Thursday, 29 May 2014

Dani Thompson Interview...UK Horror on the Sexy Side! (May 2014)

Actress/Model - Dani Thompson!
Wow, here's a treat, presenting... miss Dani Thompson from London! Now, Dani is a lovely lady. She is known as a glamour model in the industry, but her career has taken another direction... in Horror! Originally, miss Thompson was born in Penrith, Australia and after modelling started her career in acting school, singing and dancing! She is a keen animal and horror lover, herself! She has four dogs and is a columnist writer for Haunted Magazine.

Her close friend is horror writer, editor, producer and promoter, Cyberschizoid as well as actress Jessica Ann Bonner. To name a few films DT has starred in, see films like Christmas Slay, Bad Moon Rising, The Undead and Serial Kaller (featuring music from my friends Doomsday Outlaw). These are soon to be released here in the UK and USA, so an international audience can see this British Scream Princess. She is also an animal rights activist. In her glamour days, she attended the premiere of Bronson (2008).

1) Who are your fav Horror Ladies in the industry, Dani?

"I really discovered horror in the late 90's so am a big fan of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Fairuza Balk and Rose McGowan as I love the films they made and characters they played back then.
Lloyd Kaufman, Dani (Centre) and Liam Regan - TEAM: BANJO!

Right now I'm loving the work of The Soska Sisters. American Mary was amazing! Katherine Isabelle and Tristan Risk were so good.

But if your talking about horror ladies that I know or have worked with then Suzi Lorraine is wicked, I've worked with her a few times, Kookie Katana and Pandora who I worked with on Zombie a women Of Satan 2 were great and obviously Jess who you've already mentioned."

2) Blonde or Dark hair, Dani?
"I enjoyed being blonde, it was fun, I was modelling and I was a party girl back then but I like being dark now, it means I'm more versatile in roles I can play and I still have fun, it's also a lot easier to maintain, I'm not constantly in a salon getting my roots done now!" 

3) If you could travel to do a movie, where would you go?
"I was meant to go to Australia last year but if fell through which was a shame, I'd still like to go out there, I loved LA though so maybe back there or Egypt, I loved The Mummy franchise."

4) Would you ever step behind the camera? (not that we don't wanna see your pretty face, Dani)
"I write, I wrote the original Serial Kaller script and I'm writing Bad Moon Rising at the moment and have a few other writing projects in the works and I produce but as for directing, never say never but not at the moment."

5) What past horror film would you have loved to have starred in?
6) Who would you like to kill you off? Jason, Freddy or Myers? or other?
"Freddy, definitely."

7) Would you ever go back to the stage?
"I've never done stage, apart from a school play at primary school once and as a dancer a bit of ballet when I was younger, oh and I was a showgirl in a revue show in Great Yarmouth one Summer but I've never acted on stage, I've never fancied theatre."

8) Any surprises in your dvd collection?
"I love old Hollywood, there's a lot of Audrey and Marilyn DVDs, other than that now really, mainly horror but I do love fun girly films too, Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, Jawbreaker, etc."

9) Godzilla or Gamera?
"I don't even know who Gamera is!"

10) Pet Mogwai or cute furry dog? :)
"I'll keep my dogs, those Mogwai's can be trouble in the wrong hands!"

TY, Dani! Really appreciate your time! Be sure to check out her website: Follow her on her Twitter & Facebook, and see her Deadly Die-ry page where she writes, posts and blogs!

Scooter Mum (2000)... An Independent Short by Craig Robert Young! (May 2014)

It's grim growing up in England, sometimes! In 1999, I got to be an extra on a local indie short called Scooter Mum (2000). This was right on my doorstep and I had found out about this through my work place and extras were needed. On set, I got meet and share a brief scene with Coronation Street's Alison King as she was one of the main actors.

The story centres around a single parent mod mum who must change her ways in order to keep her two children from the courts! It's pure British comedy drama with real life struggles thrown in for good measure. Craig Robert Young, the director is a local boy and is best known for the football TV series, Dream Team (1998 - 2003). He was previously a singer and drama student.

My time on set was fun and relaxed and the shots needed took two weekends! I filmed a few behind the scene backstage scenes, but sadly don't have the footage from the old video camera, any more! It was a great experience and everybody was friendly around me. The film went to a few festivals and Craig continues to act and make films in LA, these days. Scooter Mum is short and sweet and some of Nottingham's finest faces came out to act and play in the film on such a low budget. Thanks, for the experience! You can see me below, running shirtless through the kitchen scene after the mod party.

To watch the film on line, please click, HERE!

Kitchen scene... aftermath mod party in Scooter Mum (2000)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

REVIEW: Mr Vampire (1985)... Hopping Hong Kong Madness!! (May 2014)

If I was to recommend an obscure Kung Fu horror comedy - rarely seen by mainstream audiences - it would definitely be Mr Vampire (1985). The film stars the late, Lam Ching-Ying (1952 - 1997) who plays a vampire-busting, Priest and is aided by two comical assistants, Chin Siu-Ho & Ricky Hui. A corpse (played by Wah Yuen) has been reanimated from the dead and seeks revenge on a rich business man where Sifu (Lam) is framed for his murder by the law. It is up to Chin to free master from a prison jail where the body of the business man has come back to life as the walking dead. Now, with the law on his side, Sifu must track down the original dead corpse whilst Chin falls in love with a ghost in the village (Pauline Wong), whilst Man Choi (Hui) is poisoned by the corpse and is close to becoming a vampire himself! And don't forget about the beautiful love interest heroine, Moon Lee. Sound fun? Hell yeah!

