Tuesday 31 October 2023


Deck the Halls (but quietly) as the Christmas Comedy-Horror, THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE BARN heads to UK Cinemas & Digital Download from 1st December, courtesy of Vertigo Releasing.

Starring comedy royalty Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Spider-Man, Honey Boy) alongside Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones), this irreverent story puts a bloody spin on Nordic tradition.
When an American family fulfil their dreams of moving back after inheriting a remote cabin in Norway, it’s not long before they encounter the legendary Nordic Barn Elf next door and learn the importance of respecting one’s neighbours - the hard way!
It's Gremlins meets National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation this Christmas!

THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE BARN is released to selected UK Cinemas & on Digital Download from 1st December, courtesy of Vertigo Releasing.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


Take CARRIE to the prom in 4K - This January

In 1974, Stephen King published his first novel, the story of Carrie White, a troubled young girl, bullied by her peers and daughter to a fanatical fundamentalist mother, who discovers she has telekinetic powers. 

In 1976, it became the first of his works to be adapted for the big screen and, to this day, remains one of the very best.

CARRIE marked Brian De Palma’s arrival as a major director, following smaller cult films such as Sisters, Phantom of the Paradise and Obsession, and provided a key early role for Sissy Spacek (Badlands), one that would earn her a Best Actress nomination at the Academy Awards. 

Piper Laurie would also pick up a nomination as Carrie’s mother, while future stars such as Amy Irving, John Travolta and Nancy Allen were given their first major parts in a big-screen production.

Restored in 4K from the original negative, this collector’s edition provides the definitive release of a horror classic.


4K restoration from the original camera negative
4K (2160p) UHD Blu-Ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
Lossless mono and DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtracks
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Commentary by Lee Gambin, author of Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Cultographies: Ms. 45 and Devil’s Advocates: Suspiria
Acting Carrie – archive featurette containing interviews with director Brian De Palma, actors Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt and others
More Acting Carrie – additional interviews with the cast of the film
Visualising Carrie: From Words to Images – archive featurette containing interviews with De Palma, writer Lawrence D. Cohen, editor Paul Hirsch and art director Jack Fisk
Singing Carrie: Carrie the Musical – archive featurette on the stage musical adaptation of King’s novel
Writing Carrie – an interview with writer Lawrence D. Cohen
Shooting Carrie – an interview with cinematographer Mario Tosi
Cutting Carrie – an interview with editor Paul Hirsch
Casting Carrie – an interview with casting director Harriet B. Helberg
Bucket of Blood – an interview with composer Pino Donaggio
Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – a look back at the locations of Carrie
Comparing Carrie – visual essay comparing the various versions and adaptations of Carrie across the years
Alternate TV opening
Image gallery
TV spots
Radio spots
Carrie trailer reel
Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and new artwork by Laz Marquez
Limited edition 40-page perfect bound book featuring writing on the film by Neil Mitchell, author of Devil’s Advocates: Carrie, a reprint of the Final Girls’ 40th anniversary Carriezine, and an archive interview with Brian De Palma
Fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and new artwork by Laz Marquez
Six double-sided collector’s postcards

Pre-order the UK 4K UHD from Amazon.co.uk


NYX UK presents a vintage month of memorable Horrors

Menacing mind readers, psychotic dogs, winged marauders, evil entities and mutant babies invade NYX UK in November, as the channel, now on Freeview 289, presents six classic premieres, including sci-fi favourite INVADERS FROM MARS, thrilling creature feature THE GIANT CLAW, Larry Cohen’s memorable cult horror IT’S ALIVE (1974), terrifying canine chiller MAN’S BEST FRIEND and Hammer’s mysterious X THE UNKNOWN, which headlines the popular 9pm ‘Hammer Sundays’ strand.

There is also a channel premiere for the timeless gothic horror MURDER IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932), starring Bela Lugosi, and to celebrate Boris Karloff’s birthday on November 23rd there is a double-bill of T Hayes Hunter’s enduring THE GHOUL (1933), co-starring Ralph Richardson in his movie debut, and Roger Corman’s infamous THE TERROR (1963), co-starring Jack Nicholson.

Other monthly highlights include Pete Walker’s seminal seventies British horror FRIGHTMARE, werewolf thriller THE BEAST MUST DIE, feminist slasher THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, Sergio Martino’s masterful giallo YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY and gripping horror-infused crime thriller THE CIRCUS OF FEAR, starring Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski.

Plus. Friday late-night horror is given a visually enthralling Gallic flavour with four Jean Rollin classics: THE NUDE VAMPIRE, DEMONIACS, LIVING DEAD GIRL and THE IRON ROSE.

Primetime films in transmission order:

Fri 3 Nov @ 21:00 – INVADERS FROM MARS (1953) *Channel premiere

A young boy, David, witnesses a flying saucer bury itself in a sandpit behind his house. He starts noticing strange behaviour in the adults around him, beginning with his own parents, and realises that humans are being brainwashed by the Martian invaders. Who does David turn to for help? Directed by William Cameron Menzies, this is a quintessential 1950s science fiction film, capturing the era's Cold War paranoia and the fear of unknown threats.

