Monday, 15 July 2013

Texas Chainsaw 3D

So these days I've been reviewing for a wee online magazine called West Lothians GoGuide. So to keep up to date with all my ramblings then check them out there. This month however there was a review to spare. Here it is.

I’m a huge fan of the original texas chainsaw massacre. I remember buying a copy from a shop in Virginia galleries back when it was banned. You’d walk into the shop and a guy would hand you a list. Then he’d make a call and someone would turn up with a pirated VHS copy of the film, copied from the old beta max or laserdisc. It was like some weird drug deal but you were fixing for a horror film. But that was back when it was the only way to get a hold of this kind of film. It’s crazy to think that now you can find it on DVD in a supermarket. When it was finally rereleased in the cinema I ran to see it at a midnight showing and it blew me away. Words cannot describe how intense the original film is on the big screen.

So now they’ve decided to make a new sequel… And well. This film is like someone digging up a dead loved one and smashing them to pieces with a hammer whilst shouting “LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO” repeatedly. It has no redeemable qualities and does a paranormal activity. By that I mean it completely rewrites what happened at the end of the last film. I mean it shows you what happens at the end of the original film, then completely disregards it and suddenly has a big group of people in the rednecks house to get shot up. Oh yeah and a baby.

The film follows the baby, now grown up. She has been left a house by a dead relative she never knew she had. She goes with a group of her friends to the house, Leatherface is there. People die in really uninteresting ways. Unlike the original it does nothing for the horror genre. It just meanders along and is a huge disappointment. Especially considering they already have good sequels made of the original AND they’ve already remade this and made a prequel to the remake. It makes no sense that this film should happen. It boggles the mind. It’s a big pair of pants. Stay well clear.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Best films of 2011

So the 2011 is at an end, the hangovers have hopefully subdued, and I appear to be babyless for the next 2 hours so I thought I'd give you a run down of my favourite films of last year. Before I get into that I'll give a little shout out to the films that just missed out on a place in the final 10.

Super 8 was outstanding and yet again proved that JJ Abrams can make the transition between TV and film. The Troll Hunter proved that I wasn't sick of mockumentaries, mainly due to it being fucking awesome. Drive Angry was the best film of the year that should have been horrific, but had me giggling in glee all the way through it, and I laughed so hard at Bridesmaids I nearly shat myself. Bugger I nearly forgot to give shout out to the outstanding Drive and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Dumbass.

But wait if those films aren't in the top ten, what the hell made it.

10. Beginners
Beginners was a rather unexpectedly beautiful film directed by Mike Mills. The film is principally about two relationships. Ewan Mcgregor and his recently deceased dad played by Christopher Plummer have their relationship played through flashbacks. Beginning with Christopher Plummer coming out after the death of Ewans mother. The other being a new possible romantic relationship between Ewan Mcgregor and Melanie Laurent, a film star who lives through constant transition.

The film manages to get a ton of emotion across without ever being overly schamltzy. As his father slowly dies of cancer in the flashbacks his relationship with Laurent blossoms, then stutters as real life plays it's part. I won't spoil any more of the film than I may have already have. Just get a hold of the DVD, it's a worthy addition to any collection.

9. Hanna

This film took me totally by surprise, I didn't really know what to expect other than it'd be well acted due to the amazing cast. I mean Joe Wright had previously only directed big epic films like Atonement, or Pride and Prejudice so an action film of this caliber completely fucked me up.

The film grabs you by the balls and leads you through a great story and a whole lot of character development which well surpasses the action film I thought I was going to see. Not since the first Bourne film has an action film had me gripped to the seat.

8. Tucker and Dale vs Evil
I previously reviewed this film in this very blog, it hasn't lost anything with repeat viewings. If you haven't seen this film and are in any way a fan of horror films you NEED to get this film. You will not be disappointed. It basically shows the hick side of the standard horror film and puts it on it's head in the most amusing fashion.

