I fucking love horror movies so it's pretty much a given that I'm going to be interested in horror themed music. I've been in love with the music of CALABRESE for years now and they're one of my all time favorite bands. Inevitably when a band bases their musical output around horror and the occult they are at some point going to be compared to bands like the MISFITS or SAMHAIN. It's pretty much a rule. Forget all of that when you first dive into a CALABRESE album though because although their themes may be similar, these guys have done a great job carving out their own little niche and developing their own unique sound.

DAYGLO NECROS is officially released today, but if you were lucky enough to pre order it as I was then you should already have it. I've actually had this album for a week or two and for during that time it has earned a permanent place in my car stereo. Yes that's how good it is. But if you're at all familiar with the band then that will probably come as no surprise at all because the CALABRESE brothers have continued their trend of somehow one-upping each previous album. I found it hard to believe that they could top THEY CALL US DEATH but they've done it.
The songs here are the tightest and best sounding of all their releases and the music is much more expansive, with plenty of aggressive riffs, kickass bass lines, awesome drum work and plenty of harmonies. Lyrically the album is similar to their previous album with a larger focus on occult themes and as usual the album is peppered with classic horror samples.

If you're already a CALABRESE fan then you need this album. It is by far their most ambitious, mature and most impressive release to date. If you aren't a fan then I suggest you check out the song below and then if you like it, head over to their site and get your hands on a copy of this fine album. CALABRESE is the world's greatest horror rock band!

01. The Dead Don't Rise
02. Coffin of Ruins
03. Heart Possession
04. Ghostwolves
05. The Man Who Lived Twice
06. She Hasn't Been Herself in Years
07. Darkhold
08. Red Slash
09. Hungry Are the Dogs
10. History of Nothing
11. Bring Us Hell
12. Damned to the Night
13. Sea of Dirt


V/H/S Official International Trailer

Damn this looks good! It's been a while since I saw a really good found footage flick but hopefully this one will remind us how great they can be. With all of the talent behind it I think this will turn out to be awesome. Check out the official international trailer below.

V/H/S is directed by Adam Wingard, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg and Ti West.
The film stars Joe Swanberg, Calvin Reeder, Adam Wingard, Sophie Takal, Kate Lyn Sheil, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Chad Villella and Tyler Gillett.

Synopsis: “When a group of petty criminals is hired by a mysterious party to retrieve a rare piece of found footage from a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, they soon realize that the job isn’t going to be as easy as they thought. In the living room, a lifeless body holds court before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last. 
Bringing together some of the top filmmakers in the game today, this wickedly conceived horror anthology sends the viewer through a gauntlet of suspense, terror, shock, and downright brutality—instantly distinguishing itself from a sea of lacklustre found-footage horror flicks. The diverse and deviously creative minds behind V/H/S shatter any preconceived notions about the genre, making it feel inventive and captivating once again”

Look for V/H/S on demand August 31st and in theatres October 5th.


HANGER (2009) Review

Directed by: Ryan Nicholson
Starring: Dan Ellis, Nathan Dashwood, Ronald Patrick Thompson

For the second time in as many weeks I've been subjected to a film by Ryan Nicholson and I have to say that I'm developing quite a soft spot for them. His no holds barred violence and gore approach is something you don't see in enough movies these days. However whereas GUTTERBALLS (full review here) was a really enjoyable and over-the-top romp, HANGER seemed to be lacking a certain something.

HANGER follows the familiar theme of revenge but in quite a unique and fucked up way. A prostitute named  Rose finds herself knocked up and her pimp Leroy (Thompson) is none too happy about it. After he slaps her around a bit he decides to perform an abortion using none other than a coat hanger. In the process Rose dies and Leroy disposes of the child by wrapping it in plastic and throwing it in a dumpster where a homeless man finds it and raises it. 18 years later we meet the grown up Hanger (Dashwood) and he is introduced to 'The John' (Ellis) who turns out to be his father and the only man who ever really cared for Rose. Together they exact a plan for bloody revenge against pimp Leroy.

There's a whole bunch of other shit which happens in between and along the way we meet some interesting characters including Russell (who has a disturbing used-tampon fetish) and Nicole (who enjoys pleasuring herself in the confines of her office) and of course the horny, perverted freak Phil.

Unfortunately I didn't find HANGER as enjoyable as GUTTERBALLS and I think it was mostly due to the story which at times seemed to get sidelined by a lot of unnecessary gay jokes and meaningless subplot. I also found the character Nicole to be weak and there didn't seem to be much point to her inclusion other than an excuse to throw in some pornographic scenes. I'm not really complaining about the porn, but I do think her character could have been made a bit more substantial.

