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Ray Bradbury's 'Pillar Of Fire': Solo Show Opens On Anniversary Of Author's Death

FringeThree years after his passing, Ray Bradbury's prose takes center stage in an LA theater performance opening on the anniversary of the author's death.

Ray Bradbury's Pillar Of Fire, a solo rendition of Bradbury's novella of the same name by actor Bill Oberst Jr. presented as part of 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival, previews at Theatre Of NOTE (1517 N Cahuenga Blvd) on Friday, June 5 at 8pm and Saturday, June 6 at 9pm before moving to Hudson Guild Theatre (6539 Santa Monica Blvd) for Thursday performances on June 11, June 18 and June 25 at 8pm. $12.00 tickets go on sale May 1 for all shows at www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/2496 with some tickets for the Hudson Guild performances also available at www.plays411.com/ray.

When Bradbury passed away on June 5, 2012 he left behind millions of what he called “my bastard children;” adults who first read him in high school. Oberst says he is one of them. “Ray Bradbury saved my childhood,” says the actor “I love him. I always will. He gave me hope. He gave me worlds without limitations. That's why speaking his words exactly as he wrote them is so important to me. This is not my adaptation. It is his creation; all Bradbury. It's a story fantastic in the original sense of that word, spoken just as he wrote it - a breathless 50 minute celebration of skilled language harnessed to wild imagination. Masterful! It's a time machine. He never left his bastard children. He never will.”

Pillar Of Fire, first published in 1948 and set in the year 2349, opens in a graveyard on an Earth which has been cleansed of all superstition - a place where children are not afraid of the dark. There's no Halloween, no dark literature and burials are banned; massive towers of cremation loom over cities. As Bradbury's tale begins, the last cemetery on Earth is nearly emptied when the last dead man in the world wakes up. William Lantry is a 400 year-old walking corpse filled with hate for the living and intent on teaching a sensible world the illogical meaning of fear.

Production companies join forces for 3-Feature Louisiana Slate

Two's company and three's a crowd--but four can soar! At least that's what the good folks at haRFMFul Productions, Sick Puppy Pictures, MOnsterworks66 and Lion Arch Productions believe as they prep a three-feature slate to shoot in Louisiana later this year or early in 2016!

Rycke Foreman (haRMFul), Phil Condit (Sick Puppy), Maria Olsen (MO66) and Lionel Archuleta (Lion Arch) are developing a slate of three horror-comedies for production in Louisiana and are presently attaching cast and finalizing budgets before approaching La. investors. The three films, Happy Ending, Hacked Off and GRIZZLED! (#HEHOG) are all zany romps through HorCom Land featuring lovely ladies, buckets of blood, hunky heroes and terrifyingly funny Big Bads.
The films may all live in the same genre, but they each have their own special stamp of entertaining insanity:

Happy Ending is no stranger to MoreHorror fans who will remember that, at Madam Wang's House of Happy Ending (military discounts apply), the Madam and her lovely ladies of the night will be fighting an invading alien to save themselves, their johns and their planet.

GRIZZLED! is a spoof of Jaws and the other giant-monster-run-amok films it inspired, in which a group of forest rangers and a grizzled hunter pursue a large, mutant penguin through the woods as they attempt to find the president's lost daughter.

Hacked Off! introduces the world to Junior Hodder, the youngest member of a murderous backwoods psychobilly clan. He doesn't want to slay the sexy young girls he encounters in the forest--he'd rather get to know them better--but his Ma has something to say about that!

Unfriended (2015) movie review

UNFRIENDEDReviewed by Jesse Miller

‘Unfriended’ (2015)
Synopsis: Six high school friends with a dark secret receive a Skype message from a classmate who committed suicide a year ago after someone uploaded a video of her online.
Directed by: Levan Gabriadze
Written by: Nelson Greaves
Starring: Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm, Will Peltz

When I caught the trailer for UNFRIENDED, the idea that stood out to me was the concept of telling a story solely using a computer screen, rather than just having a shaky cam to tell the story.

