Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Ouija : Origin of Evil - UK DVD review

A fraudulent psychic comes to regret her choice of board game in director Mike Flanagan's ("Oculus", "Before I Wake") prequel "Ouija : Original of Evil". Which is out now on UK DVD and BD from Universal pictures.

Set in 1967, some 50 years prior to the events of "Ouija", widow Alice Zander (Eliabeth Reaser – TVs Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife) is struggling to make ends meet by doing bogus psychic readings for gullible folk, with the help of her 2 daughters.

When one of her daughters suggests adding a Ouija board to the séances, she figures it wouldn’t do any harm (and why would it, they’re made by Hasbro aren’t they?). Having bought one from a novelty shop, things initially seem to go quite well and they have a string of happy customers.

But it isn’t too long before things (predictably) go awry. As the younger daughter, Doris, claims she can talk to her dead father through the board. Then people who she dislikes meet with strange and unfortunate accidents and she begins writing out her homework in various foreign languages.

Things really go wrong when the local preist, Father Hogan (Henry Thomas – "Psycho 4 : The Beginning" and yes, the guy who played Elliot in "ET") comes to visit and they realise too late there are some things that shouldn’t be messed with (perhaps she should have bought that Hungry Hungry Hippos game instead?).

Extras on the disc include... 

Commentary track - Director Mike Flanagan provides a running audio commentary that accompanies the main feature.

Making-of special (8:50) - The Director, cast and crew discuss the making of the film

Home is Where the Horror (4:30) - A look at how they designed the Zander house to give it an authentic creepy, 60s feel.

The Girl Behind Doris (3:50) - The director discusses the casting of Lulu Wilson in the role of young Doris

Deleted Scenes (16:24) - Lastly there are 7 deleted scenes, which were cut from the main feature for either time or pacing reason.

I was sent the DVD to review, however the Blu-Ray contains the exact same extras on.

If you enjoyed "Ouija" you should enjoy this sequel/prequel, which proves to be equally chilling.

"Ouija : Origin of Evil" is out now on UK BD and DVD. The film is also available in a Double-pack box set with "Ouija".

Buy the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk

Buy the UK BD from Amazon.co.uk

Buy the UK DVD box set from Amazon.co.uk 
Buy the UK BD box set from Amazon.co.uk 

Monday, 27 February 2017

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE - Special ONE-NIGHT cinema screening

Having terrifying audiences at The BFI London Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest and Sitges Film Festival, André Øvredal ‘s THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE will receive a one-night-only special presentation in cinemas across the UK on 31st March 2017.

Along with impressing the godfather of genre, Stephen King, who described the film as a “visceral horror to rival ALIEN and early Cronenberg”, the one-night special presentation is co-hosted by Frightfest, the UK’s brand leader for recognising totally unexpected and surprising genre titles, alongside Lionsgate UK. This unique cinema event will not only showcase the film but will also include a 15-minute Q&A with Trollhunter filmmaker Andre Øvredal hosted by Frightfest’s very own king of horror, Alan Jones.

Experienced coroner Tommy Tilden and his grown-up son Austin run a family-owned morgue and crematorium in Virginia. When the local Sheriff brings in an emergency case – an unknown female corpse nicknamed ‘Jane Doe’, found in the basement of a home where a multiple homicide took place – it seems like just another open-and-shut case. But as the autopsy proceeds, these seasoned professionals are left reeling as each layer of their inspection brings frightening new revelations. Perfectly preserved on the outside, Jane Doe’s insides have been scarred, charred and dismembered – seemingly the victim of a horrific yet mysterious ritualistic torture. As Tommy and Austin begin to piece together these gruesome discoveries, an unnatural and terrifying force takes hold of the crematorium. While a violent storm rages above ground, it seems the real horrors lie on the inside…

is directed by André Øvredal (Trollhunter, Mortal) with the original screenplay written by Richard Naing and Ian Goldberg. The film is produced by Fred Berger (LA LA LAND), Eric Garcia (Cassandra French's Finishing School), alongside Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken from UK-based production and management outfit, 42 (The Other Side Of The Door, Welcome to the Punch, Shifty).

The cast is led by Brian Cox (Manhunter, RED, The Escapist) as seasoned coroner Tommy Tilden, Emile Hirsch (Killer Joe, Speedracer) as Tommy’s grown up son Austin, Ophelia Lovibond (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Austin’s girlfriend, Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones, The Hallow) as Sherriff Burke and Olwen Kelly as Jane Doe.

In addition to the one night only screenings on 31st March, Frightfest will also host an earlier special screening of THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE exclusively for horror fans on Thursday 16th March at Picturehouse Central, which will also feature a Q&A with André Øvredal. Alan Jones, Co-creator of Frightfest said "FrightFest are thrilled to focus attention on director André Øvredal’s fresh, shocking and invigorating take on investigative horror featuring two wonderful central performances from Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch".

