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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Stitch: Slasherton: Book 2 review.





The second book in the Slasherton series is even more fun than the first (as if that were possible), and features even more violence, gore and bad taste humor. The book still reads like an adult Dr. Seuss, but this time, the craziness and toilet humor are dialled up a few extra notches. Both Creep Creepersin and Zoe Humphries have excelled themselves bringing these crazy but cute characters to life.

This time we meet Stitch, who enjoys nothing better than eating fast food and killing his victims with blunt objects. These contrasts work so well. The story flicks between humor, and horror very well, and also features a theme of friends and family to go with the violence and toilet humor, which is incredibly endearing. Again, Stitch is so easy to read you will find yourself picking up the book and enjoying both the writing and pictures again and again.





The illustrations again bring the characters to life in vivid color, and Stitch himself looks both cute but also incredibly macabre and sinister, appealing to both our inner child and the horror fan within us all, which is certainly what this series of books aims for. The pictures are incredibly eye catching, and have the same appeal as The Garbage Pail Kids collectors cards, mixing both cute and stomach turning to great effect.





If you read Sack, the first Slasherton book, then be sure to pick up Stitch. There is no way you can be disappointed with this cute but scary killer and his adventures. If this is your first introduction to the world of Slasherton, expect nothing less than a twisted, violent and very funny picture book with cute but deadly characters and some of the most eye catching illustrations and prose I have ever seen. I urge you all to check out Stitch: Slasherton: Book 2 as soon as you can, and find a new horror craze for you all to dip your toes into, or even get lost in. Believe me, with how good these books are, that is easier than you would ever believe.

You can get a copy of Stitch: Slasherton: Book 2 from Amazon.com by clicking HERE.

You can get a copy of Stitch: Slasherton: Book 2 from Amazon.co.uk by clicking HERE.

You can visit the Slasherton official website by clicking HERE.

You can also go on over and give the Slasherton Facebook page a 'Like' by clicking HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.






Interview with Toetag EFX master Jerami Cruise.




 




I am sure you will agree that Toetag EFX create some of the sickest, most realistic special effects seen in the history of cinema. Nothing manages to turn the stomach quite like the work of Jerami Cruise, his amazing talent give his work an incredibly realistic and sickening look like no other. Amazingly, he agreed to answer some questions for Doctor Carnage's World of Horror, so what follows is the complete interview for you all to enjoy. So without further blabbering from yours truly, here we go.





D.C:- What first attracted you to the artistry of movie special effects?

J.C:- I've always been into movies. I guess what first sparked my interest in special effects was The Wizard of Oz. When I was a kid and saw the wicked witch for the first time, I think that's when my path to the dark side started. Like most budding special effects artists I watched horror movies constantly, the more blood and gore the better.  At 13 I was working at a haunted house acting and doing make up. I worked on haunted houses almost every year until I was 24. As much as I was into horror movies and special effects I never considered it as a career, just a fun hobby. I started the fall semester at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh majoring in graphic design. I wanted to draw horror comic books. I did that for almost a year. Two of my roommates were studying special effects. I hated what I was doing especially because I was seeing all the cool stuff my roommates were bringing home. I started doing some of their homework for them because it looked like fun. So I changed my major to special effects and never looked back.

Your effects never seem over the top to the point of not being believable. Is the realism you bring with your art as important as creating a seamless special effect?

I'm all about the realism. When designing my effects I try to do it with little to no camera cuts. If the audience sees a crazy death scene all in one shot it makes them question what they are seeing. I want the audience to feel the pain of the effect; I want them to feel as if it were happening to them. If it's all in one shot it's hard to take your eyes off the screen and in my opinion makes for a better viewing experience. As for creating a seamless effect, I'm kind of a perfectionist so I do my very best on everything I do to make a seamless effect.





Do you do any kind of research when creating effects, such as reading medical textbooks, looking at anatomy diagrams etc?

I've always been fascinated with what goes on under the skin. I have studied anatomy for years. I collect anatomy charts and skeletal diagrams. I have an extremely macabre library of books and pictures of real trauma and dead bodies. I even have an instructional DVD on how to perform an autopsy and embalming. I want the work that I do to to look as real as I possibly can make it. I need to know what color the layers of fat and tissue under the skin look like to make the audience believe what they are seeing.





How do you feel about the use of CGI in genre films?

I'm not a fan of most CGI in movies. It seems like a copout. If it can be done practically on set, then it should be. I think if you use them both to pull off something that can't be done fully practical, but would look totally fake if done fully digital is the way to go. There are always exceptions to the rule. A.I. is a good example of using practical effects and CGI to pull of a really cool makeup effect.

How do you prepare for working on a movie?

That depends on the project but everything always starts with research. Figuring out what kind of movie it is, what kind of effects we are going to be building. The last film I did special effects for, Schism (not yet released but hopefully will be soon), I did a series of bloody paintings just to get my creative juices flowing.

You directed a few of the segments in Murder Collection Vol:1. Do you have any plans to direct your own feature length movie?

Yes I directed five of the segments for MCV1, I won the goriest scene of 2009 from Rue Morgue magazine with the 'Autopsy' segment. That was pretty cool. I love directing, and yes I plan on directing my own features very soon. I have a few scripts in the works right now that I plan on directing. As for right now I just directed, shot and edited a ten-minute short film called 'INSOMNIAC' starring Danielle Inks who also starred in TOETAG's 'Maskhead'. 'INSOMNIAC' is a part of the JABB Pictures DVD release The Collective Vol 6. It just premiered at the Days of the Dead convention in Indianapolis on July 6th and is available for sale on DVD in the TOETAG webstore and at JABB Pictures. I am also getting ready to direct a documentary called LATEX AUTOPSY. I have countless hours of behind the scenes and making of footage from every drop of blood I ever spilled on every movie I made that no one has ever seen before. I am compiling all this footage along with conceptual artwork and effect designs to bring together a retrospective of TOETAG EFX. It's a chance to take the fans into our world of low budget underground independent filmmaking. Show how we did what we did with no money no crew and no time. Should be lots of bloody fun.




Who do you look up to in the effects industry?

I'm a fan of 80's splatter films, so when I was getting into this stuff Savini was god. I learned alot from his books. Dick Smith's work on The Exorcist had a huge influence on me. Gianetto De Rossi worked on some of my favorite films, City of the Living Dead, Fulci's Zombie. Lucio Fulci is probably my favorite director so his films are very inspirational to me. Rob Bottin, Steve Johnson, Richard Taylor, Greg Nicotero, the list goes on and on. John Waters films also. When I first watched Pink Flamingos I knew I had to be a filmmaker. I thought if there were films like that out there I needed to be doing it too.

How difficult was it creating the effects for both August Underground Mordum and Penance considering they had to be done in camera, and with very little set up time?

It was extremely difficult, but a welcomed challenge. The August Underground films are supposed to be real, the personal home video of serial killers. What they wanted to see was the killers looking back on what they had done as the audience sees it. Most special effects are shot the same way; you see the knife up in the air then cut away, then cut back to the effect. In the AU series, I didn't want any camera cuts. I wanted to see the knife cutting the flesh, blood spraying from the wound, guts pulled out all in the same camera shot. Doing it this way offers a lot of design challenges. Most of the time I would be hiding in the set somewhere curled in the fetal position on the floor ready to pop up and do my thing when it was time to. We carefully timed and choreographed every shot so you wouldn't see me in the scene when I was up and operating the effects I built. We used things like key words to let me know the camera was looking away from the effect so I could jump up, pull of the effect then hide again. Everything was going on all at the same time so we really had to be on our toes shooting those movies. I actually designed and shot a quick August Underground style kill scene for the upcoming AU Trilogy box set that demonstrates how the death scenes were designed and shot for the AU series. We also performed it live in front of an audience at a film festival in Breda, Holland which was awesome.

What do you think is the greatest effect you have created?

That's hard to say. I have many favorites and could never pick just one. Becky's ax death in The Redsin Tower is simply brutal, the chainsaw to the face in Murder Set Pieces is bloody beautiful, the compound fractured arm in Maskhead is painful as hell to watch and the girl being dismembered on the rack for Theater Bizarre are probably my best kills.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to get started in the effects world?

Practice your craft. Every time I do something I am learning and getting better at what I do so do it all the time. If your just hanging out watching TV pick up some clay and sculpt or paint something. I am always doing something. One of the first things my teacher said to me was you have to eat, sleep and breathe special effects if you're going to make it. That's pretty much  what I have done since then.


