Monday 30 January 2012

Film 79: Anazapta

I vaguely recognised the title of this 'Medieval thriller' but had not realised until very recently that it's actually a supernatural horror film. And a subtle, well-made one too.

Directed by Alberto Sciamma, whom I met back in 1998 or so when he was promoting his first film, the very weird Killer Tongue. Anazapta stars Lena Heady (I met her on the Hallmark Merlin mini-series), Jason Flemyng and Ian 'Baron Harkonen' McNeice as a Bishop with a stash of 14th century porn.

Gritty and shitty production design and a good script makes this well worth seeing. I can't understand why it's so obscure.

Sunday 29 January 2012

Film 78: Creep

I'm a big fan of Creep. It's a good, solid horror yarn which brilliantly uses its London Underground setting. Not having seen it since the theatrical release, I was delighted to discover the much-missed Ken Campbell in the prologue. Why didn't more film-makers use Ken? The man was brilliant.

Anyway, Creep is not just a fine entry in the 'London Underground horror' subsubgenre, it also slots neatly into the largely literary 'hidden London' category of story. Made with some German money but a very British film and the start of an impressive career for Chris Smith.

Friday 27 January 2012

Film 77: KillerKiller

The second Pat Higgins film released was actually his third. Pat shot HellBride and KillerKiller back-to-back in that order but this was released in 2007 whereas HellBride didn't come out until 2009 so falls outside the scope of the book.

This is my second favourite of Pat's four solo features, a taut, simple story of psychos being picked off one by one in some sort of supernatural limbo. Or something.

In other good news, I discovered that I had the wrong release date for two films I haven't yet written up, reducing my total from 113 to 111 so there's now only 34 to go.

Thursday 26 January 2012

Trailer for Community (aka Final Project)

I just found this - the trailer for Jason Ford's film Community (previously announced as Final Project). Looks pretty cool.

Monday 23 January 2012

Film 76: Nature Morte

Paul Burrows' British giallo set in the UK, France and Thailand is so impossibly hip and stylish that in my original review I described it as like being repeatedly smashed over the head with a succession of Blue Note jazz LPs.

To this day I don't understand what it was about, but it's a cool and interesting film and a visual treat.

Whatever did happen to Paul Burrows?

Crossing Grabbers off the list (but it still looks great)

Anglo-Irish co-productions are always tricky when deciding whether or not they should be considered part of the British Horror Revival. You really need to see the film, or at least see the marketing, to judge. A case in point is Grabbers, premiering at Sundance.

Fangoria has a great interview with screenwriter Kevin Lehane in which he says, "I wanted to do something that was authentically Irish and a really cool Irish film that we’d never seen before." So that's enough for me, and I can take Grabbers off the list of forthcoming British horror films, even though it has some British money in it.

That said, I still desperately want to see this. It looks ace!

Film 75: Time of Her Life

Bad, but not in an interesting way, this dull, cheap - and cheap-looking - ghost story consists principally of people talking and walking, though rarely at the same time. I've seen far worse, but that's no recommendation, given the crap that I've had to sit through over the years.

I watch these things so you don't have to, folks.

Grindhouse 2wo poster (and sad/funny stuff on Eldorado Facebook page)

Richard Driscoll continues to spin fantasies about Eldorado being delayed because he's fighting the BBFC for an 18 certificate even though at least one online retailer is already listing it as a 15. It's certainly very believable that, even though you can now buy a completely uncut version of Zombie Flesh Eaters, this half-arsed little comedy-musical is too extreme to be released. Utter nonsense. Have a read of the Eldorado Twitter feed if you fancy a laugh, or check out the comments on the Facebook page where the cast and crew are starting to realise that not all is as it seems...

In the meantime, here's the poster for Grindhouse 2wo, which is pencilled in for a late February release. Steve Munroe previously starred in The Comic, while 'Lorna Bliss, Britain's newest scream queen' is the Britney Spears impersonator who got understandably pissed off when Driscoll advertised that she would be performing at an event she hadn't agreed to.

