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Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Review Of “Auteur”


auteur“Auteur” is a faux documentary that blends elements of supernatural found footage with urban legend of sorts. The film is directed by Cameron Romero and follows a young indie filmmaker out to prove his talent to his father by tracking down a derailed Director and the infamous project that became a nightmare. “Auteur” stars Tom Sizemore, B.J. Hendricks, Ian Hutton, Madeline Merritt, Eli Jane, Matt Mercer and Ace Marrero. It is a film that is as artful as it is bad, with choppy dialog that feels contrived, and creative vision and concept rife possibility.

The story is a very creative, well written one that gives rise to a twisted journey of a rock star indie Director and his unfortunate downward spiral. The arc is filled with very few holes, heavy on macabre, and laden with classic found footage staging. Things that both give “Auteur” life on screen and ultimately plague it to the point of almost being non-watchable- almost. If you hang in there until midway through the film the momentum does pay-off somewhat. The film is mostly crippled by bad acting, poor dialog delivery and heavy over-acting-even in scenes that were meant to feel natural and realistic.

The special effects are a blend of low budget practicality and expected supernatural CGI inserts. The supernatural aspects are classic, and part of what makes “Auteur” watchable and at moments entertaining. The possessed and pathetic soul is a big draw in horror- always. The horror elements are sparse, most taking place in the last act of the mockumentary. The practical effects are more “off – camera” suggestive insights that make indie, “stripped-down” projects work. The blood and gore is non-existent but the effect is very much prominent in “Auteur”. The soundtrack and effects are more of the same expected sounds that build the suspense, help the emotionality of it all, and ultimately bore the viewer until that magical third act when it seems everything about the film and intended vision really come alive.

Overall “Auteur” fails to impress. The story is strong enough and the talent should have been there to really sell this nightmare. The execution of the story arc falters consistently through the first half of the film and give us more of the “same ole, same ole” in found footage gimmickry. The last act does allow the film to rebound somewhat, especially when during the second half what seemed a train wreck miraculously rights itself enough to make it watchable. Not enough to save the film completely or forgive the first half- but whatev’. The effects and soundtrack work, the supernatural element and story concept work. Basically check “Auteur” out but in order to not be disappointed you need to set through some really bad material to feel okay with watching this movie.

Official Trailer For “Ejecta”


ejectaCheck out the official trailer for sci-fi/thriller “Ejecta”. The film is directed by Matthew Wiele & Chad Archibald and stars Lisa Houle, Julian Richings, Adam Seybold. “Ejecta” is slated to be released on VOD February 27th, 2015.

The film tells the terrifying story of two men whose lives cross paths on a fateful night during a once in a lifetime solar storm. An unknown presence besieges the men on a remote farm, triggering an intense struggle to survive not only the night but also the horrific interrogations and tortures of an anonymous organization who will stop at nothing to learn the truth about what the two men witnessed.










Patricia Chica Directs Morbidly Funny Canadian Segment For Soska Sisters’ Women In Horror Month

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Every year internationally renowned identical twin filmmakers, the Soska Sisters (American Mary, See No Evil 2), invite you to bleed for an incredibly good cause: Women in Horror’s PSA for a Massive Blood Drive. Donating blood is something that many people find off-putting and terrifying. By using humor, innovation, and provocative imagery, this PSA will encourage viewers to face their fears and help out those in need of blood.

For this occasion, the Soska Sisters are launching an anthology of horror shorts directed by celebrated women filmmakers from around the world. The PSA premieres February 1st 2015 on YouTube in honor of Women in Horror Recognition Month (#WiHM666).




SoskaSisWomen in Horror Recognition Month (WiHM) assists female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure, and education through altruistic events, printed material, articles, interviews, and online support. The collaborative vision is a world wherein all individuals have equal opportunity to create, share, and engage in freedom of expression.

The Soska Sisters and Women in Horror have invited award winning Canadian filmmaker Patricia Chica to present her darkly comic short Ripe N’ Bloody to be included in this anthology of films from some of the most innovative, unique, and irreverent female directors across the globe.


