Tuesday 31 December 2013

Bunni (2013)

Direct by Daniel Benedict

Written by Daniel Benedict

Stars:  Mercedez Varble, Sara Ammons, Kent Blue, Daniel Benedict, Cat Geary, Alexandria Hendrick.

Firstly I would like to thank director Daniel Bendict for asking me to review his new indie slasher flick Bunni! Along with its intriguing title I am pleased to say that the film is a fast paced, gory slice of fun. In fact the films brisk running time of 60 minutes means no plodding filler scenes and after a disturbing opening, cuts right to the bloody action.

The plot concerns a groups of friends who, after a halloween party, decide to enter a seemingly abandoned old building for fun. Sadly for this group, abandoned is is not as this place also happens to be the home of a sadistic killer. Cue some very nasty murders indeed, with two in particular being satisfying highlights. There is also great use of pratical effects on display which is always good to see.

Its difficult to talk too much about characters without heading into spoiler territory however I would like to highlight Mercedez Varble as leading girl Paige, Kent Blue as Paiges caring boyfriend and Daniel Benedict as the guy you are just waiting to be killed horribly as standouts. I liked Paige alot and the way way Mercedes Varble places her is pleasantly natural and makes you root for her. Kent Blues performance makes for a very interesting character to say the least while Daniel Benedict gives us a douchebag to really scream at the TV set over. Also special mentiongoes to Cat Gearys performance as the titular character who delivers a solid character in an eye opening set of circumstances.

All in all I recommend Bunni for its fast pace, nasty kills and its writer/directors clear knowledge of the slasher sub genre along with an ability to bring something slightly new to the table. Looking forward to more of Daniel Benedicts work in the (hopefully) near future!

Thursday 7 November 2013

I.B.S (2013)

Directed By Mike O'Mahoney

Written by Mike O'Mahoney

Stars: James Costa, D.M. Folger Jr., Lauren Ojeda, Sean Flaherty, Matt Garafalo, Lewis Beaver.

Maniac films newest feature takes the riotous bad taste of Sloppy the Psychotic and Deadly Detour, ups the ante considerably...and then then flushes it all down the toilet -literally! If you hadn't gauged from the title, I.B.S focuses on Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I have to admit it really is used to hilarious effect.

Poor lonely Larry (James Costa) has a dead end job, no true friends aside from a housemate who is always drunk and swamped by girls and a severe, and I mean severe bowel problem. In fact the problem is so bad that it governs his life or lack thereof. You cant help but feel sorry for him as no doctor is able to help and there is no improvement on his condition. Until.... well lets just say I don't believe Larry had any plans or aspirations to become a lovingly sadistic serial killer. But that's exactly what happens once he accidentally offs a guy from his office who continuously bullies and harasses him! See, it comes to pass (sorry) that Larry's shedding of blood gives him a temporary, but most welcomed, release of his I.B.S and after taking this into account, begins wiping out those around him in all manner of grisly ways!

This is cue for Mike to give his audience what they have come to love about his work - mean spirited but fun death and destruction. No one is safe from Larry's bloodlust as he starts stabbing, slicing, lawn mowering (!) and in one truly eye opening scene, chainsawing his victims. There isn't one moment however where you really identify Larry as some evil villain - the events are just too silly and offbeat and you cant help but feel 'along for the ride' as Larry starts to merrily revel in killing everyone off!

I.B.S is another funny, bloody horror comedy from Mike O'Mahoney which gives you all you need in a 75 minute good time: tongue in cheek gore, laughs and for those so inclined, nudity! Check it out people by jumping over to Maniac Film official Facebook!

Monday 21 October 2013

The Ballad of Skinless Pete (2013)

(Online Screener Copy)

Directed by Dustin Wayde Mills

Written by Brandon Salkil & Dustin Wayde Mills

Stars: Brandon Salkil, Erin R. Ryan, Allison Egan, Dave Parker

The new film from Dustin Wayde Mills (Puppet Monster Massacre, Night of the Tentacles, Easter Casket) is a witty, stylish and ultimately stomach churning body-horror nightmare which I wholeheartedly recommend. I saw so much promise in Dustin's work after watching Night of the Tentacles, a hilarious and creatively gruesome film influenced by the best of 1980's that I knew his films would just continue to get better and better. The Ballad of Skinless Pete backs that theory up perfectly.

