February 2014

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Friday, February 14, 2014

CC: May (2002)

Hard to believe but I consider this film to be as close to romantic as possible for a Lovecraftian type story.  On first blush you might assume this to be more in the “American Psycho” vein of horror movie, but once the human meat puzzle moves in the final scene it moves straight into “Re-Animator” territory for me with a strong helping of “did that really just happen or are we inside her madness now”.

May is a 2002 American horror film written and directed by Lucky McKee in his directorial debut.  Starring Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris, and James Duval, the film follows a lonely young woman (Bettis) traumatized by a difficult childhood, and her increasingly desperate attempts to connect with the people around her.

May (2002)

  • Genre: Drama – Horror – Thriller
  • Directed: Lucky McKee
  • Produced:
    • Marius Balchunas 
    • Eric Koskin 
    • Richard Middleton 
    • Scott Sturgeon 
    • John Veague
  • Written: Lucky McKee
  • Starring: Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris, James Duval, Nichole Hiltz, Kevin Gage, Merle Kennedy, Chandler Riley Hecht, Rachel David, Nora Zehetner, Will Estes
  • Music: Jaye Barnes Luckett
  • Cinematography: Steve Yedlin
  • Editing:
    • Debra Goldfield 
    • Rian Johnson 
    • Chris Sivertson
  • Studio:
    • 2 Loop Films 
    • A Loopy Production LLC
  • Distributed: Lions Gate Films
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 13 January 2002 (US)
  • Running Time: 93 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

May Dove Canady is an awkward, lonely young woman, who suffered a troubled childhood due to her lazy eye.  She has very few social interactions, her only "true friend" being a glass-encased doll named Suzie made by her mother and given to May for her birthday with the adage "If you can't find a friend, make one."  May works at a veterinary hospital, assisting with surgeries.  Her optometrist fixes May's lazy eye, first with glasses, then with a special form of contact lens.  As May attempts to be more social, she becomes friends with Adam, a local mechanic.  She has a fixation on his hands, which she considers to be the most attractive part of him, and they start dating.  Meanwhile, May's lesbian colleague Polly begins to flirt with May, while simultaneously poking fun at her for her oddness.  One day while feeling especially low, May remarks that Polly has a beautiful neck. Polly then gives her pet cat "Loopy" to May, ostensibly because of her "bitch" landlord.

One night May invites Adam to her apartment.  Adam shows her a film he made for his university titled Jack and Jill.  The film reveals a story of two young lovers who go on a picnic and end up eating each other.  May becomes aroused by the cannibalism in the film and, during an intense make-out session, bites Adam on the lip.  Bleeding profusely, Adam is finally disturbed by May's strange personality and leaves.  May feels guilty and blames her doll Suzie for encouraging her to make bad choices.  She shouts at Suzie and shoves her in the cupboard.

May begins working at a school for disabled children.  She is especially interested in the blind children and identifies with a lonely girl named Petey David, who makes her a clay ashtray with May's name carved into it. Meanwhile, May finally gives in to Polly's wiles and starts a short affair; Adam stops calling her and May goes to his house, where she overhears him say that he's glad he could get rid of May.  Heartbroken, May goes to see Polly, only to find Polly with another girl named Ambrosia.  Totally miserable, May returns home.  When Loopy refuses to come near her, she becomes enraged and throws the clay ashtray at her, killing Loopy.  May becomes delusional, thinking that her doll Suzie is talking to her through its glass case.

May takes Suzie to school and tells the blind children that Suzie is her best friend.  As the children struggle to take the doll out of the glass case, it falls and shatters, with May and the kids cutting themselves in the process. Carrying the now-destroyed, blood-covered Suzie, May returns home, devastated.

The following day, May meets a punk boy named Blank.  He is interested in her remarks that people cannot be entirely perfect, only have perfect "parts".  May doesn't like Blank, but she likes the tattoo on his arm.  They go to May's house and when he opens the freezer to get ice, he finds the cat's corpse wrapped in plastic wrap.  Blank panics and calls May a freak, infuriating her; she stabs him in the head with a pair of scissors.  Suddenly, she realizes that the people she had considered her friends were not friends at all; there were only parts of them that were friends.  She concludes that a perfect friend can only be made of all the perfect parts of people.

On Halloween night, May dresses in a homemade costume similar to Suzie's dress and goes to Polly's house. She slits Polly's throat with scalpels from the animal hospital.  When Ambrosia arrives, May admires her legs and stabs Ambrosia in the sides of the head with the scalpels.  When May goes to Adam's house, she finds him with Hoop, a girl with hoop earrings.  May stabs them both.

At home, May designs her "new friend", Amy, a Frankenstein-esque life-sized rag doll made from Blank's arms, Polly's neck, Adam's hands, Ambrosia's legs, Hoop's ears, and Loopy's fur to substitute for hair.  The head and torso are different scraps of fabric stitched together and stuffed.  Once the macabre doll is finished, May realizes that Amy can't see her.  In a rush of misery, May gouges out her right eye, the lazy one, with the scissors.  Crying in pain and bleeding, she puts her eye on Amy's head and begs the doll to look at her.  A few moments later, May then smiles when her creation comes to life and touches her face with Adam's hands.

Roger Ebert granted the film four stars out of four, and called it "a horror film and something more and deeper, something disturbing and oddly moving" and characterized the denouement as "a final shot that would get laughs in another kind of film, but May earns the right to it, and it works, and we understand it".  Variety magazine critic David Rooney turned in a review that was more middle of the road, stating that the film was "More successful when the title character finally embarks on her bloody mission than in the dawdling buildup".  The New York Times critic Stephen Holden opined that "the performances are a cut or two above what you would find in the average slasher film. But in the end that's all it is".  Bloody Disgusting ranked the film #17 in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article calling the film "criminally under-seen at the time of its release... The plotting itself manages to sidestep the usual slasher tropes as it slowly and inexorably unravels, all leading up to a quietly haunting conclusion that is as heart-wrenching as it is unnerving."

 

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WTFW: Bill Plympton and Hair High (2004)

Bill Plympton (born April 30, 1946) is an American animator, graphic designer cartoonist, director, screenwriter and producer best known for his 1987 Academy Award-nominated animated short "Your Face" and his series of shorts "Guard Dog", "Guide Dog", "Hot Dog" and "Horn Dog".

Bill Plympton was born in Portland, Oregon, to Don and Wilda Plympton, and raised on a farm in nearby Oregon City, with five siblings.  From 1964 to 1968, he studied Graphic Design at Portland State University, where he was a member of the film society and worked on the yearbook.  In 1968, he transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he majored in cartooning.  He graduated from SVA in 1969.

