Archive for the ‘film reviews’ Category

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Well today finally got round to showing off my fancy new logo and name for the new site.

I am looking to have it going live in around 10 days from now but you never know it may be sooner .

UK Horror Scene will be a film review site , but also looking at all things horror and it’s genre. there will be music and gig reviews, a lifestyle section for anything from clothing to homewares to tattoos . And finally a new interactive calendar that will keep visitors up to date with what is going on in the UK from screenings , festivals , conventions etc .

The new Facebook group is open https://www.facebook.com/Ukhorrorscene and catch me on twitter @ukhorrorscene .

Finally thank you to everyone for the support not only through The CorpseGrinder blog but also with everything for UKHS. I really do appreciate it .

Andy !!

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The Wicked 2013

Dir Peter Winther   –  100 Minutes

UK DVD release 101 Films

 

A small town in Michigan has it’s very own urban legend . There is an old house hidden away in the woods known as Open Hearth and legend has it that if you throw a rock at the house and it just hits the wood then you are OK , however break a window and *The Wicked* will come for you.

The Wicked starts with a young girl (Amanda) crying in her bed , her mother asks what the problem is and she is told that her daughter went off to Open Hearth with some older kids and she broke the window and now the witch is coming for her. Her mother explains that this is just a story that has been told for generations to scare the local kids and everything will be OK. After closing her daughter’s door and returning to whatever task mothers do , there is a scream and when she returns she finds her daughter has just vanished!!

Now a couple of days later 18 year old Zach (Justin Deeley) and three friends Carter (Chase Maser), Julie (Jess Adams) and Tracy (Jakelyn Gauci) decide that while Zach’s father is away they will all go on a camping trip up into the woods. When they arrive they go nearby to Open Hearth and each throw a rock at the house and one smashes a window. Now they don’t know who smashed it but leave slightly unnerved and go to camp nearby.

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Unbeknownst to Zach , his younger brother Max (Devon Werkheiser) and his friend Samantha (Diana Hopper) have found out about their plans and followed them . They also go the Open Hearth and throw rocks and Max breaks a window , later in the woods they are being followed and Max records a message on his camera just before they disappear . Also where the gang are camping Tracy finds a teddybear that belonged to Amanda (we know this from the missing posters) , so they decide to investigate Open Hearth for signs of the missing girl.

Phew , well that is a brief synopsis of the first 30 minutes or so. Now I must admit The Wicked does sound pretty poor , but I do love a good witch/haunted house movie and this is a bit of both. And I really enjoyed it .

The Wicked is a lot of fun , just don’t take it too seriously as it doesn’t. You have the high school kids up for a dare , the nosy younger brother and his wise-ass friend ,the two dumb and obnoxious police officers and a witch, I mean what more do you want? The house as a set is great and of course surrounded by woods gives it a great feel.

The film feels like an adult version of a Disney story .The story about throwing a rock at the witch house used to be a senior dare at high school until a group of kids went missing 15 years ago. The witch, LaDean LaRene, survived her original witch burning by eating children. Little ones keep her young. Old ones keep her strong. And pretty ones keep her beautiful. And there is also a handy little rhyme that the locals sing – “Season of the Equinox, the witch besets her kill. One less soul the town to know, taken against their will.”

The acting is well above average and the whole story of the urban legend plays out very well , there are some negative points including if only one of the gang broke a window why does the witch hunt them all? Also the ending left me quite disappointed and at 100 minutes this could and really should have come in about 20 minutes lighter. Also a real bugbear of mine is CGI and there is some here and it is not too clever – but that’s me , I like it old school !

However I believe this will polarise viewers , it is the old Marmite adage – you will either love it or hate it. I am definitely in the former , I really enjoyed The Wicked and found it a good old fashioned horror story . It is at times nasty, bloody and scary as hell but the comedic value and lighter moments really round it off nicely.

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Also finally what I also really liked were all the usual horror tropes were here but the cast never adhered to the known rules of what NOT to do in horror films . They had sex , investigated strange noises, split off into groups or individually , summoned the witch , camped in the woods , went into a haunted house etc etc .  Great stuff .