Featuring co writer Brandon Salkil as the titular Pete, a scientist with high hopes of creating a cure for cancer. Said cure happens to come from the stomach of a little known parasite (which he happens to have gotten hold of) and after having the ill thought out notion of being his own test subject, Pete's life is thrown into utter, not to mention horrific, chaos.

Brandon Salkil who also stole the show as lead character 'Dave' in Night of the Tentacles steps up his game even further here as the most unfortunate 'Pete'. It cannot be easy to play a character who is intended to horrify and terrify audiences as well as provoke genuine sympathy but Brandon manages this masterfully. A well written and well acted character who makes this film stand out even more in addition to its creative plot.

Its more than a little impressive how Dustin manages to make indie movie magic with such a low budget. His films just look GREAT and he has a keen eye for how to make the best of practical FX regardless of financial limitation. There are two scenes in this movie that are just jaw dropping in terms of gore, I was both glued to the screen and desperate to look away at the same time so hats off to Dustin for those! There are other fantastic moments throughout the film such as a severely altered dog on the attack and the dissection of the aforementioned exotic parasite. Its safe to say gore hounds will not be upset by this film.

However, one thing even more interesting than all the blood shed is the emotional punch The Ballad of Skinless Pete packs. The ending of this film is nothing short of heartbreaking and this is where both Brandon Salkil and co star Erin R. Ryan, as Pete's friend and fellow scientist Alice, really nail their characters and the awful predicament they are in. Great work by two actors to keep your eyes on.

All in all The Ballad of Skinless Pete is one heck of an inventive, squirm inducing and emotionally distressing body horror film that deserves attention. Head on over to Facebook to find out more about the film and also buy your very own DVD copy!

Wednesday 16 October 2013

EXCLUSIVE: From The Folks Behind Gravestone Entertainment!

I have just received an exclusive scoop from director Jason Hawkins of Gravestone Entertainment ( 15: Inside The Mind of a Serial Killer and The Devil Knows His Own)  regarding the latest film from he and partner Dara Davey which could well be their biggest, boldest film to date! Featuring the mob, crime, revenge and much more this sounds like it has the potential to attract a large audience with its multi-genre plot. 

Read on for the official press release and promo art!

The 9th Templar - a new feature film by Edenfall Entertainment to shoot in Portland in January 2014

October 18, 2013

The 9th Templar is a new crime-thriller feature film by Jason Hawkins & Dara Davey; the team behind Gravestone Entertainment and the feature films 'The Innocent', '15', and 'The Devil Knows His Own'.

The 9th Templar sees Jason Hawkins & Dara Davey departing from their horror film roots to dive into a crime story filled with lies, deception and betrayals. Violent, bloody, and unrepentant, the film follows hitman Jake 'The Kid' Ripone as he returns to the criminal empire that raised him, seeking answers to the hit that was ordered on his family. Faced with the reality that his own brother has staged a bloody coupe within the family, Jake finds himself on the run and fighting for his life against those he trusted most. Wounded, alone, and targeted for death, Jake is befriended by an old homeless man who holds the key to his future. But first Jake must make a choice; he can only have one: Revenge... or redemption?

The 9th Templar moved into pre-production in early October, and will be shooting in and around the Portland, OR., area in January 2014. This is the 5th feature film project for the NW based team. Their previous films include (under the Gravestone Entertainment label) the award winning anti-bullying drama 'The Innocent', the critically acclaimed horror film '15: inside the mind of a serial killer', the supernatural thriller 'The Devil Knows His Own', and the (Edenfall Entertainment produced) sci-fi thriller 'Finding Oblivion'.

I will be posting any new information about the film as I get it so stay tuned people, based on Jason and Dara's previous work,you will not want to miss this one!

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Play Dead Grandpa (2013)

(Online Screener)

Directed by Stefan Fernandez

Written by Stefan Fernandez

Stars: Martin Pfefferkorn and Jeannie Kempa

This nifty little short film from Stefan Fernandez shows that too many sick practical jokes can really sour a marriage.

Featuring Martin Pfefferkorn as Albert, a man who enjoys nothing more than setting up constant stunts to make his loving wife Martha (Jeannie Kempa) believe he is dead, this short soon takes a macabre turn. Like some of the best Tales From Crypt episodes, this film has a neat and satisfyingly dark ending as things go terribly wrong for Albert and funnily enough there is no help in sight. Think the boy who cried wolf with a geriatric twist. 