Saturday 4 Nov @ 21:00 - THE GIANT CLAW (1957) *Channel premiere

When a strange flying object is spotted, it is believed to be a UFO. However, it turns out to be an extraterrestrial bird made of anti-matter which leaves a trail of death and destruction in its wake. "The Giant Claw" stands as a testament to the creature features of the 1950s, combining elements of science fiction with the ever-present fear of the unknown during the Cold War era. Directed by Fred F. Sears.

Sun 6 Nov @ 21:00 – X THE UNKNOWN (1956) *Channel Premiere *Part of Hammer Sundays

Dr Adam Royston (Dean Jagger), stars as a nuclear scientist tasked with understanding and ultimately halting this radioactive menace. As the entity moves and consumes, it leaves a trail of death and devastation, melting anything, and anyone in its path. Emerging from the prolific era of 1950s British science fiction and horror, this Hammer production, directed by Leslie Norman, stands as a chilling foray into the realm of the mysterious and the unexplained.

Wed 8 Nov @ 21:00 – THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (1982)

A high school senior, Trish, decides to throw a slumber party while her parents are away. However, unbeknownst to the partygoers, an escaped killer with a penchant for power drills, is on the loose. As the body count rises, the young women must band together to battle the relentless killer. Directed by Amy Holden Jones and penned by feminist author Rita Mae Brown, the movie is often recognised not just for its visceral thrills but also for its undercurrents of social commentary, particularly on gender roles and exploitation.

Thursday 9 Nov @ 21:00 – YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY (1972)

Set in a decaying mansion, Oliviero (Luigi Pistilli), a failed writer and alcoholic, subjects his wife, Irina (Anita Strindberg), to constant psychological torment and humiliation. Into this tumultuous setting arrives Floriana (Edwige Fenech), Oliviero's enticing niece. As tensions rise, a series of murders unfold, and the mansion's inhabitants find themselves trapped in a web of suspicion and deceit. Directed by the prolific Sergio Martino, the film is an intricate maze of deceit, depravity, and deadly intentions, all wrapped up in a compelling narrative inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Black Cat."

Sat 11 Nov @ 21:00 – MAN’S BEST FRIEND (1993) *Channel premiere


Ambitious TV journalist, Lori Tanner (Ally Sheedy), breaks into the research facility where Max, a genetically engineered Tibetan Mastiff is being held, to expose the unethical experiments being conducted there. She inadvertently releases Max but seeing him as just an innocent dog subjected to cruel experiments, she adopts him. However, she is unaware of his deadly genetic modifications and his need to hunt. Directed by John Lafia.

Fri 17 Nov @ 21:00 – FRIGHTMARE (1974)

Dorothy and Edmund Yates (played by Sheila Keith and Rupert Davies respectively) are released from a mental institution after 18 years. They attempt to reintegrate into society and lead a quiet, secluded life in the English countryside, but unknown to those around them, the couple harbours a dark and gruesome secret. Directed by Pete Walker, who was known for his inclination towards suspense and thriller genres, the film is notable for its uncanny blend of domestic drama and gruesome horror.

Sat 18 Nov @ 23:00 – MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932) *Channel premiere

Dr Mirakle (Bela Lugosi), a carnival sideshow entertainer, exhibits Erik the Ape as the missing link between man and ape. However, his interests are far more sinister than mere showmanship. Obsessed with proving his theory of evolution, Mirakle kidnaps women to forcibly mix their blood with that of Erik, hoping to find a compatible match. This atmospheric pre-Code horror film is directed by Robert Florey and inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's short story of the same name.

Thurs Nov 23 Oct @ 21:00 – THE TERROR (1963) *To celebrate Boris Karloff’s birthday

Set in the 18th century, in a desolate, crumbling castle, a French soldier encounters a mysterious woman while searching for his regiment, entangling him in a web of supernatural occurrences and dark secrets. This Roger Corman-directed horror film, starring Boris Karloff and a young Jack Nicholson, has gained cult classic status.

Thurs Nov 23 Oct @ 23:00 – THE GHOUL (1933) *To celebrate Boris Karloff’s birthday 

Egyptologist and Professor Henry Morlant (Boris Karloff) thinks an ancient jewel will give him powers of rejuvenation if it is offered up to the god Anubis. But when Morlant dies, his assistant steals the jewel. While a gaggle of interlopers, including a fake vicar (Ralph Richardson), descend on the professor's manor to steal the jewel for themselves, Morlant returns from the dead to punish everyone who has betrayed him. Directed by Hayes Hunter, this marks Ralph Richardson’s feature film debut.

Fri 24 Nov @ 21:00 - THE BEAST MUST DIE (1974)

Wealthy big-game hunter Tom Newcliffe invites a group of people to his isolated mansion, suspecting that one of them is a werewolf. As the guests are picked off one by one, the survivors must confront their fears and uncover the true identity of the beast before it's too late. The film's innovative use of a "werewolf break," in which viewers are given a chance to guess the identity of the werewolf, adds an interactive element that sets it apart from other horror films of its time.

Sat 25 Nov @21:00 – IT’S ALIVE (1974) *Channel premiere

Expectant parents Frank and Lenore Davis are excited to welcome their second child. But their joy turns to sheer horror when their baby is born as a mutated creature, with an inexplicable and violent bloodlust. Larry Cohen, a filmmaker known for his knack of blending social commentary with genre cinema, delivers one of the 1970s' most memorable cult horror films. In a decade replete with films exploring societal anxieties, Cohen's tale of a monstrous newborn tapped into the deep-seated fears surrounding childbirth, pharmaceuticals, and genetic mutations.

