Monday 31 August 2015

Director Wes Craven dies aged 76

Some very sad news this Bank Holiday, it seems that horror movie director Wes Craven passed away over the weekend, aged 76.
From the BBC News website - American horror film director Wes Craven, creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, has died aged 76.

A statement released by his family said Craven died at his Los Angeles home on Sunday from brain cancer.

Craven wrote and directed A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. His Scream franchise grossed over $300m (£195m) in the US alone.

A pioneer of the slasher genre, Craven once said of his work: "Horror films don't create fear. They release it."

Craven was credited with reinventing the teen horror genre when the first film featuring Freddy Krueger was released in 1984 starring a then-unknown Johnny Depp.

He had more recently signed deals to develop television programmes, including the new Scream series, for MTV. He had also been working on a graphic horror novel series.

Craven began his cinematic career making pornographic films.

He wrote, directed and edited his first feature film, The Last House on the Left, in 1972. A horror about the abduction of teenage girls, it was censored in many countries. Despite this, it became a box office hit that launched his career

Reflecting on his career, Craven remarked that his intention was always to innovate: "I tried to make movies where I can honestly say I haven't seen that before and to follow my deepest intuitions and in some cases literally my dreams."

Actors posted tributes on social media including actress Courtney Cox, who starred in Craven's 1996 Scream and appeared in the franchise's three subsequent films.

She said: "Today the world lost a great man, my friend and mentor, Wes Craven. My heart goes out to his family. x"

Rose McGowan, who also featured in the original Scream, said: "Thank you for being the kindest man, the gentlest man, and one of the smartest men I've known. Please say there's a plot twist."
RIP Wes, and thanks for all the films.

Tom Woodruff Jr takes us to "FIRE CITY : END OF DAYS" in October

Academy Award Winning Creature and Character Effects Designer Tom Woodruff Jr makes his highly-anticipated directorial debut with "Fire City : End of Days", hitting US DVD and Digital outlets this October

Set in a world where demons live among us, this exhilarating vitrine of effects and action sees a hard-boiled demon named Vine confronted with the ultimate choice between the salvation of his own kind and the life of an innocent human girl.  Tobias Jelinek (Hocus Pocus), Danielle Chuchran (SAGA : Curse of the Shadow), Glee’s Harry Shum Jr, and Kristin Minter (TVs E.R) star.

"Fire City", written by Brian Lubocki and Michael Hayes and inspired by Woodruff’s short film, "Fire City: King of Miseries", was successfully financed by way of a Kickstarter campaign in 2013.
The film comes to US DVD and Digital outlets October 6 from Uncork’d Entertainment.
View the trailer on YouTube
The film will be available to pre-order shortly.

Saturday 29 August 2015

"Zombie Fight Club" - UK DVD review

Joe Chien's “Zombie Fight Club” received its UK premiere at Frightfest this weekend, but though I may have been unable to attend that, I was able to secure a review disc to take a look at.

Set in Taiwan, a Police SWAT team are raiding a run down block of flats, looking to take out a notorious drugs den, when they find that the building is in the grip of a zombie outbreak. It seems bad batch of pills they’ve been dealing have turned several of the users into blood thirsty zombies, who are now attacking the other tenants and spreading the infection.

As a result, the surviving officers, along with some of the residents have to try and fight their way past hordes of undead, as they battle to make it back outside to safety. But even if they do manage to make it, what awaits for them outside?

Fast paced, over the top and packed with gore (which is mostly of the CGI variety), the film is best described as a sort-of cross between “The Raid” and “Dawn of the Dead” and is tremendous fun. Though if you’re wondering where the “fight club” title fits into this, there’s an epilogue scene (which I won’t spoil for you) showing events a year on, which sort of explains this.

The films audio is in Mandarin, with English subs, though some characters speak intermittently in English, which kept throwing me. The film is apparently a sequel of sorts to the director’s earlier “Zombie 108”, so if you’ve seen that you’ll know what to expect. But even if you haven’t, zombie movie fans are going to want to check this one out.

The DVD is released in the UK August 31st from Altitude films and contains a trailer as an extra.

Buy the UK DVD from

Friday 28 August 2015

Fright-Rags commemorates 30 years of Teen Wolf with new apparel

"Teen Wolf" hit US theatres 30 years ago this week, instantly becoming an '80s favourite. Fright-Rags is commemorating Michael J. Fox's transformation into a werewolf with a new line of apparel.

The collection kicks off with a pair of shirts designed by Justin Osbourn and Rocky Davies. Each one is available on both standard tees and girls shirts.

The line also includes a screenprinted poster by Jason Edmiston. Measuring 18x24, the print is limited to 150 pieces. Rounding out the lot is a trucker-style hat embroidered with the Teen Wolf logo.

The "Teen Wolf" collection is available for pre-order now at These items are limited and may sell out during the pre-order period. They are expected to ship in late September.
Pre-order these now at the Fright-Rags website.

Dominic Purcell plays "The Elimination Game" this Oct.

Dysotopian adventure "The Elimination Game" starring Dominic Purcell (Blade 3, TVs Prison Break) comes to UK DVD this October.
After a civilian massacre in a foreign war zone, Navy SEAL Rick Tyler (Dominic Purcell), is falsely imprisoned for the crime.
But Rick is offered the chance of freedom – all he has to do is enter and survive a deadly game show, which pits him against some of the world’s most ruthless killers in a series of brutal locations. The rules are simple: kill or be killed.
Can Rick survive the game, win his freedom and find out why he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit?
Find out in "The Elimination Game", which comes to UK DVD October 12th from Altitude films.