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE will be released in the UK & Ireland by Lionsgate UK, and will be released digitally on 19th June and DVD/VOD 26th June.

View the trailer on YouTube

Linda Hayden confirmed for HorrConUK 2017.

HorrorCon are thrilled to announce that Linda Hayden will be attending HorrorConUK 2017 on the 13th & 14th May!

Hayden made her film debut at the age of 15 in the controversial Baby Love (1968), playing a schoolgirl who seduces her adoptive family!

She then went on to appear in two classic English horror films; she played Alice Hargood alongside Christopher Lee's Count Dracula in Hammer's Taste the Blood of Dracula, (1970). Soon after, Hayden portrayed the demonically possessed Angel Blake in Tigon's The Blood on Satan's Claw (1970).

In 1974, she appeared alongside her then boyfriend Robin Askwith in the well-liked sex comedies Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974), and Confessions from a Holiday Camp (1977).

In 1976, Hayden starred with Udo Kier in Expose (1976), also known as Trauma in the States and House on Straw Hill in Australia, and was banned in the UK as a video nasty making the DPP 39 list.

Linda Hayden will be at HorrorConUK 2017 on Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th May.
HorrorCon UK 2017 takes place at the Magna Centre, Sheffield, 13-14 May 2017.
For more info visit http://www.horrorconuk.com
Buy tickets directly HERE

"Deep Shock" - The new short film by Davide Melini

Director Davide Melini got in touch to tell us about his short film "Deep Shock", which will be submitted to the festival circuit shortly. Check out the trailer below...

"Deep Shock" is currently in post-production and pays tribute to the Italian “giallo” films of the 70s and 80s, the title being inspired by Dario Argento's "Deep Red" and Mario Bava's "Shock"

For more info visit the official Website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

What We Become - UK DVD review

The residents of an idyllic Danish neighbourhood find their world turned upside down when they are forced to deal with government soldiers on one side and hordes of flesh eating zombies on the other in director Bo Mikkelsen’s debut feature WHAT WE BECOME, which is out now on UK DVD.

Set in an otherwise ordinary suburb of Copenhagen, when news reports of an outbreak of some sort of flu virus start coming in, the residents initially think nothing of it. But as the film progresses and emergency vehicles start tearing up the neighbourhood with alarming frequency, you realise something is very wrong indeed.

Then when armed police in gas masks and military in hazmat suits finally march down their idyllic quarter in the middle of the night and start sealing people into their homes, it becomes obvious this is no ordinary flu outbreak and there is definitively something rotten in the state of Denmark (pardon the pun).

Yes, it seems unbeknown to our lead characters, there’s a zombie apocalypse in full swing and the military are aggressively dealing with any potential infected. But despite assurances that “everything will be alright” provided they comply, when soldiers are seen going house to house and dumping bodies in lorries they are otherwise unconvinced.

When the military suddenly pull out unannounced in rather a hurry, the residents initially think the pandemic is over. However, as they are soon to discover, their problems are only just beginning

For what was obviously a very low budget film and directors first feature I was extremely impressed. The film takes its time to build the tension up slowly, as we see the neighbours going about their daily business, whilst hinting at something very wrong going on in the background, as the presence of the emergency services and finally the military becomes more prevalent as the film goes on.

Filmed in Danish with English subs, to be fair, there’s nothing really here that hasn’t been done before. Indeed, I was reminded a great deal of Series 1 of “Fear the Walking Dead” for the most part, as well as "The Crazies" remake and the 2006 virus film “Right at Your Door”. But it was still a very tense survival thriller, even though the zombies don’t really come into it until the final 20mins or so, and I would heartily recommend checking this out

The film is out now on DVD from Soda pictures and contains a trailer as an extra.

View the trailer on YouTube 

Buy the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk


Author Matt Shaw to appear at HorrorConUK 2017

Extreme horror author Matt Shaw will be appearing at HorrorConUK 2017, along with Chewie the Pug.

Matt is one of the UK's leading horror authors with over 170 books to his name and he's the creator of the infamous "Dead Ted: Controversial Cuddles" bears. Matt Shaw is known for his work in the Extreme Horror genre and has had his work translated into Japanese, Korean and German with several film options sold. 

If you're a true lover of horror then don't miss out on his work - as Matt himself says if you're a bit of a girl's blouse then maybe wave politely, say hi to Chewie and walk on by!

Visit Matt Shaw's Website and Facebook pages.

HorrorCon UK 2017 takes place at the Magna Centre, Sheffield, 13-14 May 2017.

For more info visit http://www.horrorconuk.com

Buy tickets directly HERE

Arrow Academy to release THE UNTAMED.

Amat Escalante’s highly acclaimed mix of Lovecraftian sci-fi and social commentary was only released in 2016 but has already won cult status. Arrow Academy brings The Untamed to UK DVD and Blu-ray with a selection of special features, plus new writings on the film with the Blu-ray edition this May.

