Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Horror Movie Review Preview: Prom Night (2008)

Coming Soon...Prom Night. Donna's senior prom is supposed to be the best night of her life, though a sadistic killer from her past has different plans for her and her friends.

Prom Night

It's Midnight Everyone's Ready To Go Home...But Someone Has Other Plans.

A Party To Die For.

A Night To Die For.

It was a memory she couldn't forget, but her nightmare has just begun.

Starring Britney Snow, Scott Porter, Dana Davis, Collins Pennie, Idris Elba and Johnathan Schaech, Prom Night won the 2009 Chainsaw Award for Worst Film at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. Prom Night was released on April 10, 2008.

Join us soon to see if Prom Night die for...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Horror Movie Review: Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride

Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride

Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Coles, William Franklyn, and Joanna Lumley

Writer: Don Houghton

Director: Alan Gibson

Production Companies: Warner Bros. Pictures and Hammer Film Productions

Release Date: October 1978 (in the USA), original film released in West Germany on November 3, 1973

I've never understood why British movies ended up with new titles. Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride was originally called The Satanic Rites of Dracula. I suppose when this movie was released in the US after 5 years there was concern about the whole Satan reference. In the end, neither title really fits this bizarre Hammer film. I recommend Van Helsing: 00-Crucifix - A Bloody Black Death.

It's not a surprise that 6 years after this film was released, Hammer stopped making films and started the "Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense" television program. I'm glad to see they are returning to films with two 2010 releases, and I'm looking forward to a modern day Hammer, but things were turning screwy there in the 70's and Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride shows how screwy things were getting.

London police are investigating a group supposedly performing dark rituals. They find more than they were bargaining for when an undercover cop gets killed. He's able to get photos to the department and they find the men involved are some very powerful men in London. They call in Scotland Yard who in turn calls in Professor Lorrimer Van Helsing, descendant of Abraham Van Helsing.

Van Helsing theorizes that Dracula has returned and has had a new strain of Yersinia Pestis, the Black Death, developed. The more potent, deadlier version will surely wipe out mankind if they can't stop the vampire.

You may be asking, "Why, Orgy, would Dracula want to wipe out all of man?" Van Helsing figures ol' Drac is tired of existing for centuries and the best way to make sure he dies is to get rid of his food supply.

You may also be wondering, "What's any of this have to do with the so called 'Satanic' ritual?" Um, haven't figured that one out. It wasn't done for Drac to have a mid-day snack or anything, so I don't know. In fact, Satan doesn't play a role in Dracula's mechanations, so I'm not sure how the big S got top billing.

"But, Orgy," you inquire, "what about the bride mentioned in the US title?"

That would be Jessica Van Helsing, Lorrimer's daughter, whom Professor Van Helsing allows to get involved and then has to save once Dracula chooses her to be his bride. She's never a vampire, so, again, even the US title is misleading.

I've seen some titles say Count Dracula and His Vampire Brides, noting the plural "Brides". That's a little more accurate as there are several women vampires chained in the basement of Dracula's abode, but they are never referred to as brides, wives, or even the old Balls and Chains. But then if your husband kept you chained in the basement, you'd probably want a divorce, so maybe that was the problem. Would Jessica have tolerated the BDSM better than the others?

There's a lot to this movie that doesn't make sense. Why are the vampire women chained up? Is Dracula going to make Jessica his bride simply to piss off Lorrimer, or does he want companionship as he starves? Are there not easier ways for Dracula to kill himself? What was the purpose of the seemingly Satanic rituals? Why is Dracula still being called Count in the modern day? It certainly seems out of place.

Add to that a horribly pathetic death scene for Dracula, and motorcycle chases that help make this feel more like a James Bond film than a Dracula picture and there seems little appealing about this film.

And yet, much like the disjointed elements of this pictured, cobbled together despite their lack of connection, there is amusement to be found here. Certainly watching the Hammer greats of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing is part of it. And Joanna Lumley in a horror picture before her wonderfully funny role of Patsy in "Absolutely Fabulous" is worth a gander. Somewhere in here there is something fun to be had. A close up of a vampire breast as one of the possible brides gets staked possibly. I can't put my finger on it, but there is something appealing here. It doesn't make sense, but then, neither does the film.

