Showing posts from October, 2010

George Romero Week at The Death Rattle

As some of you may know, Aaron over at The Death Rattle has been busy all week, posting about the work of George Romero. Romero’s work is generally considered to be groundbreaking, genre-redefining stuff; he’s often credited with reinventing modern horror cinema with his morbidly bleak masterpiece Night of the Living Dead. Throughout the years he is a filmmaker who has consistently proved he has a unique and singular vision, effectively realised with each cinematic offering.

So head over to The Death Rattle to check out Aaron’s guide to Romero’s Top 13 movies, a Poll of the Dead and various guest posts by the likes of B-Movie Becky from The Horror Effect, Carl Manes from I Like Horror Movies, Neil Fulwood from Agitation of the Mind, Brian Bankston from Cool Ass Cinema and Richard of Doomed Moviethon and Cinema Somnambulist. There’s also a little something on Romero’s mould-breaking vampire tale Martin, by your’s truly. But don’t let that put you off.

Life Blood

Dir. Ron Carlson

AKA Pear Blossom

New Year’s Eve, 1969. Lovers Brooke (Sophie Monk) and Rhea (Anya Lahiri) are at a totally hot, swinging party in LA. The evening’s glitter ball bedazzled festivities are cut short when Brooke stumbles into the bathroom and interrupts Hollywood A-lister Warren James (Justin Shilton) attempting to assault a young fan (Scout Taylor-Compton – Halloween, Halloween II). Brooke stabs the would-be rapist in the throat. A lot. Escaping to the desert in their car (“I just wish I could let the top down and let this warm desert air cleanse my body”), Brooke and Rhea then encounter God herself (Angela Lindvall), who offers to turn the pair into immortal, vampiric angels of death, destined to sexily wander the earth destroying evil wherever they find it.

Cut to forty years later. Our lovers are resurrected from their desert tomb to begin their totally divine mission. This naturally involves a shot of them strutting along a moonlit desert highway in lingerie.…

Not Like Others

Dir. Peter Pontikis

AKA Vampyrer

Vera (Jenny Lampa) and Vanja (Ruth Vega Fernandez), a pair of vampire sisters, struggling to live in seclusion in the bleak suburbs of Stockholm, are forced on the run when Vera kills and feeds on the leader of a tough biker gang in a nightclub. While evading the thuggish gang, Vanja reveals she wants to quit their vampire lifestyle and try to live in the real world. Terrified by of a life of solitude, Vera decides she will do anything to keep Vanja by her side. Meanwhile, the skinhead bikers are closing in…

What with Not Like Others being a Swedish vampire film and everything, it is quite difficult not to draw comparisons between it and Let the Right One In. Both films were even released in the same year and while this one was relegated to the shadows of the other, that’s not to say this is a bad film; far from it in fact. It is just that Let the Right One In is such a lyrical, one of a kind masterpiece. While they do both feature a stiflingly …


Dir. Michael A. Nickles

Five years after being convicted for the abuse of a minor, Leonard Karlsson (Jeremy Fitzgerald) is released from prison bearing a hideously disfigured face; the result of sadistic beatings administered by fellow prisoners. Hell-bent on extracting brutal vengeance on the twelve jury members responsible for his incarceration, he returns to the remote Arizona desert town in which his trial was held. One by one, he abducts and sadistically slaughters the jurors…

Opening with a rapidly edited montage under the credits detailing Karlsson’s alleged crimes, subsequent imprisonment and torture at the hands of his fellow prisoners, XII begins proper with a shockingly brutal murder that seems to come out of nowhere, involving a newly wed couple, a shotgun and a lone desert highway. From here we’re introduced to FBI Agent Naughton, who is hot on the trail of a bizarre serial killer making his way across the country, abducting people and skinning their faces. We catc…

Jamie Lee Curtis: Scream Queen

During the years 1978 – 1981 it was virtually impossible to visit the cinema or your local video shop without encountering at least one slasher film boasting a masked homicidal maniac, stalking ‘n’ slaying copious amounts of partying teens in various dark locations with weird noises that needed to be investigated. Alone. It was also pretty much guaranteed that at least one of these films would star Jamie Lee Curtis, an actress whose early career was built on playing plucky, resourceful characters who face off against maniacal killers.

