29 February 2012

HUDSON HORROR SHOW V - Trailer

You may have noticed that there's a gorgeous little poster on the right side of the diary, the poster for the HUDSON HORROR SHOW V, a wonderful 12 hour film festival featuring five full length classic genre films along with shorts and drive in style trailers, all off rare 35mm film prints!

George A. Romero's
DAY OF THE DEAD
Don Coscarelli's
PHANTASM
Sean S. Cunningham's
FRIDAY THE 13TH
Roy Ward Baker's
THE LEGEND OF
THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES
and a secret 5th feature!

Check out the uber-awesome HUDSON HORROR SHOW V trailer!



More Information on:


TRIANGLE (2009)

TRIANGLE

UK / Australia, 2009
Director: Christopher Smith

9/10











I'm gonna take a closer look at Christopher Smith's "Triangle" because my initial review was only about 3 sentences long, although there is a bit more to say about it.
IMO "Triangle" is one of the most original, most intelligent, most complex genre movies I've ever seen. What starts off as some kinda survival slasher on the open sea, turns out to be a captivating and brain-twisting mystery puzzle about time loops, guilt, insanity, death and Greek mythology.


Smith has outdone himself: his direction is flawless and the script he worked on for about 2 years is mindblowingly awesome and on a par with movies like "Inception" or "Memento" due to its stunning complexity and the fact that there are simply no plot holes.

The movie is incredibly tense and gripping from the first to the last minute, due to awesome pacing, a high amount of breathtaking atmosphere, many eerie settings and the beautiful, almost "Shining"-like cinematography. The characters are all believable and the acting is thoroughly great, especially Melissa George's brilliant performance.

 
Apart from a few cheap-looking CGI effects, there's absolutely nothing wrong about "Triangle". I adore this movie... and so shall you! ;-)

27 February 2012

CHERRY TREE LANE

CHERRY TREE LANE

UK, 2010
Director: Paul Andrew Williams

3,5/10










Director Williams' horror-debut "The Cottage" was a well-made and highly entertaining slasher-comedy. His 2nd horror entry "Cherry Tree Lane" is a
super-lame and completely superfluous home-invasion flick, disappointing from beginning to end.

The opening scene is good, the depressing slow-motion scenes are great and the climax is quite nice. Everything else falls completely flat.
The characters are either unlikable or just plain annoying, and the acting is mediocre. Large parts of the dialogue consist of unbelievably dumb idiot talk, the script is terrible, the plot is weak and most of the time, it's sooooo incredibly boring, it's just laughable.


Skip this and watch "Kidnapped" or "Funny Games" instead.

Press Release: AWAKE IN THE WOODS

The woods in Marion, NY have been home to the new feature film 
"AWAKE IN THE WOODS", a new collaboration starring and from the minds of M.M. Mayhem Films, Award Winning actor Keith Collins (Stuck in the Middle, BIdentity Crisis, Games People Play NY), Award Winning Producer Theresa Galeani (Cross the Line, Violet to Earth) & Award Winning Filmmaker Nicholas Boise (A Fight For Survival).

This small farming community has been witnessing things a little out of the ordinary. Blood, body parts, and frozen animals cover much of the filming location and the actors are not shocked by the action happening on set.
Locals have been creeped out just by driving by, most fear going near them while some swear by the story and believe the legend of the Marion woods. Reality came into play while making local news when one actor has a real-life paranormal possession while going a little too deep into the cursed woods, camera’s kept rolling documenting the experience before help finally arrived. This movie, even during daylight shoots, has everyone talking about the things that go 'bump' in the daytime as well as at night.

"AWAKE IN THE WOODS" tells the story of small town friends Ronnie (Galeani), Derek (Collins), and Tucker (Boise) growing up hearing stories of odd happenings, hunter's reporting strange occurrences, Parents warning their children not to go too far into the woods. But when 7 year-old Madelaine (Madelaine Kemp) does not heed her parents warning and goes missing in the woods these three friends search for the truth. Set out to document their findings, what happened to them is unexplainable. Only one of them was left wandering, alone, awake in the woods.

26 February 2012

AMERICAN WEREWOLVES in LONDON and PARIS

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON

German Titles:
American Werewolf / American Werewolf In London / Die Todesbestie

UK / USA, 1981
Director: John Landis

9/10





What can I say about this film that hasn't already been said? John Landis 5th full length feature "An American Werewolf In London" is undoubtedly one of the greatest werewolf films AND one of the funniest horror-comedies of all time.

