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Friday, June 5, 2015

My Review Of "Hillbilly Horror Show Vol. 4"

Okay, the "Hillbilly Horror Show" is one of my new favorite anthology, horror host collection. I am always apprehensive about anything that has people "acting" redneck, white trash, or hillbilly. Some people just can't pull it off without either being offense, off putting, or just silly. Being that I am Southern white trash, and a Hillbilly (moved to S.E. KY about 14 yrs ago), the people have to get it right for me to enjoy it. Now back to my review.

"Hillbilly Horror Show Vol. 4" effortlessly carries on the tradition of late night horror hosted shows with the comedic theatrics  you get from "My Name Is Earl" while presenting us with some truly entertaining and clever horror shorts from some of today's darkest minds in the indie horror community. This volume seems to be all about gettin' some strange. And that we do!

First the guys, and gal that make up the Hillbilly Horror Show. Some of the humor isn't as funny as it was intended to be, the punchlines tend to fall flat or the timing is off. I don't know but there are a few moments when the "hillbilly" state of mind seems to be taken from bad television representations of white trash, but for the most part this crew is funny, and entertaining. I don't know why they haven't been put on late night Fridays on Spike TV or TBS. The Hillbilly Horror Show is perfect for television.

Now for the short films. "Hillbilly Horror Show Vol. 4" keeps pace with the previous volumes when it comes to giving us some fresh, creative, and twisted new flicks. It is something that has impressed me from the beginning of this anthology series. There is some pretty awesome things happening in indie horror! And the short film collection in Vol. 4 here as well as other material is proof! Plus I like that Hillbilly Horror Show chooses short films that have a dark funny bone, and a bit of a morality or karma that ends the stories. The Hillbilly Horror Show is worth checking out. it may not be for everyone because of the hillbilly shtick, but if you have a sense of humor and love indie horror then definitely check it out!

My Review Of "The Canal"

Ivan Kavanagh's paranormal horror, "The Canal", is a bit of brain teaser, mind bender, and trickster. The film is really a mutant psychological thriller that keeps you guessing. And it does it beautifully. It stars Rupert EvansAntonia Campbell-HughesHannah Hoekstra, Kelly Byrne, Carl Shaaban, Steve Oram, Calum Heath and Anneke Blok.  Kavanagh crafts a haunting nightmare that blurs the lines between reality and insanity that is darkly delicious!

Synopsis: Film archivist David has been having a rough time lately, as he suspects that his wife Alice has been cheating on him with Alex, one of her work clients. This stress is compounded when David's work partner Claire gives him a reel of to-be-archived footage that shows that his house was the setting for a brutal murder in 1902. Becoming progressively more unsettled and unhinged, David begins to believe that a spectral presence is in his house and ends up following his wife to a nearby canal, where he discovers that she is indeed having an affair with Alex. When Alice goes missing shortly afterwards, David contacts the police- only to become the prime suspect in her disappearance. As the police grow more convinced that David has murdered his wife, he struggles to find proof of his growing suspicion that something otherworldly was instead responsible.

The story is a strong, emotional character study that plays out in a melancholy way with moments of tense, chilling energy that seems to ripple through this creative nightmare. "The Canal" blends the concepts of cursed property, tragic lives, and horrendous past in a way that keeps you guessing. Well actually you start guessing midway through the film when suddenly more possible scenarios comes to light. It is still heavy with the paranormal, and keeps with a darker, more sinister tone. The acting is superb and the characters are so developed that you begin to feel for them - I was completely invested. Ivan Kavanagh as created a psychological labyrinth of horror, and tragedy that hooks you from the beginning, drags you through intense melodrama and confusion, then hits with some truly disturbing imagery and finality. 

The special effects are so well done that you feel the moments of horror as readily as the characters do. There is a few moments when the paranormal trickery isn't quite as effective as most of the stuff in "The Canal" is, but in a market drowning in netherworld nightmares it is hard to make every paranormal gimmick hit home with the audience. The ghost-y stuff is surreal and chilling. True some of it has been seen before but the characters her help to really sell even the basic of effects. The soundtrack is filled with sorrow-filled instrumental music that is full of dread and despair and emotion. The ending is a bit cheesy and not very original. But it creates that moment of finality that actually brings the story out of the whole "guessing game" of "is he? or isn't he?" which takes over in the middle of "The Canal". I really enjoyed this film, it is dark, disturbing and entertaining. 

