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Poker Night: Dead Man’s Hand

Poker Horror Movie

The Horror, the Horror!

Why isn’t there a quality, poker-themed horror movie? The title, "Poker Night: Dead Man's Hand," is a bit campy, but so are many horror movies. Imagine eight college grads uniting on a remote island for a night of boozing and strip poker. The plot writes itself. One by one, the clothing layers are removed and one by one, the players get lured from the table and slaughtered in a most grizzly fashion.

At the end, there is only one person left, and she (it has to be a she) is forced to play our killer in a poker game to the death. All you can see is the killer’s eyes behind a Yoda mask (or any other mask that terrifies you), as he deals the cards on the blood-soaked table. The girl shivers, forced to face her fears while playing the most important game of her life. The stage is set for a high-stakes and bloody battle of the wits in a truly all-in poker showdown. The climax will be a violent, bone-chilling spectacle, guaranteed to leave the audience dead broke—emotionally that is. Cut to black.

One Degree of Separation: Poker Playing Actors and Their Horror Movies

Many movie stars play poker for fun when they are not on the set. And many of them have starred in horror movies. Maybe someday one of these poker-playing actors will take their winnings and parlay it into a killer poker film:

Mekhi Phifer won The Celebrity Poker Showdown (Fourth Tournament) in 2004. You can watch the impressive win on YouTube. He bested Matthew Perry, Dennis Rodman, Kevin Nealon, and Neil Patrick Harris. Mekhi was a victim of zombies in 2004’s “Dawn of the Dead” and the killer in “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.”

James Woods is known for playing roles in classics like “Casino” and “The Gambler.” He is also known for playing poker, whether in casinos, charitable events, and especially the online variety. He is number six on SWNS’s top ten celebrity poker players. His horror film connections are “Vampires” and “Cat’s Eye.”

House Hunting (2013) Review

Reviewed by Kevin Scott, MoreHorror.com

House Hunting (2013) Review
Directed by: Eric Hurt
Written by: Eric Hurt
Cast: Marc Singer (Charlie Hays), Art LaFleur (Don Thompson), Hayley DuMond (Susan Hays), Janey Gioiosa (Emmy Hays), Paul McGill (Jason Thompson), Rebekah Kennedy (Hanna)

Moving can be a real pain. Finding that perfect house can be an even bigger inconvenience. Well, if I ever had any sort of informal education from horror movies, I’ve learned two fundamental truths. There’s gonna be trouble if hooking up with a beautiful woman is effortlessly easy, or if you run across a seemingly sweet real estate property at a ridiculously low price. I’ll go a bit further and say that said real estate property is probably going to be a murder house inhabited by a vengeful spirit with some serious emotional baggage. I would almost bet the farm on it.

Speaking of farms, Charlie Hays has stumbled across a really, really nice property as a new potential home for his much younger wife and his teenage daughter. Things haven’t been great between the two most important ladies in his life, and the very affordable price of 70 acres of picturesque farmland and a quaint house could be the key to a fresh start. He’s got some competition with fellow family man, Don Thompson. He, his wife, and teenage son have been struggling with the death of his young daughter. After both families arrive at the open house, the fifty cent tour is provided through a clever “press the button to hear more” type narrative from some dilapidated speakers placed throughout the house.

Things don’t get weird until someone tries to leave. They always end up at the same place that they started. This same thing used to happen to me before GPS, but without any supernatural undertones (I think). Charlie’s car also hits a young waifish girl that has had her tongue cut out on his attempt to leave. If anyone was skeptical about this deal being too good to be true before, this should qualify as a definite deal breaker. They take her back to the house with them. She spends the film expressing worry and terror through soulful eyes about what’s coming, and fits the role perfectly as a harbinger of doom that knows it all, but is powerless to warn anyone.

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1973) Review

Reviewed By: Chris Wright, Morehorror.com

Directed By: Bob Clark
Written By: Bob Clark & Alan Ormsby

Starring: Alan Ormsby (Alan), Valerie Mamches (Val), Jeff Gillen (Jeff), Anya Ormsby (Anya), Paul Cronin (Paul), Jane Daly (Terry), Roy Engleman (Roy), Robert Philip (Emerson), Bruce Solomon (Winns), Alecs Baird (Caretaker), Seth Sklarey (Orville)

Long before Bob Clark brought his name to fame in the horror community with “Black Christmas”, he put out a much lower budgeted flick in this third directorial debut with “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things.” This movie was a pleasant little surprise to me as when I hear horror movies are “comedies” they are hits and misses. I am not the biggest fan of horror comedies thankfully this wasn’t what I thought it was at all. It was more morbid than anything else.