I think Stefan has done a grand job with Play Dead Grandpa (shameless pun, sorry!) and displays a wonderfully mean but playful sense of humor. I loved the montage of scenes depicting the ways in which Albert has terrorised his wife in the past and I think he has managed to pack a great story into the 8 minute running time. 

The short is professionally shot and has some nice, almost surreal, shots particularly those showing the couple laughing together. This and the fact the film was entertaining with an awesome sting in the tale makes me look forward very much to more work from Stefan. Find out more about Play Dead Grandpa over at its official Facebook page and see it as soon as you can!

Sunday 13 October 2013

Snow Owl Slaughter (2013)

(Online Screener)

Directed by Thomy Kessler

Written by Thomy Kessler

Stars: Martin Kloss, Sandra Quadflieg, Michelle Yao-Hua, Swaantje Becker, Bastian Thumulka, Claudia Reimer, Marie Luise Lux.

Snow Owl Slaughter is most certainly the biggest surprise I have had so far this year in independent horror film. The title may make you think it's a standard slasher movie or even worse; owls getting dispatched left right and centre (!) but let me tell you; this film is a heady, creepy, bizarrely funny trip and I loved every second of it. With shades of The Evil Dead and Twin Peaks but very much with its own original identity, Snow Owl Slaughter will hopefully impress horror fans looking for something scary and fresh. 

The plot concerns Andrew and Nina, a couple who have an uncomfortable experience in a Chinese restaurant after being disrepresctful to their waitress. Turns out it's not a good idea to take more than one fortune cookie and Andrew isn't keen to abide by the rules. After this altercation the pair are offered one more fortune cookie from another bowl on their way out and again Andrew proves himself to be an arsehole by taking a handful while Nina takes one with a careless laugh. It is this event that propels the madness and claustrophobia which is to follow. 

Andrew is off to an old house in the middle of snowy nowhere with a group of Nina's friends with the intention that Nina will join then shortly after. However viewers are shown that something bad may have happened to Nina on her initial trip to the house to drop food off for the gang. A scene where Nina calls Andrew and says nothing is the first sign of how unsettling things are going to get and in all honesty at this point I felt slightly unnerved. 

The rest of the gang arrive at the snowbound home wondering where their food is, with Andrew acting worried about Nina's well being having not heard from her again. Soon, to pass the time, they each open one of the fortune cookies Andrew had taken on the way out of the Chinese restaurant previously. Creepy messages signalling their deaths make the group uncomfortable and it's from this point things start to get bloody as paranoia kicks in and Andrew starts to really question whether his actions has caused a macabre curse upon them all. 

First and foremost I have to say hats off to director/writer Thomy Kessler for the sheer atmosphere he manages to create with shots of the snow covered house from the outside. There's just something here that works so well in its favour and truly made me, as a viewer, feel nervous for those inside the house. Also props inside the house such as the scary clown in the corner of the kitchen add so much to the films sense of creeping dread. In fact I was happy the clown was subsequently used later in one of the films bloodier moments - albeit not in a silly way but in an ominous and eerie sense. In addition all the gore was well done and practical and in places hand-over-the-mouth-horrific. I won't say anything further on that other than electric whisk...

The film also has a running time - just over an hour - that works brilliantly in its favour. It's long enough to pull you straight into its web but not too long to involve any kind of filler scenes. 

Add to this some really good performances with Martin Kloss really shining as Andrew. He plays the jerk character really well and also demonstrates some great comedic timing with both his facial expressions and his delivery of lines. I also liked Michelle Yao-Hua as the the waitress with a taste for vengeance and Swaantje Becker as the sweet but slightly hapless Margit. 

As I said previously, a huge and welcomed suprise for me for 2013 and wonderfully close to halloween to boot. I hope Snow Owl Slaughter finds its audience because this reviewer found it to be scary and gruesome but more importantly clever, offbeat and original. Given what I have seen here and what I have read about Thomy's previous film The Preening Swan you can call me a huge fan of his craft. Check out the films official Facebook for more information and I hope you guys get to check this out soon! 


