haunted farmhouse(!) in Maine, starring the criminally underrated actress Anne Bobby(!!), best known for her great performance in Clive Barker's "Nightbreed". Sounds badass, huh?

Unfortunately, "The Hanover House" didn't do anything for me. It's a beautifully shot and eye-catching movie with tons of powerful and striking images, but it's so unbelievably slow, lenghty and boring, and the story of a husband who accidentally enters an evil house where he gets forced to battle against his inner demons... eh, it's a neat story, but it feels as if it was originally written as short film, and then later blown up to a feature, which could have worked if done in a much more thrilling and suspenseful way.

The first half hour is more of a family-drama with lots of slightly soap-opera-y moments and a few really tedious scenes. Then, we enter the house and suddenly we're knee-deep in trite haunted-house-clichés, such as un-creepy ghost girls, blood-smeared faces, oh-so-important flashback sequences, people going batshit insane Jack-Torrance-like, and for no apparent reason, scenes that were kinda ripped off of  "The Amityville Horror" (bees on the window, daddy's chopping wood, blood flowing out of the wall).

The acting ranges from superb (Brian Chamberlain and a sadly completely under-used Anne Bobby) to downright mediocre (Casey Turner, Erik Moody). The music is eerie and effective (Anthony Lusk-Simone), the cinematography is great (Ken Gonneville, "Natal") and I love the director's intriguing visual style, even though his direction is weirdly unappealing, at times completely all over the place.

Final verdict: "The Hanover House" should have been a short film. I recommend to check out "The Invoking" instead, a slightly similar indie-feature that deals much better with troubled characters and their inner demons IMO.

Imdb / FB

Thanks To Corey Norman for sending me a screener!

An extreme Double Feature from Hell: ERASERHEAD meets LOVE ACTUALLY

This post was exclusively written for the blogfest "Guts and Grog presents: Two Extremes - Double Features From Hell". You can check it here on my site, or you can check it on the Guts and Grog site (CLICK HERE!).

Eric a.k.a. Guts-and-Grog-mastermind is probably one of the weirdest horror-guys I know. There are times when I don't get to see anything of him for months, and then suddenly he's back alive and kicking and with a terrific blogfest-theme at his hands.
I already participated on his themes "Horror with Training Wheels" (Hocus Pocus) and "Extreme Week" (Irreversible, Feed). This time, it's getting completely bizarre:


This is hilarious, but also damn brilliant. Let me explain: it's a double feature to confuse your senses. Unlike previous themes, this has nothing to do with genre, or even a theme. Basically, Eric wants us to pick two movies that should not be watched together, and eventually watch them together! The possibilities are endless. "A Serbian Film" with "Babe: Pig in the City" as the follow up. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" with "Friend Green Tomatoes", "Glitter" with "Subconscious Cruelty" etc. etc. 

After racking my brain over and over, I finally came up with a double feature that is really, really extreme: surrealistic arthouse body-horror meets romantic christmas-comedy. David Lynch's "Eraserhead" meets Richard Curtis' "Love, Actually". A match made in hell? No, a match made in a bizarre industrial landscape... with tea, christmas decorations and lots of love :-)))))

April 19, 2014

Happy Easter - with "EASTER BUNNY, KILL! KILL!"


USA, 2006
Director: Chad Ferrin


Another year, another Easter, another Bunny-themed review :) "Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!" [not to be confused with Russ Meyer's 60s "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" ;-)] is a silly but surprisingly highly diverting little grindhouse-like holiday-themed semi-slasher that takes place in a suburban house where a few sleazy characters get terrorized by a brutal killer with a bunny mask.

Contrary to all the crappy post-Death-Proof/Planet-Terror flicks, Chad Ferrin's feature debut is a neat lowest-budget homage to classic 70s grindhouse-gorefests like maybe "Savage Weekend" or "Don't Look in the Basement", and proves to that you don't need any fake scratches or blurs to get the typical grindhouse feeling. All you need is a talented filmmaker that knows the genre well enough and knows what he's doing.