Judging by the photos, the Danny Lopez, Brigitte Nielsen, Patrick Bergin and Michael Madsen footage in this is out-takes from Eldorado while the Linnea Quigley footage is out-takes from Kannibal! I don't recognise the Robin Askwith photo so possibly that's from the still unreleased Back2Hell. Continuing the great tradition of people's names being spelled wrong, production designer 'Lee Wilkenson' is actually Lee Fenton-Wilkinson. The out-takes have been sellotaped together, with some new footage shot last month, by editor Richie Mulryne who is drummer with Cornish indie band 3 Daft Monkeys.

I would say Grindhouse 2wo is more likely to be released than Eldorado because the out-takes it's built from might not be covered by the same rights problems (which are most likely what is holding up the Eldorado disc - it's certainly not the BBFC). But I'm not holding my breath for either of them, and neither should you.

Curse this fixed-width blog thing!

Sunday 22 January 2012

Paul Hyett's The Seasoning House starts production tomorrow

I get excited about a lot of things but one of the most exciting pieces of news I’ve heard recently is that tomorrow Paul Hyett starts production of his directorial debut, The Seasoning House.

In my forthcoming book, Paul probably features more than any other person. Back in 1994, when he was still a teenager, Paul did the effects make-up for Andy Parkinson’s I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain, and from there his career has blossomed to the point where he is, I believe, the absolute top make-up effects artist in the UK.

If you like modern British horror, you’ve seen a lot of Paul’s creations: Lighthouse, Dead Creatures, The Last Horror Movie, The Descent, Cold and Dark, Spirit Trap, Wilderness, WAZ, The Sick House, The Cottage, Doomsday, Eden Lake, Mutant Chronicles, The Children, Tormented, The Descent Part 2, Heartless, Attack the Block, The Reverend. Basically, his CV is a list of (a) great movies, and (b) less than great movies where the best thing were the effects.

The Seasoning House - synopsis
The Seasoning House. An unspoken spoil of a Balkan war. The place where young girls, kidnapped by soldiers and sold on to brothels, are prostituted to the military and civilians alike. This is where we meet Angel, a young, orphaned, deaf mute enslaved by her vicious owner to tend and care for the girls in their drug-induced stupors.

Unbeknownst to her captors, she moves between the walls and crawlspaces of the house, observing, learning and planning her escape. Following the arrival of the militia responsible for the murder of her family, Angel's friend Vanya is killed by one of them in a twisted sex kick. Angel sets out through both ingenuity and brutality to wreak revenge in this tense, horrifying exercise in claustrophobia, action and suspense.

Angel is played by Rosie Day (Family Affairs, Bernard’s Watch) and the great British Horror Revival cast also includes Anna Walton (Vampire Diary), Kevin Howarth (The Last Horror Movie), Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers), Nathalie Cox (Exam) and Adrian Bouchet (Idol of Evil). The Seasoning House is produced by Sterling Pictures in association with Temple Heart Films and Swedish company Film Gate Films (who will handle the visual effects). Producer Michael Riley previously brought us Vampire Diary, as well as Deviation (due out next month), and is also working on Scar Tissue and Zombie Apocalypse. Paul has co-written the script with another effects guy, Conal Palmer.

Here’s the director’s statement on the sort of effects we can expect:

"The violence in The Seasoning House will be harrowing and extremely real. With my extensive experience in prosthetics and visual effects we will be creating fight scenes and violence in a style not seen before. The production design will be based on the devastated post-war look in parts of Eastern Europe. The Seasoning House itself will be dilapidated with crumbling walls and grey green colours, to mimic the emotional confines Angel is living in. The only colourful parts will be the flashbacks of Angel’s previous life with her family. The costumes and makeup will also emphasise the broken-down, decrepit and fractured world in which Angel lives.

Very cool pre-production artwork

Finally, check out this amazing teaser which was directed by Paul, with some of the same cast and crew, for another military-based horror project, The Black Site. The final shot here is absolutely jaw-dropping.

Looking forward to: Dead of the Nite

Dead of the Nite is a supernatural horror which is mostly shot and has none other than Tony Todd lined up for the final batch of shooting later this year. Here's the information which was kindly sent to me by the director/producer, SJ Evans. Evans has an acting role in Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection and is attached as producer to Ruggero Deodato's mooted sequel to House on the Edge of the Park.

