Sunday, September 22, 2019

My Review Of "Dragon Kingdom"


"Dragon Kingdom" is a mythical fantasy film directed by Simon Wells. It stars Ross O’Hennessy, Ben Loyd-Holmes, Rebecca Dyson-Smith, Zara Phythian, Jessica-Jane Stafford, Jemma Moore and Mike Mitchell. The film is a fantasy-adventure quest demons and dragons. 

To save their Kingdom from the Dark Lord’s army, a mighty and courageous legion of warriors must travel through the forbidden lands fighting the fearsome fire breathing monsters of The Dark Kingdom, a land that swallows all who enter, in order to rescue their King.

The story isn't anything new, a fantasy adventure in a world where strange creature, warrior races and dragons battle for the balance of good and evil. If there would have been spacecraft, and romance it could have been a Anne McCaffrey novel. "Dragon Kingdom' does tend to mirror storylines similar to "Eragon and Lord of the Rings".

The quality of acting is a coin toss. A lot of the characters are grandiose beings that naturally stand out as iconic personalities similar to ones in gaming scenarios. They require actors who can strattle the nuances of grandeur and finesse. A few cast members in "Dragon Kingdom" manage well enough but more times than not the characters are overdrawn and without substance. The inconsistency henders scene development. 

The area that most attention seemed to be focused on was creature concept and development. There are a lot of highly conceptualized characters in "Dragon Kingdom". Almost as if there was a preproduction run through of D&D and WOW types. Most here are developed nicely, offering a bright side to the overall quality of the movie. One or two seemed subpar, still I liked the diversity. 

The special effects were hit and miss. The biggest miss for me was the weird concept for dragon design and the cheap quality of the CGI. Beyond that everything looked as decent as the quality used on ABC's 'Once Upon A Time' and Syfy channel stuff. I think my biggest like goes to the female warrior cast in the story. They are reminiscent of the ancient Greek stories of theAmazonian race. Overall "Dragon Kingdom" was more of a miss for me. Still there is a indie fantasy audience for the movie. Check it out if you want but relinquish all expectations. (2.5/5)

Friday, September 20, 2019

"Devil’s Junction : Handy Dandy’s Revenge" Release Date Set For This October


Epic indie horror "Devil’s Junction : Handy Dandy’s Revenge" release has been set for this October. The film, directed by Jeff Broadstreet (Night of the Living Dead 3D), stars Bill Moseley (Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell) and Bill Oberst, Jr. (3 From Hell, Death House) alongside Jake Red, Cody Cameron, Arthur Marroquin, Danni Spring, Kyle Anderson and Katelynn Newberry. It hits A theaters for special screenings October 8th and 9th, with On Demand and DVD set for November 5th.

Returning to the abandoned Detroit television station where they once delighted a generation of children viewers, master puppeteer Mister Jolly re-incarnates his minion puppets for a final performance to settle an old score with Richard. The rare blood moon casts an ominous glow as Mr Jolly unleashes his puppets, lead by the infamous Handy Dandy to seek his revenge. Further complicating Richard’s dilemma is the unexpected arrival to the Studio of his son Steffen and his friends. The group become entangled in the thrilling pursuit by Mr Jolly and Handy Dandy through the annuls of the old studio building. They soon realize that they are in a new version of “Mister Jolly and the Handy Dandy Show” -where pain is the game!

Poster Released For Sci-fi Thriller "Coma"


The poster art for upcoming sci-fi thriller "Coma" has been released. The film comes from writer-director Nikita Argunov and will be released in theaters on November 22, 2019 and available on Digital In 2020. The DVD and Blu-ray through Dark Sky Films and Capelight pictures in first quarter of 2020. 

What if your world was suddenly made up of the splintered and confounding memories of countless coma victims? That is exactly what happens as a young and talented architect returns to consciousness, after a horrific accident only to find himself in a strange and frightening dystopian world. It is a visually bewildering landscape, simultaneously rural and futuristically urban, filled with the visualizations of the memories of all current coma patients. Just like human memory and dreams, this world is fragmented, chaotic and unstable.

My Review Of "Empathy Inc"


"Empathy Inc" is a sci-fi thriller directed by Yedidya Gorsetman and stars Zack Robidas, Kathy Searle, Jay Klaitz, Eric Berryman, AJ Cedeno, and Charmaine Reedy. "Empathy Inc" is a evenly paced, smart indie sci-fi thriller told in stunning black & white.

Hotshot venture capitalist Joel has a multimillion-dollar deal go up in smoke, and he and his actress wife Jessica are forced to move in with her parents and start from scratch. At the lowest and most desperate moment in his life, Joel meets old friend Nicolaus  and his business partner Lester, who are seeking investors in a new technology known as XVR—Xtreme Virtual Reality—from their company Empathy, Inc., which is said to offer the most realistic and moving experiences for users by placing them in the lives of the less fortunate. Joel gets the startup its funds but soon discovers that the tech's creators have far more sinister uses in store for their creation and that the reality it provides its customers isn't virtual.

