Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Paella horror hits London

Not-really-Brit-horror-but-I-don't-give-a-shit work of genius The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue will be shown in all its gruesome gutsiness at the Filmbar in London on June 16. I only wish I could go...
You can find out more at their website.

Ooh, Hammer horror comic strips

Whilst I was "researching" (eg nicking) a picture to illustrate the recent post about the Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires CD, I came across this website, which publishes a few of those old Hammer comic strips from the 70s, none of which I've ever seen before. And rather accomplished they are, too...
The ones available for you to peruse at your leisure are:
Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires
The Reptile
The Quatermass X-periment
And there are others.
Now, who says this blog is a pointless waste of mine and your time?

Hammer Horror! Dragon Thrills! The First Kung Fu Horror Spectacular! Shit Acting! Little Script To Speak Of! All on CD!

The far more entertaining than it should be Hammer fag-end Dracula spectacular without Chris Lee in it Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires always had one thing going for it... a really rather good soundtrack, and completely awesome specially narrated story album voiced by star and all-round good egg Peter Cushing. And come June 7 you can hear it for yourself on CD thanks to a company called BuySoundTrax, which I'm sure isn't as dodgy as it sounds.

Here's the Gen, straight from the hooved animal's vocal chords...

BUYSOUNDTRAX Records will be releasing LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES. The soundtrack features music composed by James Bernard for the 1974 horror film directed by Roy Ward Baker (THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, QUATERMASS AND THE PIT), starring Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, Julie Ege, David Chiang, Robin Stewart, Shen Chan and John Forbes-Robertson.

In THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES, Hammer’s ninth and final Dracula film, Count Dracula rises from the grave in 1804 Transylvania and assumes the form of his Chinese disciple, Kah. A century later, Professor Van Helsing (Cushing) is in Chungking, lecturing a group of cynical students about the legend of Ping Keui, a small village terrorized by vampires wearing golden masks. Hsi Cheng, one of his students, takes the story seriously and begs Van Helsing for help in defeating the monsters. Van Helsing joins his son, Leland, a wealthy widow, Vanessa Buren (Ege) and Hsi Cheng on an expedition to Ping Keui. They travel with Hsi Cheng’s five brothers and one sister, all martial artists, to challenge Kah and meet their fate in Ping Keui.

For THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES, legendary Hammer Films collaborated with the equally legendary Shaw Brothers in Hong Kong to create a fascinating hybrid of both horror and martial arts genres. To score the film, the Shaw Brothers originally intended to score the film as they would their other kung fu films, using stock music licensed from music libraries or liberally lifted from already available soundtracks. Hammer’s production executive, Michael Carreras, thankfully insisted on an original score by James Bernard, the composer most associated with Dracula at the time through his music for the other Dracula films produced by Hammer. For THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES, Bernard composed one of his most engaging scores, blending his recognizable style with elements of traditional Chinese music.

BUYSOUNDTRAX Records presents this premiere release of the original motion picture soundtrack to THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES along with the contents of a 2 sided storyteller album released in 1974 of the story of THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES, narrated by Peter Cushing himself, both newly mastered by Digital Outland. THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES features music composed by James Bernard and arranged and conducted by Philip Martell and is presented by BUYSOUNDTRAX Records continuing in the tradition of our incredible series of soundtracks from the Hammer vaults. THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES is a limited edition of 1000 units.

Release Date: June 7th 2010

 You can read my review here.

And the first Hammer on Blu-Ray is...

...Paranoiac, for fuck's sake.
Still, it's certainly a well-made thriller, if nothing else, and the crisp black and white cinematography should look mighty fine on HD, one supposes. Here's Olly Reed doing what he did best, in said filum...
You can read my somewhat sparse review here, and find out more about the new R2 Blu-Ray release here.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

New Brit horror - Spiderhole

They're coming thick and fast at the moment, aren't they? Here's another heads-up on a BHF coming your way later in the year...
UK distributor Soda Pictures has snapped all rights to British horror Spiderhole for the UK and Ireland.

