Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Lammas/Lithasblot

 August 1 is Lammas Day , the festival of the wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. I start my celebration on July 31st, which is also the Nordic festival Lithasblot. Lithasblot The harvest festival; giving thanks to Urda (Ertha) for her bounty. Often alms are given to the unfortunate at this time, or loaves in the shape of the fylfot (the Sun-wheel, which fell into regrettable disrepute during the dark times of the second World War when the symbol was perverted as a symbol of chaos and darkness).

(Frey Fest/Lughnasa/Lugnasad/Lammas) is an Irish Gaelic name for the feast which commemorates the funeral games of Lugh, Celtic god of light, and son of the Sun.  In the mythological story of the Wheel of the Year, the Sun God transfers his power into the grain, and is sacrificed when the grain is harvested. Lammas is a festival celebrating the first fruits of harvest, the fruits of our labours, and seeing the desires that we had at the start of the year unfold so rituals will be centred around this.  Lammas is an early Christian festival, "lammas" means loaf mass and represented the first loaves baked from that years crop. These were taken to church and laid on the altar.
It's a time for bread-making and corn-dollies. Goddesses celebrated around this time include Demeter and Ceres. Trees associated with Lammas are Hazel and Gorse and herbs are Sage and Meadowsweet. Colors associated with Lammas are golds, yellows and orange for the God and red for the Goddess as mother.

Lithasblot has long been associated with ceremonial magic and magical workings. Urda is one of the Norns in Norse mythology. Along with Verðandi (possibly "happening" or "present") and Skuld (possibly "debt" or "future"), Urðr makes up a trio of Norns that are described as deciding the fates of people. Urðr is attested in stanza 20 of the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá and theProse Edda book Gylfaginning. Urðr is together with the Norns located at the well Urðarbrunnr beneath the world ash tree Yggdrasil of Asgard. They spin threads of life, cut marks in the pole figures and measure people's destinies, which shows the fate of all human beings and gods. Norns are always present when a child is born and decide its fate. The three Norns represent the past (Urðr), future (Skuld) and present (Verðandi). Urðr is commonly written as Urd or Urth. In some English translations, her name is glossed with the Old English form of urðr; Wyrd.

Incidentally the holidays fall on a rare Blue Moon which doesn't happen again until 2018. A “blue moon” has nothing to do with the lunar orb’s color but commonly refers to the second of two full moons that occur in a single calendar month. According to the “Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins,” the first recorded English usage of “blue moon” dates to 1528. Maine Farmers’ Almanac defined a “blue moon” as the third full moon in a season with four full moons instead of the typical three. The third, and not the fourth, full moon was considered to be the extra one in order to keep named moons, such as the harvest moon, linked to proper times of the year.
There is no real significance documented in paganism historically that would suggest the blue moon is mystically endowed with more power, but I choose to see it as pretty significant. It is a rare event. And since it is taking place during the first harvest festival I find that pretty special. So I think that the magic of the moon will have a little extra "umpf" in it this weekend. I plan to celebrate starting tomorrow with making a few crafts, a feast based on my go-to country garden foods. Wheat Bread, Butter beans, potatoes and onions, collard greens, and ham. I will have enough for both Lithasblot and Lammas. I will decorate my altar and light the candles. Do a little cleansing and send out good vibes as I meditate. Plus I will write down a prayer, some wishes to be sent out to the universe and declaration of devotion and thanks to gods and goddesses. I usually wrap the message with incense and dried flowers and tie it with hemp twine. I place it deep within the bonfire and focus on what I have written down as the fire burns and smoke washes over me! It has become my personal tradition. Anyway I hope all have a blessed festival weekend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

After Dark Films Announces the Re-Launch of it's Famed '8 Films to Die For'