Friday 11 October 2013

Jack Attack (2013) (Short)

(Online Screener)

Directed by Bryan Norton & Antonio Padovan

Written by Antonio Padovan & Bryan Norton

Stars: Helen Rogers, Tyler Rossell, Steve Anderson Jr. 

Big thanks you to Antonio Padovan for providing me with an online screener link to Halloween horror short Jack Attack. 

Two things are immediately striking about this 8 minute film and first and foremost it is how well shot it is. Forgetting the length of the film this is shot like a professional feature and just looks incredible. Secondly the films aesthetics in relation to autumn and Halloween are spot on. Streets are littered with fallen leaves and pumpkins, characters are wrapped up warm and houses are adorned with scary apparel. There is an impressive attention to detail here that shouldn't be ignored; I thought it was most impressive.

Jack Attack features young Jack (Tyler Rossell) and his babysitter Elizabeth (Helen Rogers) settling down on Halloween Night awaiting the arrival of Elizabeth’s boyfriend (Steve Anderson Jr).  Elizabeth is showing Jack how to carve a pumpkin not realising how much horror this is about to cause them. To say much more than that would honestly be unfair – just know that once the characters eat a few of the pumpkins seeds, things get freaky, bloody and stomach turning!!  The ending is creepy and made me want to see what further horrors might come from the events of the film had it been a feature length.

The cast were great, both leads played their parts excellently and I wasn't at all surprised to learn that Helen Rogers already has several films under her belt,  including the role of ‘Emily’ in V/H/S.

A really really well made short, with so much promise for both Antonio Padovan and  Bryan Norton and I am hoping that they have more up their sleeves!

Tuesday 8 October 2013

The Short Films of Jeremiah Kipp

I wanted to give a huge shout out to film maker Jeremiah Kipp who has waited far too long and far too patiently for me to do a piece covering his short films. I really enjoyed the shorts and how varied they are in tone and delivery. I will review each one in turn so read on......


Directed by Jeremiah Kipp

Written by Russ Penning

Stars: Deneen Melody


Crestfallen is a 6 minute haunting short with a beautiful and harrowing performance by indie horror starlet Deneen Melody.  It’s actually a wonderfully original reflection of suicide and desperation as we watch events from Deneen’s characters life after she cuts her wrists open and begins to edge toward death.
Since the film does not feature any dialogue there needs to be other elements to make it interesting in order for it to both stand out and retain viewer interest. In Crestfallen it’s all about the atmosphere helped along nicely by a haunting score (courtesy of the one and only Harry Manfredini!).
This is one of those films where you watch the plight of another human being and despite knowing its fictional, you want to jump on in there and rescue them, and that is one mean feat to achieve from a 6 minute film so that’s high praise to Jeremiah Kipp!

I recommend this short as its both haunting and original and boasts a bit of a tear jerking performance from Deneen Melody. It’s also signal of great things to come from its director Jeremiah Kipp.


Directed by Jeremiah Kipp

Stars: Laura Lona, Brian Uhrich

Now here is a journey into the outright surreal. Drool, a highly experimental short basically depicts two people rolling around together in what looks like slime! Its an odd and unsettling experience to watch if I am honest and made me a feel a bit uneasy, perhaps it is slightly too experimental for me? That said the direction is strange and stylish and the fact that it is shot in black and white really works for it.

There's something bizarre, voyeuristic and creepy about this short that you will have to watch yourself to see what I mean. Some definite points for giving David Lynch a bit of a shove out of the way.


Directed by Jeremiah Kipp

Stars:  Zoe Daelman Chlanda, Robb Leigh Davis, Alan Rowe Kelly, Katherine O' Sullivan.

contact - zoe-2.jpg

Here is a short that if there is any justice, should make you scream no to drugs! Stylishly shot in black and white, Contact tells the tale of a young woman (Zoe Daelman Chlanda) and her other half who end up on a very very bad trip after taking some drugs they have just bought from a shady dealer.

Contact takes you on a horrific journey as we follow the after effects of this consummation of what was supposed to be a bit of fun. Be prepared for surreal imagery, nudity and grue as things go from bad to much worse.  To say much more would be a disservice so I will just say catch this short film NOW and expect something truly shocking and jaw dropping.