The Wicked has Magic , Myth and Gore wrapped in a horrific Witches cloak 6/10

 

The Wicked will be released in the UK through 101 Films on DVD & BluRay on  June 10th 2013

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Dead Souls 2012

Dir. Colin Theys   –   92 minutes

UK Distribution – 101 Films

Dead Souls starts in a fairly brutal manner ,it doesn’t pull any punches here. A preacher living at a farmhouse with his wife , teenage daughter, young son and baby boy goes berserk. He kills his wife , daughter and son , and then crucifies them in the barn along with himself , and getting that last nail in is a doozy. But before he died the young son hid the baby boy in the basement and the film then moves forward 17 years to the modern day.

Johnny Petrie (Jesse James) is a mild mannered young man living in New York , he has a very strictly religious mother who keeps Johnny strictly under her thumb. Just after his 18th birthday he finds out he has inherited a farmhouse in Maine, when he questions his mother she collapses and is kept in hospital for observation.

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John takes this opportunity to go to Maine and check out his new property . On arriving , he is met by three young men who threaten him and tell him to leave as he is not wanted. Ignoring their advice John meets up with the solicitor and makes his way to the farmhouse.

When they arrive the solicitor explains to John he is adopted and his family died in an accident when he was tiny , and that the woman he calls mother is in fact his Father’s sister. John then decides he would like to spend some time in the empty (but still fully furnished with photos etc all still intact after 17 years) farmhouse. He hears a few noises and finds that Emma (Magda Apanowicz) is squatting there. They make an unlikely partnership as she helps John find out the truth of his deceased family and the reasons behind their tragedy.

Dead Souls is a well above par haunted house story , the setting of the farmhouse is perfect and the sets are superbly staged. The old creaking floorboards and dated decor lead to a really atmospheric feeling . It is dark , gloomy and when you watch keep your eyes peeled for things lurking in the corners and the background.

The acting is well above par (for the main) and with Bill Moseley & Geraldine Hughes in the cast then you know it is going to be a fun film. The score is continually interesting and keeps the film flowing flawlessly, and the lighting is great throughout.

The film does have a few flaws , especially with some of the storylines (like why was Emma in the house and what is her story?) BUT on the whole this is a good spooky horror film that has more invention than your average flick , it is not just a jump scare type horror but has a good back story and genuinely interesting characters and towards the end things do take some really interesting twists.

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Dead Souls is a genuinely creepy ghost story that will scare , shock and reel you in. A must for all haunted house fans and a really good intro into the genre for the new horror fan , as there are plenty of jumps and scares but very little blood and gore.

A unique and intriguing story that really packs a heavyweight supernatural punch 7/10

Dead Souls is released in the UK by 101films on the 8th July 2013 – well worth checking out!!

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Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity 1987

Dir. Ken Dixon  –  71 Minutes  – Full Moon Productions

UK DVD released by 88 Films

Starring Elizabeth Kaitan, Cindy Beal , Don Scribner , Carl Horner , Brinke Stevens .

Daria (Elizabeth Kaitan) and Tisa (Cindy Beal) are two scantily clad prisoners held in an intergalactic space prison , they manage to escape  by overpowering a couple of quite frankly inept guards and then make their dash for freedom in a stolen shuttle . After realising they are in the back end of nowhere (in the universe that is) the ship picks up a homing beacon and follow it but crash on landing.

Now on a desolate planet the pair meet up with the mysterious Zed (Don Scribner) who allows the girls to stay in his house along with other guests brother and sister Rik (Carl Horner) and Shala (Brinke Stevens) , who also crash landed just days earlier. What happens next is very reminiscent of the 1932 classic The Most Dangerous Game but set in space with sexy slaves and robots.

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This is pure B movie fodder but has a charm and innocence that endears the viewer into 71 minutes of pure fun and total silliness. The walls shake , the robots are hilarious especially in one scene when arguing with each other. Just not a film to take to serious, but a must for any fan of proper women in very little clothing for the main. And if you like your men tall(ish) dark and handsome in very tight leather pants then Zed is for you!!

88 Films have a lovely release here it is very sharp on screen, the sound was spot on and just looked fantastic.

Now I didn’t know the extras when I received the DVD , so after watching Slave Girls I was flicking on to the extras when I saw a special feature of Famous T&A . Now I was in shock as I has this on VHS back in the very early 1990’s , it was purchased from a store in the sale section and I still remember the woman behind the counter questioning my viewing tastes ” Do you really want to buy this erm Famous Tits and Asses”? . And by god I did , and when I returned home I opened it in anticipation only to find the wrong video was in the box.