7. Tyrannosaur
Paddy Considines directorial debut is one of the most powerful films I saw this year. I'd be doing a disservice to the cast if I didn't mention them all by name but since I'm trying to get through this in a couple of paragraphs I'm gonna have to fly past it and just say they are all outstanding and well worthy of any accolades or awards they receive.

It's not a happy film, like Mullens NEDs last year it doesn't show a nicer side of life. It's a very bleak view of life. From the opening scene where Mullen kicks his dog (and best friend) to death you know you aren't leaving the cinema whistling dixie but the film is so powerful I found myself unable to move at the end of the film. I just had to sit there so I could process what I'd just watched. Words cannot do justice to how good this film is.

6. Stake Land
This is another film I previously mentioned in my blog, and I knew when I finally got a hold of the DVD that it'd be here at the end of the year as one of the best. It's a small independent horror film that far surpasses all the horror crap that Hollywood threw at us this year. The characters were well developed, the storyline well thought out and the acting was superb.

Last time I mentioned this film I spoke of the outstanding Danielle Harris who is the mark of a good horror film. I don't mean this in a creepy or pervy way, she's just an actress who only seems to have the midas touch when it comes to horror films. The rest of the cast are also phenomenal considering how little money this film cost. American independent horror is alive and well. Thank fuck for that.

5. Thor
The last few years my best of film lists have basically been all the awesome comic book films of the year in some order that most people disagree with. This year I decided to just put my favourite in here. Now don't get me wrong this was an outstanding year for the comic book films.

Green Lantern was great but showed that DC still have a lot to learn outside the big two. Cowboys and Aliens managed to be both a great western and the best alien invasion film of the year. Dylan Dog dead of night was fucking immense and if you haven't caught it you really have to check the rather wonderful affair about a supernatural private eye starring Brandon Routh. And Marvel yet again tickled our testicles in preparation for The Avengers with Captain America and my favourite Thor.

Now I've been a huge fan of Thor since I was a kid, but to be honest I wasn't expecting much from this. I just didn't see how the you could make a genesis of Thor film without it being a mess. Luckily Kenneth Branagh and all those involved did. It was thoroughly enjoyable and did indeed get the juices going for the upcoming Avengers film.Awesome.

4. 5050
A comedy about cancer, how the hell is that going to work. Oh wait, base it on the your own life and make it about the weird awkwardness of people confronted by it and you have a rather wonderful film. Again it doesn't get too schmaltzy, even when confronted with moments that could have easily had me reaching for the sick bag. Add to that some stellar performances by all involved and you get a damn fine film.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is quickly becoming an actor which will lead me to see a film regardless of knowing anything else about it. Thankfully since most actors seem to chase the money regardless of the content of the film. Wait he was in GI Joe, cuntballs.

3. Source Code
Yet another film I previously reviewed here, and yet again it still stands up. It's not too long and could be slightly simplified as groundhog day gone horribly wrong but there's just something about Duncan Jones film that keeps bringing me back to watch it again and again. It's like an episode of the outer limits, the twilight zone or The Ray Bradury theatre.

It's like the kind of film M.Night Shymalan should be making by now instead of slowly drifting into madness. I'm just waiting for the announcement that his next film is going to be about a priest that fucks reanimated corpses. Seriously, what the fuck happened to that guy. Wait, source code, yeah it's fucking awesome.

2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
You know that moment when you hear that they're making a prequel to that movie you love and your like, "What the fucking fuck, why can't they leave things the fuck alone? Like Tim Burtons abortion of a film wasn't bad enough we have to get some new shit." Yeah that was seriously my reaction when I heard they were doing this. How fucking wrong can one man be.

This film completely and totally blew me away, by the end I was rocking back in forth giggling uncontrollably, there was a moment when I though I was just going to explode in a fountain of cum. Seriously I still can't get over how good this film was. It was worth the price of admission just for the scenes between Caesar and John Lithgow alone.  

