Monday 25 May 2015

German double-bill of Outpost movies

Those Germans can't get enough of undead Nazi zombie-ghosts, it seems. Here's a double bill of Outpost 2 and Outpost 3 which is set for release auf Deutschland on 31st July on both DVD and blu-ray.

Splendidfilm is the distributor, I don't know whether they don't have the rights to the first Outpost or whether they just think it's not needed. Their marketing blurb, which makes reference to Dead Snow, Iron Sky and Frankenstein's Army, reckons:

"Outpost: Operation Spetsnaz once again proves that Nazi Zombies are currently absolutely a must!"

Whatever happened to… Jack, the Last Victim?

Among the lost-in-limbo titles in my BHR master-list is this curio, a meta-tale about a performance of a play about Jack the Ripper which becomes a horror story in its own right. It’s the only feature-length credit for Phil Peel, an experienced film-maker and tutor. Here’s the synopsis:

In a little Victorian theatre in the east end of London, the infamous story of the five victims of Jack the Ripper is being recreated in a rock musical. The film takes us away from the stage and out into the real locations of the murders, past and present.

Entwined with the stage performance is an equally disturbing backstage drama. Jenni, [Gillian MacGreggor] is a new actress, and she’s late for the show. We’ve seen her in a car with two businessmen, Geoffrey and Andrew [Roy Hudd and Peter Dombi]. She is seen running away from the car. What happened in the car?

Back at the theatre, Trevor [Tom Wontner] is a young stagehand, shy and a bit of an “anorak”, he takes life seriously. Jenni, whose innocent looks disguise a brittle, sarcastic manner, is rude to all other actors and dismissive of Trevor’s fascination with Jack the Ripper. Paul [John Higgins] the shady manager of the company, is looking for Jenni he wants to know what she has learnt about his partner Andrew. Jenni keeps seeing a stranger in the theatre. No one else sees him......

Back at the theatre, Jenni and Trevor find that they have more in common than they expect, but she continues to be alarmed by the appearances of the stranger, while on-stage we hear the gruesome details about each of the Ripper’s victims. Jenni is to play the last victim, Mary Jane Kelly, but has become convinced that she is at risk. She turns to Trevor, the only person who seems to understand. But then Trevor finds out a secret about Jenni that tears them apart!

The rock musical in question is called Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper (by Frogg Moody and David Taylor) and in fact was revived by the same Salisbury-based theatre company last November. (Does it include a song that goes “Saucy Jack, you’re a naughty one…”? Probably not.)

Jack, the Last Victim was shot in October/November 2003, partly funded by Screen South, using some of the original East End locations where the murders happened. It was originally announced for release in 2004, then 2005, then 2006, then seemed to just disappear.

MacGreggor and Wontner had previously worked together in Witch’s Spring, a short which was incorporated into the anthology LovecraCked: The Movie, and were also both in The Sickhouse. She was in A Lonely Place to Die; he was in Karma Magnet. Comedy legend Roy Hudd of course was in The Blood Beast Terror back in the 1960s (and recently popped up in Robot Overlords).

There are some behind-the-scenes photos on Phil Peel’s blog and also on the blog of make-up artist Aida De Bretto (who is Brazilian, so the text is all in Portuguese). There’s also this trailer which was uploaded to YouTube in February 2011.

Was the film completed? Did anybody ever see it? Anyone know anything more about this? Jack the Ripper has been surprisingly absent from the British Horror Revival and it would be nice to see somebody do something with him, in a 21st century way.

Sunday 24 May 2015

The Redwood Massacre: UK and US release dates

David Ryan Keith's old-school slasher The Redwood Massacre was released in Germany last month. Now comes confirmation of the English-language releases.

The US disc is pencilled in for 7th July through Uncork'd Entertainment (who also have Devil's Tower, Treehouse and Reverb on their books). That's not on Amazon yet but the UK disc is available for pre-order. This will be out on 27th July through 4Digital Media.

This is Keith's second feature following Attack of the Herbals.

Synopsis: For five adventurous friends, visiting the legendary murder site of the Redwood farm has all the hallmarks of being an exciting and thrilling camping weekend away. A popular site for revellers and party goers, each year on the exact date of the famous local family massacre, people from around the country head out to the site to have fun and scare each other. Events take a bloody turn for the worse when the innocent campers discover the Redwood myth is in fact a horrible bloody reality, which turns the unsuspecting victims into prey for a mysterious axe wielding maniac that has remained dormant for 20 years.

Friday 22 May 2015

The Amityville Playhouse – it’s actually British!

