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[REC] 2 hits UK DVD

A real no brainer purchase this one, and it shouldn’t need much of an introduction. Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza’s [REC] 2 - the superb follow up to their world wide horror hit - arrives on UK DVD and Blu-ray Monday Sept 20th.

There’s more Demonic undead REC fun on the way soon, as two more films are already in the works. ‘[REC] Genesis,’ a prequel dealing with the origins of the infection, and ‘[REC] Apocalypse,’ a title we'd say was pretty self explanatory really?

Synopsis: When a small, local TV news crew consisting of anchorwoman Angela Vidal and her cameraman Pablo signed on to film the work of a squad of firemen working the night shift in the suburbs of Barcelona, they had no idea of the nightmare they were about to encounter. Answering a routine call to rescue an old lady trapped in her apartment, they become caught up in the middle of an inexplicable situation that rapidly spirals out of control. Sealed within the apartment block along with its residents by the city’s authorities, who believe there is a deadly virus on the loose, Angela, Pablo and the firemen struggle to survive against a growing menace within their midst while trying to find a way out. As the terror unfolds, Pablo continues filming, documenting a series of shocking events that are way beyond human comprehension…

REC 2 official site

THE WICKER TREE website reborn

Is was up, it was down, and now after a long wait the official site for Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Tree (a “re-imagining” of his horror cult classic ‘The Wicker Man’) is back with some real content to see - the main highlight being a first promising teaser trailer. Still no word on a release date, but it’s so close now we can smell it. Our best guesstimate would be late October, but we shall see. On to the site for Pagan sacrifice aplenty.

Synopsis: Gospel singer Beth and her cowboy friend Steve, set off from Texas to enlighten the Scottish heathens in the ways of Christ. When they are welcomed with joy and elation to the village of Tressock, the border fiefdom of Sir Lachlan Morrison, they assume their hosts simply want to hear more about Jesus. Beguiled by beautiful, sexy Celtic music, in counterpoint to the bluegrass hymns Beth sings to them, she is elected Queen of the May. Meanwhile an increasingly doubtful Steve becomes her consort, destined to be hunted on horseback by the whole community in a ritual he believes to be an innocent race. Neither of them realize that these honours are being heaped upon them for a purpose that will lead them to a terrifying end...

Wicker Tree official site

Magnet nabs North American rights to I SAW THE DEVIL

Fantastic news. And here it is hot off the press release

Magnet Releasing, announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Kim Ji-Woon’s (‘The Good, The Bad and The Weird’) I Saw The Devil at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Shockingly violent and stunningly accomplished, I Saw The Devil stars Lee Byung-hyun as Dae-hoon, a special agent whose pregnant wife becomes the latest victim of a disturbed and brutal serial killer, played by Oldboy’s Choi Min-sik. Vowing revenge, Dae-hoon blurs the lines between hunter and hunted and good and evil, eventually becoming a monster himself in his twisted pursuit of revenge.

"I SAW THE DEVIL is one of the most riveting and unrelenting films I've ever seen. It is an undisputable masterpiece," said Magnet SVP Tom Quinn. "Unparalleled in it's brutality, Kim Jeewoon deftly takes the serial killer thriller to new, profoundly disturbing heights. It's hard to imagine curating a genre label that didn't include this remarkable achievement."

Magnet will release I SAW THE DEVIL theatrically in first quarter 2011.

And to that, all we can say is..Hell yes!

I Saw The Devil official site

Malaysia takes on THE INTRUDER

Since no one (so far) in an English speaking region has seen fit to pick up for release one of the better looking horror movies to come out of Thailand this year - Thanadol Nuansuth and Thammanoon Sakulboontanom’s The Intruder - we’ve been keeping em peeled for other sources. A possible for of an English subbed DVD is Malaysia, where it’s due to hit local theatres this month with the far grander title Revenge of the King Cobra. Fingers crossed a subbed disc arrives soon after. More, as and when we know. Malay trailer with subs below.