You can find out more on the film's website and Facebook page. Scroll down for a very brief teaser trailer.


Pillay-Evans Productions are delighted to announce we have agreed terms with US horror legend TONY TODD to appear in our feature horror DEAD OF THE NITE.

Tony has a string of huge box office hits, surpassing $1.2bn and unforgettable appearances in a host of Hollywood Blockbusters including Candyman, The Crow, The Rock and this years US #1 Final Destination 5.

We know Tony will bring his distinct style and his acting pedigree to the part of Ruber when he flies over from L.A. to South Wales in 2012.

Directed by SJ Evans, and produced by Sousila Pillay, Dead of the Nite also stars Joseph Millson (Campus), Cicely Tennant (Blooded), Claudio Pacifico (Prince of Persia), Paul Fox (Red Tails) and Gary Mavers (Devils Bridge), and a cameo by scream queen Suzi Lorraine (Music & Lyrics), Dead of the Nite will be released Halloween this year.

We are also giving fans the opportunity to be involved in making the film from acting opposite Tony, to even being a credited producer by visiting:

You can keep up to date on the film and get further information by visiting our Facebook page or following @DeadoftheNite on Twitter.


When a group of ghost hunters investigate the infamous Jericho Manor, they soon realise it's not just ghosts that go bump in the night! As the team start getting slaughtered, the survivors need to discover who, or what's killing them before it's too late.


We have already shot 85% of the film in Craig-y-Nos Castle last year, and once funding has been raised will film there again and in various locations in Cardiff. As like our previous film TATTOOS: A SCARRED HISTORY, we like to give back (in that case donate money to childrens charity Angelwish), with DEAD OF THE NITE we will be hiring local people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and give them new skills to start a career in film and have the opportunity to work with skilled crew and cast.

Film 74: Vampire Diary

I really like Vampire Diary, and I think there are four main reasons why:

  • It does something a bit different with the whole 'fake reality' genre.
  • It's a rare example of a film about a gay relationship aimed at a general audience.
  • It's splendidly ambiguous about whether or not Vicki is a vampire. When I interviewed the writer/co-director, the other co-director and the producer, one of them said she definitely is a vampire, one assured me she definitely isn't and the third sat solidly on the fence!
  • And finally, it's got the always-terrific Keith-Lee Castle from Urban Gothic and Young Dracula in it, making him arguably Britain's most prolific vampire actor of the 21st century.

Friday 20 January 2012

Film 73: In a Dark Place

Oh great. Just what the world needs. Yet another version of Turn of the Screw. Because it's still never been done really well, has it? Oh, wait...

This is one of those nothing films that you can barely recall by the time the credits finish. An international co-production directed by a chap from Luxembourg and filmed in that country, this is British enough (screenwriter, source material, cast, setting, plus it's in English) for me to include it.

But there's nowt to say about it, other than that Tara Fitzgerald is actually quite good but token Yank Leelee Sobieski is absolutely awful. And the scenery is pretty.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Eldorado: BBFC blamed...

Latest pronouncements from the Eldorado Facebook/Twitter thing:

"‎"Due to an ongoing battle with the BBFC for an 18 certification, Eldorado's initial release on Jan 30th will be in 2D only. We have also decided to postpone the premiere until the 25th June, the date of the exclusive Blu-ray 3D release, as we feel that the premiere should be enjoyed in 3D." Eldorado writer/producer & director Richard Driscoll."
"BBFC demand cuts in Eldorado to let it go out as a 18 certificate. The Producer Richard Driscoll continues to fight the decision."

Really? I can smell it from here and it begins with B...

Young, High and Dead trailer

Here's the new trailer for Young, High and Dead. It stars Hannah Tointon (Hollyoaks, The Inbetweeners), Louisa Lytton (EastEnders, The Bill) and Philip Barantini.

This trailer's awfully dark. I hope they can do something about that.

Film 72: StagKnight

After a harrowing weekend watching and writing about Eden Lake, I needed a laugh. Simon Cathcart's StagKnight isn't the funniest or scariest horror comedy ever made but it's likeable, amusing and features some enjoyable performances. Sandra Dickinson is very good as the mad old landlady and looks like she was relishing playing against type.

