Film

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

|<< < 4 5 6 7 8 9 > >>|

Review - True Bloodthirst

Review - True Bloodthirst

From a marketing standpoint, calling a vampire film TRUE BLOODTHIRST probably seemed like a good idea. Even after six seasons, HBO’s camp vamp TV show is still one of the channel’s signature series, and brand recognition is perennially high. So why not exploit it to sell your own low-budget horror flick? I’ll tell you why – because it’s cheap, tacky and creatively bankrupt. What’s in a name?, you might ask. Actually, rather a lot. Love it or hate it, TRUE …

Published on Monday, August 12, 2013

Review - The American Scream

Review - The American Scream

The biggest story in popular culture over the last decade has been the slow but inexorable rise of the geek. From writing clumsy fan fiction and making super 8 movies with their friends, a generation of sci-fi and fantasy buffs has risen to dominate the entertainment industry, helming multi-billion dollar global franchises and becoming superstars in their own rights. While THE AVENGERS may not be every horror fan’s cup of tea, there’s a passion at work we …

Published on Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review - Resolution

Review - Resolution

It’s not every day an exceptional new horror film comes along. They can be months, sometimes even years apart – I’ve been extremely fortunate, therefore, to see two in the last three weeks. You can read all about the first, co-star/writer/director Jeremy Gardner’s inventive, atmospheric low-budget post-zombie mini-masterpiece THE BATTERY, here. The second – RESOLUTION, from writer/co-director Justin Benson and co-director Aaron Moorhead – is also a low-bud…

Published on Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review - Lord Of Darkness

Review - Lord Of Darkness

Some films are so unique, so entirely original, they’re unlike anything you’ve seen before. They stand alone, occupying their own idiosyncratic frame of reference. LORD OF DARKNESS isn’t one of them. LORD OF DARKNESS, in fact, is quite the opposite. It’s like so many other well-known genre offerings that it’s difficult to discern a single original element. It’s TAGGART meets THE BONE COLLECTOR meets torture porn. It’s a Scottish TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (wi…

Published on Monday, August 5, 2013

Review - Detention Of The Dead

Review - Detention Of The Dead

We’re back in undemanding zom-com territory, folks. If mention of the name DETENTION OF THE DEAD causes you to grin in anticipation of a broad high school-set scatological riff on the recent trend for undead chillers, you’re in for a treat. On the other hand, if (like us) you’re of a more cynical disposition, disillusioned by the endless litany of subpar zombie movies currently doing the rounds, you may be less thrilled. Inclined towards serious-minded hor…

Published on Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review - The Vatican Exorcisms

Review - The Vatican Exorcisms

It seems barely a week goes by without another low-budget, found footage foray into demonic possession and/or exorcism raising its unwelcome head. The latest in this increasingly long list is the depressingly titled THE VATICAN EXORCISMS (I say depressing because after THE LAST EXORCISMs 1 and 2, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, EXORCISM: THE POSSESSION OF GAIL BOWERS, BLACKWATER VALLEY EXORCISM, COSTA CHICA: CONFESSION OF AN EXORCIST, ANNELIESE: THE EXORCIST T…

Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review - Sanitarium

Review - Sanitarium

A few years ago it seemed the horror film anthology had gone the way of the dodo. Notoriously difficult to market and with limited audience appeal, the format didn’t represent a sound financial investment. But as the song says, everything old is new again, and anthologies have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity of late, due in no small part to the success of the gripping V/H/S franchise (itself a fusion of the portmanteau and found footage subgenres). V/H/…

Published on Monday, July 29, 2013

Review - The Dyatlov Pass Incident

Review - The Dyatlov Pass Incident

When you’ve seen as many found footage horror films as I have, you start to make assumptions. I try not to (we all know what happens when you assume), but it’s almost impossible not to. For example, when there’s an ‘Incident’ in the title (or an ‘Activity,’ or an ‘Exorcism’), chances are it’s found footage, and chances are it will follow the format’s rigorously prescribed formula (for a rant on this particular topic, click here). In this rare instance, how…

Published on Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review - Deranged

Review - Deranged

There are films you enjoy, films you’re indifferent towards, and films through which you suffer. DERANGED, from Welsh director Neil Jones, definitely falls into the latter category. The story, such as it is, plays out as an all-female version of Sky’s MAD DOGS TV show, in which a group of English friends congregate at a Spanish villa, and murder ensues. As well as a horror film, it attempts to incorporate elements of whodunit and locked room mystery, as we…

Published on Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review - The Eugenist

Review - The Eugenist

As social philosophies go, it’s fair to say eugenics is on the more controversial end of the spectrum. Developed by Francis Galton, Charles Darwin’s cousin, in the late eighteen hundreds, it was to prove immensely popular in the early twentieth century, where it was adopted by governments and other major institutions as a means of improving human heredity traits. By controlling who is allowed to breed, and with whom, eugenics seeks to improve the genetic s…

Published on Monday, July 22, 2013

Review - Hatchet III

Review - Hatchet III

Yesterday we looked at HATCHET II, writer/director Adam Green’s sequel to his own affectionately retro gore-drenched slasher. It’s fair to say we were less than impressed. Today it’s the turn of the third in the sequence, the predictably monikered HATCHET III. Green still scripts, but this time erstwhile cameraman BJ McDonnell helms. Puerile, meandering and repetitive, the first sequel was a carbon copy of its predecessor that took far too long getting to …

Published on Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review - Hatchet II

Review - Hatchet II

I first saw HATCHET, writer/director Adam Green’s nostalgic horror/comedy slasher, on Halloween night a few years ago. The context certainly helped, and the film is a mostly amiable love letter to classic eighties horror, with its deformed, undying protagonist, inventive use of practical special effects, and numerous cameos by familiar genre figures (Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Robert Englund). Having since seen Green’s FROZEN, a tense, superior chiller (in th…

Published on Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review - The Battery

Review - The Battery

As a horror fan, it’s always gratifying when something different comes along. Something that offers a fresh perspective on tired old scenarios. For vampires it was NEAR DARK, THE LOST BOYS and, arguably, FROM DUSK ‘TIL DAWN (with STAKE LAND earning a notable mention). For werewolves it was AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and THE HOWLING. BLAIR WITCH redefined the first-person found footage narrative, and THE DEVIL’S REJECTS proved there was more to hellbill…

Published on Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review - Sharknado

Review - Sharknado

Never the most measured of forums, the internet well and truly lost its shit last week over SHARKNADO, a disaster/killer animal mashup produced by notorious purveyors of low-budget ‘mockbuster’ trash The Asylum, and broadcast on US cable channel Syfy. Unusually for The Asylum, which typically trades in barely-disguised rip-offs of big studio tentpoles (ATLANTIC RIM, ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. ZOMBIES), SHARKNADO is based on an original premise – and what a prem…

Published on Monday, July 15, 2013

Review - Crowsnest

Review - Crowsnest

Here in the UK, we tend to think of Canada as being that bit more progressive than its southern neighbour. The US may command more of a global presence, but – contrary to popular belief – not all press is good press. Even amongst its allies, America’s international reputation is frequently rock bottom, with greed and ignorance forming the prevailing cultural stereotypes. Canada, with its universal health care and sensible gun control, is seen as an altoget…

Published on Thursday, July 11, 2013