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Articles on this Page
- 12/24/12--01:46: _First review: Starb...
- 12/26/12--14:43: _Werewolf movie shoo...
- 12/28/12--09:33: _50 British horror f...
- 12/29/12--04:59: _50 British horror f...
- 12/30/12--14:33: _50 British horror f...
- 01/06/13--03:22: _50 British horror f...
- 01/06/13--09:30: _US releases: Fango ...
- 01/19/13--13:08: _Coming soon: Tag
- 01/26/13--05:30: _The excellent 'Fall...
- 01/29/13--00:15: _Making Monsters - f...
- 02/04/13--11:27: _Community - hoodie ...
- 02/07/13--13:32: _Watch 'Alone' onlin...
- 02/25/13--11:57: _Dark Side gives Urb...
- 02/26/13--15:04: _Pat Higgins comes a...
- 02/27/13--12:32: _Urban Terrors nomin...
- 03/22/13--13:36: _Sacrificed becomes ...
- 03/25/13--14:50: _Eschatrilogy-makers...
- 03/25/13--15:10: _Knackery production...
- 03/28/13--14:41: _Free magazine with ...
- 04/13/13--12:50: _Summer Scars - new ...
- 12/24/12--01:46: First review: Starburst gives Urban Terrors 7/10
- 12/26/12--14:43: Werewolf movie shooting in Leicester next year
- 12/28/12--09:33: 50 British horror films we’re still waiting for (Part 1)
- 12/29/12--04:59: 50 British horror films we’re still waiting for (Part 2)
- 12/30/12--14:33: 50 British horror films we’re still waiting for (Part 3)
- 01/06/13--03:22: 50 British horror films we’re still waiting for (Part 4)
- 01/06/13--09:30: US releases: Fango does Axed, Elfie Hopkins title tweak
- 01/19/13--13:08: Coming soon: Tag
- 01/26/13--05:30: The excellent 'Fallow Field' finally makes it to DVD
- 02/04/13--11:27: Community - hoodie horror on DVD, 11th March
- 02/07/13--13:32: Watch 'Alone' online for free
- 02/25/13--11:57: Dark Side gives Urban Terrors 'thumbs up'
- 02/26/13--15:04: Pat Higgins comes alive!
- 02/27/13--12:32: Urban Terrors nominated for Rondo Award!
- 03/22/13--13:36: Sacrificed becomes The Download Horror
- 03/25/13--14:50: Eschatrilogy-makers' zombie short promotes hospital event
- 03/25/13--15:10: Knackery production company facing uncertain future
- 03/28/13--14:41: Free magazine with Urban Terrors over Easter
- 04/13/13--12:50: Summer Scars - new UK DVD next month
over on the website of Starburst magazine. This is the book's first review and it's a solid 7/10.
"It is practically a boom time for BHF, as we see more and more no-budget films being made, and surprisingly, some are actually good. This book serves as an interesting overview of what was really the start of the BHF renaissance and, while some of the time Simpson is just quoting other reviewers and sources, the wealth of information and the namechecking of some overlooked gems makes it well worth a read."
"At first, a small town murder looks to be the work of wild dogs. Unfortunately, wild dogs don't walk on two legs. This town has a secret, but how many will have to die before the truth comes out?"
The AddictedShot in September 2011, Sean J Vincent’s second feature had a cast and crew screening in November 2012.
"In 1987, David is a resident at ‘The Manor’ Drug Rehab Unit. Whilst there he is being kept addicted to heroin by a Clinical Director Chris Hunter whilst he has an affair with David’s wife. Chris eventually poisons David with contaminated heroin leaving him with horrendous facial disfigurement and chronic pain. David soon hangs himself. 25 years later and we follow Chris’s daughter Nicole as she tries to break into TV journalism. Her boyfriend (Adam) suggests they spend a night filming with friends in the now derelict Drug Rehab unit. There have been recent reports of paranormal goings-on and they plan to try and film them. It soon becomes clear however that they are very much not alone…"
Any Minute NowShot in Dorset, between March and August 2011, the second feature from Peter (Season of the Witch*) Goddard appears to have run into funding problems. Starring the bloke who played Zammo in Grange Hill! (*Also awaiting release.)
"When her parents decide to separate, sixteen year old Anna Brooks is sent to spend the summer in a small coastal town with her old fashioned aunt and uncle, Jennifer and David Collingwood. Anna is narcoleptic and suffers traumatic hallucinations as side effects to her medication. Whilst living in small town suburbia several bizarre incidents take place which lead Anna to question her own sanity. Is it really all in her head or is something more sinister going on in the small sleepy town?"
Argon GreenProbably the only horror film about diabetes - apart from Derby University lecturer Tom Craig’s previous short Sugar Drop. Shot in stages over 2011 and 2012, this seems to be awaiting further funds.
