Director: Robert Lieberman
Starring: C B Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Peter Berg, James Garner, Henry Thomas. USA. 1h 49m
Based on: The Walton Experience by Travis Walton
After a decade of making dramas tinged with politics or romance, Lieberman took a step out of his comfort zone for this creepy film based on a the alleged accounts of an alien abduction survivor Travis Walton and this life after returning to earth.
The film starts out innocent enough when a group of life long friends are returning home from work in Snowflake Arizona, when Travis (Sweeney) is abducted by lights in the sky, the friends freak out but Mike Rogers (Partrick) reports that Travis has been abducted by aliens, this sparks a rugged local sheriff (Garner) to think that Mike and the others, were involved in Travis’s disappearance. after a lot of nervousness between the men who are reporting the incident, taking their unreal fear for guilt he approaches with a fairly open mind but believes he just needs to find evidence of a misdemeanour. Continue reading Fire in the Sky (1993)
Director: Bernard Launois
Starring: Véronique Renaud, Marcel Portier, Catherine Day .France. 1h 12m
This crazy French horror movie isn’t easy to categories, it’s definitely unique at times quite zany and while it has certain charms with being different and outlandish its major let down is the repetitive sound effects that really started to grate on my nerves within the opening 20 minutes only increase its irritability right to the bitter end.
Overall Devil Story feels as if narrative isn’t really all that important but the director, Bernard Launois, seems to have reveled with delight by adding everything you possibly could into his last production. The film opens with a crazed man slashing innocent victims and rural France and ends up with an occultist bringing about a Mummy Showdown. But like other infamous French movies of the era such as Zombie Lake (1981) there seems to have been this drive to just make gory horror films with little story line to back them up, but it’s generally all good groovy fun and being a lover of “bad movies” you gotta roll with the bizarre and they don’t get much more off the beaten track than this. Continue reading Il était une fois le diable / Devil Story (1986)
Starring. Jesse McCartney, Devin Kelley, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Nathan Phillips, Dimitri Diatchenko. Hungary/Serbia. 1h 33m.
The first time I watched this movie I wasn’t overly impressed, silly me was sat there pffpffying at the screen cos I had seen better and scarier I was grown and I could deal with this, but then I started getting recurring nightmares and they were fucking awesome so I’m giving the film a mini thumbs up for that!
The entire film paints a pretty dim picture of the Ukraine/Serbia area, it’s monochrome greys and blue hues overpower the movie during its brightest hours, when a group of unattached youngsters manage to get smuggled into the no go area in the shadow of the Chernobyl disaster area. A young american couple are heading out for a off beaten adventure with the intention to propose just to warm the audience, while a scandinavian/Australian couple are just out for what they can find. After being stalled at the first checkpoint in the Ukraine they eventually go in through a rougher secret path that was discovered years ago by their local guide Uri. He assure them it’s safe, he has a geiger counter (so fuck your fears kids let’s ROLL!) but they are all constantly on the lookout for dangerous (glowing) wildlife and the military but they roam around the dusty ghost town in awe of the tragedy and well aware of the possible dangers. Continue reading Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
Director: Raymond Wood.
Starring. Hayley Lovitt, Jason MacDonald, Teddy Cole, Brook Todd, Ace Harney. USA. 1h 37m.
Knowing that this Indie Movie is both found footage and about possession it’s a no brainer what’s going to happen, check out my list of what to expect in a possession, exorcism and demonic movie. but with indie movies, there’s usually a degree of experimental artistic license and providing they don’t play it safe, there can be amazing results. Sadly this film falls into most of the typical plot holes and ends up flopping around like a dying priest before expiring in it’s own unoriginal mess. Continue reading 1st Summoning (2018)
AKA The Ancestor and Shatterbrain
Director: Dan O’Bannon.
Starring. John Terry, Jane Sibbett, Chris Sarandon, Robert Romanus. USA. 1h m.
Based on: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward : HP Lovecraft
I didn’t know this was based on Lovecraft’s writings before watching because I do very little research about movies as I know I’m going to watch them to find out if I like them anyway.. But it takes about 15 or so minutes before that heady sense of Lovecraftian crazy logic and dark magic seeps through this straight to video horror movie.
Starting like any modern detective story, the film opens with a rich and forgotten wife Clare Ward (Sibbett) pleading for help from a private detective John March (Terry) to investigate the worrying mysterious behaviour of her husband Charles Dexter Ward (Sarandon). Through a series of conversations the backstory is revealed, Charles has recently isolated himself in the families carriage house, after doing extensive family history research he discovers an ancestor, Joseph Curwen, to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance. Continue reading The Resurrected (1991)
Director: Liam Gavin.
Starring. Steve Oram. Catherine Walker. UK/Ireland/Wales. 1h 39m.
For a directorial debut things can’t get much better than this enlightened and powerful independent movie about grief, revenge and the harsh deeper side of the occult.
