Friday, 26 September 2014

The Evil Dead

"The Evil Dead" (1981, Sam Raimi, Renaissance Pictures, New Line Cinema) is the entry level cult horror B-movie masterpiece by Sam Raimi and the main reason that both Raimi and Bruce Campbell are household names.

A group of college students head out to spend the weekend at a cabin in the woods. When they get there they find the cabin is run-down and creepy. I love the scene with the swinging bench, it's very effective.

While investigating their new surroundings, they come across an audio player with a tape recording and a creepy old book which looks to be bound in human skin.

Being adventurous young people, they listen to the tape recording and accidentally release the demonic spirits (aka Deadites) into the woods. The demons then take turns possessing the teens and traumatising them or killing them in fantastically b-movie ways.

The most serious of the series, The Evil Dead remains one of my favourite horror films to date.
I recommend reading Bruce Campbell's book, "If Chins Could Kill" to get more behind the scenes appreciation of how hard those guys worked to make this film!

Disturbing and gross, with homemade special effects, crafty camera work, sheer determination and the ability to talk his friends into landing face down in muddy puddles and spend days in an old derelict shack making monstrous noises and giggling maniacally, Raimi created the film that would make him a horror legend and earn his reputation as a director. And it would kick start the movie career of one of my favourite horror stars, Bruce Campbell, earning him a dedicated fanbase of nutjobs.

Milk oozing deadites for the win!

[Image: Renaissance Pictures]

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Leprechaun: Origins

"Leprechaun: Origins" (2014, Zach Lipovsky, WWE Studios, Lionsgate Films) is the seventh film in the Leprechaun series, but truly it's a reboot as it shares no similarities to the other films.
A group of Americans are backpacking through Ireland on their summer break when they happen across a friendly local in a bar who tells them that they can spend the night in one of his wooden cabins and he will take them to see a local landmark at sun up.
Being more than a little gullible, and also up for anything, the group agree and the man's son, Ian (I love how Americans seem to think that Scotland and Ireland are completely interchangeable. Now I'm not saying Irish people can't be called Ian or Hamish, but you'd think at least one of them would have a remotely Irish name in a film set in Ireland!?), drives them all up to the chalet. The run down, locked from the outside with a padlock, shed...
It isn't long before they find out the sinister plans of the locals, who plan to sacrifice them to the leprechaun in return for peace. Now they must escape the savage, blood thirsty beast before they become it's next prey...
A pretty unimaginative slasher that is very far removed from its cheesy, comedy predecessors. Some of the action is quite fun, and there's a scene with the fireplace that entertainmed me thoroughly.
The monster is so different to the original leprechaun. Played by WWE wrester, Dylan "Hornswoggle" Postl, he is barely recognisable under a quite immobile facemask.
A little gory and silly, but nothing groundbreaking, it's worth a spin with a pizza and some beers on a rainy night.


"Honeymoon" (2014, Leigh Janiak, Fewlas Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures) is a slow burning film.
A young newlywed couple head off to a cabin in the woods for their honeymoon away from it all. However, the romance soon succumbs to horror when Paul (Harry Treadaway) wakes to find his wife, Bea (Rose Leslie), gone from her bed. He runs out to find her, and things spiral downwards from there. What is watching them through the windows at night?
A slow and dull film which, although an impressively shot piece considering its meagre budget, takes way too damn long to get started. I'd also decided within 2 minutes that the "bubbly" Bea was more annoying than quirky. 
A really good idea that just doesn't reach any satisfying fruition, the only gore comes too late on to save it. It plays out more like a build up to something much bigger and then doesn't deliver. And after a while the feelings of tenseness and unease are lost.
The acting is good, however. And I do love it when movies star a hot red-headed female lead.

[Image: Fewlas Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures]

Friday, 5 September 2014


"INSPIRACION" (2014, Antonio Clemente, Barry's Kidnapping Films) is a Spanish short suspense film about a writer who is struggling for inspiration for his next book.

His... hooker(?) recommends a person to contact who can guarantee that he will find inspiration. But he might not like what he is asked to do to inspire his imagination.

A very quiet, film noir-esque piece which makes good use of light and fills the 16minute time slot well without trying to be too clever with the budget.

The entire piece is filmed in black and white, but it lends itself well to the kind of suspensful story being told. If you don't mind subtitles, and, like me, you're not scared of independent lower budget pieces, it's a fun international short that I hope will make its way to the UK for some film festivals.

[Image: Antonio Clemente]

Thursday, 4 September 2014


"INK" (2014, Andy Stewart, Shining Example Films, 21st Century Renaissance Man) is the third short film from the twisted and talented mind of Andy Stewart who brought us "Split" ( and its predecessor, the sickeningly squelchy "Dysmorphia" (

As the third installment of Andy's Body Horror collection it is a tough competition, but this one might be my new favourite.

We follow a reclusive nameless man (Sammy Hayman) who has found an interesting and cost effective alternative to being tattooed. Naturally, it's also graphically gory and very dark.

I don't want to spend too much time discussing plot because, like all of the previous films, it's best to go in with no real idea of what is going to happen and let the piece speak for itself. However, I will get nice and chatty about how amazing the makeup and effects are. Grant Mason FX, ladies and gentlemen, now here's a team that can make you wish you'd not bothered with lunch!

Wow. The gore-o-meter was going mental as I watched this. The blood, the goop, the slow, meticulous shots and that bloody stanley blade! Everything from the texture of the effects to the way things bled and oozed was realistic to the point of putting me off my cake. And nothing usually puts me off cake.

The piece is beautifully shot, managing to play with close up angles that make you feel very uncomfortably close to the action.

The character is monstrous but you find yourself feeling for him in his agonies and his terrible and selfish determination to turn his body into art. The end scene is just made with the giggle-sobbing and the sheer despair on the character's face. Truly mesmerising stuff. Hayman creates an outwardly pathetic 'freak' character who's prepared to go to some extreme levels to achieve his goals. His performance brought a sick smile to my face more than once.

A short horror which is paced so well that it feels like a feature, with the viewer both caught intently following the unfolding story and also desperate to look away from the painful sight of it.

An absolute must see. Check out which film festivals are showing this piece of awesome near you!

[Image: Shining Example Films]
Hani x