Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Occupants” (Shriekfest 2016):  Couple Confronts  Terror from  a Parallel Reality

Russ Emanuel’s science-fiction thriller Occupants (2015) is a fine example of taking a lower budget, stripped-down approach to a unique concept and making it work. Most of the special effects are limited to visual ones, yet the approach works and builds to a horror-film feel by its climax. The film won Best Sci-Fi Feature Film […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

“The Chute” (Shriekfest 2016): Horror Begins at Home in Startling Short Film

Something as simple as tossing clothes down a laundry chute into the basement becomes a terrifying experience for a troubled mother in director Aidan Weaver’s microshort horror film The Chute. The short packs a good deal of dread and fright into its approximately three minutes of running time. Jennifer Trudrung stars as a mother who […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Peelers” (Wreak Havoc 2016): Stripper Horror Comedy With Brains in Its Head (and Plenty on the Wall, Too)

Life as a stripper must be rough, especially when you have to spend a goodly portion of your time fighting off zombies and other monsters. At least, that’s the message one gets from films in the stripper horror sub-genre. Most of the time, these films are not much more than low-budget exploitation fare. (No?! Really?!) […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Getting Schooled” (Wreak Havoc 2016): Breakfast Club With Murder, but With Neither Laughs nor Scares

Not to generalize, but horror fans are a fairly thick-skinned lot; they do not take offense easily. A film labelled “horror” or “comedy” – or better yet “horror/comedy” – usually can get away with things considered distasteful in other genres. The one caveat to this is, for a film to be given the leeway to […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Coffin Baby” (Wreak Havoc – 2016): Partially Formed Film With Gory Set Pieces Suffers From Its Difficult Birth

The history of cinema is littered with “lost films” and unfinished projects. With all of the obstacles filmmakers face, from funding to rights issues, it is surprising there are not more stillborn projects. As such, filmmakers should be given some credit when they manage to rescue a picture from an early grave. Unfortunately, sometimes the […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Podcasts Horror News Radio

[Podcast] Interview: William Mahaffey director Knoxville Horror Film Festival — Episode 9 — HNR Extra

The Horror News Radio grue-crew continue their 2016 journey to a series of amazing horror film festivals up and down the East Coast. Next up for Doc Rotten and, for this festival, Chad Hunt is the jam packed Knoxville Horror Film Festival in Tennessee playing October 21 – 23, 2016. Doc sits down with the […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Features Gruesome News

Scream Queen FilmFest Tokyo Spotlights Women Fright-Fare Filmmakers

Horror-heavy Scream Queen FilmFest Tokyo (SQFFT) is dedicated to showcasing and promoting feature-length and short-film genre works by women  filmmakers from around the world. The 2016 edition kicks off on October 22 at Uplink Factory and runs through October 28. SQFFT director Mai Nakanishi has selected an outstanding lineup of offerings for this year’s festival. […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Frankenstein Created Bikers” (GenreBlast 2016): An Instant Cult Film Fueled on Alcohol, Gratuitous Nudity and Spatterific Gore

No one has a clearer vision of the film he wants to create than director James Anthony Bickert. His latest film, the amusingly titled Frankenstein Created Bikers, is a throwback to the drive-in, grindhouse horror films of the 1970s. The film blends horror and biker genres of that age together in a bloody, exploitation fueled […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Night of Something Strange” (GenreBlast 2016): Offensive In Every Way, Entertaining With Every Frame

Director Jonathan Straiton, along with co-writers Ron Bonk and Mean Gene, may have created the most distasteful, objectionable and vulgar horror film of the past decade. And, it is absolutely magnificent. The film is Night of Something Strange and it should not be missed. It will offend everyone in some shape or form. Count on […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“A Different Set of Cards” (GenreBlast 2016): An Engaging Crime Thriller Whose Unusual Structure Compliments Its Theme

Our future depends upon not only the cards that Fate deals us, but also upon how we play the hand that we are dealt. If the same people were swap hands, would the outcome be different? That is the premise behind the German crime thriller A Different Set of Cards (GenreBlast 2016), which played at […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Capsule” (GenreBlast 2016): A Tense, Dynamic, Character-Driven, Science Fiction Drama Well Worth Watching

Sometimes all it takes is a lone actor in a single location (coupled with a talented technical crew) to create a compelling film; such is the case with Capsule (GenreBlast 2016), which played at the inaugural GenreBlast Film Festival in Culpeper, Virginia the weekend of 2016 August 19-21. Writer/director Andrew Martin’s science fiction drama, based […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“The Master Cleanse” (BIFAN 2016): Retreat Goers Let Out the Monsters Inside Them

Often the things that frighten us most are creations of our own making, yet when given the opportunity to rid ourselves of these fears and frustrations, many of us are reluctant to eliminate the negativity, as evidenced in writer/director Bobby Miller’s The Master Cleanse (Canada/USA, 2016). Combining elements of body horror, new-age-philosophy satire, and wry […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Blood of the Tribades” (GenreBlast 2016): A Retro-style Homage to Early 1970’s Gothic Horror and Exploitation Undermined by an Inconsistent Tone

Early 1970’s exploitation is alive and well in Blood of the Tribades (GenreBlast 2016), which was shown at the inaugural GenreBlast Film Festival in Culpeper, Virginia the weekend of 2016 August 19-21. Co-writers/co-directors Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein have put together a low-budget horror piece that feels as if it could be a “lost […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Bloodsucker’s Handbook” (GenreBlast 2016): A Quirky Surreal – Film Noir Mashup for Fans of the Weird

“What the heck did I just watch?” Sometimes one finds oneself asking that after viewing a film – and that is not necessarily a bad thing. When a filmmaker is shooting for the surreal, this is often the desired response. Such is the case with Bloodsucker’s Handbook (GenreBlast 2016), which showed at the inaugural GenreBlast […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex” (Fantasia 2016): Creepy Crawly Creature Creators

Full disclosure: practical creature effects  are geek  porn for me. As far back as I can remember, practical creatures represented true magic. This probably started with Disney and Universal Theme Park attraction animatronics, but really translated into creature heavy movies and their making of specials. I remember watching the VHS of the behind the scenes […]