Sunday, May 27, 2012
I'm about to go on vacation, but I'll be back in a week. I'm hoping the other copy will have gotten here by then. If it is, I'll post the winners June 5. If not, then I'll post one winner and do the other when prize #2 gets here. Sorry to keep you all waiting, but I AM giving away twice as many prizes, so hopefully that makes up for it. Now that we've got that taken care of, I'm officially flipping the sign on the door of SOC to CLOSED. Don't get me wrong, I love you guys and all, but the beach is calling my name.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
He also helped me get 2 patches of one of my favorite bands on earth, German horror-punk powerhouse The Crimson Ghosts, for a whole hell of a lot cheaper than getting the band to ship them directly to me.
They will make a killer addition to the hoodie of doom and every time I see them I will think of the generosity and overall badassery of Deutsch Cellmate Nummer Eins. Thank you Ingo, you're the f'n man.
In the first part of the interview I conducted with Taaffe at Days of the Dead (which you can see HERE) she told the story of how, in the middle of filming Galaxy of Terror, she met Roger Corman for the first time. She fell and nearly killed Roger, tearing her pants in the process. She was allowed to keep the damaged pants as a souvenir, and now she's giving 20 lucky fans a chance to own a piece of those pants.
See? How cool is that? It's numbered limited edition. There's only 20 of these. I'm not sure if they all have the same picture or not. I dig this one of Taaffe and Robert Englund. Each Pic/uniform piece comes in its own protective plastic case and is hand signed and numbered. The best part, you can get one of these for 40 bucks. Yes, just 40 bucks for a piece of drive-in/horror/sci-fi/Corman history. You know you want this.
To get one of your very own, you can email Taaffe herself at email@example.com, or you could send a check or money order to...
11611 Chenault St. Ste. 118
Los Angeles, Ca 90049
The music over the credits is "Back to the Cemetery" by The Other off of their album New Blood. Go check 'em out. Then again, if you don't know about The Other, you're probably not into horror punk in the first place.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Synopsis: After their mother passes away, sisters Nicole and Annie reluctantly return to their childhood home to pay their last respects. While staying overnight in the house, the sisters sense a mysterious presence in their midst: noises startling them in the night, objects moving about, a fallen picture of an unknown woman posed next to their mother. Annie begins experiencing a series of intense and disturbing dreams – visions that lead her to uncover something terrible about her mother’s past that is finally revealing itself.
Wanna see a clip? Sure ya do. Go HERE to see it.
You can also get more info on the flick HERE.
The Pact is directed by Nicholas McCarthy and stars Caity Lotz, Haley Hudson, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Sam Ball, Mark Steger, Dakota Bright, Agnes Bruckner, and Casper Van Dien. It will be available Nationwide on IFC Midnight Cable VOD and Digital Outlets (SundanceNOW, iTunes, Amazon Streaming, XBOX Zune, Playstation Unlimited) on May 25th. In theaters July 6, 2012.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Recently on the Son of Celluloid facebook page, I made the statement that until Paranormal Activity 4 comes out, I will not watch or review any found footage ghost movies. I believe that everything that can be done with that particular subgenre has been done. Repeatedly. I’m just sick as hell of them. Then, I heard about Area 407. It’s a FFF (which means found footage flick for those of you who are new ‘round these parts) with dinosaurs. Ok, that’s original, I’d love to check it out. Dinosaurs rule! Well folks, after watching this flick, I’m amending my statement. Until PA4 is released I intend to not watch any more FFFs at all. That’s right, I’m done with found footage. If you’re thinking about sending me a screener of your latest found footage opus, first ask yourself “did I make something absolutely earth-shattering?” If not, don’t bother. So, Area 407, what have you got for us?
First the synopsis: “After taking off on a flight from New York to Los Angeles on New Years Eve, the passengers of Flight 37A are soon sent into shock and alarm as the plane experiences severe turbulence. The relentless weather attack causes panic and terror amongst the passengers until the plane ultimately crashes in a remote government-testing reserve, AREA 407. Through footage captured by two teenage sisters, the accident and crash lead to further events that should not be viewed by the faint of heart. As they continue to film, it becomes apparent that the remaining survivors of Flight 37A may not survive the night.”