Mind you, the plot makes no sense at all, possibly because quite a lot seems to have been left on the editing room floor.

Sunday 15 January 2012

Film 71: Eden Lake

I put off watching this film because I really, really hate horror movies based around realistic violence but it's clearly a very important film as an example of both 'hoodie horror' and isolationist rural terror. Plus it confirmed James Watkins as a seriously good film-maker.

It's so upsetting that it took me two days to watch, in 5-10 minute chunks. But I'm glad I did see it because it's a magnificent achievement. Amazing performances, stunning 35mm cinematography, great score (by my old pal from the Hitchiker's Guide Fan Club, Dave Julyan) and absolutely spot-on script and direction.

Interesting footnote that won't make it into the book: the Asian kid is the actor who plays the brother's best friend in enjoyable kidcom Dani's House.

Eldorado screening confusion

Confusion reigns over possible theatrical screenings of Eldorado. Richard Driscoll is sure that there will be a screening at the Prince Charles Cinema on Monday 30th January with various cast and crew in attendance. However, no details of this have been released on and there’s no mention of it yet on the PCC website.

The names being bandied about are Michael Madsen (if he’s out of the Big Brother house by then), professional Johnny Depp lookalike Danny Lopez and professional Britney Spears lookalike Lorna Bliss (pictured). However, it seems that not everythng being announced has been agreed to...

Last Sunday, the Eldorado Twitter/Facebook account said “Lorna Bliss and Danny Lopez to perform "Your The One That I Want" with ex-members of Paul McCartney's band WINGS at the after show party in Bournemouth at Mr Kyps”


Yesterday’s post said “Its officia Lorna bliss one of the stars of Eldorado and the world's best Britney Spears impersonator has agreed to sing some of Britney Spears songs at the Bournemouth Eldorado Special screening Party. Tickets available soon at Not to be missed.”

Which prompted this tweet from Lorna: “How can something be 'official' if I haven't actually agreed to it ? Takes the P**S !” and, after someone on Facebook suggested it would be “good for a laugh”, Lorna commented “I for one will be giving it a miss so I guess you won't be laughing afterall”

There’s nothing about an after-screening event on the Mr Kyps website. As for the PCC, any screening on 30th January will need to be either very early or very late as they’re showing Robin Hood: Men in Tights at 6.30pm and The Princess Bride at 8.45pm.

It's also worth noting that, with two weeks to go until its release date, Eldorado has still not yet received a BBFC certificate.

ETA: The Prince Charles have now confirmed to me that they have been booked for that date by Eldorado but that all tickets etc are being handled by Driscoll's people.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Film 70: The Sickhouse

My mother always said, if you can't find something nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all. Despite which, documenting how and why this film is so awful has taken me all afternoon.

Absolutely unwatchable with terrible cinematography - how could this possibly be the same DP as The Descent? - which at least detracts somewhat from the nonsensical story, awful dialogue and a cast of teenagers not one of whom is under 25.

Just dreadful.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Tuck Bushman mobile phone game app thing, or some such malarkey

I don't profess to understand what an 'app' is - my mobile phone cost me £4.99 - and I'm old-fashioned enough that an 'android' is just the human-shaped robotic servant who brings me my cyber-slippers and electro-pipe. But apparently this is some sort of game, promoting Yorkshire horror comedy Tuck Bushman and the Legend of Piddledown Dale, which screened at a few small festivals in 2010 and is lined up for a DVD release sometime this year from Chemical Burn Entertainment.

You can find out more about Tuck Bushman and the same folks' short films at

Before Dawn - great trailer for the Emmerdale zombie film

The first trailer for Before Dawn is here. Directed by and starring Dominic Brunt (Paddy Kirk in Emmerdale), written by Emmerdale scripter Mark Illis from a story by (and also starring) Joanne Mitchell (Susan Davies in Emmerdale). Cast also includes Eileen O'Brien (Bridget Burgess in Emmerdale), Nicky Evans (Roy Glover...), Alan French (Geoff Jones... - look, I'm just getting this off IMDB, I've never actually watched the show and have no idea who these people are!).

