Director: Piers Haggard.
Starring. Linda Hayde, Patrick Wymark, Michelle Dotrice, Wendy Padbury, Anthony Ainley, Barry Andrews, UK. 1h 40m.
There’s always something dark and demonic smouldering in the movies situated deep in the English Countryside, and it’s never so in your face as in Piers Hagards, trippy macabre masterpiece that has a lot of connection with Michael Reeves’s Witchfinder General, the Wicker Man (1973) and in some ways I feel there’s an artistic nature similar to a Ken Russell the Devils (1971) albeit it in a much tamer manner.
A ploughboy stumbles on some strange remains in a field, the bones and ever staring eyeball causes the boy to start running in terror, he soon realises that his unhappy accident has unearthed the remains of an ancient demonic presence which is now free to possess his village. The first signs of danger happen in a prestigious house, where a wealthy family a host to a young girl, one that has taken the fancy of their eligible son, but due to his mother’s tough nature she’s forced into the attic, late into the night her screams wake the family, once she’s rescued her personality has completely changes, now deranged and bearing deadly sharp claws she’s taken away by the authorities and clergy. Continue reading The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)
Director:Alejandro Brugué, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade
Starring:Mickey Rourke, Richard Chamberlain, Eric Nelsen, Mariela Garriga, Adam Godley, Patrick Wilson, Ezra Buzzington, Stephanie Cood .USA. 1h.59m
Anthologies are an important part of any genre but their significance to the world of horror is vital for getting a collection of directors to get those shorter, sometimes more obscure ideas out there. Horror is usually just a concept, Short Stories to tell the dark is a great example of a very short one page stories that kept a lot of kids up at night and is about to start scaring them again with the upcoming horror with the same name by Guillermo del Toro.
Every era has its highs and lows, from the golden era of Amicus to the more recent VHS and Southbound movies, we’ve also been treated by cult classics like Creepshow and Body Bags, the list really does go on. A lot of these films really took themselves seriously, trying to deliver something unseen, new and unbound, but most of this is set aside for a slightly retro kookie mish mash of bizarre horror and a few giggles in this bizarre anthology, partially starring Mickey Rouke in the wrap around.
Nightmare Cinema is set around an out of the way cinema called the Rialto, run by the master of nightmares Mr Rouke, the basis is an unsuspecting victim wanders into the cinema, once seated they are forced to see their worst nightmare, but the aftermath is slightly different for each character, this was a bit unnerving for me, I like a good routine in an anthology. Continue reading Nightmare Cinema (2018)
Director: Ian Messenger
Starring: Justin Celani, Tim Christie, ach Etter, Austin Messenger, Ian Messenger, Jake Pigman .USA. 1h 16m
A slightly unusual found footage, mockumentary movie, which sees a young group of film makers divert from their original movie as they discover a myth of a animal testing site which may or may not still be operation. Ian Messenger’s quirky film, tries to achieve something only very slightly different from the average found footage movie but it fails to really strike fear and hides it’s biggest asset, luckily it’s only just over an hour long so it’s not too painful to check out.
Initially the group are making a film about animal testing, it’s unclear what the motives really are, after interviewing a few professionals they collect testomonies for and against the testing but one Doctor invites them to visit a place known as the Monkey Farm, and after a bit of Googling the head out to see what’s left of the site which was once used for animal testing but is now a Sanctuary. Continue reading Monkey Farm (2017)
Director: Robert Green Hall.
Starring. Nick Principle, Mimi Michaels, Danielle Harris, Owain Yeoman, Thomas Dekker, Brian Suatin Green. USA. 1h 33m.
After the pretty dismal and tiresome start to Laid to Rest (2009), the film eventually grew on me, slowly creeping up like a Carolina Reaper, to deliver some pretty amazing b movie results. As an introduction to Chromeskull, a lone slasher type figure who kills and tortures for his own amusement, it stands as a very good set up for a series of movies. Unfortunately all the good was rapidly undone but an abysmal sequel.
Chromeskull does a great job of picking up right where the first movie finished, the survivors ride off into the distance but the game changer is that Chromeskull isn’t a deranged lone ranger like we were led to believe, he has a clean up crew, a highly strung apprentice and a personal assistant back in his “base of operations” it seems as if the attempt to explain the clean up process for the chilling Chromeskull actually makes the movie less plausible and for me ruined the mystery. Continue reading Chromeskull : Laid to Rest 2 (2011)
Director: Brad F Grinter and Steve Hawkes
Starring . Steve Hawkes, Dana Cullivan, Randy Grinter, Heather Hughes. USA. 1h 26m
This film is often classed as one of the worst of the worst and while it’s cringey as hell I do to try and take a film serious, even if it’s about a bloodthirsty killer turkey man hybrid… At some point during horror history nearly every animal, creature insect and persona has had their own killer version so it had to be done at some point although unfortunately for the turkeys it’s just resulted in one giant Turkey of a movie. But playing Devil’s Advocate I would have to say that there is an interesting back story and concept of the film unfortunately it was just executed so badly, but I don’t hate it.
