Friday, May 4, 2018
The Trailer promises a thoroughly chilling experience for the horror lover. Shot in the Giallo style, and featuring a rather beautiful mechanical doll known as The Infernal Princess, this movie includes my genre favourite, Jonathan Hansler, as a (possibly undead) villain.
Just what the Lovecraft connection is, I cannot say. I don't want to spoil the plot. I can say that Lovecraft is not just about tentacled, extra-dimensional monsters: he uses other themes and tropes too.
The company, Hex Studios, is also behind three other movies, one of which is The Unkindness of Ravens, which has had some critical acclaim. They also created the Owlman, who has a cult following; one of the pledge options gets you an Owlman plushie. Not quite as cute as the Cthulhu plushie, but still!
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017
CANNES — “Clementina,” “Necronomicon” and “Our Evil” have made the cut for the Cannes Festival’s 2017 Blood Window showcase of the best and most promising in Latino – Latin American, Spanish, Italian – fantastic cinema. Departing from its prior format, the 4th Blood Window Cannes spread will offer 10-minute sneak previews of seven pix-in-post, plus the screening of three complete films endorsed by international fantastic film festivals. [...]
Previewed, “Necronomicon (The Book from Hell)” is directed by director- producer Marcelo Schapces (“Velocity Begets Oblivion,” ”Juan and Eva”). A horror film inspired by the universe of H.P. Lovecraft, it follows Luis who investigates the mysterious death of Dieter, a librarian at the National Library of Buenos Aires, where a copy of the Necronomicon is hidden. Starring Federico Luppi, Luis Luque and Jorge Marrale, Necronomicon” is produced by Schapces’ Barakacine in Buenos Aires, which backed Carlos Saura’s “Zonda, Folclore Argentino.”
Mayorga, Emilio. "CANNES: ‘Clementina,’ ‘Necronomicon,’ ’Our Evil’ Set For Cannes’ 2017 Blood Window." Variety. May 19, 2017. http://www.variety.com/2017/film/festivals/cannes-film-festival-2017-ventana-sur-blood-window-1202437246/
An interview with the director, in Spanish:
Casella, Patricio. "Interview with Marcelo Schapces, director of Necronomicón: El libro del infierno." Geeky. April 25, 2017. https://geeky.com.ar/entrevista-marcelo-schapces-director-necronomicon-libro-del-infierno/. For machine translation, try Google Translate: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fgeeky.com.ar%2Fentrevista-marcelo-schapces-director-necronomicon-libro-del-infierno%2F&edit-text=
Internet Movie Database webpage for the film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4491146/combined
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
|The best of the movie posters.|
|One of the denizens of the deep.|
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
A regular feature (we hope) by guest fans of H P Lovecraft. Some of these guests will be authors, editors, reviewers, publishers or just plain fans. All will be welcome to promote any projects that they are involved with, Lovecraftian or not.
This week I am delighted to publish an essay by Brian M Sammons: editor, author and reviewer.
Then there are the actors, each and every one does an excellent job here, and the characters they are portraying are expertly written and realized. There’s not a bad performance in the bunch, but for me, the one that takes the top honors is Anne Ramsay as Deborah’s long suffering daughter, Sarah, and mostly
Thursday, April 20, 2017
didn't give a shit any more.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
I was looking forward to this movie with mingled hope and fear. Two kinds of fear in fact, the fear that it wouldn't live up to the hype, and the fear that it would. For if The Void lived up to the hype, it would be terrifying.
Nowadays, movies are hyped up so much that disappointment is almost inevitable. The wise punter allows for this, and consequently, won't be too let down by the reality.
The reality is, this is a good movie. It has flaws, but so does everything, including some of My favourite movies. It kept me watching right through to the end, which is a plus in itself. I was even motivated to watch it a second time, and found it had improved on second viewing. The first time I watched it I was in a bit of a strop about how long it took me to get it to play. I watched it on Amazon Instant Video and it took forever to get sorted. Bloody Silverlight! Anyway. Because of said strop, I was unable to concentrate on the first half of the movie, and I missed a few things that helped the movie make sense. I cannot tell you what, as this is a spoiler-free review.
I was not helped by the fact that the movie dragged in places in the first half. The characters have to be introduced, their backstories have to be filled in a little, the scene has to be set. Sadly for me the characters were totally uninteresting. I really didn't engage with any of them except a nursing trainee: Kim, played by Ellen Wong. Even when two rednecks broke into the hospital with violence on their minds I wasn't engaged. Unpleasant men with violence on their minds are ten a penny in horror movies. However, the special effects that were rationed out to us in the first half were enough to keep me watching. Monsters. With tentacles!
