Here's one that looks like a real doozy, Tom Daley's The Lamp aka The Outing.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Monday, June 26, 2017
Last Saturday for its third year in a row, The Royal Cinema hosted the What The Film Festival.
A satellite event of the Laser Blast Film Society, the WTFF caters to the eclectic and experimental. Programmer Peter Kuplowsky scowers the globe for stuff outside the mainstream and this year gave us three such examples in Shinichi Fukazawa's Bloody Muscle Body Builder In Hell, Kentucker Audley's Sylvio and Michael Reich's She's Allergic To Cats.
Due to a family engagement, I was only able to catch the first show, but what a time it was.
You may have heard this movie referred to as the Japanese Evil Dead and that is pretty accurate. However, though there were many bits and pieces that were ripped right out of Raimi's beloved splat-stick trilogy, Fukazawa did make this his own thing by mixing in traditional Asian ghost story tropes and the aforementioned bodybuilding obsession. It did take a while to get going, but once the vengeful spirit was unleashed, the balls-to-the-wall inventiveness took over.
|Here's blood in your eye! (sorry, couldn't resist)|
As a huge Sam Raimi fan, it was impossible for me to not find this incredibly endearing. Body Builder was as fun as it was gory with a delightful everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to practical effects. Shot mostly in confined spaces, you could tell how difficult and time consuming - much like Evil Dead - some of these sequences must have been to shoot. It's the kind of DIY filmmaking that not only entertains, but also inspires.
|Writer/Director & also lead actor Shinichi Fukazawa.|
It is sad to think that this movie almost did not see the light of day. It was shot in 1995, but not fully put together for another fifteen years. It was then only available underground on DVD-R until UK company TerraCotta finally did an official release this year. I feel the world of splatter cinema is now a little redder for it.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Hey all! I've been enjoying the Double XP weekend of the Friday the 13th game - in between their overworked server crashes that is. Playing until 4am has caused me the first non-alcoholic hangover I've had in a while. Are you sick of the NES Jason skin yet? I, for one, can't get enough of his chip-tune serenades. But enough about my extracurriculars...
Two Sentence Adaptations.
Stage 13 has had the fantastic inclination to start a web series adapting Two Sentence Horror Stories. Since the TSHS sensation started several years ago, there have been many visualizations posted online - I even made one myself - but this is the first time there has been an organized attempt to produce them. This clip below is from “Guilt Trip” and it premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this week.
Return to Tall Oaks.
A couple of years ago, a tiny company called Bright Light successfully Kickstarted their movie villain board game Mixtape Massacre. Now, they have a new campaign for their expansion entitled Black Masque.
I've played mixtape Massacre and it is super fun. I like the flipped mechanic of playing as a killer and it's also a bit more accessible than the similarly themed Camp Grizzly - though I adore that game too. To contribute to the campaign (which has already reached its goal in less than a week) click here.
A Precarious Position.
One of my favourite short films from last year has just made its way onto Vimeo. Tim Egan's Curve brings forth an immediate intensity with almost nothing more than sound and performance. Hold onto your seat...
Friday, June 23, 2017
I had intended this to be a VHS Fridays post, but the movie I randomly picked off my shelf - Lewis J. Force's Night After Night After Night - was such an unbearable bore I had to abort.
In its place, I decided to post that A-Pix trailer reel I mentioned a few weeks back. It's got some real doozies from the nineties including, coincidentally enough, Jeff Obrow's take on The Mummy starring Lou Gossett Jr. Enjoy!
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Arrow Films' new limited edition release of Dario Argento's 1970 debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage comes out today. Here's the release trailer.
I adore this film. It was my introduction to the gialli and still remains one of my absolute favourites. I received this set in the mail last Friday and it is absolutely gorgeous. I entertained the thought of doing an un-boxing video, but it would never be as good as Industrial Blue's so just take a gander at his below.
I can't wait to dig into this set.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Thanks to AMC's horror streaming service Shudder, I was able to check out Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury's 2014 effort Among The Living last week.
While screwing around in an abandoned film studio, three delinquents become the targets of a pair of psychos when they come across their latest victim.
This film had eluded me for sometime, as after it premiered at Fantasia in 2014, it seemed to disappear into the ether. Now I know why. Mon dieu, this is a frustrating movie! With a premise like this, it could have been a home run, but I found myself sighing my way through most of this thing.
