Sunday, 30 December 2012

50 British horror films we’re still waiting for (Part 3)

Death 

After a string of impressive shorts, Martin Gooch shot this Robert Rankin-esque gothic fantasy in early 2011 and it has been playing festivals since May 2012. No sign of a release yet though. Cast includes Emily Booth and Leslie Philips, both of whom have worked previously with the director. I really want to see this.

“Following the death of their Dad, four brothers and sisters return to the family home after many years to face each other, face facts and face the future. But what do they know of the past? Frankenstein meets The Others. An indy film for lovers of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Amelie, Truly Madly Deeply and lovers of all that is Gothic.”

Deranged 

The latest feature from Neil (The Reverend) Jones was shot in Spain in late summer 2011. Craig Fairbrass heads the cast.

“Four girls go on a bachelorette party weekend to a country house, in rurla Spain. Little did they know what someone had planned for them. The real party begins when the host is mysteriously attacked and, one by one, the guests find themselves in mortal danger. The race is on to uncover the killer’s identity and they must fight back or be brutally murdered.”

The Dying Seconds 

Directed by Kris Rennie and Morgan Black, this micro-budget zombie feature was apparently planned as a series of webisodes. The first (prelude) episode was filmed in Aberdeenshire in October 2011, a trailer appeared the following month and there has been no news since then.

“When the world as we know it has come to an end, the dying seconds of life is all we have left.”

Entity

Dervla Kirwan stars in this feature which was shot by Steve Stone in February 2011 and played several festivals in October 2012. Word of mouth is good - just waiting for news of a release. 

“1998: Thirty four unidentified bodies were found in shallow graves in a remote Siberian forest. Despite subsequent police investigations no official explanation was ever offered by the Russian authorities for these deaths. The case was closed three years later. 2010: A small English TV crew set out for the remote Russian forest. The Darkest Secrets TV programme revisits the sites of unsolved mysteries both ancient and modern. They employ the gifts of a psychic whose extraordinary powers may shed new light on this old secret. The last communication to their production office in London stated that they were approaching the Siberian region where the bodies were found. Nothing was heard from them again.”

The Eschatrilogy 

Damian Morter’s impressive and enjoyable zombie anthology was shot in 2011 and recently started doing the rounds of festivals. A release announcement surely can’t be too far away; in fact we may well see this before Morter’s first feature, Bicycle Day. Read my review here.

"The population is now scarce...a young man called Matthew now seeks refuge and solitude in the hill tops and mountains, spending his days repetitively picking up the starving dead by the roadside and burning them on his fire. One day he encounters Cal, a mysterious stranger who passes out in his camp. Matthew takes him in, and upon inspecting Cal's possesions, he comes across a journel, which documents three stories of horror Cal has experienced upon his search for 'the Storyteller' an ancient demon who has caused the death and chaos which now surrounds them...but as Cal sleeps and Matthew reads on, something approaches from the forests around them and soon. they will no longer be alone..."

Saturday, 29 December 2012

50 British horror films we’re still waiting for (Part 2)


Beautiful 

A young man from Birmingham named Noveed ‘Veeder’ Zubair has been posting regular blogs and videos while making this zero-budget psychological horror film for the past couple of years. (His first film was a half-hour, black-and-white, silent Friday the 13th homage filmed in Adis Ababa!) This is clearly a labour of love and I really hope he gets it finished.

Community 

Filmed in August 2011 as Final Project, Jason Ford’s hoodie horror premiered at Frightfest 2012 and is now playing other festivals. Worldwide rights were picked up by High Point Films in January 2012 (who called it “somewhere between The Wicker Man and Kidulthood”) so expect a release sometime in late 2013. [Update: Community is scheduled for a UK DVD release in February.]

"The Drayman Estate has become an urban legend. Amongst the sinister stories of strange locals and brutal violence, people have gone missing there. Two student fiilm-makers visit the estate in the hope their documentary will land them a lucrative film career. Within minutes they are introduced to a pregnant child and a skinned dog in a shallow grave. They quickly discover that behind the awkward smiles, the adults appear to be on drugs whilst the children roam wildly, further proof that the estate is a breeding ground for the darker side of society. A society which is about to present the students with material of unimaginable horror, turning their final project into their darkest nightmare."

A Date with Ghosts 

After several shorts, Jason Brown started work on his debut feature in 2010. Originally announced for 2011, then 2012, hopefully we’ll finally see it in 2013. He has cut together two trailers so far.

"The story of a group of friends that get trapped in a haunted abbey with no easy way of escaping."


The Dead Inside 

Andrew Gilbert’s zombie feature was shot during the summer of 2010 and the spring of 2011. There was a cast and crew screening in November 2012. Not to be confused with the identically titled American zombie musical.

"A crap night out just got a fair bit worse: It's the end of the world! The undead are out in force, roaming the streets and devouring all who get in their way. Shot in a realistic style, The Dead Inside looks at a very human reaction to a barely human enemy. A group of soldiers, civilians and (holy crap!) teenagers hole up in a local school for protection from the undead hordes outside. Food is running low, morale doubly so. Tensions are high and things are looking bad when a stranger arrives outside the gate... then they get a whole lot worse. Blood sweat and tears - and that was just the post-production! The Dead Inside aims to tell the tale of the impending Zombie Apocalypse in a realistic and very British manner."

Dead of the Nite 

Shot at the start of 2011, the main selling point of SJ Evans’ eagerly anticipated film is the casting coup of Tony Todd. The post-production should be finished any day now.

"When a group of Internet sensation ghost hunters investigate the infamous Jericho Manor, they soon realise it's not just ghosts that go bump in the night! As each member of the team gets slaughtered one by one, the remaining survivors need to discover who...or what is killing them before it's too late. But be warned, if you thinks it's just another 'Blair Witch'...think again!"

Friday, 28 December 2012

50 British horror films we’re still waiting for (Part 1)

The Addicted 

Shot in September 2011, Sean J Vincent’s second feature had a cast and crew screening in November 2012.

"In 1987, David is a resident at ‘The Manor’ Drug Rehab Unit. Whilst there he is being kept addicted to heroin by a Clinical Director Chris Hunter whilst he has an affair with David’s wife. Chris eventually poisons David with contaminated heroin leaving him with horrendous facial disfigurement and chronic pain. David soon hangs himself.  25 years later and we follow Chris’s daughter Nicole as she tries to break into TV journalism. Her boyfriend (Adam) suggests they spend a night filming with friends in the now derelict Drug Rehab unit. There have been recent reports of paranormal goings-on and they plan to try and film them. It soon becomes clear however that they are very much not alone…"

Any Minute Now 

Shot in Dorset, between March and August 2011, the second feature from Peter (Season of the Witch*) Goddard appears to have run into funding problems. Starring the bloke who played Zammo in Grange Hill! (*Also awaiting release.)

"When her parents decide to separate, sixteen year old Anna Brooks is sent to spend the summer in a small coastal town with her old fashioned aunt and uncle, Jennifer and David Collingwood. Anna is narcoleptic and suffers traumatic hallucinations as side effects to her medication. Whilst living in small town suburbia several bizarre incidents take place which lead Anna to question her own sanity. Is it really all in her head or is something more sinister going on in the small sleepy town?"

