Thursday, 5 May 2011

Buried Treasure (1924) - The Type of Cartoon Disney Would NEVER Make

I'm currently working on an essay all about Picha's superb cult classic Shame of the Jungle (1975) and have come across a whole host of 1970s dirty animation. Cartoons that blur the lines between pornography and comedy. But here's possibly one of the first to start it. Not much is known about this film, except that it was probably made around 1924/25 by a couple of cartoon studios at the time, out of hours - most likely the Fleisher studio. Thought to have been made for stag parties this is quite possibly one of the strangest and freakiest animations you will ever see!


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Walking Dead Press Book (Part II)

As promised in the previous post, here's the remaining pages of the original and official press book of the 1936 film The Walking Dead. Enjoy.

The Official Walking Dead (1936) Official Press Book (Part 1)

Why hello! First off before I get to the good stuff, let me just explain my absence for any minions who care. I've been busy. And lazy. But mostly lazy. Hence the lack of posts recently. So to make up for it, here's something that you may find of interest, particularly if you're a fan of the horror genre, such as myself. Below is the entire OFFICIAL press book for The Walking Dead. Oh no, I'm not talking about the upcoming TV show of the same title, premiering here on FX this Halloween. Instead, the film in question is none other than the 1936 zombies oldie starring the king of horror himself, Mr. Boris Karloff.

Here's an extract from Jamie Russell's incredible Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema about the film:

Warner Bros. tried to blend their talent for gangster movies with the Universal horror tradition in this interesting take on the zombie. Karloff is the walking dead man of the title, who's framed by evil mobsters and sent to the electric chair before two faint-hearted eyewitnesses find the courage to tell the court that he's actually innocent. Fortunately, they know a scientist who's able to revive him... The results aren't entirely successful and Karloff ends up moping around, playing the piano and killing the men who fitted him up like some lumbering angel of vengeance. According to movie legend, Karloff's casting was a fluke: "The reason I called you in was because I thought you actually were a Russian," explained director Curtiz after the event. "Your name certainly sounds Russian! When you came in you seemed so anxious to get the job that I decided to let you have it!"

So, without further ado here is the official press book for The Walking Dead. And for those unfamiliar with press books, they're basically a way for the film studio to sell their film in a particular way by sending a booklet (now often a CD/DVD) full of posters, lobby cards, interviews, stunts and gimmicks to sell the film and so on. Pretty fascinating really.

Oh, also, I'll be posting a lot more of these in the future - titles including press books for The Man They Could Not Hang, Dracula and Frankenstein!

P.S. For some stupid reason the pictures have appeared in the wrong order (the first picture being the last page). So to read it in order start at the bottom of the post. The rest of the Press Book will be posted up shortly.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Frightfest Review 3: The Dead

As you may have guessed by now, zombies are my life. I live for the undead; kind of ironic really. So when I heard that there was only one (feature length) zombie film being shown at FrightFest this year I was, to be honest, disappointed. Wheres all the flesh-eaters?! But thankfully this one film was one of the greatest zombie films I've seen in a good while. And that film goes by the, rather appropriate, name of The Dead.

What  The Hell Is It About?
According to the FrightFest booklet;

Known in the UK as the new Ridley and Tony Scott because of their similar commercial backgrounds, the Ford Brothers now burst on the high-class scare scene as a fresh force in the horror fantasy arena. In the very near future most of the world has succumbed to a living dead virus. After crashing off the coast of Africa in a plane, Lt. Brian Murphy battles for survival across inhospitable parched terrain in search of a way to get back to his beloved family in America. Saved by local military man Sgt. Daniel Dembele, who is also searching for his son, both men join forces to fight the ever present flesh-eating threat stalking the bush. Starring West African superstar Prince David Osei and Rob Freeman from Saving Private Ryan, The Dead features stunningly shot burnished landscapes, brilliant special make-up and visual effects and terrific dust devil zombies.

 Was It Any Good?