Plympton's illustrations and cartoons have been published in The New York Times and the weekly newspaper The Village Voice, as well as in the magazines Vogue, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Penthouse, and National Lampoon. His political cartoon strip Plympton, which began in 1975 in the Soho Weekly News, eventually was syndicated and appeared in over 20 newspapers.  His distinctive style is easily recognized.

As of 2012, Plympton had created over 40 animated short films and six animated features.  He has also published a comic book, The Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton.

Plympton, together with other independent New York City animators, has released two DVDs of animated shorts, both titled Avoid Eye Contact.  His work also appeared on the 1992–1993 Fox comedy series The Edge; on MTV during the late 1980s; and on MTV's animated series Liquid Television in the early 1990s.  In 1995, he contributed animation  and graphics to a computer game collection,Take Your Best Shot.

From 2001 to 2003, he teamed with Don Hertzfeldt for the touring "The Don and Bill Show", which played throughout the United States.  In 2005, Plympton animated a music video for Kanye West's "Heard 'Em Say".  The following year, he created the music video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Don't Download This Song".

 

Hair High (2004)

  • Genre: Animation – Comedy – Horror
  • Directed: Bill Plympton
  • Produced:
    • Ron Diamond 
    • John Holderried 
    • Martha Plimpton 
    • Bill Plympton
  • Written: Bill Plympton
  • Starring: Eric Gilliland, Sarah Silverman, Dermot Mulroney, Beverly D'Angelo, David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Martha Plimpton, Tom Noonan, Zak Orth, Justin Long, Michael Showalter, Hayley DuMond, Ed Begley Jr., Craig Bierko, Jay O. Sanders, Peter Jason, Matt Groening, Don Hertzfeldt
  • Music:
    • Hank Bones 
    • Corey A. Jackson 
    • Maureen McElheron
  • Cinematography: John Donnelly
  • Editing: Bill Plympton
  • Studio: Plymptoons
  • Distributed:
    • Microcinema International  
    • E.D. Distribution
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 17 April 2004 (US)
  • Running Time: 78 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

A gothic high-school comedy with a Carrie-like story. Cherri and Rod are the high-school king and queen and they justifiably rule their domain.  Spud, the new kid in town, accidentally offends both Cherri and Rod and so is forced to become Cherri's slave.  Naturally, they immediately hate each other, but later fall in love.  Cherri and Spud secretly decide to go to the prom together, and on prom night a rejected Rod forces their car off the road and into the lake.  In true 50's ballad style, their car sinks to the bottom of the lake as they share one last kiss.  While the bodies of Cherri and Spud lie in a timeless embrace, Rod is successful in thwarting any investigation and is able to get away with murder.  On the night of the following year's prom, the car magically comes to life and slowly drives out of the lake with Cherri and Spud, as if nothing had happened, only this time their bodies are in an advanced state of decomposition.  Their rusty and water-logged car drives to the prom and just as Rod is about to crown himself new king of the prom, Cherri and Spud enter the ballroom - the spotlight follows them as they cross the dance floor, with all the attendees in shock.  As they approach the stage, spiders, bugs, snakes, lizards and fish ooze from their sagging skin and skeletal bodies, and the prom attendees freak as they mount the stairs to the stage.  Spud takes the crown and places it on Cherri as the animals attack and devour Rod.

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SITA: Sort Of Valentine's Day Horror Movies

Since it is Valentine’s Week I thought I would fire up The Divine Search Engine early and see what would come up if I entered “valentine“ as a keyword for any horror or sci-fi movies.  Expecting to get one or two results you can imagine my surprise when twenty-seven titles came up.  Well not one to miss an opportunity at an easy writing assignment, I chose seven of the freakier ones and now present them by year of release for your entertainment.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

  • Genre: Drama – Horror – Mystery
  • Directed: Peter Weir
  • Produced:
    • A. John Graves 
    • Patricia Lovell 
    • Hal McElroy 
    • Jim McElroy
  • Written:
    • Joan Lindsay (Novel “Picnic At Hanging Rock)
    • Cliff Green (Screenplay)
  • Starring: Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray, Helen Morse, Kirsty Child, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Jacki Weaver, Frank Gunnell, Anne-Louise Lambert, Karen Robson, Jane Vallis, Christine Schuler, Margaret Nelson
  • Music: Unknown
  • Cinematography: Russell Boyd
  • Editing: Max Lemon
  • Studio:
    • The Australian Film Commission 
    • McElroy & McElroy 
    • Picnic Productions Pty. Ltd. 
    • Z
  • Distributed:
    • Greater Union Organisation  
    • Atlantic Releasing Corporation  
    • Vestron Video  
    • Roadshow Entertainment Video  
    • The Criterion Collection  
    • Umbrella Entertainment  
    • Z
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 2 February 1979 (USA)
  • Running Time: 115 minutes
  • Country: Australia
  • Language:
    • English 
    • French

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a 1975 Australian drama and mystery film directed by Peter Weir.  The film was adapted by Cliff Green from the 1967 novel of the same name by Joan Lindsay.  The film relates the story of the disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic to Hanging Rock on St. Valentine's Day in 1900, and the subsequent effect on the local community.  Picnic at Hanging Rock was a commercial and critical success.

At Appleyard College, a girls' private school, near the town of Woodend, Victoria, Australia, the students are dressing on the morning of St. Valentine's Day, 1900.  Miranda, Irma, Marion, Rosamund, waifish Sara and outsider Edith read poetry and Valentine's Day cards.  The group prepares for a picnic to a local geological formation known as Hanging Rock, accompanied by the mathematics mistress Miss Greta McCraw and the young and beautiful Mlle. de Poitiers.  On the authority of the stern headmistress Mrs. Appleyard, jittery teacher Miss Lumley advises Sara that she is not allowed to attend.

Driven by buggy operator Ben Hussey, the party pass through and arrive at the Rock by mid-afternoon.  After a meal, Mr. Hussey notes his watch has stopped at the stroke of twelve, as has the watch of Miss McCraw.  With permission from Mlle. de Poitiers, Miranda, Marion and Irma decide to explore Hanging Rock and take measurements, with Edith allowed to follow.  The group is observed several minutes later by a young Englishman, Michael Fitzhubert, who is lunching at the Rock with his uncle Colonel Fitzhubert, aunt Mrs. Fitzhubert, and valet Albert.  At the top of Hanging Rock, the group lies on the ground, apparently dazed by the sun.  Miss McCraw, still at the base of the Rock, stares up.  Miranda, Marion, and Irma awake and move, as if in a dream, into a recess in the rock face.  Edith screams and flees down the Rock.