Argon Green 

Probably the only horror film about diabetes - apart from Derby University lecturer Tom Craig’s previous short Sugar Drop. Shot in stages over 2011 and 2012, this seems to be awaiting further funds.

"For acclaimed artist and Diabetes sufferer Daniel Corrigan, the end of his career is clearly signalled when successive treatments for Diabetic retinopathy begin to rob his world of both colour and depth. Believing that it is only a matter of time before his sight is permanently lost, Daniel throws himself into his work in a desperate attempt to create his final masterpiece. As Daniel retreats further and further into his own private world, his wife realises that drastic action must be taken to save both her husband, and perhaps herself, from madness."

Arkham Sanitarium 

Shot in May 2011, Andrew Morgan’s Lovecraft anthology is another film stuck in post-production limbo, awaiting completion funds.

"Arkham Sanitarium is an anthology of three short stories faithfully adapted from the works of HP Lovecraft: ‘The Haunter of the Dark’, ‘The Shunned House’ and ‘The Thing on the Doorstep’. Each of the three stories is set in 1930s New England (specifically Providence, Rhode Island and the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts). The stories are connected by an original ‘wraparound’ story. In this story – set in the 1950s – Alice Crow investigates the strange stories surrounding the infamous Arkham Sanitarium."

 Art House Massacre 

Steve Laurence’s film (originally titled Art House) was shot in 2011 and premiered at the British Horror Film Festival in August 2012 (see my review here). but there is no sign yet of a release.

"Liz is a nurse who had to quit her job as she struggles to cope with the emotional stress of having lost a baby. With the debts piling up and her and her husband Ben at emotional and financial breaking point, she takes a modelling job to help make ends meet. Arriving at the shoot, Liz meets Philip, an intense and successful young photographer and she feels flattered by his interest. But all is not what it seems in this remote middle class area... and while Liz poses for her new friend Philip, she has no idea of the horror that is lurking in the shadow... until... Liz finds a body, panic stricken she knows they have to escape, she tries her only hope... Ben. Will there strained relationship hold up long enough for him to believe her and save her? As the body count rises will she make it out alive? Or will the sinister game of cat and mouse end in a bloody masterpiece. Life Imitates Art... Art Imitates Death."

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Werewolf movie shooting in Leicester next year

I don't have much info yet on Lunatic, except that it's a werewolf movie which is aiming to shoot next year in my home town of Leicester. Written by Stephen Batchelor (of whom I know nothing) and produced by Leicester's own martial arts master Kwoklyn Wan, hulking older brother of fashion guru Gok!

"At first, a small town murder looks to be the work of wild dogs. Unfortunately, wild dogs don't walk on two legs. This town has a secret, but how many will have to die before the truth comes out?"

The only horror feature previously shot in Leicester was Rhys Davies' Zombie Undead. Apparently Lunatic is casting for extras now. Could this be another chance for me and young TF Simpson to boost our resum├ęs?

Find out more on the movie's Facebook page.

Monday, 24 December 2012

First review: Starburst gives Urban Terrors 7/10

A happy Christmas to Martin Unsworth who has reviewed Urban Terrors over on the website of Starburst magazine. This is the book's first review and it's a solid 7/10.

"It is practically a boom time for BHF, as we see more and more no-budget films being made, and surprisingly, some are actually good. This book serves as an interesting overview of what was really the start of the BHF renaissance and, while some of the time Simpson is just quoting other reviewers and sources, the wealth of information and the namechecking of some overlooked gems makes it well worth a read."

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

'Unofficial trailer'(?) for Peter Callow's The Circle

What is an unofficial trailer? How does it differ from an ordinary trailer? Or a teaser? Has this been edited and posted onto YouTube without the director’s knowledge or permission? Is it some sort of weird bootleg marketing?

Who knows? Anyway, this is our first look at The Circle, directed by Peter Callow, which was filmed in Essex and Cambridgeshire in September. The cast includes Emily Yarrow, Eva-Marie Kung and Sesselia Olafs, who posted the trailer.

“A University professor takes four archaeology students on a field trip to a remote Scottish island. With tensions already present in the group, they unearth clues to an ancient mystery that will threaten their lives.”

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Before Dawn hits cinemas, DVD in February

I've got a review of Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell's superb zombie feature Before Dawn waiting to go live when I get round to it. In the meantime, the film has been scheduled for a UK DVD release on 25th February, with a limited theatrical release a few days earlier.

"Alex and Meg's marriage is hanging by a thread. The solution seems simple - a romantic holiday to an idyllic cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. This is the chance both of them need to find themselves, and rediscover their love for one another. But the Yorkshire Dales aren't romantic, and the idyllic cottage isn't too peaceful! The weekend that starts out as an opportunity for love and affection, takes an unexpected turn - into a fierce fight for survival as it becomes clear that they’re not alone in this rural haven."

Dark Nature comes to UK DVD on New Year's Eve

Marc De Maunay's Dark Nature finally makes it to UK DVD on 31st December. The film was released in the States by Troma back in 2010, although don't let that deceive you - it's a long way from being a 'Tromatic film'.

"Dark Nature is a dark, tense eco-thriller in which a young woman fights to protect her family when they come under attack while on holiday at a remote location in the Scottish Highlands.

"Imogen Toner (Love Bite) and Vanya Eadie play Chloe and Jane, a daughter and mother whose already tense relationship is put under considerable stress when they go on holiday to a remote location. Like lambs to the slaughter, an escalating series of shocking incidents leads Chloe and Jane into a violent and unexpected situation they could never have anticipated."

Dark Nature was written by Eddie Harrison. Cast also includes Niall Greig Fulton and James Bryce (both in Cry for Bobo).

The DVD from Matchbox includes Making Of, trailer and two short films: The Last Noel (directed by De Launay, written by Brian Robinson) and Contorted Hazel (written by De Launay, directed by John Gorman).

Derby officially declared centre of fantasy/sci-fi/horror film universe

For some time now, Derby - and in particular Derby Quad - has been building a reputation as something of an epicentre for all things F/SF/H, with screening and seasons and a remarkable amount of production too, most recent Dominic Burns' UFO and Owen Tooth's Devil's Tower.

Now Quad has teamed up with Reel Solutions, the agency/consultancy set up by Tony Earnshaw (formerly of the National Media Museum in Bradford) for Fantastiq, a three-day film/TV festival which will debut over 9th-11th August 2013. The first Fantastiq will feature themed programmed based around Doctor Who and Peter Cushing.

Quad programmer Adam Marsh and Tony will mainly schedule a range of archive material but also plan to include one or two new features. Weekend and Day passes are on sale now. There is a Facebook thing too.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Exclusive: first teaser for 'Boots on the Ground'

Back in June, I posted about Boots on the Ground, a found-footage supernatural chiller about British squaddies in Afghanistan.

Here is the first teaser trailer for the project, which was shot last month with actress Sally Day. The feature will shoot next year in Malta, directed by Louis Meville (Man Who Sold the World).

