Sunday, 23 October 2016

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood (2016) - Horror Video Game Review (PSVR)

So 13th October and the wait for VR was finally over for me with the release of Playstation's VR headset. My remit for this new device was that I wanted to experience three key things. I wanted to fly like a bird, I wanted to go into space, and I wanted to be scared. Of the launch titles here in the UK there were two horror related ones; Here They Lie (I have this to play but it has received a mixed reception), and the Until Dawn spin off - Until Dawn: Rush of Blood that is an on rails shooter. Thankfully with this game I have been able to tick off my third desire...

Rush of Blood was in development even before Until Dawn had been released and as such this game only has tenuous links to that one. There is only the very bare bones of a story, basically it appears you are an unnamed visitor to a fairground ride, on the ride your carriage accidentally gets sent down the closed haunted house track and from there all sorts of real monsters start appearing. There is strong evidence as you play that the whole ride is all in your head as part of some sort of medical experiment but as I said, very bare bones.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The UK Festival of Zombie Culture 2016 - Zombie Film Festival News

The 10th annual UK Festival of Zombie Culture is to take place as always at the Phoenix Arts Centre in Leicester this year. The event is to take place on 12th November and shall be the fifth one I have gone to, and weirdly the sixth one I have brought tickets for. (my accounts of previous years; year six, year seven, year eight, and year nine).

Over twelve hours six different zombie films are shown on a cinema screen, meanwhile out in the lobby there are horror themed video games set up to play, stalls selling various horror related goods, and usually a couple of zombie authors selling their wares and signing books. Down the corridor in a side room will no doubt be the Dead Rising three minute zombie killing challenge that is always a lot of fun to take part in (last year my friend won prizes for having the most entertaining attempt at it). There will also be raffle tickets to be purchased that could win you some fantastic prizes, I have yet to win anything but I live in hope.

So far five of the six films to be shown have been announced. In no particular order they are...

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Killbillies (2015) - Horror Film Review

Killbillies, or Idila as it is known in it's native country is apparently Slovenia's first ever horror film. As you can probably guess from the wonderfully descriptive title this is a horror film about murderous hillbillies. In many ways this draws parallels with Deliverance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes but set against the stunning backdrop of some Slovenian mountains.

Amateur model Zina (Nina Ivanisin) heads to the remote mountains of Slovenia with fellow model; ditsy Mia (Nika Rozman) and two photographers Blitcz and Dragica. It is not too long into their shoot when they are approached by two inbred hillbilly brothers who swiftly capture the foursome and take them to their remote house where they intend to kill them. While locked in the basement Zina starts to formulate a plan to escape the gruesome duo...

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Devil Is My Witness (2012) - Short Horror Film Review

The Devil Is My Witness is a short horror I got sent for review that was written and directed by Gary Anthony Sturgis who also features as the main lead. The short is actually the first episode in TV series The Lost Dimension which seemed to be to be in the vein of Tales of the Unexpected, The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone in that it features stories of normal people unknowingly transported to the realm of the bizarre.

Sturgis stars as Larcen Palmer; a famous actor who is found covered in blood wandering the desert by a woman whose car has broken down. Recognising the actor the woman asks how he came to be where he is and so swearing her to secrecy he recounts the tragic events that resulted from his own hubris.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Curse of the Clowns - The Sinister Craze Sweeping the Globe - News and Infographic

Any excuse to mention the Northampton Clown!

I'm sure a lot of you would have heard of the bizarre craze that is currently sweeping the globe involving creepy clowns. It is stated to have started in America earlier this year but in fact I have traced it's origins back to my home town of Northampton. Back in 2013 if you recall the Northampton Clown haunted my fair town, the news made all corners of our fair Earth. In the end it turned out just to be a local student, but it was fun while it lasted.

