Monday, October 31, 2011

From my zine review....

MY Top 5 Halloween Films

All set at Halloween, of course!

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton’s fantastic animated film about a pumpkin king who tires of Halloween and brings horrors to children on Christmas day is perfect for all the family to enjoy, and what better time to watch it than in the months between Halloween and Christmas Day? It has become a cult classic, and one of Burton’s most loved films, it also boasts a killer soundtrack... 

4. Donnie Darko
Richard Kelly’s debut stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an odd boy who receives visions of a creepy Giant Rabbit named Frank in the 28 days leading up to Halloween, on which day, according to Frank, the world will end. This one may take a few watches to fully understand but it remains a favourite with critics. Watch out for clips of the Evil Dead while Donnie is in the cinema, another cult horror favourite suitable for a successfully spooky Fright Night.

3. Hocus Pocus
Bette Midler stars in this Family favourite about a group of three witches mistakenly brought back to life and raising havoc on a Salem. A young Jessica Parker and a very young Thora Birch co-star in this fantastical adventure completely suitable for kids, believe me I was one on its first release! Plus, how unbelievably frickin cool is this guys make up?? (see above!)

2. Trick ‘R Treat
The Halloween horror film version of Love Actually, minus the romance... need I say more? Stars Anna Paquin of True Blood fame and is a genuinely creepy watch. Creepy kid with a sack over his head and a knife? Yeah I thought you'd be shitting your pants too.

1. Halloween
I couldn’t miss out the classic John Carpenter slasher film, the perfect end to a Halloween Horror Movie Marathon. Who knew a Captain Kirk mask could be so unbelievabley creepy?!

Coming soon!
The 3D remake of Fright Night starring Colin Farrell was released last month, and soon to come is Guillermo del Toro’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, yet another horror movie remake although this one promises to be a good don’t expect it to live up to the original. Also coming soon is the unnecessary reimagining of John Carpenter’s The Thing, needless to say I will still be seeing it...
If none of the above take your fancy why not rent something a little darker this Halloween? Here’s a few DVD releases that will get your skin crawling...

John Carpenter’s The Ward
Creepy ghost story from the legendary John Carpenter, his first full length feature film for ten years.

Scream 4
The fourth instalment of the popular tongue and cheek slasher trilogy sees David Arquette and Courtney Cox reunited on screen.

Supernatural Complete Season 6
Everyone’s favourite demon hunters return for a sixth season on DVD just as season 7 airs in the USA.

Brilliantly bleak vampire post apocalyptic horror, definitely worth a watch.

George A Romero Presents Deadtime Stories Vol. 1
Three 30 minute horror flicks from the Zombie master himself.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Horror Hall of Fame!

While on vacation in Ontario I came across a hidden gem of a movie theatre full of all sorts of movie related memorabilia! At the back of the theatre was a monster movie hall of fame game, can you guess all the movies represented? Here are a few of my favourites!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Stake Land (2010)

Director:  Jim Mickle
Country:  USA
Tagline:  The most dangerous thing is to be alive
Plot:  America is transformed into an apocalyptic wasteland inhabited by vampires and sadistic cults. A world  Richard Matheson envisioned in his novel, I am Legend back in 1954, Stake Land is a film he would have been proud to write.
Verdict: Stake Land is not for the faint of heart, it is a truly harrowing interpretation of a world consumed by sin. The world in which Martin and Mister live is inhabited by zombie-like vampires, but they aren't even the most dangerous creatures - a cult of white supremist, sadists control much of the north of America. Stakeland isn't everybody's cup of tea, and it certainly isn't anything like the previous run of zombie apocalypse or indeed vampire flicks plastered all over the big screen. The film is a horror, a drama, and a genuinely thought provoking film with brilliant direction and a superb cast of relative unknowns (Kelly McGillis hasn't been well known since the 80's, and Danielle Harris isn't a house hold name unless you are a uber movie geek like me!)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fright Night (1985)

Director: Tom Holland
Country:  USA
Tagline:  There are good reasons to be afraid of the dark
Plot:  Horror obsessed Charley believes his new neighbour is a vampire, thing is.. nobody believes him.
Verdict: A cult movie classic, this one has every 80's horror staple. Charley's neighbour of course turns out to be a vamp who kidnaps his girlfriend in true Dracula style, 'glamouring' her into dancing with him and then turning her into an ugly vampire creature, whose hair miraculously grows while vampified and shrinks again when Charley comes to the rescue with Van Helsing, nay Peter Vincent. Basically it is a Dracula tale without most of the sexism (it's still the 80's) and less of the accents. A fun night is to be had watching it, but not a frightening one.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Flight of the Living Dead - Outbreak on a Plane (2007)

Director:  Scott Thomas
Country:  USA
Tagline:  Un-dead at 30000 Feet
Plot:  Some scientists bring an infected colleague onto a plane and all hell breaks loose, literally.
Verdict:  This is another Romero influenced spoof, originally named ‘Plane Dead’, a name they should have, in my opinion, stuck with. It’s full of gore and bad acting, and a whole load of irritating characters you can’t wait to see ripped apart by zombies. It’s in short, Snakes on a Plane with zombies; and yes, it is actually better than Snakes on a Plane, but that’s not hard, is it? It’s easy to watch (well, if you enjoy watching bloody violence, as I do) and a brilliant laugh,  definitely a cult film in the making. If you are a fan of tongue and cheek zombie flicks it’s worth a watch or if you need something to shove on while you are playing drinking games... that’s a thought... you could definitely create a drinking game around this, how about every time a zombie gets shot? Yeah so it’s not going to win awards, okay maybe a Razzie... but I sure as hell enjoyed my plane ride with the dead!

Demons (1985) a.k.a. Dèmoni

Director: Lamberto Bava

Producer: Dario Argento

Country: Italy (why of course)

Tagline: They will make cemeteries their cathedrals and the cities will be your tombs.

Plot: A bunch of people get stuck inside a cinema (Metropol) with a whole load of ‘demons’, and are desperately trying to escape before turning into one of them.

In the great tradition of so-bad-it’s-good horror movies what makes this film so awesome is it’s brilliantly simple horror plot. It is packed full of brilliant make up sfx and boasts a heavy metal soundtrack with the likes of Motley Crue and Billy Idol. As in all horror some of the characters are sympathetic and some you severely hope die in the first ten minutes -  the irritatingly pathetic girl (who stupidly brings her friends to the cinema in the first place), the heroic tough guy, the ill-fated punks, the misogynistic pimp, the blind guy, the unlikely hero... you get the picture. It also leaves you desperate (or not...) for more, who was the creepy guy with half a metal face? What’s the mask all about? How did the demons escape the cinema and populate the entire city in the time that it took only few humans to escape? If all those questions and a overly sufficient helping of gore don’t leave you gagging for Demons 2, I don’t know what will.