‘Ghabash’

My penchant for foreign horror films is no secret and you probably already know that if you have been reading my blog. Saudi horror is not a thing that is banded around usually but on this occasion, it is.

‘Ghabash’ is a little different from the usual structure as it is set to be released periodically on youtube until the full story has been told.

It follows the journey of two men on a cross country travel that are harassed by a ghost; it hosts a variety of all-Saudi cast and was filmed entirely in the Kingdom.

Go check out the news story and the first instalment out here (No subtitles but not really neccessary):

http://www.albawaba.com/entertainment/saudi-arabias-first-ever-horror-film-will-make-hairs-your-body-stand-801234

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Men Behind The Sun

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As far as questionable actions on set go, this film perhaps sets the bar for ‘why the f*ck?!’

Filmed in the mid 1980’s, T. F. Mous was intent on sharing a story about torture and other messed up things. The film was set during World War II and depicted an alleged true story; perhaps the film was a little too harrowing.

One scene involving a collection of rats being set alight took realism to a whole new level when the act was actually committed for the cameras.

Feeling that his film was not ‘true’ enough, Mous’ scene involving a dead child being placed on a table was also ‘real’. The person had died days before and was used as a prop to fulfil some kind of purpose; i’m just not sure what the purpose was.

In a society where films are banned for minor infractions, it makes me wonder how this one slipped through the net.

 

H. R. Giger and His Band of Skulls

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One creepy story that I had never heard before literally sent a shiver down my spine.

Alien is perhaps one of the greatest films ever made, it was scary enough without the rumoured going on’s behind the scenes.

Dan ‘O Bannon remarked on his suspicion when discussing rumours surrounding Giger’s work. He shared that Giger was said to have bought real human skulls from India and cut them apart in order to create the xenomorph.

More weight was lent to this at a later date when news stories surfaced, explaining that Indian authorities had shut down companies that were trading skeletons; this makes it all the more possible. Could he have?

Bannon finished his piece by sharing that the teeth Giger worked with were very similar to that of children’s.

I have seen some questionable art, anything by Jake and Dinos Chapman, but this is just messed up!

Wes Craven and His Inspiration

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The late Wes Craven was a legend in the horror making business and he created some films that we will never forget; the most memorable creation of his is without a doubt ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’. The film continues to be watched today and it’s a necessity for any horror film fan’s collection. Although Wes had a great imagination, he had a helping hand when coming up with the idea for ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’.

A serious of news articles in the Los Angeles Times gave him all the inspiration he needed to create the masterpiece that we all know and love. The news articles revolved around a series of deaths involving Asian refugees.

The articles written in the Los Angeles Times would tell how the victims mysteriously passed away in their sleep. Allegedly, the victims would refuse to go to sleep because of terrifying nightmares that would potentially result in their death.

Despite the similarities in all of the cases, the events were never linked. It was a particular article that caught Craven’s attention and here is the description in his own words:

‘The third one was the son of a physician. He was about twenty-one; I’ve subsequently found out this is a phenomenon in Laos, Cambodia. Everybody in his family said almost exactly these lines: “You must sleep.” He said, “No, you don’t understand; I’ve had nightmares before—this is different.” He was given sleeping pills and told to take them and supposedly did, but he stayed up. I forget what the total days he stayed up was, but it was a phenomenal amount—something like six, seven days. Finally, he was watching television with the family, fell asleep on the couch, and everybody said, “Thank god.” They literally carried him upstairs to bed; he was completely exhausted. Everybody went to bed, thinking it was all over. In the middle of the night, they heard screams and crashing. They ran into the room, and by the time they got to him he was dead. They had an autopsy performed, and there was no heart attack; he just had died for unexplained reasons. They found in his closet a Mr. Coffee maker, full of hot coffee that he had used to keep awake, and they also found all his sleeping pills that they thought he had taken; he had spit them back out and hidden them. It struck me as such an incredibly dramatic story that I was intrigued by it for a year, at least, before I finally thought I should write something about this kind of situation.’

It is pretty amazing to see where the great filmmakers take their inspiration from and just goes to show that ideas can be found in every area of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Destination? 25 More Times Please

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Final Destination is one of those film series that did not really scare me when I decided to watch them. That being said, there have been many times after when I have had a paranoia of something really far-fetched happening that results in my death. Freak accidents happen all the time! Regardless of the fear-factor, the series is a lot of fun, even if you are only watching to see what unruly death is about to happen; it is a little like the feeling you have when watching any of the SAW franchise i guess.

Final Destination 3 was one of my favourites of the series and if i’m honest, I still get worried every time I ride a rollercoaster after watching it. Oh, how bad it must have been for the poor kids that acted in the film, who had to ride the rollercoaster 26 times in order to film the premonition scene at the beginning. Can you imagine your mind being filled with worst case scenarios and then having to do that? Scares me just thinking about it!

Medousa

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If you are like me, then you probably love horror films that give you something different. I enjoy watching horror films that are regarded as foreign films for one reason, that reason is the effectiveness of them.

