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Showing posts from September, 2011

Interview With Rob Millis, Climax Golden Twins

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I recently had the privilege of interviewing Rob Millis – one half of Seattle-based experimental music group Climax Golden Twins – about their work on the soundtrack for Brad Anderson’s creepy psychological horror film, Session 9.

Head over to Paracinema’s online home to check it out.

The Last Light

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2011
Dir. George Clarke

A maintenance man is called on to ensure an old derelict house – formerly a psychiatric hospital, no less - is securely boarded up after a reported break-in. On what is supposed to be his last day on the job, he experiences increasingly chilling occurrences. Initially believing that wayward kids are playing a prank on him, it soon becomes evident that something much more sinister is afoot…

The Last Light is director George Clarke’s third film and follows on from his low/no-budget gore-fests Battle of the Bone, (flesh hungry zombies descend on Belfast during the tumultuous ‘marching season’) and The Knackery (violent reality TV satire featuring genetically modified zombies picking off the contestants of a popular TV game show). In terms of tone and style, it couldn’t be more different and sees the indie filmmaker really mature as a storyteller, and in terms of technical expertise.

A much more atmospheric and creepy affair, his latest film is based on unsettli…

Getting Darker: The Making Of 'The Last Light'

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Northern Ireland based writer/director/producer George Clarke specialises in micro-budgeted, high-energy, special effects-driven, kung-fu/zombie mash-up gore-fests that have trail-blazed through independent film festivals around the world. His debut film, the ground-breaking Battle of the Bone, follows a group of friends stuck between warring communities and a horde of marauding zombies on the streets of Belfast during the tumultuous ‘marching season.’ Bloody carnage ensures, naturally. His follow up, the hyper-violent reality TV satire The Knackery, skulked along a similarly gore-drenched trail and boasted genetically modified zombies picking off the contestants of a popular TV game show, sloshing their innards across the screens of primetime telly.

The indie filmmaker is following up these frenetic and blackly comic cult films with a drastic change of pace that should result in an altogether more unsettling affair. His latest film, The Last Light, is based on harrowing true-life e…

Atrocious

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2010
Dir. Fernando Barredo Luna

The Quintanilla family head back to their old rural farmhouse near Sitges, Spain, for a quiet break during the Easter holiday. Teenage siblings Christian and July set about investigating a local urban legend relating to a series of hauntings and ghostly goings-on in a wooded labyrinth in a gated property beside their house. The pair decides to document their day-to-day investigations on video with the intention of posting the footage online at a later date.

Five days later however, the bodies of the Quintanilla family are found in the house, everyone having died in extremely bloody and mysterious circumstances.

Atrocious is the kids’ film footage presented to us as police evidence revealing the shocking events which took place during those last few tragic days. Despite the connotations its title might suggest - Atrocious is actually far from atrocious. Unfurling as the latest in a recent wave of 'found footage' films in a similar vein to The Bla…

The Dead

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2010
Dirs. Howard J Ford and John Ford

When the last evacuation flight out of war-ravaged Africa crashes off the coast, the sole survivor – an American military engineer – teams up with a Ghanaian soldier searching for his son. The pair try to reach the last remaining military airport in an attempt to escape a zombie plague sweeping across the sun-burnished continent – dodging attacks from the hordes of living dead as they go.

Eschewing the usual zombie movie title ('something' of the 'something' dead), the simply, and arguably effectively titled, The Dead adopts a more thoughtful approach to the lumbering genre, and aligns itself more with the likes of Romero than Resident Evil. Despite the ultra-low budget it is filmed in the most breathtaking manner. Opening with a scene that suggests this could be the Laurence of Arabia of zombie films (man emerging slowly from stifling wilderness), the film instantly establishes its quiet, reflective mood. Beautifully photographe…

Paracinema Issue 13 Now Available To Pre-Order!

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It’s hard to believe that Paracinema Magazine has been going for four years now. Four years in which it has consistently delivered thought provoking and increasingly exciting content on cinema that falls firmly outside the mainstream. Within its pages you’ll find passionately written pieces on the likes of blaxploitation films, Italian giallo flicks, cult oddities, extreme Asian sub-genres, horror, exploitation, B-movies and pornography, amongst other lurid and obscure delights.

Issue 13 is now available to pre-order. Amongst the tantalising pieces on offer are the likes of the cover feature Blood Is Thicker Than Fear: Maternal Madness in Horror Cinema by Ashley Avard, Dreams That You Could Never Guess: Bela Lugosi on Poverty Row, 1940-42 by Andreas Stoehr, Censoring the Centipede: How the BBFC are Sewing Our Eyes Shut by Liam Underwood and Teenage Riot: Coming of Age in Modern Cinema by Christian Sellers.

Head over to Paracinema’s online domain and pick yourself up a copy!

And if …

Drive-In Movies At The Westport Arts Festival

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Established in 1976, Westport Arts Festival is not only one of Ireland’s longest running festivals, but an on-going celebration of the arts in and around Ireland. With over 100 events spanning ten days, this year’s festival represents one of the most ambitious to date. Amongst the array of events at this year’s festival is a drive-in movie event. That’s right; you can watch films from the comfort and safety of your own automobile! A 200-year-old courtyard at Westport House, built by the 2nd Marquess of Sligo no less, will be transformed into a state-of-the-art drive-in movie theatre for a series of screenings of classic movies as part of the Westport Arts Festival.

This year there are ten feature films on show ensuring there will be something for everyone, from the epic western Once Upon a Time in the West to the equally epic science fiction spectacular 2001: A Space Odyssey.

For fright fans there’s the classic terror of Jaws, the ultimate horror summer blockbuster, and the darkly di…

Wine of the Month: Campo Viejo’s Gran Reserva Rioja

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"When the wine goes in, strange things come out" - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, The Piccolomini, 1799.

That is certainly true here at Behind the Couch. When the wine goes in, strange things end up in my DVD player – and I don’t mean beer mats. Sometimes the wine you’re savouring dictates what films you crave to watch, and vice versa. Ensuring the wine you’re drinking matches the tone and content of the film you’re about to watch, can make all the difference. FACT.

A recent trip to Granada, Spain, has ensured that many of the films I’ve been watching recently have been accompanied by a beauteous bottle (or two) of Campo Viejo’s Gran Reserva Rioja. I’m a big fan of the Campo Viejo range (yes, I have expensive taste, but wine in Spain is cheap, so I stocked up).

Made from Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo grapes, and a carefully controlled vinification process, this exquisite biddy spends two years in two-thirds French oak casks and the rest in American oak casks…