Celebrated filmmaker Amat Escalante follows up his critically lauded features Heli and Los Bastardos with the award-winning The Untamed, which critics have called “ferociously intelligent” (Jonathan Romney, Screen) and “brilliant, frightening” (Rory O’Connor, The Film Stage).

Alejandra is a housewife, raising two boys with husband Angel in a small city. Her brother Fabian works as a nurse in a local hospital. Their provincial lives are upset with the arrival of the mysterious Veronica. Sex and love can be fragile in certain regions where strong family values, hypocrisy, homophobia, and male chauvinism exist. Veronica convinces them that in the nearby woods, inside an isolated cabin, dwells something not of this world that could be the answer to all of their problems. Something whose force they cannot resist and with whom they must make peace or suffer its wrath.

Escalante’s film mixes Lovecraftian science fiction with social commentary as he tackles themes including corruption and social injustice, a mix that has won acclaim including the Silver Lion at the prestigious Venice Film Festival and Best Director at Austin’s Fantastic Fest.

High Definition digital transfer (Blu-Ray)
5.1 DTS-HD Master audio
Optional English subtitles
Reversible sleeve featuring original international art and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil

Blu-Ray First pressing only: Booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, writing by critic Jonathan Romney, the director’s statement and extracts from the press book, illustrated with original stills.

 The Untamed is released to UK DVD and Blu-ray May 22.

Pre-order the UK BD from Amazon.co.uk

Pre-order the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk

Friday, 24 February 2017

THE VOID - New UK poster, stills and trailer released

Unleashed in UK cinemas from 31st March and on UK Disc and Digital from 24th April. Prepare for a fresh slice of terror from the warped imaginations of VFX and design masters Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie. The Void is a highly anticipated new horror following a series of successful and prestigious festival appearances. 

Encountering a blood-soaked man on a dark deserted road, a police officer rushes the victim to the local hospital. Soon the staff and patients are trapped by a terrifying, otherworldly threat and forced on a hellish voyage into the depths of the building to escape the nightmare.

Check out the new UK poster and stills from the film...

Checkout the UK teaser trailer below...

Visit the film's Facebook page.

Visit the film's Twitter page

(Me with Directors Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski and Producer Casey Walker at last October's Mayhem festival).

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Love Witch - UK Trailer released

Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, leaving her with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder.

With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the ‘60s, The Love Witch explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

Check out the newly released UK trailer below...

A transformative and exquisite creation by Anna Biller (who directed, produced, wrote, edited, scored and designed every aspect), this gorgeous-looking tribute to 1960s/70s low-budget horrors, classic American soap operas, Technicolor melodramas and vintage sexploitation aesthetics is an affectionate masterful pastiche with a deft feminist bite. 

Think Russ Meyer meets Douglas Sirk and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls via ‘Charmed’ and ‘Dynasty’ as lovelorn young witch Elaine (a stunning Samantha Robinson) uses spells and potions to bring her everlasting romantic happiness. Finally meeting her dream man, Elaine’s desperation to be loved drives her to the brink of insanity and murder.

"The Love Witch" is released to selected UK Cinemas, and on Digital Download and VOD 10th March from FrightFest Presents and Icon Distribution.

THE DISCOVERY - launching globally on Netflix Friday 31st March

Today Netflix releases the official trailer for The Discovery, which will launch globally on Netflix on Friday 31st March.

View the trailer below...

The Discovery stars Robert Redford, Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Riley Keough and Jesse Plemons and is a love story set in a world where the afterlife has been scientifically proven, and as a result millions of people start taking their own lives to “get there.” 

Directed by Charlie McDowell and written by McDowell and Justin Lader (The One I Love), the film was produced by Alex Orlovsky of A-LO Films and James D. Stern of Endgame Entertainment, and was co-financed by Endgame Entertainment and Protagonist Pictures. Executive Producers are Julie Goldstein, Lucas Smith, Mike Goodridge, Dimitra Tsingou, Hunter Gray, McDowell and co-producer Erika Hampson.

Visit The Discovery on Facebook

Visit Netflix Website, Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Bad Milo! And The Cottage amongst nine Horror Channel prems for March

Horror Channel presents nine fear-filled premieres in March including the UK TV premiere of BAD MILO!, Jacob Vaughan’s laugh-out-loud comedy horror blending sharp social satire with copious amounts of slimy gore. Broadcast on Fri 31 March at 11.20pm, BAD MILO! stars Ken Marino as normal nice guy Duncan, who discovers that a cute bloodthirsty creature is living in his lower intestines. Every time he gets stressed, it crawls out of his rectum to feed on the flesh of those riling him up. This was a huge hit at FrightFest in 2014.

