Good morning film fiends, and happy Bonfire Night to all my fellow Brits! I’ve got four great previews to put on your midnight movie viewing lists and cheer you all up on these cold winter nights! Let’s take a peek –

Teenagers are kidnapped and made into living scarecrows who are left to die in crop fields in an exceedingly frightening stoner-horror throwback in the vein of JEEPERS CREEPERS and Scream. SCARECROWS, from director Stu Stone, rise from the cornfields 11 December from Uncork’d Entertainment.
While on a hike to find a secret lagoon, a group of friends have no choice but to pass through an ominous cornfield. Unbeknownst to them, the farm owner despises trespassers and has vowed to kill anyone who crosses his land by turning them into living scarecrows, leaving them to rot in his fields. Once one goes up… it never comes down.


SCARECROWS, starring Hannah Gordon (HURT), Mike Taylor (PURE) and Umed Amin (A SIMPLE FAVOR) and co-written by Stone and Adam Rodness, premieres on VOD December 11 and DVD February 1 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

In the tradition of SUSPIRIA, and featuring horror icons Caroline Williams and Debbie Rochon, BLOODY BALLET arabesque’s onto November 13 from High Octane Pictures.
When a beautiful ballerina dancer, Adriana Mena (Kendra Carelli, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2), lands the lead role in the upcoming Nutcracker performance, she’s forced to face her demons as jealousy and tension begin to provoke the supernatural.
A giallo film –  a horror-thriller that blends the atmosphere and suspense of thriller fiction with elements of horror fiction and eroticism – in the vein of Dario Argento’s and SUSPIRIA and Sergio Martino’s TORSO – BLOODY BALLET is a tour-de-force for rising filmmaker Brett Mullen, who co-wrote the script with Matt Cloude.  

Caroline Williams (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE II, HALLOWEEN II), Debbie Rochon (MODEL HUNGER, DEATH HOUSE), Katie Carpenter (THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE), Brett Wagner (THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS), and Rob Springer (BOMBSHELL BLOODBATH) star in BLOODY BALLET out November 13 on VOD and December 4 on DVD.

 

Christmas is under siege from a horde of evil elves in Jamaal Buden’s frighteningly fun ELVES, on VOD and DVD this December!
The Holiday Reaper, a ruthless killer that terrorized a small Texas town, has been caught. While celebrating, a group of friends find an elf inside a magical toy box.  When a freak accident kills one of them, they discover a group of elves have been scattered throughout town, each representing one of the seven deadly sins. It’s a race against time to survive the elves’ wrath before Christmas ends.
Horror staples Justin Price (THE ELF) and Khu (DARK MOON RISING) produce.

Lisa May, Deanna Grace Congo, Stephanie Marie Baggett and Amy Jo Guthrie star in ELVES, on VOD and DVD December 4 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

 

Award-winning Hitchockian suspense thriller NUMBER 37, filmed in Cape Town, releases in select theaters throughout November and On Demand November 20 from Dark Star Pictures.
In a gritty homage to perennial Alfred Hitchcock favorite REAR WINDOW, director Nospiho Dumia’s film focuses on the residents of a block of apartments in the down-and-out Cape Flats neighborhood–which, with its petty thugs, crooked cops, violent loan sharks, and troubled pastors, soon reveals itself to be a very different place from REAR WINDOW’s Greenwich Village of 1954.

Set in a rough section of Cape Town, NUMBER 37 follows Randal Hendricks, a small-time crook who becomes wheelchair-bound in a drug deal gone wrong, and his hard-working girlfriend Pam Ismael. To distract Randal during his homebound days of limited mobility, Pam gives him a pair of binoculars. While idly surveying his block, he accidentally witnesses a dirty cop being executed by his gangster neighbor Lawyer. With a loan shark breathing down his neck, Randal decides to blackmail Lawyer, and enlists the help of both his girlfriend and his friend Warren. When the plan goes horribly awry, Randal’s options get more and more restricted—and not even local detective Gail February, investigating the death of her partner, may be able to help him.Irshaad Ally, Monique Rockman, Ephraim Gordon, Sandi Schultz, Danny Ross, David Manuel, Elton Landrew, and Deon Lotz star in a Nosipho Dumisa directed film, scripted by Dumisa, Travis Taute, and Daryne Joshua.
NUMBER 37 is available on demand November 20.

On a final note –  to any aspiring independent filmmakers, podcasters or film related writers out there out there reading this, let me know if you’d like me to publicise 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.

Spread the Word!
Ian

Good evening film fiends! I hope his regular missive is finding you all well on this chilly evening (here in rainy old England anyway) on the night before All Hallows Eve? in keeping with the spooky season I’m treating myself to a screening of john Carpenter’s eponymous 1978 slasher at Nottingham’s Broadway cinema tomorrow night, complete with a pre recorded Q &A with the master himself. Keep an eye of my social media feeds for a micro review of how the evening went.
On the following day it seems rude for me to not catch the long awaited Blumhouse retconned sequel too, so look out for my review in coming days.

New release-wise, this week I’ve got two great looking little indie flicks for you all to take a look at. Let’s dive in –

 

15-year-old Mia and her parents move to the suburbs of Zürich. While Mia plunges into a wild teenager existence, her body begins to change oddly. First hardly noticeably, but then with a force that threatens to drive her out of her mind. Mia’s transformation progresses inexorably, and she turns into the being which has slumbered within her for years… and is now gaining the upper hand.

