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".

April 4, 2014



Alternate Title:
28 Days Later...

Alternate German Titles:
28 Days Later - Deine Tage sind gezählt / 28 Tage später

UK, 2002
Director: Danny Boyle


Back in the 90s, I would have never expected that Danny Boyle, the director of "Trainspotting", one of the coolest films of all time, and Alex Garland, the writer of "The Beach", one of my favorite books as a teenager, would ever team up to create one of the most genre-defining horror films of the 00s - but they did, and the result is a truly excellent contemporary genre classic.

Boyle is a hit-or-miss director in my book. Movies like the above-mentioned "Trainspotting", "127 Hours" or "Shallow Grave" impressed me a lot, while stuff like "Sunshine" or "Slumdog Millionaire" didn't do much for me. Still, I love Boyle's work because he always chooses projects and genres that are completely different from each other, and that's why his work always feels fresh.

His only 'true horror film' so far is "28 Days Later", an innovative and cutting-edge post-apocalytic thrill-ride that redefined the zombie genre by turning the classic slow zombies into fast and raging motherfuckers. Okay, it was Italian director Umberto Lenzi who first turned the walking dead into running dead in his 1980 classic "Nightmare City", but while Lenzi's zombies ended up being quite overlooked, Boyle's infected beasts had a massive impact on the genre and later allowed directors like Zack Snyder or Marc Forster to end the world by having it overrun with super-fast zombies.

Boyle's direction is intense and powerful, the pacing is superb and Garland's screenplay is intelligent, intriguing and full of surprises. There are a few scenes that feel too long and/or too slow, but that doesn't matter that much because you never get bored or annoyed. There's enough badass action, beautiful landscapes, grim-looking abandoned places and sympathetic characters.

The cast is awesome and nearly everyone delivers a top performance, most notably Cilian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, the supersexy Naomie Harris and the charismatic Stuart McQuarrie. Also very worth mentioning: Leo Bill as young soldier. What, you don't know Leo Bill?? He's the guy who delivered the mindblowing performance in the gobsmacking "The Living and The Dead" (loveletter review here). His role isn't big but his performance is spot on.

The cinematography by Oscar-awarded long-time Boyle / Lars von Trier-collaborator Anthony Dod Mantle ("Antichrist", "Festen") is breathtaking, as is the effective quick-cut editing by Chris Gill ("Outpost") and the wonderful production design by Mark Tildesley ("The Killer Inside Me").
Highlights: the breathtaking look of deserted London, every single "zombie" transformation, the outstanding finale with the shocking car crash semi-ending, John Murphy's fantastic post-rock soundtrack incl. "In the House - In a Heartbeat", one of the greatest post-rock tunes ever recorded, as well other fab tunes by Blue States ("Season Song"), Grandaddy ("A.M. 180") and Godspeed You Black Emperor ("East Hastings").

Definitely one of the most important infection-themed AND European horror films of the 00s.

Wiki ~ Imdb


Alternate German Title:
28 Wochen später

UK / Spain, 2007
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo


Against my rather low expectations, the sequel to one of the most iconic horror films of the 00s turned out to be an incredibly thrilling and unexpectedly nifty surprise: "28 Weeks Later", the feature debut of Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo ("Intruders") is a terrific companion piece to "28 Days Later", almost as great, almost as terrifying.

Fresnadillo and the 3(!) screenwriters (Rowan Joffe, Enrique López Lavigne & Jesús Olmo) didn't fell into the sequel trap, but rather found a clever way to avoid underwhelming/annoying genre clichés by creating a simple, but believable and logical follow-up story (London gets re-populated but the virus isn't dead yet), by introducing new, interesting and identifiable characters, and by creating a vicious apocalyptic scenario with tons of badass action scenes and violent 'zombie' transformations / attacks / kills.

The acting is thoroughly good, IMO almost equally good as in the first part. Love the performances of Robert Carlyle (his characters is such an adorable mixture of nice guy and asshole), Imogen Poots (cute and highly talented), Idris Elba (great as always) and Jeremy Renner (I usually don't like him, but he gives a good performance here. Love the scene where they set him on fire LOL).