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“I am a huge fan of the Soska Twins’ work, so I’m thrilled to be part of this project which supports two causes that are dear to my heart: the empowerment of Women in Film and Blood Donation”, says Patricia Chica.

“I started getting involved with blood donation when my mother was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002 and needed a lot of transfusions in order to survive. It made me realize how important each litter of blood was for the survival of my own mother and all of the patients at the hospital who were suffering from similar conditions.  My recent film Ceramic Tango dealt with the issue of blood and HIV awareness”, explains the director.


“This PSA is not only aligned with my purpose of making films that serve society and elevate the viewers' consciousness but it was morbidly fun to make!”, concludes Patricia Chica.








Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blanc-Biehn Productions Brings Supernatural Psychological Thriller “Good Family Times” To Life


Blanc-Biehn Productions will go into production on the supernatural psychological thriller feature “Good Family Times” on February 28th, 2015 in Topanga Canyon, CA.

Synopsis:
BBPicturesMeet Beatrice. She’s happily married, has a darling young son, and she’s a talented artist. Her home is a happy one. Beatrice dotes on her family, and they love her back. Too bad her husband and child are not exactly… alive. When Beatrice comes into some money, another family – one that’s not quite so happy – decides they’re more deserving of the dough and set out to rob her by breaking into her home under the cover of night. In the course of that one evil evening, both families soon learn the true meaning of ‘blood relations’.

“Good Family Times” is based on a story by producer Lony Ruhmann (“Psychophonia”). It is written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and cinema pundit Staci Layne Wilson (“Fetish Factory”, “The Night Plays Tricks”). “Good Family Times” is produced by Blanc-Biehn Productions (“Hidden in the Woods”), created by famed husband and wife filmmaking team, Michael Biehn (“Terminator”) and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (“The Crow”). It is also produced by Danny Bellens, Tony DeBenedetto (“Treachery”, “Psychophonia”, “Jacob”), Cynthia Paredes, Garrett Longley, and Jenimay Walker (“Psychophonia”, “The Lincoln”).

The cast features Arielle Brachfeld (“Watch Me Die”), Jennifer Blanc (“Everly”, “The Victim”, “Hidden in the Woods”), Douglas Tait (“Star Trek”, “The Fiance”), Elissa Dowling (“We Are Still Here”), THE Richard aka Richard Cardinal  (“Fetish Factory”, “Psychophonia”), Sean Keller (“The Cartridge Family”), Aaron Kai  (“Day for Night”), and Nikita Black (“Fembot”, “Psychophonia”, “The Lincoln”).

The main character of Beatrice is played by sexy scream queen Brachfeld, who is known for her work in genre films such as “The Haunting of Whaley House”, “Return of the Ghostbusters”, and “LOVE: As You Like It”. Arielle is actively involved in several charity organizations including The Horror Starlets, a group that fund-raises to fight breast cancer, and The Young Storytellers Foundation which encourages literacy through the arts.

Cinematographer Steve Romano, whose credits include Blanc-Biehn Productions’ “She Rises”, “The Night Visitor”, and “Altered Perception”, has also shot music videos for Beyonce (“Rocket”), Vassy (“Beautiful”), and many more.

Original score by Randy Chance, a former member of rock supergroup The Lovin’ Spoonful (“Do You Believe in Magic?”), with additional songs by up-and-coming Japanese heavy metal band, MergingMoon (“Greyen”).





Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Crowd Funding In Full Swing For “Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale”


dynamiteThe crowd funding campaign for exploitation/crime/thriller “Dynamite:A Cautionary Tale” kicked off earlier this month and is now in full swing. “Dynamite” is set in early 70's NYC’s drug and underground scene of pornography and crime. The film is directed by Tate Steinsiek and stars Ian Harding, Evanna Lynch, Carol Kane, Brendan Sexton III, Leo Fitzpatrick, Chaske Spencer, Polly Draper. The campaign is set up on Indiegogo with some cool perks to check out.











pic1Temptation is constant in the human experience, but few demons are so callous and consuming as drug abuse. "Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale" explores a true story of heroin addiction and personal redemption. Principal photography has successfully wrapped, and the production is asking for your support for the post production process. This story deserves to be told as well as it can, and the movie should be presented at its fullest potential. Your contributions and voices will help do that.


picBased on a true story, Max Bornstein had the wit, looks, and charm that would carry him beyond the typical man's troubles. Yet, the typical man's troubles were the least of Max's worries: He was a full-time dope fiend and a part-time father working within the underground, highly illegal pornography industry. Even in the wake of a federal investigation, Max's truest worry was his wife and two young children: A family kept in the dark about Max's reality and the walls of it caving in around him.