The make-up and effects are top notch however (courtesy of Life to Death FX) and they did a great job with everything from gross, oozing fluids to wounds and prosthetics (although speaking of prosthetics, I'm still not quite sure why half of the cast needed such heavy facial sculpting). The gross factor has really been turned up here too and viewers will be subjected to an insanely graphic abortion scene, a foul rape scene, death by tampon (yes you read that correctly) and plenty of blood and guts - enough for anybody with a weak stomach to lose their lunch.


WITHIN THE WOODS (1978) Review

Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Mary Valenti, Scott Spiegel

A lot of people seem to refer to WITHIN THE WOODS as a prequel to THE EVIL DEAD or simply just THE EVIL DEAD 0, which isn't strictly accurate but it is easy to see where they're coming from. Sam Raimi's WITHIN THE WOODS was created as a prototype; a way of proving  - not only to the filmmakers themselves but also potential investors - that they had what it took to make a successful full length feature film.

The scenario portrayed in this short is basically a stripped down version of THE EVIL DEAD and fans will recognize a lot of elements which were carried over into the latter film. The swinging chair banging against the  wall, Raimi's distinctive camera work and a lot of the action sequences have all made this transition. Even the basic plot in which a small group of friends are terrorized in an isolated cabin after unleashing an evil entity was later reused, albeit with a lot of expansion.

Unfortunately WITHIN THE WOODS has never received an official release and it most likely never will, especially with Sam Raimi being against a release, citing his film is amateurish. Also, if you've read Bruce Campbell's autobiography you may remember his mentioning that this film was hauled all over the place and screened many a time for audiences and potential investors so it's safe to assume that even the original print is probably in a pretty sad state. There are plenty of bootleg dvds available online if you look in the right places and the entire film is available to watch on Youtube, but they all seem to be sourced from a beyond-terrible VHS rip. The quality of these unofficial releases seems to range from terrible to absolute crap. The video is grainy and scratched and some scenes are almost unrecognizable and the audio is not much better. It's easy to get a general feel for the overall film but a lot of details are distorted or lost in this lower-than-low quality.

What is easy to see however is the potential shown in this film. From Raimi's instantly recognizable roaming camera work to the buckets of blood and gore used - both of which would be a staple of THE EVIL DEAD movies.

Quality issues aside I'll bet that in it's original state WITHIN THE WOODS was probably quite a site to behold and it's undoubtedly an important piece of horror history. The half hour film is surprisingly well done considering the limited shooting schedule (3 days) the limited cast and low budget. It's an energetic horror film with plenty of gore and is essential viewing for any Deadites out there.

This short may not have the best acting, a deep story or the best dialogue but it was the basic blueprint for THE EVIL DEAD which is now one of the greatest horror films ever made.  It's simple, solid and has some pioneering camera work, a good fast pace and plenty of gore. If you're an EVIL DEAD fan then you need to seek this out, and I also recommend reading Bruce Campbell's autobiography which gives some pretty cool insight into the making of this film.

I don't feel I can give this a proper rating due to the fact that the shit copy I watched had such terrible quality.
So much so that a lot of the details are lost and unrecognizable. If Sam Raimi ever decides to green-light an official release maybe then I will give it a star rating.


THE BUNNY GAME (2012) Review

Directed by: Adam Rehmeier
Starring: Rodleen Getsic, Jeff Renfro

THE BUNNY GAME is one of those movies I actively hunted down solely because of its reputation; it has been described as downright depraved and was refused classification by the BBFC. Other movies in similar circumstances (THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II for example) have invariably disappointed me because none of them seem to live up to the hype. THE BUNNY GAME however sets itself apart from these films by presenting an extreme sense of realism, from the non-simulated oral sex scene at the beginning to the use of a branding iron and other devices.

THE BUNNY GAME has the simplest of plots (if you can even call it that) which has a prostitute being abducted by a truck driver and then subjected to both physical and psychological abuse in the back of his truck for days on end. That's it. There's nothing close to character development in fact all we really know is that this prostitute is a sad, filthy whore who sucks dick for whatever scraps of cash and drugs she can get her dirty little hands on, and the truck driver is some kind of sadomasochistic nutball with plenty of spare time on his hands.
Despite the little to no story, the minimal dialogue and complete lack of character development, I found myself becoming mesmerized by this film. Being shot in stark black and white was probably the right decision as I can imagine a lot of impact being lost were it filmed in conventional color. The editing is a rollercoaster ride as well with a lot of long shots where basically nothing happens followed by a sudden barrage of rapid, epilepsy-inducing imagery accompanied by some fast and heavy music.