Pre-order the UK DVD from

Thursday 27 August 2015

"The Hallow" - first look clip and Frightfest debut.

"THE HALLOW" has its first playing at Frightfest this Saturday (29/08/15). The film is being released in the UK on Friday 13th November
When a London-based conservationist is sent to Ireland to survey an area of ancient forest believed by the superstitious locals to be hallowed ground, he unwittingly disturbs a horde of terrifying beings and must fight to protect his family.
Checkout the following clip, for a preview of what to expect...


Unleash the animal inside with "WER" this October

Coming to UK DVD this October, from the makers of The Devil Inside, comes the rebirth of one of horror’s most iconic monsters. Presented as a found footage documentary, it follows a defence lawyer who discovers something beastly about her client.
When something slaughters a family camping in the French countryside, the freakishly large and powerful Talan Gwynek (Brian Scott O’Connor) is arrested for the crime.

While as his public defender Kate (A.J. Cook - Mother’s Day) argues his case, she begins to suspect he’s suffering from a rare medical condition that causes physical abnormalities. But as they begin the tests, Kate discovers his truth is far more monstrous that she ever imagined…

A howling good horror, with a smart reinvention of the werewolf legend, big scares and great performances.
"Wer" is released to UK DVD October 17th from Entertainment One.
Pre-order the UK DVD from

"Lake Placid" vs Anaconda" - new trailer released.

Checkout the trailer for forthcoming "Lake Placid" vs Anaconda", which hits UK DVD and Digital HD, Sept 7th.

Anacondas large enough to crush an SUV. Crocodiles strong enough to leap onto speedboats. When they’re not hunting for human prey, they’re more than willing to take on each other. Get ready for a non-stop bloodbath unlike anything you’ve seen before in this heart-pounding battle between mutated crocodiles and genetically engineered anacondas. Packed with hot sorority girls, big guns, and jaws massive enough to swallow a human in one bite, this is one screaming good time!
Pre-order the UK DVD from


Wednesday 26 August 2015

Icon films and Frightfest announce titles for "Frightfest Presents" label

Icon Film Distribution (IFD) and FrightFest, the UK’s leading horror fantasy film festival, have announced the first films which will be released under the curated banner ‘FrightFest Presents’.
The seven titles selected will all have their UK theatrical premieres at the FrightFest five day festival in August at the Vue Leicester Square and represent some of the most exciting genre filmmakers working today. 
The exclusive Icon and FrightFest partnership, first announced in April, will see titles released across the UK and Ireland via the distributor’s digital partners (including  iTunes, Virgin Movies, Sky, Google  Amazon, Xbox , Blinkbox, Google, Wuaki, TalkTalk and Volta) giving film fans instant access to some of their favourite FrightFest titles.
‘FrightFest Presents’ launches officially on 19 October with a consumer campaign pushing out from the beginning of the month. Each release has the collective backing of IFD and FrightFest across all marketing, PR and social channels.  
The seven titles to be released under ‘FrightFest Presents’ are:
AAAAAAAAH!, the world premiere and feature directorial debut of Steve Oram, co-writer of Ben Wheatley’s cult UK hit and British Independent Film Award-winning and Cannes selection feature Sightseers.  Oram also stars with Noel Fielding (The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh), Alice Lowe (Sightseers), Lucy Honnigman (The Ex-PM), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Lucy), Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh, Nathan Barley) and Toyah Willcox (Quadrophenia), 
‘Alpha Male’ Smith and his Beta, Keith, move to take over a local community. They hook up with restless Female, Denise, igniting a deadly feud in which emotions run high and deep-seated grudges resurface amongst the tribe. Are we not men? Or are we simply beasts?
THE SAND, a creature feature directed by Isaac Gabaett and starring Mitchel Musso (Monster House), Dean Geyer, Nikki Leigh (Unlucky Charms), Brooke Butler (All Cheerleaders Die), Jamie Kennedy (Scream) and Meagan Holder (Jersey Boys).
After an all-night party, a group of hungover twenty-somethings awake to a beating sun and a seemingly carnivorous beach that devours anything with a heartbeat that touches the sand. His fourth film as a filmmaker, Gabaett is also known for his work on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Men in Black 3 and The Place Beyond the Pines.
AFTERDEATH, a sci fi-horror from directors Gez Medinger and Robin Schmidt (Gumball 3000: Around the World in 8 Days) starring Miranda Raison (24: Another Day, Silk), Sam Keeley (Monsters: Dark Continent) and Daniella Ketesz (World War Z).
Five young people wake up dead. Washed up by the tide they scramble to an abandoned beach house, soon realising that the perpetual night and blasts of pain suggest this is some version of hell. Between in-fighting and attacks by a demonic shadow creature, they recall the collapse of the nightclub that brought them here – and begin seeing hope of a second chance in the cabin’s two mysterious paintings.
LANDMINE GOES CLICK, a tense thriller from director Levan Bakhia (247°F), starring Sterling Knight (Melissa & Joey, Mackenzie Falls), Spencer Locke (Resident Evil, Cougar Town) and Dean Geyer (Glee, Terra Nova).
Three American tourists are crossing the desolate mountains in the formerly war-torn republic of Georgia. Daniel has just proposed to Alicia and has asked Chris to be his best man, so they stop to take a celebration photograph. Chris steps to the right, the step goes click and he finds himself standing on a landmine. From that moment on Chris cannot move or he’s dead. But then secrets are revealed, dark motives uncovered, an outside threat appears and the real nightmare unfolds. For what happens on that terrifying afternoon will become a harbinger of doom for all lost innocence.
EMELIE, a home invasion horror from director Michael Thelin (SXSW Grand Jury nominated Matisyahu: Run + Return) which had its world premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and stars Sarah Bolger (The Lazarus Effect), Joshua Rush (Mr Peabody and Sherman), Carly Adams, Carl Bailey and Thomas Bair (Manhattan Nocturne). 
When their regular babysitter calls to say she’s unavailable, the Thompsons find a last minute replacement to look after their three kids Christopher, Sally and Jacob while they celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary. But no sooner have the unconcerned parents pulled out of the driveway than it becomes clear that Anna is no ordinary babysitter. As the evening creeps along the children begin to realise they might be in serious danger from the psychologically disturbed woman who has invaded their home.
THE LESSON, a thriller from director Ruth Platt, starring Tom Cox, Rory Coltart, Robert Hands (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) and Dolya Gavanski (Our Kind of Traitor). 
Fin and Joel are two teenage wasters running wild. But they get a taste of their own medicine when a teacher at the end of his tether decides to teach both schoolboys a lesson they will never forget.
ESTRANGED, a sinister psychological thriller from director Adam Levins (Population Zero), produced by Steven Schneider (Insidious series, Paranormal Activity) and William Borthwick (City Rats, Population Zero) starring Amy Manson (Once upon a Time, Atlantis), Nora-Jane Noone (Brooklyn, The Descent), James Cosmo (The Legend of Barney Thomson, Game of Thrones), James Lance (Bronson, Northern Soul), Simon Quartman (HBO's Westworld, The Devil Inside) and Craig Conway (The Descent, Doomsday).
January is forced to return home after a near-fatal accident whilst travelling abroad. Temporarily wheelchair bound and depleted of her long-term memory, she is accompanied by her boyfriend Callum. Not only has she forgotten her family, but her childhood as well and is surprised to discover that her home is a stately manor in the middle of the countryside. As January tries to settle in, she finds herself becoming even more estranged from her family, who just want their daughter back. January soon discovers the family are not as loving as they seem to be. Was there a dark reason why she left them in the first place?
Since FrightFest was set up 15 years ago, it has grown in size and stature, and is today internationally renowned for discovering exciting and original horror fantasy genre films.      
Last August, the festival screened 74 of the best horror films from around the world to UK audiences, with many world and European premieres. Over the years the festival directors, Greg Day, Alan Jones, Paul McEvoy and Ian Rattray, have also brought masters of the genre to the festival including Guillermo del Toro, George Romero, Dario Argento and Sam Raimi. FrightFest has developed into a brand leader for horror film, expanding its footprint in the UK by hosting special strands at other festivals to great success, such as the recent three-day event at the Glasgow Film Festival.
IFD has a longstanding track record in releasing genre films, from breakout hit PARANORMAL ACTIVITY which grossed a phenomenal £10 million at the UK box office to the cult vampire thriller 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, as well as re-issues of classic Hammer titles including DRACULA and THE MUMMY.  Most recently, IFD released the critical and box office hits IT FOLLOWS and THE BABADOOK, Jennifer Kent’s psychological horror story, which burst out of FrightFest’s August festival to become one of the most talked about horrors of 2014.