Before we talk about the actual movie, lets talk about trailers for a minute. Class, what is a movie trailer? That’s right, it’s a tease to make you want to see the movie. You guys have been studying. Basically, a trailer is saying “So, you think this stuff’s cool? Well, this is the free stuff. You should pay to see the rest of the cool stuff that we’re not showing you.” That’s the basic understanding between viewer and trailer. This is going to be a spoiler, which I normally hate doing, but in this case I think I’m doing you a favor. Ready? Ok, here it goes…every shot of the dinosaurs that is in this movie, EVERY SINGLE ONE, is in the trailer. If you watch it, you have seen every iota of dinosaur footage there is. Even the film ending money shot. It’s in there. This movie is sold on the promise of dinosaurs. There’s a huge freakin’ dinosaur eye on the poster. I was expecting what I saw in the trailer to be a taste of what I was to see. Instead, that was all I saw. That’s what’s known as a bait and switch. That’s ripping the audience off. Had they given us one fleeting dino-shot in the trailer and not the money shot, it still would have been a huge let down, but it would at least be playing fair with the viewer. I didn’t come for the shaky cam, I came for the dinos, and that was a damn dirty trick. Shame on you.
Actually, the fact that we never saw the dinos aside from the 10 seconds in the trailer could have something to do with the way this thing is shot. We all expect shaky cam in a FFF. Hell, aside from POV shots in regular movies, it’s the only time shaky cam is acceptable. Here, the little girl filming swings that camera around like a booger that she can’t get off her finger. If Blair Witch made you seasick, have your Dramamine ready before you hit play on this one. We also expect whoever is holding the camera to act illogically and unrealistically in a FFF. That’s kindof a necessity, since rational people would throw the camera down and run, but then you don’t have much of a movie now do you? Here, though, it gets taken to a new level. The characters spend a ridiculous amount of time pointing at weird noises off in the distance or seeing something moving and screaming “What is THAT!” Everyone’s looking. The little girl with the camera, however, is still staring at the other survivors. I want to see what they’re looking at. Why is the one with the camera the only one not looking in that direction? Doesn’t she want to know what’s out there too? When someone does get attacked, the cameragirl seems to be doing everything in her power to point the camera anywhere but at the action. She will intentionally move from an angle where we might actually see something for once to one where our view is blocked just as anything remotely interesting begins. This happens multiple times. If you care enough about this footage that you’re going to risk your life to get it, wouldn’t you do your damnedest to get as much of the action on screen as possible? Apparently not this annoying little scamp. I won’t go into how annoying some of the rest of the cast is, particularly Charlie.
The flick isn’t all bad though. Actually, everything up to the plane crash is handled quite well. We get a good idea of who all the characters are though their interactions on the plane. It’s not in depth character building, but it certainly does the trick. Unfortunately that’s as far as most character’s development really goes. That’s not to say that there aren’t good characters. There are actually two that I rather enjoyed. Samantha Sloyan is excellent as Lois the flight attendant. The way she tries to keep everything together after the crash is an interesting play on what flight attendants are trained to do in that situation, and watching her fight to keep her composure is fascinating. Great performance. The other bright spot is James Lyons as Jimmy. Jimmy is a likable guy, an ex combat journalist in Afghanistan and Iraq, and ends up playing the “hero type” quite effectively. The plane crash itself is handled very well. That moment was a study in making a low budget work for you. That plane crash, without having to have expensive special effects, was as realistically portrayed as any I’ve seen. That was awesome.
