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Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

Before Jason Voorhees donned a hockey mask (or even the burlap sack he wore for one film) and started his epic killing spree there was another murderer killing promiscuous teens at Camp Crystal Lake. While the villain is different, the modus operandi is exactly the same - watch horny teenagers get it on with each other and then butcher them with an inventive array of weapons. As you can probably guess, it's not the most elaborate plot ever devised, but director Sean S. Cunningham's 1980 classic is still a tremendous model of economy, ditching anything like characterisation in favour of cutting straight to the good stuff (Tom Savini's wonderful makeup effects and the odd bit of partial nudity).

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

Having started out with hit-and-miss remakes of William Castle flicks like House on Haunted Hill and Thir13en Ghosts, genre specialists Dark Castle Entertainment finally ventured into the uncharted world of original horror stories with this tale of a spooky ship haunting the Bering Sea. I say original, but while it's not actually a remake, this tepid scare film blows all of the good will it's bravura opening sequence generates by then proceeding to run a gauntlet of second-hand plot points and gore gags that any true genre fan will have tired of decades ago.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  1 comments

Even if he'd never made another good film (don't worry, he made plenty) I'd always have time for director Joe Dante thanks to this classic 1984 horror-comedy.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

I’ve always had a lot of time for slasher films. I know they aren’t particularly big or clever, but when they’re done right you end up with something truly magical like John Carpenter’s Halloween. And even when they aren’t done that well, you can still end up with something entertaining like the Friday the 13th series (there’s just something about the Voorhees clan that tickles my fancy) or even a My Bloody Valentine (either the original or the goofy 3D remake). So my interest was quickly piqued by the press release for Dark Castle Entertainment’s The Hills Run Red, a brand new slasher with a script by ‘splatter-punk’ author David J. Schow that was being touted as ‘a smart twist on extreme horror, with more blood, torture and suspense than ever before’.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

I blame Russell Mulcahy for my curious love of killer pigs in horror. Ever since I first saw his 1984 giant boar flick Razorback I've never been one to shy away from a spot of porcine violence. Sadly, it seems that very few filmmakers share my passion for bacon-flavoured terror, and as such I've had to make do with re-watching Mullcahy's aforementioned slice of Oz-ploitation (which, I still find to be his most satisfying film... yes, even more so than Highlander), that bit in the otherwise forgetable Evilspeak where Clint Howard unleashes a horde of Satanic pigs on a naked chick having a shower and re-reading Clive Barker's wonderfully weird short story Pig Blood Blues.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 29, 2009  |  0 comments

With the remake currently stinking up multiplexes on both sides of the Atlantic, it's no surprise that Warner Home Video has seen fit to bring the original Fame to Blu-ray this week.

Mark Craven  |  May 20, 2009  |  0 comments

Sometimes we want a movie to fill the gap between repeat viewings of The Dark Knight and Quantum of Solace. Something that doesn’t require turning the surround system up to 11 and banishing the wife and kids to the garden shed. If you feel the same way, then Bride Wars might just fit the bill.

Anton van Beek  |  May 14, 2009  |  0 comments

Shot guerrilla-style on the streets of New York city, this clumsily-titled shocker is one of the most impressive micro-budget horrors this reviewer has encountered in some time. The story follows a group of neighbours from a dilapidated apartment block who find their mundane lives turned upside down by an outbreak of violence that sweeps across the city.

Anton van Beek  |  May 11, 2009  |  0 comments

Cunningly released to coincide with the arrival of X-Men Origins: Wolverine at cinemas around the world, this latest animated X-Men series puts Wolverine front and centre by sidelining many of the franchise mainstays.

Anton van Beek  |  May 05, 2009  |  0 comments

Based on one of the lesser known works by writer and dramatist Edward Plunkett (better known as fantasy pioneer Lord Dunsany), this delightful shaggy dog story deals with an eccentric cleric who believes he had a past life as a canine. Set in the early years of the 20th century, the movie stars Jeremy Northam as Henslowe Fisk, a young man forced every Thursday to pay a visit to his cranky father Horatio (Peter O’Toole). The latter has closed himself off from the world since the death of his other son during the Boer War and the passing of his wife soon after.

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