Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Rezort on Spanish DVD next week

The Rezort is the new feature from Steve Barker (Outpost), billed as a sort of zombie version of Jurassic Park.

Synopsis: The Walking Dead meets Westworld in this fast-paced, colourful horror from director Steve Barker (Outpost and Outpost: Black Sun). It’s the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse and the remaining “Zee’s” are offered up as blood sport in a hideous Zombie Safari – a “Zafari” - where holidaymakers pay to shoot the undead. When the inevitable, bloody uprising happens it’s up to enigmatic, former zombie hunter Archer (Dougray Scott), to save the day.

Written by Paul Gerstenberger (House of Anubis), the film screened in Edinburgh last month and is scheduled for Frightfest in August. However, if you can't wait to see it and have a few euros in your pocket, you can buy the Spanish DVD from next week. The title is a version of the film's working title Generation Z.

According to the Inaccurate Movie Database there was a limited Spanish theatrical release back in April and some Asian releases last month. A German DVD is scheduled for September (no artwork yet). No news on the UK release so far...

StudioCanal picks up The Chamber

Press release:

STUDIOCANAL today confirmed their acquisition of underwater thriller THE CHAMBER following Friday’s World Premiere announcement within the FrightFest programme.

THE CHAMBER stars Swedish actor Johannes Bah Kuhnke in his first film role since his international breakthrough performance in family drama Force Majeure and is written and directed by Ben Parker, his feature debut, having previously made the short Shifter, which played at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.

THE CHAMBER revolves around a special ops unit, who commandeer a commercial research vessel and it’s submersible to locate a mysterious item at the bottom of the Yellow Sea. When an explosion causes the sub to overturn and take on water, the crew begins to understand that not all of them will escape and a fight for survival ensues.

THE CHAMBER also stars Charlotte Salt (The Musketeers), James McArdle (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Elliot Levey (The Lady In The Van). Producers are Jen Handorf and Paul Higgins. Executive producer is Hugh Spearing. Production financing for the film comes from Fields Park Media Partners, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Great Point Media.

UK Release plans and additional festival plans to be announced.

(More info at www.facebook.com/TheChamberMovie)

Friday, 1 July 2016

Dozen UK films and British all-dayer at Frightfest

Frightfest have announced their 2016 line-up and there are 12 British features on offer (not including a documentary about exorcisms and an Anglo-French film that looks mostly French). The short films have not been announced yet.

Discovery Screen 2 on Saturday is a British all-dayer, showing Cruel Summer, House of Salem, The Creature Below, The Unkindness of Ravens and Hallows Eve,

Full schedule, tickets etc at www.frightfest.co.uk

FRIDAY 26TH - WORLD PREMIERE – THE CHAMBER
Director: Ben Parker. Cast: Charlotte Salt, Johannes Kuhnke, Christian Hillborg, Elliot Levey, James McArdle. UK 2016. 88 mins.
The impressive feature debut from rising British star Ben Parker, director of the acclaimed short SHIFTER. A special ops unit commandeer a commercial research vessel and it’s submersible, The Aurora, under the command of Captain Mats (FORCE MAJEURE star Johannes Kuhnke) to locate a mysterious item at the bottom of the Yellow Sea off the dangerous shores of the Korean Peninusla. When an explosion causes the sub to overturn and take on water, the four-man crew enter a pressure cooker situation. And when the stark horror dawns that not all of them will escape, a desperate fight for survival ensues.

FRIDAY 26TH - WORLD PREMIERE – IBIZA UNDEAD
Director: Andy Edwards. Cast: Emily Atack, Cara Theobold, Matt King, Jordan Coulson, Ed Kear. UK 2016. 95 mins
Three best friends - Alex, Az and Jim - head to Ibiza for their first lad's holiday. Unfortunately, tagging along is Alex's unimpressed ex-girlfriend Ellie. Arriving on the island, the lads dump Ellie with Alex's sister Liz, and her friend Zara, and head to San Antonio to start their week of sun, sea and debauchery. Soon they end up in a club, run by local gangster Karl, where the attractions aren't all alive - they're zombies! Due to Jim's drunken antics the zombies escape, and soon all hell breaks loose and no one on the party island is safe.

