Director: Charles Band
Starring: Mel Johnson Jr, Michael Citriniti, Jacqueline Lovell, Rhonda Griffin, Tracie May
“You’re fired! You’re fired from everywhere! You’re fired from the fucking universe!” (Belinda, Hideous!)
What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever found in a sewer? What’s that? You don’t do raking around in sewers? Oh. Right. Um, me neither.
But if I did, chances are I probably wouldn’t come across odd little mutant baby things. That’s what one sewage treatment worker finds at the start of Hideous!, another low-budget grotfest from indie horror studio Full Moon.
The man hands over said mutation to Belinda Yost, a woman who specialises in selling mutations to collectors. Which is one hell of a niche market, but let’s go with it for the sake of the film. Continue reading
Director: Andrew Jones
Starring: Sophia Del Pizzo, Lee Bane, Andy Evason, Eileen Daly
LISA – “What’s that smell?”
DELANEY – “It always hangs in the air. No matter how much we bleach the floor, there is always that smell of death.”
In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz moved into 112 Ocean Avenue, a house in Amityville where thirteen months previously, a man had shot and killed six members of his family.
The Lutz family left the house after only a month, claiming they had been terrorised by evil paranormal forces living there. A book entitled The Amityville Horror was released two years later and the story went on to spawn a number of movies.
The Amityville Asylum is the eleventh movie to use the Amityville story as part of its plot, but in reality this review’s already discussed it more than the film does. Continue reading
Director: Bob Clark
Starring: Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Keir Dullea, Marian Waldman
Also known as: Silent Night, Evil Night (USA title)
“Little baby bunting, daddy’s went a-hunting, gonna fetch a rabbit skin to wrap his baby Agnes in.” (The Killer, Black Christmas)
Although Halloween is credited as the film that kicked off the slasher genre and Friday The 13th is the considered the one that inspired a slew of imitations, Black Christmas pre-dates them both by nearly half a decade.
This makes it all the more impressive, then, that despite being one of the earliest proper examples of the genre, it remains one of the better slasher movies 40 years after its original release. Continue reading
Director: Reynir Lyngdal
Starring: Anna Gunndís Guðmundsdóttir, Björn Thors
“If anyone can hear me, my name is Agla Helgadottir and I am calling from the base camp of the glacial research expedition. There are two of us here. One man is dead and five others are missing. Please send help, I don’t know what is going on here.” (Agla, Frost)
Unlike many horror film fans, I’m not yet sick of the ‘found footage’ genre. First made popular with The Blair Witch Project (although Cannibal Holocaust preceded it by decades), when a film uses it properly it can be bloody effective.
Unfortunately, most films don’t. For the most part, ‘found footage’ is a solution to a problem – usually a funding one – rather than a deliberate artistic style. Why bother with lighting, shot composition and the like when you can just go down the shakycam route and slash the budget drastically?
Frost is, unfortunately, one of the worst examples of this I’ve seen in a long time. Despite having a potentially interesting setting for a film of this genre and a trailer that genuinely excited me, the actual result falls short in so many ways it might as well have been directed by a midget to complete the full set. Continue reading
You know, for the most part I’m doing this site blind. The reviews and features I post on TWABM are really just based on how I’m feeling at that time.
However, I really want to improve this site and so I want to know exactly what sort of things you’re interested in reading about.
At the moment the only real feedback I get is a hit count that lets me see which reviews are getting more hits than others. However, there are a load of varying factors – the time they’re posted, when I tweet links to them, how I sell those reviews – that affect those results.
So, if you’ve got a spare five minutes, I’d hugely appreciate it if you could fill in this quick survey and let me know what you think of the site. It can be anonymous if you like, but you can also pop your name on the end if you want.
All you have to do is follow this link and fill it in. Thanks!
Director: William Levey
Starring: Ron Palillo, Abigail Wolcott, Carel Trichardt, Petrea Curran
“Take this, you zombie bitch!” (Pam, Hellgate)
Have you ever suffered from PMS? I have. No, you fool, I don’t mean that. I’m talking about Plot Missing Syndrome.
