Posts Tagged ‘vampires’

My Readers and following friends,

It’s been a hard year with personal loss and sadness, so I’ve been off the social media merry-go-round. Whatever you are going through, you will get through it. Keep the dream alive, have trust. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

The Christmas season is upon us and we’ve got a few signed editions of Darkest Moons (contact via the website), also if you order any paperbacks you get the Kindle Free, for those who want to start reading immediately and have a keepsake paperback winging its way to you.

Darkest Moons

Darkest Moons

In 1878 a mining community came to terms with the existence of a terrifying horror.

As the moon rises the curse begins!

The Final Version

The Final VersionJourney through the history of genetics and be catapulted to a post-apocalyptic future, a conflicted dystopian utopia of cyberpunk, cryogenics and government-conspiracy.

Blood Hunger

Blood Hunger

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!

Dead Pulse

Dead PulseDeath does not discriminate…

The dead have returned to life… The world’s focus is on the city of Ravenswood and the once idyllic town of Farmore as platoons and scattered survivors fight the hordes of the dead, unbeknownst one of them holds the key to end the undead’s reign of mayhem.

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  After a group of teenagers unlock a centuries-old curse on Halloween a town becomes overrun by the demons of hell from zombies to witches.

Made in 1985 when TV movies still looked filmatic, TV specials were still special and had good production values, The Midnight Hour certainly to an outside America viewer is an obscure ABC Halloween treat. Directed by Jack Bender there’s some great make up monster effects and it’s far from a mediocre made-for-TV horror comedy. With homages to The Wolfman, Dracula and the more recent Night of the Living Dead and Thriller there’s plenty of cobwebs, graves and gate crashed suburban Halloween parties to hold attention.

As with the risen from the dead 50s cheerleader Sandy (Jonna Lee) highlighting the differences of 1985, that’s The Midnight Hour biggest hook as now plays a great piece of 80s nostalgia. There’s also a subplot love story town in amongst the TV horror shenanigans. With almost every horror track from Blue Moon to The Smith’s How Soon is Now there’s also (The Terminator) Brad Fiedel’s ambitious fitting score.

The cast are above average and include the stunning Shari Lynn Belafonte, LeVar Burton, Jonna Lee, Dedee Pfeiffer as Mary Masterson, Kurtwood Smith cameos and Macaulay Culkin makes a brief debut.

Not too scary for junior children, werewolf, vampires, zombies, ghouls, and goblins add up to on screen creepy campy fun, you can’t go wrong.

Blood HungerCelebrating 5 years of my top ranking novel Blood Hunger, the anniversary of my deadly enigmatic vampires. Get your free copy of Blood Hunger HERE on Kindle Unlimited. You can also watch the slow burning prelude film Terminus free.

Terminus from A. M. Esmonde on Vimeo.

American students on a visit to Romania get more than they bargained for when they encounter a female vampire on which the legends are really based and call on help from Peter Vincent, a monster hunting reality star.

 
Despite a critical and fan black lash the 2011 Fright Night remake it was surprisingly entertaining enough. Fright Night 2 – New Blood starts well enough with its explosive and Paranormal Activity-esqe opening where an unseen vampire (on camera) assailant murders its victim. From pole dancing clubs to underground stations story wise with elements reminiscent of the fictionalised version of the real Elizabeth Báthory, this instalment may have fared better as a standalone vampire film.
 
Following a gratuitous Jamie Murray moment as Gerri Dandridge (and others littered throughout) we’re introduced to a handful of stereotype characters, and a recast Peter Vincent (Sean Power) on his Most Haunted, Ghost Hunters, Faked or Fact-like programme which coincidently is being filmed in Romania. Aside from characters names it shares very little, if anything as a sequel to Fright Night the remake or the originals.
 
Writer Matt Venne serves up a sequel in the vein of a 80s horror cash-in follow-ups, it’s a rehash/retelling of the same story, the overarching concept with a different backdrop. It features a nice touch where the antagonist uses bat like sonar to locate the leads. There’s a few one liners, even a borrowed line from ‘Happy Days’ Fonz.
 