Something about J-horror makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and after many hours debating why this was, I came to the conclusion that it was most probably because of my novice understanding about the culture. I have touched on the fear of the unknown many times but this is far more clean cut than any of my previous ramblings.

The films appear to be more effective because I have no idea of the capabilities that the antagonists possess. For all I know, they could hold all the traits of something that would make me huddle in the corner of the room, rocking backwards and forwards, and praying to a being that I don’t really believe in. This unsure feeling urges me to go in search of obscure and lesser known films; Films like ‘Medousa’.

Similarly to the way in which J-horror uses mythology and culture to scare it’s audience in to submission, this Greek art-house film appears to be approaching from the same place. The film is reminiscent of a classic atmospheric thriller and despite winning an award back in 1998, it is only now, upon Mondo Macabro’s release of the hidden gem, that it is starting to be re-discovered.

I highly recommend checking ‘Medousa’ out, especially if you are looking for something different. It is not common for such a film to be made these days, if ever, and is due for release on April 12th 2016.

Rampage!

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There have been rumours swirling for a while now and I cannot help but be excited at the news that New Line have dropped recently. Sure, I love horror films, but I also love video games and wrestling! That’s right, I am no more mature than I was when starting high school but at least I am honest.. right?

Anyway, there is a reason for my confession and that is the news of a ‘RAMPAGE’ film based on the video game that just so happens to star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. The money men must have loved what the combination of Rocky, Peyton and Flynn done for them with ‘San Andreas’ as they have named the actor and co-directors as the people to get this project moving.

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‘San Andreas’ managed to gross almost $500,000,000 at cinemas worldwide so here’s hoping that ‘RAMPAGE’ Goes the same way!

Mike Reiss and His Secrets of The Simpsons: Review

  

  

I know, I know, this is a horror based blog but I just need to share my feelings on last nights show for the writer in me.

Mike Reiss is one of the 23 writers on The Simpsons and the creator of Queer Duck. He politely declined to acknowledge his co-creator credit for Teen Angel – We all love it really..

  
As with Silent Hill Live, I was sceptical about travelling in to an area with a less than average reputation, but upon arrival, I was taken back by the venue and this was a huge surprise. Not because of the stories I have heard, but because I used to live around the corner from this beautiful, church-run hall and never bothered to check it out. If you had told me that Crytal Palace had an International film festival last week I would have literally rolled on the floor with laughter. Some say that ignorance is bliss, but on this occasion, it is most certainly not.

The festival is run by the nicest people that you will ever meet and that is no exaggeration. There couldn’t be a friendlier bunch of people out there and the atmosphere inside was most definitely a contrast to outside the doors of the Stanley Hall. The venue, by the way, was the first building to have electricity in Croydon. 

  
I got there 45 minutes before showtime and took my seat in the front row; I was excited. Mike Reiss was already there and this is the part that I love the most; he hung around in the crowd talking to everyone and even let someone interview him for their website. Mike, ever smiling, is the personification of happiness. He was genuinely happy to be there and I wondered if a man who is responsible for some of the funniest gags on television would be anything the same in person. 

Mike answered that right away when he took to the stage. He started by telling us that a comedy writer and comedian are very different, and within seconds, contradicted himself. Firing away with a joke about how it was like phone sex and real sex; only to tell us that one was a long, drawn out, boring experience, that ended with a soulless feeling and the other cost him £20 for 4 minutes. The crowd were fully engaged and the rest of the show didn’t disappoint. 

  
Mike regaled us with past stories about his experiences, a journey in to the ideas behind his own show – Queer Duck, a scene from The Critic – the show that didn’t do to well, and a lengthy Q&A session.

Considering that I did not know what to expect, this show was phenomenal. A genuine guy with lots of stories and a whole lot of time for the people. Mike stayed afterwards and spoke to every single attendee who had formed in a queue. He signed things and took photos and answered any questions that anyone had. I couldn’t recommend one of his talks enough.

  
The session was a huge inspiration to me and Mike Reiss is one of the biggest reasons that I will continue to pursue a career as a screenwriter. A big thanks is due to him and the people that put together the festival which is still on for another week. 

10/10

Gunnar Hansen – R.I.P

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Without a shadow of doubt, the saddest news over the weekend was that of Gunnar Hansen’s passing at the age of 68. Mike Eisenstadt, Gunnar’s agent, confirmed the news and shared that Leatherface “is one of the most iconic evil figures in the history of cinema..”, a comment which is 100% fact.

Gunnar passed away at his home in Maine on Saturday after suffering with pancreatic cancer for some time. Despite his feeling that making “chainsaw” was no fun, he was still active in recent times and had a project in the works that he was both a writer and producer on. That film is called ‘Death House’ and is still scheduled for release according to Gunnar’s agent.

If you care to know more about Gunnar and want an insight in to what went on behind the scenes of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, check out his book; you can grab it a the link below.

Gunnar’s Book

I don’t know about you but I sure as hell will be watching Leatherface in all his glory later on tonight!