Synopsis: Before the giant Suvarnabhumi international airport was built, the neglected and unoccupied area was called King Cobra Swamp by the locals. During construction, while removing a banyan tree thousands of cobra spilled forth from the earth killing everyone. Years later a new apartment was built on the same ground. Nin, the building owner, faces the horrifying truth when hundreds of cobras start killing every living person in the apartment. A reporter decides to investigate the horrific phenomenon but she is forced to fight for her life when she gets in too deep.

King Cobra trailer

HIGANJIMA - ESCAPE FROM VAMPIRE ISLAND: DVD review

Director: Tae-gyun Kim. Review: Adam Wing.

Having looked forward to and loathed Tae-gyun Kim’s effects laden martial arts oddity Volcano High, it’s fair to say that my expectations for his take on the vampire horror genre weren’t high. Higanjima - a live-action Japanese movie based on the best-selling Manga series by Koji Matsumoto - is coming to UK DVD and Blu-ray in October courtesy of Manga Entertainment. Billed as a horror movie, it’s probably best if you lower your expectations and take a different approach to viewing the film. I really want to call it horror comedy but it takes itself a little too seriously for that, in fact - to define a movie like this can prove a little troublesome. Pop-rock horror anyone? I think I just made up my own movie genre but still…

Two years after his older brother, Atsushi (Dai Watanabe), goes missing under mysterious circumstances, Akira (Hideo Ishiguro) meets a beautiful woman called Rei (Asami Mizukawa). She claims that he’s still alive on the remote, uncharted Japanese island of Higanjima. Desperate to see his brother once again, Akira talks his friends into joining him on a trip to the island in search of Atsushi. Upon arriving the friends are shocked to learn that they have been lured there in order to provide fresh meat for the island’s inhabitants, a race of extremely bloodthirsty vampires ruled by pasty faced rockstar-in-waiting, Masa. As the vampires descend upon their prey, Akira makes a startling discovery – Atsushi looks like a complete and utter geek.. Continue review here

RED WHITE & BLUE set for US theatrical release

Simon Rumley's Red White & Blue, a hit at the recent UK's Film4 FrightFest, is set to give US audiences a nasty surprise with both a theatrical and VOD release on Sept 23. RWB will be shown in movie theatres across North America, including; Austin, Houston, New York, LA and Philadelphia. At the same time, it will also be available in over 40 million homes via VOD on the same day it receives its screening at Fantastic Fest (23rd Sept). We’ve yet to get our greedy paws on a copy, but pretty much everything we’ve read about the movie so far has been singing its high praises. Trailer below (nsfw).

Synopsis: Erica (Amanda Fuller) lives rent-free in the local co-op, but spends her nights trawling the bars and beds of Austin. Damaged, emotionally withdrawn, never really connecting with anyone, and sleeping with multiple men is just what she does… until she meets the older and mysterious Nate (Noah Taylor) working in a hardware store, but with an “honorable discharge” from Iraq. Despite his quiet air of danger, Nate’s the only guy who doesn’t seem to want to get her into bed at the first opportunity, and the two form a hesitant bond. But one of Erica’s casual sexual encounters is about to bite back. Franki (Marc Senter) is a young, hot-headed wannabe rock star trying to make it big. Looking after a sick mother and estranged from his long-term girlfriend, he “shared” Erica with his buddies one drunken night. A shocking twist of fate is all it takes to throw his already crazy world into a spin, and in Franki’s eyes there is only one person to blame...

Red, White & Blue trailer

Pay a visit to THE DEVIL’S MEETING

Drew and John Erick Dowdle’s - M. Night Shyamalan penned - horror, Devil is coming, and to mark the event Universal have created a rather nifty sub site dealing with pop culture and folklore to do with bad ‘Old Nick.’ Though connected to the Devil movie site, it seems they’ve gone to some real trouble on this one and there’s plenty of articles to read, and interesting and odd people to discuss the mythology of the Devil with. Check it out here.

