Sunday, 28 February 2010

Theatre Review: Ghost Stories at The Lyric, Hammersmith

"Please keep the secrets of Ghost Stories"

We were told as the house lights came on after this thrilling experience. Keep them I will whilst reviewing this play with a difference.

Having travelled to London just to see a 2 minute trailer it seemed only fitting that I do something else whilst in the Capital. But, I do this every week day, go into London, for work. So, despite there being a wealth on offer, I tend to lose interest. Scouring through the many online resources I could stomach I was reminded of Jeremy (League of Gentlemen) Dyson/Andy (Dead Set) Nayler's play (and you can call it that) Ghost Stories.

At such short notice I could only get the Upper Circle, but for £10 I wasn't going to complain. Numbers have been scrawled on the Lyric's walls, similar to those in the image above. Atmospheric sound effects came from every speaker, before the performance began (even in the Ladies loos I was reliably informed by my wife).

There was no clue to as to what exactly Ghost Stories was going to be. It tuned out to be witty, compelling with that League of Gentlemen twist that I've come to know. It owes more to Pscychoville than to the League, so anyone concerned should be assured that the play is more accessible.

It stars Andy Nyman who I remember from the TV gorefest, Dead Set. Andy played the character Patrick, the producer of Big Brother that makes Rhodes from Day of the Dead look sane.

Although, the audience that I saw it with weren't that receptive and reactive to the scares, I still felt the hair rise on the back of my neck a couple of times. Ghost Stories is well worth checking out, but get a seat in the Stalls.

Ghost Stories is 80 minutes long and it's run ends on 3/04/10.

Book Ghost Stories now, at The Lyric, Hammersmith, London.

Trailer Review: Tron Legacy

On a grey day, I made my way into London to the IMAX theatre near Waterloo. Typically, the London Tube network had a myriad of problems for us to negotiate but we got to the IMAX at 13:15.
I guessed that there was approximately 100 people already queueing up. Many stereotypical characters made up that queue and I set about spending the time looking for Tron related clothing. Thankfully, there wasn't any Joe Maynard style costumes but I did spot original Adidas Tron tops and an original Tron t-shirt. Otherwise there was the obligatory Last Exit To Nowhere Blade Runner shirt and 80s retro themed Tees on display.

We were kept waiting for some time. If I recall correctly we went into the auditorium at about ten to two :O The annoyance of this went away as we were presented with "Flynn Lives" T-shirts, whilst basic they were a pleasant fanboy surprise.

We took our seats and eventually were told that, due to the time difference, we were the first group to see this teaser trailer. Being a typically English audience, we didn't know wether to "whoop" or clap. A few self-conscious "whoops" could be heard before we all joined in to clap the trailer.

The trailer begins with Bruce Boxleitner's character Alan Bradley telling Sam Flynn that his father has been missing for 20 years and was pioneering anything from computers to medicine.

"I've told you that I'd let you know if I ever had information about your missing father."

Sam is given a set of keys to Flynn's place, after being told that a call was made from a line that had been disconnected for 20 years. Sam is then seen racing through the streets on a real world motor bike. This reminded me of Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek movie.
Flynn's is now a dark deserted place; a contrast from what we remember from the original movie. (I felt nostalgic goosebumps at this point). Sam comes across a Tron arcade station; the exact same one that we used to play back in 1982. He shoves in a quarter, for it only to be spat out again. The Arcade machine opens to reveal a secret hidey hole with an old PC on a dusty desk. Sam sits down hits a few keys and we see a familar laser fire up behind him.
What follows is the usual teaser trailer montage of superfast edits of material that has already been finished, including;

A great shot of a newly designed Recognizer hovering over a number of humanoid programs. This time, the Recogizer has a lot more moving parts and looks very well updated as does everything else.

We see the young Flynn in the concpit of this thing. There is a shot of what looks like a version of Flynn's Clu program. Clearly he's not necessarily on the side of the angels.

Olivia Wilde is seen languishing on a couch.

There are shots of programs fighting with discs.

We see Sam Flynn wandering up to a door flooded with light, Jeff Bridges' voice saying "It's been a long time" with a shot from the test footage seen last year, of older Flynn.

Lastly, the cool neon Tron Legacy logo comes up with a release date. We see Sam Flynn in a light cycle racing against another, cutting him off. We see his opponent de-res, as Sam says something like "cool".

And that was that. They showed the trailer just the once, frustratingly with no other footage. The powers that be did not learn a lesson from the Avatar IMAX preview that ran a good 15 minutes with an intro from the film's Director. I was prepared for this eventuality but had hoped for something a bit more substantial.

But what I did get was reassurance that this movie is going to be something special, like the original.

