Saturday, 4 December 2010

X - Read all about it!

Roger Corman, renowned producer and director has made 346 films in his 55 year career including Death Race 2000, Rock N Roll High School and this year's SyFy original Sharktopus, ever the busy bee, eh? Unlike many prolific film makers, very few of Corman's films lost any money, due in part to a brilliant eye for talent. His films have included work by Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Jack Nicholson, albeit, while they were cheap and inexperienced. but also due to his knack of coming up with a marketable title, poster, or tag line and working backwards to make the film from there. For example, X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes (also known as simply "X") lives up to it's lurid title.

This is the story of Doctor Xavier who, with a name like that, was never going to live a normal life (X: The Contented Ear-Nose-and-Throat Specialist may not have been such a successful film), having grown bored of the visible spectrum, he develops an eye serum that will allow the user to access the entire wavelength spectrum, see the ultra violet wavelength, x-rays and beyond. When his serum kills a laboratory monkey, Doctor X, perhaps a little foolishly, blames the ape and decides that the only suitable test subject is himself. It all seems to work and X has a high old time perving through ladies' dresses. Unfortunately, he starts seeing through the fabric of reality itself, and seeing things that mortal man was not meant to see.

X, Man with the X-Ray Eyes, stars Ray Milland, proud bearer of a snake-and-skull tattoo and quickest-ever acceptor of an Academy Award (Just a quick bow before buggering off with his best actor Oscar for Lost Weekend). Perhaps a little older than any leading man you'd get today (Milland was in his late-fifties when he made this picture) he carries the picture solidly, showing the strain put on Xavier as he goes earnest professional to shrieking in the face of cosmic horror via a smirking peeping Tom. X also features legendary insult comic Don Rickles, a favourite of Frank Sinatra's, in one of his first acting roles and a cameo from a startlingly young Dick Miller (Mr. Futterman in Gremlins and that bloke what sells The Terminator his Uzi 9mm).

As is often the case with low-budget sci-fi, some of the effects are a little creaky, such as fading to a drawing from an anatomy textbook when Dr. X is peering into someone's organs, but others are so ingenious that they stand up to this day, the use of time lapse footage of a building site in reverse as X looks through it's walls being a particular favourite.

Despite being made for only $300,000 over 3 weeks, X still manages to be a very effective sci-fi chiller with some lovely 60s psychedelic imagery and a genuinely shocking finale. They don't make them like this any more.

Join us for another night of drunken silliness as we celebrate a Corman masterpiece on Monday the 6th, December at the Mucky Pup in Islington.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

WHO SAW HER DIE? - Aldo Lado 1972

Another giallo unearthed by the ever reliable Shameless Screen Entertainment. Who Saw Her Die? hit screens in 1972, pre-dating Nicolas Roeg's classic Don't Look Now, but bears such an uncanny resemblance most viewers will undoubtedly think this is another in a long line of Italian rip-offs. Yet, surprisingly, that's not the case here.
A mysterious child killer hidden behind a black veil is on the loose in Venice and targets the daughter of the emotional train wreck Franco (played admirably by George Lazenby, one time James Bond stand-in) who armed with his moustache takes it upon himself to solve the crime. What follows is fairly standard Euro-thriller fare and revolves almost entirely around Franco searching for his child, however Who Saw Her Die? is rarely dull and works on quite a few different levels other than straight forward horror. As with the later and far more unsettling Night Train Murders (also available through Shameless) Aldo Lado immediately wraps the viewer in a fog of unease, made all the more dense by the haunting Ennio Morriconne score. The acting in this film is also unusually good for the genre and the creepy locations captured beautifully by scope master Franco Di Giacomo lend the film a poignant air of despair not dissimilar to Edward Woodwards lost at sea panic in Wicker Man.
So, another stellar release from Shameless. One of my favourites of their's alongside Torso and a rather haunting little film.
Now if I could only shake that slightly over-used Morricone theme song...

Psychomania at the Rio Cinema

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Bronx Warriors Pre Screen coverage

In anticipation of our screening of Bronx Warriors on Monday the 1st, November at the Mucky Pup in Islington, we present to you a little write up -

A suspiciously well-groomed man and his leather waistcoat lead a crew of rough diamonds across near-future New York City, battling gangs with outlandish, but strict, dress codes. Meanwhile the authorities decide that a maverick sociopath is their best hope and send him into lawless near-future New York City on a rescue mission. Sound familiar? It should.
1990: The Bronx Warriors (aka 1990: I guerrieri del Bronx) is part of the proud tradition of Italian cheekily-similar-to-a-recent-blockbuster Cinema.