Ok, "Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!" is far from being perfect. The first half is way too long, way too tedious. It takes a lot of time until we finally get to the action and gore, and there's also a few scenes that are too stretched out (Mexican guy on the toilet, boy playing a silly record).

Everything else about it was a very welcome suprise: the killer is a merciless bastard and his mask looks way creepier than the animal masks in "You're Next" (I mean it!). The kills are all extremely gory and violent: people getting their heads drilled or hammer-smashed, their throats slashed or stabbed, one gets choked to death with a broomstick, one gets burned to death etc.

The characters - whether they're good or bad - are all entertaining and slightly ympathetic (even the ones that are meant to be total assholes), and the acting is just fine, especially the gorgeous Charlotte Marie as long-time single mother, Ricardo Gray as amusing but also quite believable mentally handicapped teenager, Timothy Muskatell as nasty and disgusting uber-arsehole, David Z. Stamp as even more disgusting pederast, and Kele Ward + Amy Szychowski as hookers (nice boobs, ladies!).

I was close to give it a 6/10 or 6,5/10, but then I got to see the ending with its two insanely amazing plot twists, and I knew, I just have to give it a 7/10. "Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!" isn't for everyone. True slasher fans may be disappointed by it, but fans of oldschool exploitation and renegade indie-horror sure will get a massive kick out of it!

April 17, 2014


Just a couple of months ago, I got to see Peter Dukes' terrific short film "Little Reaper". In my review I praised the performance of main actress ATHENA BAUMEISTER, calling her 'uber-gorgeous' and her acting 'excellently delightful'.

And now just this morning, I saw the press release on the FB site of the film's production comapny Dream Seekers Productions:

"Last night Athena Baumeister, the lead actress of our film "Little Reaper", passed away. A beautiful soul, taken way too soon. A tremendous loss. We adored her and will miss her greatly. Our thoughts go out to her loved ones.

Rest in peace, sweet girl. Until we meet again...

This is so, so sad. Athena was just 16 years old, and she was so unbelievably talented.

At the the tender age of 12, she made her directorial debut with the short
"Who Is Suffering More". Right after, she started acting in all kinds of short films and web series, started writing screenplays for several shorts, and even helped as production assistant on the making of the short film collection "What I Did Last Summer".




Original Title:
Raptor Ranch

USA / Russia, 2013
Director: Dan Bishop


I have no idea why the title was changed from "Raptor Ranch" (sounds fun) to "The Dinosaur Experiment" (sounds meh), but actually, it doesn't matter because Dan Bishop's debut feature is just bad, no matter what title it has. Shot in L.A., Texas and... um, St. Petersburg, Russia(!), the movie follows a few nutty characters who end up on a remote cattle ranch called Fossil Ridge which is actually the breeding ground for blood-hungry Velociraptors...

Starts out rather entertaining, but after the first half hour, it quickly becomes boring, foreseeable and tiring, thanks to Bishop's lame direction (he tries way too hard to make it look like an oh-so-ambitious horror-comedy), the weak and idea-less script [written by Bishop, Will Raee (Exorcist Chronicles) & Shlomo may-Zur ("Broken Path")], and all the terribly forced humor that isn't funny at all. Ok, I admit, I chuckled twice: during the scene where a girl slips and falls on a puddle of blood (hihi), and during the scene where some guy called 'Beast' has a hard time saying the word Acrocanthosaurus ("A crack... a crackin'... hoe... a crackin' hoe saurus!").

I've seen much worse CGI in my life, but still, the CGI dinosaurs here... poor, laughable and slightly embarrassing. There's also lots of horrendously amateurish editing, especially during the action and gore scenes, which is pretty frustrating because it makes the kills look as if they were censored. The soundtrack ranges from schmaltzy country-shit to lame-ass 90s Big-Beat imitations, and the camera work isn't worth mentioning.

Why do I still give it a 3/10? Well, 1 point goes to the wonderful Lexy Hulme whose performance in "Lord of Tears" mesmerized me. Here, she plays an over-the-top semi-goth-chick and delivers some really fun acting.
Second point goes to Lorenzo "Lance" Lamas, simply because it's Lamas! His character is under-used and you can see that he has no idea what he's doing here. Still, solid performance.
Point numero 3 goes to the hotness of Jana Mashonee. She can't act at all (like most of the other actors, most notably the awful Cody Vaughan), but she looks so damn hawt and it's a pleasure to watch her.

