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Dog Soldiers and Dog Houses

Dog Soldiers and Dog Houses review

I know a lot of our readers, and certainly all of us at Erebus Horror, would regard themselves as knowledgeable when it comes to horror movies. Yet, if someone asked you to name the British horror flicks released in the last 20 years, how would you get on? Sure, you’ll probably start with the most popular ones; 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, Dog Soldiers etc. But how many could you name before you get stuck? 10? 20? Maybe 50 for the more devoted of fans? The truth is, try as we might, we will all fail in comparison to MJ Simpson – author of Dog Soldiers and Dog Houses. Simpson truly is a pioneer and expert in the field of British horror films and this book proves why.

The work is a truly insightful encyclopedia, reviewing hundreds of British horror movies, many never before documented. Being UK-based and particularly interested in British horror flicks, we all thought we had a comprehensive knowledge of movies from the motherland – Oh, how wrong we were!

MJ Simpson, doyen of British horror film writers, has seen them. The good, the bad and the extraordinary. For 20 years he has been scouring the web for these films. He has then reviewed them on his blog British Horror Revival and in his previous book Urban Terrors.

Between January 2000 and December 2019, an incredible one thousand feature-length horror films were produced and released in the UK. Dog Soldiers and Doghouses is the first in a unique series of books cataloguing this amazingly prolific and largely undocumented corner of cinema.

Covering a 12-year period from 2000 to 2011, this book reviews 316 British horror movies. Cast and crew details, critical analysis, production history and release data are all wrapped up in an entertaining and informative half-page review, accompanied by a colour image.

From big screen blockbusters to backyard obscurities, from cinema screens to YouTube, with budgets ranging from £20 million to 45 quid (or less…), British horror cinema has never been so diverse. This book and its forthcoming companions are a guide to the true, hidden ‘British film industry’ which remains almost entirely ignored by the mainstream film press.

About the author

MJ Simpson is, apparently, the world’s foremost authority on 21st century British horror films and these books are the culmination of two decades of passionate research. He is the author of Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema 1997-2008 (Hemlock Books, 2012), which covers about a third of these films in more detail and context. He also wrote a couple of books about Douglas Adams.

Part of the original editorial team which launched SFX, Simpson has written for Fangoria, The Dark Side, Video Watchdog, Psychotronic Video, Shivers, Scream, DeathRay, Infinity, MonsterScene, SciFi Now, Starburst, TV Zone, Cult TV, Film Review, Neo, Doctor Who Magazine, Total Film, New Scientist, the British Medical Journal, the Funday Times and the Singaporean version of Elle.

He works by day in the Communications Office at the University of Leicester and sang the 1980s classic ‘Africa’ on what many people consider to be the worst TV show ever made.

About the book

21st Century British Horror Films, Volume 1: Dog Soldiers and Doghouses is a limited edition publication available exclusively online at https://mjsimpson.bigcartel.com for £20 plus postage*. It is 176 pages, A4, softback, and full colour throughout, with a foreword by horror expert Dr Johnny Walker.

* In an unprecedented offer, postage is free for anyone who wrote, directed, produced or starred in any film in the book!

Take it from us, it doesn’t matter if you’re a filmmaker, working within the movie industry or even if you’re British, this book is a valuable resource for any horror movie buff. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Did you enjoy the Dog Soldiers and Dog Houses review? Check out what we think of more literature here

Friday the 13th fans will likely already be aware of Ari Lehman and his awesome band First Jason. But for those who are unfamiliar with their work, read on!

“First Jason” are a heavy metal band that creates “Friday the 13th” parody music. Their latest video, “Kill For Mother” was released last year, and it is a TUNE! For those unfamiliar with frontman Ari Lehman, he is the original Jason Voorhees (aka The Boy In the Lake) from the 1980 horror classic, Friday the 13th. The song, “Kill For Mother” is off their newly released album, “Lord of the Lake”.  

I’m sure you’ll agree, these guys are AWESOME! A seasoned recording artist and professional musician, Ari saw a great opportunity to give Jason Voorhees a musical voice on the Punk and Metal scene and created First Jason specifically for Horror Fans, especially the fans of Jason Voorhees and “Friday the 13th”.

The band has performed in Punk/Metal clubs, Film Festivals and Horror Conventions throughout the United States as well as various cities around Europe. Currently on hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they are due to resume their tour toward the end of the year.

WANNA MEET THE OG JASON & SEE FIRST JASON LIVE ONSTAGE?!