Back in the heady post-Jaws, pre-multiplex, late 70s/ early 80s, anything was possible. Given a low enough budget and a quick, thrifty, plagiarism-schmlagarism, approach to film-making, knocking out a film with a similar title and theme to a recent box-office smash could turn a profit. The Italians seemed particularly adept at this: Producing spurious classics such as the bogus space opera Starcrash, the Conan-a-like Gor and the Escape From New York/ The Warriors mash-up we are discussing today. Whilst primarily designed to sneak a bit of reflected publicity and dupe the occasional sucker into the wrong cinema, these pictures are more than just flim-flam. While the cinema-goer may not be watching the film he thought he was, he still expects a solid 90 minutes of entertainment. Here is where The Bronx Warriors delivers.

A well-to-do heiress runs away from her responsibilities, as the future head of an evil arms corporation, into the dark concrete jungle that is the Bronx. Now abandoned by the law and one big turf-war. Her life of privilege has left her unequipped to cope with the rigours of living in the Bronx. Luckily she wins the heart of Trash, the leader of some rough-and-tumble yet noble bikers who enjoy gang-fights and decorating their vehicles with Halloween tat, and they take on the world together. Evil Inc. cannot understand why she'd chose the free wheelin' life of an outlaw over selling arms. They send in Hammer, a particularly evil man, who, while chewing on hyper-macho tough guy dialogue, sneaks around trying to escalate the simmering tensions between the gangs into all out all-out warfare. And then it really kicks off... cue battling street-thugs, shaky alliances, betrayal, love, loss, "You fuck! It could be a pile of shit from someone's asshole!", "Shut up, fag-face" are among just some of the beautifully crude exchanges. All the while, set to a futuristic score by Walter Rizatti which mixes the usual 80s action synth score with panpipes, church organ and a choir to great effect.

The film is made up primarily of unknowns and peppered with a couple of more familiar faces. Our hero, Trash is played by Mark Watson, a man director Enzo G. Castellari spotted working out at his local gym. With the well muscled, smooth body of a Tekken character bearing the grumpy head of an teenage metal head, Mark Watson was an unusual choice to play the leader of a bunch of grizzled future-bikers (many played by genuine motorcycle gang members) and his incongruous presence adds to the fun. Brawny veteran bad-ass Fred Williamson delivers his role as Ogre, the self proclaimed King Of The Bronx (NOT the Duke Of New York, totally different), with gusto and sports the most awesome moustache in a career full of awesome moustache-having. Vic Morrow, in his last role before being tragically killed on the set of The Twilight Zone movie, takes a similarly lusty approach to the cruel, murderous, law man Hammer.

Fans of spotting the cracks in movies will have a ball with this one: including such delights as an unexplained drummer, drumming away, during a meet between rival factions, a spectacularly non-threatening tap-dance gang, and clearly visible traffic in a supposedly abandoned wasteland. Some may jeer at this film's flaws. but I ask them this: Name me a film, where when one half of a shaky alliance turned to another and said "I've got a surprise planned for you", right at the point when a betrayal would make total dramatic sense, have you been genuinely surprised by the outcome? This unashamedly exploitative movie surprised me, skip-back-a-chapter-on-the-DVD-because-I-couldn't-believe-what-I-saw surprised me.

Wilfully unoriginal, but a blast to watch, 1990: The Bronx Warriors is, to quote, "The fake real thing."

Buy Bronx Warriors from Shameless Screen Entertainment here
Many thanks to Shameless for allowing us to screen Bronx Warriors.

Top Six Results!!!

So faced with a staggering list of lists a mate and I sat down with some ale and wine and sifted through it all.
In total, there were 87 films suggested. A few from left field and a few sure things never mentioned, and then films like The Omen only getting one mention. One of my personal favourite evil child films, next to the Children.
All seven of the Top Six films span less than a ten year period from '73 - '82, six of them are American productions, two of then have the same director, and one of them is a favourite of mine.

Tied at sixth place with 5 votes each -
1973's The Exorcist

1980's The Shining

Squeaking ahead with 7 votes for fifth place -
The gargantuan the beast that broke free in '74 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

In forth with a fairly solid early lead with 8 votes, none other than a Cigarette Burns favourite -
Dario Argento's eye melting 1977 production: Suspiria

Our third is definitely seasonally appropriate , with 9 votes, this bomb was dropped in '78 by John Carpenter - Halloween

In second place, and a bit of a surprise to me, is George A. Romero's '78 sequel to Night of... Dawn of the Dead

An cementing, certainly his place on this list, if not in Cigarette Burns Cinema's heart forever... John "Make Them Squirm" Carpenter comes in at number one, with FIFTEEN fucking votes!!! A clear lead if there ever was one with none other than his masterpiece Cigarette Burns!!!