Dark laughs also run amok on Fri 3 March at 10.55pm with the network premiere of Paul Andrew Williams’ blood-drenched hostage thriller THE COTTAGE, starring Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith and Jennifer Ellison. Feuding brothers David (Andy Serkis) and Peter (Reece Shearsmith) abduct a young woman (Jennifer Ellison) and hole up in a remote rural cottage, But their hostage turns the tables and soon it’s all for one when they find that the deranged farmer next door is the real threat. Hellraiser’s Doug Bradley makes a cameo in this terror treat.

There are also network premiere for Irish hit SCHROOMS, a stylish psychedelic shocker, directed by Paddy Breathnach (Fri 10 March, 11pm), ADRIFT, Hans Horn’s emotionally wrenching sail into terror (Fri 24 March, 9pm), Steve Barker’s atmospheric Nazi zombie thriller, OUTPOST (Sat 11 March, 10.50pm), Rob Schmidt’s cult  cannibal chiller WRONG TURN (sat 25 March, 11pm) and Hammer’s THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY’S TOMB (Sat 4 March, 10.45pm).

Plus there are channel firsts for Dave Payne’s tongue-in-cheek horror romp REEKER, starring Michael Ironside (Fri 17 March, 9pm) and Nicholas Mastandrea’s vicious canine nail-biter THE BREED, produced by Wes Craven and starring Michelle Rodriguez (Sat 18 March, 9pm).

TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 / Freeview 70

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


Christopher Lloyd and Max Records star in Director Billy O’Brien’s tense horror-thriller, “I Am Not a Serial Killer”, which has just been released to UK BD and DVD this month

Teenager John-Wayne Cleaver (Max Records) is something of a social misfit. Undergoing psychiatric treatment for an empathy deficit disorder and vilified by the high school bullies, he has few friends and his situation is not helped by working part-time at his family’s crematorium.

So when a serial killer starts preying on the folk in his small, mid-western town, he starts taking an unhealthy interest in his workings, after the bodies start passing through his funeral parlour. Much to everybody’s concern.

But when he witnesses one of the killings first hand, he realises this is no ordinary serial killer and no one is going to believe who, or what, it was he saw…

Adapted from the novel by Dan Wells by Director Billy O’Brien (Isolation), this was one of my favourite horror films of 2016 and have been eagerly looking forward to it’s release on disc.

The Blu-Ray contains the following special features…

-Mood cut (3:26) – A promotional short, comprised of test footage filmed in 2011
-Phone Box comparison (1:11) - Side by side comparisons of the phone box scene from the test footage and final film
-*Puppet Shoot (2.28) - Behind the scenes feature showing how they animated the monster for the films finale.
-Deleted Scenes (5.25) - 5 deleted scenes from the film, that were cut for time or pacing reasons.
-Lake Storyboarding (2:47) - A collection of storyboard sketches from the scene where the killer strikes on the frozen lake.
-Toby Froud Monster Selects (1:09) - Original artwork and early designs of the film’s monster.

The DVD release contains the same features, with the exception of the *Puppet Shoot, which is exclusive to the Blu-Ray.

Exceptionally dark and chilling, I Am Not a Serial Killer makes for seriously compulsive viewing. Newcomer Max Records was brilliant as the isolated young teen, whilst Christopher Lloyd arguably steals the show, cast against type, as the creepy old next door neighbour, in a role that’s a million miles away from his usual comedy fare.

The film is out now on UK BD and DVD from Spirit Entertainment.

Buy the UK BD from Amazon.co.uk

Buy the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk

Checkout this director's Q&A at the Mayhem Film Festival...

Monday, 20 February 2017

Coming soon to SHUDDER


Backed by AMC Networks, SHUDDER has a growing and dynamic selection of thrilling premieres and exclusives along with an impressive library of international and independent films, gripping TV series and Hollywood blockbuster favourites


 Horror icon Barbara Crampton shares her favourite SHUDDER titles

Barbara is one of the most beloved actresses working in the horror genre today appearing in fan favourites and cult classics such as RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND. With new works such as YOU'RE NEXT, WE ARE STILL HERE, BEYOND THE GATES and this month's SHUDDER exclusive title SUN CHOKE, Barbara has rededicated herself to the genre and currently works as both an actress and producer.

Look out for Barbara’s SHUDDER selection coming soon..

SUN CHOKE (Dir. Ben Cresciman)
Exclusively on SHUDDER UK from 9th March

In celebration of International Women's Day this month, SHUDDER is proud to showcase two spell-binding female performances from Barbara Crampton (REANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND) and Sarah Hagan (FREAKS & GEEKS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) in the stylish psychological thriller and festival favourite SUN CHOKE.

As Janie (Sarah Hagan) recovers from a violent psychotic break, she is subjected to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed, and enforced, by her lifelong nanny and caretaker (Barbara Crampton). But when she develops an obsession with a stranger, Janie's buried demons begin to surface.



The only survivor from COLD PREY, the smash hit original Norwegian slasher, wakes up in hospital. As she walks through the dark corridors, she thinks she is alone. But the nightmare isn't over – the mountain madman has returned.