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

'Stalled' trailer looks absolutely brilliant

The trailer for Stalled, the new feature from the guys who made Freak Out. This looks absolutely awesome. If this isn't one of the absolutely best movies of all time I shall be severely disappointed. I absolutely cannot wait.

My one caveat is that the trailer says 'Think outside the stall' and it would be funnier if it said 'Think outside the bogs.' Other than that: fantastic stuff.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

'UFO' screening for a week in Derby

Dominic Burns' epic sci-fi-horror-actioner UFO plays a full week at Derby Quad this month. You can catch the locally-shot film every night from 15th to 20th December at various times. And if you go to the Saturday 15th screening, Burns will be there will some of the cast to introduce the film and do a Q&A.

Not to be confused with the old TV series or indeed the Roy 'Chubby' Brown SF comedy of the same name, UFO is about five friends attempting to navigate their way to survival amidst deteriorating chaos as the world descends into terror and anarchy during an alien invasion and interstellar war.

Burns previously directed real-time horror Cut and in-flight horror Airborne under his occasional nom-de-screen of Alexander Williams. As an actor, you may have caught him in Cockneys vs Zombies, Strippers vs Werewolves, Kill Keith and The Reverend. He is also producing Owen Tooth's feature Devil's Tower.

UFO's awesome cast includes Sean Brosnan, San Pertwee, Julian Glover and Jean Claude Van Damme!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Last chance to pre-order the book - or why not come to the launch?

If you want to save yourself a couple of quid off the cover price of Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema 1997-2008, you need to get your order in before this Saturday as 1st December 2012 is the official publication date. It's still worth every penny at the cover price of £17.95, but you can get it for £15.25 (and hot off the press) if you're quick.

If you live anywhere near Leicester (everywhere's near Leicester!), do please come along to the official launch next Wednesday, 5th December. I will be signing copies in the University of Leicester Bookshop between 5.30pm and 6.30pm (and there will be some wine/juice and nibbles laid on). If you're coming from outside the city, the University is within easy walking distance of the railway station (parking on campus is very limited). The bookshop is on the front of the big, square glass library in the middle of campus. Make sure you come to the University of Leicester, not our local rivals De Montfort University.

E-mailing me if you're thinking of coming along will help us to estimate numbers - and means I'll be looking out for you among the clamouring throng.

After the signing, there will be a free screening of British Horror Revival classic The Last Horror Movie in one of the uni lecture theatres. Julian Richards has very kindly given me permission to screen this (check out this crazy French DVD sleeve I just found!). After the film, I presume that there may be some drink and chat in a local hostelry.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

'Last Horror' sequel: the return of Max Parry!

Crikey! Just as Darklands receives its long-overdue US release, Julian Richards has announced that he is working on a sequel to The Last Horror Movie, reuniting with scripter James Handel and 'Max Parry' himself, the BHR legend that is Kevin Howarth:

“Max has been living in Los Angeles for several years since the release of Last Horror Movie and has made some interesting observations. He has also become obsessed with new technology and now uses social networking sites to select victims and mobile phones to track and record his murders, some of which are already available to view on the undernet.”

That's from Dread Central. TLHM is one of the absolute best films in the whole British Horror Revival and it will be great to catch up with Max again.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Decay - a British zombie film produced at CERN!

Imagine you're studying for a PhD in Physics. As part of your research you get the opportunity to spend some time at CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider (and birthplace of the world wide web). What do you do on your days off?

That's right, you make a zombie film!

A zombie film set at (but not authorisd by) CERN. A zombie film featuring the LHC and the search for the Higgs Boson. This could be the coolest, geekiest film ever made. And it looks pretty good, too. Here's the trailer:


Decay (great title) will be available for free online from 8th December, but if you want to see it on the big screen, there's a world premiere at the University of Manchester on 29th November. Tickets are free and can be booked through the film's website. Here are a few stills:

AuditoriumTunnel Flashlight 2Store Room

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Salvage on iPlayer

I was really annoyed to only find out in retrospect that the BBC had screened Lawrence Gough's  Salvage this week, as it's a film I've been looking out for. So I'm delighted to find that they've slapped it up on iPlayer - because BBC Films was one of the backers, presumably.

It's available until the small hours of Thursday morning.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Indexing the book

I have spent the past few nights indexing Urban Terrors. There are two indices: one of about 1,200 names and one of about 1,000 titles. There was no way to fit these into the already hefty book so instead I'm making them available as PDFs. Here they are on Scribd:


This also has the advantage that you can peruse the indices and see if you and/or your work is featured, without having to find a physical copy of the book.

The indexing did show up a number of typos which didn't get spotted during proofing, but they are mostly misspelt names in the little boxes listing brief credits (which my publisher evidently retyped rather than cut and paste). These are the least important part of the book - it's not a reference work and if you want cast/crew names, they're all on IMDB anyway. So that's all right.

As I pretty much expected, the most frequently mentioned people are Paul Hyett (27 pages), Kim Newman (26 pages), Variety critic Derek Elley (25 pages), Neil Marshall (21 pages), Johannes Roberts (19 pages) and Jake West (16 pages)

Friday, 9 November 2012

Gangsters, Guns and Zombies UK premiere next week

With one week to go until this year's Day of the Undead zombie-bash here in Leicester, the 'mystery film' has been revealed, and damn me if it isn't yet another British tile. A week tomorrow Phoenix will be screening the UK premiere of Gangsters, Guns and Zombies, directed by Matt Mitchell.

With Before Dawn, The Eschatrilogy and Cockneys vs Zombies, that's a solid six hours or so of new British horror goodness (with a slice of Charlie Higson in the middle). I should be there for all four, and will be plugging my new book to anyone who will listen. In fact, I'm off round Zombie Ed's house tomorrow to drop off some Urban Terrors fliers.

GGZ will be released on VOD this Thursday and hits US DVD on 11th December. Although it seems it's actually already available in France, where the DVD was released last month.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

French film festival celebrates 21st century British horror

The Amiens Film Festival, which starts next week, features a retrospective on the British Horror Revival!

Screening in the Brit Horror strand are Shaun of the Dead, The Descent, The Cottage, Eden Lake, The Children, Wake Wood, the TV mini-series Dead Set and three films by festival guest of honour Christopher Smith: Creep, Triangle and Black Death.

As far as I know, this is the first festival to celebrate the 21st century British Horror Revival in this way. More please!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Would you believe: Richard Driscoll's 'The Devil Rides Out'?

No connection with Hammer or Dennis Wheatley, thank the Lord. Driscoll has sent Dread Central a bunch of stills from a 'new' film called The Devil Rides Out, plus a synopsis. Check them out. As so many sites are wont to do, Dread Central has simply accepted this stuff without question and posted it on their site (a couple of weeks ago) verbatim. But with Driscoll, a little digging is always in order.

As you might expect, this is not a 'new' film, this is The Devil's Disciple, which was shot down at the House of Fear Studios in Cornwall way back in 2006. This was originally intended to be a sequel to Evil Calls (shot as Alone in the Dark and now available as The Legend of Harrow Woods). The third part of The Raven trilogy was going to be called Back to Hell.

