Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Outpost 31 Isn't Responding (2015) by Videogram - Horror Music Single

I love Magnus Sellergran's work under the Videogram name, he makes beautiful synth filled tributes to the exploitation and horror films of the 1980's. Back in September he released a new single which is a tribute to John Carpenter's classic remake of The Thing.

The single features two tracks which are both inspired by the film and were originally intended for the new Videogram album Pre-Cert (out now) but came to be released alone. First track Outpost 31 Isn't Responding is five minutes of nostalgic bliss, the influence of the films main theme is obvious and so the synth beat and constant drums conjured up images of the ill fated science station in my mind. Second track Antarctica at two minutes is over all too soon but is another track full of mournful synth and repetitious beat that is a fun listen.

The art work is by U.S artist Van Davis, you can check his site out here if you like what you see. The single is out now on Bandcamp (here) for the cheap price of $2, while his other work, including his new album can also be purchased there. Outpost 31 Isn't Responding is also available on iTunes for £1.58.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Unkindness of Ravens (2016) - Horror Film News

I am actually pretty excited by this news for upcoming Scottish horror The Unkindness of Ravens. It is to be directed by Lawrie Brewster who did 2013's memorable Lord of Tears; a film that has stuck with me ever since I first saw it despite some small issues I had. Lawrie describes this new film as "an intense horror/fantasy film that's kind of (a) cross between Apocalypse Now and The Evil Dead."

Jaime Scott-Gordon (who had an integral bit part in Lord of Tears) stars as Andrew Alburn; a homeless army veteran suffering from PTSD. His flashbacks he has are full of ravens and so he travels to a remote Scottish retreat hoping to overcome his fear of the birds. Being a horror nothing goes to plan and Andrew ends up not only battling his own inner demons but also that of demonic birds.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Fallen Soldiers (2015) - Zombie Horror Film Review

Fallen Soliders; the final film of this years UK Festival of Zombie Culture was also unfortunately the worst of the bunch, a poll was conducted in the run up to the event with four different films to choose from, I'm pleased to say this wasn't my choice, though to be fair none of the four choices looked particularly interesting.

It takes place in 1815 in France where the British are at war with the French forces and starts with British deserter John Cross (Matthew Neal) hijacking a coach that contains a Belgian noble couple; Celine and her husband. His goal is to make it to a British dressing station as he has an urgent message to deliver. Along the way via a series of flashbacks he reveals his horrific experiences in order to convince Celine of the importance of his mission, but will she believe his outlandish tale?

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Cooties (2014) - Zombie Comedy Horror Film Review

Another day and another review of a film I saw at this years UK Festival of Zombie Culture, this time the film is Cooties; a comedy zombie film set at an elementary school. People have been raving about this in the Fright Meter Awards Committee Facebook page pretty much all year and so my expectations were high, but not impossibly so.

Elijah Wood stars as Clint; a supply teacher who is covering English during Summer School at the elementary he used to go to as a child. On his very first day however he not only has to contend with the other teachers who are a strange bunch (including among them Rainn Wilson as Wade) but he also finds himself at the centre of a viral outbreak which has transformed the majority of the moody students into flesh hungry ghouls. Barricaded into their office the teachers have to try and find away to escape the horrors who will stop at nothing to kill all adults...

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Me and My Mates vs. The Zombie Apocalypse (2015) - Comedy Zombie Horror Film Review

As is always the case with the films of the UK Festival of Zombie Culture as the week after draws on my memory of the films I saw gets more and more patchy. Today's film review is for Australian zombie comedy Me and My Mates vs. The Zombie Apocalypse that had it's UK premiere at the event. The movie was from the producer of last years Australian film Theatre of the Dead so I hoped it would be better than that one.

The film is set not too long after zombie apocalypse has hit Australia and three friends; Joel (Jim Jefferies), Darryl (Alex Williamson) and Roy (Greg Fleet) have arranged to meet up at the telephone exchange they work at once they have all gathered weapons and supplies. They meet up as arranged, Roy bringing along his daughter Emma, but it turns out all they have combined are several crates of beer, a beloved multi purpose tool, and a shotgun named Betsy. The group decide to use the exchange centre to call the military for assistance but with rumours of the army brutally killing everyone infected or not is that really the wisest choice?

