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CROWS ZERO II Teaser online!

Finally! Crows Zero II the sequel to last years (about high school gang wars) Manga-to-film adaptation directed by Takashi Miike, now has a teaser trail on its official site! Miike is back to helm the sequel, which follows on eight months after events in the first film. Miike back to direct - with more gangs, more fights and more bone crunching action. It doesn't get much better than that. Crows Zero 2 opens in Japan, April 09.

 Crows Zero 2 website

Thai horror anthology 4BIA on English subtitled DVD

Thai blockbuster 4Bia is an anthology horror film that lines up four masters of the macabre, each directing a short segment that is self-contained but also cross-referencing with one another.

"Happiness" by Yongyoot Thongkongtoon (Iron Ladies) concerns a lonely woman who receives SMS messages from the netherworld. "Tit for Tat" by Paween Purijitpanya (Body) tells the tale of a gang of teenage bullies getting cursed by one of their victims. "In the Middle" by Banjong Pisanthanakun (Alone) has four young men going on a wild camp scaring each other with their ghost stories. "Last Fright" by Pakpoom Wongpoom (Shutter) is about a flight attendant who is assigned to return a dead body to its home country on a chartered flight, all on her own.

 

 

4BIA official site

Get your copy here

THE WRESTLER UK poster

January 16th 2009 sees the UK release of The Wrestler, the incredible comeback from Mickey Rourke, directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain). To coincide we have just been sent the official UK poster. The film won the Golden Lion Award at its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. On December 11, 2008, it was nominated for three Golden Globes: Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for Rourke, Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for Marisa Tomei, and Best Original Song Bruce Springsteen’s "The Wrestler". Forget the fantastic reviews, ‘The Boss’ can’t be wrong?! See the poster larger from the link.

Back in the late '80s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was a headlining professional wrestler. Now, twenty years later, he ekes out a living performing for handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms and community centres around New Jersey. Estranged from his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans. However, a heart attack forces him into retirement. As his sense of identity starts to slip away, he begins to evaluate the state of his life -- trying to reconnect with his daughter, and striking up a blossoming romance with an exotic dancer (Marisa Tomei) who is ready to start a new life. Yet all this cannot compare to the allure of the ring and passion for his art, which threatens to pull Randy "The Ram" back into his world of wrestling.

The Wrestler poster

The Wrestler official site

UK release for 20TH CENTURY BOYS *UPDATE*

Further to our earlier post, we’ve just had confirmation from the pics distributor that Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s 20th Century Boys is definitely getting a theatrical release and will open at “selected UK cinemas,” on 20th Feb 2009. Reading between the lines ‘selected Cinemas’ will probably mean just London - but it wont be a total wash-out if your in the UK but thats a long way from you, as the movie is also set to hit R2 DVD the month after.

 

 

 

20th Century Boys Website

 

New poster for Kyle Rankin’s indy horror INFESTATION

Was it really 2007 we last heard any news on this movie? Well things might be finally starting happen on the production - A new poster for director Kyle Rankin's indy comedy horror Infestation has arrived. Described as "28 Days Later" meets "Shaun of the Dead," Infestation follows a slacker who awakes to find that the world has been taken over by giant alien insects.

The story: “Our hero, Cooper, awakes to find himself nauseous, weak and covered in webbing, hanging from the ceiling of an office where, just minutes ago, he started his new job. As he struggles out of his slimy prison he comes face to face with his opponent - a grotesque, powerful and very angry bug. All 3 ft of it. And so begins a hideous, nail-biting, all-action adventure to find a safe haven while constantly outwitting an infestation of monstrous proportions. As Cooper embarks on his journey, he befriends a ragtag group of survivors including Sara, a feisty attractive female. Although the situation is dire, Cooper can't help himself from trying to solve his dating problem while trying to save his life. Will they make it to safety before they are picked off ? And what other surprises are in store for our unlikely heroes?”

The film will be released through Icon Productions in the new year. So if you like the sound of giant alien insects invading (and who doesn’t) the Earth, then you can zip over to the official site to catch (select "directorial examples") a fun, if campy promo reel for the film.

NEAR DARK remake is off

The planned remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s 80’s Vamp horror classic (We try not to overuse the label “classic" but ND really was years ahead of it’s time) Near Dark is off - and to be honest, we can’t say we consider that bad news. The producer of the long-mooted sequel Brad Fuller made the revelation in an interview with Empire. “Near Dark is probably not going to happen,” he confirmed. “I think that Twilight was the same type of thing we were going for although Near Dark was a much darker, sexier, rated R version of that. But I’m concerned that, conceptually, that Near Dark and Twilight are too similar in terms of a vampire movie. For now, that movie is on hold.” Hmmm...that "For now" still has the ring of a possible future production about it, but for now we would say - Want to see a great Vampire film? Then watch the original. 

