August 6, 2011

Coming Soon - Tucker and Dale vs Evil

It's long overdue, but finally the Horror/Comedy flick Tucker & Dale vs Evil is set for a release. It will debuting on Magnolia On Demand on August 26th, with a limited theatrical release on September 30th. I'm really hoping that this delivers on what the trailers promise. Check out the trailers below, as well as some cool stills.

TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL is a hilariously gory, good-spirited horror comedy, doing for killer rednecks what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies. Tucker and Dale are two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, who are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids. When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count. TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL has been a hit on the festival circuit, debuting at Sundance, and winning the Midnight Audience Award at SXSW, the Jury Prize for First Feature at Fantasia, the Best Director award at Fantaspoa, and the Best Motion Picture Award at Sitges.

August 5, 2011

Reel Horror For The Voyeur

Cannibal Holocaust set the ball rolling, in terms of genre filmmaking, back in 1980 with its found footage premise, but didn’t hit the mainstream due probably to its incredibly extreme content. Sure, it’s a staple amongst genre fans but outside that world I would almost guarantee that your average guy or gal on the street won’t have seen it.

Then in 1999 the world shook to the might that was The Blair Witch Project. The story of three kids wandering around the woods aimlessly hit the mark and the movie cleaned up at the box office. A lot of this was down to the massive viral marketing campaign that accompanied it, but at the time no one outside of the horror world had really seen anything like it. Just over 10 years later and some look back at it with a sort of mild distaste but there is no denying its impact, or the fact that it is actually a very good movie.

Although The Blair Witch Project was seen as the start of the found footage style of movie, which we’ve already established that it wasn’t, there was also a little known movie entitled The Last Broadcast that predated it by one year. If you haven’t seen it you should if you get a chance. It’s not perfect by a long shot, and if I recall correctly suffered from a weak ending, yet you can see the genesis of this genre being further developed.

Fast forward to present day and this style of film has pretty much become the norm. Paranormal Activity steamrolled the box office and spawned two sequels, the second of which opens later this year, Hollywood got in on the act with the glossy Cloverfield and even George Romero had a stab at it with the flawed Diary of the Dead. This year alone has seen, or will see, movies such as Megan is Missing, Apollo 18, Atrocious and YellowBrickRoad, as well as Evidence which is set for a 2012 release. Other movies include Spain’s [REC] and [REC]2 (with two more sequels on the way), the Korean flick The Butcher, The Fourth Kind, Invasion and the Poughkeepsie Tapes. I could go on.

What is it that makes these movies so popular, or unpopular as the case may be, with fans? Maybe it is the feeling of being right in the center of the action? Or maybe it is the feeling of seeing something that we shouldn’t be seeing? TV shows have been doing it for years, showing accidents, car chases and other events that attempt to satiate the voyeur within us all. These films maybe a way of watching “real” events without actually having to deal with reality, or maybe they are just good fun to watch. Well, good fun when they are done well. As much as some people like to throw money at movies in the attempt of somehow improving a story, and let’s face it money does not a good story make, these flicks are conducive to small budgets. I’m sure Diary of the Dead had a low-ish budget yet it still seemed far too over-produced for my liking.

Whatever it is that makes these movies so popular I’m not totally sure, although the fact that we all like to watch definitely has a part to play. As long as there are quality movies of this ilk being made I will continue to watch them. Why the hell not? Slashers had their run, the dreaded torture porn is still limping along, so why not another style of movie?

Coming Soon - Evidence

Set to hit theaters early next year is Evidence from Director Howie Askins and Writer/Producer Ryan McCoy. A new addition to the Cinema Verite style of film I am surprised I hadn't seen this trailer until yesterday. The trailer itself suitably impressed me, finishing as it does at quite a frenetic pace. If the movie lives up to the promise shown here then we could be on to a winner.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the found footage style of movie is one that I am a real fan of. I have been since I first saw Cannibal Holocaust, which is the Granddaddy of the genre, so I am hoping that Evidence delivers, the trailer is certainly creepy enough.

Ryan is making a documentary on his friend, Brett, about camping for the first time. However, once they begin camping, they discover that there is a mysterious figure that is hunting them.

August 4, 2011

Coming Soon - A Lonely Place To Die

It seems that Melissa George is carving out a fairly decent career starring in horror flicks. George, who also starred in The Amityville Horror 2005, Triangle, 30 Days of Night and Turistas,  is now starring in the Scottish set A Lonely Place To Die. Looks very promising to me. It's due for a UK release on Sept 9th, after its premiere at Fright Fest, and then in the US on November 11th. A Lonely Place To Die is directed by Julian Gilbey.