 Sun 26 Nov @ 21:00 – THE CIRCUS OF FEAR (1966)

Following a daring armoured car heist in London, the loot mysteriously finds its way into Barberini's Circus. At the circus, an enigmatic lion tamer named Gregor (Christopher Lee), always masked and shrouded in mystery, takes centre stage as the potential suspect. But when a series of gruesome murders start occurring, the suspects list grows. A British-German co=production directed by John Moxey.

Freeview 271 / Channelbox App / TCL TVs / Distro TV


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Intense horror THEY WAIT IN THE DARK - Arriving Digitally, Nov

From award-winning writer/director Patrick Rea (I Am Lisa), THEY WAIT IN THE DARK stars Sarah McGuire (The Stylist) as Amy, a mum fleeing with her son from her abusive partner Judith, encountering something even more terrifying when she seeks refuge in the old farmhouse she grew up in.

SYNOPSIS: Amy and her adopted son Adrian are on the run from her abusive ex-girlfriend Judith. Desperate to stay hidden, Amy and Adrian take refuge in her family’s abandoned farmhouse outside her Kansas hometown. Soon, a supernatural force from Amy’s dark past begins haunting Adrian. With the vengeful Judith in pursuit, Amy and Adrian find themselves locked in a showdown between the threats both outside and in.

THEY WAIT IN THE DARK features a superb central performances from McGuire, showing unexpected mettle as her situation spirals into hopelessness, and Laurie Catherine Winkel (Father of the Bride) is outstanding as the knife-toting, not to be messed with Judith, who, as Eye for Film says, “strides through this film like one of the great screen villains”.

As with his other genre films I Am Lisa and Enclosure, Rea is proving to be an accomplished horror stylist, eliciting terrific performances from his cast, and wringing maximum suspense from a screenplay that builds up a steady drip of dread, as the characters are plunged deeper into darkness.

Thoughtful, unsettling, gruesome and downright scary, THEY WAIT IN THE DARK will appeal to those who enjoyed recent hit family fallout chillers Talk To Me and Cobweb.

THEY WAIT IN THE DARK is released Digitally on 13th Nov.

View the Trailer on YouTube.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

SAW X - Available Digitally 30th Nov

John Kramer (Tobin Bell) is back. The most disturbing instalment of the SAW franchise yet explores the untold chapter of Jigsaw’s most personal game. 

Set between the events of SAW I and II, a sick and desperate John travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure in hopes of a miracle cure for his cancer – only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. 

Armed with a newfound purpose, the infamous serial killer returns to his work, turning the tables on the con artists in his signature visceral way through devious, deranged, and ingenious traps.

Lionsgate UK presents SAW X, available to buy and rent Digitally from 30th October.

View the Trailer on YouTube.

Gruesome horror comedy THE MEAN ONE - Set for Digital and Disc release, November.

David Howard Thornton, the award-winning actor who plays Art the Clown in the hugely popular Terrifier movies, stars as THE MEAN ONE, a gruesome grouch in a Santa suit who is intent on causing Christmas carnage.  

Directed by Steven LaMorte (Bury Me Twice), THE MEAN ONE also stars Krystle Martin as Cindy, who takes on the Christmas killer with a baseball bat wrapped in tree lights (you better watch out Mean One, Martin is a trained stunt woman!).

Like recent horror hit Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, THE MEAN ONE is another buzzy slasher mixing mirth, murder and all-out action in equal measure, as the townsfolk decide to take on the green meanie with all the weapons they can lay their hands on.  

Already a viral sensation (over 5 million people have watched the trailer online) THE MEAN ONE is a Christmas horror film that’s sure to become a seasonal fave, and a stocking chiller without equal.

SYNOPSIS: In a sleepy mountain town, Cindy's parents are murdered and her Christmas is stolen by a bloodthirsty green figure in a red Santa suit. 20 years later, Cindy returns to town with one goal—trapping and destroying The Mean One. 

THE MEAN ONE is released on Digital platforms from 20th November and on DVD from the 27th November. 

View the Trailer on YouTube

Pre-order the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk


WEREWOLF SANTA and HEIR OF THE WITCH - Available on Digital, November


Santa Claus is coming to town and he wants more than milk and cookies... WEREWOLF SANTA is out for flesh, blood and mayhem. 

Having received its World Premiere at FrightFest 2023, this bloody brilliant comedy horror from Airell Anthony Hayles (Punch, Midnight Peepshow) – and featuring a cameo from the venerable Joe Bob Briggs (Casino, Face/Off) – is set for its UK Digital debut on 6 November 2023, courtesy of Miracle Media.

Angsty teenager Lucy (Katherine Rodden – The Outer Circle) hosts a failing YouTube show dedicated to finding evidence of natural monsters. But, as she travels home to spend Christmas in Hastings with her bickering, divorced parents Carol (Emily Booth – The Reverend) and Charlie (Mark Arnold – Blade Runner 2049), her luck is about to change...

