Thursday, 31 May 2012

My Horror Shame

In anticipation of Prometheus, I got to thinking about all the previous Alien films (I know it's not supposed to technically be an Alien film, but, you know, shut up), and I came to a startling and shameful realisation; my first Alien film I saw in theatres was Alien Vs. Predator, and the only other one I have seen on the big screen is AVP2: Requiem. I am so sorry. You can throw rocks at me, I'll understand.


But on a Prometheus note, I am MASSIVELY excited about seeing it. I have briefly skimmed two lukewarm reviews for it, so I think I am going to have to abstain from the critical appraisal until I get to see it myself. I know I have let myself get taken in a bit by the hype, though to be honest, when I have looked in to the hype, I don't think there is anything that makes it seem like it will be a groundbreaking film, but I can still hope. 

What about you folks? Are you excited?! And do you have any horror shames of your own?!

Don't forget, we are still running the campaign to finish our mystery thriller feature film, SODIUM PARTY. If you can help out or are interested, please check out and share We make dinner.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Red State and the Key

A friend in the know passed on a promo USB key for Kevin Smith's amazing horror flick Red State. As you can see in the picture above, it is an awesome looking mo-fo, and pretty heavy to boot! So, an awesome looking promo piece for an brilliant indie flick, how much space would you think is on this thing? 2GB? 10GB!?! How about 505MB. Yup, MB. Welcome to 2002! You'd think there would be extra storage on the arms of the cross ;)

Still a badass piece to have.

You can read my thoughts on Red State here.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Sodium Update

I'm being very lazy with the blog this month, I apologise. I have a valid excuse though. We are still trying to raise much needed funds for our near-finished feature film Sodium Party. If you think you could contribute, please help out here:

You cannot change the goal once it has initially been set, so we still have that excessive 10k figure looming, but anything we get will go back in to the film, and it is more likely than not that we can work out deals with what we do raise (some people appreciate the hard work more than the money!), so please help us in any way you can!

Today, a nice notice about the campaign went up on Horror Society, a horror site I am shamed to say I never really scoped out. Seems like a more down to earth place than Bloody Disgusting (which has apparently died in the forums in the few months I didn't use it). Check out my little pitch on Horror Society here:

I'm excited to be getting ready to gear up with more films soon, but Sodium Party is too much an important baby to ignore! If you can, please contribute and/or share!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A ridiculous amount of TROMA

Troma are holding auditions today for extras for a new sequel to Class of Nuke Em High (if you're interested, you have to e-mail for a time slot to meet in their New York office!). In typical internet fashion, I started reading about Nuke Em, which led to more Troma, and eventually on to the Toxic Avenger (Troma's deformed mascot).

Even better, it led me on to the Toxic Crusaders, a children's cartoon series based on the film, which is completely mental, because there are no Troma films that are in any way appropriate for kids! But watching the first episode, which was written by THE Chuck Lorre of Big Bang Theory fame, it's actually pretty great. It's a lot like Captain Planet (including the overzealous environmental message), but it has a lot of winks and nods that would go right over a young one's head and make adults giggle. I have to say, I may actually watch all 13 episodes! It does seem like they may be on Youtube handy enough.

On a side note, the way I know about this show is because I had some Toxic Crusader toys when I was a kid. I don't really remember watching the show, but the toys were awesome! It may explain a part of my lifelong fascination with trash and B-movies! Those along with the Aliens toys warped my fragile little brain, right? 

Love ya, ma.

And of course the internet led me down another path, where I found all the Toxic Avenger films on Youtube, along with my favourite Troma film, Terror Firmer, and some Class of Nuke Em High sequels that I have never seen.

So, if you are having a particularly boring day or have decided to junk out of trash cinema, (or maybe you wanna see the original before the remake, which they are apparently doing) let the maestros take you away. Enjoy a stupid amount of Troma!!!

The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger II

The Toxic Avenger III

The Toxic Avenger IV: Citizen Toxie

Terror Firmer

Class of Nuke Em High II: Subhumanoid Meltdown

Class of Nuke Em High III: The Good, The Bad and the Subhumanoid

Someone out there is now having an awesome trash movie night!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Help us finish this thing!!!

