Category Archives: Might See

Killer Party | It’s the event to die for!

When teenage thieves Caspar (Sam Strike), Iris (Virginia Gardner) and Dodge (Brandon Micheal Hall) infiltrate a mansion dinner party, they have plans for pulling off an easy heist. Little do they know that the dinner party is actually being hosted by for a group of recovering serial killers. Once the mansion owners realise they are about to be robbed, all hell breaks loose…

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Each of our would-be thieves have their reasons for attempting one last heist to ensure a better life, but not even the best of intentions will save them from the party’s killer line-up. John Wick regular Lance Reddick carries a remarkable gravitas as the ‘recovering’ murderers’ de facto leader, YouTuber-turned-actor Kian Lawley’s cranks up a disturbing turn as the sleazy son, and Charmed‘s Julian McMahon has a whole lot of scenery-chewing fun as the family patriarch.

From the energetic camerawork and music to some imaginative feats of bloody ultra violence and the lashings of black humour, Killer Party is an event to die for!

Out on DVD and Blu-ray 27 May 2019 from Altitude Film Entertainment

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Demonlover | Olivier Assayas’ neo-noir/cyber thriller unleashed on Blu-ray

Twenty years after David Cronenberg prophesied the dark side of the Internet age in Videodrome, acclaimed French filmmaker Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep) updated it for the New Millennium in his startlingly prescient 2002 thriller Demonlover, a chilling exploration of the nexus between sex and violence available at the click of a button.

Up-and-coming executive Diane (Connie Nielsen) lets nothing stand in her way when it comes to landing the lucrative Tokyo Anime contract for the Volf Corporation, guaranteeing worldwide exclusive rights to the latest in cutting-edge hentai.

Despised by her assistant (Chloë Sevigny) and engaged in a risky game of corporate espionage, her ruthless ambition meets its match in Elaine (Gina Gershon), the charismatic representative of an American Internet porn company called Demonlover.

However, the company is only the front for an online portal to the Hellfire Club, which gives its users control over the next big thing in interactive extreme pornography: real women, tortured according to subscribers’ whims, in real time.

Diane wants a piece of the action, and will stop at nothing to get it; but as she delves deeper into the twisted world of the Hellfire Club, reality slips away and the stakes of the game are raised to the point of no return.

Armed with a pounding score by Sonic Youth, Assayas’ neo-noir/cyber horror is finally unleashed for the first time on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy, with revealing extras and a new director-approved restoration.

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• Brand new 2K restoration of the 121-minute director’s cut, approved by Olivier Assayas
• High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation
• Original 5.1 DTS-HD master audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Audio commentary by writer/director Olivier Assayas
• New visual essay written and narrated by critic Jonathan Romney
Peripherie de Demonlover: Behind-the-scenes documentary directed by Yorick Le Saux
• Archive interviews with Olivier Assayas, Connie Nielsen, Chloë Sevigny and Charles Berling
SY NYC 12/12/01: The Demonlover Sessions: a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the recording of the music score by Sonic Youth
• Q&A with Olivier Assayas filmed at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2003
• Extended version of the Hellfire Club sequence
• Original theatrical trailers
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon
• FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson

The Haunted House of Horror | Fancy a seance and an orgy with Frankie Avalon? Well you’ve got the wrong address!

At a ‘swinging’ London party, a group of bored teenagers decide they want a new ‘experience’, so Richard (Julian Barnes) suggests they head to a deserted mansion where an infamous murder took place. But during their ‘ghost hunt’, one of their number ends up brutally stabbed to death. Hiding the body, the gang decide not to tell the police, which turns out to be a really bad move. As guilt gets the better of them, they decide the only solution is to return to the scene of the crime…

Oh dear! This dated 1960s Tigon/AIP horror is embarrassingly bad, yet bizarrely enjoyable for its kitsch value. Beach Party‘s Frankie Avalon swaps his shorts and surfboard for some Carnaby Street clobber as the jaded group’s nominal leader. But he looks way older than his character should be, and practically dials in his performance. But he’s certainly not as stiff as Dennis Price (a last minute replacement for an ailing Boris Karloff), whose police inspector does little more than take phone calls. Among the dolly birds and male model supporting cast are future sitcom stars Richard O’Sullivan and Robin Stewart, pop singer Mark Wynter, and actress Jill Haworth (who ended up in Tower of Evil and The Mutations).

