HONEYTRAP

8 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 8th May 2015

Director: Rebecca Johnson

Cast: Jessica Sula, Lucien Laviscount, Naomi Ryan, Ntonga Mwanza, Danielle Vitalis, Lauren Johns, Daniel Bertrand, Jerome Holder with Tosin Cole and Charles Mneme

Writer: Rebecca Johnson

Trailer: HONEYTRAP

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Jessica Sula: Skins (TV)
  • Lucien Laviscount: Waterloo Road (TV), One Night In Istanbul, Coronation Street (TV), Grange Hill (TV)
  • Naomi Ryan: Mr Selfridge (TV), The Bill (TV), Echo Beach (TV), Mile High (TV), Coronation Street (TV)
  • Danielle Vitalis: Youngers (TV)
  • Lauren Johns: Bliss, Here and Now
  • Jerome Holder: Dough, Shank, Holby City (TV), The Story of Tracy Beaker (TV)
  • Tosin Cole: Unlocked, Gone Too Far, Hollyoaks (TV)
  • Charles Mneme: Brash Young Turks, The Knife That Killled Me, 7Lives, Chromophobia

BOOK OF THE DEAD

4 out of 10

Release Date: 19th February 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Damian Morter

Cast: Damian Morter, Tim McGill-Grieveson, David Frampton, Sam Cullingworth, Paul Collin-Thomas, Flyn Allen, Francesca Turton, Clay Whitter, Anne Batho, Neil Adams, Jay Barnett, Craig Bynoe, Eirian Cohen with George Newton and Stuart Wolfenden

Writer: Damien Morter

Trailer: THE BOOK OF THE DEAD

imagesThe Book of the Dead begins promisingly enough. Setting the scene well and laying on the ambience finely I thought we were in for a low-budget zombie treat. Sadly, the bubble bursts as soon as the characters open their mouths revealing a stunning lack of acting talent and a shocking script.  The writer, director Damien Morter (BANJO) also stars as a wanderer called Cal who has been keeping a journal since the outbreak of ongoing zomibe plague. He claims that the hellish new order began when two karaoke and pub quiz addicts get bitten by a demon when their car breaks down. The disease quickly spreads to the surrounding towns and across the UK.  Why the plague begins in Lancashire is a mystery. At the beginning of the movie Cal arrives at one of the last hold outs were the sole survivor Matt (TIM MCGILL-GRIEVESON) reads the titular book. Luckily, the viewers get to see three short stories revolving around the same goup of zombies spin out before their eyes.

The bookending story is relatively well acted by contrast to the majority of the sorry performances in the three interlocked shorts. The director and the group of rescuers that show up at the end led by Stuart Wolfenden (DEAD MAN’S SHOES) hints at how good this could have been if they’d have found people experienced enough to rescue the film from it’s rotten script.  Plotwise, two out of the three films are quite good. The first about a zombie who still has feeling for his loved ones is just laughable, whereas the second one is reasonably well mounted down the lack of speech needed during a young man’s journey across town to make sure that his Mum and Dad are OK. The third one works best as a young doctor (DAVID FRAMPTON – THE BOTTICELLI MURDERS) attempts to keep his son alive but takes a wrong turn when looking for sane help.  When he encounters a mad priest and his followers, he realises that the living can be worse than the dead. On the whole the plotting rescues part three but it’s yet agin undone by bad acting all round.

The Book of the Dead contains a soundtrack to brag about. The synth-score steps in and ramps up fear levels for the viewer and the cues are perfect. it’s as good as any of the scores heard in the 80s horrors of George A Romero and John Carpenter. The score is an important device and the makers have clearly acknowledged that most of the greatest horrors stand or fall on their quality. Sadly The Book of the Dead‘s music stands alone doing all the work. It’s a shame the SFX are low budget too as the zombies don’t look to healthy. The makers have raided Poundland for the make up kits I think and although the ghouls act the part it does look like an amateur flash mob at times.

The Book of the Dead is A hardworking zombie flick that has a few fresh ideas to share. The excution is shoddy on the whole with only the bookends showing any glimmer of professional conduct. A decent ending and a brilliant score make this worth a look for fans of zombie horror, just ignore the bad acting and laughable make-up effects and you’ll be OK. A better attempt than The Dead Inside, Zombie Women of Satan, World War Dead, War of the Dead, Outpost, Outpost 3, Stag Night of the Dead, The Zombie Diaries 1 and Gangsters Gun & Zombies….

