Since beginning my work in genre film reviewing I’ve had plenty of great experiences and opportunities. However this comes as one of my most proudest moments. Earlier this year I became a contributing writer on a fangtastic horror website, Love Horror. I recently conducted my first interview for the site, an offer I grabbed straight away. Since a young age I have adored the first two Hellraiser films, the dark imagery presented in Clive Barker’s innovative, horror films are some of my earliest memories of becoming a fan of the genre, therefore it was such an honour to have the opportunity to interview one of the franchise’s icons, Barbie Wilde (who played the female Cenobite in part II). Barbie Wilde has had a varied and interesting career in horror, and I would like to thank her for taking her time to talk with me about her memories of Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988), the controversy surrounding her novel The Venus Complex, her contribution to the Women in Horror Calendar (UK) and her upcoming project with Venomous Little Man Productions.
Click Here to check out this wonderfully, in-depth interview:
As we approach the end of the month in the dark depths of the horror world, two pieces of news have emerged today on some upcoming projects that are sure to ignite discussion amongst the community.
Firstly, Child’s Play creator Don Mancini has announced he will be working on his seventh instalment from the killer doll franchise. Teasing ideas surrounding the potential plot line, Mancini plans to continue taking Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) down his original horror roots rather than the comedy angle that was taken in 1998’s cult classic Bride of Chucky or 2004’s less successful offering Seed of Chucky.
The slash-worthy, seventh sequel will kick off where last year’s surprise success Curse of Chucky (2013) left off, the iconic Chucky will return to torment his new nemesis Nica, meaning Fiona Dourif will be reprising her role once again. Proving to be a resourceful and determined ‘final girl type’, Nica’s return is a welcome one. Mancini was also questioned on whether Jennifer Tilly (Chucky’s Bride, Tiffany) or Alex Vincent (Andy Barclay from the original trilogy) will be included in the film, considering Curse’s ending featured a cameo and hints towards them both, however at this stage he claims its early days to discuss any further but left fans up in the air by announcing ‘Who Knows’?
The latest piece of genre info that emerged today isn’t one I’m particularly looking forward to. So, we’re due another remake of an unforgettable Japanese shocker? That’s right, Takashi Miike’s quietly brutal 1999 film Audition is getting a US make over. The Asia Extreme frightmare was one of the most suspenseful and gritty horror movies of the decade, but sources say that the remake is actually an adaptation of the 1997 Ryu Murakami novel that Miike’s version was based upon. Australian director Richard Gray is on board and will be writing his own screenplay for the upcoming feature.
According to The Guardian, the Hollywood remake will focus on a lonely man named Sam Davis who is encouraged by a filmmaker friend to hold auditions for a new wife following the death of his first, seven years prior. Sam meets an enigmatic ballerina with a past just as mysterious, but is she all she seems? Fans of Miike’s violent, spine-tingling chiller will be aware of the dark depths the plot takes. Audition, has never needed the remake treatment, being a clever yet disturbing film all on its own. Whether it will be successful, who knows? I personally suggest, Get your own ideas Hollywood!
During my write-up of last year’s Abertoir Horror Festival, I discussed a cultural, game-changer from Laos. Mattie Do is the first female director from her country and not only that she created the first horror film there too. Chanthaly was a hauntingly beautiful, supernatural tale about a young woman coming to terms with her mother’s death during childhood, searching for answers to questions unanswered by her strict father. Do faced restrictions within her culture regarding imagery she could include within the film (Laos is a communist country), therefore no scenes of gore or intimacy of any kind.
Following a fantastic response to the film, she is now planning her second, Nong Hak which translates to Dearest Sister, Do has campaigned via indie-go-go in order to raise the funds for the film which sounds like yet another innovative project. She also raised $15,000 of the funds locally and has reached her target from the help of dedicated supporters. There’s still a few days to donate if you can so check out this link (including Do’s humorous campaign video) : nong-hak-dearest-sister-a-lao-horror-film, share it around and spread the word. Nong Hak will be the 13th Laon film and the most ambitious, definitely an exciting time for the country’s cinema and something exciting to get involved in.
Congratulations to indie, genre director Jessica Cameron, as London’s Film 4’s Fright Fest festival recently announced its line-up its emerged that Cameron’s eagerly-anticipated grisly Truth or Darewill be making its UK debut in August, marking the fesitval’s 14th year. This means the film may potentially screen around other UK festivals later in the year. Fingers Crossed.
