Director: Michael Pataki Starring: Richard Basehart, Gloria Grahame, Trish Stewart, Lance Henriksen, Al Ferrara, Jojo D’Amore .USA. 1h 29m
Pataki was a much loved, versatile actor but during his fullfilling career he also directed 3 movies including a risque Cinderella involved a black gay “fairy” godmother who helps Cindereally meet prince charming at a blindfolded orgy, and this crazy gory mad scientst thriller.
For the most part the film rolls out as a reverse Eyes Without a Face, instead of having to replace a face, this crazed doctor is attempting to replace a girl’s eyes. Burdened with guilt the renowned LA Ophthalmologist Dr Leonard Chaney (Basehart) becomes obsessed with restoring the sight of his only daughter, who had barely survived a near fatal crash. Unable to find the willing donors or the raw materials, the Doctor’s dark basement is a gresome reminder of his now blind human experiments.
AKA Demoni 3 Director: Umberto Lenzi Starring:Keith Van Hoven, Joe Balogh, Sonia Curtis, Philip Murray, Juliana Teixeira, Maria Alves, Clea Simones .Italy/Brazil. 1h 28m
With a host of amazing titles under his belt already, from Giallo, Poliziotteschi, horror and gore, Lenzi struggled to make such an equal impact as Cannibal Ferox, Almost Human and Nightmare City in his 90’s Voodoo romp Black Demons. Originally titled as Demoni 3, with the anticipation of being a third in the Lamberto Bava’s series the movie has very little to do with the cult series.
What starts out not a million miles away from any other Voodoo based zombie story, an accidental uttering of a n ancient curse in a foreign tongue results in the undead coming back to life to prey on the living. But is this the first undead race war? Usually zombies don’t see color, even though this sketch does suggest something to the contrary.
Director: David Blue Garcia Starring: Mark Burnham, Elsie Fisher, Owlen Fouere, Neil Hudson Sarah Yarkin, Jacob Latiore, Moe Dunford. USA. 1h 21m
I wasn’t aware that we needed another addition to this blood soaked series but it seems that coming out of a pandemic we just might need some fun chainsaw fun time again. The brilliance is that this isn’t a remake, a reboot or a re-imagined mish mash of horror pulp and a genuine attempt to revisit a dusty town has been achieved although with all the tropes, cliches and homages, was it really worth the effort?
Director: Anthony DiBlasi Starring: Juliana Harkavy, Natalie Victoria, J LaRose, Joshua Mikel. USA. 1h 30m
Just when you thought it was safe enough to guard an abandoned prison during the graveyard shift… There’s something about The Last Shift which really resonates with horror fanatics. A simple story which is the ultimate setting for a horror story is amped up with good old fashioned ghostly atmospherics and relies on practical effects, this is what the fans cry out for constantly and when it’s delivered it’s welcomed with open creepy arms!
Jessica (Harkavy) is left to her own devices while guarding a local empty and highly haunted prison during the night shift. and the night becomes a roller coaster of jump scares, poltergeist activity and moving family revelations.
Like a rare and obscure borja wine, the history of Yoshihiko Matsui’s film making is sporadic but filled with really unusual gems, with themes of suicide, the understanding of love blended with cannibalism and genuine strange behavior you’ll always know who you”re watching and often question why you’re still watching. For me this unreal expression is one of the blessings of cinema, seeing something genuinely new that is al altered, heightened sense of the world around you. At times you’ll almost be able to feel Matsui’s message through the combination of imagery, a feeling of an idea that doesn’t need language for expression, or you might be left scratching your head wondering what the hell is going on.
Director: David Amito, Michael Laicini Starring: Nicole Tompkins, Rowan Smyth. Canada. 1h 35m
I have to admit that before seeing Antrim I had no idea what the word actually meant so I did have to Google it. Turns out that it means, “A nearly closed cavity or chamber…” Well ok, How does one make a movie about a nearly closed cavity? Somehow directors, David Amito and Michael Laicini managed to turn this notion into a retro cursed movie project and argue that the film is (loosely) based on a movie by David B. Earle titled Dining Room or There is Nothing. Believe it or not if you have ever seen any of the creepy movie compilations on YouTube then you probably have seen this short but were unaware of its title, and here is the movie in all of its esoteric glory.
Director: Frederico Prosperi (as Fred Goodwin) Starring: J. Eddie Peck, Jill Schoelen, Jamie Farr, Bo Svenson .Italy/USA. 1h 37m
After the success of The Curse (1987), an indie effort to breathe cinematic life into the classic HP Lovecraft story The Color Out of Space. An Italian/American sequel, in name only manages to cobble together a strange blend of body horror and romance and in some respects it stands strong as a very strange orphan.
Director: Takashi Miike Starring: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sota Fukushi, Hayato Ichihara. Japan. 2h 20m
Miike’s career has turned into a long line of massive remakes of Japanese Classic cinema for some time now. I’ve been racking my brain why, but I’m still unsure what he’s trying to achieve, but it’s working out for him and I wonder what’s next? He’s making some solid and faithful remakes but I do wonder if we really need them all despite their powerful impact? This just seems to be another one, however even while watching the series after the film.. I found it’s expressionary style and character depth on a different planet entirely, and yet each are ridiculously impressive but in their own way.
Director: Jack McHenry Starring: Tom Bailey, Maureen Bennett, Alfred Bradle, Robert Llewellyn, Timothy Renouf, Charlie Robb, Jessica Webber. UK. 1h 20m
Genre bending comedy horror doesn’t get much better than this frightful mini epic. Here Comes Hell, sees a small group of gorgeous 1930’s socialites hooking up to see one of their friends’ new purchases, which just happens to be a charming haunted mansion located deep in the British wilderness. The party includes a seance as getting a psychic grandma in on your party is thought to be terribly fun.
Director: Olly Blackburn Starring: Tom Burke, Sian Breckin, Nichola Burley. UK. 1h 39m
This might just be one of the most marmite movies of the year. Donkey Punch really plays with some exceptional ideas but squanders all the good intentions of a nasty thriller, instead of building up to something more palatable it just gets under the skin for all the wrong reasons.
The first half of the movie, everything is set up perfectly. A group of twentysomethings are on holiday in the sun desperately seeking a good time with all the sex, booze, drugs and tunes that any young person could desire. Taking their party on board a luxury yacht anchored off the coast on an unnamed Spanish island, the film turns into an episode of The Only Way is Essex meets Knife In the Water directed by Larry Clark.