Monday, 21 January 2013

The Medusa Touch Review

Psychological Thriller - Starring Richard Burton, Lee Remick, Lino Ventura. Written by Peter Van Greenaway (novel), John Briley (screenplay).  Directed by Jack Gold (1978)

In 1978 when Grease was making us “wella wella ommph” and a young Michael Myers was wondering  which mask to wear, a film directed by Jack Gold, The Medusa Touch was released staring the late but awesome Richard Burton, Lino Ventura and Lee Remick who went on to star in the Omen.

(What’s it about or the bit on the Back of the DVD case)

Richard Burton stars as successful novelist John Morlar who believes he has a “gift for disaster” the power to cause death and destruction through the unconscious telekinesis.  When Molar is viciously assaulted and left for dead, the night of the moon mission disaster and jet crash, police investigating the attack quickly turn to Molar’s mysterious therapist Zonfeld (Lee Remick) in the belief that there is a link between the assault Molars disturbing Complex.

This film is quite tame for this age of blood lust, gore and dumb teenagers flirting with serial killers on the phone and some would even state this film more of a chiller than a horror but that said I believe that the character of John Molar is far scarier than most of the TV serial killers of today, what this film lacks in special effects and big breasts (although we do get a 9-11 moment some 23 years before the World Trade Centre in 2001) it makes up in suspense and the fear of the unknown as you see Molar’s “gift” or “evileye” in action throughout various moments of his life one them being his neighbours arguing about a fish.

Lino Ventura plays a convincing role as Brunel he captures the sceptic becoming believer effortlessly and I found as he investigates the assault and Molar’s character you find yourself in his disbelief/belief.

Lee Remick’s character Dr Zonfeld however I found was quite predictable and although well played I found no sympathy with her and her end, to me her character was just a “sandwich filler” and more could have been done to flesh her character out.

I won’t spoil the ending if you haven’t seen it but it’s an excellent twist for a film of that era this film also boasts some of the best British actors to grace our screens eg  Derek Jacobi, Jeremy Brett, Michael Hordern and Gordon Jackson.

Rating 4 out of 5

By David 'Tin Man' Clark


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Texas Chainsaw 3D Review

With 'Texas Chainsaw 3D' getting its nationwide cinema release today our newest team member 'The Horror Queen' gives us her thoughts on the latest in the long running franchise.

Horror - Starring Alexanra Daddario, Tania Raymonds, Scott Eastwood, Dan Yeager. Written by Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan. Directed by John Luessenhop (2013)

First off, let me assure you I won’t post any spoilers in here, so you can read without learning anything you wouldn’t get from the trailer. 

This is being marketed as a ‘direct sequel’ to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film, indeed we are treated to a couple of minutes of recap footage, in 3D of course, then it starts off just minutes after that film ends. 

The film opens with a group of vigilantes burning down the Sawyer house, then discovering a baby in the wreckage. A couple of them take the baby for their own. The cut to years later, and we are with said baby, Heather, now all grown up. She embarks on a trip to find her inheritance from a Grandmother she never knew she had.

I’ll say now; I enjoyed this movie. It was pretty well made and had a strong storyline. That is not to say, however, that it was anything like a perfect movie. It certainly wasn’t. I’ll start with what bugged me about this film. 

Firstly, it did not need 3D. It was utterly pointless and had no place in the film. It didn’t even look like it was in 3D for most of the film, except for a couple of blood splatters and a few times where an object was thrown at the screen. There were also the obligatory shots of the lead girls, which were eye-rollingly obvious and mildly exploitative, but all I got from the 3D was a headache. There’s no reason whatsoever for seeing this movie in 3D. The casting was also hit and miss; while Alexandra Daddario did particularly well in her lead role, her supporting cast of friends didn’t do as much. Apparently Tremaine Neverson is a singer, and while I’ve never heard of him, here’s a nice cliche to go with his acting - stick to the day job. There were some really nice cameos, and the older cast produced some good quality stuff.

The typical slasher side-storylines were boring and added nothing whatsoever to the overall movie, aside from a nice nod to Tobe Hooper when the gang pick up a hitchhiker along the way.

Another glaring problem for me is this; if the timings are correct, Heather should be roughly 38 years old. In real life, Alexandra Daddario is 26 and could easily pass for younger. If you’re going to go with this particular storyline, don’t just ignore the age your characters are supposed to be in order to get a more conventionally ‘attractive’ and marketable cast. That’s selling out. 

However, the film was not all bad. Yes, the points mentioned above irked me, but overall I enjoyed the film. There were some great moments that were big bonuses for fans of the original; little easter eggs that people who haven’t seen it wouldn’t get, and I won’t spoil it for you by going into detail here, just keep your eyes peeled and you’ll get a few little retro treats. 