There’s something frighteningly fishy going on in Lisa Brühlmann’s shocking debut feature BLUE MY MIND in theatres and On Demand this November through Uncork’d Entertainment.
An elegiac allegory accompanied by hauntingly visceral body horror, BLUE MY MIND is part SUSPIRIA and part THE METAMORPHOSIS but largely incontestably unique.
Luna Wedler and Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen headline a celebrated fantasy-drama about a young woman who faces an overwhelming transformation which calls her entire existence into question. Her body is changing radically, and despite desperate attempts to halt the process, she is soon forced to accept that nature is far more powerful than her.
The VOD will be release on November 13 on such platforms as iTunes, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Google Play, xbox, Fandango Now, YouTube and Dish.

 

This Halloween, a familiar face is going trick or treating.
Days before the November mid-term Elections, three young girls (a Muslim, a Mexican and a Haitian, are stalked by a deranged killer dressed as the President Trump.
From Giant Meteor Films comes the second-most anticipated Michael Myers-centric release of the year, PRESIDENT EVIL – available On Demand this Halloween.
A parody of John Carpenter’s horror masterpiece, PRESIDENT EVIL sees Michael Myers disguised as Trump as he gets about suburbia, hell-bent on killing minorities.   Jose Rosete (THE WALKING DEAD : RED MACHETE), Christian Hutcherson (DARK) and Johanna Rae (PSYCHOS) star in a Richard Lowly film, written by Lowry and Gregory P. Wolk. Producers are Ruben Estremera, Gregory P.Wolk and Francesca Zappitelli.
Days before the November mid-term Elections, three young girls (a Muslim, a Mexican and a Haitian, are stalked by a deranged killer dressed as the President Trump. All in the best possible taste of course.

PRESIDENT EVIL is available this Halloween on Demand (Amazon and other platforms).

On a final note –  to any aspiring independent filmmakers, 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.

Spread the Word!
Ian

 

This October, GRIMMFEST, Manchester’s International Festival of Fantastic Film celebrated its tenth anniversary with the biggest line-up of film premieres ever, along with audiences to match.

Now the Festival Jury’s votes are all in, and the audience ballots all tallied up, Grimmfest is proud to reveal this year’s award-winners:

Horror Channel Lifetime Achievement Award: BARBARA CRAMPTON (RE-ANIMATOR, YOU’RE NEXT)

Best Feature: TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

With Special mentions for ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE and PIERCING

Best Director: JOHN MCPHAIL, for ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE

With Special mentions for ISSA LÓPEZ (TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID), and CLAYTON JACOBSON (BROTHERS’ NEST)

Best Screenplay: ISSA LÓPEZ for TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

With Special mentions for CLAYTON JACOBSON (BROTHERS’ NEST) and ANDY MITTON (THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW)

Best Score: ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE

With Special mentions for PIERCING and SUMMER OF ’84

Best Actor: JUAN RAMÓN LÓPEZ for TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

With Special mention for AIDAN DEVINE (I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD)

Best Actress: MIA WASIKOWSKA for PIERCING

With Special mentions for ELLA HUNT (ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE) and ABIGAIL CRUTTENDEN (AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS)

Best SFX: GIRLS WITH BALLS

With Special mentions for AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS and FRAMED

Best Kill: GIRLS WITH BALLS

With Special mentions for PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH, OFFICE UPRISING and SATAN’S SLAVES

Best Scare: THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW

With Special mention for SATAN’S SLAVES

Best Short: WE SUMMONED A DEMON

With Special mentions for CONDUCTOR, DEAD COOL and THE OLD WOMAN WHO HID HER FEAR UNDER THE STAIRS

Finally, as voted for by Grimmfest 2018 attendees:

The Audience Award: TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

With Special mentions for SUMMER OF ’84, WITCH IN THE WINDOW, ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE, and BROTHERS’ NEST

The Festival Jury Panel consisted of; Actress and Writer Lauren Ashley Carter, Film Sales Agent Caroline Couret-Delegue, Acquisitions Consultant, Festival Programmer and Producer Annick Mahnert, Writer, Actress and Producer Joanne MitchellDread Central Journalist Anya Stanley and Rue Morgue Executive Editor Andrea Subissati. 

Grimmfest is even more delighted to announce that the winners of the BEST FILM and BEST DIRECTOR categories will each be awarded £40,000 worth of post-production services by Festival Award Sponsor BCL Finance Group, which can be used against a future film. 

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID is a Mexican magic realist movie written and directed by Issa López, the film has gained huge festival acclaim and awards around the World. It has been championed by Guillermo del Toro who will be producing Issa’s next film. Issa López said: “It’s an incredible honour to receive so many beautiful awards at a festival with such an incredible slate…Grimmfest is the very image of genre cinema’s credibility and substance, and it means a lot to the entire ‘Tigers’ team to be recognized by the festival’s jury and incredible audiences.” 

ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE is a UK Christmas set Zombie musical directed by John McPhail. Since its debut at Fantastic fest last year, it has been making waves around the festival circuit, winning the audience award at the Edinburgh International film festival. It will be released theatrically in the UK and US in time for the festive season. John McPhail, Director of ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE, said: “I am over the moon to receive this award, to know my peers enjoyed the film… I only started directing 6 years ago, and to receive Best Director award from a film festival like Grimmfest really puts the icing on the cake.” 

BCL have already agreed to partner with the festival next year, when they will again be offering big prizes for BEST FILM and BEST DIRECTOR categories and Grimmfest is also excited to announce the introduction of a new award category WORK IN PROGRESS, in association with BCL. The winning filmmaker will receive access to all-important post production services that will enable the completion of their film.

