Showing posts with label film 4 frightfest 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label film 4 frightfest 2012. Show all posts

1 November 2012

Watch The Brutal Trailer For UK Indie Horror The Seasoning House

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Picking up some great positive word of mouth feedback former SFX turned Director Paul Hyett's The Seasoning House has been touring the film festival circuit.The film was one of the highlight's of this years Film4 Frightfest and now Kaleidoscope Entertainment has picked up the UK rights for the film and they have sent us an harrowing UK trailer.

The much anticipated directorial debut from Paul Hyett, one of modern films’ most respected special make-up effects designers, whose credits include Gladiator, The Hours, The Descent, Eden Lake, The Woman in Black and many more, The Seasoning House is a taught and claustrophobic exploration of psychological terror that mixes the nerve shredding genius of Hitchcock with Polanski’s visual intensity.

The Seasoning House is a grim and soulless place where young girls are bought and sold for men’s pleasure.  Here we meet Angel (Rosie Day), a young, orphaned girl enslaved by Viktor (Kevin Howarth).  Unbeknownst to her master, she moves between the walls and crawlspaces of the house – silently observing, learning and planning for her escape. 

When her closest confident is savagely killed, Angel can no longer contain her rage and sets out through both ingenuity and brutality to seek justice.

Our Friends at Blogomatic3000 watched the film at Frighfest for us, read their review here .

The Seasoning House doesn't have an offcial release date set yet but do expect the film to arrive early 2013. The film stars Rosie Day, Sean Pertwee, Kevin Howarth, Anna Walton, Jemma Powell,Alec Utgoff.

A big thanks to Sterling Pictures for sending us this trailer!

10 September 2012

Win Kill Zombie On DVD

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KILL ZOMBIE! is one of the most highly anticipated horror films of the year - a blood-thirsty, super-sharp zombie romp that genre fans are going to devour.

When a Russian Space station crash lands on a city, a deadly virus spreads, turning the inhabitants into psychopathic flesh eaters.

After spending the night safely locked up in a jail cell, two brothers and two crazy criminals emerge to find their hometown devastated, and at the centre of a zombie outbreak. When one of the brothers receives a cry for help from a survivor, they join forces with the local police officer and embark on a reluctant rescue mission, pitting their wits, and risking their lives against these mutant killers.

The film is a visual feast from start to finish. Expect limbs to fly in this explosive bloody battle between good and evil! Own it on DVD 17 September.  

We  have 3 Copies of the film to give away on DVD to win a copy please answer the following question:

Q. Name The Tobe Hooper 1985 film which Space Vampires turned the Human Population into zombie type creatures?

Send your answer, name, address, postcode to (email subject 'zombie')
Deadline for The competition is 30th September 2012 (2359hrs), Aged 18 or over to enter.
 Terms and conditions

  • This prize is non transferable.
  • No cash alternatives apply.
  • UK & Irish entries only The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse and kaleidoscope Entertainment. have the right to alter, delay or cancel this competition without any notice
  • The competition is not opened to employees, family, friends of The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse,kaleidoscope Entertainment. employees
  • This competition is promoted on behalf of kaleidoscope Entertainment.
  • If this prize becomes unavailable we have the right to offer an alternative prize instead.
  • The Prize is to win the Kill Zombie  on DVD, 3 Winners
  • To enter this competition you must send in your answer, name, address only, Deadline September 30th, 2012 (2359hrs)
  • automated entries are not allowed and will be disqualified, which could result you been banned.
  • The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse takes no responsibility for delayed, lost, stolen prizes
  • Prizes may take from days to a few months for delivery which is out of our control.
  • The competition is opened to Aged 18 and over
  • Unless Stated Please Do Not Include Telephone Numbers, we don’t need them and if you include your telephone number Cinehouse and The People’s Movies are not responsible for the security of the number.
  • The winning entries will be picked at random and contacted by email
  • This competition is bound by the rules of Scotland,England & Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland.
  • By sending your entry for this competition you are confirming you have read and agreed to these Terms & Conditions.
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8 September 2012

'Kill Zombie' DVD Review

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Dutch zombie horror Kill Zombie (original title Zombibi)tackles the horror genre with a ballsy understanding of its fan base and a quick sense of humour. Unfortunately its up against stiff opposition; Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Juan of the Dead (2011) are two stellar zombie features that handle the apocalypse in a similar bro-mantic black comedy style, still the film does well at holding its own.