Judging by this trailer, Before Dawn combines the current vogue for rural countryside horror - with the living dead! I really, really like that there's some slow, quiet bits even in this short trailer. That suggests a character-based film rather than just endless splatter. Let's hope so.

Helen Grace from the wonderful Left Films produces alongside Mitchell and Brunt with Colin's Marc Price as execprod and cinematographer - both names that give me extra confidence that this will be a good'un.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Ouija: indie horror from Derbyshire

Info received from young director of forthcoming indie horror Ouija:

My name is Darren Lynch, I'm 25 years old and I'm an actor from Derby. I've currently been acting now for about two years. Playing a character called Shifty in a recent cinema release called Screwed. Also appearing in future 23rd Bond Movie called Skyfall for release in 2013. Watching a lot of big name directors such as Reg Traviss, Sam Mendes and Dominic Burns work on their masterpiece, it has inspired me to write, direct and produce my first movie. A horror movie called Ouija. Always been a fan of horror movies and using the Ouija board inspired me to write this script as there are not many good ouija board films. I am aiming for cinema release on this one for release next Halloween.

Ouija tells the story of nine friends who get together for a night out of partying in the woods. Little do they know one of them has other ideas bringing the Ouija board, convincing everyone to play. They open a portal unleashing a series of demons who stalk the group killing them one by one.

Ouija is something different than any other horror, firstly their isn't a film about an ouija board that has ever been a huge success*. Until now.

This film has everything a horror fanatic is looking for. Scare factors, gore, lots of jumpy bits and of course .. a great story line. I was inspired by the ouija board to write this story. I have done a few in my time never come across anything spooky. But have been told not to mess with the arts of Ouija so i wrote this story in other people's eyes, how they have come across evil on the board.

We have finished filming now after a hardworking five weeks and the film is now gone into post production. The film is looking really good. We have been filming in a woods around the area of Shelton Lock in Derby. Already having attention from our local newspaper the Derby Evening Telegraph and having interest from America with another five articles wrote and a radio interview. Ouija is already blowing up and looking good for the release with so much attention.

*MJS begs to differ: Dude, what about Kevin S Tenney's Witchboard? Made by a film-maker in his early 20s (under the title Ouija!) and a huge hit on video in 1986, spawning two sequels. Great movie!

Plot details for Battlefield Death Tales!

From the makers of the acclaimed Bordello Death Tales comes the next terrifying chapter in the anthology series. Original directors Jim Eaves (Bane, The Witches Hammer), Pat Higgins (The Devil's Music, KillerKiller) and Alan Ronald (Jesus vs the Messiah) return with three new tales of eye-popping, spine-chilling horror. This time, the stories unfold in the dark days of World War 2.

Monsters of the 4th Reich
Harriet Price tracks down monsters for the British Government. Armed with an array of inventions and contraptions she deals with everything from ghosts, demons, werewolves, vampires and once, she claims, even Churchill's Black Dog. But, along with her newly assigned partner; the cross dressing gunslinger 'Trixie Antoinette', this latest investigation will bring her face to face with the greatest monster of all... Hitler himself. Alan Ronald directs this thrilling and hilarious slice of paranormal pulp.

Devils of the Blitz
The letters from the front line are getting increasingly bizarre. Private Graham Wilson is sending home stories of monsters on the battlefield. Burrowing devils with a taste for flesh. The family back home are divided as to how to react to these letters, and every night they shelter in the cellar as London is subjected to wave after wave of bombs. Until, one evening, that cellar isn't empty. The devils have increased their hunting ground, and suddenly the bombs aren't the only threat the Wilsons are facing in the London night. Director Pat Higgins brings you a dark tale of suspense, edged with pitch-black comedy and a splash of green slime.

Medal of Horror
When an American Colonel's burlesque dancing daughter Daisy is kidnapped by the Nazis, he swiftly sends for her ex Lover and serial love rat George to rescue her. Against his will, George travels deep behind enemy lines battling the zombified soldiers of the First World War in his efforts to save Daisy and his own skin, finally facing off against the sadistic Nazi high priestess Jezebel and her sinister Nazibot automaton. Director Jim Eaves takes you on a suicide mission, with a young British soldier doing all he can to defeat the Nazi menace.