SATURDAY 27TH - ENGLISH PREMIERE – THE REZORT
Director: Steve Barker. Cast: Dougray Scott, Jessica De Gouw, Martin McCann, Bentley Kalu, Jass Ahluwalia. Spain/UK 2016. 93 mins.
‘The Walking Dead’ meets JURASSIC WORLD in a fast-paced, gory horror from OUTPOST franchise director Steve Barker. In the aftermath of an apocalyptic zombie outbreak, rich holidaymakers can visit a luxury theme park where every paying guest has a license to kill the captive undead in organised Zombie Safaris. Such Zafaris are the ultimate blood sport experience and for many much-needed therapeutic revenge for suffering horrendous family losses. When the security system crashes at The ReZort, unleashing hordes of bloodthirsty Zee’s on the unprepared holiday makers, it’s up to enigmatic, former zombie hunter Archer (square-jawed Dougray Scott) to save the day.

SATURDAY 27TH - WORLD PREMIERE – OFFENSIVE
Director: Jon Ford. Cast: Russell Floyd, Lisa Eichhorn, Fred Adenis, Angela Dixon, Timothy Morand. UK 2016. 105 mins.
Retired Bernard and Helen Martin inherit a house in rural France where Bernard’s father liberated locals from Nazis during World War II in a raging killing spree. But this peaceful couple quickly become the target of a cruel gang of street kids. Plugged into their devices, devoid of empathy they are a new breed of technological psychopath. Soon Bernard and Helen's lives become a living hell as they are harassed, tormented and pushed beyond breaking point. Right or wrong no longer matters, survival is everything! Can Bernard live up to his father’s legend? It’s the old generation vs. the new!

SATURDAY 27TH - WORLD PREMIERE - CRUEL SUMMER
Directors: Phillip Escott, Craig Newman. Cast: Danny Miller, Reece Douglas, Richard Pawulski, Natalie Martins, Grace Dixon. UK 2016. 80 mins.
Danny, a teenager with autism, escapes the inner city for the beautiful countryside as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Little does he know, that bitter Nicholas is hunting him, stemming from a lie created by the enamoured and envious Julia and Calvin. As the three close in on Danny, Nicholas' behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and violent, and Julia and Calvin must decide whether to go through with Nicholas' deadly plan to see him suffer. An exploration into the harrowing consequences and impact one tragic act of seemingly random violence can have on society at large.

SATURDAY 27TH - WORLD PREMIERE – HOUSE OF SALEM
Director: James Crow. Cast: Jessica Arterton, Jack Brett Anderson, Liam Kelly, Robert Lowe, Les Mills. UK 2016. 105 mins.
A group of kidnappers become a child's unlikely protectors, after finding out that they have been unwittingly set up to take part in a deadly game of human sacrifice. Piece by piece they begin to uncover the truth about their supposedly safe house. Finding themselves trapped, they must square up to the demonic forces within the walls and uncover the terrifying truth of over 100 years of murder in the name of the Devil.

SATURDAY 27TH - WORLD PREMIERE – THE CREATURE BELOW
Director: Stewart Sparke. Cast: Anna Dawson, Michaela Longden, Daniel S. Thrace, Johnny Vivash, Zach Lee, David Shackleton, Libby Wattis. UK 2016. 83 mins.
During a traumatic accident on a deep-sea dive, Olive, a gifted, young marine biologist discovers an unearthly creature. Losing her dream job, Olive smuggles the creature home, intent on studying it in secret, unbeknownst to her devoted boyfriend Matt and estranged sister Ellie.  Plagued by gruesome nightmares, her fractured memories of what happened during the accident in the depths of the ocean begin to unravel, revealing her symbiotic bond with an eldritch horror far older and malevolent than she could imagine, one which drives her to carry out its sinister will, with deadly results for those around her.

SATURDAY 27TH - WORLD PREMIERE – THE UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS
Director: Lawrie Brewster. Cast: Jamie Scott-Gordon, Amanda Gilliland, Dougie Clark, Daniel Casey. UK 2016. 86 mins.
Andrew Alburn, a homeless veteran suffering from PTSD, is plagued by flashbacks of a traumatic event he witnessed while serving in the armed forces. He retreats to the remote Scottish Highlands hoping to overcome his fear of Ravens, the dark creatures that populate his visions, but, in this bleak wilderness, his nightmares manifest into an enemy more powerful than he could ever have imagined. He must battle these monstrous entities as well as his inner demons to keep his life, and reclaim his sanity.