Cutting straight to the action, Kill Zombie proves it’s for genre fans, no real exploration of the apocalypse and not too much focus on the concept of Armageddon as a social issue, Kill Zombie rolls up its sleeves and dives headfirst into the gory glory with a good sense of where its going and who its playing to. The film follows two brothers who after spending a night in jail, awake to find their city ravaged by zombie invasion. Joining forces with a police officer and two crazy criminals the group set off on a reluctant rescue mission through the deadly gore-splashed streets of Amsterdam.

Kill Zombie has some fantastic set pieces showing off a creative flair that lacks in many run-of-the-mill zombie features: a mini-gun sequence that’s grotesquely satisfying and a play park defence to name a couple. The more striking action sequences seem connected by typical zombie stock, but it’s incredibly tricky for a zombie film to maintain originality when so much has gone before. Even Romero seems to have lost some innovation. A key strength of the film is its comic timing and the skill with which its cast carry off the genuinely funny scenes. Kill Zombie is a prime example of what a good cast can do for a smaller production.

Though it looks good and has plenty of fun, Kill Zombie still lacks the heart of Juan or Shuan, heart that helped push those movies up past your bog-standard zombie massacre. And even though there’s a welcome and sometime innovative aspect to the design of the film, some things just don’t gel. The use of Tekken style fighting sequences is a marmite decision that threatens the integrity of the film, seeming just a little too unrealised and amateur.

Kill Zombie is for genre fans specifically, its lack of plot around the main characters stops it hitting the emotional impact of other mainstream cult black comedies but it does a good job of entertaining and showing off some really cool zombie action sequences. Its also one of few horror comedies that actually gets its comedy fairly spot-on.


UK DVD Release Date: 17th September 2012
Directed by: Martijn Smits, Erwin van den Eshof
Cast:Yahya Gaier, Mimoun Ouled Radi, Sergio Hasselbaink, Noel Deelen 

1 September 2012

[Rec] Invades Twitter Universe with 'Rec Twitter Theatre'

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Last Friday, 24th August 2012, the long-awaited and highly anticipated third instalment of the planned four-part saga has finally arrived and, boy, was it worth the wait, [Rec]3:Genesis. To celebrate the release of the third movie - Genesis, a seven hour epic world first twitter-based theatre performance will take place as infected discs of the film find their victims!

People will be able to follow this using the Hashtag #RECvirus

The show starts at 12pm UK time today Saturday 1st September.

Our Friends  at Fetch Publicity  responsible for the film's promotion  kicked off the events at their offices where the person who mailed out the infected discs out to the reviewers  met a grisly end leading to this web-wide appeal:

On a serious note fans of the Rec films will love this event which is about to start anytime , lots of fun and we've been told lots of great twists too.

In the third movie - Genesis - (out now in UK cinemas and out on UK DVD and Blu-ray Monday 3rd September) the virus spreads out of the original building to a wedding - what we didn't reckon on was it spreading to the Fetch offices and resulting in this hideous incident!Scott our resident Horror writer has reviewed the film, you can read his review here. Here at Cinehouse & The People's Movies HQ are concerned about Scott who hasn't been seen since he reviewed the film but we've been hearing of mass panic in Scott's hometown of Edinburgh.

We're appealing to anyone who got a disc not to touch them - the girl in the video was the one who did the mailing and now unconfirmed reports of similar outbreaks after the screening of the film in London at Frightfest last week.