On Christmas Eve, she witnesses Santa being bitten by a werewolf before becoming a lycanthrope himself. As Werewolf Santa starts wreaking bloody havoc in Hastings, Lucy, her friend Dustin (Charlie Preston) and her family set off on a madcap adventure to save their town from the bloodthirsty beast.

Armed with a rusty ice skate, a camera and a vague understanding of how werewolves operate, can Lucy save her town from becoming season’s eatings?

Keep an eye out for Werewolf Santa this holiday season for a blood-soaked, playfully demented, joyously unique Christmas horror feast.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


Beware the HEIR OF THE WITCH, a hauntingly gothic supernatural horror that marks the striking directorial debut of Victoria U Bell, who also penned the script and takes on the lead role in this epic tale rooted in folklore. This chilling film is set to make its digital debut in the UK on 13 November 2023, courtesy of Miracle Media.

Anna (Victoria U Bell) is an underprivileged seamstress working in America, living with and caring for her bedridden aunt, Rosie (Vanessa Neff – Match Struck), but there’s more to Anna than meets the eye and she carries a dark secret that haunts her as she tries to find love and acceptance in high society...

Followed by a ghostly figure of a malevolent witch, Anna’s attempts to lead an everyday life become more difficult and when she starts to form relationships with those around her, things quickly turn from bad to worse.

As the witch gains more control over her life and begins to wreak bloody havoc in the community, can Anna escape her clutches?

Prepare yourself for a spine-tingling and profoundly eerie cinematic experience with this bewitching feature. 

View the Trailer on YouTube.


GHOST FACE: THE GAME, plus HALLOWEEN apparel & more from Fright-Rags

Fright-Rags has launched a crowdfunding pre-order for Ghost Face: The Game in addition to releasing a massive Halloween 45th anniversary collection and more.
See the slasher icon like you've never seen him before in Ghost Face: The Game! The exclusive first edition of Fright-Rags and Stop the Killer’s latest board game is available to pre-order on Kickstarter.

Players must beat Ghost Face at his own game by working together to collect weapons, work around obstacles, draw fun cards, answer trivia questions, and flick the Kill Spinner to determine their fate!
The campaign is already fully funded, but there are more stretch goals to unlock before it ends on October 31.
In conjunction with the game, Fright-Rags has three Ghost Face retro-style 3.75" action figures (Classic, Aged, and Devil) and two Ghost Face 6" mini masks (Classic and Aged) available for pre-order through November 12. They also have three shirts with Justin Osbourne's artwork from the game up for pre-order through October 31

Celebrate 45 years of John Carpenter's Halloween with Fright-Rags' massive collection. The line includes new apparel, classic reprints, Michael Myers mini masks, Michael and Laurie bloody action figure variants, enamel pins, and more.
Fright-Rags has released new souvenir cups featuring Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Munsters, and Halloween. Each vintage-inspired plastic cup holds 32 ounces.
The rest of the month will see Fright-Rags drops from The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs (October 20), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (October 24), Night of the Living Dead (October 27), and Halloween trading cards (October 31).
All of this and more can be found exclusively at Fright-Rags.com.

Cannibal-comedy horror FEED ME - Gets UK Digital release, Nov

Satisfy your horror hunger with FEED ME a wickedly warped, darkly disturbing, devilishly demented cannibal carve-up from writing–directing duo Richard Oakes and Adam Leader (Hosts)

The film is set for its Digital release on 13th November 2023 courtesy of Bingo Films following its award-winning festival run which saw it win Best Film at GrimmFest 2022 and four awards at British Horror Film Festival, including Best Actor and Best Director.

Following the death of his wife, in the most tragic circumstances, Jed Freeman (Christopher Mulvin – Lore, Doctors) falls deep into depression, suffering hallucinations and night terrors. But a chance encounter with the larger-than-life Lionel Flack (Neal Ward – Hosts, Two Graves) leads to an appealing proposition to be freed from his grief forever… and the most brutal bromance imaginable.

Jed finds himself at the home and under the spell of Lionel – who convinces him to end his life in the most terrifying and unthinkable way – then things really turn ugly… The unhinged cannibal creates carnage on his quest to feast on flesh and will stop at nothing to satisfy his deranged desire for human consumption.

For a twisted, blood-soaked feast of gore, tuck into 
FEED ME. Available from UK Digital outlets from 13th November 2023.

View the Trailer on YouTube.

Sunday 22 October 2023

Survival-Horror MERCY FALLS - Arrives on Digital, Nov

Following its acclaimed theatrical bow, you can now visit MERCY FALLS from the comfort of your own home. This wickedly enthralling survival horror starring acclaimed actor Lauren Lyle (Outlander, Karen Pirie) and directed by award-winning filmmaker Ryan Hendrick (Lost at Christmas, Sundown) is set to receive its highly anticipated digital release on 6 November 2023 from Bingo Films.

This tense and terrifying psychological thriller follows a tight-knit group of friends – Rhona (Lauren Lyle), Heather (Layla Kirk – Two Doors Down), Scott (James Watterson – Kirk), Donnie (Joe Rising – Casualty) and Andy (Eoin Sweeney) – who arrive in the Scottish Highlands in search of a long-lost family cabin… but their trip turns into a nightmare when a fatal accident leads to suspicion, bloody betrayal and brutal murder.

