Greetings ghosts and ghoulies and welcome to The Theatre of Terror the home of horror comic news, reviews, classic comic scans and creepy art from around the world. Just remember, it's not for the nervous!
Reggie Bannister, Michael Baldwin and Angus Scrimm are back, but although Don Coscarelli produced and co-wrote the film, it’s being directed by the other writer on the project, David Hartman, who, come to think of it, I believe I’m watching on DeviantArt. No bloomin’ wonder he hasn’t uploaded much new artwork recently!
The live action adaptation of the controversial Speed Date from the 2010 edition of Hallowscream, (previously mentioned HERE), is now available to view online, so here it is. It’s probably not for the squeamish among you..
A short Film by Alan Rogers.
Starring Alan Rogers and Gráinne O’Sullivan. Shot and Edited by Shane Robinson.
Sound by Sean Markey. Assistant Director – Vonnie Durran.
Based on a comic written by Derrick Domican.
Music by Luminous Black.
Featuring members of No Drama Theatre.
The drawings in the closing credits are from the original strip and are by Liam Matthew Byrne.
Rather good, wasn’t it? Unfortunately, it didn’t do well enough at the box office to guarantee a sequel any time soon, but fear not, because you haven’t seen the last of filmic depictions of Mega-City One. There are currently two short live action fan films in the planning stages, (one of which is being made by a producer of DREDD), and an animated short.
You don’t need to worry about waiting ages for those, however, as there has recently been a completed half hour long film doing the rounds at various film festivals and conventions, it has the full blessing of 2000ad publishers Rebellion, it got referenced via background graffiti in the aforementioned DREDD, (see below), and now it’s available to watch for free online.
Judge Minty is based on an old story from the comics and follows a Judge forced to take the ‘Long Walk’ into the irradiated, post-apocalyptic wasteland of ‘The Cursed Earth’.
You’ll like this. There are mutants and flying cars and gore and stuff…
Shock Till You Drop have an exclusive ‘motion comic’ to co-inside with the release of upcoming movie mashup Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The film is based on the 2010 novel of the same name, by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. Grahame-Smith is no stranger to mixing up old and new ideas, having already achieved acclaim for his zombie novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This time it’s American president Abe Lincoln who gets the supernatural treatment as he attempts to save the country he loves from vampires.
The motion comic is created using the latest HTML 5 techniques and is a pretty good example of how to make a webcomic dynamic. A swipe of the mouse or click of a button slides the images from right to left, which also triggers some neat effects using various CSS styles to give the impression of action.
Some clever dicky has re-worked this selection of classic movie posters in to zombie flicks. Movies which have been infected with the virus include Bleak is the Future, Indiana Bones, Toy Gory, Cadavatar (geddit!) and the beautifully titled Zombie Apocalypse Now.
2 news items in one day mortals, well we must make sure you get your daily dose of horror. Take a look at the Trick ‘r Treat Movie Twitter Page. Their latest post is somewhat cryptic (mmmm, i love crypts. My favourite place for a holiday!) but confirms the 2nd installment of the Trick ‘r Treat movie series is definitely going to happen:
Sam WILL return…
Trick ‘r Treat is a horror anthology that contains 4 Halloween based stories entwined around each other and lovingly bridged together via a comic style theme that will make any horror comic fan drool in delight. It’s graphic style is reminiscent of the Creepshow movies and it’s great to see it used so well by Director Michael Dougherty.
If you’ve not seen this film before then you really deserve to be flayed alive. It’s the official Halloween movie in the McNasty household! Take a peek, if you dare, at the film trailer below. For more details on this terrorific movie visit the official Trick ‘r Treat website.
I picked up a rental of ‘Five Across The Eyes’. The story? On coming back from a football game, a group of young women are lost on taking a shortcut through a back road. They are pursued by a deranged driver.
The DVD cover was dotted with “award-winning” blurbs. It must be good if it won awards. It was even described as “smart” and “original”.
Unfortunately, I should have taken a large pinch of salt on reading this “rave” review.
I was bored to tears listening those women talking about inane things. The movie is really about 5 women being hysterical; crying and running all over the place. There were no scary moments nor any suspense.
Yes, there were some scenes of gore which would appease a few horror fans. However, I’m not interested in gore. It seems to me that current horror movies are all about blood-letting and that disappoints me.
I suppose the concept of a group of women being chased by a stranger for no reason can be scary never mind cliched, but it was poorly executed.