Press Release:
After Dark Films Announces the Re-Launch of it's Famed '8 Films to Die For' Horror Brand and New Partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Contagion Horror Epic Re-Kill Spreads Fear as the First Film Released in the Bloody New Series
The Terror Hit Theaters October 16th, 2015
Los Angeles, July 28th, 2015: - After Dark Films has established a new working partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to release
'8 Films to Die For' a teeth-shattering line up of 8 terrifying horror features. This agreement is a huge step forward for the horror giant, After Dark Films, and famed media distributor Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
"We are excited to be showcasing these films with Fox. They are such an experienced and enthusiastic partner and we know that '8 Films to Die For' is in the most capable of hands." Courtney Solomon, CEO of After Dark Films
The first in a panic inducing line up of horrors is Re-Kill, the epidemic horror film written by Michael Hurst (Room 6) and directed by Valeri Milev (Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort). This highly anticipated and terrifying film focusing on a devastating outbreak is the perfect pick to kick off the highly touted '8 Films to Die For' re-launch.
"With this new line up we are delivering to our fans the film they have been waiting for, Re-Kill. This post-apocalyptic feature is our most highly anticipated horror film to date," says Stephanie Caleb, EVP, Creative Affairs & Acquisitions of After Dark Films.
Re-Kill Synopsis:
It's been 5 years since the outbreak that wiped out 85% of the world's population, but the war between Re-Animates (Re-Ans) and Humans wages on, as most of the major cities are still uninhabitable. Within the few surviving cities, the Re-Ans have been segregated into "zones" and are policed by the R-Division of the QUASI S.W.A.T. Unit who hunt to re-kill the Re-Ans in the hope of quelling a second outbreak.
'8 Films to Die For' and Re-Kill will have a limited theatrical release, nation wide, on October 16th, 2015.

'Scream The Series' Renewed For Season 2!

MTV has renewed 'Scream' for a second season. MTV said the series has generated 7.9 million streams across platforms and averaged 60% increases in L+3 over L+SD ratings weekly.
Mina Lefevre (MTVs EVP of Series Development and Head of Scripted Programming) said "It has been a wonderful experience working with Bob Weinstein and his team who are such connoisseurs of this genre and we are thrilled by how our viewers have responded to the reinvention of Scream."
Bob Weinstein (o-chairman of The Weinstein Co. and Dimension Films) added "We promise even more scares, surprises, romance and of course kills in season two."

Trailer And Release Details For "From Parts Unknown: Fight Like A Girl"

Press Release:
Strongman Pictures Entertainment announce the release of the long awaited female wrestling, exploitation action flick, FROM PARTS UNKNOWN: FIGHT LIKE A GIRL (aka FIGHT LIKE A GIRL) on DVD and VOD platforms across Australia on August 19th, and the UK and USA early 2016.
After almost 9 years the wrestle-apocalypse has finally arrived. FROM PARTS UNKNOWN : FIGHT LIKE A GIRL is a back-breaking body slam of exploitation movie madness no fan of alternative cinema should miss. With it’s combination of beautiful wrestling women, slimy corporate monsters, blood soaked everything, and a quirky sense of humor, FROM PARTS UNKNOWN: FIGHT LIKE A GIRL seems destined to take a place in the annals of HollyWeird cult cinema.
FROM PARTS UNKNOWN: FIGHT LIKE A GIRL is distributed by MONSTER PICTURES AUS and will be available through JB HIFI and selected retailers from AUG 19. It can be preordered from JB Hifi here MONSTER PICTURES UK will release the film in the UK and CAMP MOTION PICTURES will release in North America early in 2016.
The wrestle-apocalypse is nigh. As a young girl Charlie sees her Daddy, a Pro Wrestling Champion, die in the ring. It starts her quest to become a wrestler in his memory. No easy task in the face of disapproval from her boyfriend, a pesky day job, and a boss who runs her into the ground. It doesn’t seem like Charlie will ever find time to chase her dreams.
When Charlie’s psycho boss steals unstable military technology and unleashes homicidal minions on an unsuspecting world Charlie has no choice but to bring the body slams and take these murderous Jabronis for a stroll down smack down boulevard.
Fight like a girl, it’s the end of the world.
Premiering in Melbourne, Australia at The Thornbury Theatre in January this year FROM PARTS UNKNOWN: FIGHT LIKE A GIRL entertained a sold out audience with it’s 80s aesthetics, sense of fun and action, and ambitious scope for a DIY film project.
FROM PARTS UNKNOWN was produced by Melbourne based production company Strongman Pictures Entertainment, and written, directed and edited by Daniel Armstrong. Armstrong’s previous film is the international cult hit MURDERDROME – the world’s first roller derby horror movie, which hit a chord with alternative cinema fans world wide.

