Monday, 31 October 2016

Layers of Fear: Inheritance (2016) - Part 1 of my complete playthrough (PS4)

I have recently started putting up more YouTube videos, these are very rough and are mostly just PS4 video games streamed live or prerecorded with me speaking as I play. I thought I may as well start putting them on my blog as well, they wont replace my regular blog posts but be in addition to them. This first one is for the Layers of Fear DLC.

So it is Halloween today, the most wonderful of holidays and I am in The Rotting Zombie HQ in lock down as I have no treats for visiting ghouls and so need to simulate being out. Actually I spent much of the evening out anyway as I went to my friends for our weekly The Walking Dead and Ash vs Evil Dead watching (were both excellent by the way!).

So I shall be doing a review of Layers of Fear: Inheritance down the line anyway so I wont say much more, other than the main game had you exploring a weird nightmare house as a tortured artist, in the DLC you play as his daughter who seems to be visiting her childhood home to confront the demons of her past. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

5 Ghoulishly Gooey Filled Cookies (Tesco) - Horror Themed Food Review

It's that time of year again when food starts getting re-labelled to give it a Halloween edge. In the interest both of public information and an admittedly quick and easy blog post I present a review of Tesco's 5 Ghoulishly Gooey Filled Cookies.

Usually companies use blatant lies such as 'spooky' and 'scary' to describe their Halloween treats, with this one though I am unsure if it is a fallacy for I know not what 'ghoulishly' would actually be like. After eating some of these cookies I came to the conclusion that that word means sweet to a fault. The main part of the cookie has green food colouring used, while the gooey inside at the middle is purple. Both colours you could associate with the side of horror I guess (also the Joker). The cookie itself is very, very sweet, I don't have a sweet tooth so I found this to be quite overpowering with a very artificial taste to it. As a whole these cookies are very soft and thin, the raised middle has some purple stuff in it that actually wasn't that gooey.

I guess if you like disgustingly sweet cookies then these will be for you, for me I did not enjoy eating them, I could feel the non natural ingredients infesting my body. They look nice, though as you can see from my photo the circular shape was not intact, looks like a monster had already eaten off a part of one of them. Tune in this time next year for more horrific Halloween treats *sigh*.


Friday, 28 October 2016

Dark Blue (2017) - Film News

Dark Blue is an Italian indie film that to be honest I'm not sure if it would be classed as horror, the director Michael Segal (Anger of the Dead, Zombie Massacre 2: Reich of the Dead) describes it as an mystery/action movie. The synopsis does suggest a certain horror element and so I have included it here.

Segal stars as Mike; a fearless diver who along with partners Lisa and Kevin head out to a wreck of a legendary boat named Miorgarosormr that sank while fleeing the German Nazis and Italian Fascists in the 1930's. They hope to discover the precious cargo it holds and are led to the spot by an old sea-man named Hooper (David White) who seems to know more about the wreck than he lets on. Unknown to the small diving group the ship is purported to be guarded by a mythical Celtic creature that may still be residing there.

This English language Italian film is currently in post-production and will be Segal's first directed film. He is being assisted by the award winning Simone Modugno who will be integral to the underwater and drone shots. The movie is principally filmed in Elba and there will be lots of underwater scenes that were actually filmed around a real life sunken ship. With Segal being a stuntman it is promised there will be lots of fights and dangerous scenes. The movie is to premier at the AFM, then at the Toronto Film Market and Berlin.  Check out the trailer below, the concept is interesting but whether it turns out to contain any horror or not remains to be seen.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Misty Moon International Film Festival, The Razor Reel Flanders Film Festival and other Horror News

This is mostly a news post about a couple of upcoming festivals. First off is The Misty Moon International Film Festival that actually takes place in just a few days time on Saturday 29th October. The event takes place in London in The Cinema Museum. The first part of the event will showcase classic/horror features, this is followed in the evening by a bunch of high quality short films from around the world. 

During the day Halloween, Mum & Dad, Seize the Night (followed by a Q and A with Emma Dark) and the zombie flick Before Dawn (again with a Q and A, this time by Dominic Brunt) will be shown. The short films that will be judged by a panel of horror celebrities include The Tour, Rats, The Barber's Cut, Ghost Nets, Surgery, Cowboy Ben, Hada, Nasty, Cold Caller, and The Werewolf's Greatest Hit. Also in the evening there will be a cast and crew screening of Mark Vella's The Neighbours as well as the premiere of horror-comedy short Count Frankula.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Zoombies (2016) - Zombie Horror Film Review

When I first heard of Zoombies I declared it to be the best film ever made based on the fantastic title alone. Zoo animals turning into the living dead; it all seemed so perfect, yet this effort directed by Glenn Miller (Sharknado 2: The Second One, Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens, Zombie Apocalypse) is sadly as terrible as it's title is great.

A strange virus has infected the monkeys at the privately owned Eden Wildlife Zoo run by Dr. Ellen Rogers (Kim Nielson). While they are being examined the simians attack and kill the veterinary staff and get accidentally freed to run amok in the park, where they quickly start to infect the other animals. Being a training day the only humans on site are a bunch of staff and newly arrived interns, and thankfully the virus cannot be passed onto them. On the bad side though the CDC have forbidden anyone from leaving the sealed complex and so soon the rapidly dwindling survivors must find a way to put an end to the unfolding horror.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Ouija: Origins of Evil (2016) - Horror Film Review

When I watched Ouija: Origins of Evil I had no idea it was actually a prequel to the 2014 horror Ouija. To my credit I didn't actually get a chance to watch that one due to a stingy run time at my local cinema. As such I don't know how it compares but reading up on it, it seems it is set in the same house, but rather than modern day it takes place in the 1960's and chronicles how the evil spirit from Ouija came to be.

Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser from the Twilight films) is a fake spirit medium who performs her trade with the aid of her two daughters; teenage Lina, and the young Doris (Lulu Wilson). Needing to add something to her act she buys a Ouija board but it soon becomes apparent that Doris is able to use the board for real, contacting spirits which her mother initially sees as a boon to her business. However it starts to become clear that something is wrong with Doris and that the spirits she is in contact with may not be as benign as at first seems...

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.