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UNINHABITED

Uninhabited

Certain types of horror films come with certain expectations. Zombies herald the (gore-spattered) end of the world, and vampires mean pale, brooding teen angst. Slashers are essentially whodunits with knives and gratuitous shower scenes, and ghost stories... Well, ghost stories are just plain dull.

Published on Thursday, September 22, 2011

LIZARD BOY

Lizard Boy

Horror movies have been responsible for some of the all-time great taglines. Who could forget such classics as ‘When There’s No More Room In Hell, The Dead Will Walk The Earth’ (DAWN OF THE DEAD), ‘Who Will Survive And What Will Be Left Of Them?’ (THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE), and ‘Man Is The Warmest Place To Hide’ (THE THING)? Some have even transcended their humble genre origins and become part of the international lexicon (‘They’re Here’ – POLTERGEIST; …

Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WASTED ON THE YOUNG

Wasted On The Young

WASTED ON THE YOUNG is a cut above the average teen high school angst revenge drama. Written and directed by Ben C. Lucas, and starring a large cast of talented youngsters, this Australian horror-thriller is a stylish, unsentimental exploration of teenage excess and the politics of high school popularity. Due to a quirk of circumstance (one’s father marrying the other’s mother), the nerdy-but-nice Darren finds himself semi-related to Zack, captain of the s…

Published on Monday, September 19, 2011

WEIRD WEEK 8

Weird Week 8

“The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.” In other words, everything has an equal opposite, a force that flows the other way. Day has night. Right has left. Good has evil. Alcohol has hangovers. Bacon has vegetables. Crisps have slim-fast. Stake Land has Twilight, and for every Saturday there’s always a Sunday. It’s just the way of things – who are we to fight it?

Published on Sunday, September 18, 2011

AMERICAN VAMPIRE ISSUES #13-18

American Vampire Issues #13-18

Scott Snyder is one of the biggest names in comics right now. The writer, critically acclaimed for his 2006 short story collection VOODOO HEART, is at the vanguard of DC Comics’ ‘New 52’ reboot initiative, helming the flagship BATMAN title as well as the rejuvenated SWAMP THING series, made famous by Alan Moore’s seminal run in the 80’s. Despite these high-profile assignments, Snyder’s signature series is AMERICAN VAMPIRE, a creator-owned ongoing released …

Published on Saturday, September 17, 2011

BLOOD RANCH

Blood Ranch

In lieu of anything even vaguely resembling an original idea or novel premise, BLOOD RANCH assembles its narrative from a profusion of familiar elements, all tried and tested in far better films, roughly stitched together and passed off as a unique creation. It’s a Frankenstein’s movie, an uneven patchwork of disparate parts, as lumbering and inarticulate as its namesake. Watching for the full ninety minutes seemed somehow cruel – it would have been a kind…

Published on Friday, September 16, 2011

ROOM 33

Room 33

How’s this for straining the bounds of plausibility – after picking up two hitchhikers whose car has crashed in mysterious circumstances, a team of sassy roller derby chicks and their youthful male managers break down outside an abandoned mental institution, in which they decide to seek shelter for the night. What? It could happen.

Published on Thursday, September 15, 2011

RED WHITE & BLUE

Red White & Blue

The first half of RED WHITE & BLUE follows Erica (a raw, honest performance by Amanda Fuller), a damaged, conflicted young woman living a life of drudgery and unhappiness. Her days are spent at her menial jobs, her nights picking up strange men in bars. She always sleeps with them, never uses protection, and scrubs herself in the shower afterwards. Her promiscuous nightlife is juxtaposed with the lighter, more caring aspects of her personality (she spends …

Published on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THE TENANT

The Tenant

Not quite an anthology, THE TENANT is two movies in one, split neatly down the middle and connected by the crumbling insane asylum at the heart of both. The first half is part REANIMATOR, part Hammer in its heyday, and follows the increasingly desperate attempts by deranged psychiatrist/scientist Dr Walter Newman to cure disease and deformity through genetic manipulation. Quite how he intends to do this, given that his ‘lab’ is the bargain-basement sanator…

Published on Monday, September 12, 2011

WEIRD WEEK 7

Weird Week 7

Sunday almost halfway over? Coffee in hand? Ten minutes free? Good. This week's small but perfectly formed Weird Week sees Jesus selling mobile phones, eagles stealing babies, an inebriated animal stuck in a tree, a man rejected from hell, a giant crocodile captured, men arrested for having sex and fined for not having sex, and prostitutes start paying taxes. Go beyond the break to find out why your life isn't as bad as you think it is (unless we're linkin…

Published on Sunday, September 11, 2011

COWBOYS AND ZOMBIES

Cowboys And Zombies

Despite the uninspired, derivative title, I was ready for COWBOYS AND ZOMBIES to be a fun, gory, unpretentious movie mashup, combining the best elements of their respective genres. Zombies in the Wild West – how could you possibly go wrong? I’ll tell you how.

Published on Saturday, September 10, 2011

SWAMP THING #1

Swamp Thing #1

It’s difficult to overstate the significance of Swamp Thing in the history of horror comics, and modern comics in general. Created by writer Len Wein and legendary horror illustrator Bernie Wrightson, Swampy first appeared in HOUSE OF SECRETS #92, published in 1971. He soon branched out (sorry) into his own series, initially helmed by Wein and Wrightson. At the time the character was a standard bog-monster, in the tradition of THE HEAP and Marvel’s MAN-THI…

Published on Friday, September 9, 2011

PLEASE STAY CALM - INTERVIEW WITH KEN SETO

Please Stay Calm - Interview with Ken Seto

We touched on Massive Damage Inc’s Please Stay Calm a while ago, and were impressed with the progress Ken Seto and his team had made with their iOS location-based zombie survival game and some of the unique ideas they were developing. News arrived that the team were preparing to launch (initially in Canada only), so we relentlessly pestered them to answer a few questions. Agreeing to keep things out of the courts, Ken kindly filled us in on the game’s stat…

Published on Thursday, September 8, 2011

PANIC AT ROCK ISLAND

Panic At Rock Island

I’ve only got two real criticisms of PANIC AT ROCK ISLAND – the title and the vomiting. Although an accurate description of events, it’s hardly the most dynamic of titles (it’s akin to calling EVIL DEAD ‘Supernatural Events In A Cabin’), and could easily have been rectified. The vomiting is even more mystifying. A certain amount of queasiness is inevitable in a story so intimately involved with the breakdown of bodily processes, but is there really a need …

Published on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

HELLRAISER ISSUES #1-4

Hellraiser Issues #1-4

Perhaps more than any other franchise, the HELLRAISER series has suffered from the law of diminishing returns. The sequels keep coming, and they keep getting worse. God only knows what the ninth film in the series, REVELATIONS, will be like (laptopzombie is trying to keep an open mind, but given what we’ve seen so far it isn’t easy). Have you ever found yourself wishing for a proper sequel, one that takes the mythology of the first three movies and runs wi…

Published on Monday, September 5, 2011