The distraught and hysterical party eventually returns to the College, where Mlle. de Poitiers explains to Mrs. Appleyard that Miss McCraw has been left behind.  Sara notes the absence of Miranda; and Mr. Hussy explains to Mrs. Appleyard that Miranda, Irma, Marion, and Miss McCraw went missing.  A search party, led by Sgt. Bumpher and Constable Jones of the local police, finds nothing, although Edith reveals that she witnessed Miss McCraw climbing the Rock without her skirt.  Michael Fitzhubert is questioned and reveals he watched the schoolgirls but can provide no clues as to their whereabouts.

Michael becomes obsessed with finding Miranda; and, with Albert, he conducts another search of Hanging Rock. Despite Albert's protests, Michael decides to remain overnight and begins climbing again the next day, leaving a trail of paper.  When Albert follows the markers, he finds a nearly delirious Michael.  Just before leaving on a buggy with a local doctor, Michael passes to Albert a fragment of lace from a dress.  Albert returns to Hanging Rock and discovers Irma, unconscious but alive.  The residents of Woodend become restless as news of the discovery spreads.  At the Fitzhubert home, Irma is treated for dehydration and exposure, and tells the police and Mlle. de Poitiers she has no memory of what happened.  A servant notes that Irma's corset is missing but is advised by Mrs. Fitzhubert that it is not important.

Michael befriends the recovered Irma but alienates her when he demands to know what happened on the Rock. Mrs. Appleyard advises Miss Lumley that several parents have withdrawn their children from the school.  Before leaving for Europe, Irma visits her classmates a final time; but they become hysterical and demand to know what happened to their missing friends.  Mlle. de Poitiers intervenes; and, as Irma flees, she also notices that Sara has been strapped to a wall by Mrs. Appleyard to correct her posture.  That night, Miss Lumley gives notice to a drunken Mrs. Appleyard that she is resigning.

Mrs. Appleyard tells Sara that, as her guardian has not paid her tuition, Sara must return to the orphanage. Afterwards, Mrs. Appleyard lies to Mlle. de Poitiers and claims that Sara's guardian collected her early that morning.  The next morning, Sara's body is found in the greenhouse by Mr. Whitehead, the school gardener. Believing Sara committed suicide by leaping from her bedroom window, Whitehead confronts Mrs. Appleyard, who is calm in full mourning dress with her possessions packed.  Michael tells Albert he has decided to travel north, with Albert revealing he had a dream in which his lost sister Sara visited him.

During a flashback to the picnic scene, Sgt. Bumpher states in a voice over that the body of Mrs. Appleyard was found at the base of Hanging Rock and that the search for the missing school girls and their mistress continued sporadically for several years without success.


Hospital Massacre (1982)

  • Original Title: X-Ray
  • Genre: Thriller – Horror 
  • Directed: Boaz Davidson
  • Produced:
    • Yoram Globus 
    • Menahem Golan 
    • Geoffrey Rose 
    • John Thompson 
    • Christopher Pearce
  • Written:
    • Marc Behm 
    • Boaz Davidson
  • Starring: Barbi Benton, Charles Lucia, Jon Van Ness, John Warner Williams, Den Surles, Gloria Jean Morrison, Karen Smith, Michael Frost, Jimmy Stathis, Lanny Duncan
  • Music: Arlon Ober
  • Cinematography: Nicholas Josef von Sternberg
  • Editing: Jon Koslowsky
  • Studio: Golan-Globus Productions
  • Distributed:
    • Cannon Film Distributors  
    • Citadel Films  
    • MGM/UA Home Entertainment  
    • Shout! Factory
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: April 1982 (USA)
  • Running Time: 89 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Hospital Massacre (also known as X-Ray, Ward 13 and Be My Valentine, or Else...) is a 1982 horror film directed by Boaz Davidson, and written by Marc Behm. 

A girl named Susan Jeremy is adored by all the boys at her school.  However, there was one boy, Harold, who is taking it way too far.  He sends Susan love notes constantly, asking her to be his girlfriend.  Finally, when he was turned down for another boy named David and mocked on Valentine's Day, Harold decides he's had enough.  After breaking into Susan's house, he kills David by breaking his neck on a coat hanger and running away, laughing maniacally.

Now, nineteen years later, Mrs. Jeremy seems to have forgotten the murder and, more importantly, Harold. However, Harold has not forgotten about Susan.  When Susan is sent to her local hospital for a "routine checkup", she discovers someone does not want her to leave.  A masked killer disguised as a surgeon is stalking her and stabbing, strangling or beating anyone that gets in his way.


Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989)

  • Genre: Comedy – Horror 
  • Directed: Anthony Hickox
  • Produced:
    • Dan Ireland 
    • Jack Lorenz 
    • Jefferson Richard
  • Written:
    • John Burgess 
    • Anthony Hickox
  • Starring: David Carradine, Morgan Brittany, Bruce Campbell, Jim Metzler, Maxwell Caulfield, Deborah Foreman, M. Emmet Walsh, John Ireland, Dana Ashbrook, John Hancock
  • Music: Richard Stone
  • Cinematography: Levie Isaacks
  • Editing: Christopher Cibelli
  • Studio: Vestron Pictures
  • Distributed:
    • ASCII Entertainment  
    • Avid Home Video  
    • Indigo  
    • Lionsgate Home Entertainment  
    • Vestron Video
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 13 January 1990
  • Running Time: 104 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat is a 1989 American Western horror/comedy directed by Anthony Hickox.   Filmed in and around Moab, Utah, in 1988, Sundown was Vestron Pictures' last film and it was never released to theaters.  Its only public screenings were at film festivals in Seattle and Palm Springs, as well as a Cannes release in 1989.  Released in 1991 on VHS and in 2008 on DVD, it has earned a cult following.

Under the leadership of their ancient and powerful leader Jozek Mardulak, a colony of vampires seek a peaceful life in the desolate desert town of Purgatory.  Key to the transition is the town's artificial-blood making facility and it is just not working.  Mardulak summons the human designer of the plant, who brings his wife and two young daughters along for what he thinks will be a pleasant desert vacation.  Soon, he and his family are caught up in a civil war as another vampire elder, who abhors the idea of vampires being anything other than predators, organizes a revolution, and a descendant of the Van Helsing family arrives intent on destroying all vampires.