I never did return to the shop and lived with this for over 20 years. So when I saw on screen Famous T&A I was almost overcome with excitement. And it was the one , the fantastic Sybil Danning introduces 75 minutes of topless and nude scenes from famous actresses with hilarious commentary and some wonderful trailers too.

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Famous T&A was also directed by Ken Dixon which is why it features on the extras. And can I just thank 88 Films for putting an end to my 20+ year wait to see that particular feature.

A great release here by 88 Films as part of their *Grindhouse* collection , they have got a really good selection of straight to video classics and more info is available here .

So it is a lovely release with fantastic extras , making it a much deserved 8/10 !!

FEATURES INCLUDE: ALL REGION CODES, NUMBERED SPINE, FAMOUS T&A (1982) BONUS FILM, ORIGINAL TRAILER, ANIMATED STILLS GALLERY, FULL MOON TRAILER PARK, REVERSIBLE SLEEVE INCORPORATING ORIGINAL ARTWORK, RED CASE

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Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever – 2012

Dir. Calum Waddell  –  75 Minutes

High Rising Productions

Released UK – May 13th through 88 Films

 

I have a love for Slasher films. I was brought up on Slasher films, some of my earliest memories of films are renting videos in the early 1980’s before the whole Video Nasty episode. And the majority of the videos rented were low budget *Slashers* where I would be often drawn in by the amazing cover artwork or simply through schoolboy word of mouth. ” Have you seen The New York Ripper”? and off I would be that evening to the Video shop to try and find it and if not then there was always something else to pick up.

So when a documentary called Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever comes along , you know I will be front and centre especially when I find out my friends at Grimmfest were putting it on at a local theatre ( in a double bill with Scott Spiegel’s great Intruder).

So in essence Slice & Dice has Slasher directors, actors and legends talking about what makes a Slasher film. The Slasher is a film that has many tropes that must be observed , you must never go off alone. You must never try to track down where that creepy noise is coming from and please don’t drink, do drugs or have sex. If you attempt any of these things you will DIE!!

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Slice & Dice features some well known people like Tobe Hooper (TCM , Funhouse) , Eduardo Sanchez (Blair Witch , Lovely Molly) and Scott Spiegel (Hostel, Intruder,2001 Maniacs) but where it really comes into it’s own is with the *lesser known* interviewees . There is the great Fred Olen Ray who has directed over 120 genre films including Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers , or J S Cardone who wrote and directed the 1982 slasher The Slayer, teen actor Cory Feldman (well he did kill Jason) talks with great enthusiasm and star of the film (IMO) Felissa Rose (who starred as Angela in the seminal slasher Sleepaway Camp) who goes into great detail into the perpetrator’s perspective.

What comes across throughout the film is the total love of this much maligned and often scapegoated genre from everyone involved. Slice & Dice really captures the feel of the genre and the editing and pacing of the film leaves you entertained and enthralled throughout.

Slice and Dice is split into 6 sections “How to survive a slasher film”, “The genre’s greatest hits”, “The final girl”, “Making a memorable movie maniac”, “The secret of a good gore gag”, and “The slasher film forever”. This brings the whole discussion into easy bite-sized chunks that will keep non slasher freaks engaged and is a really good base for anyone wanting to learn more.

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Calum Waddell has worked wonders here, he has taken a very niche genre and opened it up to make it very entertaining and very accessible. And in just 75 minutes he has filled it chock full of people who really care and enthuse and it shows in the final product.

I haven’t got room to mention all the contributors here, but they are what makes it work. Yes there is no Romero, Raimi, Campbell, Argento, Craven, Englund, Hodder, Carpenter etc. BUT they are not needed because the contributors here have all been there and done that and I loved every second of their recollections.

For me this was just a joy , I smiled throughout and recalled many great films through the clips. When this is released (with lots of extras I believe) on DVD I will be first in the queue and will return to the film both as a point of reference AND for a purely entertainment perspective. And be sure when I get my hands on the full DVD I will tag a review of the extras on here !

FANtastic 8.5/10

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At the start of Feb I received a copy of I Didn’t Come Here To Die courtesy of Second Sight Films. I had very little knowledge of the film and was totally blown away by a funny , bloody and very clever horror film. After my review (here) I was still fascinated by this wonderful , refreshing take on the Slasher genre , so I contacted the writer/director Bradley Scott Sullivan who kindly agreed to the following interview.

I Didn’t Come Here To Die is your first full length feature , you write and direct it (amongst others) so how did it all come about?

