Saturday, November 16, 2013

“48 Hours In Purgatory” Release Details

48-Poster-0348 Hours In Purgatory” demands you face your demons. Okay the site actually states a release date of October 48th (by my horrible math that is sometime in mid November). The film is directed by Jason Armstrong and stars Emily Alatalo, Robin Barker, Stephanie Christiaens, Brianna Crawford. “48 Hours In Purgatory” will be available on DVD/VHS-yes tape fans! VHS! on that release date from the website. Plus the VOD links will be made available with work going into providing buyers of the digital copies the added extra features in their download. First 10 DVD orders get a groovy bonus item.

Brody Hawkins and his crew of bad-ass documentary film-makers set out to conduct a psychological experiment: put people in a room, alone, for forty-eight hours and guide them into a confrontation with the skeletons in their closet. On camera. When tragedy strikes, the tables are turned, and they are forced to face their own demons. As reality becomes subjective, is there any escape from madness.

Check Out “Cowboy Zombies”

cowboy zombiesHistorical Period, zombie mash-up has become as common in modern horror as found footage. The embrace of the projects all depend on the fan’s tolerance, or the film’s entertainment value. Either way I think the concept has solidified it’s place in horror. Which brings me to the new zombie film “Cowboy Zombies” directed by Paul Winters. The film is an old fashioned western with zombies. One that the whole family can enjoy (take that into consideration if you’re a massive gruesome-gore fan). Anyway the film is now available on VOD . “Cowboy Zombies” stars Jarod Anderson, Greg Bronson, Kiera Crouch and Matt E. Derdivanis.

In the Old West, on an ordinary day, the sun rises as usual and people go about their daily business. On this particular day, the dead (with an appetite for human flesh) also rise, and the day becomes a fight for survival in this action horror film from Director Paul Winters. It's the Arizona Territory, 1870's, and Marshal Frank Wilcox, along with a Buffalo Soldier from the U.S. Army, will galvanize a group of disparate survivors to fight back against the living dead. It's a world gone mad that the Marshal discovers in the town of Crumpit, as a disparate group of characters are doing battle against the unthinkable. Joined by an Apache Chief and the Marshal's outlaw prisoner, the group must learn how to survive in a time where the dead walk. Helping to lead the fight is Preacher Black, a half mad preacher and the towns only doctor, and Roseann, the proprietor of the Double Peach Saloon where the group is hunkered down.




2 New Posters For “Circus Of The Dead”

A new poster has dropped for twisted folly “Circus Of The Dead”. The film is directed by Billy Pon and stars horror’s own Bill Oberst Jr., a man who has single handled re-instilled many childhood fears of certain elements of life. He will no doubt go on to once more solidify that gnawing discomfort for clowns in this film as well.

“Circus Of The Dead” follows a man who becomes entangled in a deadly morality game when the circus comes to town and a sadistic clown forces him to examine the things in life he takes for granted in the most horrific ways. The film is expected to be released in the spring 2014.

CircusOfTheDead Poster

NSFW Clip For “Coyote”

coyoteCheck out the NSFW clip for Trevor Juenger’s “Coyote”. The film stars Bill Oberst, Jr., Victoria Mullen, Bill Finkbiner, and Tasha Zebrowski. The art-horror film follows an insomniac writer's sleep-deprived hallucinations distort reality as paranoia drives him to extreme violence.

The is is described as something that has never before been seen and is not your typical horror genre film. Trevor Jueger admits that some my find the film bad or revolting while others may consider it brilliant. He does note that it is something very fresh in the genre.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Indie Slasher Flick “Cutter” Kicks Off Crowd Funding

CutterA new indie slasher flick, “Cutter”, has began a crowd funding campaign to help support the projects production. The campaign is ongoing over at Indiegogo. The crowd funding page has an insane amount of detailed information about the project and the team behind it that warrants checking out as well as some pretty tight perks in exchange for your support. “Cutter” is being directed by by Aubrey Reynolds and Jason Flemyng, Isabelle Franke, Allison Carroll and Gracie Tyrrell. The film comes from One Eyed Dog Films and is being shot in the deep south. Check out the teaser trailer below and read the synopsis, then go check out the campaign page and be sure to like them on Facebook. (note that under the teaser I have added the links to the film’s various locations on the web.)

When Amanda and her friends discover a hidden boat in the secluded bayou, they think they have found the ideal party spot. Unbeknownst to them the boat is home to Cutter, a disturbed loner with a tortured past and a body covered with self-inflected scars. Cutter feels the need to defend his home against the unwanted visitors who fight back...but are brutally dispatched and added to his macabre collection of bodies in his meat locker. When the police arrive to investigate the missing students, they will be put to the test, and tempted by lust, greed and the lure of forgotten fortune.

Nightmares, Religion, Cannibals and Queers: My Conversation With “Sacrament” Director Shawn Ewert

Shawn EwertNightmares, Religion, Cannibals and Queers. These are not normally things that one would expect to coincide in a working concept. Yet there is a small place in pop culture where these aspects of modern horror find a sweet spot to grow into a beautiful phantasm. That place is LGB&T Horror community. A collective of talented independent filmmakers who thrive in the nightmare realm of chilling story telling, where the messages are often dark satires of this twisted incongruent world we live in. For a lot of people horror is home, it is the place we can escape to, wrapped in the haunting atmospheric horrors of fiction. Often overlooked or displayed with hyperbolic grandeur, the gay characters storyline is either a clown for amusement or the object of discontent, it is nice that a place breathes life into strong characters who just happen to be gay. So where am I going with this somewhat zealous rant? I am simply expressing a true appreciation for a select portion of the genre that I love so dear, where I can comfortably step into nightmares, push my nerves and tolerance to the limit, simply for my own twisted pleasure. A place where the characters and stories offer enough material for me as a gay horror fan to gleefully enjoy and totally relate to. This brings me to the purpose of this article and a little indie film titled “Sacrament”.