You know how it works. Sometimes you’re watching a film and you’re slightly tired. You nod off without realising it and wake up 30 minutes later, none the wiser.
Slowly you start to realise that the film isn’t making sense any more. Characters are talking about things that haven’t happened. The hero and his love interest suddenly hate each other for some reason. One guy’s missing a leg.
It eventually dawns on you that you must have fallen asleep. You rewind back to the last scene you remember and, more often than not, are stunned that you managed to miss around half an hour without noticing.
When I first watched Hellgate, I thought PMS had struck again. So I watched the film a second time from start to finish and realised, to my bewilderment, that it actually hadn’t. Continue reading
Director: Blair Erickson
Starring: Katia Winter, Ted Levine, Michael McMillan
“Every now and then you run up into a night that’s a stone-ass bummer from start to finish. In nights like those, if you know what’s good for you, you hunker down and you hide. This is not one of those nights.” (Thomas Blackburn, Banshee Chapter)
WARNING: This review contains images that may be disturbing. If you’re easily freaked out by creepy faces, it might be a good idea not to scroll down.
First, a history lesson. In the early 1950s, the US government and the CIA started a programme called MKUltra. This was a highly dodgy project in which unwitting US and Canadian citizens were made the test subjects of ‘behavioural engineering’ research.
Over the course of more than two decades, normal Americans were subjected to administration of drugs, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse and torture – by their own government – as a test to see how their mental states and brain functions could be altered. Continue reading
Director: Marvin Kren
Starring: Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Brigitte Kren
Also known as: The Station
“Maybe the legends of wolfmen and mermaids are based on biological realities. Maybe the Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis, really was a human being with a jackal’s head.” (Birte, Blood Glacier)
When the DVD cover of a film has a quote comparing it to a classic, you’d be right to feel a little suspicious. Blood Glacier’s cover, for example, suggests it’s like legendary John Carpenter sci-fi horror film The Thing. And this would have been accurate, had The Thing been deeply average.
Set in the German Alps, the film focuses on a group of researchers working in a tiny lab as they research glacial reduction and how it affects climate change. Obviously this subject matter isn’t exactly likely to pump your nads, which is why Blood Glacier then throws a curveball in the shape of, well, a blood-coloured glacier. Continue reading
Right, listen up.
I’m a big admirer of John McPhail and his indie film studio, Worrying Drake Productions. Worrying Drake has already released four brilliant short films, the latest of which – Just Say Hi – I wrote a blog about a while back.
Now shit’s getting serious, though. John’s planning his first full-length motion picture, called Where Do We Go From Here, and he needs your help. And if you don’t help him, so fucking help me. I will punch an orphan.
Watch the video below explaining why you should fund Worrying Drake’s latest film, and if you’re interested then pop over to their Indiegogo page and chuck some greenbacks in their direction.
If you’re able to, I recommend at least going for the £25 option because trust me, when (not if) these guys finally make it big, you’ll want to have their short films on DVD so you can be all cool as fuck and say you were into them before they went all Hollywood.
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Brad Dourif
RIPLEY – “There’s a monster in your chest. These guys hijacked your ship, and they sold your cryo tube to this human. And he put an alien inside of you. It’s a really nasty one. And in a few hours it’s gonna burst through your ribcage, and you’re gonna die. Any questions?
PURVIS – “Who are you?”
RIPLEY – “I’m the monster’s mother.”
There are some people who feel writer Joss Whedon can do no wrong. To those people I remove my cap, stare soberly at them and nod my head in the direction of Alien Resurrection, at which point blood streams freely from their eyes as they collapse in a heap, screaming indecipherable slogans of bile and malice.
To be fair, that would maybe be a bit of an overreaction on their behalf, because Alien Resurrection isn’t exactly the worst film ever made. It’s just the worst Alien film ever made. Continue reading