Demons Remake on the Horizon

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I have mentioned the old Italian horror films of days past (1980’s) a few times as of late and for good reason too; the films that constitute this area are a different breed of horror that you simply cannot find elsewhere. Sure, they were somewhat over the top, displayed an unusual narrative that often bordered on soft-core pornography and never really made it in to the mainstream, but they were also entertaining. When it comes to Italian horror, many directors managed to establish themselves as true commanders of the genre through their different approach, the most famous one of them being Dario Argento; one of Argento’s most well known films was a gore-induced film called Demons.

Officially let loose in 1985, Demons was the brainchild of three of the most well known and influential men in the Italian horror business – ArgentoLamberto Bava and Sergio Stivaletti. The film entails a group of people who are stranded in a movie theatre filled with Demons; they spend their time fending off the evil creatures. Notably, the film is rather refreshing due to the setting of West Berlin being portrayed in a way that does not revolve around the political situation at the time.

By now, you are probably wondering why I am explaining the plot of a thirty year old film to you; I would not blame you for questioning my choice. I have dug up this old classic because incoming news suggests that the three legendary filmmakers are planning to revive this masterpiece, and with it, the entire industry of Italian horror.

It seems that the three men have been deep in discussion about the possibility and know of the loyal fanbase that the film, amongst others, still holds. It is Stivaletti, the make-up and special effects artist for Demons, who let the news out in a recent interview. He explicitly mentioned that any kind of remake would have to include the former crew and even touted the idea of 3-D being utilised on the project.

I’m all for a remake being made, especially if it is helmed by the old guard – 3-D I am not so sure about..

 

 

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The Greatest Marketing Campaign in the History of Horror


At some point in the last fifty years, something unexplainable happened in the world of horror. One minute everything was suspenseful with a modicum of blood; the next, full on gore became the sought after end product. There have been a few films that were so realistic in their depiction of blood and guts that the authorities felt inclined to investigate further. In fact, there is quite a list when it comes to horror films that ended up in this place; perhaps, none of them are more important than Snuff. 

In 1976, husband and wife directing duo – Michael and Roberta Findlay filmed an incredibly low budget film in Argentina. Created on a show-string budget of $30,000, the picture followed the story of a Charles Manson style cult and, at this point, held the title of Slaughter. The film was completed and handed to a low budget producer who went by the name of Allan Shackleton and that, so they thought, was were the journey ended.

In 1975, whilst reading his daily newspaper, Shackleton came across a story that covered rumours of real snuff films being made in South America – this became the start of his master plan. Shackleton organised for a new ending to be made for the film and changed the title to Snuff before it was released.

In this new ending, the supposed crew of Slaughter all rally together and murder a woman working on the set; the murdering group then precedes to pull her intestines out before the film cuts abruptly. After the woman is attacked, a clear conversation between crew members is heard; they are discussing whether the event had been captured on film.

Attempting to cash in on the rumours surrounding South America, Shackleton went as far to market the film as a ‘real life’ snuff film and used the slogan, “The film that could only be made in South America… where Life is CHEAP”.

Unsatisfied with his handy work, Shackleton was not finished with his professional marketing campaign. The producer hired fake protesters to picket the cinemas that were showing the film and all of this worked to his advantage. That was until a group called ‘Women Against Pornography’ really did picket the showings – allegedly for the films depiction of sexual violence.

In 1976 the film was outed as a hoax but still received a lot of attention from people who refused to believe that it was fake. The film was investigated by authorities but then ultimately thrown out by the District Attorney who claimed that it was “nothing more than conventional trick photography—as is evident to anyone who sees the movie”. The DA also made it clear that the ‘murdered’ actress was alive and well.

I can just see the faces of the poor Findlay’s when the news broke. Then I imagine their faces when they realise that the film that cost them $30,000 and began life as Slaughter, actually took ten times that in the first eight weeks of a limited box office run.

