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The movie features a musical score by Riz Ortolani and cinematography by Assonitis regular Roberto D’Ettorre Piazzoli.
The original title refers to the poem ‘There Was a Little Girl’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
‘There Was A Little Girl,
Who Had A Little Curl,
Right In the Middle of Her Forehead.
When She Was Good,
She Was Very, Very Good.
And When She Was Bad,
She Was Horrid.’
Madhouse was one of the notorious titles on the British 1980s ‘video nasty‘ list VHS releases of banned for violence and obscenity.
Julia (Trish Everly) is a schoolteacher for deaf children who, rather, unfortunately, has a mentally unbalanced and physically mutilated twin sister Mary residing in an institution. She also has a kindly Uncle James (Dennis Robertson) who is a Catholic priest, and if you’ve seen any horror films – or, for that matter, read any news stories – then you know that supposedly kindly Catholic priests are not necessarily to be trusted.
Soon, people are dying, sometimes via Rottweiler attack. Eventually – and this takes a fair time – Julia’s birthday arrives (a big deal is made of this, even though she has presumably had several during Mary’s time institutionalised) and things come to a head, as the whole family get together in a finale that is suitably frenetic, even if it all ultimately makes little sense.
Quite how the film’s psycho killer manages to use a Rottweiler as a murder weapon is somewhat fudged as an issue as the film slips into a mix of The Shining and Deranged for the rushed final act, but seen in retrospect, it’s at least satisfying to see the film trying to be something a little different from the standard stalk and slash films that undoubtedly inspired it. Yet, Madhouse is also a slightly frustrating affair, a film that is too damn polite for its own good – it would probably benefit from more of the outrageousness of its ‘video nasty’ compatriots.
As it is, the film is too restrained for what it wants to be and falls between two stools – not quite good enough to stand out as an impressive psychological drama, not demented enough to work as excessive splatter movie madness. It is certainly isn’t terrible although it might prove to be a disappointing experience if you come to it aware of its past ‘nasty’ reputation and with expectations accordingly.
In the curious 1980s world of the ‘video nasty’, we can split the films – at least the thirty-nine that finally made up the official, government designated list of titles ultimately deemed so obscene that they could never be seen again – into two categories.
There are those movies that you can perhaps understand shocked and outraged some journalists, police officers, magistrates, MPs, juries and petty civil servants in 1983 – the likes of Cannibal Holocaust, SS Experiment Camp, I Spit on Your Grave, Island of Death and the front cover of The Driller Killer were of an excessive bent never before seen in the UK, and regardless of their merits as films, they were bound to seem like the most depraved things imaginable by people whose idea of a gory horror movie was a Hammer film and who were less than cine-literate.
Then, there were the curious films that ended up on the banned list apparently seemingly by osmosis – without any record of an actual obscenity conviction, with no actual content that seemed especially difficult and not even sporting outrageously outre cover art, a handful of films slipped quietly onto the banned list and stayed there forever.
Why anyone would even seize a film called The Werewolf and the Yeti is hard to fathom, and evidence that the film was ever branded as obscene by a jury is non-existent. A cynic might think that the powers that be were simply making all this up as they went along, especially as much more explicitly gory films were dropped from the banned list.
Another great example of ‘how did this film end up banned?’ is Madhouse. Admittedly, the original release of the film was the uncut version, containing a couple of brief gory moments that the BBFC chose to trim – notably the power-drilling of a dog’s head that was probably a trigger image for British viewers (the dog was represented by an unconvincing puppet, in case you were worried) – but the cover and the title were so unremarkable that you have to wonder just how it came to the attention of any eager police officer even at a time when some of the plod were so dim they seized The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and war drama The Big Red One, mistaking them for adult movies!