 
Pretty much everything about it is excellent:
The cast is absolutely awesome. David Naughton and Griffin Dunne's performances as American backpackers in UK are highly amusing and their characters are incredibly sympathetic. Jenny Agutter is just lovely as lovestruck nurse, John Woodvine reminded me a bit of the great Roddy McDowall, and the chess/dart players in "The Slaughtered Lamb" are simply hilarious.

It's really packed with tremendously funny scenes (pub scene, David in and after the zoo, David and the Undead in the porn theater), super-funny characters (the dorky police officer, everyone in the pub, the hospital porter, the bums) and loads of outrageously funny dialogue/one-liners
("I think there are some hooligans in the park again." / "Have you tried talking to a corpse? It's boring!" / "Thanks for the ride, sir. You have lovely sheep." / "A naked American man stole my balloons!" / "Queen Elizabeth is a man! Prince Charles is a faggot! Winston Churchill is full of shit! Shakespeare's French!" / "I'm a fucking werewolf, for christ's sake!" ...).


The settings all look cool (the Yorkshire moors, the subway, Piccadilly Circus), Rick Baker's oscar-winning special effects are as awesome and timeless as the effects in Carpenter's "The Thing" (best werewolf-transformation next to the one from "The Howling"), there's gallons of wonderful gore, many bizarre but awesome dream sequences (the machine gun nazi-creatures, David as hospital-bed-vampire) and the soundtrack, which only includes songs with the word 'moon' in its title, is just fantastic (CCR, Bobby Vinton, Sam Cooke...).


A fabulous alltime classic that never gets old, and together with "Blues Brothers" and "Kentucky Fried Movie" THE highlight in John Landis' eclectic career.

Wiki ~ Imdb



AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS

German Titles:
American Werewolf 2 / American Werewolf In Paris

USA / UK / France, 1997
Director: Anthony Waller

5,5/10






Not the most hated, but definitely one of the most unpopular sequels of the last 20 years or so. "An American Werewolf In Paris" is a mediocre and unnecessary in-name-only sequel that feels like a rushed rehash of Landis' classic. At least, it's quite cool-looking and somewhat entertaining.


Pros:
The acting is neat (Julie Delpy, Tom Everett Scott), it's full of amusing characters and there are many pretty funny scenes (park search, the bubblegum condom, the tits scene). We get to see many beautiful and well-filmed settings (the villa, the sewers, various Parisian landmarks), the direction is ok and the script is well-paced.

Cons:
The story about the underground werewolf society is flawed and stupid, the villains are all extremely annoying and the soundtracks consists of countless bland and boring college rock tunes.
There are nearly no practical effects, the werewolves are all CGI, it's packed with dumb dialogue, the showdown is way too long and the ending is just silly.

 
Far from being as awesome as the original, but at least quite enjoyable. 
I've seen worse.

Wiki ~ Imdb

24 February 2012

CREAK

Sincerely Psychopath: One
"CREAK"
(5minute short)

UK, 2012
Director: Luther Bhogal-Jones

7/10








"Creak", the first part of an upcoming short film series called 'Sincerely Psychopath', is a fine little chiller about a lesbian couple who wakes up in the middle of the night because of something creaking in the dark of their house.

It's a very well made short, excellently shot, superbly edited and accompanied with an interesting electronic score. The 2 leading ladies Sara T. Douty & Sheila Stout deliver very good and incredibly believable performances, nearly every single scene is creepy and haunting and the main creature (a weird-looking black thing called 'The Pioneer') looks awesome.


Could have been a little longer and the sudden ending was a bit of a letdown, but aside from that, I enjoyed "Creak" and I'm already excited about director Luther Bhogal-Jones' next projects "Knock Knock" and "eXtended".

Watch it here!
Creak on Facebook

"THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS" (Pure Terror 50 Movies Pack, #41)

THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS

USA, 1966
Director: T.L.P. Swicegood

7/10










According to this Fearnet Interview, this little piece of lowest-budget schlock is one of Mercedes Lander's (drummer of KITTIE, greatest metal-girl-band in the world!) alltime horror movie favorites - I must admit, the lady has taste! :-)

"The Undertaker And His Pals" is another splendid highlight in this wonderful movie box. A hilarious exploitation-cheesefest (that looks a bit like Herschell Gordon Lewis' "Blood Feast") about 3 motorcyclists, a greedy undertaker, the dumb owner of the 'Greasy Spoon Cafe' and a nutty ex-med-student, who roam the streets and kill young girls to 'recycle' their bodies for different purposes: 
the cafe owner feeds various body parts to his customers, the ex-student tries out his surgeries on the dead girls, and the rest gets buried by the undertaker.