No, I'm kidding, but I had to didn't I?
Seriously though... John Carpenter's The Thing came in at number one with 15 solid votes-

It raged strong from the beginning, I know you could debate that it's more Sci Fi, and please do, but out of 87 films and 40 some odd horror fans, The Thing is clearly an unstoppable classic.

There you have it, definitive? No, fun? Yes.
Thanks to everyone who sent in their votes, it's greatly appreciated.
I'll do a follow up post with everyone's lists including the remaining 80 films.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Top Six intro

So the Guardian decided to do a series of top 25 films across a series of different genres. Fantastic and brave undertaking, indeed one which they must be applauded for. People griped on the twitterwebs about the Crime 25, angrily decried omissions in the SciFi 25 and couldn't be bothered with the Drama 25 (well I couldn't at least).
But then they weighed in heavy on the Horror genre, wide ranging, comprenesive and with some nice surprises.
Now my twitter feed went mental.
Debates sprung up, fur flied and I thought, "Alright then, what is the Top 25 then?"
I asked twitter to submit their Top Six.
Six? I figured that would be enough to cover each sub-genre, country, era, obscure and common and still have that one extra for a Wildcard, say you can't pick your favourite Craven? Have two!
Generous me.

I'll start with the write ups.

Justin of FilmBar 70 weighs in with the following -

Frankenstein must be Destroyed (1969)

Director: Terence Fisher


This tragedy of Jacobean proportions finds the Barons at his most ruthless and manipulative. No one gets out alive!

Frightmare (1974)

Director: Pete Walker


Britain has never been bleaker in Pete Walker’s gentile repose to ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’.

The Brood (1979)

Director: David Cronenberg


Blood runs thicker than water in Cronenberg’s meditation on family values.

The Seventh Victim (1943)

Director: Mark Robson


The ultimate in urban Satanist chic, Lewton’s pessimistic thriller packs an astoundingly nihilistic punch.

The Beyond (1981)


Director: Lucio Fulci

Anti-logic ago-go in Fulci’s expert foray into spatial and temporal disorientation.

The Birds (1963)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock


Siege horror at its starkest, as Hitch brutally tortures his cast in the possibly the finest final half hour of cinema – ever!

Noel from Filmrant and various other ventures hits us with these hammers -

Carrie (1976)

As much a story about the evil of religion as it is the danger of a woman scorned, Carrie is for me one of the most powerful horror movies ever made. For the most part, we're forced to stand by and watch as young Carrie White is hammered into the ground by almost everyone in her life. Even when the vaguest sliver of happiness looks unusually close to providing this downtrodden teen with just one perfect moment, it all disappears in the cruelest possible way. Despite the fact that, in a strange way, we as the audience are made to feel implicit in Carrie's ultimate humiliation, there's an indescribable joy we're left with when she wreaks her terrifying revenge.

Halloween (1978)

While it may already be widely accepted that John Carpenter's Halloween played an integral role in, not just the slasher film, but horror cinema as a whole, the style and grace with which it did so should never be underestimated. In 1978, we were were introduced to a psychosexual killer that would spawn a million imitators. But, to this day, not one movie has emerged from the same sub-genre that carries the same level of suspense, terror and innovation as the story of the night Michael Myers came home.

Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

The perfect balance of horror and comedy can be difficult to achieve. When a director gets it right, we get An American Werewolf In London, get it wrong and... well, do I need to remind you of Lesbian Vampire Killers? In Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg achieve this delicate blend almost effortlessly, while imbuing the film with a love and knowledge of zombie cinema that seeps from every infected wound. From the bottom of my heart, I believe this to be the perfect film. Not just the perfect horror film, but the perfect film - and I could give you a million reasons why. Glorious.

Last House On The Left (1972)

Some would argue Last House on the Left is nothing but a cruel and dirty tale of barbaric misogyny and brutal, mindless revenge. I would argue that if you put that on a poster, you've got a hit on your hands. While the film opted for the now legendary 'To avoid fainting keep repeating, its only a movie...' tagline, I would also suggest there is more to this statement than just a convenient marketing jingle. Last House on the Left was one of the first films to use true documentary-style filmmaking to put audiences right at the centre of a real, tangible nightmare. It may be sinister, it may be mean-spirited, but it is also incredibly powerful stuff.

Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

You could say there are many films that defined the 1980s when it came to horror. In fact, the VHS boom of the decade also meant you'd also have plenty to choose from. But in 1984, Wes Craven changed the landscape of the genre, just like he did 12 years earlier - and would again 12 years later. In this instance though, he'd also manage to create a modern day boogey man that would, in time, stand shoulder to shoulder with giants like Dracula and Frankenstein. Yes, there's no question that Freddy Krueger would later become little more than a fridge magnet, but in his first outing the Springwood Slasher was the stuff of true nightmares.

Suspiria (1977)

Every now and then a film comes along that rocks you to your absolute core. Suspiria has probably been doing this for people the world over for 30-odd years now, but for me, it was just a few months ago when I was finally welcomed into its dark, surreal club. From the first few moments of this film, I was absolutely captivated. Suspiria is as beautiful as anything I've ever seen on screen and boasts easily the most haunting and memorable score I've ever had the pleasure to hear. Often people will compare cinema to high art, often they'll be doing so to sound smart or culturally aware. I don't care what you think, this film belongs on a pedestal, or in a gallery... or on my telly... right now.

A fellow Cigarette Burner and host of our nights at the Mucky Pup, Will levels his sights at -

The Shining -
Jack Nicholson at the top of his game, Kubrick pushing Shelly Duvall beyond her physical limits so we get a genuinely distressed damsel, It pissed off Stephen King. Lovely stuff.
A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: the Dream Warriors -
To my mind the finest of the 80s slasher franchise cashcows. Freddy: I love that undead nonce.
The Descent -
proper, no-frills, buuiiiiiild uuuuup teeeeeeeeeeeeennnnssiiiiiiiioooooooooon: SCARYFACE! entertainment.
The Thing -
The cold, the isolation, Rob Bottin's grotesque art. Hope there's a cinema screening of this near me sometime soon.
Braindead -
(file under zombie or comedy horror, my favourite from both subgenres)
Ghostwatch -
Not strictly a film I know, but it's 90 minutes of audiovisual drama that really gets under my skin and creeps me out
If that's too much of a cheat bung in Carrie.

The venerable Glyn Jones from the great Fantastic Voyages blog, waded in with the following blows to the gut -

PSYCHO (1960)
hardly going against The Guardian's choice here, but for being pivotal, innovative and still very scary

for ghost story/chilling horror

for cult British Horror/folk horror

DEEP RED (1975)
for Italian horror/slasher/giallo

for American 70's new wave/zombie horror

THE THING (1982)
for 80's horror/full-on gore

This only leaves myself...
I'll be honest, I feel like a bit of a cheat here. I am privy to people's various votes and so could sway things but adding my choices. With that in mind, I will stand back at the minute and leave you with the above choices....

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Friday, 1 October 2010

Yes, Weng Weng, it is that time...

"The forces of good are our sworn enemy, and I repeat, they must be exterminated, and I mean lethally!"

The early 80s were, without a doubt, a difficult time for the Philippines. But they were still years away from the People Power Revolution that would rid them of the human rights abusing, corrupt, shoe-hoarding regime of the Marcos’. Hard time often inspire great works of art. Luckily for us however, they can also inspire kung-fu-dwarf-spy films.
1981's For Y'Ur Height Only tells the story of the diminutive Agent 00 and his struggle to stop the ominously named, Dr. Giant from using the "N-bomb" (a highly technical doomsday device, not the most unimaginative of racial slurs) to hold the world to ransom. Employed by the Filipino government, Agent 00 is forever using his height, or rather lack thereof, to his advantage. Lying in wait, hiding in boxes, sneaking around where the less vertically challenged man could not, and repeatedly kung fu kicking crouching bad guys in the bollocks, Weng Weng is not one to be overlooked. Navigating his way round Manila's underworld, which consists of about two dozen mostachio'd guys who hand around smoking and hubristically referring to themselves as "The Forces of Evil”, he is aided by a series of tall, similarly lethal female agents, who of course fall for 00's cheeky chappy charms. Learning of Dr Giant’s evil scheme, he equips himself a jet-pack and flies off to the villain’s lair to save the planet.

This is a fairly standard Some-twat-gets-his-hands-on-a-world-destroying-weapon-secret-agent-gets-some-gadgets-and-stops-said-twat stuff, that we've all seen a hundred times, boiled down to its essentials leaving more screen time for a cheeky little bugger in a white disco suit to kick guys in the balls.