See the trailer online this Friday, allegedly.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Movie Preview: The Dead

Did you like Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2? How about Wes Craven's The Serpent and the Rainbow? Played Resident Evil 5? Check out the trailer for the film The Dead;

DVD Preview: Not Forgotten

Label:Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date:15th March 2010
Release type:DVD
Running time:93 mins
Price:£15.99 (DVD)
Stars:Simon Baker, Paz Vega, Benito Martinez, Claire Forlani


Star of the hit TV series ‘The Mentalist’, Simon Baker (The Devil Wears Prada; Land Of The Dead) heads an impressive cast that includes Paz Vega (The Spirit; The Human Contract; Spanglish),Chloe Moretz (Kick Ass; (500) Days Of Summer; Dirty Sexy Money) and Claire Forlani (CSI: NY) in Not Forgotten, a stylish and atmospheric mystery-thriller packed with suspense and hints of the supernatural.
Successful businessman Jack Bishop (Baker) lives a seemingly perfect life in a peaceful town of Del Rio, Texas with his 11-year-old daughter, Toby (Moretz), and beautiful new wife, Amaya (Vega). But Jack’s past holds a dark secret that he hides not only from his family and friends but also from himself. When Toby goes missing, feared kidnapped, during one of her regular junior football team practices, Jack suspects that the transgressions of his former life have returned to haunt him. Desperate in his search to find his daughter, he is compelled to turn to his long forgotten faith in the powers of La Santa Meurte and her followers, the protectors of the sinner and worshippers of the dead. Meanwhile, the more conventional investigation into Toby’s disappearance is being led by an insecure, newly appointed local sheriff and a pair of FBI agents who initially believe a repeated sex offender may be responsible.
Jack’s own search takes him across the border and into the squalid barrios and seedy brothels of a Mexican border town, where a psychic reveals the secrets of his forgotten past in terrifying detail. As various dark truths are unearthed, an unexpected web of lies, deceit, murder and revenge conspires to destroy Jack by threatening the lives of those he loves the most.
An engrossing and finely performed thriller, Not Forgotten will keep viewers on edge right up to its shocking and totally unexpected denouement.
Not Forgotten (cert. 18) will be released on DVD (£15.99) by Anchor Bay Entertainment on 15th March 2010.

A review will be posted on Flash-Bang in the near future.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Day of the Dead Blu-Ray Preview Pt 2: The Comic

SFX has an interesting article on a freebie with the upcoming Arrow release of Day of the Dead. Remember, for foreign orders the set is Region Free! Happy Days!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Invasion of the Not Quite Dead Teaser Trailer

Superstadom at last! Ok, not quite, but I'm in a teaser for a film that's "not quite a zombie film". Catch the fun below (I'm the guy sweeping outside the farm store);

The film will star the hugely talented Les Simpson (Dog Soldiers, Doomsday, Straw Man) and the equally talented, but far better looking, Efisia Fele.

You too could be part of the project so head on over to the official site to see how you can join in.

DVD Preview: Bitch Slap

Prepare to get slapped in a really fine way!


Prepare yourself for a racy riot of buxom brawling babes, ballistic bedlam, crazed catfights and gratuitous sapphic romps in Bitch Slap, a sassy celebration and post-modern parody of 1950s, 60s and 70s exploitation movies.

Imagine ‘Sin City’ produced by Roger Corman, directed by Russ Meyer – and shot in glorious Technicolor rather than dull monochrome! – and you’ll have some idea of what Bitch Slap is all about.

Directed by Corman protégé Rick Jacobson, starring a trio of titillating temptresses in the form of Julia Voth (Love Hurts), Erin Cummings (Dollhouse; Dante’s Cove) and America Olivo (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Friday the 13th; Iron Man), and co-starring ‘Xena/Hercules’ alumni Michael Hurst, Kevin Sorbo, Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor, along with Quentin Tarantino’s stunt woman of choice Zoe Bell (Inglourious Basterds; Death Proof; Kill Bill), this is pure, sexy, mindless cinematic joy from sensational start to explosive finish.

The plot follows three badass chicks – stripper Trixie (Voth), corporate powerbroker Hel (Cummings)and psychotic drug-runner Camero (Olivo) – as they crash at a remote desert hideaway with a plan to steal $200 million in diamonds from a ruthless underworld kingpin. But as allegiances change and bitter truths are revealed, the girls’ plan spirals dangerously out of control, forcing them to face a variety of villains much worse than themselves and leaving the very fate of the world in the balance.

Bitch Slap (cert. tbc) will be released on DVD (£tbc) by Momentum Pictures on 19th April 2010

I liked this movie! Maybe the still shows why, but there's more to it than just hot babes. A review is (over)due from me, at Flash-Bang.

Blu-Ray Preview: Day of the Dead

THE DEAD WALK....on Blu-Ray!


This March, Arrow Video celebrates the 25th Anniversary of writer-director George A. Romero’s 1985 horror masterpiece, Day Of The Dead, with a special two-disc Blu-ray release that features a host of world exclusive extras, including a restored presentation of the film, a new hi-def soundtrack (the original ‘uncensored dialogue’ version, completely restored), four alternate sleeves, a double-sided poster, a 24-page collector’s booklet ‘For Every Dawn There Is A Day’, plus a very special collector’s comic – ‘Day Of The Dead: Desertion’ – featuring a brand new ‘Bub’ storyline. Also after years of ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ getting all the great documentaries, ‘Day…’ finally gets the retrospectives it deserves with the all-new ‘Joe Of The Dead’ and ‘Travelogue Of The Dead’.