Plus, Madhouse is a slickly produced, almost TV movie-like psycho thriller; one reason many of the ‘nasties’ so shocked people who had not seen many low budget films is that the production values and visual style of these films – be they scuzzy low budget schlock like Mardi Gras Massacre, gritty indie films like The Driller Killer, or outsider works like trash auteur Andy Milligan’s The Ghastly Ones – were so far removed from what people knew as cinema that they automatically seemed dubious, not the work of ‘real’..
Mara is a 2018 British supernatural horror film directed by Clive Tonge (shorts: Sunday Best; Emily and the Baba Yaga) from a screenplay by Jonathan Frank (The Tournament). The movie stars Olga Kurylenko, Javier Botet, Mitch Eakins, and Lance E. Nichols.
Criminal psychologist Kate Fuller is assigned to the murder of a man who has seemingly been strangled in his sleep by his wife and the only witness is their eight-year-old daughter, Sophie.
As Kate digs into the mystery of an ancient demon which kills people in their sleep, she experiences the same petrifying symptoms as all previous victims and spirals through a chilling nightmare to save herself and Sophie before she dares fall asleep again…
‘This time the Devil wants more than just your soul.’
Witchcraft V: Dance with the Devil is a 1993 American supernatural horror film directed by Talun Hsu from a screenplay by James Merendino (Death Club; Evil Remains; Witchcraft IV: The Virgin Heart) and Steve Tymon (Mirror, Mirror III: The Voyeur; Fraternity Demon). It stars Marklen Kennedy, Carolyn Taye-Loren, Nicole Sassaman, and David Huffman.
An evil warlock takes over a rock club and uses beautiful women to try to collect enough souls so that he may bring Satan to Earth…
“Cheaply made direct to video sequel takes the series in a whole new direction, by just tossing plot, performances, and direction out the window and just squarely focusing in on the sex.” Brandon Sites
“As portrayed by David Huffman, Cain is the only thing worth watching as he gathers assorted human souls as he prepares for Satan’s return to Earth. But not even his performance (hammy but enjoyable) can raise this from the lower depths of Hollywood filmmaking.” John Stanley, Creature Features
“The sudden discovery of the wonderful world of boobs makes Witchcraft V feel like a turning point in the series, at least from what I understand with regards to the later, more sex-focused entries. There’s still, however, a definitive plot and supernatural storyline, and Cain’s performance alone makes the film an entertaining time killer.” Daily Grindhouse
” …there’s still a small amount of effort being made here to craft an actual plot. Things get ever more ridiculous, such as the way in which Will is still apparently a lawyer and the way he has shrugged off all of the past events in his life, but they hang together just enough to make you think someone wrote more than just the moments of nudity.” Kevin Matthews, For It Is Man’ Number
“There were some bright spots, like the frequent nudity. I especially appreciated it when Nicole Sassaman (Marta) was nude. I knew that Witchcraft would enter softcore territory at some point, and I think V is the first one that’s really there, with four extended (ahem) sex scenes.” Life Between Frames
Kembang Kantil – “Kantil Flower” is a 2018 Indonesian supernatural horror film written and directed by Ubay Fox. The MD Pictures/Dee Company production stars Irish Bella, Nafa Urbach and Sarwendah.
Alisa (Irish Bella) visits the home of her older brother Anton (Fandika Riyandi) and his wife Santi (Nafa Urbach). She meets Tania (Richelle Georgette Skonicki) their foster child, who is already considered as one of their own children. However, Alisa is immediately aware of Tania’s mysterious attitude.
Having caught Tania eating a kantil flower in her room, Alisa begins to experience magical terror and a mysterious man figure, Toro (Dorman Borisman), appears and warns her to stay away. Ever more curious, Alisa begins to research Tania’s origins at the orphanage from where she came. Novi (Sarwendah), the orphanage owner, reveals that Tania has a dark past…
Kembang Kantil is released in Indonesia on 19th April 2018.