SATURDAY 27TH - WORLD PREMIERE – HALLOWS EVE
Director: Brad Watson. Cast: Sarah Akokhia, Ethan Taylor, Lenox Kanbaba. UK 2016. 88 mins.
The Hallows Estate is on alert as strange graffiti tags with messages declaring the streets will be taken over on Halloween begin to appear on walls around the place, along with sightings of strange figures lurking in the shadows. One of the gangs responsible for the serious anti-social behaviour that gives the estate a bad name decides to take these threats head on and ignore the curfew on Halloween night. But whoever this new threat is, they seem to have the very night on their side as they make good on their promise of claiming the streets by frightening and violent means.

SUNDAY 28TH - WORLD PREMIERE – BROKEN (aka The Myth of Hopelessness)
Director: Shaun Robert Smith. Cast: Morjana Alaoui, Mel Raido, Craig Conway, Patrick Toomey, Stephanie Thomas. UK 2016. 98 mins.
A stunning tour-de-force by director Shaun Robert Smith featuring brilliantly fearless performances, especially from MARTYRS star Morjana Alaoui this unique thriller is a 2016 highlight. In England to make a fresh start after a harrowing childhood, Evie takes a job as an agency carer and is quickly placed with tetraplegic patient John. But looking after the bitter former rock star and his excessive demands is emotionally and physically draining. Forced to go beyond the call of duty and tormented by her past shame, an explosive clash of personalities ensues and it’s only a matter of time before someone terrifyingly snaps.

SUNDAY 28TH - WORLD PREMIERE – EGOMANIAC
Director: Kate Shenton. Cast: Nic Lamont, Adam Rhys-Davies, Laurence R. Harvey, Dan Palmer, Mark Logan. UK 2016. 75 mins.
Rising UK filmmaker Kate Shenton, whose eye-watering documentary ON TENDER HOOKS looked at extreme body modification, now turns her sharply observant eye on the horror film world. Director Claire Sweeney is determined to make her zom-rom-com. But everyone keeps telling her to put a talking dog in the script if she wants success. Desperate for funding, Catherine does whatever it takes to get her passion project made in a wry and sly satire dancing between fact and fiction, focusing on the treatment of women in the film industry and how far an artist will go to get their work made.

SUNDAY 28TH - WORLD PREMIERE – CROW
Director: Wyndham Price. Cast: Tom Rhys Harries, Nick Moran, Andrew Howard, Elen Rhys, Terence Stamp. UK 2016. 107 mins.
Crow is protector of the sacred wood. He's lived there since ruthless developer Tucker brutally scattered his tribe from the nearby farmstead. Now Tucker wants the wood too, intent on building a mansion – an ego extension of his dynastic power raging for him and his trophy wife. But Crow will defend his ancient home with his life. The battle begins, only Tucker doesn’t realise he’s contending with a boy who has the power of nature behind him. And before the day is done, Tucker will learn the real meaning of terror and see the true cost of his ambitions.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Boots on the Ground - first images

Here's a press release and some stills from Louis Melville's new war/horror found footage picture:

PRESS RELEASE:
New genre-centric British Horror and Sci Fi production company Last Bullet Films established in 2015 by Louis Melville (Last Horror Movie) and Louis Savy, creator of the Sci-Fi-London film festival, kicks off its production slate on June 1st with the start of principal photography on their ground breaking Afghan War-set Horror BOOTS ON THE GROUND. War ends at midnight, all five British soldiers have to do is stay alive till then.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND which stars Tom Ainsley (Versailles), Ryan McParland (The Survivalist), Valmike Rampersad (Bazodee), Ian Virgo (Before the Fall) and Sally Day (Ashes to Ashes) breaks new ground and creates film history by becoming the first British horror film to be shot entirely by its actors all wearing specially adapted 4K head cams; this fully immersive five person POV style of storytelling straddles the worlds of video games and conventional film narrative in a new and till now unseen way.

It has taken three years of planning to fine tune the technology and to devise new techniques of shooting that allows the actors to truly work in a full 360 environment.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND was inspired by combat footage filmed by British soldiers in Afghanistan and other modern war zones using their own head cams, then uploaded to social media.

