Archive for March, 2010

WHC 2010 was my first horror convention. And like any other of the con’s it had it’s lovies and it’s darlings. I was there  to pitch my next project, meet the horror fans, the ‘Countess’, Ramsey Campbell and James Herbert.
I don’t do networking, I like mixing with real folk.
I won’t name them but there were a few that behind their glossy pictures are just false and rude, like Hollywood there is a dark under-side and where more fitting to see this superficial horror gloss than at a horror convention.

Here are my highlights and thoughts on thd World Horror Convention 2010.

Thankfully I had a drink with my hero James Herbert, author of Rats, Haunted and one of my personal fav’ novels Creed, to name a few.
James sent me a letter nearly 20 years ago, wishing me luck with my horror writing. It took a long while, but finally catching up with him was great, he’s witty, down to earth and everything I hoped he would be.

Tanith Lee is a well respected fiction author, we sat down to dinner in her company. She’s an elegant down to earth lady, importantly accessable to her fans. For me though, being a Bond fan it was great just to spend sometime with the great late Bernard Lee’s (‘M’) daughter.

I sat down with Ingrid Pitt, she asked me how the fish was, while she signed a my copy of Hammer’s Countess Dracula and Vampire Lovers?!
She’s now a feisty lady hidden behind dark glasses. She’s so frank, I was rolling with laughter as she spoke about a verbal duel with John Wayne, and her ‘love’ encounter with Clint Eastwood off set.

Another highlight was seeing some great art work two of my fav’s were ‘Nameless’ Steve Crisp. The face looks like my wifes!

And ‘Out of Time by Les Edwards which captures the feeling if the 1477 A.D segement, minus the wings, of my book Blood Hunger. Les Ewards signed a limited 2/25 print for me.

As well as speaking to Ramsey Campbell author of The Nameless and Solomon Kane. I had the pleasure of his down to earth company, a really nice guy.

I also had a intoxicated chat, as a free bar was forced upon me, with Chris Fowler, breifly chatted and shook hands with Neil Gaimen, Coraline Creator which was fun…

I’ll leave you with a picture of my wife, friend of the stars http://www.twitter.com/kellytwink about to eat some cockles on Brighton Pier.

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As well as loads of other genres of films I love B-shock horror, especially killer toys! Puppet Master, Demonic Toys and Blood Dolls spring to mind. I’ve teamed up with Brand-B Corporation and the talented director Dan Brownlie as one of the producers on Bear Scary.

Bear Scary is a terrific slew of pumping music, gore, blood, a killer Teddy and a little bit of sex appeal, it all makes for a solid b-movie horror fun.

Here’s the killer Teddy trailer of Bear Scary.


Bear-wear psycho in the shower.

Teddy and actress/model Lauren Bushby chill between takes,
and chat about the next scene.
Photos by Philip Penn.

Quintessential and timeless, The Godfather trilogy directed by Francis Ford Coppola, tells the story of several generations of Corleone mafia family.

Arguably the finest films ever made and here’s my views on why they’re must sees…

The Godfather (1972)

Coppola’s near perfect masterpiece. A first class cast including, James Caan, Al Pacino and heavy weight Marlon Brando to name a few. There is not much I can add that hasn’t already been written it is the quintessential family, Mafia gangster film.

The 1950’s nostalgic feel is captured, distinguished cinematography by Gordon Willis and the script honed. The costumes, locations and sets add to the overall authentic experience.

Brando’s aged make-up is incredible, particularly for 1972 and apart from some insignificant choppy editing and stock footage the film is near enough picture perfect.

Timeless, compulsive viewing, there is a reason why The Godfather is on a pedestal as one of the greatest movies or of all time… There is no offer to refuse, it’s a must see.

The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Told through parallel story lines that features the 1900’s, following a young Vito Corleone, played by Robert De Niro, growing up and opening his business. Then in conjunction: the 1950’s as Al Pacino as Don Michael Corleone expands his crime empire.

