Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Festival Of Luna

lunaAugust 24th is the New Moon( note: the official New Moon is Aug. 25th), it is also one of the Festivals of Luna (the moon goddess) celebrated by the ancient Romans and today’s Pagans. Early people around the world associate the moon the goddess. Luna is associated with witches with moon magic, transformations, the psychic and all things feminine.  She represents growing awareness, the fulfillment of love, and the mystery of enchantment. (Read more here).

The New Moon phase takes place while the sun’s light is not reflected from the moon’s surface. This monthly event appears to make the moon temporarily disappear hence the phrase, “the dark of the moon”. This period of the lunar cycle has long been used for spell-craft as it is thought to be the optimum time for initiating spells. The new moon is also the preferred or a “ripe time” to plant seeds–of any kind, be they in the ground or in friendship, love or business.

In many magical traditions, this is considered a fallow time, in which one rests and rejuvenates before beginning more intense magical workings again. In other traditions, it's a time to do magic related to wish fulfillment. Some examples might include:
  • Cleansing and purifying of the body and mind
  • Rituals that designate sacred space
  • Any magic related to inner harmony and peace

Release Date For “Not Human” Announced

The sci-fi film “Not Human” (formally titled “Ombis: Alien Invasion”) has a release date set. The film directed by Adam R Steigert will be released on September 9th, 2014.

not humanPress Release:
DefTone Pictures Studios Inc. and Origin Releasing are preparing for the release of Ombis: Alien Invasion for the fall of 2014! Ombis: Alien Invasion has undergone a transformation of its name to Not Human. Origin Releasing will release the film on VOD this September 09 2014 along with pushing it out to retail markets in December.

Not Human follows the story of peaceful, rustic Metzburgh: a quiet village which was a former industrial town whose glory days are long past after the collapse of Metzburgh Grain. A meteorite crash lands in the peaceful community. Glen, a homeless ex-employee of the grain silos, gets too close to the crash site and a chemical poison sprays out of the meteorite, enveloping him. The chemical agent known only as Ombis begins to turn his insides into a slimy substance. Glen is discovered by lovebirds Mark and Lucy as the Ombis begins to consume Glen’s body and spread the alien infection.

Shocked by their gruesome discovery, Mark and Lucy contact the local Sheriff, Thomas Brackett, who aids the traumatized couple. The collateral damage begins adding up as the virus begins to overrun the unsuspecting village. Adding to the chaos, a mysterious government special containment team shows up and attempts to keep order while trying to contain the alien plague.

Mark, Lucy and Sheriff Brackett are stuck in middle of an alien invasion where they must unite with the surviving townsfolk to take on ever growing army of mutated Metzburgh residents. With time running short before the government decides to eradicate the virus off the face of the earth, the group must figure out away to get out of the town before it’s too late.

Directed by Adam R Steigert, Not Human stars Richard Satterwhite, Jason John Beebe, Sara Manzella along with co-stars Kathy Murphy, Alexander Sloan McBryde, Brenda Rickert and Aryn Fitzgerald.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Review Of “The Ridge” 2005

the ridge“The Ridge” is directed by Brett Haley and stars Neal Bledsoe, Brett Haley, Lydia Hyslop, Lauren Powell, Jesse Patch. The film is a contemporary horror that draws from the urban legend of The Ridge Runner, a brutal killer out to slaughter anyone who settles on his land. “The Ridge” begins slow and clunky but within the first fifteen minutes the atmosphere becomes a nonstop slaughter fest. Okay maybe a bit more than fifteen minutes but the point is what starts as a questionable flick turns into a real chiller.

The story opens with the cliché set-up of friends on a getaway. Only within the first few moments of arriving to the house, nestled in the woods, things get eerie. The dialog is flimsy, random, and doesn’t really seem to lead into the story, at least not until the standard “do you know a scary story” moment. That is when we are introduced to the urban legend of the brutal ridge runner. There are moments when the story, even the telling of the legend, feels contrived, but for the most part it is a plausible premise. It is obvious though that most of the writing focused on action and kills based on the weak dialog. So at first the film starts off shaky. But when the sh*t hits the fan, the film almost transforms into something totally new.