With a fitting soundtrack, a horned eerie score and some good blood and makeup effects it mainly benefits from Murray’s natural allure and performance. To director Eduardo Rodriguez credit it has some great Gothic settings and locations and some novel camera work – other than that think a hybrid execution of it predecessor, the Subspecies series and American Werewolf in Paris. Aside from being more graphic it presents what the likes of Teen Wolf the TV series, True Blood, Vampire Diaries and Grimm to name a few offer.
 
 

What it lacks in originality, epitomizing all the trappings of a horror sequel it makes up for with its Hammer looking settings, violent and bloody soaked fun setups and surprising production values given its direct to video debut. Murray fans will be pleased.

 

Fright Night 2 on IMDb

The latest bloody vampire promotion photo, another day, another victim, another throat ripped out!
Monica takes care of another girl lost in the woods…
Previous vampire snaps:
Contemporary:
1970s horror film style:
Make up by J. Nash, Photo by C Arwel and directed/edited by myself.

A couple of bloody vampire promotion photos for Blood Hunger as two characters become lunch, one contemporary the other 1970 tone style.

1970s horror film style:

Make up by J. Nash, Photo by C Arwel and directed/edited by myself.

Blood Hunger out now

Having been confined to the USA as a download only I am pleased to announce anyone worldwide can now watch Terminus the film for free.
From director and writer Sean P. Parsons and myself the novelist of Dead Pulse and Blood Hunger comes Terminus – an existential vampire tale which crosses violent supernatural hijinks with an arthouse aesthetic to produce a new take on a worn-out genre.
The Story
Ellicott City, a condemned paper mill, home of Anushka – a vampire assassin haunted by self-imposed isolation. Her vow to never feed on humans is tried when a chance meeting tests her resolve. Her first bite could be your last.
Terminus is an original film that plays as prelude capturing the spirit of my book Blood Hunger. Sean P. Parsons’ screenplay features the sub character of the novel Anushka, who an important part of the Serbian plot. Marquise, played by Stacey Jackson, is an incarnation of the character Monica from the novel.

Watch this wonderful slow-burning vampire short by Sean P. Parsons here:

CAST

Philip Fletcher … Hauer
Katherine DuBois … Anushka
Stacey Jackson … Marquise
Sarah Taurchini … Caelum
Ben Cunis … Jacob
Ryan Sellers … Target 2
Bruce Allen Dawson … Bodyguard
Theo ‘Rick Vick’ Johnson … Target 1


She’s a vampire I Yutte

Decades before Twilight’s vampires walked in the daylight there was Hammer Horror’s vampires. It’s 1830, at a finishing school in Styria, Mircalla arrives as a new student. As the young female students in the school begin to die the villagers suspect the Karnsteins located in their ominous castle are to blame.  A visiting author, Richard Lestrange, instantly falls in Mircalla but she is a vampire – Carmilla Karnstein – who has been resurrected by her vampiric family. 

Lust for a Vampire is a well produced Hammer film that arguably is only led astray by its reused footage of Christopher Lee’s blood shot eyes and “Strange Love,” a 1970’s song which plays over LeStrange and Mircalla’s saucy love scene.
The Jim Carrey look
Amongst the abundance of cleavage and boobs on display there is quiet a tight story, there’s the usual vampire cliches hardly surprising given the source material of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s classic Camilla. Fog, horse-drawn carriages, mysterious cloaked figures and a castle on a hill. Theres some modest effects and interesting scenes, a throat is slit, a resurrected skeleton and a blood covered naked body.

I’m not Christopher Lee
I’m actually a lot cheaper
The school location gives it a fresh look and complements the authenticity of the costumes. Dancing autumn leaves around forests and a powerful score  synonymous with hammer are present. There’s the local Inn and obligatory village mob on a witch hunt.