The movie is packed with incredibly funny scenes that made me giggle
like an idiot: 
the picture of a sailor that changes its expression, the undertaker accidentally playing a rock record at a funeral, the cafe owner getting a pie in his face, the undertaker accidentally stepping on a skateboard, the skeleton in the acid barrel, the wood-box casket etc. etc.

The characters are all incredibly silly, especially the med-student who thinks he can heal 'hunger pains' by doing some surgery ROFL. There's a woman called Miss Poultry, and 2 sisters called Thursday and Friday.
We get some wonderfully gory and very Herschell-esque kills (cut off legs, cut off breasts, axe in face etc.), lots of witty dialogue ("What's this?" - "Lamb." - "That's not lamb." - "Taste it again!") and an ingenious soundtrack that consists of 60s rock pop, weird New orleans blues and silent movie music.

I don't care about the cheap settings, the amateurish editing and the rubbish script - this movie is a blast!

23 February 2012

"DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE!" (Pure Terror 50 Movies Pack, #40)

DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE!

Alternate Title:
The Hollywood Strangler

German Titles:
Todesschrei per Telefon / Todesschrei am Telefon / Das Telefon - Bei Anruf Horror

USA, 1980
Director: Robert Hammer

4,5/10


Gee, what a mess of a movie. "Don't Answer The Phone!" is an incredibly weird post-"When A Stranger Calls"-slasher that just can't decide what it wants to be: psycho-killer horror? goofy cop comedy? sleazy sexploitation? Nevermind, everyone involved in this cheesefest seemed to be high on crack whilst shooting... and I guess that's alright.

The killer is a disturbed loner in the vein of "Maniac" or "Don't Go In The House", though it's impossible to take him serious because of Nicholas Worth's unintentionally hilarious performance. The rest of the cast isn't much better: untalented actors play stupid characters who constantly spit out crappy dialogue lines.

Apart from a horribly messy script, terrible pacing and lack of gore, there's at least lots of gorgeous girls, lots of even more gorgeous nudity, a bunch of decent kills and a few extremely funny scenes (police at the massage salon, the 'Drugs are more important than you!' scene, silly fistfights...).
Final verdict: weak but watchable drive-in exploitation.

Oh btw: hey Craig! You really need to see this,
it's packed with "Let's get out of here" lines :-)




Wiki ~ Imdb

21 February 2012

HIERRO

HIERRO

German Title:
Hierro - Insel der Angst

Spain, 2009
Director: Gabe Ibáñez

6,5/10








"Hierro" is a cool and awesome-looking Spanish mystery-thriller about a mother in search for her lost child. A bit flawed and far from being perfect, but overall quite satisfying.


What's good:
It's packed to the brim with incredibly depressing-looking, yet visually stunning settings (bleak beaches, deserted landscapes, weird greenhouses, a rundown campsite), all beautifully filmed by the relatively unknown Alejandro Martinez.
Elena Anaya's ("The Skin I Live In") performance is powerful and very believable, the "Ring"-like score is terrific, the direction is interesting and there are enough suspenseful and creepy scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat.

What's bad:
The first half hour is way too tedious and slow-paced, the plot is a bit unoriginal and often too predictable, and there are way too many questions that remain unanswered.



Recommended to fans of movies like "Vinyan", "Flightplan" or "The Vanishing".

THIEVES

THIEVES
(14minute short)

USA, 2011/2012
Director: J.G. Barnes

5/10










"Thieves", the debut-short from director J.G. Barnes, is an interesting and well-made, but ultimately pretty unsatisfying dialogue-heavy science-fiction story.

The plot is quite cool, the camera work is superb, the electronic soundtrack is awesome, the colorful credits look terrific and the lead performances from Sheldon Simmons & Kelly Kirstein are top notch.
Unfortunately, the whole movie drags and drags, there's absolutely no suspense or tension and IMO all the pseudo-futuristic settings look plain ugly.


Could have been way more entertaining with a better script, a better direction
and better-looking settings.

