Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Just three - now one! - days left to submit your top ten to the modern British horror survey

It's Tuesday 21st October, which means you've got just three days to get your votes in for the survey to find the best British horror films of the 21st century (so far). A walloping 500 British horror features have been released since January 2000, of which a welcome 105 have so far received at least one vote.

Please take a look at my original list of 100 suggestions (of which about two thirds have actually received votes so far). Have a think about other movies you've seen. Put together your ten favourites and let me know by midnight on Friday 24th.

You can post a comment on this blog, or you can email me directly mjs2000@ntlworld.com, or if you want to win a bundle of British horror DVDs, cast your vote on the Facebook page of TheHorrorShow.tv

Next week I will publish a list of the top 20. I think it might contain a few surprises...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Can't wait to see... Tom Rutter's acid horror-western adaptation of Mark Twain!

Thomas Lee Rutter, the Brummie indie film maverick who coined the term 'Britsploitation' (and directed some of my early on-screen appearances) is shooting an intense, horror-laced British western influenced by the likes of El Topo!


Tom's previous features have included such zero-budget gems as Full Moon Massacre, Mr Blades, Feast for the Beast and The Forbidden Four. But Stranger, loosely based on Twain's The Mysterious Stranger, promises to be a step up, not least because he has a couple of name cast in Gary Shail (Quadrophenia, Shock Treatment) and punk legend Gypsy Lee Pistolero. My absence from the cast also bodes well...

Synopsis:
Caine Farrowood is a bounty hunter who works under the control of shady kingpin Loomweather. One day a bounty retrieval goes awry and Caine is left for dead. Just when he thinks his life is over he mysteriously awakens back home to the comforts of his wife Christina. Baffled and confused by how he got home Caine insists on finding answers, but before long he is enlisted in the retrieval of another bounty. This one is huge and may cost Caine not his life, but his sanity when he finds himself pitted against somebody who may very well be the fallen angel himself...

Monday, 13 October 2014

Zombie King UK premiere in Manchester

It's three years now since Aidan Belizaire shot The Zombie King in Shepton Mallet, with imported star names Edward Furlong and Corey Feldman. The film debuted on German DVD in April 2013 and is also available in the Netherlands and Japan. But not here in Blighty.

But we do now finally have a chance to see the film (imports notwithstanding). The picture will have its UK premiere at the Festival of Fantastic Films in Manchester over 31st October-2nd November, hopefully with some of the cast and crew in attendance.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

British Horror Survey - vote via Facebook

Because I'm an old fart, I'm not on Facebook. But the hip young things at the awesome website that is TheHorrorShow.tv are on Facebook and they have very, very kindly joined in with my survey to find the best British horror film released since 2000.

If you post your top ten on their Facebook page they will enter you into a draw to win ten British horror DVDs!

Here's a reminder of the criteria for 'what is a British horror film' and here is a list of 100 films that you might want to choose from, but I have already received votes for another 11 titles - and there's nearly 400 more you could vote for.

NB. Votes for Richard Driscoll films won't be counted because anyone who does that is obviously taking the mick...

