Demons 2 (1986)

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I do enjoy watching these movies, however I don’t find them scary at all. I find myself laughing throughout most of it as the acting is very OTT in places. Things kick off here as a girl called Sally (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) is having a birthday party. However she storms off into her bedroom when she finds out a person is attending that she doesn’t want coming. At the same time there is a program on the television showing four people making a documentary. The four are being filmed entering a cordoned off part of the city that was infested with demons from the first movie. They inadvertently resurrect a dead demon which attacks them and chases them off. The demon returns to where the camera that’s filming the documentary is and begins to walk towards it. Sally is watching the program and realises that the demon is looking at her. The demon comes through the television and possesses her which causes her to attack others.

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There are others in the building that are slowly taken over, while a group barricade themselves in the parking garage, led by the bad ass Hank (Bobby Rhodes). Hank helps the others block the doors then arms himself with a double barrelled shotgun, preparing everyone for the onslaught of demons. The only ones you give a shit about are Hank and the pregnant lady and her boyfriend. Everyone else makes themselves expendable and unsympathetic because of how fucking useless they are.

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This is not as gory as the first Demons movie, and to be fair, not as good either. Bobby Rhodes kicks ass again. He throws himself into the role and seems to be the only one capable of handling themselves. The effects are great in places, and laughable in others, particularly during Sally’s transformation. The little demon thing that shows up later in the movie is hilarious. It looks like Gordon the Gopher on acid, (only certain people will get that reference).

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There are some atmospheric scenes, like the one pictured above, and the soundtrack is as kick ass as the first movies. There are some hilariously bad deaths and unintentionally funny scenes. I don’t rate it as highly as the first, not by a long shot, but it’s still fairly watchable. Definitely a movie to watch with mates for a laugh.

3/5

JM

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The Devil’s Bargain

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Available to view via http://www.distrify.com and https://www.facebook.com/TheDevilsBargain on January 17th 2014. For just £3.99 you will get the chance to see this raw and visceral apocalypse set movie written and directed by Drew Cullingham. The film is set in 1974 when Earth is in its final days as an asteroid is set to hit the planet. Adi (Jonnie Hurn) and Ange (Chloe Farnworth) prepare for the end of the world but the arrival of a mysterious stranger throws everything into chaos. Shot over four days on a minuscule budget and using an experimental ‘pinhole’ technique, this film is pushing the boundaries of film making.  A word of warning however, I have been told that this film contains copious amounts of full frontal nudity, so if that’s not your thing then perhaps give it a miss. That being said, it’s always good to challenge yourself and seek out films you normally wouldn’t watch. Check out the trailer below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvpmEq6QZiY

JM

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Order of the Ram (2013)

This short movie written and directed by Scott Lyus starts off quite innocent enough. We see Mary (May Kaspar) a college student going about her day as normal. However others seem to have taken an interest in Mary that she is not aware about. Whilst out photographing the wildlife, Mary is attacked and wakes up bound and in the presence of a cult. The cult, led by Mother (Danni Scott-White) are convinced that Mary is the chosen one that has the blood capable of bringing forth the Prince of Darkness, or Satan to you and me. To say any more would spoil it.

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Whenever someone asks me if I’d like the good news or the bad news first, I always opt for the bad. So let’s get the bad out of the way first here. The worst thing about this short is the actress who plays Mother, pictured above. The fact that the exposition must be delivered by her, and that the majority of the dialogue must be delivered by her is what cripples this short film. My advice to Danni Scott-White would be to seek another profession, if indeed acting is a full time thing. Her script delivery is toe curlingly bad. So much so that I was close to ending the film there and then. I didn’t find her character convincing or menacing. She almost kills the film dead in it’s tracks. The other bad thing, and it’s a small thing really, is the gore. I understand it’s a short and the budget is small, but surely the budget can stretch to some fake blood or corn syrup, and not what appears to be Tabasco sauce poured down someone’s neck?

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Now for the good. Firstly the cinematography by Sharad Patel is very good indeed. The camera work is just fabulous and captures the scenery very well. The script and direction by Scott Lyus is fabulous too. The film itself has a real ‘Wicker Man’ vibe about it. I do hope that this short leads to a feature film. However I would definitely consider recasting one or two people if it is made into a feature. Scott Lyus shows promise in his direction and I for one am eager to see what he has up his sleeve next.

