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Monday, 24 August 2015

Dave and Al Get Coffee short film review.

Here is something a little different. A break from horror as I dip into Derek Huey and Rakesh Jacob's new comedy film titled 'Dave and Al Get Coffee'. Yes. You read that right. Comedy. There have always been elements of comedy in Derek's previous shorts, but this film, while having the biggest budget for one of Derek's films yet, dives headfirst into the funny, and it works incredibly well. It has been quite a while since a film had me laughing out loud, but 'Dave and Al Get Coffee' managed it numerous times throughout its duration. 
Before Dave and Al meet to get coffee, as the title suggests, they are harrassed by a couple of smart-mouthed cops. The dialogue is smooth here, as it is throughout the whole short, and the humour plays out akin to a 'View Askewniverse' Kevin Smith comedy, but not only with dialogue. There are some brilliant visual gags too.

Yes. Dave and Al Get Coffee is that good. Dave and Al then indavertanly stumble into a cafe that gets held up. There are some hilarious reactions from Al (played by Derek Huey) when the robber is attempting to sweet-talk a scared barristar in the coffee shop, and the chemistry between Dave (Blake Suarez) and Al throughout the short is both believable and hilarious. The robber manages to expertly exude both menace and sarcasm, and is all the funnier because of it. There is also a scene with a fire extinguisher which came out of nowhere, and took me by surprise, having me both snort and spit out my drink over my computer. And it isn't often anything will make me part with my drink.

The photography is wonderful and looks incredible, with still shots framing the actors perfectly. The hilarious, understated and off-the-wall humour and impassioned performances are all present and correct, and make this near 22 minute short a joy to behold.

Hilarious, honest and incredibly watchable, Dave and Al Get Coffee is another win for Derek Huey. If he carries on this way, he will be a household name before long. And that is no much more than he deserves in my opinion.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Friday, 21 August 2015

William Pattison/Eric Morse: The Final Chapter (and it isn't like the Friday the 13th movies. This really is the last time he will be written about here).

Horror is entertaining, disturbing and repulsive. It should offend, nauseate and create feelings of unease and anger. It is something entirely different when someone who claims to exist in something he likes to call 'The Horror Community' garners the same reactions from fans of the genre.

I would not be writing this post if this person had read my reply to a certain Youtube video and taken it in the manner intended, instead of labelling me a 'Troll, Retard, Drunkard and Drug user'. So in fairness, and given that I was blocked so was unable to address the imbalance of information directly, I will take to my mouth-piece to do so. Obviously the comments section here is moderated by myself, but anyone is free to give their two-cents, be it positive or negative. I am not about to block someone for typing something I don't agree with. Where is the balance? Where is the honesty?

William Pattison/Eric Morse (or Morris, as he pronounces it) gets enough publicity for his inane (that's inane, not insane) rants and grudges, so I am not happy with giving him more space here, but the balance needs to be addressed. This person uploaded a video on his birthday, where he explained how he was going to rid himself of negative karma. Then, for the next seventeen minutes or so, he talked down everything the people who he was 'unblocking on Facebook' have done and are going to do. This didn't make a blind bit of sense to me. (Mind you, neither did the act of 'freeing up negative karma', as karma is circular, and (if you believe in karma) if you have negative karma, it is because you committed negative acts in the past and it has come back around to bite you on the ass. 

So I commented, without insult or insinuation, asking why there was such negativity towards the people in question when the person was alledgedly 'freeing up negative karma'. I also asked for proof of the claims he continuously makes, such as working on Star Trek II and III (arguably the best entries in the entire franchise, and you would imagine if you were seventeen years old and working on such a popular franchise, your name would certainly get around). But this person refuses to prove anything.

