ANNOUNCEMENT! – ‘Tis the season of Yuletide Terror

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It all of a sudden turns out to be December, and as such the Christmas decorations are all around our apartment, we’re figuring out what to buy for friends and family that they don’t already have, and in general having a really nice time in what would otherwise be a very cold and dark Norwegian Winter. This season brings in tow it’s own genre of movies, which I love, but among those cozy and delightful Disney films & heartwarming family films there’s a certain darker side to Christmas Cinema, one that intrigues me most of all. So I’m starting a mini season of reviews called Yuletide Terror where I’ll work through as many of these dark and strange Christmas ‘Classics’ as I can. There’s more information on the dedicated page for the season… HERE!

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OBLIGATORY BLOGLOVIN’ POST

So, the relaunch of this site didn’t go quite as strongly as I meant to, but I promise I haven’t forgotten about it! Since my girlfriend has re-started on her blog (WARNING: it’s in Norwegian) perhaps this will give me the extra boost to get going with the reviews. Anyway, I am just posting this because I’m creating a bloglovin’ account and they need me to post this link:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thanks!

I’m back!

Well, it’s been almost a year since my last review and a lot has happened. Long story short, when I last wrote here I was living in the Highlands of Scotland taking out boredom through complaining about bad films. I now find myself living in Norway with my amazing girlfriend. Nonetheless, I still need to moan and complain about the terrible films I force myself to watch and decided to resurrect this website for just that reason! I do hope some of my older readers haven’t unsubscribed; sorry for the absence, but I’m finally back to discuss/argue/debate/teach/learn and do whatever else we self-proclaimed “critics” intend to do.

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Back from the dead

Watch Eli Roth’s bizarre student movie from 1994!

Eli Roth’s YouTube channel Crypt TV, dedicated to the odd and unusual, has just uploaded their founder’s student film from 1994; Restaurant Dogs. It’s not a particularly big revelation to see Eli Roth reveling in excess and gratuity, but fans of his often divisive movies should be pleased with this 10 minutes or so of “What the Fuck-ery”, and for anyone else it’s an interesting insight into the already anarchic, very early work of the student that’d eventually become a major player in the horror world. Some unashamedly lo-fi Python-esque animation with incredibly squishy gore effects make it a delirious zero-budget delight, and it’ll tide us over for a while as we wait until The Green Inferno FINALLY gets released, some time in 2043.

THE SHITFEST 2015: CLOSING CEREMONY!

The Grand Shitfest has ended over at Isaac’s Picture Conclusions, and all that remains is for the winner to be chosen. Voting is as easy as sending an email, because it requires only that you send an email. More details on the linked post. My entry was Movie 43, but vote for whatever you think was best OF COURSE. Ignore the matches in my hand, just vote for your FAVOURITE ENTRY.

Pretend they’re singing “Shiftest ’15” instead of “Eurovision” in this video and it’s the perfect soundtrack for making your vote.

Isaacs Picture Conclusions

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Well, My Most Beloveds, we have come to the end….. as legendary as this Shitfest was, we knew it had to end sometime…… and this is it…. this is a sad day but, thankfully, it’s not totally over yet! We still have to crown the One True Champion! As you know – we are all competing for the most sought after statue in all of filmdom and, as a reminder, here are some statements from past winners:

TIM THE FILM GUY

SMASHING THROUGH LIFE

SILVER SCREEN SERENADE

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

Who will take home the crown and rule the seven kingdoms????

trophy befitting a champion

Now we vote! It’s easy and free. Send me an email to ei@theipc.me with your favorite five posts and I’ll tally them all up. I’ll accept votes through next Thursday and announce the big winner next Friday! Please send them in order so I don’t get confused…!

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The site’s had a makeover!

Some of you may have noticed that instead of the old cameronreviews.wordpress.com address, an address I chose when I didn’t have a clue what I really wanted the site to focus on, I’ve updated to the more relevant thepitofterror.com. This shouldn’t affect any subscriptions to the site and any old links still work fine.

In addition to this, I have changed the whole appearance of the site and was let loose on photoshop for a couple of hours, ending up with the image you see at the top of the screen. A prize for the first person who names every film featured in it!* Any feedback or issues with the new layout of the site, just leave me a comment.

Well, after all that excitement it’s back to business as usual I suppose – more reviews will be uploaded in the coming days!

*Prize may or may not be imaginary

Unnecessary remake #2192: Poltergeist Trailer Released!

Last night the first official trailer for the highly dreaded remake of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist made its way onto YouTube. My first reaction was remembering that I STILL haven’t actually watched the original all the way through; a fact that I really must sort out before this is released. My second reaction was a pre-emptive sense of despair, bumped up by recent promises made by star Sam Rockwell that it was “more of a kid’s movie than the original”. As is my ultimate stance with every remake/sequel/reboot/re-imagining/spin-off though, I decided that since this remake is happening whether I like it or not, let’s just hope they do a good job. Such optimism is usually crushed mercilessly but I always come back for more punishment. Here’s the trailer in question:

…It actually looks good…

I mean, it looks like EVERY Ghost House and/or Blumhouse horror movie made in the last 5 years but I just so happen to like them so I’m easily sold there. Whoever at Ghost House Productions fed Sam Rockwell the lines in the article I linked above certainly got the wrong memo somewhere along the line, because it doesn’t hold back on the scares. Maybe they’re really going for a “scare the whole family” approach similar to Joe Dante’s The Hole which I’m always keen on. Some cool modern takes on key images from the original, not limited to the 50-inch LCD “They’re Here” moment, show off the Raimi-influenced flair for visuals and ability to make the smallest things unsettling.