The special effects are pretty tight. The attention to presenting killer scenes and action sequences is obvious in “The Ridge”. The house plays a big role in the film with so many rooms, levels and areas for the killer to pop out from, The night shooting and sound effects help create a traditional horror look, that will be recognizable to horror fans. From the moment the first body is found, explaining the eerie beginning to the film, “The Ridge” really goes full throttle giving total slasher entertainment. The soundtrack at times feels hokey-hallmark-y, but I can over look the style of music used to create an emotional continuity to the story.

Overall “The Ridge” turns into a pretty decent indie slasher film. The fact that the horror just happens, with no justification other than a faceless killer pissed about loosing his land, only adds to the nightmare. There is some pretty stellar directional choices and cinematography in “The Ridge”. Honestly if the dialog and first part of the film would have had the strength that pops up in the second and third act then this would have been a ten for me.

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Vulcanalia

vulcanVulcan is one of the oldest of the Roman gods, and his origins can be traced back to the Etruscan deity Sethlans, who was associated with beneficial fire. Vulcan was a god of the forge, and renowned for his metalworking skills. The Sabine king Titus Tatius (who died in 748 b.c.e.) declared that a day honoring Vulcan should be marked each year. This festival, the Vulcanalia, is celebrated around August 23.

The Volcanalia were part of the cycle of the four festivities of the second half of August (Consualia on August 21, Volcanalia on 23, Opiconsivia on 25 and Volturnalia on 27) related to the agrarian activities of that month and in symmetric correlation with those of the second half of July (Lucaria on July 19 and 21, Neptunalia on 23 and Furrinalia on 25). One custom observed on this day required that one should start working by the light of a candle, probably to propitiate a beneficial use of fire by the god.

The Vulcanalia was celebrated with large bonfires – this gave Roman citizens some degree of control over the powers of fire. Sacrifices of small animals were devoured by the flames,offerings presented in place of the burning of the city, its grain stores, and its residents. Today, many modern Roman Pagans celebrate the Vulcanalia in August as a way of honoring the fire god. If you decide to hold a Vulcanalia bonfire of your own, you can make sacrifices of grains, such as wheat and corn, since the early Roman celebration originated, in part, to protect the city’s granaries.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Trailer Released For “Annabelle”

annabelleThe first trailer has been released for creepy doll movie “Annabelle”. The film is a spin-off of “The Conjuring” franchise. “Annabelle” is directed by John R. Leonetti and stars Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Eric Ladin, Brian Howe. The film hits theatres on October 3rd, 2014.

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia - a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia's delight with Annabelle doesn't last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now... Annabelle.

My Review Of “The Eves” 2012

The Eves“The Eves” is a modern backwoods/road horror directed by Tyler Glodt. The film takes the psycho-killer theme into an original, high energy, terror lane. ‘The Eves” stars Alexa Albrecht, Matthew Albrecht, Phillip Albrecht, Cathy Baron, Stewart W. Calhoun, Mark Ford, Jackson Johnson, Corrie Loftin,  J.R. May and Amelia Meyers. This nightmare is a dark, thrilling journey into cruelty and psychotica that seems totally Americana.

The story takes the road horror into grindhouse territory effortlessly. The innocent trip that turns into a fight for survival against homicidal madman shows strongly in “The Eves”. There is a period in the beginning that gets a bit old with the “ooh you scared me bit” which really set me into the notion that I was not gonna like this flick. However from the first real scare, that results in the kick-off to the horror show, the film pulled me in. The blunt cruelty of the antagonist, against the helpless victims offers a disturbing sense of realness that hooks you in. I found the cast to be apt in bringing these characters to life, creating a strong, well executed story. Plus with the intense, brutality of the last act, “The Eves” becomes a chilling survival nightmare.

The special effects, suspenseful build-up, and over all darkness of ‘The Eves” creates a steady, even-paced intensity the feels natural and “at times” cringe worthy. The director does a great job working the cast, and scene direction so that kill scenes look genuine. It is above low budget quality really. “The Eves” is a strong indie horror that I enjoyed. The sound effects, and overall ability of the film to keep a strong foreboding atmosphere never falls flat. If it wasn’t for the slow, annoying start to the film, with way to many “fake scare” moments, then this film would be flawless. Still the second and third act make up for that unnecessary exuberance. “The Eves” is a film I will be watching again-especially during the Halloween season. There is something truly terrifying about psychotic young people!

