Thursday, 20 April 2017

Review: The Blob (1958)

Stars: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut

Budget: $110,000

Directed By: Irvin Yeaworth

It creeps and leaps and glides and slides across the floor, be careful of the blob!

I had actually seen the 1988 version before this wonder. Traversing the pound shops as a youth I seen this on VHS in one and thought how bad can a 1958 version of a film that properly shit me up and gave me nightmares as a young child be?

Not bad at all, it's almost like watching a different film with the same premise to be honest.
its mostly in black and white but the version i had had the blob, once it had eaten once turn a red colour.
staring A reasonably young faced Steve McQueen in one of his first roles, though looking way older than a school teen as he was supposed to be.
Made on a small budget even for those times all actors were paid little and the effects were made very cheaply yet very practical and looked good for it's time.

These include the blob actually moving through stop motion and it pushing its way through some theatre doors, obviously done on a miniature set.

So McQueen (Steve, yes his character is called Steve) and his girlfriend (Jane) notice when a meteorite crashes into a nearby forest, an old man living near reaches it first only for the rock to split open and reveal a white glutenous gel like creature in it's centre. Poking it with a stick the blob quickly travels up the stick and engulfs the mans hand causing him terrible pain.
Steve and Jane find him crying out and when he shows them his hand they quickly take him to see the doctor. Doctor Hallen is a little flustered as he was about to leave for a conference but once he see's the thing his intrigue takes over.

The Doctor anesthetizes him then sends Steve and Jane to back to the site to see if there's anymore evidence etc. The blob is spreading rapidly so Hallen decides to amputate, unfortunately before he can the old man is totally consumed. His nurse is dissolved too and then Steve and Jane return to see the doctor being absorbed by the creature too.
Both heading to the sheriff  they get lieutenant Dave and Sergeant Burt go with them back to the doctors. Knowing the doctor was off on a conference and finding nothing Burt calls it a prank and gets the kids parents to pick them up.

The Blob has moved on and is clearly getting bigger and redder with every person it consumes adding their mass to it's own. It kills the town mechanic next and moves on again.
Steve and Jane have sneaked out to recruited a few friends to help them warn people of the danger when they are cornered by the blob after investigating his dads shop being open. The only place they can escape to is the freezer where it seems the intense cold is a perfect deterrent to the blob.

Meanwhile Steve's and Jane's friends have set off the towns air and fire alarms so as to get townsfolk's attention, where they promptly disbelieve everything the kids have to say. While this is happening the blob has entered the theatre and consumed many people, the survivors come screaming out of the building proving Steve right. The blob oozes out of the front doors too causing everyone else to flee, including Steve's younger brother Danny who along with Jane and his brother hide in a nearby diner.

The blob is now large enough to easily cover the whole diner, Steve has no plans when Dave patches his radio through to the diners phone. He tells them to enter the cellar as they are going to attempt to drop a live power line on the monster.
Bert shoots the wire once he thinks everyone is safe and it drops upon the blob. Although thousands of volts dance all over the thing it is unaffected by the electricity, which has started a fire in the diner.
Steve quickly grabs a Co2 extinguisher and puts the fire out, not before hitting the blob with it too and causing it to recoil. Steve coupled with the freezer incident finally realises that it's the cold the blob doesn't like.

It's not far from the end here so THN won't spoil no more for you. So whats my overall verdict of this film? For it's 59 year age and relatively low budget even for it's time this film sets up some good tension which i'll add is missing quite a bit from the 88 remake. This is done by the use of more of 'what you don't see' which really works in this film, the only let down is the ending (on both this and the new) THN awards the 1958 version of the blob a solid 3 stars out of 5.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

THN Top 5: Horror Anthologies

I may have mentioned before that I love anthology type horrors, any film that includes more than one story be it linked or just separate entities i can't get enough of them.
There are some bad ones, good ones and ones that make you go meh. But one thing i have noted is that i have yet to find one that is truly god awful.
So if you've never indulged or maybe looking for a gem you may not have seen check out my top 5:

5. Twilight Zone: The Movie
This one sticks in my head because i sure apart from maybe an old hammer Horror one was the first anthology to stick in my head. Featuring a multitude of stories from a boy with immense psychic powers to a man witnessing a gremlin demon tearing up the wings of the plane he travelling on. We even get 'do you want to see something really scary?' by Dan Ackroyd which truly did make young me shit my pants lol.
It is unfortunately dated and aged now, though this is still in my books a must see for any anthology fans.

4. The ABC's of death 2
Far superior to it's predecessor with some very chilling shorts, some twisted and funny also some are unusually thought provoking. The first one is certainly funny with the inept assassin. Then the one with the Russian roulette that looks like their being forced into it, they are but for entirely different reasons you might think. If you want a more modern take on anthologies this one will be right up your street.

3. Creepshow 2
The second in the three part series, i may be jaded because this one was the first I watched then the first one. To me though this one seems more horror than the first film which has a lot more comedy elements than this one. Old chief wooden head being one of my favorites the bad guys in this short really deserve the gory end they get.
Then there's the raft which is almost the blob it certainly acts and dissolves people just like the 1988 version of the film. Although I wasn't fan of the ending to that short a little undeserved, but the last one the hitchhiker is quite funny and the repeating thanks for the ride lady is something i can never forget even after he's mangled beyond recognition.

2. Trilogy Of Terror
From way back in 1975 this is almost my favorite for one reason and one reason alone, the little Zuni doll that screams like a little idiot and seems so stupid to be scared of or killed by. But when it's shooting little arrows at you or blow pipes it's so effectively terrifying.
A big influence over other media like games, in Diablo 2 the little Zuni are an effective enemy there too. The others are great to and even though I felt Twilight zone was aged, this has to but not so bad, don't get me wrong it's old but a fun film.

1. John Carpenters Body Bags
Possibly one of the best anthology films i've seen at least in my book, this is after all my list of favorites. Three very good stories book ended by some funny moments from John Carpenter himself as the morgue attendant introducing each segment.
From hair where a poor man obsessed by his looks and losing his hair goes in for some hair loss treatment that turns out not to be what it says on the pamphlet.
The Gas station is  a typical stalker, who is the killer? type story.
The best one being Mark Hamill who loses an eye then gets a replacement from a psychotic killer only to be slowly taken over by the replacement.

These may or may not be on your lists but i'm sure you'll agree these are by far some of the best anthology films available to watch. Please take my list and decide if you want to see any of them for yourself.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Review: Beyond the Gates (2016)

Stars: Graham Skipper, Barbara Crampton

Budget: $300,000

Directed By: Jackson Stewart

Bab's is back!
That's right good old scream queen Barbara Crampton appears in this film, a homage to 80's video board game crazes.

It also, like a few movies of recent times has some heavily influences from that time period too. From the filming style to the colours and even effects.
This is a massive feat considering this was made on the incredibly small budget of £300,000. Almost in micro budget territory with such a low amount of funds.

This film is also decently acted and cut well too with some good but basic effects thrown in for good measure.
Lets get on with the film shall we.

The film shows us a happy family a mother and father with two kids playing around outside a newly opened video shop.
The kids are two brothers and they all seem pleased with the shop. as they all look on towards it as the film fades to black.

A number of years later around 20 the father has gone missing and their mother has been long dead. The two brothers (obviously now older) meet up at the store.
Apparently their father has gone missing before except this time it's been for a long time. Since it's been such a long time they are assuming the worst this time. The brothers are two very different people also, one a hard working serious type (Gordon) the other a laid back down and out (John).
Gordon lives out of town with his girlfriend Margot who is coming into town later on, he doesn't seem to enthused about coming to the town. He also seems terribly unimpressed by his brothers choices in life too. They check out his old video store and actually begin to get nostalgic as they begin to pack the videos away.

An old friend from their past shows up and is now the sheriff of the town, he gets nostalgic over a particular tape and the brothers let him take it. John starts talking about video board games as he finds them upon the shelf. near the end of the day they realise they can't get into the back room and think the key must be back at the house.

We meet Margot now and she seems to be properly in love with Gordon despite something happening between them a little while back. Gordon finds the back office key just before they go to bed.
The next day both the brothers enter their fathers backroom, which isn't what they were expecting but they do find a video board game they haven't seen before.
The put the tape in and we are treated to the opening narrative of the board game by none other than Bab's Crampton. A weird time lapse happens as they are watching the video and it's already time to pack up for home.