Release Details And Trailer For "Tremors 5: Bloodlines"

Press Release:
A deadly threat resurfaces halfway around the world when giant, man-eating worms attack a South African wildlife park in the sci-fi comedy "Tremors 5: Bloodlines", available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital HD on October 6, 2015. from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
Michael Gross (“Family Ties,” “Suits,”) returns as Graboid hunter extraordinaire Burt Gummer, with Jamie Kennedy (“The Cleveland Show,” Scream franchise) as his new tech-savvy second-in-command, in this all-new adventure. The latest chapter of the franchise known for its campy humor and voracious monsters features thrilling new special effects, 25 minutes of bonus features, extended scenes, and outtakes, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.
The stakes are raised for survivalist Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) in his most dangerous monster hunt yet. When Gummer’s hired to capture a deadly Assblaster terrorizing South Africa, he and his new sidekick, Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy), find themselves in a battle to the death against the fiercely aggressive Assblasters and Graboids. Discovering that the monsters have evolved into even more lethal creatures, their mission takes on a whole new level of unseen terror — far more than they bargained for.
Special Features:
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Tremors 5: Behind the Bloodlines featurette

Crowd Funding Starts For Indie Slasher "Pi Day Die Day"

A crowd funding campaign is underway right now over on for indie slasher "Pi Day Die Day". The film is directed by Michael E. Cullen II of Cullen Park Productions, in conjunction with One Stoplight Productions. "Pi Day Die Daytells the story happening March 14, 2016 and a serial killer is on the loose in a small Ohio town.  The students of Euclid High fear for their lives as their classmates disappear, falling victim to this elusive murderer.  With the help of Euclid High's math teacher, Mr. Douglas, Detectives Mahoney and Beecher find clues to solving this circle of bloodshed. 

The film will feature the original Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, Ari Lehman. There is also a teaser trailer that has been released for "Pi Day Die Day" you can check out. Lindsey LaForest and Michael E. Cullen II recently talked about "Pi Day Die Day" on Fred LeFebvre's morning show on NewsRadio 1370 WSPD. Click here to listen to the podcast after you check out the teaser, and while you are check out the campaign page on Indiegogo. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Official Trailer For "Attack Of The Killer Shrews" Remake

Check out the official trailer for remake of cult creature feature, "Attack Of The Killer Shrews". The film is directed by Ken Cosentino and is a slapstick, no budget version starring Jonathan Rogers, Bill Kennedy, Elizabeth Houlihan, Baird Hageman, Marcus Ganci-Rotella, Cheryl Szymczak, Mick O'Keefe, Bill Brown, James Ventry and JB Aaron. Not sure when the release date is on this one but I will be glad to put it right next to the original and 2012's "Return Of The Killer Shrews" on my shelf. I love b-movies, and especially low budget b-movies.

A group of misfits, including a small town sheriff, a high-brow professor, and a B-movie scream queen, must defend the world against an invasion of monstrous, killer shrews! Complete with awful shrew puppets and a special cameo by the creator of the Toxic Avenger, Lloyd Kaufman, "Attack of the Killer Shrews!" combines Mel Brooks style humor with a classic drive in creature feature plot to bring the world the "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!" of the new millennium! 