The film also boasts the most fantastic of indie horror casts, you have Alan Rowe Kelly (I’ll Bury you Tomorrow, The Blood Shed, Tales of Poe and Gallery of Fear), Zoe Daelman Chlanda (I’ll Bury you Tomorrow, By Her Hand She Draws You Down, Gallery of Fear, Psycho Street, The Blood Shed) Katherine O’Sullivan (The Blood Shed, I’ll Bury you Tomorrow, Gallery of Fear) Ruby LaRocca (Porkchop, Bleeding Through, Witch’s Brew, Zombie Babies, Presidents Day)  and Bart Mastronardi (Director of Vindication and Producer of Gallery of Fear and Tales of Poe) – quite the amazing bunch of loyal horror talent!

Here’s hoping we get a feature from Mr Kipp soon in the future as he certainly has the ability, the passion and the directorial style to give fans something exciting and new!

Find out more about Jeremiah and his work right HERE!

Thursday 26 September 2013

The Cabining (2013)

(Online Screener Copy)

Directed by Steve Kopera

Written by Mike Kopera, Steve Kopera and David Silverman

Stars: Steve Kopera, Bo Kiester, Angela Relucio, Melissa Mars, Luce Rains,Richard Riehle, Michael Rademacher, Chuck Saale, Joesph Barone, Jackson Thompson, Alice Sherman.

Thanks so much to Bo Kiester for sending me a private screener link for The Cabining a spunky and sharp horror comedy from The Kopera brothers.

I wanted to start by reminding readers how tough it can be to strike a decent balance between horror and comedy without one side over shadowing the other or it purely falling flat on its face. I'm glad to say that for the most part this movie is a successful hybrid of the macabre and the mortally hilarious with just a few jokes falling flat. 

The story involves hapless duo Todd and Bruce two young guys desperate to make a movie - a horror movie no less. Fresh out of decent ideas and shunted at every turn, Todd is warned by his uncle 'give me a decent script within two weeks or lose my funding!' - harsh. So off Todd and Bruce go to a relaxation facility for artists (which happens to be a creepy resort in the middle of nowheresville) to gain a better perspective on their film. 

Soon after their arrival Todd and Bruce's new companions as well as employees of the resort start to meet ther grisly ends by a number of apparent accidents (banana skin leading to impalement is one to watch out for!) and this likeable pairing may end up six feet under before they get a single script idea committed to paper!!!

This film is dead set to please fans of wacky horror comedy's such as Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (although please take note that The Cabining is very much it's own film) and it's as maliciously entertaining as it is very very funny. Two things make this movie work so well and that's excellent writing and some brilliant comedic performances. It may be cliche to herald Mike Kopera as 'Todd' and Bo Kiester as 'Bruce' as the stand outs but hey, they were cast as the leads for a reason! Mikes portrayal of the down beaten, luckless Todd is pitch perfect and some of his deadpan lines made me laugh out loud. He's an intelligent guy in a bastard of a situation and this is so well conveyed albeit in a hilarious manner. In contrast Bo Kiester throws himself into the role of bumbling, insanely enthusiastic Bruce with gusto - the type of guy you could love but just want to strangle in equal measure. That said I really did not pick up on any poor performances, everyone did a great job in their varied and offbeat roles.

You will also note an exceptional knowledge of the slasher sub genre from the filmmakers as Todd and Bruce discuss making their movie and what element to include. This knowledge is also evident in the movie itself with lots of horror movie tropes thrown in and some sly winks and nods. I can tell this film was a blast to make. 

I would LOVE to see a follow up movie with the same characters in a new adventure I think there's much scope for a series here. In the meantime when you get your chance to catch The Cabining you need to take it! Find out more about the movie over at Facebook and it's official website!

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Among Friends (2012)

Directed by Danielle Harris

Written by Alyssa Lobit

Stars: Christopher Backus, Jennifer Blanc, AJ Bowen, Dana Daurey, Brianne Davis, Kane Hodder, Kamala Jones, Alyssa Lobit, Chris Meyer

Release: August 27 2013, DVD (USA)

Among Friends marks scream queen Danielle Harris' directorial debut of a feature length movie and boy was it worth waiting for. My DVD finally popped through the door last week and due to other commitments I had to delay watching it just slightly - until now.