3/5

JM

 

Event Horizon (1997)

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This film is fantastic. Let me just stress that right now. Paul WS Anderson has never, until this day, made a better movie. I don’t think it’s a fluke. The guy has some talent, but instead decides to waste it on the terrible Resident Evil films. Which is a shame, because here he shows a real flair for building suspense. 

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 When a research ship called the ‘Event Horizon’ returns after being missing for 7 years, it’s up to the crew of the Lewis & Clark to find out where it has been, and what it’s brought back with it. 

Event Horizon has got to be one of my favourite horror movies, if not my number 1 horror of all time. Sure people can say A Nightmare on Elm Street or Hellraiser are better, but it’s all about preference. For me Event Horizon hits all the right notes. To begin with its cast is great. Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill are awesome as Captain Miller and Dr. Weir respectively. The supporting cast of Jason Isaacs, Kathleen Quinlan, Sean Pertwee, Richard T Jones, Joley Richardson and Jack Noseworthy are all brilliant too. Nobody feels like a spare wheel, and everyone has a part to play in the telling of the story. The story itself takes its time. Leaving more to your imagination, it is a haunted house style movie that doesn’t rely on jump scares. For me, real horror is something that builds up, and really gets under your skin. Now I’m not saying I don’t jump at jump scares, because I do, but to me it’s a cheap tactic to elicit fear. I’d rather watch something that makes me cringe and feel uncomfortable. That mentally puts me in a place I’d rather not be. That’s real horror. A lot, if not all, is down to the fantastic script by Philip Eisner. He has created a ship in the Event Horizon, that takes on a life of its own, figuratively and literally. It’s a character in its own right and that’s something that is not easy to do. You fear the ship. You fear where it’s been and where it’s going to return to. That is the power of the script and how it conjures up these images in your mind, asking you to visualise these horrible things. 
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The film was released in 1997, and kind of flew under everyone’s radar. A lot of people slated it and I really can’t see why. I mean sure people are entitled to their opinion, but the level of hate this film got is quite something. Like I have said already, I just adore this movie. No horror movie has left quite an impression on me quite like this one has. The cast are on top, top form and the effects, set design and sound are just exquisite. 


The gore is used sparingly, but very effectively during the movie. It never feels gratuitous, and is only there to serve the story. That’s another thing I feel is missing in modern horror. It’s hard now to imagine that Event Horizon is nearly 20 years old, but it’s a movie I happily revisit time and time again, and so should you. 
5/5

JM

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The Car (1977)

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“What evil drives the car?” That’s the question posed by this brilliantly cult movie from 1977. Starring James Brolin (who is a dead ringer for Christian Bale) as a small town police officer having to deal with the jet black car that is cutting a swathe through his small town. That’s pretty much the plot too, to say any more would spoil it. The car’s origin is never really touched on, it just appears. Saying that there is a quote at the beginning from famous Satanist Anton LaVey, which I assumed hinted at the car’s origin. The car is a mean looking beast too. The roof is pressed down a third, no handles on the doors and the engine sounds like a thousand lions roaring. I had never heard of The Car until Arrow Films announced it’s upcoming release some months back. It really is the sort of perfect friday night popcorn shocker, and it’s not too violent should the younger folks decide to watch it.

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The picture transfer is immaculate, as is the sound. The display is crisp, given that this film is 36yrs old. The sound is amazing too, practically vibrating the TV any time the car is thundering along. The extras are quite good too. There is a commentary by director Elliot Silverstein which is moderated by Callum Waddell, an interview with SFX artist William Aldridge who recalls his time on the set and the building of the car. There’s an interview with actor John Rubenstein recalling becoming a victim of The Car, and an original trailer with commentary by John Landis. There’s also an easter egg which I wasn’t clever enough to find.

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I can say that The Car is well worth the watch. The acting is quite good for a film some may consider not James Brolin’s best work. Everyone seems to be giving it their all and there are some inventive stunts and death scenes.

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This copy of The Car was graciously provided by the fine folks over at www.facebook.com/ArrowVid. The Car is already available for purchase and you can pick up your very own copy over at www.arrowfilms.co.uk

4/5

JM

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