Michael Laundon, Managing Partner at BCL, adds “All of us at BCL are delighted to be prize sponsors for Grimmfest, as they enter their second decade. BCL was established with a quest to truly help independent movies to not only get made but to be finished. We hope to continue our support of Grimmfest in the years to come.” 

Finally, Grimmfest is thrilled to announce that Barbara Crampton has agreed to become head of the Festival Jury for Grimmfest 2019. 

Grimmfest 2019 will take place in early October in Manchester UK. Film submissions will open December 2018 via Film Freeway. More information about the festival can be found at www.grimmfest.com 

Good morning film fiends! I have a quadruple whammy of upcoming greatness for you all to feast your retinsa on as well as a cool little short form the Dobrofsky brothers over at Short Story TV. let’s dive in –

It’s going to be a killer Christmas!

The terrifying backstory of the yuletide slaughterer comes to digital and DVD this November with KRAMPUS: ORIGINS, arriving November 6 from Uncork’d Entertainment.
The first World War rages on when a group of American soldiers find a mysterious artifact that can summon the ancient evil of the Krampus.  After the men are killed in action, the artifact is sent to the commanding officers widow who is a teacher at a small-town orphanage.  The orphans accidentally summon the Krampus and the teacher, and her pupils are forced to battle this ancient evil.
Starring Maria Olsen (I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE: DÉJÀ VU, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3) and Anna Harr (BETHANY, RESTORATION), and directed by Joseph Mbah and written by Robert Conway, KRAMPUS: ORIGINS on digital and DVD November 6.

This November, Gloria is transforming into something very, very strange.
From director Chad Archibald, and in the tradition of CABIN IN THE WOODS and HEREDITARY, comes THE HERETICS on demand November 6 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

A young woman (Nina Kiri of THE HANDMAID’S TALE) is abducted by a strange man who claims that a cult is hunting her. His goal is to protect her until sunrise but while restrained, she falls deathly ill. As her friends and family search for her, the source of her illness becomes more and more apparent. She’s not sick…she’s changing.
From Black Fawn Films, the award-winning and celebrated Canadian horror machine behind the ANTISOCIAL series, BITE, and LET HER OUT, comes a film that’s “part cabin-in-the-woods thriller, part psychological puzzle, and part demonic possession battleground” (iHorror).
Nina Kiri, Ry Barrett (LIFECHANGER), and Jorja Cadence star in THE HERETICS available on Demand November 6 and DVD January 5 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

 

Leading independent distributor Wild Eye Releasing releases Portuguese horror film THE FOREST OF LOST SOULS on Amazon Prime and Blu-ray this month.

The psychological “coming of age” horror film, written and directed by directed by José Pedro Lopes, also has new artwork to coincide with the Amazon and BD launch.
Ricardo and Carolina are complete strangers that meet seemingly by chance in the FOREST OF THE LOST SOULS , a place where many people go to commit suicide. These two, a young woman and an old man, are no different than the others as they also came to the forest for this very reason.
They decide to briefly postpone killing themselves in order to explore the forest and also to continue talking to one another, as Ricardo and Carolina find themselves intrigued by each other.
However, as the pair go further into the forest it becomes clear that one of them has other reasons for being in the forest, is not who they would have the other believe them to be and is actually a psychopath…

 

KISS KISS, BANG BANG meets classic Hitchcock in the whodunnit of the year!
Winner of no less than 9 major film awards, including Best Feature Film at the Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival and Best Indie Feature at the Los Angeles Film Awards, Clyde Cooper (Souvenir Films) is on the case this November.

Jordi Vilasuso plays Silicon Valley private detective Clyde Cooper. Hired by a tech investor to find a missing woman, the love of his life, who had mysteriously disappeared, Cooper runs into an odd ring of strange women, and weird characters until he finds much more than what he’s bargaining for.
Jordi Vilasuso, Abigail Titmuss, Richard Neil (PRODIGY), Aria Sirvaitis (ROSEWOOD), Isabella Racco (THE DOLL) and veteran actor Lou Wagner (PLANET OF THE APES) star in a Peter Daskaloff film,CLYDE COOPER on VOD November 22.

 

I was contacted this week by the Dobrofsky brothers, the team behind the Short Story TV YouTube channel which, in their own words are ‘Content Warriors here to frighten, entertain and inspire!’ Their newest work is MR HOLIDAY, a very dark short little fil about a serial killer who decides to celebrate new tear by making his very own snuff movie…
Check it out below and subscribe to their channel to see what else the brothers have in store. You can also follow them on Twitter @shortstorytv

Den of Geek founder and all round nice bloke Simon Brew has launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund is new print format film magazine Film Stories. Already a successful podcast, the monthly mag will primarily focus  on mainstream fare but less on superheroes and Star Wars! In their own words -‘Imagine it as the magazine for the smaller screens in the multiplex, and the larger screens in the independent.’

The campaign runs up until 19th November with a target of £10,000. There are loads of different pledge levels and you can check the project out here –

On a final note –  to any aspiring independent filmmakers, 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.

Spread the Word!
Ian

Good day film fiends! Just one upcoming release to share with you today, but it’s a doozy (I mean, who doesn’t like werewolf films, right?) Check it out below –
THIS OCTOBER, HUNGER SHOWS NO MERCY
From legendary underground filmmaker Todd Sheets comes a howlingly terrifying werewolf movie for Halloween, BONEHILL ROAD!
Emily and Eden Stevens escape one violent situation only to dive head first into another. Terrified and alone they are stranded in the dark woods only to be chased into a horrific scene in a house or horrors. They must work together to get out alive. But what is worse? What is on the inside or out?
Genre legend Linnea Quigley (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, CREEPOZOIDS) stars alongside Gary Kent, and David E. McMahon star in Bonehill Road, out from Wild Eye Releasing this week on DVD and on Digital soon.
On a final note –  to any aspiring independent filmmakers, 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.

