Sunday, 25 September 2022

When the Screaming Starts (2021)



"Great British Horror Comedy"


One of my favourite films from Frightfest 2021 is getting a digital release from Signature Entertainment. 



Aidan (Ed Hartland) who also co-wrote this with director Conor Boru) has aspirations to be a serial killer but he hasn't actually murdered anyone yet. Norman Graysmith (Jared Rogers) is a documentary film-maker currently living in a camper van who is desperate for a subject. When Norman starts filming Aidan's life story it's the spur Aidan needs to put together his Family ("Like the Mansons but not racist"). 



After a series of interviews Aidan finally has his eccentric band of misfits which include an ex-con, psychotic twins who have joined "for the orgies", an ex public schoolgirl who keeps the housemistress responsible for her dismissal locked in a cupboard in her gothic home, and a prospective yoga student who speaks no English and is there by mistake. It's when the gang go on their first mass murder spree that power struggles begin to develop that threaten to not just break the group up but leave Norman without a film. 



WHEN THE SCREAMING STARTS does a very good job of getting its mix of comedy and horror right, with the film starting off silly and getting gradually darker, with the result that later killings have all the more punch. It's all riotous fun, delightfully and eccentrically performed, and all slickly put together. You won't see a better British horror comedy all year. Let's have a trailer:



WHEN THE SCREAMING STARTS is out on digital platforms from Signature Entertainment on Monday 26th September 2022


Saturday, 24 September 2022

Jeepers Creepers Reborn (2022)



"Low Budget Horror Reboot. Er...That's It"


"Didn't they make three films about it?" a character says close to the beginning of director Timo IRON SKY Vuorensola's latest movie, doing its best to distance it, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD-style, from previous films featuring the same character, an anthropoid flying monster in a big coat and hat who chases people using a battered old truck.



There's a grungier, more folk-horror feel to the creature in this one, dragging itself, semi-formed, from the depths of a ruined building, feasting on worms in order to put flesh on its bones and keen, it would seem, to have an heir - hence the title.



There's no Creeper sex in JEEPERS CREEPERS REBORN, by the way, in case you're now expecting it. Instead we follow newly pregnant Laine (Sydney Craven from Eastenders) and her unknowing boyfriend Chase (Imran Adams from Hollyoaks) as the attend the 'Horror Hound' convention, win a ticket to an escape room / ex-haunted house of the Creeper, and have to save themselves from being clawed up and eaten. 



JEEPERS CREEPERS REBORN has suffered a spate of bad reviews, and while it's not completely terrible (the Creeper resurrection at the beginning isn't at all bad), the sequence at the festival does become rather interminable, and this may be the film with the most use of green screen to be seen in cinemas this year. The film's exteriors were filmed in the US and interiors at the Black Hangar Studios in Alton in the UK, which might even be why the final act feels like an amusement park ride. There's not much of the humour seen in IRON SKY but fans will be pleased with the off the cuff bit of dialogue referencing the director's debut feature. Anyway, here's the trailer:





Timo Vuorensola's JEEPERS CREEPERS REBORN is getting a cinema release on Saturday 24th September followed by 

Digital, Blu-ray and DVD releases on 

Monday 10th October 2022

Friday, 23 September 2022

Eurotrash (1993 - 2004)

 


"A Great Big Package of Brightly Coloured Trashy Nostalgia"


By 1990 Channel 4 had worked out that, rather than a subtitled art film or even something with a little red triangle in the top right hand corner to indicate 'special discretion advised', what the post-pub Friday night crowd really wanted more than anything was brightly coloured soundbite-sized doses of lurid and frequently titillating material. Initially this was achieved with Charlie Parsons' frequently embarrassing 'The Word'. A couple of years later the rather better made, slightly more tasteful and infinitely more entertaining Eurotrash hit the screens.



Conceived by Peter Stuart, who oversaw the show during its entire run, and hosted by Antoine De Caunes (already known to UK audiences for the BBC2 series Rapido) and French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier (who departed after the sixth series), Eurotrash was ostensibly a cultural magazine programme highlighting the more outré (ie entertaining) aspects of European culture. It lasted for eleven years and now it can be revisited in all its brightly coloured, brain-frying, taste-challenging glory as Network releases the entire run in a single, massive box set.



