Posts

Showing posts from April, 2010

Splash of Lugosi?

Image
As Count Dracula, Bela Lugosi was no stranger to guzzling the red stuff. The actor himself however was also something of a connoisseur when it came to the red stuff. No, the other red stuff. Although Count Dracula never “drank” wine, Bela Lugosi, the man, had impeccable taste in wines. With the creation of the Bela Lugosi brand wines, the Lugosi family pays tribute to their patriarch, a man of distinction, while acknowledging the icon that will forever be - Dracula.

Continuing the family’s enthusiasm for wine inspired by Bela Lugosi, Lugosi Wines will seek varietals sourced from superior wine-growing regions. Winemakers will create exceptional wines from distinct appellations to assemble a portfolio of the Bela Lugosi brand wines that will celebrate the best varietals from around the world. With each new release added to Lugosi Wines’ offerings, the Bela Lugosi collection will exemplify the distinct qualities of Bela Lugosi, the man, in a unique compilation of outstanding wines.

Lugos…

Day of the Dead

Image
1985
Dir. George Romero

In the wake of the zombie apocalypse, only small pockets of human resistance survive. A small group of scientists and soldiers are holed up in an underground missile silo. As the scientists experiment on forcibly captured zombie specimens to try and find a way to control them, the soldiers become increasingly impatient with the lack of results and are eager to wage an all-out war on the undead. Soon, the tension between the two human camps erupts into a violent situation that is only overshadowed by the vicious zombie slaughter that surrounds them.

When George Romero wrote the original treatment for Day of the Dead, he intended it to be on a much grander scale, a ‘Raiders of the Living Dead’, if you will. Or as Romero once described it – ‘the Gone with the Wind of zombie movies’. Allegedly he and Dario Argento had planned to team up again to helm the project, however the funding from European investors fell through and Argento regrettably had to pull out of the…

Phobia

Image
2009

Thai-horror anthology featuring the work of four different directors and comprising of four self-contained but tenuously connected tales of terror. In the grand tradition of Tales From The Crypt, Twilight Zone: The Movie and Creepshow, Phobia is an eclectic and at times compelling fright flick for those who like short, sharp and shocking horror compendia.

Director Yongyoot Thongkongtoon’s dialogue-free instalment Happiness features a young woman, housebound due to injuries received in a taxi accident, whose only connection to the outside world is via her mobile phone. One evening she begins receiving friendly text messages from a mysterious boy. Things take a turn for the sinister however when it becomes apparent that the texts are being sent from beyond the grave… Thongkongtoon is perhaps better known for his gentle comedies, but with Happiness he really proves himself to be capable of spinning a good old fashioned slow-burning horror yarn, with an emphasis on chills rather tha…

Salvage

Image
2009
Dir. Lawrence Gough

A quiet cul-de-sac is suddenly plunged into a world of violence, terror and paranoia when a group of heavily armed military personnel storms the area, sealing off the close and ordering the residents at gunpoint to retreat inside their homes. This coincides with the discovery of a mysterious container washed ashore nearby. Unsure if this is the first sign of a terrorist attack, or something worse, one local single mother, Beth (Neve Mcintosh), mounts increasingly desperate attempts to save her estranged daughter, Jodie (Linzey Cocker), who is visiting her for the holiday but is now stranded across the street in a neighbour’s house. With growing dread, the trapped residents soon discover that the imminent threat is far more monstrous than any of them could possibly imagine.
Whatever was in the container has reached the housing estate, and it is seriously depleting the numbers of the military unit and residents alike…

Salvage is a taut, tightly constructed and …

The House of the Devil

Image
2009
Dir. Ti West

In order to obtain the money she needs for a down payment on a new apartment, cash-strapped college student Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) takes on a babysitting job in a remote mansion. However when Samantha is taken to the house by her friend Megan (Greta Gerwig), she is informed by the resident odd couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ulman (Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov), that they do not have any children, and it will be Mr Ulman’s elderly mother she’ll be looking after while they are out to view a full lunar eclipse. It isn't long before Samantha realizes that something isn’t right in the house and as the lunar eclipse darkens the night sky, Samantha realises to her horror that the Ulman’s have diabolical plans for her… Can she survive the night? Will she escape with her soul intact?

With titles such as The Roost and Trigger Man, director Ti West has been making a name for himself on the horror circuit as a force to be reckoned with. Deftly utilising minuscule budgets and exhi…

Two Evil Eyes

Image
Two Evil Eyes/Due Occhi Diobolici brings together two of the horror genre's greatest directors, George A. Romero (Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, Day Of The Dead) and Dario Argento (Suspiria, Inferno, Tenebrae, Sleepless), to remake two Edgar Allan Poe tales previously brought to the big screen by B-movie maestro Roger Corman in his 1962 film, Tales Of Terror.

