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Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Review Of "3:33 AM: The Witching Hour"

Daniel E. Falicki's "3:33 AM: The Witching Hour" is a paranormal thriller with off-beat theatrical flare. The film stars  Matthew J. DennisSheri Beth DusekScott Baisden, and Chris Kotcher. "3:33 AM" blends traditional paranormal, thriller driven suspense with quirky, theatrical drama in this character study of self "rediscovery" of a man trying to rebuild his shattered life.

Synopsis: After two years in prison, John Spinelli is a free man. Upon his release, he moves into a halfway house known as ''Wellhome'' which is notoriously overrun with looney tenants and strange occurrences that happen at 3:33 AM. John simply wants to get on with his life, stay clean and get his life on track, but he quickly becomes entangled in a mysterious web of bizarre murders. As he grapples with his mad mix of macabre neighbors, John realizes something evil governs his new neighborhood. Every night, outside his window, lights flash and strange noises come from the house next door which has a dark and sinister past. Can he convince authorities he is innocent of the murders? Or will he wish he was back behind bars?

The story that Falicki gives us in this bit of melodrama and macabre is a pretty nice bit of emotion and human connection. The lead character and the ordeal he faces getting his life back on track is touching, and the actor gives an authentic performance. I am a little conflicted about the over all story with the many other characters here, for the most part I didn't buy into the personas of the secondary cast of "crazy house mates" that call Wellhome home. However the characters John, Father Stark, The Investigator , the girlfriend, all give such strong performances that I really invested into the this story. 

The special effects in "3:33 AM" are the standard mix of CGI spookiness, and creepy settings. Most of it is the practical trickery that you would see at a well done haunted attraction and the CGI paranormal stuff looks good and helps to bring in the macabre, ghost story elements of the movie. The sound effects and music is pretty well put together and really set the tone of Daniel Falicki's story. It creates the needed emotional connection to the dramatic moments and when the more chilling atmospheric stuff happens the sounds really help deliver the vibe. It ins't anything stand out or "out of the box" but it is well thought out and put together nicely. 

Overall I am split about "3:33 : The Witching Hour". I really enjoy pretty much all of Daniel Falicki's work, and I also like the very odd, creative story that he weaves here. I just didn't really get a complete picture of what the story was, it was like stepping in as the drama unfolds and thinking "man this shit is crazy" but really wanting to hang around and just watch it unfold. Anyway, I liked the paranormal stuff, the settings, and the main characters, I just had a hard time really fully understanding on why or what actually was happening beyond what was shown on camera or John's situation. Why the heck were these ghosts so evil? Why was this happening just as John moves into Wellhome, and what tied it into the witching hour? It isn't Daniel Falicki's best work but is still a strong story with lead characters that you really feel like investing in. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Neptunalia Festival

Today is the Neptunalia Festival in honor of the god Neptune. The Neptunalia was the festival of Neptune on July 23, at the height of summer. The date and the construction of tree-branch shelters suggest a primitive role for Neptune as god of water sources in the summer's drought and heat. The most ancient Roman calendar set the feriae of Neptunus on July 23, two days after the Lucaria of July 19 and 21 and two days before the Furrinalia of July 25. (Read more here on my previous post.)











I don't live near a large body of water, the ocean, lake or the beach, but thanks to my mom's love off all things beach side and seashell I have plenty of items to choose from for my altar in honor of Neptune. I have placed some coral pieces, seashells, a small dolphin figurine, seahorses, a pewter sand castle, and a small chalice of water. Plus I have lit my go-to incense , Frankincense and Myrrh. My day will be a casual show of respect for the god with candle and incense and incantation.

Neptune was the god of water and the sea.  Unlike the Greek Oceanus, titan of the world-ocean, Neptune was associated as well with fresh water. Georges Dumézil suggested that for Latins, who were not a seafaring people, the primary identification of Neptune was with freshwater springs. Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshipped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing

I found this prayer to Neptune on a Yahoo groups post:

"Gods, who delight in preserving bold ships and turning from them the 
perils of windy seas, make smooth and placid these waters, and attend 
with good council my vows, let not my words be drowned out by roaring 
waves as I pray:

"O Neptune, grand and rare is the pledge we make to You, and in what 
we commend into the depths of the sea. Young Maecius it is whose 
body we commit to the sea, far from the sight of land, that he, the 
better part of our souls, traverses the sea's length and depth (to 
the Western Lands). 