Don't forget that the trio's first brilliant anthology, Bordello Death Tales, is out on DVD on Monday!

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Film 69: Botched

I came to this 2008 horror comedy knowing very little and expecting just a more violent version of a standard LockStock-esque crime caper but it turns out to be a genuinely funny and surprising picture, albeit one that can't honestly be said to work completely.

The cast - toplined by Stephen Dorff - play the comedy with deadpan faces and it's all the better for it. Bronagh Gallagher is particularly good as a strict religious fanatic. But I can see why the film didn't exactly set the world alight. It's a weird chimera of crime and horror which simply switches genres at the end of the first act.

Nevertheless, I'd happily watch this one again, which is not something I can say about all the films I've watched so far...

Sunday 8 January 2012

44 British horror films released in 2011 - and that's down on the year before!

My latest Devil’s Porridge blog for Hemlock Books is my annual round-up of the British horror films given their first commercial release last year. If you’re a completists about these things, you may want to revise your expectations.

Back in 2001 there were just three British horror films released: Nigel Wingrove’s Sacred Flesh, Simon Hunter’s Lighthouse and Richard Driscoll’s Kannibal. Ten years later, there are 41 titles on my Devil’s Porridge blog. But even that's not complete.

But first there are some updates to the 2010 round-up that I posted twelve months ago. That listed 32 films. This month’s blog adds 16 titles to that list. And since sending the blog post off just before Christmas, I’ve found five more! Four were US releases: Russ Diaper’s 2008 second feature Spirits of the Fall in January; Graham Guy’s ‘old-fashioned ghost story’ Underwood in March; Jason Impey’s double-bill lash-up Woods of Terror in September; and also that month Tales of the Dead, the debut feature from Impey’s mate Kemal Yildirim. Plus Shaun Troke’s Anglo-Polish horror feature Sparrow - shot in Poland with a UK cast - played cinemas in Poland and the Ukraine apparently.

32+16+5 should come to 53 but I have discovered, while writing about Adam Mason’s early films for my book, that he now lives in the States and his later ones are entirely American productions so one of the originally listed 32, Blood River, can be dropped from the list.

As for the 2011 list, again research for the book has pointed up US DVDs of two Jason Impey features, Tortured (June) and Psychopaths: Sex with Hostages (July - good grief). I also managed to miss out - simply because of the sheer weight of numbers - the September UK theatrical release of Susan Jacobson’s The Holding. Mea culpa on that.

My book, covering 1998-2008, includes 111 movies (curse you, Impey, stop making bloody films!). But in the three years since then there have been 124, largely due to the ease with which a ‘US DVD release’ can be arranged for pretty much everything. These films are on sale - but is anybody buying them?

Friday 6 January 2012

Eldorado London premiere lined up for 30th January, Driscoll filming pirates?

From the Eldorado Facebook page:

Eldorado will premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema in London's West End on Monday 30th January. Celebs from the film will give a Q&A before the showing of Eldorado in 3D. Tickets will cost £25 and will include a complimentary DVD of the film and also the album. Tickets will soon be available at Further screenings of the film Eldorado around the country will be announced on Monday 9th January

In other Richard Driscoll news, Johnny Depp impersonator Danny Lopez reports on Twitter that he has been in Cornwall filming green-screen stuff for Death Ship: The Real Pirates of the Caribbean, presumably wearing the same 'Captain Jake' outfit he has in the Eldorado 'viral' videos. Some visual effects work was done on this project back in 2010 when it was called Caribbean Pirates: The Death Ship Chronicles.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Exclusive interview with 'NOTLD: Resurrection' producer

My mate Andrew Jones, who I've known since his directorial debut The Feral Generation, is currently producing a Welsh 're-imagining' of Night of the Living Dead. Andrew has very kindly answered some questions about NOLDR over on my main website. Here's a couple of extracts; you can read the complete, detailed, fascinating interview at

“Some fanboys have accused us of exploitation but that's what the film business is! Every film made happens because the producers or studios feel they can make money out of exploiting a concept that appeals to a particular demographic. But where we differ from the studio remakes is we have the independent freedom to do something unique and different with the Night of the Living Dead concept. Just because we have a known title that's no excuse to make a shit film. We've worked hard to make sure we make a good movie that will please horror film fans, because ultimately we are horror fans ourselves.”