Back at their dad's old house they continue to play the game and learn that it's not an entirely up to scratch, in fact it's quite possibly demon possessed. They learn more about the game from some other near do wells, especially where their father bought it from.
Despite coming to the conclusion that their father has disappeared into the board game they try to leave it be but the game won't let them stop playing. So Margot, Gordon and John continue to play the game at the video's behest. There's really not that much left to say about the film, in fact we are near the end which you know i won't spoil.

That's the trouble with this film though, it builds up and builds up vey well in fact only to have the end of the film splurge it's load in the last 15 minutes, despite this the pacing is pretty decent and goes quite well from scene to scene. Not quite a 4 star but above a three star too so THN awards Beyond the gates 3 out of five stars but with a Heavy recommendation to watch.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Review: Peelers (2016)

Stars: Wren Walker, Caz Odin Darko

Budget: Unknown, probably not much

Directed By: Seve Schelenz

My word it's not often we come along a big pile of steaming shit in the horror nation.
Even some of the worst b-movies are at least watching or forgivable because of their low budgets or inexperienced actors.

These often make for a certain charm that keeps the movie watchable to an extent. but when you get absurdly bad writing, laughable acting and not a single character to relate to there's just nothing to redeem this movie.
Not that there's  nothing that is redeemable here except for maybe the surprisingly original way the zombies are made.
But that is quickly spoiled by to many other irredeemable factors, which i'll get to.

This is almost a clone of zombie strippers too except that film had some spark and excuse me for being crude showed a lot more 'skin' which helps with the fellas you know.
I know this tries to have something to say about big powers and oil etc but it just doesn't work with the rubbish the rest of the film delivers.

So enough with the put downs lets get on with describing the dribble shall we?

right so we are treated to some random stranger in a bed who when a nurse enters goes bananas and attacks her.
Orderlies and doctors rush in to help only for the door to close and blood leak out from under it.

We then see the interior of the strip club this is the problem they try to set up to many things to make you care about the people like why does blue jeans have a police bike. A necklace with L M on it but none of it pans out to more than two dimensional stories to try and flesh out some stupid characters or trying to force you into trying to like them past irredeemable flaws.

The door man Remy played by Caz, clearly has a crush on Blue Jeans, the bar man fancies one or multiple members of the stripping club it was so cliched that I didn't care which. She is in the process of selling the club, in fact it's the last night of the club before it changes hands.
Blue Jean's for some reason has a police bike as her mode of transport, to which she is called outside to show someone. Though they have already taken upon themselves to have a go on her bike.
When she says about this the bike rider who is interested in buying the bike proceeds to, in a off handed way insult her (though why some of the things she states as a 'strike' are just childish or absurd) until he finally calls her BJ, probably because it's a play on blowjob. She  then proceeds to (as she was a baseball player too) smash in the boys nose and teeth with a baseball.
He tries to chase her but one of the Mexicans earlier let into the club knocks the boy off his feet, which she thanks him for.

Turns out these Mexicans think they found some oil in a mine earlier that night, though they say they are there to celebrate one of their birthdays. Each one of them has been infected by the oil that really is oil but has some odd strain in it that infects anyone that comes into contact with it.
So one by one the Mexicans succumb to the infection, all the while each of the strippers puts on their own 'authentic' show for the punters. Even these feel forced or even totally pointless, the new girl (on a night where the club is being sold?) is nervous to go on the stage. One as she's scared she'll do shit compared to the other girls and secondly her jealous boyfriend might be watching.

Two men and a stripper are slaughtered in a private dance area during this the woman with the bad nerves goes onto the stage. Her boyfriend just happens to be at the bar and yes flies out of control when she goes up on stage and takes her bra off.
They argue until out the back and then both of them are murdered by one of the oil infected guys, the barman who has followed them manages to escape by holding the attacking guy off. Gibbering and hands covered in oil he is discovered with the bodies at his feet.

The police come and they are after Blue Jeans son as he has stolen and joy rode in a police car. The female officer goes to see Logan (her son) then the infected kill her partner, another infected leaps through the back office where Logan (who is apparently a ladies man) is getting it on with the female officer. The infected guy smooshes the officers head with the desk but Logan manages to shoot him down. They evacuate the rest of the patrons from the bar.
They realise they can't kill these infected as they keep coming back alive, then they try shooting them in the head. Blue Jeans has gone into the back room to get the strippers, the one who's gimmick is being a baby on stage (she actually pisses on people too!) is killed. Picking up her old baseball bat she bashes the guys head in with it.

They seem to think the head shots/bashing has done the trick, they proceed, Logan, BJ, Remy, another stripper and a pregnant stripper too, to go find the barman. He has unfortunately been infected by the oil on his hands and kills the other stripper.
This is where the film takes it's turn to being zero stars, it just goes beyond stupid and does things so tastelessly from now on. They come to the conclusion that water and oil doesn't mix despite the body being mostly water (so how does it infect them in the first place?) Logan magically pulls this out of the air by suddenly telling them he went to college.
Then the power and the water are cut as the idiot who is buying the club has them turned off at exactly 12 midnight. Remy devises that beer is mostly water here, the barman comes back to life and the pregnant strippers water breaks on his face killing him.

Remy and BJ take bottles of beer out into the bar to take care of the rest of the infected guys, now all the way through this people are touching the oil or getting grabbed yet not being infect too. The pregnant stripper has the baby but is then tastelessly ripped apart almost exactly afterwards for no reason other than to shock?
I don't know i just didn't like it, it was uncalled for. Sorry but there;s one thing i dislike in films and that's things to do with babies getting hurt or in peril etc. Anyway BJ and Logan make it out with the baby after killing the rest and discovering the guy who bought the club knows about the oil and how it infects people too. He is actually infected too, BJ brains him before making it out.

I am spoiling the ending because the film is so abysmal, the boy from earlier is infected outside and is their last fight, for some idiotic reason after killing him they choose to set the club on fire by sending the police car on fire towards the club. There's some stupid joke that's lame about the name of the club and then they drive off with the BABY on a MOTORBIKE. Not that it matter because halfway down the road it seems Logan is infected to as the oil dribbles from his nose.
Then he just DROPS THE BABY ON THE ROAD, this is sick and distasteful and not needed AT ALL. This was the last straw that broke the camels back for me, this film may have scraped one star for it's original take on zombies with the weird oil if that hadn't happened.
So THN awards this sickening pile of crap the lowest of the low the dregs of Satan's bum hole zero out of five stars

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Review: Train to Busan (2016)

Stars: Yoo Gong, Yu-Mi Jung

Budget: 10 billion SKW, almost $9m

Directed By: Sang-Ho Yeon

Wow, what can I say?
Korea had gangnam style break out now we have a full on viral infected zombie outbreak film.
Will it or has it taken the world by storm like that of a sun-glassed blue suit wearing singer?

Only time will tell, but i will say here before the review i sure hope it does. This film is great it's got like 90% practical effects too which is refreshing to see in a film universe dominated by CGI.

You may be used to seeing ghosts or possession type films coming from the east, but a full blown 28 days later, though clearly inspired by world war z too zombie film?
It's pretty unheard of, even before the review ends i have to say this is a must watch film, a five out of five?
You'll have to keep reading on to see how it goes!

So we start the film with a farmer (i think) of some sorts driving through some kind of quarantined area, he has a bit of a moan when some men sanitize his little truck. Then as he's driving away his phone rings, while he's reaching for it he hits something in the road. Exiting his vehicle he see's it's a deer, although when he re-enters and drives off the dead animal reanimates with milky white eyes.

We then cut to an office where a clearly workaholic man, one Seok-Woo is busily working away. He's a funds manager (whatever one of those is its frowned upon)stuck on what to buy Soo-an his daughter for her birthday. He even asks one of his work colleagues.
Returning home that night with a nintendo Wii, we see Soo-an already has one from someone else (possibly her mother). We also realise Seok-woo is a single parent. He asks his daughter what she really wants for her birthday, apparently to go see her mother in Busan.

He's reluctant because of work but agrees to go with her to see her mother, despite saying she'd go on her own! He is then shown a video of her singing in class, but she stops though the class still applaud her efforts.
On the way to the train station it is clear something is going down, fires in buildings and emergency services rushing about, Seok-woo even nearly crashes due to them thundering about. Though they both make it to the train station event free.