"Time Wounds All" Goes Into Production

The upcoming psychological thriller "Time Wounds All" has gone into production. MM Mayhem Films is producing this familial slice of macabre from Nicholas Boise and Jesse Boise."Time Wounds All" is an elevated tale that follows a family in conflict as secrets become poison, and shrouded in mystery. The film stars Keith Collins ("The Meat Puppet", "Clean Cut"), Elana Mugdan ("Let's Make A Movie","Letters To Quentin"), Francesca DiPaola ("Lifetime's - The Sisterhood"). Nicholas Boise will take the director's chair. 


 Inside every family there are secrets. Some good and some so dark that every member must work to keep it. Elizabeth and Eddie Williams live on their childhood farm with their brother Evan. When a forgotten skeleton escapes it's closet and threatens their perfect life, someone must take charge! What is this family hiding? And who are they hiding it from? In the end one question is left unanswered...Is it fear that makes you guilty; or is it that you fear you're already guilty?

New 'Scream' Mask Revealed

MTV has unveiled the new mask for the TV reboot of 'Scream'. The new series premieres June 30th and takes us once more to Lakewood, where secrets run deep, kids run wild, and a murder is tradition. It isn't 'Ghostface' but then again the series isn't really about that "Scream"-per se.

 Willa FitzgeraldBex Taylor-KlausCarlson Young, John Karna, Connor Well, Bobby Campo and Amadeus Serafini star in this TV adaptation of the franchise. What starts as a YouTube video going viral, soon leads to problems for the teenagers of Lakewood and serves as the catalyst for a murder that opens up a window to the town's troubled past.

After a cyber-bullying incident results in a brutal murder, the shocking violence stirs up memories of a killing spree from the past that has haunted some, intrigued others and maybe just inspired a new killer. A group of teens - with two old friends struggling to reconnect at its heart - become lovers, enemies, suspects, targets and victims of an assassin who's out for blood. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Review Of "Don't Despair"

 Alfred Giancarli's serial killer short film "Don't Despair" is a mix of character study and ultra-violence. The story is set up with two sort of "anti-protagonist" characters who both collect the same obscure, taboo memorabilia. In this situation a sale is made for a piece of hard-to-find, fetish, torture porn that was once owned by a notorious serial killer that both collectors idolize. "Don't Despair" stars Erin Etheridge, Kevin Reed and Bec Fordyce.

The story is one that fits a genre of film that sort of makes me cringe, often I find it hard to watch the "all out" torture-porn stuff because it often glorifies the kill sequences in a snuff-like manner rather than telling a story. Most times the killers are the stars and the victims no more than props. I wasn't sure what this film was really going to be about, I was shocked that it is the story that it is. Expected the whole "spider traps a fly" type deal. This was not that. 

"Don't Despair" is shot very well, in controlled, quality. The story is dark, almost completely devoid of satire, and without actually being so- quite surreal. Or maybe my experience watching a film that normally I would pass up was the surrealism seeping in, not sure. Either way I completed this short film all the way through. With some aspects bothering me, and some actually entertaining. The stuff that bothers me is the fact that, even though the female lead is slightly over-acted, both leads are likable, relatable characters. They are killers, and gross, and nonhuman, and yet completely recognizable. I liked the dialog, it was well thought out, delivered nicely, and told a complete story while building up these characters.

The special effects in "Don't Despair" are pretty quality as well. The victim-or masterpiece-as she is refereed to, is done in  a very realistic style with the actress giving complete, hopeless, victim. I usually only like films like this if it allows the victimizers to receive karmic justice. That is not the case in this film. She is merely a prop and a catalyst for this twisted beginning of a serial killer love affair. Overall I wouldn't watch this again, but I can honestly say, with my soul intact, it is a good indie short film that shows a truly disturbing slice of life that isn't often explored.