For fans of vintage British horror, you either love or hate this deeply-flawed attempt by Tigon to craft what is probably the UK’s first teen slasher, and its production history is certainly way more interesting than the film itself. Originally called The Dark, it was based on an original screenplay by 23-year-old Michael Armstrong, who also got to direct until he was removed by Tigon’s AIP co-producers, who demanded cuts, script changes and reshoots, to the point that the finished product looked nothing like what Armstrong had originally intended (he want to make a satire on the youth scene). Hence why George Sewell’s scenes look like they come from another movie. They were added to make up the running time after big cuts were made, which got rid of a homosexual subplot and other more interesting elements.

The restoration, however, is impressive as it really highlights the effective camerawork and lighting, particularly so in the mansion scenes (shot on location at the Birkdale Palace Hotel in Southport, but using sets constructed to look battered and aged). There’s so much more detail now and the colours really pop (especially in the cast’s trendy attire). Check out the clip below about the restoration work (But BIG spoiler alert! The killer is revealed).

While the film ended up generating good returns (especially when it was released in the US as Horror House on a double-bill with Crimson Cult – aka Curse of the Crimson Cult) it’s a real pity its a dog’s dinner of a thriller. But one can only imagine how it could have turned out had Armstrong had achieved his original concept with his dream cast of David Bowie, Scott Walker, Ian Ogilvy and Jane Merrow. If you want to read Armstrong’s original screenplay for The Dark, you purchase it from Paper Dragon Productions for £13.99. Just click on the link.

The Haunted House of Horror is available on Blu-ray in the UK from Screenbound

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Commentary and a new interview with director Michael Armstrong
• Interview clips with Michael Armstrong, actors Mark Wynter, Carol Dilworth and Veronica Doran; plus hair stylist Ross Carver, camera operator James Devis, production secretary Jeanette Ferber, dubbing editor Howard Lanning and editor Peter Pitt.

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich | World War III begins on your toy shelf!

The murderous marionettes are back as Fangoria presents their ultraviolent reboot of Charles Band’s Puppet Master horror franchise, The Littlest Reich, from directors Tommy Wiklund and Sonny Laguna.

When divorced comic book writer/store clerk Edgar (Reno 911!’s Thomas Lennon) finds one of the infamous Toulon Blade puppets in mint condition at his family home, he decides to sell it for some quick cash. New girlfriend Ashley (Jenny Pellicer) and nerdy pal Markowitz (Nelson Franklin) join Edgar as he heads to Oregon for an auction being held in the mansion where the infamous Toulon Murders took place 30 years previously.

But when the puppets are reanimated and start targeting ‘undesirables’, the trio team up with a security officer (Barbara Crampton) and a clueless cop (Michael Pare) to draw the puppets from out of the shadows to take them down…

The political satire may be as subtle as one of Donald Trump’s speeches, and the acting questionable, but the cartoon gore is a whole lotta fun and wonderfully offensive. A gypsy guy has his head chopped off while taking a leak, and ends up pissing on his own head; a Jewish couple get barbecued alive; and a black woman has her unborn foetus ripped from her stomach. But the OTT carnage really gets going when the toy shelf Nazis launch their all-out attack on the mansion…

Joining old favourites, Blade, Tunneler, Torch (aka Kaiser) and Pinhead, in this 13th-entry are seven new deadly dolls, including Junior Fuhrer, a diaper-wearing baby doll with the face of Adolf Hitler, who takes possession of a blonde German muscle dude by ripping open his back and crawling inside so he can operate him like a real-life puppet. But the Nazi nipper does get his comeuppance when Markowitz throws him into an oven.

With a neat (though short) cameo from Udo Keir (as Andre Toulon), a terrific score from the legendary Fabio Frizzi and an ending that hints at the franchise’s return, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a bloody, silly, fun ride indeed.

