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By Emily Booth, Friday 30th June 2017 This weekend's film premiere explores the terrifying yet grotesquely tantalising circumstances of one of the world's greatest tragedies of all time.
The fear of nuclear fallout is etched into the consciousness of pretty much anyone who grew up in the 1980s, which is largely due to the catastrophic Chernobyl Disaster on April 26th, 1986. When reactor no. 4 exploded, it emitted 400 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima atomic bomb did. Surprisingly, there were only 31 direct deaths recorded at the time, but the magnitude of this disaster's aftermath is still relatively unknown, as even today more and more health problems amongst survivors are attributed to radiation exposure, such as cancer and birth defects. In nearby Pripyat, a town built for the workers of Chernobyl and their families, some 50,000 people were hastily evacuated, leaving behind all their belongings as they believed that they would soon be able to return... They were wrong. The town remains abandoned and dangerous to this day. This gloomy history provides the sinister backdrop for our Saturday premiere: Chernobyl Diaries.
Unsatisfied with typical, European attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum, a group of tourists head to Ukraine for a nose around the ghost town, Pripyat, accompanied by their 'extreme tourism' host, a local boy named Uri. After Ukrainian military personnel refuse them entry and tell them to leave (what good horror doesn't involve ignoring all dire warnings...?!), they find an alternate entrance and are soon happily taking selfies with the infamous town in the background. But is Pripyat as desolate as they thought? Ready to leave, the group heads to their van, only to discover that something has chewed through the wires, rendering the van inoperable. They are now trapped in this toxic town which is not quite as deserted as they thought...
This UK TV premiere brings to life the horror of this dead town and uses a little artistic licence to have some fun imagining the ways in which the nuclear disaster's after effects could manifest.
Now, 30 years later, you can officially visit Pripyat with tour companies who will acquire a government approved pass and organise your visit; there's even the option to stay overnight! While authorities say it is safe to visit, the 19 mile exclusion zone won't be habitable for a staggering 20,000 years, but this doesn't stop some 30,000 'extreme tourists' from visiting every year.
So what's the appeal? Akin to the inexplicable desire to stare at a motorway crash, it is hard to put your finger on what exactly 'attracts' us to this kind of horror. In the case of Pripyat, it really is frozen in 1986; propaganda posters and newspapers still lurk, toys litter the floor, rooms are kept shut, a huge and hopeful looking Ferris wheel looms over the town - scheduled to open just 4 days before disaster struck, it never had a paying customer.
A trip to Chernobyl is like walking through the apocalypse without ever having to live through the horror of it. Roaming the abandoned town, one truly gets a sense of the fragility of human life and how violently it can all come to an end and at the very hands of human error... Is it any wonder that we're so fascinated by it? If you can't quite head all the way to Ukraine for a spot of 'extreme tourism', then just sit back in the comfort of your own (low radiation) home and catch the UK TV premiere of Chernobyl Diaries on Saturday, July 1st at 9pm.
Related show tags: CHERNOBYL DIARIES MORE ARTICLES The latest film with horror icon, Barbara Crampton is coming soon - Dead Night
Posted in News, Tuesday 18th September 2018
Following its European Premiere at Video FrightFest 2018, STUDIOCANAL announces that Dead Night will be arriving on DVD and Digital Download 8th October, just in time for Halloween!
Everything and anything goes in to this ambitiously quirky delight, oozing eeriness and evil, from the producers of John Dies At The End and Phantasm: Ravager.
The film features a stellar cast including horror icon Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, You're Next, We Are Still Here) with a strong supporting cast of genre favourites including AJ Bowen (The Guest, House Of The Devil) and Brea Grant (Halloween II, Dexter).
James, his wife Casey, their two kids Jessica and Jason, and sick friend ...SHARE: READ MORE First film to be released under the FrightFest Presents label - The Dark.
Posted in Frightfest, News, Tuesday 18th September 2018
The first film to be released under the FrightFest Presents label, the new venture from leading independent distributor Signature Entertainment and leading genre festival FrightFest, The Dark received its UK premiere at this year's prestigious FrightFest in London, and is perfect for genre fans who love nothing more than a backwoods shocker featuring ghouls, gore and flesh eating, but one done with panache and poignancy.
An undead young woman, Mina, stalks the 'Devil's Den' woods where she was killed. If anyone enters the woods, she kills them and feasts on the body. But when she stumbles upon a young blind boy named Alex in the back of a car, who shows signs of horrifying abuse, she can't bring herself to kill...SHARE: READ MORE Is Phantoms the perfect book for Halloween?