Sunday, 5 October 2014

One hundred significant British horror films released since January 2000


This is not the top 100. This is a sample list of 100 impressive, successful, acclaimed or otherwise notable British horror films from the 500 or so released since 1st January 2000. This is just intended as an aide-memoire for kind folks helping me to compile a list of the top 20 modern British horror films. (Dates given are first commercial release.)
  1. Attack the Block (Joe Cornish, 2011)
  2. The Awakening (Nick Murphy, 2011)
  3. Axed aka Deadly Departed (Ryan L Driscoll, 2012)
  4. Bane (James Eaves, 2009)
  5. Before Dawn (Dominic Brunt, 2013)
  6. Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)
  7. Black Death (Christopher Smith, 2010)
  8. Blood + Roses (Simon Aitken, 2011)
  9. Bordello Death Tales (Pat Higgins, Al Ronald & James Eaves, 2012)
  10. The Borderlands (Elliot Goldner, 2014)
  11. Broken (Adam Mason & Simon Boyes, 2007)
  12. The Bunker (Rob Green, 2002)
  13. Byzantium (Neil Jordan, 2013)
  14. The Captive aka Armistice aka Warhouse (Luke Massey, 2014)
  15. Chemical Wedding aka Crowley (Julian Doyle, 2008)
  16. Cherry Tree Lane (Paul Andrew Williams, 2010)
  17. The Children (Tom Shankland, 2008)
  18. Cockneys vs Zombies (Matthias Hoene, 2012)
  19. Colin (Marc Price, 2009)
  20. Community aka Final Project (Jason Ford, 2013)
  21. The Cottage (Paul Andrew Williams, 2008)
  22. Cradle of Fear (Alex Chandon, 2002)
  23. Creep (Christopher Smith, 2005)
  24. Cut (Dominic Burns, 2010)
  25. A Day of Violence (Darren Ward, 2010)
  26. The Dead (Howard J Ford & Jonathan Ford, 2011)
  27. Dead Creatures (Andrew Parkinson, 2001)
  28. Dead Man’s Shoes (Shane Meadows, 2004)
  29. The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
  30. The Devil’s Business (Sean Hogan, 2012)
  31. The Devil’s Chair (Adam Mason, 2008)
  32. The Devil’s Music (Pat Higgins, 2010)
  33. The Disappeared (Johnny Kevorkian, 2009)
  34. Doghouse (Jake West, 2009)
  35. Dog Soldiers (Neil Marshall, 2002)
  36. Eden Lake (James Watkins, 2008)
  37. Evil Aliens (Jake West, 2006)
  38. F aka The Expelled (Johannes Roberts, 2010)
  39. The Fallow Field (Leigh Dovey, 2013)
  40. A Field in England (Ben Wheatley, 2013)
  41. Freak Out (Christian James, 2006)
  42. Gangsters, Guns and Zombies (Matt Mitchell, 2012)
  43. Harold’s Going Stiff (Keith Wright, 2012)
  44. The Harsh Light of Day (Oliver S Milburn, 2012)
  45. Heartless (Philip Ridley, 2010)
  46. HellBride (Pat Higgins, 2009)
  47. Heretic (Peter Handford, 2013)
  48. The Hole (Nick Hamm, 2001)
  49. Inbred (Alex Chandon, 2012)
  50. In Fear (Jeremy Lovering, 2013)
  51. KillerKiller (Pat Higgins, 2007)
  52. Kill List (Ben Wheatley, 2011)
  53. The Last Great Wilderness (David Mackenzie, 2003)
  54. The Last Horror Movie (Julian Richards, 2004)
  55. The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse (Steve Bendelack, 2005)
  56. Let Me In (Matt Reeves, 2010)
  57. Lie Still aka The Haunting of #24 (Sean Hogan, 2007)
  58. Lighthouse aka Dead of Night (Simon Hunter, 2000)
  59. Little Deaths (Simon Rumley, Andrew Parkinson & Sean Hogan, 2011)
  60. The Living and the Dead (Simon Rumley, 2007)
  61. London Voodoo (Robert Pratten, 2004)
  62. A Lonely Place to Die aka The Long Weekend (Julian Gilbey, 2011)
  63. Mindflesh (Robert Pratten, 2008)
  64. Monsters (Gareth Edwards, 2010)
  65. Mum and Dad (Steven Sheil, 2008)
  66. My Little Eye (Mark Evans, 2002)
  67. Nature Morte (Paul  Burrows, 2008)
  68. Nazi Zombie Death Tales aka Battlefield Death Tales aka Angry Nazi Zombies (James Eaves, Al Ronald & Pat Higgins, 2012)
  69. Night Junkies (Lawrence Pearce, 2007)
  70. Outpost (Steve Barker, 2008)
  71. Penetration Angst aka Angst (Wolfgang Buld, 2003)
  72. Red Kingdom Rising (Navin Dev, 2014)
  73. The Resident (Antti Jokinen, 2011)
  74. Resurrecting ‘The Street Walker’ (Ozgur Uyanik, 2010)
  75. Retreat (Carl Ribbets, 2011)
  76. Salvage (Lawrence Gough, 2010)
  77. Sawney: Flesh of Man aka Lord of Darkness (Ricky Wood Jnr, 2013)
  78. The Seasoning House (Paul Hyett, 2013)
  79. Severance (Christopher Smith, 2007)
  80. Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)
  81. Sightseers (Ben Wheatley, 2012)
  82. Soul Searcher (Neil Oseman, 2006)
  83. Stalled (Christian James, 2013)
  84. Summer Scars (Julian Richards, 2008)
  85. Tony (Gerard Johnson, 2010)
  86. Tormented (Jon Wright, 2009)
  87. Tower Block (James Nunn, Ronnie Thompson, 2012)
  88. Triangle (Christopher Smith, 2009)
  89. Truth or Dare aka Truth or Die (Robert Heath, 2012)
  90. UFO aka Alien Uprising (Dominic Burns, 2012)
  91. Vampire Diary (Mark James & Phil O’Shea, 2008)
  92. Wake Wood (David Keating, 2011)
  93. WAZ aka The Killing Gene (Tom Shankland, 2008)
  94. White Settlers (Simeon Halligan, 2014)
  95. Wilderness (Michael J Bassett, 2006)
  96. Wishbaby (Stephen W Parsons, 2009)
  97. The Witches Hammer (James Eaves, 2006)
  98. The Woman in Black (James Watkins, 2012)
  99. The Zombie Diaries (Michael Bartlett & Kevin Gates, 2007)
  100. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002)

