Archive for November, 2011

I love sharks. Aside from writing horror I’m a sucker for shark films and there’s no doubt that Jaws is the greatest, I’ll drink to my leg on that. I’m a fan of Alten’s MEG series the first book being my favourite, Steve has given me a few pointers over the years and some good tips on my own trailers.
Thinking about it I am a little shark geek having my own Megalodon tooth fossil. So I dusted down my copy of Shark Hunter to share my thoughts. But before I do that I must point out that the greatest sh*t line in shark movie history is when actor John Barrowman as Ben Carpenter replies to Cataline Stone as she sighs, “I’m exhausted.” with his line of…
“Yeah, me too. But you know I’m really wired. What do you say I… take you home and eat your pussy.”
Seriously it happens, I had to rewind it to check I’d heard it right! Anyhow here’s Shark Hunter…
Shark Hunter (2001)
The better of the giant Shark films. Compared to Megalodon (2002) and Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002), Shark Hunter is almost Oscar material when it comes to acting and script. Although it suffers with a low budget and shamelessly borrows elements from Steve Alten’s novel ‘Meg’ it’s the closet thing you’ll get to an attempted prehistoric shark film.

The pacing and editing are a little awry but some of the practical and special effects are well executed.
Die Hard actor Grand L. Bush and hammy Antonio Sabato Jr. for the most part are watchable. Director Matt Codd is wise to hide to shark in the shadows and considering it was made in 2001 the SPFX are adequate. The music score is worthy of note and it has a nihilistic element that breaks the b-film mould with and ending that refreshingly going against the norm.

Overall, it’s far from great but the best Megalodon film to date.
THAT BARROWMAN LINE FROM THE OTHER SHARK FILM:
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Lance Preston and the crew of ‘Grave Encounters’, a ghost-hunting reality television show find what they’ve been searching for but is the public is public ready to see the horror they’ve encountered.
A missing episode of lost footage directed by The Vicious Brothers, Grave Encounters is probably best described as a mix of UK’s Most Haunted, USA’s Ghost Hunters (T.A.P.S) and Ghost Adventures although it’s shows what many have been wanting to see for series’. There’s poltergeist activity, ghosts and ghouls .

Actor Sean Rogerson’s Lance is almost a parody of Zak Bagans real life presenter of Ghost Adventures. And does an adequate job of carrying the show within a film. The support cast are great intentionally or unintentionally and are as annoying as these co-presenters/investigators in the real shows themselves.
It uses hand-held and static cameras mirroring the aforementioned Television programmes with a splash of colour and night vision for good authentic measure.

As the investigators night proceeds it gets more jumpy and intense with some slick visual effects. Although it never quite makes sense why these ghosts can’t pass through walls and prefer to bang on doors.
It’s better directed and executed than the mass of copycat films that have tried to capture the spirit of these reality investigations. Grave Encounters delivers plenty of chills especially if you are a fan of these paranormal TV shows.
The House on Haunted Hill remake closing aside overall it’s more fun than the Paranormal Activities trilogy but ultimately is simply an extended uber-version of the shows it’s emulating.
The world is devastated by an epidemic and is overrun by hordes of living dead. Three men, Igor and Alen, hunters of dead and a scientist, Gyno try to find an answer to what has happened to the human race.
Everyone’s having a stab at the zombie/virus flick since 28 days Later – Spain with REC, Germany with Rammbock and France Le Horde to name a few.
Although Marmite director Uwe Boll has a producer credit, this shares little if anything with his films. Both writers/ Directors Luca Boni and Marco Ristori deliver a competently constructed bleak atmospheric zombie horror that is stylishly shot and presented in washed out colour.
Eaters opens with the standard zombie exposition affair of news clips how virus infection has spread. Gyno spins that the zombie epidemic maybe the next step in evolution while the hardened soldiers believe otherwise.
There’s some good zombie make up design, lopped off heads, blood, fried zombies, undead torture, skulls and exploding heads. Guns, grenades and machetes are used to dispose and there are some interesting kill scenes as the two hardened soldiers, Igor a likable hard-man played excellently by Alex Lucchesi and Alen notably by Guglielmo Favilla go to section F on a ‘corpse hunt’. Notable is chained up Alexis (Rosella Elmi) who is a carrier of the virus. Young actress Elisa Ferretti as Cristina deserves a mention.
Although Igor is likened to Leon it’s doctor Gyno played by Claudio Marmugi who is the Jean Reno-alike. He experiments on the dead, shooting them after their used, chopping them up, feeding them scraps reminiscent of Day of the Dead. Interesting the zombies here eat their own body parts, encounters with a Cultist group, slow/fast zombies and armed zombies add to the pleasure.
This serious slick Italian production is grim with a sense of black humour and irony there’s characters reading ‘corpse and girls’ magazine. Crazy Caravaggio painter of dead people. The score is similar to resident evil with electronic heavy beat and it had a few flash backs and eerie dream sequences deliver some jump moments.
Sector b’s Nazi group aside the script delivers some tension as madness sets in as the character try to pass time, humour feels unforced and the acting for the most part realistic. Eaters may have it’s faults debatably some CGI, editing and pacing issues but for the most part it’s a fulfilling ride. Although it borrows from the likes of Resident Evil Apocalypse and 28 Weeks Later to name a few there’s enough twists and originality as the leads try to accept their situation to prevent it becoming stale reinforced with an ending that goes against the clichés in the last act.
Gory, bloody and overall more fun than it should be due to it’s great execution and grimness.
Taliesin Meets Vampire blog shared its thoughts with its visitors on Sean P. Parsons Terminus film. A. Boylan reviews an array of vampire genre media, from literature, the web, TV and the movies this time he tackles Terminus.
Terminus is an original film that captures the spirit of my book Blood Hunger. Sean P. Parsons had already outlined a story that I liked called ‘Acrylic’. Sean wrote the screenplay which plays a prelude film to Blood Hunger. Terminus’ main character Anushka, in the book she’s an important part of the Serbian plot. Marquise, played by Stacey Jackson, is an incarnation of the character Monica in the novel. Through development, Acrylic became the film Terminus – the wonderful vampire short by Sean P. Parsons.
Check out Taliesin Meets Vampire’s write up here