Dark Disciple (2016)


Allan Caggiano, who by his own admission has no formal training, set out with a four-person production crew to make a movie and for that I applaud him. He also said that “reviews (even the harsh ones) are greatly appreciated” so on the off change he gets to read this I hope he doesn’t think I’m being unfair with what’s about to be said. Making any kind of film is a soul-breaking task, and at the very least he brought into the world something that a group of us spent a pleasant hour and a half watching.
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The Haunted House Of Horror (1969)


I wasn’t sure how to write this review, but after I did a bit of reading I found out that the producers had no idea about how to make this film. Half of it is an interesting proto-slasher, directed by Michael Haworth and stating a giggle of up-and-coming stars of British Cinema (and Frankie Avalon on his way down). The other half is an interesting drama, using the backdrop of swinging London and mostly the same cast. Sadly, you can see the welds. Continue reading

The Howling: Reborn (2011)


Horror was hot again in the 2010s, and werewolves had just got very hot thanks to Twilight making them take off their shirts. Which explains why, 26 years after the god-awful New Moon Rising, Anchor Bay was willing to give The Howling Franchise another chance with a Reborn. They also gave it a reboot, just make clear it had nothing to do with the shoehorning, time padding, nonsense of its predecessor. So, how did director and writer Joe Nimziki do with this post Scream, post Saw, post remake onslaught, bit of fur frenzy?
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The Howling VI: The Freaks (1991)

It was bound to happen; we’ve made it to the 90s! So, obviously, it’s time for a story set in what feels like a 70s backwater town, somewhere in the midsts of rural Americana. This particular story of werewolf shenanigans has everything you would expect from the kind of cod-gothic the era became renowned for; overacting, excessive self-importance, and men in incredibly frilly shirts. But there is still fun to be had, as we enter the world of The Freaks.
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The Girl With The Hungry Eyes (1995)

I’m going to keep this review short and to the point, mostly as the director/writer Jon Jacobs didn’t with the film. It was based on a late 50s Fritz Langer short story, and somewhere in it is the basis of a pretty decent entry into the mid-90s supernatural goth-horror canon. Unfortunately, that gets crowded out due to either a lack of narrative focus or a need to hit the promised run time.

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Daybreakers (2009)


Here’s a question: what do you get if you cross vampires with sci-fi? Well, normally you get a disastrous bit of trash, like the awful Ultraviolet, or the “mostly remembered for the nudie scenes” Lifeforce. It’s probably because vampires are all about being spooky, mysterious, and asking “would you like a shag?” in assorted gothic ways, whilst sci-fi is more about ideas, explaining things, and answering questions that don’t need all your clothes taken off to answer. Still, if anyone was going to have a crack at making a good one, then Michael and Peter Spierig probably had the best chance with 2009’s Daybreakers. They had previously managed to mix zombies and aliens up to the delight of the lumbering dead fandom with 2003’s Undead, and that was in the middle of the zombie revival. Plus they were working in Australia, so they were cheap. Throw in Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, and Sam Neil, and you’ve got a film that could have been a contender!
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The Crow (1994) – 90s Goth meets comicbook heroes, with a banging soundtrack


Back in the distant past of the mid 90s, there were exactly two film posters that ruled the walls amongst the heady intellectualists of A-level and first year university students. One was the classic Uma Thurman-fronted pastiche of Pulp Fiction, displayed to signify that you were sophisticated, with a touch of the retro-chic charm and danger of a 70s heroin overdose about you, and imply the student could more than likely quote all the movies that Quentin Tarantino errantly used the word “inspired” about. The other poster, normally positioned with far less lighting, was any of the myriad of designs for the 1994 Brandon Lee movie The Crow – they signified that you were serious, sensitive, and had a wardrobe that was 90% various shades of fading black. It also aligned you with the nebulous tribe of “alternatives” that found common ground and shared symbolism in one of the greatest movies about a comic book… one that everyone swore they had read the first time it was released.
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Love, Death & Robots Season 1


Anthologies are, by their very nature, a mixed bag, but Love, Death & Robots often feels like it’s an utterly random hodgepodge of stories and tones thrown together with no cohesive themes. To give you an idea, the first half opens with a solid 18-rated, by-the-numbers gore, and pseudo-sexy cyberpunk then skips to a charming little comedy about three robots taking a tour through the post-apocalypse, follows up with the way too long and far too exploitative Naked Woman Running In Terror sequence. It’s then on to a charming story of space farmers defending a homestead with mechs, tries to be serious with an 80s inspired Vampires vs Cats, hits another high note with a highly evocative social comedy about hyper-intelligent Yogurt and tails off with the double act of The Opening Of Aliens: Let’s Have Sex In Space, and Steampunk: Mystic Asia With Rich Europeans Being Terrible.
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