Saturday, April 18, 2020

My Review Of "Dead By Dawn"

"Dead By Dawn" is directed by Sean Cain, and stars Jamie Bernadette,  Drew Lindsey Mitchell, Kelcey Watson, Bo Burroughs, Timothy Muskatell, Bobby Slaski, Detra Hicks, and Skylar Dominique. The film blends elements of abduction, psychological horror and cabin in the woods .It is a low budget, psycho babel of tension that manages to captivate.

A suicidal man in a remote cabin is suddenly faced with protecting a kidnapped woman from three killers and their sadistic games. Unable to contact the outside world and with night falling, he falls backs on creating traps to prevent the criminals from gaining entry. It’s a fight to the death where only the strongest will survive until dawn.

"Dead By Dawn" is a strong low budget thriller with plenty of suspense and thrills. The film starts off dark and with blunt force. It never really relinquishes. There is only a few moments where the story pauses for some character building, but soon the violence begins again.

The acting is better than I expected. The cast seem to understand the characters and feel fully committed. There are a few scenes that waver close to amateurish, but it never really dampens the film's flow. Plus there is a strong female lead that impressively embraces the final girl banner.

The horror is mostly built on dark circumstances, chilling atmosphere, and impending danger. There are some violent, bloody moments that sweeten the horror level. Still, "Dead By Dawn" manages to hold your attention purely on the relatable horrors of domestic violence, home invasion and some true psycho killers. I enjoyed this little indie film more than I thought I would. Check it out. (3/5)

My Review Of "HumanPersons"

Brazilian thriller "HumanPersons" comes from director Frank Spano. The film stars Pedro García Ríos, Mimi Lazo and Spano. The story takes on somewhat true crime tropes of organ harvesting in the seedy undertow of Brazil's human trafficking scene. 

James returns to his native Latin America after 30 years, with just one thing in mind-taking an organ from a human victim and smuggling it back to the United States. On this trip, relives memories of his own violent past, which makes him think twice about redeeming his future.

"HumanPersons" offers a dark, chilling tale that wraps both true crime and urban legend tropes. The film is well written and directed. The characters are portrayed evenly and with conviction. I enjoyed the almost stoic nature of the characters who only interact in reserved masculinity. 

That being said, I did find most of the film moved a bit sluggishly. The film started with a strong body horror, chilling opening. However, soon after everything seems to slow down and form into machismo melodrama. There is just too much dialog and exposition revolving around threats, puffed chest pounding and very little action.

Overall "HumanPersons" starts with a great thrilling concept. Unfortunately it gets drowned out by too much talking. The acting is good and even with the cliche archetypes most of the writing is well thought out. Still, for a thriller, this one offered very little thrills. If you want to then check it out - it works as a nice male-driven drama. (2.5/5)

My Review Of "Atomic Apocalypse"

"Atomic Apocalypse" is a post-apocalyptic thriller from Martin Gooch. The film stars Krista DeMille, Andrea Sweeney-Blanco, Jesús Lloveras, William Mark McCullough, Ron Roggé, Christina DeRosa, Neil Dickson, Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, Lex Anastasia, Andrea R. Baker, Cory Birkenbuel, Ryder Kole Emerson, Nicholas Fabrio, Ice Fox, Randy Granstrom. It falls along the lines of films like "The Road" and "The Day".

Welcome to the future - two years from now after the nuclear apocalypse that changed life as we know it. In this hellish landscape, one family fights for survival. Superhero Mother, Kate (Krista DeMille) loses her injured survivalist husband Sam (Ron Roggé) and lovestruck daughter Suzi (Andrea Sweeney Blanco) in a matter of days after they join handsome loner Joe (Jesus Lloveras) in search of a rumored hidden nuclear bunker full of food and medicine. Suddenly alone, lost in the chemical clouds and pursued by murderous scavengers, Kate fights to stay alive and reunite with her family. 

"Atomic Apocalypse" falls short of being a strong thriller with heavy drama. It often feels aimless with no clear agenda for the story's path forward. Some moments seem to tap into dark humor that doesn't look intentionally don't. Still, much like the films I mentioned above, "Atomic Apocalypse" has heart, deep emotional awareness and a singular focus, even if the plot isn't that original. 

The cast seem carefully chosen and I found the female leads strong and emotive. To me they were the most developed characters in the film. At times the acting did get shakey. Moments when high tension kicks in the acting seems forced. Other characters fail to deliver dialog convincingly at times. Still the story flowed forward due to enough quality moments stringing the plot along.

