Monday, 30 November 2015

Welsh supernatural horror 'Crow' premieres tonight in Cardiff

Wyndham Price's new horror feature Crow premieres tonight at the Cardiff Cineworld, according to a story which I spotted today on the Cardiff University website.

Synopsis: Beginning life among a tribe of outcast travellers Crow is uprooted first by a police raid and then by gangsters. Crow has lived in the wood ever since the Crow tribe were brutally moved on from the farmstead nearby by ruthless developer, Tucker. Now Tucker wants the wood too and will stop at nothing to get it. 

Crow sees the protagonist defend the wood with his life.  Battle ensues between Tucker and Crow, but Tucker doesn’t realise that he is contenting with a man who has the power of nature behind him. Tucker and his men learn the real meaning of terror in this original supernatural thriller.

The script has been adapted by Tim Rhys , Lecturer in Creative Writing at Cardiff Uni, from his stage play Stone the Crows. The cast includes Andrew Howard (Agents of SHIELD, The Devil's Chair), Nick Moran (Lock Stock, Harry Potter), Emily Bevan (In the Flesh) and - holy cow! - Terence freaking Stamp!

Filmed in autumn 2014, Crow should have a proper release next year.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

German DVD distributor gets confused

Here is the sleeve for the German DVD of Zombie Resurrection, scheduled for release by Edel Germany GmbH in January. It has been retitled Zombie Church but uses the same artwork as the UK sleeve. The page on lists the two directors as Jake Hawkins and Andy Phelps, which is correct.

But look again at this sleeve. What’s that underneath the ‘ie’ of ‘Zombie’?

“Ein film von Damian Morter”

What? No. This is ein film von Jake Hawkins und Andy Phelps. Damian Morter is the director of a completely different (but also very enjoyable) British zombie film, Book of the Dead aka The Eschatrilogy. Plus a short called Zombie Run. But he didn’t have anything to do with Zombie Resurrection (as far as I know). He certainly didn't direct it!

Occasionally artwork used for one film in one territory is used for a different one elsewhere (as happened with The Borderlands) but I’m pretty sure that this release is Zombie Resurrection. Everything else on that page checks out, including the cast and the synopsis.

I’ve seen some sleeve cock-ups in my time but: wow. Just wow.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Films that sneaked out when no-one was watching no.2: Dark Night

Barely had I recovered from my surprise that Demon had been released after three years in limbo, than I found an even bigger shock. Daniel Grant's feature Dark Night was first shown way back in 2006, when it had a few screenings and then... it disappeared.

In July this year, after nearly a decade in limbo, Grant was finally able to make Dark Night available... via BitTorrent. I don't fully understand what that means, but it's further evidence, if any were needed, that 'cinema' as we know it is a dinosaur and that every distribution channel is as valid as any other.

Apparently it costs $5.00/£3.20 and you get 'extras' including character artwork and a poster.

Synopsis: Thrills and chills galore in this stylish shlock horror. Shot on a shoestring budget and with echoes of 'The Evil Dead' series and others from the genre, this is a true blood and guts experience! The group of teenagers get more than they bargained for at the abandoned house, pitting their wits against monsters, the undead and each other This is a British B-movie with big bite, definitely not for the faint of heart nor the weak of stomach! Will you survive the dark night?

It just goes to show that everything turns up eventually if you wait long enough.

Films that sneaked out when no-one was watching no.1: Demon

Mark Duffield’s Victorian gothic horror Demon was shot in 2010 and screened at the Festival of Fantastic Films in 2012, followed by couple of festivals in the States in November 2012 and February 2013. Since when it has been missing in action.

Imagine my surprise to discover that in June this year Mark self-released (through his Demon House Pictures company) a limited edition DVD of the film, available now from Amazon. Only 1,000 discs were pressed so get it while you can. It’s an all-regions PAL disc including a commentary and interviews.

Synopsis: Set in Victorian London, DEMON is a dark Gothic horror love story of a young man named Lorcan, who visits the London Hospital for treatment of a blood disorder. At the hospital Lorcan meets Amy, a young nurse and they have an instant attraction to each other and fall in love. 

However, Lorcan soon discovers that he is cursed from birth, a curse that should he love or be loved, he will transform into a demon. Soon, the Demon appears and causes bloody havoc. It is only Amy who can restore Lorcan and destroy the Demon.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Should you invest in the Blade Hunter Indiegogo campaign?

On 4th December, Richard Driscoll will launch an Indiegogo campaign to raise funding for his film Blade Hunter. Actually, let me qualify that. Richard Driscoll says he’s going to launch an Indiegogo campaign on 4th December. But as he has a long track record of saying he’s going to do things that he then doesn’t (or in some cases, claiming he’s done things that he certainly hasn’t, his grip on reality being somewhat tenuous), any announcement like this must be taken with a grain of salt.

The Man Himself, rocking the baseball cap look.
In fact this is what it says on the film’s website:

The Blade Hunter crowd funding campaign will start Friday 4th December 2015 on Indiegogo Where you will get the opportunity to become involved with this exciting project. Become a member of the “Secret world of Blade Hunter” and receive a weekly update of all that is new with the film. Receive free gifts and get your chance to meet the stars and buy exclusive merchandise that will not be available in any store.

Now let’s assume for a moment that he does indeed launch his Indiegogo campaign next month. The question is: should you contribute? Let’s consider the pros and cons.