Was it good?! What type of stupid question is that? To call this film anything short of a beautiful masterpiece would be an understatement. The entire film takes place in Africa which instantly brings to mind one thing to all zombie fans. No, not Resident Evil 5, but a return to the roots of the zombie mythos; the Haitian zombies. In fact, I would argue that the whole of this film is a step into the past of the zombie genre. Clearly influenced by the films of Lucio Fulci, particularly prevalent with the extremely slow shamble of the somnambulists. The Ford brothers themselves announced to the FrightFest audience that they are huge fans of his work along with the indisputable king of the undead, Mr. George A. Romero. The very fact that these zombies are slow is quite a breath of fresh air when compared to the zombie trend of the past few years; fast, hectic living dead. As further elaborated upon by the Ford brothers, this again was a conscious effort to build tension and suspense rather than a frantic action zombie ride. This couldn't be more truthful. Whilst it would be completely wrong to suggest that the speedy dead lack the power to scare ([Rec] being an obvious example to demonstrate this), the undead in The Dead possess a terrifyingly bleak and empty feel not seen since Zombie Flesh Eaters.

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Revenge Of Doctor X (1970)

Here's a very strange and odd little exploitation film. Complete with laugh-out-loud scenes (unintentional of course), a silly monster costume, obvious rip-offs and more guilty of more mistakes than a married couple of sex-obsessed catholics. This is one hell of a (rather bad) ride for all fans of cheesy b-movies, exploitation drive-in cinema or so-bad-it's-good films.

What the Hell is it About?
According to the DVD case:

A NASA scientist is ordered to take a vacation due to showing signs of stress while working on his latest missile project. Traveling to Japan, the scientist decides to indulge in his botany hobby and begins experimenting on a Venus Flytrap he brought along on his trip. Using radical techniques and falling into madness, the scientist eventually creates a plant creature that feeds on flesh and blood, which then sets off to find food in the form of the people of a nearby community.

Was it any good?

With a title like The Revenge Of Doctor X you can pretty much guess what your getting yourself into. But it deliver so much more...or less (depending on your taste in film). The film starts of with the credits...naturally. Only problem is, well, there the credits to the wrong film! Hello! What is this? An unseen Monty Python film?! According to the credits, this film was directed by exploitation 'legend' Eddie Romero, probably most famous for his Blood Trilogy (Brides Of Blood, Mad Doctor Of Blood Island (both 1968) and Beast Of Blood) as well as Women In Chains (1973) and The Beast Of The Yellow Night (1971; a film that almost made the DPP list).  But unfortunately, Doctor X was instead directed by the nobody Norman Thomson who has only this film to his name. In fact, the majority of this film's cast have a career which spans only one film; this one! With the exception of Doctor X (actually Dr. Bragan) himself played by James Craig who also starred in Bigfoot (1970) alongside the late great John Carradine and The Tormentors (1971); a Nazi Vs. Jesus Christ film! Besides Craig the next biggest name is possibly James Yagi who plays exactly the same character  in the Cult Classic, King Kong VS. Godzilla (1962). So, obviously this film isn't going to win any awards for its acting. And that adds to the film's enjoyability. Complete with over-the-top acting especially from Craig, who's main character seems to have serious hormonal problems - one minute everything's fine, the next he's SHOUTING HIS FACE OFF! But if any award was given (for best worst acting) it has to be to one of the side characters. A hunchback.

Yes. A hunchback.

Beans, Beans! The More You Eat The More...Chance You Have Of Finding A Dead Rat?!

Picture this. Your a cook. A cook who' Just like normal you open up a can of Baked Beans and, to your disgust you find that the tin is also home to...carrots! Pretty shocking. Now imagine opening a can of Baked Beans and finding the rotting (yet very tomato-y) corpse of a dead rat. That could scare someone for life! The rat's body has since been removed from the can and, after an intense postmortem, it was confirmed that the rat had not enjoyed a last meal of beans. Was the rat stuffed into the can by purpose? Did the rat actually sneak into it during the tinning process? Are aliens responsible? These are just some of the horrid possibilities. Although the company responsible for this are being kept anony'mouse' (see what I did there?) by authorities, Heinz have announced that they are not 'in any way connected to this incident.'

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A Zombie Western...With PUPPETS!

It's a puppet!

