Wednesday 30 May 2012

Horror Hotel Cinema : Night of the Eagle (1962)

A real classic here, folks.

I like to mix it up in the 'Hotel Cinema'. We all love some cheese in our diets, and there's little in life as fun as a good B-movie that misses every single target it aims for; but equally, there's little as satisfying as discovering a long-forgotten gem that's been buried by the sands of time.

I cam across NIGHT OF THE EAGLE by accident, sometime last year. I was researching the history of one of my all-time favorite films, NIGHT OF THE DEMON, when a link led me to this baby. Its reputation preceded it, so I had to have a look. I'm very glad I did.

While its not in the same league as Tournier's masterpiece, (in my mind), its still a very powerful and chilling work, that's as effective today as I'm sure it was on release. It deals with similar themes of witchcraft, black magic and the dark side of the supernatural, yet has a pretty darn original storyline that's all its own.

The atmosphere is fog-thick, and the sense of unease that grabs you as the tale unfolds is palpable. One thing though...any arachnophobic kids out there, (such as myself), had best steel themselves for a few nasty surprises. The first half of the film boasts a few eight-legged frights that almost made me turn it off. Get past that though, and you have a wonderful, lost gem that puts today's supernatural horror movies to shame.

The plot deals with a man who finds out his loving, devoted wife is actually a practicing witch; and on learning this, he sets that lady straight and has her turn away from all that voodoo nonsense. Bad idea, chum. Bad idea.

Dim the lights, fill the kids with Whiskey and throw them to bed, and get your ass seated for a classic.

Don't mention it...

Monday 21 May 2012

Editorial : Twilight Zone Pinball

Everyone loves Pinball, and everyone loves THE TWILIGHT ZONE, right?

With those rather obvious facts laid out on the table, it seems that we all have ourselves a little mission to undertake. A responsibility as Sci-Fi/Horror fans to help see that a much missed Pinball table makes its way onto our consoles and back into our hearts in the near future.

Farssight Studios are looking to convert the arcade classic, (which sits proudly in the higher echelons of the 'Top 300 Pinball Machines' on 'Internet Pinball Database', and is beloved among many retro gamers and Pinball aficionados, for a variety of platforms, including PS3 Xbox 360 and I-Phone among others. As you can see from the images herein, shes a beautiful table, and deserves to be resurrected for a new generation, (and all us old geezers who miss her). Only issue is....yep, you guessed it...financing.

Critically acclaimed developers, Farsight, are looking to raise a cool $55,000 by June 17th and have so far just approached the halfway mark. If you wanna play the table as much as I do, head on over and pledge as much as you can afford, to help bring Rod Serling back into your living room.

This video explains the whole situation, and this article has links and instructions on how to donate to this fun-filled cause. Take a day off from saving the world, and save THE TWILIGHT ZONE PINBALL MACHINE!

Review : Vessel (2012) - Short film

Director - Clark Baker

I'm really developing a taste for these short movies.

Its a no lose situation. If the short sucks, you only lost ten minutes of your time on the planet, and if they're done well, you get a short sharp rush of horror adrenalin that wont eat up your day. Good stuff.

Its also the playground of invention. These young filmmakers have to cram a lot of shit into these little movies, both to give them the required depth and win over the audience, and to showcase their abilities behind the camera. Often, they run on ambition alone, and look very cheaply produced, but sometimes one comes along that looks and feels fully cinematic, in style and scope. VESSEL is one such short.

There's little to give away, but I still don't wanna spoil the fun, so all I'll say is it appears to take some influence from Sci-Fi horror classics such as ALIEN, INVASION OF THE BODYSNATCHERS, THE THING and the much loved, William Shatner starring TWILIGHT ZONE episode, TERROR AT 20,000 FEET.

Most shorts stay very grounded due often to budgetary constraints, so for an indie director to set his short on a passenger jet, and feature extensive shots of his creature, a UFO and the airplane, is pretty damn brave. Luckily, Clark Baker has the chops to pull it off. VESSEL looks just great. The set design and lighting are impeccable, the performances are sound, there's a really professional soundtrack behind the whole thing that accentuates the tension, and last but not least, (and this is a crucial one), his monster looks excellent. A mixture of old school effects and well utilized CG help bring this semi Lovecraftian space bastard to life, and it never looks less that bad-ass.