On the train we are introduced to a pregnant woman (Seong-Kyeong) and her husband (Sang Hwa), a young baseball team ( two of which are focused on boyfriend and girlfriend, Yong-guk and Jin-Hee) and finally two old women, sisters In-Gil and Jon-Gil.
Just before the train is about to depart an injured girl barges onto the train unnoticed. She quickly becomes an infected zombie thingy (though they are more like 28 days later infected), she then infects a train stewardess, who in turn starts to chow down on some of the baseball players.

All our main heroes make it into the designated train compartments, although Seok does initially lock Seong and Sang out thinking they're doomed. Sang takes to calling Seok a douche for the rest of the film now. news reports on the TV tell of riots and people breaking out into violent rampage all over the country. The conductor tells the passengers over the radio that they have been asked to not stop until they arrive in Daejeon where they will be quarantined. Seong works out that the infected are only enraged/after them if they can see them and blocks the window with wet paper.

They also find a homeless man in the toilets, before they pull into Daejeon Seok gives a guy he knows a ring asking if he can get his daughter and him to safety. The homeless man hears conformation that they can be if they meet a contact at a designated point.
Daejeon station already looks ominous as they pull into it, deserted and empty. This isn't helped any further as the rest of the station is also empty. Seok takes his daughter a different way closely followed by the homeless guy (who overheard the call).

Both groups are headed off by the infected, lots more of the nameless passengers get killed here, a few including Sang manage to close a door long enough for some survivors to make it back to the train (Sang even waits for Seok to get through the door in a role reversal).
However making it back to the train the remnants are split up between the carriages, Soo-an, Seong, Jong-Gil and the homeless guy get caught in a carriage and just about manage to barricade themselves into a bathroom. Seok, Sang and Yong in another, Jin-Hee gets to the front cabin with a host of other nameless survivors and a CEO I shall from now on call Mr dick. I call him Mr Dick as from now on he is nothing but trouble and the main cause of death for a lot of people, especially some of the main cast.

The three men battle their way towards the 4 trapped people and in doing so find out that the infected cannot see very well in low light situations, such as going through the tunnels. They rescue their loved ones and nearly make it back to the safe carriage. Unfortunately at the behest of Mr Dick the rest of the passengers have blocked the door. Yong begins to break through as Seok and Sang desperately try to stop the infected coming through a door.
The first lump in throat happens here, i for some reason got really attached to Sang-Hwa and while holding the door closed he is bitten on the hand, i felt so bad that he will not get to see his unborn child come into the world, especially since they hadn't thought of a name for it yet.
Despite this Yong breaks through the first door and while Sang courageously hold back the hordes for as long as he can before turning, Seok and Yong manage to get into the safe carriage. Unfortunately and seen by her sister Jong-Gil is also caught and infected.

Mr Dick (after Seok gives him a couple of whacks) convinces the other passengers that the people who got back might be infected and should be quarantined to the storage area just forward of the safe carriage. In-Gil upset at the death of her sister opens the door and the safe carriage is flooded with the infected who seemingly kill everyone in there.
In the toilet Seok receives a phone call from some co-worker and this is a major misstep in the movie to me. An explanation, whether he's right or not I don't know it could just crazed ramblings of a mad-man. apparently their work plants caused the outbreak, that's it though nothing else is said on the matter, i just don't think that scene was needed.

The railway to the last Busan stop is unfortunately blocked by freight cars, the driver bravely suggests that he will run and get a new train on a different line. We also now get to see that Mr Dick along with the male train orderly, escaping from the toilet Mr Dick pushes the orderly into a group of infected so he can get away quicker.
The driver finds a new train and starts it moving, just as another train on fire comes thundering up the track knocking another train over onto Soo-an, Seok, Seong and the homeless guy under a train now on it's side. Yong and Jin on the other side see no way of helping so they continue on.
Making it into another compartment of another train Yong tries to open a jammed door to the other side where the train is, unfortunately Mr Dick comes along chased by infected and throws Jin onto them. She is bitten on the leg, Mr Dick escapes opening the jammed door leaving Yong with a Jin about to change. She does change and Yong just accepts this and lets her bite him too.

The other four trapped under carriage with straining windows full of infected inches from their faces look for a way out. Seok finds a hole under the tipped carriage but not before one of the windows breaks. It's now homeless guy, who has been a bit chicken up till now chance to be brave.
He holds a good bunch of them back while Seok clears some fallen rubble. Homeless man is then piled on by loads more infected as more windows break open. The other three make it out just as the compartment falls which would have crushed them.

Mr Dick is in trouble infected nibbling at his feet so the train driver leaps from the moving train to help him only to be thrown (once again) to the mouths of hungry crazies. Mr Dick makes it to the train and starts to increase it's speed.
The other three manage to get to the speeding train and get on not before a horde of infected manage to latch themselves onto the train and get dragged along like a giant carpet of the living dead. Seok manages to break their grip and they are seemingly free.
Checking the cabin Seok see's Mr Dick who bursts from the drivers room just on the verge of turning into an infected, it seems he was bitten in the earlier scuffle. He cries about meeting his mother before going full on infected.

Seok fights him off for a little while until he's knocked back a bit and Seong gets Dick's attention by hitting him. To save her and his daughter Seok wraps a chain around his middle grabs Dick from behind where the most terrible thing happens, Mr Dick makes one more dick move, he bites Seok on the hand as he flings him and himself over the side.
Getting to safety Seok places his daughter and Seong in the drive room, tells Seong how to slow it down when they see Busan insight, then much to mass amounts crying from Soo-an and my own eyeballs he says goodbye to his daughter.
Seok goes to back of the train and slowly changing into an infected brings the memory of his daughters birth to his mind as one last thought. I had the most massive lump in my throat and tears streaming from my eyes at this, i felt like such a baby but i know what he felt being a dad myself and kudos to this film and his acting skills to elicit such emotions from me. He then leaps from the back of the train with a smile on his face.

Now there's not much left to the film but you know i don't spoil endings here, what i will say is there's still a super intense scene to come and the song Soo-an wanted to sing for her dad comes into play and almost made me weep again.
All this and the film was sub titled too!
But coupled with absolutely fantastic acting by everyone even the little girl playing Soo-an I was able to get engrossed in the film and really feel how human everyone was too.
It's been a while since a film has made me have feels like this and Train to Busan is now in my top ten zombie/infected films and wholeheartedly deserves this 5 out of 5 by THN.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Review: Critters 4 (1992)

Stars: Brad Dourif, Don Opper

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Rupert Harvey

This is the fourth and last (thankfully) film in the critters series. It suffers from every franchise killer, no real new ideas, oh and the inevitable trip into spaaaaaaace that a lot of horror/comedy franchises seem to inevitably go.
This film is not really baaad per-say in fact it seems pretty standard run of the mill till Charlie destroys the ship midway, but that's for later.

Starting exactly where the last film ended we see charlie preparing to destroy the last two critter eggs. He is then called upon his galactic com by the bounty hunter boss.
He is apparently in violation of certain laws involved in destroying the last of a species kind. Ug appears and explains it better telling Charlie a pod is coming to collect the egg's.

Charlie isn't happy about it but agrees putting the small eggs into tin cans he sticks them into the cryogenic pod that crashes through the roof. He is to unfortunately frozen in the pod as it jettisons into space.

Later in the year of 2045 a space ship flying through space detects the pod, as a salvage ship the crew instantly think the pod may be worth some extra money. The captain is a dick (Rick), then the second in command Fran, is a very strong woman. Then there's the engineer Al Bert (Dourif), Bernie one of the ships hands and also Ethan the younger novice as such. Rick and Bernie bully Ethan quite a bit but the other two are more friendly to him.

When they realise the pod has an old marking on it of the intergalactic council, they contact the new federation who congratulate them on finding the pod and advise them to go to a nearby station to wait for them to pick up the pod, for decent compensation of course.
Rick is unhappy with this as he wanted more than what their offering but his choice to hold off for more money is other thrown by the other crew members. They reach the station but on exiting their ship realise the place is derelict and abandoned. Even the computer has seemingly gone senile.