 


Is there anything else you would like to say to any of your many fans out there?

Keep spreading the TOETAG sickness. It is fucking awesome that there are people out there that want to see the same crazy ass shit that I want to see, and those are the movies I want to make. So thank you to all the sick fucks out there that allow me to do what I do best, Kill. Thank you so much for this Dani! I guess the only thing left is to remind all the independent filmmakers here in LA that TOETAG EFX has relocated from Pittsburgh to LA. Anyone needing or wanting my style of nasty realistic effects just let me know. I am always ready to kill.

Many thanks to Jerami Cruise for taking the time to answer these questions.

You can visit the Toetag EFX website by clicking HERE.

You can visit the Toetag website by clicking HERE.

You can 'Like' Toetag EFX on Facebook by clicking HERE.

You can view Jerami Cruise's uncut EFX reel by clicking HERE.

You can contact Jerami Cruise on his Facebook profile by clicking HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.







Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Initiation (1984). ArrowDrome Release.






Arrow Video have confirmed that Larry Stewart's The Initiation will be released on UK DVD on Monday, August 5th, via their ArrowDrome imprint. I myself have been looking for this slasher movie for a long time with no luck. The cover, depicting a hand holding a melting candle in the shape of a naked woman certainly struck a chord with me in my younger years, but alas, my parents never rented the movie for me. Luckily for me, Arrow Video have been kind enough to provide a screener so I can review this 80's classic slasher film for you all.

Like any blossoming all-American girl, Kelly Fairchild (Daphne Zuniga) is looking forward to her sorority initiation with a mixture of excitement and anticipation. And she's got every reason to be anxious considering the prank her Delta Ro Kai sorority sisters have tasked her with - a late night break-in of her father's department store. At first, everything goes to plan, but once inside the labyrinthian mall, Kelly and her fellow pledges find themselves locked in, and they are not alone. Who is the stranger stalking Kelly and her randy teen friends throughout the department stores shadowy corridors? And how is this unseen assailant connected with Kelly's terrible recurring nightmares of a man burning in agony?

I love slasher movies, and I am so happy I have finally got to view this. The tension in the movie is almost unbearable, and it contains some rather brutal killings. What more could you ask for in a slasher movie? Nudity? Yes, of course this movie has that. It is an 80's slasher film after all. There are some things which never change! This movie never seems to get a mention when people talk about slasher movies, and for that reason, I feel The Initiation is incredibly underrated, because it certainly isn't a bad movie.

The Initiation follows the traditional slasher blueprint to a T, rarely deviating from the rules laid down a few years before. Because it follows this formula so closely, it endears itself and creates a misty eyed feeling of nostalgia. This is a slasher film made by slasher fans for slasher fans. That much is apparent from the very first scene of the movie. There also seems to be an underlying theme of repression, as every character seems to suffer from some kind of repressed memory or desire that haunts them.

The setting of the mall is incredibly spooky. How something so clean, clinical and normal as a shopping mall can become so empty, terrifying and full of sinister shadows is a testament to just how good the filmmakers are. They truly make the setting a creepy and unnerving place.The characters are all well established before being killed off, which makes their deaths much more shocking and tugs at the viewers heartstrings a little more than your average slasher. The movie also features Clu Gulager (Return of the Living Dead, Feast trilogy, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's revenge) and Vera Miles (Psycho and Psycho 2).

The Initiation is a great slasher movie. In fact, it is probably a lot greater than many give it credit for. The element of mystery involved is something different, and the variety of death scenes is something to behold. It manages to keep you guessing, and the twist at the end is certainly a big shock and managed to catch me off guard. Unlike other 80's slashers though, the focus isn't on how people are dying, it is on who is doing the killing, and again, this works to the movies advantage.

Don't forget to visit the Arrow Video Website by clicking HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Phantom of Death (1988).






Ruggero Deodato. A name that will be synonymous with the more brutal end of Italian cinema because of both Cannibal Holocaust and The House on the Edge of the Park. It is a shame then, that his little known work, such as Phantom of Death, continue to go unnoticed by the majority of the horror community. To add to the matter, the film stars Michael York, Donald Pleasence and Edwige Fenech, so it certainly isn't a movie full of unknown actors and actresses, and it certainly doesn't skimp on the almost grandiose bloodletting and operatic murder scenes, so really, I have no idea why this movie isn't known as much as Deodato's classic video nasties.

Michael York plays Robert Dominici, a concert pianist who is lucky enough to have the pick of two very beautiful women, whose names are Helene (Edwige Fenech) and Susanna (Mapi Galan). It is not until Susanna meets a bloody end as she travels to see Robert, that Helene makes her move for him. We then discover that Robert suffers from a condition that makes him age uncontrollably and may very well have turned him into a killer. It is up to Inspector Datti (Donald Pleasence) to find out who the killer is, and put a stop to the murders once and for all.

One of the many complaints I have heard thrown at this film is that you find out too early in the film who the killer is. I feel this is nothing but nitpicking. It certainly didn't effect my enjoyment of the movie in any way. At it's most basic, the story is about growing old gracefully, and attempting to enjoy life as much as possible. As Robert begins to fall foul of his illness, he will not succumb to growing old, instead he becomes filled with anger and a hatred of his condition, fighting it as only he knows how.

The movie is very character driven, with the scenes featuring the three main stars are filled with emotion and fear. While some call it a Giallo, many of the ingredients that make a Giallo are missing, such as the mysterious killer, the past 'evil' that made the killer kill etc, so I myself, if a label needed to be given, would call this a slasher movie. By halfway through the film, any questions you may have had are answered, and we are taken on a journey through madness and despair that works more often than it doesn't.

Phantom of Death attempts to say that when the human condition is effected by an illness, mental changes will take place, and that it is a good thing to try and live life while you have the chance, because that opportunity could be snatched away from you at any time. The film is well photographed, and moves along at a rather leisurely pace. The movie certainly makes a genuine attempt to make the viewers feel and care for the characters, and amazingly it works.

Deodato's manipulation of the viewers also works incredibly well, as for the first 30 or so minutes, the movie sets up a character as a reluctant hero, only for Deodato to pull the rug out from underneath the audience and let them find out that this person who has been made to look like our hero is the killer. It did come as a rather large surprise to me.

Phantom of Death is filled with great characterization, titillating nudity, artery spurting gore (although not featuring near the cruelty of Cannibal Holocaust) and a genuinely creepy atmosphere throughout. That it also features a subtext questioning the very existence of God, his cruelty and our own mortality, is an achievement Deodato should be proud of. While the film may certainly seem very simplistic on first viewing, on subsequent viewings, things become clearer, and the films deeper messages become apparent, which make this a slasher film not only with a deep emotional message, but one that people can enjoy again and again.

Darkest regards......Dani.









Saturday, 27 July 2013

A Blade in the Dark (1983).






Lamberto Bava, son of the master of Italian horror Mario Bava, brings us this excellent movie which melds both the giallo and slasher movie together in the flash of a blade, and does everything in it's power to leave the viewer breathless. Taking a huge departure from his previous movie 'Macabre', 'A Blade in the Dark' was originally written as a four part mini series to be aired on Italian television, and was to be called 'La casa con la scala nel buio, which translates as 'The House of the Dark Stairway. Unfortunately, the television network decided the mini series would be too violent to screen, and it was decided to release the project theatrically. For it's American release, 'La casa con la scala nel buio' was renamed 'A Blade in the Dark, which Lamberto Bava admits to liking more than the original title.

A film composer has been hired to create the music to a new horror film directed by a beautiful woman. He leases a villa to give him the correct atmosphere to create his music in. Soon, two women disappear after visiting the villa, and the composer suspects them of being murdered. He then finds himself ensnared in a game of cat and mouse with a psychotic blade wielding killer. The murders may very well be connected to the plot of the movie the composer is working on, and they may also have something to do with a previous tenant of the villa. Will the composer manage to find out who the killer is before he himself becomes a victim to the murderers glistening blade?