The story is a creative, intimate play on relationships, opportunity and the risk of the unknown. It is highly conceptual, with elements of noir and surrealism. Yet somehow the complexity of the hunan experience and the almost mad science components blend smoothly. It allows for a comfortable, recognizable story that doesn't tax the viewer with confusion. "Empathy Inc" plays out more like a character drama with elements of body jumping fantasy.

The cast seem at ease with these characters, allowing for believable, and relatable personas. I mean they act as if these characters are who they are. If that makes sense. The in-laws especially, the only character that could have been tweaked would have been the antagonist. He came off more slacker hacker than mad scientist/ tech genius. But given the final act he makes sense after the fact. 

The only downside with "Empathy Inc", for me personally was the lack of intensity when the thriller elements kick in. Especially those last several seems. Everything just happens because it happens. There is no real heightened suspense or tension that builds to real amp up the thriller edge. Still this is a clever, mature sci-fi movie that is worth checking out. (4/5)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

My Review Of "Doll Factory"


Killer Puppetry horror "Doll Factory" is directed by Stephen Wolfe. The film stars Justin Herman, Nicole Elliott, Andy Palmer, and Eric C. Schneider. The indie horror plays out the killer doll scenario similar to classic genre films "Demonic Toys" and the classic "Dolls" movie. 

A group of teens break into an abandoned doll factory and unwittingly release a curse that brings hundreds of killer dolls to life to terrorize a small Texas town.

"Doll Factory" is a simple, traditional story that has been a big part of indie horror since the early days of the subgenre's resurgence with the rise of film companies like Full Moon, and cult horror movies like Child's Play and "Dolls". They are fun, campy and easy to watch. This film is no exception. From the retro-inspired beginning right to the very end "Doll Factory" is just an entertaining ride into madness.

The characters are developed just enough to be interesting. The parts are played to the limit of camp theatre. The cast are fully committed and the fun they are having in this movie shows on screen. I easily felt, based on characters and story structure, "Doll Factory" could have been a Full Moon Horror production. At the least it has to be a love letter to Charles Band.

The puppetry is creative and the Dolls are demonic. There are elements of occultism that reminds me of the voodoo ritual in "Child's Play" and the black magic rite performed in "Dracula A.D. 1972. Then the whole killer doll rampage is total "Demonic Toys" B roll. The CGI is reasonably done and the practical effects are fun. Most of the horror elements are cool low-budget tricks that you expected in this type of movie.

Overall I really had fun watching "Doll Factory". It is cheesy and full of madness, all on a low-budget scale. The film will not please fans looking for high production levels or blockbuster effects. But if you are a indie horror fan that enjoys Full Moon horror movies and Charles Band then you will like this film too. (3.5/5)

New Clip Released For "Groupers"


Check out the new clip for LGBTQ revenge flick "Groupers". The film opens in theatres September 27th. It is directed by Anderson Cowan and stars Nicole Dambro, Peter Mayer-Klepchick, Cameron Duckett, Jesse Pudles, Brian Ioakimedes, and Terrance Wentz.

The film centers around two all-American high school jocks Brad and Dylan (Peter Mayer-Klepchick and Cameron Duckett) who are out for a night on the town when they are kidnapped, drugged. They awaken tied up face to face in an abandoned pool in the middle of nowhere by a girl named Meg. Absurdity and insanity ensue as we learn that Orin (Jesse Pudles), Meg’s overly flamboyant brother has been the target of Brad and Dylan’s homophobic bullying and that Meg is actually a grad student who plans to perform a psychological and somewhat sadistic experiment on them as part of her thesis, which poses the question, “is homosexuality a choice”.



Read my review here: https://asouthernlifeinscandaloustimes.blogspot.com/2019/09/my-review-of-groupers.html

RLJE FILMS & FANGORIA TEAM UP TO NAB “VFW”


