Friday 29 January 2016

Another new title for Richard Driscoll's Eldorado

If you’ve never seen Richard Driscoll’s Eldorado/Highway to Hell, it looks like you might get another chance as Tricky Dicky is trying to sell the film again under a new title.

There’s no sign of an actual release yet but he has set up a Twitter account and a Facebook page for the movie as A Bad Night in Death Valley. Which, you know, isn’t a bad title as these things go.

The absence of David Carradine or Brigitte Nielsen from the credit block indicates that this is the 90-minute Highway to Hell version. Or possibly he’s re-edited it yet again. Who knows?

Wednesday 27 January 2016

The Devil Complex becomes The Devil Within

Here’s one I wasn’t aware of. The Devil Complex is a found footage picture about an expedition into the wilds of a vast Romanian forest.

It is being released in the UK on 9th May by Point Blank, retitled The Devil Within. I’d wager a penny to a pound that the sleeve image bears no relation whatsoever to anything actually in the film.

The film is the directorial debut of Mark Evans who produced Gangsters, Guns and Zombies and the unreleased Forest of the Damned 2. The cast includes Tom Bonnington (A Haunting at the Rectory, Le Fear II, The Wrong Floor) and Bill Hutchens (Human Centipede 2 and 3).

Synopsis: In November 2012 Rachel Kusza and her team of film makers travelled to Transylvania to document the Baciu forest; a forest with a dark history of strange occurrences, ghost sightings and countless cases of missing people. The film crew were never heard from again…

After searching for them for two years, Howard Redman, Rachel's teacher, found their camera buried in the snow. Before taking own his life in February 2014, Redman uploaded the footage to the internet. It shows the crew's dark and horrific journey into the woods and why the locals refuse to enter. They say that if you enter the forest with evil in your heart, or dark secrets in your past, the forest will expose you and show you who you really are, before punishing you.

Sunday 24 January 2016

Wandering Rose aka Demon Baby gets another inappropriate title

Just over a year ago I pointed out that the new title and artwork for Coz Greenop’s atmospheric ghost story Wandering Rose were both completely inappropriate, On account of there is no demon baby and the main character is only just pregnant, not about to drop.

A quick look at the User Reviews on Amazon shows what a bad idea this was, as it has left a lot of punters expecting something like Rosemary’s Baby.
  • “If you look at the poster, you expect a demonic baby to pop out of that swollen belly. Just like in "Alien". Right ? But sorry. No baby. No demon.”
  • “Maybe her boyfriend was the devil and he passed something evil onto her? If anyone knows the answer, maybe you can clarify...”
  • “For Pete's sake,change the title of the movie and the cover graphics. Completely misleading.”
And this one which I think is worth quoting in full:

“WTH, WTF!? The movie is over!? And where's the Demon Baby.. ?!? OK, I was expecting some possession at some time .. but there was nothing .. !!! They've changed the title to "Wandering Rose" .. but at the time I was watching it the name of the movie was "Demon Baby" with a demon baby moving in the stomach of the mother on the cover .. !!!
   “At least at the end of the movie I would have expected a Demon Baby .. !!! But NOTHING .. !!! Where's the f####!n DEMON BABY, damned .. ?!? Are you kidding me .. ?!? The Ghost of a woman (or a demon!?) appeared throughout the movie following Rose but never really did something .. so she could as well just have been imagining it ..
   “Boredome throughout the movie .. I was expecting something to happen but NOTHING HAPPENED .. !!! ARGHH .. !!! Promising and not delivering .. not even trying to deliver .. !!!”

The movie has played festivals now as Demon Baby and been released in South Korea as Demon Baby, but it still has no demon and not even really a baby. It’s a freaking ghost story for God’s sake. About a woman named Rose. What the hell was wrong with Wandering Rose?

So now I spot an impending UK release. New Horizon Films will release Coz’s movie on 20 June, and thank the Lord they haven’t called it Demon Baby like everywhere else.

Nope, they’re calling it Little Devil.

What is wrong with these people? Do they not actually watch the films they distribute? There is not the tiniest hint of demon or devil in this film. It is precisely as demonic as Four Weddings and a Funeral, no more devilish than When Harry Met Sally and contains exactly as much Satanism as Wall-E. It is not a film about demons or demonic things. It is a GHOST STORY.

A ghost story? You know? Like, um, well, Ghost Story for example.

There is no sleeve image available yet for the UK DVD but whether they use stupid ‘horned baby face’ (available in some versions with extra veins!) or something else, the fact is that New Horizon are setting out to piss off their customers (many of whom will blame Corrie Greenop, out of whose hands this whole thing now is).

Please spread the word, share this post and let horror fans know this is a ghost story. So people who want to watch a ghost story will find it and people who want Rosemary's Baby redux won't get pissed of.


