What to Watch on Shudder: Maniac Cop and More

This week’s picks of what to watch on Shudder features Maniac Cop, Lake Bodom, and He Took His Skin Off For Me

What to Watch on Shudder: Maniac Cop

1988’s Maniac Cop feels like a quintessential 1980s picture. It is a bona fide cult classic. Director William Lustig (who also helmed 1980’s Maniac) combines a thriller with a slasher aesthetic that is very much of its era. The film is about a killer dressed in police uniform who murders people on the streets on New York. There is plenty to like about the film – the shifting point of view, the silent killer, the mystery surrounding the identity of the title character. The film stars horror nobility Bruce Campbell as an officer accused of being the culprit, as well as Tom Atkins and Laurene Landon as police officers trying to find out the identity of the killer. In March 2017, it was announced that Nicolas Winding Refn’s remake of Maniac Cop had been greenlit, so see the original before the remake hits the big screen.

What to Watch on Shudder: Lake Bodom

2016’s Lake Bodom has just been added to Shudder, and it is well worth a watch. The film, which screened at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival, is a horror-thriller which entertains throughout. A group of teenagers visit the site of an unsolved multiple murder which occurred decades before, hoping to recreate the murder scene. The aspect that elevates Lake Bodom above some other campsite horrors is the way director and co-writer Taneli Mustonen pulls the rug from under viewers. The twist injects life into what would have been a run-of-the-mill horror. The result is most welcome. Read a full review of Lake Bodom here.

What to Watch on Shudder: He Took His Skin Off For Me

Director Ben Aston’s 2015 short He Took His Skin Off For Me is a subversive fairy tale. With the story told by narration, the film is about a man who takes his skin off to please his partner, and the consequences of this action. The film works because of the contrast between the mundanity of the setting, and the macabre premise. Based on a short story by Maria Hummer, He Took His Skin Off For Me is a twisted idea which is well executed by director Aston.

To find out more and to sign up to Shudder, visit https://www.shudder.com.

Film Review: Evil Dead

Evil Dead

Fede Alvarez’s grisly remake of Evil Dead is decent horror movie. It retains the style of the original, although there is enough that sets it apart.

David and three friends accompany his sister Mia to a secluded cabin, in order to help her kick her drug habit. When the group discovers some unsavoury items in the basement, they unwittingly unleash supernatural forces…

With Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell as producers, this version of Evil Dead has the seal of approval. Fede Alvarez does make some changes to distinguish his version from the 1981 film. However, these do not deviate too far from the source material.

The premise of the group travelling to the cabin to help Mia get clean is a decent change. It gives the characters a reason to be in such a remote location, and solidifies their reluctance to leave. Other changes to the narrative are sound. Pacing in the film is good. The film builds to a strong finale.

Evil Dead offers a very visceral style of horror. The film concentrates on this, rather than any attempt to make the audience laugh. The film is not particularly jumpy; instead it favours gore over apprehension. Evil Dead scares viewers through its display of the grotesque and the horrifying.

Special effects in Evil Dead are excellent. There is a refreshing lack of CGI used in the film. Given the over-reliance on this form of special effects in recent gore-heavy movies, this is a welcome reversal. As a result, the film’s most grisly moments do look more authentic.

Performances are good overall. Shiloh Fernandez is decent as male lead David. The filmmakers are wise not to offer an incarnation of Ash. Jane Levy is convincing as the increasingly desperate Mia.

Evil Dead is one of the better horror remakes. A must-see for gore fans.

Evil Dead is out on DVD and Blu-Ray on 12th August 2013.

Stuff To Look At

A feast of trailers and images. A feast for the eyes, I say. Whether it is horror, Disney animation, or crime thriller, there is something here for everyone…

Monsters University

I want to go to Monsters University! Human universities are so boring in comparison. A prequel to Monsters Inc., Monsters University tells the story of how Sully and Mike met as students. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 12th July 2013.

Oz The Great and Powerful

Oz The Great and PowerfulLook at this monkey! Surely he is reason alone for seeing Oz The Great and Powerful? Given that the film is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, it seems unlikely that hot slice Toto will appear. Not to fear, we have Finley in his little uniform to beguile us. Oz The Great and Powerful is released on 8th March 2013.

Identity Thief

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy star in Identify Thief. When Sandy tracks down Diana, the woman who has stolen his identity, hijinks ensue when he tries to bring her to justice. Identity Thief is out in UK cinemas on 22nd March 2013.

Olympus Has Fallen

Well this all looks rather tense. Training Day director Antoine Fuqua brings together Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart and Angela Bassett in action thriller Olympus Has Fallen. The film hits UK screens on 19th April 2013.


A TV spot for Mama was on the other night when a friend (who shall remain nameless) could not bear to watch it. Guillermo del Toro is the executive producer of supernatural horror Mama, which stars Jessica Chastain. Mama is released on 22nd February 2013.

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh reunites with Jude Law and Channing Tatum for thriller Side Effects. Also staring Rooney Mara and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the film is about a depressed patient who is prescribed the latest medication by her psychiatrist. Side Effects is out on 8th March 2013.

The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger

Here be the latest poster for The Lone Ranger. I am not quite sure why Johnny Depp has a bird on his head; I am hoping that this will be explained in the film. The Lone Ranger will hit UK cinemas on 9th August 2013.

Evil Dead

When I first saw a trailer for Evil Dead, initially I didn’t realise it was a remake of the 1981 film. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell act as producers for this new version, so at least it gets their seal of approval. The trailer above is rather graphic, so brace yourself if you are squeamish. Evil Dead is released on 19th April 2013.

Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack the Giant Slayer

This is the latest poster for Warner Brothers’ Jack the Giant Slayer. Jack and the Beanstalk is not one of those fairy tales that has had a plethora of film adaptations, so it will be interesting to see what is done with it. Released in 3D, Jack the Giant Slayer hits UK screens on 22nd March 2013.

Dark Skies

Another horror! When the Sandman is mentioned, it is unlikely that things are going to go well. Dark Skies is giving me shades of The Birds. However, the trailer indicates more supernatural activity than this. Dark Skies is released in the UK on 5th April 2013.

The Paperboy

Having already been released in America, a certain scene in The Paperboy has been discussed a lot. I won’t spoil it, for those of you who don’t know what I am talking about. Nicole Kidman heads a stellar cast in thriller The Paperboy. The film hits UK screens on 15th March 2013.

The Heat

Sandra Bullock plays a FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy a Boston cop. This old couple comedy comes from Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids. The Heat is released in UK cinemas on 5th April 2013.