What makes this film special is its leading man. Our hero is played by the very charismatic and very short Weng Weng. Standing at a mere 2 foot 9 inches, Weng holds the world record for the shortest man to have the lead role in a film to this day. The one inch shorter Mini Me presumably begrudges the fact that he has never had a leading role, and the moody faced one from In Bruges is taller. Weng, real name Ernesto De La Cruz (Weng Weng being a nickname for a small yappy dogs), was born no bigger than a coca cola bottle. He lived a full and rich life, marrying a porn star and joining Imelda Marcos as her preferred duet partner in karaoke, before following fellow countryman, Herve Villaces', wee footstep and persuing a career in the movies. Teaming up with esteemed producer of crap, Dick Randall (a man partly responsible for the shockingly insensitive "Clones Of Bruce Lee" A film about cloning martial artists from the diseased actor's brain matter, released only 4 years after his death), and actor turned director Eddie Nichart they put together this film to showcase Weng's unique talents.

With a budget roughly the size of the leading man, the first hour was seemingly filmed on one block in Manila. The bulk of the action takes place in a spectacularly ugly multi story hotel, a disco that plays the first few bars of Boogie Wonderland on a loop, a couple cafes and a few warehouses. Dr Giant makes several references to his deadly shark tank, which, sadly is never shown. The English dubbing for all the characters is done by just two actors, reputedly a drug-addled American ex-pat husband and wife team. The large roster of male characters are kept distinct by giving them each a very broad, wholly inappropriate and often surreal accent; ranging from Speedy Gonzales to effete Englishman. All this merely adds to the film’s shambolic charm.
There is so much to enjoy in this film: the bizarrely slow-paced Q scene where Weng is kitted with a series of ever more rubbishy looking gadgets, a gang of bad guys terrified by a flying hat, Weng catapulting himself across an obviously over-polished floor being the mere tip of the iceberg.
Initially screened as part of the very first Manila Film Festival, an event designed to show off Filipino culture and cinema to the world. Sadly, only one film managed to be picked up by distributors… None other than For Y’Ur Height Only!

You're such a little guy though, very petite, like a potato.

And it’s easy to see why, the film can either be read as satire, ridiculing the 70s womanising, hard-as-nails, superspy action hero by making him tiny, or as a hastily put together film by some bloke with a martial arts knowing dwarf mate who'd seen You Only Live Twice once on a bootleg beta-max and vaguely remembered it. If no one else is, Weng Weng is very much in on the joke, winking and capering his way through his performance. Despite its change-down-the-back-of-the-sofa budget, insane dubbing, Tesco-Value James Bond plot and ripped off score, For Y’Ur Height Only is one of the most enjoyable cinematic experiences I've had the honour of watching. Causing even my low-budget-exploitation-film weary self laugh with pure joy.

Of course you can see this on Monday, 4th October at half 7 with a pint and some mates down at the Mucky Pup with us...
Or dig up the Region 1 DVD available through Mondo Macabro.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Frightfest Report

My Film4 Frightfest report will be updated once a day over at the Quietus and you can read it here

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Frightfest Attacks!!!!

Oh my god!
5 days of sitting on your bum in a cinema in front of a giant fucking screen watching non stop horror!!!
Bring it on!!!

The first day saw the usual technical hiccups, and new levels of controversy we haven't seen since the 80's. at the last minute, 2 films have been attacked and trimmed down by the BBFC. The much feared and whispered about A Serbian Film, has lost 4 minutes, forcing the Frightfest organisers to pull the film and scurry about for a replacement. Similarly the remake of the 70's rape revenge classic, I Spit on Your Grave has lost 45 seconds. Word is that that doesn't take away from the overall impact, so for better or worse, we'll still be seeing that.
Expect me to complain later.
Day one brought us the darling of Frightfest, Adam Greens's première of Hatchett II, an homage to 80's slasher flicks is basically a forgettable string of set pieces lumped together. Fun while it lasts, but thank you sir, may I have another.
Followed by a fun little Aussie romp, Primal, an interesting take on zombie/infection lost in the wilderness tale. Witty, entertaining, fast paced.
Brit vampire flick, Dead Cert started to late my lil ol' me, but words is, it's pants. Poor Danny Dyer.
Night one is behind us and Frightfest started off on a light hearted foot. Lets see where we end up, huh?

