Archive for Exploitation

Stark Raving Quackers: A Review of ‘The Quacky Slasher (2017)’.

Posted in Short Scares with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

**WARNING: CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS**

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Ever since its marketing debut at Birmingham Horror Con back in February, The Quacky Slasher has been a hotly anticipated short film on the indie genre circuit. Directed by Peter Mckeirnon (Dead Town, Swings and Roundabouts), The Quacky Slasher is an affectionate, all out parody of the golden era of slasher movies in the schlocky sense.

Following a traumatic childhood experience in which he saw his father mauled to death by ducks, Michael Quackers (Andrew Butterworth) is on the rampage, stabbing and slashing several unwitting yet disreputable victims who are unlucky enough to cross his path.

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Made on a shoe-string budget, The Quacky Slasher utilizes the resources it’s equipped with which adds to the overall charm. It’s tongue-in-cheek from the outset with the humour coming across as naturally funny rather than forced. Do not go in expecting a high quality, polished film but rather take it for what it is. The editing is choppy in places with the transitions between scenes abruptly starting and ending rather than transitioning smoothly or in a slick fashion but again that may have been intentional.

The cast and crew have clearly put in a lot of dedication and have created a film which lovingly satires the likes of Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984), and Pieces (1982). Much like the cult classics that preceded it, The Quacky Slasher plays with the familiar trope of childhood trauma affecting the killer’s future actions and inevitably quenching their bloodthirst! There’s some fan-worthy nods in there especially to legendary screen killers Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. In an early scene, Michael lurks down the aisles of a novelty shop and of course selects the duck mask rather than the masks of his famous counterparts, making the statement that this demented duck is coming into his own.

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The film is also a self-confessed homage to iconic, British cult series, The League of Gentlemen (1999-2002). Mckeirnon has employed the idea of the ordinary, small British town where a dark underbelly lurks underneath the surface and the quirky characters who inhabit it. Three intertwining sub-plots run through the 35-minute-long short, there’s the dodgy dealings of the corrupt criminals, the ‘slow on the uptake’ police officers and of course Michael’s quackers killing spree. Mckerinon places a refreshing spin on the conventional inept police detectives by casting two females in the roles, conveying that gender in horror can be flip-sided to suit all kids of stock characters.

The sinister synth score which plays at pivotal moments aids the 80’s tone that the film possesses. In fact, there isn’t really a ‘modern’ feel to it at all, Michael’s backstory reveal is told the old-fashioned way and technology barely plays a role, staying authentic to the era of genre it’s paying homage to. It depicts its more bloody moments wisely and does contain some great set pieces of gore. The mask itself is pretty striking, allowing Michael Quackers to make his unforgettable mark.

The Quacky Slasher has a niche appeal about it. It’s a film created for fans of low budget exploitation, horror/comedy as well as traditional slashers. It’s wholly exaggerated, campy and completely played for laughs.

This is one slashtastic spoof that is absolutely quackers! Whatever you do ‘Don’t F**k with the Duck’!!

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

 

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Kerb Crawlers, Teaser Trailer.

Posted in Press Release with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Here is some genre news from my home country. Welsh, independent filmmaker James Plumb along with his production team Mad Science Films LTD. unleash a new teaser trailer for their upcoming found footage offering, Kerb Crawlers. One of the most active horror film companies in Wales, Cardiff based Mad Science Films describe their third feature film as a mix of the popular found footage format with a retro exploitation style. With that combination Kerb Crawlers sounds very experimental, promising to deliver plenty of shocks and hopefully something different in comparison to what the majority of filmmakers do with the increasingly common found footage sub-genre. Below is a press release directly from James Plumb, with a link to the film’s teaser trailer, providing a short taster of what’s to come. With a dark tone and impressive looking cinematography, Kerb Crawlers looks like an all out gritty British horror that pulls no punches. Here at Hayley’s Horror Reviews I wish the team all the best with the feature and look forward to future developments with the project. #SupportWelshIndieHorror.