English subtitled trailer for TOKYO!

An English subtitled trailer is out for the Hong Kong release of Tokyo! A cinematic triptych of three Tokyo-set stories. Tokyo! is a unique fantasy - three stories from three visionary directors (Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax and Michel Gondry), each directly inspired by the metropolis of Tokyo. Wacky, odd and in some places it looks just plain nuts Tokyo! was nominated for best film at this year Sitges film fest:

A couple move to Tokyo in search of a future. While his ambition is clear, she drifts, gradually losing control over her life. Left alone, she wakes one morning to find a hole in her chest, and eventually transforms into a chair.....A mysterious, sewer-dwelling man spreads confusion on the streets of Tokyo through a succession of irrational and provocative acts. Who is he? Why is he here? What does he want? The city's population becomes obsessed by this strange phenomenon.....A man, one of Japan's many hikikomori - citizens who have withdrawn from all contact with the outside world. When a pizza delivery girl faints in his apartment during an earthquake, the unthinkable happens - the man falls in love. And when she does not return, he takes an unimaginable step to find the girl: for the first time in 11 years, he leaves the dead security of his apartment for the streets of Tokyo.

Tokyo! trailer

Brit horror THE CHILDREN: Review

The Children – Director: Tom Shankland. Review by: Pete Higgins

It’s been quite a year for feel-bad endurance-test movies. The Mist, Eden Lake, and now The Children. Together they’d make an especially bleak triple-bill. On its own, however, The Children is still pretty effective, in its nasty little way. The plot couldn’t be much simpler. There are these two families, you see, and they’re meeting up for New Year, in a nice house in the middle of the countryside. mobile reception? Only available in that one spot, out there on the perimeter of the woods. One of the four children already coughing in a slightly worrying way? Oh, yes. Parents too self-absorbed and/or incompetent to pay attention to what’s going on until it’s much too late? Yes, again.

And therein lies one of this film’s problems. Because the parents are so annoying, it’s hard to care all that much when their children start hacking them to bits. The only teenager (significantly neither adult nor child) in the group should be the focus of our attention from the start, but the script muddles this quite badly. It’s difficult to know who to root for, until, again, it’s too late. Another problem is that the deaths and maimings, when they come, are not as brilliantly shot and edited as they could be. I regard it as cheating to have a character impaled on a spike that we, the audience, didn’t even know was there until it was plunging into someone’s head. Yes, the victim might – indeed, must – be unaware of it, but we should at least have had a brief moment for the spike to be introduced. This isn’t called breaking the rules: it’s called incompetence, I’m afraid, and it proves somewhat wearing.

Likewise, the insistence on flash-frames and jump-cuts weakens the actual legitimate scares and forces the audience to wonder why such cheap tricks are being used. It’s almost as though the writer/director Tom Shankland didn’t trust his own script and actors to carry things along. Which they can’t: unfortunately, the adults in this are not the greatest actors in the world, and the dialogue they are lumbered with only emphasises the point. The children (Freddie Boath, Rafiella Brooks, Jake Hathaway, and Eva Sayer) and the teenager (Hannah Tointon) on the other hand, are all excellent - perhaps because they have to say less, and do more. The film is at its most effective when everyone stops talking. When the camera lingers on the snow and the blood, or on the innocent-looking children, or the trees in the forest, The Children is as chilling as it ought to be. It has ideas above its station, and is badly under-written, but it lingers in the mind even so.  

 

The Children official site

 

Holiday horror roundup

If the thought of sitting in front of the TV over the coming holiday period - having to watch endless re-runs of crappy old films and Xmas themed reality shows fills you with dread, then instead here's a run-down of the latest upcoming Asian, cult and Horror movies available on DVD this festive “fun” filled season: Cruel Restaurant (R1), Pulse 3 (R1), Death Note: L - Change the World (R2), Loner (R3), Mum and Dad (R2), Fearless (R1), Eden Lake (R2), Rough Cut (R3), Babylon A.D. (R1), The Tattooist (R2). 

 

Better late than never, ONG BAK 2 website now live

What’s that saying again about closing Barn doors after bolting horses? The official site for Tony Jaa’s Ong Bak 2 has finally come to life. A little lax on the part of production company Shamongkol Film considering the film opened 5 days ago. But then again, hey what do they care - the movie is currently destroying box office records across Thailand and no doubt soon will be doing the same, right across Asia. Current word is ‘Sony UK’ has picked up the British rights for the flick, but still no word for North (please don’t let it be the Weinstein’s!) America.