Irish Bella … Alisa
Nafa Urbach … Santi
Sarwendah … Novi
Richelle Georgette Skornicki … Tania
Dorman Borisman … Toro
Kembang Kantil - Official Teaser - YouTube
Kembang Kantil - Official Trailer - YouTube
NB. At the time of posting, this film is not yet on IMDb
Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies – formerly Kudzu Zombies – is a 2017 American science fiction horror directed by Mark Newton (City of Darkness) from a screenplay by Christian Hokenson, based on a storyline by Stephan Stromer and Daniel Wood; it stars Kaitlin Mesh, Miles Doleac, Michael Joiner, and Wyntergrace Williams.
Lonnie, a crop duster pilot, must lead a mismatched group of survivors to escape the deadly zombie horde after an experimental chemical, intended to control the invasive Kudzu vine, transforms the citizens of Charleston, Mississippi, into zombies…
“At its core, Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies recalls the simple joy of games of chase, play fighting and messy destruction, the light-hearted anarchy that makes films like this fun. By not trying to be bigger or faster or louder or smarter, it breathes fresh life into the undead, and though it could under no circumstances be described as high quality, many genre fans will find it a delight from start to finish.” Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film
“This film knows what it is. It’s not trying to be overly-political or trying to tear to shreds so many societal norms (a la the best of Romero’s zombie films). And it doesn’t rely on the smartest of story-telling or the best of performances or the most convincing effects. But dammit, it’s a rip-roaring, zombie-munching good time at the movies.” Michael Klug, Horrorfreak News
“Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies is very much an indie, zombie film. Shot for a pittance, the filmmakers have brought a fun feature to the screen. There are a lot of jokes to lighten the mood. Meanwhile, there are all sorts of explosions and gunfire going off, to hold action fans’ attention. The make-up is also gory and well done.” Michael Allen, 28 Days Later Analysis
Death’s Door is a 2015 American horror film written and directed by Kennedy Goldsby (If I Tell You I Have to Kill You). The film is a slightly re-edited, retitled version of Goldsby’s 2011 movie The Trap Door. It stars Obba Babatundé, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, and Chico Benymon.
It all begins with a text message. An anonymous message sent to the cell phones of a dozen young men and women. The message is an invitation to attend one killer of a party. Nobody knows who sent the message but it turns out to be an invitation that no-one can refuse, yet everyone will regret.
Inside the doors of a dilapidated mansion, they gather, eat, drink, party, and have the time of their lives – that is, until it’s time to go. The front door doesn’t open; the back door doesn’t open. Doors that once led to familiar rooms now lead to new ones; some doors open to yet other doors and some go straight to dead ends. Only one thing remains constant: every door is a trap, leaving only one way out…
the partygoers spend their time trying every door in the house, yelling at each other, getting tired, lounging, falling asleep, having hallucinations with terrible CGI, trying some more doors, yelling again, lounging some more, staring off into the distance and maybe trying another door or two.” Mark Harris, Black Horror Movies
“Annoying characters that spend most of the time screeching, hollering, bickering, screaming, whimpering, and babbling to the point where you want them to get killed […] No gore/exploitation for fans of this kind of horror movies. No suspense, tension, drama, or interesting characters for fans of psychological horror. This movie features many victims but no on-screen kills.” Davanna Carter
“Characters are put into situations with no reason or warning. There could be a scene in which all the party guests are together followed by a scene with character wandering through the house alone only to be back with the group again in the following scene. Like I already mentioned, this just shows a lack of care and patience by the filmmakers.” Andrew Swope, Rock! Shock! Pop!