[Update. Coz has now sent me the UK sleeve image. If anything, it's even worse. Remember, this is a ghost film about a couple who have just found out that the wife is pregnant. Oh Christ - I've just noticed the building blocks. Seriously? - MJS]

Friday 22 January 2016

Freema Agyeman announced for Eat Local

Eat Local, which I now gather will be more of a thriller than a comedy, though still with a streak of humour (a sort of Dog Soldiers vibe, according to Jonathan Sothcott) has announced Freema Agyeman as the female lead.

All the other cult movie websites are excited about Charlie Cox, who apparently stars in the Daredevil TV series. But I don’t have Netflix and, with all respect to Mr Cox, he was never the absolute hottest companion that Doctor Who ever had. Cox was also in Stardust and the A for Andromeda remake.

Also in the cast are Mackenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Office, The Gathering), Dexter Fletcher (Cockneys vs Zombies, Dead Cert), Eve Myles (Torchwood), Ruth Jones (Gavin and Stacey, Little Britain), Annette Crosbie (One Foot in the Grave, Dad’s Army film), Vincent Regan (Dementamania, The Holding) and, according to the IMDB, Johnny Palmiero (uwantme2killhim?) and Robert Portal (Hogfather, The Ghost Writer). The lead role is played by Billy Cook.

Neil Jones (The Feral Generation, The Reverend) is producing with Sothcott through their Hereford Films company, as well as Rod Smith from Evolution Pictures.

Ah, Freema Agyeman. Sigh…

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Looking forward to... The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer is a new supernatural horror film from Paul Wilkins, who previously directed the Danny Dyer fantasy thriller Seven Lives. Shot in the Cotswolds in October/November last year, it’s currently deep in post-production.

Synopsis: The Ghost Writer is the story of pulp novelist Gilliger Graham, who's about to be let go by his publisher unless he can deliver a bestseller - his last three titles have bombed. Gilliger reluctantly follows the advice of his agent and retreats to a remote cottage in the woods he inherited from his critically acclaimed novelist father, who died under mysterious circumstances at the cottage 10 years before. It's there that Gilliger makes a fresh and shocking discovery, one that will force him to confront not only his own demons but those of his father as well.

The film, which is party funded by an Indian production company, stars Luke Mably (28 Days Later, Spirit Trap, Exam) with  Brendan Patricks (Downton Abbey), Andrea Deck (The Devil’s Violinist), Robert Portal (Eat Local, The Rectory) and Matthew Jure (God’s Acre). Not to be confused with the Roman Polanski movie of the same title from a few years back.

Find out more on the film's Facebook page.

Monday 18 January 2016

Two new vampire comedies on the way

A few years ago, producer Jonathan Sothcott was a major player on the British horror scene. He brought us Devil’s Playground, DeadCert, Stalker, Airborne, Elfie Hopkins and, yes, well, it can’t be denied, it's on the man's IMDB page, Strippers vs Werewolves. You win some, you lose some. Since then he has been concentrating on films about geezer gangsters and football hooligans, for which there seems to be an inexplicable demand.

Well, now he’s back with a brace of vampire comedies, the first of which started shooting today. Eat Local is the directorial debut of actor Jason Flemyng (The Bunker, Anazapta, Quatermass Experiment remake) from a script by Danny King. Originally the film (working title: Reign of Blood) was going to be directed by Dexter Fletcher but he’s busy so Flemyng, who has a production company with Fletcher, stepped up to the chair. No cast announced yet.

Synopsis: In a quiet countryside farmhouse, Britain's vampires gather for their once-every-fifty-years meeting. Others will be joining them too; Sebastian Crockett, an unwitting Essex boy who thinks he's on a promise with sexy cougar Vanessa; and a detachment of Special Forces vampire killers who have bitten off more than they can chew. This is certainly going to be a night to remember... and for some of them it will be their last.

After Eat Local, Sothcott’s next feature should be Fanged Up, another vampire comedy also directed by an actor. In this case Nick Nevern (The Tapes, Demons Never Die) who previously helmed The Hooligan Factory, a spoof of all those soccer thug pictures that JS has been producing. Nevern wrote the script of this prison movie and will star alongside comedian ‘Dapper Laughs’. A promo reel has been shot for this.

You can find out more on the Facebook pages for Eat Local and Fanged Up.

Friday 15 January 2016

Can’t wait to see… The Slayers

Who doesn’t love a good vampire comedy? The Slayers, currently in post and expected some time this year, looks great.

It’s the second feature from John Williams who previously made the zombies-in-Stoke epic The Mothertown. The film stars Darren McAree (who has been in several horror shorts), Matthew Sandland and George Newton (Dead Man’s Shoes, Book of the Dead, Inbred, Molly Crows).  Special effects by Graham Taylor (The Entity, The Herd, Inbred).

Synopsis: The Slayers follows two cult members as they break ranks and decide to go on a adventure road trip to make the most of, what they believe to be, the last two weeks on earth. The two hapless men plan a bucket list and head off in an old motorhome to the mountains of Scotland to camp, skydive, meet girls and drink. It isn't long before Nigel and Job start to encounter strange characters who claim to be vampire slayers. Believing it to be a test from God, they follow the slayers in battle with vampires and the boys own stupidity. The film will be a cross between Dumb and Dumber and Fright Night.