"Madman" - UK BD/DVD combo pack review.

Cult 80s slasher “Madman” makes it’s UK BD debut this month courtesy of Arrow films in an extras laden BD/DVD combo pack.

Owing more than a passing nod to “Friday the 13th”, coming out during the slasher boom of the 80s, the film starts with a group of summer camp counsellors hearing a scary campfire tale about a brutal killer named Madman Marz. According to local folklore, he supposedly still haunts the area and if you say his name louder than a whisper, he’ll come for you.

However, one of the teen counsellors decides to tempt fate by shouting his name out loud and throwing a rock through the window of the derelict old farmhouse he supposedly occupied (never a good idea in a horror film).

Needless to say, the next thing we see, there’s a huge axe wielding maniac on the loose in the camp, carving up the teens. Who don’t exactly do themselves any favours by wandering off into the woods alone to look for their missing friends.

Also starring Gaylen Ross (Dawn of the Dead), who’s strangely credited as Alexis Dubin, the film was originally shot under the title “Cropsey”, and was based on the urban legend of the Cropsey Maniac, who supposedly terrorised summer camps in New York’s Hudson Valley. However, they had to change the name and alter the script to try and distance themselves from “The Burning”, which was filming at the same time and was based on the same legend.

“Madman” has previously been available on disc, but this release marks the first time the film has been available on BD, having been transferred from the original negatives, and comes packed with a huge selection of extras.

First of all you get 2x audio commentary tracks that accompany the main feature. The first with Director Joe Giannone, Tony Fish (T.P.), Paul Ehlers (Madman Marz) and producer Gary Sales (originally recorded for the 2001 Anchor bay DVD release). The second is a fan commentary with Joseph Henson, Justin Kerswell and other folk from the Hysteria Continues horror podcast.

The Legend still Lives (91m) – Extensive retrospective documentary about the making of the film, featuring interviews with writer/producer Gary Sales and cast members Harriet Bass (Stacy), Carl Fredericks (Max) and of course Paul Ehlers (Madman Marz himself), amongst others and looks at some of the filming locations (originally recorded for the 2010 Code Red DVD).

Madman : Alive at 35 (21mins) –Tom Candela (Ritchie), Gary Sales and Paul Ehlers meet up and reminisce about the making of the film (Originally recorded for the 2015 Vinegar Syndrome release).

The Early Career of Gary Sales (14m) : Producer Gary Sales discusses how he got started in the film industry and talks about some of his other early productions.