Spread the Word!
Ian

Good morning film fiends, on this the first day of October, everything horror fan’s favourite month of the year! I’ve got a couple of new releases to impart to you this week, but first I’ll get in a quick plug for the Mayhem Film Festival that takes place at the Broadway cinema in Nottingham over  11th – 14th October.

Sponsored by Shudder and Last Exit to Nowhere, the festival covers horror, science fiction and cult cinema so is right up my street as you can probably well imagine. I’ve managed to book some time of from dad duties to go see new horror anthology NIGHTMARE CINEMA, bad taste splatter fest PUPPETMASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH, Nic Cage weirdfest MANDY and found footage period horror THE DEVIL’S DOORWAY. Needless to say I’ll be providing full reviews after my eyeballs have recovered.

November 1st sees the UK release (US 2nd October) of legendary cut filmmaker Don Coscarelli’s memoir True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking. The director of classics such as PHANTASM, THE BEASTMASTER and BUBBA HO-TEP takes us on a wild ride through his four decades of independent filmmaking in the Hollywood sharkpool in what promises to be a highly entertaining read for all cult movie fans and indeed, for any interested in the art and process of filmmaking in general. If you can’t wait till next month the audiobook version read by Mr Coscarelli himself releases through Audible on 9th October. Here’s the link to buy it through Amazon in the UK and for US readers here.

Now on to this week’s new flicks –

“In the classic tradition of the 1980’s slasher film” (Horror News), Wild Eye Releasing deliver Blessed are the Children, a Reagan-era slasher throwback that’s part HALLOWEEN, part BLACK CHRISTMAS, and all frights, premiering on DVD and VOD October 23.

Something sinister is following Traci and her friends – who are behind the masks!?
Traci Patterson (Kaley Ball), an adrift 20-something who’s still reeling from the death of her father and her breakup with an abusive fiancé (Jordan Boyd), discovers that she’s pregnant. With the help of her friends, Erin and Mandy (Arian Thigpen, Keni Bounds), she decides to terminate her pregnancy, but quickly after leaving the clinic, she begins seeing and hearing things – shapes in the corner of her eye, strange noises in the middle of the night, and ghoulish figures stalking her every move. Is it guilt or are Traci and her friends in grave danger?
Kaley Ball, Keni Bounds, and Arian Thigpen star in a Chris Moore (PERVERSION, TRIGGERED) film, premiering on DVD and VOD this October.

 

On her 60th birthday, Mary (Rosemary Hochschild) finds her past coming back to haunt her, as a 25-year-old debt means the mob is ready to collect with interest, their sights set on the strip club she has run all her life. There’s only one thing she can do: Mount her defenses and stand her ground in a spiral of violence and revenge that will leave no one in her life untouched…

Dark Star Pictures has acquired North American rights to Orson Oblowitz’s Tarantino-esque crime-drama THE QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD.
Dark Star has set an October theatrical (LA) and VOD release for the film, a dark L.A-set noir exploring the one-day odyssey of a woman’s reckoning. Veteran actress Rosemary Hochschild (SUPERGIRL, DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN) plays the lead.
The film, starring Rothschild as a strip club owner who finds herself over her head when a twenty-five-year-old debt to the mob comes back to haunt her, premiered at the Boston Underground Film Festival earlier this year.


“Director Orson Oblowitz’s feature debut is a wild ride through the underbelly of Los Angeles, blending genres in a shocking fashion and firmly establishing himself as a new promising talent” said Dark Star Pictures President Michael Repsch. “Playing like a love child of John Waters and Quentin Tarantino, THE QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD. will resonate with audiences for years to come.”
“We are really excited to have found a home at Dark Star Pictures for THE QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD.”, says writer/director Orson Oblowitz. “Michael Repsch is a true lover of film, devoted to getting great cinema to the masses and we knew with our movie it needed a distributor that was going to nurture it, as well as help set it apart in a saturated market place, Dark Star is that company.”
Playing over the film’s entrancing visuals of L.A is an electric soundtrack featuring such artists as Jimmy Lee, Lee Williams & The Cymbals, The Lovettes and Arlando King & The Earthquakes.
The film, also starring Ana Mulvoy Ten, Roger Guenveur Smith and the late Michael Parks (‘’Kill Bill’’, ‘’Red State’’) in his final film appearance, has its L.A premiere this week at Beyond Fest.
THE QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD theatrical release begins October 12 in Los Angeles; the film will be available On Demand October 16.

On a final note –  to any aspiring independent filmmakers, 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.

Spread the Word!
Ian

 

Good morning film fiends! Feast your eyes on these upcoming offerings –

Ojala Productions announces a limited theatrical release of September 22 (Los Angeles) for new horror feature STRANGE NATURE.

This September, It’s man versus nature when wrestling superstar John Hennigan and acclaimed actor Stephen Tobolowsky (SILICON VALLEY, DEADWOOD) play ‘leapfrog’ with mutated amphibians in Ojala Productions’ highly-anticipated eco-thriller Strange Nature.
By moving in with her estranged hermit father in the backwoods of a small town, Kim (Lisa Sheridan, THE 4400) and son Brody find themselves in the middle of a horrendous phenomenon where deadly offspring mutations spread from animals to humans.