However.

This is unacceptable

Either the completed film takes a dramatic Shyamalan-style twist in the third act where it turns out to be set in a parallel universe where smartphones work via analogue aerials like TVs did before the turn of the century or this scene is utter bullshit. Genuinely, I can’t understand why this is okay. Static doorknobs, cool. Animate clown doll, cool. House exploding into blue light, cool. But this. Nope. For the rest of the trailer I’m quite looking forward to this film, but I’ll call it now. If the above scene remains in the final cut, I’m out.

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Resurrected!

So, for various reasons I let this blog slip during the second half of 2014 but I’ve resolved to give it another shot. Any previous readers who haven’t unfollowed me yet will find more of the usual posts ranting about terrible films and so on, but I plan on keeping it a bit more loose this time around, so I may just rant about films in general, or how much I hated the trailer for Fantastic Four (just as a vague example), have occasional guest posts, and perhaps even post something positive once in a while!

Stay Tuned.

I might even manage to complete my Godzilla marathon…

Save UK cult video distributors from BBFC regulation changes

As my fledgling blog may have suggested, I’m a big fan of Arrow Video. They have gained a worldwide reputation for releasing fantastic editions of otherwise near-impossible to find obscure horror, video nasties and other forgotten gems, all complete with hours of exclusive, in-depth features on the making or the wider impact of these films. There are a number of other labels with similar reputations based in the UK (BFI, Masters of Cinema, Shameless Entertainment, etc) that altogether make this country a great base for fans around the world to get hold of these films in the highest quality possible, without having to resort to buying poorly transferred, cheaply made releases or piracy.

One of Arrow’s most popular recent releases; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

However.

These filled-to-the-brim releases are possible because the BBFC exempts documentaries from being classified; thus it is usually only the films themselves that need to be examined by them on their by-the-minute fees which, as you can see on their fees calculator, means a 90 minute film costs £615+ VAT. Meanwhile, various pop acts have been making naughty music videos and performing on TV wearing less clothes than seems appropriate for the British climate. These seemingly innocuous events have summoned Mary Whitehouse from the grave who has instructed the Department of Culture, Media & Sport that these antics are going to ruin the lives of the children of the country, and also that parents are physically incapable of turning the channel if their fragile-minded cherubs are in the room. Therefore, the only suitable option that remains is to change the legislation allowing this disgusting material to be distributed without censorship; that the BBFC’s government-supplied regulations must now apply to material classified as ‘documentary’.

Literally the devil*

Back to the original point, this new legislation will mean that the likes of Arrow Video will have to submit and pay for classification of every one of the extra features, tallying up a bill probably 3 or more times that of the current guidelines. The much-publicised example comes from Nucleus Films who released an incredible 3 DVD set of Jake West’s equally brilliant documentary Video Nasties: The Definite Guide. Containing original trailers for every ‘Video Nasty’, these alone were submitted & classified as an 18 by the BBFC, but the hours of documentary content all passed as exempt. Under the new regulations, Nucleus Films’ Marc Morris has explicitly stated that they couldn’t re-release this set as the classification would cost them around £7,000. These specialist labels don’t work on great profit margins, so multiplying their classification costs in this way will mean they may find themselves left with three options;

1) Close the doors and give up.

2) Massively increase the price of the packages and probably go out of business when no-one buys them.

3) Forego the extra features that made them famous in the first place.

Meanwhile, the TV shows and pop artists this change is supposed to be clamping down on will continue their risqué broadcasts because the incurred fees will be a drop in the ocean for the companies involved, and I personally think there are barely any performances or videos that would warrant more than a 12A, probably rarely above a PG, meaning they ultimately wouldn’t be restricted at all. I don’t think that these labels are being directly targeted, more being completely ignored and so accidentally crushed by the clomping boots of the department that ought to be championing them for making the UK such a force in the independent home video scene.

Naturally this article has a point. There’s a formal petition online to add your name to the fast-growing list of people who disagree with these changes. I really think it is trying to fix an issue with the music and TV industries that doesn’t actually exist, not fixing it anyway, and causing massive repercussions to the home video industry in the process.

*Disclaimer: I actually like Lady Gaga for the record

I’m actually excited about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer…

… but not for the right reasons.

First of all, here is the trailer in question;

I don’t usually agree with making snap judgments on trailers but oh my goodness. If it were just 5 days from now I’d believe it to be an April Fools joke – With a reasonable, yet utterly generic ‘Where oh where are the heroes?’ set-up it looks as though they’re almost trying to give it the Dark Knight “moody” treatment before some face-tearingly cringeworthy comedy courtesy of the green computer-generated abominations rears its hideous head, the whole thing was nearly too much for me to handle.

BUT.

I then realised. This isn’t just another Hollywood bastardization. This is particularly bad. Hilariously bad. They’re surely throwing a nine figure amount at this, and it looks so gloriously over-the-top, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, yet it’s on such a high level of ‘terrible-ness’ that I earmark it as being potentially the greatest unintentional comedy of 2014. I haven’t been this excited about a bad film since The Darkest Hour.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is out in the UK in October.