ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Sweet Sixteen - Blu-ray review
By James Whittington, Wednesday 18th April 2018

Sweet Sixteen

88 Films

Certificate 15

Another rarity from the 1980s slasher boom courtesy of 88 Films, this time around its Jim Sotos' Sweet Sixteen. To be brutally honest it's not aged very well but for completists out there I gather that this will still be a must.

Starring Susan Strasberg, Bo Hopkins, Dana Kimmell (straight from Friday the 13th Part III), our very own Patrick MacNee and Don Shanks, who would go on to play Michael Myers in Halloween 5, this is a tale of childhood trauma that crafts a whodunit mystery around a small Texas town where there's mysterious disappearances and a stack of dead bodies. Is the perpetrator male or female? And just what is going on with the boy-baiting Melissa? She's a mysterious and alluring presence who turns the community upside down with her sudden appearance and every time she's with one of the town's boys they end up dead!

This is your typical slasher from the early 80s, which means there's plenty of blood, some bare female flesh, slo-mo kills and clunky dialogue with the bonus of a true star in the cast. The rednecks are truly racist and bigoted, there are some moments where the actors seem to be searching for something to say, and then there's the infamous song "Melissa", it truly is a toe-curling moment but something that I still have rattling in my head! Even more bizarrely this ended up as a single!

Underneath these negatives we have Bo Hopkins as the sheriff, not exactly playing against type but he brings the movie up to speed and injects some necessary seriousness and the twisty ending is more unpredictable than you would give it credit for. The effects are good and the director doesn't shy away from seeing the red stuff being spilt.

The transfer here is nothing short of stunning. The bold, summer colours stand out against the dusty backdrop, the uncompressed audio has little noise on it and the dialogue remains clear throughout. Extras wise there's an interview with Legacy of Blood author Jim Harper and an audio commentary from the Hysteria Continues Podcast Team as well as a reversible sleeve.

Even though this is not the best slasher ever it still has some inventive set-pieces offer, boasts an excellent transfer and will appeal to fans of this horror genre.


MORE REVIEWS
Grizzly - Blu-ray review
Posted on Sunday 22nd April 2018

Grizzly

88 Films

Certificate 15

The "nature-runs-amok" genre is littered with plenty of forgettable pieces but there are a few gems such as Frogs (1972), Night of the Lepus (1972) and Dogs (1976) but apart from Orca: Killer Whale (1977), Grizzly is the one that gets closest to being the most realistic, if you take it with a very large pinch of salt and swap the jaws for paws!

Starring Christopher George and directed by the exploitation master William Girdler, Grizzly traces the bloody rampage of the titular animal who is chomping, tearing and terrorising innocent campers and showcasing a case of insatiable hunger.

This movie is a lot of fun, completely old-school in its se...

SHARE: READ MORE
Ghost Stories - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack review
Posted on Thursday 12th April 2018

Ghost Stories - OST

Frank Ilfman

Varese Sarabande

One of the best movies of 2018 has one of the most atmospheric soundtracks which helps crank up this stunning paranormal picture to petrifying perfection.

Ghost Stories concerns a debunker of all things paranormal, Professor Phillip Goodman (Andy Nyman) who has devoted his life to exposing phony psychics and fraudulent supernatural shenanigans on his own television show. His skepticism is put to the test, when he receives a file of three chilling, inexplicable cases: a night watchman (Paul Whitehouse) haunted by disturbing visions, an edgy young man (Alex Lawther) involved in a car accident, and a wealthy former banker (Martin ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Slaughterhouse Rock - Blu-ray review
Posted on Wednesday 4th April 2018

Slaughterhose Rock

88 Films

Certificate 18

More 80s gruesome goodness from 88 Films, this time a rarely seen rock shocker from 1988, Slaughterhouse Rock. Prepare yourself for mullets, shoulder pads, loose perms, horny college kids, and plenty of SFX latex jump cuts.

Alcatraz once housed some of America's most infamous criminals, but nothing ever inhabited the island like the force of evil encountered by some unprepared youngsters as dreams become haunted by a strange stalker.

Starring Toni Basil, Nicholas Celozzi and Tom Reilly this supernatural shocker is presented in its full version, when it was originally released it had over a minute chopped out and was know...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Dragon Missile - Blu-ray review
Posted on Tuesday 3rd April 2018

The Dragon Missile

88 Films Asia Collection

Certificate 15

The best thing about 88 Films is that they're giving us the chance to view some of the most obscure movies past and present and this cracker from Asia is one I've never heard of never mind seen before.

The Dragon Missile or Fei long zhan as it is known as in Hong Kong is a powerhouse of a picture with a great cast and way above average effects for its time.

It's a brutal and bloody tale of rivalry and skullduggery in ancient China that has more decapitations than the French revolution. The plot concerns the search for an elixir for a corrupt lord and the people who are searching for it; one set are evil, the other is a m...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Gate - Blu-ray review
Posted on Friday 30th March 2018

The Gate

Vestron Series/Lionsgate

Certificate 15

One of the best from the golden years of VHS, The Gate from 1987 has been given the Vestron Blu-ray treatment thanks to Lionsgate. As with the rest of this collection they've given the movie a release to be proud of, but before we cover that here's what it's all about.