RLJE Films has acquired North American rights to the action-horror feature VFW ahead of its world premiere at this year’s Fantastic Fest (Sept. 19 to 26, 2019) in Austin. The movie is scheduled to be released in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD first quarter 2020.
Written by Max Brallier (“The Last Kids on Earth”) & Matthew McArdle and directed by Joe Begos (Almost Human, Mind’s Eye), the film stars Stephen Lang (AvatarDon’t Breathe), William Sadler (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Die Hard 2), Fred Williamson (Black Caesar, From Dusk Till Dawn), Martin Kove (The Karate Kid, “Cobra Kai”), George Wendt (“Cheers”), David Patrick Kelly (“Twin Peaks”), Tom Williamson (“The Fosters”), Sierra McCormick (The Vast of Night), Travis Hammer (“Godless”), and Dora Madison (“Friday Night Lights”).
“We are so excited to work with the legendary Stephen Lang,” said Mark Ward, Chief Acquisitions Officer for RLJE Films. “With Joe Begos at the helm, we have no doubt that the movie will create waves at this year’s Fantastic Fest and set the momentum for the upcoming release.”
In VFW,  a group of war veterans must defend their local VFW post and an innocent teen against a deranged drug dealer and his relentless army of punk mutants.
The film was produced by Dallas Sonnier (Bone Tomahawk), Amanda Presmyk (Satanic Panic) and Josh Ethier (Bliss). Executive Producers are Media Finance Capital’s David Gilbery and Charles Dorfman, FANGORIA’s Danielle Cox and Phil Nobile Jr., Stephen Lang, Noah Lang, Bobby Campbell, Adam Donaghey, Jonathan Deckter and Marc Hofstatter.
Mark Ward and Jess DeLeo from RLJE Films and Sonnier from CINESTATE negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. VFW premieres at Fantastic Fest alongside a 35mm print of Begos’s third feature Bliss.

Official Trailer Released For Supernatural Horror "The Assent"


The official trailer has been released for upcoming supernatural horror "The Assent". The film written and directed by Pearry Reginald Teo and stars Robert Kazinsky, Peter Jason, Hannah Ward, Caden Dragomer, Douglas Spain, Eileen Dietz, Margarita Reyes, Ashton Riordan Teo, Lais Pedroso, Megan Henry, Sarah Schultz, Luca Bleu Darnell, William “Will” Daubert, Austin McMains, Josh Schultz, and Bryan James. No word on the release date.

After a series of disturbing supernatural events in his home, Joel a young single father, comes to suspect that his young son may be possessed. Soon Joel receives a visit from father Lambert, a controversial exorcist in town whose last patient died during his treatment. As increasing chilling occurrences begin to unfold, the priest informs a resistant Joel that unless he can successfully perform an exorcism, the devil will soon take full control of his boy.

My Review Of "American Poltergeist: The Curse Of Lilith Ratchet"


"American Poltergeist : The Curse of Lilith Ratchet" comes from writer-director Eddie Lengyel and is the latest installment of the "American Poltergeist" franchise. The film stars KateLynn E. Newberry, Rob Jaeger, Roger Conners and Angela Cole. It is your standard vengeful spirit, curse which leans heavily on urban legend motifs reminiscent of "Bloody Mary" and "Missed Call". 

Alice and her best friend Lauren inadvertently set a hellish curse in motion after surprisingly acquiring a mysterious shrunken head. Wanting to know more about their fiendish find, they pay a visit to a popular paranormal podcast host Hunter Perry of "Beyond the Veil". Hunter discovers it's true authenticity of the ages-old object and in hopes of creating a rating boost, he plans a LIVE podcast in which the tale of the shrunken head will be introduced to the masses. Little do they know by playing the game and calling her name they will release the malevolent demonic spirit of Lilith Ratchet.

The story may not be completely original but it is classic evil spirit, cursed object storytelling, and a strong, straightforward foundation always the story telling immediate plausibility. It also anchor the acceptance of paranormal events where concepts may play out creatively. In "American Poltergeist: The Curse Of Lilith Ratchet" is old-world folk magic, a cursed object and a really bad idea. 

The film starts out how I like, dropping us right in the middle of horrific events unfolding as the monster, in this case a vengeful ghost, is on a killing spree. It makes it easier to tolerate the coming exposition and character grounding drama and heavy dialog to come. And this film is no exception. There is a lot of melodrama, banter and mundane "living life" moments in APTCOLR. Some could have been cut or shortened in post because it actually drags the movie's pace after such a gut-punch beginning. 

That being said I liked the quality of the performances by this indie cast. Most are recognizable in indie film circles. I have seen most of the horror and sci-fi stuff from this midwestern community, or is it Mid-Atlantic? Anyway I recognize the growth and skill development from this cast, and it shows in this movie. There are moments when dialog and suspense suffers due to scenes that don't seem to move as smoothly as others though.

When the horror finally gets back in play and the paranormal activity starts, APTCOLR picks up. The creature design for Lilith Ratchet is some of the coolest ghost work I've seen. Kind of like one of the gentleman (Hush so. Buffy) in drag. Love the character and horror sustainability for future development. The tricks imployed to create the horror is the standard paranormal effects, but they work.

Overall I found a lot that I liked with "American Poltergeist: The Curse Of Lilith Ratchet". The story premise is classic ghost story fodder, with a memorable character. The cinematography is great and keeps a creepy atmosphere going through the movie. I did find the over stretched dramatic stuff boring at times. Still this is a cool indie paranormal horror with some entertaining stuff happening. (3/5)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

SGL Entertainment Set To Release "Blood Demon Rising" In 2020


SGL Entertainment will be releasing the cult horror film "Blood Demon Rising" on Blu-ray and DVD in 2020. Written, Directed and Produced by Harry Tchinski, the film stars Stephen Lestat, Logan Littlefield, Ronee Collins, Simone Leorin, Norman Newkirk, Jareth Hixon and Tiffany Black.

