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Showing posts from August, 2011

Random Creepy Scene #767: Fire Walk With Me

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Fire Walk With Me marked David Lynch’s return to his beloved Twin Peaks; albeit a return lovers of the series didn’t quite expect. Not only was it a prequel, charting the bleak and disturbing last seven days of Laura Palmer’s life, but it also marked a drastic shift in tone that left many fans out in the cold. Gone were the cherry pies and damn fine coffees, and in their place was a dark tale of domestic abuse, incest and what lurks in the sick, twisted underbelly of small town America.

As it serves as an exploration of poor Laura’s tragic demise, it isn’t surprising that Fire Walk With Me exhibits some of the most poignant, creepy and nightmarishly bizarre moments and imagery from Lynch’s work to date. All set to the strains of one of Angelo Badalamenti’s most evocative and haunting scores yet.

We follow Laura (Sheryl Lee) as she descends into an ever hopeless spiral of drugs, prostitution and ritualistic abuse at the hands of those she’s closest to. Throughout the course of the f…

Short Film Showcase: Cold Blood

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2011
Dir. Peter Ferris

Shot in and around Belfast last winter, Cold Blood is the second in an, as yet, unfinished trilogy of short films charting the exploits of the fiendish Elias Mortenson (Peter Ferris) as he travels the world forcefully recruiting vampires under the guise of an acting coach/agent. Certain scenes were also filmed in beautifully eerie locations such as the ancient stone circle of Avebury in Wiltshire, and Rennes Le Chateau in France. Working as a stand alone film, Cold Blood hinges on some fertile ideas – particularly in its exploration of the tribulations of a group of young people, unwillingly turned into vampires and attempting to resist their new blood-thirsty instincts to kill and maim (recalling the chilling plight of Claudia from Interview with the Vampire). The makeshift family they create echoes that of the clan in Near Dark – and of course the concept of vampires attempting to reform has been explored in the likes of Twilight and True Blood.

Aspects of O…

The House on Sorority Row

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1983
Dir. Mark Rosman

After a prank horribly backfires, a group of sexiful sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one while hosting a graduating party and attempting to dispose of the body that was the result of their prank going wrong. Talk about an inconvenience!

In true slasher style, we open with a prologue - to intrigue and set the scene for the bloodbath to come – in which a woman undergoes a problematic birth in a big house during a thunderstorm and is led to believe by her doctor that her baby is dead. Cutting to years later, the house is now a sorority house and the woman is revealed to be the house mother, Mrs Slater (Lois Kelso Hunt) – a formidable and cane-wielding crone who seems overly anxious for the graduating girls to vacate the premises. The girls have no such intentions though – they want to have a party to celebrate and they decide to play a prank on Mrs Slater to show her who’s boss. She ends up dead (showed her!) and the girls are left with her body t…

Pieces

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1982
Dir. Juan Piquer Simón

A killer, attempting to piece together a human jigsaw puzzle made from body parts, starts cutting up the young scantily-clad/ample-bosomed co-eds on a college campus. Bad dialogue, terrible acting, gratuitous nudity, sloppy gore effects, unexpected kung-fu and nubile lovelies getting cut the fuck up ensue. Warning: contains guffaws.

Directed by Spanish filmmaker Juan Piquer Simón in his native Valencia (though set in the States), the marvellously trashy and overtly sleazy 1982 extravaganza Pieces is a scuzzy, down ‘n’ dirty slasher that ranks down there with the worst best of ‘em. Pretty damn notorious when it was released, it has gone on to garner a sizable cult following – and rather understandably so. Containing no tension whatsoever, the film still manages to be highly entertaining due to it falling firmly into that old favourite category of the so-bad-it’s-bloody-good variety. On my first attempt to watch Pieces (several years ago when I first picke…

Wreckage

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2010
Dir. John Asher

A group of friends find themselves stranded when their car breaks down while drag racing outside their home town. After deciding to try their luck at a nearby scrap yard rather than risk walking back into town, some careless horseplay with a loaded pistol leaves one of them wounded and in desperate need of medical attention. Meanwhile, the local sheriff’s office has just received notification that a serial killer has escaped from the state prison and is thought to be hiding out somewhere in the area. Alerted to the situation at the wrecking yard, the police and ambulance crew arrive on the scene only to face a long night of bloodshed and mayhem as a mysterious killer stalks the yard determined to slay everyone and leave no witnesses…

Beware. The spare parts may be your own…

Wreckage unravels as conventionally as the slasher flicks of the Eighties which so obviously inspired it. It even opens with a flashback sporting some gritty domestic drama in which one of two…

Paracinema Magazine and Beyond!

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Born from a conversation about film magazines in a small Queens, New York apartment in the summer of 2007, Paracinema Magazine has been steadily garnering a reputation as a distinctive, intelligent, thought-provoking and passionately produced publication of the highest order since its first issue almost four years ago. Taking its title from a phrase coined by film scholar Jeffrey Sconce, the independently produced, quarterly magazine focuses primarily on all facets of cult and genre cinema.

Each issue contains accessible in-depth analytical pieces, critiques, interviews and academic articles written by fans for fans on all manner of genre cinema – from Hitchcock, Herzog, Bergman and Carpenter to the likes of HG Lewis, Wiseau and Ed Wood, to name but a few. All is presented in a strikingly designed and attention-commanding publication. Paracinema is essentially for those who want to delve deeper into the lurid depths of ‘periphery’ cinema; each issue contains pieces on a staggering ar…

Random Creepy Scene #487: Quiet As A Nun

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Armchair Thriller was a British television series, broadcast on ITV by Thames in 1978 and 1980. It was essentially a horror/supernatural orientated anthology series that specialised in adapting various spooky novels and stories. It consisted of two weekly 25 minute episodes, usually screened at 8pm on a Tuesday and Thursday evening. I’m too young to remember it, but a recent conversation with several (ever so slightly) older friends alerted me to one particular episode of the series entitled Quiet as a Nun

Adapted from the 1977 novel of the same name by Antonia Fraser, Quiet as a Nun was a six part dramatisation revolving around Fraser's regular sleuth Jemima Shore, who revisits the convent where she was schooled following the mysterious death of one of the nuns. The nun, Sister Miriam, was a former friend of Jemima’s and she apparently starved herself to death in a ruined tower in the grounds of the convent. Jemima soon learns from the girls at the convent about a mysterious an…