Horror movies about kids in peril are my jam and that's what originally drew me to this. Imagine Tobe Hooper's Funhouse if the bratty kid didn't fuck off home halfway through the film. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, the writers forgot that you also have to not make them complete jerks. I didn't give a shit about these brats. I'm all for truancy, but not so much the arson and golden showers. Maybe the latter is a French thing I don't know.
|Les enfants Victor (Théo Fernandez), Dan (Damien Ferdel) & Tom (Zacharie Chasseriaud)|
However, the frustrating part was just the parade of bad decisions made by the characters. Even by horror movie standards, there was a staggering amount. One of the kids, who up to this point has shown no positive qualities whatsoever, decides to charge in and save the girl instead of easily running away to find help. It's just lazy writing and it happens often. 2011's Livid, Bustillo & Maury's previous work, was nonsensical, but at least it took place in a house that limited the characters' options. Livid also had its moments, whereas even Among The Living's best bits didn't feel particularly fresh. The clown sequence wasn't even new when Amusement did it almost ten years ago.
Apart from all this, it's like Bustillo & Maury are going soft. Almost half of the violence happens offscreen and due to all the plot inconsistencies, it's really hard to care by the time you hit the third act. I mean, it's not all bad. The score by Raphaël Gesqua was rather unusual, some of the set designs were on par with that of Livid and it was nice to see – albeit briefly – Chloé Coulloud and Béatrice Dalle again. Although I now feel like when they use Dalle, it's less a fun cameo, as it is them saying 'hey guys, remember when we were good?'
When I saw Livid at TIFF, I remember thinking, good for them for not being like some of their other countrymen and diving into the first Hollywood picture they were offered. They eventually made that leap with the upcoming Leatherface movie and I can't help but feel like, at this point, it may be the best thing for them. I'll guess we'll see.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Hey all. I'm still digesting the tasty BBQ I ate yesterday, but for now here's some tasty horror morsels.
I missed this one when I did my E3 post, but holy crap do I need A Plague Tale: Innocence in my life.
As you may remember, killer rat movies are among my favourite subgenres in horror, so a gaming version of that makes my whiskers tingle. No release date yet, but 2018 is a good bet. What a stacked year for horror gaming that is going to be!
Fantasia announced its first block of titles for this year's festival this week. This Montreal-based event never disappoints with many awesome looking things on tap. Here's a peek.
First, Fantasia will be honouring the great Larry Cohen with a well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award. This will be celebrated with 35mm presentations of Q: The Winged Serpent, It's Alive, God Told Me To. As for new films, I'll be hoping to check these out.
Stefan Ruzowitzky returns with an action-horror hybrid Cold Hell about a taxi driver (Violetta Schurawlow) targeted by a serial killer. I was a fan of Anatomy back in the day, so I'm stoked for this.
Game of Death is a project I've been tracking since it hit SXSW earlier this year. Originally conceived as a web-series, this premise of a kill-or-be-killed board game is so delicious, I cannot resist it.
After some good buzz at Sundance, I am looking forward to seeing Damien Power's Killing Ground. Outback horror has always been one of the most intense out there, so here's hoping this delivers.
Joe Lynch's Mayhem will be playing this year, so I'll finally be able to see how it stacks up against the similarly themed The Belko Experiment. It will likely not be as polished, but I do expect it will be more f*cked up.
Replace is one of the more provokative of the announced titles. Co-written by Richard Stanley and featuring Barbara Crampton, this movie tells of a woman who replace her skin with that of other women's. This has some serious gross-out body potential!
Genre darlings Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson are back with their newest venture The Endless. I'm not going to tell you what its about because like their previous works, it is best to just go in and let things happen.
Lastly, what would Fantasia be without Japanese splatter. Yoshihiro Nishimura returns with a sequel to the 2005 flick, Kodoku Meatball Machine. You can be sure the walls of the Hall Concordia will be stained when this one plays.
My Air bnb is booked, my train ticket is purchased, all I need now is for July to get here! Fantasia runs July 13th to August 2nd.
What You Can't Hear...
Lastly, I wanted to post a short film I saw last year at Fantasia. Here's director Rob Savage's take on a tried-and-true genre. Enjoy!