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Night of the Diabolik

We at Cigarette Burns Towers have a fantastic month in store for you, 2 films that in many ways couldn't be further apart, yet can equally snuggle up together and keep each other warm on a cold winter night.
Monday, 6th September sees us charging into the American Mid West where a plague of giant killer... um... bunnies? Bunnies... yup that what it says... Giant Killer Bunnies... Like cute fluffy ones?
With giant pointy teeth?
Just normal bunnies? Only bigger?
So giant killer cute bunnies?
YES! Giant cute bunnies!
A Plague of giant killer bunnies is ravaging the countryside and only Janet Leigh and Bones of Star Trek (the original, not the JJ Abrams one) can save the planet from the potential dangers of Giant Killer MUTANT Bunnies in 70s eco warning Night of the Lepus!

Saturday, 11th September, we will be showing the classic Euro Spy, super hip swinging 60s kaleidoscope of fun and uber hip, Danger: Diabolik.
From the producers of Barbarella and directed by the Legendary master Mario Bava, during his brief excursion away from the horror genre, Danger: Diabolik is non stop visual feast. The outstanding soundtrack is provided by none other than the maestro himself, Ennio Morricone, which will you will be scouring the internets for a copy of the OST for the next few weeks, I promise.
As Cigarette Burns Cinema is more often than not located in a pub and we are now venturing into a proper cinema, we were worried about how we could make this a bit more special than a regular night at the movies. To this end, we will have a DJ and be serving drinks until 2am, so get your tickets from here in advance, a measly £7, and more than worth it.
For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Dalston and the Rio Cinema, both are very easy to get too and from, there's the London Overground for you train types and buses, from London Bridge or Liverpool St theres the 149 and the 242, Holborn/Waterloo the 243 or the 76.
Hope to see you for a night to be remembered!

Trailers for both films on our main site here

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Night of the Long Shorts Cont'd

As Saturday draws closer and everything seems to be coming together, fingers are tightly crossed in CBHQ that everything will run as smoothly as it looks like it may.
All parties involved have put in endless hours of work and I'm guessing when Chu-I and Tijuana Brothers member Surfing Kurt hit those decks at the end of the night, there's gonna be a lot of hair being let down.
Not that we are known for being the reserved type when it comes to indulging in a bit of tipple.

In the meantime, we are getting some lovely words spewed forth about us, Rue Morgue, one of the worlds largest and most respected Horror magazines did a little piece on Night of the Long Shorts here. May I suggest that you not stop reading what they have to say just about us, and get lost on their site, better yet, track a printed copy down.

Then today, we were fortunate enough to get a write up on another great horror blog, Brutal as Hell. Which has always been one of my personal favourites as they tend to steer clear of the more adolescent side of things and take a fair and educated appraoch to difficult films like A Serbian Film and Antichrist (if memory serves there's a great article on there about the upcoming I Spit on your Grave remake). Anyway, have a gander here.

I would like to point out that Josh isn't the only element of Cigarette Burns Cinema, there's a lot of us who all do their thing and help out and have helped out to make it what it is. Whether it's Ed, Matt or Will playing the face for the evening or Andy at V2 designing our artwork, or Angus serving you pints, there's a lot going on beyond this screen.

Enough with the soppy shit - We're hitting the Rio Cinema in September muthafuckas!!!!
Proper big screen. Howsabout dem apples, huh?!
More on that later...

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Night of the Long Shorts

Busy busy busy bees over here in Cigarette Burns HQ.
Night of the Long Shorts is creeping ever closer, but getting ever better.
On 7th August we will invade the Rosemary Branch's theatre and screen some of the best horror shorts we could find, a wonderful mix of zombies, ghosts, brutal killings, sexy ladies and twisted murders await you in our den of video nasties.

I can promise you that you have not seen the majority of these films.
And certainly not shown on a nice lovely big screen.
We're really chuffed that we will have several of the film makers and actors in attendance to say a few words, intro their films and generally liven up the evening.
Check out the Facebook Page for more info.

The great blog Gore Press did a great little write up for us and of course we tip our hat to them with a massive thank you. Gore Press is a well written blog, that deserves your time and among the very few we bother with.

Otherwise, of course we have Wild Zero coming up on the 2nd.

Contray to what the poster says, prizes will be donated by Flashback and the Rio Cinema in Dalston.