                                  

Poster Release For “Valley Of The Sasquatch”

Check out the official poster for John Portanova’s upcoming cryptid horror “Valley Of The Sasquatch” . The film stars David Saucedo, Bill Oberst Jr., Jason Vail, D’Angelo Midili and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte. “Valley Of The Sasquatch” is preparing for a festival run, at which time the premiere date will be announced.

After losing their home following a devastating loss, a father and son are forced to move to an old family cabin. Neither reacts well to being thrown into this new world. The son's attempts to relate to his father are complicated when two old friends arrive for a weekend of hunting. This trip into the forest will unearth not only buried feelings of guilt and betrayal, but also a tribe of Sasquatch that are determined to protect their land.

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Image Entertainment Acquires “Dark Was The Night”


DarkWasTheNightImage Entertainment has announced its acquisition of “Dark Was The Night”. The film is directed by Jack Heller and stars Kevin Durand, Lukas Haas, Bianca Kajlich, Heath Freeman, Sabina Gadecki, Steve Agee, Nick Damici. “Dark Was The Night” has received critic and fan accolades since it first premiered during Screamfest 2014, something that Image picked up on quickly. There is a multi-city theatrical release planned later this year for “Dark Was The Night” but no official VOD or DVD release date has been set as of yet.

The quiet lives of a sheriff (The Strain’s Kevin Durand—finally a leading man!) and his deputy (Lukas Haas) are put to the test when an ancient creature begins preying on the local livestock and the small logging town’s human residents in this wholly entertaining old-school monster movie.









My Review Of “Treehouse”


treehouseMichael G.Bartlett's “Treehouse” is a teen driven, dark horror film with heavy emotive scenes of tense drama, and story build-up. It stars J. Michael Trautmann, Dana Melanie, Daniel Fredrick, Clint James, and follows the mystery surrounding disappearing kids, shadowy figures and one creepy tree house deep in the woods. A strong, suspenseful picture, “Treehouse” creates a chilling atmospheric reality of terror.

Bartlett’s story is well written, with great cinematography, and breadth of character control as the very dark tale builds to a disturbing and visceral end- until the actual ending. First though “Treehouse” is a solid film where the drama and character development are concerned. The cast give mature, well acted scenes of heavy substance, and depth. The horror aspects are mostly off camera with very little moments of chilling terror taking place through the first 75 minutes of the film which is a bit of a let down. However the film does have some intense, chilling action that climaxes this nightmare scenario, lasting right up until the abrupt and irritating end. Yeah I know- total spoiler moment.

The special effects, settings and sounds in “Treehouse” all work for the horror elements in the film. Everything that happens gives more of an adult horror vibe, instead of the teen driven story that is actually presented. Think “Under The Bed” in heavy seriousness but without the actual horror for most of the film. I know I keep bringing that issue up but it is a big irritant for me, personally. Still the film has been getting some great reviews mixed in with some disappointing ones. The effects are great when displayed, real quality work. The last act is terrifying when the true horror of the situation is revealed. Disturbing to say the least. The soundtrack does an ample job to really drive home the heavy atmosphere and emotional desperation of the characters story.

Overall, “Treehouse” gives good story, but mostly on the side of – say if- Lifetime has an R- rated channel where the films had darker material and stronger gory violence. When the horror is there it brings it! Unfortunately the first 75 minutes is mostly drama with suspense and no release for die-hard horror fans. It is a noticeable loss even with a story this well written and delivered. Plus that “WTF” ending is just so rude and disappointing that you sort of fill pissed. But I guess just as in real life, not all stories end neatly wrapped-up. I don’t know. See the film, because the story is a really good one that needs to be watched, just don’t think you are gonna get a lot of horror in “Treehouse” and you won’t be too disappointed.