Here, the film’s teenagers use iMessage, Skype, Spotify, Facebook – even a torrent program gets a nod, already giving the film a unique feel. I mean, it’s desktop pretty much looks like mine, only cleaner. So, the concept of using these programs to tell the story and how it relies on the audience to scan for things like conversations or weird occurrences is pretty clever. Whether or not you will actually like the concept of essentially looking over someone’s shoulder to tell a tale is another thing altogether but for me, it was a welcomed departure from the usual found footage films.

Another thing about the concept too is that the presentations of Facebook, Spotify and all the rest of those programs featured here don’t feel lifeless. I find some films featuring these programs can present the account of a character like a barren wasteland. Where as in Unfriended, it feels like..well, if you brought up your own account. There’s life, there’s activity. It feels like it should and it works on transporting you to the world of the film’s characters.

But enough about the visuals of the film how’s the story? The interactions between the characters make for some compelling drama and over time, more and more about them are revealed, as things get frantic, while other things are alluded to so that the audience have to draw their own conclusions about events, which is a nice addition.

'Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh' (2014) Review

3 TearsReviewed by Robert Thompson

Three Tears on Bloodstained Flesh
Director: Jakob Bilinski
Writer: Jakob Bilinski
Stars: Bill Gobin, Jim Dougherty, Kayla Crance

Creativity makes up for a lot. Particularly, within filmmaking, creativity makes up for a lack of money. My favorite independent, low budget/no budget films, are ones that use creativity to the best of their ability. When cast, and crew take every chance they're given to make the most out of the little they have to work with. This is where “Three Tears” shines the strongest.

Three Tears on Bloodstained Flesh tells the story of Dominic Merrick, who comes back to his hometown, with his troubled daughter, after his niece is murdered. There is clearly foul play afoot, but the locals act as if nothing is wrong. Now Dominic must work to uncover the truth that plagues this quaint town, and it's inhabitants. The only real question, by the end of it, though is – how many faces can evil actually wear?

You can tell that Bilinski is a fan of horror. “Three Tears” proves to be an exceptional love letter to the Giallo/Hitchcock films many horror buffs adore. His work as writer, director, and editor here, all serve one another to create a film that harkens back to a bygone era of horror. The movie is the one he wanted to make, and you have to respect that. It was clear from the opening scene that there wasn't enough money here to go around. This isn't exactly problematic, but it is something many low budget films have to overcome.

There are a number of ways that “Three Tears” achieves this. Great cinematography, and directing. There are plenty of creative shot choices made here that keep you interested, visually. And there are plenty of sequences that are flat out beautiful. The editing also helps. The script is strong, with all the twists you'd expect from said Hitchcock fan. But the strongest aspect I found, overall, were from the actors.

Lesbian Horror Romance 'BY DAY'S END' will merge love, found footage and zombies

By Day's End

Love is never an easy road. And that will be none more apparent when filmmaker Michael Souder makes his directorial debut on BY DAY'S END, a found footage thriller that will mesh the zombie apocalypse with the relationship drama seen from the perspective of a lesbian couple.

Exclusively centered around Carly and Rina's efforts to mend their deteriorating relationship while trying to survive a pandemic disease that has ravaged the world, the film will aim to tell an emotional love story wrapped around a premise horror fans have grown to love: the zombie survivalist thriller.

Previously a finalist in screenplay competitions including the Creative World Awards and Screencraft Horror, Souder will direct from a script written by himself and co-writer Justin Calen Chenn, creator of genre festival favorite 'Folklore,' which starred Ruth Connell (CW's Supernatural) and Laura Waddell (Saving Mr. Banks) and viral short sensation 'Sapphire Strange.'

BY DAY'S END will be produced also by Souder and executive producer Joe Wasem through production company, Hunger LLC. Lensing will be done by DOP Benjamin Bertucci and makeup and SFX will be headed by Lillian Vince.

Cast wise, fresh off her win as Best Actress at INK Fest for play 'Girls. In Boys Pants,' BY DAY'S END will pair fast rising actresses Lyndsey Lantz and Andrea Nelson (Encounter, Darren Lynn Bousman's The Devil's Carnival) in the roles of Carly and Rina respectively.

