Halloween Horror Fest

Yes, it’s October – which means it’s time once again for Halloween Horror Fest!  Throughout the month on the run up to Halloween, Mrs Platinum Al and I watch some of the horror movies from our creepy collection, and I write a brief review of each for your evil entertainment.

It’s always out and out horror – so long as there’s a general spooky or paranormal element – or monsters! – then the movie is up for consideration.

This is the fifth year running we have attempted this mammoth task.  To keep everyone up to speed, here’s a list of the films that have been viewed over the last few years.

All are listed in alphabetical order.

28 Days Later
28 Weeks Later
30 Days of Night
The Addams Family
Alien
An American Werewolf in London
Big Tits Zombie
Bigfoot Wars
Blacula
Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb
Blood on Satan’s Claw
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter
Carrie
Carry on Screaming
Company of Wolves
The Corpse Bride
Countess Dracula
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Dark Shadows
Day of the Dead
Dead Snow
Dead Snow 2
The Devil Rides Out
Dracula AD 1972
Dracula Prince of Darkness
Ed Wood
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Evil Dead
The Fog
Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman
Friday the 13th
From Dusk Till Dawn
From Hell
Ghost Ship
Ghostbusters
Halloween
The House That Dripped Blood
Lost Boys
Night Watch
Oupost
Para Norman
Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Xperience
Pet Sematary
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
The Raven
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Scream
Shadow of the Vampire
Shaun of the Dead
Silence of the Lambs
Sleepy Hollow
Taste the Blood of Dracula
Theatre of Blood
The Thing (1982)
Vampire Circus
The Vampire Lovers
The Wicker Man
The Wolfman (2010)
The Woman in Black
Zombie Strippers

Ale Satan!

It’s time for a Halloween themed tipple at the Virtual Hot Tub, and what could be better than this fine craft beer?

ALE SATAN is from Legion 13, an alternative brand created by Hannibal Helmuerto and Anastasia the IV of Circus of Horrors fame.  You may remember my feature on the last time Mrs Platinum Al and myself visited the circus… P_20141108_150949

The beer is brewed at 6.66%, and is guaranteed to “make you feel devilish”!  It’s a tasty pale ale, which despite it’s strength is actually very enjoyable.  Straight from the bottle, it was quite a lively brew.  It’s described as “stronger than Anastasias’s hair”, and “subtly hopped”.

We ordered a few bottle for last years Halloween shenanigans.  Unfortunately the delivery turned up late, but I forgave them as there were some very cool stickers in the box.  I love stickers!  Especially as the artwork (for the label and stickers etc) were designed by the great Vince Ray, one of my favourite artists.  His style is a perfect match for this brand!

Ale Satan is a mischievous beer with lots of character.  Ideal for any Halloween party, your guests will love it!

The Legion 13 website is here.

Halloween Horror Fest Circus

Vampire Circus (1972)

Yes it’s Hammer time at the Virtual Hot Tub, with this macabre classic from the legendary British studio!

A remote village, quarantined due to a strange plague, becomes the host to a travelling circus.  The circus entertain the villagers and distract them from their everyday woes; though they hide another motive.  That secret agenda involves a vanquished vampire count, and a despicable plot for revenge!

There’s no Cushing or Lee in this early seventies curiosity, yet Hammer are able to create a new spin on their Gothic tales with this unusual and striking film.  The boobs and gore identify the seventies vintage of this film, yet there’s plenty of atmosphere to embellish the tale.  Vampire Circus is a novel idea, and proves what the studio could do even without relying on the big names (stars or monsters).

Sadly this isn’t a feat that Hammer would replicate often in their twilight years.  Never the less, Vampire Circus is much more hit than miss.  The viewer will witness some real spectacle, some real frights – and the dark atmosphere of Hammer horror at it’s best.  Recommended.

8/10 vampire circus

From Hell (2001)

The crimes of Jack the Ripper are given a fictionalised re-telling in this 2001 Hughes brothers film.  It’s based – very loosely – on the Alan Moore graphic novel; relying heavily on conspiracy theory, a dash of clairvoyance and Johnny Depp as Inspector Abberline. from hell

The conspiracy at the heart of the story is, of course, absolute nonsense, but then the original source novel didn’t set out to identify the culprit.  Rather, From Hell was a dense tome covering the mythology and occult roots of London and it’s citizens.

The film version goes for a more straightforward dramatic approach, as we follow the case and slowly unravel the mystery of the killer’s identity.  If you can suspend disbelief, forget the ridiculousness of it all and enjoy the ride, it’s a great film.  Fantastic sets give From Hell a very genuine feel, along with some decent performances (though not all) and enough shadows and murder to make it an effective thriller.

Go and read the book – it’s an incredible work.  But I’ll happily state that despite the clichés and the total fudging of fact and fiction – let alone disregard for the source material – the film From Hell is definitely worth a watch.

8/10

The Circus of Horrors

The Circus of Horrors

Saturday 29th November 2014

Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Are you prepared for a spectacle unlike any other?  For a night of the bizarre, the strange and the wickedly beautiful?  Are you ready for the Night of the Zombie?

That’s exactly what we got when the Circus of Horrors visited Llandudno recently.

Mrs Platinum Al and I had witnessed this macabre event a couple of years previously.  This would be our second show, and at the same venue – as part of an early Christmas present for Mrs PA. 10428001_852015048175960_3585830705782720595_n

The Circus of Horrors is a mutation of live music, daredevil performers, freak show and burlesque.  This touring Frankenstein regularly travels across the UK bringing a touch of good old fashioned weirdness to many an unsuspecting, sedate town.

Dr Haze is the ring master, and his duties as compere are augmented by leading the live rock band through their pretty much non stop attack.  It’s a full on, guitar driven heavy rock attack that features both original numbers and some covers.  All delivered by a well honed band  who constantly deliver an energetic set.

The acts themselves are varied, including awe inspiring trapeze work and gravity defying gymnastics.  The Kenyan Warriors leap about, creating shapes with a precision that seems unbelievable.  There’s a girl in a bottle (who reveals herself as a saucy nun on this occasion); performers hanging and twisting from ropes without any net what so ever; fire eating and (my personal favourite) knife throwing.

Hannibal Helmurto is a mohawked sword swallower, amazing the audience with his skills.  Of course, the good Doktor Haze barks out his commentary, explaining how Hannibal will attempt the impossible.  I found myself not believing that Helmurto would be able to accomplish what he did; and I was relieved when he succeeded without slicing himself open.  There are some moments when the audience really doubt that the acts will be able to accomplish their feats – making the whole experience more vivid.

There are beautiful women on stage, not just as set dressing but belting out lead vocals or performing incredibly nimble contortions.  Then of course there’s the Mongolian Laughing Boy, occupying the opposite end of the eye candy spectrum, bringing gross out humour to the proceedings.

There are many acts, far too many to list here.  Suffice to say that though this is the second time I’ve seen the Circus of Horrors, there has been more than enough variety (and different acts) to keep the viewer intrigued (or shocked!).

My only criticism this time would be that the Night of the Zombie theme could’ve been fleshed out (!) a little more, but this didn’t distract from the show.

A fantastic evening – full of amazement, laughs and chills.  You literally won’t believe your eyes.  Keep those peepers peeled though, the Circus of Horrors picks up the tour again in the New Year – and you really don’t want to miss it!

Now I’m off to practice my knife throwing skills…