Dead Pit Interviews : Couple of interviews with Gary Sales (3:30s) and Paul Ehlers (5:17s) being interviewed by the host of Deadpit Radio at a horror convention.

Music Inspired by Madman (12m) – A selection of songs inspired by the film

In Memorium (5:48s) – Gary Sales pays tribute to Director Joe Giannone, Tony Fish (T.P) and Carl Fredericks (Max) who have since passed away.

Trailers and TV spots – The original theatrical trailer and 5x TV spots are included on the disc.

Stills and Artwork gallery (7:20) – A collection of behind the scenes photos, narrated by Gary Sales, along with a selection of Lobby Cards and review articles.

The case also contains a reversible sleeve, featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin and inside there’s a collector’s booklet, featuring new writing on the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

This release contains both a BD and DVD. I was sent a Blu-Ray to review, but the enclosed DVD contains the exact same features on.

“Madman” may not be as well known as its contemporaries, but it’s still hugely enjoyable and was apparently the main influence on Adam Green’s “Hatchet” series of films.  If you’re a fan of 80s slashers, this Arrow disc is definitely a worthy addition to anybody’s collection.

Buy the UK BD/DVD pack from

Tuesday 25 August 2015


Beneath the fake blood and cheap masks of countless haunted house attractions across the country, there are whispers of truly terrifying alternatives. Looking to find an authentic, blood-curdling good fright for Halloween, five friends set off on a road trip in an RV to track down these underground Haunts. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening and it becomes clear that the Haunt has come to them...
From the producer of INSIDIOUS and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, a genuinely creepy concept that once again reinvents the “found-footage” horror movie and blurs the lines between reality and fiction. Following five filmmakers on a road trip to find an alternative Halloween tourist attraction, it builds to a nerve-shredding climax that will haunt you for days.
"HOUSES OF HALLOWEEN" hits UK DVD October 5th from Kaleidoscope Entertainment.
Pre-order the UK DVD from

"Victor Frankenstein" - New Stills Released

Twentieth Century Fox presents a selection of brand new stills for the release of Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe. This fresh take on Mary Shelley's classic story is brought to you by director Paul McGuigan (Gangster #1, Push, Sherlock) and is written by Max Landis (Chronicle).

Victor Frankenstein will be released in UK cinemas on December 4th.

Barbara Crampton FrightFest Interview

On the eve of Film4 FrightFest 2015, Barbara Crampton talks about being their special guest, being part of the ‘horror club’, scary scripts, still doing the laundry and why Abner Pastoll is one to watch.
Q: What was your initial reaction when told you were this year’s special Icon guest?

A: The importance of these film festivals for young directors to get their work seen and recognized is of the upmost importance in today’s film market. The competition to be included in one of the major genre film festivals is extremely high. When I was a young actress there were a handful of festivals where people could showcase their work. Today, there are many genre festivals across the globe that introduce the hungry audiences to their deepest fears, anxieties and monsters in the bedroom. That being said, to be invited to one of the best genre festivals around today, to be remembered for my past horror movies and to share some of my recent work, to support the new young film makers that I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with is very meaningful to me. I have worked in this genre for a long-time but only recently have come to realize how important these movies have been to me and continue to be for so many people. Finally, I feel like I am part of a club I didn’t realize I have been in for a long-time. To be this year’s special guest is an honour and one for which I am truly grateful.

Q: You have four films at FrightFest. You seem busier than ever. What is the secret to your career longevity?
A: My longevity is a complete surprise to me. About 15 years ago when I moved up to San Francisco with my husband I thought I was done. I got married, I had two kids back to back; that was something I felt was really missing from my life. So the years with my growing family were very precious and important to me. I completely lost myself in being a mom, happily so. When I got the call to appear in YOU’RE NEXT, I thought it would be a brief diversion from family life. Little did I know how much fun I was going to have playing with all of these burgeoning, creative film makers and that I would easily be lured back a few more times. Currently, I am able to balance my home life and work life. I do have a few other acting jobs coming up and I am producing one movie and have another in development. My family has been incredibly supportive and I, in turn, keep coming back to do their laundry, shop for their back to school supplies and organize their after school activities. I am even planning a get-a-way vacation with my husband! I think for me the longevity is about doing all of these things that I really love, leaving space for all that comes up in life.

Q: SUN CHOKE is getting a lot of positive reaction and you are brilliant in the film. What made you choose to play that role?

A: When I first read the script it really scared me, the role I mean. The film is very dark and explores some very fearsome inclinations in one’s psyche. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go there or even if I could. But it is so different than any other character I have ever played that I didn’t want the fear of playing the role get in the way. So with a lot of trepidation, I said yes and was treated to an amazing, collaborative experience with one of the best actresses I have ever worked with and some of the best material that’s been offered to me. I am glad it’s getting so much positive response. I think the writer/director Ben Cresciman is extremely talented and the production team I worked with was top notch. I am glad my fear didn’t get in the way of being scary.

Q: WE ARE STILL HERE has been very popular on the festival circuit. Is that because director Ted Geoghegan is a horror buff and knows all the fanboy tricks?

A: Potentially there’s a small amount of truth to that but is too simplistic a statement to make. My friend Ted has a rich knowledge of the genre, that is true, but he also has a deep heart and soul that can connect to varying characters and their motivations. The story he created works on many levels. It has a grounded foundation in two people’s grief and loss, and many supernatural scares. It has a connection to history, first of the genre and to something endemic to the story. Not to mention the fact that Ted was aided by two of the most important people that made WE ARE STILL HERE a festival favourite, Karim Hussain, our stylish and formidable Director of Photography and our Producer, Travis Stevens whose guidance, smarts and kindness improved every aspect of the film.
Q: ROAD GAMES is Abner Pastoll's feature debut as a director? You seem to like supporting first time directors?