Arkham SanitariumShot in May 2011, Andrew Morgan’s Lovecraft anthology is another film stuck in post-production limbo, awaiting completion funds.
"Arkham Sanitarium is an anthology of three short stories faithfully adapted from the works of HP Lovecraft: ‘The Haunter of the Dark’, ‘The Shunned House’ and ‘The Thing on the Doorstep’. Each of the three stories is set in 1930s New England (specifically Providence, Rhode Island and the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts). The stories are connected by an original ‘wraparound’ story. In this story – set in the 1950s – Alice Crow investigates the strange stories surrounding the infamous Arkham Sanitarium."
Art House MassacreSteve Laurence’s film (originally titled Art House) was shot in 2011 and premiered at the British Horror Film Festival in August 2012 (see my review here). but there is no sign yet of a release.
"Liz is a nurse who had to quit her job as she struggles to cope with the emotional stress of having lost a baby. With the debts piling up and her and her husband Ben at emotional and financial breaking point, she takes a modelling job to help make ends meet. Arriving at the shoot, Liz meets Philip, an intense and successful young photographer and she feels flattered by his interest. But all is not what it seems in this remote middle class area... and while Liz poses for her new friend Philip, she has no idea of the horror that is lurking in the shadow... until... Liz finds a body, panic stricken she knows they have to escape, she tries her only hope... Ben. Will there strained relationship hold up long enough for him to believe her and save her? As the body count rises will she make it out alive? Or will the sinister game of cat and mouse end in a bloody masterpiece. Life Imitates Art... Art Imitates Death."
BeautifulA young man from Birmingham named Noveed ‘Veeder’ Zubair has been posting regular blogs and videos while making this zero-budget psychological horror film for the past couple of years. (His first film was a half-hour, black-and-white, silent Friday the 13th homage filmed in Adis Ababa!) This is clearly a labour of love and I really hope he gets it finished.
CommunityFilmed in August 2011 as Final Project, Jason Ford’s hoodie horror premiered at Frightfest 2012 and is now playing other festivals. Worldwide rights were picked up by High Point Films in January 2012 (who called it “somewhere between The Wicker Man and Kidulthood”) so expect a release sometime in late 2013. [Update: Community is scheduled for a UK DVD release in February.]
The Dead Inside
"A crap night out just got a fair bit worse: It's the end of the world! The undead are out in force, roaming the streets and devouring all who get in their way. Shot in a realistic style, The Dead Inside looks at a very human reaction to a barely human enemy. A group of soldiers, civilians and (holy crap!) teenagers hole up in a local school for protection from the undead hordes outside. Food is running low, morale doubly so. Tensions are high and things are looking bad when a stranger arrives outside the gate... then they get a whole lot worse. Blood sweat and tears - and that was just the post-production! The Dead Inside aims to tell the tale of the impending Zombie Apocalypse in a realistic and very British manner."
Dead of the NiteShot at the start of 2011, the main selling point of SJ Evans’ eagerly anticipated film is the casting coup of Tony Todd. The post-production should be finished any day now.
"When a group of Internet sensation ghost hunters investigate the infamous Jericho Manor, they soon realise it's not just ghosts that go bump in the night! As each member of the team gets slaughtered one by one, the remaining survivors need to discover who...or what is killing them before it's too late. But be warned, if you thinks it's just another 'Blair Witch'...think again!"
DeathAfter a string of impressive shorts, Martin Gooch shot this Robert Rankin-esque gothic fantasy in early 2011 and it has been playing festivals since May 2012. No sign of a release yet though. Cast includes Emily Booth and Leslie Philips, both of whom have worked previously with the director. I really want to see this.
“Four girls go on a bachelorette party weekend to a country house, in rurla Spain. Little did they know what someone had planned for them. The real party begins when the host is mysteriously attacked and, one by one, the guests find themselves in mortal danger. The race is on to uncover the killer’s identity and they must fight back or be brutally murdered.”
“1998: Thirty four unidentified bodies were found in shallow graves in a remote Siberian forest. Despite subsequent police investigations no official explanation was ever offered by the Russian authorities for these deaths. The case was closed three years later. 2010: A small English TV crew set out for the remote Russian forest. The Darkest Secrets TV programme revisits the sites of unsolved mysteries both ancient and modern. They employ the gifts of a psychic whose extraordinary powers may shed new light on this old secret. The last communication to their production office in London stated that they were approaching the Siberian region where the bodies were found. Nothing was heard from them again.”
The EschatrilogyDamian Morter’s impressive and enjoyable zombie anthology was shot in 2011 and recently started doing the rounds of festivals. A release announcement surely can’t be too far away; in fact we may well see this before Morter’s first feature, Bicycle Day. Read my review here.