The idea for the movie really came about when I was in a volunteer organization very similar to the one in the film. There were a few more people on our team, and we probably weren’t quite as secluded, but a lot of elements are really close. We really did have one project where we were working on out in the middle of the woods in Vermont, building a summer camp, and working with power tools. In real life nobody died; just a couple of scrapes and bruises. But as someone who’s bit of a hypochondriac, the movie is kind of my overactive imagination playing out some the potential worst-case scenarios that could’ve happened while working on that project. I hope the film just plays more as a perverted “workplace hazards and safety” video, and doesn’t dissuade anyone from signing up for a volunteer program, because it was truly one of the best years of my life. Just be safe, and don’t play with chainsaws!


The cast of IDCHTD are for the main relatively unknown , what was the casting process and did you have people in mind beforehand?

The only person I had in mind beforehand was Travis Scott Newman, who plays the cop that bookends the film. I met him a few years prior when I was in film school. He was the lead and one of my friends shorts that I was the DOP on. I always jokingly referred to him as my low-rent Bruce Campbell, and had always had him in mind for whatever I was going to do as a feature. Everyone else was just through auditions that we held at a coffee shop in Austin. We just posted on a few different websites, and held auditions over the course of two days. We just really lucked out that Austin has such a wealth of great acting talent. 

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The whole vibe from IDCHTD is fun even though it is a bloody feast , was this the case on set and was it a good shoot?

I think it was probably a bit more fun for everyone other than myself. I mean, it was a tough shoot for everybody. We only had seven days to shoot, practically no money, and I had the brilliant idea that we would all actually campout in an attempt to emulate what the characters were going through (FYI: bad idea). I just felt a lot of extra pressure on top of it all, because I felt like this was my one shot to really do something. I thought that if this failed, I was never going to get to make another film. So the fact that everyone was inexperienced (myself included), trying to manage multiple positions on the film, all the gore effects, and only having seven days to shoot it all…it was a bit stressful.

How did you go about getting the funding to do a full length feature?

I had shot the behind-the-scenes footage for a Christmas movie that the producer, Kim Waltrip, was making earlier that year. She asked me to edit together some of my footage to show potential distributors for that movie. She liked what I did, and that turned into cutting a sizzle reel, and that turned into cutting a trailer and some other stuff for them. So by the time I got to the end of all my work on that project, she was asking about what I was up to next. I told her that when I got back to Austin (this was all in California) I was hoping to try to get a horror movie that I wrote off the ground. She asked how much I was thinking of making it for, and when I told her she laughed because it was so little. I thought she was just being polite when she asked me for a copy of the script, but she was sending me emails pretty much every 10 pages saying how much she enjoyed it. I think we were shooting only about a month or month and a half after she first asked for a copy of the script. It all came together really quickly, and I wanted to make sure we had it in the can before anyone could change their mind.

When I saw IDCHTD , I found a huge nod towards Evil Dead and also a lot of slashers from the 70’s & early 80’s . Is this a favourite time and genre of yours?

It’s kind of an in-between thing. While I do love the horror films of the 70’s and 80’s; the first horror films I was really exposed to growing up were 90’s slashers like “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, “Scream”, and “Urban Legend”. I didn’t have any friends that were really interested in horror, and my parents were super-strict about the movies I watched growing up. So I kind of came into the genre little bit later in life. When I was introduced to the “Evil Dead” series, I actually came into it backwards, starting with “Army of Darkness”, then “Evil Dead 2”, and lastly “The Evil Dead”. So the comedy element of them ended up really sticking with me, and the horror came later.

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As an avid fan of slashers , I hate camping. I just cannot sleep in a tent , every shadow makes me worried and I will lie awake all night . Is there anything from horror films that has had a real impact on you?

I’m totally fine with camping, and I’m generally not too worried about being hacked up by madmen, or having my dreams infiltrated by Freddy Krueger. The thing that really makes me turn away from the screen, is when people are cutting things out of themselves. There’s a scene in “The Ruins” where Lauren Ramsey’s character is trying to cut the vines out of her that I just find totally cringe-worthy. Heck, even the scene in the PG-13 rated “A Beautiful Mind”, where Russell Crowe thinks he’s digging a tracking device out of his arm, makes me grit my teeth.

If possible could you name your top 3 films of all time ?

Alien
Children Of Men
Jurassic Park

There is a wicked sense of humour in IDCHTD , but also some shocking moments . Was it difficult to try and find the right mixture of both?