A: I have worked with one of the best horror directors of the 1980s but I think it’s important to support the young filmmakers of today. They have interesting stories to tell that reflect their state of mind and current popular culture. When Abner reached out to me personally to ask me to play a part in his movie, I read the script and was completely floored by it. It was one of the most well crafted screenplays I ever read and had a unique sense of humour. I think Abner is one to watch in the coming years.

Q: You only have a small cameo in TALES OF HALLOWEEN. You are in Axelle Carolyn's episode at a party scene with directors Stuart Gordon and Mick Garris and actress Lisa Marie. Fun to do?

A: Yes! We had a great evening all together, it is a party scene so we acted like we were at a party. I know these people quite well and we had a great time between set-ups, getting caught up and reminiscing. Two people in the scene that I didn’t know very well were Lin Shaye and Alex Essoe. I was excited to work with both of them as I am a fan of both actresses. I had just seen Alex in STARRY EYES and she impressed me with her work as a starving actress who will do anything to get what she wants. Also, I really wanted to support my friend, Axelle Carolyn. She’s the one who came up with the original premise for TALES OF HALLOWEEN. She put it all together. She’s a woman, she’s fierce and I wanted to help her see her vision realized, no matter how small a part I ultimately had to play. The movie itself has been getting a great response and I am so happy and proud of her.

Q: What keeps drawing you back to the Horror Genre and how do you feel being crowned a ‘Scream Queen’?

A: Horror movies are like a thrill ride, they’re fun and exciting and you don’t know exactly how your body is going to feel after dipping off the high precipice of some downward spiraled roller coaster of scares. At first I was surprised to find myself in this genre. Then I felt warmed and welcomed by the creatives making these spectacles and also the audiences who appreciate them. It is now a genre that I proudly call my home. I find myself watching more horror movies on my off time than any other genre. In an odd way, I actually feel relaxed after watching one. Your body tenses up and is on high alert and at the end when everything is safe you can finally relax because the hero/heroine has won. Another thing horror movies does for you is prepares you for tragic things to occur, including the loss of a loved one or even your own death. If you can go through the experience of watching a horror movie subjectively than objectively it could soften the potential blow of horrific things to come, you’ve been prepared. People always ask me this question about how I feel being crowned a ‘Scream Queen,’ I don’t know if I have ever come up with the ultimate answer. But the fact that people keep asking me to be involved is completely gratifying and satisfying. You can call me Barbara, Miss Crampton or Miss Queen, just keep calling me…

Q: You grew up on the Carnival circuit. Can you describe what that was like?
A: Fun, exciting, weird. We were always in a new town every week so I would make friends with the ride boys, the fried bread dough sellers and the bearded lady. I could ride any ride I wanted on the lot for free, play any game, see any show and I had hundreds of stuffed animals in my room at home. The carnival world was full of questionable and interesting characters mostly living on the fringe of life. A lot of people working in that industry felt like they didn’t belong; being on the road and constantly moving oddly gave them a sense of peace. There was a unity and camaraderie that we all experienced coming from different backgrounds. It enabled me to completely put myself in other’s shoes and be non-judgemental which is one of the greatest gifts my family has ever given me. I hope it continues to afford me the momentum of treating all others with respect and kindness no matter who they are, where they come from, what bodies they choose to inhabit or whom they want to love.

Q: You have a stage background. How important an influence has this been and continues to be?

A: I am very happy that I had a full education for my acting background. Scene study, character analysis, stage combat, movment, voice lessons. All these things help inform every role I have ever played. To have a classic background and education in acting is something I think is missing in the young actors of today. Everyone seems to just act as who they are naturally. Where is the character development? I think sometimes the British actors are a little more advanced in that area than we are. Working on the stage really prepares you to engage your whole physical being in the process of creating a character.

Q: We all remember you from RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND of course but how do you reflect on what those two films did for you?

A:  A loose quote, but as Herbert West once said, “They gave me life!” I don’t think I would be where I am today without having had the glorious opportunity of working on two beloved films by Stuart Gordon. Those films, especially RE-ANIMATOR launched my career as an actress. I am forever grateful to both Stuart Gordon for giving me the role of Megan Halsey and for the other girl who had it first and turned it down.

Q: How do you think the Horror genre has changed/evolved over the years since you started out?

A: That’s a big question! Do you have an hour? In short, as far as I can tell, there are some major things that have evolved. It’s easier than ever to make a movie, anyone can do it, perhaps not well, but anyone can. We have digital instead of film so it’s a faster process. It’s more collaborative than it’s ever been and everyone seems to understand each other’s jobs. There are many more platforms on which to show your work and also one thing has never changed: no one is ever completely satisfied, the artist or the audience. We are smarter and more difficult to please than ever.

Q: What has been your favourite role so far?

A: My favourite role so far is the one I am doing right now.

Q: And the favourite role you’d love to play?

A: I probably won’t know that until after I have finished it because it’s in the doing of things and the immediacy of performing that I think we get our deepest personal rewards.
For more info and to buy tickets to the festival, visit

Monday 24 August 2015

"Nightmare City" UK BD/DVD combo pack review

Umberto Lenzi’s outrageous film about radioactive zombies on the rampage gets the Arrow treatment this month, as “Nightmare City” is released in a BD/DVD combo pack to UK video shelves.