An obviously distraught and confused mother, Sophia (Walker) rents an isolated house in rural Wales to try and convince an angry and unhinged occultist Joseph Solomon (Oram) to lead her through months of grueling rites in order to summer her Guardian Angel to grant her a special favor after her son was abducted and murdered, all she wants is to talk with him again.
Sophia follows the rules to the letter, collecting large amounts of supplies and spending thousands just to entice Joseph to the house and after some rugged persuasion he begrudgingly agrees but has reservations about Sophia’s motives but she is persistent and pretty durable, and she grinds through the punishing exercises, changing her diet, and begin soaked with chilled water, denied sleep and spends hours learning complex sigils and rituals. All the while in the dim secluded house that’s alien to them both and is constantly creaking and being generally creepy, Joseph remains a moody occult guide and rude rule maker, reading from the Book of Abramelin, and making some things up to help him keep his mind in the game, usually involving Sophia’s naked body.. Meanwhile Sophia doesn’t see enough results for her hard work, but ever so slowly the magic starts to work, or is it all a result of the demanding time locked away in the house with a volitlie and pushy occultist? Continue reading A Dark Song (2016)
AKA – The Monster Outside – Hüte dich vor der Dunkelheit
Director: Stephen Folker
Starring: Glenn Harston, Dave Juehring, Trena Penson, Tristan Coppola, Jim Nieciecki. USA. 1h 30m
The cover for this indie horror is mightily impressive but I think that’s where the budget stopped, still it got my attention and luckily I’m a sucker for indie movies and despite it’s poor attempt at being a convincing horror, it actually a loveable movie.
I do have a soft spot for bigfoot movies and films that include one legged black guys who make root beer in old bathtubs out back, but maybe because of my magnetism to bigfoot, or maybe I just like bad movies, it’s hard to justify why I can see all the bad points in Field Freak but still have some warmth for the film. Sometimes you’ll discover a b movie with no love or care, they either try too hard to create outside of their budget or like this family horror, they just admit that they don’t have a huge budget and just set out to make something enjoyable with a lot of heart, it won’t win over a majority but it is what it is. Continue reading Field Freak (2016)
AKA Are You There?
Director:Scott Di Lalla .
Starring.Demetrius Sager,Courtney Foxworthy, Kelly McLaren, Caleb Courtney USA. 1h 25m.
As part of my Occult A-Z I have been watching some of the best and worst that cinema has to offer and pretty early on I was easily set on this being the end of the list but i’m afraid that the list will end on a low note.
I‘m a huge supporter of lower budget movies but what they lack funds they do have to make up with some passion, some drive, a bit of energy!! But this is little more than entry level horror, which is a shame as the whole Zozo mythos is pretty interesting and usually harbors a few jumps and sleepless nights. Continue reading I am Zozo (2006)
Director:Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter.
Starring: Amanda Pays, Talia Balsam, Kim Hunter, Rod Steiger, David Allen Brooks .USA. 1h 32m
80’s horror will always be remembered for being gutsy and it really liked to spill those guts all over the screen, This film is mild i some respects as it tries to build a respectable story but as the monster is slowly revealed there’s healthy lashings of tentacles and slime but without much actual blood, a strange combination that remains interesting but is noticeably lacking all the right ingredients to make it a stand out from all the other films of the era.
A brilliant scientist Amanda Hollins (Hunter) awakes from a coma and informs her equally brilliant son (Brooks) that he must destroy her journals and her final experiment aka his brother, bewildered he arranges to take his research staff and his girlfriend out to his mother’s house to carry out her request but soon she dies, unknown to him she’s killed by a rival (mad) scientist Dr. Phillip Lloyd (Steiger), who can’t be trusted around small animals and to be honest I wouldn’t trust him with kids either, but he’s desperate to find out what Amanda has been up to. Continue reading The Kindred (1987)
Director : Adrián García Bogliano
Starring : Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Lance Guest. USA/Spain. 1h 35m
I had been looking for this film for some time as i made it a personal mission to watch every werewolf movie when I was a creepy deathrock teenager and preferred them over vampires any day. Werewolf Order!!!
It’s an unusual set up to a lot of other horror movies with wild beasts involved, and the strange concoction of seasoned cast seems to side step the normal for a set of very unusual and slightly surreal characters, at times I wondered if this was a metaphor for something more profound?
A cantankerous veteran Ambrose (Damici) moves into a quiet and peaceful retirement home in a gated community called Crescent Bay, after the loss of his wife, the aging, blind vet and his dog are settled in by Will (Embry), Ambrose’s adoring son but it’s clear their relationship has been through the the wars there’s respect but something gloomy from the past under the surface. Ambrose’s exceptional smell and hearing leads him to his adorable neighbour who he befriends, but later on that night she’s brutalised by a hairy beast, Ambrose attempts to save her but he and his dog are injured in this unexpected animal attack. Sadly the beloved dog dies from his injuries but Ambrose goes into survival mode and begins a personal hunt for the beast. Continue reading Late Phases / Night of the Wolf (2014)