First Teaser Released For Eco Horror "Strange Nature"

Check out the first teaser trailer for upcoming eco-horror "Strange Nature". The film is directed by Jim Ojala and stars Lisa Sheridan, Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911), WWE Superstar, John "Nitro" Morrison, Stephen Tobolowsky, David Mattey, Faust Checho, Angela Duffy, Chalet Lizette Brannan. There is no released date announced yet, but based on the trailer and the nature of this nightmare I am on board!

Based on a true unsolved ecological mystery, a struggling yet forceful single mother and her shy son start life over by moving in with her estranged hermit father in the backwoods of a small town as the local discovery of deadly offspring mutations threaten to spread from animals to humans.

New Blood Rising In Indie Horror: My Interview With Chad Zuver

Chad Zuver hasn't been making movies for all that long, just a few short years, and yet he has tackled some of the horror genre's most iconic concepts with impressive results. The slasher, the vampire, the zombie, and serial killers have dominated Zuver's most notable works. His first film, "Unnoticed", an ultra low-budget slasher. He followed that film up with "New Blood Rising", a vampire saga with a twist. That was my first introduction to Chad Zuver the film maker. Since then he has released a indie remake of "Night Of The Living Dead", and the very creative, experimental found footage film, "The Final Act".

Back to "New Blood Rising", which features a story that places vampires as a dying species whose only hope relies on the only surviving "true born vampires", and the film, while staying low budget, goes full into bringing this story to life with all the conviction and passion of any larger studio backed movie. It had depth, practical effects, action, and heart. And the story is a hefty saga that is too big for just one movie to tell, which is why in 2016 the second installment "New Blood Awakening" will be released. The film continues the saga of Jade and Ophelia and their desire to restore the bloodline.

Chad was nice enough to take time out to do an interview about the "New Blood" series, as well as his other projects. We go back to the first film in the series, "New Blood Rising" before getting into the sequel, "New Blood Awakening". A trailer has already been released for the film ahead of the 2016 release date. You can check that out here: Teaser Released For "New Blood Awakening". Zuver also talks about his other projects two in development, and the a fore mentioned "The Final Act". Plus he gives some incite into his influences and fan faves. Read our full interview below and go check out his movies at Shattered Images Films.

A SOUTHERN LIFEFirst let me thank you for taking the time for this interview. New Blood Rising, and Night of The Living Dead both had strong story lines and a committed cast which is crucial when working with budget restraints. You are passionate about what you do and it shows, especially where the Saga of the Vampires in the "New Blood" series. Before we talk about the sequel, "New Blood Awakening", tell me how the idea for the "New Blood" story came about?

CHAD ZUVER: Thank you for the interview. You always have been a big supporter of mine. It is an honor chatting with you. "New Blood Rising" came to me from the very first "Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" trailer. I saw the trailer in the winter of 2012 and instantly had an idea for a movie. All day Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I outlined the entire movie and started writing the script after that. It took me about 5 months to perfectly finish the script and I was filming my first movie "Unnoticed" at the time as well. I wanted to create a new story of vampires that was totally different than "Twilight".

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Which films, if any, from past Vampire cinema did you draw inspiration?

CHAD ZUVER: Vampire movies are a dying breed thanks to "Twilight", in the horror genre. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. I was a big "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fan and loved the TV show. Other movies that I use inspiration for are: Salem's Lot, Let the Right One In, Fright Night, 30 Days of Night, and Near Dark. 

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Dealing with the orthodoxy of what is accepted about Vampires was it important to stay true to the legends or more important to vear away into new territory? Much like when suddenly they could walk in the sunlight with a ring, or hang out in the shade.

CHAD ZUVER: I stayed true to the original legends of the vampires. Can't be in sunlight, have to be invited in, holy water, and crosses. But I also added a new twist to them as well. In "New Blood Rising" the three main vampires were born vampires and they each had their own special powers. So I gave each of them something unique about their character.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Your characters are young vamps on the run and trying to restore their species bloodline. It comes off pretty classical while being somewhat original by focusing sympathy and point of view from the vampires' perspective. Was that always the intention when you started writing the story? I have to say that I sympathized more with the vampires' story than I did with the humans in "New Blood Rising".