Some crazy MANIA questions for Director Jessica Cameron; MANIA teaser trailer releases

By Jonathan Weichsel

As you all know, I am a huge fan of the directorial work of Jessica Cameron, and loved her first feature film, Truth or Dare (review). Cameron is finishing up the final edit of Mania (Produced by Mem Ferda, Gunned Down, Pusher), her second feature as a director, and she took a few moments out of her busy schedule to answer some burning questions I had about the film. Check out the the first teaser trailer for MANIA below the interview and details.

JW: I know from watching movies with you and talking about them that you like movies with a lot of nudity and sex, and now with Mania it looks like you have directed one. What is it about nudity and sex in movies that you find appealing?

JC: HA HA HA! I can honestly say that no one has ever asked me that before. Sex is a very powerful thing, in life and on film. When it's appropriate to the film, and not just an after-thought or a marketing ploy, it can really push the characters and their passions through the scenes. I hate it when nudity and sex are just thrown in poorly and without any purpose, as a viewer and an actress. I want sex scenes to be done right and for the right reasons, and when they are it can be amazing.

JW: You also like very violent, gory movies. Truth or Dare really pushes the boundaries with its gore. With Mania, did you feel the need to push the boundaries even further?

JC : You know, I never really intended to push boundaries with Truth or Dare. It feels like a very organic story to me and it goes exactly where the characters needed it to go. So I don't think that way. Working through the script in Mania was a very similar process for me in that the violence just had to feel right for the story and the characters.

Mania is a very different film than Truth or Dare. I don't think the public will find it nearly as offensive as they found Truth or Dare to be, but then again I didn't expect anyone to really be that bothered by Truth or Dare either. With the Truth or Dare sequel on the other hand, we are trying to push it even further than the first one because the story has escalated.

Exclusive: Ten Questions with actress Natalie Burn

Natalie Burn Killer MermaidBy Kevin Scott

I had the distinct pleasure of corresponding with Natalie Burn. Burn’s talented beyond measure and has had a well lived life thus far. Beginning as a dancer and studying at such prestigious schools as The Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow and The Royal Ballet School in London.

She then threw her hand into the acting game, and has worked alongside Sly Stallone himself in Expendables 3, and has recently made a film that deals with the dark side of organ donation, in addition to Awaken and Killer Mermaid (review). It’s pretty impressive not only because it has some noteworthy names in it, but it was also co-written by her as well. She even does her own stunt work. If it’s not apparent by now, she believes in a pretty broad skill set.

Kevin Scott Natalie, thanks so much for talking with More Horror. I’m not even going to call you a triple threat. It goes way further than that. Where did you get such a strong work ethic? Was it instilled through your family, or did it come from somewhere else?

Natalie Burn I would have to say that my work ethic came at a very early age from my mother. As a little girl I would watch Micheal Jackson videos over and over again and mimic his every move. I would not stop until I had it down perfectly. My mother saw the drive I had and decided to push me through into dancing. So we tried at age 6 to get into a Ballet academy in Kiev but I didn't have the right posture and quote "no talent to be a dancer". They would only accept me if my mother promised them that she would stretch and train me at home. I had to work harder and do more than any other girl out there. For every 2 hours a regular girl trained at school it meant that I trained for 6 hours at home. There were times where it would be so uncomfortable and so painful that I would literally start crying and say that I can't do this anymore and what my mum responded had been stuck in my head since. She told me "the most important thing in this world is to never say I Can Not do something, Because nothing changes if you complain". She was determined to make me the best dancer there. It was only after I became the lead ballerina at school that I noticed how people responded to me and to my hard work, since then I have never given up on anything in my life.

‘Dead Kansas’ (2013) Review

Dead KansasReviewed by Jesse Miller

Dead Kansas
Director: Aaron K. Carter
Writers: Aaron K. Carter, Nicholas A. DeNicola
Stars: Erin Miracle, Alexandria Lightford, Aaron Guerrero

Originally released as a web series back in 2013, Director/producer Aaron K. Carter’s Dead Kansas has been edited together into a full-length feature film and released on streaming services for all folks to enjoy.

