Film Review: Killer’s Moon (1982)

Director: Alan Birkinshaw
Starring: Anthony Forrest, Joanne Good, Tom Marshall, Georgina Kean, Jane Hayden, Alison Elliott
Certificate: 18
Running Time: 90 minutes
DVD Release Date: 18 April 2011

Recently re-released, eighties exploitation horror, Killer’s Moon compares itself to both A Clockwork Orange and I Spit on Your Grave, setting the bar high from the offset. However the cover blurb also refers to ‘four drugged-up mad man‘ so it’s difficult to take seriously. Whether it’s the ambitious comparisons, the tasteless sexism, the poor acting or the inconsistent tone, Killer’s Moon has not stood the test of time. Given the relative brilliance of similar era films, Maniac, The Shining, The Omen et al, one has to seriously consider whether this was ever worth watching or if its cult status stems from a combination of laughs and outrage as per Troll 2 and The Room.

When four escaped psychopaths, wired on a cocktail of dream therapy and LSD, collide with a class of stranded teenage girls, the outcome is predictably messy. Initially this video nasty is frustrating as the promised brutality and violence is confused with comedy through off-hand remarks and ludicrous acting. The first indication that a killer is on the loose comes in the form of a three legged dog making itself known to Peter (Forrest) who simply remarks, “that cut’s too clean for a trap.” In the bonus interview with director, Alan Birkinshaw, he admits that this dog proved useful as it had been awarded the Victoria Cross award for bravery as it lost its leg in a shotgun blast whilst intercepting armed robbery. Birkinshaw candidly confesses this gave Killer’s Moon much sought after publicity in national newspapers.

This shock-slasher is little more than four men pursuing, raping and brutalising teenage schoolgirls, whilst believing they’re dreaming. The dream idea is rammed in viewer’s faces again and again as the killer’s repeatedly remark ‘this is only a dream’. This condescending approach does the film no favours. There is a measure of pleasure to be had in Killer’s Moon if it is taken as a wholly inappropriate eighties comedy. Indeed the caricatured clichés are much more likely to find themselves at home in Fawlty Towers (admittedly a seventies comedy) than Cannibal Holocaust. Yet despite nervous laughs at ‘Of course it’s a dream. And stuffed full of jailbait’ and guffaws at ‘You mean this criminal lunatic is walking around believing he is in a dream? In my dreams, I murder freely, pillage, loot and rape’ one can’t help but feel uncomfortable at some of the more sexist comments. Whilst it’s no secret that the slasher genre treats women as little more than sex objects, when one girl consoles another with ‘Look, you were only raped, as long as you don’t tell anyone about it you’ll be alright’ it is apparent that Killer’s Moon has gone a step too far.

It’s a sad reality that Killer’s Moon was never intended as a comedy, this much is evident when listening to interviews with both Birkinshaw and Joanne Good. Perhaps, most telling is that Birkinshaw’s previous film, Confessions of a Sex Maniac was initially entitled The Tit.

If you’re looking for laughs you’ll find them here, but ultimately they’re stifled and unrewarding. For an example of a well executed video nasty look to The Last House on the Left or opt for the recently remade I Spit on Your Grave. If it’s laughs you’re after indulge in Curb Your Enthusiasm or Super Bad. As for bad acting, try The Room, at least it’s a little more tasteful.

4/10

MICHAEL WILSON

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Categories: Film Reviews

Five Reasons to Read Horror

I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I’ve started up the new horror literature resource Read Horror. Since its inception into the world just shy of a month ago it has gone from strength to strength. I set this up as the definitive horror literature resource, and whilst I’d be kidding myself and everybody else if I were to claim it has become that, it is certainly starting to take shape. For those of you who have yet to jump on the Read Horror bandwagon, read on for five reasons as to why you should Read Horror.

  1. Be a part of a growing community whilst it’s in its infancy. Since day one, Read Horror has attracted over one hundred unique visitors per day. Given a lack of paid for publicity and a launch that consisted less of a build up and more of “WE’RE HERE!” this is a reasonable achievement, added to which it’s growing every day. Speaking of growing each day Read Horror set up a Facebook group over the Easter weekend, why not join in the fun?
  2. New content every day. Whether it’s reviews, news, interviews, features, previews or an introduction to one of the must-read voices in horror literature, Read Horror brings you fresh content every [working] day. Sometimes we out do ourselves and provide you updates at the weekend or on bank holidays. Take today for example, here in the UK it’s a bank holiday, but a few banks closing didn’t stop us running a quick interview with zombie hack Eric S Brown.
  3. Meet The Writer. The popularity of the Meet The Writer section can be attested to through the growing number of readers and writers getting in touch and requesting various writers are featured in this exciting section. Meet The Writer provides a quick, fun, introduction to new and veteran horror writers. So far we’ve heard from Adam Nevill, David Moody, Wayne Simmons, Stephen Volk, Gary McMahon and many more.
  4. We really care about horror. This isn’t just a resource, but a way of life. Horror runs through our veins, crimson splashes marking our path. Horror writer and journalist, Michael Wilson set this up because he wanted to reverse the mainstream trend, where literature is kicked to the kerb and the media concentrate on horror cinema. We are reversing the trend, one step at a time.
  5. Because the best of horror literature is the best in literature. That’s what Jonathan Oliver, Editor at Abaddon Publishing, said when interviewed in the forthcoming Scream Magazine and do you know what? He was right!
Categories: News