Based on true unsolved outbreaks of wildlife mutations, fall fright-fest STRANGE NATURE marks the directorial debut of fx maestro James Ojala (HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY, THOR, TRON: LEGACY, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) and stars Lisa Sheridan INVASION), Stephen Tobolowsky (MEMENTO), John Hennigan (MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT), Tiffany Shepis (VICTOR CROWLEY), and Carlos Alazraqui (THE FUNHOUSE MASSACRE).
STRANGE NATURE leaps into theaters from Sep 22 (Los Angeles with other cities to follow).

A fairy tale classic goes under the frightening sea this September with MERMAID’S SONG, premiering on digital from Wild Eye Releasing.

A dark homage to Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, and starring  Iwan Rheon (GAME OF THRONES), the film is set during the 1930s depression and tells of young Charlotte, who is struggling to keep the family business afloat. When gangster Randall offers to pay off the family debt – he demands some illegal changes to the business. But Charlotte, like her mother before her, is a mermaid capable of controlling humans with nothing but her voice, which creates a battle between all of those who want Charlotte’s magical powers for themselves.

From director Nicholas Humphries, and starring Iwan Rheon, Katelyn Mager, and Brendan Taylor, Mermaid’s Song arrives on digital September 18.

Uncork’d Entertainment announces a digital/VOD release date of October 2nd for new action-vigilante feature DEATH KISS.

Filmed in Northern California, the film stars Robert Kovacs (who has gained attention for his uncanny resemblance to a certain well-known action star), Daniel Baldwin (JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES), Richard Tyson (KINDERGARTEN COP, TWO MOON JUNCTION), Eva Hamilton (horror fest fave RUIN ME), Stormi Maya, Leia Perez, Reese Austyn, and Sam Story.
DEATH KISS concerns a vigilante with a mysterious past who goes to a crime-infested city and takes the law into his own hands, at the same time protecting a young mother and her child.

Writer-director is Rene Perez (PLAYING WITH DOLLS: HAVOC).  Producer is Jeff Miller (THE TOYBOX, OUIJA HOUSE), through his company Millman Productions.  Gary Jones helped executive produce through his company Mosquito Entertainment. Zach Carter served as Supervising Producer.
“Rene’s movie is very cool and stylish.  It feels like a throwback to the Cannon films of the ’80s,” says Miller.  “After an enthusiastic response at Texas Frightmare Weekend in May, we’re excited to show the film to the general public.”
The DVD, with special features such as director’s commentary and the trailer, will be released December 4th.

In the tradition of Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, What We Do in the Shadows, James Gunn’s Slither, and Sy Fy’s Sharknado franchise, the demented creature feature RETURN OF THE KILLER SHREWS splatters its way onto VOD platforms this Halloween season!
Fans of pop culture and gonzo gorefests will eat up this tasty treat, as it hearkens back to the grindhouse drive-in era with sexy babes, carnivorous creatures and bloody mayhem, and does it with a smile.

In 1959, the original KILLER SHREWS exploded onto drive-in screens, as a charter boat Captain and a bevy of hapless scientists were besieged by a horde of mutant beasts on a remote, storm-swept island. This classic mad doctor-meets-monster movie mashup featured edgy character actor James Best (Dukes of Hazzard, Rolling Thunder) as Captain Thorne Sherman and famously low-fi special effects, giving birth to one of the most revered genre entries of its era.
Now, more than five decades later, the snarling, blood hungry monsters are back in RETURN OF THE KILLER SHREWS.  Captain Thorne Sherman returns to Shrew Island with a boatload of cargo for a TV crew filming a reality television show.  As the cameras roll, cast and crewmembers start falling prey to strange bloodthirsty creatures, and Thorne Sherman comes face to face with the toothy terrors that have haunted his dreams for so many years. What, or who, could be behind the bloody rampage of the insatiable giant killer shrews?

Best, making history in his repeat performance as Sherman, is joined by fellow Hazzard alumni John Schneider (SUPER SHARK, SMALLVILLE, GLEE, IT’S HOT IN CLEVELAND) and Rick Hurst (THE GUARDIAN, VENOMOUS). Also aboard for the doomed voyage are Bruce Davison (BLINDSPOT, INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY, X-MEN), Jennifer Lyons (HITTING THE BREAKS, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN), Christopher Goodman (JANE THE VIRGIN), Holly Weber (VALLEY PEAKS, FAST & FURIOUS), Patrick Moran (JACK-O), Jason Shane Scott (THE BAY, GREY’S ANATOMY, SNIPER: SPECIAL OPS), Katherine Randolph (JARHEAD), Jeneta St. Clair (AFTER MIDNIGHT) and Sean Flynn (DEVIOUS MAIDS, LAST OF ROBIN HOOD, ZOEY 101).
RETURN OF THE KILLER SHREWS comes barking onto VOD for the first time with a hearty dose of chills and laughs. It’s a retro homage to the low budget drive-in films of yore, a shock ‘til you drop monster movie extravaganza that’ll make your blood vessels burst with suspense and laughter, RETURN OF THE KILLER SHREWS is just what the mad doctor ordered!   

iTunes Presales – 10/12
iTunes Exclusive Launch (Digital Premier) – 10/26
Amazon and Google Launch – 11/9

On a final note –  to any aspiring independent filmmakers, 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.

Spread the Word!