Festival Poster For “Digging Up The Marrow”

Check out the  collector’s poster view of the festival poster for “Digging Up The Marrow”. The film is directed by Adam Green and will be available for those in attendance at this year’s Film4 Frightfest. “This is the first poster in a 4-part variant series leading up to the official theatrical one-sheet and release details. All coming soon.” , states Green about the artwork.

“Digging Up The Marrow” is a story about a documentary exploring genre based monster art that takes an odd turn when the filmmakers are contacted by a man who claims he can prove that monsters are indeed real. The film stars Ray Wise, Tom Holland, Kane Hodder, Will Barratt and Mick Garris, plus more personalities from the horror and sci-fi genre.


Feelin’ More Like Janus, The Poster For “Jessabelle” Is Released

Check out the official poster for upcoming horror film “Jessabelle”. The image looks Janus inspired-presiding over all beginnings and transitions, whether abstract or concrete, sacred or profane. “Jessabelle” is directed by Kevin Greutert and stars Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, David Andrews, Joelle Carter. The film will see a November 7th, 2014 release.

From the mastermind producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious comes the ghostly tale of Jessabelle. Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle (Sarah Snook of Sleeping Beauty) comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return — and has no intention of letting her escape.


First Official ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Teaser

FreakshowThe first official teaser clip for ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ has been released. The series returns to FX on October 8th at 10 p.m. ‘AHS: Freak Show’ stars Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Michael Chiklis, John Carroll Lynch, Denis O’Hare, Gabourey Sidibe, Jamie Brewer, Frances Conroy, Wes Bentley, Jyoti Amge, Finn Wittrock, and Patti LaBelle.

The fourth season will be set in Jupiter, Florida in 1952. It will be centered around one of the few remaining freak shows at the time, as its members do anything to keep the business alive. The season will focus on the conflict between the freaks and the "evil forces" who do not understand them. The season will also feature a "clown killer" and a "bearded lady."

My Review Of “Monsters In The Woods” 2012

Monsters In The WoodsJ. Horton’s micro-budget horror, “Monsters In The Woods”, is a celebration of b-movie flicks from the past. The film stars  Glenn Plummer, Lee Perkins, Linda Bella, Edward Hendershott, Claudia Perea, Blaine Cade, Gladys Otero, Ashton Blanchard, Paul Misko, Richard Raad, Ernest Dancyand Hilliary Barbour.  ‘Monster In The Woods” is a mixed bag of gimmicks and tricks that comes from a vision of awesome potential, but unfortunately falls short of even mediocre levels.

The story has strong possibility, with a film crew deep in the woods, suddenly under attack by actual monsters. It should have been a fun, entertaining, low budget, horror comedy. What happens is that so many ideas and elements are thrown together in a make-shift concept that falls apart mostly due to poor execution. The cast are not convincible- I am not even sure the actors really got what the director was going for with “Monsters In The Woods”. The different concepts do more to crowd the film with indirection and distraction than to create a strong single, concise story arc.

The special effects used in “Monsters In The Woods” are by far some of the weakest. Even with cheap effects on a low budget, execution is crucial to pulling off the practical, and desired vision of he story. In the film things sort of look too dime store constume-y, than professional effects. There is nudity and screams galore. Blood spatters and monsters rage. However it isn’t powerful enough to cover or over-shadow all the flaws this film gives us. Most notable a poor sound quality. Big no-no, and movie killer for even the best of stories with a decent budgets.

Overall, “Monsters In The Woods” teases an entertaining, homage to b-movie madness but fails to deliver. I followed the film’s production and looked forward to finally seeing the finished product. Needless to say-I am disappointed. There is just too much that fails in this one for me to like the movie. Once again it proves the adage-“less is more”when it comes to concepts-put the more into special effects and sound. See the film if you just want to kill some time out of idle curiosity-but just be aware that it isn’t J. Horton’s finest work.