Shawn Ewert is a indie director from Texas, who is about to step out onto the stage of blood and gore with his debut feature film “Sacrament”. The film will premiere at next year’s Fears For Queers on June 7th at the Texas Theatre in Dallas. He has two short films already completed, 2010’s “Jack’s Bad Day” and 2011’s “Property Lines”. With “Sacrament” however, Shawn Ewert is really bringing it big time with a twisted tale of perverse religiousity in stark, chilling absoluteness. The film isn’t necessarily a gay horror film, simply put it is a horror film that has strong characters that are gay. “Sacrament” is really a provocative horror story that Ewert fears may, at moments, offend some viewers, force the audience to push their comfort level. In talking with Shawn about the film and what fans can expect from his film, our conversation went on, I realized that really what to see this fucking movie.

“Sacrament” follows a group of friends on a weekend excursion to to South Padre Island. Unfortunately for them a big storm forces them to detour to the small slice of Southern Americana in the town of Middle Spring. The coastal vacation plans of booze, bud and bonding becomes one of horrors. The residents welcome the group into the community with open arms, but this sentiment of southern hospitality comes with a more twisted,fanatical intent that reveals a more sinister embrace of Biblical text by the townsfolk which will have the misplaced weekenders in a fight for survival. The story and all the aspects of what Shawn Ewert is going for in “Sacrament” is set to be one of the pictures that push issues and ideology into areas that are difficult to watch while simultaneously thrilling the viewer.  Check out all the things Ewert had to say in our conversation about “Sacrament”, horror fandom, and the LGB&T contribution to the genre we all love so much.

ASouthernLife: Sacrament is your first feature film,what inspired the story ?
Shawn Ewert: Short answer? A dream/nightmare. I really enjoy my nightmares, and try to write them down so that I don't forget them. This was a weird one. It was actually set in Sweden in the dream for some reason, but the lead characters were essentially the same. I took it out of Sweden and brought it home to Texas. I definitely know how to write Texas better than Sweden.

ASouthernLife: Are most of your nightmares comprised of religious themes? And why Sweden?
Shawn Ewert: Honestly, not many. My nightmares are rarely religious, but I definitely have a love/hate relationship with religious horror. The Exorcist is one of my favorite films. Films like that and Race With the Devil just strike something in me and hit on a nerve from a religious upbringing. Your guess is literally as good as mine when it comes to Sweden. Maybe I ate some meatballs that night for dinner.

ASouthernLife: Lol, Coming from the south it seems there is no escape from religion or fanatical beliefs. Sacrament almost feels like Motel Hell meets Red State. Was cannibalism part of the nightmare?
Shawn Ewert: Cannibalism was definitely a huge part of the nightmare. The idea of "the body and the blood" has always stuck out as being such a gruesome idea. We have had people refer to what they have seen as Red State on meth. lol. I'll take it. I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith's. We started working on this film in 2010, and when he started talking about Red State it really scared the hell out of me. What if we are making the same movie as Kevin Smith? What if people say we are ripping him off? What if HE thinks we are ripping him off. Gladly, when I heard what Red State was about, we were definitely going a different direction with it.  Then, of course, Ti West had to come along and release a film basically titled the same as ours.

ASouthernLife: Kevin Smith's Red State definitely moves in a different way, Sacrament seems more cult community extremism plus cannibals-which always put me on edge. Not really sure what Ti's film will truly be but his work is pretty tight. So how has production been so far with the film?
Shawn Ewert: It didn't originally start that way, but Sacrament ended up being a bit of an indictment on religious extremism. I have been very careful not to actually mention "God" or "Jesus" or anything truly christian in the film. It is definitely what people will get from it, but I am interested to see how many people actually give it a good watch without getting offended.

I have been a big fan of Ti West's films up to this point. It's really just an unfortunate thing for both films, I think. I don't want to constantly have to say "No, we're the other film, Sacrament. Not THE Sacrament.
Production on the film was pretty amazing. I ended up with a great cast and a tireless crew. Everyone really gave their all to make this thing happen. We also learned a helluva lot.

ASouthernLife: The mark of a true artist is measured by the number of people offended. I feel it is anyway. So production is complete on the film? What is your next step before release?
Shawn Ewert: We have a couple of quick little FX shots to pick up, but we are essentially wrapped. Right now, we are in the process of editing, and then we will get into full-on promotion mode. We are premiering in Dallas on June 7th next year. It seems like such a long way away, but we have a lot to get done before we get there.

ASouthernLife: Plenty of time to promote the hell out of the film with all kinds of teases. So is the premiere at a festival or is it a solo event?
Shawn Ewert: The premiere is going to be the headlining film of a festival called Fears for Queers. It is a festival that our friends, Andy and Dione Rose created with us five years ago. It is a festival that plays films by LGBT filmmakers, or that are LGBT-themed. It's a very important festival to me and my husband. We donate half of the festival ticket sales to a charity in north Texas that supports LGBT youth.

ASouthernLife: I have to say that until DOA Bloodbath this year mentioned Fears For Queers on their website that I had not heard of it-I feel shame! But I got it marked no so that I will not forget again! Congrats on getting the Headlining spot. So are the characters in Sacrament mostly LGB&T?
Shawn Ewert: They aren't. The lead couple is a gay couple, but it really isn't made a huge issue. There have been talks from some of the actors that a couple of other characters are secretly in the closet, but I definitely didn't think of them that way when I wrote them.

ASouthernLife: I love that you don't over extend the aspect of "gay" with the couple, makes it more natural and real. We are often portrayed as clownish.
Shawn Ewert: I agree. That is one of my problems with a lot of "gay" films. They want to push that idea SO hard that they forget the reason they were making the film in the first place. It just had to be so gay, everything else got pushed out.

ASouthernLife: What is the name of the charity that the festival supports?
Shawn Ewert: This year the festival is going to support GALA North Texas.

ASouthernLife: So let's talk about the town of Middle Spring, what can people expect from this place?
Shawn Ewert: It's down-home Texas. People have their computers and cell phones, but they definitely believe in traditional southern values of respect, etc.

ASouthernLife: So it is home town America? But with cannibals.
Shawn Ewert: Even the cattle they keep, human cattle of course, are taken care of. They may be food, but they shouldn't be mistreated. This is definitely home town Texas, with cannibals.

