What’s happening in horror.
It’s judgement month. Not all hot and burny like in T2, but more a time when big budget remake- fever is going crazy, straight- to- DVD nonsense is getting silly and the BBFC has stumbled upon another film that it just can’t classify. Plus: it’s exams at Dreadful High. Don’t have time to watch Spring and submit your critical analysis? See me after class!
The Banny Game
“Terrorisation, mutilation, physical and sexual abuse […] accompanied by constant strong verbal racist abuse...” The latest film banned by the BBFC sounds like a little bundle of joy, as a group of neo- Nazis invades the home of a Jewish family. Hate Crime is one of a handful of horror films in recent years to be refused classification – joining Murder Set Pieces, Grotesque and The Bunny Game on the shelf of shame. “I am honoured to know that my mind is officially too twisted for the UK,” responded director James Cullen Bressack before adding: “As a critic and journalist, you should at least see the film you are criticising and do your research to learn that the filmmaker is Jewish. However I have to admit that I do appreciate the press.” I haven’t seen the film. I can’t comment on quality ( it sounds crap). But should it be banned? The BBFC isn’t especially draconian these days; we’re well past the era of “ban this sick filth”. It doesn’t claim to be an arbiter of taste, instead focusing on whether a film is likely to cause harm. Commendable, but isn’t this out of date? Would anyone have even heard of Hate Crime without this banning? And given that it has been released in the US, is it really going to be that difficult to watch? If Hate Crime really is offensive and harmful nonsense, surely no publicity is good publicity. And if it’s actually edgy, underground social commentary – let those who go in for portrayals of terrorisation, mutilation, physical and sexual abuse discover it for themselves.
Of course, you never know when something that looks terrible will turn out to be a little gem. Straight- to- DVD horror Clown is as fun as a guy in massive trousers tipping over a bucket of confetti! ( Okay, far more fun). Sweet father and Mr Tumble lookalike Kent can’t find a clown for his kid’s party, so he dresses in a scuzzy old costume he finds in a basement and does it himself. Only at the end he can’t get the costume off. Or the wig. Or the nose. And it’s starting to make him feel weird... Funny, a little bit sad, with a great supporting role for Peter Stormare as a crazy old guy who wants to behead Kent, this is strangely enjoyable for a film with “Eli Roth presents” stamped on the box. Give a clown a chance.
What’s in a name?
In the spirit of open mindedness here are three movies heading straight to DVD which I’m not going to prejudge. The Killage – comedy slasher from 2011 where a work outing is disrupted when it turns out one of the group is a murderous nutter. Chastity Bites – Elizabeth Bathory’s modern- day alter- ego cultivates an abstinence club called Virginity Action Group ( VAG) in a high school so she can have an endless supply of virgin blood to bathe in. Can a feisty feminist blogger crack VAG wide open? Paranormal Extremes: Text Messages From The Dead ( only on US import) – a Las Vegas showgirl starts getting spooky texts from her dead boyfriend in a cheap looking chiller directed by the
85- year- old director of The AstroZombies and Vixen Highway 2006: It Came From Uranus. Yes, yes.
But you never know.
Which of these remake “facts” is NOT true? 1) The bloke who made Con Air and The Expendables 2 is remaking the already remade The Blob and says it’s going to be more like Alien meets Predator than the original communist paranoia goofest.
2) The blokes who made Captain America: The Winter Soldier are attached to another Ghostbusters film after Paul Feig ’s 2016 reboot, the second of four which will cross the streams, Avengers- style.
3) The kid who plays Danny Dyer’s son in EastEnders will probably play Leatherface in a new prequel by the blokes who made New French Extremist shocker Inside.
A: Trick question of course. They’re all true, with Simon West’s take on The Blob slated for 2016, Joe and Anthony Russo’s new ’ Buster currently in development and set to star Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt, and Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s Leatherface currently in pre- production.
Ex am season
One to look out for ( out 22 May): Spring. It’s a new indie from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead who made the tantalising Resolution in 2012. It’s part love story, part horror and is best watched completely cold, so instead of describing it I’m going to set you a series of essay questions. Please watch Spring at your earliest convenience then send your answer in 800 words or less to SFXPennyD@ gmail. com.
1) Spring is a male fantasy equivalent of Twilight, in reverse and with no vampires. Discuss.
2) Which is better: money, power, knowledge, beauty, sex, love, booze, kids, zombies, mermaids, witches, kitties?
3) Lou Taylor Pucci has actually been in a load of other films including Carriers and the
Evil Dead remake. How come I feel like I’ve literally never seen him in my life before?
4) Linklater. Lovecraft. Compare and contrast.
5) How quickly do you reckon you could learn Italian?
6) Was she married to the farm guy? Please explain.
7) WTF? Discuss.
Dreadful Old Movie
Wanna see something really weird? Brian Yuzna’s gross, subversive, body- horror satire Society oozes its way on to dual
format Blu- ray and DVD on 18 May courtesy of Arrow Films. Billy Warlock stars as a popular rich kid who feels alienated by his family – he doesn’t know the half of it until the bizarre final scenes. A cult classic. No word yet on the state of the extras or the quality of the transfer but Arrow rarely lets us down, so it’ll be well worth going out of your way to
pick this one up.
A group dentist visit for The Killage.
Clown’s unwitting protagonist isn’t the neatest of eaters.
Not all blood is virgin in Chastity Bites...