The movie opens with a biker helping out a woman on the highway it turns out the swimming is a god-fearing Christian who invites him back to her place where she shares with her sister unfortunately has sister it is one of the no smoking hippie chicks from the 70s and the tooth start fighting over this tall dark handsome biker obviously with any good horror film everybody makes the worst choices and he ends up with the druggy sister. Continue reading Blood Freak (1972)
Director: Toby Wilkins:
Starring: Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner, Rachel Kerbs. USA. 1h 28m.
Seemingly inspired by The Thing (1982) on a heavy dose of meth, Splinter brings the horror a little closer to home, you don’t have to visit the arctic to encounter a viral creature, there could be one out back right now. Along with the threat of this insane and unforgiving monster we also have to deal with two very different couples one of them being a redneck version of Bonny and Clyde, yet surprisingly the two story lines do work.
The beginning of this is great, there is a petrol attendant attacked by what looks like a rabid animal in the toilets of a station. Then; after some creepy credits showing lots of dead and mutilated animals we’re introduced to a preppy couple who get carjacked by the redneck Bonny and Clyde,she’s missing her fix and he’s just trying to get to the border. When they stop for gas, everything changes, the characters, atmosphere and just everything. The addict goes to shoot up in the toilet and finds the attendant who’s begging for death as he’s being taken over by the virus the spiny creature has given him, she’s soon attacked and taken out and the jail bird and preppy kids are now locked in the service station trying to figure out what is attacking them and how to fight back. Continue reading Splinter (2008)
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Starring: Peter Weller, Jennifer Dale, Lawrence Dane,Kenneth Welsh, Louis Del Grande. USA. 1h 28m.
There is a strong committed performance here from Peter Weller as he stars in George Cosmatos cinematic interpretation of The Visitor by Chauncey G Parker III, but it can’t shake off how “un-horror” and this horror can be at times. Instead the literary sense behind the film stands out strong but there could have been a huge opportunity for some gory visually to back everything up.
Peter Weller plays, Bart Hughes, a banking executive that is constantly outsmarted by a peculiar rat. While finalising big business ventures he’s also modernising an impressive brownstone apartment he’s unaware of a furry visitor making his home within the constitution. Continue reading Of Unknown Origin (1983)
Director: Richard Shepard
Starring: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber. USA. 1h 30m
There is something surprisingly poetic about, Paul Haslinger’s unabating film, a movie which is pretty easy to fall into and follow despite it constantly throwing the audience a curved ball by rewinding time and showing things from a different perspective, it’s charming but for me there just wasn’t enough obscure strangeness, instead that was reserved until the bitter…. sweet end.
Opening with a somber tone, a woman lays wide eyed on her deathbed, her daughter looking on with a 1000 yard stare, there is a slight sign that something is not quite right , through a montage we see her getting pulled from a prestigious school to return home and look after her mother, scenes of self harming and a girl desperate to escape , but also something much darker from her past. She’s damaged but is hopeful of a better future. She calls her old mentor for help, her mother has gone and now she wants to return to Anton (Webber) the person who was painstakingly training her to be the best cellist in the world but the world has moved on and he has a new best, the stunning Lizzie (Browning) her face plastered all over the streets of Shanghai, China, she’s utter perfection but the hint of jealousy falls into lust when the two virtuoses spend a night on the town then ends up in the bedroom, something pretty strange for rivals but these girls are also striving for the best and see it in each other but this flashy romance won’t last. Continue reading The Perfection (2018)
Director: Adam MacDonald
Starring: Laurie Holden, Nicole Muñoz. Canada. 1h m
There are so many various types of horror movies some are deeply atmospheric, other rely on fantasy or special effects, some are purely creature features and scare it’s audience by showing graphic monsters that disgust. In more modern times we have a resurgence of found footage, torture gore and this new wave of cerebral horrors that often leave audiences left feeling let down, mostly due to the fact that they didn’t SEE anything. This divides horror fans, it’s much like that of Science Fiction fans who are now heavily reliant on special effects for their kicks as opposed to those who are leaning toward LoFiSciFi.
Now I didn’t do much research into Pywacket and I just assumed it was going to be a big beastie monster in the woods type of horror, but I got a very big shock, it’s more highbrow horror than I ever could have imagined. While it has some minor faults, it could have been done with some refining and maybe a little bit more research into the mechanics but alas it’s still a very well crafted horror that has the ability to really eat into the consciousness and makes you rethink a lot of your personal philosophy. Continue reading Pyewacket
Director: Tom Nagel
Starring: Denise Richard, Mischa Barton, Jeff Barton Jeff Denton, Brian Nagel, Greg Cioland, Matt Mercer, Greg Violand. USA. 1h 35m.
There’s so much to like about the bare bones of this movie, a haunted RV with a dark past entwined with hints of a real serial killer, that takes a family hostage and starts killing them, you just can’t go wrong? Sadly something was definitely lost when translated to film, but I really enjoyed the film but find it hard to defend, yes it’s a BMovie, albeit slightly polished it creates a great grimey atmosphere and at times comes across as plausible but every now and again it just drops into the damned awful bin and struggles to get out.
A slightly more than average emaciated and botoxed Denise Richards heads up the estranged family heading out on their vacation in a second hand RV with a deadly past. The RV was purchased at a highly discounted price by Charles (Violand), as a promise to his now late wife, he wants to reconcile with his two sons and offers to take them and their families out on a road trip. Continue reading The Toybox (2018)