29 August 2012

Frightfest 2012: Sinister Review

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The “found footage” flick. Possibly the most derided genre of horror, even more so than the slasher movie these days. With film after film seeing light of day via DVD you’d think found footage films are heading for burn out. But then along comes Sinister. Playing on the “found footage” conceit, the movie is however less a found footage film than a film about found footage. If Paranormal Activity and Insidious captured the imaginations of cinema audiences everywhere then Sinister is surely set to do the same. With a similar “found footage meets haunted house” premise to the aforementioned films, the movie tells the story of true-crime writer Ellison who, desperate to repeat the success of his earlier work, moves his family into a home where a horrific quadruple homicide took place (footage of which opens the film in a stunning fashion). Of course Ellison doesn’t tell his wife and kids the truth about their new home, however it doesn’t take too long for them to find out… Discovering a box of ‘home movies’ in the attic, Ellison spins the Super 8 reels, sitting stunned as the gruesome murder footage plays out. As he comes to realise that the murder he is investigating goes a lot further than just his house, he also realises the toll his investigation may take on his family. When it comes to horror movies everything has already been done, from slasher movies to found footage films there really is nothing new under the sun. So it takes a lot for any new movie to feel refreshing and new. Thankfully Sinister is one such film. Directed by Scott Derrickson, who was responsible for the better than average The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister is a masterpiece film-making; not only playing on genre tropes but using them to spectacular effect. From the grindhouse style Super 8 footage of the grisly murders, to the creepy haunted house bangs and bumps, we’ve seen it all before but here it works – so much so that it made even this horror fan jump out of his seat a couple of times! Best of all the script, by director Derrickson and film critic C. Robert Cargill (aka Massawyrm from Ain’t It Cool News), doesn’t treat the audience like idiots. Characters spout lines that the audience are thinking and just when the events reach a terrifying crescendo Ellison moves his family out of the house! If you’ve ever seen a haunted house film you’ll know the feeling of shouting at the screen, almost begging the characters to movie out – here they do. It’s a very small thing but it’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the nuances found in the films fantastic script. Ethan Hawke gives an astonishingly strong performance as crime writer Ellison, a man whose behaviour is less than exemplary. He lies (and keeps lying) to his family about the house; he lies about why, as his family falls apart, he is really forcing them to stay; and he lies to himself about his real motivations – money and fame rather than trying to solve the crime. However despite all that Hawke manages to imbue Ellison with a likeability – after all deep down he’s a man who’s only trying to provide for his family the way he knows how. Hawke’s performance also goes a long way to convince the audience of the believability of the more supernatural aspects of Sinister. Speaking of which, the films “villain” Mr. Boogie, is on the surface yet another stereotypical movie boogeyman but between the skillful way in which the character is revealed, and later his true ideology, the cliche of a “boogeyman” can quickly been forgiven. Especially given the movies stunning final twist… Sinister really is one of the best, and scariest, American horror films I’ve seen in years. Someone give Derrickson and Cargill the greenlight to make another – I’ll be first in the queue. This was a review by Phil at Blogomatic3000 Rating:15 UK Release Date: 28th August 2012 (Frightfest) 5th October 2012 (UK&Irish cinema release) Directed by:Scott Derrickson Cast:Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Clare Foley, Juliet Rylance,

Frightfest 2012: Paura 3D

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The second film from the Manetti Brothers’ whose The Arrival of Wang played Frightfest Glasgow and is scheduled as part of the Re-Discovery Screen at London Frightfest 2012, Paura 3D (literally translated as Fear 3D) is billed as a 3D thrill ride into terror and whilst the film has its moments (no matter how minor), it cannot compare to the sheer brilliance of the Manetti’s sci-fi opus Wang.

Paura 3D tells the story of mechanic Ale, who after overhearing a conversation between a wealthy customer and the garage owner, takes his best friends, Simone and Marco on a trip to the wealthy owners Rome villa intent on having a wild weekend in his luxury mansion. Bored after raiding the fridge, swimming in the pool and playing video games one of the trio decides to explore the house, never expecting what he finds in the basement…

Lensed in 3D, but loosing nothing in 2D, Paura is a strange film. Filled with a sleazy atmosphere, the film embraces all that is exploitation – extreme examples of sex, violence and gore – only it does so in a way that doesn’t allow the audience to connect with the film. There’s no emotional investment in any of the characters, least of all the three leads who are an unlikeable bunch and the script is less than stellar. The films only saving grace IS the exploitation aspects, which are nothing we haven’t seen before a hundred times and after a while even those run out of steam, leaving a film that feels shallow and uninteresting. The complete antithesis of The Arrival of Wang.

