Category Archives: Independent

A Dark Song (2016)

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)

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The Kindred (1987)

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)

Laid to Rest (2009)

Director: Robert Green Hall.
Starring. Bobbi Sue Luther, Kevin Gage, Sean Whalen, Johnathon Schaech, Thomas Dekker, Nick Principle, Richard Lynch, Lena Headey. USA. 1h 30m.

A woman, only known as “The Girl” wakes up in a coffin with limited memory and bizarre memory loss, she attempts to call 911 for help making as much sense as a troubled 3 years old, when a mortician (Richard Lynch) tries to unlock the door for her, he’s brutally stabbed through the eye, the woman, now even more distraught manages to escape from the maniac with a camera strapped to his shoulder and a chilling chrome mask.

She’s picked up by a trucker called Tucker (Gage) who takes her home to his adoring wife Cindy (Headey) they try to calm the girl down as their family car is now out of petrol but they’re expecting a visitor who will help them get to the police station in the morning, but things don’t quite go to plan. The assailant from the house of rest has followed them and for the rest of the film Chromeskull, a sadistic torture fiend and deadly killer will be hot on their heels. Continue reading Laid to Rest (2009)

Selfie from Hell (2018),

Director: Erdal Ceylan.
Starring. Alyson Walker, Tony Giroux, Meelah Adams. USA. 1h 15m.

Selfie from Hell, started out as a 2 minutes horror movie that for millions of views on YouTube years ago, but now we have this full length feature that’s supposed to up the ante and the short answer is that.. “nope” it just doesn’t come across as being more frightening or more compelling than the horror short.

So some girl gets terrorised by a shadowy figure which is stalking her in her selfies, any other photo is totally fine but whenever she takes a picture of herself this dark monster begins to get closer, until one picture later and boom it’s upon her and while she’s now bedridden her “niece”? (I really couldn’t care for the relationship, the build up to this point was slow and .. boring) visits to help look after her, and starts to dig into the story and is soon hunted by the same entity but luckily she has a laptop and starts to find answers on the dark web… Continue reading Selfie from Hell (2018),

Don’t go into the woods (alone) (1981)

Director:James Bryan, Brother Bryan .
Starring. Jack McClelland, Mary Gail Artz,James P. Hayden,Angie Brown. USA. 1h 22m.

This is a total no brainer horror, but one of the uncanny I’ve seen from this era for quite some time. at first it seems that it’s going to build into something special in that b movie kinda way but I feel this is one of the Sharknado, Icetastrophy, Zodiac of the apocalypse low budget flops of yesteryear that didn’t mature well.

A group of young people head into the wilderness for some “fun” mostly pratting around splashing water at each other and pulling stupid pranks but unbeknownst to them there’s a lunatic in a joke shop viking outfit that stalks the woods and kills tourist on a whim. Usually the teens are a bit more liberal, heading out into nature for sexy good times and probably ludicrous amounts of drugs, but back in the 70’s it was usually just a chance to make out. While there’s not a lot of naughtyness there is a fair amount of slashing, for a slasher.. So one by one they are stalked by this crazy guy wearing skins who lives off trash and the land, he doesn’t say much apart from some odd screeching but he can book it for a fat guy. Continue reading Don’t go into the woods (alone) (1981)

Slime City (1988)

Director: Greg Lamberson
Starring: Robert Sabin, Mary Hunter, Bunny Levine, Dennis Embry. USA. 1h 28m

Despite being on par with the average Troma movie this imaginative occult gory body horror is strangely fun to watch and gives adequate nods to a number of classic horror movies in a psychotropic manner.

When a young art student, Alex (Devon) moves into a new apartment in a run down area of NYC with the intentions of getting his girlfriend Lori (Hune) to “sleep over”, he tries to be accommodating of his misfit neighbours, but after a supposedly vegetarian meal of Himalayan Yogurt made by Landlady Lizzie (Jane Doniger Reibel) with one of the more poetic tennants Roman (Embry), that’s quickly washed down with a mysterious home brew made by her dead alchemist father Zachary. His timid girlfriend Lori Starts to notice disturbing changes in her boyfriend, especially after he awakens one morning with a new blood lust and dripping with slime. Continue reading Slime City (1988)

The Sorrows of Elizabeth (2016)

Director:Ugezu J Ugezu .
Starring. Bob Manuel Udokwu, Chioma Chukwuka, Ugezu J Ugezu, Uju Okoli . Nigeria. 5h 25m.