Posted in News, Tuesday 18th September 2018
The brightest names in horror showcased in Phantoms, a ghastly collection of ghost stories that will have you watching over your shoulder, heart racing at every bump in the night.
In "My Life in Politics" by M.R. Carey the spirits of those without a voice refuse to let a politician keep them silent. In "The Adjoining Room" by A.K. Benedict a woman finds her hotel neighbour trapped and screaming behind a door that doesn't exist. George Mann's "The Restoration" sees a young artist become obsessed with returning a forgotten painting to its former glory, even if it kills her. And Laura Purcell's "Cameo" shows that the parting gift of a loved one can have far darker consequences than ever imagine...SHARE: READ MORE The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Secondary Phase arrives for the first time on vinyl LP
Posted in News, Monday 17th September 2018
For the first time ever on vinyl, here are Episodes 7 to 12 of the BBC radio series that became a global phenomenon. First broadcast in 1978 and 1980, the Secondary Phase features storylines and sequences unique to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's radio series.
Pre-orders for the Amazon limited run have gone live today. 500 exclusive editions will feature a 12"x12" artwork print signed by Paddy Kingsland of the Radiophonic Workshop. Once again the highly collectable volume will also feature specially commissioned artwork and sleeve notes on 3 x 180g heavyweight orange vinyl.
Follow Zaphod Beeblebrox as he journeys into a totally weird new dimension, and intrepid Earthman Arthur Dent as he tries ...SHARE: READ MORE Let us give thanks! The new teaser trailer for Captive State is here
Posted in News, Sunday 16th September 2018
From Rupert Wyatt, the director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes comes a gritty and smart sci-fi thriller, Captive State.
Set in a Chicago neighbourhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, the movie explores the lives on both sides of the conflict - the collaborators and dissidents.
Starring John Goodman, Vera Farmiga, Ashton Sanders, and Machine Gun Kelly, Captive State will be released in 2019.SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano, the creative forces behind Crystal Eyes
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 15th September 2018
FrightFest 2018 exposed attendees to horror from all over the world and one that made an incredibly stylish and retro impact was the superb giallo inspired shocker, Crystal Eyes. Here the co-writers and co-directors Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano tell us all about this affectionate love letter to the classics of the 80s.
Where did the idea for Crystal Eyes come from?
Crystal Eyes was supposed to be the third episode of our web-series called No Podras Dormir Esta Noche (You Won't Sleep Tonight) which paid homage to different horror sub genres in each episode, and eventually it turned into a feature film. We love Giallo si...SHARE: READ MORE Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Saturday 15th September 2018
Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story 88 Films Certificate 18
Known around the world under several different titles such as White Slave, Cannibal Holocaust II, Blonde Captive and Forest Slave, Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story was one of the last hurrahs of the Italian Cannibal movie genre. Like most gut-munchers it claims to be based on fact, but the real fact here is that its more melodrama then splatter movie. This isn't a bad thing at all.
Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story tells the story of a western blonde (Elvire Audrey) who is captured, stripped and tormented by a group of jungle head-hunters. Can she escape from this tribe or will s...SHARE: READ MORE Another tasty piece from 88 Films, Popcorn.
Posted in News, Saturday 15th September 2018
The latest title in the superb Slasher Classics line from 88 Films is a true legend of the genre, Popcorn.
Canada took the slasher movie to the next level when the country produced the trendsetting Black Christmas in 1974, at the height of what has become known as 'Canuxploitation'. Later shockers from the nation of moose, Mounties and maple syrup included the equally effective My Bloody Valentine (1981) and Happy Birthday to Me (1981) but by the turn of the eighties the terror-trend was drying up... at least until the plasma-spilling shocks of Popcorn in 1991!
This is Canadian slice and dice action par excellence - and returns to the good old days of splashe...SHARE: READ MORE It's no joke, cult classic Harlequin is coming to Blu-ray
Posted in News, Saturday 15th September 2018
For fans of Ozploitation it is the likes of Mad Max (1980) or even the trash-tastic Turkey Shoot (1982) that may first pop into many a horror hound's mind - however, the cycle offered so much more and never is this clearer than with the surrealist shocks of Harlequin (1980) a true genre standout that was also released under the more ominous moniker of Dark Forces and is being unleashed on October 8th.
In this oddball mix of sci-fi, horror and political espionage, a mysterious healer appears in the abode of a leading American senator who finds that his terminally ill son is quickly cured of his leukaemia. The appreciative politician opts to keep this puzzling pres...SHARE: READ MORE PICK OF THE WEEK
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