Tuesday, 31 January 2012

30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010)


When I first saw the TV spots for ’30 Days of Night’ in 2007 my first impression was that it was a good time vampire horror in the vein of the beer and pizza flick ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ (1996). Not being an avid comic book reader, I knew nothing of the original source material of the graphic novel. If I had of read it before watching the movie though it would have spoiled the huge surprise that was in store for me.

Monday, 30 January 2012

A Serbian Film (2010)


Provoke v. deliberately anger; cause (an adverse reaction). - Provocation n. - provocative adj. [Collins Gem English Dictionary].

The aftermath of my first viewing of ‘A Serbian Film’ was such an angry stir in my emotions caused by having witnessed the devastating ruining of a good man, his beautiful wife and their little cherub son. This is something writer Aleksandar Radivojevic and director Srđan Spasojević sets up so well. They let us into the home of this three unit family depicting nothing but the warmth and happiness of love between husband, wife and son only for it to be completely destroyed in the most depraved, sick and twisted way imaginable in the movie’s climax. One man’s huge risk in getting involved in something he is completely in the dark about to provide a financially comfortable future for the family he loves so dearly to get them out of their drab lives in Serbia results in their sacrifice and their heart breaking, tragic, complete and utter destruction.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Human Centipede [First Sequence] (2010)


When I first read about the original Human Centipede film in 2009 the concept deeply unnerved me, and so did the promotional screenshots that I saw. I had not seen the movie yet but burned into my memory I could just not get it out of my mind. Something escalated by clips and trailers later on. After seeing enough of the body horror from directors David Cronenberg and Takashi Miike, why was this feature of the same ilk written and directed by Dutch avant-garde artist Tom Six burrowing so deep under my skin even though I had yet to see the dam thing? I think it was the surgical stitching of mouth to anus, which made me shudder so. A year later and I finally saw the film that had stayed with me since I came across that first piece of news about it. After three viewings now, unlike not seeing it I am not as disturbed especially compared to the recently released sequel ‘The Human Centipede II [Full Sequence]' (2011).

Friday, 27 January 2012

Piranha (2010) - A 2D Review and a Rant About Post-Conversion 3D


Tits and arses tits and arses tits and arses and a little bit of bush! Oh sorry, yeah right this is a review of ‘Piranha’ (2010) and not of ‘Piranha 3D’ (2010) the remake of the Roger Corman produced and Joe Dante directed original from 1978. I am a British expat living in Thailand and I had the good fortune to go see this movie upon its release in how it was actually filmed due to a wide 2D distribution here. I did not have to be ripped off by the studio that was too cheap to do it properly by actually shooting it in 3D. Dimension you are as the Thais would say “Cheap Charlies”.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996) - Hell on Earth, How to Sabotage a Good Sequel and the Ruining of a Horror Franchise


I am such a fan of Clive Barker’s ‘Hellraiser’ (1987) and its Peter Atkins scripted sequel ‘Hellbound: Hellraiser II’ (1988). They are original, intelligent, well-written pieces of nightmarish exploration in morality and sadomasochism. I wore out my VHS copies of the films due to my religious watching. However, none of the later instalments in the series would garner such fanatical viewing from me. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The New York Ripper (1982)


Giallo mystery thrillers that employ prolonged murder sequences entailing graphic depictions of the victims’ demises and an excessive amount of young female nudity and sexually explicit imagery are one of the main innovators of the slasher film. A prime example of this is Sean S. Cunningham’s successful borrowing from Mario Bava’s excellent 1970 giallo/slasher prototype ‘A Bay of Blood’ ten years after its release with the effective Friday the 13th as it slashed its way through box office receipts igniting the slasher boom of the early ‘80s. The encapsulation of its giallo-esque atmosphere that would transcend through to its first three sequels, SFX maestro Tom Savini’s excellent work creating the blood-drenched set-pieces and supplemented with boobs and nookie cemented this Italian genre as a prime stylistic influence on this American horror sub-genre.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Dark Ride (2006)


I was rummaging about in a bargain bin in the DVD section of my local supermarket when I had the misfortune of coming across this shitfest. Always my Achilles' heel I will for damn sure pick up slashers in the hope of getting cheap thrills from a decent slash and hack fest. It is a matter of nostalgia looking for a good slasherthon due to my fond memories of the gory early 80’s golden age. Although not in most cases, the more creative of sub-genres there are some entertaining good times in this exploitation cinema. 

Friday, 20 January 2012

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)


After Platinum Dunes gave two other famous horror icons a makeover - Leatherface in the ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (2003) and Jason Voorhees in ‘Friday The 13th’ (2009) - they then gave Freddy Krueger a sharpening of his infamous steel claws. Unlike those mediocre efforts of mixed results that were at least passable entertainment, this is just a disappointing load of incompetent decisions made by people who just do not have an understanding of the horror genre.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) - The Franchise Started Here


‘Friday the 13th’ (1980) ushered in the glory gory days of the slasher film’s golden age of the early '80s. It was made purely to cash in on the success of John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ (1978) and was the introduction to a slew of graphic nasties of this 1980 to 1984 period eating up box office receipts with much gusto. Independently shot on a budget of just $550,000 and picked up by Paramount for its domestic release (Warner Bros. distributed it internationally) it became the first major Hollywood studio release of its kind as it is essentially a bloodthirsty exploitation movie that would have more commonly taken a residency on the grindhouse circuit. It became a phenomenal instant hit unlike 'Halloween' which was gradually released in other territories until the tail end of 1979 raking in the profits whereas 'Friday the 13th' had a more traditional Hollywood distribution. It made a massive $39.7 million at the American box office and a further $20 million worldwide. With the slasher craze now in full force with other studios picking up other independently produced entries into the sub-genre and giving low-budgets to production companies to go out and make the guaranteed cash cows that emptied the pockets of the geek show crowds' craving the mass amounts of bloodletting it was time for an immediate sequel.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Frozen (2010)


Director Adam Green showed versatility here by moving from one sub-genre of horror to another. His directorial debut ‘Hatchet’ (2007) and its sequel ‘Hatchet II’ (2010) were his bloody comedic homages to the slasher film. During the time between those movies, we had the minimalist survival terror of ‘Frozen’. It is a bleak suspenseful tense tale of a skiing weekend gone tragically wrong.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Paranormal Activity (2009)


For my first viewing of ‘Paranormal Activity’, I approached it with much caution due to being very weary of the hype machine that fuelled its release. I did not want the promise of much to sucker me in while there was the huge possibility of an overrated disappointment. I wanted to try to keep an open mind and not go into it with high expectations or neither being adamant that it was not going to scare me. I did not want to do the filmmakers a disservice. In order to have a non-biases view I tried my very best to ignore all the movie’s massive publicity and pretend that what I was watching was a little known obscure feature that I had just discovered.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Crazies (2010)


'The Crazies’ is a prime example of a remake done right. It is very faithful to George A. Romero’s film of 1973 but at the same time, it is very much its own movie. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Evil Dead (1981): Video Nasties, Misspent Youth and the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Horror


It was the summer of 1992, during my school holidays, when I first saw “the ultimate experience in grueling horror.” About nine and a half years had gone by since Sam Raimi’s ‘The Evil Dead’ had its first British cinema release in 1982. It had also been nine years since it was one of the first films to get a ‘video nasty’ label in the United Kingdom.