Here is the synopsis for Back to Hell, from June 2007:
“The film picks up from where Alone In The Dark left off, with the story of George Carney and how he discovered the secrets of Harrow Woods through the diary of the notorious occultist Aleister Crowley. As Carney investigates the connection between the forest in Harrow Woods and the black magician, he delves head first into a world of black magic as he travels to New Orleans from New York where Crowley’s daughter now lives. Followed by occultists and murderers Carney embarks on finding the truth about the diary as he learns that Crowley intended to bring the witch Lenore back to life.”

Some extra footage was shot in 2008, based on the Back to Hell script, and combined with the Devil's Disciple footage to make something called Back2Hell. As I point out in my forthcoming book, this makes The Raven, uniquely, a two-film trilogy. (Only Driscoll...)

Further pick-ups were shot in February 2010, although it's unlikely Driscoll has shot anything recently as he has sold his farm (and I hear rumours about legal matters, though nothing clear or definite).

Let's not hold our breath for The Devil Rides Out, just as we are not holding it for Grindhouse 2wo. But these stills are new. All I've seen previously was a shot of Kenny Baker who was in the 2006 footage but presumably isn't in this version.

A comment by Ramsey Campbell in his Video Watchdog review of The Legend of Harrow Woods seems appropriate here: "Part of the fun is watching Driscoll struggle to reconcile the movie with his latest ideas for it, and who knows whether that’s over, even now?'

Monday, 5 November 2012

Amateur vampire flick: Vampire Dawn

Here’s another new British vampire feature, a zero-budget indie shot in Bath earlier this year.

Vampire Dawn, written and directed by David Gunstone, produced by Gunstone and Andy Fletcher, had a one-off screening last week at Bath Spa University and should be available to view online before the month is out.

Apparently Gunstone, who works at the uni, vowed to make a film if he pulled through a cancer diagnosis - and here it is. All done on the cheap with an amateur cast and crew.

Here's a couple of pics from the Bath Evening News.

The website is www.vampiredawnmovie.com.

Teaser trailer and five-minute trailer below:

Urban Terrors - list of contents

As the book proof is signed off, and with just a month until the launch of Urban Terrors in Leicester on 5th December (details TBC), here is the final, definitive list of the contents: 114 films, listed here alphabetically (although in the book they are grouped by year of release). I guarantee that no-one has seen all these, and I bet few have even heard of them all. But every film here was given a commercial release, somewhere, somehow, between 1997 and 2008.

If you spot something 'missing', well that means that, by my criteria, it's ether not 'British' enough, not 'horror' enough or was released outside of my stated time-frame.

Alien Rising (Nigel Moran), Alone (Phil Claydon), Anazapta (Alberto Sciamma), Antisocial-Behaviour (Vinson Pike), The Asylum (John Stewart), Asylum Night (Brad Watson)

Beyond the Rave (Mathias Hoene), The Big Finish (The Heather Brothers), Blood (Charly Cantor), Botched (Kit Ryan), Broken (Adam Mason), The Bunker (Rob Green)

Chemical Wedding (Julian Doyle), The Children (Tom Shankland), Cold and Dark (Andrew Goth), The Cottage (Paul Andrew Williams), Cradle of Fear (Alex Chandon), Credo (Toni Harman), Creep (Christopher Smith)

Daddy’s Girl (DJ Evans), Darkhunters (Johannes Roberts), Darklands (Julian Richards), Dead Creatures (Andrew Parkinson), Dead Man’s Shoes (Shane Meadows), Deathwatch (Michael J Bassett), The Descent (Neil Marshall), The Devil’s Chair (Adam Mason), Devil’s Harvest (James Shanks), The Devil’s Tattoo (Julian Kean), Doctor Sleep (Nick Willing), Dog Soldiers (Neil Marshall), Dominator (Tony Luke), Doomsday (Neil Marshall), Dust (Adam Mason)

Eden Lake (James Watkins), The Eliminator (Enda Hughes), Evil Aliens (Jake West), Evil Calls (Richard Driscoll), The Evolved Part 1 (Andrew Senior and John Turner), Experiment (Dan Turner)

The Fall of the Louse of Usher (Ken Russell), Footsteps (GH Evans), Forest of the Damned (Johannes Roberts), Freak Out (Christian James), From the Grave (Charles Buchanan)

The Gathering (Brian Gilbert), The Ghosts of Crowley Hall (Daren Marc)

Hellbreeder (James Eaves and Johannes Roberts), The Hole (Nick Hamm), Home Made (Jason Impey)

In a Dark Place (Donato Rotunno), The Innocent (Stuart Brennan), I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain (Andrew Parkinson)

Kannibal (Richard Driscoll), KillerKiller (Pat Higgins)

The Last Great Wilderness (David Mackenzie), The Last Horror Movie (Julian Richards), LD50 (Simon De Selva), The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse (Steve Bendelack), Lie Still (Sean Hogan), Lighthouse (Simon Hunter), The Living and the Dead (Simon Rumley), London Voodoo (Robert Pratten), Long Time Dead (Marcus Adams), The Lost (Stuart Brennan), Lycanthropy (Kevin McDonagh)

Messages (David Fairman), MindFlesh (Robert Pratten), Mum and Dad (Steven Sheil), Mutant Chronicles (Simon Hunter), My Little Eye (Marc Evans)

Nature Morte (Paul Burrows), Never Play with the Dead (Ray Kilby), Night Junkies (Lawrence Pearce), Nine Lives (Andrew Green)

Octane (Marcus Adams), Outpost (Steve Barker)

Parasite (Andrew Prendergast), Penetration Angst (Wolfgang Buld), Project Assassin (Mike and Andy Hurst), Puritan (Hadi Hajaig)

Razor Blade Smile (Jake West), Revelation (Stuart Urban)

Sacred Flesh (Nigel Wingrove), Sanitarium (James Eaves and Johannes Roberts), Sentinels of Darkness (Manos Kalaitzakis), Severance (Christopher Smith), Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright), Sick Bastard (Jason Impey), The Sickhouse (Curtis Radclyffe), Small Town Folk (Peter Stanley-Ward), Snuff-Movie (Bernard Rose), Soul Searcher (Neil Oseman), Spirit Trap (David Smith), Spring Heeled Jack (William Honeyball), Stag Knight (Simon Cathcart), The Summer of the Massacre (Bryn Hammond)

TrashHouse (Pat Higgins), Time of Her Life (Steven M Smith), The Toy Box (Paolo Sedazarri), Trauma (Marc Evans)

Urban Ghost Story (Genevieve Jolliffe)

Vampire Diary (Mark James and Phil O’Shea), The Vanguard (Matthew Hope), The Veil (Richard Chance)

WAZ (Tom Shankland), When Evil Calls (Johannes Roberts), Wild Country (Craig Strachan), Wilderness (Michael J Bassett), The Witches Hammer (James Eaves), Witch House: The Legend of Petronel Haxley (Mike McCarthy)

The Zombie Diaries (Michael Bartlett and Kevin Gates)

The 13th Sign (Adam Mason), 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Through the Looking Glass released on DVD

Halloween brings with it the usual spike in horror movie releases and among those which made it to DVD this week is Craig Griffith’s Through the Looking Glass, which has been picking up good word of mouth on the festival circuit.

