October 22, 2011

Filthy Rant - You Have The Right To Remain Silent

You Have The Right To Remain Silent….

By Jude Felton

Some of you may have seen Adam Green’s latest horror short about illegal downloading (if you haven’t just cast your eyes up and press play) and he makes a very good point. It is a subject that has been on my mind for some time now, for varying reasons. Quite often I will read about such-and-such movie being crap which is then followed by a statement along the lines of “am glad I downloaded it and didn’t pay for it”. Well bully for you. How can we expect films to be made if there is no money going back into the industry?

I will be the first to admit that it is annoying as all hell when you spend good, hard-earned cash on a movie, only to find out that it is terrible. There’s no excuse for that though. Do a little research before you buy. Downloading a movie illegally helps no one except to flatter your own ego.

Yes, you could argue that “Jude, you get sent plenty of free movies so why do you care?” I can answer that two-fold. First off, I get sent movies so that I can review them in the hopes that just one person might read it and decide to buy, or not buy, the movie in question. As a reviewer you get to watch as much bad as you do good, it is not always a bed of roses believe me. The PR companies send out these movies because they know we are doing them a favor in getting the word out about their client’s product. Cynical but true. It’s not always great knowing you HAVE to watch a movie that you don’t necessarily want to watch. I won’t complain though as it is great getting sent free stuff.

Secondly, I have spent thousands of dollars, and pounds before that, on building up my movie collection. Yes, I still buy movies but I am more selective in what I buy. The last movie I bought was yesterday in fact.

Oh, I have a third point too. Over the past few years I have donated to several film projects with the aim of helping that movie get made. Not for any sense of self-importance or to see my name in print, I really couldn’t care about that, but because I believe in the project and want to do what I can to help that film get made. I know it isn’t easy to get these films made, so if I can throw a few bucks in their direction to help I will.

It’s a little sad, but as is the case in any business, it all boils down to the bottom line which is money. All illegal downloading does is take away potential funds from the filmmakers, and their distributors, and limits what gets made. This is part of the reason we see so many remakes and sequels; the film companies know that these are a safer bet when it comes to box office sales and DVD/Blu-ray sales. Why risk a new project?

I can honestly say that I have never illegally downloaded a movie. Have I watched a downloaded movie? Yes I have, and I always make it a point to buy that movie when it becomes available. Movies are my passion and I believe in paying for it. Some might say that movies are expensive and they can’t afford to buy them. Well, I can’t afford another car but I am not going to go out and steal one.

When you download a movie illegally you forefeit the right to comment on that movie, regardless of whether it is good or bad. You are contributing nothing to the world of film, instead you are only hurting it, and as such you should remain silent. Don’t agree with my opinion? That is fine, it is only my opinion, but I am sure there are more that would agree with me than disagree. The real fans invest in their hobby, they treat it with respect and want to see it grow. I am sorry there are so many shit movies out there, but getting them illegally for free is not the answer, not if you want to see any change. All you need to do is see how hard it is for the sequel to Behind the Mask to get made. This was a much loved movie and yet the filmmakers are still seeking out funding for the sequel.

Illegal downloading might have a short-term payoff for you, but the long-term repercussions are far greater.

October 21, 2011

Woman in Black: Spooky Poster Alert!

Coming February 3rd is The Woman in Black. The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe without magical powers, and is shaping up to be a right royal spooky affair! 

Above is the new poster in its regular form. On the home page of The Lair of Filth there is the full motion poster, which is pretty damned cool!

A young lawyer (Radcliffe) travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorner woman is terrorizing the locals.

October 20, 2011

Night of the Pumpkin to debut online

Tis that wonderful time of year, the time of Jack O'Lanterns, Pumpkin pie and all manner of murderous mayhem. It's also the time that the new Halloween short Night of the Pumpkin will debut online. Written by Ted (Sweatshop) Geoghegan and directed by Frank (Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet) Sabatella, it is set to debut on Fangoria.com October 25th with other outlets getting one day later on the 26th.

