Wednesday 30 May 2012

Outpost: Black Sun released in Germany

Outpost was a terrific 2008 Nazi-zombie film and the guys behind it have made two sequels. The second film, Outpost: Black Sun, hasn’t been released here yet, in fact it’s not even on pre-order. But if you’re desperate to see it and have 13 euros to spare, it’s out in Germany (which is kind of ironic, given the subject matter).

The Deutsch disc, which as released last month by a company called Splendid Film(!), has English and German audio options with German and Dutch subtitles. Here's the page.

Meanwhile, the third film, Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz(?), is now in post.

Monday 28 May 2012

Julian and Elisar at Cannes

Just wanted to share this little clip about the Cannes Market which features two old mates of mine who are both very cool fellows and important BHR names. Julian Richards of course directed Darklands and The Last Horror Movie. Elisar Cabrera, many years ago when we were all a lot younger and British horror was waiting to be revived, directed two DTV classics, Demonsoul and Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft.

Re-edited 'Eldorado' becomes 'Highway to Hell'

Richard Driscoll's Eldorado, which was only released in January, is being re-released with a new title on 23 July. It is now called Highway to Hell. Not to be confused with the 1991 film Highway to Hell, which also featured Patrick Bergin.

The previous release had a listed running time of 158 minutes which was actually a misprint for 1 hour and 58 minutes but Amazon lists the running time of Highway to Hell as 92 minutes. If true, this would mean 16 minutes of this incoherent nonsense has been removed, including presumably Brigitte Nielsen's scene as she is not listed on the sleeve. Or maybe Driscoll just gave up trying to spell her name right.

Product description (copied from Amazon):Is a story like no other as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets the wild west when two Las Vegas entertainers end up in the town of Eldorado. Watch Peter O'Toole (Lawrence of Arabia and The Last Emperor) Daryl Hannah (Bladerunner and Splash) guide you through this story as the horror engulfs our heroes. Will they be eaten alive by the town's occupants or will they manage to escape. With Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill 1 & 2) giving chase as the local hoodlum. Steve Guttenberg (Three Men and a Baby, Police Academy) as the crooked manager along with Rik Mayall as the cannibal chef. Patrick Bergin, Sylvester McCoy, Robert Llewellyn, Jeff Fahey and Oliver Tobias. In this star studded story where blood drips and laughs are heard aloud in the most unusual horror film you will see this year. You'll die laughing..............

The blu-ray (but not the DVD) says 'In 3D' on its sleeve. According to Stereoscopy News, "Highway to Hell will be advertised on Channel 5 the week before its release and there will be a theatrical release at 6 cinemas around the UK. With a special screening through Scream Magazine attended by members of the cast and crew including the 3D Stereographer Phil Brown (3D Phil)."

Screenings were promised for the previous release and never materialised, so don't hold your breath.

Friday 25 May 2012

Still waiting for: 'Bleach'

Here’s something you’ve never seen: the opening title sequence for a British indie feature called Bleach that was shot by a young man named Jason Bradbury on the Isle of Wight in 2006. I think this was finished but I can’t find any evidence it was ever shown anywhere. The title sequence was created by Wez Maynard.

SynopsisBleach is set at an abandoned factory where a group of youths decide to hold an illegal rave—little knowing that the building serves as home to a deformed maniac (Matthew Fuller) who is obsessed with cleanliness and hates anything dirty—including sex.

And here's the only still I can find from the film:

Thursday 24 May 2012

Film 103: The Last Great Wilderness

When you think you're nearly finished - up pops another one.*

I wasn't aware of this smashing little film until last week when I found a mention that it had been screened at a film club's 'Scottish Horror' evening with The Wicker Man and Wild Country.

It's a sort of Wicker Man meets The Old Dark House about two mismatched blokes who find themselves in an isolated commune of damaged people.

Creepy and darkly funny for the most part, with some quite nasty violence right at the end. Very enjoyable, but hard to adequately summarise.

*On the other hand, I've just watched Cold Earth then discovered that the supposed 2008 UK release seems to be fictitious so that becomes a 2009 film. You win some, you lose some.

Monday 21 May 2012

Another retitling for 'Death Tales'

It was filmed as Battlefield Death Tales, was changed to Zombie Death Tales and now it's called Nazi Zombie Death Tales. Is that better?

Nazis are quite hot right now in B-movies, with Iron Sky released this week (for one day) so I suppose there's marketing sense behind it. But it feels clunky to me, whereas Battlefield Death Tales feels poetic (and has an alliterative resonance of Bordello Death Tales).

And still only one of the stories has Nazi zombies in it.

Personally, I can't wait for the film whatever it's called.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Gareth Evans' 'Footsteps' gets UK release and new title

I'm really, really pleased to see my mate Gareth Evans getting loads of coverage and a wide release for his new film The Raid. Let's face it, when was the last time an Indonesian movie played your local multiplex?

Before he moved to Jakarta, Gareth's first feature was a low-budget, bleak and brilliant tale of a young man drifting into the snuff movie industry, starring the fantastic Mads Koudal. When I reviewed it, the film was called Footsteps, which is how it was released in the States. It has remained unseen in the UK until now, but The Raid's success has prompted Metrodome to pick up Footsteps, retitle it Vengeance Day and slot it in for a 23rd July release.

