There is horror and pity in witnessing the mind of a loved one as it unravels and fragments. This is the misfortune of Kay who is called by concerned neighbours when her elderly mother Edna disappears from her isolated home in the woods. Taking her own daughter Samantha with her for moral support, they set off to the old family house to see what might have become of Grandma Edna. The first feature from Japanese-Australian Natalie Erika James’, Relic manifests its horrors slowly, perhaps influenced in part by the bleak emotional mood of J-horror family drama.
A low key, documentary/found footage horror film from Portsmouth, England based Trash Arts, The Truth Will Out, is a skillfully made movie worth checking out. Although it doesn’t break new ground as far as the genre goes, and while it isn’t full of action and cheap scares, the film thrives on its great acting and photography. A hit reality show, Hard Streets UK, hosted by the completely obnoxious and degenerate Thomas Laboss, is on its way to interview the Braussau family, Gypsies who claim to be true Wiccans. Along for the ride are Thomas’s sound and recording engineers, Stanley and Darren.
“That, ladies and gentlemen, is a petrified penis apparently.”
Director John Boorman’s cerebral and eerily dystopian sci-fi tale Zardoz was released in 1974, not long after Boorman’s iconic Deliverance, and saw the director team up with Sean Connery, three years after his final official appearance as James Bond and light years away from anything either had done before.
In a post-apocalyptic 2293, Zardoz, a colossal stone head, floats over desolate plains, pausing to receive grain from masked horsemen, vomiting weapons as payment from its grimacing mouth.
“Beyond 1984, Beyond 2001, Beyond Love, Beyond Death.”
Years have passed since the Earth’s skyline hypnotized humanity with its other-worldly blue light; an alien race descending from the skies to steal our brains! For those that were unfortunate to look directly into the light, they became bio-mechanical killer extraterrestrials known as ‘Pilots’. Fortunately, humanity was able to survive! Forming a resistance, skyline survivors fought off the alien invasion; re-engineering the ‘Pilots’ biology so their humanity could be restored. Now the ravaged Earth’s survival depends on the peaceful coexistence of the human race and extraterrestrial ticking time-bombs…
“There is only one thing harder than winning a war… Keeping the peace.”
If David Cronenberg was the prime mover of the horror sub-genre known as ‘body horror’, his son Brandon is taking it to the next level. With Possessor, his second feature after debut Antiviral, Brandon Cronenberg starts with a scene that braces you for the bloodletting that will come… A young woman stands in the bathroom of a hotel and stabs a long metal electrode into her skull as blood seeps around the wound. Her face runs through a gamut of emotions as the electrode fulfils its mysterious purpose in her brain.
“You have a very special nature. One we have worked hard together to unlock.”
40 years after the theatrical release of I Spit on Your Grave became one of the most depressing experiences of Roger Ebert’s life, Director Meir Zarchi has returned with a sequel so vile, so morally reprehensible, the new generation of film critics won’t be able to contain their stomach contents. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a new Day of the Woman! The ultimate day of terror!
“Before setting out on revenge, first dig two graves…and spit on one of them.”
For some people, confronting a house full of ghosts might seem a more benign situation than braving a pack of judgemental housewives, especially in the 1950s, an era haunted by impossible standards for women. Finding herself amongst the snooty wives of academics, Shirley Jackson must often have been the target of their gossip and probably preferred to imagine herself trapped in ‘Hill House’. Jackson reputedly cultivated an interesting, if fearsome, persona – prickly, idiosyncratic, unkempt, contemptuous. She was tolerated in academic circles, being a successful author in her own right.
“Let’s pray for a boy. The world is too cruel to girls.”
Directed and co-written by Giles Alderson, The Dare could easily be dismissed as a copycat of the movies that led to the mid-2000s resurgence of the splatter subgenre; unfortunately labelled “torture porn” by film critics and horror detractors. James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s Saw (2004), and Eli Roth’s Hostel (2005) are both seen as the pinnacle of the subgenre; the first to be labelled “torture porn” due to their emphasis on extreme violence and sadism, and never surpassed by the countless thrillers that followed. But despite a certain familiarity, The Dare breathes new life into the art of splatter.
“Let the evil out.”
The Dead of Night Film Festival returned this year despite everything happening in the world, proving you can’t keep a good horror hound down. After all, look at how many different ways Christopher Lee died as Dracula. This year’s festival was a free virtual edition!
“27 Short Movies. 4 Filmmaker Q&As. Across 12 Horrific Hours.”
Artist/writer/creator Paul PJ Johnson has been a consistent and prominent figure on the UK independent comics scene for the past 7-8 years. Being well known for his character Razor Bastard is only half the story, as Johnson’s versatile imagination and unique artistic style has seen him also release some absolute gems, such as the epic graphic novel Death Truck and the amazing Once Monster. Now he’s back, with what may be his most raunchy, most graphic, and most violent creation: Cannibal XXX.
“Yeah, what’s the worst? You drop your toast, butter side down? … Oh yeah, being eaten alive by fucking cannibals!”
A dog’s bark pierces the silence of the night as a man emerges from a car into the shadows wearing a Michel Myers style jumpsuit. We are only a few seconds in and already there is an atmosphere of intrigue and dread. The man is John, a janitor who has arrived to work a shift at an orphanage where strange occurrences are afoot. In an office turned nursing room, a woman holds a baby closely as vintage music pipes its way out of an old radio, adding to the overall sense of foreboding.
“I swear to god, I wanted to throw her right down the stairs earlier. It’s awful, I know. She’s teething…”
Powerbomb has an interesting premise. A superfan kidnaps his favourite wrestler who he thinks isn’t realising his potential. But there isn’t much wrestling in the film.
The first five minutes of the film are mostly showing the main character, Matt Cross (Matt Capiccioni), in action and his athletic ability; including performing a Lethal Injection (handspring stunner) and Shooting Star Press (mid-air backflip) which demonstrates that he should be performing in big venues.