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Confined to the walls of a spaceship with the same crew for days on end could cause irritability in some people, but it’s odd to be at each other’s throats after finally landing on your destined planet. For the astronauts aboard the Galliot in Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires (1965), the passing chaos onboard is only the beginning of a nightmare that waits outside. Regarded as a cult classic, Planet of the Vampires is heading to Blu-ray just in time for Halloween.
Slated for a tentative October 28th unveiling on Blu-ray and DVD from Scorpion Releasing, Planet of the Vampires will include yet-to-be-revealed extras. Directed by Italian filmmaker Mario Bava, this 1965 sci-fi fright flick stars Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell, Ángel Aranda, Evi Marandi, and Stelio Candelli. For those unfamiliar, here’s the official synopsis (courtesy of Blu-ray.com!):
“In the near future the two spaceships Argos »
- Derek Anderson
Toronto - On movie set visits, occasionally journalists won't get the chance to talk to directors at all. Sometimes the directors are artistes, too far down the cinematic rabbit hole to engage in casual chit-chat with the fourth estate. Sometimes the directors merely glorified puppets, but the producers are happy to put themselves forward instead. And sometimes the directors are friendly, smart and well-adjusted, but making movies is such complicated work that they can't spare more than two minutes for a smile-and-wave, lest the production between to teeter like an ill-formed game of Mouse Trap. Guillermo del Toro plays by his own rules. It's mid-March on the Toronto set of Legendary/Universal’s "Crimson Peak" and del Toro is literally lifting the roof off of his production to let a small group of reporters see the inner-workings of his Victorian haunted house drama. Actually, over the course of a lengthy day on set, »
- Daniel Fienberg
Above: Pedro Costa's Horse Money
The Locarno Film Festival has announced their lineup for the 67th edition, taking place this August between the 6th and 16th. It speaks for itself, but, um, wow...
"Every film festival, be it small or large, claims to offer, if not an account of the state of things, then an updated map of the art form and the world it seeks to represent. This cartography should show both the major routes and the byways, along with essential places to visit and those that are more unusual. The Festival del film Locarno is no exception to the rule, and I think that looking through the program you will be able to distinguish the route map for this edition." — Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director
Above: Matías Piñeiro's The Princess of France
Concorso Internazionale (Official Competition)
Alive (Jungbum Park, South Korea)
Horse Money (Pedro Costa, »
Forget Route 666. The Devil’s Mile is an even more evil stretch of road in this new horror thriller starring David Hayter and directed by Joseph O’Brien, with whom we recently had a chance to chat about the film.
Devil's Mile follows a trio of kidnappers who take an ill-advised detour (is there any other kind?) en route to deliver their hostages – a pair of teenage girls - to their mysterious employer. When one of the girls dies along the way, the trio’s slowly-boiling mistrust explodes into chaos.
But what they thought was their worst day ever is only beginning as they are engulfed by the hellish forces that haunt the road - a road they may never escape.
Dread Central: This is one of the few indie horror movies that really lives up to the promo material. I'm curious to know how much the story evolved »
- Staci Layne Wilson
Horror is really the only genre that has entries that, while “good,” may not necessarily mean “recommended.” So, how does that affect what is “definitive?” A recent conversation brought up the nightmare of a movie A Serbian Film (great review here from Justine) which, by all accounts, is a horror film. But, while everyone in film circles knows about the film (many have even seen it), I can’t imagine anyone actually recommending it. It’s made impact, sure. But at what cost? The best horror films aren’t simply there to scare and disgust viewers. They’re there to serve as metaphors for other issues, however big or small. But the best ones are those that do it in a way that, while still may scare and disgust you, will also make you think and reevaluate your situation.
40. À l’intérieur (2007)
English Title: Inside
- Joshua Gaul
English language film has long been a place for some of the greatest horror film directors of all time. All the way back to Alfred Hitchcock, we have seen the genre grow and develop sub-genres, thanks to the public’s ongoing thirst for fear and the possibility of danger around every turn. But, for every Saw or Hostel or terrible remake of classic English-language horror films, there are inventive, terrifying films made somewhere else that inspire and even outdo many of our best Western world horror films. This list will count down the fifty definitive horror films with a main language that isn’t English; some may have some English-language parts in them, but they are, for the most part, foreign. Enlighten yourself. Broaden your horizons. People can get murdered and tortured in every language.
50. Kuroneko (1968)
English Title: Black Cat
Directed by: Kaneto Shindo
- Joshua Gaul
1976 saw the publication of John Brosnan’s excellent book The Horror People. Written during the summer of 1975, it makes interesting reading 40 years down the line. Those who feature prominently in the book – Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, Jack Arnold, Michael Carreras, Sam Arkoff, Roy Ward Baker, Freddie Francis, Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson and Milton Subotsky – were still alive, as were Ralph Bates, Mario Bava, Jimmy Carreras, John Carradine, Dan Curtis, John Gilling, Robert Fuest, Michael Gough, Val Guest, Ray Milland, Robert Quarry and Michael Ripper, all of whom were given a mention. Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Junior, Michael Reeves and James H Nicholson were not long dead. Hammer, Amicus and American International Pictures were still in existence. George A Romero had yet to achieve his prominence and Stephen King wasn’t even heard of!