Main cast and characters:
Obba Babatundé … Mesmer – Dolls of Voodoo; Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire; The Eye (2008); Necronomicon; Tales from the Crypt TV series; The Silence of the Lambs
Chico Benymon … Bruce – The Haunted Hathaways TV series; Nite Tales: The Movie
Andrew Cappelletti … Emcee
Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister … Jomo – Hauntsville; If I Tell You I Have to Kill You; The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence); Nite Tales: The Series; Vegas Vampires; Dracula 3000; Hellborn; Soulkeeper; Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies; Midnight (1989); Prison;
Evelyn Badillo …Elena
Michael Bernardi … Marc
Francis Hamilton … Gary
Maria Ines … Alexis
Molly Johnson … Kendra
Danielle Lilley … Suzanne
Death's Door | Full Horror Movie - Trailer - YouTube
Goremet: Zombie Chef from Hell is a 1986 American comedy horror film directed by Don Swan from a screenplay co-written with Jeff Baughn and William Highsmith. It was shot on Super 8 film and promoted as Gore-Met: Zombie Chef from Hell. Theo Depuay, Kelley Kunicki, and C.W. Casey star.
1386: Priests from “The Ancient Order” place a indefinite curse on a man named Goza that requires him to feed off human flesh.
1986: Goza is now running a seafood restaurant and deli…
“… nearly all of the potential fun is stripped away quicker than a deli slicer can cut through a plastic foot. This doesn’t take itself too seriously and seems fully aware of how dumb it is, but that still doesn’t help matters. The one-liners and gags are lame, there are tons of scenes that seem to go on for an eternity, the continuity is awful and nearly all of the murders take place off-screen.” The Bloody Pit of Horror
“For a movie with such a deliberately exaggerated title there’s very little gore and no real “zombie”. Customers complain about hair and jewelry being in their food so I wouldn’t really call him a “chef”, and “hell” isn’t even really a factor at all. All of that considered, somehow (despite what other reviewers may say) Gore-Met delivers.” Atomic Caravan
” … reeks of weed, Doritos, and old Reebok high-tops in the best of ways. It was made by adults on Super 8, but most likely influenced by ninth-graders playing Dungeons & Dragons while watching Evil Dead. Plus it’s only 67 minutes. Bonus!” Joseph A. Ziemba, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
“The whole film is an exercise in padding. Out of its already brisk 70 minutes, about 20 minutes of that is actually plot. The rest is filled up with impromptu dance sequences featuring a few nude girls, a jazzy musical number of “Down to the Boardwalk”, shots of people drinking beer, and an extended sequence of someone trying to make a phone call.” The Zed Word
” …a crude, humorless, graphic, and somehow depressingly gratuitous slash-and gore piece – all of which could be good if it were funny or at least a little scary, but this one just doesn’t seem to work. Best appreciated for its title and that’s about it.” Videohound’s Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics
Thrillers are a tough sub-genre of the horror world to master. The realisation is based on using intellectual dialogue, provoking fear and holding the audience’s attention for the full-length feature. With Prodigy, Alex Haughey and Brian Vidal have created one masterful thriller.
Psychologist Jimmy Fonda (an empathetic Richard Neil) is clearly from old school thinking in his techniques. Slightly dishevelled, weathered-looking and tired, Fonda is recruited by his old friend, government official Olivia. Taken from a page out of The Silence of the Lambs, Fonda is brought to a secret compound and led to a locked-down section with strict regulations including “Do not get near the subject. Do not touch the subject. Do not untie the subject. If the subject happens to get free, drop to the floor and do nothing!” Pretty intense.
As we expect Fonda to come face to face with a brutal monster aka Hannibal Lecter style, the audience will be very intrigued to find out that this monstrosity is actually a red-headed, freckle-faced nine-year-old girl portrayed by the incredibly talented Savannah Liles.
Through unconventional methods of conversation, Fonda tries to open young Ellie up in order to uncover a deeply hidden sense of morality and humanity that she seems to be completely void of, from the very beginning.
The interrogation room features a large metal table, two chairs and young Ellie who is tied up in a straitjacket, unable to contribute any emotion other than her foreboding sharp wit, as she has zero compassion for human life. The hollowness in Ellie’s stature meshes perfectly with her angry observations. But above all, Ellie is an absolutely brilliant child to the point of trepidation.
