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Showing posts from September, 2010

Interview With Authors Of 'The Complete History Of The Return Of The Living Dead'

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When it first hit movie screens and video shelves back in the mid-eighties, The Return of the Living Dead was a big hit with horror fans. Its grungy aesthetic, spunky sensibility, outlandish gore and macabre splatstick humour perfectly balanced with requisite chills, set it apart from its contemporaries. The success of the first film ensured numerous sequels followed; the most recent of which, The Return of the Living Dead: Rave from the Grave, was produced in 2005 and was the fifth film in the series. Garnering a cult following throughout the years, the series, originally created by John Russo (co-writer of Night of the Living Dead) and Alien scribe Dan O’Bannon, is still immensely popular amongst horror fans.

A forthcoming book titled ‘The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead’, by Christian Sellers and Gary Smart, delves into the history, production and legacy of the series; shedding light on each of the films in turn and providing an exhaustive study and …

Fango Flashback: The Comeback

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Provocative, grim, shocking and extremely anti-establishment in their outlook, British director Pete Walker’s “terror” films were always controversial—perhaps due to their frequent representation of an unsavory, seedy underbelly of a British society governed by convention and hypocrisy. With his previous movies, notably House of Whipcord, Frightmare and House of Mortal Sin (a.k.a. The Confessional), Walker had actively worked to subvert typically British institutions (such as class, family and the legal system) and outrage as many people as he possibly could by presenting cannibalistic pensioners, murderous priests and private prisons controlled by sadistic wardens.

1978’s The Comeback (a.k.a. The Day The Screaming Stopped), however, unfolds as a somewhat more conventional offering, and was seen as a deliberate move to reach a more mainstream audience.

Head over to Fangoria (!) to check out my full article...

Meat Grinder

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2009
Dir. Tiwa Moeithaisong

Troubled single mother Buss struggles to make ends meet and pay off her absent husband’s debts, selling noodle soup from her food cart. One day she is caught in the midst of a student riot and dragged to safety by activist Attapol, with whom she begins a tentative relationship. Buss later discovers the body of one of the rioters in her food cart and decides to cook it, adding the meat to her noodle soup. Before long, her business becomes very successful, meaning she must find a steady supply of fresh human meat to use in her cooking…

Heavily marketed as the latest Thai ‘torture-porn’ export, Meat Grinder wears its promise of gut-wrenching gore and sadistic scenes of violence rather proudly. And so it should, for they are amongst the most startling and insistent scenes of carnage ever committed to celluloid. The opening monochromatic montage depicts a woman calmly preparing a human cadaver for cooking, smearing it with herbs and spices and marinating it befo…

Frozen

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2010
Dir. Adam Green



Hoping to spend some quality time at a tranquil ski resort, a trio of twenty-something’s – best friends Joe (Shawn Ashmore), Dan (Kevin Zegers), and Dan’s girlfriend Parker (Emma Bell), instead experience a chilling nightmare when they are unexpectedly stranded on a chairlift shortly after the ski resort closes for the week. Unknowingly left dangling high above the ground and with no apparent safe way down as night begins to set in, with increasing panic they soon realize that the threats of frostbite and hypothermia are the least of their worries.

Forced to take extremely desperate measures in order to survive the bitter cold, overcome unexpected obstacles and attempt to reach safety, the three friends are driven to ask not only if they have the will to survive, but also to consider what are the worst ways to die…


Having already caused quite a stir on the festival circuit, prompting responses from critics such as “terrifying… will do for skiing what Jaws did fo…

Dead Cert

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2010
Dir. Steve Lawson
Tough gangster Freddie ‘Dead Cert’ Frankham (Craig Fairbrass) and his gang get more than they bargained for when a group of mysterious businessmen make an offer to buy their club, the Inferno. Unbeknownst to Freddie, the club stands on the former site of a Black Church, established as a temple of evil in the 17th Century by a Romanian warlord-turned-vampire known as The Wolf (Billy Murray). The businessmen, headed by The Wolf aka Livienko, are actually vampires hell-bent on rebuilding their empire of evil on its original, unhallowed site. Freddie and co are about to realise they’ve bitten off more than they can chew by refusing to sell. There will be blood… Lots of blood.

The second feature from director Steve Lawson (Just For The Record), is a vampires-meet-gangsters horror romp that stands alongside recent British vampire flick Beyond the Rave as a slick, modernised take on the genre, that goes some way to evoke the spirit of such contemporary-set Amicus and…

I Spit On Your Ban

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The Irish Film Classification Office has banned the DVD re-release of Meir Zarchi’s notorious 1978 horror film I Spit on Your Grave. The body, formerly known as the Irish Film Censor’s Office, has in recent years actually been quite reluctant to ban films outright, so their decision has come as quite a shock to horror fans. Especially in light of a little something called the internet – which has made it easier to access such banned material. The decision comes a little less than a year after John Kelleher, seen as a liberalising influence on the board, retired. The reissue is (coincidently, surely?) timed to coincide with an upcoming remake of the grimy original which Roger Ebert called “a vile bag of garbage... without a shred of artistic distinction.” Yay.

