Film

Lurid, gore-soaked and guaranteed to give you nightmares: new horror dissected by LaptopZombie...

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Review - Throwback

Review - Throwback

Bigfoot has enjoyed a cinematic renaissance in the last few years. Not only have there been a glut of squatchploitation flicks, they’ve (mostly) been very good. Duane Graves’ THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD evoked the classic feel of BOGGY CREEK, while the sheer ambition of Howie Askins’ EVIDENCE couldn’t fail to impress. Corey Grant’s THE LOST COAST TAPES also impressed (and managed to throw a few genuine scares into the mix), and Eduardo Sánchez’s much-delay…

Published on Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review - Demon Legacy

Review - Demon Legacy

Horror has always had a complicated relationship with the fairer sex. It’s the only genre (with the exception of porn) where women routinely headline, and they have a much higher survival rate than their male counterparts, but they’re also expected to blunder into dangerous situations without a second thought, and not to complain about the obligatory nude scenes. Sometimes empowering, sometimes exploitative, it’s down to individual directors how they choos…

Published on Monday, November 24, 2014

Review - Don't Blink

Review - Don't Blink

It’s sad to say, but horror films are rarely a pleasant surprise. A few manage to confound our expectations, but in the main they’re a disappointment (and I say this as a lifelong horror fanatic). They’re clichéd, repetitive and – more often than not – dumb as a bag of hammers. Given its oh-so conventional setup, I was expecting DON’T BLINK to be one of those films. Voice artist turned first time writer/director Travis Oates does little during the first ac…

Published on Monday, November 3, 2014

Review - Wrong Turn 6

Review - Wrong Turn 6

I’m not sure which I find most astonishing – that there’s such a thing as a sixth WRONG TURN movie, or that a (tiny, perverse) part of me was actually looking forward to it. The blame for the latter lies with low-budget schlock supremo Declan O’Brien, who directed numbers three to five in the franchise, and did rather a good job of it. Don’t get me wrong, his films are as dumb as they come, but he knows exactly what his straight-to-DVD arrested-development…

Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review - The Possession Of Michael King

Review - The Possession Of Michael King

Once upon a time I couldn’t get enough possession movies. Like zombies movies (and TV shows, and comics, and video games), they were thin on the ground, and any examples that came along were to be savoured. How times have changed. Familiarity breeds contempt, and these days I approach possession movies with the same sense of impending disappointment as I do zombie movies (and TV shows, and comics, and video games). The subgenre is bursting with recent entr…

Published on Monday, October 20, 2014

Review - A Good Marriage

Review - A Good Marriage

For such a prolific author – and few writers of popular or literary fiction come close to his prodigious output – Stephen King has penned relatively few screenplays. Some are wonderful (CREEPSHOW), some less so (MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE), but they’re all interesting to fans of his work. The latest, A GOOD MARRIAGE, is an adaptation of his own novella from 2010’s collection FULL DARK, NO STARS. The novella is a great read, but, unlike the longer works for which he…

Published on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review - Honeymoon

Review - Honeymoon

Having studied at the feet of the master – Stephen King – I understand that horror is about contrast. At its most reductive, King’s horror is about the colonisation of the ordinary by the extraordinary; normal people confronted by the abnormal. HONEYMOON, from first time co-writer/director Leigh Janiak, is also about contrast. Far from the idyllic getaway newlyweds Bea (GAME OF THRONES’ Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway) were expecting, the couple see…

Published on Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review - Alien Abduction

Review - Alien Abduction

After much soul-searching, I lay the blame for my love of found footage films at BLAIR WITCH’s door. It wasn’t the first found footage I ever saw, but it was the first to make an impression, and one of the few movies that can legitimately claim to have spawned a subgenre. Almost every innovator and imitator that followed has been a disappointment (see any number of reviews on this very website), but that hasn’t stopped me from chasing that first glorious h…

Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review - Gingerclown

Review - Gingerclown

To Tim Curry’s legion of loyal fans, he will always be the star of kitsch cult classic THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. While I’ve got nothing against ROCKY HORROR (I really rather like it), to me Tim Curry will always be the talentless git who ruined the TV adaptation of one of my favourite novels of all time, Stephen King’s IT. Popular with some (inexplicably), I consider the 1990 TV movie to be one of the lamest, most insubstantial horror adaptations ther…

Published on Monday, August 18, 2014

Review - Animal

Review - Animal

If you were hoping for the long-awaited first solo venture from THE MUPPETS’ psychotic drummer, ANIMAL is destined to disappoint. To be honest, it’s probably going to disappoint no matter what you were hoping for. Directed by Brett Simmons, who was responsible for 2011’s middling scarecrow shocker HUSK and last year’s just plain awful THE MONKEY’S PAW, ANIMAL has all the right ingredients for a thrilling B-movie creature feature, but fails to rise above it…

Published on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: Sharknado 2

Review: Sharknado 2

Thanks to its unprecedented (and unpredictable) social media presence, last year’s SHARKNADO, written by Thunder Levin and directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, was plucked from sub-B-movie obscurity to become not only Syfy’s most watched original movie of all time, but a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Despite the fact that the film was objectively terrible (see our review here), its glorious irreverence and manic energy made it one of 2013’s most influential c…

Published on Monday, August 4, 2014

Review - Joy Ride 3

Review - Joy Ride 3

Nowhere is the law of diminishing returns more evident than when it comes to straight-to-DVD horror sequels. This was true in the 1970s and ‘80s, and is true today. Thank goodness, then, for writer/director Declan O’Brien, who is carving out a niche for himself as the saviour of clapped-out B-list horror franchises. First he worked his particular brand of cinematic ‘magic’ on WRONG TURNs 3, 4 and 5, delivering three ludicrous slices of over-the-top ultravi…

Published on Monday, July 28, 2014

Review - Willow Creek

Review - Willow Creek

No matter what he does (with the possible exception of assassinating the US President), Bobcat Goldthwait is always going to be best known for playing Zed in the POLICE ACADEMY films. To give the versatile comedian/filmmaker his due, he’s developed in the last few years into a mature and engaging director with something genuinely interesting to say. His last film, 2011’s GOD BLESS AMERICA, is a biting satirical crime comedy that showcases his talent for ch…

Published on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review - 13 Sins

Review - 13 Sins

They say money is the root of all evil. I’m not sure about all (I don’t recall Michael or Jason having a financial motive), but it’s certainly at the heart of a lot of horror. One of the best recent examples is E.L. Katz’s CHEAP THRILLS, a dark comic thriller about a down-on-his-luck everyman who’s seduced into ever-more depraved and despicable acts by the lure of cold hard cash. Gripping and amusing (as long as you have a macabre sense of humour), it demo…

Published on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review - sxtape

Review - sxtape

Twenty years ago writer/director Bernard Rose made something of a splash with his seminal adaptation of Clive Barker’s short story THE FORBIDDEN, reimagined as CANDYMAN. It launched a franchise (although the less said about that the better) and the cult career of Tony Todd (ditto). Rose went on to direct the acclaimed IMMORTAL BELOVED, a biography of Beethoven starring Gary Oldman, and two adaptations of Tolstoy stories. Not a bad résumé. If anyone could m…

Published on Monday, June 16, 2014