Penny Dread­ful

SFX's high priest­ess of hor­ror

SFX - - Opinion -

Sex- crazed zom­bies, cell­phones and the love­li­ness of

Stephen King

Zis for Zeit­geist

When is a zom­bie not a zom­bie? When it’s your dead ex- girl­friend pop­ping up when­ever you’re shag­ging your new girl­friend. Nina

For­ever ( out 22 Fe­bru­ary on DVD) was one of the break­out hits from FrightFest, a lo- fi, in­tel­li­gent, Brit three- han­der about grief and loss which also hap­pens to have lots of hu­mour, gore and nudity. It’s not the new zom­rom­com how­ever, but a far fresher, more se­ri­ous pro­ject. My only reser­va­tion might be to ask who this is for? Same ques­tion for Pride And Prej­u­dice

And Zom­bies ( in cin­e­mas from 11 Fe­bru­ary). Later in the year ( June) look out for Cell, the not- re­ally- a- zom­bie- movie based on the Stephen King novel where a mo­bile phone sig­nal turns call­ers into vi­o­lent drones – it stars John Cu­sack and Sa­muel L Jack­son and has prom­ise from the King cre­den­tials alone. Then there’s She Who Brings Gifts, based on the MR Carey best­seller The Girl With All The Gifts, which has ev­ery chance of be­ing the undead hit of 2016. It tells of sen­si­tive, sen­tient lit­tle Me­lanie, who might be the hope for sal­va­tion de­spite be­ing a bit undead her­self.

Bad call?

More on mo­bile phones this spring too, as

Rings ( pre­vi­ously The Ring 3D) hits sched­ules in April. The Big Bang The­ory’s Johnny Galecki will play a sup­port­ing role as a pro­fes­sor help­ing a young cou­ple who’ve watched the cursed movie from the first two films. “One in­ter­est­ing thing they needed to tackle is that no­body’s watch­ing VHS tapes any­more,” stated Galecki. “Now peo­ple can be cursed over their phones.” A pro­fes­sor who’s ob­sessed with the ring just makes me think of the Big Bang episode with the LOTR One Ring prop. Pre­cious.

Go­hard or go to hell

It’s as sur­pris­ing to me as any­one that movie of the month goes to New Zealand film

Death­gasm ( out 29 Fe­bru­ary), an­other for­mer FrightFest flick I was en­tirely put off by the name. In fact it’s a joy­ful paean to death metal as scrawny out­cast Brodie in­ad­vis­edly in­her­its some sa­cred sheet mu­sic from a mys­te­ri­ous muso and ac­ci­den­tally calls down the apoc­a­lypse on his small town, when he plays it in his garage with his new band Death­gasm. With teenage angst, loads of gore, a sound­track with con­tri­bu­tions from peo­ple called “Skull Fist” and “Nun­slaugh­ter”, it’s sur­pris­ingly good- na­tured. The first half is bet­ter than the sec­ond but at best it’s like De­ten­tion in the world of What We Do In The Shad­ows, and at worst it’s Peter Jack­son does Home And Away.

Kin­gof kind­ness

The Green In­ferno is fi­nally com­ing out on 12 Fe­bru­ary ( DVD on 22 Fe­bru­ary) de­spite be­ing com­pleted in 2013. I saw it in 2014 and it’s not great ( it’s re­ally gory, the first set­piece is eye- pop­ping but the char­ac­ters are so ir­ri­tat­ing and the pol­i­tics so dodgy that it gets bor­ing fast). Ap­par­ently Stephen King was a big fan though, tweet­ing: “[ It’s] like a glo­ri­ous throw­back to the drive- in movies of my youth: bloody, grip­ping, hard to watch, but you can’t look away.” I love Stephen King. I hon­estly do. But, um, he’s quoted on quite a lot of things isn’t he? Glanc­ing across just one shelf of books I can see four with King quotes on the cover ( two of which are gen­uinely great – Sarah Lotz’s The Three and Nick Cut­ter’s The Troop). Even the book I’ve just fin­ished ( a de­cent crime novel called The Poi­son Artist by Jonathan Moore) has one: “I haven’t read any­thing so ter­ri­fy­ing since Red Dragon” ( yes you have, you’ve read Nick Cut­ter’s The Troop!). King is… well, he’s the king. So what we’ve learned is I’m a git and he’s a very well- read ge­nius who likes lots of things. Who hap­pens to hate Kubrick’s The Shin­ing and love The Green In­ferno…

Good luck/ bad luck in Nina For­ever. The ruddy world’s end­ing again in Cell. Death­gasm: sweeter than you might ex­pect.

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