Promo Poster And Release Date For Season 2 'From Dusk Till Dawn'

Press Release
Austin, TX (June 1, 2015)—The long-awaited return of the El Rey Network/Miramax supernatural crime saga, "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series," is set for Tuesday, August 25th at 9pm ET, it was announced today. With 10 all-new, action-packed hour-long episodes, season two of the horror/crime drama delves into a new and unexpected chapter for the characters after a night at the Titty Twister ripped apart everything they knew about themselves, each other and their souls.
Returning cast members D.J. Cotrona (Dear John, G.I. Joe: Retaliation); Zane Holtz (Wind Walkers, Holes, The Perks of Being a Wallflower); Jesse Garcia (Quincea?era, "Sons of Anarchy"); Eiza Gonz?lez (Lola: ?rase Una Vez); Wilmer Valderrama ("That ‘70s Show," To Whom It May Concern); Madison Davenport ("Noah,""Shameless"); Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder, Ender’s Game, Incredible Crew) and guest star Jake Busey (Motorcycle Gang, Contract) are joined in the show’s sophomore season by Danny Trejo (Machete, Machete Kills) as "The Regulator;" Esai Morales ("Criminal Minds," "NYPD Blue") as "Lord Amancio Malvado;" Jeff Fahey ("Lost," "Justified," "Texas Rising") as "Uncle Eddie Cruickshank" and Briana Evigan (Step Up 2) as "Sonja Lam".
Robert Rodriguez, El Rey Network’s founder and chairman and creator of the 1995 cult-classic film of the same name, directs the season premiere and finale; additional directors include showrunner Carlos Coto, Eduardo Sanchez, Alejandro Brugu?s, Joe Menendez, and Dwight Little.
Rodriguez said: "The first season of ‘Dusk’ reimagined the original film to allow us to expand our story and characters for future seasons. I’m excited for fans to now experience this completely new story arc where they will learn more about the Dusk universe and their favorite characters within this dark, dangerous, crime world with a supernatural edge."
Called "radically different" and "a fascinating ride" by The Associated Press, season one of "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" centered on bank robber Seth Gecko and his violent, unpredictable brother, Richard "Richie" Gecko, who were on the run to Mexico when they encountered former pastor Jacob Fuller and his family, and took them hostage. Using the family RV to cross the border, chaos ensued when the group detoured to the Titty Twister, a strip club populated by culebras, snake-like ancient creatures who survive by drinking human blood. They were forced to fight until dawn in order to get out alive.
In Season Two, the show travels between Mexico and the edgy, tricked-out Texas of Robert Rodriguez. It also deepens and complicates the core relationships between the characters, while adding new faces and new dynamics. Our characters are all living in very separate worlds -Sant?nico and Richie are outside Houston, doing their best Bonnie and Clyde; Seth and Kate are scraping by South of the Border; and Freddie Gonzalez is protecting his wife and young daughter in the suburbs. Carlos Madrigal and Scott Fuller emerge from the Titty Twister, changed men. They will all come together once again - this time facing off against an even bigger threat.
"From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" is a Miramax production in association with Rodriguez International Pictures, FactoryMade Ventures, and Sugarcane Entertainment. Executive producers are Robert Rodriguez, showrunner Carlos Coto, writer Diego Gutierrez, FactoryMade Ventures and El Rey Network co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa, and Miramax’s Zanne Devine and Daniel Pipski.
Miramax is distributing "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" internationally in all territories.

New "Sinister II" Poster

Check out the new "Sinister II" poster. The film has some of the most disturbing subject matter in this paranormal, evil entity, demon horror genre- in my opinion. At least the first film did. I hope this second installment gives me even more of those disgusting chills as well!

"Sinister II" is directed by Ciaran Foy and stars Shannyn Sossamon, James Ransone, Nicholas King. The sequel is set to be released on August 21st, 2015. "Sinister II" was written by  Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill.

In the aftermath of the shocking events in Sinister, a protective mother and her 9-year-old twin sons find themselves in a rural house marked for death as the evil spirit of Buhguul continues to spread with frightening intensity.

Proof Concept Video Released For "It Came From The Desert"

The day has arrived. Giant monstrous creatures have risen from the desert to devour us all! Check out the first bit of promotional trailer material for upcoming sci-fi/creature feature "It Came From The Desert". The proof of concept video has finally been released. This is a film that I have been eagerly awaiting.

