The real suave and sophisticated Hilton

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Forget Paris or the upmarket hotels, the coolest thing with that bears the name Hilton is the Uruguayan man who was born Jorge Hill Acosta y Lara…but is perhaps best known to film fans as George Hilton, the star of a plethora of Italian genre movies throughout the sixties and seventies.

THE WORLD BELONGS TO THE DARING

Coming from a different era it is difficult to know the real people behind these films we all love and so I was delighted to discover that director Daniel Camargo through Elka Films has put together a biographic documentary covering the career of George Hilton entitled ‘The World Belongs to the Daring’ which based on the trailer below looks an informative and engaging piece of work.

At present I believe the film is in the final stages and then will hit the festival circuit but keep your eyes out for future updates.

TetroVideo – A new player in town

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As genre film fans we live in a new golden age, here in the UK we have the likes of Shameless, 88 Films, Cult Films, Nucleus Films and Arrow dusting off the old film reels and granting new life to some old classics and the rest. But what about modern independent horror and cult cinema?

Sure Arrow put out the odd thing but not much with a European twist and that is where new player TetroVideo, a UK/Italian distribution label focusing on cult and independent horror for the discerning collector, come into their own.

Promising that all releases will come as a double disc set, featuring a dvd pack with 3
panels, transparent tray, booklet and slipcase with alternative cover.

The first two releases are  due out this month (January 2019) and they are:

LIFE AND DEATH OF A PORNO GANG (2009) 

A grimy film from Slovenian director Mladen Djordjevic in which a young failing director strikes up a working partnership with a porn director leading him to delve further into this lifestyle and ultimately one of sleaze, betrayal and desperation.

DEAD INFERNO (2014)

This is another title for the terrific Lucio Fulci influenced American film BOMBSHELL BLOODBATH from director Brett Mullen (BLOODY BALLET), who I had the pleasure of interviewing a good few years ago when I ran a zombie blog site.

Playing almost like a homage to the glory days of 80’s Italian zombie flicks, by way of an excellent score from Umberto, and RE-ANIMATOR the story sees Cara try to protect her father and his secret experiments all while fighting the living dead.

Future announced releases that have also been announced include the Domiziano Cristopharo led anthology DEEP WEB XXX and the Slovenian action-horror KILLBILLIES aka IDILA and perhaps most exciting for me is  LA CASA DEL BUON RITORNO aka THE HOUSE OF THE BLUE SHADOWS a mystery thriller from 1986 courtesy of director Beppe Cino.

You can find out more about the label or pre-order the films over on their official website at tetrovideo.com

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2018 I hardly knew thee

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Well as we approach Christmas we are also approaching the end of the calendar year. One in which on a personal level not much of note has really happened and quite frankly on a cinematic level one in which for the first time in years I have barely watched any new releases.

HEREDITARY, HALLOWEEN and the reimagining of SUSPIRIA have all passed me by for one reason or another but I doubt any of these would usurp TERRIFIER as my horror film of the year. Although I am hoping to watch Lars Von Trier’s THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT soon as if the film is as good as the controversy is created then I think Art the Clown might have some competition.

So what have I been doing with my time if not watching new releases? Well I have just watched films as and when the opportunity presented itself. This year saw first viewings of French films Rififi (1955) and Mon Oncle (1958), of several Italian films produced throughout the years (including modern fare such as SMETTO QUANDO VOGLIO and FORGIVE OUR SINS) and of films from a variety of countries such as Spain, Romania and of course Britain.

In addition to this I have had another article published in issue 11 of the fantastic Wengs Chop magazine (on the Comissario Betti trilogy) and had my first ever DVD release cover quote! For the fantastic Italian short film UNDERCOVER MISTRESS by Giulio Ciancamerla, check it out.

Although I am quite happy that this year also saw me discover the upcoming film maker Dean Puckett with his short films THE SERMON and SATAN’S BITE. It is rare to find film makers from the South West of England to champion (last one was Ryan Haysom with his short film YELLOW) but hopefully 2019 will see a few more come through.

But what about 2019? Well aside from no doubt catching up on several films from 2018 that I missed as well as seeking to get my writing out through a couple of further publications (keeping this hush for now) and working on a few personal more creative projects.