The main storyline was good, well presented and interesting, and there were a few good jump scares in there too. 

The gore for the most part was well done, a little too CGI for my tastes maybe, but it’s  a 3D film so I wasn’t expecting anything else. It didn’t shy away from much of the gore or killings, which I appreciated, and throughout a lot of the film there was a nice sinister atmosphere and some good tension build ups. One thing that made the original scary, and made Leatherface an icon, was not just his horrendously creepy look, but also the fact that we hardly saw him in the film. In this version, we saw him a lot. There was just too much screen time for him, which made him less scary each and every time. Add to that the fact that the new incarnation of his mask is nothing like as scary as the first, and we come away with a film that does not hold the creep factor anywhere near as well as its predecessor. It does well though, for a sequel, and even forces the audience to illicit a new feeling for Leatherface; sympathy.

I really loved the ending, I think that was where the film stood out, although I hear there is a remake in the works and that is one of the worst things they could do. It ended strongly, just leave it at that and don’t try to cash in on it. Let it have some integrity, and leave knowing you made a pretty decent film.

All in all, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a decent film. It is not perfect, and it doesn’t live up to the original in any way, but I really wasn’t expecting it to, so I’m not disappointed by that. The acting is mostly good, and the new take and twist on the storyline impressed me. I’d recommend you go and see this film, but not in 3D. It is not worth any extra money, and even if it’s the same price you won’t gain a single thing from it. My rating is a solid 6/10. You won’t miss anything if you wait for it to come out on Blu-Ray or DVD, but seeing it in theatres was a good experience.

Rating 6 ouf of 10

By Beth 'Horror Queen' Norfolk

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Zombies Zombies Zombies - Podcast Reviews

Tallahassee: [discovers Hostess truck filled with Podcasts] Podcasts? Podcasts? Podcasts? Where's the fucking Twinkies?
Columbus: I love Podcasts.
Tallahassee: I hate Pod-stuff. Not the Podcasts themselves, just the lack of consistency.
Columbus: [Turns on ‘Dead Mech’ Podcast] Fresh.
Tallahassee: Oh, this Twinkie thing, it ain't over yet!

So, If YOU happen to know where the moist podcasts are, or you have a good idea or suggestion for a Podcast you would like us to review, dig it up and we’ll nudge it with our boot-toes to see if it tries to bite us. However…if you DO know where there is a good Podcast and we find out you didn’t tell us….well, Bill Murray’s shooting was accidental…And that’s just what we’ll tell people when they ask what happened to you!

Zombies, Zombies, Zombies….Unfeeling, infectious, relentlessly hungry biting machines. What’s not to like? (Apart from when they swarm over your garden and trample on the Begonias, the little scamps!)

Yes, today we’re all about Zombies. Once upon a time they were regarded by popular culture as the lethargic, dim-witted lesser bedfellows to the Vampire and the Werewolf. Slow-thinking, slow-moving and, when they were allowed to have speech at all, slow-talking.

Of course, as every good horror fan knows, the Zombie has come a long way from it’s positively shambolic beginnings. They have grown and adapted in a way that the Vampire and the Werewolf never could. (And, thankfully, they certainly don’t EVER end up in preposterous complex romantic entanglements with members of other species or even, for that matter, their own)

Nowadays we have slow Zombies…Fast Zombies…Smart Zombies…Mutated Zombies…Comedy Zombies and, perhaps most surprisingly, Mechanised Zombies.

HUM 282 - Zombies in Contemporary Culture: (5 Episodes - 4hrs - 103MB)

It sounds so stale. It sounds so tedious. Why, when there are so many good films, books and podcasts out there, would you want to listen to a boring lecture like this? Why? Because it is a highly enjoyable, well written and fun podcast, that’s why. 

Released in five clear episodes this podcast take us through all things Zombie and why people have such a fascination for them. The first episode is only seventeen minutes long and frankly I wish it was longer. It is the philosophy behind the Zombie scenario and asks questions such as “Is killing a Zombie murder?”, “Who should I try to gather around me after an apocalypse” and “Should I treat members of my family who have turned, any different to any other Zombie?” 

The rest of the podcast takes us through Comics, Games, Romero’s effect on the genre and finally, to my joy, Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland.

Even though it has been released by iTunesU (The academic arm of iTunes) it is funny, honest and wide reaching. I advise you to pick it up if you want an extremely interesting, amusing and thought provoking four hours of fun. Rating:- 4/5

HUM 282 - Zombies in Contemporary Culture is released and is free on iTunesU.

The Zombie Chronicles - Escape: By James Melzer (27 Episodes - 8hrs 20mins - 455MB)

Within ten minutes of listening to this podcast certain things become evident about Mr James Melzer. He is a very good writer. He is an extremely good narrator. He is Canadian. He swears like a trooper and he takes a positive joy in describing extremely gory and horrific incidents.

