Digital Review: The Void (2016)

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The Void PosterDistributor: Signature Entertainment

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski

Starring: Aaron Poole, Ellen Wong, Art Hindle, Kathleen Munroe, Kenneth Welsh, James Millington, Grace Munro, Stephanie Belding, Mik Byskov, Daniel Fathers

This morning I read an article written by movie director Harrison Smith (Camp Dread/The Fields/Death House) bemoaning the “dumbing down of horror” for moviegoing audiences. I agree with Smith’s assessment, particularly in that horror movies need to make you think; sure, popcorn movies are good but we also need movies that work on another level. If one subscribes to the premise that cinema is art, isn’t that art meant to invoke an emotional response that is unique to the viewer? If we believe this then horror movies should also do the same. By accident, fluke, serendipity or whatever Continue reading

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Short Film Review: Rainy Season (2017)

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Director: Vanessa Ionta Wright

Starring: Brian Ashton Smith, Anne-Marie Kennedy, Kermit Rolison, Jan Nelson

By way of introduction, Rainy Season was made as part of Stephen King’s Dollar Baby program. For those who haven’t heard of this, Stephen King provides filmmakers the opportunity to adapt his work for a dollar, albeit with caveats – these films can only be shown as part of film festivals and no money can be made from them. There are some other narrow times the film can be viewed and one of those is for review purposes. These are meant to help upstart filmmakers adapt a known work for a very low cost thereby allowing artists to hone their skills.

The actual short story, Rainy Season, is located in Mr. King’s compilation Nightmares & Dreamscapes. Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: C.H.U.D. (1984)

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Distributor: Arrow Video

MPAA Classification: R

Director: Douglas Cheek

Starring: John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry, Kim Greist

C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) is a near-perfect encapsulation of pure ’80s cheese, overacting, practical monsters, evil government agencies and off-the-rails monster story, and in late 2016 the US got a Blu-ray release from the wonderful folks at Arrow Video. The disc is packed Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Creepshow (1982)

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Creepshow BR CoverDistributor: Second Sight Films

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: George A. Romero

Starring: Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson, Leslie Nielsen, E.G. Marshall, John Amplas, Gaylen Ross, Fritz Weaver, Joe Hill, Bingo O’Malley, Tom Savini

The horror anthology has had something of a renaissance in recent years, with the likes of Trick ‘r Treat, Tales of Halloween, the V/H/S films and the overly-ambitious The ABC’s of Death plus its sequel all being received to mixed results but proving that the style is still a viable one. Creepshow is one of the better known horror anthologies from the past, originally coming out at a time when the format had dried up a little bit after the run of successful portmanteau films of the 1960s and ’70s from the likes of Amicus Productions and the burgeoning home video market was beginning to take off, and Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Eaten Alive (1976)

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Eaten Alive BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

MPAA Classification: Unrated

Director: Tobe Hooper

Starring: Neville Brand, Carolyn Jones, Mel Ferrer, William Finley, Robert Englund, Marilyn Burns, Janus Blythe

This film of many titles, now known as Eaten Alive, was Tobe Hooper’s post-Texas Chain Saw Massacre horror flick. Self-described by Hooper as a grindhouse flick, it also has some interesting giallo moments as well as some completely off-the-wall weird instances. Interestingly, this was shot entirely on a sound stage, save for a few – and I mean very few – scenes in a local tavern. Hooper directs a story written by Continue reading