When best friends Glen and Terry stumble across a mysterious crystalline rock in Glen's backyard, they quickly dig up the newly sodden lawn searching for more precious stones. Instead, they unearth The Gate - an underground chamber of terrifying demonic evil. The teenagers soon understand what evil they've released as they are overcome with an assortment of horrific expe...

SHARE: READ MORE
Wishmaster - Blu-ray review
Posted on Wednesday 21st March 2018

Wishmaster

Vestron Series/Lionsgate

Certificate 18

Ahh, just imagine what could have been. Wishmaster had all the elements needed for the birth of a great horror franchise; a superb cast, a great story and just the right amount of respect for the horror genre. Then followed a trio of ever decreasingly poor sequels. But let's not dwell on those sloppy entries, let's just revel in this little horror gem (pun intended).

Magically powerful. Supernaturally evil. The ancient entity known in human legend as the Djinn can grant a person's wildest dreams. And in the process, it unleashes your darkest nightmares in the bloodiest way possible.

Though the premise is straig...

SHARE: READ MORE
Terrifier - DVD review
Posted on Sunday 18th March 2018

Terrifier

Signature Entertainment

Certificate 18

"Coulrophobia: the fear of clowns."

There's been a spate of "killer clown" movies of late as well as that trend of people posting increasingly boring videos of themselves dressing up as clowns and scaring the crap out of people. After we've been treated to the Eli Roth produced Clown and the remake of IT, step forward a movie that truly does make clowns scary, Terrifier.

This is the story of the maniacal Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton), who terrorizes three young women on Halloween, butchering everyone who stands in his way. In grand Halloween tradition, we see the night he came home in all its gory glory, in a pl...

SHARE: READ MORE
Friendly Beast - FrightFest review
Posted on Sunday 18th March 2018

Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow was a true showcase for world cinema. One of the stand out pieces came from Gabriela Amaral Almeida who wrote and directed Friendly Beast, a film so visceral yet beautiful at the same time, it left an indelible mark on this reviewer's mind.

It's nearly closing time at a struggling restaurant. Staff want to go home while the boss struggles with money troubles and a desire for more power in his life. Enter two robbers, the catalyst for a violent situation, which the boss is initially able to contain and gain the upper hand. Suddenly, the already dangerous and explosive situation turns deadly; sides are taken, and people turn to the most abhorrent behaviour in an instant.

Thi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Blood Harvest - Blu-ray review
Posted on Wednesday 7th March 2018

Blood Harvest

88 FIlms

18 Certificate

When this movie was originally submitted to the BBFC for home release in 1989 nearly 3 minutes of cuts were made to the piece. Now, thanks to 88 Films we can enjoy this overlooked slasher in all its uncut gory glory. In fact, the BBFC site tells you "All previous BBFC cuts waived and material originally pre-cut by company restored" so hurrah!

88 Films are also giving us the chance to view in a new HD transfer and restored from original materials. But the main selling point is that the legend that is (or more accurately was) Tiny Tim, he of "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips" fame playing Marvelous Mervo, a man who had suffered brain damag...

SHARE: READ MORE
Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil - FrightFest review
Posted on Tuesday 6th March 2018

Ever wished that Terry Gilliam made more movies? The man who gave us Jabberwocky, The Fisher King and Brazil gave the world a new perspective and encouraged budding movie makers around the world to make their own visions and to stick by what they wanted to create.

Step forward Paul Urkijo whose demonic movie Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil just had its UK premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow. This film is the closest thing to anything Gilliam has made in the past but at the same time feels so original and fresh that it deserves multiple views just to appreciate the detail and love in every single frame.

Ten years after Civil War in Spain 1833, orphan Usue (Uma Bracaglia) seeks es...

SHARE: READ MORE
Pyewacket - Frightfest Review
Posted on Monday 5th March 2018

You know the feeling you get when you see a film that you know nothing about, not even the title gives anything away and you view with an open mind and then it blows your proverbial socks off? Well this is exactly what happened to me with Pyewacket.

Confused and infuriated for being forced to move away from friends after the death of her father, Leah (Nicole Munoz) performs a blood incantation calling on an evil entity to punish her grieving mother (Laurie Holden). Immediately regretful, she realises she can't reverse the ritual curse and an unholy presence now stalks them both in their rural home.

 

Where do I start with such a movie? Well, let's begin with the sc...

SHARE: READ MORE
Attack of the Bat Monsters - FrightFest Review
Posted on Saturday 3rd March 2018

For a movie that's had a longer gestation period than any project I've known of, Attack of the Bat Monsters looks as if it could have been made yesterday, or the 1950s where its set! More on this later, here's what the film is about:

The movie follows schlock impresario Francis Gordon as he and his intrepid crew attempt to shoot an impromptu monster movie in the three days left over from the film they've just wrapped. This is the 1950s Z-Grade movie industry as its never been seen before.

From the Saul Bass opening title homage (which is worth seeing by itself) the movie perfectly encapsulates the era of post-World War II guerrilla film-making. Attack of the Bat Monsters ha...

SHARE: READ MORE
Reviews Archive: 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012
PICK OF THE WEEK
Curse Of Chucky
CURSE OF CHUCKY
Sunday 27th May
9.00 PM
Where The Devil Hides
WHERE THE DEVIL HIDES
Wednesday 30th May
9.00 PM
The Funhouse
THE FUNHOUSE
Wednesday 23rd May
10.45 PM