Cuz we only work with the bestest people we can xxx

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Mega Piranha Reviewed

Words fail to convey the sheer astonishment that overwhelms you when you settle in to watch Mega Piranha.
Hearkening back to the mutated beasts of the scifi classics of the 50’s, mixing in a sizable chunk of 80’s cheese and disregard for logic and firmly placing their tongue in their cheek, SyFy has come up with a true classic of a film.
There is nothing about this film that leads one to believe it was borne out of anything but love for the ridiculous, the special effects are disastrous, but strangely effective, the acting is dire, but endearing, the script borders on the retarded but adds to the flavour, the title, Mega Piranha, tells us, without a doubt, we are in for something special.
Starring Tiffany, she of 80s pop fame, a counter attack to Debbie Gibson’s recent appearance in SyFy’s Mega Shark v Mega Octopus, which, it must be said, is lacking the charm that Mega Piranha has. Tiffany plays a scientist who has been trying to genetically modify food stuffs and though, quite understandably, that if she is trying to grow giant corn, she ought to test this out on animals, before she starts messing with the corn. What better animal to mess around with than the piranha? I mean, they are only little, seem cute and harmless, what could go wrong by making them bigger? As it turns out, quite a lot. They will pretty much eat anything, boats, big boats, submarines, helicopters and for a change, even towns. Indeed, nothing is safe from these mega piranha who just keep growing and growing and growing.
But all is not lost! No, Barry Williams aka Greg from the Brady Bunch, steps in as some shady top US Government official and sends out his top man, Special Agent Fitch, played by American Soap Opera Star Paul Logan, to save the day. Fitch wastes little time in literally kicking some piranha ass, but complications arise when the Venezuelan military decide to unleash all hell on the river containing the piranha and in a hail of helicopter delivered bombs, missiles and bullets, releases them into the ocean, where they set a course for Florida.... as piranhas are known to be fans of sun bathing and frat parties, it only makes sense.
All hell has broken loose, the hounds have been released and even the might of the US Military can’t save the world!!!
Will Tiffany live to sing another day? Will Greg Brady ever get laid?! Will Fitch be able to kill the Piranha and save them all from a fishy death??!
Well, you’ll really really have to see the film to find out.
Conveniently for London based folks, the lovelies at Way to Blue have set up a special screening at the Alibi on Kingsland Road in Dalston on 12th Monday.
I strongly suggest you head down there for some insane, pointless giant fish fun.

More piranha action here

Friday, 2 July 2010

Film4 Frightfest line up announced

The men behind the curtain have finally revealed what August Bank Holiday holds in store for us all, more info here

Personally looking forward to this one on the Bank Holiday Monday

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Everything on the interweb super motorways should be free

Though the Powers That Be seem to disagree, kicking back with all their Luddite like fear of changing with the times, it appears that slowly but surely they are bending. Releasing their Vader grip and allowing us more free stuff.
Free stuff is great!
Who doesn't like free?
Cigarette Burns is free and who doesn't like us? (rhetorical question so don't bother)

Though it is sad and regretful that places such as Archway Video have been hit hardest by our ability to get every film we could want without ever having to leave the comfort of our chair, it's inevitable. As we mourn the passing of our dear friend the VHS, we will soon wax lyrically about the video shops that once contained those treasure.
But such is progress, we must move forward or die forgotten.
To that end, I am pleased to thrust another sword at the hearts of the soon to be past and share a lovely little secret with you:

How fucking awesome is this!?!?!?!
Here's the list of films and the release dates, from which point they will be available for a year, for free!
Ju-On White Ghost (2009) - July 5th
Ju-On Black Ghost (2009) - July 6th
Tokyo Gore Police (2008) - July 7th
Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl (2009) - July 8th
X-Cross (2007) - July 9th
Starfish Hotel (2006) - July 12th
Samurai Princess (2009) - July 13th
Goth: Love of Death (2008) - July 14th
Battle Royale (2000) - July 15th

Anyone wanna pop round to mine on the 9th for some X-Cross action?

Plus Day of the Dead will be available from the 15th as well.

I have been spending several late nights wandering through Indie Films Online and not getting enough sleep.


Saturday, 26 June 2010

Mike Sutfin

Seems that Mike has awoken from a period of locking himself in some remote cave where he has been busy pounding out one spectacular bit of artwork after another.
Check out Mike's stuff at his blog.
He's nearing completion and release of his first vinyl toy, Mad Battle Man, in the making for over a year and with an intensely detailed sculpt, you know this will kill when he hits it with his magic warrior paintbrushes.

Battle on, indeed.

Aside from being a wicked artist, stand up guy and all around good egg, Mike was once in Charles Bronson, check some of that shit out and get your ears bleeding!

Weer all crazee now

Psychosis is hitting DVD next month, looking like a mash up of Polanski's classic Repulsion, a touch of Peckinpah's Straw Dogs to me the most important element is the metalhead and the fake punks. Seriously, I say bring back the 80's. I want punks and metalheads throwing horns guzzling booze and getting their heads kicked in.