Special effects are a strong blend of low grade practical choices mixed mostly with "gamer" level CGI. Stuff commonly seen on the Syfy channel. There is a portion of the film dealing with cannibals but not nearly enough attention is to them. Overall "Atomic Apocalypse" will find a fan base and for indie sci-fi fans, but don't go into it with high expectations. (2.5/5)

Friday, April 17, 2020

My Review Of "Rootwood"

"Rootwood" is directed by Marcel Walz and stars Tyler Gallant, Elissa Dowling, Tiffani Fest, Felissa Rose, and Sarah French. The film uses mixed media to explore similar horror tropes made famous by "Blair Witch Project". Except "Rootwood" finishes with a cheeky twist ending.

Rootwood follows two students who host ‘The Spooky Hour’, a podcast about paranormal phenomena and urban legends. When they are hired by a Hollywood film producer to shoot a horror documentary about the curse of The Wooden Devil, they smell their chance to become famous. Together, with their friend, they enter Rootwood Forest and investigate the area to find out the truth about The Wooden Devil and his victims.

"Rootwood" offers a new crypto baddie in the form of an urban legend surrounding a wood devil. The story is more straightforward typical mockumentary, paranormal exploratory fare. It does break the monotony with some nice third person footage. The concept is intriguing, however the execution of the plot feels a bit messy. Far too much dialog and unnecessary exposition.

The acting has moments of quality, but there are some moments where the cast seem affectively removed from their characters. Still, "Rootwood" has some cool indie film royalty attached to it, which almost forgives the flubs found with the film. I did enjoy the twist, with a cheeky revelation in the final scenes.

The horror leans heavily on a creepy, atmospheric tone, with some cool locations. The night shots are sweet, chilling moments that become the major focal point. I wish more of the film was shot at night. There isn't much in the way of kill sequences, most happen off screen and we never get to enjoy the carnage of the situation. But, the creature concept for the wood devil is awesome and worthy of further exploration.

Overall "Rootwood" misses a lot of momentum as it gets started. To much time is spent building characters that are weighed down by too much dialog and exposition. It takes 55 minutes for anything exciting to happen but what we do get is a spooky urban legend, creepy creature concept, and Felissa Rose. Horror fans of indie, low budget filmmaking should check it out. It has some cool stuff worth watching. (2.5/5)

  "CRY HAVOC" Set For May Premiere

Robert Bronzi, the star of Death Kiss and Once Upon a Time in Deadwood, faces his deadliest opponent yet in Cry Havoc – available this May On Demand.

An ambitious young reporter is granted an interview with one of the FBI’s most wanted. While entering his compound she finds one of his prized possessions, a serial killer who murders at call, called HAVOC. Her only hope is a rogue police man searching for his daughter.

Co-starring Richard Tyson (Kindergarten Cop) Emily Sweet, and JD Angstadt, writer-director Rene Perez’s Cry Havoc premieres on demand May 5 from Midnight Releasing. 

Genre Bending THE ARCHIVIST - Trailer Delivers The Retro Goods!!

Spaghetti western meets dystopian sci-fi in a twisted new throwback to the good ol days of cinemas' past. Filmed in glorious 35mm and featuring real life stunts. This film is sure to please fans of the old-school and new seeking something fresh in such a stale market.

In the year 2070, Calder Benson is a government Archivist Officer charged by an increasingly invasive and restrictive government to destroy all elements and remnants of his society's self-indulgent and avaricious past.

Directed by Eric Hand.
Written by Bo Gardner and Eric Hand.
Starring Eric Hand, Dale Shumate, Butch Thompson, and Jennifer Giles.


Jinga Films and SC Movies are pleased to announce that the award winning occult horror film ANTRUM is now available in Australia on all digital platforms including Foxtel Store, Itunes, Google Play and FetchTV. ANTRUM which is currently trending at number one on Amazon Prime in the US has been linked to the deaths of 56 people who perished when a cinema screening the film burned to the ground in Hungary. Rumoured to be cursed, all copies were destroyed and ANTRUM was thought to be lost until Canadian documentary film-makers Michael Laichini and David Amito discovered an inter-negative in a laboratory in Budapest. 

Since its world premiere at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival in New York, ANTRUM has been selected to screen at many key genre festivals including BIFFF (Belgium), Sitges (Spain), Morbido (Mexico) Celluloid Screams (UK) and Horrible Imaginings (US) where it won Best Film

Legal Notice: By watching ANTRUM you agree that Jinga Films and SC Movies is hereby released of all liability for any event that might occur to you during or after your viewing.

This April, Beware The OUIJAGEIST

This April, beware the Ouijageist!

After renting a new apartment, a single mom finds a spirit board buried in the backyard, which conjures the spirits of a group of evil entities who haunt her and her family. A local priest is enlisted to help her put these souls to rest forever.        
Lois Wilkinson, Lesley Scoble, Roger Shepherd, Gabriella Calderone, Nathan Head, and Kristofer Dayne star in a frightening new supernatural spooker in the tradition of The Conjuring.