If there is one thing to take from this, it is the fact that Allan Shackleton is, or was, most probably, one of the greatest marketers in the world. I wonder if he’s available to promote my blog..

The Old Dark House (1963)

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Keeping with the theme set by my previous post on a lost Australian gem, I would like to share another ‘lost’ film that is perhaps one of the most unusual pictures that I have ever seen. The Old Dark House was found in the vault at Universal Studios after thirty years M.I.A. and I can safely say that I am thankful to whoever uncovered it. It mixes a fantastic combination of comedy and horror as it follows a collection of people who have taken shelter in an old, almost dilapidated, mansion in Wales; it is based on the novel ‘Benighted’, which was originally written by JB Priestley.

The family who lives in the mansion are a colourful bunch of misfits includes the ultimately camp Horace, his dead sister, their father who has lived for well over a century, the fire-obsessed brother who is held prisoner in his own attic, and the butler who has a habit of getting blind drunk. The Femm family is filled with hilarity and witty dialogue, which all adds to the appeal of this, almost lost, classic.

Despite the comedic elements, there is still an eeriness to the whole affair and a dose of creepiness to savour. I highly recommend this to anybody who wants an old classic to pass the time – Boris Karloff is a wonder.

New Frontier

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As of this morning I have decided to oust the shackles that keep me locked in the WordPress dungeon and branched out a little bit further. I will be sharing my posts across a plethora of social media platforms as opposed to just Twitter. From now onwards I will be able to harass you with my nonsensical ramblings on Facebook, Pinterest (Although, I cannot figure out what this strange contraption is) and Tumblr. I am choosing to target more areas of the internet in an attempt to find all of the likeminded people who love horror, film, reading, writing and just about anything else as much as I do – wish me luck!

Remember, you can run (from WordPress), but you cannot hide – I will find you.

 

The Lost Australian Horror Film

  
We all love the aura that surrounds a long lost film. We love the idea that something is existing out there, untouched by human eyes and waiting in the shadows for someone to discover. The thought of this wets our appetites and intrigues us greatly. Our interest grows further when we discover that this long lost film is described as being beautifully calibrated in a “..visually, dramatically, atmospherically and psychologically..” pleasing way by Martin Scorcese. The trouble is that lost films are rarely found; thankfully, Wake in Fright does not conform to this. 

The film depicts a teachers descent in to madness while being confined to the outback. It is highly regarded enough to receive a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and the story of how it was discovered again is no less than remarkable. 

After years of searching, Tony Buckley, the films editor, tracked it down to a warehouse where it was distributed across two large boxes both labelled, ‘FOR DESTRUCTION’. If he had arrived any later, the film would of been destroyed in a mass clear out – the man is a hero!

It is worth noting that the film also premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 1971. Do you need any more reasons to go and check this out? I will give you one anyway – Donald Pleasance is in it. 

Enjoy!

K-Shop – An Interesting Journey in to British Culture

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Whether it be a late finish at the pub, a visit to a packed nightclub or a relaxing evening at a friends, we have all experienced the vulgarity and nonsensical behaviour displayed by drunkards on the journey home. Stories about people being attacked on their journey home litter news websites and, on the face of things – it would seem like the world is becoming a cruel and torturous place. That man who was beaten to death, the one who had a wife and kids – it always seems like the same story. But, what if.. What if his children weren’t so forgiving as people seem to be in reality?

Cue K-shop, an interesting look in to the drinking culture and Britain as a whole. Whether intentional or not, the premise of this upcoming film resinates deep inside; i am cheering for the man who seem to be channeling Sweeney Todd.

 

If you haven’t guessed already, the film follows a kebab shop owner who turns in to a maniacal killer as a result of his father being beaten to death by yobs. Having killed them, he then disposes of his victims by serving them to the very people he despises. It intersperses real-life clips of the night life in Britain and paints a realistic picture of the issues that binge drinking creates. The kind of thing that we may think about but could never say.