HIDDEN - Coming this month on SHUDDER

Alexander Skarsgard stars in this post-apocalyptic thriller about a family surviving a deadly outbreak by hiding out in a bomb shelter. Concealed from the ‘Breathers’, the fate of the family twists and turns towards a shocking, unexpected climax.

I AM ZOZO - Coming this month on SHUDDER

Shot entirely on Super 8mm, a weekend retreat of occult tomfoolery for five thrill-seeking students turns nasty as a malicious entity known as ZoZo is summoned...

BEREAVEMENT - Coming this month on SHUDDER

This atmospheric chiller follows 17 year-old Allison who comes to live with her uncle (Michael Biehn) and disturbs a hornet's nest of evil that once torn open, can never be closed.

DON'T LOOK UP - Coming this month on SHUDDER

In this remake of the original Japanese shocker, a film crew unleashes a malevolent supernatural force after discovering disturbing footage of a murder. As the production gets underway, director Marcus gradually realises that his set is cursed, and begins digging to get to the bottom of the bloody mystery.

CHOOSE - Coming this month on SHUDDER

An aspiring journalist enlists the help of her detective father to track down a vicious serial killer. Look out for Kevin Pollock and Bruce Dern in starring roles.

DEATH BELL - Coming this month on SHUDDER

SAW meets BATTLE ROYALE as an elite South Korean high school’s brightest students are shown a terrifying television broadcast announcing that a fiendish examination will determine whether they live or die.

HAROLD'S GOING STIFF - Coming this month on SHUDDER

After an experimental new treatment fails to stop him turning into a zombie, lonely pensioner Harold ends up on the run from a group of violent vigilantes who are out for blood in this funny and endearing edition to the undead canon.

HELLBENDERS - Coming this month on SHUDDER

A group of elite, highly-trained exorcists live in a constant state of debauchery, ready to go to Hell at any moment. When an infernal demon escapes into New York City intent on cracking open the gates of Hell, these 'Hellbenders' must use every ounce of their immorality to battle the demon and save the planet from eternal damnation.

HUSK - Coming this month on SHUDDER

Things go from bad to terrifying as a group of friends become stranded following a horrific car accident and encounter a psychotic scarecrow while searching for help. Someone light a match!

GOAL OF THE DEAD - Coming this month on SHUDDER

Returning to his hometown for the first time since his big money move to the professional leagues, football player Sam expects a joyful homecoming and a routine cup-game victory. But with a zombie outbreak fuelling bitter rivalries, the players and their entourage are dragged into a brutal game of survival.


Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving fans of thrillers, suspense, and horror. Backed by AMC Networks, Shudder has a growing and dynamic selection of thrilling premieres, originals, and exclusives, which complement its impressive library of international and independent films, gripping TV series, and Hollywood blockbuster favourites. Shudder streams ad-free in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland on the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, and Roku for £4.99/month or £49.99 with an annual membership. To try Shudder commitment-free for 7 days, visit www.shudder.com.

Also visit their social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube

Director Steven Kastrissios talks about BLOODLANDS

Ahead of the World Premiere of his latest film BLOODLANDS at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow, Steven Kastrissios discusses the challenges of making the world’s first Albanian / Australian horror film.

Q - So what have you been doing in the eight years since making your amazing debut with THE HORSEMAN, a FrightFest favourite?

Writing. I was just 24 when I shot ‘The Horseman’ and it was only my second feature script, so I wanted to expand my horizons and I wrote many scripts in completely different genres and styles. I developed other little projects and came close to doing other features with other people’s scripts but for various reasons they fell through, usually over the script. I also stumbled into music and that bled into my film work too.

Q - How did BLOODLANDS come about as the first Australian/Albanian collaboration?

Coffee with my Albanian-Australian friend, Dritan Arbana. He told me about the blood-feuds and I instantly saw an idea for a story and also importantly, how to make it a viable production with limited means. Dritan is an actor with no experience or desire to be a film producer, but I trusted him and anointed him as my producing-partner and two or three months after that coffee, we were in Albania prepping the shoot.

Q - Why have the Albanians shied away from the genre up to now? Because their own history is so frightening?

I’m not Albanian, so I can’t answer this exactly, but from what the crew told me, they had a solid industry decades ago with the USSR influenced propaganda films, but their local industry has had limited opportunities since. They tend to like local comedies more and deal with the issue of blood-feuds as straight dramas, which there has been plenty. There were no stunt-coordinators, armourers, special-effects make-up artists we could find there, so limitations like that would make it difficult for any budding local genre filmmakers. I have a post-production background so I had the advantage of knowing how to design shots where we only had to do certain minimal things on-set, like very simple make-up, and the rest would be completed in post. We could do things safely too, like have real guns but no ammunition on set. Not even dummy cartridges. No explosive squibs too. All this stuff would be done through a subtle use of VFX.