"It Came From The Desert" is a modern adaptation of the cult classic video game "It Came From The Desert". It is directed by Marko Mäkilaakso."It Came From The Desert" is a motocross action film with giant ants. 

The cult classic film, "Them!", which inspired the video game, was basically about radioactive giant ants attacking a desert community. The video game took those creatures and set them on chase after the motocross racers. This film will be an adaptation of that very high intensity, adrenaline rush formula of desert motorcycle racers being attacked by giant ants. 

















My Review Of "Above Us Lives Evil"

"Above Us Lives Evil a.k.a They Came From The Attic" is a creature horror by Jason Mills. It is a simple, straightforward nightmarish tale about a family moving into a new home with a sinister background and almost otherworldly occupants. It stars   Leon BourikosNathan DashwoodRobert L. Duncan, and Nicola Elbro. 

Synopsis: When an accident takes the life of their young boy, his family moves and finds a picturesque location seemingly ideal for a new beginning. Little do they know that something is amiss in their new neighborhood as creepy neighbors and strange occurrences begin to distract their daily life. Slowly they realize that there is something much worse than their memories and guilt dwelling within the house. The attic harbors an ancient evil so strong it confronts the family's deepest fears and drives them against one another and the new dream home soon becomes a house of unspeakable horrors.

"Above Us Lives Evil" is a throwback to classic, basic horror stories that just put people in terrifying situations, where they scream, bleed and die. In this case it is at the hands of some monstrous creatures. The story actually begins with the guise of a paranormal or creepy neighbor situation that makes you think the family just picks the wrong neighborhood to move to, but what unfolds is standard foray into some really creative areas of creature feature that reminded me of old school horror like "C.H.U.D." or "The Beast Within". The acting is pretty decent, with a cohesive cast that give believable performances. The directing and cinematography are superb and offer up some eeriness that rocks.

The special effects are a blend of practical effects, great creature design, and paranormal-esque trickery that combine to give a creepy, chilling nightmare. Visually I found "Above Us Lives Evil" to be easy to watch, fun, and entertaining. There is blood, screams, spooky night time horror, and -oh yeah some pretty wicked creatures. The soundtrack isn't really anything spectacular but it does a nice enough job at setting an emotionally macabre atmosphere to the story. The music and sound effects are what you want to hear in a film like this. Really I was impressed at how well thought out and put together the film is for a low budget indie horror. 

Overall "Above Us Lives Evil" is a cool, simple horror film with some pretty nice creature makeup and carnage. The story is pretty basic and not built up as nicely as it could have been. Some of the characters aren't as well developed as they should have been and some depth to the story surrounding the creatures could have really helped to anchor the horror of the situation. That is the only reason I didn't give this a higher score on IMDb or Amazon. That and the ending. It doesn't really feel complete. It ends mid action, or death. So there is no closure or finality other than some final credits scenes that we get to enjoy along with the rock song that ends the film. I really was wanting to watch the family have to fight through till the bitter end instead of having it suggested to me. Still "Above Us Lives Evil" is worth watching!

My Review of "Angel Maker: Serial Killer Queen"

"Angel Maker: Serial Killer Queen" is a documentary about the mother of all child killers, Amelia Dyer. During the same period in British history as Jack The Ripper and Sherlock Holmes novels, Amelia disguised her sinister motives under the guise of nurturing do-gooder. She took in the infants and toddlers of destitute, and single mothers in need and set out to methodically murder each one.

