Quickie review: The Clown Statue

A quick summary of a spooky urban legend, in honour of the awesome Terrifier (2017).

With clowns being pretty popular at the moment (we all know why) I thought it would be fun to look at a clown-related urban legend. ▪

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Sources: “The Clown Statue”: http://www.urbanlegendsandhorror.com/…

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Quickie review: Aphex Twin ‘Come to Daddy’ (1997)

In 1997, Danish dance act Aphex Twin made considerable waves with this bleak but memorable horror movie masquerading as a music video.

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Borrowing the phrase ‘come to Daddy’ from Hellraiser, it concerns broken childhoods and a new, terrifying god borne from the screams of a dead TV screen.

There’s so much nightmarish about it, the despair of the tower blocks, the hapless grandma and her dog. The old lady’s dog appears to start all the trouble by weeing on the broken TV in the first place. What is it with dog wee resurrecting horror icons? It crawls out and grows really fast, and then screams at this poor old lady for a good minute….

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Weird. That’s even without getting into all the kids with the same face of Richard D Jams (Aphex Twin himself). CTD_children_same facesThey gather round the newly born creature, which has an Aphex Twin face and a Doug Jones/monster from Rec-type body, almost feminine, definitely terrifying.

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It sure sounds Satanic, or devilish, and he plays up that look here. An urban pact with the devil, this is a nightmarish video embodying a guttural scream of outrage at our own deranged existence. In 1997, it was still preferable to the Spice Girls….

 

 

Quickie review: Troubled Youth (short horror film)

Trouble Youth (2018)

What’s worse than a school shooter? Well, nothing. But this looks more like something out of Buffy’s monster killing high school nightmares. It’d be a shame to spoil any more, so please enjoy this troubling demonic delight.

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This also rounds off the devil worshipping theme this month (though expect some cultish goodness in September) we’re finishing up with this very bite-size but very effective piece from CryptTV, where nothing’s quite how it first appears. But it is wicked-good.

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Quickie Review: Don’t Move (2013) short horror film

Don’t Move (2013) – short horror film

‘Don’t Move’ is the 8th slice in Bloody Cuts’ anthology of short horror films, made by a team of UK film-makers on low budgets.

Directed by Anthony Melton, Produced by Ben Franklin and written by David Scullion it stars Rachel Bright and Jake Hendriks alongside Kate Braithwaite, Beth Cooper, Ian Whyte, Calvin Dean and Martin Skipper.

In keeping with the ‘devil deals gone wrong’ theme this August, we take a quickie look at a great short film from 2013.

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Set immediately after a summoning spell on the Ouija goes horribly wrong, with one person’s heart already ripped out, we join the remaining friends as they play silent statues, trying to survive the hideous demon they’ve (accidentally?) summoned.

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The creature is a special effects joy both in its solid form and its eerie, smoky, slithering one too, stalking the survivors. It won’t leave yet because the rules are very clear. It must take five souls with it, and only one of them may survive. As its starts it’s one down, four to go…luckily, it can’t really see you. Unless of course, you move, or make any noise…

Like ‘Don’t Breathe’ and ‘A Quiet Place’, keeping silent is going to save you…but someone else might screw that all up. What’s brilliant about this is that the tension really comes down to human selfishness. Putting aside whether people who’d summon a demon, especially one with this type of M.O., are trustworthy in the first place, what ensues is a tense, gunslinger-esque shootout as mobile phones and loud noises are used to get another person in the demon’s sights. Or lack of sight. They get away with whispering between them slightly too much, but this demon might easily be toying with them too.

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Reiterating once again that messing with demons only brings destruction and chaos, ‘Don’t Move’ is a schlocky fun ride, gleefully tense and a gory contrast to last week’s more austere Paper Game short film.

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Recommended for all monstrous demon fans!

Quickie review: Ghost Paper: The Other Side (short horror film)

Quickie review: Ghost paper

Crew:

  • Written By: Kyle Godfrey
  • Directed By: Kyle Godfrey Co-Directed By:
  • David Ajibodu Camera Operator / Cinematographer: Alex Lieu
  • Screenplay: Kyle Godfrey, David Ajibodu
  • Edited By: Kyle Godfrey
  • Cast: Kiki Zorzi as Mackenzie @kikizorzi

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What have we learned so far this month? Don’t make a deal with the devil or any of his demony friends! Or sit in any suspicious chairs! What have we learned from this video? Maybe just don’t speak to them, either. There’s currently a trend at for performing ‘Rituals’ often held at 3am, you’re  supposed to follow a series of strict instructions (there’s a handy guide to performing these correctly at The Ghost in My Machine). These get you in touch with the other side, and supposedly take you everywhere from other dimensions (lifts and taxi drivers) to speaking with demons (mostly involving stairs, mirrors and candles).