With certain horror movies its important to remember that not all of them should be taken seriously as more than likely its what the filmmaker intended for it. The ‘midnight movie’ or exploitation flicks have been around for decades, in place to satisfy gore hungry genre goers late at night in independent cinemas known as grindhouse and alternatively drive-in theatre’s. Nowadays they’ve become an integral part of the horror festival experience, us fans will grab a beverage of choice and sit down with a group of like-minded friends (or fiends!) to watch plenty of blood splatter with added titillation.
Kids Get Dead 2: The Kids Get Deader due to receive its premiere on June 21st at NYC’s Tribeca Cinemas is a modern embodiment of this type of horror piece. From Darkstar Entertainment and Director Michael Hall, KGD2 appears to be a labour of love, made for audiences who relish in the demented world of axe-wielding maniacs and plenty of boobs and blood. As stated, movies of this kind aren’t made to be taken seriously, their crazy, bloody fun and in place to celebrate and to an extent critique and parody a genre fans have identified with for years. Ultimately this is what KGD2 is all about however at the same time there comes a point where even the most dedicated horror fan gets a sense of ‘seen it all before’.
There are two plots intertwined within the film, it continues where the first one allegedly left off, focusing on ‘final girl’ Casey (Leah Rudick) who sets out to locate the enigmatic author Charles Carver (Steve Buja) who created a novel (the cover being incredibly referential to 80’s slashers such as Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine) that foreshadowed the brutal murder of her brother. There’s also a typical teenage house party in full swing, complete with the expected horror archetypes, the slut, the jock, the smart girl, the outsider etc. all lined up ready to be sliced and diced by a masked maniac; which again is homage to the 80’s decade mainly responsible for the on-going trend of slasher flicks although their introduction did emerge during the 60’s and 70’s.
In order to capture the essence of us being in a midnight movie is charismatic, horror hostess Peaches McNeil. She breaks the fourth wall to give her own take of what’s going on within the movie and how it represents existing horror conventions, e.g. the status of the final girl and the repetitiveness of the franchise. Her scenes pop up quite frequently, which at the beginning were both entertaining and clever however the more appearances she has the more irrelevant and overexposed she becomes. The intercut scenes where she doesn’t really push the plot along does take away the attention to the pace of the action unfolding on screen however her tongue is firmly in cheek throughout.
The inclusion of the meta-narrative is pretty inventive and slightly strays it away from being just another generic slasher film but at the same time it doesn’t really offer anything that several other similar movies haven’t done before. There’s a homage to the iconic scene in Psycho (1960) which again has been referenced the hell out of for years. I think there has come a point where all that needs to be said about the slasher film has been done to the death even if the film has been intended as a love letter to all the films that have inspired it. It’s a shame as the films opening sequence from the grainy video-tape technique on Darkstar Entertainment’s Logo, to Peaches intro and the first kills really pack a punch!
In terms of production value, KGD2 is of a professional standard. The photography is sharp, the scenes featuring Peaches McNeil are stylish in terms of the fonts and colours used, creating a grindhouse aesthetic. The practical effects are very well executed, there’s attention to detail with the gory moments which adds that extra sense of brutality to them. There’s definitely more of an 80’s/90’s look and tone rather than the grimy alternative present in many films of this nature. The performances are quite enjoyable, the cast appear to revel in their characters, offering up some overblown, teen slasher caricatures. There’s definitely some Dawson Casting at play here with the usual suspension of disbelief that they really are high school kids.
Despite a mixed bag, Kids Get Dead 2: Kids Get Deader knows exactly what its doing and the type of audience its aiming to appeal to. If it influences a new generation of fans then great, but when it comes to the more desensitized viewer there isn’t much there to really challenge in terms of existing tropes; but as a homage it works to some effect. Society has changed, gender roles have changed within the genre and there’s far more interesting angles to explore rather than creating the same type of film over and over again.
Check out the website for info regarding the premiere, promotional material plus merchandise and much, much more:
The latest Love Horror review is Ti West’s chilling thriller The Sacrament. With a blend of found footage and the cult movie, The Sacrament circulated the horror festivals (including Glasgow’s FrightFest in February) before gaining a theatrical release in May this year followed by a DVD/Blu-Ray release today. Check out my thoughts on the movie and how while not being a major fan of Ti West’s work in the past, this film has my views changing. Read More Here.
Check out my latest contribution to mine and Caitlyn’s (ScaredSheepless.com) horror collaboration Ghostface Girls. In our recent podcast offering we discuss controversial cinema so expect spoilers from Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, Hostel, Martyrs and A Serbian Film.
We followed this up by an article discussing our most personal shocking scenes within horror movies accompanied by a poll so please feel free to vote with who you agree with the most. We also encourage comments so let us know which scene disturbed you the most!