Some of you might already know about this, but for those of you who don’t, I am co-producer on an independent Irish mystery thriller feature film called Sodium Party, which the story of a girl who moves out to live life after being kept under thumb of her mother all her life, and just as life seems to be going perfect, her childhood imaginary friend appears and everything starts to crumble. We have it shot and edited, and are preparing to release it to festivals (starting in Ireland, working across Europe), but we have hit a brick wall. A brick wall of bricks.
We were given an initial amount to make the film for (I don’t want to give figures, but it was very VERY low), and somehow, through sheer passion and will, we made a film that features at least 40 actors and dozens of locations. In the end, we have made an 83 minute feature film that is unlike anything ever to come out of Ireland, but we are one step short of finishing…

Like I say, we have edited the film, the amazing score is pretty much composed, and the sound is being mixed, but we still have to get a professional colour grade, which is the difference between the film looking pants and looking like something you will find in theatres. The cost is something that we just cannot manage by ourselves, so we need you, you amazingly beautiful person you, to help us out by contributing and sharing our campaign to the world.
If you click on the link, you will see many different perks for the many different contributions (the digital stills will be sent shortly. My internet of course went kablooey the day we started the campaign). There is behind the scenes footage, inside info, downloads, DVDs, posters, scripts, heck, dinner, paintings and premieres up for grabs! These are all the least we can do to thank you for your help, so please, if you can, help us reach our target so we can finish Sodium Party.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Lords of Salem Gets a Trailer!

Bloody Disgusting have posted a new trailer for Rob Zombie's upcoming The Lords of Salem. It is a camera phone recording from the opening of a Zombie gig, but hey, you more than get the gist. Check it out!

I think it seems like it is going to be fantastic! Seems like a throw back to Suspiria-style Italian horror, where the insane style can be more important than substance. It's probably going to be cheesy. It's probably going to be bloody. It's probably going to be a bit ridiculous, but fuck it, I can't wait!

Let me know what you think below, and enjoy some images from Rob Zombie's Facebook page;

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Why Marebito is the best sleeping pill

AKA. The Stranger From Afar

After many repeated attempts, I have finally got all the way through Takashi 'The Grudge' Shimizu's 2004 digitally shot horror, Marebito. The fact it took me this long should give you an idea of where my thoughts on it are goiung.

The film is about a man who becomes obsessed with the idea of terror when he witnesses a man stab out his own eyes and kill himself on video. Armed with just a camcorder, the man explores the abandoned underground tunnels of Japan, encountering some odd forms and getting strict warnings. Eventually he comes across an underworld where he finds a naked woman chained. He brings her home and tries to care for her, but she won't eat or drink and gets sicker and sicker, until the man discovers that she needs blood to sustain herself.

Wait, did they use this image for the poster,
but add a sheet on her?!

The film is very small in scope, with the underworld he discovers the woman in being the best part for me. I'm a sucker for something unknown being right under our noses. But the film spends more time dwelling on his relationship with the woman and the growing dissonance between them as he begins to consider her little more than a pet. There is some convolution with men in black keeping an eye on him, but a nice bit of mind-messing is added when his (ex?) wife shows up, accusing him of kidnapping their daughter, which inevitably puts you on the path of whether the woman kept in his apartment is some other worldly beast or his daughter and he has just become psychotic.

The film crept up on many people's top 10 J-horror lists and I figured I'd better give it a go, especially since I'm a big fan of both the US and Japanese Grudge films. Unfortunately, this film is nowhere near as good as them. According to IMDb, the film was shot in 8 days, and it kind of feels it. Aesthetically, I can go with the rough digital look, especially as the main character has a camcorder obsession, but many of the techniques used for scares, with the time and budget constraints, come out looking like cheap student film efforts.