Aviv Geffen, Stephen Volk, You Shriek and Warlord UK

A lot has been going on in the past couple of weeks. Read Horror is now really starting to kick off, packed with a brand new feature every day. So far Read Horror has seen an array of authors step up for Meet The Writer, including Stephen Volk, BC Furtney, Gary McMahon, Wayne Simmons, David Moody and today, Craig DiLouie. It really is the place to be for fans of horror literature.

In other news I’ve updated a couple of links over at the Terrorizer journalism section here on TrepidNation. There are now live links to the Halloween Frightfest All-Nighter and Warlord UK review featured in Terrorizer.

Finally, please check out recent interviews that I’ve ran with You Shriek, over at Dominion and Blackfield’s Aviv Geffen on Terrorizer’s Wretched Spawn.

Best wishes,

MICHAEL WILSON

Categories: News

Kunt and the Gang speak on their Royal Wedding campaign

Last year the controversial and aptly named act, Kunt and the Gang made somewhat of a mark on the UK Charts when they managed to get ‘Use My Arsehole As A Cunt’ in at number sixty six. When I heard that he was having another go at sabotaging the charts with ‘Fucksticks’ for the Royal Wedding weekend, I dropped Kunt a line to learn a little more about his band and mission. Having already recorded the likes of ‘Let’s Have A Wank for England’, ‘There’s A Child Molester Living in Grays’ and simply ‘Have A Wank’ I suspected this would get a little colourful. I also knew I’d have a hard time publishing this anywhere in its uncensored entirety other than my own blog.

For those who aren’t familiar with Kunt and the Gang, Kunt has kindly filled in the blanks, “We were formed in 2003. My previous band Pubic Cube broke up after my cousin Andy Kunt walked out when I wrote a comedy song about paedophiddlia called ‘Maybe I’m A Nonce’. The idea with Kunt and the Gang was to form an act to sing about topics that everyone could relate to but no other bands were covering in their music, like washing your cock before going on a night out and having a wank.”

You have a campaign to get Fucksticks into the charts for the Royal Wedding weekend can you talk us through how this came about?

There was a Facebook campaign at Christmas to get our song ‘Use My Arsehole As A Cunt’ to Xmas number 1 which was clearly never gonna happen because at that time of year you need about half a million sales to get the top spot, but it did get to no. 66 in the proper chart with no press or radio (not that I was expecting any for a song called ‘Use My Arsehole As A Cunt’!) After that I had a few people suggest doing it again at a time of year when the sales are lower and the Royal Wedding seemed a good excuse. Another factor was when you speak to old punks a lot of them feel like they have got unfinished business with the Royals after the Sex Pistols ‘God Save The Queen’ was cheated out of the number 1 slot for the Silver Jubilee. I figured it might be a bit of a laugh if the press had to deal with a video of the Royals all wanking off in between the simpering wedding coverage!

Why is it that you chose Fucksticks out of all your material?

I had the idea for the Royal Wedding Souvenir Version of ‘Fucksticks’, and thought it would be fun to make a video reconstructing all the Royal scandals!

Have you received more recognition after getting ‘Use My Arsehole as A Cunt’ into the charts over Christmas?

The chart thing helped get our stuff out to a few new people who otherwise might not have heard of us but I’m not laying round on a lilo getting wanked off by a supermodel whilst signing autographs for jailbait if that’s what you mean.

Have you experienced much backlash as a result of your lyrics and subject matter?

Not as much as I would like because it makes for good publicity! The best backlash I’ve had was an article in the local paper about a pub in Basildon displaying my poster in the window. Some bird had complained because the pub was 200 yards from a school. The headline was ‘SINGER’S VULGAR NAME SPARKS OUTRAGE’ and it was the best attended gig I’d ever had!

Do you primarily go out to entertain, offend, make good music or a mixture of the three?

When I started the idea was mainly to write songs about the stuff that you think about but don’t really say out loud, unless you’re down the pub with your mates after 6 pints. It’s just meant to be a bit of a laugh but for some reason it does seem to make the people that don’t like it get a bit angry which to be honest I don’t really mind!

You’ve recently began the internet series Perverts on the Internet are there any plans to bring this to TV? Has anybody shown any interest in this? It seems like the sort of thing E4 broadcast.