Saturday 19 May 2012

Horror Hotel Cinema : The Giant Claw (1957)

'It looked like a Battleship!!!!'

No, dear, it didn't. At all...

Heres a challenge for you guys....

While watching THE GIANT CLAW, fire back a shot of Scotch (or any other spirit of your choice. I aint fussy), every time someone in the movie refers to the huge-ass monster birdie as being/looking/acting like 'a Battleship'....

I guarantee by the end of the film you'll either be in hospital for alcohol poisoning, dead, or signing up for the twelve steps to addiction recovery and finding Jesus.

How anyone could refer to this big ugly flying bastard of the skies as a 'Battleship' is beyond me. No amount of self medication could ever reshape this monstrosity to look like a damned boat. I dont care how much acid you ingest before viewing.

Theres a good chance that the writers pulled that description out their collective asses on seeing the design of the beast. Its among the most ridiculous, demented looking creatures ever to grace the silver screen, folks.

Any brits our there who remember Emu, the much despised kids character from the 80's will feel a familiar sense of foreboding on viewing this monstrosity. Is it the crappiest beast of all time? Maybe. You'll be hard pressed to find a stranger creation anyplace, anytime, ever.

Just watch it already, and keep telling yourself....its only a movie, only a movie, ONLY A MOVIE!!!!!!

Friday 18 May 2012

Review : Son of Dracula (1943)


Robert Siodmak


Eric Taylor (screenplay), Curt Siodmak (story)
Count Alucard, (yep, you heard me...), is going on holiday! He's heading to the bayou to get hitched to an adventurous rich gal who has her sights set on immortality. Go Al..... 

Its pouring with rain here in the dark lands of Scotland, and there's no better time in my eyes to gaze back in wonder at the halcyon years of Hollywood and the great Universal Classic monster movies that shaped our wonderful genre in its infancy. My motto...when the night is dark and stormy, reach for the classics...

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Horror Hotel Cinema : Halloween - A Cut Above the Rest ( Documentary)

Now look....

I'm not gonna ramble on about the film this documentary covers. There's nothing more needs ever be said about John Carpenters classic shocker by me nor anyone else. We all know its as damned near perfection as cinema gets. We all know its the perfect encapsulation of our most cherished day/night of the year. We all know Rob Zombie is an imbecile, (well, most of us do, I assume....).

Its the film that shaped our childhoods, and informed our adult cinematic minds. It lives inside us all, and it never, ever gets old.

Review : Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance (2012)




Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor


Scott M. Gimple (screenplay), Seth Hoffman (screenplay), and 2 more credits »

As Johnny Blaze hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form.

I have to be honest with you folks, I never gave a rats ass about the original GHOST RIDER adaptation, either way. I enjoyed it as a popcorn, intellect-free escapist jaunt, but it never left any great effect for good or ill in my ole' bonce.

Before seeing it, the closest I'd come to this iconic character was listening to, (and loving), the song GHOST RIDER by minimalist drone-rock pioneers, SUICIDE. He sounded like a cool cat in that song, man, and if the visuals of the first film were anything to go by, he most likely was a cool cat. The characters visage is just about as iconic and bad-ass as it gets, and I'm assuming that he's a character who lends himself to the more heavy-metal friendly comic-reading audience. His origin is pretty fuckin ace too, and I hope one day to look into the character more deeply; but for now, I'm gonna have to review this sequel to his first cinematic foray as a plain old-fashioned film-fan.

I've heard the complaints leveled at the original movie, and the certain timidity it displayed, even when in comparison to other super-hero movies. It did feel lacking, even as a clueless popcorn muncher, I have to admit. Good news, then. The sequel goes some way to rectifying this problem.

Monday 7 May 2012

Review : Piranha 3D (2010)


Alexandre Aja
After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents.

Its been a long time coming, but the gloriously named PIRANHA 3DD is finally set to hit cinema's in the coming weeks, so the time seems right to have a look back at the first film. A remake that manages to be among the most mindlessly enjoyable mainstream Horror experiences in too many years to count.