The project is written and directed by Louis Melville and produced by Alex Francis (Moon), Louis Savy (The Search for Simon) and Louis Melville with VFX created by Academy Award winner Ben Kent.

Last Bullet Films aims for BOOTS ON THE GROUND to be ready for market early 2017.




Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Eight pop stars who wrote soundtracks for British horror films

(Please note, as one of the world’s least musical people, I’m going to make no attempt to describe any of this music.)

Vince Clarke
The guy from Erasure, Yazoo and early Depeche Mode provided the soundtrack for Blood, directed by Charly Cantor in 2000. A stunning ‘inverse vampire’ tale of a genetically created woman with addictive, narcotic blood, the film has frustratingly never been released uncut (except in France, where it was dubbed).


Tracy Thorn
Fifty percent of Everything But the Girl, Thorn composed the score for Carol Morley’s terrific 2015 feature The Falling, in which Maisie Williams is at the epicentre of a fainting sickness outbreak in a 1960s girls’ school.





Guy Fletcher
As well as playing keyboards in Dire Straits and on Mark Knopfler’s subsequent solo projects, Fletcher composed several film soundtracks including one for the awful 2005 movie Spirit Trap. (The cast included Billie Piper when she was still primarily known for her records and also Russian Eurovision singer Alsou.)



Robert Fripp
Steve Oram’s bonkers 2015 humans-act-like-apes feature Aaaaaaaah! includes among its cast former 1980s pop star Toyah Willcox. When her husband, King Crimson rocker Fripp, heard about the movie he offered Oram a collection of unreleased tracks from which to collate a soundtrack.



Graham Coxon
Steven Nesbitt’s 2010 film Curio, a sort of Misery/Psycho mash-up (with ghosts) features a soundtrack from Coxon, lead guitarist with Britpoppers Blur. The film was released in the States as Mother’s Day Evil.





Steven Severin
Former bassist for Siouxsie and the Banshees, Severin has provided the soundtracks for two British horror films: Robert Pratten’s atmospheric 2004 feature London Voodoo and Paul Burrow’s 2006 anglo-giallo Nature Morte. (He has also composed a score to accompany silent classic Vampyr.)

Orbital
The only vaguely good thing about Octane, a terrible horror/road movie directed by Marcus Adams in 2003 (released as Pulse in the States), was the soundtrack by dance duo Orbital. Every single other aspect of the film was really, really bad.




Matt Johnson
In 2009, when Gerard Johnson needed music for his brilliantly bleak character study Tony, about a socially awkward psychopath, he turned to his brother Matt. Music fans know him better as the main guy behind alternative band The The.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Press release: Abduct, new UK paranormal thriller

Abduct is a 2016 UK produced Mystery, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller from director Ilyas Kaduji. Starring Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil), William B. Davis (The X-Files Cigarette Smoking Man), Jack O'Halloran (Superman), Mark Arnold (Teen Wolf), Mhairi Calvey (Braveheart), Art Bell (Coast to Coast). The film is set in a remote town called Fate in Texas, US. The plot follows a radio paranormal talk show host as he tries to help a young woman who is being hunted by sinister, dark forces.

The film is part of the Official selection of the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival 2016 and will have its UK Premiere at the Stratford PictureHouse 1st of May at 7pm and 4th of May 1pm.

SYNOPSIS
In the minds of some paranormal groups, the fate of Humanity lies in the hands of a few open minded and dedicated individuals who investigate the occult connections to many of the unexplained phenomenon like UFO's, alien abductions, Demon possessions, the real Men in Black, The Shadow People, sleep paralysis and Ancient Aliens. These mysterious and dark phenomena have plagued thousands of people across the world. However, in the eyes of charismatic, paranormal radio host Ridley Kay, these topics are his passion as well as all fun and games... until a strange young woman called Crystal comes literally crashing into his life. Crystal is a Texan orphan with a horrible and tragic past. Her parents ritually abused her. One night, strange lights and sounds appeared outside her home. Crystal blacked out and later awakened to find them brutally murdered.