The movie is about a small group of unemployed actors lead by Alan (Alan Ormsby) got to a remote island to perform real satanic rituals and unearth a corpse named Orville to take back to their lodge. What they find out is the rituals they performed worked and the zombies are coming after them. This isn’t your typical zombie flick where the chaos just happens in a Romero style. This film has a morbidity that you don’t see often in horror flicks as they are actually playing around with dead people. It has some funny scenes but it is nothing like what we classify as a horror comedy today.

In classic low budget early 70s fashion, the actors are a bit over the top especially Alan. The hair and acting can be out there too. The rest are obnoxious and snobby at times like many actors can be so it has a touch of realism to it. I am under the impression these actors have a few screws lose as I have no clue how they went from acting to this level of sadistic. The way they perform in this movie gives the viewers the sense that you will like seeing their gruesome outcome and I did especially Alan the director who was the worst of them all!

The special effects are nothing elaborate but it does the movie justice. The atmosphere and setting in the film makes up for lack of gore. My favorite scene happens close to an hour into the film when the zombies finally rise from their graves. It was wonderfully atmospheric and very well done. It is a film like this that restores my faith in a low budget film. It does not take that much to make a film work especially in horror. “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” has that eerie realism that worked so well for “The Evil Dead.”

Worldwide rights for horror film 'Pernicious' acquired by VMI

Perniciousby Seth Metoyer, MoreHorror.com

I've been waiting to hear details about this one for a while now. Vantage Media International has acquired worldwide rights to the creepy horror film Pernicious. The film was directed by James Cullen Bressack and is full of gore and supernatural horror. Be sure to check out the screen stills below the official release.

From The Press Release:
Vantage Media International (VMI) has acquired the worldwide rights to the much buzzed about horror title Pernicious, it was announced jointly by Andre Relis, Founder and President of VMI and Daemon Hillin, President of Production of Benetone Hillin Entertainment (BHE).

Ciara Hanna (Power Rangers), Jackie Moore (100 Ghost Street) and Emmy-nominated Emily O’Brien (Young and the Restless) star in the film directed by James Cullen Bressack. One of the hottest young directors in this genre, Bressack is perhaps best known for numerous 2013 releases including To Jennifer, Hate Crime and 13/13/13.

In the vein of such horror fest standouts as Hostel and The Grudge, Pernicious follows the plight of three American beauties whose dream summer adventure in Thailand quickly turns into a nightmare when they unleash the spirit of a murdered child with only one thing on her mind...revenge.

“VMI is thrilled to acquire the worldwide rights to Pernicious and to further diversify our slate with such an intriguing and beautifully shot feature film,” said Relis. “We look forward to sharing Pernicious with an eager global audience.”

Exclusive: MoreHorror visits the set of horror film 'Utero'

UTERO on Set with Jonathan Weichsel and Jessica Cameronby Jonathan Weichsel, MoreHorror.com

On a dark and rainy day, I drove up the twisting Hollywood hills to visit the set of Utero, a new horror film produced by and starring Jessica Cameron, the queen of screams who dominated the festival circuit last year with a dementedly twisted game of truth or dare.

What I found when I got there was a passionate and energetic cast and crew fueled by energy drinks, energy shots, coffee, and energy bars. There was so much caffeine on set that it seemed to seep into the air so that I felt like I got a caffeine buzz just from breathing.

Of course, in reality my buzz didn't come from imaginary airborne caffeine, but from my close proximity to scream queen Jessica Cameron. Jessica was as beautiful as ever in her costume, a grey bathrobe covered in blood and green vomit. She has a kind of infectious energy about her that is larger than life, and although she can't help but fill a room with her energy, it is also focused, almost like a laser beam, and not at all scattered like so many other actors I have met. Jessica is wickedly smart, and has an almost superhuman sense of perception. She has an uncanny ability to perceive what you mean by what you say, and if you say something to her that is less than truthful, she will know, and call you out on it immediately. Jessica is a woman with strong opinions about almost everything, and she isn't afraid to share them, a quality which is so refreshing in this age of meek agreeability.