My Review Of “Dogman” 2012

dogman2012’s “Dogman” is a low budget story around the legend of Michigan's Dogman. The film is directed by Richard Brauer, who does a really good job of navigating the issues of budget when telling this creature-feature. “Dogman” stars Larry Joe Campbell, Mariann Mayberry, Kimberly Guerrero, Stacie Hadgikosti, Tom Cilluffo, Luke Bonczyk, Lynch R. Travis and John Lepard. The film isn’t so much about the actual legend per se, but more about a couple’s farm and small community’s deadly ordeal with the creature. Great horror story premise, with hit and miss execution-budget constraints withstanding.

The story of “Dogman” uses the legend of the creature to create an ominous set-up, with a couple struggling between, what they believe to be the acts of delinquent relatives causing property damage, or some other force terrorizing them. It soon becomes clear just what the situation is, and Brauer uses some classic tricks to tease the creature on camera. Some moments work and others show up on screen as uber-cheap. Budget- I know. The cast, for the most part, give pretty decent performances. Oddly enough the most seasoned among them-Larry Joe Campbell-gives the least convincing performance. The story arc never really falls apart, leaving most of the flubs to technical issues with special effects shots, and inability to create necessary thrills when needed.

The special effects are super low budget, when used, give poor quality and weak performance. Brauer does show prowess in his ability to create some suspenseful moments by leaving a lot of the creature off camera for the most part. Similar to how the werewolf creature in “Silver Bullet” is used. For the most part the actual effectiveness of the film’s horror element comes from melodrama, creepy soundtracks, and the legend of the Dogman. There are better wolf-creature films out there that bring the beast clearly into the terror-zone but “Dogman” does give good story. It hits just below the 50/50 point with me personally.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Manetti Bros “Closed Circuit Extreme” Gets US Release

MVD6290DMVD has announced the North American DVD release of Giorgio Amato's fly-on-the-wall serial killer thriller "CLOSED CIRCUIT EXTREME" with a street date of August 26th 2014.

Written and directed by Giorgio Amato and produced by Italy's acclaimed siblings the Manetti Bros (Arrival Of Wang, Paura 3D) "CLOSED CIRCUIT EXTREME" follows a young couple who suspect their neighbor is responsible for the disappearance of a friend. They break into his house and rig each room with hidden CCTV cameras which reveal he is a sadistic serial killer. But when they return to retrieve the evidence, they are trapped by the beast and forced to fight for their lives.

"A truly petrifying look at a lonely serial killer"
- Sophia Satchell Baeza, Cine Vue

"A grotesquely realistic portrayal of how a serial killer might act in his own house"
- Kit Rathenar, Brutal As Hell

France’s First Found Footage Anthology In Production

Director Fabian Delage and production company Fright House Films has come together to produce the first ever French found-footage, anthology horror film. “3:15” is currently in production and plans are in the works to see this one released in France and North America sometime in 2015.  “3:15am” introduces a new wave of indie filmmakers French talented.

8 independent French film makers directed 7 15-minutes films for an hour and 45 minutes of pure fear in the style of "Blair Witch" and “V/H/S”! “3:15am”, inspired by the Devil's Hour, reinvents the Horror Anthology Movie franchise.

315amHas evil ever crossed your path at 3:15 in the morning? That infamous hour when the Devil comes to life and the doorway to the supernatural world opens. This brand new anthology explores this eerie time of night feared by most horror film fans. Whereas 3:15 is often associated with demonic possession in films and popular culture, those 8 directors have decided to explore different kinds of genres so as to offer a fresh look on a type of cinema supposedly on the decline. But one thing is for sure, 3:15am does not only bring back the Found Footage genre! Time has come to die.

The Abomination Ring-Directed by Nicolas Delage: Teenagers decide to shoot a film in a forbidden place. During the shooting, they will witness unsettling events. At night, the power goes out and they realize they have brought something into the house.

The short films included in "3:15":
Beyond Darkness-Directed by Guillaume Creis: As they are visiting a ghost town at night, a group of people unearth something that will change their lives forever.

The Grove-Directed by Fabien Delage: In the USA, two French hikers capture on video their trip through the mountains on the trail of Bigfoot . Flabbergasted by the scariest encounter, the pair gets lost in the forest.
Invasion-Directed by Vincent Lecrocq: A couple is making a sextape in their bedroom. Suddenly, the power goes out. What if they were not alone in their home anymore?

Take Cover-Directed by David Thillault: As they are exploring a supposedly haunted orphanage, a ghost hunter crew picks up a signal. When they realize what it is, it's already too late.