Watching it now, it's surprising to realise that, amongst the pieces on a man dressed as a smurf trying to get thrown out of Disneyland, the disastrous BBC TV soap 'Eldorado' scene recreators club and pubic hairdressers, you also get interviews with Paul Verhoeven (talking about BASIC INSTINCT and his next exciting and secret project which of course turned out to be SHOWGIRLS), Sylvia Kristel and Kim Newman talking about the EMMANUELLE films, a 22 year old Charlotte Gainsbourg  talking about THE CEMENT GARDEN, and Tinto Brass waxing lyrical on the female bottom. There are also decent pieces on Tom Of Finland, the Leningrad Cowboys and a well-observed piece on 'How to Watch a Jean-Luc Godard Film' followed by a profile of the late director's quite unbelievable KING LEAR. 



Of course it doesn't take long for the show to give the audience what it really wants, including regular appearances by bizarre personalities like Lolo Ferrari and Belgian singer Eddy Wally, regular items like 'Sit On Me' and stories on curious eccentrics like the man who hires out his buttocks to use as a bicycle stand.



Network's box set consists of 20 discs covering all 16 series. Not all were provided for review and it's not clear if the specials are included. There are no extras. 


Network are releasing the Eurotrash Box Set on DVD and on Digital on Monday 26th September 2022

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Strawberry Mansion (2022)



"Excellent, Quirky, Low Budget SF"


Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney's charming and highly creative tale of love in a world of dream taxation and intrusive advertising gets a cinema and digital release from Bulldog.



In 2035 your dreams are taxed, with each item you dream about being assigned a value, and a percentage of that being charged to you. Preble (co-writer and co-director Kentucker Audley) is a dream tax assessor charged with auditing Bella (Penny Fuller) who lives in a remote house in the country. All her dreams are recorded on VHS tape ("around 2000 of them") despite the format having been made illegal for the last seven years. As Preble starts to go through the tapes (and enter Bella's dreams) he starts to received strange messages that seem to suggest his love of fried chicken and fizzy drinks might not be entirely voluntary.



Very low budget and shot on what looks like 16mm, STRAWBERRY MANSION is nevertheless packed with creativity, ranging from imaginative model shots to stop motion animation to some excellent masks. The film's quirky style is reminiscent of the films of French director Michel Gondry while its subject matter will remind fans of classic SF literature of the works of Philip K Dick and also Fred Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth.




The low budget actually adds to the film's appeal. If this had the budget of a Marvel movie it would lose a lot of its charm. It's still worth catching on the big screen, though, if you can - the images and ideas are big even if the budget isn't. In a market still saturated with super hero films, sequels and knock offs, STRAWBERRY MANSION is a tiny gem shining brightly that deserves all the love and support it can get. Here's the trailer:



STRAWBERRY MANSION is out in UK cinemas and on on-demand digital platforms on Friday 16th September 2022

Friday, 2 September 2022

Frightfest Extras

Because there just wasn't time during the festival (or before it) for me to watch all the films made available to me, here a couple of late additions before I climb back into my coffin for a few hours: 


Control



A woman wakes up in a windowless room with vague memories of a trip to the beach with her young daughter. She is compelled by a faceless voice to perform greater and more complex feats of telekinesis  with the threat that if she does not complete them within a particular time frame her daughter will die. After each task she is rendered unconscious. Eventually she is able to escape the room and discover what kind of a place she has been imprisoned in.



CONTROL is directed by James Mark who also made 2019's Frightfest ENHANCED. I said ENHANCED felt like the kind of low-budget superhero picture Empire Pictures might have made in the 1980s, and CONTROL feels very much like an origin story in the same universe. It's actually better than ENHANCED despite having what looks like a lower budget, and as such it's an entertaining time waster for undemanding fans. 


CONTROL will be getting a release on digital platforms from Signature Entertainment on Monday 26th September



Swallowed



        Writer-Director Carter Smith (THE RUINS) returns to the big screen with this noirish tale of smuggling gone horribly wrong. Benjamin (Cooper Koch) is about to leave his sleepy little town to become a gay adult film star in Los Angeles. His best friend Dom (Jose Colon) has an idea to make some money to give Benjamin to help start him off in the big city. 



        Unfortunately that idea involves ingesting a number of small packages for Alice (Jena Malone) so they can be smuggled across the Canadian-US border. The two get to the other side only for Dom to receive a blow to the stomach that causes one of the packages to rupture. Alice isn't pleased and neither is her boss (Mark Patton). The pair are dragged out to a remote shack in the forest where the nature of the bizarre packages is revealed.