Two couples go to a Haunted House Amusement where the two girls are taken by a Demon that has been risen from hell and his henchman. The boys break in and try to risque them but are caught in the attempt. A Jesuit Priest sent by the church to investigate finds himself in the middle and battles the Demon to the death, as Vampires and Zombie robed creatures wonder the Haunted Amusement all the while.



Loaded with Extras including three Featurettes. The Making of Blood Demon Rising, How we did the Special Effects and the True Meaning of Blood Demon Rising.

Early Trailer Released For Sci-fi Thriller "Blood Machines"


An early trailer has been released for Raphael Hernandez and Savitri Joly-Gonfard's sci-fi thriller "Blood Machines". The film will premiere sometime later on Shudder. It stars Elisa  Lasowski("Versailles"), Anders Heinrichsen (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets), and Noémie Stevens. 

An artificial intelligence has escaped her spaceship, only to turn into a technological ghost. Now, she is in search of two blade runners, with this journey taking her across the universe.

Official Trailer Released For Stephen King's "In The Tall Grass"


The official trailer has been released for Netflix's upcoming Stephen King project "In The Tall Grass". The film was co-written with Joe Hill and Vincenzo Natali. It stars Patrick Wilson, Laysla De Oliveira, and Avery Whitted. "In The Tall Grass" premieres October 4th. 

After hearing a boy's cry for help, a pregnant woman and her brother wade into a vast field of grass, only to discover there may be no way out.

My Review Of "Hoax"


Directed by Matt Allen and starring Adrienne Barbeau (Escape from New York), Brian Thompson (X-Files), Ben Browder (Farscape), Cheryl Texiera (Girl Meets World), Shoshana Bush (Dance Flick), Hutch Dano (Zombeavers), Matt Reidy (The Judge), Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix), Christopher Soren Kelly (Infinity Chamber),Ryan Lee (Qi: Spacetime Warriors), Max Decker (Muse), Brian Landis Folkins (Bodies), Karen Slack, and Shawn Rickel.

An investigative team travels deep into the remote Colorado wilderness  after a group of young campers are viciously murdered by what may be  Bigfoot. While the highly specialized crew  searches for evidence, they find themselves in a fight for survival  against the legendary beast. What they encounter turns out to be more  unexpected and dangerous than anything they could have ever imagined. 

"Hoax" is part slasher, part creature feature and all backwoods horror. The story starts of strong, with slasher heavy events that are very reminiscent of the beginning of 2009's "Friday The 13th".  The overall arc is paced a little slow after that strong opening, it is filled with unnecessary exposition and character building. The focus becomes more about attitudes and drama. 

The story does pick up just after the hour- fifteen mark with a return to strong creature inspired horror to finish things off, and a cool twist that leaves things open to be explored later. The acting is pretty decent, several cast members are recognizable genre actors, the development of the characters is pretty decent. Some of the dialog is passe, and empty, creating a bit of a drag on the gravitas. 

Now the horror elements are a blend of CGI and tight practical effects that offer up a bit of indie grindhouse. A lot does happen off screen before letting us in on the results. So the film never dives full-length into splatter territory. Still, I liked more about the horror in this movie than I didn't. At to that the cool cinematography and atmosphere created by the locations and Hoax is a fun flick for creature feature fans.

Now there is a twist that comes in the end that pulls in backwoods horror ground that was a great surprise. I didn't see it coming but I loved it. "Hoax" does have some flaws, a few characters are weak and lack substance. At times the dialog that seems to dominate the breadth of the film's story at times seems to do more to stretch film length than to add to the movie's plot. Overall though it is a fun indie horror some quality moments. (3.5/5) 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Kwon Oh-Kwang's "TAZZA: ONE-EYED JACK" Hits Theaters September 20th


Kwon Oh-Kwang's TAZZA: ONE-EYED JACK hits theaters September 20th! The film is directed by: Kwon Oh-Kwang and stars Park Jung-Min, Ryoo Seung-Bum, Choi Yu-Hwa, Woo Hyeon, Lee Kwang-Soo, Lim Ji-Yeon, and Kwon Hae-Hyo. 

young poker player at the top of his game loses everything after he plays for one big jackpot. To save himself from a loan shark settling his debts, he joins a poker team lead by the legendary poker player One-Eyed Jack. While successfully working their plan to win a huge jackpot, a single mistake puts the entire team in a dangerous life or death situation.




Official Trailer Released For "No Such Thing As Monsters"

The official trailer has been released for Australian horror "No Such Thing As Monsters". The film is directed by Stuart Stanton and stars Angel Giuffria, Matthew Clarke, Michaela Celeste, Georgia Crisfield-Smith, Rebecca Fortuna, and Jacob Fyfe. 