As they travel deeper into the wilderness their journey takes an unexpected turn when the group pick up hitchhiker Carla (Nicolette McKeown – Convergence) and bring her along for the ride… but it quickly becomes apparent that things aren’t quite what they seem...

Arriving at their destination with tensions building and love triangles forming, battle lines are drawn and things take a sinister turn. With revelations abound, the stakes grow higher and a ferocious fight for survival ensues... will anyone make it out alive?

 View the Trailer on YouTube.





Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment is thrilled to be releasing HOLLYWOOD DREAMS & NIGHTMARES: THE ROBERT ENGLUND STORY.

The film premiered exclusively on the Icon Film Channel on 2nd October, and the Special Collector’s Edition Blu-ray and TVOD/EST will be available from 6th November.

From the makers of Pennywise: The Story of IT and the widely-anticipated movie RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop comes an all-new documentary, celebrating the legacy and career of one our generation's most beloved horror icons, the legendary Robert Englund.

Shooting to super-stardom with his revolutionary portrayal of Freddy Krueger in the ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’ franchise - a moment without doubt as visceral to the horror genre as Chaney's werewolf or Karloff's ground-breaking realisation of Frankenstein's monster – Englund has firmly earned his place in the pantheon of horror movie legends.

The documentary features a host of horror icons including Robert Englund himself (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy vs. Jason), as well as Heather Langenkamp (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Inglorious Bastards, Hostel), Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Alien vs. Predator), Lin Shaye (Insidious), Tony Todd (Candyman, The Crow), and Miko Hughes (Pet Sematary)

With further exclusive interviews with many of the star's co-workers from projects including Urban Legend, 2001 Maniacs, 976-EVIL, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Wishmaster, V, Dead and Buried, Phantom of the Opera, and, of course, the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, this unique and captivating portrait captures the full story of the man behind the glove, exploring not only his most iconic role but the depths of England's true power as a character actor in the years since Freddy's cinematic birth.

The Special Collector's Edition Blu-ray includes the following bonus features:

Horror Icons
Nightmare Café with Jack Coleman
A Conversation with the Directors
Robert Englund: Chatterbox
A Peek Behind the Curtain: Dance Macabre
Also included: x4 UK-exclusive art cards
Special Collector's Edition Reversible Sleeve

HOLLYWOOD DREAMS & NIGHTMARES: THE ROBERT ENGLUND STORY will be available on Blu-ray and Digital Download from 6th November

Buy the UK BD from Amazon.co.uk

Mayhem Festival Reviews - Day 4 - Sunday 15th October

RIVER (2023)

The final day of the Mayhem Festival kicked off with a screening of the Japanese sci-fi comedy RIVER. Set in and around a hotel and spa, somewhere in rural Japan, the staff and guests find themselves stuck in a permanent time loop, reliving the same 2 minutes over and over again, causing a lot of confusion.

Several staff members find the rooms they are cleaning keep un-tidying themselves, a couple of guests having lunch find their rice bowl never empties. A waitress trying to heat up some sake finds the bottle stays luke warm and some poor chap in the bathroom finds he is unable to rinse the shampoo out of his hair, no matter how long he stays under the shower.

With the guests starting to panic, the staff try to calm them, whilst a couple of the kitchen staff, who also happen to be science graduates, try to figure out what's going on.

A very bizarre, offbeat comedy, which was rather reminiscent of the film “Groundhog Day”, this was another crowd pleaser, which had the audience in fits of laughter. The film is apparently a sequel of sorts to an earlier film “Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes”, which I intend to check out shortly.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


The second film of the day was a radical change of pace, which was a screening of Director Franck Khalfoun's NIGHT OF THE HUNTED
Not to be confused with the Jean Rollin film of the same name (or the old Robert Mitchum film “Night of the Hunter”). A young girl, travelling home in the small hours of the morning, stops to fill up at a service station. Only to find herself trapped in the building, whilst a psychotic sniper starts taking pot shots at her.

With her mobile phone out in the car and the landline to the building cut, she finds herself having to figure out a way of either escaping, or calling for help. As the sniper continues to taunt her over a two-way radio, whilst taking random pot-shots at her.

A simple premise, but an extremely effective thriller, as you're continually wondering why this person is shooting at her, whether she will actually escape and if any other wayward travellers may stop and find themselves in the same situation.

The film was produced by Alexandra Aja (Director of “Switchblade Romance” and more recently “Crawl”) and Director Franck Khalfoun previously Directed the remake of “Maniac” (2012) and the similarly themed thriller “P2”. So if you've seen any of those, you know what you're in for and would thoroughly recommend checking this one out, which was certainly well received by the audience.

The film is available to stream on the Shudder network and will be available to purchase on Disc and Digital Download in November.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


Next up was the horror-thriller TRIM SEASON from Director Ariel Vida. In which a group of young women are hired as seasonal workers at a remote marijuana farm in the mountains.

As they are all strapped for cash, it seems like the ideal job. Well paid, free accommodation, food and all the joints they can smoke.

But they soon realise there is something decidedly odd about the eccentric lady who runs the place, Mona (Jane Badler, from 80s sci-fi show “V”), which they discover when one of them steals a special blend of weed from her, which has dire consequences.