Obviously to me, this seems like a pure and simple attempt to continue the lies and make himself seem defiant, when the simple fact is that he cannot prove anything because it isn't true. Now I am sure in journalism, it is required that if you do purport something to be true, you have to provide sources/evidence, the same as you would if you were writing a university science paper. Why is this such a negative thing to this person? He said 'I am not on trial, and you can't put me on trial'. That was not the case. He calls himself a journalist, writer, teacher, filmmaker etc, so the basic traits of journalism should be perfectly visable to him.

This person even attempted to accuse a person laying into him that they had bought me into the fray. This wasn't the case. I don't nor will I ever follow any trend or hop on any bandwagon.

Now, to answer this persons three claims they made about me.

Retarded - If I found things offensive, this might have made my blood boil. As it is, it was a poor attempt at goading me into some kind of heated exchange so I would look like the 'Troll' I was being accused of being. I am not retarded though, but again, using this as a slur to try and pull someone down is quite frankly disgusting, and shows a complete lack of respect for anyone who suffers from any kind of learning difficulty. Yet again, this person shows themselves to be as ignorant as the people he alledges bully him.

Drunkard - I do not drink. I haven't drunk since my twenty-sixth birthday. It isn't something I enjoy, and I don't see the point. Again though, if I did enjoy getting drunk, what does it have to do with anyone else? My life is my own, and I am free to do as I choose without anyone discrediting or attempting to pull me down. If my behaviour is legal and isn't hurting anyone, then what is the issue?

Drug User - I have never, nor will I ever use drugs. I haven't even tried a cigarette. I see no need to 'get high' or experiment with illicit substances. So you fail on every accusation you make, and show yourself to be the kind of person you speak so negatively of on every little bit of media you put out. You hate the people you unblocked so much that you use their picture to advertise your new book? Makes sense.

This person also asks what qualifies us to call him crazy (something which I under no circumstances did). If he doesn't feel the need to show proof as to the claims he makes, what gives him the thought that anyone he asks to do the same is going to comply. Pot and kettle come to mind there.

For me, this is the final time I will give this person any space on my blog. His negativity, pathological lying and ability to constantly change stories to involve more and more people is frankly tiresome now. Even the comedy value of his blog posts, videos and podcasts has worn. I mean, there is only so many times you can listen to the same thing over and over again (ask any AC/DC or Status Quo fan).

Oh and one last thing. Fuck me Mr Pattison? Fuck me? You'd have to catch me first. And although I have quite serious illnesses, I am still betting I could escape without losing my breath. If you want to talk as an adult, this is an open forum. You would find out I am not a troll. Just because someone disagrees with you does not instantly make them wrong. Namecalling should have been left behind in Primary school. And you should show more respect to people with learning difficulties. Calling someone a 'retard' is not a slur I like to type, nevermind be called.

If Karma is real, this person is building up one hell of a negative comeback. I wish him all the best, and I hope that one day, his mind will allow him to be at peace, and promote the things he loves instead of rallying against the things he hates.

As for me, I will now resume normal service. I apologise for the break in normality here, but I dislike not being given a chance to put my side across. There is no balance when that happens. Now, all is right with the world. I'm going to watch a film. Or listen to Ghost's 'Meliora' again.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Eat (2014).


It seems as of late the independent horror scene is awash with slow-burn films. This is not a bad thing under any circumstances, as things must constantly change in order to survive. If I had watched films like 'The House of the Devil', 'The Innkeepers', 'Thanatomorphose' and Starry Eyes' when I was younger, I can guarantee that I would have lost all interest within ten minutes. Now though, these films are unsettling reminders of what can be achieved with an atomsphere of dread, raw emotion and incredibly honest performances. 'Eat' is one such film that manages to horrify without the need for excessive gore, profanity-laced language and mis-timed comedy. This is a film that is difficult to enjoy because it is so real and honest, not only being a horror film, but also a commentary on showbusiness in general, and how it can consume individuals with all of the self-destructive and soul-destroying rejection one has to suffer for their art.