Here’s their tour dates;

28th OCT IN TULSA OKLAHOMA AT THE VENUE SHRINE
29th OCT IN OKLAHOMA CITY AT THE WINCHESTER DRIVE IN 
30th OCT IN DALLAS TEXAS AT ORILEYS
31st OCT IN KATY TEXAS AT WILDCATTER SALOON 
1st NOV IN NEW BRAUNFELS TEXAS AT THE NB SHOWROOM

Whether you’re a fan of Friday the 13th or just horror in general, This band are definitely worth a listen. If you want to find out more, check out the links below!

For more information: 
http://www.firstjason.com

Follow the band on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/FirstJasonOfficial

YOUTUBE CHANNEL
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv6jHmCFHOYf8z3v4bR3pRw

LISTEN TO FIRST JASON ON SPOTIFY 
https://open.spotify.com/artist/07EZ45YzHRTS7q2XLDKAyu?si=JI-u1R2mRdKPPOMs8g8eyQ

Want more music? Check out our features here

HNN Film Festival is accepting feature film submissions starting on June 8th, 2020 through Film Freeway.   HNN Film Festival is sponsored by Horrornews.net and in association with Bayview Entertainment, the FIRST PRIZE winner will get a distribution deal to get their feature film released on the “HNN presents” distribution label.

HNN recognizes that the landscape of the entertainment business is changing as repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges we face social distancing in our theaters and festivals.   Therefore, the HNN Film Festival will completely be an “at home” experience.  

“HNN Film Festival seems like the natural progression of things. I’ve been involved in business of horror for over a decade, specifically supporting the efforts of independent filmmakers. I think we all strive to watch the perfect film and while some say that’s an impossible task, what’s enjoyable is the journey. The endless search to find the holy grail of movies, or by horror standards, the unholy grail. You know it’s a good film when you are sitting on the edge of your seat and experiencing the story along with the characters. You know it’s a great film when that feeling of excitement stays with you long after you stopped watching the movie.” –  HNN Manager, Michael Joy

For more information:
https://filmfreeway.com/HNNFilmFestival

About HNN Presents:
We believe in horror. This is the genesis of a new era in how people consume entertainment and we are leading the charge to a revolution. As we stand at the forefront of the film industries rebirth, it’s our mission to establish the horror genre as the epicenter of the “at home” video experience.

About Bayview Entertainment:
BayView Entertainment, LLC, is a full service media company committed to acquire, develop, produce, market and distribute audio-visual content. For over fifteen years, BayView made its name by being dedicated to releasing only the best programs in each category from some of the most trusted names in the field.

BayView’s disc programming can be found throughout the country at all online suppliers plus fine brick & mortar retailers, as well as streaming/video on demand at all major digital retailers and platforms.

Click here, for more horror news

Knock Knock

Knock Knock Review

When it comes to genre-mashups, we all have our favourites involving horror. Whether it be Horror/ Sci-fi (Yes!), Horror/ Western (Yeehaw!) or Horror/ Romance (…meh). But my personal favourite is Horror/ Comedy. WHAT A COMBO! There’s just something about these two genres that work well together and I love it! You know what else I love? THE 80’s! Damn that was a good decade for movies. The cheesy soundtracks, the vibrant colours and the hilarious special effects. Imagine my delight when I realised that ‘Knock Knock’ has it all!

Here’s the IMDB Summary; ‘Knock Knock’ tells the story of down-on-his-luck former boxer Sam Grant, who one night finds himself caught in a whirlwind of conjecture and conundrum as his colorful and quirky neighbors come to him with scary tales of their apartment’s mysterious new resident. Inspired by the retro horror classics of VHS days gone by, ‘Knock Knock’, is sure to be a treat for any horror fan and aficionado.

The movie starts with a bizarre ad for a pizza company, complete with the typical visual flickers and sound quality associated with a VHS. The peculiar advertisement stars the dapper Walter D. Zaarke (complete with stick-on muttonchops) as he spends a couple of minutes describing the best, most wondrous, most mysterious pizza out there today. This sets the tone for the entire movie. Sounds ridiculous right? It is! And it’s FANTASTIC!

If the intro isn’t nostalgic enough for you, the opening soundtrack certainly will be. As soon as that synth-tastic, John Carpenter-esque tune hits your ears you’ll be transported back to the time of big hair, spandex and Rubik’s cubes. Once you’re settled, cue the comedy! With a hilarious script and perfectly cast actors you can’t help but laugh. It’s cheesy, goofy and if you imagine a grown up version of Scooby Doo (regrettably without the Great Dane himself) you’ll be pretty close to what Knock Knock is all about.