Raising Cain (1992)

  • Genre: Comedy – Crime – Drama
  • Directed: Brian De Palma
  • Produced:
    • Gale Anne Hurd 
    • Michael R. Joyce
  • Written: Brian De Palma
  • Starring: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer, Frances Sternhagen, Gregg Henry, Tom Bower, Mel Harris, Teri Austin, Gabrielle Carteris, Barton Heyman, Amanda Pombo, Kathleen Callan
  • Music: Pino Donaggio
  • Cinematography: Stephen H. Burum
  • Editing:
    • Robert Dalva 
    • Paul Hirsch 
    • Bonnie Koehler
  • Studio: Pacific Western
  • Distributed:
    • Universal Pictures  
    • Argentina Video Home  
    • United International Pictures  
    • CIC Video  
    • CIC-Taft Home Video  
    • Fox Network  
    • MCA/Universal Home Video  
    • Umbrella Entertainment
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 7 August 1992 (USA)
  • Running Time: 91 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language:
    • English 
    • Spanish

Raising Cain is a 1992 psychological thriller film written and directed by Brian De Palma.  During production on The Bonfire of the Vanities, Brian De Palma toyed around with the idea of a suspense movie set on a playground.  He was concerned however, that returning to the suspense genre was dangerous for him as it could be regarded as a step backward in his career.

Dr. Carter Nix is a respected child psychologist.  His wife, Jenny, becomes concerned that Carter is obsessively studying their daughter, Amy; he regards her like a scientist tracking the development of his creation.  Carter actually suffers from multiple personality disorder.  His multiples are Cain, a streetwise hustler, Josh, a traumatized little boy, and Margo, a middle-aged mother figure.  Carter/Cain is killing young mothers to procure their children for his experiments.

Jenny is having an affair with Jack Dante, the widower of a former patient.  She had a relationship with him years ago, but he left her.  Now she plans to leave Carter and elope with him.  When Carter accidentally discovers their tryst, he descends completely into his madness and begins leaving subtle clues for the police that Jack is the real killer.  Next, he attempts to kill Jenny by submerging her car in a lake.  She escapes and confronts Carter at home.  Unable to find Amy, Jenny demands Carter tell her where she is.  Carter replies that she is with his father, whom Jenny knows has been dead for years.

Carter is apprehended for attempted murder.  The police bring Dr. Lynn Waldheim to interrogate him.  Waldheim interviews Carter and informs the police that she co-wrote a book with Dr. Nix Sr. called Raising Cain, about a boy with multiple personality disorder.  Dr. Nix Sr. had extensive detailed knowledge of Cain's tortured childhood, including taped recordings of their sessions.  However, Waldheim was never allowed to meet Cain.  She pieced the situation together: Dr. Nix Sr. dispassionately put his own son through years of severe child abuse to gain firsthand accounts of his traumatic psychological development and study the emerging personalities.  Horrified, Waldheim quit the project.

During interrogation, the "Carter" personality disappears, and "Margo" (the mother) and "Josh" (the child) act and speak for him.  Josh recites a rhyme and vanishes, and Margo assumes control of the body.  She stonewalls Waldheim from any further questioning.  Eventually, Carter/Cain breaks from their confines.  They pounce upon Dr. Waldheim, knocking her unconscious and leaving the building disguised as her.  The police soon find Waldheim begging them to arrest Carter before any children are harmed.

Dr. Nix, Sr. is in fact alive, having faked his own death to elude prosecution for attempting to buy babies.  He has established a new identity and a clandestine research facility in Norway.  He has been using Carter and his multiples to procure the children so he will have an adequate control group to study the development of MPD. Jenny follows who she thinks is Waldheim to a motel, but it is actually Carter/Cain.  She follows Carter/Cain, who is now Margo, into an elevator.  When it opens, she sees Dr. Nix Sr. with her daughter Amy.  While Jenny begs for Nix Sr. to give back her daughter, Carter/Cain/Margo stabs "their" father from behind.  Jack arrives with the police, and Carter/Cain/Margo disappears.

The movie ends with Jenny and Amy in a park.  Amy runs off into the woods calling "Daddy, Daddy".  Jenny follows her and finds Amy, who says her father has gone away.  When Jenny bends down to pick Amy up, Carter appears behind her in a wig and a dress; Margo is now in control.  Jenny holds Amy in her arms, oblivious to who is behind her.


Sssshhh... (2003)

  • Genre: Horror – Mystery
  • Directed: Pavan Kaul
  • Produced:
    • Prem Krishan 
    • Siddartha P. Malhotra 
    • Sunil Mehta 
    • Kulthep Narula 
    • Rachvin Narula 
    • Vijay Singh Phoolka 
    • Alistair Woodham
  • Written: Arshad Sayed
  • Starring: Tanisha, Dino Morea, Karan Nath, Gaurav Kapoor, Suvarna Jha, Kushal Punjabi, Tina Choudhary, Alyy Khan, Maya Alagh, Alistair Woodham, Nassar Abdulla, Shaukat Baig
  • Music: Anu Malik
  • Cinematography: Hiroo Keswani
  • Editing: K. Rajgopal
  • Studio: Cinevista
  • Distributed:
    • Eros Entertainment  
    • Shemaroo Video Pvt. Ltd.
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 24 October 2003 (India)
  • Running Time: 142 minutes
  • Country: India
  • Language: Hindi

Malini Gujral and her boyfriend Sunny are brutally murdered in the college campus at Shimla by joker-masked person.  This incident shakes Mehek Gujral, Malini's younger sister and six months after the incident she starts getting threatening phone calls from someone who claims to have killed Malini.  She is extremely disturbed and confides in her best friend Gehna who ridicules it as some sick joke being played by one of the college students, however Mehek is unconvinced.  One day in the washroom, Mehek hears her name on the intercom and it is the voice of the same person.  She is terrified, but soon the principal announces that it was just a prank of a college student and that no one should be bothered any more.  Mehek is momentarily relieved but the murder of a teacher Mrs. Roy makes things worse.  The police come to investigate and see footprints.  They ask Rocky, a spoiled brat with an odd personality and Suraj, a new student to provide samples to match the footprints.  While Rocky's do not match but Suraj's do; but since the police do not have any evidence, they leave and tell Mehek to be cautious.  One night when Mehek is alone at home, the joker comes to attack her but Mehek manages to call the police.  She also burns his cloak and the attacker escapes.  She tries to get out of the house and bumps into Suraj and he comforts her but she finds in Suraj's wearing the same watch as her attacker.  Just then the police arrive and she accuses Suraj who is then arrested.