It’s All Hallow’s Eve, and geeky Steve and his buddy Cutter are holding a seance in the local cemetery. While foolishly toying with the dark forces of nature, they summon the soul of an ancient demon that possesses their Jack O’ Lantern, which promptly goes on a carnivorous rampage! As the demonic gourd terrorizes the entire town, it grows larger and larger with every human soul it consumes! Now it is up to Steve to stop the monster pumpkin before it destroys his neighborhood and devours the woman he loves! Will Steve be able to tame the savage beast or will this Halloween be his last? Who will survive the NIGHT OF THE PUMPKIN? 

NIGHT OF THE PUMPKIN is the first in a series of annual Halloween shorts to be produced by SIDESHOW PICTURES. 

In addition to the Sideshow team, this innovative short's creators have pooled together some of the finest and freshest talent to ensure NIGHT OF THE PUMPKIN is a ghoulish, gore-filled delight that will torture and tickle the funny-bones of horror fans everywhere. Directed by Sabatella (Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet) and penned by screenwriter Ted Geoghegan (SweatshopBarricade) from a story by Sabatella and newcomers George A. Taramas and Michael Gruosso (Night of the Living HeadsDemented); NIGHT OF THE PUMPKIN promises to be an over-the-top slaughterfest, mixing every drop of splatter (created by Boardwalk Empire and Crazy 8's FX maestro Jeremy Selenfriend) with hefty doses of laughter.

October 19, 2011

My Sucky Teen Romance snapped up for distribution

Here's some great news, director Emily Hagins' flick My Sucky Teen Romance has been picked up for distribution by the MPI Media Group. This is the company that recently released, or will be releasing, House of the Devil, The Innkeepers and Stake Land, so MSTR will be in fine company and deservedly so. MPI plan to release is theatrically in the Spring of 2012. Congrats to all!

You can check out my review of My Sucky Teen Romance here.

On 17-year-old Kate's last weekend in town, she and her friends plan to spend it together at SpaceCON– the local science fiction convention they attend every year. At the convention Kate meets Paul, a recently turned teen-vampire (who is also dressed as one). But when Kate tries to make a move on him, he accidentally bites her in the neck. Kate and her friends soon discover that Paul is not the only vampire at the convention, and it is up to them to stop the vampires and find a way to turn Kate back before it is too late.

October 18, 2011

Shameless unearth Dellamorte Dellamore

From our exclusive feed with Cult Labs I can bring you some great news for fans of Michele Soavi's 1994 flick Dellamorte Dellamore. Shameless Screen Entertainment will be releasing it on DVD on February 27th 2012. I myself put Stage Fright as my favorite Soavi movie, but that is probably down to the fact it scared me shitless as a youngster. Dellamorte Dellamore (aka Cemetery Man) is however a class movie and is probably the last great Italian zombie flick before their output all but dried up. Rupert Everett is superb as the titular character and I wholeheartedly recommend you grab a copy if you haven't already seen it, or in fact you just want a new copy!

Cemetery Man aka Dellamorte Dellamore
Dellamorte Dellamore is The Cemetery Man
“One of the best movies ever to come out of the Italian horror genre, Dellamorte Dellamore is declared a modern masterpiece” DVDVERDICT.COM
A dark horror fantasy film, Rupert Everett is called Dellamorte Dellamore, a cemetery care taker who is faced with an epidemic of zombies rising from their graves. Dellamorte goes on an insane killing spree to prevent the living dead from contaminating the rest of the world. His journey of surreal experiences will culminate with increasingly bizarre sexual encounters with Italian sex symbol Anna Falchi, a recent widow.
On its original release, Martin Scorsese told British critic Alan Jones that "Dellamorte Dellamore was the best film of the year ..”
Cemetery Man will be released on DVD by Shameless Screen Entertainment on 27 February 2012.

October 17, 2011

Violence is Childs Play

Violence is Childs Play

By Jude Felton

I will preface this article by telling you that it will contain spoilers from movies that are yet to be released, or recently released, and from the recently aired The Walking Dead Season 2 opener. So, please don’t say I didn’t warn you, because I did.