Directed by John R.Walker, and written by Darrell Buxton and Steve Hardy, Ouijageist was available on digital and DVD April 14 from Wild Eye Releasing.


Jinga Films and Dark Sky Films have announced the US release of Flavio Pedota's award winning pandemic horror INFECTION which will be released on DVD and all major digital platforms April 14th 2020.

After an outbreak of a new strand of the rabies virus turns the population of Venezuela into bloodthirsty cannibals, a young doctor finds himself separated from his son. Navigating his way through the plague-infested streets and marauder-filled backwoods, he must use every resource to find his only child and unlock the secret to a cure for the deadly disease. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

"Girls Just Wanna Have Blood" Set To Release This May

This May, director Anthony Cantanese (Hi-Death) reminds us... Girls Just Wanna Have Blood!

Coming this May from Wild Eye Releasing, a bloody and unique new addition to the vampire-pic subsection.
When social outcast Jessica is accepted into a trio of teenage vampires, she finds herself thrust into a nocturnal world of murder, drugs and all-night parties as they stalk the patrons of local bars and clubs. Meanwhile, a mysterious, foreign vampire hunter searches the underworld in hopes of putting a stake right through their plan to party forever.

Bettina Skye (“Ugly Betty”), David M.Sitbon (Creed II), and Gigi Gustin (Game Over) star in Girls Just Wanna Have Blood, premiering on DVD and VOD May 26.

Release Details Announced For Sci-fi Film " Red Rover"

In Red Rover, coming to digital this May, after feeling he has nothing left to live for on earth, a lonely geologist tries to qualify for a one-way mission to Mars with the help of an offbeat musician who is just as lost as he is.
From director Shane Helcourt, and starring Kristian Bruun (Ready or Not), Cara Gee (The Expanse), Meghan Heffern (“Wynonna Earp”), and Anna Hopkins (“The Expanse”), Red Rover premieres On Demand May 12 from Indiecan Entertainment.
Damon (Kristian Bruun) spends his waking hours searching for that elusive something. Whether it’s for deeper meaning, love, or just “treasure” on the beach with his metal detector, but to no avail. So when Damon meets an offbeat musician named Phoebe (Cara Gee) handing out flyers for a one way trip to Mars, a bond quickly forms. She’s going to help him find that thing he is looking for by sending him 33.9 million miles away, even though what he needs might be right in front of him.

 TERROR FILMS Teams With WATCH MOVIES NOW To Release Four Free Horror Films In April!

Genre Distributor Terror Films has teamed with the AVOD YouTube Channel, Watch Movies Now! 
Terror Films has made its entire library available to Watch Movies NowWatch Movies Now will kick off releases next week, starting with: The Bone Box (4/10), followed by Dead Body (4/17), After Dark (4/24) and The Chair (4/29). A Terror Film's movie will be released weekly on the Watch Movies Now channel and in most cases, the films will be available worldwide. 
“This marks yet another strategic, AVOD partnership for our company and one more step toward our continued global expansion. It’s also very important we make our films available for FREE to as many people as possible during this difficult time. Watch Movies Now is a perfect partner to achieve this goal,” stated Terror Films president, Joe Dain.  
Watch Movies Now is a global movie channel. This channel has over 142,000 subscribers (and growing), with more than 12 Million views per month. Watch Movies Now is the leading drama and thriller channel on YouTube (in German speaking territories).


Acclaimed actor Dylan Baker (“Hunters”, “The Good Wife”, Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films) stars in 2020’s most thrilling short film Nightfire – premiering in your lounge room May 1st!
Two American agents (Lorenzo Pisoni and Greg Hadley) are hired to retrieve military chips containing a large sum of government money. Their plan goes awry when an unexpected political prisoner (Dylan Baker) enters the picture.
Bradley Stryker ("iZombie", "Cold Pursuit"), Francesco Pannofino and Becky Ann Baker ("Hunters", "Freaks and Geeks") co-star in the short film, directed by Brando Benetton and co-written by Brando Benetton and Los Silva.
The white-knuckle thriller, produced by a group of friends from Ithaca college, debuts on streaming platforms, including Hulu and Amazon, May 1 via Hewes Pictures.

Official Trailer Released For Sci-fi Horror "Impact Event"

From the award-winning director of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, and featuring horror icons Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, The Devil’s Rejects) and Vernon Wells (The Road Warrior, Fortress), prep for an Impact Event this April!
After a meteor causes a global apocalypse, a small group of survivors takes refuge in an abandoned funhouse and must fight off cannibalistic killers.

Starring Margaret O’Brien (Halloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill!), Michael Berryman, Vernon Wells and Richard Grieco (If Looks Could Kill, Mobsters), writer/director  B. Luciano Barsuglia’s Impact Event is available on DVD and VOD April 7 from Wild Eye Releasing.