All in all, an unrecommendable low-budget piece of dino-rubbish.

Thanks to Kelly Williams from "Greenleaf + Associates, Inc." for the screener!

April 16, 2014



Alternate Title:
Bone Boys

USA, 2012/2013
Directors: Duane Graves & Justin Meeks


"Butcher Boys" was written and produced by Kim Henkel. If you're not familiar with this name, he was the one who wrote the awesome screenplays for the two Tobe Hooper classics "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Eaten Alive" - but he also wrote and directed the awful sequel "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation", one of the absolute worst sequels of the 90s.

After this turd, he 'left' the film business and started teaching screenwriting at the Rice University in Houston, Texas. There, he became friends with the two students Duane Graves and Justin Meeks. In 2010, they decided to collaborate on a horror film about a couple of teens who get chased by a gang of brutal cannibals, based on Jonathan Swift's satirical essay "A Modest Proposal (1729)".

The result: a rather entertaining, but also pretty underwhelming low-budget horror flick that tries way too hard to be an homage to "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and ultimately fails to stand on its own. The first half is horrible: 4 of the most unbearable idiot characters since "Aftershock", lack of any tension, to much predictability and a set-up that feels like botched mix of "The Violent Kind" and "Five Across The Eyes".

The second half is way better. Lots of unexpected twists and plot surprises, hilariously entertaining interaction of several outrageous villain characters, more tension, more suspense, some ace violence and a freaky finale that made me giggle like hell. Also, I love the tribal-laden soundtrack by Josh Morrow and the powerful editing by Graves himself.

However, aside from the weak first half, "Butcher Boys" could have been so much better without all the TCM references. I mean, yeah, it's fun to so many
ex-TCM-actors in one film (Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, John Dugan, Teri McMinn from TCM 1 - Bill Wise, Bill Johnson from TCM 2), but their cameos are all completely pointless. Same for all the other rather annoying references (chainsaws, a Leatherface-like creature, dinner scene, certain musical cues from the TCM soundtrack etc.).

Overall, "Butcher Boys" is absolutely nothing special. It's a watchable but also quickly forgotten flick.

At 6ixes and 7evens

After passing the 600.000 mark in January, the Horror Movie Diary passed the 700.000 mark just today! Yay!

Although, actually, I enjoyed reaching this mark much more ;-)

April 14, 2014



Australia, 2008/2010
Director: Joel Anderson


It might not be the best found-footage/mockumentary-themed of all time (hell, it's not even a horror film - it's more of a horror drama), but it is undoubtedly the oddest, most unusual one I've ever seen: Joel Anderson's debut "Lake Mungo", an exceptional docu-style film that deals with several supernatural and/or paranormal apparitions, as well as with the psychological tragedy of a family that has a hard time handling the death of her daughter Alice, a teenage girl who seemed to have lots of really strange secrets...

Let's start with a big fucking applause to Mr. Anderson for creating one of the most twisted, most surprising screenplays of all time. "Lake Mungo" starts out as a family-drama, builds up to some kinda ghost movie, takes a massive turn and goes back to drama, takes a turn into the mystery-crime genre before returning to horror and melancholy drama, and so on. What may sound like a mess, is actually a very-well executed and cleverly constructed little chiller that knows how to perfecly avoid stale Hollywood- and ghost-movie-clichés.

It's sad that the pacing is much too slow in the middle, and there are also a couple of scenes that are horribly boring, because... hell! The first half is so unbelievably intense and uncanny, it almost scared me shitless. At least, in the last third it gets back to hauntingly and unexpectedly eerie 
by showing us something I would call the scariest cellphone video I've ever seen.

The acting is thoroughly good and I thought that all the performances were spot-on and believable. It's packed with creepy images and videos of ghostly appearances, as well as other unsettling footage, like the bizarre threesome sex scene. The photography is outstanding; loads of stunningly beautiful images and locations in and around the Australian towns Mildura and Ararat. Kudos to cinematographer John Brawley ("100 Bloody Acres"), as well as to the composers Dai Paterson and Fernando Corona ("Backyard") for the creepy music.

