The Orphan Killer (2011).

What a movie. What a title. It’s been a long time since I’ve witnessed a screen killer with as much anger as Marcus Miller. He is totally relentless in his butchery. Written, produced and directed by Matt Farnsworth (who also plays Mike in the movie) The Orphan Killer brings to life the story of brother and sister Marcus and Audrey Miller, who were raised in an orphanage after their parents were brutally murdered in a robbery at the family home, while the children hid away in a bathtub, but inadvertently, Marcus witnessed the killing of his parents.

While at the orphanage, Marcus becomes overly protective of his sister, which doesn’t sit too well with the Nuns, who subject him to beatings, isolation and even going as far as making him wear a mask to show all the other children how much of a monster he is. Audrey gets adopted not long after arriving at the orphanage, but Marcus stays there at the mercy of the Nuns and because Audrey is so young, she forgets about her older brother.

But Marcus has escaped his confinement and returns to the orphanage to take his revenge.

This film is brutal as hell. It has been a long while since I have witnessed a movie filled with so much anger, so much hate. And you know what? It works so well. Not only do you have your slasher villain, and gory deaths, there are also some amazingly brutal torture scenes, and a story of family love to tie it all together.

The directors distaste for religion shines through too, which is always a good thing. More intelligent than your average slasher movie, and with so much emotion it’s difficult for this movie not to leave an impression on you!!

The killer is intimidating, bordering on the lunatic, and is played with absolutely no restraint at all. Which is definitely a plus in this slasher fans book. And, yes, Marcus Miller is a masked killer like we have all seen many times before, but this killer verbalizes his intentions and his thoughts, making us hear his twisted ideals, which in my opinion, made him all the more scary.

All in all, a shocking piece of cinema, and one that most all horror fans out there would enjoy. But don’t say i didn’t warn you. The ride isn’t pleasant. But when has horror ever been pleasant?

Many thanks to Matt Farnsworth for providing a screener for this amazing piece of cinema.

Darkest regards……Dani.

The Haunted Trailer (2012).

Wow. What a movie. If you are a fan of the sort of humor seen in Lloyd Kaufman movies, toilet humor, or redneck humor, then this movie is for you without a doubt!!

The movie stars Ron Jeremy as an evil genie/demon who has vowed to destroy the world. His performance is amazing, oozing personality and humor while also coming across as rather malevolent at the same time.

A family, who live in a trailer start experiencing strange phenomena as their home becomes possessed by the evil genie. The family consist of Mama, Prissy and Elvis and Aaron. Their exploits and dialogue are absolutely hilarious, and had me rolling around clutching my sides!!!

The acting is amazing, the camera work top notch. Everything about this movie screams brilliance!! From the opening scene which has the brothers oogling some women who turn up to party outside their trailer, to Ron Jeremy saying how he want to be “inside” someone, this movie is pure unadulterated fun. Not a minute goes by where something that is said won’t make you laugh, smile or cringe in disgust!!!

The character of Mama is hilarious in every sense of the word. Strong, explicit and always berating her boys for their stupidity, its hard not to like her, but then again, the same can be said of every member of the cast!! It really is that good!!!

I’m not about to give anything away that happens (regular readers of my blog will know I don’t do spoilers) but be sure to see this movie!!! It really is the funniest thing I have seen in such a long time and I really can’t sing it’s praises enough!!

Many thanks to Producer, Writer and Director Chuck Norfolk for providing a screener!!! Now lets see this out on DVD. I need a copy to watch with my friends!!!!

Darkest regards……Dani.

Gut (2012).

This has to be the most subdued movie that focuses on snuff that I have ever witnessed. Tom’s life is going nowhere. He is becoming more distant from all aspects of his life. He and his friend Dan were childhood friends, and massive horror fans to boot, going as far as making short films together. But adulthood has separated them, even though they work in the same office. Tom has opted for the married with children life, whereas Dan prefers the single life. Bothered that they never do anything together anymore, Dan invites Tom over to his place to watch a movie that has been delivered to him. What appears to be an authentic snuff movie doesn’t have an effect on Dan, who just thinks it’s some kind of joke, but Tom reacts very differently.

This is a low budget movie, but it is also something so much more. Intelligent and subtle aren’t words used very often in low budget cinema, but this movie manages to be both of these things and more. The movie is incredibly character driven, and you really feel that Dan wants so much more than friendship with Tom. Whether that’s just me sensing homoerotic overtones or not I don’t know, but that’s how it came across.