CHAD ZUVER: Yes that was my intention to have the vampires be the victims of the story. They were a dying breed and needed to survive. They wanted to restore their bloodline at any cost, it is human nature. The vampires story was the focal point of the main story.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Now you have Jade and Ophelia returning, as well as Karver, and Archer for "New Blood Awakening? What can we expect from the sequel? Will the sympathy stay with Jade and her kin, or will we see them as the villains?

CHAD ZUVER: All four of them will be returning and you will see something you wouldn't expect after seeing the first movie. I wouldn't say there would be sympathy for Jade and Ophelia in "New Blood Awakening" and I wouldn't say they are villains either. You will get the same Jade and Ophelia from "New Blood Rising" but also a new look at both of their characters.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Was the story for "New Blood Awakening" one that you already had ready to go when you made "New Blood Rising" or did the idea for the sequel come later?

CHAD ZUVER: Both movies were planned out before "New Blood Rising" was even done. It is one long story with both movies. It was always my intentions to continue the story from "Rising" to "Awakening". The plot for "Awakening" was there, but just not the details. That came into fruition during the Summer of 2014.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: How was production, you had a lot of cast return to reprise their roles, so did it make it easier to film? Or more comfortable as a director knowing that the actors were familiar with their characters?

CHAD ZUVER: This has been one of the hardest productions, I've been a part of. We have filmed 25+ hours in two days, 14 hours of filming in one day, and many many long nights. I am very comfortable with the returning actors like Kayla Elizabeth, Vanessa Leonard, Allan Meyette, Thomas Sloan, and Lisa Marie. I have worked with all of them before and they know their own characters, better than I do. I only wrote the characters on paper and they brought them to life. I couldn't have asked for a better cast, than what I have in "Awakening".

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Who are some new characters that fans can look forward to seeing in "New Blood Awakening"?

CHAD ZUVER: There are many new characters that bring a new look on the "New Blood" series. On the vampire side, you have Callidora (played by Sarah Bertz Thomas), Byron (played by Greg Kissner) and Roman (played by Chris Wietrzykowski). Callidora is Wes's "go to girl". She is beautiful and crazy. Byron is a mix of Joker/Loki. He loves to stir up trouble and work his plan down to the letter. Roman is the muscle of Wes's army and partners up with Byron. On the human side you have, Paige (played by Melissa Zahs), Skylar (played by Spring JoyLynn), Jill (played by Jeanine Visuue), and John (played by Mark Klein). Paige is the new main human character, and we follow her life during the vampire apocalypse. Skylar is Paige's best friend and she is a very fun character. Jill and John are Paige's parents and the backstory with them is very interesting. I have worked with many of the new actors in "Awakening" before and many people have been new. But I literally picked the perfect cast for the movie. I couldn't be happier.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: The "New Blood" series feels like a trilogy, is there a story written for a third installment? And when can fans expect "New Blood Awakening" to be released?

CHAD ZUVER: There has been ideas for a third movie, but nothing has really fit right for a true finale. I'm not saying never, but I highly doubt it. I have not picked a release date for "Awakening". It will be released in 2016 and it might be late spring/early summer.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Now you have another film that was recently completed, "The Final Act", tell me a bit about that movie, it's a documentary styled story that focuses on a serial killer. Where did the idea come from?

CHAD ZUVER: "The Final Act" was a very fun movie to make. I wanted to try something new and do a POV/found footage movie. "Final Act" I believe is a first of it's kind. It features 2 movies (on the DVD) that tie into each other. I worked with other writers (Ben Shotwell, Michael E. Cullen II, and James Ramey) on a simple story for the 2 movies. All of us put ideas down and figured out the best way to tell 2 different stories and make it into one movie.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Are you a fan of found footage? What are a few of the ones that have impressed you, turned you on to the subgenre?