Out in selected UK cinemas from 19 April 2019

 

The Green Inferno: Cannibal Holocaust 2 and Cannibal Terror on Blu-ray

THE GREEN INFERNO: CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST 2 (1988)
For years fans waited for the release of a sequel to Ruggero Deodato’s trendsetting Cannibal Holocaust, yet it would take almost a decade for The Green Inferno, also known as Cannibal Holocaust 2, to arrive… and it wasn’t what followers of the Italian cannibal cycle were expecting.
A group of enterprising adventurers venture into the Amazon jungle in search of a missing professor but soon the youngsters encounter more than they bargained for – European colonialism is exploiting the rainforest and the natives are fighting back! While Deodato’s original critiqued the mondo pseudo-documentary phenomenon, here director Antonio Climati (Mondo Cane, Savage Man, Savage Beast) turns the focus to satirising the hypocrisy and complexity of Cannibal Holocaust itself. A potent mix of macabre imagery, scenic locations, extreme gore and sly in-jokes, The Green Inferno is the gut-munching sequel you always knew you wanted but were too afraid to ask for!

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Brand new 2K remaster from the original camera negative in 1.66:1 OAR
• Extensive clean-up and colour correction carried out in the UK
• Remastered uncompressed English audio
• Remastered uncompressed Italian audio with newly translated subtitles
• ‘Scenes From Banned Alive: The Rise and Fall of Italian Cannibal Movies’. Ruggero Deodato, Umberto Lenzi and Sergio Martino discuss their notorious cannibal films, including The Man From Deep River, Cannibal Ferox, Cannibal Holocaust and The Mountain of the Cannibal God
• Italian opening and closing credits
• Remastered trailer

CANNIBAL TERROR (1981)
First there was Cannibal Holocaust… Then came Cannibal Ferox … But somewhere in France, someone was already hatching a plot to cash-in on the Italian intestinal classics with Cannibal Terror. With no budget, no professional actors and no flights to Amazonia, Cannibal Terror instead gives us Deodato and Lenzi on a cash-strapped level and the end result is The Room of cannibal movies! Brilliant and blood-soaked late night entertainment, Cannibal Terror was one of the UK’s infamous ‘video nasties’ – showing that our beloved censors have little in the way of a sense of humour! However, this torrid tale of stranded tourists being hunted by hungry natives is a work of demented genius from director Alain Deruelle that words can barely do service to. Prepare to feast your eyes on Cannibal Terror!

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Limited edition o-card slipcase [first print run only]
• Limited edition collectors’ booklet by Calum Waddell [first print run only]
• High definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Uncompressed English audio
• Optional English subtitles
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• ‘That’s Not The Amazon! – The Strange Story of the Eurocine Cannibal Film Cycle’
• Deleted scene
• Theatrical trailer

88 Films presents The Green Inferno: Cannibal Holocaust 2 and Cannibal Terror on Blu-ray 11 March 2019

The Sentinel (1977) | Michael Winner’s satanic shocker is perversely entertaining

The Sentinel (1977)

Troubled fashion model Alison Parker (Nashville‘s Cristina Raines), with a history of suicidal tendencies, rents an apartment in an old Brooklyn brownstone, where a mute blind priest, Father Halliran (John Carradine), sits all day and night beside an upstairs window.

After meeting the other tenants, including the overly-friendly Charles Chazen (Burgess Meredith) and Bohemian lesbian couple, Gerde (Sylvia Miles) and Sandra (Beverly D’Angelo), Alison begins having bouts of insomnia caused by strange late-night sounds coming from the apartment above hers and terrible dreams about murdering her recently deceased father.

But when she complains to her real-estate agent, Miss Logan (Ava Gardner) about the noises, Alison learns that there are no neighbours in the property except herself and the priest. Oh dear!

Worried that she might be loosing her mind, Alison turns to her lawyer boyfriend Michael (Chris Sarandon) for help, and then sets out to investigate on her own. Digging through the building’s past, she is shocked to learn that it guards the gates to Hell and that she has been chosen by a secret group of Catholic priests to be the next sentinel…

Riding the satanic horror wave of the Seventies, The Sentinel is based on the 1974 novel of the same name by Jeffrey Konvitz, who adapted it for the screen and acted as producer alongside director Michael Winner.

