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Showing posts from May, 2010

Paranormal Entity

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Paranormal ActivityParanormal ENTITY is about a young, middle class couple (Oops. Wrong film.) family who are increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night.

Especially when they sleep. Or try to. They decide to videotape the ‘activity’ on a series of strategically placed cameras throughout the house. And on handheld cameras when events need to be conveyed with a sense of immediacy or urgency.

It is impossible not to make reference to Paranormal Activity while talking about Paranormal Entity. This is an attempt at a carbon copy, but it is a pale imitation. Whereas Activity drew its audience into the story with slow-burning chills, Entity director mistakes tension for tedium, and slow-burning terror for crass jump shocks and this film becomes repetitious and predictable much too early on.

In the grand tradition of Transmorphers, I Am Ωmega and The Day The Earth Stopped, Paranormal Entity is the latest mock-bu…

Speaking of Argento...

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Christine over at Fascination with Fear dropped me a line this afternoon with some very interesting news about Dario Argento's next film project. Apparently the director has announced that he plans to direct his own version of Bram Stoker's classic chiller Dracula... IN 3D!!

Now that I have caught my breath, picked my jaw up off the floor and settled down, I did some research and sure enough, cyberspace is positively buzzing with news of this shock announcement. The news was generated by some really, really early sales art at Cannes for what will be Dario Argento's undoubtedly distinct take on the dark and sensuous tale of forbidden desire, obsession and centuries-old (blood) lust. In the current climate of obsession with all things fanged and morbidly forlorn, it might be interesting to see Argento’s take on the classic tale.

FrightFest honcho and Dario Argento expert Alan Jones posted this on Twitter earlier, "Just announced, Dario Argento's DRACULA in 3D, filmin…

Argento Book Update/Reviews

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A few reviews of my book about Dario Argento's film work - titled, appropriately enough, 'Dario Argento' - have been appearing in various magazines and websites over the past month... I just thought I'd post them here and keep track of what folks are saying about it. So far, so good - it has been garnering mainly quite positive feedback. Which is nice. Stay tuned for more soon, as the book has just been published Stateside this month too.

The review from this month's Total Film
Reviewer Jamie Russell claims it "Dismembers the director's body of work like one of his knife-wielding maniacs - and is bang up to date... A decent introduction."


A closer look

An article about the book and an interview with me in The Irish News

The review as it appears in this month's SFX - amongst other bullet-pointed things they said it was "Low on buzz-words" Huzzah!
A closer look

According to Horrorview the book is a "Meticulously detailed but vividly …

Tales of the Cthulhu Quarter

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Tales Of The… is an online weekly blog-style anthology incorporating all types of creative media. Hosted at www.talesofthe.com, its aim is to provide a platform for Northern Irish creators to showcase film, artwork, prose, audio and just about any other type of creative endeavour you can think of. A new piece is published every Sunday and the intention is to create exciting fiction, without being tied to any particular genre.

At the moment Tales Of The… revolves around everything HP Lovecraft and Cthulhu, but for the most part creators and collaborators have free reign to create and share whatever they want.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die."

Tales of the... Cthulhu Quarter, chronicles the arrival of H.P. Lovecraft’s tentacled god Cthulhu in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Events were kicked off by a short film prologue, detailing one man’s unrestful night that may have been brought about by the coming of a cosmic force… The fi…

City of the Living Dead

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1980
Dir. Lucio Fulci

The suicide of a priest in a church cemetery in the small town of Dunwich, New England, mysteriously results in the opening of the gates of hell. As fate would have it, it falls upon a reporter, a young psychic, a psychiatrist and his patient to team up and find a way to close the portal before All Saints Day, when the dead will rise and feed upon the living.

A hugely influential and much-admired work of horror cinema by one of the genre’s undisputed masters, City Of The Living Dead, taken purely as a stand-alone film, is a must-see horror classic and proves one of the most compelling and disturbing entries in Fulci’s undead trilogy. A languid and creepy opening scene sets the tone and mood for the remainder of the film as a priest makes his way slowly through a moody cemetery and takes his own life – his image will haunt the rest of the film, appearing to various people and driving them insane. City of the Living Dead possesses an uneasy, positively queasy atmo…

Zombeak

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2009
Dir. Sam Drog

A motley crew of bumbling Satanists kidnap a sassy waitress to offer her up as a bride to the Devil and to become the mortal mother of the antichrist. However, her mechanic boyfriend and his fascistic, no-bullshit Highway Patrol Officer brother have other ideas and set out to rescue her and give the Satanists an ass kicking of Biblical proportions.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Skip to the part about the zombie chicken!!

Unfortunately, their ill-planned intervention merely serves to botch the unholy ritual in progress and all the power of hell is inadvertently transferred into an unlikely host: a recently departed sacrificial chicken. Now, as the forces of good and evil battle it out between themselves, a demonic, flesh-eating barnyard animal is threatening to engulf their very souls and recruit them in its growing army of the living dead!