Synopsis
The Artist lives alone in a foreboding old house in the country. Once prolific he is now a desperate man at odds with his work and unable to paint. When he discovers a mysterious package left on his doorstep The Artist finds a strange mirror within and soon becomes wracked by horrific visions. Beguiled by the mirror his work becomes fuelled by the visions as he paints like never before. However, disturbing things soon begin to happen to him and those who enter the house. Escalating with each vision, with each brush stroke the mirror’s grip on The Artist tightens. Can The Artist untangle himself from the mirror's creeping influence before it is too late?

The film stars Paul McCarthy (an alumnus of Grange Hill), Jonathan Rhodes (The 7th Dimension), Michael Langridge and Roz Povey. Shot back in 2006, Through the Looking Glass is finally available on DVD via Amazon and Create Space. It's also available to download via Amazon instant video. Here’s the website, the Facebook page and the trailer:

Urban Terrors, by numbers

I'm just finishing off the proofing of Urban Terrors. Fingers crossed, we are still on track for publication at the start of December. Here is how the book is shaping up:
  • 114 commercially released British horror films, from Darklands (1997) to Mum and Dad (2008) 
  • 296 pages 
  • 110,000 words - give or take a thousand or so 
  • 274 b/w photos 
  • 8 pages of colour photos 
  • 1 and only Mr Sean Pertwee, foreword by 
  • 0 mentions of Douglas Adams 
  • £17.95 to you, squire 
  • 5 December: launch/signing/screening at Leicester University (details TBC)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Three British zombie features at Day of the Undead

Here in Leicester, the horror highlight of the year is always Day of the Undead, a full day of zombie activities at Phoenix Square organised by the tireless Zombie Ed of Terror4Fun. Previous British pictures screened include The Dead, Harold's Going Stiff, Zomblies, Devil's Playground, Zombie Undead and The Zombie Diaries.

This year the Day of the Undead is on Saturday 17th November and features three British films in its line-up: Cockneys vs Zombies, Before Dawn (introduced by director/actor Paddy Brunt) and The Eschatrilogy (with intro and Q&A from the director and producer). Also screening are Zombie Flesh Eaters (the world premiere of the new HB version), Israel's first zombie film Muralim and a special surprise film (which could mean there's actually four British titles...). Plus video games and make-up, oh and Charlie Higson plugging his zombie books.

Day-passes are £25. See you in the bar!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Great new short: Sunday Best

A few years ago I reviewed Emily and the Baba Yaga, a terrific CGI short which marked the directorial debut of Clive Tonge. More recently, Clive has directed a live-action horror short Sunday Best, which looks great.

Synopsis
A woman’s thighbone has been found by police, the latest victim of brutal serial killer ‘The Bone Stripper’. When a stranger, covered in blood, arrives unexpectedly at Gladys and Albert’s house, like good Samaritans they invite him in. But the Lord God works in mysterious ways and, when all three end up wearing their Sunday best, His deadly word is final.

Sunday Best was written by Ian Fenton (Black Dog, The Scuttler), DPed and edited by Ben Race, and stars Bill Fellows (Zombie Women of Satan, Witch House: The Legend of Petronel Haxley, Until Death) with Andrew Squires (Heretic) and Valerie Shields.

Here's the website, and here's the trailer. Review coming soon.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

South of Sanity - the Antarctic British horror film!

Here’s a British horror film that’s something different - South of Sanity is the first non-documentary feature ever shot in Antarctica! Kirk Watson is a Scottish cameraman who has been documenting, for the past four years, the construction of the absolutely amazing Halley VI ice station on the Brunt Ice Shelf in the British Antarctic Territory.

Because there’s not much to do during the long Arctic winter, Watson spent July to October 2009 making a feature film, with his colleagues as the cast. It will be released on DVD on both sides of the Atlantic on Halloween, the same day as the big screen premiere in Watson’s home town of Aviemore.

Here’s a BBC website report on the film, and here’s Watson’s own website where you can buy tickets to the premiere and where the DVD will be available in a couple of weeks. And here’s the trailer:

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

British Horror Film Festival - list of award winners

I had a good time at the British Horror Film Festival on Saturday. Reviews of Art House Massacre and Three's a Shroud will be on my main site soon. In the meantime, here's the full list of award-winners:
  • Best Director - The Santoro Brothers for The Other Side
  • Best Actor - Thomas Coombes in Love Bug
  • Best Actress - Clare Langford in Demon
  • Best Music - Gerry Moffett for Art House Massacre
  • Best Feature Film - Art House Massacre dir. Steve Laurence
  • Best Short Film - Love Bug dir. Benjamin Kent
  • Best Cinematography - Mark Duffield for Demon
  • Best Student Film - Darkwood Manor dir. Liam Hooper
  • Best Screenplay - Blood and Fangs: The Bloodening by Dave McLeod
  • Audience Award - The Other Side dir. The Santoro Brothers
  • British Horror Award - Three's a Shroud dir. Dan Brownlie, David VG Davies and Andy Edwards

Friday, 5 October 2012

Love Bite in Liverpool next week, wider next month

I was wondering what had happened to Andy De Emmony's teenage werewolf picture Love Bite, which was originally announced for a summer 2012 release. It looks like it's hitting cinemas on 9th November, but there is a one-off screening next Friday (12th October) at the Plaza Cinema in Liverpool.

De Emmony's TV work includes episodes of Red Dwarf and Father Ted as well as the 2010 version of Whistle and I'll Come to You. The film stars Ed Speleers (A Lonely Place to Die), Luke Pasqualino, Kierston Wareing (The Holding), Timothy Spall and Jessica Szohr (Piranha, Gossip Girl) as the token American. Make-up effects by Kristyan Mallett (Kill Keith, Strippers vs Werewolves).

Here's the trailer:

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Inbred goes Japanese

Apparently the utterly brilliant Inbred was released theatrically in Japan on Friday! Here's the subtitled version of the trailer - including the "Ee bah gum" song - and there's a website at www.inbred.jp. (I don't know what film the background image on the site's 'Trailer' page is from, but it's certainly not Inbred!)