1. Warrior
Up until putting this list together I had no idea what would be my number one film of the year, it was between the top three but I just couldn't make up my mind, but Warrior is the worthy winner of that accolade. Yeah that's how awesome I am, I bet Tom Hardy is like fuck me that's amazing. Actually he's one of the main reasons this became number one. He's had an amazing year. Nick Nolte is the best I've seen him for a long time. It was good to see his return to glory, like that of an old alcoholic friend that you love regardless of how destructive he is around you coming good. It was genuinely great to see him being awesome again.

The MMA was well shot, and barring a few glaring moments towards the end was believable. It was a film made with love. Like Rocky for MMA with two brothers fighting for a grand prize. I can't wait to see this film again. The DVDs out in February, so hurry the fuck up February. If you haven't seen this film, regardless of your interest in MMA go and see it. You don't have to be a fan of American Football to enjoy Any Given Sunday, or Remember the Titans. Or a fan of Baseball to enjoy Field of Dreams or Major League. But what can I say, I love a good sports movie, where the fuck's my copy of bad news bears. I've got films to watch.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Tucker & Dale vs Evil

Eli Craig
Tyler Labine
Alan Tudyk
Katrina Bowden

This weekend I had the fortune of having a preorder arrive early... This is the first time this has ever happened as usually I don't get the fucking thing until Wednesday. Huzzah... Let's get our review on.

This starts off like your usual horror. A bunch of badly acted teen stereotypes head out to a cabin in the middle of nowhere for spring break. On the way they pass some dodgy looking hillbillies. They realise they need beer and stop to grab some. At the store however the film changes from your run of the mill horror set up and starts following the hillbillies Tucker and Dale.
So basically without spoiling anything because as you all know, people who post spoilers are cunts. Like Rosie O'Donnell. As Tucker and Dale head out to their new holiday cabin the teens start to believe they are homocidal hillbillies from a horror movie that have kidnapped their friend and begin making attempts to attack them.

This film is awesome, and not just if your a fan of the kind of films this is sending up. Even the wife was laughing. I mean not as much as me, but she made it through the whole film, which is a lot more than can be said for most of the stuff I put on. It's a perfect comedy horror, and that's hard to do. I mean the only one I can think of right now is Shaun of the Dead. If you want to throw the Evil Dead films into the comedy horror genre then that's cool. This film sits right up there with all of them.
It manages to be both gruesome and funny as hell. Probably because the gruesome scenes are also funny. The set up is perfect and every time you go back to see what the teens are doing you can totally picture the other side of this movie in which they believe the hillbillies are out to get them. The film also has the best explanation to a cop I have ever seen. I know that sounds weird right now but when it happens in the film you'll laugh your ass off.

Anyway, it's a new release to DVD on Monday. Buy the damned film. It's awesome and you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

New Hammer DVD releases

In a rather awesome stroke of luck Hammer are releasing some of their old films on DVD. Films that haven't been available for some time. Hurrah. Okay not all the discs are perfect but it's still good news right... Okay here's the run down on what to expect.

First up The Dick Barton Trilogy.
I'm doing this one first as it's the only non horror release of the selection. For those who don't know the history of Dick Barton, he was the main protagonist in a daily radio programme in the late 40s. Hammer bought the rights to make a series of films based on the character, the series ended after the actor playing Dick Barton, Don Stannard died in a car crash.

The first film in the series is Dick Barton Special Agent (1948) and to be honest it's bloody awful, the print is really bad and the film is not much better. The attempts at humour haven't aged well and the whole cast with the exception of Stannard is fucking horrendous. I nearly didn't make it onto the second film this one was so bad. Luckily I did.
Dick Barton Strikes Back (1949) is an outstanding old detective story, the far superior Bruce Walker is now playing his comedy sidekick Snowy and the rest of the gang from the first film have thankfully disapeared. The print is much better and the film itself as mentioned above is really good. Entire villages in England are being wiped out and Dick Barton is on the case. It's this film that made me realise how good a character Dick Barton was and stands up well against other detective films of the time like the Mr Wong and Mr Moto series.