Ghost Paper is very loosely based on one of these rituals, and the titular game involves writing questions to an entity on a piece of paper, then performing a series of knocks, and waiting for it to take it from you under the door. If something spooky is passing or can be bothered to respond, you should then have an interesting back-and-forth with the unknown.

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This short film uses the urban myth to create a terrifying horror short, elegantly bringing the dangerous ritual to its inevitable conclusion. Young Mackenzie is beautifully played by Kiki Zorzi, convincingly conveying Mackenzie’s apprehension, curiosity and terror as the game’s stakes escalate. It’s uncluttered and very effectively pared down. No gratuitous jump scares, here, this benefits from a quiet, ideally dark room, but give it its five minutes and you’ll soon enjoy a quality piece of modern horror.

Cast & Crew Social Media:

Quickie review: ‘Slut’ short film (2014)

Slut (2014)

Directed By: Chloe Okuno Produced By: Lisa Gollobin Written By: Chloe Okuno Main Cast: Molly McIntyre, James Gallo, Kasia Pilewicz, Cody Beverstock, Alex Miller, and Sally Kirkland

Seeing exploitation horror done right is always a pleasure and ‘Slut’ (which won best student short at Screamfest 2014.) is certainly up there. At just 20 minutes long, this 1970s-set thriller plays cleverly with its Little Red Riding Hood stalker theme, creating a kick-ass story in the process.

Poor bespectacled Maddy just wants to be seen as an attractive teenage girl in her  dust bowl town, but is treated as a complete joke by the other teenagers at the RollerRink. However, after dressing up to compete with the prettiest girl in town, Maddy soon catches the wrong sort of attention.

Maddy is sympathetic and the film doesn’t waste much time making the most of the situation. This is a smart, well made nod to the 1970s grindhouse, classics that mostly surpasses the exploitation cliches it comes from. Highly recommended.

KICKSTARTER SUNDAY: Untitled Horror Film

Untitled Horror Film by JP Bankes-Mercer

Untitled Horror Film poster one number eleven

Number Eleven and a haunted house

Funding Deadline: 5th July 2013
Funding Goal: £5,000
What is it?: 95% finished, feature-length horror film.
Why does the Eyeball love it and want to have its freaky kids?
We’re intrigued by the giggling insanity of the lead actress, and want to know the creepy significance of the number eleven.

Visit the movie’s official page and on Twitter and Facebook.

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KICKSTARTER SUNDAY: Third Contact by Simon Horrocks

Third Contact by Si Horrocks

Also visit the movie’s official page and their Twitter and Facebook pages

Funding Deadline: July 10, 2013
Funding Goal: £15,000
What is it?: Surreal cerebral horror film which needs help to reach the big screen
Why does the Eyeball love it and want to have its freaky kids?
The film has already come a long way, but with an extra push it could make it into the mainstream. And we love a creepy mystery with early David Lynch aesthetics.

Continue reading

KICKSTARTER SUNDAY: The Farmer by Wyatt Michael

The Farmer by Wyatt Michael

Also visit the movie’s official page and Facebook page.

Funding Deadline: 30th June 2013
Funding Goal: $100,000
What is it?: Full length horror film set in the Old West
Why does the Eyeball love it and want to have its freaky kids?
We love a creepy story from way-back-when, told over a crackling camp fire.:

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Monster Mondays: Freddy Krueger

One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you,
Three, Four, Better lock your door
Five, Six, grab your crucifix,
Seven, Eight, better stay up late,
Nine, Ten, Never sleep again….

That eerie rhyme remains emblazoned on our inner ear for good reason. It’s ingenious. Capturing everything wrong about dreams, warning even people who haven’t seen it what it’s about. Nightmare on Elm Street was an inescapable rite of passage for children of the 1980s and Freddy Kreuger’s shadow still draws a long, irregularly scratching line into our collective unawareness.

Our favourite dream monster, Fred Kreuger. With looks like these, no wonder he stays in our minds - and our Dreams.

Our favourite dream monster, Fred Kreuger. With looks like these, no wonder he stays in our minds – and our Dreams.

