Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Redwood Massacre: UK and US release dates

David Ryan Keith's old-school slasher The Redwood Massacre was released in Germany last month. Now comes confirmation of the English-language releases.

The US disc is pencilled in for 7th July through Uncork'd Entertainment (who also have Devil's Tower, Treehouse and Reverb on their books). That's not on Amazon yet but the UK disc is available for pre-order. This will be out on 27th July through 4Digital Media.

This is Keith's second feature following Attack of the Herbals.

Synopsis: For five adventurous friends, visiting the legendary murder site of the Redwood farm has all the hallmarks of being an exciting and thrilling camping weekend away. A popular site for revellers and party goers, each year on the exact date of the famous local family massacre, people from around the country head out to the site to have fun and scare each other. Events take a bloody turn for the worse when the innocent campers discover the Redwood myth is in fact a horrible bloody reality, which turns the unsuspecting victims into prey for a mysterious axe wielding maniac that has remained dormant for 20 years.

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Amityville Playhouse – it’s actually British!

I was alerted to the existence of a film called The Amityville Playhouse recently by British horror film expert Darrell Buxton, with an assurance that, though filmed in Canada, it’s solidly British.

And indeed it is, so far as I can tell. The movie is written by, directed by and stars John R Walker, a jobbing extra with 2,000 screen appearances to his credit (although, despite what certain newspapers reckon, he is not – and has never claimed to be – Britain’s most prolific extra). Within the BHR, Walker has had bigger roles including gigs on Crying Wolf, DeadTime, Valley of the Demon and Cute Little Buggers. And when he’s not acting, according to this feature in his local paper, he works on the fish counter in the Dudley Tesco!

Originally announced as The Amityville Legacy, and shot in September/October last year, The Amityville Playhouse was released on UK DVD last month by 4Digital Media. Prior to that, it had a brief theatrical outing playing Showcase cinemas in Leeds, Liverpool, Derby, Manchester, Bristol and Newham – under the title Amityville Theatre. A US disc, as The Amityville Theater, is scheduled for June.

The screenplay was co-written with Steve Hardy, whose specialist subject is the old 1970s TV sci-fi show Timeslip. Hence the presence in the cast of Lesley Scoble, Cheryl Burfield and Spencer Banks, who all starred in that series. Also in the cast is my old pal from SFX days, voice legend Gary Martin.

Synopsis: Fawn Harriman (Monèle LeStrat) had counted herself lucky the day she inherited a disused theater in the small town of Amityville, Long Island. With her sights set on a new life in the theatre, she invites a group of friends to join her there for a weekend adventure that will ultimately lead them into the terrifying clutches of an ancient pact between the mysterious locals and a malignant presence from the very bowls of hell. As the stranglehold of evil grows ever tighter, Fawn’s teacher, Victor Stewart, races to Amityville in a desperate attempt to rescue the imperiled party and put an end to the town’s terrifying legacy once and for all.

I suspect most people who watch this film will think it's North American - and the Inaccurate Movie Database lists it as Canadian - but it is assuredly a 100% British horror film that was just shot over there.

Scream magazine's '21st Century Frights' - Part 1

I just received the latest issue of Scream magazine (with Jaws and Angus Scrimm on the front) which includes the first instalment of an epic multi-part feature by Yours Truly. In '21st Century Frights' I'll provide a complete run-down of every British horror film released since 1st January 2000.

Issue 30 of the mag carries Part 1, covering the four-year period 2000-2003. There are 26 films described therein, including Cradle of Fear, My Little Eye, Sentinels of Darkness, Sacred Flesh, Kannibal and Penetration Angst.

I've already submitted Part 2, covering 2004-5. Later on I'll have to start doing single years, and then part-years as we approach the mid-teens. Potentially I might never catch up with myself!


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Soldiers of the Damned: poster and news

Back in January I included Mark Nuttall's WW2 horror Soldiers of the Damned in my list of Recent, Unreleased British Horror Films. Well, the good news is that Safecracker Pictures are planning a DVD for later this year, with a few theatrical screenings ahead of it (all dates TBD).

For details, keep an eye on www.soldiersofthedamned.com or www.facebook.com/SOTDfilm

In the meantime, here's the new poster design:


And here's the very cool-looking trailer:


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Stag Hunt available on Amazon Prime

Checking my site stats, I wondered why my review of James Shanks' terrific horror-thriller Stag Hunt, which I posted back in January, was suddenly getting lots of traffic.

It seems that the film has recently snuck onto Amazon Prime without anyone noticing. No sign of a DVD yet though.

Shanks' next feature should be Bigfoot, Small Budget: "A small band of foolhardy filmmakers wreak havoc on a remote village in Southern France in an ill-conceived attempt to shoot the ultimate gorilla film, without money, without permits, without a clue."

Monday, 11 May 2015

Image gallery: Eileen Daly

Yes, it's true. The Queen of (low-budget) British horror, Dame Eileen Daly herself is following her appearance on The X Factor with a trip into the Big Brother House. In celebration of which, here's a gallery of some of her many, many horror roles:
Eileen's feature debut in Elisar Cabrera's Demonsoul, with Kerry Norton
Josh Collins and Alex Chandon's amazing steampunk fantasy spoof Pervirella, with a very young Emily Booth
Tony Luke's Sci-Fi Channel short Archangel Thunderbird, with the back of Doug Bradley's head
The definitive Eileen role: as Lilith Silver in Jake West's Razor Blade Smile, with Chris Adamson
Working for Elisar Cabrera again on Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft, where I first interviewed Eileen
 Keeping her clothes on (unlike most of her co-stars) in Nigel Wingrove's Sacred Flesh
With Linnea Quigley in Richard Driscoll's hilariously dire Kannibal.
 Alex Chandon's terrific anthology Cradle of Fear, with Louie Brownsell
In uniform for Anglo-Greek obscurity Sentinels of Darkness, with ?
One that I haven't actually seen, Machines of Love and Hate
Not learning from her mistakes - working for Richard Driscoll again in Evil Calls aka The Legend of Harrow Woods
Another one I have yet to track down - Alexander Birrell's Braincell
Three 21st century UK horror stars (in Germany): Eileen poses with Marysia Kay (front) and Eleanor James on the set of Timo Rose and Andreas Schnaas' Karl the Butcher vs Axe
 Jason Impey's The Turning aka Zombie Lover
Andrew Jones' The Amityville Asylum
 Eileen's self-scripted, self-directed trilogy of horror comedies: First Bite is the Deepest...
 ...and Hollywood Betrayed...
...and Mr Crispin, with Tom Bonnington
To finish... a Finnish film The Curse of the Witch's Blood

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Taking becomes Bait on DVD

Dominic Brunt’s brutal revenge thriller The Taking, which premiered in Leeds last November, has been retitled Bait for its DVD release. Metrodome have penciled the film in for a 7th September release.

Brunt previously made the brilliant zombie picture Before Dawn but remains best-known to mainstream audiences as ‘Paddy off Emmerdale’. Scripted by Emmerdale writer Paul Roundell, The Taking/Bait stars Dominic’s wife Joanne Mitchell (Before Dawn) and Victoria Smurfit (The Last Great Wilderness) as two friends looking for a loan to help them set up a small business. And Jonathan Slinger as the psychotic loan shark who hunts them down.

Also in the cast are Adam Fogerty (Scintilla), Mark Rathbone (Cradle of Fear, Inbred), Leanne Rowley (Entity), Rula Lenska and, somewhat bizarrely, comedian Charlie Chuck.