Sunday, 29 May 2011

Harold wins in Scotland

Congratulations to Keith Wright and the team behind zombie comedy Harold's Going Stiff which has picked up the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Dead by Dawn Festival in Edinburgh.

Fantastic Films Weekend in Bradford

The 10th Fantastic Films Weekend in Bradford over 10-12 June has an incredible line-up which includes:

Bloodbath at the House of Death, The Stuff, The Stone Tape, Horror Express, When a Stranger Calls, a 1986 Everyman documentary on Frankenstein, a 1965 Horizon documentary on sci-fi, Nothing But the Night, Hands of the Ripper, new Anglo-South African feature The Dead, Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires, Clash of the Titans, CHUD, Let's Scare Jessica to Death etc etc etc.

Wish I could be there. Looks fab. All the best to Tony Earnshaw and co. for a successful event.

Diseaster - weird Dutch short

I received this press release about a half-hour Dutch short called Diseaster (sic) which is now available online with English subtitles. I've only had time to watch the trailer. It looks somewhat Tromatic. And very Dutch. I'd show you some images or the poster but they've only got massive high-res file which I can't be arsed to convert. Note to indie film-makers: if most of your publicity is going to be online make your publicity images easily available in web-friendly form!



GRONINGEN, the NETHERLANDS - In the aftermath of Easter, a group of indie filmmakers has just released their subtitled, tragicomical, fantastic Easter film DISEASTER (a.k.a. PAASHAAT). It's a thorough re-interpretation of all kinds of Easter and Bunny myths. The story is centred around the uprooting of a dysfunctional family living in the country. The handicapped son’s streams of consciousness in local dialect introduce the viewers to a massively absurd revenge story. 

A unique concept, conceived by writer/director Boki Mekel. He calls his new film "a Northern Eastern with Western influences", but one could as easily describe it as a fantasy horror full of black humour. According to director of photography and editor, Arno Cup├ędo, "Easter traditions have been utterly transgressed in this film". 

The featurette was realised with the lowest budget imaginable by a group of filmmakers and enthousiasts of the Videocollectief, a film collective in the city of Groningen. Various special effects were created for the film, in particular a thirty centimetre high intimidating animatronic Easter Bunny. Special attention was also given to the eclectic original soundtrack that ranges from happy children's tunes to dark metal and digital hardcore.

Now, with a subtitled version on the website, global Anglophone audiences can try to experience and understand the tragic events that took place last Easter to that family out there in the North-Western European countryside..

Friday, 27 May 2011

New British horror: Siren

PR: “Dead Calm” meets “The Hunger” in the “genuinely sexy supernatural” (The Aisle Seat) independent British horror flick, Siren, the debut directorial feature of former Art Director, the late Andrew Hull(P2; Queer As Folk; Get Over It; Resurrection).
Described as “lean, dirty and surprising” by DVD Verdict, the film features a cast of “exciting up-and-coming talent” (Maxim) that includes Eoin Macken (Merlin; Centurion), Anna Skellern (The Descent Part 2), Tereza Srbova (Inkheart; St. Trinian’s; Eichmann; Eastern Promises) andAnthony Jabre (debut), and boasts a hypnotic musical theme based around hotly-tipped, LA-based all-girl group Warpaint’s song, “Elephants”.
Hoping to escape their busy city lives for a weekend of sailing off Tunisia’s Mediterranean coast, Ken (Macken), his girlfriend Rachel (Skellern) and her old college friend Marco (Jabre) see their plans hit a snag when they go to the aid of a castaway. Raving incoherently and bleeding from his ears, the man dies on board the boat prompting the three friends, fearing reprisals from the local foreign authorities, to take his body to a nearby deserted island for a surreptitious burial.
On the island they discover another castaway, a beautiful but clearly traumatized young woman named Silka (Srbova). Rachel becomes immediately entranced by the girl, while Ken and Marco’s obvious interests in her lead to a deep sexual frustration that begins to manifest itself in the form of feverish hallucinations, violence and extreme paranoia. As the tensions between the three friends rise towards a deadly boiling point, they make a chilling discovery that suggests they may not make it off the island alive.
Siren (cert. 15, tbc) will be released on DVD (£12.99) by Matchbox Films on 27th June 2011

Thursday, 26 May 2011

New reviews: The Frankenstein Syndrome and Camp Casserole

Two new reviews on the site. The Frankenstein Syndrome, which I have reviewed under its UK title The Frankenstein Experiment, is a superb indie horror starring (and produced by) Tiffany Shepis.

Camp Casserole is Anthony Pedone's Making Of feature for Steve Balderson's The Casserole Club.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Seattle reviewer really, really digs Gorgo!

There's a really nice write-up of Waiting for Gorgo on Seattle pop culture site Three Imaginary Girls.

Film reviewer 'Imaginary Rich' saw WFG at a preview of shorts screening at this month's Seattle Film Festival. He says, "I really, really dug the film Waiting for Gorgo" and calls it "super-fun". Cheers, matey!