Things take a turn for the worse when the woman Dan is dating turns up in the next movie he is sent, and both Dan and Tom realize the movies are in fact real. The movie then asks a lot of questions, forcing you to make up your mind while also cleverly giving red herrings so as to confuse the viewer or throw them off the scent of the killer.

The movie is also incredibly ambiguous, forcing the viewer to actually think about things rather than reveling in gore and stereotypes. That isn’t to say there isn’t gore, because there is. A disemboweling is worthy of being mentioned, the FX are impressive and they are handled incredibly well.

All in all a refreshing experience, and one that reinforces my view that independent cinema, when handled well, beats anything that Hollywood can put out hands down.

Many thanks to Writer/Director Elias Ganster for providing a screener.

Darkest regards……Dani

Interview with Boris Randall (Splatterpunks, Hallowmas, Necrophagia, Propagan, Solo Artist).

I thought I’d do something a little different today. I’d like to introduce you all to an amazing musician you should all check out, who has also wrote for Fangoria magazine and worked with Rue Morgue magazine. If you like good music, down to earth people and are into horror you are bound to like this guy!!! Boris Randall was kind enough to answer some questions on music and horror. So without further rambling from yours truly, here we go.

First off, would you be kind enough to give my readers a little history of your musical tastes, and the bands you have formed/played in?

Sure. I started playing when I was nine. Was in my first band at twelve, and hit the stage for the first time at sixteen…..playing metal. I got into punk at sixteen and formed my first band, The Splatterpunks in 1989. Kinda combined elements of Sex Pistols, Ramones, Misfits, etc with lyrics exclusively about horror films. I kept The Splatterpunks going for ten years until I felt that I had done everything I wanted with it. Then, I formed a band called Hallowmas. Same scenario, but the music was a little more rock oriented. Still all about horror. Hallowmas was together for four years and had two world-wide releases (which can be purchased just about anywhere online) and countless indie released singles and EPs. When 2008/2009 hit I was having trouble staying interested in horror themed punk rock. After 20 years of doing it, I really felt that I had done all I could with it. So, that’s when I joined long time friend, Killjoy, in his band Necrophagia. I filled the guitar slot. We made an album (Deathtrip ’69) and played some shows in the states and over seas. Come 2011, I was ready to devote my full attention to my own music, which was Propagan and my solo stuff. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

Has Horror always been an influence in your music?

Horror has always been an influence on me, whether it be totally obvious or very vague, it’s always there in one way or another.

Tell us about your Ambient solo project you have just released on The Boris Randall Store, and where the proceeds are going.

I’ve just released an album of ambient/orchestral music for a friend of mine who has been diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer. She needs help with medical bills so 100% of the profits of this release go to her. It’s called “House Of The Dying Nun” and can be downloaded from my online store: www.theborisrandallstore.bandcamp.com

What came first for you? Horror or Music?

I think they came together. I come from a musical family, so music has always been in my life from day one. And I remember watching horror when I was as young as five. Salem’s Lot, Amityville Horror, The Fog, Dark Night Of The Scarecrow. And it all affected me in a way that I felt it was right. That it was who I was.

What makes a good Rock/Metal song? Is it all about the riff or is it an all encompassing band thing, or something else entirely?

What makes a good rock/metal song (or any song) really depends on the song itself. There are bands that only focus on certain elements like the riff, and that works for them. But some bands write as a whole. And sometimes you have some really great lyrics and need to get the melody across, so the music takes a back seat.

What makes a good Horror movie? Is it all about gore, or is creepiness more of a factor or is it something else entirely?

What makes a good horror film is also just as vague. Haha. It really depends on who’s doing it and how it’s done. A film with no plot, but tons of gore CAN be every bit as good as a film with a genius story line and very little gore. It really just comes down to execution (no pun intended).

Do you have any plans to play live/tour with Propagan, or with your solo material?

Propagan is currently working on the debut EP. It’s just about finished, in the mixing/mastering stage. Once it’s released we’re going to see what kind of buzz it generates. We really would like to get out there and support it, but it all boils down to the financial aspect of it all. Hard to tell at this point.