Same cast, director, writers, Gordon Willis’ cinematography and music by Nino Rota, Pacino is harder and more ruthless than every before. The acting from a stars studded cast is excellent the Cuban and Vegas scenes are astounding, you can taste the atmosphere.

A weaving, compelling and seeming realistic portrayal of the rise of a crime family and it pitfalls along the way. Themes of loss, rejection, and betrayal to name a few, Part to is richer in all respects.

A truly classic film in it’s own right, Coppola and Puzo deliver a worthy seamless sequel to the Godfather.

The Godfather: Part III (1990)

Misjudged due to its truthfulness, filmed in 1991, this Godfather is a fitting third film. It’s now the 70’s and times have changed since the 1950’s hay days of the first two films.

Pacino portrays an aged, mellower, ill and haunted man, gone is the steeliness of his youth. Michael Corleone’s hair changes colour after his stroke, and there are plenty of character touches added to the older Don, as well as to Talia Shire’s Connie Corleone.

Many of the original cast appear which adds to the continuity, a great touch for die hard fans. You can argue that Sofia Coppola was miscast but it may just be because she’s not authentically beautiful, sorry, you can’t pick your family.

Missing is Tom Hagan and George Hamilton as B.J. Harrison fills the gap tolerably. Andy Garcia is excellent as Vincent Mancini, Sonny’s illegitimate son.

Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo take the rounded characters on journey of self realisation. It’s a pleasant character study that reflects how we change as we get older.

The film gains momentum, building great tension and shock in the third act. However, don’t watch expecting the atmosphere, vitality or vigour first two.

These are 1950’s remnants in the 70’s and all the power on earth can’t change destiny.

Resident Evil, a media franchise… From comic books, novelizations, to video games and action figures. It was Developed by Capcom and created by Shinji Mikami, and the series is known in Japan as Biohazard. Between books and films, I thought I’d take sometime out to share my comments on the Resident Evil films.
Resident Evil (2002)
An amnesiac heroine (Alice) and a band of commandos attempt to contain an outbreak at a secret underground facility where the virus has caused the dead to come back to life.

It’s a surprisingly great Zombie film. Past Zombie flicks have contained a lot of bad acting with low budgets and story lines that weren’t that great. Whle I can’t draw comparisons of the adaptation into the film Paul Anderson does a great job of creating an empty eerie atmosphere.

While some of the CGI effects are an unnecessary distraction the make up and costume design is first-rate. There’s an intelligent story and great script. The stunts are fantastic notably the dog attack and the supporting cast are great and the two strong female leads Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez are excellent. The music is hard hitting, foreboding which adds to the action and creepy moments.

A good chunk of flesh eating entertainment-a great update and revival of zombie movies which pays homage to George A.Romero.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