The reason it took me so long to get through this film is that it kept sending me to sleep. That should be a good indication of how horrific it is. But you could successfully argue that the film is more the psychological horror the man is going through/seeking. Problem is that that is still quite boring. The bulk of the film is in his apartment, with the lead giving cringy voice-overs that ham-fistedly try drive home the point this is a disillusioned man seeking to discover the true terror he saw another experience. And then we find out the woman wants blood, which set off alarm bells for me (I have little time for vampires).

Though thankfully she doesn't sparkle.

This film could actually be a successful remake though. I know, I know, who wants another remake, right? But the thing is, this film has a great idea, but gets it fundamentally wrong. With a bit more time and scope, maybe some more exploration of the underworld, which is easily the most intriguing and close to horror moments of the film, the film could be a great claustrophobic horror, perhaps even found footage (I can hear the collective groan out there, shut up!). 

A film with some high ideas that just do not work on a cheap level. A for effort, C for execution.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Wicker Tree is a mighty slow burner

Excited to watch Robin Hardy’s companion to his classic, The Wicker Man; The Wicker Tree. Anchor Bay’s region 2 DVD release box tells me it is a ‘reimagining’, and it's supposedly a companion piece as opposed to anything else. I’ve seen the trailer and I loved it, so fingers crossed. The cover art is lovely, and I’m hoping for a classy British horror. My tea is made, and the cookies are beside me. Here we go.

Celephane taken off, box opened. DVD artwork is reminiscent of the original’s art direction. Good start.

DVD begins with trailers. Ugh… Did they just mention Nicolas Cage? Surely that must be a bit of a wink wink?

Only a trailer as special feature. This better not be another Survival of the Dead (both in terms of being a crap straight to DVD release, and releasing a bares-bone region 2 but fancy ass region 1 special edition).

Ok, focus on the film. No spoilers, just reactions.

Woo! British Lion!

Honeysuckle Weeks… Makes me feel lucky my parents didn’t try give me a ‘unique’ name.

‘Bringing God’s message to the lost people of Scotland’. Thehehe, silly yanks!

There’s a bald guy with a goatee. Is Lex Luthor the villain in this film? Anyway, ten minutes in, the charm is unwavering.

'Trailer Trash Love' now there's an exciting music video. Or not. But at least they all two step nicely.

You rarely see a film giving born again Christians an easy time. Wicker Tree is no acceptation. Having them be the most American of Americans isn’t helping either. Well, is doesn't help if you were wanting to like them and not want them to inevitably end up burning (?) on the wicker tree..

I can’t tell if everyone is out of sync or overdubbed.

Is it teasing me with being a musical like Wicker Man? I can’t decide if I want it to have musical moments or not…

Wait… Why have they subtitled some people speaking English? I know it’s not crystal clear, but you can understand them…

You might say her dress is a little… fruity?

This is moving pretty slow. I’m sure some mystery will happen soon.

Come on, stop being boring….

Please, do something!

Dammit, I fell asleep! Ok, maybe I was a bit tired starting it, but now I have slept and have full energy. I was probably just missing some of the subtleties. Bring it on, again!

I actually fell asleep when there was both T and A on the screen. What is wrong with me?

Some semblances of action, eh?

Why did she wait so long to find that door?

Wait, did I just miss a scene there? Why is she-? How-? Ok, I’ll run with it, as long as it goes in an epic direction. Oh, well, that was an illusion of epicness, I guess.

Oh… That’s… That’s it? That wasn’t exactly… Well, worthwhile, was it?

Conclusion: This film falls within the range of middle of the road Hammer horror-like fare that has been popping up recently, though on the lower end of the spectrum. I know it’s probably unfair to try hold it up to The Wicker Man, but The Wicker Tree really lacks any of the substance or horror that the original had. Whereas the detective’s search for the truth in the original and the conspiracy by the entire island makes a very claustrophobic tale, this one feels far too vague. Our replacements for the detective are vapid and, really, get what they deserve for not once thinking ‘hey, maybe all these illusions to darker doings should worry me’. I wanted to like this film, and in a way it did bring the 70s style of the original, but it lacks everything that makes a decent horror film. Save your money and catch it on TV. It’s not worthy of anything else really (besides supporting Robin Hardy, which is always a plus).