What music and movies do you enjoy listening to/watching when you arent working or composing? May we have a list of some of your favourite bands and movies?

The music I enjoy is all over the place. I love metal, black metal, rock, old country, classic rock from the 70s, classical music, you name it. I love good music. And I love a variety. It helps me with my own music.

Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Captain Beyond, Jex Thoth, The Sword, Orange Goblin, Corrosion Of Conformity, Venom, Celtic Frost, Saint Vitus, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Samhain, Beatles, Wings, Abba, Cheap Trick, Deicide, Slayer, Minor Threat, Sex Pistols, Fugazi, Coven, Electric Wizard, The Kinks, Morrissey, Jethro Tull, Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Albinoni, Orf, Faun, Johnny Cash, Ramones, The Jam, Misfits, Charlie Clouser, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, German Oak, Hermann Kopp, Nirvana.

As far as films, I watch horror 24/7s. There’s always a horror film on the television. And I watch every style and genre from every era. I love films that show a stark realism and darkness in human beings. NECROMANTIK, NAKED BLOOD, SINGAPORE SLING, GROTESQUE, SINFUL DWARF, BLOOD SUCKING FREAKS.

Then there’s horror with a great artistic style.

SUSPIRIA, EYES WITHOUT A FACE, THE BEGOTTEN, CALL OF CTHULU(silent 2005).

I love silent horror too.

NOSFERATU, FAUST, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, L’INFERNO, CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI.

It’s hard to make lists as I love so much of it! All of the Universal films, through the campy 50s and 60s atom age/surf party/rubber monster stuff, the gritty 70s grind house and foreign films, up through the 80s and 90s. But there aren’t too many newer films that I’ve seen that I like.

What got you into these sort of movies/this kind of music? Was it something you came across in your teenage years, or do you feel it is something that you were born with?

I remember first watching horror when I was very young. My mother was always watching them, but didn’t want to watch them alone, so she would let my brother and I stay up all night with her and watch them. They just seemed to click with me. I really connected with the tragedy, sorrow, fear, evil, and loss of the things I was watching. It felt like it was who I already was. So, I’ve just carried it with me through my life. Horror is in my music, films, what I read, what I paint, my poetry. I collect horror related items, so I’m surrounded by it at home as well.

Thankyou very much for agreeing to the interview!! It is very much appreciated!!

I thank you for the time. If anyone would like to check out releases from The Splatterpunks, Hallowmas, and even my current solo music they can go to www.theborisrandallstore.bandcamp.com

Anyone reading this should check out everything this guy has done!! One of the most down to earth guys I have ever had the pleasure of speaking to!! And so passionate!!

Many thanks again to Boris Randall.

Darkest regards……Dani.

Laughter (2012).

First off, let me say a big thank you to Adam Dunning for sending me not only Laughter but also The Infected for review.

I managed to finally watch this last night, and I must say I was suitably impressed. Laughter tells the story of a teen named Joey, who has lost his mother, who he was very close to. His father is abusive, and blames him for his wife’s death, and a group of bullies at school torture him because he has an unhealthy obsession with clowns.

Joey and a group of friends arrange to play a prank on some friends, but things don’t go as planned, and a tragic accident results in the group taking a vow of silence about that particular night. Six months later, the group begin disappearing one by one.

I’m an avid slasher movie fan, and this was a throwback to those early 80’s movies I love so much. The setting in the woods, the creepy killer taunting his victims calmly before flying into a frenzied rage. Oh, and did I mention if you have Coulrophobia (a fear of clowns) it probably isn’t a good idea to watch this alone!!

The FX in this movie are pretty damned good, and it does contain a fair amount of blood and gore!! The camera work isn’t as shaky as some low budget movies, and the framing is pretty damn near perfect throughout. There are a couple of issues with the sound dropping a little too much, and the music then blasting out and rattling your sound system, but nothing to complain about!!

I’ve always been a fan of Killer clown movies such as Grim Weekend (or S.I.C.K as it was known in the U.S), Killjoy etc. I have to say that the killer in this movie more than stands up to those other characters. He comes across as a spirit of vengeance, but also sadistic and playful, and is also given the greatest line of the movie when asked why he is doing what he is doing!!

If you have the chance, and love low budget Indie horror that really does show alot of talent, then go see Laughter as soon as you can!! You won’t be disappointed!

