British Horror has be delivering some gory and pretty awesome films as of late, with films like HUSH, F and MUM & DAD on the very top of best horror films list and I am ready to place GNAW on this list also. GNAW may not be everyone’s cup of tea but as a lover of Slashers and gore GNAW is one of those films which will feed the blood lust of any hardcore Horror fan. We are treated to some okay death scenes however i am a little disappointed with the amount of gore which we were given (basically I wanted MORE) but this is the only true complaint I have regarding the film as a whole.
The direction was very well done on, what I assume is, a low budget and it is accompanied by a script which, THANK GOD, makes sense and that doesn’t fall short at the end of the film like a lot of films i have reviewed this year. The young actors did a good job and our killer, played by Gary Faulkner, was rough, grimy and damn creepy.
If you like your horror creepy with a touch of inbreed style gore then GNAW is a perfect choice for you.
Release date: Out Now
Running Time: 77 Mins
RRP Price: (DVD) £19.99
Six young friends travel to the Suffolk countryside for a quiet weekend at Blackstock Farm. Welcomed with an exquisite meal from the Farms owner the group make plans for what seems to be a nice homely weekend. The group’s trip is short lived as one by one the group become victims of a cannibalistic killer who is looking to make the young friends into his next delicacy.
American mathematician David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman –THE GRADUATE) and his British-born wife Amy (Susan George - MANDINGO) relocate to the rural English village where Amy grew up in an attempt to escape the violence of American society. When David hires some locals to repair his barn, the couple find themselves being subtly harassed and bullied by the workmen. More of a peacekeeper David ignores the problem and begins to place blame on Amy. As the harassment continues Amy finds herself at the mercy of two of the workmen, Charlie, a former boyfriend, and one of his colleagues who both rape her. Not knowing what has gone on, David finds himself in the middle of a personal matter involving the workmen and a local drunk who is suspected of killing a young girl in the village. With his pride on the line David is forced to take extreme measures in protecting his home and his Wife.
I was looking forward to seeing STRAW DOGS, with the main star being Dustin Hoffman I was expecting a well acted masterpiece but I felt like this was just not as good as other films of this sub genre which were released around the same time i.e LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978). On saying that STRAW DOGS wasn’t a terrible film, it has a very British film which is always nice to see and even today, 40 years later, the film holds its own among the other classics from the 70’s and 80’s.
Character wise I didn’t really feel much for any of them. Dustin Hoffman’s character was becoming a bigger arse throughout the film’s progression to the point that you wonder who’s the bigger threat to Amy, him or Charlie, of course Charlie is made to seem the worst of all of the men but at the end it is he who jumps to Amy’s aid first. With David you feel like behind the scenes this calm American is a bit of an abusive husband which is escalated in the way he speaks to Amy. The storyline is good and the visual aspect of the films is some of the best of its time.
If you are a fan of the revenge thrillers then this is a film to try. The feel of the film is so, so but there are much worse films centered on a similar story which are not directed as well. Character wise you may, as like me, not connect with them as much as you feel you should (very similar to how I felt about the characters in I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978)) but it is well worth the effort of watching the film through.
Special Features: audio commentary by Katy Haber (Dialogue Director and Peckinpah's associate, close friend and PA); audio commentary by Peckinpah biographers Garner Simmons, David Weddle and Paul Seydor; isolated Oscar nominated score by Jerry Fielding; 2.0 Stereo audio; optional English subtitles for the hearing impaired interviews with actress Susan George, producer Dan Melnick and Garner Simmons (author of “Peckinpah: A Portrait In Montage); stills galleries; original US theatrical trailer; TV and radio spots; 1971 on location documentary; Before and After restoration comparisons; Straw Dogs and the Censors; The Peckinpah-Pinter Letters; Sam and Dan correspondence; Why Call The Film Straw Dogs?; The Dan Melnick-BBFC Letters; the Times review and critic outrage; New York Times articles; 1972 BBFC defence against local authority banning; 1999 BBFC Home Video Statement; 2002 BBFC Home Video Statement; 2001 Uncut magazine feature; Consider This A Bad Review; the deleted Pub Scene; film facts and trivia.
Release date: OUT NOW
Format: Blu-Ray & DVD
Running Time: 113 mins
RRP: £17.99 (Blu-Ray) £15.99 ( 2-Disk DVD)
Following the success of the first two volumes Nucleus films is back if GRINDHOUSE TRAILER CLASSICS 3, another unseen collection of 60’s and 70’s Grindhouse trailers containing the odd, the hilarious and the strangely entertaining.
We are treated to the trailers of such films as BLACK MAMA/WHITE MAMA, IT CAME FROM NOWHERE and the doggy criminal caper THE DOBERMAN GANG. We also treated to some old school Horror exploration in the form of DON’T OPEN THE DOOR, TOUCH OF SATAN and CANNIBAL GIRLS which was released earlier this year. The DVD also includes Kim Newman’s Guide to Grindhouse.
Some of the trailers were showing during the start of some of the Main Screen films during this year’s Film4 FrightFest and was met with a fantastic response. The trailers, for a modern audience, have great humor and goes to show the types of underground exploration films of the 60’s and 70’s that were released and it make you wondered how they were taken seriously. The collection is a good watch if you have some spare time during the day or if you and your friends fancy a laugh on a Saturday night.
