Author Archives: Daniel King

The Doctor Who Project: Introduction

Title from the very first episode of Doctor Who, from way back in 1963

Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television series the very first episode of which was broadcast by the BBC on 23 November 1963.  The central character, known only as ‘the Doctor’, is a Time Lord – a custodian of the integrity of time, if you will – from the planet Gallifrey and the series follows his journeys backwards and forwards in time, on Earth and on alien planets, via his time-travelling spacecraft the TARDIS which … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Haunted Dollhouse (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: An anthology of horror tales, each involving malevolent dolls. REVIEW: Love him or loathe him, Charles Band is a leading figure in genre cinema. Admittedly his output varies wildly in quality but I could never bring myself to dismiss a man who gave the world a gem like TRANCERS. In recent years Band has largely been confined to working on video and a cursory look at some of the titles he has been involved … Continue reading

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Film Review: Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: American teenagers Hansel and Gretel (no, really) are imprisoned by an evil old lady who lives in the woods and makes meat pies out of the youngsters she captures. REVIEW: When the fateful words ‘An Asylum Production’ appeared on my screen, barely a few seconds into the movie, my heart sank. For those few innocent souls who have still to hear of The Asylum they are a production company that specialises in low-budget rip-offs … Continue reading

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Film Review: Collision Earth (2011)

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SYNOPSIS: A maverick scientist discovers that the planet Mercury has been knocked off its normal orbit by a wave of magnetic energy and is now headed towards Earth. REVIEW: A TV movie made for the SyFY channel this provides ninety minutes’ hokey fun in an endearingly old-fashioned way. More than anything it reminded me of a Saturday morning serial, what with spaceships, meteors, super-computers, missiles and a nick-of-time climax. The film opens on board the … Continue reading

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Film Review: Ghoul (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: In small town America in the 1980s, a young boy comes to believe that the local abandoned mine may be home to a gruesome monster. REVIEW: GHOUL is very much in the Stephen King tradition of horror tales centred around children, with all the secret hideouts, midnight meet-ups, rival gangs, domestic issues, bicycles, etc., that entails. Unfortunately several things conspire against it being a success: a very poor period sense, a script that apes … Continue reading

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Film Review: Jack & Diane (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: Jack and Diane, two teenage girls, meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Diane’s charming innocence quickly begins to open Jack’s tough skinned heart. But, when Jack discovers that Diane is leaving the country in a week she tries to push her away. Diane must struggle to keep their love alive while hiding the secret that her newly awakened sexual desire is giving her werewolf-like visions. REVIEW: I should say … Continue reading

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Film Review: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: John awakens from a coma to discover his wife and daughter were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Haunted by images of the attack, he vows to kill the man responsible: Luc Deveraux. While John tries to piece his reality back together, things get more complicated when he is pursued by a relentless UniSol named Magnus. Meanwhile, Deveraux and surviving UniSol Andrew Scott are preparing to battle anarchy and build a new order ruled … Continue reading

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Film Review: Ghost Quake (2012)

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SYNOPSIS:  At Hallowman High School the ghost of a former Principal, who also happened to be a cult leader and serial killer, is unwittingly brought back from the dead by his grandson. REVIEW: As made-for-TV movies go, this isn’t too bad. It has an enthusiasm about it that is rather endearing and despite not really knowing whether it wants to go for full on horror or horror / comedy it’s not the worst way to … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Life Zone (2011)

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SYNOPSIS: Three pregnant women are abducted by an anti-abortion group who bombard them with pro-life propaganda and intend to imprison them until they give birth. REVIEW: Generally speaking, very few English language films dare to push an unequivocal political or moral message; Ken Loach being one of the better known directors whose films fall into that select category. In my personal experience American films almost never take an overt position, more often relying on the … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Hounds (2011)

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SYNOPSIS: When four friends decide to spend the weekend camping in the local woods they discover a shallow grave; but the following morning the corpse has disappeared… REVIEW: One of increasing number of low budget horror movies, THE HOUNDS is what I would call a semi-pro feature. Shot on video and bypassing movie theaters altogether in favour of DVD and internet distribution they are often designed to showcase the talents of one or two individuals, … Continue reading

