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: Peter Bergin.
Starring. Ronan Murphy, Bridget O’Connor, Corey Macri, Aaron Lee Reed Ireland. 1h 20m.
Found footage can be an easy genre to devise a film for, but a hard one to master. There are obvious struggles as this survival expert attempts to film an instructional video deep in the Lolo National Park and encounters a real threat.
The lonely survivalist is tracking through the forest in a national forest while filming himself demonstrating how to make the most of your camping trip, back at home he offers a class and this instructional video will allow himi to reach more people and finally he can turn his hobby into a lucrative business. The lush forest is the perfect setting for a found footage horror, less people and factors to interfere with the story, the only problem is that so many of them are set here and it’s hard not to mention.. Blair Witch.. There I went and did it. But there are no witches in this struggling horror movie, so it’s very evident despite the red herring what’s going to appear by the end of the film and this is only one of the problems. Continue reading Territorial Behaviour (2015)
Director: Howie Askins
Starring: Ryan McCoy, Brett Rosenberg, Ashley Brack, Toby Bryant, Abigail Richie .USA. 1h 18m
Small budget aside this imaginative found footage movie actually outdoes some of the more costly attempts to freak out audiences, with its stereotypical beginnings it ramps up the psychotropic madness as it’s survivors run a gauntlet of terror that’s totally unexpected and wholesomely different and that alone; is worth the wait as this simple but highly effective story plays out.
Howie Askins’s debut Devil Girl (2007) didn’t leave a great lasting impression on its audience, the attempt to revise the ultimate horror road movie with buxom chicks just didn’t pique much interest, sadly the 9/10 review on IMDb comes from someone with the username howieaskins .. funny that. Continue reading Evidence (2012)
Director: Bharat Jain
Starring:Darshan Apoorva, Krishna Prakash, Vijay Chendoor, Pallavi, Tanuja, Mruthyunjaya . India. 1h 44m
Without wanting to sound like a broken record, this monotonous found footage romp in the forest is very much like Blair Witch (1999), with hints of Paranormal Activity (2007), but at this stage in the game after so many films that end up mimicking the Maryland thriller, what would it take for a lost in the woods found footage, horror to not be like Blair Witch? Sadly this Indian scareless horror doesn’t offer any answers to this puzzling conundrum. Continue reading 6-5=2 (2014)
Director: Philip Escott, Craig Newman
Starring: Richard Pawulski , Danny Miller, Reece Douglas, Natalie Martins, Gary Knowles, Grace Dixon. UK. 1h 20m
Philip Escott and Craig Newmans movie is an intensely controlled, beautifully raw and a bittersweetly acted account of the systematic hunt and brutal murder of an innocent autistic teen. Richard Pawulski plays a peaceful young man, Danny, who heads into the countryside for some camping, ethical fishing and to enjoy the solitude for this Duke of Edinburgh award, but unknown to him, an enamored Julia (Martins) has lied to a violent and jealous Nicholas (Miller) about Danny having sexual relations with his (now) ex, this lie starts to spread and grows into Danny being a pedophile to encourage another friend to help them track him down and teach him a lesson. Continue reading Cruel Summer (2016)
Director: Michael DeGrazier, Benjamin Paulides
Starring. Jaryd Atadero, DeOrr Kunz Jr., Nate Eaton .USA. 1h m.
I was slightly on the wrong track with this movie, no pun intended.
After listening to the Mysterious Universe Podcast (since season 5 check out the awesome podcast here https://mysteriousuniverse.org ) I’ve heard/read a lot about Missing 411 persons, but obviously with the theme of the podcast these tales go into high strangeness often involving Bigfoot and UFOs etc etc. I was expecting to see some crazy trail camera footage and maybe some abandoned staircases in the woods, or even recounts of historical unsolved cases. In contrast this documentary movie is more about a handful of cases which represent the tip of the iceberg of Missing 411’s but with a slight connection, all cases involve young children often with hearing impairments. Continue reading Missing 411 (2004)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier~
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Macon Blair . USA . 1h 35m
Here’s another gorgeous piece of gore from the invigorating direction Jeremy Saulnier, the director who likes to use colours in his film titles. After the success of the brutal revenge movie Blue Ruin (2013) he returns with a punks vs nazi horror flick that hold back no punches.
In the UK there was a similar but tamer film that ran into a mini series called This is England which showed the peaceful Skins get tainted by psychotic politics and there was a divide as the Nazi’s tried to take the scene over. This pales in comparison to the night of hell this alternative band is about to experience in the Green Room but it’s equally important to make a note of the difference of opinions between punks and nazi’s..
Seemed to be the next on the list of taboo scenarios that attracts the attention of Saulnier, Punks vs nazi’s has been an age old battle. But what’s really interesting is Saulnier’s choice of cast, it seems the unlikely bunch, Patrick Stewart, especially after his years with American Dad just doesn’t “sound” like a neo nazi leader but being such a brilliant actor he performed so well, as does the small role by the main star of Blue Ruin (2013), Macon Blair who’s the cutest and most polite fascist ever. But let’s start at the beginning… Continue reading Green Room (2015)
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)
Director: Philip Gelatt.
Starring. William Jackson Harper, Rebecca Henderson USA. 1h 42m.
Based on: They Remain by Laird Barron.
Exploration is the focus of this psychological sci fi thriller, but the execution is as conflicting as the main characters grasp on reality and eventually the slow burning just fizzles out after several meandering mistakes which were supposed to build tension. They Remain explores a relationship of two scientists , Keith (Harper) and Jessica (Henderson) who are employed to investigate an area which was once a camp for a mysterious cult. It’s not very clear what they are doing for a long stretch of the movie, the two seem to have bizarre conversations while looking at camera feeds and “researching”, apparently sent by a mysterious corporation identifies by it’s geometric corporate logo and no more.
Continue reading They Remain (2017)
Director: Nick Szostakiwkyj
Starring: Shane Twerdun, Michael Dickson, Carl Toftfelt, Marc Anthony Williams, Andrew Moxham, Timothy Lyle, Steve Bradley. Canada. 1h 39m
Like a creepy love letter to John Carpenter’s; The Thing (1982) from a methed out HP Lovecraft, Black Mountain assembles a dark story the slowly gets more sinister until a bleak but strong ending.
Much like the thing, there are a small crew working in harsh icy conditions of Northern Canada, but this team are a group of archaeologists who uncover an ancient structure and some artifacts which date around the last ice age, perplexed by the date of the objects and in wonderment of the people who crafted them, the men continue to investigate and study the pieces but their presence spook the native members of the crew who quickly abandon them then their communications fail and their supplies are cut off, but this is the least of their problems. Continue reading Black Mountainside (2014)