Having seen some of the lacklustre shite that E4 turn out I will presume that was meant as an insult. We would love to get some TV cash that’s being chucked around at some fucking dreadful excuses for comedy but I think a TV programmer would have to be on drugs to commission us. Luckily they all are!

Since the success of Rage Against The Machine there seem to be a lot of campaigns to get music into the charts to “stick it to the man” what is it that makes ‘Fucksticks’ a rebellious song and distinguishes it from others that are trying to break into the charts?

There have been a lot of chart campaigns and obviously it will be near impossible to recreate the success of Rage Against The Machine but I think ‘Fucksticks’ is not so much about sticking it to the man, more about seeing what will happen! The phrase ‘Fucksticks, Queen Mother’s Cunt’ guarantees the song is too rude for radio so if it goes top 40 Radio 1 will have to ban it. Also I think we have broken new ground for bad taste in the video where all the Royal Family are having a wank!

What’s next for Kunt and the Gang?

We’re doing a new episode of Perverts On The Internet monthly this year and dicking around with some other videos, then there’s a new album on the way next year called Fresh Kunts.

No doubt there are critics who say Kunt and the Gang is offensive with little musical merit, opting for the lowest form of rebellion through crude lyrics, what do you say to these people?

I would just like to say to any reviewers or critics that are planning to say anything remotely negative about us, I have got a gun that I keep for personal protection. I will find out where you live, wait outside in the shadows until you go out, then I will go in and take care of your wife and kids. I will go through your stuff and find out where your Mum and Dad live, then I will go round and see to them as well. I will look through your Facebook and find out who your best friends are and one by one I will take them out in increasingly horrific fashion. Then when you have no-one left I will sneak into your house and abduct you in the middle of the night. I will gaffer tape your mouth and eyes up and use cable ties on your hands and feet. I will drive you out to a derelict warehouse and submit you to a serious and sustained sexual assault then dump you naked and bleeding in a layby where I will set fire to you whilst you’re still alive. I will dance around as you burn and when the fire has died down I will defecate on your charred corpse and put a bumwipe in your mouth. That said everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.

Is the nearest we’re going to get to a relatively family friendly Kunt and the Gang song the clean version of ‘Use my arsehole as a cunt’?

I have written a version of ‘Fucksticks’ especially for the kiddies that goes ‘Fiddlesticks, Mother’s Milk’. I plan to use the drug dealer’s model of starting them off on the soft stuff then gradually getting them hooked on the harder stuff.

In terms of the big picture, what would it mean to get ‘Fucksticks’ into the charts?

It would be massive for us. We could go overnight from a cheap, puerile, smutty pub act to Public Enemy Number 1! If the Royals get to see the video for ‘Fucksticks’ I will be keeping an eye out for a white Fiat every time I use the Dartford tunnel!

If you could say one thing to Prince William and Kate Middleton what would it be?

Have you got a band sorted for your wedding reception? My rates are pretty reasonable and I will do a set of all my crowd pleasers like ‘Use My Arsehole As A Cunt’ and ‘Wanking Over A Pornographic Polaroid Of An Ex-Girlfriend Who Died’.

Kate Middleton – would you go there?

Out of respect for Prince William, our future King, I wouldn’t fuck her. Unless they split up. Or she really wanted me to, in which case I would lay her down on a load of posh cushions, lick her out, then give her one.

Do you think anybody has ever used Prince William’s arsehole as a cunt?

I’ve heard what goes on at these posh boarding schools but I know if I was the future King and I was going to indulge in a spot of bumming I would have made sure I was the sausage rather than the wallet.

Thank you very much to Kunt for taking time out of his busy schedule. To see what all the rage is about, check out the links below.

Fucksticks is released on 18th April.
See the Fucksticks (Royal Wedding Souvenir Version) video
Like the Kunt and the Gang Royal Wedding Facebook page

Categories: Interview

Read Horror and Blackfield

This update is going to be a brief one. I simply wanted to direct you all towards Read Horror. A brand new website that specialises in horror literature. This exciting new website is brought to you by yours truly and in addition to Scream Magazine promises to readdress the imbalance of horror fiction coverage. In the forthcoming weeks there will be an eclectic mix of writers featured on the site from veterans to debut authors. If you want to know what’s what in horror make sure you Read Horror.

I’ve just written a review for Blackfield’s Welcome to My DNA over at Terrorizer. Check it out for yourself: Welcome to My DNA Review.

Finally for those wondering about the picture, it’s the cover to Shaun Jeffrey’s latest offering Fangtooth. A good old fashioned monster story that I’ll be previewing over at Read Horror shortly.

Cheers,

MICHAEL WILSON

Categories: News

Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy

After the face destroying evolutionary masterpiece This Godless Endeavour it was always going to be a tall ask for Nevermore to produce another album of equal standing.