Unlike many other Gialli, the emphasis in this movie doesn't lay in detective work. The set up is in fact incredibly minimal, and there are only a total of 8 characters in the movie, but this allows Bava to play to the strengths of the genres, keeping things moving and shocking the audience, while not giving the viewer any idea who the killer could be or hat their motives are. The pace is regular, and certainly doesn't drag at any time. The way Bava manages to isolate his characters gives the film a lonely, cold feeling, and some of the murders are particularly brutal, although not nearly as spectacular as anything by Argento.

Lamberto Bava's second directorial effort goes on to show even more promise than 'Macabre' did. It is tightly constructed, violent and paced incredibly well. The use of the villa and the isolation of it's characters gives the film a feeling of the supernatural, and a claustrophobic feeling throughout. The influence of Lamberto Bava's father is definitely most apparent in this movie with it's use of camera work and colors, something which Argento, who Lamberto Bava worked with on 'Tenebre', is also famed for.

'A Blade in the Dark' certainly sticks in the mind, not least because of the pure insanity of the killer, but also for it's chilling setting and brutal set pieces. It is certainly a tribute to both Argento and Bava senior, but it also stands on it's own asone of Lamberto Bava's greatest cinematic achievements.

Darkest regards......Dani.


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Heartstopper (2006).

 





Some of you may have heard the name 'Bob Keen' before. For those of you that haven't, he was the guy responsible for the special effects in Clive Barker's debut movie, Hellraiser, amongst many other films. Heartstopper is his eighth directorial effort, and is a movie with characters that behave like you would expect, and a killer that has a novel and blood soaked way of disposing his victims, which makes for some thrilling visual carnage which is handled brilliantly.

A depressed teenager named Sara attempts to commit suicide by running in front of a car. Fortunately for her, she is only injured before being discovered by the local sheriff. He takes her to hospital, where a serial killer who the sheriff had previously captured is being held. The killer, whose name is Jonathan Chambers, is given the electric chair, but unbeknownst to all, he has previously made a deal with Satan, and comes back to slaughter everyone in the hospital, including the sheriff.

Let me say that this film offers nothing new, but then again, it doesn't have to. It is sometimes a lot of fun, with some brutally gory deaths and an incredibly sinister supernaturally powered serial killer who has some great Pinhead style biblical speeches throughout the movie. The film really does have a true 80's vibe throughout, which of course, is certainly no bad thing.

Unfortunately, while the gore and deaths might be a lot of fun, and the serial killer particularly sinister, that is where the good things end for Heartstopper. The character development is practically zero, the film lulls so much in the middle that I really felt the need to hit fast forward (although I didn't. I cannot see how anyone can review a movie if they have watched the whole thing on fast forward. It is impossible).

The acting feels incredibly forced, even from Robert Englund, who looks a little uncomfortable in his role as Sheriff Berger. While many of the scenes do their best to create an air of tension, the movie cannot pull it off, and just seems to fall flat on it's face again and again.

I don't want to come across as overly harsh, and I will admit to enjoying watching this film a few years ago. It's a shame that on subsequent viewings, it did not live up to that first shot of adrenaline I got when viewing the film for the first time, but for any gorehound's out there, I am sure they will lap up the carnage on show in Heartstopper.

While it may be silly, confusing and not make much sense, if you can look past those things and just sit back, switch off and enjoy, what you get here is a blood soaked slasher movie that is predictable, but has the right ingredients to be a fun film. On subsequent views, the inconsistencies become much more apparent, which is a shame as it really could have been the birth of a new killer and a new franchise.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

New King Fear album in September.





Just one year after their highly acclaimed debut EP, the black metal band 'King Fear' is going to release their first full length album entitled 'Frostbite' via Quality Steel Records/Soulfood on September 17th, 2013.

After releasing their first 5 track EP in 2012, the King Fear members went their separate ways. While singer Nachtgarm toured the world performing with Negator and Dark Funeral, main composer Mål Dæth moved to the Austrian wilderness to create new music.

Once Winter struck the band gathered with their drummer Boneln (ex Eisenvater) in their hometown of Hamburg Germany to start working on what was to become their first full length album.

Inspired by the history of Mountaineering, King Fear have created a full length concept album based on "The Conquest of the Useless"- mankind's possessive desire of reaching the highest mountain peaks. Driven by the realization of how well these old tales of desire, passion, myth, ancient belief and frigid heights fits the King Fear version of black metal, they decided to call their album 'Frostbite'.

Musically, 'Frostbite' is rooted in straight-forward black metal with a slap of black 'n' roll.

 Great artists such as Satyricon, Khold, Shining (SWE), Celtic Frost  and even Entombed and Tiamat have proven before that:- The fastest band is not necessarily the darkest band.

King Fear - 'Frostbite' was composed and produced by Mål Dæth. The mixing and mastering duties were handled by Olman Viper (Caliban, Dark Age, Dreadlock).

The trinity of King Fear are:- 

Nachtgarm - Vocals.

Mål Dæth - Strings.

Bonelnn - Drums.



Darkest regards......Dani.
 

Grind band 'Purify the Horror' offer free EP give away!





From the bowels of the UK come grindcore trio 'Purify the Horror'. On July 30th this year, the band will unleash a plague of savagery and chaos in the form of their untitled debut EP. To ensure the infection spreads as far as possible, the band is giving the release away as a free digital download.

'Purify the Horror' consists of three individuals prominent within the underground music scene who have decided to remain anonymous and adopt the image of filthy pigs in an effort to effectively incite the grind revolution. The bands untitled debut EP is a seventeen minute long celebration of sensory depravity propounded by a vile concoction of filthy riffage, blast beats and a dual vocal attack that will have you asking yourself "What the fuck were they thinking"?

Give Purify the Horror's Facebook page a 'Like' so you can keep up to date with the bands releases. To see the band's Facebook page, click HERE. 

Band Line Up.

Sergeant Squeel: Vocals

Fat-Belly Pig: Additional vocals.

Bear-Pig: Guitars and Bass.

Lord-Pig: Drums and Lyrics.




Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Fear Clinic The Movie.





Fear Clinic, the web series had over five million viewers, which makes it the most-watched horror web series in FEARnet history! Now, the makers of the Fear Clinic web series are taking things to the next level by making Fear Clinic The Movie! With your support and backing, the filmmakers can make a kick-ass horror film. The kind of scary movie it was destined to become.

Starring Robert Englund, and directed by Robert Green Hall, this looks like it is going to be an amazing movie, and with your help, it could be bigger and better than anyone dreamed of.

All backers will be honored with their perks even if Fear Clinic The Movie doesn't get funded. The movie is getting made no matter what. It is incredibly difficult getting a new horror project off the ground. Studios rarely invest in something new, hence all of the remakes and re-imaginings.

Even before launching the Fear Clinic Web Series the filmmakers been trying to raise money to make this movie.  Over the past three years, many companies and investors have read the script and LOVED it!  The filmmakers even had a handful of these people make them some pretty decent offers.  But as you know there is no free lunch in this town.  The types of deals they were offered meant handing over their passion project to strangers, and they have worked too dang hard, poured hours and hours of their lives into this, sacrificed greatly-- to hand Fear Clinic over to somebody else so they could have all the fun and credit for making it happen.


So like anybody with a dream, the filmmakers have stuck to their guns and held out, clinging to the hope that one day they would find investors and backers who would let them make FEAR CLINIC into the type of horror movie it deserves to be. 

So far they have been pretty successful with raising most of the 1.2 million dollars-- the total budget they need to make this movie.  They also have an investor ready to match whatever funds they raise on this campaign. However, the filmmakers still have a $300,000. gap we need to fill to put Fear Clinic on the movie screen and scare the living shit out of you!

JOIN US in backing FEAR CLINIC THE MOVIE so we can share with you that proud feeling of accomplishment that has driven us to make this movie a reality. 

To check out the Indiegogo campaign for Fear Clinic, click HERE.

To give the Fear Clinic Facebook page a 'Like', click HERE.

Don't forget, if you can't donate, share the Indiegogo link where you can, like the Fear Clinic Facebook page and spread the word! This is going to be BIG!

Darkest regards......Dani.

Ora Pro Nobis.





What follows is information about an Italian horror short named 'Ora Pro Nobis', which is directed by Eros and Robert D'Antona.

                                                        Ora Pro Nobis

The filming took place in the last week of June in Apulia, Italy. The short is directed by Eros and Robert D'Antona, written by Filandro Savino , produced by FABBRO S. p. A, and co-produced by Michele Grassi and Roberto Marinelli.