 

Devil official site

New TV spot for Chinese action thriller THE ISLAND

With plenty more bang for your buck, an explosive if short new TV spot has appeared online for Chao Feng’s ‘Battle Royal’ style action (with a sprinkling of survival horror thrown in) thriller The Island, and if nothing else it shows us all that a surprise invitation to a secluded luxury retreat, really is too good to be true. A varied group of contestants must compete in a series of deadly games, and the last one standing...wins. Island opens in China next month.

 

 

 

 

The Island TV spot

The Island trailer

THE LEGEND IS BORN: IP MAN on R2 DVD

UK martial arts fans who enjoyed (and what’s not to?) Wilson Yip’s best-selling martial arts epic, IP MAN - starring Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung - might do well to check out Herman Yau’s prequel pic The Legend Is Born: Ip Man which is hitting your shores this month. Unlike the first two movies, legend follows Ip Man's early years beginning at the start of his journey from initial training, through to the ultimate battle to become supreme master of the art of Wing Chun. While it might lack some of the glitz and gloss of Donnie’s Ip Man, it still has some great fights scenes featuring Sammo Hung, with the added plus that it stars Ip Man’s real life son, 76-year-old Ip Chun, as Ip Man’s kung fu master. The Legend Is Born is out on September 20th.

 

Legend trailers

First trailer for BLOODPROOF (aka ANTI GAS SKIN)

And we though the early pics and premise were a little surreal?! Via its screening at this year’s Venice International Film Festival, a first trailer is out - under the equally strange English title of ‘Anti Gas Skin’ - for Kim Gok and Kim Sun’s Korean, action serial killer thriller ‘Bloodproof.’ Watch the trailer, and the title doesn’t seem all that strange any more. This is oddball (if intriguing) stuff indeed. Trail at the link.

Synopsis: Four people are after a serial killer who wears a gasmask. Each has their own reason. Mi-Joo, who wants to be killed by the serial killer, to free herself from the trauma of her disfigurement. Sang-Kun Joo, a political candidate who has been threatened that ‘if he wins the election, he will be killed.’ Bo-Sik, a traffic warden, who wants to catch the serial killer because he thinks he is a superhero. And finally Patrick, who thinks the killer murdered his girl friend. But the ‘gasmask killer’ is not just one person. The identity behind the mask is mysterious. In the end, four of them wear gasmasks and wander around the city of death. What is the nature of the gasmask?

Thanks to Fabrizzia for the heads up.

Anti Gas Skin trailer

Poster and new clip for French horror LA MEUTE‎

If there was ever an award for “most understated marketing campaign for a horror movie” we’d have to say the one for Franck Richard’s La Meute (aka The Pack) would have to come near top of the tree. A new poster and clip have just been released, and even now - with the movie due for release at the end of the month - there’s still very little to give any hint at what to really expect. Early reviews have described as a dark humoured, gritty, gory creature feature. Dont get that at all from the poster. One thing the new clip does show well is that bizarre dark humour in action. Keep an eye on what’s going on, out the window. The Pack opens in France September 29th.

Synopsis: In the middle of a snowy no man's land, Charlotte picks up Max, a hitchhiker; they stop in a truck-stop restaurant, and when Max doesn't come back from the bathroom, Charlotte starts looking for him in vain. She decides to return during the night but gets kidnapped by the bartender, La Spack, who turns out to be Max's mother and needs to feed her kids, 'The pack', a bunch of blood lusting ghouls. Charlotte now faces a terrifying reality: these ghouls are already dead... and hungry. Alone and in the middle of nowhere, she quickly realizes... she's next on the menu!

The Pack trailers

THE LEGEND OF FONG SAI-YUK: DVD review

Director: Corey Yuen. Review: Adam Wing.