CHAD ZUVER: I am sort of a fan of found footage. It has been done to death recently, you don't see anything new now. As a kid I was a big fan of "Blair Witch Project". Then I watched it about a year ago and I hated it.  There are some good ones like "Rec" and the first "Paranormal Activity". But now you have about 2 or 3 released a year and it gets very watered down.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: When did you first realize that you wanted to make movies for a living? Was it always aimed toward the horror genre?

CHAD ZUVER: I know the exact moment. It was after my very first time seeing "Scream". I absolutely loved the story that Wes Craven told directing the movie and smart story it covered. I love the storytelling aspect to a movie. In my opinion "Scream" is the of the best horror movies and story. I've always been a huge horror fan. Growing up in the 80's, horror movies were the king. You had Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Pinhead, and Chucky. You had some of the most iconic characters being released year after year and that is just the slasher movies. The 80's had some of the best horror movies out there and its a shame we can't go back to them now.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: What are some of the films and directors that have influenced you over the years?

CHAD ZUVER: Wes Craven is my biggest influence as a director. He is hit and miss with his movies, but his hits are huge. I just love the way he tells a story throughout a movie. Even though I'm not a big fan of a lot of his movies. I love the way Quentin Tarantino does dialogue. There are other directors like Gareth Evans, Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan, and Joss Whedon are other directors I really admire.  Film wise, I always stay on the horror page. "Scream", "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "Halloween", "The Thing" "Hatchet". Each of those movies has something different and special about them that really stick with me.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Before we finish I want to ask you about your next two projects, the short film contest and "Descending". Are you working on an anthology showcase for indie talent with the short film contest?

CHAD ZUVER: The short film contest is something new I am trying out. When "Awakening" is released, I want to attach a short movie, before the feature. Then even have it be on the DVDs as well. I'm still getting things worked out for the contest. The contest is more so intended on local talent (Toledo, Ohio), since we have so many very talented filmmakers in the area. But I'm not against going outside Toledo as well. "Descending" is really being kept hush hush now. But we have brought in two very popular and extremely talented actresses into the movie - KateLynn Newberry and Amanda Collins aka Mandy Lou. I have already wrote the first draft of the script. Greg Kissner will be directing the movie and I'll be working with him on finalizing the script.

A SOUTHERN LIFE: Finally, If you weren't making movies what would you be doing?

CHAD ZUVER: This is probably the hardest question, you could ask (laughs). I honestly don't know what I would be doing. I do have my normal night job, so I would probably be focusing all my attention on my work career.  Even though I've been making movies for 3 years, it has been the best 3 years of my life. It has been very stressful, but I don't regret one second of those 3 years.

Monday, July 27, 2015

New Character Images For Upcoming Horror "Hole"

Check out the three character promotional pics for Joaquin Montalvan's next horror film, "Hole". The film stars Paul E. Respass, Teem Lucas, Jim Barile, Dennis Haggard, Charlotte Bjornbak, Gavin Graham, Joaquin Montalvan, Theresa Holly, Alina Bolshakova, Randi Vaughn, Char Frost, Micki Quance, Randall Barnes, and Patrick Prouty. The film follows Montalvan's hillbilly slasher horror, "The Legend Of The Hillbilly Butcher".

Ed Kunkle is a convicted felon tormented by his own demons. Eve Adams is a single woman trying to cope with a tragic loss. Bodie Jameson is a homicide detective looking for answers. All three lives will intertwine with disturbing, deadly consequences.

Continuing The Spread Of Infection To Society With "Antisocial 2"

It is scientifically proven that we are influenced by the images and sounds that bombard us daily through television, music, video, internet, social media. It is a constant influx of media, messages, madness, and chaos which inevitably will consume society completely until we lay bleeding on the floor a beaten and broken heap! Okay I may have went to a psycho paranoia delusional rant, but that is the point of Cody Calahan's "Antisocial", a film that had a group hide out from an outbreak that sent the world into just such an apocalypse. Unfortunately the source of their reasoning and information was through tech devices connected to the internet. The infection seeps into the sanctuary and we get some intense, thrilling human brutality, madness, and carnage.