As far as the dialogue went: I think that most people are pretty funny (or at least try to be), especially when around new people, or when thrust into awkward situations. I knew the horror beats that I was going to hit plot-wise, and I just wrote-in how I thought people would talk in between those beats. I don’t like walking out of a film feeling gross, or bad about myself. A movie can be gross, and have terrible things happen to the characters, but it can still be fun to watch. When I walked out of the theater after seeing “Drag Me to Hell”, I had a huge smile across my face. That’s really what I was trying to replicate here. Just a fun, fast horror film that left you with a smile.

As the horror genre develops where do you see it heading through the next decade or so?

It’s so hard to say, because it seems like the trends change every 3 to 4 years. It was the J-horror remake train for a while there, and now we’re on the found-footage kick hardcore. But the movies that inspired those trends, like “The Ring” and “Paranormal Activity” or “The Blair Witch Project” or “Scream” for the 90’s slashers, seem to come out of nowhere and surprise everyone.

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I saw your short Stasche recently and found it hilarious , do you have any plans to maybe expand on that for a full length feature (please) ?

We joked about turning it into a feature when we made it, but everything I could possibly want to do was already done to perfection in “Hot Fuzz”. I’ve got too many other horror ideas to even think about it at the moment, but if I get burnt-out on those, maybe I could always take a break to write a feature about the mustachioed hitman again.

What do you think the secret is of a good Stasche? If I grow one I look like a paedophile rather than a Tom Selleck..

Yeah, if I try to grow something I just look like a hobo or someone’s dad. If I had the answer I’d be doing it myself, but for those who have it, flaunt that beautiful lip spinach!

What are your plans for the future? Anything in the pipeline you can reveal?

Nothing is set up yet. It’s been a full-time thing shepherding this film for the last few years, but now that it’s finally coming out, I’m starting to be able to focus on other ideas. As I don’t have Hollywood banging down my door and throwing scripts my way, it looks like I’m going to have to continue writing for myself. That’s fine; I’m just the World’s slowest typer. So may be a little while, but I don’t have any lack of original ideas.

If you ever do a shoot in the UK can I be an extra?

Absolutely!



Outside of the horror genre are there any other genres you would like to have a go at?

I love science fiction just as much as I love horror, and nothing’s better than a crossover of the two. I still have yet to see a satisfying haunted spaceship movie. So that’s definitely something I’d love to try and tackle someday.

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What was your grounding in film? How and why did you get into it and what maybe would you like to get out of it?

I’ve known I wanted to work in movies since I was 10 or 11-years-old, when I got a book on the making of “Independence Day”, and learned that there were film jobs outside of just the actors on-screen. Nearly everything I learned about film was self-taught. I learned how films are made through behind-the-scenes featurettes on DVDs, and about the intention behind them through the commentary tracks. I taught myself how to shoot and edit by trying to replicate scenes from some of my favorite films. From there, I just tried to follow in the footsteps of what many of my heroes did, which happened to be making a small film on their own. It’s really the only world I know, and I’d just like to continue to deal with issues that interest me in a fun, exciting, and entertaining way.


Many thanks for your time and any last words?

I’m just really excited that people are getting a chance to see the film. I’m pretty sure the 16-year-old, wannabe-filmmaker version of myself would’ve loved this film. If you stay through the credits, you’ll see that there was a ridiculously small amount of people that worked on it. It’s essentially a movie made by a few schlubs in somebody’s backyard. So for it to be getting any kind of release at all is sort of a miracle, but I’m glad that it’s really connecting with some folks, and I hope that it’s inspiring to other low-budget filmmakers. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about it and spread the word!

-Brad

The interview was done in conjunction with Haunted:After Dark digital magazine. Well worth checking out and a special offer of 3 issues for £6.66 now available here .

I Didn’t Come Here To Die is released on DVD by Second Sight Films in the UK  on 15th April 2013.

 

If anyone wants to see an exclusive BIG SCREEN presentation (probably the only time it will) then Grimmfest are showing it in a double bill with Entity at the Stockport Plaza on the 28th March – more info here.

Also Grimm-up-North is having a mini Grimmfest over Easter . They are showing 6 films over 3 nights for 1 cheap price. I Didn’t Come Here To Die is one of them and tickets and info available here – Mini-Grimmfest.