After a zombie outbreak, the corporation Umbrella beings a cover up by releasing the deadly creature Nemesis.
I enjoyed its predecessor and was glad that the unjustly criticised Paul W.S. Anderson was writing the sequel. However it was just a shame that he didn’t direct the flow up. Either there was budget cut or Alexander Witt wasn’t capable of delivering the cashing-in follow-on.
Mike Epps is funny, but unnecessary comic relief and Iain Glen as the ‘evil scientist’ Dr. Isaacs gives a good performance. There is amazing stunt work, Milla again plays heroine Alice superbly and Oded Fehr is on top-form, however, there are lots of problems… The film is let down by its TV feel, the zombies are ruined by blurry manipulated camera work. Sienna Guillory is handed a dreadful script and costume. The effects and music are a mixed bag, sometimes great and at other times sadly distracting.
It’s a sci-fi with plenty of action, but Apocalypse lacks the suspense, atmosphere and finesse of the first instalment.
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
As you can tell, I’m not a player of the Resident Evil games, so all the films including this 3rd instalment are non-bias. I’m not a fan of ‘super’ zombie’s, however, I enjoyed this one more than the second.
It was good to see zombies in a desert wasteland setting but the film has a cheap look to it in parts. Oded Fehr, Iain Glen and Mike Epps return, Ali Larter is a welcomed new addition as Claire, but the rest of the acting from the supporting cast isn’t too wonderful.
Milla Jovovich (despite a dodgy hair-cut) once again is just what the doctor ordered as Alice who develops her ‘powers’ throughout. There are plenty of tussles, zombie action, killer birds and. it has some great ideas, themes and a surprise electrifying closing.
Under Russell Mulcahy direction it has it’s moments. There is one stand out segment at a gas station, but again, like it’s predecessor it lacks the pulsing, foreboding, suspense and mood created by Paul W.S. Anderson in the first Resident Evil.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Resident Evil: AfterlifeBoasting being the first live-action movie based on a video game to be in 3-D…
Alice is stripped of her T-virus enhancing powers continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to Arcadia, however, with more zombies, T virus mutants and Umbrella Corporation personnel it’s not going to be easy.
The intriguing set up of Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) for a clone orientated sequel is dolefully all wrapped up in the opening minutes of Afterlife. The originals Director/Writer Paul W.S. Anderson thankfully returns the reigns and puts the series on track, especially by making our heroine more human and like the character of Resident Evil (2002).
Milla is made for the role of Alice and looks partially in shape and focused in this action orientated continuation of the Capcom game adaptation, as too is Ali Larter as Claire Redfield, although she is underutilised.
Gamer fans will be pleased with appearance of game baddies and Chris Redfield played by Wentworth Miller. Boris Kodjoe is has a lot of screen presence, however, his and many of the other characters are not fleshed out or have enough dialogue nor time to make an impact. Afterlife lacks the depth and foreboding atmosphere of the first film but is more fun than Apocalypse and Extinction despite the hammy acting and overuse of slow-mo.
The Redfield bother sister relationship is left unexplored and there appears to be a lot of missed opportunities. That said, these threads may turn up in future squeals, however, you can’t help feel a little short changed as the plot feels to just scratch the surface.
There’s still a lot to like, zombies, guns, sword-play and explosions. Fantastic stunts, great sets, costumes, special effects and a pumping score. Sienna Gilroy’s cameo sets it up for another tantalising sequel, however, every instalment in the series has done the same, let’s just hope RE5 delivers in all departments.
Overall, Resident Evil: Afterlife is immense sci-fi fun, but alas chooses style over substance.
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
Alice finds herself trapped in a Umbrella Corporation testing facility and with the help of some old and new friends she must do battle with infected zombies and T-virus mutants in order to escape.
Milla Jovovich as usual looks exceedingly good as Alice, her makeup is perfect and she is in top physical form. Also in the opening she get to display her underrate acting as an everyday mother who dearly tries to escape an infected zombie attack. Gamer fans will be content with appearance of the game characters including Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong to name a few but as with Afterlife the characters are not fleshed out and it lacks the depth and foreboding atmosphere of Resident Evil.
The Redfields are nowhere to be seen and the biggest shame about Retribution is the missed opportunity to effectively utilise the characters from the first and second film. Colin Salmon and Oded Fehr are painfully wasted and they have very little screen time reducing them to nothing more than tantalising cameos which go nowhere. Michelle Rodriguez thankfully gets a little more to do, but again even with the original writer at the helm the scenes are underdeveloped.
The original’s director/Writer Paul W.S. Anderson once again returns but sadly continues the style over substance approach, yeap and there’s slow-motion and lots of it. While it looks great it’s very derivative including Aliens (1986) missing young girl, cocoons and face hunger-esque robots. At one point director Anderson copies his own Alien homage from AVP and unapologetically puts it in this latest instalment.
The special effects, stunts and sets are marvellous, the music by tomandandy is exceptional but sadly these elements solely don’t make a movie. Like its predecessor it’s sci-fi fun, with some enticing ideas but alas it chooses the style over substance root leaving the viewer once again short changed.

My vampire novel Blood Hunger will see the light of day this year. It has been like a real vampire, lurking in the dark waiting for the right moment to reveal it’s self…

So what is it about?