The IFCO have stated that their reason for declining to issue a certificate for the DVD, was because of the film’s depiction of “acts of gross violence and cruelty towards humans.” Meir Zarchi commented: “It doesn’t surprise me …

La Horde

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2009
Dirs. Yannick Dahan and Bejamin Rocher

When a high-ranking and well-respected police detective is found murdered by a gang of homicidal mobsters, a small group of his closest colleagues on the force take it upon themselves to avenge his death vigilante-style. Heavily armed and determined to see justice done, they manage to infiltrate the upper floors of the suburban high-rise apartment block that serves as the criminals’ hideout. But during the raid things go wrong and the cops find themselves overcome by the gang, who take them prisoner and begin to torture them.

Meanwhile, on ground level, the gang’s lookout men become aware of a strange disturbance in the streets immediately surrounding the building, with the sounds of explosions and sirens filling the air. Incredibly, it becomes apparent that the commotion is being caused by ever-growing crowds of crazed people with a hunger for human flesh. It’s not long before the gang of criminals and their captive cops realize they are …

7 Days

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2010
Dir. Daniel Grou aka Podz

Middle-aged surgeon Bruno Hamel (Claude Legault), his wife Sylvie (Fanny Mallette) and their eight-year-old daughter Jasmine (Rose-Marie Coallier) live a happy, uneventful life in the suburbs of a quiet town. When Jasmine is brutally raped and murdered by a local man, Anthony Lemaire (Martin Dubreuil), Bruno hatches a meticulous plan to make him pay for his crimes. He will kidnap and torture Lemaire for seven days before executing him and then turning himself in…

Directed by Daniel Grou (Vampire High, Big Wolf On Campus, The Hunger), aka Podz, and adapted for the screen by author Patrick Senécal('5150 Elm’s Way,' 'Evil Words') from his best-selling novel, ‘Les sept jours du talion,’ 7 Days is an intense and disturbing French Canadian thriller that has been described as 'Saw directed by Michael Haneke (Funny Games) or Lars von Trier (Antichrist).’ Coldly filmed in a stylish, yet detached manner, 7 Days is a harrowing and powerful fil…

Love Goddess of the Cannibals

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1978
Dir. Joe D’Amato

A team of geologists attempt to remove a native, allegedly cannibalistic population from their island home in order to perform atomic research. The natives' female leader has other plans though, and sets about disposing of them one by one, utilising the fine art of seduction and good old fashioned murder-by-sexy-sex to aid her quest.

Papaya (Melissa) is just your average voodoo priestess, sex siren, eco-activist and blood crazed cannibal, willing to do whatever it takes to keep her tropical island home from being exploited by pesky nuclear scientists hell-bent on building a nuclear reactor on it. And if that means stripping off her clothes every five minutes and seducing them one by one with her voluptuous body and irresistible melons, then killing them by castrating them - so be it! This is one dedicated lady who won’t be messed with.

The film opens with her emerging from the sea, strutting across the beach, entering a palm-hut, smearing fruit over a man …

Issue 10 (!) Of Paracinema Available NOW!

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As Matt over at Chuck Norris Ate My Baby so rightly pointed out, the latest issue of Paracinema magazine is now available to order! This is no ordinary issue (not that any of them could be described as ‘ordinary’ anyway), this is a big one: the tenth issue!

Independently produced to the highest standard, each issue thus far has been smartly crafted to cater to the more thoughtful genre fan – intelligent, left of centre articles on all manner of cult, exploitation and obscure cinema are the order of the day; and issue 10 is no exception. Amongst the positively tantalising array of articles included in this issue are the likes of Melodrama in Fast Motion: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls As Not Just Strange but Scathing by Adam Blomquist; Pink Socks and Monsters: Excess in Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession by Todd Garbarini and Send In the Clowns, If Your Conscience Can Handle It: The Complications of Watching Clownhouse by Emily Intravia of The Deadly Doll’s House of Horror Nonsense infamy.…

Bring Classic Horror Films Back To Television Campaign

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As you may or may not be aware, the campaign set up by Cyberschizoid has really been gathering momentum of late...

Television has become so bland in the last decade that it has become impossible to find any of the old classic horror films being screened anywhere, even on the BBC. Years ago, BBC2 would screen regular horror double bills on Saturday nights which featured cult movies from Universal, RKO, Hammer Films and beyond. This writer fondly remembers watching the likes of Cat People, The Pit and the Pendulum and Plague of the Zombies when he should have been fast asleep! My love of older horror movies can be traced back to my experiences watching these movies on the BBC as a youngster – indeed, watching the likes of the Corman/Poe cycle nowadays fills me with an unshakable air of nostalgia and joy, hard to describe to non-horror fans. It would be blissful to tune into double bills of classic horror movies on Saturday evenings during the summer months again.

If you, like me…

Beyond The Rave

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2008
Dir. Matthias Hoene

With the help of his ragtag group of friends, young squaddie Ed must find and win back his girlfriend Jen from the clutches of a mysterious group of hardcore ravers before he flies to Iraq in the morning. When he eventually catches up with her at an all-night rave party in the English countryside, Ed discovers that the weird ravers who are hosting the event, are looking for more than a night of fun and not everyone will make it through to see the light of dawn…

Essentially taking a concept that was touched on very briefly at the beginning of the first Blade movie (a vampire organised rave that turned into a bloodbath as the toothy ones begin to feed on the blood of the revellers), Beyond the Rave was originally an online serial aimed at the iPod generation and sufferers of ADD. Those expecting to see something more ‘traditional’ from Hammer might be disappointed – though the studio must be applauded for its innovation and efforts to engage with savvy Twenty-f…