A group of five mountaineers are hiking and climbing in the Scottish Highlands when they discover a young Serbian girl buried in a small chamber in the wilderness. They become caught up in a terrifying game of cat and mouse with the kidnappers.

Coming Soon - House of Fallen

Hitting the stores on August 23rd is House of Fallen from those good folks at Phase 4 Films. It stars Corbin Bernsen and C. Thomas Howell, who aside from being in the excellent The Hitcher, was recently seen inthe excellent Southland on TNT.

The Watchers, a group of fallen angels, walk amongst the earth disguised as humans, torturing their vessels. In the hunt for prophetic truth, three strangers are put on trial for their past sins, and are forced to fight for survival in the face of an ancient evil. But in the war between heaven and hell, how do you kill what is already dead?

Corbin Bernsen (“General Hospital,” “L.A.
Law,” Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)C Thomas
Howell (Untitled Spider-Man Reboot,
“Criminal Minds") Richard Fullerton
(Secretariat, Remember the Titans)
Robert Stephens

Felicia Dames, Robert Stephens

Coming Soon - Shark Night 3D

I wasn't going to post anything about this, as when I first heard about it I thought it just sounded dumb. Well, it still sounds dumb but it does look like fun in a Piranha 3D kind of way, and that was one of the most enjoyable theatrical experiences I have had recently. I mean, what more could we want? Blood, boobs and sharks? It's big budget B movie heaven...potentially, even if big budget, reputedly $28 mil, and B movie don't always sit comfortably together. 

Shark Night 3D is due to hit theaters September 2nd, which is wisely after Fright Night, Final Destination 5 and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark have come and possibly gone from the big screen.

A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to fresh-water shark attacks.

August 3, 2011

Coming Soon - Atrocious

Carrying on from yesterdays post regarding the Cold Fish release, next in line from The Collective and Bloody Disgusting's Night Terrors is Atrocious. Shot in the vein of movies like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, Atrocious is set to hit theaters on August 17th on a limited run through AMC theaters. Personally I like these style of movies and will be checking this one out.

Wed 8/17 @10pm
Fri 8/19 @midnight
Wed 8/24 @10pm
Fri 8/26 @midnight

ATROCIOUS is a gruesome, mind-bending thriller shot in a style reminiscent of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. The horror film excerpts found footage from a film reel recovered by Spanish police, documenting a family of five discovering the truth behind a dangerous urban legend. The 37 hours of found footage follow Cristian and July Quintanilla passing time at their summer home by investigating a terrifying and mysterious urban legend. As their investigation intensifies, strange occurrences in and around the house escalate rapidly, culminating finally in unspeakable atrocities.

Director Fernando Barreda Luna was born in Mexico in 1983. A screenwriter, editor, producer, and director, he is the founder of production company Nabu Films. Atrocious is his feature film debut.

ATROCIOUS premiered internationally at the 43rd Sitges International Film Festival and then at Slamdance this past January 2011, garnering a tide of online buzz and quick comparisons to 2008's PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.

Coming Soon - Cold Fish

Sion Sono's Cold Fish is set for a limited theatrical release starting August 5th as part of The Collective and Bloody Disgusting's Night Terrors series of releases. It then hit DVD and iTunes on August 23rd, with a VOD release from September 23rd. I actually have the 2 Disc R2 release of this, but have still yet to sit down and watch it. As soon as I do rest assured I will post up a review here as I really think Sono is one of the most exciting directors out there.

COLD FISH AMC Dates & Markets
(Check local listings for show times):
NYC: August 5 thru 12. reRun Gastropub Theater.  
LA: August 12 and 13. Cinefamily
Austin: August 15 thru 18. Alamo Drafthouse
Phoenix: August 19 thru 20. The Royale
Salem, MA: August 26 thru Sept Cinema Salem

COLD FISH-from Sion Sono, the director of LOVE EXPOSURE and SUICIDE CLUB.  COLD FISH has won acclaim at both the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. In the film, mild-mannered Shamoto’s teenage daughter gets caught shoplifting. A generous fellow fish-store owner and his wife appear to help resolve the situation by having her work at their fish store. Too good to be true?  You bet! Shamoto soon discovers the horrific truth about this seemingly perfect couple…who inextricably weave him into their grisly rituals. Inspired by true events, COLD FISH is a twisted, brutal, blood-soaked drama that reveals the underlying insanity of an ordinary man pushed well beyond the brink.

August 2, 2011

Blackened Music To Destroy Your Soul

Looking for music to truly blow away the cobwebs? If you are look no further than the UK's Mordgrimm. This is the true underground of a very Black nature. Believe me, this is not the sort of stuff you will hear on the radio or see on TV. 

