Wednesday, 20 July 2011

This has to be a first for me, a film starring Peter Cushing that I didn’t enjoy. But I have read that Cushing counted it as one of the worst films he appeared in, so I shouldn’t really be surprised. Cushing shines head and shoulders above the rest of the cast but that is not hard with this bunch. "The Blood Beast Terror" is a truly frightful travesty of a film. The plot about gigantic vampire moths although ludicrous, is fine for a horror film. It’s just a shame that the makers clearly had no idea what to do. This is made apparent by the way the film struggles to fill out its 80 minute run time. It is padded out with over long drawn-out shots before a cut-a-away. Mind numbing dialogue that is pointless to the plot. A good five minutes is even taken up by the meaningless scene of a group of students putting on a play for the master of the house. But the most unintelligent bit of film padding is when Cushing’s Detective character discovers a cellar full of human skeletons. He then takes off his jacket to brush off the cobwebs, and then puts it back on before going to inform someone. It would be comical if it wasn’t so bad. A big disappointment from a film studio that in the same year released one of the greatest horrors ever `The Witchfinder General' starring Vincent Price.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die

So last Christmas my wife bought me a book called 101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die. As a big horror buff I had watched many of the films on the list but I was annoyed that I had been missing out on many classics. I set myself the challenge of watching all 101 films by the end of the year. Not that I have any plans on dying soon or anything but more to see if I could. After an amazing start to the year, I was soon well on the way to completing my goal extremely early. Sadly I soon stopped watching films from the list at the pace I started. And before I knew it, it was December and I had fourteen films left to watch. But with some late nights and my wife kicking my ass and making me watch a film from the list rather than playing on the PS3 or flicking through the Sky channels to find something to watch. I’m pleased to announce that on 27/12/10 I completed my list and have now watched all 101 horror films. I have enjoyed some great films that I wished I had watched years ago. The Golem, The Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Old Dark House, Black Sunday, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Nosferatu the Vampyre, The Hunger and A Tale of Two Sisters. These are some amazing horror films. Sadly like all good lists I had to sit through some real turkeys. Diabolique, Cat People, The Innocents, Peeping Tom, Repulsion, Hour of the Wolf, Blacula and The Others. Considered as classics? You must be joking. I am very pleased I have completed my challenge. Now I’m going to have to find another list of films to do in 2011
1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
2. The Golem (1920)
3. Häxan (1922)
4. Nosferatu (1922)
5. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
6. Dracula (1931)
7. M (1931)
8. Frankenstein (1931)
9. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
10. Vampyr (1932)
11. Freaks (1932)
12. White Zombie (1932)
13. The Old Dark House (1932)
14. Island of Lost Souls (1932)
15. King Kong (1933)
16. The Black Cat (1934)
17. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
18. The Wolf Man (1941)
19. Cat People (1942)
20. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
21. Diabolique (1955)
22. The Bad Seed (1956)
23. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
24. The Horror of Dracula (1958)
25. The Tingler (1959)
26. Eyes Without a Face (1959)
27. Peeping Tom (1960)
28. Black Sunday (1960)
29. Psycho (1960)
30. The Innocents (1961)
31. Carnival of Souls (1962)
32. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
33. The Haunting (1963)
34. The Birds (1963)
35. Onibaba (1964)
36. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
37. Repulsion (1965)
38. Viy (1967)
39. Hour of the Wolf (1968)
40. The Devil Rides Out (1968)
41. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
42. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
43. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
44. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
45. Daughters of Darkness (1971)
46. Blacula (1972)
47. The Last House on the Left (1972)
48. The Exorcist (1973)
49. The Wicker Man (1973)
50. Don't Look Now (1973)
51. Deathdream (1974)
52. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
53. Deep Red (1975)
54. Jaws (1975)
55. The Omen (1976)
56. Carrie (1976)
57. Eraserhead (1977)
58. Suspiria (1977)
59. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
60. Halloween (1978)
61. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
62. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
63. Phantasm (1979)
64. The Brood (1979)
65. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
66. Dressed to Kill (1980)
67. Friday the 13th (1980)
68. The Shining (1980)
69. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
70. The Howling (1981)
71. The Beyond (1981)
72. Poltergeist (1982)
73. The Hunger (1983)
74. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
75. Re-Animator (1985)
76. The Fly (1986)
77. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
78. A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
79. Hellraiser (1987)
80. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
81. The Vanishing (1988)
82. Jacob's Ladder (1990)
83. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
84. Man Bites Dog (1991)
85. Candyman (1992)
86. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
87. Cemetery Man (1994)
88. Scream (1996)
89. Ringu (1998)
90. Audition (1999)
91. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
92. The Sixth Sense (1999)
93. The Devil's Backbone (2001)
94. The Others (2001)
95. 28 Days Later (2002)
96. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
97. High Tension (2003)
98. Ju-on (2003)
99. Saw (2004)
100. The Descent (2005)
101. The Orphanage (2007)

Monday, 13 December 2010

Raine Brown Tribute

This is my tribute to the amazing actress Raine Brown.
Find out more about Raine at