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The Stone Tape (1972) BBC
Dir. Peter Sasdy – 90 Minutes
UK Distribution – 101 Films
DVD Release Date – March 25th 2013 – rated PG
Extras – Full lenth commentary featuring writer Nigel Kneale and film critic Kim Newman.

Starring Michael Bryant, Ian Cuthbertson, Michael Bates and Jane Asher

The Stone Tape is a 1972 BBC production concerning a research team a scientists employed by RYAN Electrics to discover a new permanent storage and recording media , remember this was set in 1972 way before CD’s, DVD’s etc.

The story starts with the team moving into a new large premises named Taskerlands which was built aound 1880 but on the foundations of old Saxon ruins. The team is headed by Peter (Michael Bryant) and also features chief scientist Eddie (Michael Bates) and computer programmer Jill (Jane Asher).

But as they move a problem emerges , this being that the computer storage room hasn’t been started as the workforce has refused to have anything to do with the old room. Later alone in the room Jill sees an apparition of a Victorian maid at the top of the stone steps and the maid covers her eyes and screams , maybe at some unseen terror?

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After hearing this Peter decides to investigate the rooms phenomena by using all the electronic means and scientific methods at his disposal. Despite most of the team seeing and/or hearing things in the room, the equipment fails to pick up anything. Peter then decides that maybe the stones in the room are acting as a recording medium , maybe picking up on extreme emotions. Could this be the new media that they have been searching for or is there something more sinister afoot?

This is a classic BBC production , and 40 years on it still holds up really well. Written by the late, great Nigel Kneale (Quatermass) who was one of the leading lights in the British Sci-fi scene through the late 1950’s through to the mid 1970’s, Nigel always mixed his themes and almost always had a touch of the occult. His writing here is very of it’s time , and has the fusion of the ghosts of the past and the fear of the future technology.

Michael Bryant was a staple of British television for more than 3 decades and here he gives a wonderful performance as Peter, he is a stereotypical 1970’s boss. He is loud , loves his female staff and doesn’t take the word no very well.
Jane Asher is great as Jill , although through fashion and style looks much more than her 26 years here. She plays the part of the psychically sensitive programmer with emotional glee.

Add then add the Hammer director Peter Sasdy (Countess Dracula, Hands of the Ripper & Taste the Blood of Dracula) who produces a very laid back style , with very over the top performances and you have a true winning style.

A lovely classic ghost story with a twist, this is what the BBC did so well and it is lovely to see this again after many years.

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This is a new DVD release from 101 Films and features a fantastic commentary with Kim Newman talking to writer Nigel Kneale. And this is a fascinating insight into this classic, Nigel Kneale has such a lovely recollection of the filming and Kim Newman is superb as he gently leads Nigel into scenes and then lets him recall memories without interrupting and allows Nigel to build pictures of a bygone age of TV and Film.

This is a must for any fan of classic UK television, as well as Hammer, Quatermass etc, and features soundrack and effects by the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

A brilliant release from 101 Films and having seen this 3 times in 2 days, it does require numerous viewings especially at least once with the audio commentary.

For the film PLUS the commentary a sensational 8.5/10

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This Easter Grimm Up North bring you their mini GRIMMFEST AT THE PLAZA – 6 MOVIES, 3 NIGHTS, 1 TICKET.
Either pick up a ticket for each event at £8.00 GO HERE

 

Or save money and buy a multipass for £20.00 all in. This also gets you a free horror movie goodie bag (Details below). This deal is only available direct from the Stockport Plaza box office.
Booking line: 0161 477 7779. Quote ‘Mini Grimmfest offer’.
HORROR MOVIE CLASSICS, MOVIE PREMIERES, Q+As and GIVEAWAYS.
The Three Nights are as follows:

Tuesday 26th March, Stockport Plaza (7.15pm start)

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SLICE AND DICE: THE SLASHER FILM FOREVER

FEATURING AN ALL STAR CAST OF HORROR LEGENDS. Pre release screening.

Ever since Alfred Hitchcock created Psycho in 1960 the story of a weapon-wielding madman – stalking and slaughtering helpless victims – has become a fixture of fear flicks and bludgeoned bombastic box office takings worldwide. Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever takes an often irreverent look at this much-maligned, and frequently misunderstood, genre with commentary from some of the form’s most celebrated filmmakers including Mick Garris (Masters of Horror), Adam Green (Hatchet), Tom Holland (Child’s Play), Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine 3D) and Scott Spiegel (Intruder).

The director and producer team will be with us to offer up some giveaways!

