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Monster Dog (1984) review

Monster DogReviewed by Kevin Scott

Monster Dog (1984)
Written by: Claudio Fragrasso
Directed by: Claudio Fragrasso
Cast: Vince (Alice Cooper), Sandra (Victoria Vera), Angela (Pepita James), Pepa Sarsa (Marilou), Carlos Santurio (Frank), Ricardo Palacios (Sheriff Morrison), Barta Barri (Old Man),

Horror film anomalies are one of my favorite things ever. An occurrence of happenstance that is just so weird and off kilter, it could never occur or even be suggested again. Ironically, these strange and random acts of film kismet, hold a very important place in the legacy of horror films. Case in point would be Alice Cooper’s only (as far as I know) starring film role. He made a memorable turn in John Carpenter’s “Prince of Darkness” as a supporting character, but never as a leading man, other than “Monster Dog”. This is a 1984 film that I remember renting just because it had Alice Cooper in it.

I’m going to reveal my hand early and go ahead and put my biases about Alice Cooper on the table. I’m a diehard Alice fan, and have loved him ever since I saw him do “Welcome to my Nightmare” on the Muppet Show. He’s a consummate showman, and a master of how important stunning and shocking visuals are to any rock show experience. I saw him in 2011, and he hasn’t lost a thing. So I say that just so I can say this, a strange little horror anomaly like this is perfect to showcase what’s great about him. I’m going to do my best to point out what I wish this would have or could have been.

First teaser trailer for MASSACRE releases

MASSACREBy Seth Metoyer

The first teaser trailer from MASSACRE written by Pandie Suicide, featuring Billy Morrison (Billy Idol), London May (Samhain) and more with music and a cameo appearance by Jeordie White (Twiggy) of Marilyn Manson and Rob Patterson has released.

Find the teaser trailer below the official details.

From The Press Release
The first teaser trailer from DEATHAUS FILMS’ bloody horror short MASSACRE, has just been released via the film’s Youtube account today. The film features rockstar cameos galore, with the two male leads being played by LONDON MAY (Samhain) , and BILLY MORRISON (Billy Idol,The Cult). But if two rockstars wasn’t enough, the film also features a brief guest appearance by JEORDIE WHITE (Marilyn Manson) as a Street Detective, ROB PATTERSON (ex-Korn, Filter, Otep) as a police officer and JEFF HILLIARD (‘The Good life’) as a criminal. The music for the film was also composed by JEORDIE WHITE & ROB PATTERSON, and features a track from artist and musician SHANNON CRAWFORD.

Directed by award-winning director ERIK BOCCIO (Pussy Riot’s ‘Putin Lights Up the Fires’ video/ prolific Director under the moniker ‘Weird Fellas’), produced by Damian Lea (Cemetery Gates) and New Zealand-born writer, actress and Suicide Girl, PANDIE SUICIDE (Ditch Day Massacre, David Lynch’s “Crazy Clown Time”), the film centers around Marianne James, a girl who wakes up at the site of a bloody mass murder and can’t remember what happened.

The Slumber Party Massacre (1987) review

Slumber Party MassacreReviewed By Chris Wright

The Slumber Party Massacre
Directed By: Amy Jones
Written By: Rita Mae Brown

Starring: Michele Michaels (Trish), Robin Stille (Valerie), Michael Villella (Russ), Debra De Liso (Kim), Andree Honore (Jackie), Gina Smika Hunter (Diana), Jennifer Meyers (Courtney), Joseph Alan Johnson (Neil), David Millbern (Jeff), Jim Boyce (John), Pamela Roylance (Coach Jana)

I sometimes get in the mood for fun summer B horror movies and this is certainly one of them type of flicks. I have seen this movie a few times in the past. It’s always a pleasant surprise on an overly tired genre by this point. Slasher films had peaked in the mid 80s and fizzled by the time this film made its debut.

A group of high school girls have a slumber party at a house while the parents are out. Unfortunately for them, an obsessed killer with power tools is on the prowl to kill them all off one by one. This is your typical run of the mill plot for a slasher. There are women half dressed with a stalker killer on the prowl. Thankfully these women aren’t entirely helpless but actually fight back; which is a very refreshing sight when many horror films, slasher or not, have portrayed many women as being weak unless a man helps them solve the crisis.

'Seeking Valentina' an official selection of FANtastic Horror Film Festival

Saving Valentina,The FANtastic Horror Film Festival has chosen SEEKING VALENTINA as its next Official Selection for their 2015 Season. SEEKING VALENTINA is a suspense short by Armin Nasseri’s from Polar Underworld Productions.

An Iranian-American writer, in the pangs of grief, takes in a mysterious tenant. When she mysteriously disappears, is she a ghost, a hallucination, a dream or a runaway?

Producer/star Kristin West, and Writer/Director Armin Nasseri point out that they committed to not only having an ethnically diverse cast but also a gender balanced cast and crew. Five of the ten crew members were female. Of the principal and supporting cast of nine, five were females and four were male.

