The Town That Dreaded Sundown – !976 and 2014

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

In 1946 this man killed five people… today he still lurks the streets.

So you wait for one The Town that Dreaded Sundown to turn up and two arrive at once, as hot on the coat tails of the latest version comes the original 1976 story of the Moonlight Murders.

Dawn Wells dials 911 Dawn Wells dials 911

So let’s take the original 1976 version first, which is reissued in the UK as a dual format (Blu-ray and DVD) edition on 24 August. Based upon a true story, Its 1946 and the city of Texarkana on the Texas-Arkansas border is getting back to normality after the deprivations of World War Two. A pair of young lovers drive out to the local lover’s lane, where instead of getting to fool around with each other they get savagely beaten by a sack-masked nutjob.. Three weeks later another couple are found in similar circumstances only this time…

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Soldiers of the Damned Competition – 5 DVDs must be won

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

soldiers of the damned

Romania 1944 and the German Wehrmacht is in full retreat from the Red Army. Battle weary commander Major Kurt Fleischer (Gil Darnell) is called into HQ to take a briefing for a top-secret mission. Under the direct orders of Heinrich Himmler he is to escort an archeologist from the SS Ahnenerbe behind enemy lines to search for an ancient occult artefact that Himmler believes will help the Nazis win the war. The matter is complicated by the fact that the Ahnenerbe scientist Professor Kappel (Miriam Cooke) is both female and an old girlfriend of Fleischer’s. Worse than that Fleischer’s crack squad is to be accompanied by SS Major Metzger (Lucas Hansen), Fleischer’s’ men hate the SS and Fleischer has a bit of previous with Hansen.

Professor Anna Kappel (Miriam Cooke) at the German HQ (©SOTD Ltd) Professor Anna Kappel (Miriam Cooke) at the German HQ (©SOTD Ltd)

Crossing behind enemy lines things start to get creepy when the soldiers catch mysterious…

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Marshland (2015)

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

MarshlandApprovedArtworklow(1)In 1980 as Spain is in transition from decades of totalitarian fascist rule to a new democracy two disgraced cops are despatched to the backwaters of Andalusia’s Guadalquivir Marshes to investigate the disappearance of two teenage sisters to get them out of the way.  idealist Pedro (Raul Arevalo) had the temerity to criticise the military and the older partner Juan (Javier Gutierrez) has a very dark past in General Franco’s secret police. The missing girls are sixteen year old Estrella and 15-year-old Carmen who were last seen getting into an unknown car.

This sure ain't Miami Vice This sure ain’t Miami Vice

When the bodies of the girls turn up in a ditch the detectives discover they are not the first youngsters to vanish and find themselves chasing down a serial killer long protected by a corrupt, but fading political elite. their only clue a partially burnt film negative.

Pedro and Juan share an uneasy working relationship Pedro and Juan share an uneasy…

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The Wishing Well – Interview with Filmmaker Merlyn Roberts

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

The final of our Vampiir Bitez shorts is The Wishing Well by Merlyn Roberts and Steve Lyons of Wyldewood.

Wishing-Well-Entity-1A deep and brooding film about grief’ loss and the supernatural forces that lurk within the Earth The Wishing Well’s ability to shock really creeps up on the viewer. Merlyn Roberts tells us about it and how it got made:

I’ve been making films on and off for the last 15 years. They all fall under the banner of horror or fantasy. In the last 7 years I’ve been making shorts with my long time friend Steven Lyons under the name Wyldewood  productions.

Merlyn Roberts Merlyn Roberts

The Wishing Well was our second project and we really wanted to do something special. However money was typically short so instead of writing something and then deciding where would get props, cast and budget, we decided to make something with what we already…

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Leytonstone by Stephen Volk – Book Review

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

In 2013 the Hothouse joined the actor Peter Cushing as he attempted to resolve a case of child abuse while dealing with his own grief following the death of his beloved wife Helen, in Stephen Volk’s novella Whitstable. Having spent a good deal of my early teens on the Kent coast I found Volk’s evocation of early 70s Whitstable and its environs remarkably faithful. leytonstone-front-cover-with-titlesWhitstable is the first part of a trilogy featuring people drawn from the darker side of cinema. curiously the second novella in the series, Leytonstone, also features a place familiar to the Hothouse editor, the east London suburb of Leytonstone. However Volk’s Leytonstone takes place in the early 1900s rather than the time when I used to reside there in the early 1980s. The subject of the novella is a seven-year old Fred the son of the local greengrocer. We know him today as…

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Sweet Madness – A Harley Quinn Short

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Is the DC Universe dark enough for the Horror Hothouse? You bet it is when we get shorts like this from director Peter Dukes. Sweet Madness features Harley Quinn stepping out from the Joker’s shadow to have a little fun on her own and she’s just as twisted as any other Hothouse psycho.

Sweet Madness Poster (for web)

We asked Peter what was it that so appealed about Harley to him.

‘Harley is a fabulously complex character and since the live action Batman canon has yet to show her any love (pending 2016’s Suicide Squad, that is) I wanted to show her some myself.  This is het story.  The Joker is in it, but in a way most people haven’t seen him before.  If I’m going to take on a film like this, I might as well be bold, so I’ve stripped him of his make-up to not only expose the twisted man…

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English Gothic by Jonathan Rigby – Book Review

Originally posted on The Horror Hothouse:

Untitled(1)Jonathan Rigby’s English Gothic was described by SFX as “Essential” they went onto say “Don’t even try to discuss British horror films until you’ve read it” when it was first published back in 2000. I’d have to agree with them and as the owner of a much battered old paperback edition I was delighted to get my hands on the new hardback 2015 edition, complete with a rather stunning shot of the late Sir Christopher Lee from Hammer’s Dracula (1958) on the dust jacket.

Rigby’s book is quite remarkable because it traces the development of the British horror movies on virtually a film by film basis from the silents of the 1890s right up to the present day, without ever being dusty or boring which such a tome could easily have become. On top of that it is beautifully illustrated with production stills and film posters. There’s even a chapter…

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