Mehek is very upset as she trusted Suraj.  So Rocky, her childhood friend who also has a longtime crush on her, organizes a party to cheer her up.  Although reluctant at first, Gehna convinces Mehek to come with her.  On their way back, the joker appears out of nowhere in front of Gehna's car.  She loses control, and the car goes off the road and crashes into a river.  Gehna loses consciousness but Mehek gets out of the car and notices that the joker is right there.  The joker tries to drown Mehek, but at that moment the Commissioner Kamath and Suraj arrive.  The police shoots at the Killer but he jumps off the other side of the river into the reservoir.

It is revealed that the night Mehek was attacked, Suraj was with the Principal the whole time and was helping him and while returning he decided to meet Mehek and he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. After his release the commissioner drives him back from the police station where they see Gehna's crashed car.

Mehek is very embarrassed and apologizes to Suraj who understands her and forgives her.  Gehna and Suraj become good friends and she confides in him about her dad's infidelity and how he died in a car accident when she was young.  Rocky is jealous now that Suraj saved Mehek and that they are bonding.  Rajat, Rocky's best friend and a Bollywood buff repeatedly keeps telling Rocky to confess his feelings.  Meha's friends including Rocky, Rajat, Gehna, Nikhil and his girlfriend Riya make a plan for a holiday to finally take a break.  They decide to go to Bangkok.  However on arriving at the airport they come to know that only two tickets have been confirmed, with rest schedules to depart two days after.  Mehek and Suraj leave much to Rocky's dismay.  Meanwhile Mehek's mother is also killed in Shimla by the joker.  Suraj and Mehek grow close to each other during their stay in Bangkok.  After everyone arrives, they go to a disco where Rocky gets in a tiff with one of the Hotel staff who kick everyone out.  Upset about the whole thing, Rocky suggests an island he learnt about earlier and they all decide to give it a try.

On arriving there, Rocky decided to confess his feelings but when he goes to see Mehek he bumps into Gehna instead who pulls him over and kisses him madly, claiming to love him.  Rocky turns her down saying he only loves Mehek, very much to Gehna's chagrin.  During a football game on the beach Rocky trips over Gehna and she hurts her leg.  She believes he did it purposely and also angry with Mehek, she refuses to take her help and decides to stay in the shack for a while.  While the others are taking a shower, the joker enters Gehna's shack and smothers her to death.  But the others think that she is asleep, and they decide to explore the island.  On returning they find Gehna missing and Mehek finds a letter from her saying that she couldn't bear the pain of her leg and so she left with the boat.  That night Mehek sees the joker in her room and she runs screaming and seeks help from Rajat.  Rajat sits near the window and comforts Mehek but suddenly the joker breaks the glass and slits Rajat's neck.  Mehek screams and calls Rocky and Suraj and when they return they don't find Rajat's body but see blood smeared all over.  Meanwhile, Nikhil and Riya go for a jog and they run over the sand where they notice Gehna's body partially buried.

Afraid that the killer is lurking somewhere and would kill them one by one, they decide to escape by making a raft. But midway in the sea the ropes are slit and everyone fall over.  Riya who can’t swim drowns and before Nikhil can find her she is killed underwater.  Nikhil is distraught and unable to bear the pain of Rhea's death swims back to the island vowing to kill the killer.  When he does not return after a long time, Rocky goes to find him and he sees that the killer has also killed Nikhil.  He calls Mehek and Suraj and they both think that Rocky killed him since he was the last person to see him and there's no one in the island apart from them.  Rocky defends himself and tells Mehek that he loves her and can never hurt her.  Suraj and Rocky get into a fight when suddenly, Commissioner Kamath and Inspector Rathore arrive with their boat and stop Rocky and Suraj.  They tell Mehek about her mother's demise and she becomes unconscious.  That night due to an oncoming storm, they decide to stay.  The next morning when Mehek wakes up she finds Rocky sitting on her bed who tries to tell her how much he loves her but a scared Mehek runs out of the room but she trips and falls over Commissioner Kamath who had been stabbed.  She screams and goes into Suraj's shack and the joker attacks her from behind but Suraj shoots him several times.  Rocky comes and uncovers a masked Rathore.  He starts laughing hysterically asking Mehek to come with him and promising to protect her but then suddenly Suraj shoots Rocky and tells Mehek that he was the joker the whole time.  Mehek runs for her life on the beach but Suraj catches up to her and explains to her why he did all this.  Mehek's father's promiscuous nature had ruined his family as his mother killed herself followed by his dad who shot himself too leaving him and his younger brother orphaned.  From that day on, he promised to destroy Mehek's family and so he staged her father's car accident and killed her mother and sister.  Suraj drags Mehek and ties her legs and hangs her upside down.  It is then revealed that Rajat is alive and is Suraj's younger brother and it was he who had attacked Mehek in the river.   As they're about to kill her, Rocky comes, wounded but not dead, and shoots Rajat dead.  Mehek unties her legs and stabs Suraj, finishing it for once and for all. Rocky and Mehek then take the boat and leave the island.


2LDK (2003)

  • Genre: Drama – Horror – Thriller
  • Directed: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
  • Produced:
    • Yûji Ishida 
    • Shinya Kawai 
    • Kazuki Manabe 
    • Susumu Nakazawa 
    • Munehiro Umemura
  • Written:
    • Yuiko Miura 
    • Yukihiko Tsutsumi
  • Starring: Eiko Koike, Maho Nonami, Daisuke Kizaki
  • Music: Unknown
  • Cinematography: Unknown
  • Editing: Nobuyuki Ito
  • Studio:
    • DUEL Film Partners 
    • Micott 
    • Times In
  • Distributed:
    • Rapid Eye Movies  
    • TLA Releasing  
    • WE Productions
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date:
    • 4 October 2003 (Japan) 
    • 11 April 2003 (USA)
  • Running Time: 70 minutes
  • Country: Japan
  • Language: Japanese

2LDK was paired with Ryuhei Kitamura's film Aragami as the Duel Project.  Producer Shinya Kawai issued a challenge to directors Tsutsumi and Kitamura to create a feature-length movie each consisting a duel, two actors and one setting, along with a rule that the filming should take just one week.  Tsutsumi's 2LDK was filmed in eight days, with the cast and crew often working throughout the night.  The title is a Japanese real estate acronym for an 2-bedroom apartment with a Living-room, Dining-room, and Kitchen.

Although aspiring actresses Nozomi and Rana share a Tokyo apartment that's owned by their talent management agency, they're a world apart.  Nozomi is a soft-spoken country girl from Sado Island who prides herself on being demure.  City girl Rana, who grew up in a rough area of Tokyo, is more worldly, experienced and jaded.