The each discover things they're looking for such as showers with Bernie looking for the pharmacy, Al Bert also discovers the nuclear core is close to collapsing too. Fran goes for a shower where she is watched in silhouette by Rick, when he goes to give her a towel and possibly join her Fran clocks him a good right hook.
Embarrassed and realising the rest of the crew has seen what happened Rick storms off. The others just laugh it off as he storms away. He has other agendas however, taking his laser rifle to the pod chamber he burns a hole into it in an attempt to get to whats inside. Ethan catches him in the process but Rick knocks him out and hoists his unconscious body in the air.

However a puzzled thawed Charlie springs forth from the pod, seemingly unfazed by this Rick enters the pod expecting something more valuable to be inside. What he finds is freshly hatched little baby critters that proceed to leap in his mouth and bite his wrist.
All while this is happening Charlie trying to repair his super gun that has fallen apart. Finally once Rick drops dead, Charlie picks up his laser rifle and fries one of the critters hair off, possibly in an act to give the critters more character again like in the third part. Charlie gets Ethan down from the hook who quickly gets to like the crazy little man, especially when they hunt for the two little critters.

They both get trapped in the garbage disposal but escape before they are jettisoned into outer space, they are then let out of a vent by Bernie. The rest of them are a bit iffy over Charlies story even though Ethan confirms he didn't have anything to do with Ricks death and he has a driving licence from 1992.
Using a key card Ethan found in the lab coat of some scientist the crew discover the station was an experimental place for producing a terrifying killing machine out of beasts except it made them unable to reproduce. One of the Critters is watching this from the vent.

Bernie takes the card and lets himself into the pharmacy where he proceeds to fill a backpack with assorted drugs. Al notices that two life forms are making their way towards his position. He tries to warn him but they innevitably here his screams and we see him attacked by the two (now larger) fur balls.

This is where the film takes a drastic downturn for me they try to escape Charlie kills one of the critters but destroys the salvage ship in the meantime, then Ethan turns into a spoiled brat and we get a plot where the last critter uses the machine that enhances ferociousness on his kids.

Ug or he's known now as Tetra comes to the ship and kills Al after tries to stand up to him, this alienates Charlie. Especially when Tetra threatens the life of the others for the location of the remaining eggs. Ethan has however stormed off with an antique colt 44. to stop the other critter, this is where he see's it using the machine.

Ethan kills the bald headed critter with a liquid nitrogen pipe. The rest of the film is terribly uneventful now until Charlie is forced to kill Tetra in a who can pull the trigger quicker stand off, obviously Tetra has gone rusty there.
So i won't spoil any more not that there's much left to tell from here on out.
I'm not a massive fan of this last chapter in this franchise but it's better than some films of the genre and is worth watching just to finish the quadrilogy off.
THN awards Critters Four, 2 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

THN Top 5: Zombie Films

Zombie flicks are one of my favourite genres, probably many peoples on how saturated the market has been since the remake of dawn of the dead and the land of the dead saw them come back hard.
I have however been interested in this genre since i was a wee lad.
The have scared me and entertained me for many years, i think the reason being out of any type of horror thing happening zombies seem the most plausible. Still far off from ever happening but still up there. Why?
Because they're here already in the ground all it take is a virus, some weird new chemical or even a type of radiation we've never encountered and bam, all those we lost come back to eat us!
Here though is a list of my favorite of these films. It's a hard list to put together because just five out of all the offerings of which a large bunch are very good offerings too is hard to whittle down, but here's my choices and they're just my choices, i'm sure yours would be different...

5. Zombi 2
Originally banned in the UK i managed to watch a bootleg version at my friends house, it does not disappoint. Everything from truly gory feasting to a zombie fighting with a shark over who gets to eat the girl!
A very good introduction to the zombie genre, it will either draw you in or scare you off.
                                                                                                                                                                 4. Zombieland
A comedy take on the genre which was big for a while mid 2000's When the zombie outbreak happens a weedy kid who makes some rules for surviving the holocaust manages to survive by sticking to his ruleset.
H begins to find that some rules can be broken for the best results. Well written and acted with a brilliant cameo from Bill Murray that will make anyone's day.

3. Dawn of the Dead Remake
Why the remake and not the original?
Simple it's much the same story with a lot more added on, more death, scarier zombies and extended living in the mall. Acting wise just as on par with the original too.
Also features faster zombie that the old 80's films too, which are also more of a threat whether you like them or hate them in zombie films.

2. Shaun of the Dead
Another comedy take of the zombie horror, except this lovely offering is twice as funny as zombieland and britis made. Meaning inventive way's to kill zombies other than guns etc.
when everything from vinyl lp's are used it's just a funny romp, especially when the main star is cult british TV legend Simon Pegg.
Also despite it being a comedy there are some truly heartfelt moments in the film along with some gore filled scenes too.

1. Return of the Living Dead
Ok this is my top of my zombie film list it's another tongue in cheek comedy horror but done very well in that the horror can at times be quite scary and the seriousness is not eclipsed by the absurd ever. Introducing us to totally invincible zombies not even brain destruction can these ones as every part of them is alive.
only true way to kill these monstrosities is total annihilation by fire, only problem is that send the zombie virus up into the atmosphere as smoke. when it rains next it infects whoever it touches then.
Another early watch for me maybe thats why i'm so biased to it perhaps?

So that's my top 5 zombie films whats yours?

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Review: Fright Night (1985)

Stars: Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall

Budget: $9 million

Directed by: Tom Holland

I think, but i may be wrong that this was one of the first horror movies I ever watched. It really enthralled me too, I don't know why but it just hit all the right button in young me's head.

Now going back as an adult full of nostalgia has anything changed?
I can with relief say: no not a lot.
I thoroughly enjoyed re-watching this very recently, it's so so much better than the remake too. Not that that is a bad film, it's just they are literally to me at least two different entities sharing a common theme.

This movie has some brilliantly set up pieces very stylishly done too. Such as the night club dance scene, that sticks in my head as one of the best vampire seduction moments in any vampire film i've seen since.

Made for quite a high budget and staring some reasonably big or recognizable names of the time too, such as Roddy and Chris also Amanda Bearse as Charlie's girlfriend Amy.
William Ragsdale also playing the aforementioned Charlie.

So onto the movie We meet Charlie a horror movie enthusiast canoodling and trying to get his girlfriend (Amy) to go a bit further. She's refusing it's then he notices some people moving into the house next-door, at night time. Amy gets peed off and leaves in a huff because she does give into Charlie but he's now more interested in the strange goings on with his new neighbors.

One night Charlie notices Jerry in a window seducing a beautiful woman, being a randy little teen he's getting all excited when Dandrige fangs up and is about to feast on the woman. Gasping and ducking back behind his window ledge, Jerry seems to notice and closes the blinds.
In school it's shown the woman has gone missing, Charlie tries to confide in his friend Evil Ed, he just ultimately takes the piss out of him, we do get a vibe here that Ed is a bit of a low life.

Charlie tries to find out on his own by taking the police over there, explaining he saw the girl there. Jerry's house keeper Billy Cole explains Jerry has been out of town, Charlie blurts out that he believes Jerry is a vampire and the whole thing goes out of the window when Billy pokes fun at this idea. Charlie and the detective leave and he is scolded for wasting police time.

Having been told Jerry can't get him unless the master of the house invites him in Charlie is horrified to find his mother has invited Jerry over, He states he'll be seeing Charlie very soon. Then later on that night Jerry breaks into Charlies room threatening him with death if he doesn't forget about what he saw. When charlie fights back with a crucifix Jerry almost kills him by throwing him from his window, only a pencil stabbed into his hand and Charlies mother shouting scares him off. He does however destroy Charlies car in anger stating he'll do worse to him.

Charlie tries to get help from Peter Vincent a washed up actor who is reduced to introducing horror films shown later at night. He instantly dismisses Charlies rantings only untill Charlie offers him a substantial amount of money just to come and try some tests on Jerry. He finally agrees to it and they go to Jerry's house to give him some tests.

Giving Jerry what Charlie believes is holy water (it's just tap water) he swigs it down no problems, this makes Charlie doubt himself. That is until Vincent uses his cigarette case and notices Jerry has no reflection, dropping the mirror to the floor with a gasp. He makes his excuses and tries to leave as quick as possible.

Charlie notices this and cajoles Vincent into saying what was wrong, he tells Charlie about the lack of reflection but he can't trust it wasn't some other reason. Charlie gets a bit angry at Vincent but the aging actor wants no more to do with it.
Jerry learns the actor had seen what he seen in the mirror and decides enough is enough. He tracks down Charlies friend Ed and turns him into a vampire. Ed then gets sent to take care of Vincent while Jerry goes after Charlie and Amy.

