Trifecta of Horror: A*P*E (1976), Cradle of Fear (2001), Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)

A*P*E

In this South Korean/American production, a creature not dissimilar to King Kong goes on a rampage across Korea taking on anything the land can throw at him, i.e. sharks, oil barrels, a snake, stock footage of the army…

Filmed in 3D and made on a budget of 3 pence, A*P*E (aka Attack of the Giant Horny Gorilla) is a laugh-a-minute slice of horror for all the wrong reasons. For example, A*P*E’s size depends on whether the script requires him to destroy building, break out of a tanker or give a helicopter the finger.

If the special effects don’t have you cringing, the absence of sense, plot and originality will certainly make you clench. As will a certain scene involving a kidnapped Joanna Kerns (Growing Pains) sensually pleading for her primate captor ‘be gentle’.

Get your friends round and play the A*P*E drinking game. Do a shot every time you see the zip in the monkey suit. You’ll be drunk within 30 minutes.

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 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 pedophile son… Seriously.

Chandon is pretty much all about equal opportunities when it comes to a massacre. Over the course of two hours, numerous goths, townies, gangster and cops are ripped apart like so much jelly in a dog’s mouth.

Sound fun? Well, kind of. Cradle of Fear isn’t a wholly successful film. Only two of the stories, in which a one legged gangster searches for a new leg, whilst an IT worker gets first hand experience of the snuff trade, really make much of an impact. This is simply because they hark back to the simpler times of Amicus and Hammer Horror – Albeit with more breasts and claret.

Like a child let loose in an abattoir, Chandon flings gore at the screen till you become slightly desensitized to it all. Worth a go but you’re better off going straight to Chandon’s second, slightly more restrained film Inbred.

Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror

Every cliché you’ve ever associated with Italian horror comes out to play in this slice of zombie exploitation from Director Andrea Bianchi (Confessions of a Frustrated Housewife).

A scientist, who looks uncannily like Alan Moore, unwittingly unleashes an evil curse resulting in the dead coming back to life and making him their first victim. Bit of a shame as he has guests coming to visit him at his country mansion. Unable to update his Facebook invite – OMG! Been eaten by Zombies :( – the guests find themselves having to defend themselves from legions of the undead and poor dubbing.

Burial Ground is actually a lot of fun, if you allow yourself to get swept up in it. It also has the distinction of being one of the few films to star Peter Bark, a ‘midget’ actor known for his lack of height and unusual looks. Bark plays Michael, the son of one of the guests with an unhealthy attraction of his own mum. If the gore doesn’t make your stomach churn, then the sight of a 26 year old man pretending to be child whilst groping his ‘mum’, should certainly put your teeth on edge.

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