 

 

 

 

Ong Bak 2 official site

More detailed storyline for Korean slasher THE 4TH DAY

New Korean frightener The 4th Day seems to be continuing a trend that’s seeing Korean horror tiptoe ever further into the realms of “slasher” horror. The new wave started with recent release Death Bell and it seems there’s no looking back. Long haired Ghosts are out, hack’n’slash gore is very much in. The boys at 'Twitch' were the first to cover news on the films upcoming release in Korea on December 12th, and now we've managed to track down a more detailed plotline for the pic.

Synopsis: 11 people who decide they no longer wish to live, form a suicide pact and arrange to meet at a deserted school. Once they arrive however, someone or something in the school begins to hideously murder members of the group and those still alive soon decide than living is by far the better of two options!

The 4th Day trailer

COLD PREY: Review

Cold Prey – Director: Roar Uthaug. Review by – Tim Irwin

"Cold Prey" was a hit in Norway a couple years back and for good reason. It's a slasher film like many other slasher films, but made with enough aplomb to give Norway cause to rejoice. The plot is very standard. Basically, a group of young friends go off somewhere, get lost, then start to die at the hands of an unknown killer. In this case there are five friends who go off skiing in some remote mountains in Norway. One of them breaks a leg so they head to a nearby lodge for shelter. Of course, the lodge is abandoned but they manage to break in, get some painkillers for the kid, find some food and alcohol, and start enjoying their night there. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for us, as otherwise this would be a very boring film) someone or something else has been living in the closed-up lodge, and starts attacking them. Pretty soon they're on the run, trying to hide, trying to protect themselves. Then they try to escape by various means, some of which inevitably fail at first.

What sets this apart from other slashers (other than being Norwegian) is how adequately it's made. The outside shots of the mountains and snow are gorgeous. The interiors are suitably dark when necessary, and warm when the kids are relaxing. The characters aren't particularly memorable, although a strong female lead is a bit different from other slasher films....Continue reading Cold Prey review

Posters and trailers for Thai horror MEAT GRINDER

Back in October we carried first news on Meat Grinder - which looked like a rather bloody new Thai horror from local production house Phranakorn film, but until now, with the release of a first trailer we didn’t realise just how bloody. This is right up there in ‘Art Of The Devil’ territory on the gore factor front. Still no word on a synopsis, but watching the trail there seems to be a more than a hint of ‘Sweeney Todd’ (with Noodles rather than Pies) about proceedings. Below are links to the posters, the teaser and full trailers. Pretty much all of which are not work safe. Meat grinder is due for release in the new year.

 

 

 

Meat Grinder teaser trailer

Meat Grinder full trailer

Meat Grinder posters 1 2

MERCURY MAN hits R1 DVD in January

Thailand first ever martial superhero Mercury Man arrives onto R1 DVD on January 27th via Magnet Pictures. Directed by Bhandit Thongdee, the pic boast martial arts choreography by Panna Rittikrai of ‘Ong-Bak,’ and ‘Born to Fight’ fame.

After being stabbed with an ancient Tibetan amulet, a Bangkok firefighter Sharn is transformed into a superhero when his body becomes a massive heat source, which he learns to manipulate to give him super strength, increased agility and the ability to make great leaps. Sharn's fate is entwined with an Afghan terrorist, Osama bin Ali, who wants the power of the Tibetan amulet to use in a plot to destroy the United States. With his international terrorist organization, led by henchwoman Areena, Osama kidnaps Sharn's mother and transsexual sister and takes them to the Royal Thai Navy base, where he hopes to launch a rocket at a US Navy chemical weapon ship. Osama also has suicide bombers spread out throughout Thailand, ready to act on his word. Aided by the young female guardian of the amulet, Sharn rescues his mother and sister. However, he must face Areena, who has stabbed herself with a  amulet, giving her the powers of extreme cold and ice.  

Mercury Man trailer   

Get your copy here

Coming soon ONG BAK 3?

With the red carpet barely rolled away from the premiere of Ong-Bak 2, the Thai rumour mill is well and truly in full swing regarding a third instalment of Tony Jaa’s martial arts movie series. While not yet totally compelling, the reasons for thinking there will be an Ong-Bak 3 aren’t totally out there on planet LaLa. We just wonder - after all the problems over the filming of OB 2, whether the pics producers ‘Sahamongkol Film’ will have the stomach to go through it all again. Saying that, the ringing tones of cash registers is a great cure all. Grady over at Kaiju shakedown has all the gen, which you can read here.