For Nollywood this is certainly one of my all time favourites and I believe the first full length one I saw back in 2016, I was a total noob but I fell in love with the genre and didn’t realise that the movies would be so long, like mini series, this 4 part epic (each episode over an hour) is a tale of woe and magical mystery.

So a loving and yet very strict businessman, named Silas played by Bob Manuel Udokwu, runs a thriving business, when he’s not running his corporation with an iron first, he’s loving his beautiful wife, Elizabeth (Chukuka) and their daughter, Elizabeth is heavily pregnant with their second child, this comes after a losing her previous baby, but with care and love they family have picked themselves up and are trying again. Continue reading The Sorrows of Elizabeth (2016)

The Patron Saints (2011)


Director
: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky
Starring: Various, all cast as themselves .USA. 1h 08m

Asylums, homes, and other residential institutions are some of the least known places to the masses, more films and documentaries are made about prisons as there’s some sense that we know what life inside is like. The common perception is that the inmates of other houses don’t have interesting tales to share with us. The Patron Saints, is a stark reminder of the life and stories are still alive in the oldest generation and through this challenging piece of work I found a new respect for those who we should praise more than others in their golden years. Continue reading The Patron Saints (2011)

Short movie roundup Feb 03 2019

I decided that I really needed to put some effort into these shorts, if I’m ever going to get back up to date with things! And with the release of Salad Fingers Ep. 11 I had renewed energy!

The Severing

Often in short movies there’s not a huge amount of time to elaborate on the characters back stories and this unknown is rarely played apon but it’s put to very good use in this incredibly well shot; out of body horror experience. A young girl has just moved into her new home and decides to try a guided out of body experience, but once out of her body she is witness to a gruesome act upon her unmanned body and is unable to awake. There are some really amazing detailed slow motion scenes and effects in this terrific horror. 8/10

Don’t Move

Not to be mistaken for another short film with the same name, reviewed here . This tension filled short has a lot of merit, the cast of two manage to create a damning atmosphere when a cleaner is faced with an curious intruder, there is a good display of camera work but the sound is minimal. The ending is quite pivotal and yet hangs wide open but remains terrifically terrifying. 7/10 Continue reading Short movie roundup Feb 03 2019

Short Movie Roundup Jan 27 2018

This weeks short film roundup, is heavily horror themed as these are sometimes the best and more inventive short films around, kicking off this week’s selection is…

The Moonlight Man 2

If you haven’t seen the first, I featured it here. Danny Donahue shouldn’t be a stranger to any horror fanatics out there as he creeped the internet out with his amazing short movies including Vermin and the Whisperer. He has a talent for creating the creepiest demented monsters and building insane tension mostly through camera work tight timing. This feature see’s a wouldbe thief have his plans spoiled by the moonlight man who I think just wants to play. This isn’t the most frightening of his collection but it’s part of an impressive resume, he also has a lot of “Making of” movies. 5/10

The Bells

Sadly this one isn’t based on a particular hunchback but instead a son is prepping funeral arrangements with his sister as they have lost their father when he’s suddenly deafened by the sound of ringing bells, then he notices a figure moving inside his home and before you know it, he’s following a blood trail…

If nothing else the use of sounds is incredibly effective in this unusual horror movie that features a bizarre toothy monsteress. But overall it doesn’t gel together all that well, but it’s filmed and acted well and does have a few scares even if it’s a bit incoherent. 3/10

And the best for last!?

I have been DYING to see this film for ages when I missed it at the Estonian film fest and then again at Screamfest.. how unlucky can a girl be…probably not as unlucky as the girl in this charming and deadly film

Alfred J Hemlock

In the previews this character reminded me of a dodgy Johnny Depp fucked up on London Gin and I wasn’t far wrong, just add some Beetlejuice, and viola! . A young girl, named Emily is dumped on the way home by a jealous and pissed off boyfriend after an argument at a party, sobbing she says to herself that she wants to die.. and while heading home she chances on a comedy villain who identifies himself as Alfred J Hemlock who terrorizes her. while the matter is serious there’s a touch of League of Gentlemen in this charismatic thriller. I would like to see more of Mr Hemlock in the future, he’s brilliant running around dark alleys with a hatchet and singing strane songs while riding a tiny bicycle.. what more do you want from a horror villain. Lead man Tristan McKinnon who only seems to have made a few shorts, really can hold his own in a full length film and hopefully if Wyrmwood Chronicles of the Dead takes off I hope he gets a proper role. 7/10