Set in an unspecified American city (actually Madrid). News reporter Dean Miller (Hugo Stiglitz) is supposed to be interviewing a scientist at the local airport, when an unidentified military cargo plane touches down.  Surrounded by armed police and soldiers, the doors swing open and hoards of fast moving, radiation scarred zombies burst out from within, wielding bats, chains and clubs.

Miller and his crew capture the ensuing, over the top, action scenes on their cameras, as we see the zombies aren’t stopped by the soldier’s machine gun fire. But their attempts to broadcast the footage on TV are prevented by the military, who don’t want to panic the population.

In the meantime, the zombies continue to rampage throughout the city, attacking the TV station and the local power plant, before turning the hospital into a bloodbath in a series of hilariously, action packed gore scenes. As Miller and his wife try to flee the city.

Exceptionally fast paced, with a body count that’s off the charts. “Nightmare City” is hilariously good fun and is arguably Umberto Lenzi’s most outrageous film.

Zombie make up that looks like they just shoved the actors head into a bucket of mud. Cheap gore, over the top violence, rough acting, bad dubbing and ill fitting army uniforms all add to the charm. Not to mention that the authorities seem to forget the only way to stop these things is a bullet to the head, so the lead actor manages to kill more zombies in the last 10 minutes, than the police and army do in the entire film.

There’s also a charming mish-mash of various Italian, Spanish, American and Mexican actors, who were all added to appeal to the various financial backers. Including US TV actor Mel Ferrer (who also starred in Lenzi’s “Eaten Alive”) Spanish actor Francisco Rabal and Mexican actor Hugo Stiglitz (yes THE Hugo Stiglitz), who’s renown as one of the most wooden actors in European cinema.

Now, there are 2 different transfers of the film included on the disc. The first is taken from the original camera negatives, which were in very poor condition, as the film stock had deteriorated badly over the years. Though the picture is ‘sharp’, the deterioration has produced yellow blotches on the print and jittery colours, which are still evident, despite their best efforts to clean it up.

The second transfer comes from a duplicate negative, which has a slightly softer picture, but better quality overall. Arrow included both as they couldn’t decide which was the best and thought it better for buyers to make their own mind up. Though personally I think the second transfer from the duplicate negative looks superb on my 40” Samsung set.

The problems with the transfers are discussed in one of the special features on the disc, which I’ll come to in a moment. It should be noted that the first transfer uses the original Italian credits, with the title “Incubo Sulla Citta Contaminate”, whereas the second has the more familiar English credits with the “Nightmare City” title.

Both the original Italian dub and more common English language dub are included with both versions of the film (both are mono), BUT unless you go to the set-up menu and select “English” from the language options first, the default language will be Italian, for some strange reason.

Other features on the discs include…

-Audio commentary track – Fangoria editor Tim Lucas discusses the films many hilarious peculiarities.

-The Limits of Restoration (4:30) a quick look at the problems Arrow had in transferring the film from the best available source material, including side-by-side comparisons of the 2 prints used to show the difference.

-Umberto Lenzi Interview (28m) – An all new interview, in which the director discusses the making of the film and his casting choices (in Italian with English subs)

Maria Rosaria Omaggio interview (7:50s) – A brief interview with the actress who played Sheila, Major Holmes girlfriend in the film (in English)

-Eli Roth on Nightmare City (10m) - The director of “Hostel” discusses his love for Lenzi’s exploitation films, in particular Nightmare City.

-Alternate opening titles – these are basically the English titles, but with the alternate screen title “Attack of the Zombies” at the start.

-Original theatrical trailer - The English trailer, common on many previous DVDs, is reproduced here. But with optional English or Italian audio. Though as with the main feature, the default appears to be Italian for some strange reason.

As with most arrow releases, this is a combo-pack, which includes both the BD and DVD versions of the film. I was given the BD to review, but I believe the DVD contains the exact same extras on, including both transfers of the film (though obviously in SD not HD).

The case also contains a reversible sleeve, featuring the original artwork on one side and new artwork from Graham Humphreys on the other. Also included is a collector’s booklet, featuring new writing on the film by John Martin, author of Seduction of the “Gullible: The Truth Behind the Video Nasty Scandal”, which is illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

“Nightmare City” is a completely bonkers film, which pre-dates the fast-running zombies from “28 Days Later” and the “Dawn of the Dead” remake by over 20 years and just has to be seen to be believed.

This Arrow release certainly gives you the plenty of bang for your bucks. The only things I would have also liked to have seen included though, was some European trailers, plus the intro for the US release “City of the Walking Dead”, but I can live without those. Plus I found it odd that the default language on the discs is Italian, but these are just minor quibbles.

If you haven’t seen this film yet, then pick this one up NOW!!!!
Buy the "Nightmare City" UK BD from

Friday 21 August 2015

Saws, psychos & nasty spirits invade the Horror Channel (UK) in September

Autumn just got a lot darker as Horror Channel unleashes three UK TV premieres and eight network premieres across the weekends during September – including network premieres for fear-franchise hits SAW V, SAW VI, a 15th year anniversary broadcast for Mary Arron’s sickly slick adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ AMERICAN PSYCHO and the menacing erotic thriller AFTER.LIFE, starring Christina Ricci and Liam Neeson.