Related Trailers

The Creeping Flesh

Both Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing also starred in the 1973 non-Hammer film The Creeping Flesh. A scientist comes to believe that evil is a disease of the blood and that the flesh of a skeleton he has brought back from New Guinea contains it in a pure form. Convinced that his wife, a Folies Bergere dancer who went insane, manifested this evil he is terrified that it will be passed on to their daughter. He tries to use the skeleton's blood to immunise her against this eventuality, but his attempt has anything but the desired result.

And Now the Screaming Starts!

Because The Creeping Flesh also has Peter Cushing, I almost let that cover Cushing's trailer as well. But a movie entitled And Now the Screaming Starts! which has a a malevolent severed hand can't be ignored. Also released in 1973 and starring Herbert Lom, from the Pink Panther movies, And Now the Screaming Starts! follows the young woman Catherine who moves to the house of her fiancé Charles Fengriffen in the country to get married with him. When she arrives, she feels interest in the portraits of the Fengriffen family, particularly in the one of Charle's grandfather Henry Fengriffen, which seems to have a sort of evil entity possessing it. While admiring Henry's face, a severed hand attacks Catherine through the picture on the wall. Later, she gets married with Charles, beginning her journey of mystery, eerie apparitions, secrets and deaths, and having her days filled with fear and the nights with horrors in a cursed family.

Dracula A.D. 1972

Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride was the sequel to Dracula A.D. 1972, which starred Lee, Cushing, and Michael Coles. In London 1872 - the final battle between Lawrence van Helsing and Count Dracula on top of a coach results in Dracula dying from a stake made from the remains of a wooden wheel. Lawrence dies from his wounds and, as he is buried, a servant of Dracula buries the remains of the stake by the grave and keeps a bottle of Dracula's ashes and the ring. One hundred years later, the colourful 1972, Johnny, the great-grandson of the servant joins up with a "group" containing Jessica, the grand-daughter of the present vampire hunter, Abraham van Helsing and with their unknowing help resurrect Dracula in the 20th Century who is determined to destroy the house of Van Helsing, but who can believe that The king of the Vampires really exists and is alive - in 20th Century London?

The House That Dripped Blood

Joanna Lumley had an uncredited part in The House That Dripped Blood. A Scotland Yard investigator looks into four mysterious cases involving an unoccupied house: 1) A writer encounters a strangler of his own creation, 2) Two men are obsessed with a wax figure of a woman from their past, 3) A little girl displays an interest in witchcraft, and 4) A film actor discovers a cloak which gives him a vampire's powers.

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires

Don Houghton also wrote the screenplay for The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. Count Dracula journies to a remote Chinese village in the guise of a warlord to support six vampires who are dispirited after the loss of a seventh member of their cult. At the same time, vampire hunter Prof. Van Helsing happens to be lecturing in the country and is persuaded by villagers to help them fight this curse of the ages.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Horror Movie Review Preview: Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride

Coming soon...Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride. It's 1974 - two years after the events in Dracula A.D. 1972. Strange things are happening - some girls are disappearing from the street and some of them are secretaries to important people. The Police and the Secret Service become interested when rich people (including a Lord) are pouring their empires into a foundation in which the boss hasn't been seen and a photograph of him doesn't produce a figure. The Inspector from Dracula A.D. 1972 comes to see Van Helsing and Jessica and their investigations lead them to believe that the boss is Dracula...

Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride

The King of the undead marries the Queen of the Zombies

The Masters of Menace Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. They're dead but they're alive...

There Is No Hope Left...

Evil begets evil on the sabbath of the undead!

Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Coles, William Franklyn, and Joanna Lumley, Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride was released in Britain with the title The Satanic Rites of Dracula in October 1974.

Joion us soon to discuss whether or not Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride have a nice...honeymoon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Orgy Continues!

Some of you faithful Horror Movie Night Orgiers may have noticed that in November, things got awefully un-Orgyesque. I do apologize for that. During the month of October, I participated in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is all about writing a novel mainly for the joy (and, honestly, horror) of trying to write a full length novel. The goal is to write 50,000 words between November 1 to November 30. That's more like a novella, but it's the goal. I was one of 167,150 participants this year. It was my first NaNoWriMo. I was also one of 32,173 winners. It was, of course, my first win. I barely made it.

My novella (as I should rightfully call it right now) is called A Hungry Sea. It's about a group of teens going on a post-graduation celebratory vacation to Bermuda. They find themselves adrift in the Devil's Triangle (or Bermuda Triangle if you prefer) and start going crazy.