In Utero, Jessica Cameron plays Lauren, a claustrophobic pregnant woman who comes to believe that she is carrying not a child in her womb, but a monster. What follows are, to put it mildly, the worst couple days of this woman's life, as she completely loses her mind. Things go on around her apartment that nobody can see but her, and the people around her are not there to support her, forcing her to remain secluded.

Utero is not merely Jessica's next movie after Truth or Dare, but in many ways it represents the next stage in her evolution as a filmmaker. Although it is just as gory as her previous film, it is also more psychological and character driven. While Truth or Dare has a frantic, hyperkinetic energy to it, this new film has a more traditional pacing that allows for more character development and allows the filmmakers to tell a deeper, more personal and meaningful story.

Exclusive: Maxim Media International acquires Teachers’ Day

Teachers' Day DVDby Gerald Beanery, MoreHorror.com

The slasher nominated for Best Feature at Shockfest and Mockfest 2014; a game-changer in its field.... Teachers' Day is starting a new movement for indie horror films today. Teachers’ Day … isn’t on Bluray, but it will be On-Demand in millions of homes this summer, because Maxim Media International has reached an undisclosed agreement with Jared Masters of Frolic Pictures, the director of Slink.

The story involves a Napoleon Bonaparte obsessed high school educator, who goes on a killing spree, after not feeling appreciated on Teachers' Day.

Ain’t It Cool News says “This throwback to old school low budget slasher films has a lot of moments that made me smile … there are some great moments of gleefully gory and carnage laden scenes … had me out of my chair laughing at how outrageous it was … it does do slumber party horror with a wink, a nod, and a slash to fans who like low fi horror.”

The film is now available DVD and VHS!

Teachers’ Day is produced by Frolic Pictures and Dismal Productions. Written and directed by Jared Masters. Stars Lindsay Lamb, Nikole Howell and Danika Galindo. With Dawna Lee Heising, Andrew Phillips, Simone Wasserman, Abby Summers, Nick Sinise, Lonnie Alcide Gardner, Mindy Robinson, Art Roberts, Steve Crest, Julia Faye West, Sunny Vachher, Kristyn Archibald, Kelly De Vries and LeJon Stewart. Produced by Julia Faye West, Sunny Vachher, Mikko Tervonen, Seth Metoyer, Kamuela Kim, Michael Anthony. Executive Producer David Petovar. Scored by Sean Gibson. Photographed by Tim McCombe.

'Utero' in production: Jessica Cameron set to star; first details and teaser poster released

Uteroby Seth Metoyer, MoreHorror.com

Jessica Cameron is at it again! Quickly blazing the horror trail on the heel of her crowd pleasing directorial debut Truth of Dare. This time she's in the production seat as well as starring in an upcoming horror film written and directed by Bryan Coyne called Utero. I think the teaser poster kicks ass and shows us that we're in for some bloody goodness. Check out the official details below, and stay tuned for an exclusive MoreHorror report from the set of Utero.

From The Press Release
ALONG CAME A NEW SPIDER FILM
Jessica Cameron Starring in Horror Film by Bryan Coyne

Writer/Director Bryan Coyne’s (Harvard Park and Incarnate) new film Utero started production this week in Los Angeles. Independently financed by Coinopflix, the movie stars Jessica Cameron who is also producing along with her Truth or Dare partner, Jonathan Higgins. Former Platinum Studios Exec (Cowboys and Aliens, Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night) Richard Marincic also serves as a producer on the film.

Utero is about “an agoraphobic unwed mother who finds her psyche unraveling as she becomes convinced that her unborn child is more monster than human.”

Coyne has directed the baseball documentary Harvard Park (which is available now on Netflix), as well as the hotly anticipated horror movie Incarnate that will make its theatrical debut in the fall.

Cameron’s latest film Truth or Dare, is playing the festival circuit and has currently won 18 awards. She is also known for such films as the Roger Corman produced Camel Spiders which is currently airing on the SyFy channel, and Steven C. Miller’s remake of Silent Night. Utero marks Cameron’s and Higgins’ second collaboration together.