Vincent manages to fight Ed off with a crucifix and decides it's time to get out of town. However Charlie and Amy are chased by Dandrige into a club Charlie tries to call for help but Jerry uses his vampire powers to hypnotize Amy in an exotic dance, she notices he is vampire but is powerless to resist his charms. He takes her back to his home and even though she tries to refuse, Amy is powerless to resist his charms and she is bitten by Jerry.

Charlie heads once more for Vincent's place, he's placed many crosses about and still refuses to help Charlie against Jerry. After a pep talk from Charlie about being a fearless vampire killer, he decides to help. They rush to Charlies house and manage to actually repel Jerry back to his own as Charlie actually feel the faith this time. Chasing him back they are then attacked by Billy who knocks Charlie out. Causing Vincent to run off in fear to Charlies house again.

In Charlies house Vincent is attacked by Evil Ed once more, Ed fully transforms into a wolf. Vincent manages to beat him with a stake, causing a most feeble death on Ed's turn. Charlie awakens in the room with Amy, who is slowly turning into a vampire. He is rescued by Vincent and told they can reverse the effects if they kill Jerry before dawn.
Once more they are attacked by Billy, after Vincent believing he just a normal human shots him in the head. He does indeed fall down dead, however Dandrige mutters some words and he resurrects Billy from the dead. Vincent unloads the pistol into him with no effect, he is finally stopped when Charlie thrusts a stake into his heart. Billy however dies in a very strange way, he seems to melt into a strange green goo, I still to this day have no idea what Jerry calls him or what Billy is.

They then head down to the basement to take on Jerry once and for all.
That's where is stop and not spoil the ending, though i'm sure it's probably obvious by this point what happens. This is by no means a perfect film and the effects especially the full facial masks are a bit aged now, this however doesn't detract from a very very good vampire film. Better than all this glowing diamond skinned bull crap we get these days.

THN awards this corker of a vamp (Vamp hehehe we'll get to that) film 4 stars out of 5.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Review: Critters 3 (1991)

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Don Opper

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Kristine Peterson

The third in the series in the critters franchise, a funny little series riding high on the small creatures horrors popular in the mid 80's to early nineties.

Unfortunately this one starts to show some cracks that culminate in the fourth film, but that's for a later date.
This is also Leonardo DiCaprio's first film, Don Opper also returns as the village idiot/drunk turned inept bounty hunter.

The story also moves from Grovers Bend to a city apartment building, whether this was a money saving action I don't know as i couldn't find the budget for this film. What I do know is I suspect the budget was saved for the fourth film as they were filmed back to back.

So the film opens up with a down on his luck father driving with his two kids in a small old mobile home. when they get a sudden flat they pull into a seemingly low populated car park to fix the wheel. The girl Annie goes to get a drink and her brother Johnny goes off playing with a Frisbee. Johnny happens to go too close to a high drop to which Josh (DiCaprio) stops him, Annie catches the brunt end of this thinking Josh is bullying Johnny.

Josh however explains his way out of it, especially when Johnny asks him to come play frisbee with them. Unfortunately Josh throws it a bit to far into the woods, He bravely scrambles down the incline to retrieve the disc. The other kids follow and just as he spies the Frisbee Josh goes to grab it and with a spring low and behold Charlie pops out of a hidden hole.4
He warns the kids about monsters then tells them the story of Grovers Bend, they of course don't believe him except for Johnny. Charlie gives Johnny a crystal that will glow green if any danger is near him, he thanks him and runs off.

Back at the car park Annie's dad has fixed the wheel we've also been introduced to Josh's step dad who is a bit of dick, well quite a big dick actually. Relieved to be leaving him behind they drive back to their apartment building. On the way out of the park Annie see's the sign for Grover's Bend, she still shakes her head in disbelief.

Unknown to them some Critter has laid eggs under the wheel arch and are coming along for the trip too. The little creatures hatch and escape in to the buildings basement as the truck with it's brakes broken bashes into another vehicle. Johnny's crystal begins to glow green, only he seems to realise this.

The little critters run havoc in the apartment building just as you'd expect them too, first killing the buildings foreman (who is a dick and trying to get people to move out anyway). They actually do not kill many people in this film, which is one of the one of the downsides, this film becomes more of a comedy than a horror. It also tries to give some of the critters a personality or uniqueness.
One of them ends up with some bleached hair and skin on the one side of its face after being burnt by some cleaning products.

We learn Joshes dad owns the apartment and was trying to get the residents to leave for some scam or other, the foreman was in on it and when he doesn't reply he ends up going to the building with Josh to see whats going on. He of course goes the way of arseholes in horror movies and dies.
One of the critters earlier killed by a flare has set the bottom of the building on fire too, trying to escape both the little demons and the fire all the survivors make their way to the roof. Annie finds herself on the bottom floor surrounded by the little demons. Suddenly out of no where, yes literally for no reason Charlie comes to save the day.

now usually i'd end it here because there's not much left of the film. But i usually only spoil bad films right?
Well critters 3 is not BAD per-say but it's not the best and it suffers from bad pacing and going to far in the comedy direction, you don't feel scared of the critters as you do in the past two films, they seem almost jovial and funny in this. It is a 'decent' sequel in a dying series i suppose and i would say as a whole the entire series is worth watching.

So Charlie literally makes fast work of the remaining Critters and while the rest of the apartments members are outside being treated and offered a deal by Joshes mum, Charlie comes across two remaining eggs. He is about to destroy them when he is contacted by the high command, in fact it's Ug he tells Charlies it's illegal to kill the last two eggs as they are the last two specimens of the Crite species. He doesn't know what to do with them when suddenly a pod crashes through the ceiling and the movie suddenly ends.

So that's where part four takes off right away THN enjoys a good franchise flick and even though we are giving this one only a 2 out of 5 we still recommend a watch especially if your into full series's of films, even the next one. that goes where all franchises take a dable in at some point, SPACE.
Good bye folks see you all again!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Review: Critters 2, The Main Course (1988)

Stars: Don Opper, Scott Grimes

Budget: 4 Million

Directed By: Mick Garris

Ok this is one of those rare instances where the second film is just as good or better than the first. Not that Critters is a brilliant film anyway but it is at least a decent Sunday afternoon/night watch.

Once again Don Opper is here as the bumbling Charlie, except this time he's a full blown bounty hunter!

So we see Charlie, Ug and Lee on a planet hunting for some alien. Which they find when Charlie is attacked by the beast, thankfully Ug shoots it off of him.
While back in their space craft they get a call from the high council telling them that trace signs of Crites are still being found on earth.

Charlie seems both hesitant and excited that they are heading back.

We then see Brad Brown on a bus heading back to his old town of Grovers Bend. The bus driver doesn't recognize him and proceeds to tell him about the reason why the town is famous. Brad knows why, its because of the Critters.

We then see some of the eggs from the end of the first film are found and sold to the town rag and bone man for some beers by a punk kid. He then sells some of them on to a children's day care centre as Easter eggs the rest are left near a heater.

Brad is noticed by the town paper and its owners daughter, Megan. The other reporter goes to tell the ex sheriff Corbin, he is not interested since the town voted him out.

Back at the junk shop the eggs next to a heater have hatched and the creatures has eaten the guys dog, which he notices. He tries to save himself but the tiny baby critters all attack him, eating the stool he's stood on until it collapses and brings him down among the carnivorous fellas.

When some of the hidden eggs begin to hatch in the church garden, the (reluctant) new sheriff dressed as a bunny is attacked by said critters. He busts into the church all bloody and half eaten, Brad instantly recognises this as critter attacks. The town paper however marks it up as an accident, Megan believes Brad though.

So much fun ensues as Charlie arrives back on earth just in time to save Brad and some others, along with Ug and a newly transformed into a playboy model Lee. Brads happy to see him too and can't believe he's a bounty hunter too.
The hunters kill lots of Critters, the Critters kill some towns folks, then ultimately kill Lee which send Ug into a weird mourning blank face mode. Then rest of the townsfolk band together under Corbin and fight back, they come up with a plan to get the critters into the hamburger factory and blow it up hopefully killing them all inside.