Cody Calahan returns for some more of that tech is the killer mayhem with "Antisocial 2". The film will premiere at this years Fantasia on July 30th. It stars Michelle Mylett, Stephen Bogaert, and Josette Halpert. Check out the official poster and trailer for the film.

Years after having her newborn child stolen from her, Sam searches a world infested with infected users from the Social Redroom website. After befriending a young girl named Bean, Sam is captured and locked in a facility dedicated to finding a cure for the Redroom Virus. Trapped and tortured, Sam tries to escape the facility before an impending update on the Redroom site hits 100% and unleashed its final phase of attack.

Official Poster And Trailer For "Queen Of Earth" Released

The official poster and trailer has been released for IFC Midnight's "Queen Of Earth" which has a release date set for August 26th, both VOD and theatrically. The film is directed by Alex Ross Perry and stars Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston, Patrick Fugit, and Kate Lyn Sheil.

Elisabeth Moss delivers a fearless performance in this tour-de-force portrait of psychological breakdown. In her second collaboration with acclaimed director Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip), she stars as Catherine, a woman careening towards emotional collapse after a one-two punch of heartbreaking events. Seeking peace and solitude, she heads to the secluded lakehouse of her best friend, Virginia (Inherent Vice’s Katherine Waterston). But their quiet country retreat becomes a journey into steadily mounting hysteria as past and present collide and the love-hate relationship between the two women threatens to tear them apart. Driven by Moss’ unforgettable performance, this darkly funny psychological thriller immerses viewers in the shattered mind of a woman on the edge.

Uncanny Ability To Make Tech Terrifying!

AI are the new breed of vampire, here to mesmerize, excite, terrify, and probably destroy mankind! I have been watching a lot of these droid/robot/synthetics activate, titillate, and contemplate just how they will navigate a world where their creator both loves and loathes them! From 'Humans' to "Ex-Machina", 'Dark Matter' to 'Defiance', Artificial Intelligence has replaced the vampire in fantasy, horror , and sci-fi and based on the promo stuff for "Uncanny" the outlook for us Organics is only going to get hotter and darker before we inevitably bite the dust at the hands of our creation- Halleloo!

"Uncanny" is directed by Matthew Leutwyler and stars Mark Webber, Lucy Griffiths, David Clayton Rogers, Rainn Wilson. The film is due out November 3rd, 2015. "Uncanny" follows the story of the world's first "perfect" Artificial Intelligence, who begins to exhibit startling and unnerving emergent behavior when a reporter begins a relationship with the scientist who created it.

A Dagon Adorable Claymation Film Inspired By H.P. Lovecraft

Paolo Gaudio has started a crowd funding campaign for his Dagon adorable claymation movie about one of H.P. Lovecraft's formidable gods. Dagon, god of the deep who presides over the Deep Ones. The deity is believed to be inspired by the very real, and very ancient Mesopotamian god of the same name. 

Based on the story of the cult writer H.P. Lovecraft, DAGON is an animated claymation that with humor and extravagance recreates supernatural and frightening scenes of the American writer within the typical aesthetics of an action movie of '80 with Arnold Schwarzenegger. As if Cthulhu met Predator.

The crowd funding campaign is taking place over on Kickstarter. Now this sounds like fun, family friendly entertainment and its darkest! Head over to Kickstarter to check out the rewards for your support and keep up with the project on their Facebook page by hitting the highlighted link above. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Review Of "Indigenous"

"Indigenous" is a travel horror, creature feature that eats at your nerves! The film is directed by Alastair Orr and stars Zachary Soetenga, Lindsey McKeon, Sofia Pernas, Pierson Fode. The story follows a group of friends on vacation in Panama. After hearing of a local legend of a slice of forest forbidden to travelers, the group venture into the wild and discover that there is way more to this local legend. And I swear there was several times that I jumped, cringed, and held my breath. Not a lot of films do that to me these days but films like this, or cannibal movies usually do. 