Dear reader, is it possible to imagine anything more fearsome and terrifying than a Satanic Killer Zombie Chicken? Thought not. Just in case y…

Razor’s Ring

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2008
Dir. Morgan Hampton

Mild-mannered businessman Scott (Wayne Casey) is abducted by thrill-seeking killers Razor and Julie (Paul Schilens and Lisa Wharton) and taken on a hell-ride into the bowels of a ‘family’ consisting of rapists, murderers and modern day cannibals. Held prisoner, the three are sent to Red (Annie Scott Rogers), an elderly woman and head of the ‘family’, who promises them all freedom. As time passes and the abuse at the hands of their captors becomes more frequent, Razor and Julie are seemingly released, giving Scott hope that he will also be freed. When that day finally comes and he is positioned as the ‘honoured guest’ at a feast Red has prepared, Scott thinks his nightmare is finally over. He should really think again though…

After an intriguing opening that snares one’s attention and curiosity, in which a man is abducted at gunpoint by two dangerous thrill-seekers who then run over and kill an elderly man, Razor’s Ring twists and turns into a very different fi…

Short Film Showcase: Contact

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2009
Dir. Jeremiah Kipp

Written and directed for the annual Sinister Six Festival in NYC, Contact stars Zoe Daelman Chlanda and Robb Leigh Davis as a young couple who, whilst experimenting with bizarre drugs, experience terrifying, mind-altering visions…

Sensual, dark, nauseating and highly unsettling, Jeremiah Kipp’s Contact may only run for 10 minutes, but the hallucinogenic impression it leaves with the viewer will echo for much, much longer. Opening with a quiet scene in which a middle aged couple lay their table for dinner and seem on edge as they expect their guest, the film immediately evokes the likes of Eraserhead in its representation of angst-ridden, queasy domesticity. Contact basks in an eerie glow from the outset and quickly sets the mood with an atmosphere sopped in dread.

Cutting to the main thrust of the narrative and left to wonder about the middle aged couple and their anticipated guest, we join Koreen and Westy as they venture into a desolate and bleak urban wast…

Backwoods Bloodbath

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2007
Dir. Donn Kennedy

In 1877, a fierce, mysterious creature was discovered in the northern woods of Oneida County, Wisconsin. Dubbed ‘The Black Hodag’ by the locals, this legendary monster, rumoured to have a taste for human flesh, was spoken of only in hushed tones by those who dared to speak its name.

Jump to the present day, and six former college friends are reunited at the funeral of a recently deceased mutual friend. Keen to catch up on old times, they embark on a road trip into rural Wisconsin to rent a cabin in the heart of the Black Forest where they intend to spend the weekend screwing around and partying. Their first night in the area sees them spending the evening at a nearby dive bar, amidst dark but frankly unbelievable tales of the creature stalking the woods. However, the friends’ cynicism and disbelief soon turns to terror as mutilated bodies begin cropping up and it finally dawns on them that they have just become the latest items on the Black Hodag’s menu.

Winner…

Shadowland on DVD

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Wyatt Weed's vampire epic Shadowland is released to DVD this month courtesy of Yellow Fever Films... Weed’s low-budget and provocative feature debut follows the plight of Laura, a young woman who emerges from a makeshift burial ground during a raging storm, with no idea of who she is or how she got there. Is she reincarnated? Resurrected and risen from the grave? As she makes her way across the city – seemingly drawn to a particular part of it – Laura begins to slowly piece together her story; all the while hiding from someone who seems intent on killing her at all costs.

Shadowland provides a strikingly original twist on the vampire film, combining gothic grandeur and tragic romance with post-Buffy feistiness and action. According to Behind the Couch, it is "The vampire movie equivalent of Gone With The Wind..."

Yellow Fever DVD Distribution is an independently owned and managed firm that is run by film makers - for film makers. Over the next few years, their aim is to b…

Interview with Hellbride director Pat Higgins

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At Nicole’s wedding there will be blood, mayhem and slaughter… There will also be cake and a late bar.

The third feature from writer-director Pat Higgins (TrashHouse; KillerKiller), the independent British horror-comedy Hellbride is a supernatural stew of laughs, scares and bloody carnage that mixes rom-com traditions with splatter conventions to unique effect. Lee Parker and Nicole Meadows are all set to be married. There are, however, one or two problems on the horizon. Nicole's engagement ring is cursed: once the property of a wronged bride who went on a killing spree, the ring has a history of bringing death and destruction to all who come in contact with it. Not only that, but Nicole's father has become involved in a fearsome dispute with a local mob boss, a situation that looks perilously close to spiralling into bloody violence at any minute.

Included in the mix are a massively unreliable best man who yearns to reunite with his ex-girlfriend (who happens to be the bride…