Frostbiten (2006)

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FROSTBITEN

Petra Nielson, Emma Åberg, Grete Havnesköld, Jonas Karlström, Måns Nathanaelson, Carl-Åke Eriksson, Mikael Göransson, Anna Lindholm, Björn Andersson & Sara Arnia / Screenplay Daniel Ojanlatva / Make-up Effects  Martina Nilsson /  Soundtrack Anthony Lledo / Cinematography Chris Maris / Producer Natasha Banke  / Director Anders Banke

Frostbiten is a rather cool little Vampire film from Sweden that manages to strut the fine line between comedy and genuine horror with wit & style. It’s surprising that such a film hasn’t been made before now, given the Pop culture of Sweden and the handy connection between Vampires and a land of winter darkness. Sweden hasn’t been too well known for it’s cinema in recent years, but things are looking up for Scandinavia, despite the loss of cinematic master Ingmar Bergman. Horror seems an ideal choice and quite a refreshing move into the global arena. The awful ‘Boy eats Girl’ (Irish) tried something similar a while back, before the huge success of ‘Shawn of the Dead’ (British) awoke Hollywood to the potential of low budget horror comedy from foreign waters. Frostbiten though, owes far more to the likes of Polanski’s haunting ‘Fearless Vampire Hunters’ (Dance of the Dead), Carpenter’s snowbound ‘The Thing’ and Joel Schumacher ‘The Lost Boys’. It’s not a perfect film, but it has the simplistic feel of an 80’s low budget horror, given substance by a disconcerting landscape and quirky sense of humour.

The characters are fairly two dimensional on the whole, but Emma Åberg stands out as real star material and super cool with it, her Vampiric transformation teasingly held back till the last act. I really hope that there isn’t a dubbed version out there, seeing as how the Swedish language is so expressive and gives the youthful cast such cool swagger. I won’t give too much of the story away..the plot unfolds so nicely that I’d feel guilty giving too much away. Listen out for a great set of musical interludes by newcomer Anthony Lledo. Did I mention how beautiful Emma Åberg is? Well, I’ll say it again..

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Roy Scheider dies at 75

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ROY  SCHEIDER (1932-2008)

Paper Lion (1968), Stiletto (1969), Klute (1971), The French Connection (1971), The Seven-Ups (1973), Jaws (1975), Marathan Man (1976), Sorcery (1977), Jaws II (1978), All that Jazz (1979), Still of the Night (1982), Blue Thunder (1983), 2010 (1984), 52-Pick-up (1986), The Russia House (1990), Naked Lunch (1991), Romeo is Bleeding (1994), The Myth of the Fingerprints (1997), The Rainmaker (1997), (1998), Evasive Action, Daybreak (2000), The Poet (2007), Dark Honeymoon (2008), Iron Cross (2008).

The son of an Irish Catholic mother and German-American father, born in New Jersey, Roy Richard Scheider started out as a promising athlete and boxer (whence came the characteritic broken nose), and after a brief spell in the U.S Airforce, began a stage career appearing at the New York Shakespeare Festival and winning an Obie Award in 1968. Scheider’s greatest box office success was with Jaws, but his finest roles were in The French Connection and a wonderful cameo as Dustin Hoffman’s brother in Marathan Man. His greatest work was undeniably commited to film in the 1970’s, and contractual obligations to Spielberg meant that the lead in The Deer Hunter (later offered to Deniro) had to be turned down to allow filming for the ignoble cine-offering Jaws II. Despite this setback, Scheider was still appearing going strong with two films in post-production at the time of his death from cancer this week at 75. Jaws may have been a mixed blessing career wise, but Chief Brody will asure Roy an eternal place in film lovers hearts.

Rest easy Chief.