The horror, written and directed by Daniel Simpson, follows four art students whose utopian ideal of living as squatters turns into a nightmare when they discover their apparently abandoned mansion is concealing a hidden terror.

Spiderhole features a cast of up-and-coming British talent, including Emma Griffiths Malin (The Hole) and Reuben-Henry Biggs (Starter For Ten) and will be released in cinemas Autumn 2010.
That sounds original, eh? Let's hope there's a bit more to it than that... Reasonable excuse to show the above picture of Ms Griffiths Malin, anyway.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Here's 1... Back2Hell, in 3d, 4 you. Gimme 5!

Now here's a thing... Jacob Marley has posted news of a new Brit(ish) horror on the BHF board with a cast which will be of interest to anyone who's reading...

Los Angeles based Fantastic Films International, recently announced the cast for the 3D stereoscopic, live action film Back2Hell, which is part of a multi-picture deal with U.K.-based production outfit House of Fear.

Principal photography for Back2Hell recently began with a cast that includes Michael Madsen (Kill Bill I & II, Reservoir Dogs), Bai Ling (The Crow, Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow, Star Wars III), Lysette Anthony (Krull, Husband’s & Wives, Look Who’s Talking Now), Patrick Bergin (Sleeping With The Enemy, Patriot Games, Lawnmower Man 2), Oliver Tobias (The Stud, Arabian Adventure, King Arthur), Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor in Doctor Who, Dracula), Dudley Sutton (The Devils, Football Factory, Lovejoy), Robin Askwith (Confessions series, U571, Britannia Hospital), Colin Baker (Doctor Who, Young Indiana Jones ), Robert Llewelyn (Red Dwarf, MirrorMask ), and Christopher Lee (Dracula, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings) as the Narrator.

Back2Hell is described as a 3D gothic tale of legendary occultist Alistair Crowley with a touch of HP Lovecraft. It is the final installment of the Raven Series which began with Evil Calls.

House of Fear is also in post production on Eldorado, the first British movie shot in 3D and in pre-production on two other live action 3D films, including Wolfman in 3D and a comic book fantasy titled Watchmen of Hellgate.
Now, call me an old cynic, but is this ever going to get made? Answers on a postcard, please...

Monday, 17 May 2010

Shrieking Sixties book launch in Derby - this Friday

Brit horror aficionado par excellence and all-round good egg Darrell Buxton (pictured above, with his mum) is launching his latest opus, The Shrieking Sixties, with a shindig at Derby's QUAD (which I'm assuming is a cinema of some sort). Now, this book is ace - I know this because not only are some of my reviews in it, but I've got a copy.
Darrell will be doing a Q and A and then introducing top Hammer devil-athon The Devil Rides Out on the big screen. And (ahem) I will be there, lurking in the background. Providing I can find the place. And Derby.
Why not go along, buy a copy of the book, treat yourself to some genuinely good 60s Brit cinema, and have a chat?
The details, courtesy of the QUAD itself:
On Friday 21st May at 8:30pm we are going to have a very special event featuring a Q and A with Darrell followed by an introduction to the classic Hammer film The Devil Rides Out by the man himself.
See you there!

Panic Button set to mushroom (button? mushroom? Ah, please yourselves)

Terrified about Social Networking? I am. If only because today at work one of the silly bints I work with accessed Facebook through her iPhone and showed everyone a load of photos of me from 20 years ago. Excruciating. And somewhat my own fault.
But that fear of online networking is soon to be played upon in Brit horror / thriller Panic Button, one of those "everyone send us a quid and we'll make a film eventually" productions we're all so keen on.
The story runs thus:
“Four young people win a trip of a lifetime to New York, courtesy of their favorite social-networking-website – All2gethr.com. As they board the private jet, they are asked to relinquish their mobile phones and take part in the in-flight entertainment – a new online gaming experience.

But this is no ordinary game. Trapped at 30,000 feet, they are forced to play for their lives and the lives of their loved ones by an invisible captor, who seems to know all their most intimate secrets.

With no escape and no one to trust, they are about to learn that putting your life on-line can have deadly offline consequences …”

Producer John Shackleton: “It is our intention that the situations and moral implications portrayed within the film will strike a chord with parents, young people and most users of internet technologies. It is sure to spark discussion amongst viewers by presenting a message that may even cause them to reassess their own online behaviour.”