Also, a sequel has just been announced!!! More details as soon as they appear!!!

Darkest regards……Dani.

Stopped Dead (2009).

I have to admit to being ever so slightly disappointed with his movie. Having started out so well, developing the characters, propelling the story forwards, the movie just seems to fall flat on it’s face in the final act. That certainly isn’t to say it is a bad movie. Let me explain myself a little more.

Stopped dead is a psycho road movie, and for the first half at least, is incredibly well done. There are very few framing issues, the cast is made up of people older than the usual ‘teens in peril’ movies indie horror seems to focus on so much (not that there’s a problem with that), and the actors do amazing and believable jobs.

The plot follows two couples who take a road trip in an R.V. One of the characters, Bob, has been suffering from nightmares of infidelity which involve his best friend Dante and his wife, who both accompany him on the trip along with Dante’s partner Minerva.

Bob takes a walk, and witnesses a group of bikers commit murder (or does he) and rushes back to the R.V and gets the hell out of there for fear of being killed.

All well and good so far, and it was incredibly gripping too. But, around the midway point, a reveal is made, and to me, it felt the move lost a lot of steam and became pretty routine. That isn’t to take anything away from the director Jason Liquori or anyone else in the movie. I just felt the reveal was made too early, and the shifting of everyone’s loyalty as things started happening made the movie feel rather sloppy, and a little hard to follow.

I would love to see the director make more movies, as he obviously has talent. It’s just a shame this movie started off so well, only to fall into the same trappings as many micro budget movies do.

You can definitely tell there is talent involved, and this movie obviously had so much potential, it’s just a shame it was squandered during the second half.

This movie definitely proved to me that Jason Liquori has what it takes to become an amazing film maker, but the second half shows that he is as capable of falling into the traps as anyone else who attempts this difficult craft.

Darkest regards……Dani.

Slasher House (2012).

Let me start off this review by saying a big Thank you to MJ Dixon and crew for crafting a British horror movie filled with suspense, scares and a really cold nihilistic feel.

Slasher House is Mycho pictures second feature (the first being Creepsville), and this film has everything a horror fan could ask for, and so much more!!

A young woman, who we know as Red, wakes up alone in a cell, disorientated. She notices notes around her cell instructing her to do things, and as her cell opens up, she realizes she is not alone.

She is joined by four other people. A young man name Nathan, who we know nothing about, and three brilliantly realized serial killers, the greatest of which has to be Thorn, whose sheer size and intensity has to be seen to be believed!!

The colours in the movie are so vibrant, so much so in fact, that it brings to mind Argento’s Suspiria, with its use of red’s and green’s.

The movie also uses flashbacks to great effect, providing a back story to each of the killer’s crimes, and believe me, it isn’t pretty!

Everything about this film screams big budget, from the cinematography, to the acting. The make up must also get a mention, with the evil clown ‘Cleaver’ having the most creepy clown make up since Tim Curry played Pennywise.

The ending also has to be seen to be believed. Just when you think you have it all figured out, along comes a twist. Then again, you think you understand, and you get hit with another twist. Simply breathtaking.

If this is the future of indie horror, then there is no doubt we are all in capable hands. This film should be seen by one and all, and will not disappoint anyone who enjoys a good scary movie.

The editing is also incredibly jolting, and the soundtrack helps the movie along nicely, keeping you on the edge of your seat.

All that’s left to say is Slasher House is a fresh take on the slasher genre, one that once more tries to show that it isn’t all about the gore, that suspense works just as well as blood, and a movie that doesn’t spell everything out for you at the start so you can switch off. It is fresh, scary, and incredibly well made.

Mycho pictures are currently preparing their next movie, Thorn, which, after considering his appearance in slasher house, is going to be truly amazing!!

If you want to watch Slaher House before it hits DVD/Blu ray, you can see it in the UK at the Horror on sea film festival at Southend on sea, Saturday 19th January. Heres the link so you can learn more about the fest.

http://www.horror-on-sea.com/Festival_2013/festival_2013.html

And for all of you who missed my last post about Mycho pictures, here are some links that should interest you.

http://www.facebook.com/BloodOnSantasClaws

http://www.facebook.com/Thornmovie

http://facebook.com/slasherhouse

http://facebook.com/creepsville

http://www.myco.co.uk

http://slasherhouse.webs.com

Darkest regards……Dani.