An explorer makes a discovery in the Alps of Romania, dubbed the ‘Ice Prince’ find it is significant enough to put him and his girlfriend Lucia Ferrara in the media spotlight.

Iliana and her sister’s journey to the United Kingdom, news that the ‘Ice Prince’ had been discovered ceases their many years of blood abstinence and they unleash a bloodthirsty terror on humankind leaving a trail of death from London to the Welsh countryside.

From the fall of the vampire and the Dracul brothers in medieval Europe to their return in the present day.

Prepare yourself, their first bite will be your last!

I hope you’ll enjoy the horror adventure!

For the trailer of the spin off film Terminus visit: www.terminusfilm.co.cc

The Alien film series produced by 20th Century Fox led to movie sequels, plus numerous books, comics and video game spin offs.

In addition to the franchise are the “Alien vs. Predator” films which I’ve left out as they don’t feature Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver).

Four very unique and visual directors brought the Alien to the screen giving a diverse visions of one subject matter, below are my comments and thoughts on the series that made aliens scary… and the latest spin off/ Prequel Prometheus.

Alien(1979)
Space, spaceships, androids and aliens, and no it’s not Starwars or Startrek
Alien is a perfect blend of characterisation, visual effects, sound and score. What separates this from the two franchises above is the gritty realism, a brooding atmospheric and claustrophobic feel that has given the film both cult and classic status. So much so it spawned its own franchise.
The acting is provided by a perfect heavy-weight cast that includes John Hurt, Sigourney Weaver and Tom Skerritt. Dan O’Bannon’s screen-play, coupled with Ridley Scott’s visuals stop this becoming just another monster alien movie or space film. The subject matter is delivered completely seriously and you become immersed in the dread, fear and uncertainty as even the main characters get killed off (which has become common place these days). Who will be the hero or the heroine.
H.R.Giger creature designs of the face huger and Alien is the ace in the hole and Jerry Goldsmith score mixed with the sound effects gives the film a nightmarish feel that build up the tension to breaking point. Scott’s direction is outstanding, creating the most fantastic and memorable moments in film history which push your fear threshold.
Compulsive viewing for Sci-fi fans who want story over action or in this case a steak to digest instead of fast food. If you’ve never seen Alien what it treat it will be to watch it fresh.
Aliens (1986)
The planet from Alien (1979) has been colonised, but contact is lost and a rescue team is dispatched. This 1986 sequel is action packed, bigger, louder, very gung-ho with Vietnam parallels.
I’m torn… I must say that at the time Aliens was the best action sci-fi films ever and probably still is), but overtime, I have grown less fond of Aliens and prefer the first Alien and re-edit of the 3rd.
What is superior about Aliens is that it builds on what Ridleys Scott created in first film, (even though some of Aliens ideas are based on cut scenes) surprise killings, misdirection and so on. The design and movement of the Alien is greatly improved, making the Alien far more menacing and agile than before.
There’s no doubt that James Cameron is an exceptional director and writer. All the characters are built up slowly, Lance Henriksen as the synthetic Bishop and Paul Reiser as Burke give subtle performances. Michael Biehn as Hicks and Sigourney Weaver are terrific. Ripley as a character is fleshed out further and the effects and sound are amazing (winning Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Effects).
Aliens is an unsurpassed solid sci-fi horror sequel packed with action and suspense but in retrospect it really is Alien pumped with testosterone and guns.
Alien³ (1992)

After a fire on the Sulaco an escape pod crash-lands on a refinery/prison planet killing everyone aboard except Lieutenant Ellen Ripley. As Ripley recovers she realises that fire was no accident and an Alien begins a killing spree that she must stop.The idea of coming away from Cameron’s Aliens (a fantastic mix of action, suspense and special effects) and go back to the gritty atmosphere basics of the first film was debatably a good idea. Producers, though misunderstood what director David Fincher was trying to achieve back in 1992.Plagued with creative differences, production and script problems the film was released… It seemed very disjointed and didn’t deliver the goods that the first two did…

After watching the new assembled version of Alien 3 I was pleasantly surprised. With the new version what you get is expanded and alternative scenes, more character development and a new subplot making it a more enjoyable Alien movie.