My alliance with the killer may seem ridiculous on the face off things but hear me out before you cast your judgement. I am of the group that feel margianlised by the ever-increasing number of yobs in my hometown. I despise the fact that they loiter around causing trouble and lament the fact that I could never raise a family in an area where people are beaten up for the sake of five pounds. The idea that our sweeney-todd-esque kebab shop owner is avenging all of the people that have intimidated me in the past is downright perfect. Films should be relatable and this couldn’t be more on the mark.

Check out the trailer above to get a sense of what you can expect from this film.

The Dark Signal

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Anybody who has read my material, or glanced upon my blog for more than a few moments, would be familiar with my penchant for homegrown horror. There is just something far more sinister and creepy about terrifying events occurring on your own doorstep. The familiarisation with dialect and the surrounding world adds to the inner fear that all horror films prey upon. This leads me to The Dark Signal and the eerie landscape that has been chosen for the events to unfold.

The film, shot in North Wales, has been on my radar for quite some time and I am excited to share that this film will now be getting the full works in regard to a premier – this is something that I feel the film is utterly deserving of. Drawing inspiration from films such as Ringu, Siren and The Fog, the film, directed by Edward Evers-Swindell seems to be a production worthy of many highly regarded personnel. Fans of Game of Thrones will instantly recognise James Cosmo, Torchwood aficionados will be familiar with Gareth David Lloyd’s representation and perhaps are more youthful group of the audience will no doubt recognise Siwan Morris from Skins fame.

As if this cast wasn’t exciting enough, the director has managed to secure Cinzia Monreale for a role and this excites me the most. For those of you who are familiar with Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento’s contribution to the world of horror, you will recognise her from The Beyond and The Stendhal Syndrome retrospectively (If you are not familiar with these two incredible directors, I suggest that you go forth and watch everything – they will not disappoint). The veteran actress has also graced the screen with Hollywood legend Sofia Loren, which should give an even bigger indication to her acting capabilities.

Set around Snowdonia, this is perhaps one of the only notable films where the dark and dreary landscape is allowed to portray itself; many films have used the setting before but few have let it just be itself. The film shows us the journey of a woman who is stranded in the Welsh wilderness when a murder is committed; she bands together with a group of radio station workers to investigate the crime. The film has a lot of promise because of the directors previous work with Neil Marshall on The Descent Part 2, a film that did not live up to its predecessor but stood firm on its own nonetheless. It is worth noting that Neil Marshall’s previous work includes Dog Soldiers, which is perhaps one of the better werewolf films made in recent years.

If the cast and setting do not appeal to you as a horror fan then perhaps the fact that the films Visual effect expert won an oscar for his work on Ex-Machina will tempt you in to viewing. DNeg’s Whitehurst, Paul Norris and Mark Ardington, and Milk VFX’s Sara Bennett’s work on that film was unbelievably good and it seems that others thought so too as it pipped the latest Star Wars entry, The Revenant, The Martian and Mad max to the award.

The film has it’s premier at a lesser used Cineworld theatre in Broughton on 21st April but will be available to purchase in stores and online from 30th May onwards – it will probably make its way to Netflix too but there is no guarantee.

If you like what The Dark Signal offers then go give it a watch and support local film.

A Very Insightful Blog That I Highly Recommend Checking Out

  
It has been a while since I posted anything and that is mainly due to a hectic workload and my final year of study; I have also been working on some personal projects and contemplating the idea of a co-hosted podcast with a very good friend. 

So what is this recommendation?

A wholly refreshing and new take on various different things. Right now there are some great written pieces on areas of the video game industry; these are written with heightened passion and wise words. You will also find a deeply, thought provoking, article on mental health that will make you think twice about the hand that you are dealt. 
CHECK OUT THE BLOG HERE!!

I know that, in time, there will be far more articles worth checking out; if you can spare a moment to see what all the fuss is about (and give my own blog a follow) it would be greatly appreciated.

Sit tight for some more exploration in to the World of horror.

Thanks!