The cast of the short are:- Robert D'Antona, Mirko D'Antona, Barbara De Florio, Massimilano Giustizieri, Angelo Boccuni and Cinzia Venneri.

Lucia is taking his best friend for a ride to help him take his mind off his recently ended relationship. They're both going to have fun with a prostitute. Their favorite hooker, Carmen, will take them to an ancient place of worship where she will satisfy their perversions. Things get much worse when the trio find they are not alone, and their only chance of salvation will be.....to pray.

The directors of Ora Pro Nobis have made a classic horror short based on late 70's/ early 80's horror, when the scene was dominated by directors such as Sam Raimi and John Carpenter. The project aims to keep that era's style. The make up effects have no CGI, and are being handled by Paola Laneve. Even the music, composed by the talented Albanian Olsi Baba, is in sync with that late 70's/early 80's style. The sole purpose of 'Ora Pro Nobris' is to entertain.

Head on over and give the Ora Pro Nobis Facebook page a 'Like' by clicking HERE.

You can view it's teaser trailer on Youtube by clicking HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.




October Rising Interview.





October Rising are a fantastic rock band, and are building a solid fan base with their combination of catchy fun songs and wonderfully macabre but playful image. I was lucky enough to get to ask lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jack Davidson, and what follows is the full interview. Enjoy!

D.C:- Could you please tell the readers all about October Rising? When did you form?

J.D:- October Rising is a unique band because we have all been friends since childhood. I can't really think of another band like ours in that regard, except maybe Calabrese who are actually all brothers. Most band mates meet up when they are either grown up or in their teens, but we go way back, so I guess there is no official "When did you start the band" answer. We just sort of learned to play instruments and started playing. We started lousy together, and got good together!

What came first? Your love of horror or your love of music?

That's a toughie. I would guess music, since my whole family are musicians. When I was a kid, there were always jam sessions at my house going on at all hours, and also my mom would drag me and my siblings to her gigs and stuff, so it's just embedded in my DNA. I do know that my love of horror started at an early age as well, and had the same sort of impact on me. One of the cool things my parents liked to do was go to the drive-in movies, so I was fortunate enough to see some great films when I was a kid. I remember Monster Zero, Return of the Living Dead, Play Misty for me, War of the Gargantuas...classic stuff!

Who influenced you as a musical artist?

Well, everyone in the band has different influences, but there are some common ones we all share. Early KISS, Metallica, Queen, Cheap Trick, Misfits and especially The Ramones. They were our Beatles. We loved everything about 'em and still do!

What was the first horror movie you saw, and how did it effect you?

One of the first horror films I had ever seen was something called 'Mission Mars' with Darren McGavin in it. Dude, it scared me so bad I was fucked up for years! I saw a movie called 'Gargoyles' that really spooked me too! Believe it or not, a Gamera movie freaked me out as well. It was called 'War of the Monsters' and it came on The Late Late Show and it scared me so bad I couldn't sleep. I was probably about 9 or 10 years old I guess. I found out years later that my guitar player, Skel, saw that same movie on the same night and he sat up, scared out of his head too! We had a big laugh about that one!

How did the Halloween theme in October Rising come about?

Halloween is such a part of our lives, that it's hard to explain. It is our favorite time of the year for sure. It's like earth is caught somewhere between the cycles of life and death, much like we are. I guess we just relate to it.

Is fun a major ingredient in October Rising?

Of all the things in life that you could possibly possess, 'fun' is the most important. Money is cool...girls, cars, guitars...all of it means nothing if fun isn't involved. There are a lot of rich idiots out there who don't know the first thing about having fun, and I feel sorry for 'em. October Rising is a blast. When the lights go down, I can feel the anticipation from the crowd. I look to the right and see Wolf stalking around, and Skel is chomping at the bit to stomp onto the stage like Godzilla wanting a piece of Tokyo. There is nothing like it. I have been in bands that really turned boring. Talented? Yeah. Fun? No. October Rising is always fun. Plus we have a great show; flame throwers, fog, lights and other stuff. Every day is Halloween with us.

Could you tell us about both of your albums? How were they recorded?

The first two albums were recorded in our studio. We built it just for us. It is actually just a Roland VS-1880 PortaStudio, with a few pieces of outboard gear. We have some good monitors and a couple of decent mics, but that's about it. People would be amazed at how little we actually have. Somehow we are able to make this stuff sound really good. The only things we really splurged on  are a good vocal mic and guitars. Skel plays Les Pauls and Strats, and I play a couple of old, rare Gibson Flying V's. For acoustic guitars, we play Martin 12 strings. Someday, we would like to record in a real studio with a good producer; someone who could push us and get the most out of us. Some of our dream producers would be Jack Douglas, Matt Hyde, Daniel Rey, Bob Ezrin, Johnny Lee Michaels and of course, Rick Rubin.

You have great song titles. How do you come up with them?

Most of our song titles come from horror films. Somehow, they translate into our world. 'Children shouldn't Play with Dead Things', 'Monster Zero' etc. These are some of our favorite films. Our new CD has an asskicking new song on it called 'Fangar', who was one of the bad guys from Johnny Sokko, one of our favorite TV shows from back in the day.

Do you have any plans to tour further afield in the future?

Absolutely. We would like to tour with someone who makes sense for us. If we could open for KISS, or Rob Zombie, or Alice Cooper....someone like that, they wouldn't even have to pay us! We could travel in a van and sell merch at the show. They would have a great opener for free, and we would make a lot of new fans! A win-win for everyone.

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

My favorite artists are my peers, actually. I like bands that play music similar in style to us. Guitar oriented, catchy, loud rock. There are a lot of really good horror rock bands out there; Calabrese, The Rosedales, Nim Vind, Gorgeous Frankenstein, The Browns, my buddy Boris Randall, Kepie Ghoulie, Shadow Reichenstein, 69 Eyes, The Crimson Ghosts, The Other, and The fright all from Germany....so many cool bands.

What are some of your favorite horror films?

Man, s far as horror films, I love 'em all in different ways. We all love the biggies of course; The Exorcist, The Living Dead films, Alien, Texas Chainsaw etc, but it's so much fun to look underground for movies as well as music. If you are willing to search, the payoff is huge for music AND in film. I love oddball movies like 'Haxaan', 'Planet of the Vampires' and 'The Crawling Eye'....the list goes on!

Do you have any messages for your present and future fans out there?

Support the bands you like. It's harder and harder for bands to get music out, and the only way it can be done is to have fan support. The internet has made it easier for bands in some regards, and harder in others. You can check out our website at www.october-rising.com 



Darkest regards......Dani.

 

 

Awakening the Beast a.k.a O Ritual dos Sádicos (1969).





Awakening the Beast, the third movie from Brazilian horror legend Jose Mojica Marins, was banned in Brazil for nearly 20 years. Showcasing the extreme end of Marins' experimental horror cinema, the film is an insane, disjointed, dizzying and artistic look into drug culture and how it cannot be blamed for the degradation of society.

The synopsis is frighteningly simple. In the films first portion, which is shot in Black and White, Dr. Sergio appears on television on a panel with three other contemporary psychiatrists. Marins also appears on the panel as an expert in depravity. Dr. Sergio claims that he has conducted experiments on four volunteers, drug addicts whom he gives LSD to in order to reinforce his claim that sexual perversion is caused by the use of drugs. As evidence, he shows a series of documented accounts of drug use which leads to sexual and sometimes disturbing behavior. Dr. Sergio gathers the four volunteers again, and after injecting them with LSD, instructs them to stare at a poster of Jose Mojica Marins 'The Strange World of Coffin Joe'. The film then changes from B&W to color, and each of the patients experience is portrayed in hallucinogenic and surreal ways.

This isn't a movie to enjoy if you like a coherent story. It comes over as an anthology movie based on fetishes and drug use, with the wrap around tale being the psychologists and Marins discussing the effects of LSD. There are some genuinely hard to watch scenes in the movie, but everything is eclipsed by the weirdness the film carries with it. This movie feels like a meeting of Russ Meyer and David Lynch. If you can even begin to imagine just how strange a film made by both of those individuals would be, then you might be able to imagine how strange Awakening the Beast is.

While the string of vignettes showcase perversion well, the imagery in the movie is very well realized. We get Coffin Joe walking down a staircase made of human bodies, and a spider with a full grown woman's head  resting on a giant web. As I said previously, the film is the epitome of weirdness. The ending also came as a huge shock, and speaks Jose Mojica Marins' message loud and clear. Whether you agree with that message or not, is another discussion entirely, but the film certainly managed to throw me off completely with it's final reveal.


