Friday The 13th: Ashtray Dirt

Apologies for being quiet for a little while but here’s the latest round-up of stories that have been floating around the past 6 weeks…

To start, the first trailer for Gareth Edwards 2014 Godzilla has landed. A moody piece, its predominantly visual with little plot details given away (even though we’re all pretty sure we know what the story will be right?) but looks like it’ll wipe the floor clean of Roland Emmerich-related memories. The film has a UK release date of May 16th next year…

Insidious: Chapter 3 hasn’t started shooting yet but has had a release date announced of April 5th 2015. Leigh Whannell is reportedly on screenplay duties again, however it’s unclear as to whether or not anyone else involved with the first two films will be joining him or where the story will go…

Death Waltz Recording Co. will release the soundtrack to Slumber Party Massacre next year, with cover art by Luke Insect and sleeve notes from director Amy Jones…

A trailer has dropped for The Strange Colour Of Your Body’s Tears, the new feature from Amer director/writer duo Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani. The film, which has been a festival darling, has no theatrical or home entertainment release date as of yet but that should change soon…

Eureka Entertainment have announced a few of their 2014 home format releases; Computer Chess (Jan 20th), Kiss of the Damned (Jan 27th), Wings (27th Jan), Roma (17th Feb), John Dies At The End (17th Feb) and Serpico (24th Feb)…

One Way Static Records latest release, the soundtrack to The Hills Have Eyes, is now up for pre-order from their website

The new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has dropped, with a hidden easter egg for the viral website Electro Arrives and a countdown to something. Sony have also announced today that two spin-off films focusing on Spidey’s foes Venom and The Sinister Six will be made, but no word of initial release dates yet…

Advertisements

‘The Last American Virgin’ (1982) review

Cult Israeli coming-of-age film Lemon Popsicle gets its Western remake released to a new generation as The Last American Virgin is now available on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK. Heartache, embarrassment, competition and friendship all set to tunes of the 80s, American Virgin is your predictable teen movie fare, but still manages to find ways to charm its audience.

[Movie]Last American Virgin, The (1982)_01

Three friends (played by Lawrence Monoson, Joe Rubbo and Steve Antin) find out growing up is, of course, not easy as they navigate their way through an array of sexual encounters, drugs, parties, school and friendly rivalries. It’s nothing that hasn’t been seen before, or since, but still manages to be effective thanks to its cast, mainly Lawrence as sensitive lead Gary and Diane Franklin as the object of affection Karen, and its depiction of the consequences of casual unprotected sex and the ‘glamour’ of paid sex. Other than that, it’s your typical teenage experience staples, although by the time the end scene rolls on I defy many to not feel a slight pang of sadness in mutual feeling.

Posledniy_devstvennik_Ameriki_The_Last_American_Virgin_1982_DVDRip_a3ffdeeabee53776bd831ee19c8_prev

Credit where credit is due, Arrow have put some excellent and extensive interviews together as part of the extras side of the home release package. There’s a real in-depth and personal feature with director Boaz Davidson who discusses in detail the process of updating and translating his Israeli original for a new audience, the production of American Virgin itself and his personal experiences that went on to influence the films. Also quite fun to watch are the two interviews with leads Lawrence Monoson and Diane Franklin who open up about the film, its affect on their careers and the cult appeal that surrounds the 80s picture. All rather frank and honest, it’s refreshing to hear those involved wax lyrical about their work with no boundaries or sugar-coating.  A worthy release of a good, if not dated, feature that’s worth picking up.

Italian Genre Giants Unite for ‘The Book’

A new project is in the works which will see some of Italy’s finest figureheads in genre film unite for a unique collaboration exploring elements of the last sixty years of Italian cinema. Written by screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti (Manhattan Baby, City of the Living Dead, Demons, Body Count) and featuring a score by Goblin and Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, The Book will feature twelve individual episodes, each helmed by ‘a master of Italian cinema‘, showcasing the Giallo movement, Eurocrime and Spaghetti Westerns amongst other examples.

BZ2ae1kCUAAdG0e

From the press release itself; ‘Following the ambitious extremity of The Profane Exhibit, producers David Bond, Sergio Stivaletti and Manda Manuel present: The Book. Assembling the finest living Italian filmmakers, the project intends to provide these elite creative forces a platform with which they can showcase the dexterity and innovation which brought them initial acclaim. Free of studio constraints, The Book will be Italian genre at its most raw and basic form, with the impetus placed upon recapturing the magic which resonates with so many fans the world over’.

If this wasn’t exciting enough, then the news that the following directors are confirmed for involvement most certainly will; Lamberto Bava (Shock, Demons 1 & 2), Aldo Lado (Short Night of the Glass Dolls), Umberto Lenzi (Nightmare City, Eaten Alive, Cannibal Ferox), Enzo G. Castellari (Cold Eyes of Fear, Inglorious Bastards) and Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust, House on the Edge of the Park) to name a few!

