In rural South Africa’s Zulu culture there is a myth concerning an evil spirit that can be summoned with the help of a sangoma, or witch doctor, to do one’s bidding. This creature is called a tokoloshe and it takes on many different forms, climbin’ under yo beds, snatchin’ yo people up, and generally being a total d-bag. If you think this would make a good premise for a horror story you’d be correct, and if you suddenly wonder why this hasn’t been made into a film yet, your ponderings are now belated. A film to be released on DVD in 2014 called Blood Tokoloshe – Dawn of the Beast is currently doing the rounds in South Africa after being in production since 2011. The film breaks new ground in that it is also one of South Africa’s first films partially funded by an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign.
Blood Tokoloshe – Dawn of the Beast follows Mthunzi, a greedy local businessman, who enlists the services of a tokoloshe to get money and women in exchange for blood. Mthunzi is the type… Continue reading
A serial killer, in what could be considered an unconventional approach to dating, films his sexual misadventures and the murder of one of his victims in graphic detail. The FBI recovers the self-shot footage and bam, another found-footage movie enters the well-trodden genre. The end result? An incredibly slow and painfully boring hard-core porno trying, and failing, to establish itself as a shocking new entry into the serial-killer-makes-a-home-movie category. Incredibly, Amateur Porn Star Killer 2 comes in more than one edition: the regular movie edition and the so called snuff version with music removed so it can be viewed “as the killer intended”; just in case the music somehow distracts you from the tedium. I recommend watching neither and opting for the latest Disney special instead.
Unfortunately director Shane Ryan does not live up to his potential in this one. Unlike My Name is ‘A’ by Anonymous (which proves that Ryan is a talented director), Amateur Porn Star Killer 2 really doesn’t offer much in the way of philosophy, and the improvised dialogue really brings the awkward. If the aim… Continue reading
Sometimes it is hard to know what to feel after watching a movie. Recently Life After Undeath was asked to review My Name is ‘A’ by Anonymous, due for DVD release in 2014. Based on the true story of 15 year old Alyssa Bustamante’s 2009 murder of her 9 year old neighbor, Elizabeth Olten, My Name is ‘A’ is at times bleak and hard to watch. The movie isn’t particularly gory and yet the fact that this revolves around a case in which the appeals are still ongoing does make it feel like almost like an exploitation film, especially considering the ages of those involved.
Part found footage, part regular movie, occasionally black and white, and accompanied by a soundtrack that could pass for giallo, Indie, or even horror comedy, we follow Alyssa and other characters as they grow increasingly unstable. Themes like bullying, self-harm, bulimia, rape, and pop culture are explored as they interact to produce the heart breaking act at the center of the movie. It is, perhaps, the questioning nature of the film that justifies its… Continue reading
It has been another fun-filled week in the land of horror. Here is your weekly horror update to beat the Monday blues.
1. Sequel and spinoff movies for The Conjuring!
That’s right, various sources reported this week that The Conjuring will receive the spinoff treatment. And my how it spins. Bloody Disgusting reported that as many as 3 micro budget side projects may be on the way, at least one of them based on the film’s creepy doll, Annabelle. Along with this a sequel is on the way!
2. Chucky and Freddie share milestones.
Many don’t know this, but on the 9th of November 2013, the beloved doll / serial killer Chucky, turned 25. This is the same day that A Nightmare on Elm Street had its first limited release in 1984, and, if you’re also an astro-geek, Carl Sagan’s birthday.
3. Fans of gross-out horror will be delighted to know that The Human Centipede 3 is on its way.
It will be called The Final Sequence and will feature Eric… Continue reading
V/H/S is a compilation of VHS quality found footage horror shorts. A frame narrative about petty criminals breaking into a house to steal a VHS tape serves to bind all the short stories together. The merry band of thugs videotapes all their crimes, including tapes of their sexual assault on random women, which they sell to reality porn companies. Shortly after breaking into the house they find the owner dead in front of a wall of TV monitors in a house littered with VHS tapes. They start looking for the tapes, allowing us to see the footage.
The stories are all from different horror sub genres, ensuring that everybody will find something to like. In the first story a group of friends encounter a creature disguised as a regular woman. This is followed up by a married couple on their second honeymoon, a bunch of friends that visit a remote lake camping location, a story involving alien implants, and finally a haunted house slash possession-ey tale. All of them are entertaining, some are very well done,… Continue reading
Horror fans are a bit like M&M’s: a hard outer shell with dark center where all the sweet bits go. Years of watching other peoples’ nightmares come to life make us jaded and desensitized, making every horror movie feel like just another horror movie. Enter The Conjuring, without a doubt one of the finest supernatural horrors filmed in the last 20 years, and one of the few movies in recent times that might still penetrate the candy coat of your heart.
It’s not that The Conjuring is a creative movie. You’ve seen this story more than your car door. A happy family move into some kind of remote country home. Soon after the move things start going bump in the night, and before you know it they’re trying to piece together why little Jimmy is speaking 7 different dialects of ancient Latin while puking pea soup from the sprinkler system that is now his open mouth. An energetic battle for the souls and / or lives of those involved ensues, and, if it’s a modern horror movie, everyone… Continue reading
Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic The Evil Dead has become a staple of horror movie lovers everywhere; combining jump scares, gallons of blood, and a twisted sense of humor to deliver the horror goods all over your face. Because of its special place in horror lore, and because I generally loathe remakes, it was with much trepidation that I watched the 2013 remake – also by Raimi – simply titled Evil Dead.
The story differs slightly from the original. The lead character, a girl named Mia – Jane Levy (originally a guy named Ash played by the irreplaceable Bruce Campbell), goes to a cabin in the woods with a group of friends to fix her drug addiction (originally his horny-itis) and very bad things happen. In both cases evil is unleashed, demonic possession ensues, and disgusting iconic deeds scar themselves into your brain.
Mr. Raimi is, of course, no stranger to the genre. Besides bringing us The Evil Dead he is also responsible for 2009’s Drag Me to Hell and all of the Evil Dead sequels (which as… Continue reading
Generically named Joey receives a text from his girlfriend, Jennifer, that seems to indicate she is cheating on him. Flabbergasted by the unexpected shit being taken on his heart he decides to take a road trip to see her, making a movie along the way to prove how much he mega-loves her. He also hopes to catch her in the heinous act so he can slut shame. If the two goals are incompatible it never dawns on Joey, who is accompanied on his incredible adventure by cousin Steven, and friend Martin who is kind enough to chauffeur them around.
As you can probably tell, To Jennifer is a found footage film. It comes from the pen and directing chair of James Cullen Bressack who also directed 13/13/13 and Hate Crime, another found footage film gaining word of mouth for its considered-brutal-by-some depiction of a Nazi home invasion. Like Hate Crime this entry seems only loosely scripted, with the actors trying to engage in natural conversation rather than memorizing pages of dialogue. The main thing that sets To… Continue reading