Friday, 20 November 2015

Darkest Day (2015) - Zombie Horror Film Review

Out of all the films being shown at this years UK Festival of Zombie Culture it was Darkest Day that I was least looking forward too, the title and poster image both did little to enthuse me while the trailer was pretty forgettable. However while this does suffer in a few places it was perhaps overall my favourite film of the event.

Dan (Dan Rickard who also directs) wakes up on a beach in Brighton with no memory of how he got there. He discovers the city deserted and in a state of destruction and soon encounters roaming hordes of frenzied infected who attack anyone they see on sight. Rescued by a girl he follows her to her home where she lives with a group of young adults. Dan discovers that zombie apocalypse has happened, the majority of the population have been evacuated to 'safe camps' by the military but the group he ends up with are immune to the disease and so choose to live out their days doing what they want. For whatever reason the army are after Dan, and he and his new friends soon find themselves the subject of a lethal hunt from both the callous soldiers and the angry infected.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Nightmare City (1980) - Zombie Horror Film Review

So this past weekend was the annual UK Festival of Zombie Culture, the first film shown was the not bad Maggie that I reviewed previously this year. The second film of the event was Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare City (known as City of the Walking Dead in the U.S); an Italian zombie cult classic that bizarrely I had never heard of before. This film is a favourite of both Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino and it's easy to see why. As is the case every year with my reviews of the films of this festival my memory will probably get steadily worse over the course of the week.

An unmarked military plane lands at a commercial airport ignoring requests for identification. Once landed it is soon surrounded by police and military who request the passengers to come out of the silent vessel, and that they do, hordes of unstoppable, near unkillable figures armed with all sort of weapons erupt out the blackness of the craft killing everyone in their way. Local TV reporter Dean (Hugo Stiglitz) witnesses this mayhem and sets out to warn the population but events soon escalate and he finds himself in a life or death struggle to find his wife and escape the sweeping death and destruction consuming the...nightmare city.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

UK Festival of Zombie Culture 2015 - Event Overview

Last Saturday was the annual UK Festival of Zombie Culture held at the Phoenix Arts Centre in Leicester. The event is now in its ninth year and is the fourth year I have attended. My report on 2013 and 2014 can be found clicking on the links. After bailing on the final film at last years event I felt I had something to prove to myself this time around and so was determined to make it all the way to the end.. It can and does get tiring watching 13 hours of films, my method of coping last year was alcohol but that was a fail, this year my secret weapon was energy drinks.

Arriving at the venue pretty much spot on for midday I passed the organiser; Zombie Ed being interviewed by the local news and headed into the first showing. Previously I had got a 'goodie' bag for being one of the first 200 through the doors, not this year, though seeing as it usually consists of leaflets and old copies of Shock Horror magazine I wasn't too fussed. The first film was Maggie (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), I had seen this earlier in the year and had thought it was ok if a little slow paced, and my opinion did not change watching it again. I think many had expected an action packed romp rather than a touching story about a father and his daughter and so didn't enjoy it. I spoke to some people later in the day and they all seemed to share the opinion that it was awful.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) - Zombie Comedy Horror Film Review

I was pretty hyped for watching Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse for two reasons; first zombie films (outside of The UK Festival of Zombie Culture) are quite rare to get to see on the big screen and secondly the trailer was laugh out loud funny.

After a janitor at a research laboratory accidentally causes a zombie uprising, the small nearby mountain town quickly gets over run by the walking dead. However for friends Ben (Tye Shridan), Carter (Logan Miller) and Augie (Joey Morgan) they know none of this as they have headed out to the woods on a Scouting expedition and it is only when Ben and Carter have sneaked back into town to go to a party all the popular kids are going to that they realise the extent of what has happened. They team up with a bad-ass strip club bartender; Denise (Sarah Dumont) and Augie (who has gone looking for them) in order to save the rest of the still living population that just so happens to be the party goers.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Slashing Through the Snow (2015) by Venus de Vilo - Horror Music Album News and Impressions

I first mentioned Dublin based horror-shock musician Venus de Vilo back last year (here) and now she is about to release a Christmas themed three track album titled Slashing Through the Snow that she describes as "one of the world's only ever horror themed...Frightmas albums".