The Wandering Soul-Directed by Frédéric Gros & Sabrina Kerrar: A man goes in search of the spirit of his wife, stuck between two worlds, as she was taken by the devil at 3 :15am.  For his daughter, he shots in real time a testimony-video which plunges us into his terrible course.

The Woman in the Attic-Directed by Evelyne Phan: A young woman of Chinese descent comes back to meet her family in France for New Year's Eve. It seems that a terrible family secret is tormenting her relatives.  She captures their testimonies on tape before being confronted with a living nightmare.

The teams have already started shooting and Fright House Pictures is planning on a DTV release in France and North America in 2015. For French horror cinema, the future looks awesomely grim!

Release Date Announced For “Krampus”

krampusA release date has been announced for Jason Hull’s “Krampus: The Christmas Devil”. The film will be released ahead of the Christmas season on November 25th, 2015. “Krampus” is a yuletide tale of terror featuring an ancient creature whose purpose is to punish the naughty children from Santa’s list.

Krampus: The Christmas Devil is based on actual mythology dating back to 17th century Alpine/Eastern European lore. Krampus is Saint Nick’s evil brother. However, unlike St. Nick, Krampus brings wrath on children who misbehave. This story follows the life of Jeremy, who escapes the monster as a child, and grows up to become a police officer working to find missing children, only to stumble upon the monster again as an adult. Jeremy learns that the monster is after his daughter, but the plot thickens as Bill Oberst’s character, Brian Hatt, is recently released from prison and is now set on revenge with Jeremy.

New Poster For “Dead Snow 2”

A new poster has been released for “Dead Snow 2: Red VS Dead”. The film hits a limited theatrical release October 10th, and stars Ingrid Haas, Jocelyn DeBoer, Martin Starr, Stig Frode Henriksen, Vegar Hoel, Ørjan Gamst. “Dead Snow 2” is directed by Tommy Wirkola. The poster is satirical jab at the Nazi party’s most recognizable symbol.

Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead follows the sole survivor of a Nazi zombie attack who battles an even larger army of Zombies with the help of The Zombie Squad, a professional gang of zombie killers from the U.S.

Dead Snow2

New Trailer And Poster For “Coyote”

coyoteCheck out the new poster and trailer for Trevor Juenger directed “Coyote”. The film stars Victoria Mullen, Bill Finkbiner, Tasha Zebrowski. Bill Oberst Jr., Heather Schlitt, Victoria Mullen and Shawn I. Chevalier. No official release date has been announced for “Coyote” yet, but the date should be coming soon.

The film stars Bill Oberst Jr. as Bill, an insomniac writer whose sleep-deprived hallucinations distort reality as paranoia drives him to extreme violence.

The Final Crowd Funding Campaign For “Don’t Fuck In The Woods”

eliShawn Burkett and Concept Media have kicked off the “Don’t Fuck In The Woods” crowd funding campaign..  It is a short campaign, lasting a mere 2 weeks. The crowd funding is taking place over on Indiegogo. “Don’t Fuck In The Woods” follows a  group of friends, going on a camping trip to celebrate graduating college, find themselves fighting for survive after entering the woods. Needless to say “the proverbial shit starts to hit the fan”.

Shawn Burkett will be directing and the film is set to star Ayse Howard, Scott Gillespie, Amanda Collins, Chelsea Teasly, Michael Reeves, Roman Jossart, Hannah Herdt, Deziree Angle, and Joe Kidd. Filming is not far away and this final crowd funding campaign is to raise the final 700.00 needed for production costs.

DFITW FUNDRAISER 3 from shawn burkett on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Review Of “Pelt” 2010

Pelt2010’s “Pelt” has a group of friends fighting for their lives against a couple of local yokels with a taste for blood and torture. The film is directed by Richard Swindell and stars Justin Welborn, Ashley Watkins, Travis Goodman, Matthew Robinson, Amber Marie Bollinger , Sarah Zurell, Ryan Boone. Unfortunately for this crew they chose to spend a weekend in the woods on private property. The choice is a fatal error for the friends.