"Bring forth the benign stars, the Spartan brothers, Castor and 
Pollux, to sit upon the horns of the yard arm. Let your light 
illuminate sea and sky. Drive off your sister Helen's stormy star, I 
pray, and expel it from all the heavens. 

"And you azure Nereids of the seas, whose good fortune it was to 
attain mastery of the oceans – may it be allowed to name you stars of 
the seas – rise up from your glassy caverns near the foaming waves 
that encircle Doris, and tranquilly swim circles around the shores of 
Baiae where the hot springs abound. Seek after the lofty ship on 
which a noble descendant of Ausonians, Celer, mighty at arms, is glad 
to embark. Not long will you need to look, for she lately came 
across the sea, leading a convoy laden with Egyptian wheat and bound 
for Dicarcheis. First was she to salute Capreae and from her 
starboard side offer a libation of Mareotic wine to Tyrrhenian 
Minerva. Near to her, on either side, circle gracefully around her. 
Divide your labors, some to tighten fast the rigging from masts to 
deck, while others high above spread forth canvass sails to the 
westerly Zephyrs. Still others replace some benches, others send 
into the water the rudder by whose curved blade steers the ship. 
Another plumbs the depths with leaden weights while others to fasten 
the skiff that follows astern, and to dive down and drag the hooked 
anchor from the depths, and one to control the tides and make the sea 
flow eastward. Let none of the sea green sisterhood be without her 
task. 

"Then let Proteus of manifold shape and triformed Triton swim before, 
and Glaucus whose loins vanished by sudden enchantment, and who, so 
oft as he glides up to his native shores, wistfully beats his fish 
tail on Anthedon's strand. 

"But above all others you, Palaemon, with your goddess mother, be 
favourable, if I have a passion to tell of your own Thebes, and sing 
of Amphion, bard of Phoebus, with no unworthy quill. 

"And may the father whose Aeolian prison constrains the winds, whom 
the various blasts obey, and every air that stirs on the world's 
seas, and storms and cloudy tempests, keep the North wind and South 
and East in closer custody behind his wall of mountain, but may 
Zephyr alone have the freedom of the sky, alone drive vessels onward 
and skim unceasingly over the crests of billows, until he brings 
without a storm your glad sails safe to the Paraetonian haven."
~ P. 
Papinius Statius, Silvae 3.2.1-49







Trailer Released For Creepy Bug Invasion "Cicada!"

Check out the trailer for creepy bug invasion sci-fi flick "Cicada!". The b-movie comedy is currently running a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo.com.  There are some really cool perks and the amounts are kick ass as well.

"Cicada!" is directed by David Willis and stars Jeffrey Kent, Beau Crawford, Cassandra Hein. When Los Angeles is attacked by a swarm of giant mutated cicadas in search of human blood, a group of friends led by disgraced Major-leaguer Johnny Bash must fight to destroy the swarm and save the city.











First Trailer Released For Voodoo Horror "Worry Dolls"

Check out the first trailer for upcoming voodoo horror "Worry Dolls". The film has a release date set for August 31st, 2015 and is directed by Padraig Reynolds. "Worry Dolls" stars Christopher Wiehl, Kym Jackson, Samantha Smith, Kennedy Brice and Tina Lifford.

In the aftermath of the hunt for a serial killer, an ancient curse consumes a city, causing a series of brutal murders and pits a detective against the clock to save his daughter’s life.

"Worry Dolls" is the second film in a trilogy and follows "Rites Of Spring". A film that I loved. Even the way it abruptly ending in the vintage, grindhouse ? way! You can read my review of "Rites Of Spring" and get ready for Americana nightmarish, occult horror!








Worry Dolls    -    trailer by elbellavistas

DVD Release Details For Coming-Of-Age Horror "June"

Director L. Gustavo Cooper's coming-of-age horror "June" has a release date set for October 6th, 2015. There will also be a VOD release on the date. The film stars Casper Van Dien, Victoria Pratt, Addy Miller and Rachel Whitman Groves.