It's obvious that the actors (especially Rodleen Getsic) have put their all into this film, with a lot of full frontal nudity, restrictive locations and physical abuse. Jeff Renfro's portrayal of 'The Hog' brings to life one of the nastiest fuckers I've seen on screen, and Getsic gives a very passionate performance as 'The Bunny'.

With the grayscale visuals and the experimental editing THE BUNNY GAME comes across as almost an arthouse flick and a very gritty one at that, but it is a great way to bring across the disturbed and drug-fuelled content of the film. If there's one main downside to this film it definitely has to be the overuse of long shots where nothing happens and the running time of 76 minutes. I can't help but feel that this would have worked better as a shorter film but as it currently is it just seemed to drag on a bit too long. Another complaint I personally have is that I think I would have enjoyed this more if there had been a slightly more substantial plot or at least some kind of conclusive ending. The ending given almost makes the movie seem pointless as there is no real sense of closure of finality.

For casual horror fans I wouldn't recommend this, you'll probably find it either repellent or boring or just plain stupid. For fans of extreme and experimental cinema or just those looking for something a little different though, you may just find a special place in your heart for this unique film. It may be lacking in the plot department but the performances are great and it definitely pushes the boundaries when it comes to realism.


GUTTERBALLS (2008) Review

Directed by: Ryan Nicholson
Starring: Alastair Gamble, Nathan Witte, Dan Ellis

I like to think that I have a pretty diverse taste when it comes to horror films. I love a good intelligent psychological horror, I love creepy shit with plenty of scares, and I love a good ol' balls-to-the-wall gorefest, when they're done right that is. GUTTERBALLS fits nicely into the latter category, and before we start I will mention that if you're not a fan of gratuitous violence, rape scenes and a more than casual dropping of the F-bomb then you may as well stop reading right now because this movie has all of this plus more.

GUTTERBALLS is my first introduction to the films of Ryan Nicholson who is a guy I have heard quite a bit about, especially in regards to his 'more is more' mantra. It's a rape/revenge slasher set in a bowling alley after hours with two bowling teams pitted against each other. There is more than a little bad blood between the two teams which leads to a brutal gang rape scene. During the ensuing bowl-off the participants start to get picked off one by one by a sadistic killer armed with weapons fashioned from bowling pins and wearing a bowling bag on his head. As the Bowling Bag Killer piles up the bodies the yet-to-be-killed desperately try to escape.

Nicholson proves that he isn't afraid to push things to the extreme to achieve his vision (especially when viewing the uncut version), beginning with the nasty rape scene which makes you look forward to the perpetrators getting a taste of their own medicine (and believe me they sure as hell do) and continuing on through every graphic death scene. Buckets of blood, insertions, dismemberments and decapitations, it's all here. Keep an eye out for the particularly inspired scene where a couple are killed simultaneously mid-coitus.

I mentioned swearing earlier and believe me when I say that this movie is full of it. Almost every other word seems to be 'fuck'. Is it overkill? Probably, but it makes a hell of a drinking game. Have a shot every time you hear the F-word and I can guarantee you will be hammered after about the first half hour.

The neon filled bowling alley acts as a great backdrop and there is a definite 80s feel going on here.
The acting is pretty lousy but honestly, who the fuck goes to see a slasher flick for good acting?
Every single character in GUTTERBALLS is completely unlikeable which works when they start dying off, but I had the feeling that some of them were just a little too unlikeable. Mainly Steve (Gamble), I mean I really can't imagine anybody being that much of an asshole in real life. There are some stupid moments and the writing isn't the greatest but that's not what will attract people to this film anyway.

This is the kind of movie you watch when you want to see a completely over the top, gratuitous gorefest with plenty of violence and sex. If that's not what you're looking for then stay away. For all of it's shortcomings, I personally loved it and I look forward to seeing more of Nicholson's films.

PROMETHEUS 3D (2012) Review

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green

PROMETHEUS has been one of the year's most anticipated movies and I'm not quite sure where to start here. I actually poster earlier on Facebook that I was a little disappointed with the movie, but since then I've come to realize that my disappointment had more to do with myself mentally hyping up the film to an almost impossibly high standard than to do with the film's shortcomings themselves. It didn't help that I've been reporting on the film through this blog for months and months, being updated on the latest news pretty much every step of the way. Leaked trailers, set photos, promo shots, stills and TV spots, eventually it seemed that I was being bombarded with new stuff every other day. If there's one good piece of advice I can give you before seeing PROMETHEUS it's to try and avoid as much exposure as possible beforehand and go in cold, with not too many preconceptions or expectations.
Even though all of this probably makes PROMETHEUS out to be a bad film, rest assured it is most definitely not. And even though it didn't quite meet my personal expectations, it was definitely worth the wait.
I'll try to make this as spoiler-free as possible.