Personally it was hard to watch Paura 3D and not be a little disappointed. After loving the Manetti Brothers’ sci-fi flick, seeing them produce something so generic and so dated (this is the type of film both Italy and the US were churning out during the slasher movie fad of the 80s), is heartbreaking. Here’s hoping the brothers Manetti find their mojo again for their next genre film…

This was a review by Phil from Blogomatic3000

UK Release Date: 25th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Directed by: Antonio Manetti, Marco Manetti
Cast: Francesca Cuttica, Peppe Servillo, Lorenzo Pedrotti, Domenico Diele, Claudio Di Biagio

Frightfest 2012: Errors Of The Human Body Review

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The debut feature from screenwriter Eron Sheean, who was responsible for penning The Divide for Xavier Gens (which also starred Michael Eklund), Errors of the Human Bodyis a film that belies genre-specific categorisation. Part Michael Crichton medical thriller, part David Cronenberg body-horror, with a hint of the classic Frankenstein, it’s both a challenging and intriguing film – although it is not without its faults. The film follows Canadian scientist Dr Geoff Burton (Eklund) who takes up a position at a scientific institute in Dresden, Germany, with the intention of continuing his research into random embryonic abnormalities – research borne out of a personal tragedy (the death of his infant son) that has haunted him for years. Hooking up with his former intern, Dr Rebekka Fiedler, now one of the top researchers at the institute, Burton becomes fascinated by her research into a regeneration gene, one that could have possibly saved his son. But it’s not only Dr. Burton who’s interested in her research as he finds out when he spies the mysterious and creepy Jarek (Lemarquis) using her formula on the mice in his basement ‘mouse house’. Racked by guilt over his son and fixated on Jarek, sure he’s plotting something nefarious, Burton steals one of the lab mice to run his own tests. However when his experimentation goes wrong and he’s bitten by the mouse, Dr. Burton becomes convinced he’s become infected, a human test subject for Jarek’s modified regeneration gene, and he might not be wrong… Errors of the Human Body couldn’t be more timely. Playing on the fears of genetic modification and stem cell research, the film is a dark, often bleak, look behind the curtain of science, showing the true price of medical breakthroughs – doctors pushed to the brink, experimentation that many would say borders on the inhumane, and the possible future consequences of (medical) success. These themes, whilst central to the film, run parallel with the very human story of Dr. Burton, whose life and deeds have made him a broken man. Thankfully Eron Sheean cast the perfect actor for Dr. Burton in Michael Eklund. One of the best character actors working today (you’ll know the face even if you don’t know the name), it looks like Eklund really threw himself into the role of Burton and his commitment really gives the character a believability and an emotional resonance that grounds the film come it’s almost fantastical conclusion. The film is not without its problems however. With an over-long running time, Errors of the Human Body suffers from too many endings and a third act that drags out the action to almost a snails pace. I understand that writer/director Sheean wants to show the gradual breakdown, both physical and mental, of Dr. Burton but that could have been achieved without a ridiculously long montage of him running through Dresden. However despite the films issues, with Errors of the Human Body Sheean has managed to craft an interesting, intelligent thriller that never panders to the audience, never gets bogged down in medical mumbo-jumbo, and best of all never stoops to the usual “science gone bad” style story we typically see from these types of genre film. For that he must be applauded. This Was a review from Phil at Blogomatic3000 Rating:18 UK Release Date: 27th August 2012 (Frightfest) Directed by: Eron Sheean Cast: Michael Eklund, Karoline Herfurth, Tómas Lemarquis, Rik Mayall, Ulrich Meinecke

28 August 2012

Frightfest 2012 - Sleep Tight Review

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Director Jaume Balagueró flies solo with Sleep Tight, a film that – like his most famous effort – once again takes place in a apartment building, however this time his film has more in common with the classic cinema of Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski than the modern zombie horror of Balagueró’s [REC].