"June" is the horror story about a nine-year-old girl, named June, who has become the vessel of a supernatural being called Aer.  June must discover her true self and overcome this inner demon to save herself and her family, and find love and acceptance in a chaotic world. 

Check out the previously released trailer and a movie still of the title character below. But honestly I just wanna know all about Aer!!! The artwork kind of gives me a bit of a Carrie vibe but based on the trailer something more awaits in this dark chiller!




Sci-fi Comedy Thriller 'Braindead' Coming In 2016

CBS has given a straight-to-series, 13-episode order to Good Wife creators’ Robert and Michelle King’s one-hour comic-thriller, which is being billed as a cross between The Strain and The West Wing. Braindead is slated to premiere in Summer 2016 and follows a young fresh-faced Hill staffer getting her first job in Washington, D.C. and discovering two things: The government has stopped working, and alien spawn have come to Earth and eaten the brains of a growing number of Congressmen and Hill staffers.

“We wanted to do a show that was a mix of genre-pulp and high-brow politics,” said the Kings in a statement. “It seemed like the best way to address the news today — not straight, but as the opening act of a horror movie.” 

DVD Details For Horror Anthology "The Horror Network"

Press Release:
Wild Eye Releasing has debuted a new trailer and key art for their anthology release this Halloween, The Horror Network. Created by Brian Dorton and Douglas Conner, this first volume of terror tales features segments directed by Dorton, Conner, Joseph Graham, Manuel Marín, Lee Matthews and Ignacio Martín Lerma, the series has been hailed as “a collection of nightmares that scream for all horror fans to see”.
Serial killers, ghostly phone calls, inner demons, otherworld monsters and creepy stalkers collide in this frightening anthology. Five of horror’s most promising new directing talents join forces to pay homage to classic horror like Creepshow, Tales From the Crypt, V/H/S and The ABCs of Death, and weave an unforgettable, disturbing tapestry of terror.
The October 27th, 2015 DVD release of The Horror Network will exclusively include a number of bonus features.

Wicked Teaser For "Heir" Released

Press Release:
FATAL PICTURES, in association with RED SNEAKERS MEDIA, is proud to announce HEIR – a touching tale of father and son from the filmmakers that brought you WORM, FAMILIAR, REMOTE, and THE LAST HALLOWEEN. This practical effects horror short aims to stimulate the mind and wrench the gut with equal power.
Starring Bill Oberst, Jr. (RESOLUTION, CIRCUS OF THE DEAD, TAKE THIS LOLLIPOP), and Robert Nolan (FAMILIAR, BERKSHIRE COUNTRY, SILENT RETREAT); written and directed by Richard Powell (WORM, FAMILIAR); produced by FATAL PICTURES’ Zach Green and Richard Powell (WORM, FAMILIAR) in association with Marc Roussel and Ron Basch from RED SNEAKERS MEDIA (REMOTE, THE LAST HALLOWEEN); associate produced by Seth Metoyer (CELL COUNT, DEADLY REVISIONS, BALLET OF BLOOD) with cinematography by Michael Jari Davidson (SAVE YOURSELF, BERKSHIRE COUNTY & THE LAST HALLOWEEN), special make-up effects by The Butcher Shop (FAMILIAR, THE LAST HALLOWEEN), editing by John Nicholls (SEX AFTER KIDS, THE SWEETEST HIPPOPOTAMUS, THE LAST HALLOWEEN), and music by Christopher Guglick (REMOTE, HOME, THE LAST HALLOWEEN).
SynopsisAfter connecting with a stranger of similar interests online, family man Gordon and his young son Paul embark on an ill fated road trip in which Gordon aims to indulge in a secret passion. Before the day ends a horrible truth will be uncovered and a harsh lesson will be learned…

Teaser Trailer Released For Creature Feature "The Visitors"

"The Visitors" is a indie creature feature currently seeking funds over on Indiegogo.com. The film is described as being a blend of influences from John Carpenter's "The Thing" and "Evil Dead". Well that has my interest right there! This type of "seventh kind" contact offers more horror and gore and really gives an opportunity to be chilling, intense, and bloody! Yay!