Ian

Good morning and fine fettle to you, my celluloid loving brethren! The 25th day of this September sees the unleashing of Brit backwoods horror ESCAPE FROM CANNIBAL FARM (CANNIBAL FARM in the US) on to the home viewing market. This is a title I’ve been anticipating for a while now, ever since it came to my attention from following its leading lady Kate Davies Speak on Twitter. Produced by writer/director Charlie Steeds’ Dark Temple Motion Pictures, the film promises to be an all out retro styled splatter festival that looks a cut above the relentless slew of slick but soulless jump scare horror infesting Netflix, and I’m more than intrigued to see the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE style mayhem transplanted to the bucolic English shires. From the look of the trailer, Mr Steeds won’t be getting a gig scripting The Archers any time soon, though I’m sure his input might liven Radio 4 up a bit.
Dark Temple have a boatload of fun looking horror flicks slated for release in the near future, including the wonderful looking THE BARGE PEOPLE, backwoods survival horror WINTERSKIN and the gothic looking THE HOUSE OF VIOLENT DESIRE. Wonderful titles alone!
Staying on these shores, I’m currently writing up my long delayed review of DOGGED, writer/director Richard Rowntree’s folk horror released a couple of months back. Richard’s Ash Mountain Films outfit is currently filming their second feature NEFARIOUS, an urban crime horror flick that promises to continue the bleak and contemporary style established in their debut feature, and of which this little site is a proud backer through Kickstarter!
Dark Temple and  Ash Mountain Films are both exciting new ventures flying the flag for British horror and I strongly recommend you check them out.
You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, where they tweet as @DarkTempleFilms and @AshMountainFilm respectively, and also on Instagram where they are darktemplemotionpictures and richard.rowntree

Scream Magazine
I’ve finally bitten the bullet and taken out a subscription to Scream Magazine, something I’ve been promising myself to do since I first came across it in early summer. The mag has just reached its 50th issue, so it seemed an appropriate time to jump on.
The mag’s format is a mixture of features on current releases and retrospectives with the usual review columns and regulars  (VHS Ate My Brain, and the Behind The Screams gossip feature being my favourites.)
The fiftieth issue features a great and now poignant interview with the late BLACK CHRISTMAS and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR star Margot Kidder (you’ll always be my Lois Lane, Margot.) Jamie Lee Curtis and David Gordon Green talk the new HALLOWEEN flick coming next month from Blumhouse, along with part one of a look back at the forty year history of the franchise. Other highlights include retrospectives on ROSEMARY’S BABY and Lucio Fulci’s classic undead exploitation epic ZOMBIE FLESHEATERS, and an interview with Corin Hardy, director of the upcoming THE NUN, the next instalment in the ever widening THE CONJURING universe.
However, my absolute stand out favourite feature in the issue is Paperbacks from Hell, an interview with author Grady Hendrix about his eponymous new book detailing the schlocky paperback shockers that festooned supermarket bookshelves back in the 80’s. Reading through the article brought back memories of thumbing through these titles in Morrisons (a northern english supermarket chain, for those not in the know). Although they were never going to win any literary prizes, the sheer amount of imagination featured in the lurid illustrations that adorned their covers was enough to sear them into the collective memories of any impressionable youth that encountered them. Something they had in common with a lot of the titles down the local video rental shop! Guy N Smith anyone?
Published on a bi-monthly basis, the mag is a steal at twenty uid for a years sub and I’d highly recommend it to film geeks as well as gorehounds and VHS era relics like myself! Check out how to subscribe here.

Grimmfest 2018
I’m pleased to announce that The Stricken Land will be attending this year’s Grimmfest festival held over the 4-7th October 2018 at the Odeon Manchester Great Northern. This is our first time at an event where we have bona fide press accreditation, so rest assured we’ll be scouring the event for all the upcoming news and releases in horror and cult cinema, and posting a full report along with select reviews of the festival’s cinematic offerings. Keep your eyes peeled for on the spot updates via our Facebook page and on Twitter and Instagram.
You can pick up tickets to the event here. Hope to see you there!

Mayhem Horror Festival 2018
While we are on the subject of Festivals, Nottingham’s Broadway cinema is once again hosting the Mayhem Film Festival from 14th to 18th October. This year’s line up includes such delights as the bonkers looking Nicholas Cage led MANDY, dystopian sci-fi PROSPECT, THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW, PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH, screening of classics such as Lamberto Bava’s DEMONS and Romero’s original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD along with a whole boatload more horror, sci-fi and cult movies from around the globe. Mayhem is always a great little festival in which to discover new films and the talent behind them that will likely bypass the multiplexes (for the time being anyway!)
To check out the full line up and to bag yourself early bird tickets to screenings, check out their page here.

On a final note –  to any aspiring independent filmmakers, 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.

Spread the Word!
Ian

 

GRIMMFEST 10TH ANNIVERSARY LINE-UP ANNOUNCED

“I WANT MY CAKE!”
This year, GRIMMFEST, Manchester’s Festival of Horror, Cult and Fantastic Film, celebrates its 10th anniversary. Get ready for decimation, with the darkest, deadliest line-up yet of wild, weird, witty, thrilling, chilling, blood-spilling movies, every one of them a premiere or cult classic of one kind or another, many with cast and crew in attendance.

But Grimmfest will also be looking back, a little nervously over its shoulder, perhaps, at a decade spent delivering top-quality cinematic carnage to the movie-goers of Manchester, and beyond. Beginning with a return to its bloodsoaked origins, and an anticipation of the future, in a special Festival Preview show on Monday 1st October…

IT’S (STILL) GRIMM UP NORTH!
Originally, the festival was known as “Grimm Up North”, in sardonic acknowledgement of its location, and as a declaration of support for filmmaking in the region. So what could be more appropriate as an anniversary celebration than a special North-West programme, featuring three new shorts and a retrospective screening of the film without which the festival would not even exist… Festival Directors Simeon Halligan and Rachel Richardson-Jones’s debut feature, the dark psychological horror fable, SPLINTERED, fully remastered, and in a razor-sharp new cut. From Once Upon A Time… to …Happily Ever After? Only time will tell. For now though, a chance to reacquaint yourselves with this truly Grimm Fairy Tale.