Official Synopsis:
  • In the 19th century, England controlled the biggest Empire the world had ever seen. Scientific breakthroughs, huge scale engineering, and great leaps in medicine led Britain's reign of global power. And yet, behind the facade there was a darkness. An unimaginable world of evil - theft, rape, murder and more. This was the real world of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes. But there was a lesser known killer on the loose who was far worse than any of the others, a woman who would succeed in becoming one of the world's most prolific serial killers. Her name was Amelia Dyer and she killed over 400 innocent babies. A seemingly gentle old lady, Amelia would take in children under the guise of nurturing and caring for them when in reality she starved and strangled them to death. Explore inconceivable recesses of humanity in this shockingly true story of human darkness and depravity at the turn of the century.
  • "Angel Maker" is a chilling and heart-wrenching true story of a very evil and possibly criminally insane woman during a period of history that seemed ideal breeding grounds for the serial killer, insane mind. The documentary manages to tell that story with haunting, and macabre conviction to the crimes of child murdering in an emotionally effective manner. The soundtrack is an instrumental row of depressed melodies that give the piece, and especially the suffrage of these tiny victims, some real depth of sorrow. The narrator is as somber and monotone as you would expect and need to give this thing a respective, non-sensationalized level of respect. He, along with the soundtrack makes it very clear and concise that Amelia Dyer was a monster and not a legend to be held with the same macabre fascination as say Lizzie Borden. 
  • The downside and gripe that I have with "Angel Maker: Serial Killer Queen" is the lack of actual material that surrounded her case or life. No pictures, crime scene photos, news paper stuff, nothing. The whole thing seemed filled with public domain clips from film and photographs of generic moments from the the time period. True it does set the tone and atmosphere of the society and quality of life that gave rise to this horror, but not one real, recognizable slice of Amelia Dyer or her actual life is visual in here. Strip away the material that is just about that period in history or a generalization of the people and environment and you may have 30 minutes of material. So I am on the fence. It tells Amelia's stories but no more than an audio book could do. It is like a "half-made" documentary. ( ? )  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Official Trailer For Alien Llama Invasion "Llamageddon"

The official trailer has been released for upcoming sci-fi, freak-out invasion flick "Llamageddon". The film features an alien invasion of llamas that shoot lasers out their eyes. Directed by Howie Dewin and starring Jacques M. Felin, Pinki Brainweis, L. Lean Burnside, E.B. Buxxner, Richard Cymbals, Leona L. Dandee, Howie Dewin, Mary Haddilam, Gooch Jesco III,Sunshine Phoenix, John Selmy, Aaron O.O. Shanson, Erin Stacy, Chet Steadman the film is, based on the trailer, inspired by a novelty t-shirt. I wonder if pot was somehow involved! 



You can also check out the teaser and animated origin trailer that came before the official trailer release. The story revolves around the invasion hitting a group of college students trying to get their party on!



My Review Of "The Redwood Massacre"

David Ryan Keith's "The Redwood Massacre" is a return to slasher's beginnings. It feeds on the construct of what made the classic masked killer horror flicks so powerful and memorable. The film stars Mark Wood, Lisa Livingston, Lisa Cameron, Rebecca Wilkie, Adam Coutts in a story that takes us back to rural killing grounds of an unstoppable, preternatural force of brutality. The Redwood House is home to a legend surrounding the tragic end of a farmer and his family. The father driven insane murders his wife and kid then ends his own life. (That isn't a spoiler, it isn't an actual event that takes place just the legend that builds to the massacre we get to enjoy.) Anyway years later on the anniversary a group of friends head out to party at the location and the blood spills.

Synopsis: For five adventurous friends, visiting the legendary murder site of the Redwood House has all the hallmarks of being an exciting and thrilling camping weekend away. A popular site for revelers and party goers, each year on the exact date of the famous local family massacre, people from around the country head out to the site to have fun and scare each other. Events take a bloody turn for the worse when the innocent campers discover the Redwood legend is in fact a horrible bloody reality, which turns the unsuspecting victims into prey for a mysterious ax wielding maniac that has remained dormant for 20 years.

"The Redwood Massacre" has a pretty cool story. It does seem to piece together some elements of many classic horror mythos that came before, but the Redwood legend doesn't feel like a rip off (at least it didn't to me). It just uses the best components of the slasher construct and builds a really nice, dark, origin story for this truly intimidating killer. The direction and acting are straightforward with scenes and staging that screams traditional horror. For me the film is as fun in its own modern way as "Madman" and "The Burning" were the first time I saw them. "The Redwood Massacre" moves full force from the beginning to the end in an almost nonstop killing spree of visceral carnage. 