Q - When did you come across the legend of the Shtriga?

During my initial research. There’s various types of witches in the Albanian and Balkan cultures. There’s even a witch that will maim you if you waste bread, so they have a witch for everything there! And fortunately the Shtriga myth fitted perfectly with the backstory I had in mind for my witch. 

Q - Directing the movie in a foreign language? Much more difficult surely because you need to understand the performance shadings?

This was just another hurdle we had to jump through collectively, but people learn fast and adapt so it wasn’t a big problem and most of the cast/crew spoke English, so I had a team of translators around me at all times for when someone needed help understanding me and vice versa. Whilst I don’t have an ear for Albanian, I did have the advantage of being the writer and the fact that I’d based the main characters on my own family, meant that I knew these characters inside and out. 

Q - How did you go about tackling the portrayal of Albanian people and their culture, which to outsiders still carries a lot of negative clichés.

I was not aware of the clichés so much, coming from Australia. Dritan filled me in on countless tales of Albania, but what we were exploring was at the end of the day, a horror story with fantasy elements. So we weren’t necessarily tied down to absolute reality all the time and the film is lens in a way that embraces the ominous horror elements, wherever we found them. And the story is set in the mountains of a rural village, so we weren’t exploring modern city life with local crime figures, which may be the clichés people speak of.
The Albania I saw, mainly when we were location scouting, knocking on doors and seeing into people’s home lives, gave me confidence to know that the story I’d written in Sydney felt authentic to Albania. Anything that didn’t fit we re-wrote with either the actors or with Dritan’s consultation beforehand, who translated the script for me. I’m half Greek and Albania and Greece share a border, so there was that familiarity for me as well. Although the two countries certainly have significant cultural differences, there is still a Mediterranean through-line that is similar.

Q - What will Albanian audiences make of it do you think? When will it be released there? Will the film kickstart a genre industry in Albania do you think? Or hope?

I have no idea. I made the film for a global audience. The Albanian sensibilities in the arts is unique to itself, so it could go either way. There was certainly a lot of interest in the project when we were there shooting, so I would imagine there would be a natural curiosity about the country’s first horror film.

Q - Are the Albanian cast stars in their own right, or did you discover them?

They are all stars in my eyes. Gëzim Rudi who plays the father is one the most recognisable actors in Albania. Ilire Vinca who plays the Shtriga was in The Forgiveness of Blood and Suela Bako, playing the mother, has had a lot of experience too and is a filmmaker herself. But it’s the feature debut for most of the cast I believe. 

Q - Bearing in mind how difficult it is to get indie genre films released, was it a conscious decision to not make the film in the English language?

Certainly having non-English language does hurt sales internationally, but what’s the alternative? Having Albanians speak English instead? People have suggested that, but I think that’s a terrible decision long-term that would seriously compromise this project. Albanian is an ancient language rarely heard outside of the region and it’s one of the few that has no root in other languages, so we should preserve it. Global audiences obviously do find foreign cultures of interest so we have that on our side and people so far do seem to be genuinely intrigued in a horror film about an Albanian witch!

Q - And finally, what next?

I’m developing another little project while I make my first serious attempts to go to USA with a script I’ve been developing. In the past I only sent one script out to a handful of people in USA, and I wasn’t even there to do the pitch meetings, as I was based in Sydney and focusing on Australian projects mainly, with no desire to move. But after the fun I had in Albania and the speed of which it came together, I’m all for working internationally.

BLOODLANDS is showing at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Sat 25 Feb, 2.20pm as part of Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow 2017.

For more info on this and other films at the festival visit http://www.frightfest.co.uk

UK Theatrical release date revealed for Terminator 2 : Judgement Day 3D

STUDIOCANAL and DMG ENTERTAINMENT are pleased to announce the UK theatrical release date for James Cameron’s TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY 3D as AUGUST 25th. 

STUDIOCANAL will be releasing in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, and Distrib Films will be releasing in the US.

It has been 10 years since the events of Terminator. Sarah Connor’s ordeal is only just beginning as she struggles to protect her son John, the future leader of the human resistance against the machines, from a new Terminator, sent back in time to eliminate John Connor while he’s still a child.

Sarah and John don’t have to face this terrifying threat alone however. The human resistance have managed to send them an ally, a warrior from the future ordered to protect John Connor at any cost.

The battle for tomorrow has begun…

James Cameron’s epic action, sci-fi masterpiece starring Schwarzenegger in his most iconic role, has been converted in immersive 3D by Cameron himself. First hitting our screens in 1991 with groundbreaking special effects, the 3D version will take the seminal blockbuster to the next level of effects and into the 21st century for the next generation of fans.

The project was initiated by Lightstorm (lei), James Cameron’s production company, DMG Entertainment and STUDIOCANAL. James Cameron's team oversaw this 3D conversion from start to finish. This highly experienced and award-winning team had already supervised Titanic's 3D conversion and is currently working on the Avatar sequels.