Like the previous version the Alien effects are still the same and not very well executed. That said, this version without a doubt is an improvement on the 1992 version coupled with a nice score, great performances, especially from Charles Dance and the sadly missed Brian Glover. Sigourney Weaver plays a very troubled shaven head Ellen Ripley convincingly. This time around with expanded scenes the supporting cast
get to show off their acting skills within the fantastic sets. Explained in the new cut is where and why some of the characters disappeared.

Overall with these adjustments the film finally sits nicely in the series. It’s dark, eerie and atmospheric.

Alien: Resurrection (1997)

I viewed the directors cut of Alien: Resurrection, it includes a few added bits – Lt. Ellen Ripley Clone #8 refers to Newt a few times, an alternate title sequence, a landing on earth and a few extra seconds here and there add to the mood making all the difference.
The down side though – some of the acting is too hammy, the Alien effects are computerised in parts which is just as distracting as they were back in 1997. They should have stuck to practical effects until CGI effects were perfected.
The New born is great and still gets my sympathy vote. The whole film isn’t a gritty as the previous but the sets are fantastic. Some characters do get developed,there are some memorable moments which usually include Perlman or Weavers characters.
The film including the extra bits bridge the earlier films making Resurrection a more enjoyable ride for Alien fans but to date, despite some good scenes it is the still the weakest of the series.
Watch if only to witness the resurrection.
Prometheus (2012)

The near future 2089 Earths historical artifact’s and ancient paintings prompt an expedition into space to find our makers but puts the crew of the Prometheus in grave danger when they land on LV-233 in 2093.
Veteran director Ridley Scott gives Prometheus its own unique look and rightly so as the action, suspense takes place on 233 not LV- 426 as in Alien(s). Without getting bogged down with Alien comparisons, this is a science expedition not a mining vessel, therefore differences in technology between the two is explained away at a drop of a hat. This change in location allows Prometheus to stand on its own.
Questioning our origins in a reasonable intelligent way the story written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof is intriguing and makes this film stand above your average Sci-fi. That said Prometheus does raise more questions than it answers yet it’s ambiguity is what makes this film special.
It’s excellently cast and includes international actors Guy Pearce Idris Elba and Logan Marshall-Green to name a few. Charlize Theron is stupendous as Meredith Vickers the cold hard nosed corporate mission director. Notably is Michael Fassbender as David who is every bit as interesting as Bishop and Ash with added a quirky ‘fondness’ for Peter O’Tool. Main protagonist Elizabeth Shaw played by Noomi Rapace is not your typical Ripley clone and carries much of the emotion for the film.
The effects are first rate, with the Space Jockeys, scenery, Weyland, ships and Aliens wonderfully realised and rendered. Some of the effects are practical and look organic for the most part. The location and environment feels real and makes everything more palatable. A nod should go to Dariusz Wolski’s cinematography and Pietro Scalia’s editing.
Scott delivers a few standout creepy scenes some particularly gut turning, notably the arm breaking, infection and decontamination scenes- it captures some xenomorph magic.
Marc Streitenfeld’s music score is an effective mixed bag although is a little over used. Both writers and Scott ensure to include a few character twists and wisely incorporate some elements from the Aliens series (in keeping with that world) whether it be a vehicle, a line or setup to possibly appease die-hard fans but for the most part it’s all new and fresh.
Prometheus tackles themes of origin, mortality and biological war fare to name a few. It’s a grower just like the spores themselves.
20th Century Fox hit gold with 1987 The Predator…

I don’t usually use the word cool but in 1987 that’s what the Predator was; sleeker and more equipped than any other E.T that had been seen before. The movie and its sequel lead to an array of spin offs, good and bad novel’s, comic book’s, toys and video games. I’ve chosen to include the Alien vs. Predator films that combine, with no surprise, the Alien creatures from the Alien film series. Here are my comments on the Predator feature films…

Predator (1987)

A team of commandos find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial hunter… John McTiernan directs the perfect cast including the likes of Carl Weathers, Bill Duke and Jesse Ventura who are just right in this action orientated alien film. Arnold Schwarzenegger is armed with some great one liners but packs in a good performance with some subtler moments. Apart from The Thing like shot at the very beginning, it’s and original piece that deservedly started a franchise.