Brosnan devoted a chapter to a new British company called Tyburn Films. Founded by the charismatic and ambitious Kevin Francis, »
In Dimitri Kirsanoff's Menilmontant a destitute waif, betrayed and abandoned by the man who seduced her, sits on a park bench with her newborn infant. Beside her is an old man eating a sandwich. This wordless exchange is one of the greatest moments ever committed to film. Nadia Sibirskaia’s face reveals all of life’s cruel mysteries as she gazes upon a crust of bread.
The persistence of hope is the dark angel that underlies despair, and here it taunts her mercilessly. A whole series of fluctuations of expression and movement in reaction to anguish, physical pain involving hesitation, dignity, ravenous hunger, survival, self-contempt, modesty, boundless gratitude. All articulated with absolute clarity without hitting notes (without touching the keys). Chaplin could have played either the old man on the bench (his mustache is a sensory device!) or Nadia. And it would have been masterful and deeply affecting, »
- Daniel Riccuito
The line-up for this year's Film4 FrightFest in London has just been announced – and boy, is it a doozy! Sporting a record-breaking 38 UK/European premieres and 11 world premieres, this August is going to be an exciting time in the genre calendar.
Check it all out right here, including lots of new images!
This year Film4 FrightFest will be moving from its previous home at Leicester Square's Empire Cinema to the nearby Vue Cinema (also on Leicester Square), prompting an ingenious reshuffle of the screening arrangements.
All main screen films will be presented at different times across three different screens, with two extra screens reserved for single-slot screenings of the various films hitting this year's Discovery Screens.
Here's the full list of goodies:
Main Screens (5, 6, 7)
Thursday Aug 21
Opening Night Film - The Guest (UK Premiere)
- Gareth Jones
Film4 FrightFest 2014, returning for its 15th year, unveils its biggest line-up ever. From Thurs 21 August to Monday 25 August, the UK’s leading event for genre fans will be at the Vue West End, Leicester Square, to present sixty-four films plus twenty shorts across five screens. There are sixteen countries representing five continents with a record-breaking thirty-eight UK or European premieres and eleven world premieres.
Are you ready for a monstrous and memorable mayhem of killer claws, cannibalism, cult classics, murderous musicals, chiller thrillers, graphic novel action and sick celluloid masterpieces? Then prepare yourself for the biggest, strongest and most eclectic must-see programme in Film4 FrightFest’s history.
From the opening night turbo-driven thrill-ride The Guest to the UK premiere of the closing night mesmeric sci-fi fantasy The Signal, FrightFest has netted the latest works from genre big-hitters such as Eli Roth (The Green Inferno), Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins (Show »
- Phil Wheat
Where Hollywood appears to have largely abandoned the thriller genre in favour of ever bigger action adventures and sequels, indie filmmakers have stepped in to fill the breach. Earlier this year saw the release of Jeremy Saulnier's quirky low-budget genre piece Blue Ruin - a satisfyingly grisly thriller with a great everyman performance from Macon Blair.
This Friday sees the UK release of Cold In July, the latest film from director Jim Mickle. It stars Dexter's Michael C Hall as Richard, an ordinary family man thrown into a wild and unpredictable criminal underworld after shooting a mysterious intruder in his living room one night.
Adapted from Joe Landsdale's novel of the same name, Cold In July initially slips into the southern neo-noir subgenre, »
There’s a deliciously slippery quality to Cold In July, a neo-noir thriller from director Jim Mickle (Stake Land, We Are What We Are). Set in late-80s east Texas, Mickle’s movie contains distinct shades of such films as Blood Simple, Red Rock West and Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear remake, but at the same time, flatly refuses to cleave to genre expectations.