Two New Clips Released For Sci-fi Comedy "Same Boat"

DARK STAR PICTURES is proud to release 2 new clips from SAME BOAT 

A time-traveling assassin finds himself on a cruise ship, where he falls for the women he’s supposed to kill, in Same Boat – coming this April from Dark Star Pictures!

James is a time travelling assassin from the 28th century sent to 2018 to kill a woman, but when his intern gets sick and he loses his paperwork he has some time to kill, so to speak, while enjoying the cruise he accidentally falls in love with the woman he's supposed to kill. Same Boat is a film about duty, love, friendship, and how kindness is more powerful than destruction.

Chris Roberti, Tony Glanz and David Bly star in a Chris Roberti film.  Josh Itzkowitz, Chris Roberti and Mark Leidner wrote. "Same Boat" was released earlier this month.

Tiffani Fest, Felissa Rose and Dominique Swain in meta-horror FOR JENNIFER

Tiffani Fest, Felissa Rose and Dominique Swain star in director Jody Barton’s exceedingly clever FOR JENNIFER, available now On Demand from JB Films.
After a surprise horror themed birthday party, Jennifer gets a scare that leads to an accident. Jennifer is a horror blogger and huge horror movie fan. Her friends, to cheer her up after the accident, decide they could make a movie. They collect their gopro cameras and phones and begin to shoot. Soon, the discoveries of other low budget horror films similar to theirs begin to intersect with their own movie. This sends Jennifer on a journey to understand where these other "Jennifer" films came from. The journey leads to a discovery about the films she could never have imagined, and she realizes her participation has put her life, and the lives of her friends, in real danger. A danger they have to endure, whether by choice or not ... if they want to make a good horror movie.
Lanett Tachel, Rich Finley and Nick Kekeris also star in the film.  Nick Kekeris, James Cullen Bressack, Hunter Johnson and Frank Merle produce.

She's Allergic to Cats Takes a Trip on VOD - Released Earlier This Month

Giant Pictures has announced the long-awaited Digital HD launch of writer/director Michael Reich's semi-autobiographical experimental comedy She's Allergic to Cats.  She's Allergic to Cats available to rent or own April 7th on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

She's Allergic to Cats is the debut feature from music video director Michael Reich.  The film is based in large part on his own experiences of life in Los Angeles. Reich spent years grooming dogs, documenting the underground punk scene, directing music videos for My Chemical Romance, The Shins, Bad Religion and Ryan Adams, as well as appearing as a body double for the gold robot in Daft Punk.  The film was produced by his longtime collaborator turned lead actor Mike Pinkney and veteran genre producer Andrew van den Houten (The Ranger, Sadistic Intentions).  She's Allergic to Cats co-stars Sonja Kinski (latest member of the Kinski acting dynasty) and Flula Borg ("Conan", James Gunn's The Suicide Squad.

Mike Pinkney stars as Michael Pinkney, a stifled creative artist eeking out a living in Hollywood as a dog groomer.  When the girl of his dreams (Sonja Kinski) walks into his shop, he falls down a rabbit hole filled with surrealist detours and melancholic absurdity.  She's Allergic to Cats had its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival, where the festival's co-director Mitch Davis hailed it as an intoxicatingly insane breath-of-fresh-air.  The film went on to screen around the world at the Oldenburg International Film Festival, Vienna's /slash Filmfestival, Sydney Underground Film Festival, GenreBlast, WhatTheFilm Fest, and Ithaca Fantastik, where it took home the award for Best Film. 

Michael Pinkney (Pinkney) is a dog groomer living in a rat-infested Hollywood dive with dreams of a bigger creative life.  His current ambition is to raise funding for an all-cat remake of Carrie.  At home he makes what he refers to as "weird video art that nobody wants to watch".  One day on the job, he meets Cora (Kinski) the girl of his dreams.  "When you're cutting their nails, is it supposed to bleed that much?", she asks, as he stares at her lovingly.  Easily distracted, creatively in knots and now in some sort of love, Michael's about to embark on a whole new dangerous trip.

Official Poster And Trailer Released For "Evil Little Things"

Zach Galligan (Gremlins) won’t be getting much sleep this May when Evil Little Things hit town!

From director Matt Green, and starring Hannah Fierman, Courtney Lakin and Jonathan Horne, comes a deliciously wicked new horror anthology in the tradition of Creepshow.

A young boy finds a mystical toymaker with stories to tell. The first is of a leprechaun seeking revenge on a defenseless family. The second is of a doll who works evil on her fragile owner. The toymaker gives the boy a clown named Giggles. Clowns are supposed to be the guardians of happiness, right? These Evil Little Things will cause you many sleepless nights.

Written by Yasmin Bakhtiari and Nancy Knight.

Evil Little Things are unleashed May 12 on DVD and Digital from Uncork’d Entertainment!


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