ASouthernLife: So the town actually has a herd of humans that they tend! That is awesome! So this group of friends just wander into on Hell of nightmare town. Does the film have a grindhouse feel or is it more like contemporary horror like Stag Night?
Shawn Ewert: I love the look of the grindhouse era films, but we didn't go quite that gritty. When we discussed the film in the beginning, I definitely mentioned to our cinematographer and lighting that I wanted to go with a little bit of that feel, but not so much that it looked forced. I think we came out with a look that falls right where it should for the film. Definitely some very vibrant colors going on in some scenes, and muddy where it needs to be...if that makes any sense.

Sacrament FXASouthernLife: So it has a more visceral feel? How much gore can movie goers expect from Sacrament?
has not have..
Shawn Ewert: I grew up in the era of the slasher, so I love my gore. I did have to dial things back a little bit in this one to keep things as realistic as possible. I didn't want over the top gore. I wanted realistic gore. I want it to be uncomfortable to watch, so I don't want it to be silly. Films like Dead Alive and Evil Dead 2 are some of my favorites, but I wanted to make sure we didn't go that direction, much to the annoyance of our FX guys sometimes.You have no idea how many times I heard the words "More blood?".

ASouthernLife: Lol! Every film could use more blood, but the real substance is in the story and characters. If that isn't real then nothing is in a movie. I like that are going for an "uncomfortable" viewing experience. So are there any townies that will really tear at the audience's nerves?
Shawn Ewert: There are a few. There are some characters that I really grew to hate as we worked our way through filming. I love the actors, but when they brought those characters out, I really had a hard time watching some of them. Some very unpleasant things are said in the film, and it's hard to listen to sometimes.

ASouthernLife: Wow it sounds like a very intense, chilling story. Something that will test the audience's constitution. I like films that make feel. Sacrament seems like a killer story-especially for these times we live in now. Did any current events play apart in the story development?
Shawn Ewert: I don't think I pulled anything directly from the news, with the exception of some mentions of gay marriage and the general disapproval of the religious folks in town for the unrepentant sinners.

ASouthernLife: The film sounds great and Middle Spring seems terrifying! So when did you realize that you wanted to make movies?
Shawn Ewert: I think I've always wanted to make films, but I never really felt like I had a way to do it. I remember seeing Kevin Smith's Clerks, and it really having an impact on me. I had always written stories, but it took me until I was in my late twenties to actually get off my ass and do it. I really credit Adam Green for giving me that push. I met him when he was first promoting Hatchet. He gave me some amazing advice, and I have been a huge fan ever since.

ASouthernLife: Adam Green rocks, Hatchet re-inspired me to get deeper into the Indie horror community. Mostly because Hollywood mainstream horror fans trashed it. That movie was awesome and classic! I kind of think just from talking to you about Sacrament, that your movie is going to be pretty tight as well! Are you nervous at all about releasing it to critics or the audience's reaction at the premiere?
Shawn Ewert: I think anyone has to feel nervous about it, you know? Are people going to like it? Are they going to hate it? I think the worst thing would be if people just didn't care. Apathy would have to be the worst review I could get. I think a lot of people are sensitive to people not liking their work. It's your baby, and someone is saying your baby is ugly. You naturally want to defend it. Ultimately, I know I have busted my ass to make this film happen, and I will be happy whether people love it or hate it.

ASouthernLife: That is a perfect outlook. As long as you know the work is there then the film will find it's audience. So is there anything else that you want to mention about the film that I haven't hit on?
Shawn Ewert: We didn't mention Marilyn and Ed. They were absolutely wonderful.

ASouthernLife: Marilyn Burns and Ed Guinn. So tell me about Marilyn's character.
Shawn Ewert: Marilyn's character is loosely based on my own grandmother. She's a tough lady. Mouthy, and tough. She doesn't take any crap, and definitely wears the pants in the relationship with Ed's character. Ed is also loosely based on my grandfather. Much more relaxed.

ASouthernLife: So how do their characters play into the story as far as Middle Spring and are they the ones that run the show?
Shawn Ewert: They are a bit like the fence for the town, in two senses of the word. They are sort of the barrier, the edge of town. But they are also the ones to get rid of all of the evidence when the town snags someone new for the barbecue. I wanted the women in the film to be very strong. I think for the most part, Marilyn's character really personifies that.

ASouthernLife: They sound creepy as hell! There characters are pretty iconic in the film dealing with the weekenders, sort of like a cannibal's mediator.
I am trying to imagine the roles and the feel of the film and now I really want to see it badly!
Shawn Ewert: And that makes me really happy! It has been such a great feeling talking to people about the film and hearing them get excited to see it.

ASouthernLife: I can't wait. So has horror always been your favorite genre? What were some of the films that inspired you?
Shawn Ewert: Horror is definitely my favorite, with a slight bent toward thrillers. The first horror film I remember seeing was A Nightmare on Elm Street. I think I was five. After that, the next one I remember seeing was Psycho. They are still two of my favorite films of all time. I think all of the films I see are an influence on me. Since starting to make films, I have noticed I watch them differently. I still look at the whole picture, but I am paying a lot more to the technical aspects of the film now. I also know that it drives me even more crazy now when people talk through films. Just shut up and let me enjoy the film!

ASouthernLife: I feel the same way about talking during a movie. I don't get it, if they just shut up and watch then they will find out was is happening! So annoying. Where there any gay elements or specific gay characters that stood out that you connected with growing up as a horror fan?
Shawn Ewert: Decidedly few. Though, I do remember seeing A Nightmare on Elm Street two at a birthday party when I was in 6th grade. That was pretty damn gay. So was Fright Night. Both of them had such blatant gay themes to them. I was always secretly disappointed that the filmmakers would show naked women all the time, but never men. I mean, we all love eye candy, right?

ASouthernLife: Full frontal is almost a prerequisite for me when watching almost anything! At least some ass. I firmly believe in equal opportunity exploitation! Is there some memorable nudity in Sacrament?
Shawn Ewert: There is actually a bit of nudity in the film. It's not one-sided though. Men and women both. Equal opportunity is right!