“What I've found interesting about some of the criticism on message boards is that people point out that this film is low budget like that's a bad thing. It's amusing to hear that because those same fans complain about how studios remake the horror classics with big budgets and as a result the remakes have none of the gritty charm or soul of the original films. Every great horror film I've ever loved, without exception, has been a low budget affair. The original Night of the Living Dead, Last House on the Left, Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Hills Have Eyes. There's something about the stripped down, gritty quality of low budget horror that makes it a far more visceral and frightening experience than the glossy studio movies. As a horror fan I long for the return of the quality low budget horror that we saw in the 70s and 80s, so as a producer I want to make horror films that try to recapture the vibe of that wonderful era.”

Monday 2 January 2012

Films 67 and 68: Sick Bastard and Home Made

Ah yes, Jason Impey. Young lad from Northants who makes zero-budget films with his mates. But in today's world it's possible for amateur stuff like this to actually find a release. Within the 11-year remit of my book, two of Impey's features were included in multi-film box sets by Brain Damage/Pendulum Pictures so I have to acknowledge them. There's a whole subsubculture of cinematic detritus like this which knows no boundaries so British film-makers can venture into it just as much as anyone else.

I ended up writing quite a lot on Impey, more than I planned. I cover Sick Bastard in detail - or as much detail as such a basic film can warrant - and touch lightly on Home Made before gesturing vaguely towards Impey's later releases. If you take a look at his website, you'll see that he's forever re-editing, re-titling and re-combining his features and shorts. I don't need to go into that much detail, thank God.

Impey's films per se aren't particularly interesting but what they represent, in terms of distribution and marketing in the 21st century, is fascinating and fits perfectly into one of the main themes of the book.

Sunday 1 January 2012

New Year’s Evil starts 12-month development and production schedule

The team behind forthcoming Tony Todd starrer Dead of the Nite have started development on another project, New Year’s Evil. Director SJ Evands and casting director Sousila Pillay of Pillay-Evans Production (formerly Nikjaw) are working with writer-producer David Melkevik who I have to send props to because he’s a University of Leicester graduate!

You can keep track of the project on the blog which launched yesterday.

New Eldorado trailer - spells star’s name wrong!

I’ve been a bit worried that the publicity for Eldorado seems a bit slick and professional. Not like we’re used to with Richard Driscoll productions.

But have no fear, a brand new trailer launches today which is not only astoundingly amateur-looking, and not only provides a convenient list of all the films ripped off, ahem, homaged, in the movie, it also does that old Driscoll trick of spelling someone’s name wrong.

Anyone know who 'Brigette Neilsen' is? Perhaps she’s some relation to the previously unknown serial killer 'Denis Nielson'?

I can’t wait to see this movie! And remember folks, you can’t judge a Richard Driscoll film from clips in trailers. It’s what he does with the story and characters that makes his movies so consistently entertaining.

Psychological thriller Mask of Sanity complete

Post-production on The Mask of Sanity, directed by Govind Chandran and Luke Osbond, was completed just before Christmas and the picture is now ready to start hawking round sales agents and festivals.

From the Facebook page:

Made up predominantly of a cast of actors/actresses from a range of (playing age) 18 - 25 year olds and based within a university setting and context, The Mask of Sanity is a modern re-imagining of character archetypes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (particularly those within the Sherlock Holmes novels).

The film is a look into the mind of someone who walks the fine line between being a genius and a psychopath and the consequences and weight of such a life and draws inspiration from:
Silence of the Lambs, The Social Network, Sherlock Holmes, Fight Club and Good Will Hunting

The cast includes Sam Elwin, Jordan Greenhough (also in Anglo-Polish horror film Sparrow), Ellie McAlpine, Rebecca Steward and Paul Barrand (Harmony’s Requiem). Osbond and ‘Guv’ Chandran co-wrote the script with Patrick Watremez, and Guv produced. Most of the people involved are former Oxford Brookes University students.