Burke and Hare
Half the cast of Spaced get together with the director of An American Werewolf in London, John Landis, to bring us this black comedy retelling of Burke and Hare, two men who were not only cold blooded killers, but also helped move modern science forward. This is by no means the best film in the world, but nor is it horrific. The titular characters, portrayed by Andy Serkis and Simon Pegg, are played for laughs than terror. Everyone seems to be having fun with it and, to be honest, the scenery and stage costume is sumptuous. However, with an uneven tone, and constant misses regarding humour and scares, Burke and Hare inevitably digs its own grave.
After Kidulthood and Adulthood, Noel Clarke changes tact in this straight to DVD schlocker which he co-wrote. Billed as a comedy-horror, this tale about a group of people getting trapped in a storage centre along with a flesh eating alien is, sadly, neither. The only real scares come from the film’s faint smell of misogyny that starts with a needlessly long shot of a Nuts centre spread and continues with its only two main female characters being nothing more than screaming harpies that need to stay close to Clarke’s frowny face.
Cradle of Fear
What were you doing in ’01? If you were Dani filth, lead singer of cheery, melodic death metal band Cradle of Filth, you were starring in this portmanteau film from director Alex Chandon. Several stories of blood and mayhem are linked together by ‘The Man’ (Dani Filth) as he seeks bloody retribution on behalf of Anthony Crowley’s illegitimate murdering paedophile son. No, really.
Chandon is pretty much all about equal opportunities when it comes to a massacre. Over the course of two hours, numerous goths, townies, gangsters and cops are ripped apart like so much jelly in a dog’s mouth. Sound fun? Well, it is. Kind of. Only two of the stories – one which sees a one legged gangster search for a new leg, and the other about an IT worker who gets first hand experience of the snuff trade – really make much of an impact. Quite simply because they hark back to a simpler time when the likes of Amicus and Hammer Horror ruled the horror world.
Like a child let loose in an abattoir, Chandon flings gore at the screen till you become slightly desensitised to it all. It’s worth a go but you’re better off going straight to Chandon’s second, slightly more restrained film, Inbred.