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Film Review: Animus (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: A group of students making a documentary about a reputedly haunted abandoned mental institution discovers there is more than a grain of truth in the rumours. REVIEW: Let’s face it, ANIMUS is not going to win any prizes for originality: the ‘abandoned asylum’ thing has been done several times in the last couple of years alone and the ‘making a documentary’ angle has been flogged mercilessly ever since THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT became an … Continue reading

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Film Review: Devil’s Angel (2010)

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SYNOPSIS: A fertility specialist takes up a post on a Government-funded cloning project; desperate to have a child of her own she artificially impregnates herself in the laboratory. Years later, her child begins to demonstrate powers that cause her to question where he really came from. REVIEW: DEVIL’S ANGEL is a terrible mess. Originally released under what is possibly the world’s worst title of I’M NOT JESUS MOMMY it has been retitled and marketed as … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Thompsons (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: On the run with the law on their trail, America’s most anguished vampire family heads to England to find an ancient vampire clan. What they find instead could tear their family, and their throats, apart forever. REVIEW: I should preface this review by saying that I missed the first movie in this series – THE HAMILTONS (2006) – so I’m not in a position to comment on how well this sequel matches up. However, … Continue reading

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Film Review: Another Kind (2011)

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SYNOPSIS: A group of friends find themselves at the mercy of the elements and mysterious unseen forces while spending a weekend camping in the Catskill Mountains. REVIEW: ANOTHER KIND is a good, solid thriller from writer-director Jonathan Blitstein that combines familiar elements from of a number of genres but manages to add something new into the mix. Four friends have decided to escape their city lives and spend a weekend hiking and camping in the … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Selling (2011)

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SYNOPSIS A real estate agent trying to raise money to pay for his mother’s hospital bills takes on a property that looks too good to be true, and is. REVIEW Horror-comedy is one of the most difficult movie tricks to pull off. Nine times out of ten the film isn’t frightening enough to be a horror and not funny enough to be a comedy, thereby failing on both counts. There are some good comedies that … Continue reading

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Film Review: Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: On New Year’s Eve, a small town sheriff hosts a party at his cabin in the woods; on the way home, one of the party-goers drunkenly desecrates a native shrine releasing a terrible curse. REVIEW: This movie has, on the face of it, all the elements to make a classic horror film: a literary source; a cabin in the woods; an ancient curse; an evil awakened; a B-movie icon in the cast. They’d have … Continue reading

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Film Review: Blood Was Everywhere (2011)

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SYNOPSIS: A small Massachusetts town is terrorised by a series of random murders. REVIEW: I understand that this movie was original intended to be a reworking of horror classic FRIDAY THE 13TH but when an official remake was announced writer-director Jason Torrey had to change his plans. Happily for him, I reckon we’ve ended up with a better film as a result. The reason I say that is because the last thing the world needs … Continue reading

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Film Review: 1000 Times More Brutal (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: Four guys from Brooklyn get in over their heads after exacting revenge on a mobster for a beating he gave them.  REVIEW: I suspect the title of this film originated from the pitch writer-director Kamal Ahmed must have given to potential backers when describing the movie he wanted to make. “It’s like MEAN STREETS”, I imagine him saying, “but 1000 times more brutal.” And while viewers will have to make up their own minds … Continue reading

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Film Review: No Tell Motel (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: After wrecking their RV in the middle of nowhere, five young friends decide to pass the night at an abandoned motel which, it transpires, is haunted by the malevolent spirits of a family that died there. REVIEW: Judging purely by the title I thought NO TELL MOTEL was going to be dreadful. I mean, if that’s the best the film-makers could come up with just for the title what expectations could I have for … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Messengers (2007)

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SYNOPSIS: Having moved to rural North Dakota for a fresh start, a young girl has trouble convincing her parents that their new home is haunted. REVIEW: Speaking as a forty-something I have to confess that I find the success of Kristen Stewart somewhat mystifying. She has played the same part in all of the films I have seen her in to date: a sullen, uncommunicative teenager. Quite how this is enough to propel a young … Continue reading

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Film Review: 247°F (2011)

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SYNOPSIS: At a lakeside retreat, three young friends get trapped in a sauna while a fourth lies in a drunken stupor outside. REVIEW: I think director Levan Bakhia missed a trick when he named his film 247°F; with a title like that it could be about pretty much anything except snowboarding. What he should have done is call it KIDS IN A SAUNA and let word of mouth do the rest. This is one of … Continue reading

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