All posts in the 'European' category

Blu-ray Review: ‘A Virgin Among the Living Dead’ (1973)

I may be coming around to Jess Franco. My experiences with the director have been limited to his entries in Kino’s Redemption series of Euro-horror Blu-rays, and the first batch (Oasis of the Zombies, Female Vampire, Exorcism) were tired, dull little numbers, far more cheap than artful. Now with The Awful Dr. Orlof and A […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Awful Dr. Orlof’ (1962)

After giving Jess Franco films a fair shake and coming to the conclusion that they just weren’t for me, along comes The Awful Dr. Orlof on Blu-ray to make me reconsider dismissing a body of work based on the half-dozen titles I’d seen previous to this one. Hey, The Awful Dr. Orlof is pretty good! […]

Blu-ray Reviews: ‘The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine’ & ‘Cold Eyes of Fear’ Arrive in High-Def

I’m woefully ignorant of nunsploitation films, and The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine (available now on Blu-ray) ended up being my first dip into the unholy waters of the genre. Here’s what I expected from it: nudity, sacrilege, torture, and lesbians. And wouldn’t you know? The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine has all of those things (though […]

Blu-ray Review: The Grapes of Death (1978)

Here’s one for zombie completists – Jean Rollin’s The Grapes of Death aka Les Raisins de la Mort, so much better at being a zombie movie than his actual zombie movie Zombie Lake (reviewed here). Some bad, bad grapes are producing some bad, bad wine, making anyone who drinks it into a rapidly-decaying murderous psychopath. […]

Blu-ray Reviews: ‘Zombie Lake’ (1981) and ‘Oasis of the Zombies’ (1982)

I don’t know where horror fans got the idea that “you can’t go wrong with Nazi zombies.” In my estimation, there’s one decent one – 1977’s Shock Waves – and everything else is bunk. Case in point, the one-two punch of Zombie Lake and Oasis of the Zombies (aka Treasure of the Living Dead), staples […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Living Dead Girl’ (1982)

Some unscrupulous schlubs decide to dispose of some toxic garbage in the catacombs of an abandoned Valmont chateau and quickly meet their horrifying fates at the hands of Catherine Valmont, the zombie in the title of Jean Rollin’s 1982 effort The Living Dead Girl. It’s a gory opener, playing against the film’s gore-soaked resolution like […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Two Orphan Vampires’ (1997)

I have to admit – I was a little worried about Two Orphan Vampires. I’d never seen a Jean Rollin film from the 1990s and I imagined something with synthesized saxophone music and lots of softcore lesbian sex. Rollin wears this mantle from cinephiles as the king of lesbian vampire sexploitation, but I’d never really […]

Fantastic Fest Review: Two Eyes Staring

Directed By: Elbert van Strien Written By: Elbert van Strien, Paulo van Vliet Run Time: 112 minutes Any fan of the horror genre will get a kick out of the Dutch film Two Eyes Staring (2010). Set principally in Belgium and secondarily in the Netherlands, Two Eyes Staring is the story of a family with […]

A SERBIAN FILM Review [Is it as disturbing as you’ve heard?]

Directed by Srdjan Spasojevic, 2010 Written by Aleksandar Radivojevic, Srdjan Spasojevic A SERBIAN FILM has only been shown around the world a handful of times, but I have no doubt that you’ve heard about the film.  Its rarity certainly hasn’t hurt its early reputation as being a film that cannot be unseen, a film so […]

HUMAN CENTIPEDE Review. [Fantastic Fest 2009]

Written and Directed by Tom Six, 2009 There’s no reason you should know this, but the only dedicated THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) post ever on has been one of the most trafficked posts on this site.  Apparently people enjoy reading about a mad scientist that kidnaps three people, cuts the muscle tissue connecting […]

[REC] 2 Review. [Fantastic Fest ’09]

Written and Directed by Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza, 2009 I like that the original [REC]’s real-time unraveling of an apartment building under quarantine for a mysterious virus that turns the infected into fluid spewing, flesh clawing maniacs is logistically conducive to a sequel. I really like that returning filmmakers Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza […]

PARANOIAC Review. [Hammer Time!]

While British studio Hammer Films reinvented the Universal Monsters for a new generation, they also produced a handful of psychological thrillers, encouraged by the box office success of Les Diaboliques and the films of Alfred Hitchcock.  One such film was 1963’s Paranoiac, starring professional drunkard Oliver Reed as Grade-A douchebag Simon Ashby, a reckless, hostile […]


Directed by John Harrison, 2009 Written by John Harrison & Darin Silverman When it was first announced that THE BOOK OF BLOOD was going to be adapted into a film, I balked.  Not because it is a bad story, but because it’s barely a story.  THE BOOK OF BLOOD was the framing device Clive Barker […]

ASYLUM (1972) Review [British Horror Anthology]

Directed by Roy Ward Baker, 1972 Written by Robert Bloch A young psychiatrist, Dr. Martin, is looking to fulfill an empty job position in an insane asylum.  He arrives at the asylum, and upon meeting with the head physician he’s told the reason why a job opening exists.  One of the former doctors has him/herself […]

Woah There, Switzerland. Where You Been Hiding CARGO?