Not perfect, but definitely something you need to see, doesn't matter if you're into horror / found-footage, or not.

Btw, in 2010 "Lake Mungo" was picked up by After Dark Films and released as part of the 4th Horrorfest. The poster that was created for this release is simply beautiful, but it totally doesn't fit the tone of the movie and makes it look more like a real horror film:

MY OLD MAN (2013)

(10minute short)

Canada, 2013
Director: Ryan M. Andrews


I wasn't that impressed by Canadian director Ryan M- Andrews last feature "Sick", but I loved his 2011 short film "The Devil Walks Among You", and as it happens, I ended up loving his newest short even more: "My Old Man", a 10-minute long dialogue-heavy chiller about an encounter of a young woman who lost everything (husband, child, job) with a wizened but wise and slightly enigmatic old man.

It's a brilliantly directed and very well developed film, superbly paced, fabulously shot (Jon Simonassi) and excellently edited (Navin Rasmawaran, "Familiar").
G.M. Giacomelli's story and script are also pretty good. Ok, the ending is quite foreseeable. I figured it out when I first saw both characters together. Nevertheless, that didn't matter at all because it was really exciting to see how  "My Old Man" unfolds until it reaches its delightfully dark ending.

Highlight: the absolutely terrific acting. You can't go wrong with the amazing Robert Nolan, one of my absolute favorite indie-actors. He once again gives a really stunning performance. His mimics, his gestures, and the way he delivers lines like "This smoking generation went from being fashionable! and accepted to... stupid. But accepted! Drinking? That went from being forbidden! to almost righteousss..." Damn, I love this guy! Oh btw, the hilariously awesome make-up makes him look like Gandalf's little brother :-)

The performance by the extremely sexy-looking Adrian Cowan is fantastic too. They way she smokes, the way she smiles, the way she shouts and shakes her head - very impressive! Hope I'll see more of her in the future!

Tense, entertaining and eerie. "My Old Man" rocked my world!

April 11, 2014

Line-up: /SLASH 1/2, 2014

/Slashing Europe is dead.
Long live "SLASH 1/2", the new little brother of the /SLASH Filmfestival!
3 days. 11 films from 12 countries. 1 amazing star guest = awesomeness!!

/SLASH 1/2
May 1-3, Filmcasino Vienna

Special Guest: Italian Horror-God DARIO ARGENTO!!!

Thursday, May 1

- Directed by: Dario Argento ("Suspiria", "Deep Red")
- Starring: Asia Argento, Rutger Hauer, Thomas Kretschmann...

- Italy / France / Spain, 2012
- Screening in the presence of Mr. Argento himself!

- Directed by: Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani ("Amer")
- Belgium / France / Luxembourg, 2013

- Directed by: Yann Gonzalez
- Starring: Béatrice Dalle, Eric Cantona

- France, 2013

Friday, May 2

- Directed by: Jonathan Glazer ("Birth")
- Starring: Scarlett Johansson

- UK, 2013

- Directed by: Lucky McKee ("May")
- USA, 2013

- Directed by: Ti West ("The Innkeepers")
- USA, 2013

- Directed by: Álex de la Iglesia ("The Last Circus")
- Spain / France, 2013

Saturday, May 3

- Directed by: Gareth Evans ("The Raid")
- Indonesia / USA, 2014

- Directed by: Tommy Wirkola ("Dead Snow)
- Norway / Iceland, 2014


- Directed by: Tsui Hark ("A Chinese Ghost Story")
- China, 2013

- Directed by: Till Kleinert
- Germany, 2014



Alternate Titles:
95ers: Echoes / Time Runners

USA, 2013
Director: Thomas Gomez Durham


Cover and title both made me assume that this is some silly sci-fi-rubbish, maybe shot for TV or direct to DVD. Yet, to my surprise, Thomas Gomez Durham's debut feature "95ers: Time Runners" is actually a pretty terrific and intelligent time-travel-themed sci-fi-flick, somewhere between "12 Monkeys", "Memory Lane" and "Primer", telling the complex story of a pregnant FBI agent with fascinating time-bending powers who is in search for her scientist husband (who disappeared mysteriously) and suddenly gets pursued by evil forces from the future...