Few directors back then, and even now would have the guts to do what Marins did with this film. It is a work of bizarre weirdness and depravity, and there simply isn't anything out there that would even begin to rival this work of genius. I urge any fan of exploitation cinema to see this movie. While arguably a horror film, Awakening the Beast is a shocking, bewildering film that also stands as a social statement. One that defends Mojicas' brand of exploitation cinema to the government who have tried to silence the filmmaker again and again.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Howling (1981).






The Howling is my favorite werewolf movie. It takes the age old tale of good versus evil, and manages to transport that whole theme into a conflict within a single person. It also has that mean streak of zany humor we all come to expect when watching a Joe Dante movie. Add in a great cameo by the ever fantastic Dick Smith, a great story that doesn't follow all of the tropes set by previous werewolf movies, and some truly bestial creatures, and what you have is not only the greatest werewolf movie of all time, but a movie that is sharp, sometimes sexy and nearly always terrifying.

A news reporter is involved in a strange and terrifying incident with a serial killer. After this harrowing event, she and her husband decide to go to a retreat to try and regain a little normality into their lives. Things don't go as well as expected, and she begins to realize that once again he life may very well be in danger. She doesn't realize that the retreat she is staying at is populated by a group of shape shifting werewolves who enjoy letting the beast free.

The film is an absolute joy to watch in every singe way. It epitomizes pretty much everything not only a werewolf should be, but everything a horror movie should be too. The story is tight, smartly written, scary, full of tension, but also humorous. It has magnificent special FX and truly frightening werewolves that look almost demonic in their bestiality.

There are many arguments out there as to which werewolf movie features the best transformation. I have to go for The Howling every time. Considering that the budget given for effects on The Howling was incredibly low, Rob Bottin managed to craft possibly the greatest werewolf transformation ever seen on screen. He also made the werewolves in the movie less human than they had been in previous Lycanthrope movies, showing them as evil over sized wolf-like creatures who tower over their victims and really do have an aura of pure evil about them. The coloring of some of the scenes in the movie bring to mind Dario Argento and Mario Bava, with deep reds and blues seen throughout, giving the movie a more fantastical, almost fairytale-like quality. 

I love the way The Howling plays with the rules of Lycanthropy. Giving those infected with the curse the ability to change not only when there is a full moon, but at will, is a touch that makes the beasts in this movie that much more scarier. The constant references to werewolves, be it through cartoons, TV shows etc is a pleasing touch, and certainly adds that zany 'Joe Dante' humor streak to an otherwise strict horror movie.

The Howling is a disturbing and somewhat visceral glimpse into the beast that awaits within us all, and what happens when we allow that beast to control us, instead of us controlling it. It also gives us a look at a clash of cultures, with some of the lycanthropes preferring to hold onto the ways of old, while others want to introduce change and integrate into modern society, so they may survive unnoticed.

The Howling certainly doesn't have the comedy or shock value of John Landis' An American Werewolf in London, but it's nightmarish atmosphere, relentless fear factor and inherent creepiness make this the greatest werewolf movie of all time.

Darkest regards......Dani.










The Collective volume 6.

 





The one of a kind short film collection featuring 10 short films all based on the same theme is back, and this time our filmmakers go deep inside themselves to show us what scares the scarers. They have each brought fear to the big screen in the form of monsters, ghosts and psychos, but in this edition of the award winning series, they show us that everyday life can be just as scary.

Featuring the best up and coming writers, directors and actors in the independent scene, The Collective V.6 is sure to terrify even the hardest of horror fans. 10 filmmakers - 10 short films - unlimited fear!

As I have done previously, I will be providing the filmmakers, the title of their entry and a short synopsis where available.

Cameron J. Scott and Quattro Venti Productions, whose entry is called 'Security Violation'.

Tagline:- They come for you when you least expect it.

Graphik13 films, whose entry is called 'Skeleton'.

Tagline:- Win, lose or draw, death comes for us all.

The latest disasterpiece from Graphik13 films tells the story of a family who are about to face a storm. A darkness is surrounding them, but is the entity that lurks in the shadows coincidental or premeditated?

Brian Williams and Mostly Harmless Pictures, whose entry is called 'Play Me'.

Tagline:- Who's watching who?

Jason Hoover and Spiral Filmworks, whose entry is called 'Devotion'.

Tagline:- Faith is a powerful drug.

Jason Hoover and JABB Pictures, whose entry is called 'I am no one'.

Tagline:- Follow me into the darkness.

James Mannan and Liberty or Death Productions, whose entry is called 'Mercy'.

Tagline:- Often truth is more terrifying than fiction!

Based loosely on the true story of the 1987 Steven Small murder, 'Mercy' portrays the kidnapping of indie filmmaker Jim Manden (James Mannan). Kidnapper Eddie (Justin Forbes) conceives a plot to keep his hostage in an underground box until his ransom is received.

Jerami Cruise and Toetag EFX, whose entry is called 'Insomniac'.

Tagline:- What do you do when you can't sleep?

Insomniac was born out of a late night pizza in Studio City; CA. Effects artist and director Jerami Cruise, writer/producer Robert Hensley and actress Danielle Inks were complaining about the lack of original material they had been reading. Realizing they all had iPhones, editing programmes and some free time, the three began shooting a silent, noir-style psychological short. Conceived by Hensley, who created Inks' look and planned her costume, with additional story points by Cruise, who also directed the film and executed the effects, Insomniac took a total of four hours to shoot over the course of five evenings over three weeks. Shot entirely on the iPhone 4 on location in Greater Los Angeles, the film explores the escalating challenge of killing time when you can't sleep. Inks plays the insomniac, A striking woman whose idle hands get her into mischief.

Well Hung pictures, whose entry is called 'Trepidation'.

Tagline:- Her fear is irrational. His is commitment.

Consequence Pictures, whose entry is called 'Speeches'.

Tagline:- Some fears are impossible to let go.

Don't forget to give the following websites a visit.

You can visit the official JABB Pictures website by clicking HERE.

You can check out JABB Pictures Facebook page by clicking HERE.

You can check out JABB Pictures Twitter by clicking HERE.

You can check out JABB Pictures Youtube by clicking HERE.

You can check out The Collective's Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Many thanks to Jason Hoover/JABB Pictures for sending me the information needed for the series of posts on The Collective.

Darkest regards......Dani.





Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Burning Moon (1997).

 





Olaf Ittenbach. A name synonymous with over the top violence and gore. I haven't seen many of his films, but his earlier work definitely strikes more of a chord with me than his newer work. It seems that The Burning Moon, Olaf's second feature after A Black Past, stands as a test for horror fans so it seems. It's violence and brutality an endurance test for all who dare to view it. I used to read about this film all the time, with reviewers saying how it would turn your stomach and make you vomit again and again. I took the plunge around a year ago, and ordered myself The Burning Moon for a low price from Amazon. Having only previously seen Legion of the Damned, and being thoroughly disappointed with that film, I really didn't know what to expect. 

Thankfully, not only does The Burning Moon live up to it's reputation as a total gore fest, it is also a rather good movie in itself. It focuses on a drug taking delinquent, who has been left to babysit his younger sister. He tells her two bedtime stories. Both are extremely disturbing. One, which is called 'Julia's Love', tells of a woman who goes on a blind date with a serial killer, and the other, which is called 'The Purity', tells the story of a psychotic, perverted priest.

The things that happen in this film are some of the most depraved, sickening and downright bloodthirsty acts of viciousness that have ever been committed to tape (the whole film is shot on video). Decapitations, stabbings, dismemberment, disemboweling, this movie has it all. That isn't to say it relies just on gore. There are two very good stories contained within, and the wrap around story is particularly nasty. It really does feature the stuff of nightmares, and shows you every death and injury in graphic detail. For a film with a low budget, Ittenbach works miracles here in the special FX department. Everything looks so disturbing, so real that it cannot fail to turn the viewers stomach again and again

The composition of the shots certainly doesn't look amateur, and suits the nihilistic and aggressive tone the movie portrays. This film really is the visual embodiment of misanthropy. Never has a movie felt so gleefully nasty, so enjoyable in it's depravity. It also features one of the most sadistic and depraved visits to Hell since Coffin Joe took us there in 'This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse'. The ending to the film blasts the viewer with complete hopelessness that makes the film much more serious after all of the splatter on show. 