The story is a fun, modern nightmare that puts fuel into the “camping/in the woods” horror film. I really didn’t expect a lot from “Pelt” but was pleasantly surprised. Swindell creates a very suspenseful chiller that plays with elements of slasher, grindhouse and splatter horror. The cast commit to their characters and pull off some pretty authentic personalities that I connected with. “Pelt” does find itself battling through some pretty standard clichés, but never gets marred down completely by the stereotypes. Even with a few of the characters coming off a bit abrasive, (douchbag daddy-o’s) , the actors give convincing performances that does take the characters into caricature territory.

The special effects are strong, realistic grue that explores elements of exploitation, and splatter without pushing the kill scenes into sensationalized depravity. There is a nice balance between the horror elements and the psychological suspense that makes “Pelt” a very strong horror film. The soundtrack and sound effects create a tense, thrilling atmosphere that carries the story arch from the first scene until the credits roll. Honestly I went into this film expecting to be disappointed or bored, but instead I was captivated and chilled. “Pelt” is a film that I will be watching over and over.

There is some downer moments to “Pelt”. The dialog is weak in some scenes, with characters feeling forced into conversation with one another, instead of seeming natural. It does ad a bit of a hokey vibe that disrupts the intensity and drama of the story. Honestly that is really the only hiccups I had while watching “Pelt”. The kills are bloody, there is screaming and crying, running through the woods. Brutality is the theme de jour for “Pelt” with some truly nightmarish moments. I will be referencing this film the next time I decide to explore the hills and back roads in my neck of the woods-believe that!

Teaser Trailer Released For “L.A. Slasher”

LA SlasherCheck out the teaser trailer for Martin Owen’s “L.A. Slasher”. The film stars Danny Trejo, Dave Bautista, Mischa Barton, Eric Roberts, Brooke Hogan, Drake Bell, Abigail Wright, Tori Black, Marisa Lauren, Elizabeth Morris, and Korina Rico. Now this is retro-fab, creativity-awesomeness!!!!

LA SLASHER is a satirical take on the horror genre set against the celebrity obsessed world of modern day Los Angeles. The Slasher hates what Hollywood has become, a place where fame trumps talent, and decides to take a stand. LA is plunged into a state of excited trepidation as the Slasher embarks on a trail of abduction and punishment, selecting each victim to support his social statement.

Every step of his journey is broadcast online using the social media that created and maintains the fame of these ‘stars’ against them. Instead of being outraged, the public supports the Slasher, empathizing with his cause. Audiences find themselves on the same journey as the flamboyant Slasher as he guides us on this humorous tale of terror.

Trailer Released For Cryptid Horror “Xmoor”

Sightings of the Beast of Exmoor were first reported in the 1970s, although the period of its notoriety began in 1983, when a South Molton farmer named Eric Ley claimed to have lost over a hundred sheep in the space of three months, all of them apparently killed by violent throat injuries. There was even a report of the Beast seen "fishing" with its paw into the River Barle at Simonsbath, whilst some locals theorised that its lair might be in old mine workings on the Moor. The Daily Express offered a reward for the capture or slaying of the Beast. Farm animal deaths in the area have been sporadically blamed on the Beast ever since.

xmoorLuke Hymes’ cryptid horror explores the legend of the beast of Exmoor in his upcoming nightmare flick “Xmoor”. The film stars Melia Kreiling, Nick Blood, Mark Bonnar, Olivia Popica, James Lecky and will make it’s world premiere at this year’s Film4 Frightfest. Check out the trailer just released for “Xmoor” below.

With their sights set on a £25,000 reward promoted by a local newspaper, American documentarians Georgia and Matt head to Exmoor in North Devon to film the fabled beast supposedly slinking through the remote terrain. Is the creature a leopard, a panther, a family pet crossbreed, an imaginary predator? Setting up a forest camp with an old acquaintance harbouring his own dark secrets, the trio fix 42 cameras to the trees and rocks, linked back to a computer nerve centre where nothing should go unnoticed as they take turns to night watch.

But then they discover some putrefying body parts all neatly tied up… then some more. And before long they realise they are in the lair of a beast right enough, but certainly not one of the four-legged variety. For they have discovered a serial killer’s playground and are soon to become his most wanted prey.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Vinalia Rustica

VinaliaTwo wine festivals were celebrated each year by the ancient Romans. One, April 23 was the urban Roman wine festival,Vinalia urbana, at which occasion wine casks were first opened and tasted, with a libation poured to Jupiter. Not just Rome, but all of Latium celebrated the 2nd wine festival, the Vinalia rustica on August 19, when the flamen dialis offered lambs to Jupiter and then opened the vintage for drinking.