The special effects and soundtrack keep with the darker, more grindhouse feel. That is a slight deviation from the classic slasher styles. This film has a more contemporary atmosphere to it with the choice of music it uses. Not sure what the feeling is but much like "Hostel" made me almost uncomfortable with the instrumental that was chosen-especially during the bloody kill scenes, is much like the feeling I got watching this film. Just an unapologetic show of brutality coupled with some gore-rich special effects and blood splatter. I don't think I have seen to many UK/British slashers show the bloody bits as full on as "The Redwood Massacre" does. ( ? )

Overall I enjoyed the film. Although the story was built on well established beliefs surrounding the "slasher" as monster, the actual Redwood legend is a nice, disturbing and believable story. The blood and gore (and there is a lot of it) is well put together and in your face. The killer is recognizable and familiar to the slasher genre but brought to life in a very original, creative way that doesn't feel copycat. It is just a really fun and brutal slasher that stays serious with very little satire or "comic relief". I was a bit annoyed at the end with the final bit of dialog but the way it ends suggests a sequel so I liked that aspect. I think fans of slasher and gore will enjoy this film. It really is a return to the classic horror that most of us grew up on in the early 80's.


Behind The Scenes Interview With Other Halves' Melanie Friedrich

Today, Other Halves, the horror film about the last dating app you’ll ever use, released a behind-the-scenes interview with German actress Melanie Friedrich (Positive: Some Doors Should Remain Closed). Melanie plays Jana, the lead programmer of Other Halves. In this clip, Melanie talks about what it's like to play a woman in a male-dominated field, and how that reflects her own life experiences.


Other Halves stars Lauren Lakis (Hybrids, Gun Woman) and Mercedes Manning (Strictly Sexual, Zipper) as programmers who develop a revolutionary new dating app called Other Halves. On the night before the app is set to launch, they discover it causes strange side effects: users lose all self-control, becoming amoral, lascivious, violent... evil. They consider shutting the app down, but...

EVIL IS PROFITABLE.

The Red-Band Trailer recently debuted to much acclaim.  Two previous teasers gave us a clever glimpse of the evil properties of the app, the first disguised as a “Start-Up Investor Pitch” and the second teaser announcing the “Public Beta” of the revolutionary dating app.  “Other Halves” will make you think twice before you swipe right.

Other Halves, from One Oh One Radio Pictures, is the feature film debut for director and co-writer Matthew T. Price, and co-writer Kelly Morr.

The film is being produced by Curt Chatham, and also stars Lianna Liew (Truth Or Dare), Megan Hui (The Before Time), Sam Schweikert (Hart of Dixie), and Carson Nicely (The Conan O'Brien Show).

Monday, June 1, 2015

Official Poster Released For "A Tricky Treat" In Time For World Premiere At Fantasia

The horror-comedy short that Fangoria Magazine calls “Deliciously Vile,” A TRICKY TREAT (directed by award-winning filmmaker Patricia Chica) will have its World Premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada. The director and her team will be in attendance.

“Fantasia is one of my favorite film festivals, and now that I live in Los Angeles, it is a great honour for me to return to my hometown Montreal to premiere A Tricky Treat,” says director Patricia Chica.

“We’re thrilled to screen our little film amidst the giants in contemporary genre movie making,” states the writer Kamal John Iskander.


This shocking tale of the unexpected tells the story of a man (Leonard Waldner), held hostage by a very strange family whose fate rests in the hands of two kids. The family is played by Steve Brewster, Andrea Fletcher, Keira McCarthy, and newcomer Marco Reilly.

After a successful market screening at the Short Film Corner in Cannes, A Tricky Treat will go on to play at Scream Queen Film Fest in Tokyo, RIP Horror Film Festival in Hollywood, and the 21st San Giò Verona Video Festival in Italy. More festival screenings will be announced soon.



A Tricky Treat is the first collaboration of creative duo Patricia Chica (director) and Kamal John Iskander (writer) who have been called the Gruesome Twosome by popular online cinema blog, The Movie Guys. Shot in Los Angeles earlier this year, the film is executive produced by Tara Kurtz (Los Angeles), and produced by Patricia Chica (Montreal), Grace Santos (Los Angeles), as well as Byron A. Martin (Toronto). Co-Executive producers are Adonai Interiano of HNI Productions (Los Angeles) and Morris Umali (Australia).

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