Did I miss something?  When did Switzerland start making badass looking sci-fi films?  Step aside, PANDORUM, this is how you get shit done:

At HS: A Trailer “Infinitely More Terrifying Than THE ORPHANAGE”.

From HorrorSquad: I was trawling around the webs looking for something, anything horror related to write about when I came across this teaser trailer for a title I’d rather not name at the moment. That was fifteen minutes ago. If you were to ask me what took place between then and now I could supply […]


Written and Directed by Neil Marshall, 2002 Welcome back to AYIF.  Werewolves are classic horror film fare.  A bestial throwback to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with cultural variations appearing on multiple continents.  I will not feign expertise on the subject because, with the film incarnations, my experience is limited.  But I am aware of […]


Directed by Tommy Wirkola, 2009 Written by Tommy Wirkola, Stig Frode Henriksen DEAD SNOW could have been great.  DEAD SNOW should have been great.  Sadly all the couldas and the shouldas and the good intentions don’t change the final product. Half of it is a good horror, the other half plagued by pesky things like […]

Uh, Wait, What? Plot for HUMAN CENTIPEDE Blows My Mind.

[UPDATE: Read my HUMAN CENTIPEDE review right here.] I came across some photos for the Dutch/UK co-production HUMAN CENTIPIEDE the other day, but I had no idea the context. After a stop by Quiet Earth my mind has been blown.  And now it shall claim your sanity as well: Internationally respected Siamese twin surgeon Dr. […]


Directed by Roar Uthaug, 2006 Written by Thomas Moldestad and Roar Uthaug There is an implacable aura to COLD PREY other modern slashers may not find relief in purely because it is Norwegian.  Not that Roar Uthaug’s film (top that name, by the way; I feel manlier just saying it out loud) gains any particular […]


Written and Directed by James Watkins, 2008 More and more I find myself musing, “Now normally I don’t like movies about a couple being tortured in the woods, but…” It has gotten to the point where I wonder if I do harbor some undeclared love for pieces of garbage.  Then along comes a film like […]

Review: TIMECRIMES (Los Cronocrímenes)

Written and Directed by Nacho Vigalondo, 2007 Time travel is a hobby of mine. Well, in theory. Whether approaching it with the mind of a scientist or the mind of a storyteller, it is the ultimate logic puzzle.  The intricacies of cause and effect across multiple planes of existence, the construction (and, conversely, deconstruction) of […]

Review: “DEAD SET”

Created by Charlie Brooker, 2008 “DEAD SET” may be one of my favorite horror productions of 2008 if only because it would never exist in the United States.  Shot, cast and set largely in and around the “BIG BROTHER” house in England, “DEAD SET” is a five part miniseries chronicling a zombie apocalypse whose eve […]


Directed by Tomas Alfredson, 2008 Written by John Ajvide Lindqvist from his novel Knowing what is left to come and what has come before, I can’t imagine any film this year better equipped to touch quickened hearts, arrest lungs and widen minds than LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. There is a reason Tomas Alfredson’s film […]


Directed by Ole Bornedal, 2007 Written by Ole Bornedal, Henrik Prip There is a lot in this world I do not have a full grasp of.  Quantum computing, fluid dynamics, the undetermined arrival of The Singularity, chirality, and John McCain.  But the angry living dead aside, there is much I have taken the reins on, […]


Directed by David Smith, 2005 Written by Phil O’Shea If I’m going to keep watching such mediocre ninety-ish minutes of trapped time, I need to at least watch high concept mediocrity.  SPIRIT TRAP’s plot is as salient as a cobweb on a glass case of cobwebs nestled within a Cobweb Museum.  If that isn’t bad […]

Mini-Impressions: “PRIMEVAL” – Pilot

Created by Tim Haines, Adrian Hodges, 2007 No, this is not a series version of the passable giant crocodile film of the same name.  “PRIMEVAL” is a British Sci-Fi series from 2007 already in its second season across the pond.  Here in the colonies, however, BBC America is just now airing the first season.  Taking […]


Directed by Vadim Jean, 1994 Written by Vadim Jean, based on the novel by John Brosnan NIGHTSCARES opens with long pans of the exterior of an apartment building inter-cut with long holds on the faces of people sleeping. This sequence is followed immediately by Craig Fairbrass as the worst cop ever (which makes him the […]


Written and Directed by Xavier Gens, 2007 Perfect timing for me to appear hypocritical over two superficially similar French flicks. I lauded the shallow film INSIDE despite being a gore show with nary a story to tell and I am now going to proceed to, um, non-laud FRONTIER(S) for being a gore show with nary […]