Directed by Romero, The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar tells the story of a scheming, cheating wife (Adrienne Barbeau) who convinces her psychiatrist lover (Ramy Zada) to hypnotise her dying husband (Bingo O'Malley) in order to get him to sign his fortune over to her. When the husband dies while still under hypnosis, he finds himself caught in a limbo between the worlds of the living and the dead, and hungry for revenge.


In The Black Cat, directed by Argento, Harvey Keitel plays Roderick Usher, a feline-hating, Weegee-like forensic photographer who, naturally, specialises in shooting pictures of death and m…

Interview with Dario Argento!!

Image
Director Dario Argento really needs no introduction. For over forty years now the man has been responsible for creating some of the most important and controversial horror movies in cinema history and his work has influenced a slew of filmmakers. Famed for titles such as Deep Red, Suspiria and Opera, his films are inimitably stylish, atmospheric and dazzlingly shot, as well as being unbelievably violent and unnerving explorations of the darker side of human nature. Drawing from an encyclopaedic array of influences such as art, philosophy, literature, cinema and indeed Italy’s own rich and full-blooded culture, Argento continues to experiment and forge ahead in the creation of beguiling and devastatingly violent visions to this day.

I recently had the absolute pleasure of conducting a brief interview with Dario Argento himself – words I never thought I’d type! With the help of Kamera Books’ Francesca Brazzorotto, who kindly set up and facilitated the whole interview, translating my qu…

Latest review and chance to win a copy of 'Dario Argento' (Kamera Books)...

Image
The latest review of Dario Argento is in courtesy of Horrorview. According to the website, Dario Argento is a "meticulously detailed but vividly written piece of work." The reviewer then goes on to say that the book will "prove invaluable to even seasoned fans... a compellingly written analysis of the films, pitched at a level that will enthuse rather than confuse the interested newer fan."

Fancy winning a copy of the book? Simple. Head over to Paracinema and pre-order a copy of issue 9 before April 18th. Your name will then be entered into a draw and you'll not only have a copy of the new issue of Paracinema (cool!), but also be in with the chance to win a copy of the book Horrorview described as "an enthusiastic and intelligently written appreciation of one of the most iconic names in modern horror."

Also, stay tuned for my exclusive interview with Il Maestro himself: Dario Argento!

Coming soon...

Interview with Finale Writer/Director John Michael Elfers

Image
As evidenced in this month’s release of Amer, and films such as Darkness Surrounds Roberta, Eyes of Crystal and Lust for Vengeance – the legacy of the Italian giallo continues to bleed into the work of contemporary filmmakers. Another new title to wear the influence of Argento/Bava/Martino et al on its sleeve is director John Michael Elfers’ feature directorial debut Finale. A supernaturally tinged tale, Finale focuses on a family torn apart by the death of the oldest son - who seemingly committed suicide. The boy’s mother however, is convinced that her son was the victim of a satanic cult. As her investigation leads her deeper into a dark world of paranoia, death and despair, she not only risks tearing her fragile family apart, but also her own sanity, in an attempt to uncover the dark truth about her beloved son's fate...

I recently had the privilege to chat with John Michael Elfers about the tragic origins of his feature debut, shooting on a micro-budget and the influence of I…

Finale

Image
2009
Dir. John Michael Elfers

A family is torn apart by the death of the oldest son - who seemingly committed suicide. Helen (Carolyn Hauck), the boy’s mother, is convinced that her son was the victim of a bizarre satanic cult. Her investigation not only threatens to tear her family apart, but also her own sanity. As she begins to descend into a dark world of paranoia, death and despair, she is stalked by a demonic, mirror-dwelling figure…

Finale is a film positively saturated in a dark and rich gothic atmosphere, seeping with dread and anxiety. Director John Michael Elfers has a keen eye and a knack for startling visuals, and he imbues his film with the look and feel of lurid supernaturally tinged Italian giallo flicks from the Seventies. At times his camera is possessed by exactly the same creativity and panache that haunted the early work of Raimi, Argento and Jackson. Finale at times not only recalls the lurid atmospherics of Bava and Argento, particularly the latter’s Mother of T…

Paracinema: Issue 9

Image
The brand-spanking new issue of Paracinema is almost upon us... It is available to pre-order - simply click here to pick up a copy.

If you're a lover of intelligent, well written, beautifully crafted magazines that are created by fans of genre cinema, for fans of genre cinema - you really should pick up a copy. Plus, you'll be supporting independent publishing - which is always a good thing.

Amongst the dazzling array of great features included in this, the 9th issue(!) are:
The Death and Life of Cinema: An interview with Joe Dante by Brian Saur, Emanuelle, Transnationality and the Cannibalisation of Cultures by Ben Buckingham, Australia’s Hollywood Pioneers and those who followed by Bruce J. Patience and Devastating Color: Horror and magic in Herschell Gordon Lewis’s The Wizard of Gore by Madelon Hoedt.

Get it now. Before it's too late!