Saturday, 30 May 2015

Review: Darkman (1990) (May 2015)

Dr. Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson) is a scientist working on synthetic skin that will last in sunlight for ONLY 90 minutes. He is happily engaged to his girlfriend Julie (played by Francis McDorman) until the evil gang-boss, Robert G Durant (Larry Drake) and crew destroy Westlake's lab over some documents, kill his assistant and blow the place up with the scientist in it! This film quickly becomes a revenge movie when Peyton, who can not feel pain any more, escapes the blaze and is left for dead in a nearby hospital. He escapes and seeks to destroy those who did him wrong by using his burnt out computer and rebuild skin to hide his disfigured and horribly burnt face and body parts! He is still in love with Julie and wants to get her back and seek revenge on Durant and an evil corporation in which Julie is dragged into before she learns it's deadly, evil secrets. Look out for a cameo by Bruce Campbell at the end of this dark action flick.

Following the success of Tim Burton's Batman (1989), the superhero craze was hot in Hollywood. Director, Sam Raimi (before Spiderman [2002]) dared to be bold and use horror in his own creation of Darkman (1990) (Not based on comic book). Comic Books based on the dark, gruesome superhero action film would follow from Marvel. Darkman is very underrated and did well at the box-office in the early 90's on home video. Danny Elfman provides a very gothic and well-set paced score and he would go on to score a number of future Raimi films in Hollywood!

Liam Neeson is well known as a tough guy action hero in films like Taken (2008), but Darkman (1990) came first! He had to act under heavy make-up by Tony Gardner and this Universal Picture was obviously influenced by the Phantom of the Opera (1925) and Raimi's childhood-love for comic books. You can expect twisted camera angles via The Evil Dead (1981) film-maker. Darkman (1990) is a great film and spawned an unreleased TV series Pilot and two direct to video low budget, tv-thrilled sequels. Darkman (1990) is a forgotten gem which deserves a UK blu-ray release one day with special features.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Tonka's Super Naturals: 80's Nostalgia! (May 2015)

In the 80's, Toys were all the rage for lucky children! Transformers, MASK, HE-MAN, etc. were all the rage! However, a little known toy-line were the Super Naturals - made by TONKA toys. These figures were NOT for the faint-hearted. Each figure had an hologram and this seemed the "in-thing" in the late eighties! There were Visionaries by Hasbro, but TONKA went that bit further! 

Super Naturals had your "good guys" and "bad guys" - the bad guys were down right creepy! There was a Holographic rotting skeleton-corpse baddie leader name Skull. The good guys were lead by Lionheart a knight whose front turned into, you guessed it... A Lion. Each side also had a sub group of small ghost figures: Ghostlings. The weapons of the smaller figures were Glow in the Dark!

There were vehicles for the Super Naturals and the daddy of all play-sets... "The Tomb of Doom" which was a pricey and very rare toy to find nowadays! There was also a very short-lived comic series.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Attack on Titan: Mania is Coming! (May 2015)

I'm a bit late to Attack on Titan and the craze in anime, but I really want to see the new feature coming this summer from Toho Studios. Jonathan Tabreham was the one who told me about the series and up-coming film after his recent trip to Japan in 2014. From what I know, giant Colossal Titan creatures are attacking Japan in the future and devouring their pray as a band of survivors take action to try and the defeat the over-sized, skinless human giants! The Titans even fight each other in Japanese madness! That's what I understand anyway and the film adaptation is due to hit the BIG screen this summer in the east and in Australia. Madman Entertainment will release the film in Australia.

The cartoon/anime is ultra-violent and contains adult themes from what I have seen. There is merchandise and mania creeping into our culture - and I love it! I found a TITAN cartoon poster stand in HMV, see photo above and the animation is on UK dvd in various volumes. I'm sure there are toys and games out there, but I know that TITAN has taken Japan by storm! Please, check out Jon T's write up - HERE and the Interview below when I caught him late in 2014 at Broadway Cinema, Nottingham. The AOT film will be in two epic parts.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Review: Poltergeist (2015) (May 2015)

Poltergeist (2015) - Remake directed Gil Kenan by & Produced by Sam Raimi.
Bank holiday weekend saw the opening of the new Poltergeist (2015) movie directed by Gil Kenan and it was produced by horror legend Sam Raimi. Myself, Gav Jennings, Jonathan Tabreham and his nephew went along to watch the film in 3D on the Sunday

The film centres around a family that move into a big house built on a grave site - standard horror set-up - and soon enough creepy going-ons occur first the children before the adults are forced to believe in the paranormal activity! The late Caroline character is renamed to Maddie and changed to a dark haired girl who has an obsession with the voices she hears coming through the HD television. The standard scares are there: a creepy living clown doll, a tree that comes to life and paranormal investigators that come along to help actor Sam Rockwell and his family from the evil spirits!

CGI plays a big part in the special effects and there goes the budget as we see in many Hollywood horror movies that bring the supernatural to the BIG SCREEN. Jonny's Cult Films has all ready reviewed the Poltergeist and his points, along with that of Gav's are relevant! See their review - HERE. I love a good Haunted House movie - mainly, the classic ones and Gil Kenan's film did try that to start off with until the little girl goes missing and the family just seem neutral. Many have complained and spoke on line that the film is a watered down version of Tobe Hooper's original classic! That may be the truth, but it doesn't stop people going to see such a film.