Based on an intriguing and imaginative screenplay and with a budget of only about $750.000, Durham created a marvellous and extremely original indie flick with an unpredictable and slightly sophisticated plot, full of awesome twists and turns, with tons of great-looking and very well made CGI effects, and a few wonderfully sympathetic characters, played by decent no-name actors, most notably the beautiful Alesandra Burham, the amusing Ian Paul Freeth and Chris Laird.

Direction and pacing are tight, the build-up is tense and powerful, there's never a dull moment and the climax is unforeseeably explosive and quite gobsmacking, thanks to the director's uber-fabulous and unique editing style, James Durham's bombastic music and the excellent cinematography. Also, massive kudos to the investigative and extremely detailed screenplay. Ok, at times almost too detailed and too complex. You probably need to see it two times to fully understand and comprehend the whole thing (like me).

All in all, "95ers: Time Runners" is a clever and ambitious science fiction film, very worth checking out! Not for everyone, but a must-see for sci-fi buffs.

Buy it here!

Thanks to Kelly Williams from "Greenleaf + Associates, Inc." for the screener!

April 10, 2014



USA, 1966
Director: William Beaudine


I expected this to be an absolute and total trashfest - unfortunately, it's far from being as trashy as the title may suggest: "Jesse James meets Frankenstein's Daughter", the last theatrical feature of William "One-Shot" Beaudine, director of more than 370(!!) movies and TV series and undoubtedly one of Hollywood's most prolific directors of all time, is just a pretty average Western with only a few

There's the notorious outlaw Jesse James and his partner Hank, a muscle-bound simpleton who eventually ends up in the laboratory of Dr. Maria Frankenstein and gets transformed into an uncreepy and rather unspectacular baldhead-monster. There's cowboys and gunfights, carriages and Wild West towns, Mexican peasants and oh-so-belligerent Indians, love and hate, jealousy and revenge... sounds fun, huh?

Actually, there's not much fun going on. The movie takes itself a bit too seriously and Beaudine's direction is boring and lifeless. Several scenes are really good (stagecoach robbery, the transformations), several scenes are unintentionally hilarious (fistfight, the scene at the pharmacist), but it's all so dreary and tedious, no thrills, no scares. Meh.

The acting is ok, the music by Raoul Kraushaar [Kraushaar >> German expression "krauses Haar" = frizzy hair] is very well composed and oh, how I love the funky "Jamaica helmet" (see below), but all in all, it's nothing I would watch again. But wait: there's one more...


USA, 1966
Director: William Beaudine


This was the second last movie of William Beaudine and - I think you already figured it out - it was obviously released in theaters as a double feature along with "Jesse James meets Frankenstein's Daughter".

Well, what can I say? "Billy The Kid vs. Dracula" is as silly as Beaudine's other Western/Horror mash-up, maybe a bit funnier and campier, but also a bit more boring. John Carradine is decent as Count Dracula, though he looks fucking hilarious whenever they shine a red light on his face. Also. all the rubber bats, and the outrageous... um, rubber-bat-transforms-into-Dracula scenes: amusingly awful.

The rest of the cast is also quite ok, but the direction is bland, there's way too many rather tedious dialogue sequences, the special effects are bad and the pistol/stake-showdown is just lame. At least, Kraushaar's music is once again very good.

All in all... well, see above ;-)

Wiki ~ Imdb

April 8, 2014



USA, 2008
Director: William Hopkins


When I first saw the poster artwork and read the plot of William Hopkins' second feature "Demon Resurrection" - a group of people in an isolated house battling evil, supernatural forces and a small army of undead to protect a young woman from a dangerous cult - I thought this is some kinda horror comedy in the vein of "Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer" or maybe "Army of Darkness".

