Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Films that sneaked out when no-one was looking: Territory

Territory has been in the ‘unreleased, possibly uncompleted’ appendix of my masterlist since it was shot back in 2012. It is now available to view on YouTube, where it popped up with minimal fanfare last Halloween. Even the IMDB hasn’t noticed yet and still lists the film’s year as ‘(????)’.

I haven’t watched the film myself yet but here’s the synopsis: “Four cars lie stranded on a country road in the middle of the night - the aftermath of a car crash. Tensions run high as the survivors struggle to resolve the situation, but they soon realise that the worst is far from over.” A clue as to what “the worst” might be lies in the description of the film as “a creature feature in the same vein as Alien and The Thing."

Territory was written, directed and produced by two FX guys, Thomas Saville and Robert Vassie. Saville worked on Small Town Folk, Mutant Chronicles, Stalled and Battlefield Death Tales, while Vassie’s CV includes Victor Frankenstein, Judas Ghost, Pete’s Dragon and a couple of Bonds.

The cast includes Steve Smith (The Spell), Victoria Eldon (Stalled), Rob Maloney (Art House Massacre), Sylvie England, Dave Taylor, Karen Morgan, Eifion Melnyk-Jones, Will Ashbey, Charlotte Eldon, Sharon Muiruri, Karina Sugden and Jon Samuel.

Here's the Facebook page. Here's Rob Vassie explaining how the version on YouTube isn't quite as polished as he and Tom Saville wanted.

And here's the movie itself:

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

New Steve Lawson film, with special guest star

On Sunday I had the pleasure of hanging out at my old mate Steve Lawson's Creativ Studios where he was shooting his latest (title TBC) horror feature for 88 Films (who also back his recent geezer gangster picture Essex Heist).

Alongside behind-the-camera work as light-holder/tripod-shifter (I think 'grip' covers most of that) and reading in the lines of a Polish prostitute whose reverse angles will be filmed later, I was also in front of the camera, in hi-vis jacket, as a policeman at a crime scene tipping my hat to two detectives.

Astute readers will recognise one of these as Steven Dolton (Killersaurus, Devil's Tower), reprising his role as Detective Locke from Nocturnal Activity aka The Haunting of Annie Dyer, and the other as Charlie Bond (Curse of the Witching Tree, Strippers vs Werewolves) as his new partner, Detective Keyes. Also in the cast, but shooting on a different day, is British horror regular Nathan Head (Tuck Bushman and the Legend of Piddledown Dale, Book of the Dead, The Zombie King, Legacy of Thorn).

My non-speaking character doesn't have a name, but I like to think of him as the same policeman I played for Steve 15 years ago in Insiders...

Friday, 10 March 2017

Now on release 2: The Chamber

Ben Parker's tense, claustrophobic and very wet horror-thriller The Chamber opens in cinemas today.

You can catch it all week at the Picturehouse Central in That London or at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff.

Here's my review, from a preview screening in London a few weeks back. (Big thanks to Sadari Cunningham of Fetch Publicity for the invite.)

If you can't make it to London or Cardiff, you can pick up the film on DVD, BR or download from 20th March.

Now on release 1: new vampire feature Night Kaleidoscope

Review coming soon. Meanwhile, from the press release:

Fresh from its preview screening at the Atlanta Days of the Dead Horror Convention, you can finally watch Night Kaleidoscope on Amazon Prime, buy on Region 2 DVD and even purchase a very limited VHS edition.  Region 1 and NTSC VHS and Very Limited Betamax to follow….

Night Kaleidoscope is the third feature from director Grant McPhee, following on from the success of his Post-Punk Documentary - Big Gold Dream, listed as one of Sight and Sounds best films of 2015, an Edinburgh International Film Festival Audience Award Winner and a recent screening on BBC TV.

Night Kaleidoscope is a very different film but maintains a similar punk rock attitude throughout.

Bridging a fine line between the trashy 70s Euro Horror of Jess Franco, the British Art-House miasma of Nicholas Roeg and the underground experiments of Kenneth Anger Night Kaleidoscope manages to become a unique film of its own.

The film is a treat for the eyes and ears – trippy, psychedelic imagery flashing against a pumping 80s synth rock score – story and logic come secondary to atmosphere and terror, a dreamy nightmare captured on film.

It is the story of Fion, a hardened psychic detective (Patrick O’Brien) who is happy to work for the highest bidder.  His latest case proves to be his toughest challenge yet when faced with depleting powers – which he tops up by smoking a mysterious psychedelic powder – Fion encounters a mysterious wave of murders across the city’s poor and deprived.  With the aid of Isobel (Mariel McAllan) their investigations lead them to enter a world of ancient evil in the form of a beautiful but deadly couple – Carrie and Lewis.  Set against the backdrop of a decaying city viewed through a Night Kaleidoscope.

Night Kaleidoscope is a brash, bold, surreal, stylish and hip entry to the aging Vampire Genre.  One where all rules are broken and is part dream, part nightmare.

Shot on a budget smaller, and a time-frame less than most films have for their trailer, Night Kaleidoscope manages to elevate itself above its limitations by use of imagination and a desire to challenge the perception of Micro Budget Feature Filmmaking.

Night Kaleidoscope is not like anything you’ve seen or heard before.