This latest clown influx from all reports is not so innocent as the original was. The Northampton Clown was content just to hang around waving at people, this latest batch not only hide in places where they can jump out and scare people, but they also are known to chase their victims, usually while holding some sort of fake weapon such as a chainsaw or machete or some such thing. Reports of these clowns this year first originated in America, I recall hearing about police on the search for these people who apparently were hanging out in woodland and trying to lure children to them. Since then there have been reports of them all across the USA, Australia, UK, Russia and many other countries. At the right time and place these outbreaks could be funny, but hearing of young children being targeted, and the use of weapons no matter how fake makes me think it has gotten a bit out of hand. In Blackburn, UK for example a man at a cash machine had his hand slashed by one such prankster armed with a knife, while  another UK report spoke of 17 year old Owen Russell who had to have stitches after a 'hilarious' clown threw a sharp stick at his head. These clowns should stick to horror films where they belong. With Halloween fast approaching I expect these appearances to reach a crescendo and then fade away.

Of course the first thing that comes to mind when you think of clowns in horror films is Pennywise (Tim Curry) from It, others to me are Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects and even the memorable appearance of the zombie clown in Zombieland. Infographic time now, this is one I was given that chronicles notable evil clowns in horror films...after lots of fiddling around I can't actually get it to fit on this blog, but if you wish to read it you can find it at the Halloween Costumes website. I have had a look at the actual site and it does seem legitimately good, not just because they contacted me and in no way have given me anything to say that. There are some awesome looking horror things on there including a Freddy Kruger Collector's Mask. Sure they did ask if I could mention that, but have a look, it looks pretty awesome (and has a price to match the quality).

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Vampyres (2015) - Horror Film Review

Vampyres is a remake of the 1974 cult classic of the same name (well that was called Vampyres: Daughters of Dracula). I didn't know until after I had watched this, but not only have I watched the original, I also own the darn thing on DVD! It sadly appears I have literally no memories of the original and so this review is basing the new film on it's own merits.

Two lesbian vampires (vampyres?) live in a dilapidated stately home out in the English countryside where they feed off passersby by luring them back to their house. One such man finds himself a prisoner of one of the vampires after either drugged or hypnotised by her. Meanwhile a group of friends have gone camping in the area for a photography project that one of them; Harriet (Veronica Polo) wants to do, but their close proximity to the vampires lair leads to untold horror.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Outlast 2 (2017) - Horror Video Game News and My Thoughts on the Demo

Outlast was kind of a fresh take on modern horror games in that like Amnesia: The Dark Descent before it you play as a protagonist who is essentially powerless. It took place in an insane asylum where the patients had all escaped and in which you playing as an investigative reporter found yourself trapped. Your only choice was to sneak around, and frequently flee and hide should one of the crazies find you.  I enjoyed it, though was a bit too much stealth for me. This was followed up in 2014 with stand alone DLC that improved a lot of the issues I had. Now with Outlast 2 on the horizon I have high hopes this will improve even on that.

This time the game takes place in Arizona in the Sonoran desert, again you play as a reporter, this time you are on the search for your wife who went missing after you both crashed in the area. Like the first game it again utilises the awesome concept of being a playable found footage game. Your only tool is a camera that also has a nifty night vision mode that helps you to see in the dark, but with the caveat that it needs batteries to be able to do this.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Resident Evil (2002) - Zombie Horror Video Game Review (PS4)

I was surprised myself to see that I had never reviewed the 2002 remake of Resident Evil (unfortunately a review of that one exists, albeit one written badly in this blog's infancy back in 2008). When the remake got released on current gen consoles recently I just knew it was time to revisit this lost game. In a twist on the norm I decided to live stream a single sitting play-through which I did yesterday, split into seven parts those videos shall be included after the review.

So set in 1998 the Raccoon City Police Department's Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S) send their Bravo team to investigate bizarre reports of murders on the outskirts of the city. After they fail to report in Alpha team headed by Albert Wesker, and including Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield and Barry Burton are sent out. Soon after arriving in the forest outside of town the group are attacked by a pack of rabid dogs, in the panic their helicopter pilot Brad flies off leaving them stranded. With the dogs hot on their heals the survivors of this attack flee to a mansion they spot in the distance, a place they think will be safe...