As far back as Blair Witch, one of the criticisms I’ve heard people throw around about FFFs is that “nothing happened in that movie.” Never before has that been truer than in Area 407. The problem is, they had so many interesting ways they could have gone with it. The most obvious is, well, dinosaurs. With more dino action, this could have been a lot of fun. That’s the hook for this movie, and if they would have delivered, the other faults could have been easily forgiven. That, of course, was probably a budgetary issue. Maybe they just should have dropped the dino angle altogether and done something they could afford to do right. Lets say, however, that you keep the dino angle. There’s other stuff you can do to make the flick more interesting. You have a character that is a former combat photographer. Why the hell is he not the one with the camera? That’s an interesting angle that I don’t think has been used before. How about digging a little into why there’s a military area housing dinosaurs in the first place? That could have been seriously intriguing. Instead of any of those, all that happens from that excellent plane crash onward is running, yelling, and crying in the dark, along with characters fighting amongst themselves, more running, yelling, and crying in the dark, repeat, repeat, repeat.This is one of those films with a killer premise that just falls flat. There isn’t any suspense, there’s precious little action, and there’s even less freakin’ dinosaurs. I’m guessing the end was supposed to be some kind of twist. If so it was both badly telegraphed and given away in the trailer. I had such high hopes for this flick. I was hoping it would prove me wrong and show me that there are still things left to do with the FFF gimmick. Instead it just put the final nail in the coffin of my patience with this played out subgenre. IFC distributes some great films normally. Someone must have been asleep on the job when they picked this one up. One severed thumb down. The first twenty minutes are pretty damn good, so Nathan says check that part out. Then go watch Carnosaur instead.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Here's the Synopsis... - The temptation to have a one night stand leads a man to a distant town and a woman with a dark agenda. When he doesn’t return, if falls upon his black sheep sister to uncover the truth about what happened.
...and the details. - Ten Sundays Productions (Cannibal Cheerleader Camp, Boxing Day) is proud to present the feature horror film Veil.
The film stars Joseph Durbin (Deadlands 2), Devon Marie Brookshire (Ninjas vs. Vampires), Josh Davidson (Ghosts Don’t Exist), Kendra North (Witch’s Brew), and newcomer Meghan Nelson.
The film is written & directed by Paul Busetti and produced by Busetti along with Chris Kiros (Zombthology) and Josh Davidson (Dead iSland). Executive Produced by Leo Curbelo and Elizabeth Katheryn Gray.
Filming took place over the winter on location in Virginia & Maryland. Veil is currently in postproduction and is slated for a fall 2012 release.
You want stills? I got your stills...
For more info you can check out Ten Sundays Production's page HERE and don't forget to follow the flick's official facebook page HERE to stay up to date on all of the happenings surrounding Veil.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
If you’re a horror fan worth your salt, you know all about the preeminent shlock flick factory known as The Asylum. You probably have a strong opinion of them too. This opinion usually correlates with how much of a film snob you are. Personally, I love The Asylum. They’ve been churning out mockbusters, Syfy channel staples, and direct to DVD gold for a while now, and they’ve provided me with hours upon hours of entertainment. They’ve also made me want to throw the remote through the TV a time or two, but we won’t go into that. I tell you about my love for them because I’m about to make a bold statement, Nazis at the Center of the Earth is my favorite Asylum movie of all time. That’s saying something. This is the epitome of what I hope for when I pop in one of these flicks. It’s better than Mega-Piranha. It’s better than Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill. It’s better than Death Racers, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, and King of the Ants. Hell, it’s even better than Freakshow, which was my previous favorite. I haven’t seen 2 Headed Shark Attack yet, but I can’t imagine it trumping Nazis at the Center of the Earth. This movie is everything a great b-flick should be.
As if the title doesn’t spell it out for you, here’s the synopsis: Researchers in Antarctica are abducted by a team of masked storm troopers. They are dragged deep underground to a hidden continent in the center of the earth. Here Nazi survivors, their bodies a horrifying patchwork of decaying and regenerated flesh, are planning for the revival of the Third Reich.
In one of the special features director Joseph Lawson says that Nazis is actually a mixture of 4 different genres. While I would only say 3, it is true that the film can really be divided into distinct sections. This works for a couple of reasons. For one, it allows them to throw every hair brained, whacked out, crazy ass idea that they could come up with into this movie. It definitely has an “everything but the kitchen sink” vibe, but it all fits strangely together. There’s more than enough “WTF” here for multiple flicks.
I also think the genre shifts were a great idea in that they keep you from expecting what’s coming next. We start off as an action/adventure flick. There’s a killer WWII battle scene, and then we shift to Antarctica, where a group of scientists and doctors are doing research. After two of them are abducted, a rescue team discovers a huge ice cave that leads to the fabled land of Agarta. After that rollicking start, this first part slows down a bit to establish the characters.