Chris Crow ('Devil's Bridge' - nope? Me neither) is directing (from original screenplay by Frazer Lee), John Shackleton is producing for Movie Mogul Films.

You can find out more about the film, and how you can bung 'em a bit of cash (probably), at:

And while you're at it, get all post modern here:

Or just go a bit ironic (given the film's raison d'etre) here:

Thursday, 13 May 2010

New spooky filum announced

BBC films are (apparently) set to make a new Stephen "Ghostwatch" Volk-penned ghost story, called The Awakening.
The synopsis runs thus:
Set in post-World War I England in 1921, the film follows a skeptical woman who travels to a countryside boarding school to investigate rumours of an apparent haunting. Just when she thinks she has debunked the ghost theory, she has a chilling spectral encounter which defies all her rational beliefs.
Sounds just up my alley, so to speak. It'll star Dominic "The Wire" West and Rebecca "Dorian Gray" Hall (pictured).

Hammer time in Whitby

The Whitby Gazette reports that a major Hammer exhibition is due to take pride of place at this year's Bram Stoker festival in the town, which runs October 14 to 17. Visiting will be Hammer babes Caroline Munro, Ingrid Pitt and (hello) Madeleine Smith, and there will be tons of rare stuff on show. Sounds like a hoot, anyone going?

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Hammer goes 3D with Woman In Black

News reaches us that Hammer have decided to make their big screen version of scary stage play The Woman In Black in glorious 3D, bandwagon-jumping whores that they are (just kidding). I for one am firmly looking forward to the idea of everyone chucking as many bladed implements as they can at the screen throughout its running time - after all, who needs suspense?
Co-Chairman of Exclusive Media Group (Exclusive), Guy East, and CEO of Hammer Films, Simon Oakes, announced today with President of Alliance Films, Charles Layton, that Exclusive and Alliance will co-finance Hammer’s hotly anticipated new ghost story, The Woman in Black 3D, to be directed by James Watkins. This will be Hammer’s first 3D production. Alliance will also distribute the film in the United Kingdom (Momentum), Spain (Aurum), and Canada (Alliance). Exclusive Film Distribution, headed by Alex Walton, is handling worldwide sales of the title at Cannes.

The Woman in Black 3D is produced by Simon Oakes for Exclusive’s Hammer Films label and Richard Jackson at Talisman Films. Exclusive’s Nigel Sinclair and East are serving as Executive Producers along with Roy Lee for Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring). Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) is adapting the screenplay based on Susan Hill’s best-selling novel. Production is expected to begin in the fall of 2010.

The Woman in Black follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who is ordered to travel to a remote village and sort out a recently deceased client’s papers. As he works alone in the client’s isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover tragic secrets, and his unease grows when he glimpses a mysterious woman dressed only in black.

“James Watkins has a huge fanbase from his award-winning suspense horror Eden Lake. Jane Goldman thrilled audiences worldwide with her script for Kick-Ass, and Susan Hill’s extraordinarily chilling novel has won over readers everywhere,” says Simon Oakes.

Guy East continues, “Because of the tremendous pedigree of those involved, the interest in this project has been enormous for us from very early on, and we are now thrilled to have Alliance onboard as a partner. The recent decision to shoot the film in 3D will create a genuinely immersive experience for the audience.”

Charles Layton said, “We are delighted to be co-financing this ambitious 3D Hammer project with Exclusive. It fits in perfectly with our intent to acquire important, commercial films for our three territories. We feel that the subject matter will appeal equally in Spain as it will in the UK and Canada.”

Hill’s novel has become a modern classic, appearing on the national curriculum in the United Kingdom. The Woman in Black was also adapted into a stage play by Stephen Mallatratt, first performed at the Theatre-by-the-Sea in Scarborough, UK, in 1987. It moved to the Fortune Theatre in London’s West End in 1989, where it still successfully runs today, over twenty years later, and has been performed the world over.