ASouthernLife: As it should be! I want to thank you for letting me take up so much of your time. I really enjoyed this interview and I can't wait to see Sacrament. So beyond the premiere what will be next for the film?
Shawn Ewert: Absolutely. It's been a lot of fun! After the premiere, we start to hit the festival circuit. We really want to get the film out to as many people as possible. We have fans in the UK already itching to see the film, and I would love to be in the theatre when they see it for the first time.

ASouthernLife: That sounds great. UK horror fans are awesome! I will definitely be following Sacrament's progress.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NSFW Trailer And Stills For “Beautiful People”

beautiful peopleThe NSFW trailer and some cool movie stills have been released for horror “Beautiful People”. The film is directed by Brini Amerigo and stars Danny Cutler, Alex Lucchesi, Alex Southern and Kate Marie Davies. The film recently showed at American Film Market and was picked up by Raven Banner Entertainment.

A medical scientist and his family are having dinner together in their isolated villa in the hills. But just as they’re getting comfortable, the family is assaulted by three violent, masked thugs who don’t want money or goods; they just want to humiliate and annihilate their prey, both mentally and physically. The men are looking for social redemption, playing a game of cat and mouse which will lead to the certain death of the hostages. The father’s only possibility to save his family is to free the results of his laboratory experiments from their cages - monstrous creatures, hungry for living flesh.

The beasts force both the hunters and their prey to run for their lives. The new and dangerous enemy will force the family and their attackers to adapt to a new shift in power. In order to survive, they will ultimately have to changes their perceptions about what is good and what is evil.




Teaser Trailer Released For “Maleficent”

maleficentCheck out the teaser trailer for Disney’s “Maleficent”. The film is directed by Robert Stromberg and stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Miranda Richardson, Sam Riley, Brenton Thwaites and Ella Purnell. It is due out May 30th 2014 and follows the “untold” story of the most evilest witch in all the kingdom.

A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal — an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant, Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom — and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

Trailer Released For “C.A.M.”


Check out the trailer for zombie found-footage film “C.A.M.” The film is directed by Steve Du Melo, Larry Downing and stars Helen Ayres, Charlotte Curwood, Daniel Jeary, Tom Ware and Roger Wyatt. “C.A.M.” comes from UK’s MeloMedia Films. Read what details there are for the film below. 

Disease control discover that food at a local meat processing plant has been contaminated by a rare parasite. Trainee tactical police are sent in to evacuate the workers with a civilian camera crew to film the operation. All is not what it appears, for what they discover could have disastrous repercussions on a world wide scale. Feature created from actual footage.

CAM FILM TRAILER (warning: this video contains graphic images that may upset some viewers) from Steve Du Melo on Vimeo.

Trailer And New Poster Released For “Divergent”

Check out the new poster for sci-fi action film “Divergent”. The film hits theatres on March 21st 2014 and stars Theo James, Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller. “Divergent” is based on the novel series of same name from author Veronica Roth and is directed by Neil Burger. Also check out the trailer that just released for the film below.

Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley), a teenager with a special mind, finds her life threatened when an authoritarian leader (Kate Winslet) seeks to exterminate her kind in her effort to seize control of their divided society.

divergent poster

Teaser Poster For Horror Short Film “Chain”

Check out the teaser poster for short film “Chain”. The psychological horror is currently in pre-production and is being directed by Christopher Reith. The film will soon be crowd funding to generate support for the project over at Indiegogo. I will post details on that when they become available. Head over to the Facebook Page to show some indie love and keep up with the latest details on the film’s progress.

Chain teaser posterA man winds his way home through a series of corridors. With each step, his familiar apartment block becomes more distorted, and unnerving obstacles cut across his path.

As the corridors close in around him and his surroundings become more threatening, the man desperately struggles to get to the safety of his apartment.

Nothing, however, is more disturbing than what waits for him beyond the door.

“FASON NOU” Director’s Next Horror Project Fights For Your Soul

Romane SimonHorror Director Romane Simon is bringing his visionary chills to new horror-thriller series ‘The Dream-Napper’. Romane Simon is most recently known for his horror-drama “Fason Nou”, a film that finds an interracial couple and their family battling against the supernatural. In “Fason Nou”,  a weekend retreat between an interracial couple and their in-laws takes a dark turn when they discover that their house is haunted by the ghosts of an interracial couple from from the 1950's who has no patience for intolerance. Simon is already in the process of a distribution deal with “Fason Nou” but until that time he is filling his days fighting a supernatural evil group who seek to take your souls.

‘The Dream-Napper’ follows Angelique who sets out to detect and stop a secret group of soul taking demons called The Dream-Nappers. The series will be aired on Punch TV/Direct TV and Comcast. The series is still in the early stages of production so there is no official word yet on the air date. I do have some details about the series pilot episode and cast. Odell Lewis, Chalet Lizette Brannan, Shirin Neshat and Christine Hollis co-star along side Ramone in “The Dream-Napper”. Read the full description of the pilot episode below and be sure to check back for more updates from ‘The Dream-Napper’ as they become available.

Angelique wakes up in an all-white room and tries to determine if it is reality or a dream. He is visited by a other worldly girl who claims to be Angel, and tells him that he must stop a  group of demons lead by a demon known as the Dream-Napper (played by Romane Simon).  Angel wants to get Angelique to accept the spirit world, learn his powers and save a victim who the Dream-Nappers have targeted as their next victim (played by a very talented eight year old girl-Chalet Lizette Brannan). Angelique decides to seek out the angel and experiment and learn how to use his powers to fight in the dream world. Will Angelique be able to stop the dream nappers or will his soul be taken as well?

odell lewis
Odell Lewis

Chalet Brannen
Chalet Lizette Brannan

Christine Hollis
Christine Hollis

Shirin Neshat
Shirin Neshat

Indie Spotlight: indieYOU Host Kara Rainer Talks With Amanda Marie

indieYOUBack in October I had the opportunity to host exclusive content from DOA Bloodbath Film Festival on my site. The festival showcases independent film talent and just completed its fifth year. The red carpet coverage was handled by Kara Rainer, who interviewed indie Directors and Actors in attendance. From that experience grew a love and interest that has inspired her to start her on entertainment show titled indieYOU. The show will see Rainer continue to have comfortable, free-flowing conversations with some of the independent film community’s up-and-coming talent as well established members.