Finally we have Dick Barton at Bay (1950), another good detecive yarn, unfortunately George Ford is back playing Snowy but he's much better in this film than our first encounter, probably due to a lack of the awful Jock. Anyway this is another good film in which Dick Barton goes after a Death Ray that's been stolen by the Russians. Just a few years after the war and the Russians are evil already. Awesome.

It's another decent print and an enjoyable film. It's worth picking up this set if your a fan of old detective films, I'd skip past the first one though as you may not bother with the second one having suffered through 70 minutes of pure drivel.

Next up X the Unknown (1956).
This was clearly trying to be a sequel to the awesome Quatermass Xperiment, but for whatever reason Nigel Kneale refused to have his character used for it. Regardless it is a damn fine film with some rather gruesome face melting scenes. A radioactive blob is roaming the Scottish courtyside eating up all the radiation it can find, all the while leaving bodies in it's wake.

The print is okay, though the quality of the sound isn't that great. It's well worth a watch and considering it's only the second horror film Hammer produced we've got a lot to thank it for. The screenplay is by the outstanding Jimmy Sangster who also wrote The Mummy, Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula. He couldn't direct for shit but had to be one of the best writers working for Hammer. Definitely worth a pick up, especially for the low price these films are available for.

Last, but not least in any way is The Abominable Snowman (1957).

Written by Nigel Kneale and starring Peter Cushing this is one of the best Hammer films I've seen that hasn't been readily available on DVD. I mean you could buy this for £25 from Spain but that's a ton of cash to spend on a film you've never seen before. Having watched the film now though I wouldn't have been disapointed if I had spent that amount. This is outstanding, the print and film are both of the highest standard.
Cushing plays an English botanist who teams up with a group who are set on finding the fabled Yeti. THings however quickly start going wrong on the expedition. I really can't praise this film highly enough and considering I got the preorder for under a fiver it's great value for money.

Now I am fully aware that I have left a couple of the new releases out. I didn't preorder the Quatermass films (1955, 1957) as I heard they were having some troubles with it and that it had been put back. It was however released on time without any major problems. I have seen both films before and they are outstanding, especialy the perfomance of Richard Wordsworth in the Quatermass Xperiment as the returning astronaut with "problems". I can't however comment on the quality of the print. If they're anything like the ones used by BBC four recently then you should pick it up right away.

The other release was Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter (1972), this was a major cluster fuck by Icon who managed to release the DVD with the wrong print of the film. I do have the incorrect print sitting next to me now but I'm not going to open it since Hammer have stepped in and managed to sort it out. If you have picked up a copy of the incorrect print like me, then go to There are instructions there on how to get a hold of the correct print.

All in all it's a good set of releases. The prints may not have all aged well but I'd rather have a poor print than no print. All we need now is for them to announce the next batch of films for release. I can't wait.

Friday, 9 September 2011

A Lonely Place To Die

Melissa Gilbert has been slowly getting together a rather awesome CV of films, Triangle, the shockingly good Amityville remake, 30 days of night. The list goes on. I mean she'll always be Angel from Home and Away but there's not too many people that started off in Home and Away that manage to do anything... Danni Minogue doing a crap Macbeth at the fringe then being a cunt on the X factor doesn't count.

She was the main reason I went to see this... I didn't know too much about the rest of the cast, or the director before stepping into the theatre. The cast is actually pretty outstanding for a low budget British thriller. You will know most of the faces that appear onscreen. You won't even spend the first minute or two trying to remember where you know them from. Which is always a bonus.
Now I did think this was a horror before I went to see it, but that was me being my usual dumbass self. It's actually a rather good (and at times horrifying) thriller. A group of climbers come across a young girl who has been locked inside a hastily built chamber, after hearing her screaming from an airpipe. They try to take the girl to the local police but on the way come across the kidnappers who then proceed to chase them across the countryside.

