Archive for horror movie

Dead Air Ep 174 – Blood Vessel

Posted in Dead Air Podcast with tags , , , , , on May 29, 2021 by splatterpictures

Bare your fangs and hope aboard this Nazi boat of doom! Today Dead Air 174 talks about the 2019 film; Blood Vessel!

A rag-tag group of survivors drifting in the ocean during the death-throes of World War II, come across the only salvation they’ve seen in days; an enemy German ship. Much to their luck and surprise the vessel seems to be abandoned. As they begin to explore the decks in search of what happened it becomes obvious that there is a story to be told among the ancient books and burned bodies. A story of family, thievery, death and vampires.

Crawler (50 Tonnes of TERROR)

Posted in Updates with tags , , , , , , , on June 8, 2012 by splatterpictures

One of the best things about Indie horror is the free range a lot of the filmmakers have to create movies around concepts that would make mainstream movie-goers scratch their heads. I don’t mean mainstream as a derogatory term at all but more to draw a distinction between the kind of person who hears “Bulldozer that kills people” and doesn’t roll their eyes. Well okay maybe most people still do. Crazy or not that is the plot of Crawler.

Crawler was released in 2009 and directed and written by Sv Bell. Robbie Ribspreader ( I guess that’s his real name?) also contributed with writing It was produces by Blackflag Pictures. The film stars Deke Richard, Heidi Hawkins and Keir Cutler.

Now when I say it’s about a bulldozer that kills people I’m not being entirely accurate because the thing in question isn’t actually a bulldozer at all but a “glamour djin” which is apparently an evil entity that has the ability to “look like something else” apparently for the last few decades it’s taken the form of a piece of construction equipment.

The film starts off with a guy coming in to rent a bulldozer for a construction job that needs to be done but sadly he was a day late so the dozer he was going to get had already been rented out. This is the kind of situation that dooms the lives of characters in horror movies. Sure enough after enough begging the construction worker convinces a clerk to rent him out this mysterious bulldozer that had a tarp on it that says not to rent it ever. People never read tarps.

Enter our hero Jimmy (Richards) who is the sites foreman, he has a troubled past and looking to do right. It looks like his past is catching up to him though because somebody deeply affected by that past mistake Karl (Cutler) is also on site. The two seem to share an uneasy truce until people start going missing. Eventually all hell breaks when the bulldozer starts picking off victims through various means and Karl seems to be completely under the bloodthirsty equipments power.

So whether this bulldozer is a demon or an alien or some thing from another dimension is never really specified but its pretty evil. The film itself shares a lot of elements of Stephen Kings Christine, you know the story about the car that kills people. This movie has that in common but the dozer itself has all kinds of creepy living components, like mouth tentacles that reminded me of Tremors, and probably the grossest ability which is to infect others with some sort of painful virus.

Cutler is really good in his role and was easily my favourite character in the film. He becomes obsessed with the bulldozer and worships it like some sort of dark god. The addition of his character goes a long way to putting some kind of face on the enemy who could at least communicate with other characters.

The special effects on this movie are well done. I really enjoyed all of the practical effects that were used, from the tendrils to the bulldozer itself. Plus the slow infection of one of the construction workers were fantastically disgusting once you got to the final shot of him bloated and spewing out black sludge.

I’d say the problems with the movie come from the plot itself. I know the premise is weird enough on its own but I thought a little more explaination on a few things would have helped. For example, they never really explain why the dozer was “sleeping”. It was just sitting there in the rental lot with a tarp over it. As soon as the tarp comes off it starts killing people and goes to the jobsite itself? How did the bulldozer know where to go? Another thing was that the entity or whatever it was seemed to random powers. Like it could infect people, take over their minds, project images into their heads, reanimate the dead and shoot lighting. Of course it also had all the benefits of being a giant bulldozer with mouth tendrils.Although, now that I think about it I really shouldn’t waste too much time trying to pick apart the plot holes in a movie about a killer bulldozer

It was interesting how serious the movie took itself. I don’t mind that really because honestly this wave of self aware horror really is getting old. It’s almost as if you can’t make a cheesy movie without making sure you’re winking to the audience every five minutes.

As I said before the best thing Independent horror has to offer audiences are more “out there” concepts. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t get into a conversation with people about how much they dislike all the remakes, prequels and sequels that Hollywood churns out. Some people go so far as to say that creativity doesn’t exist in cinema. My flat response to that is that maybe you’re just watching the wrong movies. Sv Bell and Blackflag Pictures have made something that blends a lot of horror elements together and did it well and is a worthy addition to the growing genre of “things that randomly kill people”. Crawler is a hell of an entertaining ride that you should check out.

Macabre (Do you feel it?)

Posted in Horror Showcase, Updates with tags , , , , , , , on April 25, 2012 by splatterpictures

There is something about foreign horror that always seems to make me gravitate towards it in the store. Today was no exception as my eyes caught Macabre sitting there among countless other DVDs. I had never heard of it before but the box said it all. A creepy woman looking out at me with a fork in her hand, skewered on the utensil was a severed finger and the tag line “evil has a mother” We’re off to a good start. Macabre is the first horror film I’ve ever watched from Indonesia and I had no idea what to expect but sometimes it pays to take a risk.