So here’s to not spending 2019 in an alcohol-induced slumber watching films and barely managing to review or write about them!

 

To review or not to review? That is the question.

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So I’m sat here on a Saturday night with a can of Birra Moretti next to me and the Derby della mole (aka the Turin derby) on TV and yet rather than my mind being on the match it is replaying a conversation that I have been having with myself for the last couple of months.

To review or not to review?

The combined reviews on my site bring in a reasonable amount of traffic and help serve the purpose of my – to promote modern European cinema and raise the profile and availability of content of older, less covered genres.

So what has changed over these last months. Well my job and my free time. These shifts have forced me to reappraise my time management and considering I was struggling to work through things I wanted to watch let alone review I started questioning should I bother. Throw into the mix the doubt over whether this aspect of the blog is helping me to achieve any paid or worthwhile freelance gigs and the question gained strength.

So over the Christmas period there will be a few more changes to this blog as I seek to make a go of securing freelance work, of contributing to wider distributed publications and to pursue my passion for creative writing.

Sadly this means (with the odd exception) that I won’t be doing any more reviews but hopefully it means that time saved can go towards the often neglected articles that I have planned.

Bring on 2019!

From L’Avventura to Zombie 4!

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I was cruising the mean streets of Twitter one day recently, well if Twitter could have streets but if it did then they would certainly be mean, and I stumbled upon a post by Russ Hunter aka @sorgono in which he referenced a book on Italian Horror Cinema which he co-wrote along with Stefano Baschiera (available from Edinburgh University Press).

After briefly chatting with Russ online I discovered a man with not just a passion for but also a phenomenal knowledge of Italian genre cinema and a passion for Italian zombie cinema in particular.

A man after my own brain…and not in a Richard Johnson kind of way. But back on track and I had to share with everyone a terrific presentation he gave earlier this year in Slovenia at the Kurja Polt genre film festival.

In the presentation Russ discusses how the foundations of Italian genre cinema were laid, the societal context in which these films were born and of course how all of this resulted in Italian zombie cinema. Give it a watch and the fellow a follow!

Get on you janner!

ArteKino Festival returns for a third year

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Today marks the opening of the third ArteKino European Film Festival, which is a fantastic annual event that brings a variety of independent European cinema to the masses online…for FREE!

This year up to 10, unfortunately sometimes country restrictions apply, films are available to watch for free (did I mention that already?) and they are available in ten different languages.

For me CRATER by Luca Bellino & Sylvia Luzi, FLEMISH HEAVEN by Peter Monsaet and PIN CUSHION by Deborah Haywood look like they could be this years highlights but why not take a look for yourself and discover something new.

Running until the 31st December you have plenty of time to check out these films.
Enjoy and visit the ArteKino Festival website.

The Curse of the Blind Dead continues

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1972, 1973, 1974, 1975…2018.  Wait, 2018? What? How?

Now there have been several unofficial sequels and continuations to the myth of the eyeless Knight’s Templar since Amando De Ossorio ended the Blind Dead series back in the mid-seventies but Raffaele Picchio (MORITURIS; THE BLIND KING) looks to have brought back to life one that might actually be worth your attention. I am talking about CURSE OF THE BLIND DEAD.

The trailer brings the action up to date, by way of refreshing the back story, but the more things change the more they stay the same and keen fans of the series will recognise a couple of familiar scenes or set ups within the trailer but this is not at the expense of viewers new to the undead templar myth.

Looking gritty, brutal and authentic (the portrayal of the reanimated Knight’s Templar’s is for me, spot on) the fact that CURSE OF THE BLIND DEAD is also shot in English should mean that it is accessible to all horror fans while simultaneously ensuring that it has the best chance of distribution.

Due out in 2019 and with Marco Ristori and Luca Boni attached as Executive Producers, and as evidenced by the trailer below, you can be certain of flesh-munching extremity.

Oh, while I am unfamiliar with the majority of the cast I have read that the legendary Fabio Testi will appear in the film, no doubt as an uncredited cameo due to his stature and not (at the time of writing) being listed on the official IMDB page. Yet another reason to check this film out.

Once I get some more information on this film I will post it up on here so keep checking back…while you still have eyes!

Follow the official  film Facebook page here.