Direction and pacing are fabulous, the build-up to the outbreak is extremely intense, and the whole finale with the helicopter massacre, the night-vision insanity and the guerrilla-style epilogue in Paris... pure fucking awesomeness. I admit, there are some gaping plot holes/flaws, but nothing that annoyed me as much as some of the Imdb-reviewers who act like these plot holes destroyed every inch of this movie - which is obviously bullshit.

Just look at all the beautiful and well-chosen fiming locations in and around desolate London, all wonderfully captured by Enrique Chediak ("Turistas"). Just look at all the gore and brutality, all the deaths and kills, all the decent-looking CGI firestorms. Just listen to the impressive score, once again composed by the great John Murphy. We even get to hear "In the House - In a Heartbeat" a few more times, and - let's face it - it's impossible to get annoyed by this tune. Oh, did I really forgot to mention the insane opening sequence? Damn, that's how you start a movie!

Still thinking about plot holes? Fuck you. "28 Weeks Later" is badass. Bring on "28 Months Later" ASAP!!

April 2, 2014



German Title:
Aftershock - Die Hölle nach dem Beben

USA / Chile, 2013
Director: Nicolás López


I'm not a bad guy and usually, I do not wish harm to anyone - but now and then,
I get to see a movie where almost all the characters are so fucking unlikable,
my head suddenly fills up with hateful thoughts and homicidal ideations because I want all of these asshole characters to be dead, dead, dead
(the characters, not the actors).

"Aftershock" is such a movie.

Rookie director Nicolás López and screenwriter Guillermo Amoedo ("The Green Inferno") joined up with horror-poster-child Eli Roth ("Cabin Fever", "Hostel 1&2") who co-wrote, co-produced and even took over the leading role in their English-language debut "Aftershock", an interesting but ultimately failed attempt in creating an genre-mix of horror and survival/disaster movie, loosely based on the massive 2010 earthquake in Chile.

As I mentioned above, the characters are completely unappealing. Aside from hottie Andrea Osvárt's whiny but acceptable character, I had to deal with a few of the most annoying douchebags in horror history,
most notably:

~ Nicolás Martínez as smartphone-addicted and completely idiotic
Zach Galifianakis semi-look-a-like who is at his worst when he tries to come off as sentimental asshole, and at his best when he simply shuts his fucking mouth.
~ Eli Roth as poor man's Ben Stiller who is at his worst when he talks about his daughter, and at his best when he gets burnt alive (best scene in the whole fucking movie).
~ Natasha Yarovenko... I just wanted to punch her in the face the entire time.

The blood and gore effects look nice, there are plenty of brutal and slightly shocking kill scenes (face smashed by car, death by loudspeaker, axe in back, cable-car crash), as well as some other neat violence (guy losing his hand, woman getting raped several times) and the final scene is silly fun.

As for the rest... nah. López tries way too hard to make it look and feel like a real Eli-Roth-flick, but the result ends up as terrible Eli-Roth-FAN-flick. There's the oh-so-fun-and-juvenile boys and girls who just wanna have a good time (Cabin Fever), the slow-start-wild-end pacing (Hostel), the jump-scare-like shock kills (Hostel 1 & 2), the attempt to create some serious emotions (Cabin Fever) and a big portion of black humor (Cabin Fever, Hostel 1 & 2) - but in the end, it just doesn't work AT ALL.

There are no chills and no thrills, no suspense and no atmosphere. The earthquake effects look cheap and completely unconvincing, and the few CGI effects are just awful. The characteres aren't just unlikable, they're also immensely predictable and you quickly realize who will survive and who will die. Same for one supposed-to-be-good guy who is obviously a bad guy.
The cinematography is solid but highly unimaginative, same for the soundtrack and the editing

Worst of all: the opening scene where one guy tries to date a girl with a Wu-Tang Clan tattoo. The scene is pretty long and the girl (quite a hottie) seems to be an important character - but then she disappears, and apart from one very quick scene, we never get to see her again. Wtf? Why?

"Aftershock" leaves a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. It could have been a great and innovative movie in the right hands (maybe Jaume Balagueró? Jason Eisener?), but in its final form, it just sucks.

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