PIRANHA is the definition of a divisive film. As a warm blooded man/pervert, and a card carrying lover of all things 'cheesy monster movie'. I was on board for this sumbitch from day one. The original was great fun in its own right, but with SWITCHBLADE ROMANCE and THE HILLS HAVE EYES director, Aja, at the helm, this was always gonna be a step up from what had come before. His remake of HILLS was, for my dollar, a far more visceral experience than Wes Craven's original, and the idea of this guy cutting loose with some man-eating fish was pretty fucking tantalizing. That said, it still proved to be surprisingly great fun.

Sunday 6 May 2012

Review : The Devil Inside (2012)

Time can literally stand still...

Suffering through 'found-footage' fuck-up fest, THE DEVIL INSIDE is like vacationing in the abyss. Its an unending, mindbogglingly shit plummet into Satan's toilet bowl. Fit for consumption by none.

It takes a lot to get my rankle up when it comes to found footage films. It really does. I'm one of the few, ostracized souls in the horror field who actually sees great merit in the movies, (when done right, of course). Hell, the last movie I reviewed was a shaky-cam shocker, THE TROLL HUNTER, and it was deliriously engaging and entertaining. While I sometimes feel like I'll have to rename this place 'THE FUCKING FOUND FOOTAGE HOTEL', I still get a kick from these films. I'm at half mast just thinking about REC 3, I enjoyed the hell out of CLOVERFIELD and I can't bring myself to get on the vitriol wagon for the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY series, either. Its an immersive filming technique when done with panache.

THE DEVIL INSIDE is not done with panache. Nope. Not at all.

Thursday 3 May 2012

Guest Post/ Promo : Vanessa Morgon

 Vanessa Morgans 'BEST VAMPIRE MOVIES'

There's an exciting new vampire story being released this month. It's a screenplay by Vanessa Morgan called A GOOD MAN (also available in French as Un homme bien) - a fun vampire tale that turns the whole vampire myth completely on its head and turns it into something highly original. The movie based on the screenplay is now in pre-production with Radowski Films. Let's talk about some of Vanessa Morgan's favorite vampire movies to celebrate the release of A GOOD MAN.

Salem's Lot (1979)

Salem's Lot - population 1319 - and growing eerier by the moment. Since an ominous outsider has moved into this sleepy New England town, the dead walk the streets of Salem's Lot. Vampires have never gotten any creepier than this. In 1987 followed the disappointing sequel A Return To Salem's Lot and in 2004 an intriguing mini-series starring Robe Lowe, Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer.

Fright Night (1985) 

A teenager discovers that his next-door neighbor is a vampire. The sequel from 1988 is well-worth it as well. From director Tom Holland (Child's Play).

The Hunger (1983)

The lovers of the vampire Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) don't age as long as she is in love with them. When her current lover, John (David Bowie), starts to age rapidly, he understands that Miriam has fallen in love with someone else and that he has no more than a couple of days to live. He tries to win back the love of his lover while seeking help from a doctor (Susan Sarandon) who researches premature aging.

Karmina (1996) 

In this rare, but funny vampire movie from Quebec, the vampire Karmina temporarily transforms into a human after drinking from a special potion. Under the effects of the potion, Karmina falls in love with one of them.

Eternal Blood (Sangre Eterna) (2002) 

A journalism student meets a group of kids that play a role-playing game called Eternal Blood. Soon all the members start to turn into vampires. This *Brazilian* horror movie from Jorge Olguín has some of the coolest vampires in history.

The Wisdom Of Crocodiles (1998) 

Just before becoming famous, Jude Law played a vampire in this small British movie about a vampire who is searching for the ideal woman to redeem him.

About Vanessa Morgan 

Screenwriter and novelist Vanessa Morgan is known as the 'female version of Stephen King'. You can find out more about Vanessa Morgan and her work by going to her personal blog If you like cats, you might also like the web comic about her cat Avalon at

About A Good Man 

Loved Dexter and American Psycho? Then you will love A Good Man.

Louis Caron is a good man – vegetarian, he feeds the homeless, takes care of animals and is concerned with the ecological future of the planet. But his altruism has a sinister edge – he's a vampire - and local detective Taglioni is becoming increasingly suspicious. Louis' attempt to escape the police will take him on a journey into his own private hell where he is not only forced to confront his worst fears, but also to destroy the lives of those he cares about.

Where to purchase the book:
* Amazon US - * Amazon UK - * Smashwords -