Friday, 28 September 2012

British Horror Film Festival Awards nominations announced

And here are the shortlists for each category. The festival is in London on 12th-13th October and the awards will be announced on the Saturday evening.
Best Cinematography:Trid An Stoirm
The Other Side
Demon

British Horror Award:Darkwood Manor
Three’s A Shroud
Beneath

Best Student Film:Darkwood Manor
Between Friends

Best Director:Santoro Brothers - The Other Side
Mark Duffield - Demon
Neill Gorton - Mother Died

Best Actor:Tom Hall – Demon
Paul Davis – The Other Side
Thomas Coombes – Love Bug

Best Actress:Sarah Winter – Mother Died
Clare Langford – Demon
Jennie Jacques – The Other Side

Best Music:Demon
Arthouse Massacre
Trid An Stoirm

Best Short Film:Love Bug- dir. by Benjamin Kent
One Night in Sutherland Hill- dir. by Michael Cullaghan
Shoreditch Slayer- dir. by Simon Levene
The Deadfall- dir. by Nic Alderton
The Tunnel- dir. by Ivan Radovic
Mother Died- dir. by Neill Gorton
Between Friends- dir. by Gerhardt Slawitschka
Just The 2 Of Us- dir. by Mat Brooks
Beneath- dir. by Al White
Trid An Stoirm- dir. by Fred Burdy
The Other Side- dir. by The Santoro Brothers

Best Feature Film:Demon – dir. By Mark Duffield
Three’s A Shroud – dir. By Dan Brownlie, David V.G. Davies and Andy Edwards
Darkwood Manor – dir. By Liam Hooper
Art House Massacre – dir. By Steve Laurence

Best Screenplay:Blood and Fangs: The Bloodening by Dabid McLeod

Audience Awards:short films, as above

Umbrage becomes A Vampire's Tale

British vampire western Umbrage: The First Vampire (filmed as just Umbrage) has been rebranded for its US release.

Lions Gate release the film on DVD, VOD and download on 4th December as A Vampire's Tale with a sleeve that makes it look like a full-on western.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Festival round-up 7: Grimmfest

Grimmfest this year has the world premiere of Menaj Huda's Comedown (with Q&A) and is also screening Cockneys vs Zombies, Grabbers (see: they say it's Irish but Mayhem says it's British... I just want to see it), Before Dawn and - blimey, when did this escape? - the UK premiere of Andrew Goth's Gallowwalker!

Also UK shorts The Other Side (Alex and Oli Santoro), My Brother's Keeper (Jen Moss), Yellow (Ryan Haysom), Welcome to Leathermill (Russell England), The Raven (Jenny Longworth), The Cleaner (Ben Edmonton and Sam Twyman), Sunday Best (Clive Tonge) and Dysmorphia, the debut short by Andy Stewart of AndyErupts.

Grimmfest is at the Dancehouse Theatre, Manchester over 4th-7th October.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Festival round-up 6: Festival of Fantastic Films

The FFF is the longest-running genre film event in Britain, now in its 23rd year, and one of the best. I've been every year (except one) since 1995 and never fail to have a great time. It's more of a convention than a festival, held in a hotel where punters and guests can mingle in the bar all weekend, talking toot and drinking. Most of the films are great old stuff but there are always some new pictures in competition too.

This year they're screening Alex Chandon's Inbred, Bryan Tyrrell's Premiss, Andrew Spencer's The Casebook of Eddie Brewer and Gary Andrews' The Spirt of Albion as well as a couple of new British superhero flicks: David Barras' Electric Man and Jordan Galland's Alter Egos.

Guests include the always wonderful Michael Armstrong, the legendary Linnea Quigley and a Children of the Damned reunion with Martin Stephens and Lesley and Teri Scoble.

The Festival of Fantastic Films is at the Manchester Conference Centre over 26th-28th October. I will be there (and so will Mrs S and young TF Simpson). Find me in the bar!

Festival round-up 5: British Horror Film Festival

Last week I posted about the features at this year's British Horror Film Festival (just to remind you, it's Three's a Shroud, Demon, Darkwood Manor and Art House Massacre).

The full list of shorts has now been announced and runs like this: ove Bug- dir. by Benjamin Kent.
  • One Night in Sutherland Hill - Michael Cullaghan
  • Shoreditch Slayer - Simon Levene
  • The Deadfall - Nic Alderton
  • The Tunnel - Ivan Radovic
  • Mother Died - Neill Gorton (should be interesting - Gorton is a top FX bloke)
  • Between Friends - Gerhardt Slawitschka
  • Just The 2 Of Us - Mat Brooks
  • Beneath - Al White
  • Trid An Stoirm - Fred Burdy
  • The Other Side - The Santoro Brothers
The British Horror Film Festival will be held at the Empire, Leicester Square over 12th-13th October. I'm hoping to get down to this one.

Festival round-up 4: Cochise

The Cochise Film Festival in Nottinghamshire has a great line-up of B-movies and trash flicks including some British titles. They are showing anthology feature Three’s a Shroud; one of the segments of that was directed by David VG Davies who will be at the event, also screening his film Monitor.

Also screening is The Hounds, directed by Maurizio & Roberto Del Piccolo, at least one of whom will be there. And although it’s not at all British, can I recommend my mate Ivan Zuccon’s superb film NyMpha starring Tiffany Shepis in one of her best roles.

The Cochise Film Festival is at the Masonic Hall, Retford over 3rd-4th November.

Festival round-up 3: Bram Stoker

The Bram Stoker Film Festival in Whitby has the world premiere of Steve Stone’s feature Entity (with director Q&A). They also have Dominic Brunt there to introduce his zombie feature Before Dawn which is getting a lot of good press, and Alex Chandon on hand for a screening of Inbred.

Martin Gooch will be in attendance for a screening of his feature Death (which is listed as UK premiere but didn’t it play Sci-Fi London back in May?). And Eileen Daly will introduce a screening of Razor Blade Smile - can you believe that film is 14 years old now?

They also have some British shorts: Ben Kent’s Love Bug, Josh Alott’s Wasted Youth and the world premiere of Mark Triller’s True Love. Plus lots of other films from around the world.

The Bram Stoker Film Festival takes place at the Spa Pavilion, Whitby over 25th-28th October.

Festival round-up 2: Abertoir

Abertoir, the ‘National Horror Festival of Wales’, hasn’t yet announced its feature line-up but has announced the shorts which will be competing for a Melies d’Argent.

There are three UK films in contention: Axelle Carolyn’s The Halloween Kid, Toby Meakins’ Lot 254 and Ben Kent’s Love Bug. Plus films from Canada, Germany, Serbia, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and - crikey - Uruguay.

Abertoir is at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre over 6th-11th November.

Festival round-up 1: Mayhem

The Mayhem Horror Festival in Nottingham is screening the European premiere of Steven (Mum and Dad) Sheil’s Dead Mine - not a UK film but made in Indonesia for HBO Asia. Sheil of course is one of the festival organisers.

They do have some homegrown horrors too: Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, the Anglo-Irish Grabbers (which they list as a UK film but other sources consider to be predominantly Irish), Andrew Spencer’s The Casebook of Eddie Brewer, Ian Clark’s Guinea Pigs and Joe Ahearne’s new BBC TV production The Secret of Crickley Hall. There are some shorts too but they’re not itemised on the website.

Mayhem is at the Broadway Cinema from 31st October to 4th November.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Can't wait to see... Silent Night Bloody Night: The Homecoming

A British remake of obscure 1974 Yuletide slasher flick Silent Night Bloody Night? Heck yes. Directed by James Plumb and co-written with Andrew Jones (The Feral Generation), this looks to be yet another in the British Horror Revival's current Welsh mini-boom.

Plumb has landed a distribution deals for SNBNTH with 101 Films in the UK and is talking to a US distributor, which bodes very well. Find out more at www.madsciencefilms.com.