Then, when they are all captured by the Nazis, things get horrific REAL quick, and we’re not ready for what’s coming. This middle section is dark, especially for an Asylum flick. It’s Nazis doing human experiments, so we know it’s not gonna be happy funtime, but this has some really effective, and pretty gnarly, horror sequences. We have multiple face removals, a Nazi zombie shower gang rape, brains torn from still living skulls, rotting flesh, surgery with no anesthesia (feel the knife pierce you intensely), nasty infections, etc. Hell, there’s a scene where Jake Busey’s character performs a forced abortion on his own baby momma to harvest the stem cells. That’s hardcore! The gore is quite good, and the violence has a definite grittiness to it. Hell, if there were more gratuitous nudity (we do get some boobs courtesy of Maria Pallas), I would almost expect to see Ilsa step out of the shadows. I like this darker approach Asylum. Keep it up.
Then, 56 minutes in, something happens. Something glorious happens. Something so off the wall insane happens that we rocket directly into the gonzo crazy territory that most people associate more with these guys. The beauty is that there’s no way you can see it coming. After the tone of the last 45 minutes or so, this comes out of left field and takes the film in a completely different direction. From here on out you’re just on a thrill ride hanging on for dear life. There’s a Nazi flying saucer for crying out loud, and that’s not the craziest thing here. Let me repeat that; a Nazi flying saucer is NOT the craziest thing you’ll see in this flick. That’s not a spoiler either, by the way. It’s on the back cover. Anyway, I’m not going to say what the big reveal is, but it’s one of the best “did they really just go there?” moments in a long time. Trust me.
As for the actual filmmaking, this is one of the stronger Asylum features. The production value is outstanding, and it’s hard to believe this film was made for under $200,000. Sure, some of the CGI is freaking terrible, but I expected that. It’s as much a part of the charm of these flicks as bad rubber suits are for 50’s monster flicks, and I love those too. As I mentioned earlier, the gore was excellent. Joseph Lawson shows that he’s competent in his maiden voyage in the director’s chair. With a few exceptions (yes, you, the one with the baseball) the cast did a good job. Some of the strongest performances came from Jake Busey, Dominique Swain, and Lilan Bowden. The true tour de force performance in Nazis, however, is given by Christopher K. Johnson, who portrays the infamous butcher, the angel of death himself, Dr. Josef Mengele. He plays the sadistic surgeon of demise, sadist of the noblest blood in a way that makes him unnervingly calm yet menacing and creepy as hell. He’s exactly what I would imagine a Nazi doctor would be like.This flick is damn close to being the perfect B movie. It’s a return to the Nazisploitation genre, which I love, albeit less sleazy and more bizarre than the last time we saw it in the 70’s. It’s got gore, gratuitous nudity, gunplay, flying saucers, lost worlds, and even r… woah, I almost said it. You have no idea how hard it was to review this flick and not spoil the big surprise. I absolutely loved Nazis at the Center of the Earth. Two severed thumbs up. Nathan says check it out. Heil Asylum!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Hey guys, it’s giveaway time! This time around it’s for a brand spankin’ new DVD of the horror anthology The Theatre Bizarre. I’m going to have a review of it up within the next few days, but for the moment I’ll just say that it’s damn good. You see, I have 2 copies of this flick. I was sent one to review, and then I won another copy. Now I’m passing my good luck on to you. Who doesn’t love free movies?Here’s the way this is gonna work. I usually do random drawings, but this time I’m not going to be objective or random at all. Nope. It’s my blog, and I do what I want! Anyway, to win, leave a comment telling me why I should give it to you. Why do you deserve to win? Make logical arguments. Go on an emotionally charged tirade. Make me laugh. Tell me a sob story. Try to guilt or blackmail me into it. Hell, I’m not above bribery, so feel free to offer goods, services, cash, prizes, sexual favors, home cooked meals, whatever. Tell me whatever you think will make me choose you, and make it good. On Friday, May 25th, I will look at all of the responses and whoever makes the most compelling argument as to why they should be the winner will get the DVD. Pretty simple, huh? Good luck folks.
AMENDMENT: I forgot to say "put your name and email address in the comment" so, um, yeah...do that too.