Since my uncle gave me my first secondhand copy of Fortean Times back in about 1986 I’ve been hooked on the paranormal and the earth’s mysteries, everything from spontaneous human combustion, ghosts and possession, to UFO’s, rolling rocks and Bigfoot. I’m not saying I believe everything I read about these subjects but I enjoy a great skeptical tour of those unusual things which are often talked about around the campfire.
It seems that some monsters and paranormal entities are easily adapted to the big screen, I couldn’t fathom how many ghost or vampire movies have been created to date but the number of Bigfoot movies are probably outnumbered by the sightings.
Each yeah more explorers and adventurers seem to find more shaky cam blurry footage of the elusive creature, more books are written, more strange stories catch small press headlines. The latest was only yesterday (literally why I am writing this today, lord knows when I’ll post it. but on the 25 January 2020, in Washington, traffic cameras supposedly caught a hairy hominid and you can see the evidence on Twitter (https://twitter.com/WSDOT_East/status/1220090003805442048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fkatu.com%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Fwsdot-camera-captures-images-of-figure-that-might-be-sasquatch) Continue reading The AOFA Short Introduction and History of Bigfoot and B Movies.
Director: Matt Allen
Starring: Brian Thompson, Ben Browder, Shoshana Bush, Cheryl Texiera, Adrienna Barbeau. USA. 1h 32m
Matt Allen follows up his Aces and Eights short movie with a debut feature HOAX! which turns out to be a quirky faux mockumentary thriller about an investigation into the existence of Bigfoot, after a spate of teen disappearances in the Colorado mountains.
It’s easy to call it just another Bigfoot movie: but there has been a recent run of lowish-budget features that have broadened the creature featutes horizons by taking things to a new place, especially the fan favourite Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (2012). Somehow, without many clues or prompts or evidence, it does keep the question open in order to keep the viewers guessing until the very end, but does bigfoot exist or is there an alternative reason why teens are being slaughtered in the hills? And either way why would you want to go out with limited resources to find out? Continue reading Hoax (2019)
Director: George McCowan.
Starring.Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam USA. 1h 31m.
You’ll have to forgive me for the review you’re about to read, but I adore this low budget eco horror which is widely considered to be a very poor movie, but for me it’s cinematic gold and I make very few apologies for adoring it, and thankfully writer Fran Lebowitz agrees with me when she called this movie “the best bad movie I have ever seen in my life.”
If YOU Are Squeamish Stay Home!!!
Many eco horror movies are quite subtle in their approach, the most famous is probably Long Weekend (1978) where a couple struggle to deal with their personal issues while taking it easy in the outback until nature decides to throw them a curveball, but others are more dramatic and usually after some kind of negative human influence, be it radiation, pollution or a truck load of PCP, the wildlife come to life and rally against mankind. From the dynamic Birds from Hitchcock, to Franco Prosperi ‘s Wild Beasts (1984) where a zoo’s water supply is compromised, sending an array of wildlife into a frenzy stalking the city streets.
Continue reading Frogs (1972)
Director: Chris Sun.
Starring. Bill Moseley, Nathan Jones, John Jarratt, Simone Buchanan, Melissa Tkautz. Australia. 1h 35m.
With all of the cult success of Razorback you’d think that a future giant killer pig movie would try to work on that cult goodness and up the ante, but for so many reasons Boar kept trying to deliver but for me it stumbled and fell flat in the mud.
There are two intermingling storylines, one surrounds an Australian family, with a new American patriarch, Bruce (Moseley) who’s pretty iconic when it comes to the horror scene but sadly he’s really out of place and underused in terrible way, people really should be arrested and jailed for this kind of neglect. The family is on vacation and are aiming to camp out and meet family, kicking back and having a good time. Meanwhile an eagle eyed wisen old man of the land Ken (Jarratt) is looking to kick back with some beers and a friend when he notices something strange and head out in the night to investigate. After this laborious introduction the movie fails to pick up the pace but it does try to delight it’s audience with a few blood thirsty killings and they are pretty mediocre. Continue reading Boar (2017)
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 : 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)
Director: Hope Perello
Starring: Michelle Matteson, Bruce Payne, Carol Lynley, Deep Roy, Brendan Hughes, Antonio Fargas . USA . 1h 42m
(Loosely) based on The Howling Series of novels by Gary Brandner especially Howling III Echoes.
Have you ever woken up from a hazy dream and tried to piece it back together to make a story..that’s kinda how this installment of Howling plays out. Loosely based on the third Howling book, it’s set around the life of a unusual drifter who stumbles on the wrong town. Despite his natural ability to look like Charlie Chaplin he actually has a much more dangerous and darker secret, being part of the Howling series it’s no surprise really but there’s more, just follow him down the rabbit hole… Continue reading Howling VI : The Freaks (1991)
Director: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Javier Botet. USA. 1h 30m
John Krasinski’s pensive thriller is designed to make you feel like an active participant of a family who is faced with unreal fears. The camera often swings around the characters making you feel that that your part of the conservation, tagging along as a silent witness.
Much is already been given away in the numerous trailers and it’s very clear to see that this family a living on the edge of a post apocalyptic future where deadly creatures are attracted to the noises we make every day. The origin of these deadly critters isn’t a factor in the movie, it doesn’t matter why they are here or what happened, the families journey now is all that the film concentrates on and for plot reasons only, but if you read clippings that are saved in the families basement you can work out that in 2020 within only 3 months most of the world’s population have been destroyed by large creatures that are attracted to sound and protected by armored skin. Continue reading A Quiet Place (2018)
Director: Franco Prosperi.
Starring: Lorraine De Selle, Ugo Bologna, John Stacy, John Aldrich Stefania,Pinna Italy/Germany. 1h 32m.
A short while ago the Amazon delivery guy brought two films to my door, on a chilly winter morning, Wild Beasts and ROAR! I had hope for a double bill of amazing creature features and I got it.. I started the duo with this gem from the 80’s which like Roar (1981) involved the use of many large wild animals, undergoing a wild night in the city.
Half horror and half “let’s think about what we’re doing to the environment” movie, it’s scattered with gruesome animal attacks as well as highlighting ecological issues. But it’s just a normal day at the zoo when a beautiful photographer Laura Schwarz (De Selle) arrives to take some photos at the local zoo, she’s introduced to the various lives of a range of animals and procedures in the zoo, while the animals seem to be going about their normal day to day lives there are some concerns that they are “off their food”. Wrapping things up the photographer gets the cold shoulder from her young daughter who she rarely see’s day to day and is experiences abandonment issues. While the brilliant zoologist Ruper Berner ( Aldrich) retreats to his home for a shower.. Continue reading Belve Feroci (Savage Beasts) / The Wild Beasts (1984)