  • PRO: There is a chance we might get to see a new Richard Driscoll film, and they are never less than hugely entertaining. It’s been too long since Eldorado.
  • CON: There is a chance we might get to see a new Richard Driscoll film, and they are never less than completely, jaw-droppingly, astoundingly awful.
  • CON: Richard Driscoll and his business partner, Ronald Bassett-Cross, are both convicted fraudsters recently released from prison. They have set up their company in Ireland because they are banned from holding company directorships in the UK. Do you really want to give them money? Danger, danger, Will Robinson.
  • PRO: To be fair, Driscoll and Bassett-Cross have paid their debt to society (though not, I think, their debt to the taxman) and received due punishment. Should they not now be given another chance? Perhaps one or other of them has turned his life around. To forgive these two men their past sins and support them in their enterprise would be the Christian thing to do.
  • CON: The artwork on the Blade Hunter poster has been used without the artist’s permission. That doesn’t bode well for a Damascene conversion…
  • PRO: For a very small investment, you’ll be able to get a ‘thank you’ in the end credits of Blade Hunter (and potentially the IMDB credit that goes with it). For a bigger investment you could get an official sounding credit like ‘Associate Producer, ‘Co-producer’ or even ‘Executive Producer’.
  • CON: You could potentially end up with a Richard Driscoll film on your IMDB page, bringing shame and disgrace on your family name and causing film fans across the globe to openly mock you.
  • CON: There is absolutely no guarantee that Driscoll and Bassett-Cross will honour their side of the bargain and include your name on the film.
  • CON: Richard Driscoll has a long history of spelling people’s names wrong so even if you get in the credits, there is no guarantee your name will be spelled correctly.
  • PRO: You will “receive a weekly update of all that is new with the film”.
  • CON: There is every chance that there won’t be anything new with the film. Or no weekly update.
  • PRO: You will “Receive free gifts and get your chance to meet the stars and buy exclusive merchandise that will not be available in any store.”
  • CON: Bull. Shit.
  • PRO: A very small investment is surely worth it for the fun of seeing how long this pretense can continue.
  • CON: If the film does actually get made, you will be facilitating the employment of na├»ve film school graduates by Richard Driscoll, and historically that has often not gone well.
  • CON: Blade Hunter has been in and out of ‘production’ for at least 13 years. What reason does anyone have to suspect that it might get made now?
  • CON: As and when the rights holders to Blade Runner get wind of this, they will most likely slap it with a cease and desist order faster than you can say ‘Voight-Kampff Machine’. 
  • CON: If the rights holders take legal action, anyone with an official sounding credit like ‘Associate Producer, ‘Co-producer’ or even ‘Executive Producer’ runs a risk of being named in the lawsuit.
  • CON: Although Ireland is a friendly country with attractive tax schemes that encourage film-making, they do nevertheless have actual laws against things like not paying your employees, not returning borrowed equipment, and claiming you have paid money to a dead actor.
I would say the CONs have it. Much as I would love to see another Richard Driscoll movie, Blade Hunter is never, ever going to get made so save your money.

On the other hand, there are lots and lots of great little movie projects on Indiegogo and Kickstarter that you could invest in, which will get made, aren't based on ripping off the copyright of major Hollywood Studios and aren't produced by convicted fraudsters.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Can’t wait to see… My Guardian Angel

Here’s one I came across recently, that looks very promising. It’s a new supernatural horror (with social horror themes) from Mumtaz Yildirimlar, director of Quanna, Crossland and Cold Blood, starring Holly Jacobson.

Holly’s a local star, best known to horror fans for Ben Tillett’s 2012 short Suckablood. A couple of years ago my son Thomas was in a short with her, and she was great as the psychotic school bully in Kenton Hall’s comedy A Dozen Summers. In My Guardian Angel she plays twins, one of whom is dead…

Synopsis: When Hannah’s parents took her to a new school, they said it was to give her a new start. However, Hannah is 11, autistic, and due to her condition, unable to speak. She had a twin called Angel, but when Angel died, Hannah was forbidden to grieve by her abusive parents and punished when she sought comfort from her sister’s things. So now Hannah lives locked inside a silent life of despair, which she fears, will soon end at the hands of her parents. However when a knife keeps appearing under her pillow, and a voice that she thinks is inside her head, won’t leave her alone, Hannah begins to realize that just maybe, she may have an ally not of this world, but fear paralyzes. Could it be Angel who, from the ‘other side’, has come to seek justice for all the abuse she has suffered? And can Hannah overcome her fear, enough to let her in?

Maria Figgins (Paul Knight’s Dead Wood) and Adrian Annis (Art of Darkness, Survivors) play the girls’ parents, and the other cast include Petra Bryant (The Disappearance of Lenka Wood), Tova Leigh (Once Upon a Time on Earth) and Silvana Maimone (Red Kingdom Rising).

Find out more at

Poster, trailer, stills, synopsis for The Other Side of the Door

The trailer and poster have both been released for The Other Side of the Door, the awesome-looking new film from Johannes Roberts (F, Storage 24). Co-written with Ernest Riera, who worked on some of Jo’s early pictures like Forest of the Damned (and also co-wrote his upcoming underwater thriller 47 Metres Down), the pictures was shot in India. It was produced by no less than Alexander Aja, of Switchblade Romance, Hills Have Eyes remake, Horns etc.

The film stars Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), Jermy Sisto (Six Feet Under, Law and Order), Javier Botet ([Rec] and sequels) and Suchitra Pillai-Malik (from the Indian version of 24). Dan Martin (Aaaaaaaah!, Nina Forever, The Stomach etc) designed the make-up effects.

Synopsis: Grieving over the loss of her son, a mother struggles with her feelings for her daughter and her husband. She seeks out a ritual that allows her say goodbye to her dead child, opening the veil between the world of the dead and the living. Her daughter becomes the focus of terror. She must now protect against the evil that was once her beloved son.

As well as the trailer below and the poster above, you can see a selection of cool photos on the USA Today site.

The Other Side of the Door is scheduled for theatrical release in the States on 11th March next year and in the UK a week later. Can’t wait!