It's not the first time I've written, having taken a writing class in college, but the professor didn't want horror, sci-fi, fantasy stuff, so this is the first time I've written horror. It still needs a lot of work, which I'll tend to before next year's NaNoWriMo.

But that also means the Orgy is back on. Our next Review Preview will be up shortly.

Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Horror Movie Review: Severance


Starring: Toby Stephens, Laurie Harris, Danny Dyer, Tim McInnerny, Claudie Blakely, Andy Nyman, and Babou Ceesay

Director: Christopher Smith

Writers: James Moran and Christopher Smith

Release Date: May 19, 2006

Awards: Best Screenplay International Fantasy Film Award at the 2007 Fantasporto, the Audience Award at the 2007 Philadelphia Film Festival, and at the 2006 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival both the film and director Christopher Smith won Jury's Choice Awards.

Since we've been telling scary stories, people have been getting lost in forests, woods, and jungles. Something about not seeing the gorefest for the trees, or something. But whatever the reason, the British return us to those dark, lost woods with Severance. This time, though, we go with a grin on our face.

A team from Palisade Defense, an international weapons company, is taken to a lodge in Eastern Europe for a team building weekend. But when the bus encounters a fallen tree, the bus driver refuses to take a detour and insists on returning. The group lead by Richard (Tim McInnerny) disembarks the bus and begins trudging the road toward, the think, the lodge.

What they find is a run-down lodge without the amenities they were expecting. That evening over a meat pie, the gang shares stories they've heard of a nearby abandoned Palisade building either used as a psychiatric hospital, a factory taken over by a military group avenging their defeat by enemies using Palisade weapons, or a sex house, until Steve (Danny Dyer) bites into a tooth...with a gold filling.

They are soon finding that they are not alone. Jill sees someone in the woods outside and they discover scaffolding high in the trees. The next day over a paintball game, things turn bloody as the team finds themselves the victims of a deadly enemy.

What makes Severance a special film is its delicate use of comedy. It's more realistic and blends better with the horror than other horror-comedy offerings like Shaun of the Dead. It's the comedy of everyday people being out of their element. Gordon (Andy Nyman) cooking a found meat pie. Steve's attempt to preserve Gordon's foot, the misuse of a rocket launcher, and sexy women in almost nothing shooting high powered rifles. The sequence where we are told three different possibilities for an abandoned Palisade factory is particularly endearing and fun.

The characters are pretty stereotypical (druggie, crude Steve, by-the-book Gordon, rough Harris, clueless boss Richard, uptight Jill, etc.), but it works. After all, those stereotypes come from somewhere.

Director Christopher Smith wisely doesn't completely explain who it is that is attacking the Palisade team, though there are some clues amongst the blood, gore, and laughs.

Severance is a great film if you are looking for a fun trip through blood and guts. Who said dismemberment couldn't be funny?

Related Videos

Dark Corners

Toby Stephens (Harris) stars in Dark Corners. A troubled young woman wakes up one day as a different person - someone who is stalked by creatures.

The Calling

Laurie Harris (Maggie) stars in The Calling. On her wedding night, a young woman conceives a child during an hallucinatory encounter. Several years later, as her friends and family begin to behave strangely, she pieces together clues that lead to one conclusion...her son is the Antichrist!


Christopher Smith also directed the recently released Triangle. When Jess sets sail on a yacht with a group of friends, she cannot shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Her suspicions are realized when the yacht hits a storm and the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety, a ship Jess is convinced she's been on before. The ship appears deserted, the clock on board has stopped, but they are not alone... Someone is intent on hunting them down, one by one. And Jess unknowingly holds the key to end the terror.

Girl Number 9

James Moran also co-wrote Girl Number 9, a 6-part web thriller debuting on October 30 at 9:00pm (GMT). Vincent Boylan (Joe Absolom) has just been arrested, suspected of being the man behind the brutal murder of seven girls, but the team only have a limited time to get a confession out of him. If they can't make him talk, he could slip through their fingers. Detective Matheson (Gareth David-Lloyd), who led the investigation, is sent in to try and get some answers. But things soon take a horrifying turn for the worse, as Matheson and his boss Lyndon (Tracy-Ann Oberman) are about to find out that all is not as it seems. Watch Girl Number 9 starting October 30th.