SWALLOWED combines noir crime with another genre that might be a spoiler if I was to name it, suffice to say that this is a tense, tight little piece with excellent performances from everyone. Jena Malone is always a welcome sight (and often a mark of quality when it comes to outré cinematic subjects) while Mark Patton, still best known for playing the lead in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2) is quite excellent as a psychopathic murderous version of Joe Exotic. In fact if they ever do the Tiger King biopic he absolutely deserves a crack at the audition.


SWALLOWED will be getting a release from Blue Finch Releasing.



Next Exit



In the near future research scientist Dr Stevensen (Karen Gillan) has proved that there is life after death. This has led to a tremendous rise in both the suicide and the homicide rates, but Stevensen's work is in its infancy. Not all deaths are trackable into the afterlife and she needs more research subjects willing to die to further her work. 



      Two of the research study volunteers are unlikeable Rose (Katie Parker) and affable Teddy (Rahul Kohli). Thrown together at the Charon (oh what a giveaway) car rental agency they end up driving across country together to get to their respective appointments at Dr Stevensen's lab. As they travel we get to witness what Stevensen's discovery has meant for many of the country's inhabitants as well as learning a lot more about Rose and Teddy along the way.



Don't expect NEXT EXIT to go into the details about Dr Stevensen's research as this is essentially a road movie, with Karen Gillan's brief appearance there to get things moving. It's therefore very much a character driven piece, and something of an odyssey as our two leads encounter people from different walks of life (a priest, a cop) as well as individuals from their past. Writer-director Mali Elfman is the daughter of composer Danny Elfman and the niece of Richard Elfman and it looks as if her talent lies in rather more sober works than the man who gave us FORBIDDEN ZONE


NEXT EXIT will be getting a release from Blue Finch Releasing


Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Frightfest 2022 Day Five - Monday

The Ghosts of Monday



A prime slice of way over the top EuroTrash to delight the most obsessive of fans (that will be me, then), GHOSTS OF MONDAY is the biggest surprise of this year's Frightfest. A TV crew arrives at a Cyprus hotel to film a documentary about the 100 people who were poisoned to death there years ago, while hopefully spotting a few ghosts at the same time. They're led by an alcoholic has-been presenter (Julian Sands at his most Julian Sands) and the rest of the team are Attractive Young Things. Scarcely has the story got underway than one of the girls is slashed to death in a glass elevator while her friends converse in the foyer below. It's a scene that's representative of the kind of cinema GHOSTS OF MONDAY actively revels in - it's frankly ludicrous but who cares when it looks this great and is this much fun? And just when you think that the film is presumably a giallo it turns out there's some kind of serpent monster thing living in the basement. Or is there? "You don't understand anything," says a character who is discovered suddenly and inexplicably mummified in some sort of temple under the hotel near the end. By that stage I was nodding at the same time as I was applauding. GHOSTS OF MONDAY is like if Norman J Warren and Jess Franco had a baby. In Cyprus. I loved it. And hopefully now you know if you want to watch it too. 



Burial


World War II drama from writer-director Ben Parker (THE CHAMBER). In 1991 Harriet Walter surprises a home invader and, when it turns out he's a neo-nazi, chains him to the radiator in order to tell him a story about her exploits in 1945. In flashback she's Charlotte Vega (THE LODGERS, the latest WRONG TURN), part of a squad charged at the end of the war with transporting a large human-sized wooden crate that has to be buried at night. The Germans are after the crate and what it contains and are prepared to torture and kill to get it.

BURIAL is a Ffilm Cymru production and is beautifully shot. The scenes of armed combat filmed in lush forest exteriors is reminiscent of John Coquillon's full-blooded photography for WITCHFINDER GENERAL and the RIO BRAVO-style final showdown in a church - Molotov cocktails and all, will remind some of a certain Lucio Fulci zombie picture. The actors do a decent job of fleshing out their roles although Vega does seem to be overstretching herself here, delivering every line with the identical degree of urgency. But BURIAL's not bad at all and on the strength of this and THE CHAMBER Ben Parker's next project should be worth watching as well.


Ben Parker's BURIAL is out on digital from 101 Films on 12 September 2022 (selected platforms) and 26th September 2022 generally


Barbarian



Unable to post review due to embargo restrictions imposed by Disney

Fall



Successful films are often the result of a simple concept done well, and FALL deals with the concept of two girls trapped on a 3 foot by 2 foot square 2000 feet up in the air very well indeed. The two in question are Becky (Grace Fulton) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner), experienced climbers who plan to climb a television mast in the desert, firstly to scatter the ashes of Becky's husband who fell to his death a year ago when the three of them were climbing together, and also to get Becky out of the depression into which she plummeted after. All goes well on the ascent, but when they try to come down the rusting ladder collapses, leaving the two girls stranded and having to rely on their wits both to survive and to work out how to get back down. Director Scott Mann wrings the maximum amount of tension out of the situation, the two leads are charismatic and have a great rapport and for maximum vertigo-inducing effect FALL is a must-see at the cinema. What a great way to end the festival.