To be picky only some of the editing and effects let the film down. Those aside, the music by Alan Silvestri is fitting with it jungle beats building up apprehension and suspense throughout the film. This film could have easy fallen into B movie territory, but the great Cinematography, creature effects and costume design keep it grounded.

The film builds up in true monster fashion by holding back the Predator’s reveal. Not since Alien has there been such hand iconic creature which Kevin Peter Hall wonderfully brings to life. John McTiernan notches up the tension in the final showdown and writers Jim Thomas & John Thomas give us a brave bold ending.

One of the most enjoyable rounded sci-fi films ever.

Predator 2 (1990)

The Predator is the star of this troubled sequel with its array of weapons a spear, pincers, Frisbee blade and net.

With editing re-cuts, budget issues and no Arnold Schwarzenegger its not all bad. The lead rogue cop played by Danny Glover and alien expert Gary Busey are fine. While the story is entertaining and there are some nice idea’s scenes and set pieces, setting it in the then future of 1997 was unnecessary and its credibility suffers. The film is let down further by the almost comical overacting sub-characters and it losses the semi-realism of the first.

It’s packed with Predator action graphic decapitations, shootings and mutilated bodies. The practical effects, accessories and costumes from Stan Winston look great, and Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator is once again out of this world. The music score is excellent and carries the same themes from the first, as to are the sound effects.

For fans an Alien skull show up on the wall of the Predator’s trophy room (to entice an AVP) and a tremendous thought provoking ending. Stephen Hopkins gives an enjoyable sci-fi but the film just let down by it’s Verhoevenesque future, hammy acting and over-the-top stereotypes.

There’s very little that is subtle in the 108 minutes, still its Predator and you can’t help but like it.

AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)

It shouldn’t have been mixed, Paul W.S. Anderson’s AVP: Alien vs. Predator was more so unjustly panned by critics and fans due to the hype and anticipation. It has the feeling of an Alien film, a great premise, stunning cinematography, some amazing effects and a fine score.

Paul W.S. Anderson is successful in bringing the franchises together, respecting ideas from both Alien and Predator movies. I haven’t seen a bad film that he’s made and I’m not sure why there is such a geek gang hatred against the mans work. The ever-improving Uwe Boll he is not!

The strong leads include Sanaa Lathan as the heroine and Raoul Bova,, however unfortunately actors Carsten Norgaard as Rusten Quinn and Tommy Flanagan as Mark Verheiden are killed off far too early. Overall the acting is good, Lance Henrikson show up as the ‘real’ Bishop but some of the characters lack development and the editing feels choppy in places.

The Predators and Aliens look great apart from some badly executed CGI. It not Ridley Scott or John McTiernan, but Paul Anderson pulls off the almost impossible task of putting these to aliens together on screen.

If there was not an Alien or Predator film prior to this it may have been haled as a science fiction adventure classic, but alas that’s not the case.

AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem (2007)

 Every day folk in a sleepy town get caught up in a fight for survival when a crashed spaceship releases Aliens on earth and a Predator is dispatch to clean up the mess.

It was always clear that the franchises should never have been mixed. Nevertheless, they’re here to stay and I have to say, even with their faults, their not too bad. Overall, AVRP appears have less CGI and more practical effects which is a good thing. There are plenty of nods to both Alien and the Predator movies, and the focus is more on the Predator in this instalment.