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INTRUDER

FEATURING SAM AND TED RAIMI and BRUCE CAMPBELL

The ex-boyfriend of a check-out girl at a supermarket shows up at closing time to cause trouble. Following a quarrel, he is ejected from the store. That night, the staff stay behind for a stock check, but there is someone else in the building. Someone with murderous intentions.

Probably the last true slasher flick of the ’80?s, written and directed by long-time Sam Raimi, Coen Brothers, and Eli Roth associate, Scott Spiegel from a story by RESERVOIR DOGS and PULP FICTION producer Lawrence Bender, this oft-overlooked genre gem combines a deliciously dark sense of humour, strikingly stylish and inventive camerawork, and some truly eye-popping gore FX, in a truly twisted take on the retail trade.

 

Thursday 28th March, Stockport Plaza (7.15pm start)

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ENTITY (2012)

We are delighted to be hosting the Northwest premiere of Steve Stone’s ENTITY, followed by Q+A with the film makers. ‘How to produce a successful low budget horror movie’.

Starring: Dervla Kirwan, Charlotte Riley and Branko Tomovic

In 1998, 34 unidentified bodies were found in shallow graves in a remote Siberian forest. No official explanation by the Russian authorities was ever offered. In 2010, the mystery attracted the interest of the producers of ‘Darkest Secrets’, a British TV show which revisits the sites of unsolved crimes with a professional psychic whose extraordinary powers may help shed new light on cold cases. A small TV were sent out to Siberia to investigate. Nothing was heard from them again. This is the story of what happened to them…

With its strong use of creepy, location and jarring, unnerving sound design, ENTITY is a master class in sustained, escalating tension, and claustrophobia, with some genuinely dark and disturbing twists.

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I DIDN’T COME HERE TO DIE (2010)

The story of six young volunteers working on a humanitarian project in the woods. Horrific accidents, rash decisions and the unpredictability of human nature leads them all to the same disturbing conclusion. Volunteer work can be a killer.

This is the debut feature for Writer/Director Bradley Scott Sullivan and is a fantastic homage to the great slashers from the 1980’s . Made in 2010 but only now getting a release through the fantastic SecondSight films please read my review here for more info – http://www.thecorpsegrinder.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/i-didnt-come-here-to-die-2010-review

 

Thursday 4th April, Stockport Plaza (7.15pm start)

SCANNERS & THE BROOD

These days, David Cronenberg is a critically-acclaimed director, working with award-winning actors, feted by film festivals and awards bodies around the world. But it wasn’t always so. Back in the 70s and 80s he was very much a cult figure, using the horror genre in radical new ways. We’re delighted to be presenting a couple of cult classics from that period in his career.

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SCANNERS (1981 –  remastered in HD): Troubled psychic Cameron Vale finds himself recruited to help destroy an underground movement of his fellow psychics, or Scanners, headed by he megalomaniac Darryl Revok…Cronenberg’s stark noirish, paranoid science fiction conspiracy thriller about feuding psychics combines sly social commentary about the marginalisation of the politically subversive and the mentally ill with pyrotecnic displays of psychic violence – including the famous exploding head scenes.

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THE BROOD (1979 – Remastered in HD): An estranged husband struggles to discover the exact nature of the therapy being employed on his institutionalised wife by an unconventional doctor. Does it have any connection with a serious of violent attacks in the region that seem to have been carried out by a gang of children. Cronenberg’s reaction to his own divorce and child custody battle is a disturbing, angry allegory about 70s therapy culture, feminist rage, emasculation anxiety, and the traumas of parenthood.

 

 

So that is Easter sorted then. For one price you can see SIX modern and classic films on the fantastic BIG SCREEN at The Stockport Plaza which is a delight to attend. A beautiful art deco building that gives a wonderful atmosphere and superb viewing experience. Drinks can be bought AND enjoyed whilst watching the films in a relaxed adult setting.

Please support the guys and gals at Grimm Up North with their wonderful screenings or its back to Cineworld Stockport with its beautiful 1990’s breezeblock exterior and feet stuck to the floor ambience .

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Bloodstone – Subspecies 2  (1993)

Dir. Ted Nicolaou  – 83 Minutes

Starring – Anders Hove, Denise Duff, Kevin Spirtas, Melanie Shatner, Pamela Gordon, Michael Denish, Ion Haiduc.