Macabre or as it’s known in Indonesia “Rumah Dara” was released in 2010 by Gorylah Pictures and directed by the Mo brothers. The film stars Shareefa Daanish and Julie Estelle.

The premise is something that is familiar in the most basic sense, a group of young people are packed in a car to see off a married couple Adjie and Astrid who moving to Australia. Along the way they visit Adji’s sister Ladya (Julie Estelle) who they convince to come aswell. While on the road they run in to a strange girl named Maya who tells them she has been robbed and needs a lift home. They agree and she leads them to an isolated villa in the middle of nowhere. When they arrive Maya introduces her to her family. Head of the household is her mother Dara (Shareefa Daanish) a strange and ethereal woman.

The group decide they’ll stay for dinner but find out too late that their food was drugged, they all pass out and when they awake Dara and her family’s true intentions become clear. The group is to be harvested for meat because they believe that cannibalism holds the secret to immortality. Are they just a bunch of crazies or is this more than just a deranged cult?

Movies that have the theme of a cannibalistic family, cult or whatever in the middle of nowhere is something that I have a love hate relationship with.  On the one hand I try to watch as many of them as I can but on the other hand films like this end up being horror that I watch once and then am done with. Macabre on the other hand is something that I can’t wait to sit and watch again.

This film starts off quickly and becomes relentless in its brutality. When characters are fighting for survival they are fighting back hard. Fights are gritty, gruelling and nobody just stays down with one hit. I honestly kept wondering how some of these characters could still be alive after some of the punishment they take. This is amplified by the special effects and tight editing. If you’re a gore-hound, this movie has enough blood to satisfy your urges. By the end of the movie the entire house seems washed in crimson.

One of the films highlights is easily the Chainsaw versus sword fight. Both Ladya and Dara are soaked in blood with body parts and gore everywhere. Or another beautifully cringe educing scene involves the heel of a shoe and that’s all I’ll say.

Even though this film doesn’t hold back at all in terms of what it’s willing to show I didn’t feel at any point that it was too much, even though this film has been reportedly banned in certain countries. Then again I’m not exactly sure what I would consider “too much”. Scene where somebody is for example dismembered with a chainsaw is actually handled rather artistically. Yes I did just say that.

Daanish steals ever scene she’s in. Her character of Dara is hauntingly creepy as a mother who is obsessed with strength and the idea of living forever. She is subtle and restrained until the final moments and then she just lets loose and when she does it’s so damn effective.

I can’t praise this film enough. It’s honestly one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a long time and hands down my favourite in the sub-genre of “Cannibal family” horror. Do yourself a favour and watch it now.








Deliverance from Evil (we’re gettin’ Indie!)

Posted in Horror Showcase, Updates with tags , , , , , , on April 13, 2012 by splatterpictures

As I’ve said many times on this site. We love independent horror on Splatterpictures. That being said it opens us up to some things that can be pretty awful. Thankfully Deliverance from Evil manages to avoid a lot of the pitfalls that just make things with a smaller budget impossible to enjoy.

Deliverance from Evil is brought to us by the good folks at Pumpkin Patch Pictures. It’s directed by Indie horror veterans the Quiroz brothers. The film stars Angel Avoles and Jose Rosete.

The basic idea is that a couple move in to a new home with their young son who is taking a bath. Suddenly a mysterious force causes the boy to drown and it triggers a chain of events that forces the devastated parents to uncover the mysterious and tragic history of their new home and banish an evil force before it destroys them all.

The film never loses focus of its story and that is one of the strongest aspects of it. Both Avoles and Rosete do a fine job portraying a couple who has just lost their son in a seemingly sudden accident. I think they both start off as likable characters that come off sympathetic and sincere in their portrayals. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters. The special cameo by Friday the 13th writer Victor Miller was also a nice little treat. He plays the sort of soothsayer mailman.

One of the biggest problems I had with the film was the lighting. Supernatural horror relies on many things to create tension or fear. Actors have to do their part, music is also very important but you can’t ignore the lighting. Many of the scenes (in fact almost all of them) take place during the day or in well lit areas. In supernatural thrillers I often tease about how dark the films always are and how even when characters turn on a light it often makes little to no difference. As cheesy as the perpetually dark rooms can be there is something to be said for the atmosphere they create. Ghost stories like this rely on our imaginations to fill in a lot of the blanks. When you’re in a dark room your mind can play tricks on you and shadows can suddenly take shape into something horrific.

Scenes where I felt there should have been a lot more tension just didn’t work because it was bright as day. The film did have more night shots towards the end and when certain scene were going on at night or in dimly lit rooms they were noticeably more effective.

The special effects were great. I was glad to see some practical stuff which always looks much better than CGI when you’re dealing with smaller budgets. There is a great scene with a pillow indenting as if a head is reading on it that looks great. The effects on the ghost were decent as well but I would have liked to have seen more instances where the characters were encountering the ghost as oppose the just us as the audience seeing him.

All and all the Quiroz brothers offer up well thought out character driven supernatural horror that is defiantly worth a look. The complaints I have are pretty minor and by the second half of the movie they are mostly fixed. The ending especially has a great creepy spin on it that sticks with you. Check it out!