20 February 2012

ANNIHILATOR


ANNIHILATOR

German Titles:
Die Androiden / Die Roboter kommen / Die Androiden - Sie sind unter uns

USA, 1986
Director: Michael Chapman

6,5/10






"Annihilator" (not to be confused with the Canadian metal band of the same name) is the pretty cool feature-length pilot episode of a science-fiction TV series that unfortunately was never realized.
It looks and feels a bit like a blend of "Terminator" and the "Bodysnatchers" movies, and I'm sure that it could have been easily turned into an entertaining and cult-worthy series, mainly because of the promising and intriguing plot (an 'unknown force' replaces people with evil android-doppelgangers).



"Anihilator" is pretty tense and full of brilliant 80s-atmosphere. We get to see many beautiful and very well-lit settings, and we get to hear a chilling synth-score and many ace 80s tunes (David Bowie's "Ashes To Ashes", Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good"...).

Highlights: the opening car chase, all the terrific-looking androids with their glowing red eyes (called "Dynamitards"), a few kick-ass action scenes and the powerful 'Ashes To Ashes' music video montage.
Apart from the rather mediocre acting, a few tedious scenes and the huge amount of unanswered questions, this ciminally underrated, criminally unknown sci-fi flick is something that every 80s-freak needs to check out.

 
Note: "Annihilator" was never released on DVD but it's available on YouTube.
 
 Imdb

Press Release: THE PROSPECTOR'S CURSE

A western-themed horror film entitled THE PROSPECTOR'S CURSE has wrapped production near the remote town of Ponty Pool, Ontario.  Set during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890’s, the darkly comedic short is Written and Directed by Josh Heisie  
(‘Mail Order Bride’), Produced by Bruno Marino (‘Anything Goes’) and is currently in Post Production in Toronto, Canada.
The talent lineup for THE PROSPECTOR'S CURSE includes David Roberts (‘Curious and Unusual Deaths’), Johnny Quinn (‘Mind’s Eye: The Series’), Amanda Ives (‘I Hate Toronto: A Love Story’) and Robert Nolan (‘Familiar’).
Rounding out the creative team are Director of Photography Michael Jari Davidson (‘SICK’), and Special Effects Makeup Artist Carlos Henriques (‘Red: Werewolf Hunter’) of The Butcher Shop.

Synopsis:
Theodore “Tubby” Ellsworth and Jack smith are two criminals on the run, lost in the untamed wilderness.  When they stumble across a mutilated Prospector, dying on Indian ground, they promise to give him a Christian burial.  The fugitives break their oath and steal the old man’s gold…but that night, the Prospector’s corpse returns to make them pay!

18 February 2012

HUNGER (2009)

HUNGER

USA, 2009
Director: Steven Hentges

8/10











To me it's a complete mystery why this movie is so unknown: "Hunger" is a terrific and very well made psychological survival-horror-thriller that definitely deserves more recognition.


After a bizarre but impressive opening, the movie seems to start out as some kinda "Cube"-meets-"Saw"-clone, but soon it becomes something unique and superbly thrilling, thanks to Steven Hentges captivating direction, a well-conceived and unpredictable script, a high amount of excellent tension and many intense scenes that chilled me to the bone.

The characters are all interesting and believable, and the acting is just fantastic, especially the performances of Lori Heuring and Bjorn Johnson. The settings are simple but effective (especially the weird room with the barrels), the soundtrack is haunting and the gore is gloriously gruesome.


"Hunger" is awesome and made me hungry for more stuff like this. Recommendations required!

17 February 2012

RED KINGDOM RISING

RED KINGDOM RISING

UK, 2011
Director: Navin Dev

8/10












"Red Kingdom Rising", the first full-length feature from British up-and-coming director Navin Dev, is a unique and pretty stunning micro-budget horror/fantasy-blend, strongly inspired by Lewis Carroll's "Through The Looking Glass", the sequel to "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland".

 
From the first to the last minute, this movie is just wonderful, thanks to Navin Dev's marvellous script and superb direction. The first half is grim, atmospheric and creepy as fuck. Many of the scenes in the old house really scared the shit out of me.
The second half goes into a completely different direction: many surprisingly amusing moments (the girl with the cat mask), many bizarre scenes (the whole kitchen scene) and a few quite disturbing sequences (father's cellar).

 
The acting is awesome, especially the strong and expressive performance from the strangely beautiful Emily Stride, and Silvana Maimone as super-weird witch-like mother.
Jamie Havill's camera work is gorgeous and carefully composed, Martin Thornton's soundtrack is powerful and impressively haunting, the editing is fabulous and the make-up effects all look just brilliant.