Release Date Announced For “Drafthouse Film’s “Spring”


springDrafthouse Film’s has announced a March 20th release date for their horror film “Spring”. The film is directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. “Spring” stars Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Vanessa Bednar, Shane Brady, Vinny Curran, Augie Duke and Jeremy Gardner. The film follows a young man in a personal tailspin who flees the US to Italy. Once there he sparks up a romance with a woman harboring a dark, primordial secret.

Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci; Evil Dead, Thumbsucker) is a young American fleeing to Europe to escape his past. While backpacking along the Italian coast, everything changes during a stop at an idyllic Italian village, where he meets and instantly connects with the enchanting and mysterious Louise. A flirtatious romance begins to bloom between the two – however, Evan soon realizes that Louise has been harboring a monstrous, primordial secret that puts both their relationship and their lives in jeopardy.






Trailer Released For “Dead Rising: Watchtower”


DRWThe first trailer for upcoming zombie flick “Dead Rising: Watchtower” has been released. The film is set to stream on Crackle on March 27th. “Dead Rising” is directed by Zach Lipovsky and stars Dennis Haysbert, Rob Riggle, Jesse Metcalfe, and Virginia Madsen.

Based on the phenom gaming experience, “Dead Rising: Watchtower” takes place during a large-scale zombie outbreak. When a mandatory government vaccine fails to stop the infection from spreading, the four leads must evade infection while also pursuing the root of the epidemic, with all signs pointing to a government conspiracy.


First Teaser Trailer For “Turbo Kid”


tkCheck out the first teaser trailer for “Turbo Kid”. The post-apocalyptic tale just hit Sundance. “Turbo Kid” is directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl and based on the short film entry to the “ABC’s Of Death” anthology, “T Is For Turbo”.

In the wasteland of our future, THE KID, a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books must face his fears and become a reluctant hero when he meets a mysterious girl named APPLE. Despite their efforts to keep to themselves, ZEUS, the sadistic and self-proclaimed leader of the Wasteland, plagues THE KID and APPLE. Armed with little more than blind faith and an ancient turbocharged weapon, THE KID learns of justice and friendship and embarks on an incredible journey to rid the Wasteland of evil and save the girl of his dreams.

Monday, January 26, 2015

First Clip Released For Post-Apocalyptic “Turbo Kid”


turbo kidThe first clip has been released for post-apocalyptic, action/horror “Turbo Kid”, The film is a feature adaptation of short film “T Is For Turbo”. Directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl, “Turbo Kid” shows today, January 26th at Sundance. The wasteland flick stars Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Aaron Jeffery, and Edwin Wright.

In a post-apocalyptic future, THE KID, a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books must face his fears and become a reluctant hero when he meets a mysterious girl named APPLE. Despite their efforts to keep to themselves, ZEUS, the sadistic and self-proclaimed leader of the Wasteland, plagues THE KID and APPLE. Armed with little more than blind faith and an ancient turbocharged weapon, THE KID learns of justice and friendship and embarks on an incredible journey to rid the Wasteland of evil and save the girl of his dreams.




First Trailer For “Digging Up The Marrow”


DUTMCheck out the first trailer for Adam Green’s “Digging Up The Marrow”. The film is a blended mockumentary/classic horror monster tale and stars Green, Ray Wise, Will Barratt, Alex Pardee. “Digging Up The Marrow” will be available on iTunes and in theatres on February 20th.

What if the ghastly images and abominations haunting our collective nightmares actually exist? Writer/director Adam Green (Hatchet) sets out to make a documentary exploring this tantalizing premise after being contacted by a mysterious man named William Dekker (Ray Wise). Dekker claims he can prove that “monsters are real” and insists these grotesque creatures are forgotten, hideously deformed humanoids inhabiting a vast, underground metropolis of the damned. Determined to expose the truth, Green embarks on a bone-chilling odyssey and gets more than he bargains for when he dares to go Digging Up the Marrow.