I've always wanted to see a zombie puppet film. Sure there's been animated zombie films such as Dead Space, the CGI Resident Evil film and the made-by-one-man City Of Rott, but there's been nothing (to my knowledge) of a gory and funny zombie film with Henson-esque puppets, similar to Meet The Feebles. Until now! It Came From The West, released a few months ago,is just that (short) film,  crammed with blood, guts, and stuffing and about as tongue in cheek as it is hand up back. Now you can check the full film out online! Just head over to this link to watch it all. Here's hoping the director, Tor Fruergaard, makes a feature length version of this!

But that's not all! I've recently come across this little fake zombie trailer done in the style of a Grindhouse/Exploitation trailer. It's great fun!

Zombies Used In Anti-Smoking Campaign

Here's a pretty interesting zombie-related story. Can zombies actually help society? Well maybe, if MTV's new plan is successful. MTV's long running show  The Real World (now in the 24th series!) have teamed up with the undead to warn viewers about the dangers of...smoking. Yeah, smoking. MTV will be screening several short anti-smoking, flesh-eating commercials during programmes. Sounds pretty lame, but just watch the below videos. Here are two of the anti-smoking adverts along with a trailer. Enjoy!

1) Warning Labels:

2) Secondhand Kill:

3) The Trailer:

Weekly Comp: Dario Argento's Inferno!

Here's your chance to win one of Italian cinema's masterpieces; Dario Argento's Inferno. Released in the UK for the first time ever UNCUT, this Blu-Ray and DVD comes complete with a detailed booklet on the film, posters, postcards, heaps of extras, 4 reversible covers and so much more! Here's some more info:


 Having already wowed horror fans with superlative releases of ‘Day Of The Dead’, ‘Martin’ and ‘City Of The Living Dead’ earlier this year, Arrow Video continues its commitment to presenting the ultimate, must-have editions of horror cinema’s greatest cult classics on DVD and Blu-ray with its forthcoming 30th Anniversary release of Dario Argento’s Inferno.

Never before available on DVD or Blu-ray in the UK, this 30th Anniversary Edition features a brand new, restored, uncut version of the film and comes complete with a host of unique and exclusive extras, many of which were specially commissioned for this release. Also included are four sleeve art options, a double-sided poster, an exclusive collector’s booklet written by Alan Jones (author of ‘Profondo Argento’) and six original poster art postcards.

Described by Argento as “a fairy tale designed for adults”, the second instalment of his ‘Three Mothers’ trilogy (and the follow up to his smash hit, ‘Suspiria’), Inferno “contains some of Argento's most hallucinatory images and unforgettable set-pieces” (The Onion AV Club) and was listed as one of the 50 Greatest Horror Movies Of All Time by Total Film.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Spider: 1 Man With Flamethrower: 0.

Here's a very strange story for all you freaks out there, regarding a spider and a total idiot! Spiders. Most people hate those eight legged freaks. But what if one of them scurries about in your bathroom. What do you do? Reach for the rolled up newspaper? Or do the 'humane' thing (whatever that means) and rescue the poor bug's life? Well, if your name is Christopher Robinson and your married to a certain Janine then there's only one thing you can do. Burn it to death! Or, more accurately, FAIL at burning it to death.

On the last Monday of August in the quiet Clacton-On-sea, the petrified Janine instructed the 28-year old Christopher to get rid of the incy wincy spider that was running wild and causing all sorts of heinous crimes (!) in their bathroom. After FAILing to flush it out with a toilet brush, Christopher decided the only logical way to get rid of the creep was to suffocate it to death. He grabbed the nearest (highly flammable) aerosol can and smufered it with the sweet smell of spray. Just his luck that the light bulb blew at that exact moment. Without a thought, Christopher grabbed his lighter to shine some light on the situation and, yep you guessed it, kaboom! A fireball burst out and threw Christopher flying out of the bathroom and smashed it's way into the loft.  Christopher received burns to his legs, arms and face and a certificate for being an utter plonker.

The firemen supplied the punchline; "‘We’re not entirely sure whether the spider got away or not – but there was no sign of it.’"

For more info here's an article from The Mirror