The film is set in the old days of China where superstition and magic plays a BIG part in this film. Lam uses magic mirrors and string/wire and swords to combat the Living Dead in the form of Hopping Vampires! Hopping Vampires? Yes, Hopping Vampires! The dead are ridged and must be burnt or stopped by magic charm paper spells stuck to their heads. One must also hold their breath around the Vampires so they can't detect the living and turn them into the undead, too!

Mr Vampire is produced by action legend Sammo Hung and is directed by Ricki Lau. It features brilliant set pieces and glossy-looking production values. It also featured many spin-offs and sequels and type-cast Lam as the serious monster/vampire/ghost-busting priest in many roles to come!

Mr Vampire (1985) - poster!
I grew up watching this movie one chilly Christmas time in 1990. Channel 4 in the UK would play A Chinese Ghost Story season - another season was the Godzilla creature Feature - and was introduced by Jonathan Ross in his glory days - see clip, HERE! Mr Vampire was in widescreen and subtitled, so NO digital remastering audio tampering was present - unlike the 2002 remastered dvd! The best and original version I had of this film in in the late 90's on VHS - sadly, my copy went missing! The 2002 dvd also includes a humorous, if not unfaithful English dub track, changing names and breaking the forth wall - for example Man-Choi (now, Malcolm) telling the audience that he is "the hero of this film"??? In my opinion, more horror & non-horror fans should check this movie out! Simply, Enjoy! Great humour, great comic timing, nice ghost-story sub-plot and unbelievable martial-art action blend with horror. It's genius! It kicks ass!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

REVIEW: Godzilla (2014)... Reigns Supreme from Legendary Pictures! (May 2014)

As you might know, I am a HUGE Godzilla fan! Gareth Edwards' long awaited Godzilla (2014) finally opened on May 15/16th here in the UK and USA to a blockbuster weekend - earning the 2nd highest grossing weekend this year. I went to see it in IMAX 3D on the Friday night and have seen the mixed reactions Positive and Negative, but figures don't lie! I'm not gonna lie, either! The Big G and his scenes don't happen until the human drama/story-line stops and then some... The MUTO monsters are awesome and have a lot of screen time before a climatic battle. Techies will probably wet themselves over the visuals and amazing cinematography effects. Not to mention the huge scale monster battles that take place against monuments like The Golden Gate Bridge and other gigantic set pieces over the world.

Now, onto the minor gripes: Godzilla is very bulky! His time on the screen is short lived in scenes. His atomic beam looked like a laser, but who cares too much? Godzilla (2014) is a fun, if not 15 minute too long ride of a summer Blockbuster! I'm sure many others picked films like Jurassic Park, E.T. and Jaws apart in their respected day. Time will tell if this is the ultimate G film in the west! Sequels have been mentioned all ready, so it must be doing something right! It's about time that Godzilla awakens in the West as the full force of nature he is...

Plot: This spectacular adventure pits Godzilla, the world's most famous monster, against malevolent creatures that, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very own existence!

Despite the size of this 60 year old Kaiju monster, there is still room in this modern era of cinema goers for the BIG G. Enjoyable Hollywood, monster-fest! Note: Japanese actor Akira Takarada makes a cameo in the film, but sadly his scene was cut out.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

REVIEW: Wasteland (2013)... by Tom Wadlow (Light Films, Ltd.) (May 2014)

Indie budget zombies from the east midlands - Wasteland - directed by Tom Wadlow!!
Wasteland (2013) is a low budget zombie drama that was filmed in Derbyshire, England. The director Tom Wadlow had done several short films before hand and for this feature, he teamed up with Indie screenwriter, Tommy Draper. The story centres around Scott (Sham Madarbakus) and Beth (Jessicia Messenger) as two struggling lovers who meet (through flashback) and their world has gone to sh*t - via the apocalypse. Without giving too much away, disaster strikes the couple where Scott is left on his own towards the end of the movie. He meets the couple of Rachel Benson and Mark Drake (who had a small role in Game of Thrones) whilst being pursued by flesh eating zombies. Expect zombie survival drama and zombie-kills via bow-and-arrow and guns.

For the low budget, tons of unpaid extras came out to play the undead and practical effects were used with cgi blood splats and creative visual effects by Chris Newman. The wasteland surroundings look amazing for the production as a break down of the effects can be seen on the special dvd-r, only through Light Films, Ltd, via Behind the Scene features. The indie horror even found itself at festivals like Cannes in 2013, before being completed and shown around the UK later that year.

Being a part of Wasteland felt like a community-thing as myself - John Shelton, actor Dean Sills and Guntis Brazma, amongst others all played zombies and extras in the film. Also look out for and support Ian "Jaymz" Matthews, Mike Rhodes, Sandy Kate Slade. The whole film experience was a fun ride and now this zombie film is waiting distribution from a company in the near future. I also turn up as a waiter dressed in black during the diner scene!

NOTE: Acort International/Midnight Releasing are now releasing Wasteland onto dvd/blu-ray/VOD - September 1st, 2015. Facebook Page can be found, HERE.

IN MEMORY: Carlos Dunn (Indie Film-maker) has Passed Away! (Rest In Peace) (September 2018)

Some sad news to report. The film community in the Indie Field are stunned to learn that Film-maker and Writer , Carlos Dunn has pass...