Thursday, 18 February 2016

Frances Stein (2015)

















Written & Directed by P.J. Woodside

Stars: P.J. Woodside, Scott Cummings, Cody Rogers, Jessica Leonard, Steve Hudgins,  Ruby Sayard Kelly, Felicia Stewart, Vivien Worthen-Powell and T.O.N.E-z









The next entry in Big Biting Pig Productions growing slate of dark entertainment, Frances Stein, gives a female led, current spin, on the tale of Frankenstein.Guess what? Messing with science is still ill advised folks.

Dr Frances Stein (PJ Woodside) is an angry, bitter woman with a grudge to bear. Her groundbreaking work fell apart in scandalous fashion not to mention her marriage - if that wasn't rough enough, her fellow scientist ex hubby (Scott Cummings) has moved his new lady in, the much younger vivacious (and snarky) Jayne, played brilliantly by Jessica Leonard. Her only real friend in the world is her assistant Avery (Cody Rogers) who really wants to help her with her work but is visibly uncomfortable with her manic disposition.

This review isn't going to delve any deeper into the plot of the film in respect to Big Biting Pig Productions and the fact you really should see this without spoilers.  Suffice to say PJ Woodside who writes and directs as well as stars, has woven a classic tale of suspense with some nice twists and a sense of 'how will this all turn out?'

The writing is so on point that for a horror/thriller, the use of gratuitous violence isn't really needed. In one scene, involving the description of a tooth, the dialogue alone is enough to make you book a dentalcheck up (after you are done hugging yourself and wincing of course).

All core cast members do an impressive job of conveying their very different roles. PJ Woodside ramps up the crazy as Frances, a woman whose intense stare and stoic demeanor could terrify adults children and animals alike. Elsewhere Scott Cummings gives a smarmy turn as the ex husband enjoying the high life with his new wife played by Jessica Leonard. Jayne stomps around in her super bitch sexy heels with some perfect, acid laced, comments and was a joy to watch. A BBP movie wouldst be the same without Steve Hudgins appearing and he does play those villainous types so well. This time around he is playing an interrogator of those that know Frances Stein and he doesn't hold back on the steely glare and the threatening dialogue.

I really enjoyed Frances Stein for its well crafted story, interesting and well acted characters and a compelling ending. Don't go in expecting a blood bath and you are likely to be impressed. Big Biting Pig continue to show that a very low budget needn't herald sub par results and for that I will always be thankful to them.


Friday, 5 February 2016

Snowed in (2016)













Written and directed by Hannah Luyton

Stars: Kaitlyn Marie 








Snowed In is a short film written and directed by high school senior Hannah Luyten. In addition it was co-produced and filmed by Jason Hawkins of Gravestone Entertainment who Hannah has assistedon previous projects. Jason has also been mentor to Hannah for the past two years and so she has had a great opportunity to learn from Jason whose own company has been behind some fantastic horror/thrillers (15: Inside the Mind of a Serial KillerThe Devil Knows His Own)


Snowed In features young Kaitlyn Marie playing a young girl (Kaitlyn) who is home alone during a heavy snow storm. To make matters worse she is on crutches and so really is isolated and vulnerable. When strange eerie noises start disturbing her Kaitlynheads up stairs to try to find the source...NOT  a good idea. From there Snowed In becomes an effective creep fest designed to make you seize up in fear of whatever hides in the dark.




A well acted and craftily directed horror short, Snowed In had me watching with the temptation to look away as it builds to a major scare in ingenious fashion. Again I am suprised and amazed at how well a horror story can be conveyed in a blink and miss it space of just five minutes. Hannah Luyten should be very proud of this film and the definite promise it shows for future projects.  Further to this the film has grabbed the attention of numerous festival including an invite to Jennifer's Bodies  so if you can make it to this brilliant celebration of women in horror you will get a chance to see it!