It was originally a rustic Latin harvest festival, celebrating the grape harvest, vegetable growth and fertility. At the Roman Vinalia Rustica, kitchen gardens and market-gardens, and presumably vineyards were dedicated to Venus Obsequens, the oldest known form of Venus. In Roman mythology, it marked the fulfillment of a vow by the ancient Latin allies of Rome's legendary ancestor Aeneas, who promised all wine of the next sacred vintage to Jupiter, in return for victory against the Etruscan tyrant Mezentius. The defeat of the Etruscan King Mezentius, who was, according to Virgil, a “despiser of the gods”, by Aeneas, son of Venus, marks a Roman wine festival that is, interestingly enough, not connected with the Wine God Bacchus.

Opinions of antique authors differed why, besides Aeneas alleged vow, Jupiter was present. The father of the gods appreciated a good drop, like the other gods and goddesses, but it was his role as weather deity that assured a good vintage and wine was regarded as a kingly drink anyway. Thus, on August 19th, a priest of Jupiter picked the first bunch of grapes, blessed the first pressing of it, like the blessing of the first wine that is still celebrated in some Catholic regions today, and offered an “agna”, a female lamb as sacrifice.

Today sacrifices are symbolic gestures. To honor the old ways and show thanks to the gods for the grape harvest, place an image or replica lamb on your altar with grapes and other offerings that correlate with Jupiter, and Bacchus. Light white, purple or burgundy candles. Say a prayer of thanks to the gods. Place a glass of wine at the altar for the father of gods. Drink and be merry, it is a time to celebrate the gift of wine from the gods.

Witness A Succubus In The Safety Of Your Own Home

succubusShort film "Succubus" has run it's course over a large number of film festivals worldwide. It is now available for free viewing, courtesy of the filmsite "Ekko's Shortlist". You can read my review of “Succubus” as part of “Sinister Visions” horror anthology here: Or you can review my more detailed IMDb review of “Succubus” here:

"Succubus" is directed by actor Kim Sønderholm, written by Lars Egholm Fischmann, produced by Jan T. Jensen with cinematography by Allan Vælum. The movie is dedicated to the cinematographer who regretfully died very sudden only two weeks after completing the photography of the film. The score is by UK filmmaker Rusty Apper while the awesome creature make-up is by Anders Lerche under his company Far Out Effects. Lerche had just finished his work on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" before completing this assignment.


The movie stars Kat Herlo as Emma, with supporting actors Nadia Bond, Miriam Yeager, Lars Bjarke, Michael Larsen, Steen Jaszczak and the director himself, Kim Sønderholm (Escaping the Dead, Sinister Visions)The movie is English language, produced in Denmark hence Danish subtitles. Running time is 18 minutes, and definately not suitable for young children - and definitely not safe for work.

Check it out at
For more information, check out IMDb:

My Review Of Horror Short "Succubus"

A more detailed review for horror short "Succubus". I reviewed the short as part of the horror anthology "Sinister Visions". Read that review at this link: 

"Succubus" is a wicked story of a demonic possession which puts a young woman in the driving seat of fiendish desires. She is driven by the evil force to kill and consume whatever man is near. The story is not all that original, nor is this short film all that interesting.

For the most part it was kind of boring and offered no scares or chills. I will give props to the creature design. At full on view it seems a bit theatrical but the detail and attention to showing a full demon effect in the short was professional and creative. I would have loved to see more gore or actual emoted response from the characters in "Succubus".

Overall "Succubus" creates a surreal,nihilistic situation for the main character, with a well developed succubus as the antagonist. I guess as a complete short film I am 50/50. The visceral aspects could have been stronger, and the story could have been a bit more original. Especially with such attention paid to the creature effects.

Image Acquires North American Rights To “The Houses October Built”

TheHouseOctoberBuiltImage Entertainment has announced their acquisition of “The Houses October Built” for North American distribution. The film is directed by  Bobby Roe and stars Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe, Mikey Roe Jeff Larson. There is no official release date announced yet for the film but if this thing doesn’t hit at least by October 13th, 2014 then things just ain’t right with the world.