It wasn't brilliant, but I would wait for the dvd/blu-ray release. With the success of this film, I personally see Sam Raimi and co producing sequels or direct to dvd ghostly thrills based on Poltergeist.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

CD Review: "Sol Invictus" by Faith No More (May 2015)

Faith No More's new Album, "Sol Invictus".
The hype is real. After 18 long years, Faith No More are back with a new album called "Sol Invictus" (2015). The band reformed in early 2009 for touring and gigs. Mike Patton, Roddy Bottum, Billy Gould, Mike Bordin and Jon Hudson had put a lot to a side and made up to tour the globe, again post the 1998 break-up. The last album: "Album of the Year" in 1997 received quite a bit of acclaim and the band just went their own ways with side projects and other bands and notification. FNM had down-played rumours of reforming over the years and same went for making new music together... so, on to the new album released this week:

"Sol Invictus" the album runs just under 40 minutes and is ten-tracks long. At times, it sounds like classic FNM and even Mr Bungle (see the ever changing vocal-style on "Rise of the Fall"). Roddy uses keyboard and piano sounds to good use and melody (missing from "King for a Day..." [1995]) and the anthems are back in brave tracks like Motherf*cker! - which was released as a single along with Superhero. Very catchy tunes, indeed and watch out for Matador. Patton's vocal changes and chants and howls are on top form and have matured over the years.

My only gripe with the new album, is that I wished it was a longer playing cd like 1992's "Angel Dust" record. The album's sound and producing is pretty fresh and it seems as though those FNM boys are having fun again and loving this new success in the 21st century. FNM are due to play the Download Festival for the second time this summer... go catch them before they disappear again. It's always an honour to catch the group live in their many incarnations with side-projects and collaborations.

Faith No More - "Sol Invictus"
Sol Invictus
Sunny Side Up
Separation Anxiety
Cone of Shame
Rise of the Fall
Black Friday
From the Dead

FNM are back... more balanced than ever!

Video Game: Maxx Manic (May 2015)

Maxx Manic in Action (Gameplay)
My school friend, Colin has always been into games... ever since we were there! It was recently that he told me that him and some buddies (Ceirog Studios) were developing one for Android.

Game Description:
Maxx Manic is a fast paced hard action game, set in a world of toys & board games. Maxx & Tic Tac, his robotic backpack, are surrounded by an overwhelming amount of BADBOONS which are after Tic Tac. Maxx has to get rid of these badboons by feeding them bananas, through an endless supply of bananas, which Tic Tac is making by using his organic 3D printer. See how long you can last in this addictive simple game. Get a Highscore and beat your friends. This is Ceirog Studios first game. ENJOY!

Free to play!
High scoring.
Full HD graphics.
Badbboon bashing.

Upcoming Features: 
New game mode.

In-app Purchase:
In game ads can be disabled with a single, low-cost in game purchase.


Copyright, Ceirog Studios, 2015.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Review: Island of the Blind Dead (Youtube Short) (May 2015)

Island of the Blind Dead (2015) is a 3 minute feature directed by Emma Dark & Merlyn Roberts. It is based on the cult Spanish horror film-series, Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972). The short was shot in St. George South, Corfu where Dark plays the bikini-clad lead as she roams the beach whilst being pursued by the BLIND DEAD in a silent, art faux trailer shot-style.

If you love Tombs of the Blind Dead, then you should dig and respect this short, put-together tribute which has over two thousand views since being uploaded in March, 2015. The zombies look just how they looked in the inspiration for this silent, art-like teaser! They are slow and creepy and couldn't help but be entertained by the campiness!

The film is also shot in a warn, 8mm-style on purpose and not influenced by anything modern in style. It's influence is old horror and slightly tongue in cheek. Island of the Blind Dead is worthy of late night viewing and worth giving a THUMBS UP on Youtube. Both, Emma and Merlyn also star and feature on Seize the Night (2015).

Emma Dark  as Jeannie
Elias Loumakis as Prof. Theopolis
Merlyn Roberts as Blind Dead
Sharon Loumakis as Mother
Athena Loumakis as Daughter
Victor Kavadias as Drunk
George Catavatis as Blacksmith

Actress & Co-Director: Emma Dark.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

RIP Debra Mayer: (1969 - 2015) (May 2015)

It's a sad day, there is a rumor of the passing of Full Moon Entertainment actresses passing. She played in Blood Dolls (1999), Voodoo Academy (2002) and other films. 

Director Charles Band posted the following on Facebook: "I am so saddened by the news of Debra Mayer passing away. She was a very talented actress and extremely devoted to her craft. Debra was in several Full Moon films and I have many fond memories of her excellent work in Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain and especially Blood Dolls. She was extremely devoted to her career and left behind an impressive body of work that many admire, and I only hope she is able to somehow observe the outpouring of love and affection for the films she was in and the characters she played by the many fans who followed her. May she truly rest in peace.".

Another friend of hers, J.R. Bookwalter also wrote on the social media site: "Stunned to hear about the sudden passing of Debra Mayer, who I first met during post-production on Full Moon's BLOOD DOLLS and would later co-star in two of the flicks I produced for them, STITCHES and HELL ASYLUM (as well as a cameo in GROOM LAKE). Very sweet gal who wound up being an occasional Target buddy (she shopped at the same store near my apartment in North Hollywood, and we'd run into each other there often). Another one taken from us far too soon. RIP Debra Mayer".

A very sad day for horror and Scream Queen fans, RIP: Debra Mayer... x Thanks, Shawn Goremonger for the update and information on this update. There has been very little information on the internet about her passing, but may she truly rest in peace... Horror Angel.

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...