Whilst in apartment, they learn they have auditioned for the same part in a highly anticipated film called Yakuza Wives and that there will be a phone call in the morning that will reveal who wins the role.  They decide to stay in for the phone call.

A conversation between two actresses turns sour, bringing their hidden resentment to the surface, which pushes them into committing a series of violent acts against each other while arguing over their backgrounds, lifestyles, choices, and love lives.

As they lay dying from severe injuries they inflicted on each other, their apartment phone finally rings at dawn. When it goes unanswered, it's switched to their answering machine.  A male voice on the machine announces they both won the part.


Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (2009)

  • Original Title: Kyûketsu Shôjo tai Shôjo Furanken
  • Genre: Action – Comedy – Horror
  • Directed:
    • Yoshihiro Nishimura 
    • Naoyuki Tomomatsu
  • Produced:
    • Masatsugu Asahi 
    • Hidehiro Ito 
    • Yôsuke Miyake 
    • Jun Nakajima 
    • Remi Ohtsuka 
    • Tsugio Oikawa 
    • Shûji Omata 
    • Ruka Tanaka
  • Written:
    • Shungiku Uchida (Manga "Kyûketsu Shôjo tai Shôjo Furanken")  
    • Naoyuki Tomomatsu (Screenplay)
  • Starring: Yukie Kawamura, Takumi Saitô, Eri Otoguro, Sayaka Kametani, Jiji Bû, Eihi Shiina, Kanji Tsuda
  • Music: Kou Nakagawa
  • Cinematography: Shu G. Momose
  • Editing: Yoshihiro Nishimura
  • Studio:
    • Concept Film 
    • Excellent Film 
    • Pony Canyon
  • Distributed:
    • Excellent Film Partners  
    • Concept Film  
    • Eleven Arts  
    • FUNimation Entertainment  
    • Pony Canyon
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date:
    • 15 August 2009 (Japan) 
    • 26 June 2009 (USA)
  • Running Time: 84 minutes
  • Country: Japan
  • Language: Japanese

Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl is a 2009 Japanese gore film.  It was directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura and Naoyuki Tomomatsu and premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival in June 2009.  It is based on a manga of the same name by Shungiku Uchida.

In a typical Tokyo High School a perpetually teenage vampire named Monami falls for her classmate, Mizushima, who happens to already be the reluctant boyfriend to the vice-principal/science professor's daughter, Keiko, a leader of a Sweet Lolita gang.  The ensuing love triangle leads Keiko to seek the assistance of her father who, unbeknown to his daughter, moonlights as a Kabuki-clad mad scientist with the school nurse as his assistant.  The pair experiment on students in the school basement hoping to discover the secret of reanimating corpses (akin to the work of Victor Frankenstein).  Their hopes are answered when they discover a solution of Monami's blood holds the properties to bring life to dead body parts and inanimate objects.

The story begins to unfold after Mizushima carelessly accepts a honmei choco, (literally, "true feeling chocolate") in Japan is chocolate given by women on Valentine's day to men whom the giver has romantic feelings for, spiked with Monami's blood, causing him to become a half vampire.  When Keiko discovers their secret, she attacks Monami but accidentally throws herself off the school roof in the process.  Her premature death leads to her father using the blood solution to transform her into a vicious Frankenstein's monster determined to get revenge against Monami.  From then on Monami and Keiko battle each other in the pursuit of winning Mizushima's heart, regardless of his feelings towards either of them.  Monami ultimately kills Keiko by using her powers to turn droplets of her blood into spikes that rip the flesh off the latter's body and leaves her skeleton impaled at the top of Tokyo Tower.  At the end Keiko's father turns himself in a Franken Advanced Composite Life Form with use of Monami's blood.

 

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ICFIFC: Seventh Moon (2008)

Qixi Festival is a Chinese festival that celebrates the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in Chinese mythology.  It falls on the seventh day of the 7th month on the Chinese calendar.  It is sometimes called the Double Seventh Festival, the Chinese Valentine's Day, or the Magpie Festival.  This is an important festival, especially for young girls.

The festival originated from the romantic legend of two lovers, Zhinü and Niulang, who were the weaver maid and the cowherd, respectively.  The tale of The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd has been celebrated in the Qixi Festival since the Han Dynasty.  The earliest-known reference to this famous myth dates back to over 2600 years ago, which was told in a poem from the Classic of Poetry.  The festival inspired Tanabata in Japan and Chilseok in Korea.

The general tale is about a love story between Zhinu (the weaver girl, symbolizing Vega) and Niulang (the cowherd, symbolizing Altair).  Their love was not allowed, thus they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River (symbolizing the Milky Way).  Once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day.  There are many variations of the story.  A variation follows:

A young cowherd, hence Niulang, came across a beautiful girl--Zhinü, the seventh daughter of the Goddess, who had just escaped from boring heaven to look for fun.  Zhinü soon fell in love with Niulang, and they got married without the knowledge of the Goddess.  Zhinü proved to be a wonderful wife, and Niulang to be a good husband. They lived happily and had two children.  But the Goddess of Heaven1 (or in some versions, Zhinü's mother) found out that Zhinü, a fairy girl, had married a mere mortal.  The Goddess was furious and ordered Zhinü to return to heaven.  (Alternatively, the Goddess forced the fairy back to her former duty of weaving colorful clouds, a task she neglected while living on earth with a mortal.)  On Earth, Niulang was very upset that his wife had disappeared. Suddenly, his ox began to talk, telling him that if he killed it and put on its hide, he would be able to go up to Heaven to find his wife.  Crying bitterly, he killed the ox, put on the skin, and carried his two beloved children off to Heaven to find Zhinü.  The Goddess discovered this and was very angry.  Taking out her hairpin, the Goddess scratched a wide river in the sky to separate the two lovers forever, thus forming the Milky Way between Altair and Vega.  Zhinü must sit forever on one side of the river, sadly weaving on her loom, while Niulang watches her from afar while taking care of their two children (his flanking stars β and γ Aquilae or by their Chinese names Hè Gu 1 and Hè Gu 3).  But once a year all the magpies in the world would take pity on them and fly up into heaven to form a bridge over the star Deneb in the Cygnus constellation so the lovers may be together for a single night, which is the seventh night of the seventh moon.

Not only is that a great story it’s very romantic.  Now you might be wondering why I put a tale from Chinese Mythology in an article about independent horror and sci-fi movies I happen across.  Brace yourselves and make numerous references to the about paragraphs, the similarities are astounding.

