Evil Never Dies (2013) review

Evil Never Dies posterDirector: Martyn Pick

Starring: Tony Scannell, Graham Cole, PH Moriarty, Anouska Mond, Fliss Watson, Katy Manning

Also known as: The Haunting Of Harry Payne (original title)

“The only thing I need to know from you… is how the hell you kill a dead man.” (Harry, Evil Never Dies)

Here’s an interesting one, a British gangster film with a paranormal twist. I haven’t seen anything like that since Cockney Spook, a movie I just made up in my head.

Evil Never Dies (which until recently was going to be called The Haunting Of Harry Payne, but was changed to a far more generic title in December) tells the story of Harry Payne, an aging mobster who’s just left prison after serving ten years for the murder of his gang boss and best friend. Continue reading “Evil Never Dies (2013) review”


Hell Comes To Frogtown (1988) review

Directors: Donald G Jackson, RJ Kizer

Starring: Roddy Piper, Sandahl Bergman

“Eat lead, froggies!” (Sam Hell, Hell Comes To Frogtown)

Hell Comes To Frogtown has one of the greatest premises in film history.

It’s set in the future, after a nuclear war has turned America into a sort of Mad Max/Fallout post-apocalyptic wasteland. Due to the radiation, the world’s population is either dead or sterile.

That is, except for a handful of females scattered throughout the land and one man, Sam Hell (wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper).

"So I basically have to go around shagging everyone? That seems a bit... convenient"
“So I basically have to go around shagging everyone? That seems a bit… convenient”

Hell is captured by the government and told he has to travel around the country, having sex with as many of the fertile women as he can so he can re-populate the planet.

A big pair of explosive underpants are attached to Hell and he’s told that if he tries to escape they’ll explode. Suprisingly, Sam doesn’t seem too happy with this agreement for some reason.

He’s also none too pleased when he’s told that a group of these nubile, fertile young women are being held prisoner in Frogtown, an area populated by mutants who have evolved into walking, talking frog people, and that he has to head into Frogtown and rescue them.

Al Pacino was looking a little worse for wear
Al Pacino was looking a little worse for wear

The resulting 85 minutes is a collection of mental scenes. One minute you’re watching Roddy Piper kick the shit out of a giant frog man, the next he’s riding around in a big armoured pink truck, the next his doctor is doing a special dance for the leader of the frogs, who becomes visibly aroused (yes, complete with a noticeable froggy erection). It’s just bizarre.

Credit has to go to the film’s script, however. It’s filled with great one-liners, especially during the back end of the movie, and the over-dramatic ham acting really adds to the dialogue. Here’s one of my favourite scenes as an example:

Hell Comes To Frogtown is crazier than a dolphin filled with cheese, but it’s a good laugh and one you should watch if you’ve got some chums willing to watch.

It’s odd in that it feels like it should be in the “so bad it’s good” camp alongside the likes of Troll 2, even though its production quality is reasonably high.

One thing’s for sure however – after one watch this will definitely blast its way into your top five post-apocalyptic frog mutant films. Check out the trailer below and tell me you’re not interested.


Until recently, the only way to get Hell Comes To Frogtown in the UK was to buy the out-of-print DVD which was released as part of Boulevard Entertainment’s B-Movie DVD Collection series.

That all changes on 27 January when Arrow Video release a brilliant dual-format Blu-ray/DVD set featuring a new transfer and loads of extra features.

Arrow’s easily the best label at the moment when it comes to cult and horror releases and I can happily confirm its treatment of Hell Comes To Frogtown is immense. The interview with Roddy Piper in particular is brilliant. I highly recommend you pre-order it here.

As for the US, I’m afraid it’s DVD-only for now. You can buy it standalone here or get it in a double-bill with Def-Con 4 here.


Heretic (2012) review

Heretic posterDirector: Peter Handford

Starring: Andrew Squires, Michael J Tait, Jen Nelson, James Zakeri

TOM – “You need to go now, Father. You need to walk away.”

JAMES  – “I can’t do that, Tom.”

TOM – “Yes you can. You did when we asked for your help. I came to you, I confessed to you. And so did she. And what did you do? Three Hail Marys and a Go Fuck Yourself.”

I don’t think I could be a priest. One of the reasons for this is I haven’t been to a chapel in years (I’m fairly sure one of the requirements is you have to do that every now and then), but another is that I couldn’t be trusted to keep my parishioners’ confessions a secret.

“What’s that? You’ve been fiddlng the dog? Um, say a Hail Mary and… um, hang on… what? No, I’m just texting… someone. It’s unrelated, I promise.” Continue reading “Heretic (2012) review”

Nazis At The Center Of The Earth (2012) review

Nazis At The Center Of The Earth posterDirector: Joseph J Lawson

Starring: Dominique Swain, Jake Busey, Joshua Allen, Christopher Johnson

Also known as: Bloodstorm (UK DVD)

“Come on, you bobble-headed zombie Nazi son of a bitch! Fick dich!” (Dr Paige Morgan, Nazis At The Center Of The Earth)

I’ve spoken in the past about The Asylum, the delightfully shameless film studio that have no qualms about constantly releasing low-budget rip-offs of popular films to trick confused mothers at video rental stores (Snakes On A Train, Paranormal Entity and Atlantic Rim spring to mind).

With said rental stores on the way out though, The Asylum have instead seemingly switched their focus to original movies, albeit completely ridiculous ones.

