Thursday 30 April 2015

Japanese sleeves of British horror films, part 5

Here's another selection of sleeves from Japan.

My Little Eye used exactly the same artwork, but what a difference the Japanese script makes. You would assume this was a J-horror film.

Octane (not to be confused with the Fast and Furious ripoff) looked much more exciting in Japan. Though I imagine Japanese audiences were just as disappointed with how shit it actually is.

I couldn't find the first two Outpost films, but here's number three.

Holy shit! Wolfgang Buld's Penetration Angst is a crazy enough film to start with, but look what the Japanese distributor did with it! And retitled Killer Pussy too!

Finally for now, Eitan Arrusi's intense Reverb is made to look a lot more splattery than it actually is.

More Japanese sleeves:

Monday 27 April 2015

Darkest Day plays cinemas down south in May, plus DVD release

Low-budget British zombie feature Darkest Day gets a limited theatrical release next month. You've just missed a couple,of previews in Brighton (where it was shot), but you can still catch the film on the big screen if you live down south.

The printed publicity material dates the theatrical release to 1st May but the premiere is actually on Mondat 11th May at The Gate, Notting Hill. Then you can see it at No6 Cinema, Portsmouth on Sunday 24th May; Duke's at Komedia, Brighton on 25th; and Stratford East Picture House on 26th. You can book tickets for all four screenings here.

The rest of the UK can pick up the DVD when it is released by the always reliable Left Films on 25th May.

Synopsis: Dan wakes up on a beach with no memory. He discovers the ruins of an empty city ravaged by a deadly virus. After being savagely attacked by a psychotic stranger he is taken in by a handful of survivors, but Dan's arrival starts to divide the group and arouse suspicion. It soon becomes clear that the army are hunting him down and the group are forced to evacuate the safety of their home, embarking on a dangerous journey to escape. As fragments of Dan's lost memories start to return, and with soldiers in close pursuit, he starts to realise they are in even more danger than first thought...

Darkest Day is directed by Dan Rickard who knows a thing or two about zombies, having provided special effects on The Dead and its sequel.

Saturday 18 April 2015

Post-production report on Welcome to Essex

Just browsing around British horror film websites and found this update, posted yesterday on the Facebook page for Ryan J Fleming's zombie feature Welcome to Essex:

It's been ages since we gave you all an update, so here's where the film is at right now:
We are currently doing all the foley work (which is adding sound effects, everything from gunshots to footsteps to doors opening). This will take quite a while, as the whole film needs to have foley added.
We've had all the voice actors back in to re-record their audio so as to give it a crisp, professional feel.
The actual filming is all complete, save for a reshoot planned to give it a different ending (we don't need zombies for this, before you ask!).
All that's left to do, other than foley, is add some CGI and score it and then it's off to market.
Welcome To Essex is still slated for release this year, although we'll have to pick our launch date carefully, given this year's excellent run of summer blockbusters.
We'll try to keep you more regularly updated, so check back in from time to time.
Oh, there's a new, final, trailer and an all-new website on the way soon too.

Shot over the summer of 2013, Welcome to Essex stars Catherine Delaloye and Greg Burridge with special effects by Justin Becker and a money-shot of 1,500 zombies racing through Brentwood.

Here's the synopsis:

Overnight, the United Kingdom was consumed by an epidemic of terrifying proportions. 
The majority of the population were killed in a matter of hours as millions of recently-killed people returned to life and began to attack and kill the living. The disaster spread so rapidly that the government had no time to control the situation.

The order to evacuate England was given.

But it was too late.

Now, the following day, a small group of mismatched survivors find themselves trapped in the famous town of Brentwood, hunted by large hordes of fast-moving corpses. They must learn to work together and reach the last-known point of rescue, Southend-on-Sea, or face certain death. Or worse.

And here's the existing trailer:

Sunday 12 April 2015

Rancour starts filming: Psycho meets Oldboy! (apparently...)

Yes, someone is making a horror film called Rancour. And if you try to tell me that your first reaction to this was anything except speculation about whether Jonathan Ross will ever discuss this film, then I call you a lying sod.

Synopsis: When a broke young couple rent a room in an elderly couple’s London house, horror unfolds as no one appears to be who they really are.

Marcus Crowe is a stand-up comedian who could have made it big, but blew his opportunity and now has to settle for low-key gigs in nasty London pubs. His girlfriend, Jill, is desperate for Mark to come to terms with reality and urges him to pursue a secure future. Forced to vacate their two bed flat, the couple immediately find a perfect room to rent in the centre of London, owned by an old couple, Henry and Josephine Baker.

