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John Wick (2014, USA)

John Wick (2014)

I’m not a fan of action films. You know the ones, purely ‘Action’. I hate car chases. DESPISE ‘em! I hate things exploding left, right and centre. I hate overly-long gunfights. They annoy me and make me all fidgety. John Wick is an action/thriller, directed by two stunt men and stars Keanu Reeves. “WHY ARE YOU WATCHING THIS, YOU FUCKING MASOCHIST?!!” I hear you shout, and you’d be right to ask. I dunno. But I’m SO glad that I did! John Wick is an ex-hitman, grieving for his recently deceased wife. When the son of a mob boss takes a liking to Wick’s car and decides to take it, bad things happen.

“Revenge is all he has left.”

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FilmHorrorReviews

Razor Blade Smile (1998, UK)

Razor Blade Smile (1998)

This late 90s vampire tale is an essential watch for any fan of low budget indie gore and Hammer classics. Lilith Silver is the ‘girl power’ embodiment of modern vampires. In skin tight PVC, Silver is an ass-kicking, sexually confident vampiric hit woman, using her undead attributes to carry out the most daring executions. But life is never simple and her choice of career brings her to the attention of occult group The Illuminati who are hell bent on preserving their own existence against whoever is hiring her to eliminate them. Armed with their skills in dark magic and with Mason-like influence in the police and government, The Illuminati set out to take down Lilith ‘The Angel of Death’ Silver, in a gory, sexual game of cat and mouse.

“Part Seductress. Part Assassin. All Vampire.”

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The Stomach (2014, UK)

The Stomach (2014)

Coerced by his scheming brother and locked away in a grimy upstairs flat, sickly Frank is the talented, money-making half of a peculiar business endeavour in which paying punters communicate with deceased acquaintances via his distended stomach. With a tube in his mouth and a stethoscope pressed against his grotesque gut (bloated with the manifestations of the dead), good ol’ Frankie acts as a middle-man between this world and the next.

“Your inside his stomach…”

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The Order of the Dragon by Phil Hore (2016, Australia)

The Order of the Dragon by Phil Hore

The first in a trilogy of novels by Australian author Phil Hore, The Order of the Dragon introduces us to two very different characters: the learned, dryly humorous Amun Galeus, and his hulking friend Sebastian Vulk. While this might sound like standard bickering buddies fare, the novel doesn’t descend into cliché: it’s a fun, pulp horror piece that starts off slow, but once it hits its stride, rockets like a freight train.

“My name is Amun Galeas and it is hard for me to fathom that I now live in an age of instant communication. But then again, I’ve said similar things about many an age for as long as I can remember…”

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An Interview with Actress Julie Carmen, Fright Night Part 2, In the Mouth of Madness

An interview with actress Julie Carmen, Fright Night Part 2

Fright Night Part 2 would only work if its main vampire – following the iconic Jerry Dandrige – was strong. Regine Dandridge, the sister of Jerry, was played wonderfully by Julie Carmen. Sultry, sexy with a huge element of danger, Carmen truly became part of the Fright Night universe with this performance.

Fright Night Part 2 would have evaporated into the ethers if it were not for some dear loyal souls who originally saw the film and who continue to talk about the effect it had on them while growing up.”

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Evil Ed (1995, Sweden)

Evil Ed (1995)

Remember the days when films were captured on, well, film? You don’t? Whippersnapper. Respectable and reserved editor Eddie Swenson does. So when he’s transferred from his quiet, restrained art house section, to the brash, blood soaked vistas of the splatter and gore department, he realises why watching hours and hours of video violence may cause one to lose their head. You see, his predecessor went out with an, errrm…bang, after chowing down on a hand grenade. So Ed’s boss Samuel Campbell ‘promotes’ him to a domain that produces the ‘Loose Limbs’ series.

“It’s a no brainer.”

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The Rage (2017, UK)

The Rage (2017, UK)

Catastrophe can — and often does — happen in the blink of an eye, even in places that should be prepared for any eventuality. In The Rage, even a laboratory working with a dangerous virus, one place where everything had better be under strict control, can see all its safety protocols fall apart in an instant, leaving nothing but chaos behind. One moment, Joe and Terry, fellow lab techs at New Bio Energy Labs, are having a nice chat on a Monday morning, and the next Terry is on the floor writhing in pain and screaming in terror. It’s a great example of a compelling short made on very little budget.

“This is not a drill.”

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The Lords of Salem (2012, USA / UK / Canada)

The Lords of Salem (2012)

Let’s get one thing straight from the start: I love Rob Zombie. From his early days in White Zombie, his carnival-like album covers, concerts and music videos, right up until his 1st feature film in 2003, House Of 1000 Corpses. This was further enhanced by the excellent and gritty The Devil’s Rejects. Then came 2012’s The Lords of Salem a refined, mature mixture of his previous attempts that has not only made me change my opinion on where Zombie was headed, but also on what I now expect from cinema itself every time I sit down to watch a film with a low-to-modest budget.

“Heretic. Witch. Devil.”

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Girls Night 2 (2018, France)

Bloody Mary (2018)

It’s extremely rare that a director creates a sequel to a short film, but director David Teixeira obviously felt he wasn’t finished with his tale of ‘Bloody Mary’.

The first film told the story of three friends, Jess, Alyson and Chloe who spend the Halloween weekend at their friend’s country home partying. Late into the night they accidentally summon the legend of ‘Bloody Mary’ after speaking her name three times. We now pick up the story with Jess staying with her friend Pierre, trying to recover from the incident the year before.

“Bloodier. Heavier.”

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Girls Night (2017, France)

Girls Night (2015)

To achieve a successful short film firstly you need to have a solid idea. Having such a short space of time to tell an entire story is an extremely difficult feat, but when it’s done right it’s a joy.

Girls Night from director David Teixeira tells the story of 3 friends, Jess, Alyson & Chloe, who are kindly permitted to use their friend’s home for the weekend and have a girls only Halloween party. It’s here that the legend of ‘Bloody Mary’ comes up…

“Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary.”

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Bad Acid (2015, UK)

Bad Acid (2015)

Bad Acid is a lesson for those who crave fame at all costs, however fleeting, and delivers in every area for classic horror fans; leaving us guessing right until its ambiguous end. With only a hint of gore in the form of crime scene photographs, it really is a fine example of how to stimulate the senses through suggestion rather than brute force – a little like hypnotism, albeit, erm, real – and manages to conjure some genuine laughs and hair-raising moments in the process. Fancy a trip? If so, let David Chaudoir’s unconventional horror short, Bad Acid, consume you…

“Famous, I was! Everybody knew my name.”

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