A young couple on a romantic weekend in the Australian bush are terrorized by a psychopathic family.

Official Trailer Released For Netflix's Serial Killer Sci-fi "In The Shadow Of The Moon"


The first official trailer has been released for Netflix's serial killer sci-fi "In The Shadow Of The Moon". The film premieres on the streaming service September 27th. It is directed by Jim Mickle. With Boyd Holbrook, Michael C. Hall, Bokeem Woodbine, Cleopatra Coleman.

In 1988, a police officer is hungry to become a detective and begins tracking a serial killer who resurfaces every nine years. But when the killer's crimes defy all scientific explanation, the officer's obsession threatens to destroy everything.



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Trailer Released For Sci-fi Horror "School Of The Damned"


Check out the teaser trailer for sci-fi horror "School Of The Damned". The film is Peter Vincent from a screenplay written by Philip Dyas (A Fistful of LeadViking Siege), the Dead Pixel Production stars Michael Geary (For We Are ManySoul Reaper), James Groom, Daisy Aitkens, Craig Russell and aforementioned Philip Dyas. It will release on DVD by 4Digital Media on November 5, 2019. A British release is scheduled for January 2020.

When new teacher, Mr Middleton, leaves his inner-city, London school and arrives at a British village to work at the local grammar, it doesn’t take long for him to start feeling uncomfortable. The place is strange – students are extremely and unanimously well behaved, eerily unlike usual children of that age.

The Biggest Adult Stars in the World Star in a New Horror Erotica Series 'LadyKiller TV', Launching This Fall


Horror and erotica make familiar bedfellows in a brand-new series coming this fall from 6ex Films, WG Films and Whore Gore, LadyKiller TV, a collection of eight erotic horror parodies pulled from iconic slasher films - but made better with the biggest adult film stars!
 
Jeremy Spencer, the former drummer of hard rock outfit Five Finger Death Punch, created, executive produced, co-directed, wrote the screenplay, provided music for the series and acts in every episode, melding two extreme film genres together with explosive results.
 
Each episode of LadyKiller TV offers a rousing view of adult’s top performers:
 
- Tori Black tackles a head-spinning role in ‘The Sexorcist’, then tackles Tommy Pistol in ‘The O Ring’
 
- Adriana Chechik relives a Nightmare on her Street in ‘1, 2, Eddy’s Cummin in U’
 
- Nikki Benz and Reya Sunshine find themselves alone in the woods on the 13th of Friday in ‘Camp Blood Sex’
 
- Nicole Aniston stops in for the night at a familiar hotel but finds the proprietor troubling in ‘Psych-Ho’
 
- Abella Danger and Jynx Maze play spooky twins who invite fans to come and play with them in ‘The Whining’



“I’ve had this idea in my head for a long time, and it was now or never in terms of pulling the trigger and making this series happen,” said Spencer of LadyKiller TV. “When we first approached the performers about it, I was excited about the very real potential for this to be a hit - and they were as excited as I was to shoot it!”
 
The series also stars Richard Grieco, Felissa Rose and Kyle Kielbasa, and was Directory of Photography, co-directed and co-edited by Party Bus to Hell cinematographer Michael Su.



To find out more about the upcoming release schedule of LadyKiller TV, visit LadyKillertv.com.
Twitter: @ladyKillerTV1
 

"Reborn" Out Now On VOD


REBORN is now available in the US to stream or download from the following platforms; Apple TV/iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, Sony Playstation, FandangoNow.

REBORN has now screened in over 40 festivals worldwide, garnering 5 awards including Best Horror Feature at Mad Monster Party, Best Sci-Fi Feature at Another Hole In The Head, Best Director at Fantasporto, Best Director at Roswell and Best Score at Horrible Imaginings.

To celebrate the US VOD release of REBORN, executive producer John Penney of Dark Arts Entertainment has shared this video which reveals how the project was developed from a basic outline to a multi-award winning feature film.


 stillborn baby is stolen and brought back to life using electrokinetic powers. On her 16th birthday, she escapes from captivity and leaves a trail of destruction behind her as she searches for her mother.

Working with an ultra low budget REBORN was shot in 15 days at various locations in Hollywood including the Los Angeles Film School on Sunset Boulevard, which doubled as a hospital, police station, agents office and psychiatrist office. Suitable residential locations were more difficult to find as Richards sought an "old Hollywood" look. Eventually, legendary horror director Brian Yuzna came to the rescue offering his Hollywood hills home as a key location.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Official Trailer Released For "Scare Attraction"


Check out the official trailer for upcoming horror "Scare Attraction". The film is directed by Steven M. Smith and stars Primrose Bigwood (Dead Again), Sonera Angel (The Haunting Of Borley Rectory), Tony Fadil (Black Mirror), Elliot Cable (The Escape from Auschwitz), Willie Coppen (Return of the Jedi, Willow). It hits UK October 14th and November 17 here in the States.