It seems this is no ordinary dope farm and Mona is no ordinary farmer, and when the others attempt to leave, its not the armed guards they have to worry about.

An extremely impressive directorial debut from Ariel Vida, who previously worked on music videos and a number of short films. Bringing an unusual mash-up of stoner horror and witchcraft to the screen, which was like watching a Dario Argento version of “Reefer Madness” and was well received by the audience. 

Visit the Directors Website: http://www.arielvida.com

Visit the Director's Twitter: https://twitter.com/arielvida


The penultimate film of the day also proved to be another one of  the more unusual films of the festival. Thomas Cailley's french sci-fi drama THE ANIMAL KINGDOM.

Set in France, large numbers of people have started mutating into animals. Birds, reptiles, wild cats etc. The government's reaction to this, has been to round them all up and stick them in special “hospitals”.

The plot primarily revolves around a chap called Francois and his son Emile, who have just moved to a new town as Francois's wife, who is mutating herself, has been taken to one of the new centres close by.

But matters are complicated when she and a number of the other mutants escape from the centre, into the nearby forest and his son Emile, also starts to exhibit signs of mutating and the film follows Francois as he tries to search the forest for his wife and conceal his son's mutations, whilst holding down a job.

A very strange film, which appears to be an examination of how people to react to others who are “different”, but is done is such an abstract way, this metaphor will probably be lost to most. Indeed, it was only after chatting to some others at the festival about it that it suddenly made sense.

Described as an adventure film, I'd say it's more of a drama. It's certainly not “The X-Men” at any rate and I found this one a bit slow to be honest. But was certainly well received by the rest of the audience.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


The festival concluded with the New Zealand Comedy-Horror LOOP TRACK from Director Thomas Sainsbury, which provided some much needed light relief to the days events. An introverted man, Ian (played by the Director himself), decides to go on a hike through a national park, looking for some peace and solitude to clear his head.

Unfortunately, and despite his best efforts to avoid other people on the trail, he soon has a group of annoying people tagging along with him and driving him insane with their inane chatter and pointless conversations

But, as the group presses on, Ian becomes convinced someone, or something is following them. Of course no one else believes him and he begins to wonder if it's just his mind playing tricks on him. But when people start going missing, could he actually be right? Or is one of them a killer, or could it even be him, with his fractured state of mind?

An amusing outback horror, which I found was rather reminiscent of the TV show Peep Show in places. Definitely one for fans of horror-comedies, which was also well received by the audience.

View the Trailer on YouTube.

And that concluded the Mayhem Festival for another year. Once again a huge thankyou to Chris Cooke, Steve Shiels and Melissa Gueneau for another fantastic festival and of course the staff of the Broadway Cinema for hosting the event and will hopefully see you all again next year.

For more information on the festival and other special events throughout the year, visit: https://www.mayhemfilmfestival.com/

 Also visit their Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Saturday 21 October 2023

Mayhem Festival Reviews - Day 3 - Saturday 14th Oct


The third day kicked off with, what turned out to be, my favourite film of the entire festival. Mike Cheslik's HUNDREDS OF BEAVERS, a bizarre slapstick comedy about a hapless cider farmer, Jean Kayak, who is forced to become a fur trapper to defeat the hundreds of beavers that decimated his farm and entire orchard.

Filmed in black and white, in the style of an old silent movie, the film follows his misadventures as he attempts to learn the art of trapping, as well as win the love of his life, who works at the local trading post.

Kind of like a live action cartoon, featuring animated special effects, with people in fur costumes playing the titular beavers and other forest wildlife, the film was a laugh riot from start to finish and certainly got the loudest round of applause from the audience of any film that weekend.

The Director had previously worked on the similarly bizarre “Lake Michigan Monster”, with Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, who plays Jean the trapper in this, although I would say this film is way off the charts in terms of offbeat comedy, compared to that.

The film should hopefully be out on Disc in 2024. Checkout the trailer link before to see what you're in for.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


Next up was Matt Vesely's MONOLITH, which was a slow burn sci-fi thriller about an internet conspiracy theorist (played by Lilly Sulivan – Evil Dead Rise), who thinks she's uncovered a bizarre phenomenon regarding these unusual brick slabs that have been mysteriously appearing in peoples homes.

It seems whoever receives one of these, begins to experience strange visions and are plagued with nightmares about some guilty secrets from their past. Digging deeper it seems there may be something extraterrestrial about these, but if so, what is their purpose?

Set entirely in one location, with Lilly Sullivan's character being the only person who is seen on screen, I found the film to be incredibly frustrating, in that it raised more questions than answers, and I really couldn't get into this one at all.

If you like slow burn thrillers, you may enjoy it, but it was just too much on the slow side to me.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


Third film of the day, John and Lulu Adams arty horror WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS was a very difficult sort of film to define, let alone describe.

Set in the 1930s, a young girl and her parents, who have fallen on hard times, are eking out a living performing at carnivals around the US. As well as turning to the occasional robbery and murder to make ends meet, whenever they encounter someone they take a disliking to.

However, when one particular robbery goes wrong and the parents find themselves on the receiving end of an axe, their daughter “borrows” something from one of the other Carnies that she hopes will save them. But not knowing how to use it properly has dire consequences for the family, although it does improve the popularity of their act...

