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 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.

 

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 Story That You Probably Didn’t know about F. W. Murnau 

  
We are all familiar with F. W. Murnau’s work, especially the legendary Nosferatu. Recently, I shared a few facts about the film that were rather interesting. I wrote about painted rats and a short cameo from the director himself; none of those facts, however, come close to the story that I am about to share with you.

For those of you who didn’t know, Murnau died long before his time. It saddens me to think of the beautiful films he could of added to his portfolio. Murnau was being driven up to California from Los Angeles in a hired car. The driver was a young teenage servant from the Phillipines who was not much older than the age of 14. Perhaps the giant Rolls Royce was too powerful for the young servant or perhaps it was freak accident, regardless, the car plowed in to a pole which lead to Murnau suffering severe head injuries and dying in hospital the following day at the young age of 42. Murnau had been travelling to California for the premier of his film Tabu, unfortunately he never made it there. 

As sad as the story is so far, it is one that you may be thinking that you’ve heard before. However, it is the next part that some may find shocking. 

Last July (2015), Murnau’s grave was disturbed and his skull stolen. Some suggest that signs of wax indicate rituals of the occult or some kind of ceremony. Most find it incredibly unusual, mainly because this is not the first time that people have disturbed F. W. Murnau’s grave. It is currently not known what happened to the skull of this legendary director and it is looking less than likely that we will ever find out. 

  
What a world we live in. 

‘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

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.