Love Nest reality TV stars Peter and Susie attend a Halloween Scare Attraction arranged by their manager. When they arrive, they're disappointed to discover the event is run by a group of terrible amateur actors. After touring the scare attraction, they are led into an escape room, where they are locked in. Suddenly the escape room turns deadly as gas leaks in leaving them unconscious. When they awake, the reality TV stars find themselves bound and trapped in individual chairs. A voice tells them they must tell a truth or die. Who will survive the real scare attraction?

Shudder Picks Up Supernatural Horror "The Cleansing Hour"


Shudder has picked up the supernatural horror "The Cleansing Hour". The film is the debut feature for director Damien LeVeck, based on his short film. It stars Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door, Everybody Wants Some!), Kyle Gallner (American Sniper, The Haunting in Connecticut), and Alix Angelis (The Magnificent Seven, Love’s Last Resort). 

The film centers around millennial entrepreneurs, Max (Guzman) and Drew (Gallner), who run a popular webcast that streams “live exorcisms” that are, in fact, elaborately staged hoaxes watched by millions. However, their fortunes take a turn when during one of their webcasts, Drew’s fiancée becomes mysteriously possessed by a real demon that takes the crew hostage. In front of a rapidly growing global
audience, the demon subjects the crew to a series of violent and humiliating challenges that expose dark
secrets they have been hiding from each other.


My Review Of "Scooter"


"Scooter” is from writer-director-producer Matt Wohl. The film is a found footage thriller described as 'Blair Witch Project meets Joyride'. It stars Dondre Tuck, Joshua Zimmerman, Stephan Pineda and Mitch Lemos.

Three YouTubers set out on an 866 mile adventure on scooters. However, they find out that it's not the destination that will kill you, it's the journey.

"Scooter" left me feeling conflicted. One, you should always suspend disbelief. Horror is fantasy, and by its nature "not grounded in reality". Two, never go into any film with some preconceived bias. I found myself constantly putting my belief in those rules in check while watching "Scooter". 

First off, the story is legitimately fresh. It is completely generation Z relatable material, which automatically makes this scenario an acceptable premise. I bought the set-up. I even started out actually liking the movie. Thought it could have gotten to the horror portion sooner, but given how things fall apart once it does begin, maybe not. 

This is the conflict with myself watching "Scooter" , within a minute of the gut-wrenching, powerful "bad thing" is witnessed I through many flags on the play. Plausibility, a need for realism, and a problem that plagues all found footage hits hard against this movie's action thriller momentum. Would you keep filming, and during the horror- is this really how one would respond.

"Scooter" begins to display its main flaw. The character logic, and respnse to the danger becomes more about getting good scenes on film as opposed to making sure that it looks as if the cameras just captured these doomed characters fatal road trip. Which sucked for me as a reviewer because there is some quality stuff here and "Scooter" could have been a break out film. 

Overall "Scooter" started strong but fell apart hard. The premise is a good story to tell, the horror elements are harsh and cold moments of found footage candy. Unfortunately though those pesky issues of plausibility and a need to convince me this is real- which ultimately is the objective and validity of the found footage genre- just wreck the ability to easily and honestly enjoy the film. (2.5/5)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

My Review Of "Clownado"


Todd Sheets’ twisted new horror "Clownado" stars genre icons Linnea Quigley and Eileen Deitz. Rachel Lagen, John O'Hara, and Joel D. Wynkoop co-star. The film takes on the newest mashup craze started by "Sharknado", mixing weather scares in an ultra low-budget, indie cool way.

Cursed demonic circus clowns set out on a vengeful massacre using tornadoes. A stripper, Elvis impersonator, truck driver, teen runaway, and a dude get caught in the supernatural battle between femme fatal and the boss clown from hell.

Todd Sheets may be mental, he is slightly blood thirsty and he definitely has a sense of wonder. Even if that wonder is generated in Hell. His films always shows, above all else, that the guy loves making horror movies. "Clownado" puts that love affair on full display. And in the most cheesy, gory, indie way. 

The film starts with a film noir, comic book asthetic with characters as theatrical as "The Shadow" and "The Devil's Carnival". There is an almost dreamlike atmosphere that along with the lighting legitimizes the absurdity of "Clownado". And yeah for many horror fans out there, this movie will be a waste of time, but for most indie horror fans, myself included, this film is a fun time.

The cast is a recognizable group of actors familiar to horror fans and especially Todd Sheets fans, he has a few peeps he likes to use in his movies. There are moments where dialog and acting falls short. At times it is clear that the lines ate the actor, but with any other film it would cripple the value to movie goers trying to enjoy the movie. However with films like "Clownado", were everything is over played and overstated, it doesn't matter as much. 

