Monday 24 June 2013

Little Deaths coming to UK DVD in August

Little Deaths, a powerful and shocking anthology from three of the best British horror directors working today, will be released on UK DVD on 12th August by Monster Pictures. The film is a collaboration between Sean Hogan (Lie Still, The Devil's Business), Andrew Parkinson (I Zombie, Dead Creatures, Venus Drowning) and Simon Rumley (Strong Language, The Living and the Dead).

In “HOUSE AND HOME”, Sean Hogan’s opening segment, a ‘good Samaritan’ couple invite a pretty young homeless girl into their house for a meal and a bath. But when they reveal their perverted motive behind the charitable act, they soon discover that they are not the only ones with a dark hidden agenda for the night’s events.

Andrew Parkinson’s sci-fi horror segment “MUTANT TOOL” takes experimental drugs treatment to a whole new level. When a former prostitute visits a shady doctor and is given some tablets, she suffers headaches and nightmares. She soon learns that the unorthodox ‘treatment’ is preparing her for a sinister new role in a nightmare-ish medical experiment.

Simon Rumley’s “BITCH” completes the unholy trilogy. When a young woman’s kinky sex games and abusive character push her submissive boyfriend too far, she finds herself the victim of her worst fears – her phobia of dogs – and the sick revenge that her boyfriend has planned for her.

The cast includes Christopher Fairbank (Mindflesh, Anazapta), Daniel Brocklebank (The Hole) and Scott Ainslie (The Zombie Diaries) with make-up design by Hannah Edwards (Cherry Tree Lane, The Reeds).

Friday 21 June 2013

Al Ronald in short horror-comedy

Here's a fun little horror-comedy directed by a stills photographer and starring a cinematographer. Debbie Attwell produced Al Ronald's segments of Bordello Death Tales and Nazi Zombie Death Tales and his awesome feature Jesus vs the Messiah; Al previously came out from behind the camera in The Devil's Music.

Sweet 6teen, Debbie's directorial debut, was made for the 666 Short Cuts to Hell competition.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Seasoning House in cinemas this Friday

Paul Hyett's acclaimed directorial debut The Seasoning House has its UK theatrical release this week - Friday 21st June. It's playing four cinemas in London and two in the rest of the country:
  • Apollo Piccadilly
  • Ritzy Brixton
  • Picturehouse Hackney
  • Showcase Newham
  • Showcase Leeds
  • Showcase Paisley
I shall be at a preview screening tomorrow night in London and hope to add a review to my main site over the weekend.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Cute Little Buggers - a British Critters?

Tony Jopia, director of rock'n'roll horror Deadtime and currently finishing off his werewolf feature Crying Wolf, has revealed the poster for his next project. Cute Little Buggers sounds like a British take on Critters/Gremlins, which should be good:

"After hostile aliens crash land on local farmland, the villagers at the summer ball get suspicious when young women start going missing. The villagers soon band together around our hero Melchior to fend off the invaders and bring back peace to the sleepy English countryside!"

The film stars a voice actor I used to know well back in the 1990s, Gary Martin. He was Judge Dredd in the radio version - as well as just about everybody else in everything else. Also in the cast are Joe Egan (Dead Cert, Strippers vs Werewolves, Ra.One), Kristofer Dayne. On the poster (but not the IMDB listing) are Leslie Grantham (who was in Deadtime) and 'Caroline Monroe' which is presumably Bond/Hammer hottie Caroline Munro who is also in Crying Wolf.

Cute Little Buggers is pencilled in for release next summer. The only downside is that it's going to be in 3D. Mind you, Eldorado and Elfie Hopkins were both announced as 3D productions and neither fulfilled that threat. No-one wants British horror films in 3D, so hopefully that part of the budget can be redirected into the script, the creature effects and a new poster design with Caroline Munro's name spelled properly.

Friday 14 June 2013

Fangoria reviews Urban Terrors

Issue 324 of Fangoria contains a terrific review of my book Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema, written by Ashley Thorpe (no mean film-maker himself).