Specially commissioned for this 25th Anniversary Blu-ray release of Day Of The Dead, the world exclusive 24-page comic ‘Day Of The Day: Desertion’ is written by ‘Hack/Slash Meets Re-Animator’ co-writer, Barry Keating, and ‘Halloween: Nightdance’ creator, Stefan Hutchinson, with artwork by ‘Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode’ illustrator Jeff Zornow. The storyline recounts the dark and disturbing origins of Day Of The Dead’s iconic zombie, Bub. Only available as part of this Blu-ray release, ‘Day Of The Dead: Desertion’ is just one of the many features that makes this release the one, must-have edition of Day Of The Dead for fans and collectors worldwide.

The Day of the Dead Blu-ray was developed in conjunction with the members of Cult Labs - ( - a forum where film distributors interested in fan opinions spend time getting their expert feedback. One of the artwork options included in the packaging - the triple layer Night/Dawn/Day of the Dead poster was their most popular alternate choice. The main artwork is an all-new oil painting commissioned from artist Rick Melton.

In this, the third instalment in Romero’s ongoing zombie saga, the living dead have now taken over the world and only small pockets of human resistance survive. One such group of desperate survivors, a motley crew of scientists and soldiers, are holed up in a 14-mile long underground missile silo. As the scientists experiment on forcibly captured zombie specimens to try and find a way to control them, the soldiers become increasingly impatient with the lack of results and are eager to wage an all-out war on the undead. Soon, the tension between the two human camps erupts into a violent situation that is only overshadowed by the vicious zombie slaughter that surrounds them.

Easily the bleakest, goriest and most chilling of Romero’s zombie movies to date, Day Of The Dead sees Tom Savini and his special effects team hitting an all-time career high with an endless succession of super-realistic flesh tearing, bone snapping, gut spilling mayhem that for some viewers will prove almost too much to endure. The setting within a seemingly endless series of underground caverns adds an unbearable tension to a movie that is still as shockingly violent and claustrophobic today as it was twenty-five years ago.

Two all-new documentaries were commissioned for this epic release. In ‘Joe Of The Dead’ (directed by Calum Waddell) actor Joe Pilato talks about his career in movies - from his early appearance in the little-seen Pittsburgh horror outing ‘Effects’ (which also featured Romero regulars Tom Savini and John Harrison) to his small parts in ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ and ‘Knightriders’ and, of course, his work as Captain Rhodes in Day Of The Dead. In addition, Pilato addresses the remake, where his career went following Day of The Dead's disastrous box office upon its initial release and his thoughts on the movie being rediscovered and hailed as a classic.
In ‘Travelogue of the Dead’ (directed by Naomi Holwill), we join Pilato as he travels across Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow in October 2009 celebrating the 25th anniversary of Day Of The Dead and witness him meeting the fans, reciting his most famous lines from the movie - live and on stage - and drinking with the best of them! 

Calum Waddell also penned the ‘For Every Dawn There Is A Day’ collector’s booklet, which is an essay on the making of the movie that collects brand new interviews with Romero, Savini, editor Pasquale Buba, assistant director/composer John Harrison and actors Joe Pilato, Lori Cardille and Gary Steele.

The two-disc 25th Anniversary Edition Day Of The Dead (cert. 18) will be released on Blu-ray (£24.99) by Arrow Video on 29th March 2010.

Special Features
Four sleeve art options; double-sided fold-out poster; ‘For Every Dawn There Is A Day’ collector’s booklet; ‘Day Of The Dead: Desertion’ – an all new exclusive 24-page collector’s comic featuring new Bub storyline; 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio and 1.0 Mono audio options.

Disc One (Blu-ray)

Theatrical feature; audio commentary with special effects team of Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger, Everett Burrell and Mike Deak; Joe Of The Dead – Acting In A Romero Classic; Travelogue Of The Dead.

Disc Two (DVD)

The Many Days Of The Dead; Behind the Zombies footage; Romero Zombography;
Photo Album of the Dead; Souvenirs of the Dead; Night Of The Living Dead trailer; Dawn Of The Dead trailer; TV Ads of the Dead; The Audio Recollections of Richard Liberty; Wampum Mine promo

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Preview: The Last Seven

Intriguing low budget movie that owes a little to Survivors, 28 Days Later and I Am Legend. Watch the trailer. Initially, it looks a bit mundane but stick with it.

Walking Dead Casting Rumours

Check out the article below for "rumoured" possibilities for the casting of the lead character; Rick Grimes

The author of the article is right. The casting of Rick is key to the success of the series. I don't feel Bamber has the emotional range. Pelligrino? He might cut it. I've not seen Townsend in anything but he doesn't look right.