Originally released in 1971, A Bay of Blood was later refused certification from the BBFC in 1972, ensuring that the film could not be shown at any cinema within the United Kingdom. Fast forward to 1984, and the unmonitored home video market was beginning to find traction with consumers. Bava’s A Bay of Blood would finally find a UK audience upon it’s simultaneous release on VHS and Betamax (from Hokushin under the title Blood Bath) that same year.
As you are no doubt aware, having found this particular website, in the late ’70s space was the shit. In the wake of Star Wars, numerous projects were green-lit, ranging from Ridley Scott’s franchise-launching Alien to the bottom-of-the-barrel Disney project The Black Hole. Saturn 3 was American-born, British TV supremo Lord Lew Grade’s attempt to cash in on the public’s new-found love of sci-fi. And, on the surface, its got a lot going for it.
“Trapped between unnatural love and inhuman desire.”
Made for approximately $25,000.00 and released in 1983 The Deadly Spawn is an exercise in low-budget excess. Conceived by producers Ted Bohus and Tim Hildebrandt this 16mm cult classic emerged, drenched in blood, during the horror video boom of the 1980′s as an effort to pay tribute to the alien sub-genre of 1950′s science fiction.
Special make-up effects artist John Dods worked extensively with his dedicated team to design and create the monster-mechanicals that helped secure The Deadly Spawn cult status.
“They came to Earth to feed on human flesh!”
After the success of John Carpenter’s original independent slasher film Halloween (1978), Rick Rosenthal takes over the reins for the second instalment. Immediately picking up where Halloween’s bone-chilling ending had left off, Halloween II (1981) continues Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) struggle to survive the night, as the seemingly immortal Michael Myers (portrayed in the sequel by Dick Warlock) continues his relentless pursuit.
“The sensational follow-up to the worldwide phenomenon. More terror, even more terrifying.”
Those who might shift the blame for Cell’s shortcomings onto a writer with a feeble understanding of the source book should be aware that Stephen King himself had a hand in composing the screenplay. Not only that, he also warned admirers of said novel that some changes that might rub them the wrong way would be imminent. King wasn’t lying, having willingly helped turn a visceral and harrowing work like Cell into a limp-wristed 28 Days Later riff with too many cut corners to freak out seasoned horror buffs.
“When everyone is connected, no one is safe…”
Once I heard the news that the new Japanese Godzilla film was going to be playing in my city, I was overjoyed. Ever since I was a child, I have always loved Godzilla. I went into Shin Godzilla very excited to see how my favorite giant monster was going to be reimagined.
Shin Godzilla (also Godzilla Resurgence) is the latest installment and 31st film in the Godzilla franchise. Produced by Toho, this film is a reboot in which Godzilla’s origin story is retold in modern Japan. The film was written and directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi.
“A god incarnate. A city doomed.”
The most accomplished horror filmmakers aren’t really interested in delivering easy shocks or jump scares. What they try to do is chip away at the layers of defence we have created in order to protect our delicate psyches. To do this, they often try to tap into our most primal fears – conscious and unconscious. I will elaborate later on what these seem to be in the case of Spring. On first impression, Spring appears to be a form of ‘boy-meets-girl’ story, but the seemingly simple plot delves deeper into the impulses of love and commitment than the usual Hollywood product.
“Love is a monster.”
Masked hero dressed to the nines with gizmos galore? Check.
Doughy character actors scurrying about in silly costumes? Check.
Twelve half-hour episodes of the aforementioned cheesiness, and more? Check.
“So, Commando Cody, Sky Marshal of the Universe. As one scientist to another, I must congratulate you. You have conquered space! A great achievement…for an Earthman.”
Doug Roos’ independently produced, feature-length, post-apocalyptic horror film was promoted primarily on it’s practical special effects, make-up and lack of computer-generated imagery (CGI). In this respect The Sky Has Fallen does not disappoint. Shot in Missouri and clearly influenced by Ryuhei Kitamura’s Yakuza/Zombie splatter-fest Versus (2000), The Sky Has Fallen combines elements from various horror subgenres and, whereas most would fail, Roos’ somehow manages to make everything work cohesively with only a few missteps.
“All practical FX. No CGI.”
Grave Tales is a collection of eight short stories by Craig Jex, writer of the exploitative, EC Comic styled Brutal Bombshells. Written over a period of twelve years each short story is drenched in sticky crimson red, bookended with two highly exploitative tales of terror.
Grave Tales may be a short read at only 69 pages, but it is one collection that will grab you by the throat and won’t let go until your eyes burst from their sockets!
“Thank God for a quick funeral…he had never done anything like this before, even with a live member of the opposite sex.”
In 1999, the original Blair Witch Project first hit our screens. It seems like a long while ago – the Internet was in its infancy and mobile phones were a still a luxury item. At that point in time it appeared that the horror genre had nothing new to offer in terms of original scares. In 1996, Wes Craven’s Scream had mocked the genre’s stale conventions and spawned a spattering of meta-textual, postmodern imitations with their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks.
“There’s something evil hiding in the woods.”
‘If you love someone, set them free’ as the saying goes – if only the protagonists of these horror flicks would take that saying to heart, instead of selfishly trying to continue to pester their loved ones beyond the grave. If they could just leave their relations to rest in peace, it would really make everyone’s life, or afterlife, so much easier. Certainly Elise, Lyn Shale’s character in the Insidious movies, has found nothing but trouble having to trawl around ‘The Further’ for the relatives of the people who beseech her for help. Luckily for them, she’s a rather soft hearted and plucky type.