Horror movies, and to a lesser degree although this seems to be changing of late TV shows, as well as other genre movies have always tried to find ways to push the audiences buttons. The violence gets more extreme, the gore more explicit and so on ad nauseum. Don’t get me wrong I love a bit of the old ultra-violence, always have and no doubt always will. I have movies in my collection that would make some folk weep, but that is not the point and yes I do have a point. My point is where do movies, or shows, go now in order to push these buttons I speak of.

Well, it would appear that the latest fad is the killing, or maiming, or mutilating of children. It’s bloody everywhere, or so it seems. For me personally I don’t find it disturbing, maybe 30 odd years ago when Romero popped a cap in a couple of zombie kids back in Dawn of the Dead it would have. Not now though. My wife on the other hand does not like it, in fact it upsets her. So, this can make for a frustrating evening of movie viewing when out of the blue we get a baby being murdered, of screen or on it. I find myself having to try and research films in advance now, rather than just being able to slap a good old horror yarn on the box. Inside (A l’interieur) is one movie I won’t watch with her, regardless of how damned good it is, as I know it will freak her out. Ah, but they are horror films so what do you expect? Some might say. True, and I expect to see shocking images, but for one it is fucking with my viewing time and two, it’s already becoming tiresome.

Aside from A l’interieur, which isn’t really a culprit as it sells its story on the cover, you have Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer with its baby murder, then subsequent creepy corpse scene, Dream House, believe it or not, with the protracted death scenes of the two daughters (the movie is after set of a family being murdered), A Serbian Film with its New Born Porn and other less than pleasant moments, A Game of Thrones with a child being pushed out of a window to what we initially think is his death, and now The Walking Dead with a gunshot out of the blue (very well done I might add). Even Harry Potter is at it. Well, not him personally. I could find more if I really gave it a bit of thought.

Shocks can be effective without feeling the need to kill a kid just to get a reaction. Bereavement was an incredibly disturbing movie in places, and it was the threat that made the movie work and not necessarily carrying through on that threat. When it is done well it can be incredibly effective, yet right now it seems to be going in to child overkill.

Have the creative powers run out of ideas of how to shock viewers? Is that what horror, and other genres, has boiled down to now; the need to shock? Why not try throwing in a few scares along the way? Movies such as Poltergeist, and the similarly themed Insidious, managed to use the child in peril them perfectly and throw in a few scares along the way. Hell, Paranormal Activity uses this theme well. As I mentioned, the threat is more effective than the kill. Anyone can kill a child on screen and illicit a short, sharp visual shock, but it is boring.

You could argue that it is tapping into the Maternal, or Paternal, instincts in viewers. Maybe, maybe not. I myself am a parent but these scenes don’t upset me, I just see them for what they are and that is cheap thrills. It is almost up there with the jump scare. Hey, let’s throw a cat across the screen! No, fuck that, let’s gut a baby instead!

I am sure there are more to come, and they will all think they are very clever and disturbing, and I can hardly contain myself in anticipation. Everything gets old hat at some point, and no doubt this will when filmmakers find something new to try and shock us with. I’d just like to see a little more imagination please. Is that too much to ask?

Filthy Giveaway! - Atrocious - Closed

A new week and a new Filthy Giveaway at the Lair. This time it's for the Spanish found-footage flick Atrocious.

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.

So, what do you need to do to be in with a chance of snagging a copy of this goodie? Very simple my good fiends, just shoot an email to me at judefelton@hotmail.com with "Atrocious Giveaway" in the title. That's it, just don't forget to include your name and mailing address. This will run until October 24th, when I will draw the winner, so you will get it just in time for Halloween!

As always my decision is final and a thing of beauty!

Good luck folks!

Atrocious is released on DVD and Digitlal Download on October 25th through Bloody Disgusting Selects and The Collective.