I was alerted to the existence of a film called The Amityville Playhouse recently by British horror film expert Darrell Buxton, with an assurance that, though filmed in Canada, it’s solidly British.

And indeed it is, so far as I can tell. The movie is written by, directed by and stars John R Walker, a jobbing extra with 2,000 screen appearances to his credit (although, despite what certain newspapers reckon, he is not – and has never claimed to be – Britain’s most prolific extra). Within the BHR, Walker has had bigger roles including gigs on Crying Wolf, DeadTime, Valley of the Demon and Cute Little Buggers. And when he’s not acting, according to this feature in his local paper, he works on the fish counter in the Dudley Tesco!

Originally announced as The Amityville Legacy, and shot in September/October last year, The Amityville Playhouse was released on UK DVD last month by 4Digital Media. Prior to that, it had a brief theatrical outing playing Showcase cinemas in Leeds, Liverpool, Derby, Manchester, Bristol and Newham – under the title Amityville Theatre. A US disc, as The Amityville Theater, is scheduled for June.

The screenplay was co-written with Steve Hardy, whose specialist subject is the old 1970s TV sci-fi show Timeslip. Hence the presence in the cast of Lesley Scoble, Cheryl Burfield and Spencer Banks, who all starred in that series. Also in the cast is my old pal from SFX days, voice legend Gary Martin.

Synopsis: Fawn Harriman (Monèle LeStrat) had counted herself lucky the day she inherited a disused theater in the small town of Amityville, Long Island. With her sights set on a new life in the theatre, she invites a group of friends to join her there for a weekend adventure that will ultimately lead them into the terrifying clutches of an ancient pact between the mysterious locals and a malignant presence from the very bowls of hell. As the stranglehold of evil grows ever tighter, Fawn’s teacher, Victor Stewart, races to Amityville in a desperate attempt to rescue the imperiled party and put an end to the town’s terrifying legacy once and for all.

I suspect most people who watch this film will think it's North American - and the Inaccurate Movie Database lists it as Canadian - but it is assuredly a 100% British horror film that was just shot over there.

Scream magazine's '21st Century Frights' - Part 1

I just received the latest issue of Scream magazine (with Jaws and Angus Scrimm on the front) which includes the first instalment of an epic multi-part feature by Yours Truly. In '21st Century Frights' I'll provide a complete run-down of every British horror film released since 1st January 2000.

Issue 30 of the mag carries Part 1, covering the four-year period 2000-2003. There are 26 films described therein, including Cradle of Fear, My Little Eye, Sentinels of Darkness, Sacred Flesh, Kannibal and Penetration Angst.

I've already submitted Part 2, covering 2004-5. Later on I'll have to start doing single years, and then part-years as we approach the mid-teens. Potentially I might never catch up with myself!

Thursday 21 May 2015

Soldiers of the Damned: poster and news

Back in January I included Mark Nuttall's WW2 horror Soldiers of the Damned in my list of Recent, Unreleased British Horror Films. Well, the good news is that Safecracker Pictures are planning a DVD for later this year, with a few theatrical screenings ahead of it (all dates TBD).

For details, keep an eye on or

In the meantime, here's the new poster design:

And here's the very cool-looking trailer:

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Stag Hunt available on Amazon Prime

Checking my site stats, I wondered why my review of James Shanks' terrific horror-thriller Stag Hunt, which I posted back in January, was suddenly getting lots of traffic.

It seems that the film has recently snuck onto Amazon Prime without anyone noticing. No sign of a DVD yet though.

Shanks' next feature should be Bigfoot, Small Budget: "A small band of foolhardy filmmakers wreak havoc on a remote village in Southern France in an ill-conceived attempt to shoot the ultimate gorilla film, without money, without permits, without a clue."