Mordgrimm was first nascent in 1997, the vile offspring of Fra. Nihil, founder and A&R Manager of Cacophonous Records. Independently conceived as a platform to release music from the more underground Black Metal scene, nonetheless the label's first release, "In Times Before The Light" by Norway's Covenant, achieved large sales for a small label and garnered much publicity. The label has since become synonymous with the cult classics by Arkhon Infaustus and Osculum Infame, the first two album releases by Anaal Nathrakh and the debut by Dragged into Sunlight.

Currently assaulting my eardrums is Dragged Into Sunlight's Hatred For Mankind and Daudehaud's Nar Naturen Kaller, and what majestic slabs of evil they are too.

For more info check out the links below:


Or contact them by email @

U.S. based music fans can grab some of the Vinyl release at Fallen Empire

Coming Soon - The Dead

The eagerly awaited zombie opus The Dead, directed by Howard J Ford and Jonathon Ford, is set for a theatrical release later this year. Distributed by Global Cinema Distribution, The Dead is currently set to open in 14 cities across the U.S. with more to be added. Filmed on location in Africa, The Dead certainly looks to breath some life (or undead) into the genre. I'm planning on getting along to see this on the big screen, but should have a review up here before that as well. Head on over to the movie's Facebook page, linked below, for a chance to win a trip to The Dead's premiere in Los Angeles.

In the very near future, most of the world has succumbed to the virus of the living dead. After crashing off the coast of Africa, Lt. Brian Murphy battles for survival across the terrible terrain of Africa in search of a way to get back to his beloved family in the USA. Saved by local military man Daniel Dembele, who is also searching for his son, both men join forces, all the while battling against the ever-present threat of the living dead.

Los Angeles
Orange County, CA
San Francisco
San Jose

Jersey City
West Nyack, NY
Arlington, VA
San Diego, CA

Seattle, WA

July 31, 2011

Filthy Review - Axed

Axed (2010)

Review by Jude Felton

Just a quick look at the accompanying artwork to this Australian release and you can tell immediately where Writer/Director Joshua Long’s heart is. The faux-VHS style sleeve, complete with rental price, is a real gem and harks back to the glorious days in the 1980’s where VHS ruled. The film itself is a further love letter to a time where horror flicks were as much about fun and enjoyment as they were about limbs flying about or scary you shitless. Axed is all about having a good time.

Five years or so in the making, Axed is about an outbreak of the living dead that has swept across the land Down Under, and quite possibly the rest of the world. Military types are scouring the countryside looking for survivors that may or may not be infected in order to neutralize them. In the midst of this steps our hero Bruce who manages to escape this foe, only to find he’s ass-deep in bloodthirsty zombies. I really don’t need to say any more than this in terms of plot, for one thing the movie is only a taut 30 minutes or so and secondly, it’s called Axed and involves one man and a shitload of zombies.

If I asked you to imagine a cross between The Evil Dead, to which Axed pays homage to several times, Peter Jackson’s Brain Dead and a smattering of The Crazies (either version) you might get a rough idea of what to expect. This is a good time fun flick that is drenched head to rotting foot in blood and viscera. The dialogue is minimal, the action is ferocious and gore is non-stop.

Actor Kazuya Wright plays the part of Bruce perfectly, coming across as Ash with an axe, and played dead straight throughout. The film itself has a slightly washed out look to it and plays like a ropey old video cassette. I’m not talking the missing reel school of film, but more the look of how you had to adjust the tracking on those old cassettes. Showing my age? Well I am sure there are some of you out there that know what I am talking about. If not just put “tracking” and “video cassette” in a search engine and you’ll quickly find out. Anyway, this works wonderfully and adds a nostalgic edge to the frenetic onscreen action.

Axed might wear its influences heavily on its sleeves but that is the whole point. Films can be influenced by, and pay homage to, other films yet still retain their own identity, and this is such a case. I mean there is one zombie that will look very familiar to most viewers, but it is all done in good taste.

It all boils down to the fact that Axed is a hell of a good time. It has its over the top blood and guts, and even has a slight nastiness to it in places. Overall though it is a blast from start to finish.

The release date of 2011 might be a little misleading as, to the best of my knowledge, Axed doesn’t actually have a U.S. release as of right now, which surely needs to be rectified quick-sharpish.

Coming Soon - Familiar

Just recently I have been bemoaning the current state of movie posters. Whereas there used to be an art to it filmmakers, production companies, distributors or whoever seem to have gotten lazy of late. Of course, this is a sweeping generalization on my behalf as there are still some real gems out there, and there no doubt always will be. One such beauty is this poster for Fatal Pictures upcoming movie Familiar. I previously posted about it here and I have to say that I am pretty excited about it. Their previous short was Worm, which was quite excellent, and Familiar features Johnathan Dodd, who is the twin brother of Worm's central character Geoffrey.