A remarkable and very well made debut which hopefully gets the attention it deserves.


Huge thanks to director Navin Dev who provided me with
a screener of "Red Kingdom Rising".

15 February 2012

THE BROOD

THE BROOD

German Title:
Die Brut

Canada, 1979
Director: David Cronenberg

9/10








A bit underappreciated but IMO one of David Cronenberg's greatest horror movies: "The Brood", a frightening and quite disturbing blend of science fiction, body horror and family drama - original, remarkable and completely unique.

 
From the very first scene (weird psychoplasmics) to the mindblowing climax (body-horror to the max!), the movie radiates a dark and unsettling atmosphere, similar to Cronenberg's "Scanners".
Initially, the plot is quite hard to unravel, but when everything becomes clear in the second half, it really knocks you off your feet, especially the final 'plot twist'.

Special effects and gore look damn impressive, and the creepy design of the 'monster children' is just awesome - love the anatomy-scene where we get to know all about their deformities.
Howard Shore's rousing violin-driven score strongly reminds of Bernard Herrmann's works, the cinematography is fantastic, the acting is excellent (Oliver Reed, Art Hindle) and it's full of incredibly suspenseful scenes that chilled me to the bone.

 
An excellent timeless late-70s must-see classic!

14 February 2012

VALENTINE (2001)

VALENTINE

German Title:
Schrei wenn du kannst

USA, 2001
Director: Jamie Blanks

7/10








Jamie Blanks' "Urban Legend" follow-up is a hilarious and highly enjoyable post-Scream-slasher in the vein of "House On Sorority Row", "Killer Party" and "My Bloody Valentine". It's pretty unpopular among horror-fans and to some extent I can understand why: it's flawed and far from being perfect - other than that, I really, really love this movie. I already seen it several times and never got bored of it.

 
Apart from the annoying Katherine Heigl, the acting is surprisingly good for a slasher. Love the performances of Jessica Capshaw, Marley Shelton and Denise Richards. The characters may be clichéd but they're all fun, especially because they constantly deliver amusing dialogue lines, like:
"You look great, Kate. How about a date, Kate? You could be my mate, Kate!" - "You're scary, Gary." - "This could be our fate, Kate."
"Get your hands off me, you mailorder-bride from hell!"
"Um, Paige... will you dance with me?" - "I'd rather be boiled alive."
"Please remove your hand from my thigh." - "OK, where would you like me to put it?" - "How about up your ass?"

 
The killer with the cupid mask looks just great and I love how his nose starts bleeding whenever he kills someone.
The kills are sadly all extremely ungory, but gladly, they're all pretty cool, inventive and super-thrilling, especially the breathtakingly tense opening, the stylish scene at the exhibition and the infamous pool-kill.
Plus, the valentine-cards he sent to his victims are outrageously funny, f.e.
"The journey of love is an arduous trek - my love grows for you as you bleed from your neck." or "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue - They'll need dental records to identify you." :-)



The script is quite a mess, a few scenes are too slow and the afore-mentioned gore is way too PG13 - but aside from that, I just love this movie and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

12 February 2012

"GURU THE MAD MONK" (Pure Terror 50 Movies Pack, #39)

GURU THE MAD MONK

USA, 1970
Director: Andy Milligan

5,5/10











Like one Imdb-user said, this movie is a 'hilariously horrible hoot'.
"Guru, The Mad Monk", one of 5(!) films schlock-legend Andy Milligan directed in 1970, is one of the very movies I've seen in my life that are on the one hand incredibly badly made and amateurish, but on the other hand highly enjoyable and entertaining (like f.e. "Werewolf Of Washington" or "Bachelor Party In The Bungalow Of The Damned").

"Guru" looks like it was made by a few stoned film-students who had a budget of about 20 bucks or so. The costumes and the settings look absolutely craptacular, the 'effects' are plain laughable and the gore looks terribly cheap. The camera work is dull and whoever edited this, he or she was probably drunk as fuck.

Nevertheless, the simple but interesting plot (which btw is surprisingly critical of the church) is quite cool and the actors all did a nice job (although they're all completely untalented): Neil Flanagan as schizophrenic monk Guru, Jack Spencer as imbecile hunchback Igor, Jaqueline Webb as bloodthirsty quasi-vampire Olga and the beautiful Judith Israel as mother who is charged with murder.

A funny little z-grade movie, only 56 minutes long and superbly diverting.



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