The second half is where this film really picks up, there are monsters galore, mutilated humans, mutated humans, mutilated and mutated humans, and in time, The Void begins to open. There are some inspired moments that drew the breath from my body. Some of the lines given to the main villain are wonderful, memorable. When enough people have seen the movie, I expect to see them quoted with the same frequncy as "We'll tear your soul apart!" and "Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell!"
There is a reason why Hellraiser comes to mind, and you'll see it yourself when you watch The Void. It is derivative, very derivative. You will be reminded of Hellraiser a lot; also of Baskin, The Thing, Prince of Darkness and possibly a little of Fulci's The Beyond.
Of course it's derivative, all movies are. Plots don't materialise out of thin air, even when the screenwriter writes from scratch. Even if the writer is not deliberately referencing any movie or book that has gone before, they won't be able to avoid using familiar tropes and scenarios. This doesn't make it a bad movie, but it does commit the error of reminding the viewer of better movies than the one they are watching.
In spite of it's flaws, I enjoyed this movie, and will certainly watch it again. It is not a great film, but I think it is a memorable one. Some images will stay with you, possibly forever. But I doubt the names of any of the protagonists will. The best thing about this movie? No CGI! It should get a gold star for that alone.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Quatermass 2 is one of the best sci-fi horror films ever made, even though it is in black and white, even though the science is dated, even though the special effects are less than perfect. It has other names: The Quatermass Xperiment, and Enemy From Space, but I prefer Quatermass 2.
It stars Brian Donlevy as Quatermass, and I am glad to say he is less obnoxious in this film than he was in the first, as well as less hairy. The cast is almost exclusively male, so it not only fails the Bechdel test, but sets fire to the paper and dances on the ashes. There are many interesting supporting characters in this film, including Sid James as a reporter, and Vera James as Sheila, the barmaid, and of course there is Michael Ripper. A Hammer film isn't a proper Hammer film unless Michael Ripper is in it. All of them come across as real people, an asset to the film as we care about what happens to them. This is a Quatermass film, nasty things will happen to them.
It stands out because of the extreme tension that pervades the whole film. Even though we know almost from the start that there is an invasion going on. We are Lovecraft fans, we know the significance of hollow meteorites when we see them. Nevertheless, nothing is predictable here, this is not your typical invasion. Like the next movie in the sequence, the unforgettable Quatermass and the Pit, the aliens are already here before the events of the film start. A big part of he tension comes from us discovering how deep the invading force has penetrated into our society. Indeed, at the end one is left wondering if the protagonists have detected all the domes, and if all the enslaved ones have been released.
I return to the domes, because they are the true stars of the film, and that is not to devalue any of the actors in any way. It is just to emphasise how magnificent they are, and how ominous. The word I believe is lowering. They lower over the movie. We first see them from a distance, thus
And then as a model, in their intended context as part of a moonbase.
And then, we get this.
They overwhelm and they dominate, and upon seeing them we just have to ask "Just what the hell is IN those things". Be patient, for we will find out. So will Professor Quatermass.
There are many things in this film to chill our blood, and we don't have to wait long for them. I don't want to make a list of them all, but the robotic behaviour of the plant's employees is one of them, the ominous masks worn by the guards, and perhaps worst of all, blood dripping from a pipe that is supposed to be filled with gas. And then there are the contents of those domes. How anyone can see them and still say this film isn't Lovecraftian beats me. Indeed my first call was "shoggoth!", although these things are far more complex and intriguing than any shoggoth could be. It is true that the special effects fail us a little here, but I have seen much worse CGI, many times. And so have you.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
One gets so used to these films being promoted as terrifying that one never believes it. Almost always they turn out to be very pedestrian efforts, badly-made, derivative and about as scary as Scooby Doo. In this case, they were telling the truth. Blight gave me a few nasty scares, and one jump scare. The production values are professional, the plot brief but full of import, and the monster genuinely scary. And repulsive, very repulsive. Amazingly this movie is dependant upon CGI, but the CGI actually works! The story is indeed inspired by A Colour Out of Space, but don't expect it to be faithful. There is indeed a blight, and a decaying farmhouse, and a family tragedy; but I won't spoil you as to the rest.
The second film, Fool's Errand, has a much more tenuous Lovecraft connection, set in an Egyptian tomb. However, Lovecraft did write Imprisoned With the Pharaohs, and Nyarlathotep, who in antique and shadowy Khem.... The plot is very predictable, and nothing special at all. But the way it is done! Again there's some CGI, and again it is done extremely well. There are some extremely gruesome effects in this short.
The man behind both films is called Goodman Walshe, and there is nothing on his channel about him, though I'm pretty sure that we will learn more of him in the future.
You can watch both these films in thirteen minutes, so no excuses for missing them!