While The Burning Moon is best seen as a display for just how vulgar and disturbing horror has become, it is also a trip into a depraved mind, the gore and violence being the icing on the cake. This is a film for anyone who loves seeing gallons of blood being thrown about, and anyone who enjoys misanthropy in cinematic form. I can recommend this movie as being one of the greatest shot on video movies, and one of the greatest German splatter films that I have ever seen.

Darkest regards......Dani.

The Collective volume 5.






Welcome to The Colective V.5, Undead Edition! This one of a kind short film collection featuring 10 short films all based on the same theme is back, and this time the dead have taken over. Out to prove that the zombie genre isn't over, it's just overdone, The Collective V.5 features 10 short films with a new and interesting take on the undead. The films range from intimate to insane with each filmmaker putting their own unique twist on the idea.

As I have done previously, I will list the director/production company or both, and the title of their short film, along with a short synopsis.

Graphik13.com, whose entry is called 'The Dead Things Outside Your Door part 1 & 2.

Melding together EC Comics, reanimated corpses, black comedy and extreme weather, The Dead Things Outside Your Door tells the story of one guy who wants to be left the hell alone, two hillbillies, a drug pusher and an ex girlfriend who all find themselves butting heads after the worst extreme weather outbreak in midwest history. As bad as things are, they are about to get worse as the recently dead start to come back.

James Mannan and Liberty or Death Productions, whose entries are called 'Spooky Stuff - The Zombie File' and 'Zombie Soup'.

Spooky Stuff - The Zombie File.

James Mannan and Robin Panet, hosts of the web series 'Spooky Stuff', spend a day (and a night) in search of zombies in Indiana.

Zombie Soup.

Through a series of interviews with friends and colleagues, director James Mannan explores the current "zombie phenomenon".

DP Bonnell and Over Analyzed Productions, whose entry is called 'They Said They Were Here To Help'.

Synopsis not available.

Joshua Hall and Arsonist Pictures, whose entry is called 'Voice Over'.

Synopsis not available.

Silence in the Dead of Night, whose entry is called '(se) XX_Z (ombie)'.

Synopsis not available.

Jason Hoover and JABB Pictures, whose entry is called 'Marauders'

The undead roam free in search of flesh. Government "safe zones" are overrun daily. The world as we know it, is gone.

Andrew Copp and Coppfilms, whose entry is called 'Consumption of the Heart'.

The short tells the tale of a couple whose fire in their relationship has gone out. The infection of a living dead plague puts both of them back into a head space of believing they are in love again. The film is a complex exploration of desire.

Cameron J. Scott and Quattro Venti Productions, whose entry is called 'A (gore)aphobic.

No synopsis available.

Don't forget to visit these websites, and support independent horror.

To visit the official JABB Pictures website, click HERE.

To visit JABB Pictures Facebook page, click HERE.

To visit JABB Pictures Twitter feed, click HERE.

To visit JABB Pictures Youtube, click HERE.

To visit The Collective Facebook page, click HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.

 

 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Dream Home (2010).

 




Dream Home is another film that seems to get mentioned whenever anyone starts up a conversation about extreme horror movies. While the movie is gory and brutal, I certainly wouldn't lump it in the category of extreme horror. It is so much more than that sub genre would ever give it credit for. It manages to combine many things to become greater than the sum of it's parts, so mentioning it in the same breath as Men Behind the Sun or Philosophy of a Knife certainly does the movie no justice whatsoever. There is a real story at the heart of this film.

Cheng Lai-Sheung dreams of owning an apartment with a harbor view. She knows exactly which apartment she wants. Cheng works two jobs to save for her dream home, but when the opportunity arises for her to purchase the apartment, it seems she still cannot afford it.  Cheng then realiazes that to get what she wants, she will have to do whatever it takes to acquire her dream. Even if it means getting her hands bloody.

Dream Home shares it's running time between flashbacks of Cheng's past, and her activities in the present, coming across as rather Tarantino-esque. With the film showing this, it means the audience invest a great deal into Cheng, and even though she commits despicable act after despicable act, it is impossible not to like her. The story may be complex, but it never gets confusing, and flows along at a great pace that keeps the viewer interested in what is going on. Cheng's past is deeply saddening, and certainly puts a lot of emphasis on why she is behaving like she is.

At it's heart, Dream Home is a slasher movie, and the kills are some of the most spectacular and brutal I have seen in a long time. Every single death will have you inhaling deeply in shock at the acts of brutality on screen. Fortunately, Dream Home doesn't rely solely on the kills to tell it's story. It also features a rather poignant social commentary about the housing situation in China, and just how expensive property is there, and what somebody would do just for a piece of property.

The film is filed with both a dark sense of humor and bloody, almost operatic scenes of death and murder. It flickers between dark emotional family drama and gory slasher, and works in every single way, not losing an ounce of it's emotion or brutality along the way.

Darkest regards......Dani. 






Nunslaughter 'The Devil's Congeries vol 1' album review.

 photo nunslaughter_zps2e13a1cd.png





Nunslaughter, the incredibly prolific  US black metal band finally get around to releasing a collection of their 7" vinyl releases all collected together on a double CD, and what a collection it is. Everything is here for the fan of old school black metal fan. Nunslaughter have an incredibly old school sound that brings to mind early Venom, Possessed and even early Deathcrush era Mayhem. The guitars sound like chainsaws, the drums and bass like the heartbeat of the underworld breaking forth from the fiery pits.

With a band named Nunslaughter, you would expect each track to be dripping with a blasphemous hate for organized religion, and that is exactly what you get. Fifty eight tracks (only 29 tracks, the first disc, was available for review purposes) of pure unadulterated raw, powerful and atmospheric black metal.

Each of the first eighteen tracks will stop the casual listener dead in their tracks. Each hymn is dripping with the blood of the slaughtered holy, bringing the music of a thousand demonic legions to the listeners ears and possessing them to make them bang their head along with the fierce aggression found here. It is a shame that track 19-29 are extremely poorly produced, but the aggression and atmosphere of pure evil certainly shine through. It's just a stark contrast to what came before that I felt the album lost some of it's punch. But that really is a minor complaint considering the strength of the material here.

The Devil's Congeries gathers together 13 out of print Nunslaughter EP's, so if any fans of the band dreamed of owning these releases, well now is your chance. The double CD will come complete with a booklet which will feature lyrics for every song, and also information about the release of the EP's they are taken from such as each EP's cover artwork and pressing information.

For anyone who is new to Nunslaughter, the band certainly do not rely on a standard 'black metal' sound to get their message across. There are no keyboards, no flashy guitar parts, no hyper speed blasts.The vocals are clear and abrasive, focusing more on screams and howls than the regular death metal 'cookie monster' guttural attack. The guitars cut through the mix, sounding incredibly thick and powerful, and the drums and bass hold the chaos in place, accentuating a heaviness rarely heard in black metal. While Nunslaughter do blast, mid paced heaviness is where their strength lies, and what makes this band so different.

All in all, The Devil's Congeries is a fantastic double album. Collecting these 7" EP's individually would cost a fortune, so it is great that they have all been gathered together in one release. If you like your metal crazy, vicious and bleeding with contempt for all religion, then Nunslaughter are definitely mandatory metal worship!

Nunslaughter's The Devil's Congeries is due for release by Hells Headbangers on July 24th 2013.

Darkest regards......Dani


The Collective volume 4.




The Collective is back and it is better than ever. The one of a kind short film collection, featuring 10 - 10 minute short films all based on the same theme has risen to a new level. The lineup of filmmakers this time around is a who's who of up and coming horror directors in the indie scene.

The theme featured in The Collective volume 4 is Emotions. Each filmmaker was given a different emotion to base their ten minute short film around. 10 short films, each delving into a different place of the human psyche. Ranging from intimate to insane, the films featured in The Collective volume 4 provide something that Hollywood hasn't had in a long time. Heart.

The filmmakers featured on The Collective volume 4 stand as proof that it doesn't take a huge budget to make a great film, only a huge imagination.

As before, I will be featuring a rundown of the filmmakers, and a short synopsis of their film if it is available.