Sleep Tight follows Cesar (Tosar), the quiet, helpful and polite concierge of an apartment block in Barcelona. However his polite exterior hides something much more… sinister. Relishing in tormenting Veronica, an old lady who lives all alone in her apartment surrounded by her pets and at odds with one of the buildings younger tenants, Cesar spends most of his days plotting against Clara, a happy-go-lucky young woman with whom he has an unhealthy obsession. An obsession that, as the film progresses, gets crueler and deadlier.

It’s clear to see why many have already dubbed this the Spanish equivalent of a Hitchcock flick. Sleep Tight feels very much like the maestro of horror’s Psycho, with Spanish superstar Luis Tosar seemingly channeling Anthony Perkins’ Norman Bates. The film also has shades of Polanski’s early work, in particular Repulsion and, of course, The Tenant. It’s a credit to director Jaume Balagueró that whilst it is set in yet another apartment block, Sleep Tight looks and feels light years away from [REC], yet imbues the same creepy atmosphere.

Like the aforementioned classics of the genre, Sleep Tight succeeds thanks to the performance of its central actor, in this case leading man Luis Tosar. A Spanish acting superstar, Tosar is best know outside of his home country for Miami Vice, the Michael Mann helmed remake of the 80s TV show. Here he gives nothing away in his role as Cesar, playing his emotions and his motivations close to his chest until the films story, and Cesar’s plans for Clara, spiral out of control. At first Balagueró would have us think that Cesar is taking out his frustrations at being lonely on the tenants in his building, but it isn’t until the films stunning, and I do mean stunning, conclusion, that Cesar’s motivations become clear… The pursuit of happiness.

Whilst many a thriller such as this would have a forgone conclusion (after all any movie psycho should get his comeuppance right?), Sleep Tight breaks with convention with a conclusion that offers an explanation for everything that has come before and brought a wry smile to my face. And whilst genre films typically have you rooting for the put-upon heroine, Balagueró reverses genre conventions leaving you happy that Cesar accomplishes his goal. It’s an odd feeling rooting for the films psycho come the films denouement but at the same time a refreshing one – both Balagueró and Tosar must be commended for such an achievement.

A complex, gripping, and in the end unpredictable, thriller that manages, in a genre almost defined by cliche, to shock and surprise, Sleep Tight is yet another sure-fire hit from Jaume Balagueró, proving that Hitchcock’s spirit is still alive and kicking in European cinema.

This Was A review by Phil at Blogomatic3000

Rating: 15
UK Release Date: 26th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Directed By: Jaume Balagueró
Cast: Luis Tosar, Marta Etura, Alberto San Juan, Petra Martínez