Unfortunately Nevermore haven’t quite hit the mark with this one. Nevermore have released an album that is simply average, a feat that I had hoped would be impossible after two decades of quality releases. That’s not to say that this album is bad by any stretch, it possesses a handful of crushing trademark Nevermore tracks, packed with beautiful solos, monstrous riffs and Warrel Dane’s face melting vocals such as ‘Moonrise’ and the title track.

The Obsidian Conspiracy is diet Nevermore, the solos are not as predominant, the lyrics are a lot more transparently bad and after your first listen you’re left feeling incredibly underwhelmed. Nevermore have never been deemed masters of language but the angst-filled “If you lie to me, slander me/ this is why I hate you” taken from ‘Without Morals’ sound more akin to Bullet For My Valentine than classic Nevermore lyrics.

For those who have not experienced Nevermore (where have you been?) this release will certainly whet the appetite for more, in which case I urge you towards This Godless Endeavour, Enemies of Reality and Dead Heart in a Dead World. For hardened veterans of Nevermore The Obsidian Conspiracy is instantly forgettable.

6/10

M WILSON

Categories: Music Reviews

Album Review: Black Label Society – Order of the Black

Four years have passed since Black Label Society released seventh studio album Shot to Hell. Black Label Society have undergone some significant changes of line up and circumstance. Long term band member Craig Nunenmacher has left BLS paving the way for Will Hunt of Evanescence to step in and take over drumming duties. Order of the Black is the first album for Zakk Wylde since he was relieved of his duties as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist and the first Black Label release to be recorded in Zakk Wylde’s studio, the Black Label Bunker.

After the disappointment of Shot to Hell the main question is whether all these changes have paid off. As soon as ‘Crazy horse’ starts up fans know that they’re in for a treat. A few seconds in the familiar Ozzy esque vocals kick in and Black Label Society deliver an energetic heavy metal experience that commands listeners to bang their heads and raise a bottle of Jack in the air. The next two tracks ‘Overlord’ and ‘Parade of the dead’ are stand out fist pounding heavy metal anthems, as the album progresses it becomes increasingly obvious that Zakk’s time away from Ozzy Osbourne has been extremely valuable as he is producing some of the most relevant songs and riffs he has for years – what’s more the overplayed pinch harmonics that have become synonymous with Zakk Wylde feature less on Order of the Black than previous BLS albums.

Whilst BLS haven’t shied away from ballads and piano pieces over the years, Order of the Black has a disproportionate amount of softer piano pieces than other BLS offerings with the likes of ‘Darkest days,’ ‘Time waits for no one,’ ‘Shallow grave’ and ‘January.’  Whilst these are far removed from the stoner southern metal that BLS are famed for these are by no means unpleasant. On the contrary ‘Shallow grave’ is one of the standout tracks on the album. Zakk’s soft vocals utter melancholy yet beautiful lyrics that fuse together perfectly with the piano and violins sending shivers down your spine. This is a Zakk Wylde ballad at its very best. The tribute to his father ‘January’ is another thought-provoking ballad that closes the album on a high albeit unusual note.

Perhaps the most surprising track on the album is ‘Chupacabra.’ ‘Chupacabra’ refers to the mythical creature that prowls America slaying livestock, namely goats, and draining them of their blood. With such an intriguing title one can be forgiven for assuming this would be a crushing tutorial in Southern brutality. Such an assumption would be incredibly far removed from the truth. ‘Chupacabra’ is an extremely fast demonstration of talent that is over almost as quickly as it begins, clocking in at just forty nine seconds. ‘Chupacabra’ showcases Wylde’s flamenco technique and is most certainly a track for the guitar student to listen to in awe.

‘Godspeed hellbound’ is a noteworthy track that epitomises the heavy metal sound that BLS are renowned for. Unlike other aggressive pieces that have been produced in the past, ‘Godspeed hellbound’ actually slows the pace down dramatically just over two minutes in, but not to its detriment – this is pure metal indulgence for the Black Label purists. The following track ‘War of Heaven’ starts in a slow, dark manner akin to Seasons in the Abyss era Slayer before kicking into slow, crunchy riffs that wouldn’t be too out of place on an Alice in Chains record – another welcome surprise from the Black Label arsenal.

Order of the Black is one of the finest and most varied Black Label Society releases in years. It puts to bed any concerns that fans may have had after the mediocre Shot to Hell and sees Zakk Wylde perform with invigorated energy we have not experienced since 2003’s The Blessed Hellride. Order of the Black is marred slightly with an overindulgence of ballads, but given the circumstances and impact of ‘Shallow Grave’ I’m prepared to overlook this. Whilst this may not convert those who are not already fans of BLS this is compulsive listening for Black Label Society fans – the most significant and varied Black Label release in over a decade.

7.5/10

M WILSON

Categories: Music Reviews