Violent revenge film 'Piggy' released next week

"Dangerous and murky world of violence and revenge" isn't really my scene, but here's the press release for a new British horror movie called Piggy, out next week:

Starring Martin Compston (The Disappearance of Alice Creed), Paul Anderson (The Firm) and Neil Maskell (Kill List)

Joe (Martin Compston) is a mild mannered young man bored by his humdrum London life. When his beloved brother (Neil Maskell) is murdered, Joe finds solace in Piggy, one of his brother's old friends. Piggy helps Joe to cope with grief, intent on saving him and helping him get justice for his brother's killing.

As their friendship grows Joe finds himself in an increasing dangerous and murky world of violence and revenge. As Joe’s life collapses around him he starts to question who Piggy really is, and how honest he's really been with him. When Joe confronts Piggy a series of events are put in place that lead to a disastrous climax.

With an electrifying performance from Paul Anderson in the title role, Piggy signals the arrival of director Kieron Hawkes as a major new force in gritty British cinema.

Release on DVD: 21st May 2012
Certificate 18 / 100 Minutes

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Film 102: Wild Country

Scottish werewolf movie with Peter Capaldi. Good characterisation, good dialogue (as much as can be understood through the accents) but really awful creature effects. I mean, just ludicrous.

Bob Keen is credited but when I asked him about the film he sought to distance himself from it, and I can understand why.

Also, this is really, really short. Even with five minutes of credits it's only 70'03".

Film 101: Small Town Folk

Townies get mixed up with psychotic locals in this labour-of-love horror comedy from many of the same folk who brought us Freak Out.

A lot of time and effort went into this but it is sorely lacking in plot, characterisation or, frankly, laughs. Which is a shame, as I was quite looking forward to this.

Warwick Davis is token name value but only on screen for about 90 seconds.

Film 100: WAZ

Technically the title is W-Delta-Z but who knows how to do a capital delta on their keyboard? Even the distributors called it Waz - the copyright is 'Waz Distribution Ltd'.

Looks and feels like one of those modern, gritty US cop shows but incredibly this was mostly filmed in Belfast and most of the actors are British, apart from Stellan Skarsgard (Swedish), Melissa George (Aussie) and Selma Blair (a real Yank).

I quite enjoyed this, but possibly because I've never seen it's stylistic influences. It's often called 'Seven meets Saw' but I have no intention of ever watching any Saw film and I can't stand David Fincher movies. And I don't watch any US cop shows.

Thursday 3 May 2012

Battlefield Death Tales retitled

Battlefield Death Tales, the Jim Eaves/Pat Higgins/Al Ronald follow-up to Bordello Death Tales, has been picked up by Safecracker Pictures, who released the previous film. But it won't be called Battlefield Death Tales. As you can see from this image, the film is now called Zombie Death Tales.

Personally, I don't think that's as good as the original title, partly because there are a million films called Zombie This or Zombie That, and partly because only one of the three stories is about zombies. Plus it takes away the distinctive aspect of the film - that these are all war stories - and aren't all zombie films 'death tales' by definition?

But I suspect that films with 'zombie' in the title sell a lot better than films with 'battlefield' in the title...

Safecracker have this pencilled in for a 13th August release.

Can't wait to see: The Eschatrilogy

The Eschatrilogy is an anthology film from Damian Morter and Safehouse Pictures, whose first horror feature was the as-yet-unreleased Bicycle Day. The film consists of three stories: The Dead Inside, Dying Breed and A Father for the Dead, linked by a story about survivors of a zombie apocalypse.

A new promo for the framing story, including comments from Morter and lead actor Tim McGill Grieveson, is now online and it looks terrific. And there's another one for Dying Breed with plenty of behind-the-scenes footage of the many, many zombies. Also in the movie's cast are Stuart Wolfenden (Dead Man's Shoes) and - blimey! - Sarah-Jane off CBeebies!

Wednesday 2 May 2012

'Zombie Undead' US release in July

Rhys Davies' low-budget zombie feature Zombie Undead - the first ever horror film shot in Leicester! - will be released in the States on 24 July by Jinga Films. The film was shot in 2009 and released in the UK last May.

'Vampires: Brighter in Darkness' moved to October

British gay vampire feature Vampires: Brighter in Darkness, originally announced by Peccadillo Pictures for an April release, has been bumped back to 22nd October.

When cute, wide-eyed Toby comes out of a disastrous relationship, sister Charlotte sets him up on a blind date with a difference. What neither of them realise is that the date is with Lucas, a 1500 year old vampire. Before long, Toby is plunged into the dark world of demons, black magic and the supernatural, where nobody is safe and nothing is what it seems... An exciting British feature film brimming with a whole fresh batch of upcoming and easy-on-the-eye local talent, Vampires: Brighter in Darkness brings the romance and terror of the Twilight series to the UK, with a queer twist and oddles of sex appeal.

The feature is evidently based on a web series although I can't work out if it's a remake or a re-edit. A sequel, Vampires: Lucas Rising is in pre-production. Here's the most recent trailer for V:BiD, from December last year (which says September 2012 at the end):