BZ7DbrICEAAunS-

An IndieGogo project has been started to generate funding for the feature, which has some great rewards available for people willing to invest in what sounds like a definitive and interesting exploration. There is also a Twitter account to follow and a Facebook page to keep up-to-date with all the latest news. Spread the word!

Ashtray Dirt Volume 16

The BFI has announced the first wave of its Gothic season, which features a whole host of screenings and events. Taking inspiration from four different areas, October and November see’s focus on ‘the Monstrous’ and ‘The Dark Arts’. Films screening include Dellamorte Dellamore, The Beyond, Dracula, Werewolf of London, Suspiria, Faust, Vampyr, The Ghoul, Daughters of Darkness and Eyes Without A Face. Also appearing for events are Roger Corman, Dario Argento, Sara Karloff and George Romero…

Sean Cunningham has hinted that a Friday The 13th sequel might be shot in the spring and released in 2015, with a possible television or internet series also in the works…

Death Waltz Recording Co. have announced their latest future releases; The New York Ripper (with below cover art by Nick Percival), Goblin 2013 Tour EP (cover art by Graham Humphreys) and Room 237 (cover art by Sam Smith)…

ripp

Insidious is becoming a franchise with a third chapter confirmed. Whilst James Wan won’t be returning to direct, Leigh Whannell (who wrote and starred in the first two) is rumoured to be writing the script…

London film soundtrack club night Reel Music have announced their Halloween event on November 2nd. Information and a link to buy tickets can be found on their Facebook page

Work has started again on remaking Park Chan Wook’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengence. Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Lost) is the latest director to be attached to the project…

The full line up for this year’s Sitges Film Festival has been announced. Running from October 11th to the 20th, the festival will play host to Mindscape, The Green Inferno, Only Lovers Left Alive, Kiss of the Damned and The Dirties, alongside opening film Grand Piano and closing film The Sacrament. Full details can be found on the official website

Ashtray Dirt 15

Kicking off with a sad point, director and writer Jose Ramon Larraz passed away this week. Best known for 1975 release Vampyres, Larraz also directed Whirlpool, The Coming of Sin and Black Candles. He was 84…

José-Ramón-Larraz-y-2 (1)

The full line up for the London Film Festival has been announced. Films playing include Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, Alfonso Cauron’s Gravity and Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive. The festival’s ‘Cult’ strand will also play host to The Sacrament, The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears, Grand Piano and All Cheerleaders Die. The full line up can be read on the official website

One Way Static Records have put up their release of the Last House On The Left soundtrack by David Hess for pre-sale. Formats include vinyl, cassette and digital…

Arrow have announced their November releases. Coming to Blu-ray will be Wes Craven’s The People Under The Stairs, Rabid Dogs aka Kidnapped, Philip Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Cinema Paradiso. All are available for pre-order…

cooties

The first image for horror-comedy Cooties has dropped. Directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion, written by Ian Brennan and Leigh Whannell and starring Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson and Alison Pill, Cooties is slated for a 2014 release…

It’s yet to be released, but it seems that Eli Roth is already working on a sequel to The Green Inferno. Titled Beyond The Green Inferno, Roth is likely to produce the feature and hinted that Nicolas Lopez (Aftershock) might direct…

David Cronenberg’s Shivers is getting the remake treatment, with Dutch director Rie Rasmussen apparently at the helm…

On the subject of remakes, a trailer has dropped for the new Robocop reboot…

Welsh horror film festival Abertoir have announced their participation in Wales After Dark. Part of the BFI’s Gothic Season, Wales After Dark will see  genre screenings and events happening across the country. A line up of the different events can be found here

Gregg Araki’s ‘Nowhere’ (1997)

The third in director Gregg Araki’s ‘Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy’, 1997 release Nowhere makes its way to DVD thanks to Second Sight. Self-described by Araki as ‘an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 on acid’, Nowhere won’t be to everyone’s taste but it a great watch none the less. WIth its lack of straight narrative, Araki explores a day in the lives of a bunch of teenagers; sexually promiscuous, lingo-savvy, drug taking school skippers who seem to know a lot about alienation and the dread of impending adulthood.

images

At times, it’s a lot to take in, especially the cast with its principal players (James Duval, Rachel True and Nathan Bexton amongst a heap of others) and some great cameos (Shannen Doherty, Traci Lords, John Ritter, Beverly D’Angelo to name a few). That said, it all works well, and you get a real feel for who are friends and the nature in which you only know some people by who they’re sleeping with or the name of your mutual drug dealer (or maybe it just reminds me too much of experiences in my own bitchy all-girl high school…).

nowhere-1

Ultimately, it feels more about the teen angst struggle of how life isn’t fair, whether that’s being sold cut drugs, being seriously assaulted or having to share your bisexual girlfriend with someone else even though you have bisexual urges too. Nihilistic, fast-moving, lonely and, at times, embarrassingly funny, Nowhere is an enjoyable ride and a reminder of how special your teenage years can really be. There’s something in there for most people, even the alien subplot which surprisingly feels totally not out-of-place. Oh, and there’s the kick ass soundtrack. A solid four out of five.