October 16, 2011

Filthy Review - The Howling Reborn

The Howling Reborn (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

To say I was a little apprehensive before watching The Howling Reborn would be a mild understatement. It wasn’t necessarily the fact that it is a “reboot” of a much beloved franchise that compromises of one great film and a lot of shitty sequels. No, it was more than that. The fact of the matter is that the Werewolf subgenre is kind of like the red-headed stepchild of horror monsters, it gets no love and probably for good reason. Zombies and vampires dominate the affections of the masses, for good or bad, and it is probably down to the fact that there are many good flicks that feature both. When it comes to werewolves you are pretty much going to rely on the old chestnut An American Werewolf in London. You might stretch it to the Ginger Snaps flicks and Dog Soldiers and of course you will bring up The Howling. Of course you can root around and dig up a few more if you want, but it is a sub-genre seriously devoid of real top quality lycanthrope action.

Now, back to the fact that The Howling Reborn is using The Howling brand name really doesn’t upset me all that much. I mean The Howling is a terrific movie, no doubt about it, but I haven’t watched it for years and I am not going to lie and tell you it’s my favorite horror flick so how dare they sully its good name. I’m way past that, I just hoped they could do some justice to the name.

Reborn is actually based on Gary Brandner’s novel The Howling 2, for those that are interested.
The movie itself focuses on Will Kidman, he’s a high school kid who lost his mother at birth and is about to graduate. He’s also infatuated with one of his classmates, the attractive Eliana. Of course, this is a Howling movie so we have to have some wolf action in there right? Yep, so Will notices a few strange things about himself, such as restorative powers, which comes in handy when dealing with the school bully, not to mention increased strength. If you want the complete story handed to you I suggest you read the DVD packaging as that pretty much fills everything else in. Suffice to say that this is basically a love story with some wolf action and teen angst thrown in for good measure.

Now, first things first, I really think this would have worked better if the makers had decided against naming it as a The Howling movie. There’s too much expectation there and comparisons are bound to be made. Saying that it is quite obvious to see that this movie was planned as a start to a new franchise, although whether we will see another one remains to be seen. The movie itself wasn’t terrible, it had a few decent moments, but the whole thing came across as an R rated movie aimed squarely at the teen audience that presently lap up that popular vampire series of movies that you might have heard of. There’s a lot a whining and moaning, thanks mainly to an intermittent narration from Will, that remind us constantly that this is a teen flick. We don’t actually see any real wolf action until about the hour mark, and even then the transformations (which the first film was famous for) are just kind of skirted over. I will say though that the final half hour or so does make for improved viewing over what preceeded it.

The Howling Reborn, as I mentioned, is not a terrible movie. It has its target audience and I would say that I am not part of that demographic. It is very doubtful I would watch it again but I could see a younger, less horror savvy, audience getting a few kicks from it. Maybe.

More wolf action and less clichéd teen angst would have resulted in a better movie. As it stands we are left with some R rated horror-lite, which makes me wonder what the filmmakers intentions were as there is nothing really R rating worthy in this movie. Sex scenes with no nudity, minimal if any bad language and a bit of blood and guts here and there and that’s your lot. Oh, and apparently some drug use that I must have missed. Regardless, a little trimming here and there and this could have easily been a PG-13 and would thus have increased their audience for the flick, as I can’t see this appealing to hardcore horror fans. To those seeking out a more adult interpretation of a growing pains werewolf flick I suggest digging out the Ginger Snaps flicks.

Overall The Howling Reborn is an average movie that is definitely confused in who it is aiming for. Worth a rental if you are a werewolf completist.

The Howling Reborn is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment on October 18th

Euro Shocks with The Skin I Live In

The latest movie from Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, The Skin I Live In (La Piel Que Habito), looks to be a disturbing picture to say the least. The story follows Antonio Banderas' plastic surgeon who is trying to develop a synthetic skin after past crimes against his family. He uses a young woman as his guinea pig whom he keeps locked away in his mansion. 

Almodovar's past work includes Matador, Live Flesh and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! but this certainly looks to be his darkest work yet. It was released by Sony Picture Classics on October 14th on a limited release. Hopefully we will see a Blu-ray and DVD release not too far off in the future.

Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic 
surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. 
After twelve years, he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every 
In addition to years of study and experimentation, Robert needed three more things: no 
scruples, an accomplice and a human guinea pig. Scruples were never a problem. 
Marilia, the woman who looked after him from the day he was born, is his most faithful 
accomplice. And as for the human guinea pig…