Jimmy looks upon his time with Ellie as a challenging puzzle he intends to solve, “freeing her soul from damnation” and displaying to all what she really is… just a child. However, the secret division of the military holding Ellie has a completely different fate in store for the young sociopath. And Jimmy has limited time on his side to save her, especially given the undisclosed supernatural talent that could fatally end the therapy session.
Prodigy is an exercise in juvenile psychotic behaviour. Can a nine-year-old child who continuously sees blood and annihilation within a simple Rorschach test still have inscrutable compassion? It’s hard to comprehend given the compelling performance by Liles. She is absolutely astounding as the extremely violent and powerful young lady who has complete control over the entire centre by instilling sheer fear of her supremacy. With opposite intent of Stephen King’s Firestarter, Ellie not only controls her unbelievable abilities but she embraces them to induce terror through manipulation.
This is a very commanding film, inducing emotional strengths and weaknesses that complete us all as human beings. Paranormal stunts aside, Prodigy is a frightening piece of work. As captivating as Ellie is, never lose sight of the mere fact that she is a cold-blooded killer. Good advice to keep at bay, Jimmy Fonda!
Richard Neil … Fonda – Evil Things TV series; The Evil Within 2 video game; My Haunted House TV series
Savannah Liles … Ellie – American Horror Story TV series
Jolene Andersen … Olivia – Slasher Fest ’85 short; Resident Evil: Damnation; Hellraiser: Revelations
Emilio Palame … Birch
David Linski … Keaton
Harvey Q. Johnson … Werner
Aral Gribble … Ryan
Riverside, California, USA
The film was premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival on 4 March 2017.
Prodigy was released on DVD and VOD by Gravitas Ventures on 13 March 2018.
Alien from the Deep is a 1989 Italian science fiction horror film directed by Antonio Margheriti [as Anthony M. Dawson] (Cannibal Apocalypse; Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye; Castle of Blood; et al) from a screenplay by Tito Carpi (Tentacles; Last Cannibal World; Seven Murders for Scotland Yard) and produced by Franco Gaudenzi. It stars Daniel Bosch, Marina Giulia Cavalli, Luciano Pigozzi, Robert Marius, and Charles Napier.
Two members of Greenpeace discover that a local factory sheds radioactive waste into an active volcano, which has created a terrifying creature that wreaks havoc in the area…
“Outside of Charles Napier’s (Silence of the Lambs) performance in the role of a megalomaniac colonel, who has been hired to protect E-Chem Corporation secrets, the rest of the cast are stale and forgettable in their respective roles. Ultimately, Alien from the Deep is bottom of the barrel Euro-Cult schlock…” Michael Den Boer, 10K Bullets
“It sucks that the creature doesn’t make an appearance for nearly an hour into the film but there’s enough gunplay, explosions and jungle chases to keep the momentum moving forward […] a mighty entertaining film.” Ken Kastenhuber, McBastard’s Mausoleum
” The alien (or whatever it is) really steals the show, though, especially when it’s finally shown in all its oversized, awkward glory for the big climax complete with more flashing lights, smoke, and explosions than a Duran Duran video.” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital
“What is perhaps surprising is just how dated it is. The script uses old hat explanations, some of which have not been in use for a good thirty years. The alien is a standard 1980s ripoff of H.R. Giger but this sits alongside atomic energy threat themes from the 1950s and 1970s ecological concerns.” Richard Scheib, Moria
“The movie isn’t particularly gory but it does have some awesome scenes where snakes somehow take down a small army of guys with M-16s and frequent use of the word ‘balls’ scattered throughout…” Ian Jane, Rock! Pop! Shock!
“No, Alien from the Deep didn’t win any Oscars, but to hell with those – it’s a helluva entertaining monster movie, packed with action, stunts, some gore, explosions and of course an alien-monster-thingie directly from the volcano of our imagination.” Fred Anderson, Schmollywood Babylon
It’s not a problem that it’s a bad film. That, I feel, was a given […] Admittedly, the final 20 minutes when the laughably crappy monster rears its claw and a few minor explosions blow the shit out of toy cars etc, is great.” Sex Gore Mutants
“Don’t touch me, you snake squeezer! You’re all alike! Men like you think you’re real men just because you got a pair of balls!”
