Friday, 19 December 2014


"Nymph" aka "Killer Mermaid" aka "Mamula" aka "Dark Sea" (2014, Viktorija Film, Talking Wolf Productions) is a film from Serbia about, you guessed it - a killer mermaid!

Many thanks to fellow Blogger, Christopher Zisi who drew my attention to this film with his glorious review (which can be found here: <- Check it out!

Not a film to disappoint, our first scenes are of a very beautiful couple having a road trip; smooching here, there and everywhere and then getting a bit frisky by the sea. Beautiful people, toplessness and bikinis are consistent themes in this film.

Then we meet our villains: a *sometimes beautiful* man-eating mermaid and her accomplice... with his fishhook.

The actual plot follows two women, Kelly (Kristina Klebe) and Lucy (Natalie Burn) who are old college mates on holiday in Montenegro to meet up with old flame and college mate, Alex (Slobodan Stefanovic) and his (much to their disappointment) fiance, Yasmin (Sofija Rajovic).

While out and about they also happen upon Yasmin's hot pal, Boban (Dragan Micanovic), who convinces the crowd to check out an old abandoned prison, located on its own island just out of distance of the mainland. Despite being warned to steer clear of the place by a local the crew head on out there anyway, intent on taking photos and having a good time.

Much to their horror, they find that they are not the only ones visiting the island that day and are dismayed and intrigued to find a man emptying buckets filled with human remains into a well that appears to house a beautiful young girl. The gang decide to save her.... Big mistake.

A very beautiful film, the scenery is glorious and the actors are all very pretty as well as being actually able to act - which is unusual in a straight to DVD film.

The special effects are surprisingly impressive. Despite being clearly CGI, the mermaid's tail is very sleekly done and the movement of her in the water is enough to rival some much bigger budget films.

While the plot is pretty standard B-movie fayre, the story keeps going and has a few gory bits to keep you intrigued. I also enjoyed the mermaid's 'true face' and her siren-abilities to sing and draw only the menfolk to their grisly deaths.

A good ol' bitch fight at the end also acts as a good pay off.

Giving you exactly what it says on the box "Nymph" is just what I wanted out of a killer mermaid flick!

[Image: Viktorija Film]

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Doc of the Dead

"Doc of the Dead" (2014, Alexandre O. Philippe, Exhibit A Pictures, Geekscape Productions, RedLetterMedia, EPIX) is a zombie documentary.

With viewpoints from Simon Pegg, Bruce Campbell, George A. Romero, Fran Kranz, Tom Savini, Max Brooks, S.G. Browne, Greg Nicotero, Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stuart Gordon, Alex Cox, Judith O'Dea, Russell Streiner, John Harrison, John A. Russo and Joanna Angel, it is a fabulous and funny geekfest!

The documentary goes through film, literature and other pop culture zombieness. With clips from various favourites and a lot of ground covered, this documentary keeps you enthralled and giggling. A really fun and insightful hour and twenty-one minutes, it's a must see for any horror or zombie fan. Whilst it's not an in-depth analysis of the horror genre, it is an appetite whetter.

Imagine yourself sat at a table with all these genre legends, sharing pizza and bantering about zombies... This is essentially the mood of this documentary.

[Image: EPIX]

Silent night, Deadly night

"Silent night, Deadly night" (1984, Charles Sellier, Slayride, TriStar Pictures) is a holiday slasher.

On Christmas Eve 1971, young Billy and his parents and baby brother take a little trip out to see his catatonic grandfather at the mental health institution. Billy is initially concerned that he won't get home in time for Santa visiting, but his mother assures him that he will. Soon Billy's fears have switched to Santa visiting at all. This is elevated when his parents stop to help a stranded Santa who's car has broken down. As it turns out, this Santa is a gun wielding loony, who kills Billy's parents, leaving he and his brother out in the snow.

Fast forward several years to an orphanage and we find poor Billy, now with a severe Santa-phobia. Like all church run orphanages in movies, the Mother Superior is unsympathetic to the boy's plight and treats him like a weirdo.

Billy then grows up and lands a job as the storeroom boy for a local toy shop where we get a jolly montage of his few months there.

Seemingly unaware of Billy's past or his dislike of Santa, he is asked by the store to be Santa when the usual one can't be there. Billy reluctantly obliges, but it turns out to be too much for him and he cracks, going on a murderous rampage, shouting "naughty" as he kills everybody.