Knock Knock

When Sam ‘Stonefist’ Grant (Kerry Tartack) returns home, he doesn’t expect his quirky neighbour Olivia (Sisi Berry) waiting for him. Even more surprising is her theory about the newest resident in the building. With him partying all night and sleeping all day he’s just oozing vampiric traits. As a result, she’s invited fellow neighbours round to help; goofball stoner Dragon (Chuk Hell) and super smart Gretchen (Rachel Atterson).

You can easily envisage more movies with this brilliant cast and it’s clear that Director/ Writer Toby Canto Jr. has a flare for filmmaking. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you’re looking for an in-depth, story-driven movie with genuine scares, this isn’t the flick for you. However, if you’re looking for a wacky, fun, nostalgic experience, then dust off your old pastel tracksuit and enjoy the trip down memory lane.

If you like what you see then check it out!

Further info

The movie is available on DVD, BluRay, and streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi. Check out the links below and enjoy!

DVD/ BluRay

Amazon Prime

Tubi

If you’d like to keep up to date with Pop Art Pictures social media, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@popartpictures)

Enjoyed our review of Knock Knock? Check out more features here

The Candy Witch

There’s something about urban legends that tends to resonate with the masses. Whether this be the mystery, intrigue or the peril they usually portray, many of these chilling tales of folklore have been around for generations. Some have regional variations, whilst others are a mosaic of legends; bits and pieces of different stories brought together to show a terrifying new image. The Candy Witch seems to fall into this category.

With a tagline of ‘Sweet dreams… forever!’ The synopsis states;

Two ghost hunters are called upon by a distressed family who claim they are being tormented by an evil spirit known in their local town as The Candy Witch. But as the mystery of her curse is uncovered, surprising and sinister turns are discovered around The Candy Witch’s identity. Their hardest case yet, can they solve this evil curse before more people are killed by the demonic spirit?

The Candy Witch

Now before we go into the review let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, there are a number of similarities with Candyman, the biggest being the Candy Witch’s hook-like weapon of choice; a sharpened candy cane (ingenious right?) And also a few other themes from popular culture (turning lights on/off which conceals/reveals the spirit for example) However, as mentioned previously, some of the best urban legends are a mishmash of horror tales. Whilst The Candy Witch adopts a number of these traits, it doesn’t lose its individuality in terms of storyline, location and unique delivery.

The movie itself starts out strongly. There’s a brief introduction to the turmoil of the O’Neil family, followed by a bit of a prelude which introduces ghost hunters Reece (Jon Callaway) and Kat (Abi Casson Thompson). The prelude in particular provides us with some great visual effects which sets the standard for the rest of the movie.

Liar

In terms of acting, The Candy Witch is comprised of a stellar cast who all bring a unique aspect to the movie. Admittedly, there are a few shaky performances here and there, but overall it was very good. Whilst Callaway plays a decent part he doesn’t really dominate the screen in a lead role, but he is supported by a convincing performance from Thompson. However, the accolade for acting performance has to go to The Candy Witch herself (Kate Lush). Whilst there isn’t a great deal of speech on her part, Lush brings the character to life through expression, mannerisms and good old fashioned jump scares (helped tremendously by the amazing cinematography)

The only critique I have is the number of Americanisms adopted throughout the movie. I get that the director is trying to appeal to the US market, but it feels to have sacrificed a level of authenticity in doing so, with the majority of the movie being set in Surrey, England. If some of these were dropped (as well as the questionable American accents that popped up every now and then…) I feel the movie would sell just as good, if not better. However, saying that, I completely understand the reasoning behind the ‘Candy’ Witch as the ‘Sweet’ Witch (as most Brits would call it) doesn’t have the same effect!

The Candy Witch

Overall though The Candy Witch is a fun, compelling splatterfest filled with inventive confectionary-related kills. I thought it was a great film and a great premise for an antagonist. I feel if there was extra work done to give the Candy Witch more of an initial, impactive scare, it could easily pave the way for a new horror icon.

From writer-director Rebecca J.Matthews (Pet Graveyard), and starring Kate Lush, Abi Casson Thompson, Heather Jackson and Richard D Myers, The Candy Witch serves up sweet death June 9 on DVD and Digital from Uncork’d Entertainment. Check out the trailer below!

You can check out the IMDB link here

Enjoyed our review? Check out more here