PENNY DREAD­FUL

What’s hap­pen­ing in hor­ror.

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Contents -

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 Com­mend­able, but isn’t this out of date?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.

Penny wise

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.

Re­make watch

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...

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