Director: David Schmoeller Starring: John Saxon, Michael J Pollard, Joseph Culp, Robin Frates. USA. 1h 47m
Max Page’s birthday party is ruined when an uninvited metre crashes into his yard, freaking out the old guy and his guests. Later on the next day, “authorities” turn up to investigate the site and fool everyone off with a “nothing to worry about” story.
Director: Various Starring: Various Worldwide. 1h m
Despite setting records on the Shudder platform, there’s a lot lacking from this instalment of the VHS series, however maybe there was a gap in the market, as this came out during the height of yet another lockdown! leaving it with reviews swaying from weak to the best of the series? Being a total marmite chapter lets me dive deep into it. The wrap-around for this anthology-found footage compilation follows a SWAT team stumbling on a sinister VHS cult and the underground compound, for all of the other wraps it’s one of the strangest as we don’t really see the team settling into the movies like the rest.
Director: Edward Drake
Starring:Jonathan Lipnicki, Avery Konrad, Timothy V Murphy USA. 1h 30m
Coming of age is a difficult time for any young girl but it’s especially troubling for Chance in Drakes power struggle vampire film with a gritty power struggle a troubled hero and s touch of je ne sai qoir but it doesn’t go that extra mile to really set itself apart from all the other TV vampire movies but it’s still thoroughly enjoyable to watch family fireworks.
Opening with a family trying to control their wayward and violent teen daughter Chance (Konrad) they send her to live with her pious grandfather and extended family on a remote estate. Slowly the easily distracted teen uncovers a family secret and her only chance of survival comes from the dead and an assassin destined to end her family’s reign.
Director: J R Bookwalter Starring: Matthew Jason Walsh, Barbara Katz-Norrod, Thomas Brown, Cherie Petry, Shannon Doyle. USA. 1h 10m
Jeff (Walsh) works in a dead end job, working the night shift in a gas station. The lonely young man doesn’t have any friends and no prospect at anything more lavish in his working life than mopping floors and stacking shelves, but his home life is worse. Each morning Jeff returns home to a domineering mother, a woman.. a vampire hell bent on making her son into a cold blooded killer like herself as she feasts on neighbourhood kids and beats him into submission.
Director: Neil Jordan Starring: Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry-Jones .UK. 1h 58m
Every few years vampires find themselves reinvented and they refuse to remove their fangs from our necks. Jim Jarmusch swung back with Only Lovers Left Alive, a revival of the romantic mixed with his own take on the eternal blood sucking genre, and it’s been two decades since Interview with a Vampire, the film that made millions swoon…
Byzantium switches between modern day and yesteryear through dreamy sequences and guttural gore as Gemma Arterton, often dolled up in numerous sexy outfits, and her supposed daughter Saoise Ronan play vampires who after years of running from hunters, end up in a dead end seaside town. After shacking up with a timid hotelier, Daniel Mays, they set up their own brothel in his shabby establishment.
By the time the girls have settled into their new home, the authorities are taking an interest in them, but these agents have a good idea of the monsters lurking within the innocent faces and they are highly equipped to track down these undead wenches in order to make them more dead.
The strange unsettling drama will always been known as one of the new wave of modern neon movies, at times it sets itself among vibrant titles like Into the Void (20??), and yet there’s a creepy nostalgia when remote waterfalls turn into torrents of blood, but as the girls struggle through adversity in the 19th and 20th century, with and without corsets, the compelling story of power and hunger has a heavy feminist subtext that adds weight to the already fantastic adventure. The girls are very unique from other vampires, while they are super strong and have acute senses, but their tool of the trade is a retractable fingernail which they use to kill, with this slightly feline temperament and talons the movie oozes yet another feminine thread.
” I’m never merciful, and knowledge is a fatal thing.”