Release date: November 21st
RRP Price: (DVD) £10.21
In the March of 2010, the Quintanilla family head out to the family farmhouse on the outskirts of Sitges in Spain for a quiet family break. To pass the time Brother and Sister Christian and July plan to film video of a local legend in the Garraf Wood which surrounds the house and that are protected by a metal gateway. Breaking into the woods the teens find a wooded maze. They begin filming throughout the day building more footage for their homemade documentary.
Five days later, on the 4th of April, The bodies of the Quintanilla family are found mutilated in the house. The police find 37 hours of the recorded material which tells the story of the five tragic days.
We have yet another addition to the growing trend of Found Footage Horror being released this year and like most of them ATROCIOUS is yet another which falls very short. I will not slate the film completely as compared to films like THE TAPES and EVIL THINGS this film works well but we are left with a series of characters which you don’t care about in the slightest. I tried watching this twice as I originally watched it at Film4 FrightFest 2011 and hoped that maybe it would look better at home. Alas I was mistaken ATROCIOUS holds on to its namesake. There are way too many Found Footage films around today, and far too many horror films which are ruined by the ending. Yes I am putting my neck on the line and saying that if ATROCIOUS had a different ending it could have been a far better film. We have all the ingredients for a good horror, but like an unskilled chef the film’s director just couldn’t make the flavors work.
If you are looking for a film in the same league as THE TAPES and EVIL TINGS then you may like this but if you are a fan of REC and BLAIR WITCH then i would give ATROCIOUS a miss.
When Sara arrives at College she is looking forward to a brand new adventure in the big city of L.A. Split from her boyfriend she is looking forward to a new start and quickly begins to make friends. Her friendship with new roommate Rebecca however seems to kick off straight away making the two as close as sisters. Rebecca however has a dark past and as Sara begins to show interest is other people, including young drummer Stephen, Rebecca shows Sarah just how much friendship means to her.
In a similar style to THE RESIDENT, THE ROOMMATE is a film about obsession but this time we have a psychotic teen girl instead of a dirty middle aged man. We have the usual array of attractive young actresses and actors who you have no doubt seen in previous films of the horror genre but the difference with THE ROOMMATE is that I actually thought I was good. Now I have a soft spot for this kind of film, ever since I got into SCREAM and other late 90’s Slasher films and it is nice to have a film which doesn’t have to focus on gore to get the point across. THE ROOMMATE is meant to be tense and we are taken through the emotional psychotic state of Rebecca play by Leighton Meester (DATE NIGHT, MONTE CARLO) who played the role very well. Our main girl for this horror Slasher outing is Minka Kelly ( TV’s FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and TV’s CHARLIE’S ANGELS) who plays the role of Sara our unsuspecting college girl who is living with our unhinged villain.
If you are not a huge fan of teen horror then maybe this won’t be for you, however if you don’t mind an easy watch then THE ROOMMATE is a perfect film to chill out in front of the television with.
Direction wise the film is more or less like any other Slasher film so nothing special there but what really stands out is the well written script from Sonny Mallhi (THE STRANGERS, LAKE HOUSE).
An American archaeologist travels deep into the Korvatunturi Mountains in search of something he has been longing to find since he was a young boy, the body of the legendary Santa Claus. Watching them from hiding Pietari and his friend Jusso they watch as the men prepare to blow a hole in the ground. On returning home, and after being told by Jusso that Santa Clause isn’t really, Pietari researches the Yule tide favourite and finds that he isn’t all that he seems. The jolly old man in the big red suit in reality was a demon who punished badly behaved children in horrific and torturous ways.
The next morning as Christmas Eve arrives Pietari’s father finds that the herd of Reindeer, for which he is dependant upon during the season, have disappeared. Blaming the men on the mountain, and backed by the other men in the town, he heads up to confront them. Arriving at the excavation site they come across the hole in which the workers have made but no workers. Angry the group head home, but the night brings trouble as the children of the town begin to disappear from their beds. The arrival of naked old man who resembles old Saint Nick confirms Pietari’s fears. Santa Claus has come to town.
Christmas has come early here at Snakebite Horror and as much I dislike mentioning that word in November, I just had to watch this film. We have the odd Christmas based horror films trickle in each year, the most recent ones being P2:PARKING LEVEL 2 and WHILE SHE WAS OUT but we don’t really get many fun Christmas horror films like GREMLINS or films of a similar style. Well the wait is over folks with the arrival of RARE EXPORTS which in my opinion is one of the best Christmas films I have ever seen of ANY genre. Even though this may not be to everyone’s taste (as in I know a lot of people don’t do subtitles) I would urge you to get over the hate of subtitles as you will be missing out on this masterpiece. It was nice to have a film which isn’t but still adds a dark tone as well as having a fun element to it.
RARE EXPORTS in one of many foreign films released recently which takes on the Santa Claus legend from different cultures, the other one being SAINT which I will be reviewing in the coming weeks. The storyline was really good and I found myself wanting more once the film had finished. Jalmari Helander’s image of the demon Santa added a new style to the film and the addition of the old men as Santa’s helpers kept us guessing until the big reveal at the end of the film. The standout performances came from Jorma Tommila and his son Onni Tommila who played the role of Pietari.
If you are looking for a film for the Yule tide season or even if you are having a Christmas film party RARE EXPORTS is a film you must have on your list. With great direction and fantastic visual effects this is a film that will stand the test of time.
Release date: November 7th
Format: Blu-Ray & DVD
Running Time: 80 mins
RRP: £9.99 (DVD & Blu-Ray)