27 August 2012

Frightfest 2012: Chained Review

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L’enfant terrible Jennifer Lynch, whose previous flick Hissss is yet to see the light of day in many territories (at least legally), is back with Chained, a serial-killer flick that looks like something that has stepped off 70s US television, yet plays like the the more sleazier side of the decade as seen in the grindhouse cinema of 42nd Street and movies such as Taxi Driver – with shades of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer thrown in for good measure! Chained tells the story of Tim, a young boy who following an outing to the cinema with his mother, is abducted by Bob, an unlicensed taxi driver whose cab they hail. Driven out to the wilds of Saskatchewan and to the isolated home in which Bob lives, Tim’s mother (played by a cameo-ing Julia Ormond who also starred in Lynch’s Surveillance) is brutally murdered in front of Tim by the unflinching Bob. Taking Tim under his wing, Bob teaches Tim how to be the obedient slave come son-he-never-had, making him cook and clean and wait on his new “father”, not only that but also clean up after his kills and bury the bodies in the basement. Starting with Tim’s mother. Years pass and Tim, now re-christened “Rabbit” by Bob, remains in non-indentured servitude. However Bob is soon eager to teach the grown Tim the ways of the human body and have him experience a woman – in more ways than one. In short Bob’s looking for an heir to his serial-killing empire, and Rabbit is it. If you’ve seen Lynch’s Surveillance you may remember her fantastic use of stark, almost empty locales, which gave that film a weird ethereal nature. Well with Chained she does it again, shooting the film in the wilds of Saskatchewan which, whilst contrary to the typical claustrophobic nature of the genre, still manages to make proceedings feel closed-in and isolated despite the vast open landscapes on which the film takes place. The sparse setting is also translated inside Bob’s home, with only enough furniture to make the place liveable whilst remaining a functional “lair” for his serial-killing exploits. But Chained is not about the landscapes or the locales, it’s all about the characters of Bob and Rabbit; and it’s here where Lynch has once again pulled off somewhat of a coup in her casting choices. With character actor turned TV star Vincent D’onofrio (whose performance as Agent Goren in NBC’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent is one of the television greats) in the lead role as Bob, Lynch has an actor that once again brings his chameleon-like quality to this role. The antithesis of Agent Goren, Bob is a lumbering brute of a man who has a no-nonsense approach to life and to death; and D’onofrio plays the role with an air of pathos, which works to humanise the man even if his deeds are reprehensibly monstrous. However the real revelation is Eamon Farren. Last seen in the less-than-stellar wannabe exploitation flick X: Night of Vengeance, Farren brings a quite, often disarming, calm to his portrayal of Rabbit – this is a teenager teetering on the edge of sanity and he balances fragility and strength (both mental and physical) to perfection. And come the films final act you’re never really sure whether Rabbit has given in to Bob’s indoctrination. It’s credit to Farren that his performance is never lost alongside powerhouse D’onofrio. Director Jennifer Lynch isn’t afraid to go to some pretty dark places in Chained, there’s an incredible streak of black comedy running throughout – nowhere more so than when Bob and Rabbit play “Go Fish” with the driving licenses of Bob’s dead victims. She also mounts an assault on the ears as well as the eyes, often cutting away from Bob’s actions and leaving the audio to tell the tale; and come the films final denouement it’s sound that continues the story… A tense, bleak drama about a serial killer and his charge, Chained is for the most part a barn-storming success. It’s just a shame that Lynch chose to throw in a final twist that dampens the effect of all that has proceeded it. This was a review by Phil at Blogomatic3000 Rating:15 Release Date: 26th August 2012 (Frightfest) Directed by: Jennifer Chambers Lynch Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Eamon Farren, Julia Ormond, Gina Philips, Jake Weber, Conor Leslie, Evan Bird

Frightfest 2012 - Tulpa 3D

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Tul-pa (from the Tibetan): meaning a magically produced illusion or creation. The concept of a being or object which is created through sheer discipline alone. It is a materialized thought that has taken physical form.
Italian rock star turned director Federico Zampaglione made a splash in 2009 when his first film Shadow played to a packed audience at London’s Frightfest. Returning some three years later and after teasing the film at Frightfest Glasgow earlier this year, Zampaglione unleashed Tulpa on an eager and willing audience. Word of mouth had built the film up to be one of the must-see films of Saturday, and I for one wasn’t disappointed.

The film tells the story of businesswoman Lisa Boeri: she has a good job, she’s well respected and at the top of her career but she keeps a secret. By night she goes to a seedy club named Tulpa, owned by a guru who teaches her his bizarre esoteric philosophy on finding spiritual and psychological freedom by having anonymous sex with complete strangers. However Lisa finds out her sex club partners are all being murdered in horrible ways one-by-one by a black-gloved killer who seems out to destroy her life. But Lisa can’t talk to the police for fear of revealing her secret and ruining her career, so she has to unmask the anonymous assassin herself…

Taking the tropes of 70s giallo and updating them for a modern audience, Tulpa is an odd, yet fun, mix of the familiar and the new. Adding copious amounts of sex (much more than many of the giallo of the Italian cinema heyday) and not holding back on the violence, Zampaglione throws in a little supernatural edge in the form of Tibetan mysticism to create a neo-giallo that would make even Dario Argento jealous.

Packed with some of the countries biggest stars, including Claudia Gerini in the lead role, Tulpa marks the return of the giallo to the forefront of the Italy’s cinematic output. And from the gloved maniac’s first kill to the final reveal Tulpa is both a nostalgic look back at a now much-maligned genre and a bold statement on its future. All writ large on the screen by a director who has an obvious love for the genre and the talent to see it through.