You can read his review on the TIG site or on his own blog.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Waiting for Gorgo in Camden

Waiting for Gorgo is screening at the Short Cutz evening in Camden. Unfortunately I can't be there.

Date and Time: Sunday 5 June 2011, 7.30pm
Location: Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AH

And it's free to get in.

Guillotine Guys

James Ricardo sent me a link to his new short Guillotine Guys on YouTube. It's a fun little film, well-produced. Personally I would have preferred it to end after the putting-stuff-in-pocket bit, in other words the dialogue-free first half. But it's still a neat little movie worth seven minutes of your time. Plus it's got Russ Kingston from Mega-Shark vs Giant Octopus in it!

Friday, 13 May 2011

New review: Masterpiece

I have added a review of Masterpiece, a dark, intense psychodrama about an obsessive wannabe writer. Director Andrew C Tanner previously made Psychosomatic.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Ken Barker is on giants' shoulders

Kenneth Barker is back! The director of Kingdom and Catalina: A New Kind of Superhero is working on a retro-style sci-fi adventure called On the Shoulders of Giants.

It stars Sarah Wood, Warwick St.John (who was in Catalina), Carl Isherwood (who is in a new Dracula film called Christian), Wayne Ewart (who was in Stuart St.Paul's Freight) and Alex Skerratt (who writes The Sooty Show!). Cinematography by Alex Veitch (Vampires of Bloody Island).

You can watch a teaser trailer on YouTube and find out more at  Ken's site, Water on the Rock.

Sam Voutas introduces his Chinese comedy in London

Sam Voutas, who wrote, produced and starred in Aussie horror-thriller Watch Me, is in London this weekend for the European premiere of Red Light Revolution as part of the Terracotta Far East Festival.

Sam, who lives in China, directed this Mandarin comedy about a family man who decides to open a sex shop in Beijing. The festival takes place in the Prince Charles Cinema and Red Light Revolution screens at 12.15pm on Sunday 8th May with Sam in attendance for a Q&A. He is also presenting a masterclass at 11.00am on Saturday, which is free to attend if you have a ticket for a Terracotta screening or wear a Terracotta T-shirt.

Waiting for Gorgo US premiere - 30 May

Waiting for Gorgo finally has a confirmed date for its North American premiere. If you're anywhere near Seattle at the end of this month you can catch WFG on the big screen at the Seattle Film Festival.

It's part of a package of six shorts from the UK, USA and France collected under the title 'Twists and Turns', screening at the SIFF Cinema (321 Mercer Street) at 1.30pm on Monday 30th May.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Ivan Zuccon's next film: Wrath of the Crows

Ivan Zuccon is working on his next film, Wrath of the Crows, which will bring together two of the best actresses in US horror cinema, both of whom have worked with Ivan before: Tiffany Shepis (Nympha) and Debbie Rochon (Colour from the Dark).

The cast also includes Michael Segal (Nympha, Colour from the Dark), Matteo Tosi (Unknown BeyondBad Brains), Emanuele Cerman (The Darkness BeyondThe Shunned House), Emmett Scanlan (Colour from the Dark) and Gerry Shanahan (Colour from the Dark). Plus US actress Tara Carnial (Fable: Teeth of Beasts, Beverly Hills Chihuahua). Screenplay by Ivan and author Gerardo Di Filippo. Effects by CreaFX (Nympha).


In a filthy, cramped jail, prisoners Larry, Deborah, Hugo, Hernest and Liza are obliged to suffer injustices from the guards and their chief, The Officer. Controlling them all is The Judge, a man no one has ever seen. Yet he is the one who sets the rules and is feared by inmates and guards alike.

The prisoners know how to behave and what rules are to be respected, but none of them remember life outside the walls of the fortress where they now reside. Their only memory, which slowly emerges during the story, is of a great evil that led them to the fortress and the seemingly endless length of time they have been imprisoned there.

Suddenly, a new prisoner appears out of nowhere; The Princess. She is beautiful, dressed in a coat of crow feathers, shining, sweet-smelling, sensual. Her appearance creates curiosity in the other inmates, but also envy, suspicion and a deep sexual agitation.

The Princess quickly reveals her dark, supernatural nature, as she can move objects with her mind and is extremely powerful.

The prisoner's dream of escape, even though they have no idea what awaits them outside the fortress walls, nor are they interested; the only thing that matters is to escape from the doomed prison. But you can't escape from yourself or your past.

In the end, the prisoners realize that the entire prison, inside and out, is a terrifying mirror game, where reality and illusion collide, and nightmares become real, throwing them into an endless vortex of terror and madness.

Monday, 2 May 2011

WFG reviewed by Dark Side

Allan Bryce, editor of the recently revived Dark Side magazine, came along to a preview screening of Waiting for Gorgo last year and has written a very complimentary piece about it on his blog.

Allan calls WFG "a fantastic little short movie which happily belongs to a bygone age when good scripting and acting took precedence over gore and headache-inducing editing."