Years pass. Now a young adult, a paranoid Crystal flees her orphanage believing that otherworldly forces are after her. When Crystal arrives at a remote ranch in Texas, the adventurous Ridley Kay is forced to protect her but welcomes the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study a real-life paranormal phenomenon first hand. The legendary real life radio host Art Bell also calls into Ridley’s show to help unravel some of the challenging mysteries that Ridley and his fellow investigator friends have to face. However, the strange lights and sounds follow Crystal wherever she goes. People get hurt and mysterious government agents seek to take Crystal into custody. No matter how far the young woman flees, they’re always fast on her heels; a sinister Woman and Man in Black named... Angelica Dark and Alistair Cruel are never far behind…

ABOUT THE FILM
The film was shot in Texas - USA, London and Tintagel Farm - Wokingham in Berkshire.

The original edit of the film was 2h.40m long before being cut down to just under 2 hours leaving more than enough deleted scenes for the DVD extras and directors’ cut fans. The film was highly supported by its entire crew and cast that worked intensively and restless to bring the project to life. Post-Production was very demanding involving some pick up shots and lasted for several months.

Abduct was inspired by Ilyas Kaduji’s childhood fascination with space, aliens, ghosts and UFOs, as well as  classic Sci-Fi films of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T and Star Wars. He was also inspired by a magazine entitled The Unexplained: Mysteries of Mind, Space, & Time that quickly became a popular magazine published in the U.K. between 1980 and 1983 by Orbis Publishing. Then ten years later in 1993 a new TV phenomenon was born - The X-Files - and it had everything Ilyas could have wished for aliens, UFOs, cover-ups, action, adventure with a touch of romance.

William B. Davis, the X-Files Cigarette Smoking Man stars as Zane MacAlister in Abduct. His character, actually mentions the cult series in one of the scenes of the film.

Resident Evil star Sienna Guillory plays 3 different characters in Abduct.

Known for his role in Superman, Jack O'Halloran plays a sinister government agent who keeps stalking and tormenting the young woman who is haunted by strange events played by actress Mhairi Calvey who played young Mel Gibson’s love interest, Murron’s Mhairi in the film Braveheart.

Mark Arnold, known as Michael J. Fox’s antagonist Mick in the film Teen Wolf, plays the paranormal entertainer radio show host inspired by and based on the real life legendary Art Bell and his hit show that dealt with topics related to the paranormal, UFO’s and conspiracy theories.

Art Bell is an American broadcaster and author known as one of the founders and the original host of the paranormal-themed radio program Coast to Coast AM. The show started back in 1984 in the US and Canada achieving audiences of between 10 to 15 million listeners per week. Art Bell plays himself in the film Abduct and helps Ridley to unravel some of the challenging mysteries that Ridley and his friends have to face. Interesting fact to note is that Art Bell did have the creator of  The X-Files, Chris Carter, on his show.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Cannibal horror Blood Lust coming to DVD in May

Some time ago I wrote a draft of a script that Benedict Mart was developing called The Wicked Mr Danior. Later, Ben asked me to write the screenplay for a project called Siren. I wrote a cracking treatment but didn’t pursue it, principally because the executive producers were insistent that the film – about a man lured to his doom by a mysterious woman on an isolated island – must be not only filmed on the Isle of Wight but actually set there.

Sorry, but half a million holiday-makers a year travel to the Isle of Wight via three regular scheduled ferry services. It’s not an isolated island where someone could be lured. I wished Ben well and recommended that the title be changed, perhaps to Siren Song, as there had recently been another British horror film called Siren.

Sometime later I heard from Ben that the film had finally been made, with no less than DTV king C Thomas Howell in the lead role (and with different executive producers). It wasn’t set on the Isle of Wight and the title had changed to Siren Song.

And so we come to 2016 when the film has popped up on Amazon.com, set for release on 3 May via Inception Media Group. It’s now called Blood Lust. Here’s the synopsis:

When Daniel is lured to an isolated island guesthouse by his new on-line girlfriend Kelly, his hopes for a romantic weekend get-away are quickly shattered. As other guests around the estate begin to disappear, he suspects that she or her monstrous sisters may have a gruesome menu planned for their dinner. Now he and a friend race to escape this wicked trap hoping to survive beyond the dawn.

Lisa Edwards, Fletcher N Brown and Brigitte Allen are credited with the script.

The Wicked Mr Danior remains in development hell. And if anyone would like to see my treatment that I wrote for Siren, which is very different to what eventually got made, just drop me an email.