ExorcismThe debut feature from director Lance Patrick was produced by Lee Akehurst and was filmed in late 2010 with a preview screening in 2011. The film-makers have since re-edited the movie which was expected to hit festivals in 2013 - but the Innovate Films website disappeared over Christmas (while I was writing this!) which doesn't bode well.
“In 1963 a young woman was possessed by a demon claiming to be the Devil, a local priest was requested by the girl’s mother to perform an Exorcism. No one knows what became of them. 50 years later a group of filmmakers attempt to recreate the Exorcism but they are not prepared for the horror they will encounter. Captured on behind the scenes camera we the audience are now able to see these disturbing and unexplained events leading to the film crew’s final hour.”
“A father and son are forced to squat in a derelict flat in an abandoned council estate. While 14 year old Tommy struggles to connect with his deteriorating father Mark, and glean where his mum might have gone, he makes an unlikely new friend in ballsy, street-smart Carmen. Together they investigate the unsettling experiences Tommy’s having on the estate and start to unravel the chilling truth behind the noises coming through Tommy’s bedroom wall from the apartment next door.”
“Lucille and Joe have moved to Gozo, a tiny island in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Malta. They have a nice car, a steady income, a beautiful farmhouse with breathtaking views and a swimming pool. They seem to have it all. But when a young tourist goes missing on the island, Joe's disquieted conscience begins to get the better of him. As the buried horrors of Lucille and Joe's past resurface, the cracks begin to show in their homespun paradise.”
“Ex-London gangster Harry Payne retires to Norfolk to be close to his wife, driven mad when he was forced to kill his best friend, psychopathic gang boss Eugene McCann. Immediately he is drawn into a murder mystery in which an obsessive local police detective targets him as the killer. However, unknown to anyone, Harry has psychic abilities he has always suppressed with alcohol. Now he must confront the supernatural and his own personal demons to save his wife and free the tormented souls of the ghosts that haunt him.”
Also coming to US buyers is Ryan Andrews' Elfie Hopkins, which has been retitled Elfie Hopkins: Cannibal Hunter for its March release.
Before that - Citadel, The Awakening, The Hounds and Cherry Tree Lane are all released on US DVD this month
Synpsis: A teenage girl falls victim to a deadly infection which alters her human instincts, DNA, memories and emotions then sends her on the hunt for her friends in a blood thirsty game of Tag, the story follows Liam Hutcherson as he leads group through the paranormal.
reviewed The Fallow Field and I have long been puzzled why it hadn't seen a release. Well, it finally hits DVD in March, including a Making Of, trailer, stills gallery and a commentary by director Leigh Dovey and producer Colin Arnold. Here's the synopsis and the trailer. Highly recommended.
‘MEMENTO meets WOLF CREEK set against the backdrop of English harvest time’
THE FALLOW FIELD is one of the most original but twisted British horror films to be seen in years, and the debut feature from British filmmakers Leigh Dovey & Colin Arnold.
As disturbing slithers of memory gradually return to Matt he retraces his steps to uncover his missing actions during the blackouts. Matt’s search leads him out of the city and in to the countryside, to a remote farm owned by loner Calham (Michael Dacre). The cold farmer is suspicious of Matt but instantly sparks a dark sense of déjà vu in his visitor. But Calham turns on Matt, imprisoning and interrogating him, before forcing him on a terrible journey of abduction and slaughter to show the amnesiac the twisted games they used to play together. As Matt’s fogged memory slowly begins to clear and he learns the two men share a violent history, the horrors of their past come skipping out of the darkness to greet them….
Genuinely dark and quintessentially English, The Fallow Field is a throwback to brutal horrors and thrillers made in the ‘70s. Capturing some of the genre’s bleak tones and threat, its twisting plot, slowly building sense of dread as well as sudden shocks and visceral scenes make The Fallow Field a genuinely terrifying film.
THE FALLOW FIELD will be released by Monster Pictures in the UK on DVD on 11 March 2013.
I hadn't heard of this but it ties in brilliantly with this site: Making Monsters is 'a documentary that lifts the lid on micro-budget horror filmmaking'. This four-minute excerpt includes contributions from Damian Morter (The Eschatrilogy), Liam Regan (Banjo), Adam A Park (Zombie Mutation) and Dan Brownlie (Three's a Shroud) plus a couple of online reviewers (but not me, for some reason...).
It looks like this specifically covers the past few years so probably doesn't overlap too much with the remit of my book, which finishes at the end of 2008. This is what I call the British Horror Boom, 2009 and onwards - the period when the profusion of micro/zero-budget films available through new distribution channels has resulted in an unkeep-upable profusion of British horror movies, adding up to one a week for the past four years.
A Quick look at "Making Monsters" from safehouse pictures UK on Vimeo.
The unlucky duo quickly discovers that problems of drugs and crime in this community go way beyond the norm. This is a community which is about to present the students with material of unimaginable horror - turning their final project into their darkest nightmare.