This are not going well for Novella McClure, a stuggling actress and our protagonist in 'Eat'. She is a 30-something actress who hasn't managed to get a role in ten years. She has also developed a strange habit of eating her own flesh when her anxiety and fears catch up with her. Novella tries her best to hide her habit from her motherly landlord Eesha and her incredibly over-protective friend Candice, but things continue to get increasingly worse for Novella. Will a meeting with a handsome psychiatrist change her ways, or is she destined to be consumed by her fear, anxiety and herself?

'Eat' is an incredibly powerful and pessimistic tour-de-force that has no light at the end of the tunnel. Please, don't expect anything in the form of happiness or good-feelings to come from viewing this film. It is stomach turning and spirit-breaking in equal measure. The performances are hypnotic and believable, especially that of Meggie Maddock (who plays Novella McClure), who brings so much vulnerability and heart to the film, as well as bringing an almost scarily realistic emotional instability and all-consuming hunger of wanting to achieve her dream. It could be considered feminist propoganda, as every man is a vile predator only after one thing, and some of these men will not take no as an answer to anything.

The special FX are sickening to say the least. Flesh tears, oozes and wounds are lingered upon, allowing the viewer to bask (or vomit) in their crimson glory. Not since 'Thanatomorphose' has gore been such a sharp kick in the guts and truly wanted to make me regurgitate my lunch, something which the sound design only helped to accentuate.

'Eat' is a beautiful yet disturbing film, and Meggie Maddock is hypnotic in her moments of beauty as well as the more depraved moments of cannibalism. Gore-lovers will love the film for its scenes of self-consumption, whereas fans of mote art-house horror will love the film for its honesty, beautiful shot-composition and its commentary of showbusiness as a whole. A film worth checking out, as it provoked genuine emotion as well as stomach churning gore.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Monday, 10 August 2015

It Follows (2015).

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Have you seen the hype for this film? I have noticed it has been making quite the buzz in horror circles and with film fans alike. After looking a little deeper into it, 'It Follows' seems to split genre fans right down the middle. Many complain about the lack of anything happening, the slow pace the film moves at, or the ambiguity of the ending. They seem to ignore the retro-sensibilities, the creepy and absorbing atmosphere and the amazing soundtrack that accompanies the film.

After a sexual encounter, Jay finds herself haunted by, well, it is never explained what 'it' is, and this is another way the film gets under your skin. Not knowing who the creature will appear as (it can take the form of anyone it chooses) means paranoia runs deep throughout the movie. People in the background soon grab your attention, and you are always aware of the characters placement, worrying about if they could escape from the supernatural entity that has latched onto them and is chasing them down to murder them in a disturbing manner that bought to mind Chad Ferrin's 'Someone's Knocking on the Door' at one point in the film.

I found that 'It Follows' mirrors a lot of John Carpenter's work from the 70s. There are even subtle nods to Halloween, most noticeably when Jay is sitting at her desk in high school and peers out of the window, and sees something incredibly strange. Both the music (a beautiful and eerie synth score by Disasterpeace) and the lack of gore, and reliance on tension and suspense also take the viewer back to a time when horror was atmospheric, steeped in dread and making the viewer incredibly uncomfortable.

I have deliberately not described any plot-points of the film, or given a detailed synopsis as I feel that going in to this movie knowing as little as possible will make the viewing that much more enjoyable. A horror film that truly manages to chill to the bone, and also make literal the old horror movie rule that sex equals death, 'It Follows' is a film that more than lives up to the hype, and as long as you aren't expecting some choppily-edited gorefest, then 'It Follows' will leave you watching your back, terrified of what might be following you.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Subspecies (1991).

Full Moon Entertainment hasn't always been synonymous with great or even good films. They were a staple of my childhood (as were Empire Pictures before them), and my love for Puppet Master, Robot Jox and Demonic Toys is never ending. 'Subspecies' is another series of films which for some reason I never managed to see until my mid teens, and they really surprised me.