The plan goes off without a hitch and the townsfolk  rejoice at the deaths of the little terrors. Unfortunately the critters have banded together to form a giant ball of gnashing teeth of death. This is funny especially anyone they run over just ends up as a totally stripped skeleton. Brad notices Charlie has disappeared.

Now I won't spoil the ending as usual here on THN but i will say this film suffers a lull in the middle but comes right back with the Critter ball, the film is better than the first in this way where as the original was just generally good all the way through. this has some good highs but low lows.
Definitely worth watching if it's on one night or great to watch as a series binge. So THN awards Critters 2 a good 3 out of 5 stars with a recommend to watch.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Review: Wishmaster (1997)

Stars: Andrew Divoff, Tammy Lauren

Budget: 5 Million

Directed By: Robert Kurtzman

Oh wishmaster, oh Divoff, how the Ham flows in this film. Like Julian Sands I have a big hole where the charm of Andrew Divoff's characters and just the grand posture of his presence can keep throwing things in endlessly.
I won't let this effect whether the film is good or not though but i will say without him it would have lost at least one star.

So we see some alchemist at the beginning preparing some kind of jewel. This part of the film is set in the past and also in the far east. For good reason too as there is a Djinn running rampant in the sultans court.
Djinn are not your usual big blue guys magically summoned from a lamp. No they are other worldly demons summoned from another realm.

This like to twist what you wish for into some  parody of what you actually asked for. like asking to be pretty forever he'd turn you into a statue so you'd be stuck as you are for all time. So they manage to trap the Djinn in the fire opal before he can make the sultan use his last wish.
Cut to present day we have Robert Englund and Ted Raimi supervising the delivery of an ancient and old statue. The drunken dock hand drops the large heavy statue right on top of Ted's character squashing the shit out of him.
This also cracks the statue into pieces and from inside the fire opal drops, one of the dock workers grabs it before anyone notices. Through a series of events it ends up in the hands of Alexandra who is a jewel appraiser. After seeing something weird she gives the jewel to her partner Josh, while he is inspecting it the opal breaks releasing the Wishmaster. The lab is destroyed and Josh badly wounded, the Djinn asks if he wishes the pain would stop, replying yes Josh is killed by him.

A distraught Alex tracks the Gems original destination to Englunds Beaumont, he ends up sending her to see folklorist Wendy who explains to her the story of the Djinn. Here she learns that the Djinn needs the power of one person willing to use three wishes which will allow him to bring forth armies of Djinn from his own dimension. The Djinn takes on the form of a deceased man granting wishes and killing on his way to Alex.

Alex keeps having strange and troubling visions everytime the Djinn grants a wish to someone, she tries to confide in Derleth but she soon realises it's the Djinn in disguise. He offers Alex the option for three wishes and even one extra wish just to see that he isn't lying.
Alex orders the demon to blow his head off, he obeys and shoots himself in the head. However being an immortal he just instantly returns to life, damn it so much for that attempt!
Trying to use her wishes intelligently she uses her first to gain knowledge on her enemy, of course the Djinn warps her wish anyway he can and transports her to his world. She instantly uses another wish to escape the nightmarish realm.

Thankfully she had wished to be alone, she ends up going to Beaumont's party where the Djinn attacks them again, in his human form. He starts killing folk by bringing the artwork to life, then threatens Alex's sisters life in return for the last wish from Alex.
Suffice to say she makes the right this time and the movie is subsequently over at this point but we don't spoil films unless their so dire I don't think it's worth your time even watching them.
A very decent film with fun cameo's brought to us by the late Wes Craven, THN awards Wishmaster a very decent 3 stars out 5 with a to watch recommendation.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

THN Top 5: Childs Play/Chucky Kills

The demon doll, the nice guy toy who is possessed by the soul of a killer. Chucky in his multitudinous movie series has killed his fair share of folks despite being a diminutive killer action figure. Some like all of the slasher flick genre have been funnier or more creative than most. With so many unique and interesting ways to kill here's just a few of my favourite Childs Play kills:

5. Hammerfall
From child's play 1 young Andy is being looked after by his mum's friend, one of chuckys first kills as a doll is Maggie. She gets bludgeoned with a hammer a few times before crashing through the top floor apartment window to a messy death on the pavement.

4. Catch a Grenade For You
Child's play 3 has some of the most gruesome and creative deaths of the whole series. After a live ammo incident Chucky proceeds to try and kill a bunch of army cadets and Andy with a grenade. Brave Harold leaps onto the grenade smothering the blast but gutting himself in the process.

3. Mirror, Mirror on the Ceiling?
From bride of Chucky we see two people canoodling on a bed when a champagne bottle is thrown into their lovely mirrored ceiling. Suffice to say it doesn't end to well for the receiving party.

2. Ammo exchange
Back to child's play 3 and in a mad bid to stop all opposition so he can put his soul in a new body Chucky swaps out all the blank rounds for live ammo.
It's not a pretty sight as we see young cadets start to cut each other down, until someone notices.

1. Eyeball replacement
My favourite and funniest kill of the series is in child's play 2 where the technician in the good guy factory is knocked onto the conveyor and subsequently has his eyeballs smashed into his head by a pair of dolls eyes, so funny seeing him laying there with them in his face.

Review: Killer Mermaids (2014)

Stars: Franco Nero, Kristina Klebe

Budget: Can't find

Directed by: Milan Todorovic

A Serbian b-movie that I recently
found on Netflix, the write up and
Pictures got me a little interested in
This cheaply made horror flick.
I was unfortunately disappointed
by what I watched. No means a bad
movie especially by b-movie
standards it was just so slow and boring
for the first 50 minutes in a maximum
run time of 96 minutes or so.
With the name as well it takes a good while before we are even treated to a glimpse of the mermaid.

So let's get on with the film shall we, not 5 minutes into its run time we are treated to b-movie boobies. When a man and woman are making out on a small stone jetty, port?
I'm not sure which, anyway even with the prospect of bewbs right in his face the dude ignores said jubblies and gets lured into the ocean.
He subsequently vanishes under the waves and an unknown person watches on, miss topless then proceeds to beg this guy for help only to get a massive hook in her neck. Which has some of the best practical effects in the film, good for a b-movie too.

We are then treated to the lovely form of another woman Lucy who gets out of a pool to shout at her friend Kelly whose working while they are supposed to be holidaying.
They've gone to meet an old college friend Alex who was some kind of lethario in their college days and had a thing with Lucy.
They meet up and it appears Alex has a new fiancee much to Lucy's chagrin. The proceed to party and the dialogue feels so strained at times and the topics they talk about surely college friends should know about each other.

Like Kelly's fear of water because of her brother drowning, this is all things that pad out the first boring 50 minutes or so of this film. Including Alex having a quick fling with Lucy that never really goes anywhere.
Also don't bank on any more boobs either the beginning was all your getting, the main actresses must have been like no way!

So they go to quaint little island and then the next day discover a disused military base, one of the women see's another structure on a near island that used to a prison Alex explains.
A new fellow suddenly pops out of the water totally freaking out the women but then magically charms them much to Alex's chagrin this time. We then learn he's a friend of Alex's fiancee, they arrange to meet up later for a drink. Before they leave Kelly spots an older guy over on the bases port.

Later on over drinks they discuss going to the prison, Alex is reluctant to take his yacht so boban says they take his boat. They are then warned by every horror movie staple, the crazy old guy to stay away from the island.

They of course ignore his ramblings and go to the island, they witness a man named Niko tip human remains down a well. When Kelly thinks she sees a woman down there thing suddenly from bad to worse and the film suddenly picks up some steam.
Although it's mostly Niko who starts to pick off the merry bunch one by one, we find out later he under control of the mermaid who actually loves him!
Alex gets attracted by the song and killed when we actually see the mermaid properly after 60 minutes or more with some piss poor CGI effects thrown into the mix.
Boban's boat is sunk and after he gets badly hurt only him and Kelly make it off the island after seemingly killing Niko.

Seems mermaid screaming will bring an old dead guy back to life. They escape from him a second time through tunnels connecting the island, they are then miraculously saved by the crazy old dude.
I'll stop there as there's not much left and if anything the last 20-30 minutes of this film make the boring first two 3rds of this film just about watchable.

I also found out this movie has been named a number of things from the above title to nymph, just killer mermaid and also Mamula. THN awards this film a 2 out of 5 stars based only on the last one 3rd of this film, watch if bored...