Monday 11 May 2015

Image gallery: Eileen Daly

Yes, it's true. The Queen of (low-budget) British horror, Dame Eileen Daly herself is following her appearance on The X Factor with a trip into the Big Brother House. In celebration of which, here's a gallery of some of her many, many horror roles:
Eileen's feature debut in Elisar Cabrera's Demonsoul, with Kerry Norton
Josh Collins and Alex Chandon's amazing steampunk fantasy spoof Pervirella, with a very young Emily Booth
Tony Luke's Sci-Fi Channel short Archangel Thunderbird, with the back of Doug Bradley's head
The definitive Eileen role: as Lilith Silver in Jake West's Razor Blade Smile, with Chris Adamson
Working for Elisar Cabrera again on Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft, where I first interviewed Eileen
 Keeping her clothes on (unlike most of her co-stars) in Nigel Wingrove's Sacred Flesh
With Linnea Quigley in Richard Driscoll's hilariously dire Kannibal.
 Alex Chandon's terrific anthology Cradle of Fear, with Louie Brownsell
In uniform for Anglo-Greek obscurity Sentinels of Darkness, with ?
One that I haven't actually seen, Machines of Love and Hate
Not learning from her mistakes - working for Richard Driscoll again in Evil Calls aka The Legend of Harrow Woods
Another one I have yet to track down - Alexander Birrell's Braincell
Three 21st century UK horror stars (in Germany): Eileen poses with Marysia Kay (front) and Eleanor James on the set of Timo Rose and Andreas Schnaas' Karl the Butcher vs Axe
 Jason Impey's The Turning aka Zombie Lover
Andrew Jones' The Amityville Asylum
 Eileen's self-scripted, self-directed trilogy of horror comedies: First Bite is the Deepest...
 ...and Hollywood Betrayed...
...and Mr Crispin, with Tom Bonnington
To finish... a Finnish film The Curse of the Witch's Blood

Friday 8 May 2015

The Taking becomes Bait on DVD

Dominic Brunt’s brutal revenge thriller The Taking, which premiered in Leeds last November, has been retitled Bait for its DVD release. Metrodome have penciled the film in for a 7th September release.

Brunt previously made the brilliant zombie picture Before Dawn but remains best-known to mainstream audiences as ‘Paddy off Emmerdale’. Scripted by Emmerdale writer Paul Roundell, The Taking/Bait stars Dominic’s wife Joanne Mitchell (Before Dawn) and Victoria Smurfit (The Last Great Wilderness) as two friends looking for a loan to help them set up a small business. And Jonathan Slinger as the psychotic loan shark who hunts them down.

Also in the cast are Adam Fogerty (Scintilla), Mark Rathbone (Cradle of Fear, Inbred), Leanne Rowley (Entity), Rula Lenska and, somewhat bizarrely, comedian Charlie Chuck.

Thursday 7 May 2015

Eden Lodge (definitely NOT Eden Lake) lined up for August DVD

Andreas Prodromou’s Eden Lodge has unexpectedly popped up on Amazon, scheduled for a 31st August UK release through Signature Entertainment. Shot at the end of 2012, the film had a cast and crew screening in September 2013 then disappeared.

Synopsis: A young family are stranded at the Eden Lodge. The people they meet are being killed one by one. They must fight to save their lives.

This is the debut feature from Andreas Prodromou, whose horror short In the Red was made back in 2010. It stars Georgina Blackledge (The Last House on Cemetery Lane), Cyd Casados (Blood Feast 2), Ivy Corbin (Apocalypse Z), Ben Gardner Gray, Ellie Dickens, Aggy Kuk, Garry Mannion and James Killeen.

At one stage Eden Lodge was briefly retitled Breakdown, but then reverted to its shooting title. And clearly somebody has decided that, although this is clearly a very different from Eden Lake – what the hell, they may as well shamelessly rip off that movie’s poster.

And just in case you were trying to recall what the Eden Lake poster looked like...
Not even remotely similar...

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Can't wait to see: Fallen Soldiers

How has this sneaked past me? Fallen Soldiers was shot back in 2013 but only came to my attention when I spotted the DVD release scheduled for 27 July from 101 Films.

Fallen Soldiers is a Napoleonic zombie film, set just before the Battle of Waterloo (very topical for the bicentenary). “Think Sharpe with zombies” is how the film-makers are pitching it. I like the idea of “Sharpe with zombies”. I like it very much!

The film is the work of Bill Thomas who directed a documentary (with dramatized seqences) that I caught on Yesterday just the other week, Berlin Wall: The Night The Iron Curtain Closed. Back in 2009 he made a 20-minute horror short, Butchers Blossom. But mostly he works as a prop/model guy on blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars Episode VII, The Dark Knight Rises and assorted Harry Potters.

Synopsis: Europe 1815. War rages across the continent. A young noblewoman’s coach is hijacked and her husband is murdered by a desperate British soldier. At gunpoint, the soldier spins her an outlandish tale of plagues, conspiracies, and dead men returning from the grave. He begs for her help and, with time running out, she must decide: trust this madman, or kill him? It’s a decision that could save or damn thousands, and turn the tide of the war.

There’s loads of background info on the movie’s website and Facebook page. It’s described as “an art-department-heavy period adventure with fully-realised sets, props, explosions, fights, and effects shot on a shoestring budget.” The cast is headed by Matthew Neal, Eve Pearson and Zachary Street. The make-up was designed by Ruth Pease who also worked on Axelle Carolyn’s Soulmate and Mel Light’s The Herd.