This album features the tracks Santa's Slay, Mistletoetag, and The Night Before Christmassacre all of which are full of clever tongue in cheek lyrics that do a good job of twisting Xmas conventions into a horror theme. All three songs are quite stripped back and bare but this just makes it easier to hear the lyrics which were a lot of fun. The Night Before Christmassacre in particular stood out, this song tells a story about the time St Nicholas arrived at a house one fateful Christmas eve to cause mayhem and blood shed.

Buying the album also gives you access to a bunch of bonus stuff that include a digital fully illustrated lyrics and comic book, as well as a calender (named here Killendar) for 2016. While the songs don't musically sound Christmas like at all the actual lyrical content is very on point, albeit with a sadistic twist to the season of good will. If you want to get this album for yourself it comes out on Friday 13th November and will be able to be purchased from here for the low price of €4.99.

Friday, 6 November 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (2015) - Horror Video Game Review (PS4)

Hot on the heels of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture I started The Vanishing of Ethan Carter; another similar game that originally came out in 2014, but then got remade and released earlier this year for Playstation 4. The game is a horror based adventure that has you exploring a lonely vista.

There is not much of an introduction, you are thrust into the game as Paul Prospero; a paranormal detective who arrives in Red Creek Valley, Wisconsin in the 1970's after some fan mail by 12 year old Ethan Carter who lives there troubles him (psychically troubles him maybe?). The place is deserted and through your travels in search of Ethan you discover that the boy seems to have awoken an ancient evil known as The Sleeper while exploring an old burnt down house. This being slowly starts to possess his family one by one leading him to flee.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Exo Zombies Map 4 'Descent' (2015) - Video Game Map Impressions (Playstation 4)

With Call of Duty: Black Ops III coming out in only a matter of hours now I thought it was about time I put down my impressions of Descent; the fourth and final Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies map. This last map is included in the Reckoning map pack and I reckon I have not really got value for money as this is yet another map pack I own purely so I can play Exo Zombies.

At the conclusion of Carrier the four strong team of Captain Lennox (Bruce Campbell), Lilith (Rose McGowan), Kahn (Bill Paxton), and Decker (Jon Bernthal) encounter the now zombified Oz (John Malkovich) and after briefly fighting him they leave the doomed carrier in an escape pod. They arrive at an underwater Atlas base known as The Trident Retreat, but after dispatching the surface guards they find out Oz has already seized control of the base which is now swarming with zombies...

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Party Night - Horror Film News

Troy Escamilla who is the owner and editor of the Fright Meter Blog, as well as President of the Fright Meter Awards committee (of which I am a member) has just announced the creation of Fright Meter Films. This production company is to specialise in horror films as well as true crime documentaries.

The first film planned for this new company is as the blog title suggests Party Night. This is to be written by Escamilla and is to be a homage to 80's slashers such as classics Hell Night and Prom Night. The synopsis is simple enough; six friends decide rather than attending their schools after prom party they are instead going to hold their own little shindig. However their choice of location is a secluded house near a river which also happens to be the hunting ground for a sadistic killer...

Party Night is in the early stages of pre-production and planned to be filmed in Houston next summer for a release towards the end of 2016. Escamilla is to be the executive producer and is currently interviewing for a director. A crowd funding campaign is to hopefully be launched in the next few weeks, while a website is on it's way to creation. If you wish to check on the progress of the film in the meantime you can check out the Facebook page here, or follow the film on Twitter (@PartyNightMovie). As always there can never be too much horror and from what I know of Escamilla he is very passionate about the genre and so this could indeed be great.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (2015) - Apocalyptic Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

Well first off this isn't really horror as such but it is very apocalyptic. Aside from Gone Home this is the first so called 'walking simulator' I have played. That game took place just in one large house, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture takes place in an English village and it's surrounding areas so was much larger in scope.

You play as an unknown person who finds them self in the fictional village of Yaughton in Shropshire. For reasons unknown it seems that you are the very last human on Earth, or at least in the local area. As you explore you find clues that point towards Yaughton being sealed off from the outside world due to some type of flu epidemic, and that over time the residents one by one began to vanish. You encounter ghosts/echoes in time of the occupants of this place who play out scenes from the past, and by adventuring you slowly piece together the tragic events that led to the apparent Rapture.