Not original in any particular way, again our killer has a sadness to him that makes you almost sympathetic to him. The poor guy needed some help. He also needed not to have a holiday temp job in a toy shop at Christmas.... And maybe a girlfriend... Anyway, while not in itself anything ground breaking, the controversy it caused all over the place is very interesting, especially considering that this film was not the original killer Santa movie.

The film does well to set up some rather well rounded characters; some of the nuns and the shop owner are particularly memorable. There are also some good B-movie action scenes and some lovely overacting from Billy when he sees the mall Santa.

A Christmas B-movie to enjoy, and nothing more.

[Image: Slayride films]


Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Evil

"Christmas Evil" (1980, Lewis Jackson, Pan American Pictures) is a holiday slasher movie with a conscience.

Harry stayed up late to see Santa once as a child in the '40s and witnessed 'Father Christmas' make love to his mother. Dismayed, he grows up to become obsessed with Santa and works in a toy factory. His home is filled with Santa memorabilia and he is even spying on the local children and keeping his own (rather elegantly bound) naughty and nice lists.

Throughout the film Harry begins to unravel further until he eventually snaps, going on a rampage in his Santa costume (complete with glued on beard!) that is part killing spree and part burglary, charity run and party entertaining.

An odd film. There are scenes of gore, but primarily this film acts more as a social commentary on consumerism, mental health, innocence and the sad side of the holidays.

Harry cuts a sympathetic character, not a monstrous serial killer. And really he's just trying to be a good Santa for the good children and punish the non-believing adults. In his own twisted way, he's doing the right thing... It's just that his moral compass is a little off.

It's neither good nor bad, it just kind of IS.... Vague, I know, but it was just a weird one!

[Image: Pan American Pictures]


Sunday, 7 December 2014

What We Do In The Shadows

"What We Do In The Shadows" (2014, Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Paladin Pictures) is the horror comedy about four vampire housemates from the guys behind "Flight of the Conchords".

Four vampires from different time periods are sharing a house in New Zealand in today's modern world. We follow a fly on the wall 'documentary' and get to witness such delights as house meetings, arguments about chores, shopping and recent altercations with their nemesis gang; the local pack of werewolves.

A very entertaining film with some good one liners and a lot of nod-nod-wink-wink references to vampire lore of all types.

I really enjoyed it and, although it's not exactly a 'thoughtful film' or really a horror in any way, it hit all the right buttons and brought a big smile to my wee fanged face. It's smart and cheeky and bound to please anyone looking for some tongue-in-cheek vampire commentary on today's world.

[Image: Paladin Pictures]

Thursday, 4 December 2014

As Above, So Below

"As Above, So Below" (2014, John Erick Dowdle, Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures) is an American jump scare, found footage horror based in the catacombs of Paris.

Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) is a student of alchemy, following her father's works after his death. She is obsessed with finding the Philosopher's stone, which is meant to grant eternal life, healing powers and, of course, the ability to turn base metals into gold. Oh alchemy, you weird 'science', you.

She, her ex, George (Ben Feldman) and their cameraman, Benji (Edwin Hodge), enlist the help of local urban expert, Papillon (Fran├žois Civil), and his girlfriend, Souxie (Marion Lambert) to guide them into and around the Catacombs of Paris.

As they go deeper in the Catacombs, they come across some freaky sights. They also come across a small door which none of the locals will go through, stating that a friend of theirs had gone through, never to return.

Eventually, they have no choice if they wish to progress, so they go through the door and that's when they begin to question if they have accidentally opened the teensy tiny doorway to hell.

A fun little flick that manages to add a small charm to found footage that found footage hasn't had since Troll Hunter. Jumpy, kind of daft scenes and good timing make for a fun, rollercoaster experience.

While it's not for everyone, I actually found that I enjoyed this film which came as a surprise because I am not usually one for found footage.

There are a lot of horror tropes in there, granted, but I thought that they were used remarkably well and, although the film leaves you a bit disorientated and a little seasick from all that shaky cam, it's certainly not one of the worst I've seen this year.

There is, however, an awful scene that jumps into Lara Croft single player POV for a while and I just found that weird and a little dumb. Surely, if it took them a whole film to reach that point, going back would not take five minutes? Pah!

Regardless, it's not a ground breaking experience but I've seen worse.

[Image: Legendary Pictures]