The film centers on five friends who set off on a road trip to visit haunted house attractions, only to come face to face with something more blood-curdling than fake thrills.


New Poster For “Honeymoon”

Check out the new poster for Leigh Janiak directed horror “Honeymoon”. The film stars  Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, Ben Huber, Hanna Brown and hits VOD platforms September 12th, 2014. The film follows a young couple who’s honeymoon spirals mysteriously into chaos.

Young newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) travel to remote lake country for their honeymoon, where the promise of private romance awaits them. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Teaser Trailer For “The Campground 2”

TheCampground2Check out the teaser trailer for “The Campground 2”. The film is the follow-up to Roman Jossart’s 2013 indie slasher. The sequel will be titled “The Campground 2: Varsin’s Vengeance” but little else is none at this time. Horror Society brought word of the project which came with the cool teaser.

Crowd Funding Kicks Off For “Earthworks”

eThe crowd funding has kicked off for horror film “Earthworks”. The film is being produced by London based Shaheen Schleifer and Executive Producer Roger Trett. “Earthworks” follows five doughboys who get lost in a fog of No Man’s Land during WWII. David Hackl (Saw 5, Grizzly) will direct this UK/ Canada co-production.

Earthworks exists in an isolated trench/ No Man's Land set and creates a sense of abandonment from the start.. 5 young American soldiers enter France and on their first night at an allied trench, everything goes wrong very quickly. Caught up in a beguiling fog, the film follows the young characters as they each come to different but understandable decisions. It is a tense and atmospheric story and the horror/ psychological thriller genres are purposefully chosen to tell their stories as the genre elements of surprise, shock, terror, fear and encroaching anxiety about the unseen all lend themselves to the story well.

Official Trailer For “Open Windows”

Open WindowsCheck out the official poster for “Open Windows”. The film is directed by Nacho Vigalondo and stars Sasha Grey, Elijah Wood, Neil Maskell, Nacho Vigalondo, Iván González, Mike McCutchen, Rachel Arieff, Ulysses Lopez. “Open Windows” hits VOD and in theatres September 29th, 2014.

Elijah Wood stars as a fanboy of actress Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey), and as the winner of an online contest he gets the rare chance to have dinner with her. However, when dinner plans are cancelled someone named Chord says he can make up for it. Chord gives Nick (Elijah Wood) the tools to spy on Jill from his computer, in a way that no fan could ever dream of. After each demand Chord gives Nick, it becomes apparent that Chord set the whole thing up and Nick is a part of a much bigger, more sinister plan.

Trailer And DVD Details For “Wer”

werAn official trailer for werewolf flick “Wer” has been released as well as word of the DVD release. The film directed by William Brent Bell will hit shelves on September 23rd, 2014 and stars A.J. Cook, Simon Quarterman, Vik Sahay, Brian J. O’Connor. Check out the trailer below.

Following the brutal slaying of an American family vacationing in rural France, a peculiar man living near the crime scene is blindly charged with their murders. Believing her client is innocent, expatriate American defense attorney Kate Moore and her team decide to take a scientific approach in order to prove his physical incapability to local authorities.

As she delves into his enigmatic family history, she uncovers evidence that suggests the rebirth of an unexpected legend. When a bloodbath ensues, Kate must do whatever she can to survive the surrounding terror and prevent the chaos from spreading.

“Lady Frankenstein” 1971 Full Movie

Lady FrankensteinWhen Dr. Frankenstein is killed by a monster he created, his daughter and his lab assistant Marshall continue his experiments. The two fall in love and attempt to transplant Marshall's brain in to the muscular body of a retarded servant Stephen, in order to prolong the aging Marshall's life. Meanwhile, the first monster seeks revenge on the grave robbers who sold the body parts used in its creation to Dr. Frankenstein. Soon it comes after Marshall and the doctor's daughter.

Directed by Mel Welles and Aureliano Luppi (uncredited). Starring Joseph Cotten, Rosalba Neri, Paul Muller, Peter Whiteman, Herbert Fux, Renate Kasché, Joshua Sinclair, Richard Beardley and Mickey Hargitay.


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