After a short and interesting opening sequence, PROMETHEUS kicks off on the Isle of Skye in Scotland where a team of archaeologists led by Elizabeth Shaw (Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Marshall-Green) are conducting a dig. Ancient cave paintings dating back thousands of years are uncovered along with something else quite mysterious which has the archaeologists very excited indeed. The reason for their excitement? This discovery could help them to unlock the secrets behind mankind's origins. The film then cuts to a couple of years later aboard the spaceship PROMETHEUS which has just arrived at its as yet unknown destination after a 2 year journey. The ship's crew which includes the two archaeologists Shaw and Holloway are awakened from suspended animation and debriefed by Meredith Vickers (Theron) on just where they are and why. It's not long before they stumble across a mysterious structure and decide to venture inside.
Will they find what they came for?
Will they finally have a answer to the age-old question; why are we here?
Will they make it out alive?
The only way to find out is to go see for yourself.

The first thing you'll notice about PROMETHEUS is just how amazing it looks. Visually it is incredible from the huge grandiose sweeping landscape shots to the action sequences and everything in between. Everything looks so crisp and clear and detailed and for once (pay attention because I will probably never say this again in my life) I actually think that going 3D was the right choice. Thankfully this movie isn't full of those gimmicky made-for-3D moments where things just fly toward the screen just because they can, the 3D here just helps to make everything on screen seem more tangible and real. In fact if you have the chance I would probably recommend you go see this in IMAX 3D.

The cast do a brilliant job and yes when I say that I actually mean all of them, although the stand-outs for me were definitely Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron. Although some of the characters' actions may seem a little questionable (due to an equally questionable script) all of the actors play their parts convincingly. I mentioned the script being questionable and I guess what I mean is that sometimes some of the characters act very out of character and also there are a lot of plot holes, especially if you're a big ALIEN fan. And speaking of ALIEN, a lot of people will be curious as to whether this is an actual prequel or not because there was some confusion before the film's release. I won't go into it, but suffice it to say that there are plenty links to the aforementioned film and ALIEN fanboys (and girls) will have fun spotting the references. Having said that, if you're not familiar with the ALIEN franchise you can still quite easily sit down and enjoy PROMETHEUS although you will miss out on the references and links and some things may not make a whole lot of sense.

PROMETHEUS looks great and it sounds great. The casting is brilliant as too is the acting. It has a nice mix of practical effects and CGI, there are some kickass action sequences and an interesting plot. On the downside the script is not too great and you will no doubt find a lot of plot holes. I can imagine how much hardcore ALIEN fans are going to pick this film apart, but I still think that PROMETHEUS is pretty damn awesome.



Directed by: Josh Becker
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Renee O'Connor, Remington Franklin

I'm always up for watching a film with Bruce Campbell in it. From THE EVIL DEAD to MY NAME IS BRUCE to MANIAC COP I have to say that I haven't found any of his movies to be overly terrible.
I'm actually surprised it's taken me this long to see ALIEN APOCALYPSE because I've heard so much about it, mostly about how terrible it is. I decided it was time to finally find out for myself.

ALIEN APOCALYPSE bears a striking resemblance to PLANET OF THE APES. A small group of astronauts have been in cryo-sleep while on a probe mission for 40 years. Their ship has finally crash landed on Earth and they step outside only to be greeted by what looks to be a post-apocalyptic wasteland. They soon discover that aliens have invaded and are using the human population as slaves and bounty hunters. After an altercation with said bounty hunters, the astronauts are captured and taken to a nearby sawmill to be put to work. After meeting the local slave population they are given the lowdown on all the excitement they missed while in space. It seems that the aliens landed about 20 years earlier and have been using the planet to supply themselves with their primary food source which just so happens to be wood (although they don't seem to mind a bit of human flesh on the side). Rumors that the president of the US is still alive and gathering a fighting force in the mountains encourages astronaut and doctor Ivan (Campbell) to seek him out and help lead the rebellion against the alien overlords. Ivan used his charisma, passion and medical skills (it seems that in the future anybody can be fixed with a little chiropractic work) to recruit more humans as he strives to both free the human race (including his romantic interest Kelly (O'Connor)) and become known as 'The Great Healer'

ALIEN APOCAYPSE has some horrible effects, a terribly written script and some dreadful acting, but it seems that most of this crappiness was intentional. I can't imagine otherwise. If you love this special breed of shockingly bad sci-fi film then you will love this. With all of its flaws (there are many) it is somehow an enjoyable film though and probably best enjoyed with a few friends and lots of alcohol.