Bad Milo (2013) Review

Bad MiloReviewed by Kevin Scott, MoreHorror.com

Bad Milo (2013)
Directed by Jacob Vaughan
Written by Benjamin Hayes, Jacob Vaughan
Cast: Ken Marino (Duncan), Gillian Jacobs (Sarah), Mary Kay Place (Duncan’s Mom), Patrick Warburton (Phil), Peter Stormare (Highsmith), Kumail Nanjiani (Bobbi), Stephen Root (Duncan’s Dad)

Here lately, Magnet Releasing carries the same clout with me as Cannon Films, New World Pictures, and Vestron Video. That’s not a slam. It’s a compliment of the highest order. Whenever I saw those monikers before any film, I knew I was in for some kind of genre masterpiece. Whether it be action, horror, or science fiction, it would be a movie that I and a several others (you know who you are) would harbor a clandestine love for until the internet and horror cons came along. That’s when we could go public and find kindred spirits that were states and countries away. Fortunately, a great film like “Bad Milo” can get the love and exposure it deserves right now.

It’s a horror comedy that blends equal parts of both into a smooth concoction that goes down really easy. I have very high regard for anyone that gets the horror comedy right. Get the mix wrong, and one genre overpowers the other, and cancels them both out. I really can’t adequately describe all the influences that “Bad Milo” touches on, but think Cronenberg’s “The Brood”, “Office Space”’ and “Basket Case” all rolled into one.

Duncan (Ken Marino) can’t catch a break. He has a soul sucking corporate job with an unscrupulous boss (Patrick Warburton), a cougar Mother (Mary Kay Place), a wife (Gillian Jacobs) whose biological clock is ticking like crazy, an absentee father, and stomach problems from Hell. His stress level doubles when his office gets relocated to an old bathroom, with an annoying cubicle mate, and he gets saddled with handling the latest rounds of downsizing firings.

'Children of Sorrow' Film Review

Children of Sorrow by Shannon Hilson, MoreHorror.com

Every horror fan has their own idea of what’s authentically frightening, but for me personally, successful horror goes straight for the kill by getting to the root of what scares us on a primal, inherently human level. It touches nerves and stirs fears that live deep inside all of us. We’re unsettled, disturbed, and maybe even provoked as a result. Children of Sorrow is the type of film that successfully does all this and more by drawing us into the lives of some truly fascinating characters.

The film introduces us to cult leader Simon Leach (Bill Oberst Jr.) and a group of desperate teens he has assembled together in a Mexico desert compound to help him realize his personal vision of faith and spiritual growth. The latest member of the group is Ellen (Hannah Levien), a young woman searching for her sister who had previously entered Leach’s fold as part of an attempt to “find herself”.

At first, Ellen is simply looking to discover what really happened to her sister, but she is eventually taken in on a psychological level by the charismatic Leach and his ideas as well. As you may have guessed, it isn’t long before she and Leach’s other devoted followers discover the darker, more sinister side of not only their trusted leader and his belief system, but the terrifying roles they’ll be playing as part of it.

Odd Thomas (2013) Film Review

Odd ThomasReviewed by Jesse Miller, MoreHorror.com

Directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) and adapted from the supernatural thriller novel by Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas is a little quirky thriller with some neat special effects, a very likeable cast, and a fast-moving story and last but not least, it has some great little jumps peppered throughout.

The wonderful Anton Yelchin is Odd – a short-order cook that has the ability to see the dead and one mysterious man has just caught his eye.
His investigation into the man leads him down the rabbit hole and up against dark and terrifying forces.

That’s about as much info on the plot I can give away without ruining anything but I can say that the story of Odd Thomas is quite fun and entertaining and over all, it’s just plainly a satisfying piece of entertainment.

It’s one of those films where you can shift the puzzles into place before they actually fall into their spots but at the same time, it’s not a bad thing at all that you might see it coming because gosh darn it, you’re having a blast because it’s all such good fun.
One thing I want to point out is that the film’s got an odd tone about it all – it’s definitely supernatural and horror but like The Mummy, you’ll have the odd vein of darkness about it but there’s also a lightness to the script and the soundtrack and the performances that keeps it from being too nasty and this is something I enjoyed as it kept my attention.

One thing I appreciate about Stephen Sommers is that the man brings a lot of energy to his projects and he brings the same liveliness to the action and the scares and everything else that goes on within the strange new world of Odd Thomas.

I’ve always enjoyed Yelchin’s performances as he’s just got that regular-everyday-guy vibe about him that works in whatever role he plays and his performance as Odd (Yes, that’s his real name) brings the same sort of goofiness and charm that makes the character so appealing.

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