Monday, January 16, 2006

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Happy New Year to you all. Well 2006 looks like it will be as busy if not busier than last year so here goes. The first issue of Smoke and Mirrors; the Australian special effects magazine, is almost with us. The first issue will see my report from the set of Rogue and a profile of UK company Framestore cfc, the men and women behind some breathtaking imagery in the recent Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Doom and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Many thanks to Matt Hearn, David Lightfoot for their time and Ayisha Davies for making the set visit possible; from what I've seen so far Rogue will prove that Wolf Creek was no one off. Also thanks to Steph Bruning at Framestore for her gracious help.

Starburst issue #333 will feature part one of my preview of my Superman Returns set visit. The actual report will be featured around the film's release in July and will include my interviews with Bryan Singer, Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Parker Posey and Kevin Spacey. Issue 4 of Cinema Retro includes a brief news piece on the recent Stanley Kubrick exhibition, the full report will appear in the next issue. I've also just sent off the third DVD Down Under report for DVD World so look out for that soon.

Twitch of the Death Nerve DVD review

Not content with inventing the Giallo thriller with Blood and Black Lace, Mario Bava way back in 1972 made a film that was to become the blueprint for every slasher film known to man. Twitch of the Death Nerve, also known as Bay of Blood, will seem strangely familiar to those readers who are huge fans of Friday the 13th, especially Part Two but then that sequels director Steve Miner has always declared that Bava’s blood thirsty thriller was a major influence but watching Twitch of the Death Nerve again it looks more like wholesale stealing. Any of these murders sound familiar; a young man opens a door only to get a machete in the face, a fornicating couple are speared together. The murders are copied almost frame for frame.

The big difference between Bava and the directors who followed in his footsteps is obviously talent. Twitch of the Death Nerve looks fabulous. Knives glisten in the sunlight, everything is beautifully lit and despite the fact that he invented the “have sex, will die” style of filmmaking, the storyline to this film is a pitch-black whodunit that comments on greed, family and exactly how far people will go for a few lire. The films twisted finale is hilarious and will leave most viewers with a startled look of surprise. In fact the playful tone of the film has more in common with Danger Diabolik than his other horror films such as Shock! and Blood and Black Lace.

The performances are suitably twisted, Bond girl Claudia Auger of Thunderball fames exudes a sultry sexiness and the rest for cast seem happy to disrobe or die or both. The squid obsessed fisherman is a fantastically bizarre character, infact there are very view normal folk on display. Everyone we are introduced to has a hidden agenda led by greed and corruption. Bava’s film is more a comment on what man will do man for money than a mere horror film.

Full review available on