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Mad Science Films, the Cardiff-based production company behind NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: RESURRECTION and SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT: THE HOMECOMING, are pleased to unveil the very first teaser trailer for their found footage exploitation shocker, KERB CRAWLERS.

Produced by Louise Lynch, KERB CRAWLERS is the third feature film to be directed by James Plumb, who co-wrote the script with award-winning writer David Melkevik. Cinematography was handled by Victoria Rodway.

Director Plumb had the following to say on the release of the trailer, “After months tinkering away in the lab, we at Mad Science Films are very pleased to be finally unleashing the teaser trailer, poster art and some of the fantastic stills from our third feature film, “Kerb Crawlers”.

We’re releasing this teaser trailer online after running a series of successful secret screenings across the UK. The film itself is a lean, nasty 21st century exploitation film, which we hope will shock and delight viewers in equal measure”.

The synopsis is as follows,

Some footage should not be found… Commissioned to make a depraved snuff movie, five men abduct a young woman to be their plaything for the night. However, once the cameras start rolling, so do heads as they discover their victim belongs to another… something living inside of her… something monstrous. The tables now turned, the men will receive a lesson in true pain and torture as they become the “stars” of the film.

KERB CRAWLERS stars Matthew Batte, Martyn Stallard,Matthew Doman, Lee Bane and Daisy Dior as Ana.

Poster image designed by Needle Design. All stills courtesy of Tallboy Images.

The teaser trailer can be viewed at the below link,

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

“Home is no longer Sweet” A Review of HATE CRIME (2012)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 10, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

**WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS**

From an early age we are taught that the home is the safest place to be, but what would happen if that ideology was suddenly threatened and disrupted? This is exactly what happens to a unsuspecting Jewish family in James Cullen Bressack’s latest feature film “Hate Crime” (2012), a sub-genre horror hybrid that takes home invasion movies and the found footage concept to a whole new level. From Psykik Junky Pictures, “Hate Crime” opens with an innocent setting, a family consisting of a mother (Maggie Wagner), father (Greg Depetro) and their three children Lindsay, Tyler and Alex (Debbie Diesel, Nicholas Clark and Sloane Morgan Siegel) about to sit down to celebrate their youngest Alex’s birthday, within two minutes their whole world is shattered as three masked, anti-semetic, Nazi-worshipping thugs, ambiguously named One (Jody Barton), Two (Tim Moran) and Three (Ian Roberts) break into their idyllic home and from then on just over an hour of brutal carnage ensues!

While on one hand “Hate Crime” is a very controversial piece of film-making and will take a strong stomach to sit through it is actually in place to educate people about the kind of brutality that occurs during these crimes. Having the knowledge of this subject matter isn’t pleasant however its important that films like this draw attention to the issue in order to reduce this kind of cruelty. When the anti-semetics take control in the house over the parental figures it reminds us of the decline of authority in today’s world acting as a metaphor for the decline in respect for the government, the police and even schools. It also reminds us of how prejudice and bigoted mentalities still exist today as it echoes the Holocaust and Hitler’s power on society.

Bressack needs to be congratulated on taking two well-known and popular horror sub-genre’s and creating a powerful, disturbing and unique film that is guaranteed to leave the viewer shaken up which is not an easy task to do in modern horror film-making. Its both daring and clever to use the found footage tactic which in recent years has become quite gimmicky due to the likes of supernatural themed-films e.g. “Paranormal Activity” (2007) and “Atrocious” (2011) and then using the concept by placing it in a real-life situation making “Hate Crime” stand out with its realism approach.