This celebration of North-West talent will also feature a special family-friendly screening of CBBC and DHX’s horror anthology CREEPED OUT. Co-creators and showrunners Bede Blake and Robert Butler will present their favourite UK and favourite Canadian episode from Season One and, if we are lucky, share an insight into what’s in store for the new series.

SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK…
Which might be why this year’s classic screening, opening the main body of the festival, is RE-ANIMATOR, presented and introduced by Grimmfest’s guest of honour Barbara Crampton, who will also be in attendance for 2 brand new films making their regional debuts: PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH and DEAD NIGHT. Barbara will also be receiving the first Grimmfest Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Horror Channel.

The Grimmfest Team are not ones to indulge too much in nostalgia, however. The past is dead and gone. Except when it refuses to die, of course. Or returns to haunt you. In an attempt to lay to rest any unquiet spirits, therefore, the festival is delighted to be welcoming back many of the fearsome filmmakers who have been such a major part of its bloody history over the past decade. Rob Grant (FAKE BLOOD, MON AMI) presents the UK Premiere of the truly outrageous ALIVE. Johnny Kevorkian whose THE DISAPPEARED screened at the very first festival, returns with the Northern Premiere of the claustrophobic sci-fi horror AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS. There’s the UK Premiere of Gothic noir I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD from Chad Archibald (ANTISOCIAL) and the Northern Premiere of SUMMER OF ’84, a bitter little antidote to all of the current nostalgia for the Eighties, from the talented trio behind Grimmfest favourite TURBO KID.

In keeping with the theme of welcome returns, the festival also presents a couple of startling cinematic reboots – or revenants if you will. Indonesian maestro Joko Anwar (MODUS ANOMALI) makes a Grimmfest comeback, with his unsettling reimagining of obscure cult oddity SATAN’S SLAVES, already a huge box office smash all over South East Asia, and now receiving its UK Premiere; while Scandinavian shock-auteurs Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund (WITHER) resurrect Charles Band’s cult classic series for a new generation with the mischievous PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH, a Northern Premiere (and Barbara Crampton’s second film of the festival), and also treat festival goers to the World Premiere of their latest short, MYSTERY BOX.

Alejandro Brugués, director of another Grimmfest favourite, the riotous JUAN OF THE DEAD, joins fellow masters of the macabre, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura, and David Slade for the much-anticipated all-star horror anthology NIGHTMARE CINEMA, another UK Premiere, and Lora Burke, powerhouse star of POOR AGNES returns in the Greater Manchester Premiere of Justin McConnell’s emotive body-horror love story LIFECHANGER.

NEW FACES IN HELL…
But just in case you thought this year’s Grimmfest was simply one big reunion party, there are also some Grimmfest first timers…

The festival is delighted to host the European premieres of Daniel Robbins’ nail-biting PLEDGE and Olivier Afonso’s outrageous GIRLS WITH BALLS. Also screening are UK Premieres of the hilariously twisted BROTHERS’ NEST from Australia’s Clayton Jacobson, the gruesome FRAMED from Spain’s Marc Martínez Jordán and Lin Oeding’s savagely satirical OFFICE UPRISING.

The line-up also features a raft of regional Premieres, including the Northern Premieres of Jon Knautz’s unsettling THE CLEANING LADY, Aislinn Clarke’s chilling THE DEVIL’S DOORWAY, Andy Mitton’s eerie THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW, and Issa López’s magical TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID. Also screening are the Greater Manchester Premieres of Nicolas Pesce’s perverse and discomforting anti-Rom-Com, PIERCING and Bradford Baruh’s demented DEAD NIGHT, again starring Grimmfest’s very special guest Barbara Crampton.

All this plus a brutal brace of short film programmes, which sees a focus on female creators and the return to Grimmfest of Faye Jackson, director of STRIGOI, another classic film from the festival’s opening year, with her new short THE WOMAN WHO HID HER FEAR UNDER THE STAIRS. 

And to close… Christmas comes early, with the Greater Manchester Premiere of zombie high school musical extravaganza, ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE, guaranteed to send you dancing off into the night…

All selected films are in the running for the previously announced GRIMMFEST AWARDS. Grimmfest recently revealed that it is partnering with film financing group BCL to offer £40,000s worth of post-production services to each of the winners of the BEST FILM and BEST DIRECTOR awards categories.

Grimmfest’s 10th edition will take place from the 4th to the 7th October at the ODEON Manchester Great Northern, UK, with a Preview Night taking place on 1st October at the Plaza Cinema, Stockport.

The full line-up can be accessed via grimmfest.com, where full festival passes, day passes and individual film tickets can also be purchased.

Good evening film fiends! Hopefully this unseasonably warm September day finds you all in fine fettle and ready to explore the celluloid wonders winging their way on to our screens soon…


Running tire marks around Ghost Rider…
More vengeful than the Crow…
Johnny Gruesome grants y’all a death wish this fall.
This October, Johnny Grissom returns for revenge.

High school students Eric Carter and Johnny Grissom are best friends. Johnny is a heavy metal rebel nicknamed “Johnny Gruesome” by his classmates. When Johnny is murdered while on a drunken joyride, his killer persuades Eric and Johnny’s girlfriend to help him make the murder look like an accidental death. Johnny returns from the grave as a murderous, wisecracking zombie hell bent on revenge. Based on the award-winning novel by Gregory Lamberson (Slime City, Killer Rack), who also directs, JOHNNY GRUESOME stars Anthony De La Torre, Byron Brown II and Michael DeLorenzo. From Uncork’d Entertainment, JOHNNY GRUESOME on VOD 10/16 and DVD 1/1/2019.