“I think it’s some kind of claw, Colonel!”
“Fear is contagious! You gotta nip it in the butt!”
“This isn’t f*ckin’ Vietnam, ok! But I said I’d stop the Greenpeace bastards and I will!”
Main cast and characters:
Daniel Bosch … Bob
Marina Giulia Cavalli … Jane [as Julia Mc. Kay] Luciano Pigozzi … Doctor Geoffrey [as Alan Collins]
Robert Marius … Lee
Charles Napier … Colonel Kovacks
Latina, Lazio, Italy
Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines
Alien from the Deep (1989) Clip - Final Alien Battle - YouTube
Aliens from the Deep (1989) (German) Trailer. - YouTube
Alien from the Deep (1989) Italian "Alien" Mayhem GIANT ALIEN CLAW!! Whoa - YouTube
Wendigo is a 2001 American horror film written, edited and directed by Larry Fessenden (Depraved; Beneath; Habit); it stars starring Patricia Clarkson, Jake Weber, Erik Per Sullivan, and John Speredakos.
George (Jake Weber) is a professional photographer with a Manhattan advertising agency. Needing some time away from the city, George, his wife Kim (Patricia Clarkson), and their ten-year-old son Miles (Erik Per Sullivan) head to upstate New York to take in the winter sights.
George accidentally hits and severely injures a deer that ran onto the icy road. After George stops to inspect the damage, he’s confronted by an angry local named Otis who flies into a rage. Once they reach their destination they discover that Otis, unfortunately, lives next door and strange things begin to happen in the cottage…
Reviews [may contain spoilers]:
“Wendigo had all the aces in hand during most of this horror game, but when the last call came in, it folded. I was enamored by the depressive feel, the trippy look, the solid actors, the intelligence in the dialogue and the creative, old-fashioned special effects though. There’s also such a sense of impending doom floating about this flick…” John Fallon, Arrow in the Head
“This is truly a hidden treasure among the masses of cookie-cutter horror flicks in the bunches. I cannot gush enough about Fessenden; Hollywood, take notice of this guy. This is a realistic, creepy, and heart-wrenching film that is a lot of fun to watch.” Felix Vasquez, Cinema Crazed
“The grainy aesthetic and snowy setting give the film a dangerous, wintry vibe […] Horrifying creature effects and an unexpected twist make Wendigo the filmmaker’s most frightening film to date. The finale—which is filled with unsettling practical effects—will stay with you for long after the credits begin to roll.” Blair Hoyle, Cinema Slasher
“Like other art-house films such as Nadja, Wendigo seems to have contempt for its genre, utilizing it as nothing more than an excuse to do some visual experiments. Wendigo wants to be a monster movie for the art-house crowd, but it falls into the trap of pretention almost every time.” Tim Sanger, Film Threat
“The rampaging Wendigo may be a manifestation of Miles’s incipient Oedipal rage, but at the same time, it is a force embedded in nature and history. Such abstract notions may put off fans of the genre in its most elemental, slice-and-dice form. But for those in search of something different, Wendigo is a genuinely bone-chilling tale.”Dave Kehr, The New York Times
Cast and characters:
Patricia Clarkson as Kim
Jake Weber as George
Erik Per Sullivan as Miles
John Speredakos as Otis
Christopher Wynkoop as Sheriff Tom Hale
Lloyd Oxendine as Elder
Brian Delate as Everett
Daniel Stewart Sherman as Billy
Jennifer Wiltsie as Martha
Maxx Stratton as Brandon
Richard Stratton as Earl
Dash Stratton as Little Otis
Dwayne Navara as Mechanic
Shelly Bolding as Store Owner
Susan Pellegrino as Nurse
James Godwin as Wendigo
Kingston, Phoenicia, and Ulster County, New York, USA