The story often stops and starts, falling over its own timeline, the girls seem to spend a lot of time sandboxing, falling in love with sick boys, updating their fries, struggling with the school system and the bittersweet gothic backstory determines why the girls hate men so much. But with such a long play time it seems to take a long time to describe what we have already guessed, and yet we still don’t really know where they are intending to go.
Certainly one for those who like a bit of mysticism and pretty visuals as much as a compelling story but don’t expect to have too many memories of the film other than pretty visuals as it frustratingly loses its personality along the way.
Related: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Enter the Void (2009) Lists: Vampire romances Vol 1, Neon Cinema Spotlight: Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones
Director: Jon Cunningham Starring: Jason Carter, Garett Maggart, Jack Donner, Harrison Young, Jean St. James . USA. 1h 51m
Even if you’re going to make an indie/B-Movie, there’s no need to think small, this independent film is a good 2 hours long and just about manages to entertain for the entire time and is a decent run for first time director Jon Cunningham. Utilising the best from seasoned actor Jason Carter as his lead creature he tells a tale that plays with the idea of what a monster really is, leading to the wonderful tagline of…
Director: Andy Milligan Starring: Allan Berendt, Hope Stansbury, Patricia Gaul, Michael Fischetti . USA. 1h 9m
This bloodfest has everything in it, monsters, romance, carnivorous plants, a host of deformed servants, affairs, crooked solicitors and a batshit crazy old woman, and all in just over an hour, Andy Milligan really knew how to make a thrilling movie on no budget but with a bucket of originality and a touch of lowbrow comedy.
A stuffy estate agent takes a doctor to view a new property, there he attempts to make his excuses about the state of the property and show the man around but before he can lay on the bullshit he’s given a hefty cheque and forced out the house with reasoning not to return, the second his foot is out the door screaming shrouded figure is rushed in the back door by two crippled servants and a crazy freakish woman. The ghoulish melting corpse they uncover is one of the more gross scenes in the movie and it’s legendary that it’s done so early in the production, it turns out this vile thing is really the beautiful wife of Doctor Orlovsky, a brilliant scientist who’s returned home to claim his family fortune to further fund his experiments.
Director: Sôichi Umezawa. Starring. Kyôka Takeda , Momoka Sugimoto , Ena Fujita , Kanji Tsuda. Japan. 1h 21m.
I used to be blown away by Japanese horror, going through the Tartan Horror series with much glee as it was miles apart from the slowdown that was occurring with its Western counterpart. with the fresh of breath air that the creepy tales sprung upon me, eventually I started noticing a huge split between genuine Japanese Horror and that fringe area which incorporated their unique humor, gore, body horror and sprays of blood. After a while I let things run their course, on returning I was gobsmacked by the array of mundane items which the Japanese has found a way to make scary! Continue reading Chi o sû nendo / Vampire Clay (2017)→
Director: Anthony Hickox Starring: Zach Galligan, Deborah Foreman, David Warner, Michelle Johnson, Patrick Macnee, Dana Ashbrook, John Rhys-Davies . USA . 1h 35m
The 80’s was a decade of goofy horror, obviously there were some real shockers out there which really upped the ante and changed the game forever but I feel that the number of cheesy comedy horrors was possibly at an all time high, but some were presented in a way which really captured the hearts of horror fans and like this, made themselves into the cult classic year book. Waxworks have always thrilled and entertained but in this epic terror things get more creepy than usual when a mysterious exhibit appears from nowhere with a staff of misfits at its helm.Continue reading Waxworks (1988)→
Director: Ted Nicolaou Starring: Jonathan Morris, David Gunn, Kirsten Cerre. Romania 1h 32m
This film fits in between Subspecies 3 and 4 transitioning the story and cast from the original subspecies formulaic structure into something a little more .. a la Interview with a Vampire (1994). This slight detour from the excellent Subspecies series which featured the master vampire Radu and his tiny minions, the blood stone has been abandoned and the strange iconic atmosphere has been up scaled into something more gothic and misty.Continue reading Vampire Journals (1997)→