Nasseri also made an atypical casting choice in West for the title role of Valentina. "I am not a size 0," says West, "I usually get supporting character parts, not the romantic lead in a film like this." West's past roles have included playing a diverse array of character roles such as a fortune teller, ghoul, duchess, crime scene investigator and almost everything in between.

Ouija (2014) Review

OuijaReviewed by Jesse Miller

OUIJA is a film based on the board game of the same name, which is in turn based on the OUIJA board itself. The film production companies Platinum Dunes and Blumhouse productions thought it was a good property to bring to the cinema and there you have it.

Now, the possibilities are endless when it comes to crafting a story around what can happen with an Ouija board and a bunch of teens. What’s the story behind the being that contacts you? Why is it communicating with you?

This movie, however, decides to go down a bland road, leading the audience to lackluster scares and a head-scratching story that doesn’t really make much sense at all.

Look into the film’s production history and you’ll find that it was quite troubled, with rewrites from different writers and re-shoots leading the film to be entirely remolded at the request of the film’s studio. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why Ouija feels like such a mess at times – there’s a good story to be had somewhere in this but like the specters haunting the attractive bunch of kids, it’s just a ghost.

The film’s young cast do their absolute best with what they have to work with, but it’s simply not enough – the characters are thinly drawn and rather boring. They exist solely as lifeless beings moving the film from one scare set piece to another.

The true horror behind OUIJA is the film that never came to fruition. There was something here originally. Something so big and fantastical that the studio forced rewrites and re-shoots because the budget would’ve been astronomical.

We Are Still Here (2015) review

We Are Still HereReviewed by Jason Lees

Directed by Ted Geoghegan
Produced by Travis Stevens, Greg Newman, Malik B. Ali, Badie Ali, Hamza Ali
Cast: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Lisa Marie, Larry Fessenden, Monte Markham
Dark Sky Films

I'm old. I admit this. I sit back and look at Amazon for used DVDs and Blurays, knowing full well that I'm a dinosaur completely missing the streaming bus. I know full well that physical media is about as cutting edge as 8 track players, and that I'm the last person around who appreciates the art of the well worded outgoing answering machine message. I'm old. I already said that.

Part of accepting this is coming to terms with losing out on what I love most about those silly silly discs: the special features. I love the commentaries. I love the interviews. Hell, I even love the deleted scenes, even if I usually skip them. And the ones I love the most are those little films without the studio fingers stuck up them. I love the indie discs where the makers can actually talk about the movies, and not just try to give the flick another little PR push. I love the nuts and bolts talks. And that's something I've kind of come to accept will be gone soon. I'm going to cherish all my Scream Factory titles and I better stock pile back up BD players for the future. For now, I want to make one last plea for one last title.

Please, WE ARE STILL HERE, please find your way to my dvd shelf with a shit ton of extras.

I want to know how you came into this world full of remakes and sequels fully proud to be an homage to Fulci, without ripping off his good name. I want to know who gave screen time to another ill fated Joe in the basement. I want to hear all about the care that it took to time that splitting shot to the head at the end. I want to relish the fact that someone else out there knows to appreciate a well timed cranial shot. There was more to Fulci than just gore and maggots, and WE ARE STILL HERE reminds us all of that.

I want a Bluray on my shelf (hell, gimme a double disc DVD and I'll be happy) letting me know that someone else out there gets that more can be said with an actresses look than pages of dialogue. Tell the world that not every movie needs a cast of sexy idiots in their twenties. Barbara Crampton still walks on water, and has never been better. Larry Fessenden is film royalty. Canonize the man now. Today.

Poltergeist (2015) review

Poltergeist 2015Reviewed by Stacey Beth

The second that news is released about any beloved horror film getting the remake treatment, there's usually a collective upheaval in the horror community and the film is almost immediately shunned. To be honest, I am not one of those horror fans that totally shuts a remake out; I'm an equal opportunity viewer. When it was announced that everyone's favorite haunted family was going to be given a contemporary spin, I was pissed...and then I wasn't...and then I saw the movie. I am pissed again.

If you're not familiar with the original story of Poltergeist, it follows a family whose home becomes plagued by spirits and when they're terrorized one night by all kinds of supernatural mayhem, these spirits kidnap the youngest daughter, Carol Anne. From there a group of paranormal investigators come in to help find the little girl with the aid of clairvoyant, Tangina (Zelda Rubenstein). The 2015 remake follows the same guideline, but changes character names and replaces the classic Tangina character with tv personality/"ghost hunter", Carrigan (Jared Harris).

Given what I told you, how could you go wrong? Well, director Gil Kenan (Monster House) managed to find a way. If you're going to do a remake, make it a full on remake. Why change the names of everyone and replace one of the most iconic characters in the film but keep the same story? I still can't quite figure out the motivation behind that, especially when all the classic scenes from the original were used in the remake but felt like they were jammed in between scenes just to remind you that you were watching a Poltergeist remake.