The filmmakers featured in The Collective volume 4 are :-

Dakota Meyer and Red Panic Button Films, whose entry is called 'Luke 1:71. A Story of Hate'.

Emotion: Hate.

A troubled young man filled with hate, Luke (Ben Peck) finds himself trapped in a reckless life that is spiraling out of control. His younger brother, Frank (David Ponton) accompanies him in his search for destruction and salvation.

David Paul Bonnell and Over Analyzed Productions, whose entry is called 'Happy Hooker Bang Bang'.

Emotion: Envy.

It takes place in a crime filled world where a girl named Sara loses her job at a bookstore and is forced to begin working with her roommate (a hooker) to make money. But when she gets caught up with the wrong clients, it's up to her hooker friends to takeback the street and make it safe for hookers everywhere.

James Mannan and Liberty or Death Productions, whose entry is called 'Death Us Do Part'.

Emotion: Lust.

No synopsis available.

James Hoover and JABB Pictures, whose entry is called 'Frankie'.

Emotion: Grief.

No synopsis available.

Jim Dougherty and 3 o' clock Productions, whose entry is called 'Contrition'

Emotion: Regret.

When Ruby Thompson conducts an experiment that results in the DNA alteration of her subject, an unexpected threat is posed and the lives of those closest to her are changed forever.

Jason Hoover and Spiral Filmworks, whose entry is called '101 Taylor St'.

Emotion: Denial.

No synopsis available.

Bryan Wolford and Freakwolf Productions, whose entry is caled 'Myctophobia'.

Emotion: Fear.

No synopsis available.

Jakob Bilinski and Cinephreak Pictures, whose entry is called 'Bloody Hooker Bang: A Love Story'.

Emotion: Rage.

Two blood soaked ladies of the night must navigate their way to safety while being pursued by a murderous family of psychopathic inbreds with a score to settle. With the help of a slick bionic pimp named Silky, they will prove that love can overcome shame, and there are few things fiercer than a whore scorned.

David Ross and Winged Dolphin Pictures, whose entry is called 'Flash of Wire'.

Emotion: Schadenfreude (Deriving pleasure from someone elses misfortune).

From the director of 'Fertility 2.0' comes Flash of Wire. David Ross investigates the curious German emotional term Schadenfreude: Obtaining joy from the suffering of others. The film asks the question: When it comes to revenge, is once never enough? Apparently David can't go on vacation in a foreign country without filming a movie. "Think of the production values" he said. "It will look just like a foreign film! It's irresistible". While spending three weeks on the island of Naxos in Greece, and grieving that he was not making a film for The Collective volume 4, he researched island myths, and organized a small group of villagers for a two day shoot. "No one understood what I was saying - which strangely, felt very familiar to my experiences working in the US". Returning to the US, he scheduled a one day shoot to finish the movie. "I am pretty sure the distance of this location change will be a record for me that may go unbeaten". However, David hopes to return to Naxos to film a feature there someday.

Dustin Mills and Dustin Mills Productions, whose entry is called 'Epidemic'.

Emotion: Trust.

We trust the people who prepare our food, we trust the people who deliver our news, and we trust the people who are paid to protect us. What happens when that trust is violated? Brandon Salkil is about to find out. Who can he turn to when he is infected by a deadly virus spreading across the midwest? They say they have the cure, but can they be trusted?

Don't forget to visit the following sites!

To visit JABB Pictures official website, click HERE.

To visit the JABB Pictures Facebook page, click HERE.

To visit the JABB Pictures Twitter feed, click HERE.

To check out JABB Pictures Youtube, click HERE.

To see The Collective's Facebook page, click HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.




Thursday, 18 July 2013

Muck (2014).






Tattered and bloody, a group of friends were lucky to escape the thick New England marsh and take shelter in an empty vacation home on Cape Cod, though they will soon realize that the lucky ones are those that are already dead...


Muck stars horror legend Kane Hodder, Lachlan Buchanan, (Newcastle, NCIS: Los Angeles, Pretty Little Liars) Jaclyn Swedberg, 2012 Playmate of the Year, YouTube star Lauren Francesca, Bollywood star Puja Mohindra, as well as many attractive new comers. Muck is the middle chapter of a true horror trilogy that plays like a love letter to horror fans. Muck was filmed for ultra HD completely on Red Epic, With NO CGI what so ever. Muck can be best described as Evil Dead meets The Hills Have Eyes meets Die Hard. The MPAA has yet to offer their ruling, but it's safe to assume that Muck will receive a "Hard" R rating that will read something like this: Strong intense violence, graphic nudity, hard language, disturbing images, and creature gore throughout. Casting is underway for Offed, the prequel to Muck, that will be shot later this year.


Here is a more in depth description of the story:-

After narrowly escaping an ancient burial ground, long forgotten and buried underneath the marshes of Cape Cod, a group of friends emerge from the thick, marshy darkness, tattered and bloody, lucky to be alive. They have already lost two of their friends in the marsh, presumably dead. They stumble upon an empty Cape Cod vacation house alongside the foggy marsh and break in to take shelter. Whatever was in the marsh is still after them and soon after one of them goes for help, the rest of the group learns that the evil in the marsh is not the only thing that wants them dead. Something worse, something more savage, was lying in wait just outside the marsh, in the house. What happens next is unspeakable, horror that cannot be unseen. These unlucky travelers spend their St. Patrick's Day trapped between two evils forcing them to fight, die, or go back the way they came.

You can get updates from the movie by 'Liking' Muck's Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.






















Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Demons aka. Demoni (1985).






I will never forget my first viewing of Lamberto Bava's Demons. I purchased the film on VHS from our local trade in store, and was only just getting in to Italian horror. If I remember rightly, the only Italian films I had seen prior to this were Suspiria, The Beyond, Zombie, The Sect and The Church. Demons was a shock to the system. It's high energy, splatter filled running time and amazing special FX by Sergio Stivaletti certainly made me delve even deeper into Italian cinema.

A young girl is scared by a man with a metal face, who seems to be stalking her through a Berlin train station. She meets him face to face, and he hands her two tickets for a movie screening later that night. Showing is a horror film, which tells of a group of teens who uncover the grave of Nostradamus and words which foretell of the coming of the Demons. The audience of the movie fail to realize just how true those words are. After a prostitute cuts her face on a movie prop in the foyer, she changes into a slathering monster with claws and fangs, and spreads the demonic disease to other people in the theater.


It was impossible for this movie to fail. The collaboration between Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento guaranteed that this movie would impress all but the most miserable of horror fans, and there is not really any surprise when you find out Demons really is something special. The pace is relentless, with blood, body parts and green Demon drool being thrown around everywhere, all with a soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti and various metal bands such as Motley Crue, Saxon and Accept. The movie works in every respect.

Demons is a magnificent feast for the eyes. Some of the shots burn themselves into the mind, such as a horde of demons running towards the camera in slow motion, their bright yellow eyes in stark contrast to their silhouettes. The scene where a prostitute bursts through the cinema screen, and goes through something of a painful metamorphosis is something to behold. The sound that accompanies this change is truly stomach churning.

The movie does fly along, and never allows the viewer to get bored. Barely a minute goes by without someone succumbing to the demonic hordes. Eyes are gouged, flesh is torn and heads certainly roll. There is more than splatter going on though. There are some spine chilling and tension filled moments within the movie, but it really is it's kinetic pace which keeps things so interesting, even if they don't always make sense.

The masks are similar to the masks featured in Lamberto Bava's father's movie, Black Sunday aka. Mask of Satan. In that movie, the mask has spikes, so it can be attached to the victims face. In Demons, the mask causes a cut on a prostitutes face, and causes the outbreak of the demonic disease. Considering Black Sunday is considered to be one of the first 'real' Italian horror films, I personally see this as a tribute to Lamberto's father, Mario Bava.

There can be many criticisms thrown at Demons. "There is no characterization", "the plot is weak" or "things just don't make sense". All of these statements are redundant. These criticisms are part of what make Demons such an awesome ride into cinematic madness. It's a no holds barred ride into diabolical mayhem, and one that I am proud to take again and again.

There is an official sequel to Demons, named Demons 2 surprisingly. The Ogre, which was also directed by Lamberto Bava, and wa named Demons 3 in some places, has nothing to do with the first two movies whatsoever, and was merely a cash in on the previous two films fame. Michele Soavi's The Church (La Chiesa) was apparently written as a sequel to Demons 2, but became something totally different, as you can see when viewing Soavi's horror masterpiece.