Seventh Moon (2008)

  • Genre: Horror – Thriller
  • Directed: Eduardo Sánchez
  • Produced:
    • Chen On Chu 
    • Matt Compton 
    • Robin Cowie 
    • Bob Eick 
    • Gregg Hale 
    • Ann Lu
  • Written:
    • Jamie Nash 
    • Eduardo Sánchez
  • Starring: Dennis Chan, Tim Chiou, Amy Smart
  • Music:
    • Tony Cora 
    • Kent Sparling
  • Cinematography: Wah-Chuen Lam
  • Editing:
    • Michael Cronin 
    • Johnny Rice
  • Studio: Haxan Films
  • Distributed:
    • Ghosthouse Underground  
    • Paradiso Home Entertainment  
    • Rok Americas  
    • Seventh Moon Partners  
    • Shochiku Home Video
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 20 September 2008 (USA)
  • Running Time: 87 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Seventh Moon is a 2008 American horror film written by Eduardo Sánchez and Jamie Nash, and directed by Eduardo Sánchez, who is most famous for co-directing and writing the 1999 psychological horror “The Blair Witch Project” with Daniel Myrick.  Part of Robert Tapert's Ghost House Underground DVD series, the film is based on the Chinese legend that on the full moon of the seventh lunar month, the gates of hell open and the dead can enter the realm of the living.

Melissa and Yul, Americans honeymooning in China, come across the exotic 'Hungry Ghost' festival.  When night falls, the couple end up in a remote village, and don't know where they are.  Plunged into an ancient custom they cannot comprehend, the couple must find a way to survive the night of the Seventh Moon.

In accordance with the Chinese Myth, on the full moon of the seventh lunar month, the gates of hell open and the spirits of the dead are freed to roam among the living.  Melissa and her husband Yul are spending their honeymoon in the month of the ghosts in China, where they intend to visit his relatives.  They participate in the Senwun (Ghost Festival) during the day where they drink and celebrate.  Then their driver Ping heads to Anxian2 when the nights falls.  A couple of hours later, Ping parks his car and tells them that he is lost.  He asks the couple to wait for him in his car while he asks for directions in a small village in the countryside.  One hour later, Melissa and Yul decide to seek out Ping in the village, and they see the houses closed with live offering and the locals saying something in Cantonese.  Yul does not understand what they are saying and the couple returns to the car and drive away trying to find the way back to the city.  They then meet a stranger, Wei, wounded on the road and Melissa decides to help the man.  They are attacked by creepy creatures and they discover that the spirits of the dead are hunting the living.  Melissa and Yul try to find a way to protect themselves and survive the hellish night.

The film was originally released on September 20, 2008 at the Austin Fantastic Fest.  It was released on DVD October 6, 2009.  Based on just two reviews, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that the film has a rating average of 4.9 out of 10.  The more favorable of the two reviews, from Steve Barton at Dread Central, stated that "Seventh Moon is a badass and at times downright chilling little movie that deserves its rightful place in your home video collection."  By contrast, David Nusair at Reelfilm felt that "Seventh Moon ultimately comes off as a missed opportunity that squanders the relatively promising nature of its setup."  Elsewhere, genre critics were enthusiastic, with Film School Rejects claiming that the film was "what I Am Legend would have been without CGI. That’s a good thing."  Brett Cullum of DVD Verdict called it "an inventive horror flick that re-imagines the Asian ghost genre one more time."

Michael Nelson over at Monster.Movie.TV wants to know “how the hell you read a myth about how even death can’t separate a couple when their love is true, and think…Hmm, Zombies!  This isn’t even my cultural heritage and I feel offended at what you did to the mythology.”  Guess my standards are more lofty since all I saw was yet another low budget zombie movie, from this point forward abbreviated to simply “YALBZM” (Pronounced Y’all Booz’em).

 

 

Notes:

1. Xi Wangmu (literally "Queen Mother of the West") is a Chinese goddess known from the ancient times.  The first historical information on her can be traced back to oracle bone inscriptions of the fifteenth century BCE that record sacrifices to a "Western Mother".  Even though these inscriptions illustrate that she predates organized Taoism, she is most often associated with Taoism.  From her name alone some of her most important characteristics are revealed: she is royal, female, and is associated with the west.  The growing popularity of the Queen Mother of the West, as well as the beliefs that she was the dispenser of prosperity, longevity, and eternal bliss took place during the second century BCE when the northern and western parts of China were able to be better known because of the opening of the Silk Routes.

2. An County or Anxian is a county under the administration of Mianyang City, in northeastern Sichuan province, China.  It has an area of 1,404 square kilometers (542 sq mi) and a population of 500,000.

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

DNDF: Mind Altering Horror

SPIN THE WHEEL!

Substance intoxication is a type of substance-induced disorder which is potentially maladaptive and impairing, but reversible, and associated with recent use.  If the symptoms are severe, the term "substance intoxication delirium" may be used.  Generic slang terms include: getting high or being stoned or blazed (all usually in reference to cannabis), with many more specific slang terms for each particular type of intoxicant.  Alcohol intoxication is even graded in intensity, from buzzed, to tipsy, all the way up to hammered, smashed, wasted and a number of other similar terms.  Slight intoxication of a familiar substance is usually referred to as being buzzed.

 

Attack of the Herbals (2011)

  • Genre: Comedy – Horror
  • Directed: David Ryan Keith
  • Produced:
    • Stephen Cox 
    • Michael Kananack 
    • David P. Keith 
    • David Ryan Keith 
    • Lorraine Keith 
    • Jessica Kelly
  • Written:
    • Alisdair Cook 
    • Liam Matheson 
    • David Ryan Keith
  • Starring: Calum Booth, Steve Worsley, Richard Currie, Liam Matheson, Lee Hutcheon, Claire McCulloch, Margaret Bramwell, Jimmy Lynch, Alan Fraser, Lindsay Cromar, Dave Thomson, Mary Cox
  • Music: Leah Kardos
  • Cinematography: David Ryan Keith
  • Editing: David Ryan Keith
  • Studio: Clear Focus Video & Multimedia
  • Distributed:
    • Camelot Entertainment Group  
    • Intergroove Media
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date:
    • 11 May 2011 (Cannes) 
    • 17 May 2011 (UK)
  • Running Time: 81 minutes
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Language: English

Attack of the Herbals is an "Evil Dead”/”Shaun of the Dead” style horror comedy, independently produced and shot in the North East of Scotland.