Another day. Another classic Jet Li offering arrives on R2 DVD courtesy of Cine-Asia. Jet Li stars as legendary Chinese hero Fong Sai Yuk in director Corey Yuen's action-packed kung-fu comedy The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk. A happy-go-lucky kung-fu artist, Fong Sai Yuk (Jet Li) is known around town for being a bit of a troublemaker. When a new Manchu official (Chan Chung Yung) shows up offering the hand of his daughter Ting Ting (Michelle Reis) to whoever wins a martial arts contest, Sai Yuk can’t resist the chance to show off in front of hundreds of spectators. Sai Yuk easily wins, and as is often the case in classic Hong Kong cinema - mistaken identity ensues. Throw in a little romance between not only Sai Yuk and Ting Ting, but also his mother (Josephine Siao) and her mother (Sibelle Hu), and what we have here is all the ingredients required for an evening of masterly martial arts action. Of course, you’ll also need a super villain to take on Jet Li in the final showdown – enter the vicious Manchu governor (Chao Wen Cho). With family and friends in mortal danger, Fong Sai Yuk must cut loose on the comedy, acrobatics and high-flying theatrics in order to save the day...Continue review here.

Legend of Fong Sai Yuk trailer

Magnet picks up ONG BAK 3 for US release

Judging by how well 'Ong Bak 2' did for them, it’s not a huge surprise that Magnet Releasing (Magnolia Pictures genre label) have just announced they’ve nabbed the US rights to the third and final instalment of Tony Jaa’s brutal, hard core martial arts opus…Ong Bak 3. American fight fans considered yourselves told, it’s due to hit theatres January, 2011! Keep it here for more updates soon.

 

 

Ong Bak 3 trailer

Via: Indiewire

FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41 re-release?

Don't get too excited just yet because things could still change, but Amazon has a listing for a new release of Shunya Ito's brilliant Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 with a release date of October 26th! Originally released in 1972, the previous region 1 DVD of the film has been out of print for quite some time and fans have been clamoring for a re-release of the film for years. It was released on DVD in the UK in 2007, but with the same burned-in (non-removable) subtitles as the original R1 release. Not too terribly long ago, Synapse Films had announced plans to re-release it in the US, but according to the Amazon listing Eastern Star, a sub-label of Ryko Distribution, has taken the reigns.

No word yet on whether or not the new release will include removable subtitles or what special features might find their way onto the disc, but we're crossing our fingers and hoping for the best. It's one of the absolute highlights of the Japanese exploitation genre and it deserves a decent disc. As always, we'll be sure to keep you up to date when we hear more, or after the disc arrives in our mailbox!

Synopsis: Gonzo doesn't begin to describe this wild women-in-prison film. A mad mix of outrageous exploitation, flamboyant art movie, and energetic comic book, this manga-inspired cult classic is actually the second film in a series, but you hardly need the history. Matsu (the insanely badass Meiko Kaji of Lady Snowblood fame) is an innocent woman in jail who defies the sadistic warden and brutal guards with silent stares and sudden strikes. Nicknamed "Scorpion" for her lethal, lightning attacks, she is systematically abused, tortured, and humiliated by the vengeful warden while she plans her escape.

Check out the trailer on YouTube.

Read Jasper Sharp's review at Midnight Eye.


TRUE LEGEND - Official UK theatrical poster and trailer

Well this came at us out of leftfield! British distro house Optimum have just announced they are set to release veteran director and martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping’s martial arts epic True legend in UK cinemas this month, and we’ve just been sent the flicks theatrical poster and trailer for your viewing pleasure. Legend stars Michelle Yeoh, Xun Zhou, Man Cheuk Chiu and follows the tale of Su Can, first master of the Drunken Fist Kung Fu style. It’s in cinemas – boasting 3D fight scenes no less – from September 24th, and then hits DVD a month after.