The story is your typical joint with a sexy young cast on international vacation to Central America, Panama to be exact. There vacation turns into on heck of a nightmare when they choose to venture off the itinerary for a impromptu trip to a local forbidden piece of the Panamanian jungle. One that has a horrific legend of creatures that stalk anyone who dares enter the area. "Indigenous" sets up nicely for some suspense, intense thrills. Sure the cast of characters are cliche and scene in pretty much every film with this "road trip horror " concept. But, just like many of the films it compares to, "Indigenous"  gives good thrills. It stays serious with only cheeky banter between mates offering any humor, the setting goes from one of beauty that beckons tourists to one of a more primal, unnerving nature. Plus the action is pretty much nonstop the minute they hit the tree-line!

The special effects are tight. The gore, quick scare tactics, and creature design are nice, reminds me of the anthropomorphic cannibal creatures in "Descent" and 'Wayward Pines'. There could have been more glorification of the gore in my personal opinion, but there is enough here to really sell the bloody kill scenes. The sound effects and music is a blend of up beach vacation enthusiasm, and intense, atmospheric uneasiness. A lot of the thrills come with the cast's ability to give such convincing performances during the terrifying scenes. Plus Alastair Orr creates a strong story around the beliefs of the Chupacabra that is slightly different but just as scary as the small dog-like, winged version. "Indigenous" is a really intense, entertaining horror film that is worth the watch! 

My Review Of "The Changing Of Ben Moore"

"The Changing Of Ben Moore" is a found footage horror directed by Jason Mills. It frames a pretty interesting set of events with the low budget video diary format. This choice actually gives the indie horror a bit more validity than had they tried for the more documentary, reality approach that more often than not cripples a found footage movie. "The Changing Of Ben Moore" stars Umberto Celisano, Corey Beaulieu, David Lloydy, and Bruce Novakowski.

Synopsis: A young man with no recollection of his childhood starts on a journey of self-discovery. While living in his aunt's house alone, Ben starts developing irregular sleep patterns. His brother Derek, skeptical of Ben's health and well-being starts filming a video journal to capture Ben sleep walking while having nightmares. Ben has a hard time remembering these night time occurrences while his brother and friends slowly start to realize things are not what they seem with Ben's sleep psychosis. When Ben's dog is found dead and his girlfriend goes missing, his quest turns to discovering who is responsible. His deeply concerned friends soon realize they are part of a demonic nightmare.

The story is a nicely constructed slice of self-discovery that morphs into horror actualized. It is a journey that seems to be taken lightly by both the main character and his friends. All of which is told through video dairy clips. Ben and his friends spend the majority of the time bouncing back from freaked-out concern to "party" mode during the course of the events. Luckily for us "The Changing Of Ben" is a total existential experience because it would just be too much melodrama and time filler. Mills brings in a "predator-prey" component which really sells the horror elements of the story. Most of which is given by a cast that has committed to their characters. Some of the line delivery and scenes fall a bit flat for a moment but I never lost complete interest, or lost the connection with the story. 

The special effects are pretty standard affair for a film of this budget. The creature effects used for the metamorphosis moments of Ben's transformation work nicely for what they were. Budget size really isn't an obstacle if conviction and creativity are involved. And Jason Mills and his team obviously know that because I found those moments convincing. The other special effects used are the camera gimmicks associated with the found footage subgenre, and the gore is a blend of CGI and practical effects. Mostly the film builds its chills and suspense with the drama and heightened emotional state of the characters. Sometimes it works, other times not so much. Still all things considered there are some really cool, creepy moments in "The Changing Of Ben", and Jason Mills is methodical, conscientious, and decisive when it comes to making sure that the story, and his vision is delivered from start to finish. Overall I was impressed with this one. It is a bit mediocre on the horror side, and kind of text book as far as style of found footage that it is, but there is some nice character development, creepy atmospheric moments, a little comic relief, and nice special effects and creature makeup in "The Changing Of Ben".


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