The real money is with the movie's horror. The serial killer clown make-up, the supernatural catalyst and the sheer amount of blood splatter is enough to make any horror fan smile. And Sheets knows how to work the heck out of a special effects budget. Even the CGI is done in a cheeky graphic novel style that works almost better than "Sharknado" effects. Overall "Clownado" was entertaining to watch. It could slide easily in either Full Moon or The Asylum's catalog. (3.5/5)

My Review Of "What Death Leaves Behind"


"What Death Leaves Behind" is a psychological thriller from Scott A. Hamilton. It stars Khalil McMillan, Christopher Mann, Vincent Young, Erin O’Brien, Johnny Alonso, Shaira Barton and Kelly Dowdle. The film is a deep thought probe into mortality, and the question of lingering existence of that lost life told with heavy arthouse mindscapes.

Based on a frightening true story, "What Death Leaves Behind" tells the chilling tale of a man who, after a kidney transplant, experiences reoccurring nightmares he believes to be visions of his donor's violent murder, sending him on a dark path of vengeance, leading to an unbearable truth.

Hamilton's story, told in a non-linear style - mostly just standard flashbacks, has a lot of emotion and melodrama written into what is otherwise a stereotypical "paranormal transplant thriller". Not that it isn't a cool horror trope, and WDLB has some good moments in it, it is just a concept that never seems fully exploited to the movie's benefit. 

The story moves to slow and there is way too much use of psuedo exlressionist visual techniques that - together- cause quality sceens to expand beyond necessary, creating loss of momentum. It exposes flaws in acting and dialog that with proper post attention could have spared "What Death Leaves Behind" a loss in suspense. The pace, focus on emotionality and over-tapped scenes keep this one from being as thrilling as it needed to be.

That being said, the film has some quality moments. For most of the film everything rides on newcomer Khalil McMillan's performance, and he does a good job. Actually the cast on a whole give stellar perfances during a lot of the film. Unfortunately though there is a lack of consistency and a few times the dialog is a mess. But again, there is some quality talent at work in front of and behind the scenes in WDLB. 

As far as horror goes, this film never really reaches that level necessary to create the chilling nature of the story. It tries hard but suspense gets bogged down by emotional theatrics to often, and the surrealism is just too much at times. More attention should have been spent on action and stronger, edgy psychological elements. Film like "The Eye" and "Body Parts" did this premise better. Overall "What Death Leaves Behind" is one worth checking out, just go in without expectations. (3/5)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

"HARPOON" IS SAILING ITS WAY ONTO VOD AND BLU-RAY THIS OCTOBER


Epic Pictures is thrilled to announce the release of Rob Grant's award-winning feature film, HARPOON, on VOD and Blu-ray on October 8th!

Rivalries, dark secrets, and sexual tension emerge when three best friends find themselves stranded on a yacht in the middle of the ocean desperate for survival.
 
HARPOON is written & directed by Rob Grant (Alive), starring Munro Chambers (Turbo Kid), Emily Tyra (Code Black), Christopher Gray (The Society), and narrated by Brett Gelman (Fleabag).


Special Features: 
Harpoon Behind the Scenes – 30 min

Deleted Scenes:
-Opening Extended - 2 min
-Engine Won’t Start – 1Min 35sec
-Post Sex Talk – 1 min
B-Roll with Commentary – 6min

Commentary:
-Director’s Psychedelic Commentary
-Crew Commentary
Trailers & more

Disc Material:
Story Trailer – 100 sec
Teaser – 60 Sec

English 5.1 Surround Sound and English Stereo 2.0
English SDH
Spanish Subtitles
Blu-ray is Region Free
PRE-ORDER THE BLU-RAY

FREAKS Out Now In Theaters


FREAKS starring Emile Hirsch and Bruce Dern out in theaters now. The film is directed by Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky. It costars Amanda Crew, Grace Park and introducing Lexy Kolker.

Kept locked inside the house by her father, 7-year-old Chloe lives in fear and fascination of the outside world, where Abnormals create a constant threat – or so she believes. When a mysterious stranger offers her a glimpse of what’s really happening outside, Chloe soon finds that while the truth isn’t so simple, the danger is very real.

My Review Of "Groupers"


"Groupers" is a dark, satirical revenge film. It takes the angst of the disenfranchised and the cult asthetics of "Hard Candy" to create a unique story. The film is writer / director Anderson Cowan’s feature film debut. "Groupers" stars Nicole Dambro, Peter Mayer-Klepchick, Cameron Duckett, Jesse Pudles, Brian Ioakimedes, and Terrance Wentz.

The film centers around two all-American high school jocks Brad and Dylan (Peter Mayer-Klepchick and Cameron Duckett) who are out for a night on the town when they are kidnapped, drugged. They awaken tied up face to face in an abandoned pool in the middle of nowhere by a girl named Meg. Absurdity and insanity ensue as we learn that Orin (Jesse Pudles), Meg’s overly flamboyant brother has been the target of Brad and Dylan’s homophobic bullying and that Meg is actually a grad student who plans to perform a psychological and somewhat sadistic experiment on them as part of her thesis, which poses the question, “is homosexuality a choice”.