Far from it! "Demon Resurrection" is actually a damn well homage to classic low-budget horror of the 70s and 80s. To me, the whole thing felt as if Kevin Tenney and Frank Henenlotter teamed up and made some kinda remake-mix of "Tombs of the Blind Dead", "The Beyond", "Burial Ground" and maybe "The Wicker Man". It's not perfect due to a somewhat silly plot and some dull pacing in the middle, but everything else about is very, very good.

There's lots of slow-moving, creepy-looking zombies (excellent make-up!), lots of cool gore effects (slashed throats, disembowelments, glass shard violence), and a bizarre magic ceremony involving super-talented, super-gorgeous and super-hot main actress Alexis Golightly who gets tied to a tree, gets one of her boobs branded(!), gets impregnated by a demonic god(!!), and finally gives birth to a slimy little creature straight outta Henenlotter-land(!!!). Freaky, freaky!

Aside from Golightly's excellent performance (plus: ace body!!), we get some more cool acting by Damian Ladd, Amanda Pennington and Edward Wheeler. Love the cool synth music which is very moody, very atmospheric and strongly reminded me of late 80s Italo-horror. Massive kudos to composer Doug Fallon ("Sleepless Nights"), as well as to the awesome make-up effects by Ashley Benatar ("Autopsy") and Hopkins' tight editing. The CGI is obviously pretty low-budget, but almost all of the effects look solid and surprisingly un-embarrassing; WAY, way better than in most indie-horror-flicks I've seen over the last years.

"Demon Resurrection" is 90 minutes of top-notch old-school indie-horror awesomeness. Nuff said :)

FB / Official / Twitter

Thanks to William Hopkins for providing me with a screener!

April 6, 2014



International Title:
The Passage

German Titles:
Reise in die Unendlichkeit / Le Passage - Reise in die Unendlichkeit

France, 1986
Director: René Manzor


After I finally found the criminally underrated Xmas-thriller "Deadly Games" last year (see here!), I realized that French director René Manzor has made at least one more flick that seem to be worth checking out: "Le Passage", a widely unknown and extremely overlooked little chiller that could be described as mix of supernatual horror-thriller, family drama and child-suitable fantasy-fairytale.

Manzor tells the story of a chain-smoking(!) and slightly lazy Grim Reaper (controlling the world via Big-Brother-like computer systems) who takes a comic artist (Alain Delon) to his realm and forces him to draw grim, gritty and apocalyptic drawings and comic films, according to the Reaper's plans for the extinction of the human race...

"Le Passage" was a huge box office bomb and almost killed off Alain Delon's career, which is quite understandable because back then, no-one wanted to see Delon in a semi-horror-flick. Actually, Delon is one of the main reasons why this movie turned out to be so mediocre because... well, he tried his best to cut a fine figure, but actually, his performance comes off as wooden and shallow, at times completely out of place.

Other problems: the story is rather silly, the screenplay is a boring and predictable mess, the wild genre mix doesn't work out, and although it's only about 80 minutes long, it often feels lengthy and annoyingly tedious.

Apart from that, "Le Passage" is an absolutely unbelievable feast for the eyes, excellently composed, fabulously shot and well directed. There's tons of striking images, breathtaking dream-like sequences and majestic shots of fog-laden areas and spooky figures. The Grim Reaper looks scary as hell, moves and acts in very eerie ways, and although it's slightly amusing to see him smoking cigarettes and looking at TV screens, he gave me the creeps in every single scene.

There's also shitloads of amazing animation sequences of sad clowns and confused monkeys, desperate women and sinister murderers, blood puddles, blood explosions, blood oceans, blood flowing out of the statue of liberty, blood exploding out of TV sets, blood here, blood there, blood everywhere and all around the world. Wowsers!

Kudos to André Diot's terrific camera work, the fast-cut editing by Roland Baubeau ("Little Indian, Big City") & Christian Ange ("Shadow of the Wolf"), the wonderfully atmospheric music by Jean-Félix Lalanne ("Deadly Games"), as well as to everyone responsible for the amazing animation design. Also, great acting by hottie Christine Boisson and youngster Alain Lalanne.

Recommended to fans of obscure European 80s horror, as well as to fans of overlooked and/or forgotten visual-fests like "The Sender", "Maya", "Specters" or "The Keep".

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