It's paced well and the violence goes from quick bursts to sheer brutality. One of the things I love is that when the violence happens, it's very real. There's no grandstanding, it's bang and the guy is fucked. Don't get me wrong there are moments when you're like "how the hell is she still standing?", but you get over it quickly as something else happens before you get the chance to dwell on it.
The best thing about this film had to be the woman sitting in front of me who gasped and shrieked in all the right places. It really enhanced my viewing pleasure. But that's why we go to the cinema right. It's not all teenagers being cunts and eating loudly. Sometimes you get a good audience. Who the fuck thought I'd ever say that???

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

10 outstanding Horror films I've bought lately

What a catchy title right??? Sorry I am fully aware how crap I've been updating this blog lately. I have a ton of films sitting to review but haven't had the time... So here's a quick way round it. Here's a list of 10 outstanding horror films I've bought lately. Some are old, some are new,all of them fucking rock.

They aren't in any order... Well they are in the order that I picked them off the shelf and sat them next to me but you get what I mean.

10. "Don't Look Now" (1973)

This classic psychological horror stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland trying to deal with the death of their child. It possibly features some of the most iconic images ever seen on film, I know I'll never buy any kid of mine a red rain coat. A lot of people don't like this, I ,however, am a huge fan. They manage to make Venice look both beautiful and menacing. Whilst you go on a strange journey through it's underbelly.

9. Switchblade Romance (2003)

This is the first French film on the list. It's a classic slasher film that manages to feel fresh and original. Which is hard to do since America has been so hell bent on releasing so many crap ones lately. I mean seriously, all the fucking boys love mandy lane, my bloody hell 3D... Fuck off, just fuck right off back to your mansion in the hollywood hills you incompetent prick.

Wait I was meant to be talking about Switchblade Romance, Alex and Marie go to the countryside to visit Alex's parents. Unfortunately for them it just so happens to be a the same time as a bloody homocidal maniac, who then pretty much kills everything and everyone. I can't speak highly enough of this film, if it had been made in the seventies in America this would be one of the classics. It still is, you just may not know about it.

8. Leprechaun (1993)

FUCK YEAH... I'm the fucking Leprechaun. I love this film, to make life even better I found it on dvd for £1. Yeah that's right bitches, classic american horror for £1. A young Jennifer Aniston get's hounded by Warwick Davis in a leprechaun suit. I love films like this, America used to throw them out all the time and you'd find it next to Critters, Ghoulies,  and A nightmare on elm street 3 in the video store. It's actually a little sad that films like this don't really get made anymore. It's awesome, get some friends round, get some booze and you'll have a great night.

7. Stake Land (2011)

This is another great film, but I knew it'd be great. How did you know I hear you ask... Danielle Fucking Harris. She is an outstanding actress and has been making great films since she was a kid. What do you mean who the fuck is Danielle Fucking Harris. How dare you sir, a plague on your house. You clearly didn't spend your teen years living in the video store. She played the Daughter of Bruce Willis in The Last Boy Scout, she was in Halloween 4 and 5, Don't tell mom the babysitters dead... Really, what the hell is wrong with you???

Anyway Stake Land is a bleak apocalyptic film in which Humans hide in fear of Vampires as they spread through the country like a zombie plague. You follow a group of survivors as they make their way across the bleak landscape running into pockets of humaninty and crazy religious sects, all the while trying to survive the vampire menace. It's an outstanding low budget film and proves that America can still make a good horror film.

6. Martyrs (2008)

This is quite possibly the greatest and most disturbing horror film ever. I actually had to sit for a 10 minutes after the film ended to collect myself. It may have been longer. I genuinely have no idea, but it was a while. This film made me run out and spend lots of money on French horror films. Seriously I can't speak highly enough of this film.

Without ruining anything, a girl who had some horrible things done to her as a child attempts to find the people who brutally tortured her as a child with the help of her friend. All I'll say about the rest of the film is that if you start watching it, no matter how harsh it gets, and it's fucking harsh, you have to watch it until the end. You won't regret it.

