Thursday 29 March 2012

An Interview with Adrienne King

To horror film fans around the globe Adrienne King will forever be remembered for being the sole survivor of the original Friday the 13th (1980). Today, Adrienne is a highly regarded artist whose work reflects not only the darkness from her past but also the new light and colours reflecting her new brighter places and experiences. As well as being an artist she is also a successful wine maker, and after a far too long absence she is once again acting in films. Following a highly successful exhibition in September 2011 at the Misty Moon Gallery in Ladywell, South London, Adrienne came back by popular demand in April 2012 with a selection of new works and to share with fans special screenings of Friday the 13th Parts 1 and 2. Ahead of ‘The Return’ event she very kindly took some time to reminisce with me about Friday the 13th and to share some of her experiences (light and dark) which have helped shape her art.

Friday 23 March 2012

An Interview with Michael Barber

Michael as 'Tommy' in Eldorado
Michael Barber played DC Poirot in the BBC series Ashes to Ashes. Michael has also appeared in numerous TV programmes and films including: Doctor Who; The Bill; The Bourne Ultimatum; Harry Potter; and Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes. In Eldorado, recently released on DVD, Michael plays 'Tommy', a deformed chainsaw wielding monster.
How did you first get involved in the production of Eldorado?
I think it was a case of they were getting a bit desperate basically! They’d had a lot of famous people in line for the part before me like Warwick Davis for example. But in the end, last of all, I ended up replacing Corey Feldman because Michael Jackson had died and he was too upset to travel to England (which was my luck and his misfortune).

Some of Eldorado was actually filmed in Las Vegas, but your scenes were all filmed in England weren’t they?

Yes, in Cornwall – I was down there for a whole month.

And during that time you worked alongside some very famous Hollywood names. Of the cast that you didn’t film scenes with who did you purposely seek out to meet in addition – Bridget Neilson for example?
I couldn’t be bothered to be honest. I’m sure she’s a lovely lady, but the person I really wanted to meet was Michael Madsen. He was a really really nice guy. We had a good laugh.

Wednesday 21 March 2012


(ELDORADO has since been re-packaged and re-released as: HIGHWAY TO HELL with a shorter running time of 92mins.)

Eldorado’s DVD packaging states that it has a running time of ‘158 mins approx’. Mercifully this is a typo (it’s actually 1 hour and 58 minutes). This is still, however, an inordinately lengthy time span for a film straining with every sinew to be a cult Blues Brothers musical road movie with a smattering of Texan cannibal splattering. In fact, it strains so hard it even features Buster Bloodvessel (sorry). So after all that straining what has writer producer and director Richard Driscoll actually achieved? Well, surprisingly not quite the cinematic turd you’d expect (although it comes perilously close at times). In fact, rather tellingly, ‘Eldorado’ plays better on second viewing – perhaps here lie the seeds of potential cult-status...
So where to start? How about a quote from the ‘Narrator’ played by Peter O’Toole: “For one reason or another, the motion picture you are about to watch is not very clear, in parts. As a matter of fact it was made to demonstrate how not to make a motion picture and at the same time win an academy award.” (It certainly ticks one of those boxes). Mr O’Toole pops up from time to time in the corner of the screen trying to make sense of the plot for the viewer. However, his opinion as to the possibility of actually achieving this is: “fat chance.” 

Sunday 11 March 2012


Let’s cut to the chase: was the hype and expectation justified? On the whole, I would have to answer in the affirmative. This is a hugely delicious piece of entertainment which takes the staple conventions of the horror film as its starting point and arrives 105 minutes later in an all together different place.

Writing a detailed review of this film without dropping major spoiler bombs is as tricky as stepping though a minefield blindfolded at midnight. I can however confirm that five archetypal teenagers set out to spend a weekend in a spooky cabin in the woods. Events unfold which culminate in the experience being significantly less than pleasant (surprise surprise). So far so cliché I hear you mutter under your breath. However, (and this however cannot be stressed enough), all is most certainly not as it seems. If you’ve seen the trailer, (and I’d urge you NOT TO if you’ve managed to avoid it till now as it reveals far too much – although by no means all), then you’ll have a basic idea of the initial premise. If not, then you are in for even more of a treat...

Co-written by Joss (Buffy) Whedon and Drew (Cloverfield) Goddard, this film is arguably worth recommending to non-horror fans that purposely avoid the genre due to its tired repetitive clichéd plotting and often groan inducing idiotic protagonists. Don’t get me wrong, all these elements are present and correct – but they are merely the blueprints from which the real pleasure is derived. The film contains a generous sprinkling of laugh-out-loud nuggets of dialogue, with stoner’ teen Marty, played superbly by Fran Kranz, raking up a fair few on his own. However, the teens don’t have all the fun, and both seasoned pros Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford provide plenty of gallows humour themselves.

Director Drew Goddard gives the audience several ‘stinger’ jump moments - to be expected in any half-decent horror flick - however I’ve never jumped at the opening title credit before! This signals almost straight away that this is not going to be your average teens in woods in skimpy clothes in peril formulaic romp. The gore quotient is very high in key scenes, with a mixture of physical and CGI, the latter of which isn’t too impressive at times, but the sheer level of invention on the screen carries them along.

The term ‘ground-breaking’ is used far too lightly these days, but in this case I feel it’s justified. If ‘Scream’ changed the way we view slasher films , then ‘The Cabin In The Woods’ changes the way all horror films are viewed.

****(out of 5*)

Paul Worts

This review was originally published by Contains Moderate Peril on 11th March 2012.