Review: INSIDE

Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, 2007 Written by Alexandre Bustillo Centerfold to French horror nu-waver-cum-2007-fest-favorite INSIDE is, well, a festival of gore the crimson of which you’ve likely not seen in a while. I am normally not wont to praise a film whose visual brutality takes precedent over story, but there is an […]

Review: [REC]

Directed by Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza, 2007 Written by Jaume Balagueró, Luis Berdejo, Paco Plaza There is a cold efficiency to [REC] that I never imagined I would admire from a film. It has no character development. None whatsoever. Zip. Zero. Nunca. [REC] is a conveyor belt horror film, a linear path one steps on […]

Review: The Orphanage (El Orfanato)

Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, 2007Written by Sergio G. Sánchez I lost a lot of money today. For me a hitherto unprecedented amount of money. Not quite, “I’ll put that in my mouth for $5 so I can eat tonight” kind of money, rather “Fuck Apple stock, shots all around!” kind of money. But you […]

Review: The Bunker

Directed by Rob Green, 2001Written by Clive Dawson Note: Despite that awesome cover, know there are no zombies anywhere in this film.  Unless you count the director, screenwriter and actors. Is it law that any film with a group of people trapped in one locale must have Friedrich Nietzsche’s abyss quote as an opening title? […]

Review: Ils (Them)

Written and Directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud, 2006 Clocking in at a very trim 77 minutes, featuring only two characters (not counting the opening pair, who exist only for an introductory jolt), and hailing from the land of Haute Tension, Ils is a near plot-less exercise in sustaining the slasheresque chase for as […]

Review: The Witches Hammer

Written and Directed by James Eaves, 2006 Glance at the above poster for The Witches Hammer and one would surely be convinced as to what kind of movie they’re getting into.  Let me further inform that it was made by a bunch of idealistic Brits who had a micro-budget.  Given these two pieces of evidence, […]

Review: Fragile

Directed by Jaume Balagueró 2005Written by Jaume Balagueró, Jordi Galcerán All the natural resources ghost films mine their goods from have been plundered for years now.  Every now and then a film like Shutter can tap into a familiar vein and uncover treasure in the process, but the law of averages says that most ghosties […]

Review: Pan’s Labyrinth

Written and Directed by Guillermo del Toro, 2006 Without question, Pan’s Labyrinth is the hitherto epoch of Guillermo del Toro’s objectively off-and-on filmography.  His personal tale about the innocence of a little girl amidst a world of pain is, to say the least, bursting with imagination.  Featuring not only the best makeup effects of 2006, […]

Review: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Directed by Tom Tykwer, 2006Written by Andrew Birkin, Bernd Eichinger, Tom Tykwer, Patrick Süskind (Novel) I hate to write an introductory paragraph like this.  I know there are still a crop of leftovers from 2006 I patiently await (here’s looking at you Mandy Lane, Leslie Vernon, and a Hatchet), but baring the aforementioned unseen(s), I […]

Review: Isolation

Written and Directed by Billy O’Brien, 2005 Isolation opens aptly with moody, mysterious circumstances surrounding the imminent delivery of a calf on a remote farm in Ireland.  Orla, the sole vet tending to the pregnancy, is performing one of what will prove to be several armful uterus probings, when there is a crunching sound prompting […]

Review: Aftermath

Written and Directed by Nacho Cerda, 1994 Aftermath is art so rare, so exacting and so human that it will penetrate all who view it to their deepest core.  This is not theory, this is irrefutable fact.  It is gravity.  Nacho Cerda’s short film is a definition of gravity possessing such validity that had Newton […]

Review: The Abandoned

Directed by Nacho CerdàWritten by Nacho Cerdà, Karim Hussain, Richard Stanley The Abandoned is a visceral, vein expanding experience.  Acclaimed short film director Nacho Cerdà’s feature length debut possesses qualities either extinct or seldom seen in American horror productions, especially those with studio backing.  Elaborate, cold visuals of isolation, decrepitude, murder, and undead doppelgangers.  The […]

Trailers: 13 (Tzameti)

If the poster alone isn’t enough to make you want to see 13 (Tzameti), a hard boiled thriller about Russian roulette insanity, I dare you to watch this trailer and not move closer to the screen when instructed to stare at that judicious light bulb.  This is the kind of story I crave these days: […]

Trailers: The Backwoods

I try to keep this blog genre related only, but every now and then I’m compelled to break that rule.  Both the teaser and poster for Koldo Serra‘s Spanish lensed The Backwoods are too good not to share. That poster alone is awesome in its ’70s throwback style – especially the tag line.  And, let […]

Review: Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man)

Directed by Michele Soavi, 1994 As an opening sentence there’s little I can do to make this seem less hyperbolic, and for that I make no attempt to apologize, but I shit you negative when I say Michele Soavi’s work on Dellamorte Dellamore is some of the best direction the celluloid art has ever seen […]

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