Freddy has lurked in the inner lives of 1980s kids since we first heard stories about his movies in the classroom. The Eyeball remembers listening to them with fascinated horror during ‘wet playtime’ (not nearly as much fun as it sounds), while we read Eagle comics in the corner. We strongly remember a nine year old boy with access to far too many grown up movies callously dissected the unpleasant final moments of the flesh puppet in Dream Warriors, and Johnny Depp’s final bloody gush in the original film. When we finally saw all the films in a lengthy marathon of low-res second-hand VHS vids, (in our teens, Freddy’s favourite age group) then we were hooked.

We didn’t even care that ‘the rest (allegedly) sucked’. OK, Nightmare 2 aside – which was still an unusual piece of film – they’re all exactly what we signed up for. They brim with weird, unnatural deaths, a properly unpleasant monster, and the heroines who we rooted for as they grew in confidence and took on the ultimate disgusting, predatory misogynist child molester. To wonderful, tough Nancy, and those that followed, we salute you.

Nancy Thompson Freddy Krugeur

Turn around and cast him out! (Image from Bleeding Dead Films – click to see their site)

But still, Freddy (formerly the more low-key ‘Fred’) has remained the real star attraction. He’s repulsive, he’s in love with hating the world, and he’s a fantastic bastard son of a thousand maniacs. There was something perfect about a dreadful tragedy that made sense to the storyteller in us. As they coated more layers of Freddys backstory onto the franchise, the dreams remained an exciting angle to watch it all from. It’s hard to hate any of the movies when they’re so clearly in love with weirdness, and symbolism (Jung that movie!). In a dream, anything is possible, and the Nightmare films used that to their advantage.

They provided an alternative type of horror to to Jason and, just compare them to the recent string of humourless, torturous Saw movies. Imagination, latent teenage sexuality, strong female characters and a mercilessly playful killer. Freddy will stalk you into the daylight. You can never be sure you’ve woken up – a point drawn out until it squeaked in the unlovable remake.

Nightmare on Elm Street Poster

The original Nightmare and it’s the best! Your mileage may vary, but you’re wrong, buddy….

So why does Freddy hold such a fascination, when he is clearly so very, very horrible? Most intriguing is that he’s based on a series of experiences and research by his creator, Wes Craven. Freddy was born in the creepy man glaring at Wes Craven from the street when he was a kid, and came to life when he read some real life stories where boys had refused to sleep, and when they did, they died without a known cause. Uncanny. The way Freddy’s popularity gets dealt with in the Final Nightmare is also clever, suggesting he’s really a demon who must be contained by the totem of Freddy Kruger.

He’s also absolutely bloody terrifying because:

  • His picture alone terrifies us, especially if it’s one where he’s grinning at the camera (see above – thanks a lot, Rob Englund!) and he does that a LOT.
  • In a continuation of the first point, even Pinhead doesn’t scare us as much as Freddy does.
  • He’s capable of beating up Jason! (Though we do reckon Pinhead could take him in a sequel)
  • Phone-licker. Eeeew.
  • That hat. Those greasy green and red jumpers. Finger gloves. Sartorially the chap’s already a nightmare.
  • Increasingly smug one-liners. Grrr.
  • The charming way he can snip off all his own fingers and have a big laugh about it.
  • You can’t sleep, so it’s an endurance test we can all relate to. The Eyeball would last about two minutes (tiiiired Eyeball, zzzzzzzzzzz-splat)
  • You might never wake up. Even if you think you have. Repeatedly.
  • He can make your family believe you killed yourself, or that you killed someone else.
  • The Police and your parents will NEVER believe you about him.
  • Your only allies are your best friends at school, and they’re being picked off like flies.
  • Or like cockroaches.
  • You can kill him in numerous ways. But be warned that a dog pissing on his grave is enough to resurrect Freddy so he can murder all the plucky survivors from the previous installment, so basically, if you ever run into Freddy, and think you stopped him…not so much. You’re still all gonna die.

Now, we’ve featured him on the Eyeball today because it was Robert Englund’s birthday last week (June 6th) which makes Mr Englund a highly respectable 66 years old. Happy belated birthday, Robert! It’s amazing how Freddy has taken over his life in so many ways, and he’s never quite escaped the character’s razored grip. It seems odd, but in the early 1980s, Englund actually used to play nice characters! Luckily, Englund seems to love that he’s a horror movie legend, and to the Eyeball and millions of other fans, he always will be.

If you want to know more about Elm Street and Kreuger, then the Eyeball very strongly recommends the awesome 2009 documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.

Are you off to bed now? Then…grab your crucifix….and don’t have nightmares….