Amanda Marie Since Kara Rainer was so kind to do some red carpet coverage for my blog I want to help get the word out about her new series of interviews that will allow Actors and Director’s to highlight their projects and talent to fans and the indie community as a whole. I encourage all fans and friends within the film community to head over to Kara’s Youtube channel and subscribe to her shows. I wish her all the best and look forward to some great interview segments. Below is the first interview for indieYou where Kara talks with the lovely Amanda Marie.

Amanda Marie is a young actress from Texas who has recently starred in “Velvet Vengeance” and “M Is For Malice” (short film). She has also appeared on the television series ‘Dallas’ and ‘Allegiance Of Power’. Amanda Marie has several projects still in various stages of production. Check out the interview below and be sure to subscribe to indieYOU for future interviews with the lovely host Kara Rainer.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

So Livin’ Jolie At This Moment

Yes, I am so livin’ Angelina Jolie at this moment. Her portrayal of Disney’s Maleficent is one live action adaptation that I am most eager to see. “Maleficent” is due out May 30th 2014 in time to kick off the summer! The film is the “untold” story of the most evilest witch in all the kingdom. The film tells how the uber-witch of came to hold such a cold, dark heart and her abysmal hatred of the young Aurora. “Maleficent” also stars Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Miranda Richardson, Sam Riley, Brenton Thwaites and Ella Purnell. The film is directed by Robert Stromberg. Check out the poster teasing the summer release here in the U.S. and the alternate U.K. poster.

A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal — an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant, Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom — and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

Maleficent poster


Scream Queer Scream! My Interview With Horror’s Own Roger Conners

Roger Connors From Raw FocusBeing gay and a horror fan hasn’t always been complimentary. Most horror films I grew up on usually addressed the gay topic with half puns or soft derogatory comments. It wasn’t until much later in life that I began noticing more positive and focused attention given to gay characters within the film’s context as friend, fellow victim within the nightmare, or strong contender for that final “girl” title. Of course I guess it would have to be “gurrl” instead if it ever gets to be a gay character in a mainstream film who kills the killer! The industry often ignores anything more than gay stereotypes in most movies, which is something we, as gay horror fans, have come to accept in order to continue loving a genre that strokes our pleasure centers. It actually wasn’t until most recently that I really understood just how far horror has come for and within the gay community. We now have out and proud Directors, Actors and Writers in the horror community, not to mention our own indie festivals that promotes the genre to the LGB&T community. So now I don’t feel so bad for not being bothered by all those past offensive moments in my favorite genre that put queers in such a negative light- especially now that those stereotypes are being written and acted by fellow homos. Which brings me to my current article and interview with Roger Conners.

Roger Conners is an Actor, Director and Writer who has been in several successful horror films as well as being dubbed the first “Scream Queer”, a title coined to describe that exceptional creature who’s characters continue to give us joy, as they scream out in pain only moments before a bloody and brutal death. Something that Conners has done time and time again in such films as “Hellementary: An Education In Death” (which played in heavy rotation on Chiller for a few years), “Hellweek”, “Voodoo Rising” and “Chill”.  Roger Conners does not shy from the gay stereotype, instead he grips it with the vengeance of a drag queen fighting for the title of Rupaul’s next drag superstar. He takes that character, runs with it and often steals the show-the sign of a true queen unleashing her talent for an eager audience. It is characters like the ones Roger Conners plays that elevates the gay persona in the horror industry to a new level that, now as times truly are changing, have given me and many other gay horror fans material to really enjoy-guilt free-while also somehow feeling justified for our love of this place we call horror.

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“Scream Queer Scream” isn’t the first of my articles promoting or focusing on gay cinema, or indie horror, nor will it be my last. However this interview is pivotal for me, as a horror blogger, because this is the first time I have set out to actively focus or accentuate the gayer side of the horror community. My interview with Roger Conners is the first openly gay oriented conversation I have had about our community, our characters and our love of a genre that hasn’t always been so open to accept or appreciate what we as gay horror aficionados have to offer. So I hope that you read this interview with an open mind and enjoy it as a horror fan.

ASouthernLife:  At 18 you decided to pursue a career in the film industry, was your intention always to become an actor or was there another aspect of the industry you were interested in?
Roger Conners: You know, for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to pursue a career that some-how incorporated my love for acting. Whether it be stage or screen, I have always been a fan of the spotlight. When I was a child I was always forcing my friends to put on amateur stage productions of “The Wizard of Oz” and became very controlling at a very, VERY young age. I think that was the gay in me… I demanded perfection, even when I was in kindergarten. I demanded nothing less!

ASouthernLife: Do you remember the moment that you made the decision to get into the film industry? Was there a specific moment?
Roger Conners: Not a specific moment per say but a specific film. George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is what sparked my passion for horror. If it wasn’t for that film I probably wouldn’t have been inspired to pursue the horror-film route from an early age. I’m sure I’d still have felt the bite from the acting bug but I doubt it would have manifested in such a specific genre.

ASouthernLife: Because of your memorable death scenes you have received the nickname "The Scream Queer", Do you remember the first time the term was associated with you?
hellementary posterRoger Conners: I do. I had formed a very close friendship for a time with another Cleveland-based director who fell in love with the fact that I was so willing to play such over-the-top and gaudy gay-characters. He was straight but had a passion for memorable characters and felt they had a very prominent place in the horror genre so he wrote me in to his sophomore film-endeavor. I took the part and ran with it and the character ended up sort of stealing the film. The term Scream Queer came up while filming a big, dramatic torture scene and sort of just stuck. I’m opting to not reveal the name of said director or the title of his film because he and I have gone our separate ways since then and the project ended up being scrapped after six long years of unwarranted post-production. Disappointing, but when it comes to this business… there really does come a point when you just need to call it quits. Sadly, hard feelings can spark from such actions… There’s a lot of passion that goes into all this. A lot of passion and a lot of ego… Feelings get hurt very easily. Such a shame.