Synopsis: All his life, Su Can has been pursuing the summit of martial arts. There are two things he holds dearest to his heart: the dream of creating a unique kind of martial art that will pass on to generations; and his beloved wife. Su has a happy family and his wife is the joy of his life. But owing to a twist of fate and his own stubbornness, Su’s perfect life begins to fall desperately apart. On the surface Su now appears as a crazy beggar getting drunk every day. He wanders from town to town, becoming a man without any purpose in the eyes of others. But all through his spiritual exile, his dream for the highest peak in martial arts is still alive. The harsh conditions of life have not dampened his determination to perfect his skills. He conjures up scenes where he combats the legendary God of Wushu with whom he refines his skills and achieves a peace of mind. Meanwhile, the Heilongjiang Province where Su resides falls under foreigners’ rule. One day a crisis occurs that threatens the life of his young son – the only person Su still cares about and his last remnant of human hope. At the critical moment, the flame of life is re-ignited in Su. He lets out the utmost strength that has lay dormant in him during his devastated time, and it becomes the strongest school of fists that the martial arts world has ever known.

True Legend trailer

True Legend poster

RAGING PHOENIX finally hitting the US next week

Not sure how this managed to slip by everyone on the radar, but it looks like Magnolia is putting the Thai martial arts film Raging Phoenix out on DVD and Blu-Ray in the US on September 14th, according to Amazon. The film stars Jija (or Jeeja) Yanin, best known for kicking all kinds of ass in Prachya Pinkaew's Chocolate, was produced by Panna Rittikrai and Pinkaew. It's not the greatest film in the world, but if you're as big a fan of Jija as we are, then it's worth watching.

Synopsis: A violent gang is abducting and killing women around Thailand. Sanim and his friends, having had loved ones abducted, have joined together to break the gang of kidnappers. In a botched kidnap attempt, Deu (Jija Yanin) is saved by Sanim's crew. After learning their unique martial arts style, Deu helps lure the gang into an epic battle to save the women across Thailand.

Check out the official website for more info and the trailer.

54th BFI London Film Festival programme announced

The 54th BFI London Film Festival has announced the full line-up and this years programme includes stronger than usual selection of Horror and Sci-fi films, all part of a huge worldwide selection of 197 features and 112 shorts from 67 countries. Here’s just some of the highlights..

Horror and Sci-Fi FEATURES:

END OF ANIMAL: Dir, Jo Sung-Hee - Maybe the most striking debut in Korean film history, this pocket-sized apocalypse shows the day when electricity disappears and the road becomes a dog-eat-dog world.

KABOOM: Dir, Gregg Araki - An ‘old school Gregg Araki movie’, Kaboom is smart, sexy and so much fun…

MARS: Dir, Geoff Marslett - An inventive slice of slacker sci-fi packed with wit and ideas.

LET ME IN: Dir, Matt Reeves - A shy young boy realises his new friend might not be the innocent she first appears in this atmospheric and ultramodern vampire tale.

RARE EXPORTS: Dir, Jalmari Helander - Santa Claus is coming to town, but spreading Christmas cheer is not at the top of his list...

WOMB: Dir, Benedek Fliegauf - Eva Green and Matt Smith star in an usual love story, exquisitely designed and photographed.

Horror and Sci-Fi SHORTS:

ALL FLOWERS IN TIME: Dir, Jonathan Caouette – An evil signal broadcast by Dutch TV convinces young boys and girls that they can shape-shift into other people – and monsters.

COS: Dir, Lawrence Jordan - A voyage in the celestial realm, out beyond consciousness, steered by amaster of mystical transformation. Wondrous visions are charted on star maps from the Harmonia Macrocosmica to a spellbinding drone track by John Davis.

BIT: Dir, Jonathan Kable - Keep your eyes on the road… Half Hearted: Dir, Max McGill - Mike wakes up from a big night out with more to worry about than a nasty hangover. A lot more.

THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM: Dir, Jerome Sable - A ghostly tale around the campfire awakens an evil monster. It’s up to nerdy Danny Zigwitz to be the hero and save his fellow campers!