Dimpled chin lead Yutte Stensgaard (replaces Ingrid Pitt who refused to return as she disliked the script) is on fine form. Nobly for me  is an apperance by Barbara Jeffordd seen more recently Polanski’s Ninth Gate. But the star of the show is the underused co-star (Honor Blackman and Elizabeth Montgomery alike) beautiful Suzanna Leigh as dance teacher Miss Playfair. 

Suzanna Leigh 1945 was a good year 
born in Belgrave, Leicester UK,
There is an array of sub characters from an inspector to a concerned father and headmistress to name a few. Dear John’s (UK TV hit) Ralph Bates plays the quirky but ill-fated character Giles Barton. Cheeky chappy Lestrange is played by Michael Johnson. Interestingly Johnson replaced Peter Cushing (as his wife was ill) but Peter clearly would have been unfittingly for the dashing love interest, as in the finished film. Lestrange’s character has quite an arch unusual for the standard vampire affair.

The adult themes give this an edge  over some Hammer outings even if it is light heartedly hammy in spots.The climax is effective with some nice effects although somewhat a little rushed. Overall, classic Hammer that is sexual charged and ghoulishly gory.

 Nothing like a good mix up, cult or classic, or cult classic. Another wide range of films. First up is Stake Land – is it destined to become a cult classic? Fancy a trip down memory lane with Hell Comes to Frogtown, uncooked classic or over-cooked frogs legs? You decide…

Stake Land (2010)
An orphaned young man is saved by a vampire killer and they head north for salvation.
Stake Land is a simplistic story, it’s a rite of passage, mentoring, coming of age movie similar to Zombie Land with a boy being taken under the wing of a seasoned killer, however, director Jim Mickle’s offering is opposite in tone –it’s realistically grim, hard hitting and bloody.
Refreshingly the two leads played by young Connor Paolo and Nick Damici whether intentionally or not are cold and not very likable. The two most warming characters are a nun played by Kelly McGillis and a pregnant singer Belle, cult star Danielle Harris.
There’s plenty atmosphere in this post-apocalyptic world, the on location shoot heightens the authenticity, it cold, damp and dreary reminiscent of The Road (2009) and elements of 30 Days of Night (2007).
There are some interesting set ups notably the imaginative helicopter attack and the girl in the attic. Even though the clue is in the title it’s odd, like the sect, the vampires come across as an unnecessary distraction, they could have easily been written as infected people, mutants or something else. Through no fault of the filmmakers the influx of vampire films has cheapened the core idea for whatever reason. Nevertheless, the makeup and effects of the (un)dead are excellent. This coupled with some good solid performances and accompanying music score give credence to what could have been a b-film in any other hands.
Both Nick Damici and Jim Mickle’s script isn’t scared to kill any one off and while the antagonist twist doesn’t come as any surprise Stake Land is more about the characters journeys.
Far from a sub-par film Stake Land is a notable vampire entry and well executed horror road trip.
Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988)
A few fertile men and women exist due to atomic fallout and, as a result, the government places a priority on those that can still breed. One man Sam Hell is sent under watchful eye of a nurse and guard into the wastelands to free a group of women from frog like mutant amphibians.
Hell Comes to Frog Town Is an odd ball post apocalyptic B adventure with Rowdy Rody Piper as one of the last fertile men on earth. Sadly the budget appears to have gone into the surprisingly great makeup effects.
Cheesy dialogue, wooden performances and clunky fights. Although for the most part playing on Hell’s sexual prowess there’s not enough wit or pace to give directors Donald G. Jackson and R. J. Kizer’s Frog Town that cult status. While the concept is fun explosive tracker pants, horny frogs even with the women in control it still comes across for the most part sexist and falls flat.
Piper is his amusing self but is wooden compared to his performance in They Live made the same year. Nurse Spangle is played by stunt woman, Conan star Sandahl Bergman who is in great shape but isn’t the best actress especially when put along side guards women Cec Verrell who has little screen-time. Big Bill William Smith appears and steals every scene with his presence.
It’s worth checking out to see what the fuss is about but you’re unlikely to want to revisit.
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