 

 

First footage from Park Chan-Wook’s THIRST

No real money shots and blink and you’ll miss it - but a first tantalising glimpse of live footage from Park Chan-Wook’s upcoming Vamp horror Thirst (aka Evil Live) has turned up on Youtube - as part of a Korean news report on the film. Another plus, we’ve also finally been able to track down a far more detailed synopsis for the movie. Thirst is currently slated to open in Korea, May 09!  

Synopsis: Sang-hyun, a small town beloved and admired priest who serves devotedly at a hospital, volunteers for the new infectious disease, F.I.V.’s, vaccine development experiment and goes to Africa. The experiment fails and Sang-hyun gets infected by F.I.V. but he ends up being miraculously cured and returns home. News of Sang-hyun’s cure from F.I.V. spreads and people start believing he has the gift of healing and flock to receive his blessing. From those who come to him, Sang-hyun meets a childhood friend named Kang-woo and his wife Tae-ju. Sang-hyun is immediately drawn to Tae-ju. One day, Sang-hyun coughs up blood, dies, and comes back to life the next day as a vampire. Tae-ju is strangely drawn to Sang-hyun, turned vampire, and they have a secret love affair. Sang-hyun asks Tae-ju to run away with him but she turns him down. Instead, they plot to murder Kang-woo... 

 

Thirst footage

Irish horror DOROTHY MILLS on R1 DVD

Agnès Merlet's taut, atmospheric, and creepy as all hell looking psychological horror Dorothy Mills is up for pre-order on R1 DVD. The French/Irish co-production the pic has garnered excellent reviews on it’s turn around the festival circuits. With a stunning performance by Jenn Murray in the lead, Dorothy stars Carice van Houten, Gary Lewis, Eamonn Owens, Gavin O'Connor, Niamh Shaw and Charlene McKenna. 

Synopsis: Dorothy Mills is suspected of assaulting a young baby in a contemporary but timeless rural village. She is visited by psychiatrist and outsider, Jane, who discovers that Dorothy may not be responsible for her actions and may be possessed by a horrifying and malevolent force. As she helps Dorothy, Jane is confronted with her own past tragedies - and starts to unravel another terrible secret hidden by some of the local villagers.
 
There are a ton of clips to see from the link below, one of which "Extrait 4" we'd advise isnt work safe, unless watched on mute. Dorothy Mills streets in February.
 
 
 
  Dorothy Trailers 
 
  Pre-order the DVD
24fps news feed now available via Feedburner

After a few technical tweaks the 24fps news feed is once again available to access via Feedburner - So now no matter how you browse your news you need never miss out on the latest Asian, Horror and cult movie updates.  

 

 

 

 

24fps via Feedburner

 

Burton and Depp entering DARK SHADOWS?

One the few Hollywood double acts we ever get excited about around these parts, there’s talk on the wind that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are looking with interest at making a film adaptation of the popular 1960’s show Dark Shadows. In a recent interview Producer Richard D. Zanuck told Collider.com that it will be the next project for Burton to direct, after 'Alice In Wonderland,' with production due to start next summer. So, while its wise to take anything like this with a large pinch of (the size of Nebraska) salt,  the possibility of Burton and Depp working together again on a Gothic Vampire horror, quite frankly gets a HELL YES from us.

 

First trailer for Spanish horror ASD: A SOUL DISOWNED

With a new English (originally it was called ‘Underground’) title under its belt, a first trailer has surfaced for Tinieblas Gonzalez's upcoming Spanish horror ASD: Alma Sin Dueno (aka 'A Soul Disowned'), and it's all looking very promising so far. His feature film debut, Gonzalez earlier works include a series of shorts and a gothic adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Raven Nevermore.'

Written by Gonzalez, Koldo Serra (Backwoods) and Txabier Alastruey, ASD is set in a labyrinth of subway tunnels and although it’s a Spanish production, the movie is actually being shot in English with Brendan Coughlin, Francia Raisa, Doug Haley and Deance Wyatt starring. Still in post production the, pic is due out in the new year.

Synopsis: Nathan, Joe and Fu are three graffiti artists, experts in street paintings. Motivated by the possible media impact of an act of sabotage, they plan to ”decorate“ a new underground station on the day before it is opened. They are helped by Rat, who is capable of outwitting any security system. When they are unexpectedly interrupted by the violent Police Chief and his men in the station, the youngsters are forced to flee into the dark dangerous tunnels of the underground. The threat posed by their pursuers is nothing compared to that of the ”Unowned Soul,“ a creature which stalks them. The police and graffiti artists will fall like flies to his hands. They wanted to make headlines. Now they will.

 

 ASD trailer