Signature Entertainment are releasing FALL exclusively in UK cinemas on Friday 2nd September 2022



Monday, 29 August 2022

Frightfest 2022 Day Four - Sunday

Mastemah


Unsatisfying French horror in which Camille Rezat plays Louise, a terrible psychiatrist whose patients all seem to end up killing themselves while she herself spends much of the runtime under the influence of large quantities of self-administered psychiatric drugs. She works in a similarly poor hospital which seems to have a policy of leaving the windows open on high floors so patients can throw themselves out if they want after her latest bout of failed hypnotherapy. Louise relocates to the country and pretty soon an entire local family is dead of gunshot wounds while she is being visited by a hairy stranger for yet more of her unvalidated treatments. One sincerely hopes MASTEMAH isn't intended as a reflection of the current state of French psychiatric practice. It's also glacially slow and so gloomily photographed the rural area of France to which Louise moves seems to need electric lighting even outside in the middle of the day. If there is a worthwhile story buried in here all the above elements are far too distracting (there's also some of the silliest Latin to grace a horror film I've ever seen) to allow one to get into it.



Incredible But True


Or rather INCROYABLE MAIS VRAI because here's another film from the decidedly peculiar imagination of French writer-director Quentin Dupieux. M. Dupieux's previous films include RUBBER (2009) about a sentient homicidal car tyre, and more recently DEERSKIN (2019) about a man who develops a singularly odd relationship with his supernatural deerskin jacket. In his latest film a couple buy a house where a duct in the cellar leads to a bizarre form of time travel to which the wife becomes addicted with appropriately horrific results. Meanwhile the husband's boss has had a new electronic device fitted in Japan, the misadventures of which are singularly French. INCROYABLE MAIS VRAI has a few too many ideas crammed into its scant 74 minutes, making it the most scattergun and undisciplined of Dupieux's movies. That said if you liked his previous work (and I very much did) there's a lot to enjoy (and laugh uproariously at) here, just don't expect it to go the TIMECRIMES route or for the cat that turns up to have any major significance.


Quentin Dupieux's INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE will be getting a release on the Arrow Academy label.



Wolfkin


Aka My Mother Married A Werewolf, or it would have been if it was a story by the great British writer R Chetwynd-Hayes. Instead WOLFKIN is from Luxembourg and for a country whose horror tradition (if any) is somewhat muted in the eyes of the world this is actually surprisingly good stuff. Single mother Elaine (Louise Manteau) becomes concerned when her ten year old son starts biting his schoolmates. His father deserted the family years ago, Could his parents help explain the boy's behaviour? Only a trip to their splendidly gothic ancestral manor can provide the answer. WOLFKIN is a Frightfest highlight with great acting, directing, and a storyline that's intriguing and well-handled, as are the special effects so if you're a werewolf fan don't worry about having to put up with crappy CGI as the film has its own way of dealing with the curse that afflicts the family.



H4z4rd


If Edgar Wright snorted a bucketload of cocaine and got his similarly chemically enhanced friends to make a fast-paced comedy movie about a heist gone wrong, one involving lots of high speed driving in Belgium accompanied by one of those banging house / dub / trance soundtracks that will endear this to as many as it will likely alienate then H4Z4RD is it. It is very funny and it is very fast paced and while your mileage may vary if this is your sort of thing you will think you've died and gone to heaven



The Ghost Writer


A best-selling writer gets blocked trying to come up with his second novel and moves to the isolated country retreat of his late father in search of inspiration. He finds it in a rolled up manuscript jammed up the kitchen sink and starts to see manifestations of what may be ghosts from his father's past. THE GHOST WRITER feels like a film made by people unfamiliar with a genre whose tropes, twists and turns are so well known to fans that those fans are advised to steer well clear because they'll likely find the whole of this rather hard going. Some of the performanecs are sadly lacking although Andrea Deck as Jane the 1940s-style temptress is spot on and has real presence. Quite why the flashback scenes feel as if they are set in the 1940s is a bit odd as presumably the lead's father would have been active in the 1990s at the earliest but with washed out photography and a meandering ending that's the least of THE GHOST WRITER's problems. 