Charisma Carpenter, of Buffy and Angel fame (but more confusingly not related to John as the name and career might suggest) has moved into a lovely new home, which may or may not be haunted. Regardless, the local alternative scene seem pretty intent on driving her mad while her husband, British model Paul Sculfor, plays dumb.

We also get loads of kids looking tough in the trailer.
Check out Mr Metalhead's hard as nails DIY work.
Obviously at this point, we know Carpenter is seeing things. No Metaller worth his denim would be caught dead painting window trim white.
This hits DVD on 19th July.

Cigarette Burns loves a good dose of British horror and we're massive fans of the newest wave, so we will definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Triumph or disaster?

Predator is back.
Those three words teeter on the edge of glee and terror. So many films are being revisited, most unjustly. Remakes, like Friday the 13th are more often than not a waste of time. Predators, even with Adrian Brody, looks like it might be ok. The combination of Robert Rodriguez and the scariest man on earth, Danny Trego might be just enough to pull Brody back from his terrible (yet delightful) excursion with Argento in Giallo.
Watching this trailer, I can't help but hope that the Predators win. What a wonderful way to mix things up. We all prefer the Predators to their human counterparts anyway, don't we?
The ultimate anti hero.

Monday, 21 June 2010

He's figured it out!!!

So there are all these scripts and films lounging Development Hell, unlikely to see the light of day or even get a chance to dip their little toes into the swirling Seas of Cinema. Many of these are films that, you know, maybe shouldn't be made, some are films that for whatever reason, no one can quite get their heads around.
Every now and then, a visionary steps forward and says "Fuck you all! This is a film that MUST be made." No matter how ridiculous. These are the films that we at Cigarette Burns thrive on.

Case in point - Mega Piranha, Tiffany's latest salvo in her long running teeny bopper war with Debbie Gibson. How could Debbie Gibson get to be in Mega Shark v Giant Octopus and not expect retaliation from Mall Queen Tiffany? She couldn't have thought she was alone, now, could she?

The same folks that brought you the aforementioned epic battle of oversized sea creatures are brightening our lives with this gem. Asylum are known for capitalising on other people's fortunes by releasing low low budget interpretations of recent blockbusters, and Mega Piranha is no different with Alexander Aja's Piranha 3D on the horizon, why not pump out their own?
It certainly looks like we have a classic on our hands. I wasn't very sold on the Mega Shark v Giant Octopus trailer, but this trailer has genius written all over it.

That, my friends is how you make an entertaining trailer.
We could go through that point by point and single out every gem of greatness that is tucked away inside those 90 seconds, there's loads of them... From the realisation that it wasn't terrorists to the under exuberant "fire" - brilliant!

Limited London theatrical release from July 16th with a DVD release to follow on August 9th.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Game on!!!

A few years ago Marvel finally got their act together, special effects were finally up to the challenge and we reaped the rewards of super hero films that actually entertained.
Spiderman was no longer being hoisted up the side of a building, the X-Men could take on Magneto with laser beams & telekinesis and the Fantastic Four were able to send the Human Torch flying through the streets of New York City.
The defining moment for me, the moment when I knew they had this covered and could make the panels come to life was when The Silver Surfer flew through the Lincoln Tunnel (or was it the Holland?)
There have been some duffs along the way, but that was down to scripting for the most part, something that has always baffled me since the scripts and the story boarding has already been done for most comic book sourced films, but I digress.
This year saw the release of a new beast, a beast destined to redefine the genre, possibly more than Christopher Nolan and his Batman films. Dark and gritty though they are, they should always have been that way, (Tim Burton's films and the subsequent franchise really just modernise a dated 60s TV show) Nolan just proved that dark was commercially viable.

No, this year saw Kick Ass, kick ass.
Any comic book fan would be telling you one giant lie if s/he said they'd never lied back on their bed and fantasied about fighting crime, or being the villain. Kick Ass was something one could relate to, it did what films are meant to do, it allowed us to live out our fantasy and it did it flawlessly.

Today, Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim Vs The World sees it's UK trailer officially released exclusively through The Guardian.
And holy trailer Batman!!! This looks set to seriously upset the Kick Ass apple cart.
Combining the superhero genre with the video gamer's mental power bar is a stroke of genius, but then what else would you expect from Mr. Wright? He was toying with this stuff back in '99, more than 10 years (holy shit! Really?!) on, you bet he's got his shit together!!! And with a track record that reads like a list of desert island must haves, I see nothing but win for Scott Pilgrim.

Check out the trailer at The Guardian's page here and while you're there... you might was well watch the Kick Ass trailer again, ya cunts!

Sunday, 13 June 2010


Presented without comment:

Friday, 11 June 2010