ASouthernLife:  In 2009 you landed a role in "Hellementary", since then you have gone on to star in "Hellweek" and "Voodoo Rising", not to mention "Dark Of Moon". Was it always going to be horror? Did you grow up a horror fan or did that come after getting in the industry?
Roger Conners: Technically, “Hellweek” would be classified as my FIRST horror film based off the actual distribution date and I prefer acknowledging it as such. “Hellweek” took years to wrap and I only have a minor cameo in it which I actually filmed long after I had wrapped “Hellementary”, in which I have a far more prominent role. “Hellweek” is acknowledged as one of the worst horror films ever made and rightfully so. It’s bad… Really, really bad… But there’s an endearing quality that I feel stems from the BLATANT low-budget production value. Basically, a bunch of nobodies wanted to make a movie and they did it. Good for them! That takes balls. And hell, who cares HOW bad it is because its became a cult-staple on Netflix and has been seen by a shit-ton of people! That is respectable!

As for “Hellementary”, I filmed that back in 2006 and it was my first venture into the world of indie film. Honestly, I just got lucky. The guys behind that film just knew what they were doing and made something good enough to get onto Chiller. That was mind-blowing for me. I was about 23 when it debuted on national television and I just couldn’t believe it. My first film and it actually DID something. Not just like… self-distribution either. People across America were seeing it! Its been shown over twenty times on Chiller since its original broadcast. Crazy shit, man. I still can’t get over that.

ASouthernLife:  Right now you have "Chill", a slasher film, in distribution negotiations. Tell me about the film and your character? The film has gotten some positive reviews from early screeners.
Roger Conners: Ah “Chill”… or as I call her, the little indie that could. I’ll tell you man, we worked our ASSES OFF on that bitch. And I think it shows. The comment I hear most for “Chill” is “it looks far bigger a budget than $3,000” and honestly, that’s how much we spent and all out of pocket. No donations. No fund-raisers. No kickstarter. Just this tiny cast and crew pooling our extra funds together in hopes we could produce something that looked somewhat legitimate. And I think we did it… Between Noelle Bye’s top-quality gear and expert camera-work and Meredith’s solid script and the passion and drive of the rest of that crew, I think it certainly comes well deserved. That was a devoted little group there. It really was.
chill castAs for Kyle, you know its funny but for all the interviews I’ve done on the movie thus far I’ve never really had a chance to get into his head. I feel bad for Kyle. He’s really a naive little guy who lets himself get used by his “best-friend” who is just a selfish dick, but that isn’t to say Kyle is totally innocent. He knows from the start of the movie what he’s getting into. They’re reviving this very taboo game that is known for having caused the deaths of multiple students back in the 80’s and it sparks a lot of controversy and flares up a lot of heated emotions from the locals. Kyle is clearly aware of that. He has to be. But I don’t think he intended to hurt anybody. He is clearly written to be the lesser of two evils out of the two male leads. He has a conscious and it eats away at him throughout the entire film. I know he regrets his actions, but by the time he voices that it is clearly too late.

ASouthernLife: You are also co-writer for "Chill", is writing something that you always intended?
Roger Conners: I love writing and have been working on a few scripts of my own but I didn’t really expect to help out with Chill as much as I did. That wasn’t my project. I was just brought on board as an actor. However, due to my involvement throughout the course of production is was sort of unavoidable. When you’re on set EVERY DAY you start to get into the mind of your character as well as those around them. It was easy to help with the writing aspect because, by that point, I knew who these kids were. Certain changes and additions to the script just made sense by that point because they had gone from just being words on paper to living, breathing human-beings. We were lucky to have such a colorful group of characters to write for. It made all of the last minute tweaks pretty easy for us.

ASouthernLife: It has recently been announced that "Chill 2" is in the works with you rumored to play Kyle Carpenter once more, can you talk about that project or is still too soon?
Roger Conners: No, I can definitely share a little bit of it. I can’t say what exactly is going to happen with this one, because the first film is still in talks for distro, and god knows what will end up happening. But I feel confident there will be a follow up sooner than later. When that happens I know it will maintain its focus on Kyle and Jarred. The basic idea they’re toying with is that it is several years after the incidents of the first film and both characters have gone completely separate ways. Kyle has basically started his life over whereas Jarred is still attempting to cling to the coat-tails of the murders that happened several years prior. The thing is, people don’t really care anymore. It’s that sort of fifteen minutes of fame that anybody experiences when they’re involved with such a massive headline and Jarred is craving more. But, at this point, the murders are old news and he’s running out of options. Until the murders start happening again… Perfect timing, right? And of course this pulls Kyle back into it against his will because, like it or not, his life is in danger. And from there shenanigans ensue…as they always do.

Roger Conners as Kyle

ASouthernLife:  Another film that has my attention is the cult based horror "The Melon Heads", you not only have a role in the film but you also co-wrote this one as well, tell me how that came about?  Tell me about your character in "The Melon Heads", can we expect a bloody, extreme death from your character in this film as well?
Roger Conners: Poor, poor Melon Heads. I wish I could tell you more about this one but sadly there is nothing to tell. The film was scrapped… a trend I’ve seen from this specific company. Time wasted on everyone’s behalf. Disappointing… But hey, a lesson learned that’s for sure. And not even just one! Hell, I learned a LOT of lessons from that experience. Don’t trust “filmmakers” who shoot on Wal-Mart brand camcorders. That’s a GREAT piece of advice right there, believe me!

ASouthernLife:  What has been the most memorable death you have experienced out of all the characters you have played?
Roger Conners: Honestly, it’s probably my death from “Hellementary” mainly because I’m actually recognized for that scene. I dare say I have the best death in the movie, and not for the gore factor. It’s more the build-up to it all. I love suspense and those guys really drew it out. Since it screened on national television I’ve had tons of people say things like “didn’t I see you get killed while pissing in a bathroom in that horror film in a school?”… Vague, I know. But hell, I’ll take it!

