Newsblast 05/02/2018

Hail movie brethren! What fresh terrors have stalked the grey wastes of The Stricken Land in the week past? Read on…

  • Do you feel suitably let down by the really not very good Alien prequels? Sate your disappointment by watching Life (2017), a great little outer space chiller from the makers of Deadpool. Ignoring the golden rule of film that extra terrestrial organisms should be left well alone, the crew of the international space station propagate a globule of Martian bacteria with predictably malevolent results. It’s not going to win any prizes for originality and trite comparisons with Alien are inevitable, but this well crafted horror takes its vintage more from classic fifties paranoid sci fi like the Quatermass films and X the Unknown by way of the novels of John Wyndham, than it does from man-in-a-suit creature features.

  • Next up is The Raven, a stylised period manhunt thriller centred on the conceit of having the father of the detective novel, Edgar Allen Poe investigating a serial killer inspired by the grisly deaths featured in Poe’s gothic masterworks. John Cusack does a great scenery chewing turn as Poe, but the film’s great weakness is its abundance of hard to like characters, not least the drink sodden Poe himself. Director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) does his best with a basic potboiler plot, but the languid pace and lack of sympathetic protagonists meant this struggled to keep this viewers attention. There is probably a great film waiting to be made about the life of this giant of American literature, unfortunately, The Raven isn’t it.

  • Audible have recently released Bafflegab Productions audio drama version of the 1971 British folk horror film Blood on Satan’s Claw, featuring the voice talents of the ever excellent Reece Sheersmith and Mark Gatiss. I’ll be posting a compare and contrast review of both productions in the near future. Watch this space…

 

  • Spotted on Twitter is this crowdfunded British horror from Ash Mountain Productions and director Richard Rowntree. Scheduled for UK home viewing release in April 2018, Dogged was the 4th most successful UK based horror feature film to receive funding from Kickstarter according to the IMDB. Go to www.ashmountainfilms.com  for more info, meanwhile, check out the trailer –

  • Also peaking our interest is Lords of Chaos, the latest flick from Jonas Åkerlund, an account of the Norwegian Black Metal scene of the late 80’s-early 90’s based on the book of the same name. Focusing on the band Mayhem,its founder Euronymous and his subsequent murder in 1993, this looks to be a dark and disturbing look at the lives and time of some very f**ked up individuals.

  • And finally, the documentary Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary gets a Blu-Ray release on March 13 2018.This looks like a must for fans of the film as well as Stephen King fans and all those fascinated by what goes into making a film.

Before I sign off; to any aspiring independent filmakers, podcasters or film related writers out there out there reading this, let me know if you’d like me to publicize and/or review your projects, The Stricken Land is always happy to promote new talent and ideas! And as ever, please feel free to share this post and any others on here that you like, far and wide.

Watch the Skies,

Ian

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