"The Visitors" is directed by Jeremy Hull and stars Mike Gajewski, Rachel Claire, Ava Dalgaard, Anna Rodriguez. Principal photography will begin on August 28th, 2015. The location is a pretty creepy piece of isolated farmland and the setting is is ideal for the story that Hull has created. I look forward to seeing this one released!

After settling into their new home in the country, the Cooper families night of peaceful relaxation is brought to an abrupt halt when two mysterious drifters come knocking on their door. As the drifters attempt to unleash a strategic plan of terror upon the unsuspecting family, their plan is soon foiled by a flesh eating creature fixated on only one thing; survival. In order for the family to survive the night they must entrust in the one person who once sought to harm them, but as the events of the evening begin to unravel it becomes clear that there is more to this situation than meets the eye and more than one monster lurking in the shadows.

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Review Of "The Bloody Indulgent"

"The Bloody Indulgent" is a rock horror opera directed by Ken Roht. The film stars Kevin Richardson, Diva Zappa, Brian Gaskill, Kenneth Hughes, Dylan Kenin, Brandon Heitkamp, Clay Wilcox, and Sharon Ferguson. The story is postmodern crucible of sorts that brings bloodshed and debauchery to life with catchy tunes. "The Bloody Indulgent" is a drug fueled trail of mayhem as Burt the vampire sets out for a night of feeding and drugging the nightlife in the underground performance scene. 

Synopsis: In an attempt to savagely chew the blood out of a B-rated strip club owner named Sid (Brian Gaskill), a skeezy indulgent vampire, Burt (Kevin Richardson), whose zest for "life" is equaled only by his addiction to really expensive, exotic drugs, hides out (and dopes up) at an upscale drug den, owned by a photographer who seems to have grown a dark whimsy of killing herself. Dori, Sid's girlfriends, and the other rather unique and humorous strippers at the club (Diva Zappa, Tracey Leigh, Laura Martin... ) are hell bent on revenge and declare war on Burt. In the meantime, Burt's sidekick Todd (newcomer Brandon Heitkamp) grapples with his new station as a vampire, turned by Burt in a moment of blood-lust, and also grapples with his ensuing bisexuality, a by-product of being turned into a vampire... he thinks. 

"The Bloody Indulgent" has a fun, entertaining, and offbeat story that really sinks its teeth into the rock opera while fusing in the Trash cinema punk attitude that is notoriously celebrated in ultra indie, LGBT camp theatre. Now this musical isn't going to appeal to the mass majority of horror fans, it may not even meet with the standards for those horror fans that like horror musicals. I can't really say. I liked it a lot. Now I am not a big musical person, I have a few in my collection but for the most part I avoid them like straight porn. However I would say that "The Bloody Indulgent" has a edgy, energetic pulse that fits between "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Scarrie! The Musical".  

The special effects and music are both pretty basic. But there is tons of blood. Buckets of blood. Splatter, blood drool, blood stains. The effects are pretty decent and for the most part practical effects. There is some use of CGI but not an extreme amount. The music is a mix of good and bad. There are some songs on here that I could definitely find on repeat, with punk rock, energy that really amps up the story. There are some scenes where the singing drags the story, or just doesn't have the same energy or "umpf" to keep the film rising to the climax. But the singing and humor thrown in there is organic, honest and fun. 

Overall, I personally loved "The Bloody Indulgent". I understand that I may be in the minority, and the film is far from perfect. However I liked the cast, the blend of Gothic and Worholian characters were some of the best I have seen in horror musical cinema, or Trash cinema. Plus the film mixes subcultures, like the stripper, the female impersonator, the indie avant garde performer, the carnies. It is all just one big mix of underground funkiness and madness. And explicit, exploitative drug use, drug reference, and the situations were entertainingly kitsch. This is just one of those guilty pleasure films that is pure fun and craziness. Again, this is only gonna appeal to a small segment of the indie community that likes, off beat, odd, bizarre theatrical stuff. 

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