Grainy video footage and awkward camera angles. The actresses couldn’t act, in fact they should get a refund from their acting school. The dialog were weak.
For the love of God, please do not waste your time watching this DVD.
I rate this movie 3 out of 10. And I’m being too kind.
Funny Games (2007) is an English language remake of Michael Haneke’s 1997 Austrian film of the same name. I’ve not seen the original so I can only give you my opinion of this version. However, this film is a direct shot by shot re-make of the original, the director wanting to bring his film to a new audience, without losing any of he impact that made Funny Games a highly acclaimed hit in Europe.
The hapless victims in this film are Naomi Watts and Tim Roth who play a happily married well off couple who are taking their yearly boating holiday with their young son. Pretty decent names for a film that is clearly too dark for mainstream America. The happy couple have retreated to their summer home on the lake and while Roth’s character George is out the back checking over the boat an unusually dressed polite young man has dropped in to the house to borrow some eggs. Initially Ann, played by Watts, is more than happy to oblige but it soon becomes clear that the unexpected visitor isn’t really after any eggs, he and his similarly dressed companion are more interested in playing their sinister funny games.
What follows is the physical and psychological torment and torture of the couple and their child by these two charming, polite and thoroughly evil strangers. While you might think you’ve seen a hundred of these types of films already Funny Games does enough to stand out from the rest.
Although the original was made over 10 years ago its message is just as relevant today. Maybe even more so as Haneke’s movie is commentary on our current obsession with violence in the media and our voyeuristic attitude to on-screen sadism. Cleverly the director manages to keep most of the violence off-camera using the threat of violence to induce the fear in the viewer.
The audience isn’t allowed to develop a connection with the annoyingly smug bourgeois family. Instead we are placed on the side of the 2 protagonists, Peter and Paul, who are playing a giant sick prank for no other reason than it’s fun to torture people. Throughout the film Paul makes unusual statements like ‘You can stop anytime you want’ and ‘You’ve brought this upon yourself’. He’s not just referring to the the victims but to the audience themselves, reminding them that they chose to watch this film but they can switch off any time they want.
The camera work is fairly intense as well. There are some lengthy scenes which use only 1 camera shot to drag out the terror for longer portions. It’s an unusual film with some quite unique moments. I don’t really want to give away some of the tricks of this film but it does step outside the boundaries of reality at times that makes you wonder just who Peter and Paul really are.
As a word for word, shot for shot remake of a film it’s up to you whether to watch this or the original. It is just another home invasion film but the movie’s 2 anti-heroes are both interesting and strange enough to warrant 2 hours of your time. 7/10.
The Cottage is a British comedy horror film, written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams. It stars Andy (Gollum, Gollum) Serkis, The League of Gentleman’s Reece Shearsmith and the buxom Jennifer Ellison as token eye candy. Apparently Ellison’s character was originally meant to be a 40 years old woman but was changed to a young hottie to make sure the film achieved maximum sales.
The story concerns 2 very different brothers, Serkis’ hard-man and brains of the outfit David, and Shearsmith’s wet lettuce of an accomplice Peter. It’s clear from the off that the brothers have a very strained relationship to begin with and Peter is extremely upset he has now been dragged into David’s seedy world of crime and corruption. Their crime? The kidnapping of a local crime boss Arnie’s daughter Tracey to be held for ransom for the huge sum of £100,000.
Now it’s obvious that Peter isn’t cut out for this kind of work. Highlighted when the foul mouthed Tracey attempts to escape and beats Peter to a pulp with her hands, literally, tied behind her back. Unfortunately the third crime partner in this escapade, the victim’s stepbrother Andrew, is even more incompetent than Peter. Andrew was supposed to deliver the ransom but instead unwittingly brings a bag of tissues and the crime lord’s knife wielding henchmen in tow.
David’s realisation that he to is a fool for using 2 complete idiots as business partners comes too late. As his pathetic plan slowly slips out of control the hostage escapes in to the woods where things suddenly take a turn for the even worse.
This is a film of two halves really. The first half is a comedy crime heist gone wrong with witty one-liners that will have you chuckling with delight. The second introduces a deranged killer and some good gore shots where the comedy becomes more physical and slap stick. Therein lies its problem.