Dexter’s Michael C Hall stars as Richard, a quiet, mild-mannered family man who shoots an intruder in his living room one sultry summer night. Shaken to the core by the experience, Richard’s once humdrum life is disrupted further by the appearance of the intruder’s father, Russel (Sam Shepard), who manages to lace even the most softly-spoken utterance with a thread of barely-concealed menace. »
Click here to read our french "Planet Of The Vampires" movie review, directed by Mario Bava with Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell, Ángel Aranda.In the near future the two spaceships Argos and Galliot are sent to investigate the mysterious planet Aura. As the Galliot lands on the planet her crew suddenly go berserk and attack each other. The strange event passes, but the crew soon discovers the crashed Argos - and learns that her crew died fighting each other! Investigating further, the explorers come to realize the existence of a race of bodiless aliens that seek to escape from their dying world. »
We’re back with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes casting announcements on multiple films, including Recovery, The App, and Dark, details on The Wobbling Dead, Repentance, and the 2014 TromaDance Film Festival, a review of Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives, a Q&A with Lindsey McKeon from Supernatural, and more:
Casting News for Recovery: “Kirby Bliss Blanton (The Green Inferno, Project X) and Samuel Larsen (“Glee”) have been cast in the upcoming thriller “Recovery”, starting production this summer. The film follows Blanton’s character on the night of her high school graduation after her iPhone is stolen and tracked down with a “find my iPhone” app to a house where the demented tenants plan on kidnapping her and making her part of the family. Alex Shaffer (Win Win) and James Landry Hébert (Two Step, Gangster Squad) are also on board to star. »
- Tamika Jones
Ryan Gosling's trippy directorial debut "Lost River" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday and reaction has been swift with many bashing, several admiring, and most slightly baffled or disappointed by the work.
The movie premiered to "boos and a dollop of applause" according to Variety, the style said to owe much to the likes of David Lynch and Nicolas Winding Refn. Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes and Matt Smith star in the film which is partially set in an underwater city.
Amongst some key quotes from both reviews and social media:
"Had Terrence Malick and David Lynch somehow conceived an artistic love-child together, only to see it get kidnapped, strangled and repeatedly kicked in the face by Nicolas Winding Refn, the results »
- Garth Franklin
His dark fantasy Lost River - starring Matt Smith, Christina Hendricks and Iain De Caestecker - was unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival today, but the early reviews have not been too kind. We round up the initial reaction below...
Mark Adams, Screen Daily
"It may well be strong on evocative imagery and a vibrant sense danger and moodiness but Ryan Gosling's much-hyped directorial debut turns out to be an over-cooked affair that lacks a much needed wit and humour to go alongside its self-aware art intentions."
Eric Kohn, Indiewire
"Some actors turn to directing in an attempt to find a separate groove behind the camera. That could be the case on some level with this snazzy but forgettable vanity project, »
The Cannes Film Festival is somewhat unique in that its audiences feel entitled — obliged, actually — to boo the crap out of films that don’t live up to their collective expectations, whatever those might be. On Tuesday, Ryan Gosling unveiled his directorial debut, Lost River, “a modern day fairytale against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city,” and the immediate response was harsh. Boos reportedly drowned out the applause, and some unimpressed critics and journalists quickly took to Twitter to express their antipathy in a contest of colorful language. Grantland’s Wesley Morris is currently the clubhouse leader on denigrating the film, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Cannes -- Ryan Gosling has made a concentrated effort to escape his origins in show business, and little wonder. His own personal artistic sensibilities seem to be miles away from the kiddie fare that he appeared in, or "The All-New Mickey Mouse Club." Little by little, as he's been able to pick and choose the roles he wants to play, he has pushed towards darker and moodier work, often collaborating with very strong, challenging filmmakers. Commercial appeal seems to be one of the last things on his mind, and even so, he's built up a dedicated fanbase. His first film as a writer and director, "Lost River," had its premiere this afternoon at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Un Certain Regard section. There are a number of first time directors in the section this year, and in the years that I've been covering this festival, I've come »
- Drew McWeeny
Ryan Gosling, known for his effortless good looks and cool demeanour, has stepped behind the camera to tackle a new, scary creative challenge: directing. Let’s face it, he’s collaborated with enough of Hollywood’s finest directors to have gleaned sufficient knowledge of how to craft a unique compelling original flick. Nicolas Winding Refn, Derek Cianfrance, Terrence Malick, George Clooney (alright so his last one was dirge) – are but a few of the masters with whom he’s had chance to study. According to the critic backlash at Cannes though, he didn’t study hard enough before churning out Lost River.
His directorial debut premiered at the festival last night, receiving critical confusion moreso than obvious negative jibes. Starring Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith and Gosling’s Drive co-star Christina Hendricks, the film has stirred up critics who caught it into a frenzy. The most common comparisons are to »
- Gem Seddon
Described by VODzilla.co as “the iTunes of horror”, TheHorrorShow.TV launched in 2013 and is the first UK-based video-on-demand streaming service specialising in horror and fantasy films. It is one of the fastest-growing VOD destinations in the UK, carrying over 120 films (to stream and/or download) from cult classics by the likes of Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento and Mario Bava, to new releases and the odd UK exclusive. Run by David Hughes and filmmaker and entrepreneur Jack Bowyer, the pay-as-you platform offers top-flight features, popular classics, cult favourites and edgy underground titles to stream or download via computers/ laptops and Android and iOS-based smartphones and tablets.
TheHorrorShow.TV have recently hired esteemed horror critic Sott Weinberg (formerly of the now sadly defunct Fearnet) to do some Vodcasts for the service focussing on various aspects of, and movies within, the horror genre. The latest episode – which we are exclusively debuting – focuses on the zombie genre, »
- Phil Wheat
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