Full Moon Productions

UK Distribution – 88 Films

Following immediately on from the first Subspecies, Radu (Anders Hove) is brought back to life (well undead) with a little help from his little demon friends. Radu is peeved and sets out for revenge and kills his half brother Stephan then sets looking for Michelle (now played by Denise Duff). It is though almost dawn so Radu beds down for the day.

The next evening Michelle awakes and finds Stephan dead and takes the bloodstone from his skeletal fingers and escapes as quick as she can to Bucharest where she phones her sister Rebecca (Melanie Shatner – yes it’s his daughter) and tells her to come save her as she has been bitten (by Radu in first film). Radu follows Michelle to Bucharest intent on retrieving the bloodstone and making Michelle his companion.

The film starts off really well by getting rid of Stephan straight away , he was the weakest link in the first film and this now allows the focus to fall on the fantastic Anders Hove and his majestic OTT performance as the evil , but flawed vampire Radu , son of the now deceased Vampire King.

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The setting of Bucharest is wonderful and the use of shadows to portray Radu’s movement and presence really adds to the gothic feel. This is much more of a real traditional vampire tale, there are injections of humour especially from local Policeman Lt. Marin (Ion Haiduc) but the whole feel of the film is a beautiful lavish Victorian vampire tale set in early 90’s post communist Romania.

Denise Duff is superb as Michelle, she gives a fantastic performance as Michelle who is fighting her urges and desires as she is slowly turning into a vampire. After leaving the hotel she finds a home in the costume department of the local opera house and so has some lovely gypsy style costumes to wear and finds a beautiful glass coffin to sleep in.

Radu also comes across at first as the evil vampire but later as he has a reunion with his evil skeletal witch of a mother, he starts to act and feel more *human* , he admits his love for Michelle and also calls his mother “Mummy”. Radu explains that he is lonely and wants love and companionship , his mother says “kill her”. Fantastic parenting skills there.

All the cast act and interact superbly, Melanie Shatner is great as Rebecca and Michael Denish gives a humour filled performance as the slightly forgetful , palinka loving Professor Nicolai Popescu.

A real treat and a proper vampire film, no sparkle and teens here. Its the dark shadows of Bucharest and the longing for love and companionship from a creature that could live forever.

A sadly often  overlooked vampire film, but a true classic of the genre. Watch them in order if you can but this stands fine alone too.  Fang you Full Moon and 88 Films for this beautifully sharp, crisp and bloody release  8/10.

Subspecies 2 : Bloodstone is released on DVD & BluRay by 88 Films in the UK on March 18th .

Extras: Cast and Crew Interviews / Killer Montage / Videozone / Trailer

Visit 88 films great site for information on their current and upcoming releases – www.88films.co.uk

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Subspecies (1991)

Dir. Ted Nicolaou

Full Moon Entertainment

UK Distribution – 88 Films

Three female students visit Pledmar in Transylvania to stay at the historic fortress and study the local folklore. They learn about the local history and find out that 500 years ago local peasants were under siege in the fortress from Turks and when their food and water ran out the peasants ventured out to find the Turks have fled and those left are dead with their throats torn.

Back to modern day and King Vladislav (Angus Scrimm) head of the vampires is killed by his son Radu (Anders Hove) who steals the holy grail of vampires the bloodstone , which according to legend bleeds the blood of saints and was a present to the King Vampire after the siege ended . Vladislav’s son and Radu’s half brother Stephan (Michael Watson) is also in town and so begins a fight for power and the bloodstone.

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This is Full Moon at their imperious best, it is low budget but a great story and fabulous scenery make this a great proper vampire film.

The effects are pretty laughable at times , at the start we see Radu trapped by his father snap four fingers off which turn in to little demons , or the titles Subspecies. But the effects just add to the love which Full Moon make their films with, it is whats expected and always raise a smile.

The scene of the local festival is well done using locals wearing masks in the graveyard. And the use of real scenery and buildings make Subspecies aesthetically lovely and really easy to watch.

The story is a great traditional vampire film with no sparkle and teenage angst in sight. Some good acting , stunning sets and the odd boob make Subspecies a great amount of fun and a film that can be returned to again.

The DVD quality is super sharp and the some nice extras included too.

Extras: Cast and crew interviews / Killer Montage / Videozone / Trailer / Audio commentary

Full Moon full steam ahead  7.5/10

Subspecies is released by 88 Films on March 18th in the UK on DVD & BluRay .

And check out their great site – http://www.88films.co.uk

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