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Meat (2010) - Surreal Film Review

I was kind of in two minds other whether Meat (original title Vlees) warranted a review on a horror blog, but I am not usually one to turn screeners down and so decided to give it a watch. This is a Dutch film, directed by Victor Nieuwenhuijs and Maartje Seyferth (Venus in Furs) that is described as 'a surreal erotic thriller set in a flesh-filled and violence-prone butcher shop'.

Titus Muizelaar stars as the butcher; a lustful man with a cheating wife who finds himself drawn to his attractive student assistant Roxy (Nellie Benner). When the butcher turns up dead Roxy becomes the investigating detective's main suspect, but bizarrely to her this detective (who is also played by Titus Muizelaar) looks the spitting image of the deceased butcher.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) - Zombie Horror Film Review

When I first saw British zombie film The Girl with All the Gifts trailered in the cinema I was surprised as had never heard of it before. Apparently it is based on a book, one that to my mind bears many similarities with the video game The Last of Us.

The movies is set in England around ten years after a fungal based zombie apocalypse swept the world. Survivors are holed up at military bases that are under constant assault by the infected that the humans have came to call 'hungries'. At one such base Melanie (Sennia Nanua); a young girl is kept imprisoned along with a bunch of other children who we see early on are actually all infected themselves (and so hated and feared by the majority of the survivors), yet somehow able to function as normal as long as they are not hungry. Unknown to them they are secretly being experimented on by Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close) who hopes to create a vaccine using their brain tissue and spinal fluid. One day the base finally becomes over run, Caldwell, Melanie, Sgt. Eddie Parks (Paddy Considine), a few other soldiers, and Melanie's beloved teacher Helen (Gemma Arterton) manage to escape and head to London where they hope to establish contact with other nearby bases.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Grave Walkers (2015) - Zombie Horror FIlm Review

Sometimes a film just pops up out of nowhere and blows you away despite any faults it may have, I think Grave Walkers (also known as Live Evil) may just be one of those special films. It was directed by Ari Kirschenbaum (Bat $#! Crazy/Fabled) who also wrote and edited this quite strange comedy horror.

Responding to reports of a disturbance at a manor on the outskirts of the small town Deputy Hancock (Charlene Amoia) is based at she discovers a whole bunch of dead bodies as well as a strange person with glowing eyes. She takes this being back to the station and locks it up only to discover it seems to exert a strange force on those around it, making them hallucinate that it is their worst enemy. This is just the start of the weirdness as soon people start coming back from the dead as unstoppable zombie like creatures who descend on the station. Teaming up with her fellow officers and a couple of F.B.I agents Hancock must try to survive this undead uprising as she awaits the arrival of the state police.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Holidays (2016) - Horror Anthology Film Review

Every time I watch an anthology film I say the same thing and that is that man, do I have a soft spot for anthology horrors! Saying that I just got flashbacks to Zombieworld which was terrible...but anyway, Holidays features eight different short films tied together not by a central story, but around the fact that, as the title hints at, each of these eight films takes place during a different holiday event.

Things start off with Valentine's Day which was written and directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer. This is about a bullied girl named Maxine who has fallen for her swimming coach, her delusions make her perform a grisly gesture to him on Valentine's Day. Things got off to a rocky start for Holidays as this really wasn't anything special. I found a lot of the acting of the young girls to be pretty awful, the way Maxine's delusions featured where interesting in their execution but overall left me feeling a bit cold.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Most Likely to Die (2015) - Horror Film Review

Most Likely to Die (directed by Anthony DiBlasi who also directed the competent Last Shift) is a slasher that I spotted on Netflix, it is up for nomination in this years Fright Meter Awards so gave it a gander. Despite a low score and featuring one of the most ridiculous killers in recent memory I went in with somewhat of an open mind.

A group of friends meet up the night before a 10 year high school reunion. They all happen to have been part of the senior yearbook committee who just so happened to have played a nasty prank on one of the students in their year. Soon they find themselves on the receiving end of a sadistic killer dressed in a graduation gown and cap who seems determined to butcher them. Is it the work of the student whose life they ruined all those years ago, or is it someone who is closer to the group?