Keep up to date with the film on Facebook.

Richard Driscoll rips off Star Wars for his latest struggle with reality

Aaaaand… he’s back. Richard Driscoll’s latest completely original idea is ... Star Warriors (aka Star Warriors: Knights of the Fallen Empire). It is a “sci-fi/Horror film similar in style to Star Wars & Game of Thrones”. So it’s got swords in it, then.

As we can see, he remains blithely unconcerned about major studio copyright. Death Star, check. Boba Fett, check. Who's that in the middle? Is it Kylo Ren?

And it has “original cast from Star Wars”. Which could mean almost anybody. There are hundreds of British bit-part actors who’ve been in one or more Star Wars films. Even Driscoll himself claims to have been an X-wing pilot in Return of the Jedi.

Right now there only seems to be this Twitter account which no doubt he will soon banish me from in the na├»ve belief that I won’t then be able to see everything he posts there. I’m not yet aware of a website, Facebook page or Indiegogo page.

It seems that Driscoll has teamed up for this (and Blade Hunter and something called Death Valley [Subsequently IDed as a retitle of Eldorado - MJS]) with an American firm called Indie SMS (Social Media Solutions). This is based in Wisconsin and run by an ex-pat Mancunian named Stuart Tanner. Tanner handled publicity for Landmine Goes Click, one of the big hits of last year’s Frightfest and set up his own company in November to handle social media for indie music and film. The question is: does he know Richard Driscoll’s background?

I for one am really excited about this and can’t wait to see Star Warriors. Seriously.

Thursday 14 January 2016

Two-for-one premiere of new Eileen Daly films

Eileen Daly, Grand Dame of Independent British Horror, is organising an all-day shindig in London to premiere two new films that she not only stars in but has also written and directed. These are two thirds of her recent trilogy of horror-comedies about a ghostbusting team, co-starring Sam Cullingworth and Justin G Gibson. Jason Impey handled camera and editing on them.

The event, which is called 'Eileen Daly Presents: Scream Queens', is on Saturday 13th February at the Roxy Bar and Screen in London. It kicks off at 1.00pm and as well as the films there's music and cabaret and dancing and all sorts of stuff till way past any decent person's bedtime. Tickets are 20 quid a pop. You can find all the details here.

First Bite (aka First Bite is the Deepest)
Love is in town for the ghost team’s presenter Miss Eileen Daly, when the team turn up to solve a mystery in an enchanted castle. Will they solve it and leave with there 8 pints of blood still in there body’s? Or does love conquer all? Find out in this amazingly funny and blood curdling movie.

Hollywood Betrayed
Deep down in Normsville suburbia, England, lays a horrible secrets. Only one man alone knows what is going on in the hotel of horrors and has invited the ghost busting team to help rid the place of evil. Is the evil in the hotel or is it in his head?…find out in this true adventure film. DO GHOST REALLY EXIST?!

Monday 11 January 2016

Holy crap! After eight years, The Demon Within finally gets released

Eight years ago Harold Gasnier sent me a copy of his feature The Demon Within (on VHS!) and I wrote up my usual detailed review. So far as I can tell, no-one else has ever seen the film. It has sat, these eight years gone by, on my list of unreleased British horrors. I thought it was gone forever.

Today I spotted a new film called 666: A Demon Within on and something about it rang a bell in my head. So I checked and, damn me, it's Harold's film, finally available for people to watch. Everything comes around if you wait long enough. It's being put out by Bayview Entertainment on 8th March. Good for them, and well done Mr G on hanging on in there.

Synopsis: When their car breaks down on the way to their honeymoon destination, newlyweds Debbie and Tom are taken in by Lincoln, a mysterious stranger with sinister intentions. That evening, Lincoln reveals himself to be a demon and seduces Debbie into brutally murdering her husband. Now she faces a series of carnal and violent challenges in order to join him and become immortal. She must seduce a business man, tempt a young innocent woman at a nightclub and slaughter her way through innocent strangers to become one of Satan's chosen few. Starring Sophie Austin (Hollyoaks) and Mitch Powell (Saint Dracula 3D).

Harold Gasnier has acted in numerous British horrors including A Day of Violence, Bordello Death Tales, The Witches Hammer, Hellbreeder, Darkhunters and Sanitarium (which he executive produced). He also has assorted behind-the-camera credits on pictures such as Forest of the Damned and Bane. The Demon Within is one of two features he directed in the late noughties, the other being a thriller called Web of Deceit.

Friday 8 January 2016

Three British horrors in German four-pack

If you haven't yet seen The Redwood Massacre, or Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming, or Sawney: Flesh of Man - you can hang on till March and pick them up as three-quarters of a German four-film, two-disc multipack. (The other film is something American called Machined: Reborn, whatever that is.)

The set has the unsubtle title Bloody Splatter Party and will set you back 15 euros from when it is released on 4th March this year.

Other recent/forthcoming German releases include Unhallowed Ground, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Panic Button and Curio (under its US title of Mother's Day Evil).