First Teaser Released For “Knock Knock”


knock knockThe first teaser trailer has been released for “Knock Knock”. The film is directed by Eli Roth and starring Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas, Ignacia Allamand,  Colleen Camp. The film has a lot of buzz surrounding it and even made EW’s must list last week.

Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves) is living the dream. Just look at his beautiful, successful wife, his two wonderful kids, and his truly stunning house—which he designed himself. Of course he did. Things are going so well, Evan doesn’t even mind spending Father’s Day alone while the rest of his family heads out for a beach weekend. And then there’s a knock on the door.

The two young women (Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas) standing on Evan’s doorstep are where Evan’s dream takes a nightmarish turn. Given co-writer/director Eli Roth’s well-deserved reputation for creating cinematic discomfort, it should come as no surprise what happens next: Things get weird, and then dark, and then much, much, much darker. But this is no splatter film, so Roth keeps the horror nice and psychological as Evan’s life—and house—get ripped apart, piece by beautiful piece.

“Serpent’s Lullaby” Exclusive Toronto Screening


slByronA. Martin Productions and ForgeFilms are proud to announce that their Cannes’ Coup de Coeur selected short Serpent’s Lullaby (directed by award-winning filmmaker Patricia Chica) will have an exclusive Toronto screening as part of the Little TerrorsShort Film Showcase.

Serpent’s Lullaby is picking up praise on the festival circuit with successful screenings which started at the Cannes Film Festival’“Coup de Coeur” selection of the highlights at the Short Film Corner. The film had multiple subsequent screenings all over the world at Fantasia, HollyShorts, Oaxaca FilmFest, Rhode Island, Blood in the Snow, Munich Underground, Feratum, Etheria, just to name a few film festivals. Respected American film critic Jay Kay of The Horror Happens Radio Show included Serpent’s Lullaby in his Top Listof the Best Shorts of 2014.

Serpent’s Lullaby is a dark, haunting, and emotive tale that presents a contemporary twist on the myth of Medusa.

“The chthonic character coming into a modern world but holding onto the ritual of burial is poignant. Director Patricia Chica executes the story well and the script written by Charles Hall has emotional resonance”, says Ed Hovey of Soresport Movies Reviews. Trevor Michael Elvis Zimmermann of Terror in Toronto qualifies the film as “beautifully shot and well-acted, the story pulls you in without any need for exposition. Big thumbs up”.

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Few people know the name of the eccentric woman living in the centuries-old mansion just outside of town. Even fewer have seen her face. But everyone has heard the stories. Rumors of a secret garden in her backyard where her children are buried. Some think she is simply a grieving widowed mother seeking solitude. Others believe she's a cold-blooded monster. When the empty baby’s crib in her home and her lost love become too much for her to bear she makes a decision that will change the course of her story.

Patricia Chica (@PatriciaChica) is recognized internationally for her multiple award-winning artsy genre films notably Day Before Yesterday, The Promise, Rockabilly 514, CeramicTango, and A Tricky Treat to be released this year. Patricia Chica is part of theSoska Twins’ Massive Blood Drive PSA anthology coming out on February 1st for the Women in Horror Recognition Month. She is particularly appreciated for her provocative style and her method of exploring themes that bring awareness around taboo or delicate subject-matter. Through her sensitive and intuitive approach, she brings a deep and personal dimension to all of her films. Patricia is presently preparing two feature films: an edgy dark thriller Wolverine Hotel, produced by Byron A. Martin and Montréal Girls, an art-house dark comedy written for her by award-winning screenwriter Kamal John Iskander. (www.PatriciaChica.com)

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Byron A. Martin (@ByronAMartin) is an award-winning Canadian producer that develops independent film, television and documentary projects. To date he has produced almost 70 hours of television, filming projects in over twelve countries. He has produced projects for Disney, Sony, Universal and managed productions for some of Hollywood’s leading producers. (www.ByronMartin.com)

Little Terrors (@RMLittleTerrors) was founded in July 2011, by Unstable Ground's Justin McConnell, in association with Rue Morgue Magazine. The program has played over 100 acclaimed short films from all over the world, including multiple premieres. (www.littleterrorsfestival.com)






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