It can't in all honesty be said that it's very good (in my book I call it a "dreary serial killer film") but if you're looking for something odd, or you're a British horror completist, here it is online.
"Respected film journo MJ Simpson does a fine job of chronicling the dawn of a new age of cheapie creepy home grown horror fuelled by the easy availability of digital technology," writes young Mr Bryce, adding "In fact I'm pretty awestruck by what he has done here ... MJ's unearthing of a vast array of shoestring wobblycam wonders so obscure that their biggest viewing audience was probably at the cast and crew screening."
Allan calls the book a "fascinating tome", says that "what I like most about MJ's writing is his sense of humour" and finishes with "Urban Terrors gets a big thumbs up from me."
Thanks Brycey, your cheque is in the post!
I know that Urban Terrors won't win: partly because the tastes of Rondo voters skew heavily towards older movies; partly because it's up against some terrific volumes including books by Jonathan Rigby, John Hamilton, Kirk Hammett and Ray Harryhausen; and partly because it only came out in December and hardly anybody has bought it.
So I'm under no illusions, but nevertheless it's immensely pleasing to receive my second Rondo nomination (my first was a few years ago for a feature I wrote for Video Watchdog).
Anyone can vote for the Rondos. You can find the full ballot and voting details on the awards website.
This is very weird. Back in 2004, Scottish film-maker Keith Bradley made a feature called Sacrificed. It won a prize at a little US horror festival in 2005, then sat on the shelf until July 2012 when it appeared on Distrify and as a self-released US DVD on Amazon. here’s the trailer and synopsis:
Five months later, the same film appeared on Distrify again, renamed The Download Horror. Except that this is a sort of MST3K version of Sacrificed with constant commentary by two Scottish ‘comedians’. Here's the new synopsis and trailer:
Although Keith Bradley is listed as one of two producers on The Download Horror, the ‘director’ is Jim Hickey - who was production designer on Sacrificed! Sacrificed itself seems to have disappeared from Distrify which is a shame because, while it doesn’t look very good, I’d rather see that as an actual film than with Tom McServo and Crow T McRobot wittering in my ear.
I could understand if the ‘comedy’ commentary (I’ve watched the trailer, and it really doesn’t sound funny at all) was just a DVD extra, but this seems to be marketed as an entirely new film, without any acknowledgement that the mickey-taking is being done by some of the people who made the original.
Safehouse Pictures, the team behind The Eschatrilogy and Bicycle Day, have made a seven-minute short called Zombie Run.
It's pretty basic as plots go - two runners get chased by zombies - but it's smartly made and shows what the team of Damian and Nicola Morter are capable of. The film was actually made (in three days at the start of February: eight hours to shoot and a couple of days of post) to promote the Barnsley Hospital Charity Zombie Run, a 5km run in which participants will not only have to avoid various obstacles but also avoid hordes of the living dead. Several of the cast and crew also worked on The Eschatrilogy.
The Zombie Run itself will be on 19th October 2013. Tickets go on sale in a few days from the link above. There is also a Facebook thing.
Here's the video:
This story from the Belfast Telegraph a few weeks ago is a little depressing:
Hemlock Books are having a four-day Easter Egg Hunt this weekend. Items marked with a blue Easter Egg entitle the purchaser to a free copy of either Shock Horror or Shadowland. There seems to be a blue Easter Egg on top of Urban Terrors so if you haven't bought your copy yet, snap one up (at £12.95, a fiver below the cover price) and get a free mag while you're at it.
Last time I looked, Urban Terrors was no. 13 in Amazon's list of horror movie books, whatever that means.
original review that I don't consider this a horror film (which I stand by, and which is why it's not included in Urban Terrors) though it is undoubtedly borderline and I have certainly seen it filed under 'horror'. This new release is playing up that angle with the sleeve which calls it an "unsettling, realistic terror flick". It's certainly a fine movie so if you haven't seen it, pick up a copy and make up your own mind.
SUMMER SCARS tells the story of a gang of delinquents who ditch school to hang out in the woods where some hot rodding on a stolen moped changes the fate of their day. They crash into Peter, an ex-army loner, who is delighted to have some company. First he gains their trust by joining in their games, but then his behaviour begins to change. Peter uses what he has learned about the kids against them, bullying the aplha boys, belittling the weaker ones and saving his worst for the only girl of the group. As events spiral out of control the youths resort to extreme measures in order to survive the ordeal.
SUMMER SCARS re-unites Richards with lead actor Kevin Howarth, the dynamic director/actor team behind cult sensation THE LAST HORROR MOVIE. Richards has since directed the forthcoming Hollywood thriller SHIVER starring Danielle Harris, John Jarratt and Casper Van Dien, whilst Howarth has starred alongside Wesley Snipes in GALLOWWALKER and Sean Pertwee in THE SEASONING HOUSE.