On a technical level the film works well with the shaky camera movements, POV shots and the fact that its filmed in real-time. These elements ensure absolute rawness throughout and it quickly gets under the skin. The film should be praised for how it introduces the villains at around two minutes into the film to a shocking effect, the audience know what kind of film they are in for so the way its done proves a lot more frightening than building up 30 minutes of tension and filler before the action begins. Bressack is a young director who understands his audience and understands what truly makes a horror film scary. The scenes of violence are extreme without being gratuitous for the sake of it, having the camera move away from the violence as its happening then returning to it holds much more weight and impact than watching it first hand the way most torture porn films convey violent scenes. That saying, the tone of the film is nasty, Bressack manages to replicate the tactic Michael Powell used in “Peeping Tom” (1960) by placing the audience in the murderer’s perspective for a chunk of the film. To begin with the father holds the camera indicating a safe environment but as soon as its in the killer’s hands it really makes you question humanity, in these scenes the killer holds the power taking away any sense of predictability leaving the audience unexpected of what will happen. “Hate Crime” holds no barriers as it depicts the kinds of brutality that is inflicted upon people in these situations, the whole cast take the difficult subject matter and do a tremendous job in their performances by creating a sense of helplessness, vulnerability and pure fear. Watching the characters of the parents unable to do anything to help themselves or their children accounts for some harrowing scenes. One, Two and Three are more complex characters than we first imagine, the characters are played with malice, sadism and at the same time vulnerability which questions the thin line between evil and humanity. These are places that we never expect to go to and the layers that are written into each character makes it that more thought-provoking.

It is easy to compare the themes featured in the film to 70’s exploitation such as Wes Craven’s “Last House on the Left” (1972) or Sam Peckinpah’s  controversial “Straw Dogs” (1970) however “Hate Crime” is unique in its own right as it takes the audience to a very dark place where in moments it can be questionable as to whether they have stumbled upon some poor family’s sickening home movie. Throughout the latter films mentioned the audience are aware that they are in a film world due to the use of music and editing, “Hate Crime” consciously doesn’t use music, the sound is completely external and the audience moves with the camera all the way to the shocking end.

Finally a horror film that straight up paralyses its audience with fear and actually teaches something about the world, is honest and holds nothing back. “Hate Crime” is currently circulating the horror festivals and has already won Best Director and Best of Show at The Underground Monster Carnival that took place in Oklahoma City in March. “Hate Crime” is certainly an unforgettable addition to Horror cinema but thoroughly recommended, James Cullen Bressack has a promising future with the genre.

For James Cullen Bressack’s Facebook Page Click Here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-Cullen-Bressack/195934533800413

For my Facebook Page to keep updated with the reviews click here: https://www.facebook.com/HayleysMovieAndTvReviews

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Cult Retrospect: “Dead Hooker in a Trunk” (2009)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

**WARNING: SOME SPOILERS**

Immediately the title of this film invokes curiosity and encourages the viewer to take a look. This exploitation flick is a must-see thrill ride with twists and turns and plenty of blood, guts and gore that keeps the audience gripped and disturbed from beginning to end. The film features interesting and experimental camera work conveying a gritty tone as the narrative cleverly changes direction defying expectations on several occasions resulting in a satisfying pay-off!

The plot centers on a group of misfits consisting of twin sisters one referred to as “The Badass” and the other ” The Geek”, their “Junkie” friend and a “Goody-Two Shoes” religious  “love interest” for “The Geek”. After picking him up from his “Youth Group” they discover the dead body of a nameless hooker in the trunk of their car! Without giving too much away, from then on we see a roller-coaster ride of extreme violence accompanied by tongue in cheek dry humor.

Canadian-born sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska deliver one of the best exploitation films of recent years, the dialogue is inventive and witty, the characters come across as larger than life caricatures with their dark sense of humor and actions and the plot is full of intrigue. The violence is deliciously extreme from eye gouging to arms being hacked off to guts being spilled, it really is a crowd pleaser for genre fans who enjoy something a bit more unusual and exploitative than mainstream horror has to offer! “Dead Hooker” also features some awesome women who can really kick-ass reminiscent of “Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill!” (1965). It also has a sense of uniqueness that as well as the title makes it stand out. The only criticism for the film would be a little too much exposition at the climax, depicting an incident the audience was aware of in order to fit in some more carnage.

“Dead Hooker in a Trunk” definitely deserves its status as a Cult Classic. One hundred per-cent recommend it.  The Soska sisters next project currently in post-production “American Mary” (2012) looks equally as intriguing and will be eagerly anticipated.

Hayley Alice Roberts.