Sunday, 28 August 2022

Frightfest 2022 Day Three - Saturday

Something in the Dirt


Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead strike again with another enigmatic, thought-provoking drama. A man wakes up in the LA apartment he has just begun renting to discover lots of maths written on the walls and possibly the gateway to another dimension in his closet. Teaming up with his downstairs neighbour to film a documentray on the phenomenon the situation they find themselves uncovering is due to end in tragedy. Like much of B&M's work, there's more concentration on the process (finding mathematical patterns, strange 'coincidences' regarding times and places) rather than the consequence (although we get to that at the end). As such SOMETHING IN THE DIRT is more THE ENDLESS than SYNCHRONIC and is a fascinating film in it own right. Once again they've proved that there are no film-makers out there now who are remotely like them, and for that alone they deserve praise.


They Wait in the Dark


Writer-director (and in this case editor) Patrick Rea (ENCLOSURE, I AM LISA) returns to Frightfest with a piece that mixes a pastoral setting with Grindhouse horror themes. Amy (Sarah McGuire) is on the run with her son Adam (Patrick McGee). She eventually makes it back to her home town, one which harbours a dark secret from her childhood, but perhaps nowhere near as dark as the reason she has had to return there. Pursued by her abusive lover Judith (Laurie Catherine Winkel) who is busy causing as much carnage as she can along the way, the movie culminates at Amy's ancestral home in a final act that turns things on its head and rewards the audience's paying attention to what has gone before. As with his previous work Rea makes evocative use of landscape, with emphasis on the claustrophobia and isolation of horror in the parochial setting, making THEY WAIT IN THE DARK another important addition to his developing oeuvre. 


The Leech




If Dennis Potter had been commissioned to write an episode of My Name Is Earl we might have ended up with something a bit like THE LEECH, probably the most deliciously cynical Christmas movie we'll see this year. Father David (Graham Skipper) takes pity on homeless Terry (Jeremy Gardner) and allows Terry and his girlfriend Lexi (Taylor Zaudtke) to stay with him over Christmas. There's the suspicion that Lexi might be pregnant but as the two turn out to be the guests from hell David has to seriously reconsider the Christian values he has been preaching to his pitifully small flock. What begins as a potential comedy, THE LEECH becomes more uneasy as it goes along, escalating into blood-soaked hysteria by the end. Writer-director Eric Pennycoff manages a nice line in subtext, with this one working on a number of levels for the viewer to either read into if they want, or just enjoy an entertaining, tightly written low budget thrill ride. 


Eric Pennycoff's THE LEECH will be getting a release from Arrow Films



Lola



In the late 1930s two sisters invent a machine that can see into the future. When World War II breaks out they use it to predict bombing raids and consequently save thousands of lives. But their actions have other effects they haven't reckoned with, leading to Germany ultimately winning the war and the face of Europe and the world being changed forever, not just politically but culturally. Andrew Legge's remarkable, prescient and terribly clever film was shot on hand-cranked 16mm using a Bolex camera so expect an extremely grainy black and white film in 4:3 aspect ratio. Expect to be blown away and profoundly moved by this unique movie that also boasts an extremely effective music score by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy. Destined to become a future classic.


Raven's Hollow



1830. Military cadet Edgar Allan Poe and his fellow soldiers-to-be are on manoeuvres in upstate New York when they come across a dying man strapped to a wooden framework in the wilderness. They take his body to the nearest town, the Raven's Hollow of the title, where everyone behaves shiftily and it soon becomes apparent to Edgar that something's Not Right. RAVEN'S HOLLOW boasts good photography in nicely atmospheric standing sets (in Latvia, apparently), excellent supporting performances from Kate Dickie and David Hayman, and a terrific monster creation that's responsible for all the mayhem. It's therefore sad to report that stylistically the film as a whole is as flat as a pancake, with insipid leads (male and female) and uninspired direction of the 'point and shoot' variety.


Candyland



More Grindhouse-style mayhem to add to yesterday's NIGHT OF THE BASTARD. Unlike that film, however, this one's more firmly in the mode of movies like TRUCK STOP WOMEN and HITCH HIKE TO HELL, but the pre-publicity stating it has a hefty dose of Alfred Sole's classic COMMUNION isn't wrong either. A group of Lot Lizards (prostitutes who hang around truck stops) welcome a newcomer to their ranks, not realising that she's a psychopathic Christian intent on killing everyone she meets in order to cleanse their souls so they can enter heaven. Cue plenty of extreme violence in this well acted, expertly paced bit of down and dirty exploitation cinema.  