There are also UK TV premieres for Alex Chandon’s teeth-clenching horror-comedy INBRED, controversial director James Cullen Bressack’s blood-soaked PERNICIOUS and the found-footage shocker DARK FEED directed by Michael & Shawn Rasmussen. Other network premieres are the creepy CATACOMBS, starring Pink, THE DEVIL’S TOMB, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ron Perlman, and Ray Winstone, SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT, starring Bruce Campbell and David Carradine and Glenn Standinf’s Vampire tale PERFECT CREATURE, which stars Dougray Scott, Saffron Burrows, and Leo Gregory
Sat 12 Sept @ 22:50 – AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000) * Network Premiere

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is young, white, handsome and indistinguishable from his Wall Street colleagues. Shielded by conformity, privilege, and wealth, Bateman is also the ultimate serial killer. After a colleague presents a business card superior in ink and paper to his, Bateman's blood thirst sharpens, and he steps up his homicidal activities to a frenzied pitch. Hatchets fly, butcher knives chop, chainsaws rip, and surgical instruments mutilate-how far will Bateman go? How much can he get away with? Also stars  Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon, Jared Leto and Chloë Sevigny. This broadcast marks the film’s 15th year anniversary.

Sat 19 Sept @ 23:00 – SAW V (2008) *Network Premiere

Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) might be dead, but his traps live on in this fifth Saw entry, which finds the series' production designer David Hackl at the helm for his directorial debut. Costas Mandylor reprises his role as Hoffman, the detective whose involvement in the string of grisly murders turns out to be more than meets the eye. Picking up where the fourth entry left off, Hoffman is revealed to be a hidden accomplice in Jigsaw's grisly games of death. Saw IV scribes Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan return to pen the screenplay.

Sun 20 Sept @ 21:00 – AFTER.LIFE (2009) *Network Premiere

After a horrific car accident, Anna (Christina Ricci) wakes up to find the local funeral director Eliot Deacon (Liam Neeson) preparing her body for burial. Confused, terrified and still feeling very much alive, Anna doesn’t believe she’s dead, Trapped inside the funeral parlour, she is forced to face her deepest fears and accept her death. With an unrelenting edge of menace, this stylish and erotic chiller provocatively questions the line between life and death. Directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo.

Fri 25 Sept @ 22:45 – INBRED (2011) *UK TV Premiere

From Alex Chandon, director of Cradle of Fear and Pervirella, a screamingly hilarious warped nightmare with nowt taken out. Four young urban offenders and their two care workers embark on a community service weekend in the remote Yorkshire village of Mortlake. Before you can say ‘Ey up’, they upset the yokels with their city ways and put themselves in the gravest of dangers. This best bad taste un-PC gore-soaked riot is more fun than a ferret down the trousers. Starring Jo Hartley, James Doherty, Seamus O’Neill, James Burrows and Nadine Rose Mulkerrin.

Sat 26 Sept @ 23:05 – SAW VI (2009) *Network Premiere

Saw VI concludes the second trilogy of the series that focused on the posthumous effects of the Jigsaw Killer and the progression of his successor, Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) Hoffman sets a series of traps for an insurance executive, William Easton (Peter Outerbridge), and his employees. Meanwhile the FBI trails Peter Strahm, now suspected of being Jigsaw's last accomplice, and Hoffman is drawn into a violent, sadistic battle to protect his secret identity.

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“Monsters : Dark Continent” - UK DVD/BD review.

Tom Green’s “Monsters : Dark Continent” is the highly anticipated sequel to Gareth Edwards 2010 sci-fi thriller “Monsters”, which finally gets its UK release this month onto DVD and Blu-Ray.

Now I must pre-face this review by stating that I was NOT a fan of the original “Monsters”, about the South American jungle being over run with giant space aliens. As I thought I was going to get a sci-fi action film, instead I got 90mins of 2 Americans trudging through the jungle, trying to sneak back into the US after they get their passports stolen. The titular monsters being little more than peripheral characters in a background story. So it was with some trepidation that I approached this sequel.

Anyway, taking place some 10 years after the original, the deserts of the Middle East have also been ‘infected’ with the large Alien monsters, and the US military have been sent to help the Arab authorities deal with them. This has caused much consternation amongst the locals, who view the Americans as little more than an invading force. Meaning, despite their good intentions, the US military are having to deal with terrorist insurgents and roadside bombs, as well as these giant aliens.

When a group of soldiers, lead by Sgt Frater (Johnny Harris – TVs “Fortitude”) have to go into the alien inhabited deserts on a search and rescue mission, their group unfortunately falls afoul of a landmine and the surviving soldiers captured by terrorists. But when their captors are forced to flee due to large monster stampede coming their way, two of them seize the chance to escape. But despite their lack of supplies and being surrounded by unfriendly terrorist groups and large aliens rampaging through the deserts, Frater seems hell bent on completing their mission, no matter what…

I actually found this film to be a great improvement over the original, you do get to see much more of the monsters this time and it’s certainly more action orientated than it’s predecessor. BUT, as with the first film, the titular monsters are little more than a backdrop to the actual main story, which in this case is about a group of soldiers travelling through the desert. Which otherwise could have been just another generic war film about the negative effects of US intervention in the troubles in the Middle East. 

Indeed, in many ways, the film was very reminiscent (perhaps overly so) of the Ford brothers 2010 film “The Dead”, which was also about a couple of soldiers trying to make it through the desert to safety. But in that film they were up against zombies instead of giant aliens.

The disc I was sent to review was the DVD version, though the BD apparently contains the same supplemental features on, which are as follows…

-Dog Fight VFX Breakdown (2m55) – A look at how the scene showing a pit-bull fighting one of the alien monsters was shot and how they superimposed the CGI effects.

-Evolving the Monsters (8m55) – How the graphic designers created the new look Monsters for the film

-Filming on Location (12m25) – A behind the scenes look at the various filming locations used in the film.