The original 35mm negative was scanned and then restored in 4k at Deluxe L.A., under the supervision of Geoff Burdick, Lightstorm. The film was calibrated in 4k by Skip, James Cameron’s colorist, at Technicolor Hollywood, with a selection of the best 35mm prints from the film's first release. The film was then converted into 3D by Stereo D (Star Wars, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic world).

This work lasted almost a year and was monitored daily by Lightstorm's teams, to produce a high-end 3D version at the level of the latest 3D releases from U.S. Studios. The 3D version then benefited from a calibration and a specific finish at Technicolor Hollywood, still under the supervision of Skip and James Cameron himself.

Teaser trailer for upcoming CIRCUS KANE released

Home Entertainment and Theatrical Film Distributor Uncork'd Entertainment has revealed a first look at the highly-anticipated CIRCUS KANE. Check it out below...

Starring Jonathan Lipnicki and directed by Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray, CIRCUS KANE sees a reclusive circus master invite a group of social media stars to his house of haunts. Anyone who can make it out before being scared into submission will earn $250,000 — but the social media stars soon learn they are not only competing for money, but also fighting for their lives.

Bill Voorhees and Mark Christopher Lawrence also star.

James Cullen Bressack and Zack Ward wrote CIRCUS KANE, based on a story by Sean Sellars. Producing are DeInstitutionalized's Gerald Webb and Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray along with Bressack.

Uncork'd President Keith Leopard made the deal with the filmmakers at AFM in November. He recently saw the first footage from the film.

“The footage I’ve seen is incredible – and I know horror fans will appreciate it too, so we’ve decided to give them a little taste”, says Leopard. “We look forward to inviting everyone to the circus later this year!”

CIRCUS KANE will be unleashed in all its bloody glory at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Arrow Video - May Releases

Not only does May see two whole Bank Holidays to enjoy, it also sees the release of a fantastic slate of cult cinema from Arrow Video, with a healthy mix of giallo, cult crime and gore to keep fans happy.

Phenomena - on Limited Edition Blu-ray on 8 May

One of the later classics from Dario Argento’s golden age, Phenomena is a unique giallo that blends genre tropes with more than a hint of the supernatural. As well as a host of special features, this Limited Edition release includes a brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, produced exclusively for this edition.


Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all three versions of the film: the 116-minute Italian, 110-minute international and 83-minute “Creepers” cuts
New 5.1 surround mixes of the Italian (116-minute) and English (110-minute) soundtracks in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio, derived from the original 4-channel Dolby Stereo elements
New hybrid English/Italian soundtrack for the 116-minute version in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo.
Italian soundtrack for the 116-minute version in lossless PCM 2.0 stereo
English soundtrack for the 110-minute version in lossless PCM 2.0 stereo
English soundtrack for the 83-minute version in lossless PCM 1.0 mono
English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
The Three Sarcophagi, a new visual essay by Michael Mackenzie comparing the different cuts of Phenomena
New feature-length documentary including exclusive interviews with co-writer/producer/director Dario Argento, actors Fiorenza Tessari and Davide Marotta, co-writer Franco Ferrini, production manager Angelo Jacono, special optical effects artist Luigi Cozzi, makeup artist Pier Antonio Mecacci and composers Claudio Simonetti and Simon Boswell
Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
Limited edition 60-page booklet containing new writing by Mikel J. Koven, Rachael Nisbet and Leonard Jacobs
Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp

- The 116-minute Italian cut features approximately six minutes of footage for which English audio does not exist. In these instances, the hybrid track reverts to Italian audio with English subtitles.

Pre-order the Phenomena Box Set from Amazon.co.uk 

Brain Damage - on Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD on 8 May 2017

Frank Henenlotter’s ultimate head trip finally arrives on Blu-ray with this spectacular Dual Format release. Boasting some of the best bad taste gags ever committed to celluloid, Brain Damage is seen here in all it’s glory, complete with a host of limited edition extras.

Digital transfer from original film elements
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary by writer-director Frank Henenlotter
Brand new interviews with cast and crew
Q&A with Henenlotter recorded at the 2016 Offscreen Film Festival
Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck

Limited edition O-card with exclusive artwork
Collector’s Booklet with new writing on the film by Michael Gingold

Pre-order the Brain Dead Box Set from Amazon.co.uk  

Evil Ed - on Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD on 29 May 2017

If Evil Ed is a blood-soaked love letter to 1980s splatter cinema, then this Arrow Video release is a Shakespearean sonnet. Complete with two versions of the film and a host of special features, this Special EDition is a must for anyone who’s spent time in the “Splatter and Gore department”.