Monday, 20 February 2017

THN Fun: What is Your Horror Movie Name?

Ok let's introduce a new topic to THAN, why can't we have a bit of fun hey?
Horror movies do so, so should we!
Introducing what's your Slasher name!
Take your month of birth, hair colour then eye colour.
January - Professor
February - Slasher
March - Masked
April - Crazy
May - Demonic
June - Killer
July - Mangler
August - Nightmare
September - Feasting
October - Ghoulish
November - Festering
December - Satanic

Hair Colour:
Brown - Insane
Black - Mad
Ginger - Blood
Red - Knife
Grey - Dead
Blonde - Immortal

Eye Colour:
Blue - Zombie
Brown - Vampire
Grey - Friend
Green - Child
Mixed - Toy

Let me know down below or on Twitter what your horror movie name is.
Mine is - Professor Insane Zombie!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

THN Top 5: Spring/Summer Based Horrors

Aah it's coming folks the balmy warmth of spring caressing us like a lover, then the full on intensity of the inferno called summer stalking us like some obsessed maniac.
Who can tell I both hate the sun and heat?
Did I make it obvious enough?
So to kick-start these seasons off and to help sufferers like me hide away from the cloying sun, I have compiled here 5 of my favourite spring or summer based horror films.
Coming in at number five is,

5. I Know What You Did Last Summer
Aah back when the teen slasher horror genre had a bit of a come back then killed itself off like a skinny dipping teenager by going to far. From the like of scream starring many familiar faces we then got this, another run of the mill slasher featuring faces we recognised from shows such as Sarah Michelle Gellar from Buffy, Johnny Galecki from Roseanne and a whole host of other kids for hook fodder.
So a bunch of teens get drunk and run a guy over thinking they killed him they throw his body into the bay and promise each other not to tell anyone.
A little while later they start dying believing it to be the guy or one of the other friends.
It was enjoyable at the time but doesn't really hold up to times test now. Watch it for nostalgia or to see how the slasher flick revival came and went.
This spawned 2 sequels I still know and I'll always know what you did last summer. The latter I'm not sure if I've seen as it came quite late in 2006. Either that or it's so bad I erased it from my memories.

4. Zombi 2 or Zombie Flesh Eaters
Set in the blazing sun of tropical locations, I LOVE anything to do with zombies and I think this one of the first ones I seen aside from night of the living dead and return. This one absolutely put the shits up me, I mean this scared me I was young like 11 or something.
The zombies seemed so realistic and so animalistic compared to the zombie movies I had seen before.
For instance a zombie literally has a fight with a shark over who gets to eat it's victim!
Here's also the infamous eyeball on a giant splinter scene. If you want a great retro scare with good practical effects then this is for you. This is also part of a zombi series but each film isn't really linked to the other.

3. Jaws
The classic shark horror film based on Peter Benchley's novel where a killer great white shark comes to the shores of the popular beach town of Amity Island. She then proceeds to kill anyone silly enough to go in the waters.
Even when the local sheriff tries to shut down the beach the money hungry men of the town refuse as summer is their most lucrative time. Now this does it's scares really simple, slow pans building music and yes the occasional jump scare, head bobbing out of boat anyone?
A great horror movie possibly one of the best and most original stories ever put into film.

2. Piranha
There once was a time when going into the water was a most terrifying experience, a number of other creature features spawned from the success of Jaws. Except this was more of a parody of Jaws especially as it done by b-movie aficionado Roger Corman.
This time some bizarre genetically altered piranha are let lose into a nearby river they make their way towards Lost River Lake, a popular summer vacation spot. The heroes of the movie must stop the little devils before they reach the spot and devour all the holiday goers.
A fun movie that parodies Jaws horror with comedy and gore in excess, worth a watch though.

1. Friday the 13th
The original camping horror film that spawned one of the most recognizable faces, no masks of all time. We talk about the hockey mask of course.
Though the first movie it's Jason's mother Pamela Voorhees this doesn't make it any less of a horror, in fact it adds to the terror that some late forties woman is stalking and killing teens in their prime.
So why this crazy woman killing people in this summer camp?
Her son Jason was a disabled boy and while he drowned two councilors who should have been watching the children were off having sex. This film spawned countless slasher flicks based in summer camps and a long living films series. This is why this tops the list of summer/spring horror films!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Review: Victor Frankenstien (2015)

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy

Budget: $40 million

Directed By: Paul McGuigan

The story thats been told a million times in a million different ways finds quite a new way to retell the story from a different perspective.

That perspective is Igor's (Radcliffe), that's right we see the usually hunchbacked manservant of Victor's (McAvoy) background story.
From being the circus as a freak and a clown to being rescued due to his brilliant knowledge of medicine and the human anatomy.
Mainly self taught and from being the circus troupes on hand doctor should anyone need treating.

He is bullied and treated badly at the hands of the circus folk despite them being his 'family' When Victor see's him save the life of one of the trapeze artists he loves using a remarkable medical procedure he see's the potential the young man has.

Rescuing Igor In quite a flamboyant way they both escape after one of the circus members kills one of the other performers. A heavily Christian  police detective gets involved due to this and seems to get very personal towards Victor.
Victor seemingly violently attacks Igor once they get back to his place, what he really does is extract all the puss from the abscess on his back and force his spine straight with the help of a back brace.
He never realised that it wasn't a deformity just a cyst that's been on him for many years.

With Igor's help Victor is able to accelerate his work on dead tissue, Igor due to the kindness Victor has shown him is only all to happy to help him. The two become very good friends over the course of the film. Igor visits the girl from the trapeze accident frequently until she is removed by a lord who vows to look after her. However he hasn't lost her as this is just a front for the lord who prefers 'the company of men' She eventually recognizes Igor and they get along well.

They manage to create life with a monkey corpse and a few other bits. but when it goes mad in attempt to show some rich benefactors (of which Victor still manages to secure funding) the detective cottons onto what they are trying to do and does everything in his power to stop Victor.
Victor and Igor eventually have a falling out when Igor tries to get Victor to stop what he's doing and also rescue him from a mob that the detective has used to try and break into Victor's barricaded apartment. Escaping he leaves Igor behind to be almost killed by Victor's benefactor, Victor takes off for the benefactors family castle in Scotland.
The story of Frankenstein's monster pretty much starts from this point this on, except for the fact that Igor goes to try save Victor. That's pretty much the last 15-20 minutes of the film.

So you know here at THN we don't spoil the ending to films unless they're so abysmal we really don't think it's worth watching. Now this film is not great, despite both Radcliffe and McAvoy giving superb performances. I mean they really have great chemistry with each other and both leap head on into their roles. It's just something doesn't work be it the story, the pacing or supporting cast.
I can't quite put my finger on it but it's definitely a mix of the last three that makes this film lose one star from it's rating here. So yes it's only 2 out of 5 stars here at THN but i think it's definitely worth a watch for the two leading men's roles, other than that leave alone.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Review: They Look Like People (2015)

Stars: MacLeod Andrews, Evan Dumouchel


Directed By: Perry Blackshear

This film is more s psychological thriller than horror film, this does not however leave it lacking in tense scenes.
Wondering if these demons are real or some figment of  a mad mans imagination.

MacLeod plays a man who truly believes he is seeing demons, aliens, whatever their meant to be. The film does state demons at one point but i think it's a little open to interpretation.

So Wyatt (Macleod) goes to stay with his friend after waking in the middle of the night to what he thinks is his fiance turning into some creature.
He gets phone calls and texts from mysterious voices telling him that he has to prepare for a war that is coming.

We also see him freaking out whenever he thinks someone is changing or has become one of these beings. This is usually accompanied by some insect like buzzing noises.
When describing this he says people eyes turn their grin widens and heads split, this would be very frightening to someone even if it is just a hallucination. There's the crux though is it real or not?

His friend who he literally turns up on his doorstep Christian (Evan) invites him to stay for a while, he can see something is troubling his friend. They have been friends for a long time which is established throughout the films length and dialogue.
He gets keys cut for him, offers to get him a job asks him questions about his fiance and whats been going on in his life. Christian isn't without his problems too, constantly listening to self help tapes and trying his hardest in work and his love life.