Shane Salerno’s story is fine but the script isn’t meaty and the characters are not gritty enough, the acting isn’t bad but it’s the clunky teen driven segments of script that bogs the cast and viewer down. Steven Pasquale is a strong enough lead, John Ortiz is not given much to do and limited screen time. Ariel Gade is a good enough actress but too reminiscent of Ripley’s character. The rest are a miss-mash bag of collective stereotypes.That said, there are enough set pieces and surprises to keep you entertained until the rushed ending.

At times the music distracting as it uses memorable themes from both series. Also there far too much shaky and dark camera work and you feel as if you’re not getting to see enough. Credit to directors Colin Strause and Greg Strause both Predator and Alien look fantastic and it’s nice to see that the film is more adult orientated.

Overall, the movie fails to satisfy.

 

Predators (2010)

Predators has been a long-time in coming, and any quality Predator film is a welcomed addition in my book. The story is that of a group of elite humans are hunted by members of a merciless alien race.

Things looked extremely positive with Robert Rodriguez as one of the producers with the excellent and talented director of Vacancy Nimród Antal at the helm. However, Predators really feels like a remake of the first film. Which isn’t a bad thing, however, there are just too many unnecessary on liners from the franchise which at times is distracting. The kills are too fast and there are other problems… Predators seems rushed, appears choppy and there’s just no characters you want to care for, they don’t have to be likable but you still want someone you root for.

There’s too much effort to put in new things like the bigger species Predators to excite the audience. The screen-play the actors have to work with is bland and lacks depth. That said the costume, set design , locations and effects are mouthwatering, it’s an atmospheric sci-fi complimented by John Debney’s reworking of the original score and fantastic sound effects.

The actors are first-class, notably new comer Alice Braga performance as Isabella. Broday carries the weight of the film and cult actor Danny Trejo puts in an appearance. ‘Arnie’ like Oleg Taktarov and Mahershalalhashbaz Ali stand-out. Sadly, Laurence Fishburne is wasted and Topher Grace is just out of place as a doctor who doesn’t tend to anyone. Nevertheless, the story is great and it nice to see the old style Predator in there played by Derek Mears of the Friday the 13th remake.

All in all it’s a good film but just isn’t great, let’s hope a sequel corrects this.

That’s all folks…

Model, music producer artist Theo ‘Rick Vick’ Johnson shares his thoughts on acting in Terminus (2010) the film.
Terminus the website: http://www.terminusfilm.co.cc

The Terminator science fiction franchise follows the battle between Skynet and the human race…
It’s probably not a surprise to most, but they have their place in movie history as they carved out a career for Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron and pushed the boundaries of visual and practical effects.

Here’s my comments on the films that made the pulsing DA-DA-DUM-DA-DUM famous.

The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator remains one of the most enjoyable Science fiction films of all time. Bradfield’s pulse pumping score, nostalgic music from an array of obscure bands all adds to the lure of this timeless classic.

James Cameron’s direction is excellent giving the visuals scope and depth, and his above average story and screenplay stop it falling into B movie territory.

The time travel is logical; in as much as if Sarah had never met Kyle, John would have been the off spring of one of her dates. Either way it’s highly satisfying science fiction and not science fact.

The films cast include Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen who play it natural and straight, Bill Paxton and Brian Thompson briefly turn up. The leads Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor give flawless performances and keep you routing for their survival from the now infamous Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the Terminator. The film has a gritty and edgy look, with some gore moments, even though some of the effects have dated, the practical effects from Oscar winner Stan Winston hold up to this day.

A defining moment for sci-fi action, Schwarzenegger and Cameron. The Terminator is compulsive viewing.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

A cyborg must protect Sarah Connor son from a prototype Terminator… Less grounded than the first gritty Terminator, James Cameron gives us a sleeker sharper sequel packed with fantastic effects, stunts and action sequences. I was blown away on its first release, however, over the years I have found it to be less personal due to its grander scale.

The score is outstanding, Robert Patrick is well cast at state of the art T1000, Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor but she is far removed from her innocent character in the first. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as The Terminator but is now the protector, whistle he is perfect as the ‘character’ in retrospect the edginess has gone that was set up in the first film.