Familiar is Directed by Richard Powell, Produced by Zach Green, Cinematographer and Co-Producer Michael Jari Davidson and Stars Robert Nolan

Through a series of tragic events a middle aged man grows to suspect the negative impulses plaguing his mind may not be his own.

Familiar on Facebook

Filthy Review - Absentia

Absentia (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

The loss of a loved one is a terrible thing. Maybe more tragic would be the unexplained disappearance of someone close, not knowing where they are or what has happened to them. Are they dead or alive? It must truly be soul destroying to have to deal with that. Absentia takes this subject matter and throws a delightfully sinister twist on this subject, as if the subject itself isn’t sinister enough already.

Tricia (Courtney Bell) is coming to the terms of having to declare her husband dead in absentia. He has been missing for almost seven years and with no clue as to what has happened to him feels she needs to move on in her life. Her sister Callie (Katie Parker) moves in with her to offer support in this difficult time.

As time goes by though Tricia keeps having visions of her husband, looking worst for wear, and Callie also see’s strange things that lead her to believe that not all is cut and dry with her sister’s husband’s absence.

Absentia truly is a methodic and studied exercise in gradual dread. There are no cheap thrills or lazy laughs here, in fact there is very little in this movie to alleviate the somber tone. Director Mike Flanagan, who also wrote the movie, ensures that not too much is ever given away, instead demanding that us, the viewers, question what is going on. All is eventually revealed, to a degree, but not in a convenient manner to appease lazy audiences.

Part of the enjoyment of horror films is the uncertainty, the unknown, the fact that not everything can be tied up to a comfortable conclusion. This is part of the reason that Absentia works so well, things are hinted at but never thrust fully in the viewer’s face. Questions are asked and it is up to the viewer to come to their own conclusions.

Absentia isn’t a gruesome movie, although there is the occasional bloody scene, instead it focuses on the lead characters and their reactions to the events onscreen. The dark tone only intensifies as the movie moves forward and offers the viewer no real respite.

The only real negative comments I have are not with the movie itself, which I think is excellent, but with some of the accompanying artwork. I’ve included both here, so you tell me which one you think I have a problem with.

Aside from that petty gripe I recommend you give this a spin at the earliest convenience. This is definitely a movie for fans of horror that isn’t spoon-fed to the viewer and actually has some thought and originality behind it.

Filthy Review - Spiderhole

Spiderhole (2010)

Review by Jude Felton

British horror has seen somewhat of a resurgence over the past few years. There was a time, not all that long ago, when a new horror flick from back across the pond was a rarity, with only the occasional one surfacing here and there. Now it seems that there is a steady stream of the macabre filtering out of the land I once called home, and many of them are well worth your time.
I have to admit that I was hoping that Spiderhole, from director Daniel Simpson, would continue this trend of good, solid British horror. Alas it is not to be, and I would like say say that is it is not down to a lack of trying. Sad to say I am not even sure I can say that.

The story of Spiderhole, which is still a great name for a movie, follows four well-off looking students who decide to find a house to Squat in, in order to save money. Squatting, for those that don’t know, is the fine art of taking up residency in an abandoned or unused building without the owner’s permission.

Eventually they find an old house that seems to suit their needs and go about settling in for the night. Come the morning though and it appears that their term of squatting may last longer than they had planned when they find all the exits blocked and some of their items taken.

What started out as a promising premise soon descends into a mundane and predictable exercise in horror-lite. Spiderhole seems to fall into the tired world of torture-porn, a phrase I still detest, but even then doesn’t really go in for the kill, so to speak. If you can’t make a movie scary don’t threaten us with nastiness only to fail to deliver in the claret and guts department. I had the feeling whilst watching this that there was a definite mass market appeal intended for the movie, which sadly has resulted in Spiderhole failing to deliver.

The main location, being the abandoned house, is excellent. It’s suitably creepy and has the potential for plenty of creepy moments. However, this is not really taken advantage due to the predictability of the events that unfold. This coupled with the performances of the four leads which switch between over-acting and just downright annoying suck any tension out of the movie.

At the end of the day what we get left with is a very good looking movie that comes across as a weak blend of Saw II, Hostel and the 2001 flick The Hole. So, as far as recommending Spiderhole I would have to say that it the sort of horror flick that is geared towards folk that don’t usually watch horror films might enjoy. Aside from that it is a case of seen it all before, and seen it done better. A wasted opportunity.

Spiderhole is released by IFC Midnight and is now available on VOD and at Select Theaters