Recently they struck gold with Sharknado, the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin film that’s so bonkers it ended up trending on Twitter in the UK when it aired on SyFy. This one, though, may have taken things a little too far. Continue reading “Nazis At The Center Of The Earth (2012) review”

Halloween: Resurrection (2002) review

Halloween Resurrection posterDirector: Rick Rosenthal

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Brad Loree, Busta Rhymes, Bianca Kajlich, Sean Patrick Thomas, Daisy McCrackin

“Trick or treat, muthafucka.” (Freddie Harris, Halloween: Resurrection)

Miramax achieved the impossible by taking the flatlining Halloween series and resurrecting it with the back-to-basics Halloween H20.

With Michael Myers relevant and scary again, it was therefore inevitable that another Halloween would come, even though it seemed Myers was well and truly dead after the last film.

How did they manage to bring the pale pursuer back then? Well, I’ll tell you, because I’m nice like that. Continue reading “Halloween: Resurrection (2002) review”

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) review

Halloween H20 posterDirector: Steve Miner

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, Adam Arkin, LL Cool J, Janet Leigh, Chris Durand

JOHN – It just occurred to me today that I’ve never celebrated Halloween before.

MOLLY – And why’s that?

JOHN – Oh, we’ve got a psychotic serial killer in the family who loves to butcher people on Halloween, and I just thought it in bad taste to celebrate.

After the train wreck that was Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers I’m surprised Dimension Films and Miramax had the gall to bring ol’ paleface back yet again.

Still, bring him back they did, in a film made to mark the 20th anniversary of the original Halloween. And you know something? They actually did a decent job this time.

Perhaps realising the previous film had become a confusing mess with a plot consisting of evil cults, a convoluted bloodline, adopted children and Paul Rudd, Halloween H20 scraps it all and instead provides an alternative timeline in which the events of Halloween 4, Halloween 5 and Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers never happened. Continue reading “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) review”

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989) review

Sleepaway Camp III posterDirector: Michael A Simpson

Starring: Pamela Springsteen, Tracy Griffith, Michael J Pollard, Mark Oliver

CINDY – “Why are you doing this to me?”

ANGELA – “Because you’re a cheerleader, a fornicator, a drug taker, a nasty snotty bigot… and besides that, you’re real nice.”

Here’s some advice. If you’re ever at a pub quiz and one of the questions is “what do Sleepaway Camp and Back To The Future have in common?”, your response should be two sentences.

The first: “That’s a pretty fucking obscure film to be bringing up in a pub quiz, considering the public in general aren’t familiar with the Sleepaway Camp series.”

The second: “Nevertheless, the answer to your niche question is that both had their second and third movies shot back-to-back.” Continue reading “Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989) review”

Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995) review

Halloween The Curse Of Michael Myers posterDirector: Joe Chappelle

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagan

“Enough of this Michael Myers bullshit!” (John Strode, Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers)

It says a lot about a film when the stories of its behind-the-scenes turmoil and tantrums are more interesting than the story that ended up on the screen.

This was the curious condition inflicted on Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers, the sixth film in the Halloween series. Plagued by in-fighting and studio politics before a single frame was even shot, the conflict continued to escalate throughout production.

It’s said that the original script for the film was so powerful a Dimension exec couldn’t sleep the night after reading it, and Halloween regular Donald Pleasence (who had starred as Dr Sam Loomis in four of the previous five films) loved it too. Continue reading “Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995) review”

Spirit Trap (2005) review

Spirit Trap posterDirector: David Smith

Starring: Billie Piper, Luke Mably, Sam Troughton, Emma Catherwood, Alsou

JENNY – “It’s a spirit clock. My mum had one.”

ADELE – “So what does it do? Horoscopes or something?”

JENNY – “It’s supposed to be a bridge between our world and the next. It’s a load of crap, really.”

True story: as Billie Piper was flying to Romania to film Spirit Trap, she received a call from her agent telling her she’d just landed the part of Rose Tyler, the assistant in BBC’s reboot of Doctor Who.

Excited, Billie turned to her Spirit Trap co-star Sam Troughton to share her good news. “That’s a coincidence,” Sam replied. “Back in the ’60s, my grandfather, Patrick Troughton, played the second Doctor.”

Interesting stuff eh? Shame they didn’t make a film out of that story instead, because Spirit Trap is a bucket of gash. Continue reading “Spirit Trap (2005) review”

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) review

Sleepaway Camp 2 posterDirector: Michael A Simpson

Starring: Pamela Springsteen, Renee Estevez, Tony Higgins

Also known as: Nightmare Vacation II (UK VHS)

ANGELA – “I did my time. Two years of therapy, electroshock, was on every pill you ever heard of, plus an operation. I’m completely cured. If I wasn’t they wouldn’t have let me out. How do you know so much about me?”

SEAN – “My dad’s a cop. He helped arrest you. You should have heard him the day you got out.”

ANGELA – “That’s too bad. Wait until he hears what’s happened to you.”

Warning: The following review spoils the identity of the killer in the original Sleepaway Camp. However, it does not spoil its big twist ending, so if you don’t mind knowing who the killer was you can feel free to read on, safe in the knowledge you’re still in for a shock when you watch the original. Which you really should, you know.

Sleepaway Camp caused something of a dilemma. When you end a film in such a shocking, outrageous manner, how exactly can you follow that up? Sleepaway Camp II decided the answer was to give the original’s killer a completely different personality.

Years after butchering a load of kids in Camp Arawak all those years ago, Angela Baker has gone through extensive electro-shock therapy and psychiatric treatment. She decides the best thing to do is get a job as a counsellor at a new summer camp, seeing as everything went so well the last time. Continue reading “Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) review”