 

Starring international action star Alexander Nevsky  (SHOWDOWN IN MANILA) MAXIMUM IMPACT won Best Action Film of the Year Award at the 14th annual Action on Film International Festival in Las Vegas. MAXIMUM IMPACT also won in Best Action Sequence and Best Special Effects categories. Mr. Nevsky was honoured with the festival’s 2018 Breakout Action Star Award and his co-star Matthias Hues received an Icon Award.
Written by Ross LaManna (RUSH HOUR) and directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak (ROMEO MUST DIE), the MAXIMUM IMPACT cast includes Kelly Hu (THE SCORPION KING), William Baldwin (THE PURGE: THE TV SERIES), Tom Arnold (TRUE LIES), Mark Dacascos (JOHN WICK 3: PARABELLUM), and Danny Trejo (MACHETE).
MAXIMUM IMPACT will be released in North America in theaters on September 28, 2018, and On Demand, DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Video on October 2, 2018. Distributors are Unified Pictures and Sony.
When the granddaughter of the US Secretary of the State is kidnapped in Moscow, an agent of the Federal Security Service of Russia (Alexander Nevsky) and the US Secret Service are forced to put aside their differences and work together to prevent a full-scale international crisis.
MAXIMUM IMPACT is produced by Nevsky through his Los Angeles-based production company Hollywood Storm.  Nevsky is a former Mr. Universe and is an established movie star in Russia. His credits include MOSCOW HEAT, UNDISPUTED, TREASURE RAIDERS, SOMEWHERE and BLACK ROSE, for which he also directed. Nevsky represents Russia as a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and votes for the Golden Globes.


Nevsky says, “MAXIMUM IMPACT is the biggest film in my career and I’m so glad it was recognized in such a great way at the Action on Film Festival! I’m also happy to receive the ‘Breakout Action Star Award’ and would like to thank ‘Action on Film International Film Festival’ and it’s president Mr. Del Weston for this honor! But I couldn’t be here without my idols Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ralf Moeller and Matthias Hues so I would like to thank them as well for all the inspiration and support over the years!”

 

From filmmaker and film historian Chris Espenan comes THE COOLEST GUY MOVIE EVER — a fascinating forensic documentary about the making of the classic World War II adventure film THE GREAT ESCAPE — to DVD and digital HD from Virgil Films available now, after a special screening earlier this year at Marché du film in Cannes.
Before Evans, Hemsworth, and Downey Jr. there was McQueen, Garner, and Bronson. These men represented what it meant to be tough guys in the 1960s, and they had the acting chops to play the toughest characters around – including the real life airmen who pulled off one of the most improbable escapes in war history.
The filming locations of the enormously popular World War II adventure THE GREAT ESCAPE have become enshrined over the years by film buffs and historians alike, forever changing the landscape of the small German towns that once played host to these Hollywood heavyweights. Now for the first time, filmmaker Chris Espenan set out to visit all of the locations in Germany where the 1963 film was made, while compiling facts, behind-the-scenes stories, and inside information on how the film was produced.
From visiting Geisel Gastag Studios in Munich to the Bavarian town of Füssen, Espenan assembled a unique team of cameramen, historians, film buffs, and local experts who painstakingly found the exact spots where actors Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, David McCallum, and others toiled in the summer of 1962.
Uncovering treasures such as footage from a German television news shoot — which included a rare interview on the set with Steve McQueen — to getting first person interviews from the locals who were there during filming, THE COOLEST GUY MOVIE EVER is a true labor of love, fashioned by filmmakers who exult THE GREAT ESCAPE as one of the most memorable World War II movies ever made, featuring one of the greatest casts ever assembled, and for many, indeed, THE COOLEST GUY MOVIE EVER.


“THE GREAT ESCAPE is my favorite film of all time,” said Producer Steve Rubin.   “It is the first film I started researching for my book Combat Films 1945-2010, the subject of my 1993 documentary Return to The Great Escape, and the reason I was nominated for Best Classic Commentary in 2004 for The Great Escape: Special Edition. When filmmaker Chris Espenan came to me with the idea for THE COOLEST GUY MOVIE EVER, I literally dropped everything to help him.”
Executive Producer and Virgil Films CEO Joe Amodei echoed Rubin’s sentiments when he said “As a young boy exploring the big wide world of motion pictures for the first time THE GREAT ESCAPE excited me, thrilled me and cemented a love for movies that has stayed with me forever. This is the film that started it all.”

About Virgil Films – Virgil Films & Entertainment was founded in 2003 by Joe Amodei to acquire, market and distribute DVD, TV and Digital Product in the feature film, documentary, special interest and sports categories. The company has built partnerships with OWN, Sundance Channel Home Entertainment, National Geographic Cinema Ventures, Pure Flix Entertainment, Major League Baseball Productions, Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets and other high-profile entertainment brands since their inception. Releases from Virgil Films include the Oscar-nominated documentary Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me; the award-winning documentary Miss Representation; the critically acclaimed, timeless, best-selling Forks Over Knives; and the Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo and its sequel Korengal. They have also released the compelling Facing Darkness, I Am Chris Farley, I Am Heath Ledger, Blood on the Mountain, Legends of the Knight, The Winding Stream and others. Follow them on Twitter @virgilfilms
www.VirgilFilms.com

On a final note –  to any aspiring independent filmmakers, 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.

Spread the Word!
Ian