The old couple are seemingly very nice, taking an interest in the young couple’s lives. Marcus and Jill are shocked when told the old couple have a new born baby. Stuck in the house 24-7 and suffering writer’s block, Marcus spirals into paranoia shortly after, in what he believes is the old couple spying on them. One day, Mark finds the horrifying truth behind the baby and the old couple’s real reason for renting the room. Attempting to escape the house, he’s knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant and dragged into a basement…

Rancour – A New Horror is a movie inspired by the psychological thriller of Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’, the extreme brutality of ‘Old Boy’, and the story motives of ‘I Saw the Devil’ creating an original psychological horror-thriller hybrid that will leave the audience shocked and entertained.

Directed by Dev Shanmugan, who previously shot the crime/action picture Gangs of Tooting Broadway, Rancour began principal photography last Monday. The cast includes Jon Campling (The Zombie King, Tales of the Supernatural), Vas Blackwood (Creep), Loren Peta (Bad Moon Rising, Rock Band vs Vampires), Frederick Wolf (Witch, Allies).

Find out more at and on the Facebook page.

Looking forward to... Bad Moon Rising

Who doesn't love a good werewolf movie? Bad Moon Rising (formerly Bad Moon) is the second feature from Dani Thompson's production company Blood, Sweat and Glitter.

Thompson has been in a string of British horror features over the past few years, none of which have yet had a commercial release for one reason or another. These include Forest of the Damned 2, Zombie Women of Satan 2, Three's a Shroud, Monitor, Rock Band vs Vampires, Christmas Slay, Convention of the Dead, Banjo, Cute Little Buggers and the first film from BSG Production, Serial Kaller.

Bad Moon Rising, which shot over February/March this year and is now in post, is directed by Alasdair MacKay from a script by Dani. The film follows the exploits of three paranormal debunkers played by Dani T, Loren Peta (Rancour) and Angela Holmes (I am Cursed, The Crypt, Crying Wolf). The three previously worked on Rock Band vs Vampires, as did some of the other cast and crew.

Synopsis: Scream Team is a successful structured reality TV show in which it's three stars, Lucy, Jordan and Pip go ghost hunting in various supposedly haunted locations. Structured is they key word here though, the girls don't really believe in the paranormal or supernatural, that is until they accept an invitation to investigate strange goings on in a small Bulgarian village.

The cast also includes David Curtis (star of the 'Gabriel Cushing' films), Billy Chainsaw (Strippers vs Werewolves, The Sleeping Room) and lots of people credited as 'Werewolf cult member' which pretty much summarises the plot. Dave Darko is providing the all-important make-up effects.

There are loads of behind-the-scenes photos on the movie's Facebook page, and the trailer should be ready any day now.

Sleeve Gallery: Sacred Flesh

Redemption's nunsploitationer from 2000 may not be the greatest movie in the world but it's had plenty of releases and plenty of attempts by sleeve designers to convey what it's, ahem, like.

You can read my review here.

The original UK release from 2000 and the first US release from 2005

UK re-issues from 2007 and 2011

Dutch and Norwegian releases.

Finnish release similar to the Dutch one, and the very different German DVD.

No details on these two. The one on the right may be an unused UK design.

Sacred Flesh was also released as part of this box set: UK on left, Australia on right.

Greek DVD, and the most recent release, as an extra on the UK disc of Nigel Wingrove's notorious short film Visions of Ecstacy.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Jake West and Steve Lawson at Derby Fantastiq

Hard-working film programmer/historian Tony Earnshaw has unveiled the line-up for this year's Fantastiq weekend at Derby Quad, including some new British horror content.

Jake West will be the special guest on the Sunday (10th May), with a lengthy 'in conversation' session followed by his latest feature-length documentary Video Nasties: Draconian Days. You can also catch a rare big screen outing of Jake's film Doghouse on the Friday (8th May).

Also on Friday is the world premiere of Steve Lawson's cracking horror-thriller Survival Instinct (which I reviewed from the cast and crew screening when it was titled Rites of Passage). Steve will be in attendance for a Q&A.

Among the various retro/archive events over the weekend are a preview of David Gregory's documentary feature about Richard Stanley and The Island of Dr Moreau, and Darrell Buxton launching a new book he has edited about British horror films of the 1980s.