What I really loved about the original film was that bond that the family had with each other. You saw it, you felt it, you knew it was there- that was kind of the driving force for the entire film. The remake lacked everything that you loved about the family, you didn't feel any closeness. With Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt playing the father and mother, I was hoping this would be a great pairing of cast and it really wasn't. Rockwell's character, Eric, was intended to be the comedic relief but every joke came off feeling forced and out-of-place. As for DeWitt's character, Amy, that woman didn't seem like she had a motherly bone in her body, which is a far stretch from JoBeth Williams' character in the original.

Ray Bradbury's 'Pillar Of Fire' solo theater performance review

Bill Oberst Jr performs Pillar of FireReviewed by Michael J.W. Thomas

Ray Bradbury's 'Pillar of Fire' read with permission and performed by Bill Oberst Jr.

"He came out of the earth, hating. Hate was his father; hate was his mother."

You walk into the theater. The stage is bare; no scenery, no art, no props. As you adjust yourself to the surroundings, you then notice a …thing… in the middle of the bare stage. It doesn’t move, not even an inch. After a very long time, you start to notice movement. From a seemingly crumpled heap of rags, a man emerges, or what you think is a man. It is contorted, as if in anguish, rising, slowly, painfully, untangling the wreck of his arms and legs, growling unintelligibly at first, then finally forming words. Words of pain, words of anger, words of hate.

His name is William Lantry, the year is 2349, and he has risen from the grave, apparently dead for 400 years. It’s an alien world that greets him, devoid of fear, of imagination, of horror; people no longer fear even the dark.
And William Lantry hates that.

“Pillar of Fire,” a short story recitative by the late legendary writer Ray Bradbury, is a tale of a man out of his time. Lon Chaney Award and Emmy® winner Bill Oberst, Jr. is William Lantry, the sole player in this recitative. No stranger to the solo performance (“JFK,” “Jesus of Nazareth,” “A Tribute to Lewis Grizzard”), Oberst commands the stage. In his film career, many have commented that when Bill enters the scene, everyone else in the film virtually disappears; it becomes “The Bill Oberst Jr. Show.”

Now, here, physically alone, on a bare stage, Oberst grabs your attention, figuratively grabbing the audience by the throat and staring you down. Of all the aspects of this recitative (though, in truth, calling his performance a recitative is like calling “Odette's Dance” from “Swan Lake” a walk through a grocery store) is Oberst’s total concentration on the character. The stage is no larger than a studio apartment; only a footstep separates, Bill from the audience. Yet, his performance never breaks the “fourth wall,” even when some clown in the front row is texting right in front of him. And though that “fourth wall’ is firmly in place, he drags the audience into his pathetic, wretched world.

The Canal (2014) review

The Canal MovieReviewed by Jesse Miller

Film Archivist David (Rupert Evans) is going through a bit of a rough patch – he’s convinced his wife is having an affair, he’s struggling with his co-worker’s flirtatious remarks towards him and then there’s the recent film print he’s working on that details a series of brutal murders that happened a number of years ago in his house and near the local canal.

Writer/Director Ivan Kavanagh’s Irish chiller sees David’s life spiral out of control as he becomes more and more convinced that a supernatural presence is within his house and wanting his family.

So is he losing it or is this a ghost story after all? All through the film, the story flirts with both outcomes, leaving you to analyse just what is going on with the events in this film. IS there a haunting or is David losing it because his wife is having an affair? Is she ACTUALLY having an affair or is he just losing it?

I think The Canal is smartly written, providing enough information for the audience to examine both angles while fleshing out David, his family and even his co-worker who is crushing on him.

As David, Rupert Evans has most of the weight of the film on him because its his journey and possibly haunting. It’s a tough sell to keep the audience going, you have to have a nuanced performance and Evans knocks it out of the park. You really feel for the guy and better than that, he feels real. His reaction to things either real or not real feels believable rather than what some horror film leads can go through.

He’s backed up by strong support from Hannah Hoekstra, who plays Alice, his wife and Calum Heath, who plays his son Billy.

Revenge thriller 'Bound To Vengeance' heading to theaters and VOD

The revenge thriller Bound To Vengeance will be hitting the theater and VOD on June 25, 2015.

Dig on the kick ass poster and details below.

From The Press Release
An Official Selection of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival - Park City at Midnight, IFC Midnight is proud to announce the theatrical and VOD release of BOUND TO VENGEANCE on June 26, 2015.

BOUND TO VENGEANCE will open in theaters in NYC and LA on June 26th

Film Synopsis
BOUND TO VENGEANCE is a gritty revenge thriller about a young woman, EVE (Tina Ivlev), who fights back and manages to escape a malicious abductor. However, after discovering she may not be the only victim, Eve unravels a darker truth and decides to turn the tables on her captor.

The film is directed by J.M. Cravioto and stars breakout actress Tina Ivlev and Richard Tyson. The screenplay was written by Rock Shaink, Jr., and Keith Kjornes.

Directed by: José Manuel Cravioto
Produced by: Alex Garcia, Rodolfo Marquez, Daniel Posada
Cast: Tina Ivlev (The Devil's in the Details), Richard Tyson (Moonlighting),
Bianca Malinowski (Midnight Bayou)


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