A film that is far stranger than I could possibly describe in my review, I suppose the best analogy I could come up with, was it was like a kind of bizarre cross between “Bonny and Clyde”, “Freaks” and “Frankenstein”.

If you like arthouse horrors, you will probably enjoy this. But this wasn't really my cup of tea at all. Although it was extremely well received by the rest of the Mayhem audience. John and Lulu Adams were also the people behind the cult film “Hellbender”, so if you enjoyed that, you'll probably want to check this out too.

View the trailer on YouTube.

Checkout the film makers on Twitter.


The day concluded with a screening of Robert Rodriguez 90s Sci-Fi horror THE FACULTY, in which a group of high school teens, which includes a young Josh Hartnett (Halloween H20) and a pre-Lord of the Rings Eelijah Wood, realise there's something very wrong with the teachers at their school.

A couple of reporters for the school paper discover that alien parasites are at work, but of course no one believes them. But it seems the aliens are susceptible to the drugs being supplied by the school dealer, which are fatal to them and so the teens have to try and find out who is infected and stop the spread of these parasites before everyone is taken over.

Best described as “Scream” meets “Invasion of the body Snatchers”, this was one of many fun teen horrors to come out of the late 90s, following the success of Wes Craven's “Scream” in 1996. Whilst the film may not have aged as well as its contemporaries, it's still an enjoyable slice of 90's horror, which also features quite a good supporting cast, including Salma Hayek (From Dusk till Dawn), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2), Famke Janssen (X-Men), Piper Laurie (Carrie) and even comedian and chat show host John Stewart.

The film was an interesting choice for the Saturday night slot, but nice to see on the big screen if you didn't get chance on it's original release.

View the Trailer on YouTube.

Buy the film on BD from Amazon.co.uk

And that concluded Day 3, for more information on the festival and other special events throughout the year, visit: https://www.mayhemfilmfestival.com/
Also visit their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Friday 20 October 2023

Mayhem Festival Reviews - Day 2 - Friday 13th Oct

Day two kicked off with the period horror TO FIRE YOU COME AT LAST from Director Sean Hogan (The Devils Business). Filmed in Black and White, the tale takes place in medieval England, where the local Squire has employed 3 people to help him carry the coffin of his son, who recently died in a riding accident, across the moors to the churchyard in the next village.

With the evening rapidly approaching, the superstitious locals are wary of travelling over the moors after dark, but the local Squire will have none of it and insists they press onwards. But it seems the local legends of hell hounds and ghostly beings may in fact be real, as strange noises can be heard and strange apparitions are glimpsed by some of the coffin bearers as they journey along.

But supernatural beings may be the last of their worries, as it seems each member of the group had some sort of animosity towards the Squire's son and it seems that his death may not have been entirely an accident. As infighting begins to break out, it seems if there are any ghostly entities out to get them, they may find the group will probably end up killing each other first.

Clocking in at around 45mins, this was not an overly long feature, but the Director managed to cram an awful lot of storytelling in during the time. There also seemed to be a streak of dark humour running through the story, which seemed to go down well with the audience. I was particularly amused by the character of Ransley, the local drunkard, who it seems may not be as dumb as they think and liked stirring up trouble with sly comments.

The film was rather reminiscent of the ghostly dramas that the BBC used to put out over Xmas in the 1970s, which were apparently a huge influence on this. Severin films are apparently set to release this one on disc in the near future, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

View the Trailer on YouTube.

DOOR (1988)

Second film of the day was a screening of the rarely seen 1988 Japanese thriller DOOR from Director Banmei Takahashi. Which is one of those films you can fully empathise with, if you have ever been plagued by obnoxious door-to-door salesmen or annoying telesales calls.

In this, a young housewife is being barraged by salesmen, either knocking at her door or calling on her landline. But when one overly zealous sales rep tries to barge into her house, rather then just putting his material through the letterbox, she inadvertently slams his hand in the door.

This starts off a chain of events that sees him initially bombarding her with obscene phone calls and knocking at her door at all hours of the day and night. But then sees him becoming obsessed with her and bombarding her with amorous phone calls, which she is not interested in and stalking her wherever she goes.

But things really come to a head when her husband is out for the evening and he finds a way of getting into her apartment, and she finds herself having to deal with this unwanted guest in a most brutal of fashions.

A strange sort of thriller, which starts off seriously in tone, similar to “Fatal Attraction”, but then becomes almost cartoonish during the finale, as the young woman and the stalker come to blows in an almost slapstick battle, in a similar vein to the “Home Alone” films, which had the audience howling with laughter in places.

Not a film that would probably appeal to the casual viewer, if you have an interest in Oriental horrors, you may enjoy it. The film has languished in obscurity for many years, but has recently found its way to disc in the US and UK.

Interesting to note that the film has spawned a couple of sequels, “Door 2” (1991) and “Door 3” (1996) which you may also wish to check out. In fact the forthcoming UK Disc release contains part 2 as an extra. No news on when the third film will be released though.

View the Trailer on YouTube.

Buy the film on BD from Amazon.co.uk


The third film of the day was undoubtedly the most bizarre of the entire festival, Bertrand Mandico's SHE IS CONANN. A very strange, surreal, French art film about a women named Conann, who has (presumably) just died and is now in the afterlife, where she meets a bizarre mutant dog named Rainer, who proceeds to take her on a journey of her past lives through a series of flashbacks.