ASouthernLife: You have also recently added Director to your resume, with the project "What We Saw". Was this the next inevitable step in your career? Is it where you see your career taking you in the future?
Roger Conners2Roger Conners: I am so pumped for “What We Saw” you have no idea. The script is something I’m really proud of. Like I said I love suspense and this one is just chock full of it. I want to create a really well crafted, visually stimulating piece of horror CINEMA. I don’t want to just shoot a movie and be done with it. I want people to see this and be like “whoa… this is really well crafted!” I may not have a massive budget but one thing I’ve learned by this point is that, honestly, if you have a solid script to work off of, that doesn’t matter! I’m really excited to give directing a shot. I know I can do this. Some things just come naturally and I have a great eye for these things. I have the right temperament too. I know I can communicate what I see in my head in a manor that will come across clear to my crew as well as my talent. I cant wait to see that translate to film. I haven’t been this excited for something in a long time.

ASouthernLife: How important do you feel it is to have strong gay characters in film, especially in the horror community?
Roger Conners: I wouldn’t say it’s so much important at this point as it is expected. Gay has gone mainstream. It just has. It is no longer a taboo topic and people almost sort of expect it by now. From Glee to Gaga, major pop-culture staples have really pushed gay into the forefront of media and its becoming part of the norm more and more. So for me, it’s not so much about HAVING a gay character as it is surprising the audience with the TYPE of gay character and how they affect the story. I’m tired of just using gay for comedic relief. I love the idea of a butch of burly male characters that also HAPPEN to be gay. Stereotypes are funny and all but, come on, let’s be real… they don’t apply to all of us. Give me a burly bear character. Make him hairy and muscular and let me see him kick some ass. That would get me pumped!

ASouthernLife:  Do you ever see a time when gays will be so well encompassed in the industry that it will no longer be a concern to portray strong gay characters or influence in the industry?
Roger Conners: Well I feel that, due to our being a minority, there will ALWAYS be a sort of stereotypical role for us to play in mainstream cinema. It’s kind of like that “token black-dude” joke. He’s just there to crack black jokes and die no later than half-way into the film. Well, there’s a certain way the majority of moviegoers perceive us gays. Kurt Hummel from Glee… that’s it right there. At the end of the day, I really don’t know what the future holds for gays in mainstream cinema. I’d love to see a major motion-picture that doesn’t really DEAL with a gay storyline but offers a strong gay lead just for the hell of it. Who says there can’t be a movie like Superbad, about a dude and his gay best-friend going about their daily adventures and conquests, and MAYBE the occasional gay joke because the best friend just HAPPENS to be a homosexual? But, I don’t know man. I’m gay so I’m certainly partial to that ideal. Would that work for the overall majority out there? It’s hard to say… Would they accept a movie with a little person in the lead? Or a Muslim female in her traditional attire? Or somebody with a physical disability? Our culture is so quick to judge anything that is even slightly different from us, but ideally, we will evolve beyond our all-too-common judgmental mindsets and learn to really embrace diversity… Easier said the done though.

ASouthernLife: The LGB&T community often seems to go unnoticed in horror, do you think it is because there just isn't enough material out there or is it because people still don't think the community is actively vocal in the horror community?
Roger ConnersRoger Conners: I think that, when it comes to horror, there’s a very standard series of formulas people are used to. For example, slashers tend to follow the final girl mentality which is so common it’s even been spoofed before in movies such as Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. So when you introduce something new to the genre like, maybe the potential for an openly gay male lead… viewers automatically don’t know how to respond. It’s not the norm and horror movie fans are very predictable. We like what we like and that normally includes a lot of well crafted gore and a plethora of boobs. So does a prominent gay character throw a wrench in that formula? Well, I don’t know because HONESTLY… Nobody has TRIED YET! Can you think of one mainstream horror film that actually gave it a shot? I can’t off the back of my hand but that isn’t to say it hasn’t been done at least once. But still, I can’t think of a single PROMINENT example so I think that goes to show something.

There’s a gay fan-base out there. Hell, I’m part of it. I know we exist and I know we deserve more then movie like “Hellbent”. No offense to that movie but it’s exactly as I’d expect from a low budget gay film seeing as how it is OVERTLY gay! I mean, the killer is a muscle-bear running around shirtless showing off his abs and killing pretty boys. Who is going to want to watch that ASIDE from gays? I want a movie that can be viewed and ENJOYED by ANYONE that offers up a gay character who is easy to relate to by viewers gay or otherwise. I think that we go unnoticed in this genre because the mentality with gay horror is always go big or go home! It’s always either gay excess or none at all. I think we need to find a happy middle-ground that doesn’t turn off other viewers and then maybe we can start introducing more prominent and memorable gay characters into more mainstream films.

ASouthernLife: I haven't set out to pick gay directors in the horror industry as favorites but it has turned out that way for me personally, Who are some of your favorite directors and are they out gay directors or is that important?
Roger Conners: Well as mentioned earlier I love George Romero but that’s mainly based off his earlier work. The guy has balls and he stands by his indie roots which I admire. Aside from that, I love Stanley Kubrick because I think his usage of color and imagery is absolutely breathtaking. The Shining is one of my top five favorite films. It is just so visually stimulating from beginning to end. Every single shot looks planned out. That right there is an example of a real film-maker. Dario Argento is another one. His movies are complete mind fucks. They look like total acid-trips. I love when a movie can make me think “what the FUCK am I watching!?”

First Official Poster For “The Expedition” Revealed

the expedition eyeThe first official poster for found footage creature feature “The Expedition” has been revealed along with word that Director Adam J Spinks amnd Producer Ben Loyd-Holmes will be bringing the awesome cast of the film to MCM Expo London Comic Con (Birmingham not London) on the 23rd of November. “The Expedition” stars Ben Loyd Holmes, Sarah Mac, Neil Newbon, Daniel Caren, Rebecca Kiser, Ernesto Cantu, Ross O'Hennessy, Simon Burbage, and Dolores Reynals. If you haven’t already check out the trailer below.