Jackson McGregor returns to the tiny fishing village of “Lobster Cove” only to find that a local land baron Bennett Campbell is taking over with a new development.  The only thing that stands in Bennett’s way is Jackson’s grandparent's post office.  Jackson’s life is soon turned upside down when he and a childhood friend discover a mysterious, unmarked crate, washed ashore with a strange substance that happens to make rather nice tea.

Armed with a plan to save the post office, the two friends embark on a frantic business venture, selling the new strange tea to the local pensioners and fishermen.  Seemingly giving them a new lease of life.  The money rolls in and the tea starts to run out.  The two friends get so carried away with their new found success that they fail to notice the strange things that have started occurring in Lobster Cove.

With the help of a local German priest they discover that the contents of the crate are actually part of a World War Two Nazi experiment.  Things get drastically worse when land baron also gets addicted to the tea with deadly consequences!

Attack of the Herbals was filmed in and around Aberdeen, Scotland, on a single Canon 5D with follow focus.  Much of the film focuses on the Aberdeen harbor area.  The music is by Leah Kardos, who collaborated with David Keith on previous works, two short films called "Demonic" and "Dead Funny".

Camelot Entertainment Group have gained distribution rights to Attack of the Herbals.  Darknight Pictures, a division of Camelot Entertainment, confirmed they were to auction Attack of the Herbals at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.


Grabbers (2012)

  • Genre: Comedy – Horror – Sci-Fi
  • Directed: Jon Wright
  • Produced:
    • Robert Bevan 
    • Tracy Brimm 
    • David Collins 
    • Nic Hatch 
    • Michael Henry 
    • Jo Homewood 
    • Samantha Horley 
    • Eduardo Levy 
    • Alan Maher 
    • James Martin 
    • Cyril Megret 
    • Kate Myers 
    • Martina Niland 
    • Piers Tempest
  • Written: Kevin Lehane
  • Starring: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey, Lalor Roddy, David Pearse, Bronagh Gallagher, Pascal Scott, Clelia Murphy, Louis Dempsey, Micheál O'Gruagain, Ned Dennehy, Stuart Graham
  • Music: Christian Henson
  • Cinematography: Trevor Forrest
  • Editing: Matt Platts-Mills
  • Studio:
    • Forward Films 
    • High Treason Productions 
    • Irish Film Board 
    • Nvizible 
    • Samson Films
  • Distributed:
    • Element Pictures Distribution  
    • IFC Films  
    • Sony Pictures Releasing
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date:
    • 23 January 2012 (Sundance) 
    • 22 June 2012 (UK) 
    • 10 July 2012 (Ireland)
  • Running Time: 94 minutes
  • Country:
    • United Kingdom 
    • Ireland
  • Language: English

Garda1 Ciarán O'Shea, an alcoholic, initially resents his new partner, Garda Lisa Nolan, a workaholic seeking to impress her superiors by volunteering for temporary duty in a remote Irish island.  After discovering mutilated whale corpses, the quiet community slowly comes to realize that they're under attack by enormous bloodsucking tentacled creatures from the sea, dubbing them "Grabbers".  When Paddy, the town drunk, inexplicably survives an attack, the local marine ecologist, Dr. Smith, theorizes that his high blood alcohol content proved toxic to the Grabbers, who survive on blood and water.  O'Shea contacts the mainland, but an oncoming storm prevents any escape or help.  The group also realizes the rain will allow the remaining large male Grabber to move about the island freely.  Seeking to keep calm in the town, Nolan and O'Shea organize a party at the local pub, intending to keep the island's residents safe but unaware of the danger.  Initially hesitant to join in a celebration when no good reason can be offered, the people enthusiastically agree when Tadhg Murphy, the pub owner, offers free drinks. O'Shea volunteers to stay sober so that he can coordinate the towns defenses, and everyone else becomes drunk.

In a drunken stupor, Nolan reveals that she has come to the island to escape the shadow of her more-favored sister.  When they are alone in a squad car, Nolan confesses to O'Shea that she has feelings for him despite turning down his advances earlier.  Smith wanders outside the pub and tries to get a picture of the beast, reasoning that his inebriated state will protect him from being eaten.  Instead, the monster throws him into the air and kills him.  Nolan and O'Shea escape to the pub, where they try to protect the townspeople.  Nolan drunkenly reveals the danger they are in while trying to reassure everyone that nothing is trying to kill them.  Panicked, they retreat to the second level of the pub, and baby sea monsters take over the first floor.  Nolan accidentally sets the pub on fire while trying to sneak out, but she and O'Shea manage to draw the attention of the adult.

O'Shea and Nolan drive to a construction site, and the monster follows them.  There, they hope to strand the monster on dry land, as it needs water to survive.  Before they can successfully set a trap, the monster arrives and attacks O'Shea.  Although wounded, O'Shea survives the attack, and Nolan uses the heavy construction equipment to mount a counter-attack, pinning it at the base of a pit.  The monster grabs O'Shea, but before it can eat him he dumps a bottle of Paddy's moonshine into its mouth, sickening it and causing it to release O'Shea. Nolan then ignites nearby explosives with a flare gun, killing the Grabber.  As the storm clears up, they return to the town and O'Shea throws away his flask.  The film ends with a shot of more sea monster eggs hatching.

At the Edinburgh International Film Festival, it was announced as one of the "Best of the Fest" of the 2012 line-up.  At the European Fantastic Film Festival of Strasbourg, it won the Audience Prize for Best Film, and at NIFFF, it won two awards: the Audience Award for best film and the Titra Film Award.  The film picked up two 2014 Fangoria Chainsaw Award nominations for Best Script for Kevin Lehane and Best Creature/FX for Shaune Harrison and Paddy Eason.  It was also nominated for a Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best First Feature for Kevin Lehane as well as for four IFTAs at the 2013 Irish Film and Television Awards.  Bronagh Gallagher for Best Supporting Actress, Kevin Lehane for Best Feature Script, producers David Collins and Martina Niland of Samson Films, alongside Forward Films and High Treason Productions were nominated for Best Film and Ruth Bradley was nominated and won for Best Actress.

 

Notes:

1. An Garda Síochána (Irish pronunciation: [ən ˈɡaːrd̪ə ˈʃiːxaːn̪ˠə]; meaning "the Guardian of the Peace"), more commonly referred to as the Gardaí ([ˈɡaːɾˠd̪ˠiː] gar-dee, "Guardians"), is the police force of Ireland.  The service is headed by the Garda Commissioner who is appointed by the Irish government. Its headquarters are in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

 

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