This was a review by Phil at Blogomatic3000

Rating: 18
UK Release date: 26th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Directed by: Federico Zampaglione
Cast:: Nuot Arquint, Laurence Belgrave, Michela Cescon, Michele Placido

26 August 2012

Frightfest 2012 - Hidden In The Woods Review

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Apparently based on true events, Hidden in the Woods is another backwoods hillbilly tale, this time lensed in Chile, giving it that extra Spanish exploitation flavour. And exploit it does – exploiting the female cast and the audience watching!

The film tells the story of two sisters, Ana and Anny and Anny, raised in forest isolation by their abusive, drug-dealing, maniac of a father after he kills their mother for being a “whore”. Subjected to rape and physical abuse (which leads to Anny giving birth to her father’s physically deformed child, Manuel, in one of the more gruesome, and loathsome, scenes in the film) the pair finally find freedom from their father when, after chainsawing two cops to death, he is arrested at a bus terminal waiting for drug kingpin Costello’s men. However the girls freedom is short-lived when Costello sends his henchmen into the woods to find and torture the girls to get information on where his 30 kilos of missing drugs are. However this is a family that lives by the coda of “All men are animals and you hunt animals to eat” and they’re not going down without a fight.

Much like the Frightfest 2012 opener The Seasoning House, this film features copious amounts of rape and violence towards women. Now that should make Hidden in the Woods as brutal and harrowing as the  the aforementioned movie is right? Sadly thanks to ineptitude of the talent involved it isn’t, instead of being hard to watch the film ends up being laughable. How laughable? Well I thought Cockneys Vs. Zombies would win on the laughter scale – after all that film is a hilarious horror-comedy romp – however Valladares’ film wins hands down thanks to a ridiculous blowjob/cum-spitting montage that instead of making you feel empathy for Ana and the depths to which she has to sink to feed her family, leaves you literally thinking “what the fuck?!”

I could go on and on about the failures of Hidden in the Woods – from the near-unstoppable Jason Vorhees like father, to the ridiculous “dancing-imp” mannerisms of Manuel via a ridiculous cannibal-cookout dinner scene replete with dialogue as wooden as the table at which they eat. I hope the planned US remake produced by Micheal Biehn rectifies a lot of the films issues…

A misogynistic exploitation film made to shock and disgust, it fails on pretty much every level. A possible contender for worst of the festival.

This Was A review by Phil of Blogomatic 3000

UK Release: 24th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Directed by: Patricio Valladares
CastAgustin Aguero, Daniel Antivilo , Eric Bustos, Siboney Lo Trailer is NSFW

Frightfest 2012 - Elevator Review

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Nine people trapped in a lift facing death? Is this M. Knight Shyamalan’s Devil? Nope this is Elevator. A low-budget genre flick that does more with its limited resources than Devil ever did. A slow-burning, tense thriller that both knows, and plays with, genre conventions, the film sees nine people – Henry Barton (whose cocktail party they are all attending), his precocious granddaughter, two office executives, a glamorous TV news presenter, a pregnant woman, a nervous pensioner, the evening’s comic entertainer and a bodyguard – trapped in a lift after Barton’s granddaughter presses the emergency stop button as a practical joke on the claustrophobic, and obnoxious, comedian. Only one of the nine has a grudge against the Barton and his investment company and has come to the party armed with a bomb…

OK, so the premise may not be that original, but what raises Elevator above others of its ilk is that it is fully aware of the genre in which it belongs – even referencing Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, the granddaddy of the sub-genre, at one point. The film also makes a great statement on modern news, with glamorous reporter Maureen (Sunny) shooting the incident on her phone to be broadcast live on the nightly news – with shades of “found-footage” flicks as we see the unfolding situation from the perspective of the phone’s cameras lens.
Director Stig Svendsen, making his US directorial debut (and what a debut), balances the claustrophobic in-elevator action with effective scenes of just how isolated the group are, their voices echoing out of the elevator into the darkened lift shaft. Svendsen and writer Marc Rosenberg also have a tremendously dark sense of humour, visible not only in the gleeful way Joey Slotnick’s comedian George and Barton’s granddaughter Madeline (played by twins Amanda and Rachel Pace) torment each other, but also in the more macabre aspects of the films final third act – which I’m not going to spoil for you here.