4 out of 10 – Faint praise but it’s above average for it’s type.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Damian Morter: Temptation
  • David Frampton: The Botticelli Murders
  • Neil Adams: Emmerdale (TV)
  • George Newton: This Is England ’90 (TV), Inbred, This Is England ’88 (TV), This Is England 86′ (TV), This Is England, Dead Man’s Shoes
  • Stuart Wolfenden: Rough & Ready, Elevator Gods, This Is England ’90 (TV), Best Laid Plans (2012), Dead Man’s Shoes, Coronation Street (TV)

MAN UP

5.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 29th May 2015

Director: Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners Movie)

Cast: Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Sharon Horgan, Rory Kinnear, Ken Stott, Harriett Walter, Stephen Campbell Moore with Ophelia Lovibond and Olivia Williams

Writer: Tess Morris

Trailer: MAN UP

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

THREE IN A BED

4.5. out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 1st August 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Lloyd Eyre-Morgan (Celluloid)

Cast: Brennan Reece, Darren Bransford, Verity May-Henry, Coby Hamilton, Kimberley Simpson, Louisa Bettine and Jody Latham

Writer: Lloyd Eyre-Morgan

Trailer: THREE IN A BED

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

DARKEST DAY

3.5 out of 10

Release Date: 8th May 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Dan Rickard

Cast: Dan Rickard, Chris Wandell, Samantha Bolter, Richard Wilkinson, Christiane van Wijk, Christian Wise, Adrienne Wandell, Simon Bennett-Leyh, Simon Drake

Writer: Will Martin, Simon Drake & Dan Rickard

Trailer: No trailer available.

Review below by Joe Pesci II

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Samantha Bolter: Never Let Go

THE CURSE OF THE WITCHING TREE

3 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 18th May 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: James Crow

Cast: Sarah Rose Denton, Lucy Clarvis, Lawrence Weller, Caroline Boulton, Shane Green, Lydia Breden Thorpe, Dean Maskell, Charlie Bond with Jon Campling and Danielle Bux

Writer: James Crow

Trailer: THE CURSE OF THE WITCHING TREE

Review by Matt Usher below

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

LEGENDARY

3 out of 10

UK / China co-production

Release Date: 18th May 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Eric Styles (Miss Conception / Relative Values / Dreaming of Joseph Lees)

Cast: Scott Adkins, Dolph Lundgren, Lydia Leonard, Yi Huang, Nathan Lee, Le Geng and James Lance

Writer: Andy Briggs

Trailer: LEGENDARY

7581The makers of this action-sci-fi-horror-thriller oddly choose to match the tone of Xena-Warrior Princess or Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The vibe is colourful, ‘fun’ and bouncy not scary, dark or threatening. This is odd because its about a man-eating dragon creature that’s munching engineers at a dam in China. Dealy game-hunter Dolph Lundgren (THE EXPENDABLES) faces off against a bunch of eco-warriors led by Scott Adkins (UNDISPUTED 2). Let the battle commence.

Well, those waiting for a chop-socky showdown between the two well-known leads will be disappointed. I think Adkins slaps Lundgren’s face and that’s it.  Dolph Lundgren has always been one of my favourite actors that tend to splash around at the dumb end of the filmmaking swimming pool. He’s a confident performer with an admittedly narrow range but he always delivers a competent performance which puts him ahead of the likes of his peers like Jean-Claude Van-Damme, Steven Seagal or even Jason Statham.  Here he’s his usual jovial face and he must have been chuffed to find a film where he didn’t even have to fight or run. He just points a rifle at things and shoots them. He travels across some water in a boat at one point too. As for Scott Adkins, he’s been known to take some non-action roles in big films like Zero Dark Thirty and Holby City, and he can be caught being good on occasion. Sadly, Dolph’s given him all the crap lines as the boring good guy with a a giant goofy grin. He’s backed up a gang of dorks straight from one of said American early evening TV serials. They are made up of corny scientist (LYDIA LEONARD – ARCHIPELAGO), posh British dork (JAMES LANCE – NORTHERN SOUL) and cool Chinese dude (NATHAN LEE).  The detection methods these guys use to try and outwit Dolph’s team of goons are embarrassing and sloppy. The plot races from one duff scenario to the next in the spirit of a sheltered ‘boys-own’ adventure. The monster isn’t even scary and the passable special effects cancel out any thrills owed. The end showdown with the beast is above average for a quickie like this – but there are weak attempts to telegraph a potential sequel which will make everybody’s toes curl. This has to be the cheesiest film Britpic has seen to date, yet it’s still not the worst by a long chalk.

3 out of 10 – An action film for naive teenagers and Dolph Lundgren completists only (they exist)!

Second review below

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Scott Adkins: Doctor Strange, Hard Target 2, Undisputed 4, Criminal (2016), Eliminators, Jarhead 3, Zero Tolerance, The Brothers Grimsby,  Re-Kill, Ninja 2, The Legend of Hercules, Green Street 3, Universal Soldier 4, Zero Dark Thirty, The Expendables 2, Assassination Games, Undisputed 3, The Tournament, X Men: Wolverine, Undisputed 2, The Bourne Ultimatum, Eastenders (TV)
  • Dolph Lundgren: Kindergarten Cop 2, War Pigs, Hail Caesar, The Expendables 3, Universal Soldier 4, The Expendables 2, One In The Chamber, Stash House, Small Apartments, In The Name of The King 2, The Expendables, Universal Soldier 3, Command Performance, Direct Contact, Diamond Dogs, Fat Slags, Johnny Mnemonic, Universal Soldier, Big Showdown In Little Tokyo, Dark Angel, Red Scorpion, The Punisher (1989), Masters of the Universe, Rocky IV, James Bond – A View To a Kill
  • Lydia Leonard: Born of War, Archipelago
  • James Lance: The Devil Went Down To Islington, Northern Soul, The Look of LoveBel Ami, City Rats, Bronson, Marie Antoinette, Late Night Shopping