Exclusive is currently in post-production on two other genre films: Matt Reeves’ Let Me In starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Elias Koteas, and Richard Jenkins (produced through its Hammer Films label, Overture Films will release the film in October, 2010) and Antti Jokinen’s The Resident starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lee Pace, and Christopher Lee (produced through Hammer Films).

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Ey up, if it ain't near tarm fer t' Bradford Fantastic Filums thingumibob...

Souls with a mind like yours will be heading up to Bradford in June, to partake in the fine wine that is the annual Bradford Fantastic Films Festival. Sadly I won't be going (boo!), but there's still plenty to get your collective fangs into:

9th Fantastic Films Weekend, Friday 4 - Sunday 6 June 2010
National Media Museum, Bradford
0870 7010200

The National Media Museum, Bradford, presents the 9th Fantastic Films Weekend (FFW) promising three fear-filled days of thrills and spine-tingling chills for fantasy, horror and sci-fi fans. This year’s Fantastic Films Weekend takes place from Friday 4 – Sunday 6 June.

As part of the weekend the Museum welcomes British directors Stanley Long (Screamtime and cinematographer of The Sorcerers) and Michael Armstrong (The Image starring David Bowie and Mark of the Devil). This year, the weekend also includes a special guest appearance by English screenwriter and FFW patron Jeremy Dyson, best known for his contribution to the well-known British TV series, The League of Gentlemen.

Films screening over the weekend include Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, an exclusive midnight screening of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, a double-bill of horror with 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later and a selection of popular titles from the Museum’s own film archive including Robocop, The Giant Spider Invasion and Patrick.

Stanley Long has worked with the likes of Roman Polanski on Repulsion and with Peter Cushing on The Blood Beast Terror as well as on the 1960s classic The Sorcerers. He co-directed Screamtime with Michael Armstrong. Both British horror features will be screened at the 9th Fantastic Films Weekend; Stanley will also be signing copies of his autobiography X-Rated: Adventures of an Exploitation Filmmaker.

Writer/director Michael Armstrong is best-known for his cult horror films and for providing David Bowie with his screen debut in the short film The Image, which was also Michael’s first film. Michael will be discussing his career in the Museum’s Cubby Broccoli Cinema ahead of a screening of Mark of the Devil. The event starts at 6:15pm on Saturday 5 June. Mark of the Devil is a notorious and long-banned film in which a twisted witch hunter hands out God’s will, punishing an array of innocent women.

Hitchcock fans will be thrilled with the 1960 version of Psycho showing in the Museum’s Pictureville Cinema. This 50th anniversary re-release is a welcome reminder of Alfred Hitchcock’s genius for creating heart-stopping cinema. There will be three separate screenings of the classic thriller during FFW.

Fantastic Films Weekend is proud to announce a special midnight screening of Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Influenced by Hitchcock’s The Birds, Birdemic was first screened at the Sundance Film Festival in the United States and since has played to sell-out theatres across the USA. This amateur but cult film was created on a micro-budget by first time director James Nguyen who has been compared to legendary dud-maker Ed (Plan 9 from Outer Space) Wood.

For those who don’t scare easily, don’t miss the double-bill of shock that will leave viewers hanging on the edge of their seats with Danny Boyle’s zombie chiller 28 Days Later, where animal rights activists storm a laboratory and unwittingly unleash a plague virus that turns humans into mad-eyed, homicidal maniacs. The double-bill continues with 28 Weeks Later, starring Robert Carlyle. This sequel offers cat-and-mouse chases and lashings of gore and blood, definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Once again the National Media Museum has dug deep in its unique film archive and dusted off some blasts from the past that will be showing on the big screen during the weekend. The films include Robocop in which Officer Murphy’s memorable catchphrase “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me” will take fans back to the first time they watched this sci-fi action thriller. Other favorites from the vault include The Giant Spider Invasion, the rarely-seen Three Cases of Murder and Patrick.

Other film highlights from this year’s Fantastic Film Weekend include Plague Town, a film about an American family in search of their roots in Ireland who instead discover a small village with a terrible truth from generations past; Videodrome starring James Woods and eXistenz starring Jude Law. Both films – a David Cronenberg double-bill - are linked to the Immersion exhibition (running in Gallery Two until September 5), in which photographer and video artist Robbie Cooper focuses on our obsession with screen media. Finally, audiences will get the chance to see the sell-out Avatar 3D and Alice in Wonderland 3D on Yorkshire’s only IMAX screen.