Gone was the overt campness rife in most Full Moon films, only to be replaced with Gothic sensibilities (it being one of the first American films to be filmed in Romania goes a long way to achieve this) and what is possibly the scariest and most enigmatic Vampire to ever grace the silver screen. Oh, and did I mention the opening scene features 'The Tall Man' Angus Scrimm in a very memorable cameo?

In Subspecies, we follow three students who travel to Romania to study folklore. Unfortunately, they find themselves at the center of a blood-feud between Radu and his brother Stefan. As Stefan befriends the girls, Radu targets them while Stefan attempts to protect them from his murderous brother. Some may die, and some may become undead!

Subspecies manages to work on every level. It has a Villain who is played fantastically by Anders Hove, that will chill even the most hardened horror fan. Radu should be up there with the likes of Freddy, Jason, Michael etc. He is pure evil, with a smile that is so sinister it chills the spine. There is also an air of tradgedy around him, which is explored, along with his wanting for love in the sequels. But it is in the first film where his demoniacal behaviour is at its cruelest, with our introduction to Radu being one of sadistic glee.

Along with the incredible Anders Hove, the setting goes such a long way to creating the perfect atmosphere for the film. Everything just seems to have fallen into place, and in my humble opinion, everything about Subspecies is incredible. This is even more surprising as Vampire films aren't usually my thing (I can count on one foot the number of Vampire films I enjoy).

If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing any of these films, seek them out and you too can see Radu's blood-soaked smile and the murder and mayhem that ensues between two undead brothers.

Darkest regards......Dani.

I have risen from the dead!! (Well.....sort of...)

Doctor Carnage's World of Horror is coming back. Yes, I finally feel the need to begin writing here again. I hadn't given this blog a thought since beginning University in October 2014, and with other things in my private life taking their toll on me (such as being diagnosed with yet another lifelong illness and continuing to fight for my children, who I love and miss dearly) my world of horror has taken a bit of a backseat.

I will now make an active effort to update this regularly once more, hopefully bringing you more reviews, features and interviews than ever before. At least until my second year at University begins in October. So lets raise a glass of grue to horror and gore, and let us delve once more into the world of horror.

Don't worry. I have your hand. I promise I won't let go......

Darkest regards......Dani.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Derek Huey's 'I'm Sorry' (2015).

Crazy. Hilarious. Shocking. How many adjectives can one use to describe a short film? When Derek Huey is the filmmaker, as many as he can possibly think of! I'm not one for hyperbole, but seriously, this short is pure excellence. 'I'm Sorry' is a near eight minute short film, and easily takes the title of 'the funniest short I have seen so far this year'. Not only that, but it provokes a number of other emotions from the viewer.

I won't give anything away, for fear of spoiling the short film, but things move along briskly as the viewer is drawn in right away as we see someone get murdered. The music added to the tense death scene, and it was incredibly well-realised and almost operatic in its execution. Rarely does such a simple execution work so well.

The movie then gives a nod to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, which had me chuckling out loud. Then we are drawn right back in, as the killer bursts into another home. What happens next surprised me yet again, and bought to mind a scene out of 'The Omen', only with even more shock value.

Put simply, it seems as though Derek Huey is going from strength to strength with each subsequent film he makes. I cannot wait to see a full length feature from this guy. I am continually impressed by his work. In 'I'm Sorry', you can tell Derek has put his heart and soul into this film, and it shows in every single frame. Horror and offfbeat humour (which comes across as very British, in a Monty Python's Flying Circus kind of way) is the order of the day in this short, and it works that well, I think I am going to watch it again!

The film was made for The Zone Sci Fan Film Race Festival, which is Houston's first Sci-Fi/Fantasy film race and festival, and has been submitted for the Audience Award, so is not available to the public yet. As soon as it is, a post will be made right here, letting you all know how you can see this awesome piece of cinema.

You can check out more about The Zone Sci Fan Film Race Festival by clicking HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.