Dead Kansas is set in post apocalyptic America, where the “rotten” have taken over the Earth, and follows a religious farmer and his teenage daughter as they not only try to survive in this new harsh world but try to survive a local gang that is terrorizing them.

The film is imaginative with its story beats but it’s held back by a shoestring budget – a budget that opts to leave zombies off screen and showcases minimal gore. It’s jarring when spoiled by bigger zombie flicks but with some understanding, I could settle in and enjoy the story.

Dead Kansas may be a horror first and foremost but there’s a vein of bizarre comedy running throughout, as if the film is having a laugh at zombie film caricatures while unfolding the story.

Oddly enough, the mix of bizarre comedy and horror works. It took me a few minutes to settle into the groove but once I saw the feature for what it is, I was able to have more fun with it.

As such, the colorful cast of characters make for a range between the more dramatic performance and something a little loose and lighter. I think the range works and both enjoyed the quieter dramatic scenes and the dryly-comedic scenes.

'The Pyramid' Movie Review

The PyramidReviewed by Shannon Hilson

I’ve been a sucker for a good tomb raiding adventure film ever since I first fell in love with the Indiana Jones movies as a kid. The same goes for absolutely anything to do with ancient Egypt or the pyramids, so naturally I was excited about a chance to check out The Pyramid.

Written by Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon, The Pyramid is directed by Gregory Levasseur (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D). It makes use of the found footage storytelling device to depict the adventures of father and daughter archaeologists Miles Holden (Denis O’Hare) and Nora Holden (Ashley Hinshaw) as they explore a mysterious three-sided Giza pyramid (most of the pyramids of Giza have four sides) with their team during the Egyptian protests of 2013. At first, they rely on camera-equipped, remote-controlled robot “Shorty” to show them what’s what inside the pyramid. However, when Shorty mysteriously goes offline after examining only a small portion of the pyramid’s interior, the archaeology team decides to enter the pyramid for themselves to get to the bottom of things.

They encounter a number of perils as the plot unfolds, including booby traps, interference from mysterious unseen forces, the journal of a Freemason explorer that tried (and failed) to crack the mysteries of the pyramid, and even a band of undead sphinx cats. Various members of the team wind up falling victim to the various dangers of the pyramid as the plot unfolds.

The Pyramid confused a lot of people and to be fair, I can kind of see why. The found footage technique is juxtaposed with the use of CGI effects, supernatural concepts, classic Egyptian mythos, grisly kills, and more. It takes the viewer a while to figure out exactly what kind of movie they’re watching. Is it a horror film… an adventure film… a history film? Well, it’s really all of the above. Once you decide to take that for what it’s worth and enjoy the ride, this is really a pretty enjoyable film.

'The House at the End of Time' (La Casa del Fin de Los Tiempos) movie review

Lacasa CoverReviewed by Stacey-Beth

Having been released in 2013 in its home country of Venezuela, supernatural thriller La Casa del Fin del Los Tiempos (aka 'The House at The End of Time') has already seen major success there as being the highest grossing thriller that they've had. 

Now that it's overseas and on most VOD platforms, La Casa seems to be marketed as a horror film, which it really isn't, but the film's ability to make you think you're going one way until it takes a sharp left into crazytown is what makes this film outstanding.

After serving 30 years in prison for the alleged murder of her husband, Juan Jose (Gonzalo Cubero) and son, Leopoldo (Rosmel Bustamante), Dulce (Ruddy Rodriguez) is released to spend the rest of her sentence in her home where these supposed crimes took place.  Through a series of (well-done and well-paced) flashbacks and with the help of a priest (Guillermo Garcia), they try to figure out the cause of the murders and who or what exactly is behind it.

I can't give away too much as there are many twists and turns to this tale, but what first-time director/writer Alejandro Hidalgo did was expertly craft an emotional thriller that guided you through each revelation without having to hold your hand the whole time. I say "emotional" because holy crap, La Casa made me cry several times throughout the two viewings I had of it. 

The actors really took their roles seriously and delivered some amazing performances, especially Bustamante as Leopoldo, but the real star was Ruddy Rodriguez as she lead and nailed the story in the film (even in her slightly off-looking old lady makeup).


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