Many of the cast and crew also worked on Plumb's other eagerly awaited, in-post feature Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection. Speaking of which...

Can't wait to see... Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection

A British entry into the wide-ranging subgenre of NOTLD sequels, prequels, remakes and spin-offs? Heck yes. Directed by James Plumb and co-written with Andrew Jones (The Feral Generation), this looks to be yet aanother in the British Horror Revival's current Welsh mini-boom.

Plumb has landed distribution deals for NOTLDR with Lionsgate in the US and 4Digital in the UK (with a limited theatrical run), which bodes very well. Find out more at www.madsciencefilms.com.

Many of the cast and crew also worked on Plumb's other eagerly awaited, in-post feature Silent Night Bloody Night: The Homecoming. Speaking of which...

Friday, 14 September 2012

Four new features at British Horror Film Festival

The British Horror Film Festival 2012 plays at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square on 12th/13th October with a great line-up of four features and a selection of shorts. Friday evening’s film is Demon, the new feature from Mark Duffield (Ghost of Mae Nak): “Demon is the bloodiest love story of all. Set in Victorian London it tells the tale of Lorcan a young handsome man cursed by love that transforms him into a blood thirsty demon.”

Saturday kicks off with eagerly awaited anthology feature Three’s a Shroud, which features Emily Booth and Eleanor James among its cast(s). Then there’s Steve Laurence’s Art House Massacre: “a nail bitingly tense suspense horror set over one gruesome night ... etc etc ... Now: Liz is trapped in the dungeon-like basement of the house, in the clutches of a murderous psychopath with artistic pretensions, and caught up in an organ-harvesting nightmare.”

Finally there’s Darkwood Manor, which was directed by 17-year-old Liam Hooper: “when the intrepid group of volunteers and their form tutor arrive at the manor it quickly becomes clear that the resident evil is not a ghost after all and, one by one, they start to disappear”.

There are also a number of shorts playing. Full line-up to be announced but including Mat Brooks’ Just the 2 of Us, Nic Alderton’s The Deadfall and Matthew Callaghan’s One Night in Sutherland Hill (produced by the folk behind the Outpost movies).

Tickets for everything will be on sale soon.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Inbred in cinemas next week

It's been way, way too long since Alex Chandon gave the world Cradle of Fear. Finally, his new feature Inbred arrives in UK cinemas on 21st September, although I can't find any details of which ones. Probably not round here as nothing ever plays Leicester.

With production design by Mel Light, special effects by Tris Versluis and a cast that includes Emily Booth and Mat Fraser, this promises to be a real treat. Full details at www.inbredmovie.com

The DVD, with deleted scenes, director's diary, Making Of and more, is out on 15 October.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Can't wait to see... Backslasher

It is perhaps a measure of how much recent British horror films have dominated my life over the past year of book-writing that I can get unfeasibly excited about a film that brings together two people who both get space in Urban Terrors.

Backslasher stars the always wonderful Eleanor James (HellBride, Bordello Death Tales) and pairs her up with none other than Northamptonshire's own Jason Impey (director of Sick Bastard, Home Made, The Turning and many others).

Eleanor plays a woman starts her own 'Ann Summers' style business and uses social networking for promotion, but later discovers her friends list is being used as a hit list...

Impey also DP-ed this feature from Tim Cowles, a screener for which was recently added to the TBW pile here in Leicester. The film will be made available for digital download on 20th November, and can be pre-ordered now from www.backslasher.com

Here are some stills and the trailer:



Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Jacob's Hammer set for Halloween cinema release

Angie Bojtler's creepy kid horror flick Jacob's Hammer (formerly known as Jacob) is apparently set for a theatrical release on 31st October, although I have no idea how extensive that will be.

The cast includes George McCluskey (The Zombie King, Catalina: A New Kind of Superhero), Helen Holman (Harmony's Requiem), Diane Rimmer and Adi Alfa. Make-up effects by Vera-Maria Fenlon (The Eschatrilogy). Here's the trailer:

Saturday, 25 August 2012

World first review of The Eschatrilogy

This weekend, lots of people who write about horror movies on the web are down in London at Frightfest watching the premieres of great movies like The Seasoning House, Outpost II and Sawney: Flesh of Man.

Well, I'm too busy, too poor and too old to go to anything like that. So instead I've been watching a screener of a terrific new British zombie film called The Eschatrilogy, and here's what I believe is the first review anywhere.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Richard Driscoll's Highway to Hell: hand me some lemon

Back in February, Richard Driscoll self-released his all-star 3D horror musical western (in 2D) Eldorado. Just a few months later, the DVD was deleted and the film became unavailable. Now you can buy it again, retitled Highway to Hell - but it's not the same film.

Whether I will ever have the patience to run down the differences in detail remains to be seen but the most obvious one is the running time. The original DVD claimed to run 158 minutes but actually ran 118m (the version seen by the BBFC was only 114m 39s - the discrepancy might be the advert for Scream magazine). This version's sleeve says 92 minutes and that's correct (not including the Scream ad).

The basic incoherent plot is still there, so what's been cut? Well, David Carradine for one. His stock footage is nowhere to be seen. Most of Daryl Hannah's stuff has gone as well: she just turns up once at the end to read the Poe poem.

And a lot of the music has been cut. Steve Guttenberg's song is gone, for example, and Brigitte Nielsen's incomprehensible scene has disappeared, meaning that she has, like the late Mr Carradine, disappeared from the credits entirely.

But what's truly extraordinary is that some of the songs, presumably in an effort to avoid copyright hassles, have been re-recorded - with different lyrics! The artists on screen weren't singing anyway (with the possible exception of Buster Bloodvessel), just miming to recordings by Cornish club singers. Which have been replaced by different recordings, with lyrics similar to the original. So Robert Lewellyn and his biker gang, instead of singing "Everybody needs somebody", now sing "If your body needs a body". To the same tune.

And if you recall that clip in the trailer of Jeff Fahey's reggae number where he sings "His Majesty Haile Selassie!" Well, that's no longer a reggae song and, to match Fahey's lip movements, the line is now "It's magic, see? Hand me some lemon!"

Interestingly, Highway to Hell does not have a separate BBFC certification so technically this release is illegal (notwithstanding whether Driscoll even owns the rights to the film, which is in some doubt). So buy it while you can, folks.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Can't wait to see: Blood and Bone China

Came across this right by chance: a gothic vampire feature shot in my old stomping ground of Stoke-on-Trent. Apparently inspired by a true story, Chris Stone's Blood and Bone China debuted as webisodes from March last year but was re-edited into a feature which premiered in Stoke in February (I think). Looks awesome!

The cast includes someone from Hollyoaks and David Lemberg who is also in The Seasoning House. Make-up effects by Kaz Preston who did hair and make-up on Room 36 and is now working on Kemal Yildirim's next feature, Silent Cradle.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

When the Lights Went Out set to debut in Deutschland

I haven't heard anything yet of a UK release for Pat Holden's When the Lights Went Out but it's scheduled to hit blu-ray in Germany on November, in both English and German, with assorted extras.