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Tortured

With the tag line "From the producers of the Saw" splashed all over the DVD front cover. It is clear that the makers of this film were trying to attract the torture porn crowd. I must admit to only watching this because I'm a big fan of Bill Moseley. But sadly yet again Moseley's acting talent is wasted. This had the pretence to be a really deep and meaningful psychological thriller. If it had a totally different cast that is. The story revolves around a couple whose young son is kidnapped and murdered by a paedophile (played by Moseley) and after a deal with the DA he subsequently gets a rather lenient prison sentence. So the couple come up with the plan to kidnap him and take revenge. After conveniently knowing when Moseley's character is being transferred from prison they easily get to him and take him off to a house in the woods for some torture. You are supposed to believe and feel the hurt and torment that the couple are going through after the murder of their son. I'm sorry but Jesse Metcalfe and his blinding white teeth just don't work for me. His acting is abysmal and at no time is he convincing. Erika Christensen does okay with her role as the grieving mother. But it never rises above TV series acting. Over syrupy flashbacks are laughable and sadly the set up for the shock twist ending is clear very early on and takes away any suspense from the film. But okay a torture porn film doesn't really need a believable plot. Yes it's true but the film never delivers on its promise of gore or torture. Most the film time is taken up with talk by the couple about all the horrible things they are going to do to their victim. But they never live up to the talk. Horror/thriller fans will be bored and torture porn fans will feel short changed. I'm just left with the feeling of what an awesome film this could have been.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction

Yet another Zombie comedy, only this time with a "political" message. The set-up is standard Zombie fare. A small redneck town have to deal with a Zombie outbreak. But the town folk are convinced that the outbreak is due to a terrorist attack. So that doesn't bode well for the main female lead Frida, who happens to be an American- Iranian. She is soon being held responsible for the plague by a racist hick father who attempts to interrogate her for answers. This is clearly a jibe at the ignorance that some Americans hold since 9/11. I enjoyed the running gag of the fact that Frida and her father are continually mistaken for Iraqi, just because of the war. The other standout characters are a gay couple from New York who also not only have to deal with the outbreak but a group of homophobic church goers too. At one point during being hold up in the local church the preacher attempts to rid the gay out of the couple by using the anti-gay chair. (A wheelchair, an IV drip and what the preacher classes as homoerotic images) I found the gore levels and FX to be top-notch and it is shot very well for a low-budget film. I was a little confused by the weird ending and although the comedy aspect of ZMD nowhere near reaches the heights of Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland. It is still thoroughly entertaining and miles ahead of other resent low-budget Zombie flicks

Saw 3D

Game over? So this is the "last" film in the Saw franchise. I had thought that part five was the death of Saw. But part six really injected some energy into the franchise. So I had really high hopes going into to this. Sadly all the hard work of part six is completely undone again. As this was the last film I was expecting the final game to focus on someone moderately more connected to the previous saw films. And seeing the return of Cary Elwes as Dr. Gordon thought it would centre on him more. Although he has an essential part to play in the film it's nothing more than a cameo. Instead a completely new character plays the game this time round. I will not divulge why, as not to spoil the surprise. Needless to say the film ticks all the saw boxes, traps, plot twists, blood, guts and lashings of gore. But while there are plenty of traps on display, none of them are to the standard of previous efforts. I was glad that the Hoffman and Jill Tuck story continued. (Complete with a shocking outcome) because Detective Hoffman for me is still one of the best movie baddies of recent years. The film did end on what seems like a proper ending. Things seemed to be wrapped up nicely. But the biggest question I was left wondering was why the 3D or should i say where was the 3D? To say there is a lack of 3D elements in this film would be an understatement. I was really let down by how no effort was made. Nothing new, just a couple of cheap tricks that were used in countless 80's 3D films. It was so very clear that the 3D was an afterthought when making this film. Though not the best offering, it still felt like an appropriate ending to a genre changing franchise. But when I say ending I really wouldn't be surprised if next Halloween Saw eight hits the screens. If so please not 3D or at least make an effort.

Don't Answer the Phone

This film is without doubt pure exploitation. A deeply disturbed photographer and Vietnam veteran terrorizes and kills young women while taunting a female psychologist, by calling her on a radio call-in show. I know I shouldn't have really enjoyed this sleazy film so much but it's just so entertaining. Despite some rather graphic misogynistic violence there are genuine moments of humour. The two lead detectives play most their scenes for laughs, a bust on a brothel had me thinking the film had changed into a slapstick comedy. We are treated to some cheesy montages complete with a soundtrack ripped right from a 70?s porno. And acting and dialogue that borderlines on the absurd. Nicholas Worth's performance as the troubled killer is totally over the top. Some of the scenes of him talking into a mirror or to his "father" are creepy and hilarious at the same time. But for some reason this just adds to the appeal of the film. Apart from some moments of raciest dialogue, that dates the film a little and a somewhat lacklustre ending. I enjoyed every sordid minute. This is exploitation at its best.