Deep in the Amazon jungle a research team lead by a respected Professor embark on an expedition to protect vulnerable and endangered species. After a series of strange events their superstitious guides abandon them and the team choose to remain deep in the jungle, dedicated to the project... but as night falls in the camp they begin to realize that all is not as it seems, and that they are in the hunting ground of a predator.... one they never could have expected.

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“Amnesia” Trailer Released

It has been awhile since I have talked about “Amnesia”, Val Gameiro's psychological horror film, but now with the trailer and some cool images released recently I am once more reminded of that image of scattered pills. Hey for me that was “sky flowers” baby! Anyway as I said the trailer for the film starring Zachary Gossett, Mike Gassaway, Chaille Stidham, Shayla Bagir, Chloe Clark, Pamela Denise Weaver, Salvador Cabral, Chaillie Stidham, Kenneth Wayne Bradley, Robert Cabral, Garry Peters, Damion Williams and Isaac Mourana, has been released. Check it out below.

A psychological horror-thriller set to the background of human trafficking and human rights violations, “Amnesia” follows an ordinary man who wakes up in an isolated asylum with no memory, who must fight to regain it before the resident psychiatrist takes over his mind. “Amnesia” is expected to release either at the end of 2013 or sometime in 2014. It recently finished production this past summer  in July.

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“Wolf Creek 2” Picked Up By Image

wolf creek 2Greg Mclean’s return to horror franchise, featuring brutal serial killer Mick Taylor,  has been picked up by Image Entertainment at this year’s American Film Market. “Wolf Creek 2” returns to that all out fear fest down under where backpackers are big game for one twisted hardcore killer. “Wolf Creek 2” sees Mclean’s return to directors chair as well as bringing back John Jarrett as the iconic killer. The film also stars Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn and  Phillipe Klaus. “Wolf Creek” was the film that made me straighten up and take Australia’s horror community dead serious. Part 2 is set for a 2014 release date of February 14th in Australia and trust-I have my radar set to mark the official U.S. date down on my calendar.

Lured by the promise of an Australian holiday, backpackers Rutger, Katarina, and Paul visit the notorious Wolf Creek Crater. Their dream Outback adventure soon becomes a horrific reality when they encounter the site’s most infamous local, the last man any traveler to the region ever wants to meet; Mick Taylor (John Jarratt). As the backpackers flee, Mick pursues them on an epic white knuckled rampage across hostile wasteland. Only one will remain to be dragged back to his lair to witness the true magnitude of his monstrosity. And if the last man standing is to have any hope of surviving where no one else has survived before, he’ll have to use every ounce of cunning to outwit the man behind the monster and become every bit as ruthless as the monster inside the man.

New All Female Horror Anthology “XX” Coming Soon

XXMPI/Dark Sky Films and XYZ Films recently announced a momentous project, XX, a landmark all-female horror anthology, with each segment featuring both a female director and female lead.
The directors include Jennifer Lynch (Boxing Helena, Chained), Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol, The Moth Diaries), Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer's Body) , The Soska Sisters - Jen and Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker in a Trunk, American Mary, ABCs of Death 2), and Jovanka Vuckovic (The Captured Bird, The Guest). The filmmakers are set to develop original stories with each short having a female lead character.  The various segments will be linked by work by Guadalajara-based stop-motion animator Sofia Carrillo, who will also create the film's title sequence.

Greg Newman, EVP of Dark Sky Films' parent company, MPI Media Group says, "We know that women make up about half of the audience for horror films, and yet the female creative voice has been nearly silent in the horror genre. So we are thrilled about the new and distinct approach that these talented directors will bring to the project."

Perhaps no film genre has lent itself more to the anthology format than horror and in recent years, the trend has returned with the successes of films such as V/H/S and The ABC's Of Death. But whether it's anthologies or full-length features, female directors - and horror from a female viewpoint in general - have been notably absent. The Dark Sky/XYZ project aims to change that.

Producer Todd Brown at XYZ said, "One of the givens of so many horror films has been the objectification of young women, and we thought it was time for a different approach to scaring audiences and letting the female voice be heard."

Todd Brown will produce for XYZ. Greg Newman will serve as Executive Producer for MPI/Dark Sky, while Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian will serve as Executive Producers for XYZ. Jovanka Vukovic will act as Associate Producer. Malik Ali, Badie Ali and Hamza Ali will also serve as Executive Producers on behalf of MPI/Dark Sky.

In January 2013, a study was released in conjunction with the Sundance Film Festival that posted some disheartening numbers. One, women only made up 4.4% of directors found within the top 100 box-office movies each year from 2002 through 2012, and, two, only 29.8% of the films screened at Sundance during those 10 years were made by women (including directors, writers, editors, producers, and cinematographers). And the numbers for women making horror films are even more dismal.

The Official Theatrical Trailer For “Oldboy”

Oldboy“Oldboy” hits theatres on November 27th 2014 and is directed by Spike Lee. The film is a westernization of the cult favorite film of same name. “Oldboy” stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson and Sharlto Copley. A new official theatrical trailer has been released to promote the film.

An advertising executive is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Artwork For “Bunnyman Massacre”

Some new artwork has been released for slasher horror “Bunnyman Massacre”. The film is currently showing at American Film Market and is directed by Carl Lindbergh. “Bunnyman Massacre” is the sequel to cult horror fan fave “Bunnyman”. It stars David Scott, Julianne Dowler, Jennifer June Ross, Heather Daley and Joshua Lang. The poster is obviously inspired by a recent home invasion horror film-'”You’re Next”, but Bunnyman is far more than a copy or rip from any other film. Lindbergh’s slasher franchise of the brutal killer in the bunny suit is a modern refreshing return to classic horror.

The adventures of Joe and Bunnyman know no limit of bloodlust and carnage. Bodies pile up as Bunnyman indiscriminately slaughters anything that crosses his path in a mutually beneficial relationship that gives Joe plenty of beef jerky to sell in his local store.



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