Here's some info, for those who read German.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Zomblies and more in Ultimate Zombie Feast

Monster Pictures have released full details of their five-hour, two-disc Ultimate Zombie Feast (originally announced for release by Left Films. It includes David M Reynolds' superb Zomblies - with a quote from my review in the press pack!

If you've never seen Zomblies, you are missing out big time. The only thing stopping it from being the best British zombie feature ever is that it's only 47 minutes long. So including it in this collection of shorts and not-quite-features is a great movie.

Frankly, the line-up here is seven shades of awesome. This could and should be one of the biggest releases of the year and I'd really like to see more collections of shorts like this (not just zombie ones).

The other British films in the set are:

Plague (2008, 17 mins) dir. Joseph Avery and Matt Simpson (no relation)
Focusing on an isolated journey into the unknown, we follow Vilhelm, an illegal migrant and gun runner, who is trying to make a new beginning. When he arrives in London, The dead rise and consume the living. Can Vilhelm escape the bloodbath?

Bitten (2008, 6 mins) dir. Duncan Laing
A woman who has been bitten, arrives home and faces her terrifying transformation into one of the undead. As she tries to hold on to her last breaths of humanity, she is confronted with the horrors of what happened to her family.

Zombie Harvest (2003, 11 mins) dir. Sat Johal, Tony Jopia, John Payne
An alternative to Diary of the Dead, Zombie Harvest is a comedy/horror set in the English countryside. A scientist secretly working at the local American Army base is hunted by two soldiers after he flees the base. Little known to them the scientist has used himself as a human laboratory conducting tests with tragic consequences. Told through the eyes of one of the soldiers the story takes a dramatic turn when the chase enters a farmyard. A slick Zombie romp with nods to the Carry On... and Ealing Comedy films of the '50s and '60s with a touch of the Peter Jackson madness.

Dead Hungry (2009, 10 mins) dir. William Bridges
Dead Hungry is the debut fiction short film from director Will Bridges. Set in a classic 1970s American B-Movie the story centres around Jed who is starving, he hasn’t eaten for days. He’s lost and alone, wandering around a vast forest searching for the one thing that can satisfy his insatiable hunger… human brains. The problem is he can’t catch a thing. He is a loser, he was a loser in life and nothing seems to have changed now he is dead. But can the pity of recently dead/undead woman turn his luck?

Plus short zombie films from the USA, Canada, France, Spain Denmark and even India. Ultimate Zombie Feast has a rather weird RRP of £15.32, hits shelves on 8 October and is available for pre-order on Amazon for £11.20.

Oh, and there's a trailer:

Monday, 13 August 2012

Ouija trailer

Here's the first trailer for Darren Lynch's Ouija. It looks well spooky! You can find out more at www.lynch-films.co.nr - and watch out for Darren as a terrorist in the forthcoming Bond film.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Bigger and Badder trailer

Bigger and Badder is a werewolf short that I mentioned a while back. A few weeks ago they sent me a link to their trailer but it got missed because I was busy finishing the book. So here it is. There's a bunch of stuff about the film on Tumblr.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

And this is what it will definitely look like (probably)

Here's the final version of the cover, with clearer fonts and a few other tweaks. I'm getting quite excited now. It's been much too long since I had a book out. Publication date still not confirmed. End of this year or start of next.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Two new British horror reviews

Just added to my main site is my review of Nazi Zombie Death Tales aka Battlefield Death Tales, which I wrote a few weeks back but was asked to hold off posting until the release, and my review of The Reverend, which I wrote last night.

Plenty more titles in the TBW pile which built up while I was writing the book...

Saturday, 4 August 2012

And this is what it will (probably) look like...

Here is the cover of the book. Those of you who are authors will know that the cover is the publisher's responsibility, so although I've been kept in the loop I don't have any say in what it looks like.

Personally I quite like the montage (though it's a shame that, of all the Shaun of the Dead stills in existence, we're using this particular posed photo of Simon Pegg which has already been on the front of another book about 'modern' British horror films). I particularly like the 28 Days Later image at the bottom over the Union Flag. The source of the werewolf and crawler are obvious; the flaming man is a zombie from a 28 Days Later still and the big face is Eden Lake.

The designer is Paul Watts, who has also done work for various Doctor Who publications and Little Shoppe of Horrors (the Dr Phibes issue). Paul did several other variant montages using the same basic images and I think this is the best.

What I'm really not keen on is the hideous fonts used for the title, but the publisher likes them so they're staying. The observant amongst you will have spotted that the book has changed its title yet again. Hemlock wanted to call it Urban Gothic but then got worried that would infringe the copyright of the producers of the Channel 5 series (I don't think it would - plenty of other people have used the term - and anyway I know exec producer Steve Matthews and could have asked him) so now it's Urban Terrors. Whatever. As Isombard Kingdom Brunel said when asked what he planned to christen his giant ship, "You can call it Tom Thumb for all I care."

I've asked for the dates to change from '1998-2008' (as originally planned) to '1997-2008' which, I discovered on re-reading early chapters, slightly better reflects the content. Apparently the 'Foreword by Sean Pertwee' bit will be on the back cover.

Comments on this design are welcome but I don't think it's likely to change again.

Monday, 16 July 2012

And that's a wrap!

The book is now complete. That's it. 113 films. Assorted introductions and prologues and wotnots. The whole thing, except for Sean Pertwee's Foreword, and I've sent this off to his agent now so that's in hand.

There's still a bunch of editing to be done. I've trimmed the text down to under 110,000 words and now I've got to spell-check, proof-read and format before sending it off to Denis at Hemlock. That will keep me busy for a week or so.

Finishing off the book is what has kept me slightly out of the loop recently, so apologies if I haven't replied to an e-mail or posted something you sent for the blog/website.

I now really, really want to watch something that isn't a recent British horror film. And then... I've got a bunch of DVDs waiting to be watched, most of them - you've guessed it - recent British horror films.

Film 113: Mum and Dad

Wow, talk about saving the best till last! I've put off watching this until the very end because I knew it would be the very last film in the book, released on Boxing Day 2008.

The release it what makes it interesting: the first British film to do cinemas, DVD and VOD simultaneously. It's also interesting as the first 'microbudget' film funded by a regional film body. But on top of all that, it's freaking awesome.

Great script, greast cast, great direction, awesome production design, great effects and make-up, great sound design. Pretty near perfect.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Film 112: MindFlesh

The second feature from Robert Pratten, this 'Buddhist sci-fi/horror' movie couldn't have been more different from London Voodoo.

It's something to do with a London cabbie who has repressed childhood trauma, something to do woth a sexy goddess from another dimension, and something to do with alien monsters. Head-scratching but stylish and thought-provoking.

One more to go! One more to go!

Film 111: Beyond the Rave

Only four years old and almost completely forgotten, this was the debut of the revived Hammer Film Productions.

Originally released on MySpace in 20 webisodes, except it seems that Episode 20 was held back and only appeared when the DVD was released, two years later!

Not great by any means but also not terrible, unless you're a Hammer fanboy. Its main problem is that it was outdated before they shot a frame: when was the last time you heard of anyone going to a rave?