Two versions of the film!
Original Stereo and 5.1 Audio Options
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Collector’s booklet with new writing on the film


World premiere of the newly-extended version of the feature [95 min]
Keep ’Em Heads Rollin’ – making-of documentary
Reconstructing Edward – featurette on the creation of the Special EDition cut
Deleted scenes
Teasers and Trailers
Still Gallery


Original Cut [93 mins]
Lost in Brainland – never-before-seen extended 3 hour version of the making-of documentary

 Pre-order the Evil Ed Spec Ed from Amazon.co.uk 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

“BETHANY” - in US cinemas and on VOD April

Tom Green (Road Trip, Freddy got Fingered) and Shannen Doherty (Charmed, Beverly Hills 90210) star in the spine-chilling Bethany, from acclaimed filmmaker James Cullen Bressack (Pernicious, To Jennifer), in US theaters and On Demand this April.

After Claire's mother dies, she and her husband move back to her childhood home only to have the abusive and traumatic memories of her mother come back and bring unrest into the house. Claire soon finds herself in a fog of past and present when her imaginary friend from childhood begins haunting her memories. What is this terrifying thing that is trying to reach out to her, and what does it want?

Stefanie Estes (If Looks Could Kill), Zack Ward (Restoration), Keith Jardine (John Wick), Leon Russom (TV’s Prison Break) and Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) star in a film by James Cullen Bressack.

Written by James Cullen Bressack and Zack Ward, Bethany releases in US theaters and On Demand April 7 via Uncork’d Entertainment.

View the trailer on YouTube


Elvira comes to HorrorconUK 2017

Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is coming to HorrorConUK 2017 in May!

When you hear the name Elvira only one person comes to mind...

Elvira is a Horror icon and quintessential symbol of all things spooky, the one and only Mistress of the Dark.

Back in 1981, who could have imagined the hostess of a local Horror movie show, would become a household name? Elvira was the first horror host ever to be syndicated nationally and has emerged as one of today's most original and outrageous pop culture icons.

Elvira’s reign as ‘Queen of Halloween’ has spanned more than three decades and includes an IMAX movie, music CD’s, books and more than a thousand licensed products. She co-wrote and starred in the feature films Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Elvira’s Haunted Hills

She has made hundreds of film, television and live appearances - including; The Grammy Awards, Saturday Night Live, Wrestle Mania 2, NBC’s Today Show, The Tournament of Roses Parade and reality shows Search for the Next Elvira, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Oddities, Counting Cars, Face Off, Epic Ink and Halloween Wars.

She most recently produced and starred in Thirteen Nights of Elvira for Hulu.

Played by actress/writer Cassandra Peterson, Elvira has carved out a niche in popular culture that is sure to endure for decades to come.

Cassandra Peterson will be at HorrorConuk on Sat 13th & Sunday 14th May 2017

Exclusive behind-the-scenes stills revealed as THE TOMBS completes production

Templeheart Films, the producing company behind Paul Hyett’s HERITIKS and Andy Edwards’ IBIZA UNDEAD, are set to unleash a new kind of monster in THE TOMBS, which has just finished filming at The London Tombs, The London Bridge Experience’s horror themed tourist attraction

A clutch of C-list celebrities and the tabloid press have gathered at ‘The London Tombs’ to participate in a publicity stunt for a new horror movie being launched  They and the cast are to take part in a filmed challenge in which their task is to find the skull of notorious necromancer Robert White. The tour guide actors are on hand to make their mission as scary as possible.

Little do they know that deep in the bowls of the building something has awoken and what starts as a night of frightful fun turns into one of intense terror when the evil entity starts stalking the claustrophobic halls of this maze of terror. 

Some games just shouldn’t be played…

 Dubbed ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ meets ‘Friday the 13th’, the gruesome slasher stars Jessica Ann Brownlie (Valley of the Witch), Jess Impiazzi (The Only Way Is Essex), Marcia do Vales (Ibiza Undead), Jessica Cameron (Truth or Dare), Akie Kotabe (Humans), Anthony Ilott (Wrong Turn 6), Ayvianna Snow (Heretiks) and Devora Wilde (Rush). It’s directed by Dan Brownlie (Self-induced Nightmares, Serial Kaller)

THE TOMBS, shot over a five week period at the end of 2016, was the first film allowed access to The London Tombs. 

Director Dan Brownlie commented: “We were incredibly privileged to be allowed to film there. considering this was the first time that the attraction has ever allowed third party photography of any kind to take place. It was an fantastic opportunity not to be missed”

Producer Rachel Gold added: “With the success of attractions like ‘Secret Cinema’ and, the growth of interactive genre experiences, it was a great opportunity to create a movie where the actual film location is open to the public to experience for themselves what our film’s characters are going through.”

The film is set to be released later this year, 

THE TOMBS is a Templeheart Films & The Attraction Movie Production, produced by Rachel Gold, exec produced by Elisar Cabrera, Lyndon Baldock & Kevin Kane. Directed by Dan Brownlie and written by Michael W Smith.