Blu-Ray Review: The Hills Have Eyes

the-hills-have-eyes-arrow-films-blu-ray-dvd-coverDirector: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven

Cast: Martin Speer, Robert Houston, Janus Blythe, Susan Lanier, Virginia Vincent, Russ Grieve, James Whitworth, Michael Berryman, Lance Cordon

Cert: 18

Running time: 89mins

Year: 1977


Film:

Extras:


What’s the story: A white-collar suburban family, stranded in the California desert, are targeted by a cannibal clan, igniting a desperate fight for survival.

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What’s the verdict: On the accompanying audio commentary (recorded in 2003 for an Anchor Bay release of The Hills Have Eyes) the sadly departed Wes Craven refers to this 1977 mini-classic as his second movie, omitting his 1975 porn film The Fireworks Woman, made under the pseudonym Abe Snake.

Fitting however for the Craven canon that The Hills Have Eyes is the official second movie as it s...

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Shiver & Scissor with Shudder at TIFF!

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Upcoming horror streaming service Shudder knows how to grab the attention and imagination of movie fans. How better to showcase a new way to watch fear films than by recruiting two of horror cinema’s most terrifying women as cheerleaders?

Shudder, launching in the UK and Ireland this autumn, boasts the frightfully good Sadako vs Kayako as one of its premiere titles. Ahead of the film’s screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, its stars received make-overs fit for Queens of Screams… you thought those lethally long locks looked after themselves?

Check out the pictures below to see Elly Namami (Sadako) and Runa Endo (Kayako) receiving some follicle TLC before adopting more familiar poses…

Photo By Sarjoun Faour

Sadako receiving a little of the back. But, surely more off the front is required?

Photo By Sarjoun Faour

Kayako c...

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Never Let Go Unleashed 3rd October!

never-let-go-dvd-coverHoward J Ford and his brother Jon have a rich history of scaring audiences. The Dead and The Dead 2: India both delivered imaginative, unusual takes on the zombie apolcaypse genre, travelling to places not typically seen overrun by undead hordes.

With Never Let Go, Howard goes solo for the first time (although brother Jon contributes aerial photography). But, this Taken with a female twist maintains the high levels of suspense for which the Ford boys are well known. A multi award-winning thriller, it stars Angela Dixon as a single mother forced into a desperate race against time to find her missing daughter in Morocco.

Brimming with surprises, kinetic action and a ferocious central performance from Dixon as the unstoppable mother with a particular set of skills, Never Let Go dives into the...

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Blair Witch

blair-witch-posterDirector: Adam Wingard

Writer: Simon Barrett

Cast: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry

Cert: 15

Running time: 89mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: A group of friends head into Maryland’s Black Hills Forest to investigate the mystery surrounding the disappearance of three young filmmakers two decades earlier. Many believe their vanishing was connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. As they venture deeper into the woods, the group soon discovers they’re not alone…

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What’s the verdict: If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a cosy surprise. Yep, Blair Witch goes The Force Awakens route, aping the original while providing fresh tweaks, and is proof positive dank chills can still provide a warm glow of nostalgia...

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Don’t Breathe

dont-breathe-posterDirector: Fede Alvarez

Writer: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues

Cast: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang

Cert: 15

Running time: 88mins

Year: 2016

 


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What’s the story: In economically depressed Detroit, three thieves plan to break into the house of a local blind man, who they believe is stashing a small fortune. But, the old man, an Iraq war veteran, is a tougher opponent than they realise.

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What’s the verdict: Fede Alvarez previous movie was the raw, bloody, surprisingly successful Evil Dead remake. Remember this before watching Don’t Breathe, because this thriller packs knockout horror punches.

A swooping opening shot provides an intriguing teaser of things to come before the film flashes back to introduce its trio of young ne’er do wells, mid-burglary...

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Anthropoid

anthropoid-posterDirector: Sean Ellis

Writer: Sean Ellis, Anthony Frewin

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan, Toby Jones, Charlotte Le Bon, Anna Geislerová

Cert: 15

Running time: 120mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: In 1942, partisans selected by the London-based Czechoslovakian government are tasked with aiding the Czech resistance in the assassination of high-ranking SS official Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler’s second-in-command.

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What’s the verdict: The plot against Reinhard Heydrich has been filmed numerous times previously, notably in 1943 by Fritz Lang as Hangmen Also Die, and again in 1975 as Operation Daybreak by Spy Who Loved Me director Lewis Gilbert.

Anthropoid was the real name of the operation to assassinate Himmler’s no.2, the man known as “the Butcher of Prague...

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Must-See Films at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival

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When writing preview features for the London Film Festival it’s difficult to resist the numbers. Those big numbers representing how many films will show over the 12 day festival, how many countries are featured, how many cinemas films are hosting films. And crucially, which numbers in the calendar you should be blocking out.

That last one’s easy – Wednesday 5th to Sunday 16th October.

But, there is one figure this year of paramount importance. 60.

In 2016 the BFI London Film Festival marks its 60th anniversary. Maintaining the original brief of being a “festival of festivals” the LFF continues to bring to the UK movies which have wowed audiences at other festivals that year.

The opening film way back in 1957 was Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Throne of Blood...

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Popstar, FrightFest and Other Round-Ups – The Electric Shadows Podcast

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Episode 12 of The Electric Shadows Podcast is a round-up extravaganza. Rob D recounts the highlights of FrightFest 2016, Rob W talks The Purge: Election Year, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and more. Rob D professes his love for Andy Samberg and Brooklyn Nine-Nine and describes the world if he became a benign dictator. And both Robs get all excited looking at the programme for this year’s London Film Festival.

More of Rob Wallis’ musing on movies can be found at his site Of All The Film Sites. Check it out (after listening to the podcast)…

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Sadako vs Kayako

Sadako-vs-Kayako-posterDirector: Kôji Shiraishi

Writer: Kôji Suzuki, Takashi Shimizu (characters only)

Cast: Mizuki Yamamoto, Tina Tamashiro, Aimi Satsukawa, Masahrio Kômoto, Masanobu Andô, Rina Endo, Elly Nanami

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 98mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: Two college girls unleash the dormant spirit of Ring’s Sadako when they discover the cursed video tape. In another part of Tokyo, a high school student dooms herself when entering the house haunted by The Grudge’s Kayako. Is pitching the two legendary evil spirits against each other the only way to survive?

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What’s the verdict: (Franchise) vs (Franchise) movies are typically a case of “nice idea, shame about the execution.” Alien vs Predator, Freddy vs Jason, Batman v Superman… underachievers all.

That Sadako vs Kayako...

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Blood Feast (2016)

Blood-Feast-posterDirector: Marcel Walz

Writer: Philip Lilienschwarz (written by), Philip Lilienschwarz, Marcel Walz (story by)

Cast: Robert Rusler, Caroline Williams, Sophie Monk, Sadie Katz, Roland Freitag

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2016

 


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What’s the story:  In a Parisian suburb restaurant owner Ramses (Rusler) begins ritually murdering woman to resurrect the Egyptian goddess Ishtar.

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What’s the verdict: If director Marcel Walz’s intention was for his remake of the 1963 Blood Feast to honour the original movie, then mission accomplished.

Blood Feast 2016 is as leaden-paced, awkwardly-acted, and boringly gory as Herschell Gordon Lewis’ film, without having the advantage of being the first of its kind to temper the awfulness.

More than just a name-only redo, the plot echoes the o...

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