Damned by critics on its release as being ‘grubby and grotesque’, Winner’s only attempt at the horror genre is certainly not up to par with the likes of Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist and The Omen, but its perversely entertaining with some unsettling set pieces, cheesy dialogue and noteworthy performances from its A-list cast. Plus, the special effects and Gille Mellé score are a winning combo, along with the 1970s stylings and New York City locations.

Burgess Meredith, who scored a Oscar nod for his stand-out turn in Rocky the previous year, really goes to town as one of the damned inhabitants, as does Eli Wallach as a shouty detective, whose sidekick is a young Christopher Walken. And among the other familiar faces are José Ferrer, Martin Balsam, Arthur Kennedy, Deborah Raffin and Jeff Goldblum.

The shocks are few, but genuinely frightening: especially Alison fighting off her naked rotting dead dad, the lesbian couple having a cannibalistic late night supper, and the hellish finale in which Winner ‘exploitatively’ uses real people with physical deformities to play the demonic creatures trying to prevent Alison from fulfilling her destiny. But for me, the really gross-out scene is when Beverly D’Angelo pleasures herself in front of an embarrassed Alison.

The Final Cut Entertainment Region 2 DVD (released on 23 November 2018) features an OK print of the film, but no extras.

DID YOU KNOW?
Alison’s Brooklyn brownstone was never knocked down as seen in the closing scenes of the film. It is in fact one of the grandest mansions in Brooklyn Heights, and is located at 10 Montague Terrace.

Nestled in a quiet corner right off the Promenade that runs between Brooklyn Bridge and Atlantic Avenue, the historic 1900 building is distinctive for its dramatic facade, magnificently detailed mahogany woodwork and other original details throughout.

Today, it has been renovated into a number of luxury apartments. One went for around $1.15m in April this year, while another was on offer for $1.8m.

Night of the Creeps (1986) | The cult sci-fi zom-com gets a dual format release

Night of the Creeps

From Eureka Entertainment comes director Fred Dekker’s jokey 1980s sci-fi comedy Night of the Creeps, in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of the Eureka Classics range.

When an alien experiment goes awry, it crashes to Earth in 1959 and infects a college student. 27 years later, his freeze-dried body is unwittingly revived by nerds Chris (Jason Lively) and JC (Steve Marshall), which releases alien slugs that turn their fellow campus students into brain-hungry zombies. Chris, CJ and Chris’ new girlfriend Cynthia (Jill Whitlow) must then team up with a troubled detective (Tom Atkins) to find a way to defeat the zombie horde…

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Presented for the first time on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK, this deluxe edition of Night of the Creeps features the original director’s cut and the following special features…

DUAL FORMAT SPECIAL FEATURES
• High-definition remaster of the director’s cut
• Original stereo soundtrack and 5.1 surround audio options, presented in PCM and DTS-HD MA respectively on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary by writer/director Fred Dekker
• Audio commentary by actors Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall and Jill Whitlow
Thrill Me: Making Night of the Creeps: an hour-long series of video pieces on the making of the film featuring new interviews with cast and crew
Tom Atkins: Man of Action featurette
• Video Interview with Fred Dekker
• Deleted Scenes
• Original theatrical ending (which I rather prefer)
• Trivia track subtitles
• Theatrical trailer
• Limited-edition booklet featuring a new essay by critic Craig Ian Mann
• Limited Edition O-Card slipcase

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The Monster (2016) | This slow-burning creature feature is a tense, but flawed affair

MONSTER (2016)

Neglectful alcoholic mum Kathy (Zoe Kazan) is driving her 10-year-old daughter Lizzy (Ella Ballentine) to her ex-husband’s home when she hits a wolf, which damages her car. An ambulance crew soon arrives, along with tow car mechanic, Jesse (Aaron Douglas), who starts fixing the car when he’s attacked by a monstrous creature. When a severed arm lands on the bonnet and a severly wounded Jesse is dragged under the car, Kathy and Lizzy must work together in order to survive the night…

MONSTER (2016)

This claustrophobic two-hander horror from director Bryan Bertino (The Strangers) runs 91mins, but you have to wait for nearly 40mins before anything happens by way of action – even then it quietens down again before the final showdown. It certainly is a slow-burner, but most of the film’s running time is taken up with the kind of mother-daughter domestics that you’d expect from a weepie melodrama. It’s a bit of a drag, despite the effective man-in-a-furry-suit creature design and the engaging performances from both Ballentine and Kazan (who replaced original choice, Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss).