All of which feature interviews with director Tom Green (that’s the English guy who directed TVs “Misfits” NOT the American comedian) and the cast and crew, including SFX technician Seb Barker and lead actors Johnny Harris and Sam Keeley.

In summary, my personal opinion is that whilst “Monsters : Dark Continent” is a good movie, the film makers once again seem to miss the point. When you are selling a film about giant alien monsters threatening humanity, you expect a film about giant alien monsters threatening humanity and how we respond to it. Not a film where these monsters are an unrelated backdrop to some other story with little or nothing to do with it.

Fans of the original will undoubtedly like this, but if you weren’t keen on that you may not be too receptive.

The film is released to UK DVD, BD and limited edition BD steelbook August 31.

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"Stranglehold" - new poster and trailer released

In the tradition of TV classic V comes "Stranglehold" , from writer/director Joshua Gollish, invading US VOD outlets this September.

Facing certain death, a group of peaceful aliens try to thwart their violent oppressors, in an attempt to preserve their species and humanity.

Kevin Makely (Mr & Mrs Smith), Luke Edwards (TVs True Detective), and Carolyn Stotesbery (Love & Mercy) star.

"Stranglehold" will be available from US VOD outlets September15 from Osiris Entertainment.

"Sinister 2" - New clip revealed.

Entertainment One is pleased to release a brand new Clip, 'Christmas Morning' for "Sinister 2", released in UK cinemas August 21st.

"Sinister 2" is released to UK cinemas August 21st

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Wednesday 19 August 2015

"Victor Frankenstein" - New Poster released

Twentieth Century Fox presents the first poster for "Victor Frankenstein", starring James McAvoy  ("Xmen : First Class") and Daniel Radcliffe ("Woman n Black").
This fresh take on Mary Shelley's classic story is brought to you by director Paul McGuigan (Gangster #1, Push, Sherlock) and is written by Max Landis (Chronicle).
"Victor Frankenstein" will be released in cinemas in the UK on December 4th.

"The Canal" comes to UK DVD and Digital this September

Having had its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment is pleased to announce the UK release of THE CANAL, available digitally and on DVD from 14th September.

Sitting in an empty theater, a film archivist watches the grainy footage that will be his undoing. David (Rupert Evans – "Hellboy") and his wife Alice (Hannah Hoekstra – "App") are perfectly happy—or so he believes. When he finds out the home he shares with his wife and son was the scene of a ghastly turn-of-the-century murder, David dismisses it as ancient history.
That is, until the sinister history ripples into the present and casts a shadow over life as he knows it. And when a looming secret shatters his marriage, David can't help but suspect the dark spirits of the house are somehow involved. In his drive to unveil the shadows hidden in the walls, David begins to descend into insanity, threatening the lives of everyone around him.

Through ghastly imagery and a chilling score, Ivan Kavanagh’s THE CANAL is an Irish ghost story that will leave you with a fear of the dark and a dripping chill down your spine long after the film's conclusion.
Pre-order the UK DVD from

Tuesday 18 August 2015

First trailer for "Victor Frankenstein"

Twentieth Century Fox present the first trailer and image for Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe.

Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy - "X-Men : First Class") and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Daniel Radcliffe - "The Woman in Black") share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences.  Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation.

Victor Frankenstein will be released in cinemas in the UK on December 4th.


"The Walking Dead" Series 5 - on UK disc Sept

"THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SERIES" arrives on UK Blu-ray™ and DVD on 28th September.
After the stunning Series Four finale, Rick (Lincoln) and the group remain outnumbered, outgunned and awaiting to discover their fate at the hands of their captors at Terminus. Are these survivors over precautious new friends or an unnerving new foe? No matter the result, the group knows now more than ever they will need to fight the living if they wish to survive in the world of the dead.

Packed full of thrilling twists and turns, fan-favourite characters and landmark story-arcs, don’t miss "THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SERIES" as it arrives on Blu-ray and DVD from 28th September 2015, courtesy of Entertainment One.


Audio Commentaries
Deleted Scenes
The Making of The Walking Dead
The Making of Alexandria
-Inside The Walking Dead
-Beth's Journey
-Bob's Journey
-Noah's Journey
-Tyreese's Journey
-A Day In The Life Of Michael Cudlitz
-A Day In The Life Of Josh McDermitt
-Rotters In The Flesh
-Walkers In The Water

Also available on BD and DVD in a special Series 1-5 box set. The Series 5 set available on,uk also contains a special bonus disc "An Interview with Gregory Nictero: The Man With A Thousand Faces ".

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Burt Gummer returns in "Tremors 5" this Oct

Coming to UK disc in October, "Tremors 5: Bloodlines" is the fifth film in the Tremors series based on the monster adventure films starring Michael Gross as firearms enthusiast and paranoid survivalist, Burt Gummer and Jamie Kennedy as tech savvy newcomer Travis Welker.
Tremors centres on the vicious attacks of subterranean worm-like creatures known as graboids. It began in 1990 with the successful release of "Tremors", which spawned four films; two sequels, "Tremors 2: Aftershocks" and "Tremors 3: Back to Perfection", a prequel, "Tremors 4: The Legend Begins" and now the upcoming follow-up, "Tremors 5: Bloodlines".
This time, the giant, man-eating Graboids are back and even deadlier than before, terrorising the inhabitants of a South African wildlife reserve as they attack from below-and above.
"Tremors 5: Bloodlines" will be available on UK Blu-ray and DVD from 12th October, courtesy of Universal Pictures (UK).
The film will be available to pre-order shortly.