Filmed, mostly, in Black and White and in French language, what follows is a series of disjointed stories, showing Conann at various stages of her life in different eras, as we see all the gore and mayhem she's caused during her many lives. From medieval times, to 80s New York, to the near future, with a different actress playing her in each era.

Described as “A time-travelling fantasy, based loosely on the myth of Conan the Barbarian”. This has absolutely nothing to do with those old Arnie films and to be quite honest, I really didn't know what to make of it.

Needless to say, this really wasn't my cup of tea and was probably my least favourite film of the festival. Though most of the audience seems to enjoy it.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


Day 3 concluded with a showing of SUITABLE FLESH from Director Joe Lynch (Mayhem, Wrong Turn 2), in which a psychiatrist (Heather Graham – Horns, The Hangover) begins to suspect that one of her young patients, who claims he is being taken over by demon that's possessed his father, is not actually mentally ill and might actually be telling the truth.

Despite initially diagnosing him with paranoid schizophrenia, after visiting the boys father and making a series of grisly discoveries, as well as falling under the spell of her young patient during one of his “possession” episodes (bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “Doctor/Patient confidentiality”) she is forced to conclude something is definitely amiss.

Also starring horror scream queen Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, You're Next), this is definitely one for lovers of HP Lovecraft adaptations, being based on his story “The Thing on the Doorstep”. In fact the film makes numerous references to his works and there are even a number of nods to other adaptations. In particular, the setting of  Maskatonic University Hospital, which featured in Re-Animator, in which Barbara Crampton also starred.

Indeed, the film was actually co-produced by Brian Yuzna, and written by Dennis Paoli who both worked on  Re-Animator and several other Lovecraft inspired films. So if you're a fan of those, you should definitely check this one out. The film has yet to be released on disc though, but should hopefully be out in the near future.

View the Trailer on YouTube.
And that concluded Day 2, for more information on the festival and other special events throughout the year, visit: https://www.mayhemfilmfestival.com/
Also visit their Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Mayhem Festival Reviews - Day 1 - Thursday 12th Oct

As always, Mid-October means it's time for my annual pilgrimage to the Mayhem Film Festival at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham for four days. For an eclectic mix of horror, sci-fi and cult movies, not to mention the downright bizzare.


The festival kicked off with the dark thriller RAGING GRACE from Director Paris Zarcilla. Set in London, the plot revolves around a young Filipino woman, Joy (Max Eigenman) who is working in the UK illegally, doing menial jobs to make ends meet, to support her and her daughter, Grace.

Unable to afford a place of her own, she's resorted to illicitly staying at various clients homes whilst they're away, just so they have a roof over their heads. So when she is offered a job as a live-in carer for a terminally ill man, which is being paid cash, it seems too good to be true. 

But it seems the elderly gentleman may not be as ill as he appears and she realises there is something very strange about the drugs his niece is feeding him.

Also, it seems the truth of the situation is far from straightforward, and Grace's attempts to uncover what's really going on are about to unearth a bunch of skeletons these two have in their respective cupboards (both figuratively and literally).

A very dark thriller, with numerous twists, in which what is right and wrong become very muddled. The story was a bit of a slow burn, but never the less an extremely compelling one, combining elements of horror, thriller and drama, whilst also looking at the relationship between peoples views of immigrant workers and the views the more affluent members of society have towards the working classes.

This was the Directors feature film debut, having previously cut his teeth on various short films and the TV mini-series “The Century Egg”, which he made for Singapore TV and I must say was extremely impressed. The film has been extremely well received on the festival circuit, and Mayhem was no exception. Whilst it may not appeal to mainstream horror fans, if you love dark drama/thrillers, then this ones a must.

Apparently, the Director is working on a couple more dark thrillers dealing with social issues, so I shall look forward to those.

You can find out more about this film and the Director's other projects at his official website: https://www.pariszarcilla.com/


TOPAKK [Triggered] (2023)

Second film of the evening stuck with the Filipino theme, with Director Richard Somes TOPAKK (AKA “Triggered” to use it's Anglicised title). Set on the outskirts of Manilla, a former special forces soldier, who is struggling with PTSD and trying desperately to rebuild his life, takes a job as a night time security guard at a disused warehouse.

But the quiet of his first night on the job is shattered, when a teenage girl and her younger brother come looking for help. Seems they were involved with some shady drugs gang, who were just massacred by a bunch of corrupt narcotics officers and now they're after them too.

Initially he's reluctant to help, but when the corrupt cops arrive looking to silence them, he's forced to intervene, kicking off a bloody battle to the death as more and more corrupt officers arrive and the guard is forced to go full “Rambo” on them.

Exceptionally gritty and violent, I really loved this film, which doesn't skimp on the gore. Richard Somes is apparently a prolific Director of film and TV in his native Philippines and clearly knows his craft. I would say that the ending perhaps dragged on a little too long, but aside from that, I really loved it.

If you love violent action films, particularly those from John Woo films, you should love this.

View the Trailer on YouTube.

And that concluded the opening night of Mayhem, for more information on the festival and other special events throughout the year, visit: https://www.mayhemfilmfestival.com/

Also visit their Facebook and Twitter accounts