MONSTER (2016)

Still, the slow bits (and flashbacks) gave me time to wonder what this monster was, where it had come from and why attack now? At first I thought it might be a werewolf or even Bigfoot, then I wondered if it weren’t a manifestation of Lizzy’s internal anger, similar to the superb 2014 Oz shocker The Babadook, which also dealt with angst-ridden parent-child issues. Bertino doesn’t offer up any answers, which makes me think he may have missed a trick (or did I read this film all wrong?). Oh, and the pay-off (involving a large stick) is just a tad too silly after all that build-up. Lots of reviewers have given this four or five stars – I’m giving it ★★★

The Monster lurks onto DVD and Digital from Icon Film Distribution on 8 October

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Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013) | The Nazi horror is back for another gory testosterone-fuelled adventure

Outpost3_DVD_cover

‘CRY HAVOC, LET LOOSE THE DOGS!’
On the Eastern Front during the dying days of World War Two, Sergeant Dolokhov (Bryan Larkin) and his Russian Red Guard raid a Nazi convoy, but are captured and detained in an underground facility, where they discover the Nazis are attempting to create an army of invincible undead soldiers.

Fearing the success of the Lazarus project could turn the tide of the war effort, Dolokhov and fellow soldier Fyodor (Iván Kamarás) try to find a way to escape. But first they must survive becoming the next subjects in the terrifying experiment.

Outpost III (2013)

‘DYING ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE’
If you like your horror dripping in blood and testosterone, then you’ve certainly come to the right place. I’ve never seen the first two instalments of this Nazi franchise, but the lure of beefy blokes engaging in some brutal bare-knuckle combat with some seriously pumped up zombies, I couldn’t resist.

Outpost III (2013)

On the plus side, the production values are pretty good, featuring some cool vintage soldier kit, uniforms, vehicles and armoury and an explosive opening. While the descent into the underground bunker is a genuinely spooky ghost ride. On the minus side, there are few surprises on offer, the dialogue is delivered badly, and the corny humour just doesn’t work in a film that wants to be a tough, brutal horror. The German accents are particularly laughable, while Larkin slips into his native Scottish tongue on more than one occasion.

Outpost III (2013)

Despite this – and the fact that the monstrous creations are no more than wrestlers bulging out of their uniforms – the film does exactly what it says on the tin, and kudos especially go to Larkin as the fearless Wolverine-inspired Russian fighter hero. He certainly gets my vote as Man of the Match.

Outpost III (2013)

FAVOURITE LINE
‘Asshole or bullet? In the end you’ll scream just the same’

Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz is out on DVD in UK from eOne Entertainment (order from Amazon) and premieres on The Horror Channel (Sky 317, Virgin 149, Freeview 70, Freesat 138) today at 11pm.

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House | The hit horror franchise restored and uncut on Blu-ray and DVD

HOUSEStep inside! You’re frightfully welcome! The hit horror House franchise opens its creaky doors once again with the release of all four instalments on DVD and Blu-ray, with 2k restorations and all uncut.

For those who didn’t snap up the House: The Collection box-set back in March 2017, you can now add these beauties to your home cinema collection as individual releases.

House

Having looked at the bonus extras on offer, Arrow have added some newbies, including the first draft screenplay of House, vintage Making Of featurettes of House and House II, and workprint footage of the final two instalments, alongside all the other great special features that were featured in the Collection box-set.

Makes for a great stocking filler! And don’t those covers look cool?

If you want to read more about the House franchise, check out my original post HERE

HOUSE IIHOUSE IIIHOUSE IV

 

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