MARY LAST SEEN: dir, Sean Durkin - A young couple embark on a road trip to a beautiful and peaceful place. But a series of strange events occur on their journey, and it becomes clear that their relationship is not what it seems; and their destination is not what was promised.

VLOG: Dir, Yariv Barel and Mor Kaplansky - A teenage girl, equipped with her handy-cam, quietly leaves her sleeping family and abusive home….

…to name but a few. The Festival runs from October 13 – October 28, and for further info on all the screenings and events check out the official site here.

Korean horror YOGA on R1 DVD

A horror movie set in a Yoga school might not sound the greatest premise for some decent scares, but Jae-yeon Yun’s (‘Whispering Corridors 3’) Yoga was definitely one of the best, and more unusual horror movies to come out of Korea in the last couple of years. Yoga is set for DVD in the States, via Well Go U.S, on October 5th. Well worth a peek.

Synopsis: Striving for ultimate beauty can be deadly. Six gorgeous yet narcissistic women driven by their superficial existence are lured to the most prestigious underground YOGA studio in Soul. Their desire for beauty holds no bonds and each will stop at nothing to achieve it. As they settle in the studio and begin their quest, strange and disturbing events start taking place. Girls being to go missing and its evident there’s an evil presence among them. Their quest for beauty brought them to this haunted studio; their will to survive is the only thing that can get them out.

 

 

Yoga trailer

Via Flix

Sweden goes Parkour with SKILLS

Made up from unfinished footage (so it’s still early days on how the end result will turn out) an English subtitled teaser trailer for promising indy Swedish parkour action film, Skills has arrived. Directed by Johannes Pinter, Skills stars one of the world’s leading parkour-artists, Swedish Marcus Gustafsson, as well as one of Sweden’s greatest female skateboarders, My Magnusson. Add to that Martial artist Tim Man (‘Ong Bak 2,’ Streetfighter: Legend of Chun Li’), and on paper, it’s all sounding pretty interesting so far. Trailer at the link.

Synopsis: Kelvin is an average teenager struggling with his loyalty to his friends, conflicts with his father, and practicing his main interest in life - parkour. After his father is shot and ends up in a coma during a police case, Kelvin starts his own search for the perpetrator. Kelvin soon finds an underground world of sub cultures with their own rules. Kelvin is forced into a violent battle of skills in an urban gladiator game. A game that not only forces him to stretch his parkour talents, but also questions his moral boundaries - how far is he willing to go for family and friends?

Skills trailer

DETECTIVE DEE heads for Korea

After opening in Hong Kong at the end of this month Tsui Hark’s martial arts, fantasy, action movie Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame is bound for Korea, which means we now get to see the full trailer in all its hi-res goodness. We’ve commented before that we hoped Dee would mark a return to form for Hark on the action movie front....Well, sure looks that way so far. Detective Dee opens in Korea on October 7th, giving us all the added bonus of a second possible source for an English subbed DVD release. Nice! 

Synopsis: In the city of Luoyang, when the building of a giant temple is nearly drawing to completion, Jia yi, the construction chief is mysteriously burned to death. Rumours spread through the city that it is punishment from heaven for sacrilegious behaviour. Believing him the only person capable to solve the mystery, Empress Wu calls on genius detective Dee Renjie and appoints him as the chief of judges of the empire, to solve the case of burnt corpse. He accepts the challenge and partners up with gung-ho commander Bei and royal officer Jing. In order to find out the murder weapon, Dee and his allies make a visit to ghost doctor Wong in the dark ancient city where they stumble into the middle of an assassination attempt. However chasing after the assassin surprisingly leads them into the royal sorcerer's palace, the forbidden pavilion. As things goes more bizarre, when all the evidences are related to royal sorcerer Lu Li, the answer Dee finds put both him and everyone who comes in contact with him in grave danger...

Detective Dee hi-res trailer