Much more than just Devil with a bomb, Elevator is a great example of the best of horror – taking a horrific premise and using it as a jumping off point to explore much bigger themes and ideas. In this case not only the characters and their psyches but also racism and racial stereotyping in America post 9/11, and the role of financial corporations and the impact their decisions have on the everyman (shades of the global financial crisis?).

A tense, taut, thriller which blends an oft-told story with great performances, a wry dark sense of humour and some gruesome, yet not overtly graphic, set pieces, Elevator is easily one of the best examples of the (sub) genre yet.

This was a review By Phil At Blogomatic3000 

UK Release Date: 24th & 27th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Director: Stig Svendsen
Cast: Christopher Backus, Anita Briem , John Getz 

25 August 2012

Frightfest 2012 – Cockneys Vs Zombies

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They say a good horror film is one that leaves its audience smiling - a belief enforced by Cockneys Vs Zombies (2012), the new Brit comedy frightfest from director Matthias Hoene, starring (and I'm not joking) the iconic Richard Briers and Honor Blackman. After watching it you'll be screaming with laughter, as this is one of the freshest, most irreverent and side splittingly funny comedies, as well as one of the goriest, you'll see this year.

Determined to help their grandfather Ray (Alan Ford) and his friends whose old folks retirement home is being closed and the land it's on redeveloped by a large property company, Terry (Rasimus Hardiker), his brother Andy (Harry Tredaway) and their cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan), decided to do what any loving grandchildren would - they rob a bank of two and a half million pounds. With the money they hope to pay for a new start for Ray and the other old dears.

Elsewhere something nasty has just been uncovered by some building constructors (the same who have just bought Ray and co out of house and home) on a new site they are clearing in London's East End - something that is now infecting anyone who is stands in its way. Unfortunately for Ray, his friends and his ne'er-do-well off-spring they are doing just that, and the inevitable confrontation leads to a very bloody showdown indeed.

Cockneys Vs Zombies is one of the best, most original, laugh-out-loud films, to come along in months. The advantage many small scale British films have over their American, big studio counterparts, is that they can do whatever they like without anyone breathing down their necks or demanding the direction the film should take. As a result you get something like this - a totally fresh take on the somewhat tired zombie theme, good gory fun in a totally non-pc way that many American films could never hope to get away with. Where else would you find a group of OAP's beating the heads in of a horde of flesh eating zombies or, as happens at one point, a young man drop kicking a zombie baby and splattering it against an advertising hoarding.

There is so much that could be said about this film - from it's authentic use of East London locations to some of the most realistic, stomach ripping, gore effects since Shaun of the Dead (2004) - but I don't want to spoil your enjoyment. Suffice to say that I'm extremely jealous I can't see it again for the first time.

Though the cast as a whole sparkle in their 'diamond geezer' roles, it must surely be British acting legends Briers and Blackman who steal the show every time they walk (or in the case of Briers) shuffle on screen. They are brilliant and completely unexpected, particularly in the scene with Briers, a Zimmer frame and a zombie (you'll know it when you see it) which is excruciatingly funny, whilst the image of the usually refined Blackman toting a sawn-off shotgun and shouting "let's get those &^+%@!" will remain indelibly seared on your memory.

The one small (considering the age we live in) downside is the film's prolific use of expletive strewn language throughout. Now I'm no prude, and realise language like this is commonplace and not just in London's East End. However I do think a few less profanities would have displayed a more imaginative grasp of the English language.

But I'm quibbling, and otherwise adored this insane slice of schlock. Cockneys Vs Zombies may not be remembered as a classic of British cinema, but it's certainly more fun than a lot of the pretentious films out there (horror included) which take themselves way too seriously.

Cleaver Patterson

UK Release Date: 26th August 2012(Frightfest) 31st August 2012 (General Release)
Directed by: Matthias Hoene  
Cast: Michelle Ryan, Georgia King, Harry Treadaway , Alan Ford, Honor Blackman, Richard Briers