Christian does get in with a girl from work, Mara. Both Christian and Wyatt meet her and a friend but her friend has fallen and concussed herself. They seem to has a good time getting to know each other while her friend is in the hospital.
All the way through despite good things happening we see Wyatt slowly descend into madness as he prepares himself for this coming 'war'. Such as buying assorted tools to use as weapons and sulfuric acid as he is told on the phone this really hurts the monsters.
As the film progressed he starts to think people closer to him are being taken over, even Mara who thinks is one of the people warning him on the phone. Except when he goes to see her later to apologize for being mad in front of her, we see her actually begin to change.

We don't see it fully but it is hinted to be horrific, so that's near the end of the film. I won't spoil any further like usual but i will say this is good plot and the actors make it all the more believable with spectacular performances. Especially Wyatt, we really don't know if he's seeing what he saw or its all really in his head. Not a totally great film but worth a watch on a boring afternoon.
THN awards this films 3 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Review: YouTube Short, The Visitor

Well this short ten minute movie does not allude to what it is until the very end. We see a fertility hospital where a doctor is going about her rounds.

Pretty normal she does seem to have made some kind of advancement in fertility treatments that are pleasing to the women who are attending the hospital.
Then near the end of the day she gets a text we can't really see this one or atleast I couldn't read it to well on my small screen. We then see her at home going through her notes when she receives another text, someone or something will see her soon.

She thinks it's her mother on a withheld number but when she rings her it's not. We then get a flash of something hurtling towards earth. The doctor awakes with a start it's just been a dream or has it?
Moving to the sink to put her wine glass inside she gets another flash of the same thing.

I won't spoil any more as you should watch it, it's a great short that makes you think one thing is happening, a stalker is what I thought then pulls out the rug from under you at the last minute. The doctors quite nice one the eyes too! Definitely worth a watch I think this company are innovative and ones to watch!

Friday, 27 January 2017

Romeo's Distress (2016)

Director: Jeff Frumess

Budget: $2553

Stars: Jeff Frumess, Nick Bohun, Alex Echevarria,
Anthony Malchar

Wow what can i say, this has to be one of the most
surreal ultra low budget film i've seen to date. Anthony
Malchar plays James a boy obsessed with a girl, quite deeply
obsessed too. He follows her around spying on her.

Jeff made this film for the Macabre faire film festival
2017, it was nominated for best director, best feature, best
actor (for Jeff Solomon). The picture actually won best
screen play too.
Shot over 15 months in Ny, Sleepy Hollow (I love that place)
and the white plains. The soundtrack, music and effects are
all outstanding in this film for such a low budget.
From the way some sounds are enhanced to give a scene more
bearing, like grandma eating cheese balls or feeding her
some baby food. Some really odd scenes where the extra sounds makes it just that tad more surreal.

So the actual film starts off in a nice colour scene where everything seems to be nice to be nice for our protagonist James. He is dancing with a girl he loves, Jane and all seems well between them.
This is some kind of dream sequence though as the colour disappears and we are introduced to the REAL James. A boy obsessed by the girl in a black and white world.

He gets roughed up by a boy, Bobby who Jane's father has hired of sorts to deal with this boy, for some reason that isn't entirely obvious at the moment. His grandma is weird but i think he's just caring for her the best he can.
There's also this guy uncle Elmo who pops up he's very strange and they all seem to have an obsession with cheese balls. He still persists in his following etc, so Jane's father actually kidnaps poor James and threatens him quite horrifically to stay away from Jane.
James is on probation for something we don't quite know yet, it must be quite serious by the way they end up threatening his life and torturing him.

Sending Bobby off with a note for James Grandma, telling her James has skipped town. He makes a mistake of leaving a sharpened trowel in James leg when he goes to take a call. He frees himself from the bindings and to the father protestations (who he caves his skull in with a shovel) James manages to escape. It kind of ends how i expected, i did guess the twist by about halfway through but this doesn't detract from a well told story.
I won't spoil it because if you ever get to watch this I really recommend you do, even the heart felt monologue at the end was great. For a low budget film this has some of best acting i've seen in any for a long time. Like any Romeo and Juliette story it ends as expected. but on a bright note it turns colour again and if there's anything you have gleaned from this, that's a good sign!

THN found this film odd, strange yet very though provoking. This gave it a deepness that even some big budget films fail to include in their stories or gets lost in to many plot devises. A strong 4 stars out of 5 for this great little low budget effort, I hope Jeff continues in this area of work!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Review: The Final Girls (2015)

Stars: Malin Ã…kerman, Adam DeVine, Alia Shawkat

Budget: $4.5 million

Directed By: Tod Strauss-Schulson

Wow what can I say I went into this film with certain expectations that just weren't met.....
In the most fantastic way ever!

Watching what I thought would be a bad parody of horror films like Halloween and Friday the 13th in the same vein as say Date Movie I was, and gladly might I add let down.

This was because I was instead treated to a fantastically meta, self aware film that was the right blend of tongue in cheek with some amazingly dramatic performances. The Final Girls has comedy and yes it parodies schlock 80s slasher flicks yet does so with a brilliantly bold story at it core. Not only that the performances by some reasonably familiar faces like Malin and Alia make this a great hidden gem. By the end of this movie I literally had a lump in my throat with sadness. There's flaws and sometimes some jokes or scenes don't 100% hit home but it does 90% of the time in an almost unbroken chain. So enough praise let's get on with what happens in the movie.

We are treated to a trailer of some old slasher film from the 80's called Camp Bloodbath, then back in the present Max daughter of Malins character Amanda is waiting in the car. Amanda was one of the stars of the movie and people still occasionally recognize her, mainly because the movie like films it takes the fun out off was and still is a b-movie classic. They do seem to get along reasonably well though despite some squabbling in the car.
Max is clearly distraught over some bills and tries to talk to her mother over them, though something that's not explained seems to be troubling Amanda to the point that she doesn't care about them. I definitely seen some hidden meaning here, maybe she was terminally ill? Unfortunately we see that pan out as the are involved in a car crash.

Cut to three years later Amanda died in the crash and Max seems to miss her an awful lot, she's also not doing well in school/college. Max is chatting to her friend Gertie (Shawkat) when Gerties brother Duncan asks her to come be a guest speaker at the showing of her mothers film.
She initially declines but with her failing marks Duncan offer to help her write some papers up for her for the whole year. Gertie also thinks a boy that keeps talking to Max called fancies her, especially since he hasn't long finished with Vicki an older ex friend of Max's.

She agrees and later that day they show up to the viewing, in a strange course of events (i think taking the piss out of each type of annoying idiot you can encounter in the cinema) the cinema catches fire.
In an effort to escape, the five-some pick up a dropped machete, don't ask me where it came from it just seems to materialize and drop to the ground. They then proceed to cut a hole into the cinema screen to escape through it.

Suddenly sucked into the movie world, though it seems to take them a little while to realise whats going on. The get taken along for the running time of the movie. Duncan suggests they just let the film run it's course but stay with the movies heroine so they can get back out of the movie.
Unfortunately this all goes ass backwards when the other start interfering in the films plot line. This end up getting one of them killed, Duncan who stupidly interacts with 'Billy' the films Jason style killer. Everything you can think of from flashbacks to comedic parodies happens in this film from here on out following all the usual tropes.
You act like a dick, you get killed.
You act slutty or have sex, you get killed.
Your not a virgin, you get killed.
Your an idiot, you get killed.
Throughout this part of movie Max and her mothers counterpart start to get along well like they used to. Only she is one of the people who dies in the movie, Max tries her hardest to stop this happening with some very heartfelt efforts.

This movie somehow evolves past a parody to become its own slasher flick, to a film with parodying elements and a very self aware plot. IT ultimately pulls on the heart strings when Max and even her mothers character realise near the end that the final slasher movie rule has to take effect.
There has to be one FINAL GIRL to take care of the killer, I'm not joking i got a lump in my throat and was close to tears at this point because they had built such a believable bond that you almost thought they might break the rule. Unfortunately not. Now there's more to it, a lot more but its all wrapped up in the ending that I just don't want to spoil any further.

So THN went into this with low expectations, these were soon elevated beyond normal movie, or B-movie  standards to something surprisingly well written and acted. In no means as good or cult worthy as it's original material (though i do believe it could reach cult status easy if more people see it) it's certainly worth a high 4 out of five stars from the horror master, with a heavy recommendation to sit down with some snacks and watch this thing!