I would recommend Demons to anyone with even a passing interest in Italian cinema, or anyone who enjoys the early films of Sam Raimi or Peter Jackson. While Demons contains very little humor, the splatter on display is certainly on par with The Evil Dead and Bad Taste, and the madness of Demons is certainly greater than either of those splatter classics.

Darkest regards......Dani.






Childs Play (1988).

 





The idea of a killer doll is one that many find hard to identify with. How can something so small be so frightening? I have always wondered, what makes dolls so sinister? What ever it is, movies seem to exploit this fear with great aplomb. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Childs play movies.

The original of the series, and arguably the best movie of them all, sees a Good Guy doll become possessed by the soul of the Lakeshore Strangler, Charles Lee Ray (whose name was taken from three infamous serial killers, namely Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald and James Earl Ray). The plot is incredibly simple. A serial killer (the aforementioned Charles Lee Ray) is mortally wounded, and takes refuge in a toy store. As he is dying, he uses a voodoo incantation to transfer his soul into a doll. Now living as the doll, he seeks revenge on the cop who killed him, and his partner who betrayed him.

Childs Play has an atmosphere that none of it's later sequels possessed. It manages to build tension effectively, never showing you the doll being 'alive' until half way through the movie. It's this element of 'is it really alive?' that I feel makes the movie work so well. The way the film teases with young Andy telling his mom things Chucky has said or done, is genuinely creepy. We even catch glimpses of what may be Chucky running about. Although again, doubt is put in the viewers mind because Andy wears the same clothes his doll wears, so we are left in two minds whether it is Chucky or not.

When Chucky finally reveals himself to Andy's mother, the FX are incredible, as they are throughout the entire movie. Chucky is diabolical in his anger, kicking, screaming and spouting profanities. His face twisted into a demonic look of pure anger and hatred. It really gets the heart racing, and you really do believe this doll has the capacity to kill. Infact, it makes you believe he does want to kill, and that he enjoys it. He looks less cute than he does in the sequels that followed, which again adds to the dolls malevolence. Brad Douriff's vocal performance as Chucky is breathtaking. So much emotion is put into the role, and it really brings the doll to life along with Kevin Yagher's awesome FX.

Many people seem to take issue with a three foot doll being able to kill people. I don't understand why these people cannot suspend disbelief for ninety or so minutes and enjoy the film for what it is. So what if a doll doesn't have the weight or strength to do what Chucky does. It's a horror film. Never mind a doll has come to life, whats more important is that he couldn't kill someone, he's only 3 ft tall. These people seem to pick on the stupidest of things, and completely miss other more blatant factors that are fantasy in the movie. It is entertainment. Enjoy it as such.

Childs Play is a serious white knuckled thrill ride from beginning to end. For a film that was released at the tail end on the 80's, when horror was progressing into an altogether different territory, it made a huge impact with horror fans. The movie is scary. It takes the whole subject matter of voodoo, and a killer doll seriously, making the fear factor in the film that much more apparent. I feel Childs Play will always be remembered as the best killer doll movie ever, and it certainly deserves that accolade, even though the sequels fail to live up to the precedent set by this movie.

Darkest regards......Dani.





The Collective volume 3.

 




JABB Pictures scoured the independent filmmaking scene looking for ten of the best female writers and directors for this one of a kind collection. Proving that the independent horror genre is not just a boys club, The Collective volume 3 features 10 short films all from a different female writer or director.

Keeping true to The Collective's winning format, all 10 films in this collection center around the same idea. The theme this time around? Ten minutes to live. It was up to each filmmaker to decide what this meant to them. While the stories all center around the same basic premise, they all have their own unique storyline and characters. The films range from tender to terrifying with each filmmaker putting their own unique twist on the idea.

With The Collective volume 3 the ladies have most definitely shown they are a force to be reckoned with.

                                                             Reviewer quotes.

"The Collective is what independent genre filmmaking should be. It's original, fresh, sometimes scary and always keeps your attention".

"The Collective is an excellent release that I wholeheartedly recommend to fans of quality independent cinema".
                                                               Jude Felton
                                                            The Lair of Filth

"Fans of indie horror or those who simply want to do what you can to support indie filmmakers will definitely want to get ahold of this stellar example of ultra-indie filmmaking".

                                                            Richard Propes
                                                       The Independent Critic

"These ten films have something that very studio films possess......heart".

"This is filmmaking the way it was meant to be. For the love of the art".

                                                             Scott Ruth
                                                        D'Ment'D Cinema

"The Collective is an all-around terrific shorts collection and the various shorts featured contain elements that are humorous, disturbing, surreal and creepy".

                                                         Mario Dominick
                                                          Horror Society

"If you can't find something to love about this set of short films then you might as well quit watching movies".

                                                      Jason Schneeberger
                                                      Beyond the Realms

The filmmakers featured in volume 3 are as follows, and I am also including a short synopsis of their featured short.

Katie Toomey, Kylie wall and Pants Cannon Media, whose entry is called 'He Who Watches'.

Diagnosed with an incurable illness, Laura hangs on the edge of life and death as she is haunted by her recent past - and a mysterious figure.

Kate Chaplin and Karmic Courage Productions, whose entry is called 'Home Security'.

Home Security is the story of a crooked security salesman who is prepping for a big score. The film features Emmanuel Carter as "Robert" and L.E Bradford as "Mia". It's got a nice twist and a little Tales from the Crypt or Twilight Zone feel about it.

Vanessa Romanelli, Erica L. Frost, Dave Rothstein and Mysterious Mansion Productions, whose entry is called 'Conclusion'.

'Conclusion, directed by Vanessa Romanelli and executive produced by Erica L. Frost starring Steve Dash (Jason in Friday the 13th Part 2) and Kevin Van Hentenryck (Basket Case) follows four strangers who check into a specialized medical treatment center. Little do they know, once they check in...there is only one way to check out.

Christy DeBruler and Chanemmabelle Pictures, whose entry is called 'The Key'.

Tagline:- How far would you go to find the truth?

Sophie, a young woman, is faced with a challenge. She must go to extreme lengths to find out the truth. Sitting on a park bench is her grandfather, Darren, the person who knows the answers she is seeking. Sophie is racing the clock with only ten minutes to get her questions answered. Darren, knowing danger lurks around the corner, reluctantly reminds Sophie of an event from her childhood that could hold the key. Sophie's time is up. She awakens in a doctor's office surrounded by observers, which include Dr. Patricia Barnes, Mr. Smith, Thayer and Clark. Mr. Smith impatiently demands Sophie's recent recount of the events. Sophie evades the questions she now knows how to find. Sophie goes to the place from her childhood to seek the answers. Inside is Darren's wooden box containing very treacherous items. The discovery of the information will put Sophie on a dangerous path.

Amy Carmical and JABB Pictures, whose entry is called 'Pact'.

An intimate portrait of the love and bond between two young teenagers. Pact is a stark and cold film that passionately captures the power of loss.

Shelby Vogel and Toetag Inc, whose entry is called 'Stay'.

Fear. Love. Amivalaence. Stay. A female living in fear of a man she loves learns, your last ten minutes can come at anytime.

Robbin Panet and One Stepp at a Time Productions, whose entry is called 'Suffer Well'.

A surreal journey into the life of one obsessed man and his sanity.

Jamie Thomas and Death Hug Films, whose entry is called 'Snapped'.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Athena Prychodko and Silence in the Dead of Light, whose entry is called 'Jog'.

Jog is a short film shot in a first person perspective. Uni is routinely going for a jog, but begins to have this eerie feeling that they are being followed. Constantly looking over their shoulder, Uni starts seeing some bloody, disturbing, walking nightmares everywhere they go, all the while with the feeling they are being followed....as the visions become worse and worse, Uni has this overwhleming feeling that they are being chased by death itself. A routine ten minute jog turns into ten minutes to live....

Taylor Simmons and Spiral Filmworks, whose entry is called Palindromist.

The world we live in is cyclical. Life begins and ends. Over and over. Often without notice or pause. This film is an artistic view of that process.

Don't forget to visit the following links!

To visit the official JABB Pictures website, click HERE.

'Like' the official JABB Pictures Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Give JABB Pictures a 'Follow on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Visit JABB Pictures Youtube page by clicking HERE.

'Like' The Collective's Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.