For festival passes, day passes or individual tickets visit www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/fantastic or call the NMeM box office on 0870 7010200. Weekend pass £50 (£40 concs), day pass £20 (£15 concs) (passes do not include IMAX titles). 28 Days Later/28 WeeksLater double-bills £10 (£7 concs). Single tickets £6.50 (£4.50 concs), Imax DMR £9 (£7 concs) - FFW pass holders receive £1 discount on IMAX films.

Monday, 10 May 2010

All Creatures Great And Smaaaaaaaaaargh! Crunch, splat, squelch, burst etc

Alex Chandon, the certifiable nutcase behind such delights as Cradle Of Fear (review to come soon) is reported to have set up shop in the pretty Yorkshire town of Thirsk, home of the much-loved James Herriot books about sticking your hand up cows' arses and copping up guinea pigs (come to think of it, it sounds right up Chandon's street).
The Yorkshire Post tells us:
The new British horror-comedy film, Inbred, will be filmed in and around Thirsk this summer ready for a cinema release in 2011, by Midlands-based Split Second Films.
Chandon is, apparently, looking for a semi derelict house to film in. You'd've thought he might have found one of those first in the area before announcing his intention to film there, but what do I know?

Wicker Tree, anyone?

Fangoria has posted a long interview with Robin Hardy - no, not Siegfried out of All Creatures Great And Small, you berk, but the man who brought us one of the greatest British horror films ever made - The Wicker Man.
In it, he talks about the much-talked-about belated "sequel" to TWM, now called The Wicker Tree, and also gives a few nuggets of information about he sees the current state of the British horror film industry, to whit:
“In most horror films, especially the ones we make in Britain, you’ve got to have some real bloodstained mess within 10 minutes of the start, or people feel they’re being cheated, right? But their impact is no more horrific than THE WICKER MAN, I’ve been led to believe, and I think this will be the case here.”
Now, I'm willing to hope that The Wicker Tree will be at least okay (it can't be worse than the US version of The Wicker Man, can it? Can it?) but I do have to say that ol' Robin does seem a tad out of touch during the interview, and considering he hasn't done a great deal since 1986 when he was involved in The Fantasist, he has good call to be.
Still, let's keep an open mind...
The film's original working title was Cowboys For Christ, which is shit and I can completely see why the producer changed it. The interview also talks about Anthony Schaffer's aborted sequel to TWM, which, and I can hardly believe this is true, was purported to have a beginning which completely negates the tremendously powerful ending of the first film. Thank fuck that never saw the light of day.
Here's the full interview
And here's a Facebook page for the filum, and here's the official website although there's bugger all on there...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Carrion Screaming (woah, good headline there)

I've been meaning to draw your attention to this for a while now... the above rather gorgeously produced poster is for a double bill of shorts by one Ashley Thorpe, who spends his time creating wonderful animations in his Devon based studios. These little films are absolutely bloody fantastic, with a Hammer-ishness people like Tim Burton can only dream of replicating half as well.
You can check out trailers for the films at the imdb and find out more about Ashley's wonderful work at his website. I urge you to have a poke around and see what an irritatingly good job he has done on these things, he deserves all the plaudits he appears to be getting!

Brook in 3d fish-fest

The rather lovely Kelly Brook is apparently to "star" (for this, read "wander into shot in a bikini") in the remake of  Piranha in 3D. At the risk of sounding like the kind of neanderthal who posts spurious news on his blog just to include a picture of a pretty girl every so often, I must say that the young Ms Brook is the kind of person 3D glasses were invented for. Eh? Eh? Fwoooarr. Etc.
The full story (not that there's any more than I've written above) is available on the Mirror website (so it must be true). My reasoning for putting it on the blog? Twofold. And I'm not talking about her ample charms. Eh? Eh? Fwoooarr. Etc.
Number one, it's a horror film. Number two, she's British. Yup - spurious.
Number three - there's bugger all else happening in the world of Brit horror...