A new book by David Grove sets out to explore and celebrate this particular part of Curtis’s career, which involved a number of seminal slashers now revered as classics (and some of my favourite horror titles). Beginning with Halloween in which Curtis portrayed Laurie Strode – who became the prototype for the heroic figure of the 'final girl' - subsequent roles followed in The Fog, Prom Night, Terror Train, Roadgames and Halloween II.

Jamie Lee …

My Son My Son What Have Ye Done?

Opening with the words ‘David Lynch presents a film by Werner Herzog’; words that automatically instilled fluttering in this particular writer’s heart, My Son My Son What Have Ye Done? is a film that instantly suggests boundless possibilities, high expectations and the promise of something memorable, provocative and left of centre. The question is, does it live up to the promise? Of course it does. However, in true Lynch/Herzog fashion, it does so in unexpected ways that manage to surprise and delight.

Head over to Eye for Film to check out my full review...

Cold Prey II

Dir. Mats Stenberg

Having survived the massacre that claimed the lives of her friends in an abandoned hotel at the hands of a psychotic, feral killer, Jannicke (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) finds that her nightmare is far from over. Taken to a rural hospital to be treated for shock, she realises that the body of the monstrous brute she thought she’d killed has been recovered along with those of her friends’ and brought to the hospital where she’s staying. On closer inspection, the doctors discover the killer is not dead at all, and before the night is over Jannicke finds herself fighting to stay alive in the midst of another bloodbath…

Cold Prey II is one of those rare specimens – a genuinely great slasher sequel. It maintains the momentum of the first instalment, picking up directly where it left off (the first of many nods to Halloween II), adds to the story and doesn’t just recycle itself in the hackneyed manner of so many slasher sequels. Viewers will reap a much more rewarding expe…

Cold Prey

Dir. Roar Uthaug

AKA Fritt Vilt

A group of friends on a snowboarding excursion in deepest, darkest Jotunheimen are forced to seek refuge in a seemingly abandoned hotel in when one of them breaks their leg. While exploring the building they discover that the hotel was shut down in the Seventies after a series of mysterious disappearances, including that of the owner’s young son. It soon becomes apparent to the group that they are not alone in the hotel; a mysterious psychopath begins to pick them off, one, by one, by one…

While the premise of this expertly crafted and smartly scripted Norwegian slasher flick seems to creak under the weight of its own cliché-ridden conventions, the execution of Cold Prey/Fritt Vilt (pardon the pun), is what is most surprising and unconventional and sets this film well apart from its myriad contemporaries. We open in typical slasher style, with the apparent death of a young boy at the hands of an unseen assailant in the midst of a blizzard. Skip fo…

Random Creepy Scene #6089: Halloween Special!

John Carpenter manages to create moments of nail-biting tension, suggestive chills and an unnervingly creepy atmosphere punctuated with shrill jump-moments throughout his seminal masterpiece, Halloween. The director has laced his groundbreaking slasher with creepy images and moments of spine-tingling dread. Most of the creepiness comes of course from the frequent glimpses of The Shape…

The presence of The Shape, indeed even the mere threat of his presence is enough to render any previously cosy domestic space or autumnal leafy suburb, a now creepy, dangerous place, saturated with menace. Carpenter’s expert use of widescreen and his placing of The Shape just on the periphery of many shots - lurking in the shadows and corners - is more than enough to generate chills and the threat of violence and set hearts pounding… Indeed even when he appears to Laurie in broad daylight, his presence obviously doesn't belong in cosy suburbia - his eerie menace juxtaposed with familiar settings, and…