The Chronicles start with a brief explanation as to how the current post-Zombie world has become the way it has. In this case, how, 25 years ago, an asteroid passed close to Earth trailing a tail of green mist behind it. How the first woman effected by it, went insane, clawed her own eyes out before toppling from a ledge to lie twitching on the floor far below. Three days after the mist (Dubbed Green-Goblin) has descended, one quarter of the population of the planet have gone screaming, mewling and gnashing to their respective deaths. It is then that the dead begin to rise.

These dead, unlike your average shambler, have a rudimentary intelligence and, it appears, they can be trained. So it is that 25 years later, when the dust has settled and the majority of the non-Zombie population are enclosed in great walled cities, the various governments decide upon a new course of action. They will work out how to harness the Undead and use them as a rudimentary workforce. Such a workforce would be unlike any other. They do not eat. They do not sleep. They do not stop for any reason. They do, however, need to be fed. Bring on the clones!

It is from this point on that we are catapulted into a strange new world of clones, secret societies and social manipulation, all coloured with a liberal dash of our rotting chomping friends. It shows just how well this podcast is crafted that, just like the protagonist, I found myself veering between who to believe and, at many points along the way, wondering who’s side I was actually on.

This podcast is an absolute MUST for those who like their horror with a definite tongue in cheek attitude. Rating:- 5/5

The Zombie Chronicles - Escape is part one of a projected serial of novels and podcasts. The Podcast can be downloaded from all of the usual sources ( and can be located on iTunes, Zune and most podcast downloaders.) Also available as an Audiobook from or can be located directly from source at . James Melzer has his own site containing both free and material to buy at

Sanctuary - Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse: By Joshua Jared Scott (27 Episodes - 12hrs 20mins - 695mb)

I will warn you now - Joshua Jared Scott is a very good, very vivid, extremely thoughtful writer. He is NOT, however, a good narrator. His voice is slow and rarely varies in intonation . He reads his own tale with the same (almost monotone) voice whether he is discussing his love for a fellow survivor, a desperate situation where his group is completely surrounded or the groups sharing of tins of beans. Later in this story he points out how he becomes less and less connected with the world around him and, as this story is told almost exclusively in the past tense, perhaps he is attempting to reflect this altered emotional state. If this IS the case then it may have been a mistake as I very nearly switched off this podcast after half an hour. (Mainly to protect myself from the tedium of what is, as I say, an otherwise well written tale.)

The story itself, as is usual with most Zombie horror situations, is based around the story of one man, who joins a group of people, and their battle for survival. Where this particular tale diverges from the norm is the side-steps it takes every other chapter as we discover the back-stories of the various people they meet along the way. This is done well and adds to the over-all podcast considerably - making this a very special tale indeed. However…that voice.

I have come to a strange (and perhaps very personal to me) conclusion. Listen to the first episode of this podcast. Decide if you find it interesting enough to listen to the author drone all the way through it. If you are fine with it then go ahead, it is, after all, a good story. If not? I strongly suggest you buy the book instead.

If it were not for how tediously read it is then its mark would be a lot higher. Rating:- 2/5

Sanctuary - Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse Podcast can be downloaded from all of the usual sources ( and can be located on iTunes, Zune and most podcast downloaders.) or can be located directly from source at

These audio-books are free, but each one WILL ask you if you fancy making a donation. If you can, please do so, it keeps this industry alive and, with the majority of these audio-books, at least 75% of the cash donated goes to the author or the producer of the podcast. 

Peter G Staff (Pod-Master General)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Last Exorcism Part 2: New Poster Art Revealed

Here is the interesting new poster for 'The Last Exorcism Part II' what do we all think?! All we can say is let's just hope they don't make a third and a fourth movie, that could be very painful for a contortionist!

The movie itself will be in cinemas from 15th March this year and stars Ashley Bell reprising her role as Nell Sweetzer, in the directors chair we have Ed Gass-Donnelly who wrote and directed the Crime/Thriller 'Small Town Murder Songs' back in 2010.

So what can we expect from this outing of the franchise, this is what we know:- 
Continuing where the first film left off, Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) is found terrified and alone in rural Louisiana. Back in the relative safety of New Orleans, Nell realizes that she can't remember entire portions of the previous months only that she is the last surviving member of her family. Just as Nell begins the difficult process of starting a new life, the evil force that once possessed her is back with other, unimaginably horrific plans that mean her last exorcism was just the beginning.

I myself will be reserving judgement on the sequel as I was a big fan of the original, in particular how Director Daniel Stamm managed to give the movie a truly unique docu-horror feel which has failed many times previously in the horror genre! 

Lets hope we are all surprised when it arrives, who will be standing in line for this one?

Adam 'Evil Eye' Cutler