The movie is almost as cool as the synopsis reads. Almost. The first forty minutes set the stage, going right into the film's, dark, almost underground nature. And it is a good start. The characters feel familiar and the dialogue flows naturally from the characters. The immediate situation is edgy enough to hook you in. It all is a bit of theatrics that set on the edge of what is plausible, much in the way of films like "Pecker", "The Chumscrubber" and "Hard Candy".

The cast do a great job, for the most part, giving life to these "fringe" characters. However the energy and substance begins to lack at the midway point. Dialogue starts to feel redundant and the story arc sort of stalls out. There's still enough taking place to keep your attention, with just the scope of the situation, the introduction of the bullied brother that is most likely insane, and the continued tight performance by several of the cast.

Unfortunately things hit a wall with the last act. "Groupers" introduces a twist to the movie that does more to disrupt the overall flow of the story than it does to muck up Meg's agenda. It adds a distraction to the plot that doesn't make sense and does nothing to enhance the story. Still this is a cool, fresh, generation Z film that brings light and levity to an otherwise dark subject of homophobia and bullying. Just go in knowing that it gives half of what it sets out to achieve, and enjoy the downward, comedic spiral. (3/5)

My Review Of "Debunkers Inc"


"Debunkers, Inc" is Matt Thompson's family friendly mystery adventure. The film stars Josh Pinkowski, Izzy Pollak, Blake Kevin Dwyer, Nicole DuBois, and Ryan Andrews. "Debunkers, Inc" is a very generalized Scooby gang styled high school mystery movie. 

The Debunkers are a band of amateur detectives who will do anything to become heroes (and make a buck while they’re at it), the self-proclaimed “premiere Mystery Debunking business in the state of California. These boys are willing to fake it till they make it, and so far they’ve solved only a handful of petty mysteries, but they’re about to get the assignment of a lifetime.

"Debunkers, Inc" is very family friendly. The thought that kept coming to mind was that - this film reminds me of the Saturday series 'The Inspectors' about college kids interning for the Inspector General's office of the Postal Service- or something like that. Only in style, campiness and very soft drama. Only with "Debunkers, Inc" there is a direct link to the Scooby Doo concept. 

The story and overall intend is a cute, simple adventure mystery with an element of paranormal activity which sets up this group of high schoolers for a chance to show their skills. It's murder mystery in a very benign way, There is no violence and the film never gets anywhere close to thriller territory. It is all mid-morning weekend i/e approved. 

The acting is disjointed and a bit too theatrical, which if the whole concept would have been to go camp, would have been okay. But the supporting cast and a lot of the situational stuff stays bland and straight which creates a clunky, disenchantment air that causes the entertainment value to struggle to take off. Overall "Debunkers, Inc" is only going to appeal to a small, select audience. Like I said, that weekend mid-morning kiddie crowd. Unfortunately though, the movie never reaches it's inspired target as Scooby approved. (2.5/5)

Friday, September 13, 2019

A Second Red Band Trailer Released For Hulu's "Little Monsters"


A second red band trailer has been released for Hulu's "Little Monsters". The film, directed by Abe Forsythe, is due for release October 11th. A one night theatrical screening is set for the 8th. "Little Monsters" stars Lupita Nyong'o, Josh Gad, Stephen Peacocke and Alexander England.

A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kids show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies.

My Review Of "Power Of Grayskull: The Definitive History Of He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe"


From Randall Lobb and Robert McCallum, "THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL : The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" chronicles the beginnings and blockbuster-success of ‘80s toy sensation He-Man. The documentary features Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Richard Edlund, J. Michael Straczynski, Alan Oppenheimer and many more. It really is the most comprehensive, encompassing story of He-man.

In the early 1980s He-Man arrived on the scene and hit the world with a punch as powerful as the character himself. He-Man's surprising popularity spawned a multi billion dollar empire that included toys, comic books, cartoons, live-action movies and a literal sister spinoff show - She-Ra.  Artists, creators and collaborators dig deep, tell tales and share the surprising developments of an unlikely, unparalleled pop culture success.

"Power Of Grayskull" is impressive. The sheer volume of material, interviews, exposition and archive footage fills this extensive exploration of the He-man franchise completely. So much so you would think it would overwhelm any attention to tell a cohesive story, but it doesn't. Randall Lobb and Robert McCallum in such away that the segments create a complete story from He-man's beginning, right into it's recent incarnation. 

This is just a really entertaining slice of nostalgia. Also it is told through first person accounts of the creator, toy designers, artists, the film He-man (Dolph Lundgren), and the fandom with such ease, you feel like you are just hanging out while these really cool people reminisce. I did find issue with the abrupt ending garnering none of the gravitas it deserved. Still that is minor given all the awesomeness in "Power Of Grayskull". If you were a child of the 80's and a fan of He-man then this is definitely a must watch. (5/5)

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