The film is without a doubt a spectacular defining moment in movie history, notably the CGI effects and make up. I would urge anyone who hasn’t see it to see it. Nevertheless, it nothing personal but for me its not as satisfying as it was in 1991.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Fantastic third Terminator movie! It may not have the brooding atmosphere of the first film but considering James Cameron didn’t write or direct, it turns out very watchable.

T3 is close to the original concept and a nicely thought out sequel. It does disregard the notion of the T2 about the future not being set and sticks close to the first, in that, the future is set and things have to run their course.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is again excellent as the Terminator. The film is missing another Robert Patrick terminator, however, newcomer Kristanna Loken as the T-X is fantastic and the rest of cast are good. The effects and action scenes are impressive but the original music score is forgettable and the original theme turns up late at the end.

There maybe a touch too much humour in this instalment but the brave ending finishes the film fittingly on a serious note.

This film is certainly worth the watch.

Terminator Salvation (2009)

I enjoyed T3 but this is what Terminator should be like. It is reminiscent of the grittiness of the first film, from the computer like credits, to the title introducing 2018 – a real terminator fans dream.

Christian Bale is John Connor and without a doubt adds weight to the film with his acting ability.

Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright is the future; he will become a great star. Both he and Bale are the glue to this instalment.

Moon Bloodgood’s brief but pivotal appearance is very good and for once Helena Bonham Carter didn’t get under my skin and does a nice heartfelt cameo. My hat goes off to newcomer Anton Yelchin as he does a great job of ‘becoming’ Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese. The only negative remark I have is that Bryce as Kate doesn’t get enough to do and because of this is very detached from the character Claire Danes portrayed in the third.

MCG & the writers have constructed and crafted the film well and the music score by ever reliable Elfman compliments it nicely.

A welcomed voice from the past show up to add icing to the cake. The effects are great throughout apart from the showcase skin covered T800 at the end. It was nice to see ‘Arnie’ and I hope there’s more of him digitally in the future. It did look a little rushed but nothing could spoil this original and welcomed spin on this new Terminator movie that welcomely sticks close to the original subject matter.

This should please real Terminator fans and satisfy new comers.

 Kyle Reese travels back in time to save the mother of the saviour of mankind only to find himself in an alternative time-line.

Despite being void of the gritty feel, thematic depth, simplistic conceptual thrills of the 1984 scifi classic Terminator Genisys is fast paced and slick.

While surround by state of the art special effects, super costume and set design, Jason Clarke is solid in his functional incarnation of John Connor. Without drawing too many comparisons to the original actors who portrayed the characters Sarah & Kyle respectively both Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney do there best but are never given the staging or dialogue to stir the same believable emotions in this science fiction. Lee Byung-Hun, J. K. Simmons are great in their supporting roles but sorely underused.

The T-800 versus T-800 fight and Pops upgrade is a fanboy dream. You have to commend Schwarzenegger’s efforts here who is fine and the glue that tries to hold it all together as they travel from 1984 to 2017 to stop Skynet and yet another Terminator with higher stakes than before.

There’s some genuine relationship and heart buried in Genisys but it never explorers these themes or slows down for you to attach to the characters. Director Alan Taylor offers nods to the first instalment, it’s fun when its retreading and twisting past events but is less effective when it goes it alone becoming just another action going from one location to the next, mindless, car, van and helicopter chases, complete with a setup on the Golden Gate Bridge as every film needs to have one these days.

With its fan film like premise Genisys is crisp, glossy, with big set ups, great effects and a nostalgic score by Lorne Balfe to match but like many big budget contemporary films less is sometimes more. It leaves loose ends for another sequel with a mid end credit sequence but also makes you ask yourself, do you really want one.

The new UK Breathing Dead presenter is alternative model/ actress Sophia Disgrace!

A lover of films including Taxi Driver, The Shining, Eraserhead and Serial Mom Sophia is going to fit right in… Sophia will be hosting the edgier Horror show.

Visit: http://www.breathingdeadshow.co.cc