5. King of the Zombies (1941)

So it's a film about a Nazi scientist kidnapping people and turning them into voodoo zombies so he can steal war secrets. What you're not sold already, seriously. It's a classic old film, the highlight of which is the performance of Mantan Moreland who you may remember from the Charlie Chan movies. He is outstanding and manages to poke fun at his ridiculous stereotyping. He makes this film great, even better is the fact that you can watch it online for free here...

4. Ils (Them) (2006)

Many of you have probably managed to catch this, I watched it a few years ago but only recently bought it. Another outstanding french horror film in which a woman and her husband are terrorised by a group of hooded youths. I watched this after Eden Lake which is another great film that roughly follows the same idea, I think it kind of blighted me against this the first time round. Recently I've come to appreciate it a lot more. It is terrifying and makes me happy I don't live in the bloody country... Full of maniacs apparently.

3. Wake Wood (2011)

This is the first of the recent Hammer Horror films which actually feels like a classic Hammer film. It's eerily reminiscent of films like The Wicker Man, and other british classics. A year after the death of their child Aidan Gillan and Eva Birthistle move to a village, it's the classic set up as they realise all is not well in the village. Timothy Spall is amazing as the creepy Arthur, who seems to have a strange hold on the village. Yeah I'm trying not to give too much away, as I want you to go out and buy the damn film. It's an awesome creepy ass film worthy of being a Hammer Horror.

2. Frontier(s) (2007)

What another french film James, are you fucking shitting us. No, I'm not and you wanna know why. Nazi fucking cannibals. For times when being a Cannibal just isn't nasty enough. Fuck yeah. A group of bank robbers organise to meet up in a country hostle in the middle of nowhere after a job goes horrifically wrong. Unfortunately for them it kind of all goes even worse from there. They really don't get a fucking break these bank robbers. Again with the french films it's brutal as all hell, like there must be something in the water there or something cause they make some fucked up films.

1. Rammbock :Berlin Undead AKA Siege of the Dead (2010)

This time it's a German film, proving that you don't have be made in France for me to buy your damned film. This is the rather awesome story of Michael, who heads in to Berlin to try and patch up things with his ex girlfriend. Unfortunately for him this just so happens to coincide with a bloody zombie outbreak in the city. He ends up getting stuck in his ex girlfriends flat with a young plumber called Harper. Damn.

The film focuses on the survivors trying to communicate and help out other people who all live in the same block but can't get out their flats. It's a very clever and effective film which like all the films on this list is well worth a watch. So go out and fucking watch them already. By the time your done I may have even had enough time to get off my fat ass and do another blog.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Super 8

J.J. Abrams
Elle Fanning
Kyle Chandler
Joel Courtney
Remember back in the day when you'd go to see films like Gremlins or the Goonies, great films that had some kids go on some crazy adventure. Wait... you don't... Eh, okay. Aracnophobia... Jurassic Park... You know the kind of films I mean though right ????

This is one of those films. I wasn't expecting much from the trailer, but fuck me this is one of the best films released this summer. I don't know if it's just the nostalgia of it all, reminding me of going to Livingston cinema every weekend while my mum went shopping but this film is everything that got me into films when I was a kid. It's got a big ass monster, the military coming into a small town, and kids going on a crazy adventure.
The acting is outstanding, it's filled with great character actors. The kids performances are outstanding and they're actually kids. Not some fucking 25 year old masquerading as a teenager.

And the most important thing about this film, it's not in 3D, it's not a shitty adaptation of a book or comic or cartoon or rollercoaster ride, it's not a sequel, it's an actual original film. Okay it's a homage to a lot of the crap I loved in the 80's but this is a film that was written to be a film. How often does that happen these days. This summer how often have you been to the cinema to see an original action film that doesn't already have a fanbase. I can't actually remember the last time I saw one. Let alone the last time I enjoyed a film as much as this. I'd love to hate J.J. Abrams, but the guy can make a fucking good film.