Help identify the best British horror films of the 21st century

As you may know, I have spent the past few years documenting the ‘British Horror Revival’, the unprecedented boom in horror feature production in the UK in the 21st century: in my book Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema, in the annual British horror round-up on my Devil’s Porridge blog, and in the reviews of new British horror films on my main website.

In the next few weeks, the number of British horror films released since January 2000 will hit 500 – and that seems a good time for a survey/poll. So I am inviting everyone I know who is involved in the British horror scene – directors, producers, writers, actors, FX/make-up artists, designers, journalists and fans – to send me their list of the ten best British horror films of the past 15 years. I will compile the results and put out a definitive top 20 for Halloween.

It’s an open poll, but to prompt your memory here is a list of 100 notable films. I would expect the final top 20 titles to be on that list but please don’t feel constrained. I had a hard time hacking the list down to 100 and many terrific films have been omitted simply because they are quite obscure. But if you saw ‘em, vote for ‘em!

Criteria for inclusion:
  • British: International co-productions are included if they have significant UK involvement and either ‘feel British’ or were marketed as British.
  • Horror: Borderline sci-fi/fantasy/thriller films are included if they were marketed as horror (eg. coverage in horror mags or screenings at horror festivals).
  • Film: Feature-length generally means at least 70 minutes. The first commercial release (theatrical, DVD or VOD in any territory – not including festivals) was after 1st January 2000.
Points to note:
  • You can vote for your own film, or a film you helped to make.
  • Feel free to disseminate this to others, but please don't solicit votes for your own film(s) as this makes the whole thing a popularity contest.
  • If you want to add brief comments about your choices which I can cite when presenting the results, go ahead.
  • As an aside, I would be interested to know how many of these hundred titles you have seen. Not a list, just the number. (I’ve seen 75.)
Please send your top ten films to mjs2000@ntlworld.com by midnight on Friday 24th October. I look forward to hearing from you. A chronological list of the almost 500 titles on my main checklist is available on request.

Update: Thanks to the fantastic folks at TheHorrorShow.tv, you can now vote by Facebook. What's more, posting your top ten on their Facebook page will enter you into a draw to win ten British horror DVDs!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Tons of new British horror on Viewster

A site called Viewster currently has a shedload of BHR titles currently available to watch online for free - and the fact that some of these films are promoting Viewster on their own Facebook pages suggests it's all legit.

So if you haven't caught up with these titles yet, here's your chance to watch Amityville Asylum, Bane*, Bloodmyth, Deadtime, Deranged, Exhibit A, Greetings, Hellbride, Heretic, High Stakes, Home Made*, Night Junkies*, NOTLD: Resurrection, Red Canopy, Sawney: Flesh of Man, Sick Bastard*, Silent Night Bloody Night: The Homecoming, The Slayers: Portrait of a Dismembered Family, Stalker and Time of Her Life*.

There are stacks of British shorts as well - too many to list here.

* Films marked with an asterisk are featured in my book.