I really enjoyed the first half and what I can only describe as the worst ransom negotiating attempt ever. Serkis and Shearsmith are absolutely hysterical bouncing off each other with great comic timing. Both characters work well as complete opposites, each infuriated with the others attitude. There’s no horror involved, unless of course you count when Reece Shearsmith’s moth-phobic character gets stuck in a room full of the little winged devils, but the film rollocks along at an entertaining pace.
The second half of the film is quite unusual and doesn’t quite work as intended. The audience has spent so long laughing at the catastrophic criminal cock-ups that we’re incapable of being scared by any of the horror. I’m too busy waiting for the next gag to be able to feel any of the main characters fears. The film is still funny in places but it now comes as standard that modern horrors will try to outwit each other with amusing and inventive deaths. The Cottage offers nothing new on it’s limited budget and originality eventually runs dry.
Dont let any of the negatives put you off. As a comedy this film is a success! The next in a good line of recent comedy horror Brit flicks such as Severance (2006) and the legendary Shaun of the Dead (2004).
Watch it for laughs and you’ll thoroughly enjoy every minute as the script and acting has some great comedy moments but don’t expect to be scared or you’ll be severely disappointed. Overall a highly respectable 8/10.
Storm Warning is an Australian horror film directed by Urban Legend director Jamie Blanks. The film stars French actress Nadia Farès and Aussie Robert Taylor as a happily married couple who, after an enjoyable afternoon boating, are stranded on an remote island and take shelter in a local farmhouse.
Unfortunately the farm is home to a family of lawless Aussie rednecks made up of the psychotic Jimmy his mental brother Brett and their insane tyrant of a father Poppy. Already pissed off with the intrusion in their house the sadistic hillbillies imprison the yuppy couple and submit them to degrading abuse and torture. It soon becomes clear that in order for the pair to survive the ordeal they’ll have to play the tormentors at their own game. To quote the film’s heroine, “To catch a mad dog, you must think like a mad dog – only madder.”
I’m trying not to sepnd too much time talking about this movie. It has both good and bad points, the marvelous amount of gore being one of it’s finest attributes. However, it’s just another torture-porn movie in a time when every other horror film is just another torture-porn movie.
Robert Taylor’s portrayal of Rob, the ‘hero’ of the film is rather lack lustre but maybe that’s because his character is a complete and utter pussy. You almost want him to get his ass tortured just so maybe he will grow some balls. In comparison Pia, his wife, becomes a hardened killer bitch, dishing out bloody retribution with unnatural ease.
The 3 villians are suitably crazy enough to fill the standard crazy redneck role we see in so many of these movies. There’s nothing hugely original though. It feels like any other movie where some one gets lost in the woods and stumbles across a proper nightmare.
Nothing new to see here but it will keep you mildly entertained. 6/10
Spanish horror film The Orphanage (El Orfanato) is director Juan Antonio Bayona’s debut movie. Mexican director Guillermo del Toro is listed as a producer of this film and it’s possible to draw some similarities between this movie and Toro’s own Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), both drifting between reality and fantasy in an unusual but effective manner.
Spanish actress Belén Rueda gives a strong performance as a mother who returns with her husband and son to the orphanage she spent time in as a child, to re-open the home as a sanctuary for disabled children. Located near a lovely beach and overlooked by a lighthouse the beautiful house holds many secrets that our heroine doesn’t know as she was re-homed before the orphanage was closed. Secrets that the living want kept secret and the dead need the world to know!
The family’s only child Simón, who was adopted by the couple, starts playing games with a group of imaginary friends who teach the child thing about himself he has yet to be told by his parents. When suddenly Simón disappears without a trace, his mother has to join in the ghostly games to solve the mystery and save her son.
It’s nice to watch a ghost film that has an original plot and charming storyline. The majority of modern horrors churn out the same gang of teenagers being brutally murdered in as many horrific ways as possible. The Orphanage manages to get its scares without relying on gore.
It’s not massively scary. There are a few moments that will tighten the sphincter, in particular a very tense séance session that gets your heart racing. There’s also a little deformed orphan boy that wears a mask that could give you a few nightmares. Mostly the film relies on creaks and groans and things going bang in the night to put the frights up viewers.
This film is about the terror of losing a loved one to the unknown and relies on you becoming emotionally involved with the movie in order for you to fully appreciate it. As the film nears its conclusion there is a twist that’s both heart breaking and joyous. It should stay with you for a few days after which is often an indicator of a good film.
Beautifully shot film relying on atmosphere for its creepiness. A chilling yarn without any bloody violence, and for that it gets an 8/10.
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