Dead Stream



A disgraced youtube celebrity tries to rebuild his following by investigating a haunted house, inadvertently releasing evil spirits during his bumbling progress. That rarest of beasts, DEADSTREAM is a comedy horror that's frequently very scary and very funny, often at the same time. It benefits greatly from a tremendously creepy setting and an EVIL DEAD II 'throw anything and everything at its hapless central character' attitude. A big crowd pleaser and definitely one to catch up with when it gets its forthcoming Shudder release.



Saturday, 27 August 2022

Frightfest 2022 Day Two - Friday

The Breach

 


A catalogue of missed opportunities might be the best way to describe THE BREACH, a film in which there are weird goings-on in a weird isolated house where a weird scientist has been creating weird creatures. Unfortunately the pace is glacial to the point where you want to shout at the screen and there's far too little explanation as to what's actually going on. Peppering your dialogue with terms like 'particle accelerator' and 'Cerne' won't fob us seasoned veterans off, you know, it just confirms that your film is essentially an empty collection of cliches, right down to a love triangle that's ultimately as pointless and boring as the rest of the film. Some excellent makeups effects are squandered and even the music score (by Slash) could have saved some of this but it doesnt feel as if he thought it was worth the bother either. 


Hounded


A gang of crooks breaks into a country house to steal a valuable knife at the request of dodgy antiques dealer Larry Lamb. But they've only just started prowling around when the family that lives there knocks them out with tasers. Soon they're dumped in a field and the subject of a hunt, complete with horses and hounds. HOUNDED deals with its subject matter in very broad stokes, with its examination of class differences little more than perfunctory. Adam Levins' 2015 ESTRANGED tackled the class issue  much better, while Craig Zobel's THE HUNT is a better and more complex exploration of the basic idea. Finally, it's always awkward when a film requires you to root for criminals and while HOUNDED tries hard it's an uphill struggle to feel any sympathy for them. 


HOUNDED is getting a release from Signature Entertainment in October


Orchestrator of Storms



An ORCHESTRATOR OF STORMS is how French director Jean Rollin described what he wanted to be when early on in his life he decided film-making was the career for him. And what a bumpy, poorly-budgeted, often even more poorly received (critically at least) career that turned out to be, with formal appreciation of his work only coming quite late in life. Dima Ballin and Kat Ellinger's nearly two-hour documentary covers the entirety of Rollin from birth to death, with plenty of interviews from the like of stars Brigitte Lahaie and Francoise Pascal and distributor Nigel Wingrove, whose Redemption Films was the first time many of us in the UK got to experience a Rollinade. There's plenty of time spent on many of the films we all know and love him for, although some do get skipped over, while the part about his death could perhaps have done with editing down, but overall this is a solid, thorough  piece about a vital contributor to horror, art house and European cinema as a whole and Ballin and Ellinger have done an excellent job of documenting the life and career of this unique and, now, deservedly much-loved and respected genre auteur.


ORCHESTRATOR OF STORMS will be coming out from Arrow Films


Night of the Bastard



A glorious grindhouse tribute with a grim and grisly prologue set in 1978 before we flash forward 40 years to enjoy some naked devil worship ih the desert and a good old-fashioned siege as the satanists' intended victim escapes and ends up at the house of a local eccentric whose only friend is a terrapin. Shot 'off grid' this was everything that's right about low-budget independent film-making - tightly editedm action-packed and with moments that made the audience roar with applause.


Final Cut



Who would have guessed that the French would remake the Japanese hit ONE CUT OF THE DEAD? And who would have guessed that it would be done so successfully? Even if you are more than familiar with the original FINAL CUT offers plenty of laughs, a few surprises and even goes a little bit meta. Not the week to give up watching remakes.


Midnight Peepshow



An anthology horror film with three stories from three different directors, but always intended as a single movie (rather than the unsavoury practice of welding three unrelated short films together). This gives MIDNIGHT PEEPSHOW a definite coherence but also means the three tales of sex and horror are possibly a bit too similar, all of them crossing elements of HOSTEL with SAW. They are also surprisingly coy when it comes to nudity. Jake West has improved as a director since the days of RAZOR BLADE SMILE and EVIL ALIENS and his closing segment is the most extreme, so things do climax on a suitably gory note, with the wraparound also having a satisfying payoff,