"What emerges," writes Ashley, "is an illuminating account of contemporary Britain, a country reinventing its terrors of old to reflect and reinvent hell for the next generation. It's a read as original, provocative, perverse and diverse as the culture that spawned it - a bloody good show."

Cheers mate!

Thursday 6 June 2013

More on Richard Driscoll and Eldorado

My blog post yesterday has now been viewed a whopping 444 times, and the story has now reached the trades:

This piece in the Daily Star has a bit more detail than most:

"The scam included a bogus invoice suggesting Kill Bill star Carradine was paid more than £400,000 for 13 days worth of work, even though he had died two weeks prior to the date stamped on the notice. The paperwork also falsely suggested Hannah was paid £570,000 for seven days' filming in Cornwall, where Driscoll's film studio is based, even though the American star had not even left the US."

Interestingly, and slightly disappointingly, all the papers have seen this as an isolated case, based around Eldorado, the unmade Watchmen of Hellgate (which the press are universally referring to as Watchmen Hellgate) and Back2Hell which was of course actually produced back in about 2005. None of the papers have done even the slightest bit of digging into Driscoll's background or reputation. I actually sent a press release to all the major dailies yesterday with some backlground info on Driscoll (and a plug for my book!) but have had no response.

To veer off topic for a moment, this is the nature of modern journalism: you just take a press release, stick a headline and a picture on it and you're done (it's called 'churnalism'). No-one is interested in looking behind the story to find out the bigger picture.

Maybe Empire or Total Film or SFX will pick up on this and do a proper exposé of Driscoll.

The BBC, who gave Driscoll's work such a hefty plug, remain remarkably silent on the matter, although they may be waiting for the sentencing.

One particularly bizarre bit of misinformation which is being dutifully repeated by all the papers is that the list of Hollywood actors in the film includes Kerry Washington (most recently seen in Django Unchained). I really have no idea where this has come from. She's not in Eldorado, her name has never been linked with Eldorado, she's not in anything with a title like Eldorado and there's no-one in Eldorado with a name like Kerry Washington.

The story is also in:

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Richard Driscoll convicted of fraud, awaiting sentence

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Richard Driscoll, the most colourful character in British horror cinema, has today been found guilty of defrauding the Inland Revenue to the tune of £1.5 million.

According to this HMRC press release, Driscoll was arrested in June 2011 for fraudulent activities which took place between January 2009 and September 2011. Bear in mind that between then and his first appearance at Southwark Crown Court, shortly before Easter 2013, he:
  • Re-released Evil Calls in 3D as The Legend of Harrow Woods
  • Re-released Kannibal in 3D as Headhunter
  • Sent abusive emails to my webhost and ISP forcing the temporary removal of my reviews of his films
  • Announced a DVD release for Eldorado
  • Shot some scenes for, and announced a DVD of,  Grindhouse 2wo
  • Launched the website
  • Re-released Cold Light of Day
  • Released a trailer for Eldorado and announced a fictitious London premiere
  • Shot some green-screen footage for Death Ship: The Real Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Announced a screening and after-show party in Bournemouth featuring performers who rigorously denied they would be there
  • Falsely laimed the BBFC had rejected Eldorado as too strong for an 18 certificate
  • Finally released Eldorado!
  • Put Higher Nanpean Farm up for sale
  • Re-edited and re-released Eldorado as Highway to Hell
  • Announced a 'new' film, The Devil Rides Out (aka When the Devil Rides Out) which was actually the still unreleased Devil's Disciple.
That's all after he was arrested for fraud! Details of the case are still emerging but it seems he claimed VAT repayments on £9 million of costs even though Eldorado only cost £1 million to make.

The story is starting to appear on news sites although most of them are getting basic facts wrong, notably:

  • They think Eldorado was David Carradine's last film (to be fair, that's in the HMRC press release)
  • They think it was never released (apparently because US rights holders Fantastic Films International said they never received the film)
  • They think, for some bizarre reason, that US actress Kerry Washington is in it(?).

Driscoll will be sentenced on 1st July. Three men charged with him have been found not guilty. I'll post more details in the coming days. For now, here's some media coverage, which I'll update as it spreads: