Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Video nasties back on the radar?

One of the main influences on the British Horror Films website was a book I bought back in the late 20th century which went, film-by-film, through the video nasties phenomenon. As a child of the 70s I had lived through the whole thing, although as a middle class child with no appetite (at the time) for watching anything stronger than Doctor Who, (and also with parents who steadfastly refused to buy a video recorder), I'd not really seen any of them. The whole thing fascinated me, though, even into my late 20s. So despite still not having seen any of the films, I picked up a copy of John Martin's Seduction of the Gullible: The Truth Behind the Video Nasty Scandal and was immediately hooked by its sideways look at what were basically a bunch of shit films, grouped together by an over-enthusiastic police system and villified by an equally stupid national press as depraved and corrupt.
Martin was intelligent and thorough - he had obviously watched all of the films and enjoyed them on a level I could completely understand - not as a rabid "hur hur his head exploded!" idiot, but as an astonished outsider looking in. And that's the approach I tried to take when I first set up the BHF. I hope that's come across, it certainly doesn't seem to have done the traffic figures any harm!
Aaaaaaaaanyway, that brings us quite neatly to the reason why I started this post in the first place. There's a new DVD out, which like Martin's book, attempts to give an insight into the "video nasties" furore as a whole, as well as showing us all just what a bunch of nondescript wastes of celluloid most of those films actually were (with a few exceptions).
The DVDs not only show us the trailers for the films in all their sleazy glory, they also interview some of the people involved in making modern British horror films, who were influenced by the whole thing. So there is a link to British horror films, honest!
(Only one British film made it onto the list - Expose. Watch it and you'll begin to have an inkling how random their selection process actually was).
Here's the blurb:
Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide – out on DVD Oct 18, 2010. RRP: £24.99

Prepare to be corrupted and depraved once more as Nucleus Films releases the definitive guide to the Video Nasties phenomenon - one of the most extraordinary and scandalous eras in the history of British film.

For the first time ever on DVD, all 72 films that fell foul of the Director of Public Prosecutions are trailer-featured with specially filmed intros for each title in a lavish three-disc collector’s edition box-set, alongside a brand new documentary - VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE, directed by Jake (‘Doghouse’) West.

Producer Marc Morris, co-author of ‘Art of the Nasty’ and ‘Shock Horror: Astounding Artwork from the Video Nasty Era’ comments: “Hopefully, every true movie fan will want this in their collection”..

Disc One presents the 39 titles that were successfully prosecuted in UK courts and deemed liable to deprave and corrupt. These included: ‘Absurd’, ‘Cannibal Holocaust’, ‘The Driller Killer’, ‘I Spit on Your Grave’, ‘Nightmares in a Damaged Brain’, ‘Snuff’ & ‘Zombie Flesh-Eaters’.

Disc Two presents the 33 titles that were initially banned, but then subsequently acquitted and removed from the DPP's list. These included:
‘Death Trap’, ‘Deep River Savages’, ‘The Evil Dead’, ‘Human Experiments’, ‘The Toolbox Murders’ & Zombie Creeping Flesh

Both discs can be viewed either as a non-stop trailer show, or with newly-filmed introductions from a wide range of acclaimed media academics and notable genre journalists. Each disc is preceded by a brief introduction by cult horror presenter Emily Booth.

Disc Three This era-defining documentary features reflective interviews with filmmakers Neil Marshall (‘The Descent’, ‘Doomsday’) and Christopher Smith (‘Severance’, ‘Black Death’ as well as charting the heroic stand taken by journalist/author Martin Barker, who single-handedly came out in protest against what he saw as the erosion of civil liberties. There are also revealing interviews with the MP Graham Bright and Geoffrey Robertson QC, as well as rare archive footage featuring James Ferman (director of the BBFC 1975-1999) & Mary Whitehouse. Taking in the explosion of home video, the introduction of draconian censorship measures, hysterical press campaigns and the birth of many careers born in blood and videotape, West’s cannily piercing and topical documentary also reflects on the influence this peculiar era still exerts on us today.

The documentary was screened at this year’s Film4 FrightFest, midst the controversy of A SERBIAN FILM and the remake of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE being subjected to stringent cuts by the BBFC. A timely warning perhaps

Extras include a gallery of original video company idents and extensive gallery of lurid cover art for every video nasty.

Your can buy the film here:

And here's a link to the book which started it all for me, something I whole-heartedly recommend you buy...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

New Pinhead


apparently, is the new face of everyone's favourite nutcase with nails in his bonce, Pinhead. Stephan Smith Collins (for tis he) will take over from Doug Bradley for the ninth (ninth!) Hellraiser film, due to be filmed and forgotten about any day now. Apparently Bradley has had enough of playing the baddie in what can only be described as increasingly shitter (more shit?) sequels. And apparently (again) the makers, Dimension Films, are not worrying too much about raising the bar with the next one, as the word is that they are only churning out yet another film so they can keep the rights to the franchise whilst they try to get a remake of the original sorted out...

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Halloween Horrorthon in the Midlands

With Halloween coming up, I'm bound to start getting besieged by all manner of crap about "the holidays" from well meaning American people who fail to understand that we just don't DO Halloween over here.
That said, this looks like a rather splendid way to spend the day...
On Sunday, October 31st, there's a Hammer Horrorthon taking place at the Blotts County Club, Nottingham. Films on show will be Dracula, Plague Of The Zombies, Frankenstein Created Woman and The Devil Rides Out, with a slap-up feed to boot. It all sounds ace, and well worth the £37.50 for anyone in the general area.
You can find out more here:

And just as a footnote, isn't that a bloody gorgeous poster? I've not seen it before.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Too scary for festivals? Take your Pixel...

The above is the trailer for new low budget Brit horror Pixel, which has (apparently) been deemed "too scary" for recent film festivals. Considering that they're busy showing stuff like A Serbian Film and The Human Centipede (two films which beg the question "why?") I find that statement a tad hard to believe, but I will admit that there's something unsettling about the trailer...

How do I know about this? Because the guy behind it, Jeff Angel, wrote me the following email...

Please let me introduce myself my name is Jeffrey Angel and I am a Horror film fanatic and I have just made a 46min Horror film entitled PIXEL that (so far) no festival will show as they are too chickenshit. If I had made a film with Zombies being decapitated or entrails flailing that's cool but if I attempt to make an "adult," not in the tits & ass sense (I wish) horror flick dealing with dark, human themes everybody starts to get uncomfortable. I love the more psychological horror films and am a Carpenter, Polanski, Reeves, Jaques Tourneur acolyte and I would really appreciate your support in help publisizing our trailer. If enough people show an interest then I am going to upload the whole Horror movie this Halloween so everybody can have a free Horror film on me, but be warned ... people who have seen it have said
"... a film I really wish I could get out of my head" and "nihilistic to the point of causing depression" so it looks like I did something right then.

We have a brilliant black male lead actor and I hope that, in some way, this going against type (especially in Horror) might help break the stereotypical (de rigueur) chopper fodder black guy / gal actor seen all too frequently in Horror films (you just know they are going to "get it" in the first reel.)

You are the first person I have written to (uploaded trailer just now) as I am a big fan of the site. Best wishes Jeff "Pariah / why does everybody hate me?" Angel.

Shout, Shout, let it all out

Top-notch Brit chiller and all-round mental wonky noise-fest The Shout gets a welcome public airing this weekend in Bracknell, Berks on a new 35mm print. Details below...

(By the way, I don't mean that you're all berks. It's a place. Next to Twatshire, I believe)

Unconscious England: An evening of music and film celebrating weird Britain

Featuring a rare showing of the cult British horror film The Shout, staring Alan Bates, John Hurt and Susanna York.

Playing live in the evening are Moon Wiring Club with their blend of Hauntological beats and strange ephemera, plunderphonical and very English musings with Dolly Dolly and Position Normal�s found sounds and wonky collages. DJ accompaniment will be provided by The Outer Church (Joseph Stannard � The Wire Magazine).

5pm till late

Link to tickets: http://www.southhillpark.org.uk/perfdetail.jsp?pageURL=%2Fperfslst.jsp&pageParams=eventtypeid%3D11%26eventtype%3DMusic&id=10297&dt=18+Sep&dy=Sat&tm=5.00pm&range=all&eventtype=Music&eventtypeid=11

Google maps to help with directions: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=0,0,15701429589349772317&fb=1&hq=south+hill+park&hnear=Reading+RG1&gl=uk&daddr=Bracknell+RG12+7PA&geocode=17919767789566167307,51.393728,-0.749830&ei=iu6NTJP4OMbO4Ab6q6X_Cg&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=directions-to&resnum=2&ved=0CBYQngIwAQ

Travel details: http://www.southhillpark.org.uk/aboutUsTravel.jsp

Let Me In at the BFI

Hammer's will-this-finally-mean-the-bloody-company-is-back-in-the-big-league remake of Let The Right One in will be screened at the forthcoming BFI London Film Festival, which has, I'm assured, a strong selection of horror and sci fi films. Good news, then.

Here's the full details:

The 54th BFI London Film Festival is delighted to announce that this year’s programme includes a strong selection of HORROR AND SCI-FI films. This is part of a worldwide selection of 197 features and 112 shorts from 67 countries. The 54th BFI London Film Festival, in association with American Express, runs from October 13 – October 28.

Horror and Sci-Fi FEATURES:

End of Animal: Dir, Jo Sung-Hee - Maybe the most striking debut in Korean film history, this pocket-sized apocalypse shows the day when electricity disappears and the road becomes a dog-eat-dog world.

KABOOM: Dir, Gregg Araki - An ‘old school Gregg Araki movie’, Kaboom is smart, sexy and so much fun…

MARS: Dir, Geoff Marslett - An inventive slice of slacker sci-fi packed with wit and ideas.

LET ME IN: Dir, Matt Reeves - A shy young boy realises his new friend might not be the innocent she first appears in this atmospheric and ultramodern vampire tale.

RARE EXPORTS: Dir, Jalmari Helander - Santa Claus is coming to town, but spreading Christmas cheer is not at the top of his list...

WOMB: Dir, Benedek Fliegauf - Eva Green and Matt Smith star in an usual love story, exquisitely designed and photographed.

Horror and Sci-Fi SHORTS:

All Flowers in Time: Dir, Jonathan Caouette – An evil signal broadcast by Dutch TV convinces young boys and girls that they can shape-shift into other people – and monsters.

Cosmic Alchemy: Dir, Lawrence Jordan - A voyage in the celestial realm, out beyond consciousness, steered by amaster of mystical transformation. Wondrous visions are charted on star maps from the Harmonia Macrocosmica to a spellbinding drone track by John Davis.

Bit: Dir, Jonathan Kable - Keep your eyes on the road…

Half Hearted: Dir, Max McGill - Mike wakes up from a big night out with more to worry about than a nasty hangover. A lot more.

the Legend of Beaver Dam: Dir, Jerome Sable - A ghostly tale around the campfire awakens an evil monster. It’s up to nerdy Danny Zigwitz to be the hero and save his fellow campers!

Mary Last Seen: dir, Sean Durkin - A young couple embark on a road trip to a beautiful and peaceful place. But a series of strange events occur on their journey, and it becomes clear that their relationship is not what it seems; and their destination is not what was promised.

Vlog: Dir, Yariv Barel and Mor Kaplansky - A teenage girl, equipped with her handy-cam, quietly leaves her sleeping family and abusive home.


Short film makers... why not submit them to Scary Or Die?

After all, what have you got to lose? Unless they kill you if your film isn't scary enough...

Hang on, that's a fucking brilliant idea for a film. Where's me pen?

Scary or Die Entertainment is proud to announce the launch of their new website dedicated to supporting fellow filmmakers and their fans in the horror community. We are launching scaryordie.com on September 28th with our 1st annual HORROR SHORT FILM FESTIVAL.

Just go to scaryordie.com to register and submit your short horror film.

All movies submitted BEFORE midnight, September 21st would be eligible. Then, for the next two weeks, votes will be counted and the top three vote getters will receive the POPULAR VOTE AWARD. All filmed *submitted will be judged by you, the fans. The most votes, wins! It’s that simple.

Additionally, a panel of known industry vets will be voting for their top three video selections for a SPECIAL JURY AWARD. Hosted by Ivonna Cadaver and Spooky Dan Walker, the award ceremony will be held in Los Angeles in mid October and will be streamed around the world LIVE on scaryordie.com. All winning videos will screen at the ceremony.

For the launch, we are waiving the submission fee…that’s right, IT’S FREE…the first one is on us but hurry! Time is running out if you want to be considered for one of the great prizes.

Prizes will include, a FREE WEEKEND at a world famous HORROR FILM BOOT CAMP in Los Angeles and other prizes from well known manufacturers that every filmmaker will love, plus your video will première online at THE destination horror website in world!

Additionally all winning videos will be screened live during the SCARY OR DIE launch party in Los Angeles, CA

About the Site
In addition to up to the minute horror news, live streaming events, social network and contests, this site is a place where independent filmmakers can upload their horror shorts, have them rated by viewers and get international exposure from fans around the world.

FILMAKERS will see how the fans respond to their material in REAL TIME. Horror fans will vote on the short and then that short will be placed accordingly on the site. Truly a ground floor opportunity for filmmakers to get their hard work seen and rated by millions. This site will provide exposure to fans, fellow filmmakers, horror celebrities and studio executives and it’s all FREE!

A Horror Democracy!
Immediately after our initial launch, SCARY OR DIE ENTERTAINMENT will be streaming original content both in episodic series form and feature films…ALL WIITHOUT A STUDIO ADGENDA!

Just go to SCARY OR DIE and upload…it’s that easy. And stay tuned for more horror news as we get closer to the SEPTEMBER 28TH LAUNCH DATE!


*Submitted films must be 30 minutes or less. There are no restrictions if it has played or is going to play in any other film festival…we want as many people in the world as possible to see your work!

It's the motion picture event of your generation, apparently

Love 'em or hate 'em, there's no denying that the Harry Potter films have kept the industry alive in this country (not to mention enabling our collection of razzled old thesps the opportunity to get their rounds in at the bar). The last one's soon to arrive apparently, and of course, it's "darker than any of the ones that have gone before" (copyright every Harry Potter film that has gone before). I gave up with them years ago, being a grown man. But I did read all of the books. And I can't for the life of me remember what happened in the last one. I'm sure all the fans can, though... which begs the question why would they want to sit through two films to find out what they already know? Still, what do I know, I'm a cynical old tosser.

Brit director's "psycho-sexual thriller" gets US release

Word reaches me of a new horror thriller by Brit director Simon Rumley which is due for a multi-platform release in the good ol' US of A (where it was shot). The blurb about Red White & Blue is below, but the questions is, will it be Red Shite & Blue, or Red White & Woo-Hoo? I dunno.

On 23rd Sept 2010 Simon Rumley’s RED WHITE & BLUE is set to be released theatrically in the United States – plus simultaneously screened at FantasticFest and made available nationwide via video-on-demand.
One of the hits of this year’s Film4 FrightFest. Rumley’s red-hot, hard-edged psycho-sexual thriller RED WHITE & BLUE, which has garnered rave reviews, will be shown in movie theatres across North America from Sept 23, including Austin (Texas), Houston, New York, LA and Philadelphia. At the same time, in a deal brokered by distributor IFC Films in partnership with FantasticFest, it will also be available in over 40 million homes via VOD on the same day it receives its screening at Fantastic Fest (23 Sept).
Simon Rumley commented, "FantasticFest's a very important festival for me since it was where my last film The Living and The Dead won its first bunch of awards. Ever since I've have loved Austin - so much so that I went there to shoot Red White & Blue. It was a truly superb experience to be able to continue my relationship with FantasticFest in this way. Moreover, I know that screening the film through IFC, who have championed some of the most exciting films of recent years, will allow it to reach what I hope will be an appreciative and large audience."
The deal for RED WHITE & BLUE was negotiated by IFC Films SVP of Acquisitions and Productions Arianna Bocco and Travis Stevens of Celluloid Nightmares. 
RED WHITE & BLUE stars Amanda, Noah Taylor and Marc Senter. Taut and uncompromising, it has already been compared to the works of such disparate filmmakers as Michael Haneke and Sam Peckinpah. The film, which had its world premiere in January 2010 at Rotterdam, was directed by Siom Rumley and produced by Rumley and Bob Portal, and executive produced by Tim League, Judy Lipsey, Doug Abbott, and Adam Goldworm.  It is the first film from Celluloid Nightmares, a new partnership between Paris-based Celluloid Dreams and Los Angeles-based XYZ Films. 
“Rumley is one of the most important and intelligent British filmmakers working today – and Red White & Blue finds real, harrowing, politically resonant horror in places where no-one else is looking” (Anton Bitel, Empire Online)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Tam Lin at Filmbar 70

Check out this lovely little specially made promo for an ultra-rare showing of Roddy McDowell's popsy-filled folk ballad borderline horror tale Tam Lin, showing at Filmbar 70 in London on September 22.

More details here:


If only I could get to London...

Asphyx and Sorcerers remake... WTF?

Horror site Dread Central has the rather unlikely news that Jonathan Sothcott is busy setting up remakes of two old (I hesitate to use the word "classic") Brit horrors... The Asphyx and The Sorcerers.

Even more chilling is the news that Ian Ogilvy's role in the latter is to be played by none other than Danny Dyer.


Monday, 6 September 2010

Splintered - n-eye-ce picture...

The above is a still from new low budget Brit horror Splintered - looks remarkably similar to a scene from low budget Brit horror Satan's Slave, don'tcha-think?

You can read the Grauniad's review of the newer film here...

Et voila

Here's a French poster for the forthcoming Hammer production Let Me In (story from Horror Movies.ca here: French Let Me In Poster - HorrorMovies.ca

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Wicker Tree – Teaser Trailer

Website Filmshaft has a teaser trailer up for the long-mooted sequel to The Wicker Man... ooh, tasty.