The basic premise of the movies sees a group of old friends attending an 80s themed murder mystery party at their fairly new friend Bernadette's house. Cue for Danielle and co to go crazy with the costumes, think bright colours, big hair and vivacious make up. Another friend of the group, Lily, is strangely absent but not letting this stop the fun the group are sent off to search the house for clues by Bernadette. Upon their rendezvous back in the dining room, the gang hit the drink and oh man will they wish they hadn't. Soon they are all paralysed from the waist down and our hostess from hell Bernadette has them just where she wants them; helpless and stuck at the dinner table. It seems Bernie (don't call her that to her face!) isn't all that she seems and has building up a psychotic personal vendetta against the friends whom she has learnt to be vicious, lying, cheating backstabbing...and sometimes worse. Bernadette wants to play a few party games with the gang and we are certainly not talking pass the parcel. As secret video footage is presented to the group, exposing all manner of indiscretions, Bernadette uses a cruel set of rules in order to maim her 'friends' in horrifying ways such as scalping and hacking away at fingers. 

I was really impressed at the performances in Among Friends. I firstly wanted to apologise to Kamala Jones as I rather ignorantly wrote her character off as the weakest of the bunch after the first few scenes. Not at all fair of me and hell was I proven wrong. The character of Sarah was 100% my favorite by the end of the film, she wasn't a perfect person by any means (who is?) but when she really starts to come into her own she shows a resilience and courage as well as humanity that perhaps doesn't exist or isn't seen from the others. That said the fact that Jules (played by the stunning Brianne Davis) is off her head on drugs for the films length may be an indicator that she could have acted differently if she had a clear head. Who knows, either way Brianne plays Jules to the hilt, a fun, wacky and definitely conflicted character. All I will say regarding Jennifer Blanc is that she gives a wicked performance (that's not me calling her acting bad by the way) watch the film and you will get my drift. AJ Bowen as the supposedly clean former drug addict Adam gives a squirm inducing performance as he nervously looks around the room for a good deal of the film before a dark secret involving himself sets the scene for the films most grotesque attack. Special mention to writer Alyssa Lobits portrayal of Bernadette, a woman so far off the deep end its unreal. Alyssa makes an ever smiling, pretty lady in a great dress an absolute monster and I loved every minute of it. 

I know there has been some disappointment for some with the ending or lack thereof  but personally I loved the final shot before the end credits. I thought it worked really well especially since the basic lesson there is that when salvation is in your grasp...Keep your mouth SHUT. The freeze frame also worked wonders for me and although, fair enough, part of me wanted to see exactly what happened next I also enjoyed the ambiguity of it all. Another tip...stay around for the full end credits....

A film not without its flaws, this is a first time effort and perhaps the film could have been a bit longer and some more secrets exposed about the friends would have certainly elevated the motives of Bernadette to a more believable level. However on the plus side, Among Friends makes for the perfect Friday night viewing; its fun, mean spirited and shows a great deal of promise for Danielle Harris directorial career, something very much highlighted by a drug induced scene featuring Jules. Pick up a copy right HERE and knock yourself out. 

Saturday 10 August 2013

The Devil Knows His Own (2013)

(Online Screener Copy)

Directed by Jason Hawkins

Written by Jason Hawkins

Produced by Dara Davey, Jason Hawkins and Amber Smith

Stars: Dara Davey, Eileen Dietz, Patrick D. Green, Alicia Rose, Natasha Timpani, Michael A. LaFlamme, Simon Scott, Jason Hawkins. 

It was my absolute pleasure to be asked to put out the first review of Gravestone Entertainments new movie The Devil Knows His Own. Director Jason Hawkins and his amazing team delivered the skin crawlingly powerful  15: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer recently, a film that honestly still plays on my mind every now and again today! While yes, it was a tough pill to swallow it was also a very very good movie with some stunning performances and some genuine frights. When I started to see the promo material for The Devil Knows His Own I was sold on its creepy imagery and plot details.

The film features Dara Davey (also co producer) as Jessica Ray, a woman married to the beautiful Lacey Middleton (Natasha Timpani who just BLEW me away in her role in 15) who is seeing a therapist, which audiences are let in on during the opening scenes. It appears that the two woman are not succeeding in their attempts to have a baby which leads to a confession from Jessica that there is very good reason as to why she cannot carry a baby herself. I don't want to give much of that away than I have because the film is very much about the childhood of both Jessica and her brother Ethan Ray (Patrick D. Green) and the horrors they endured at a young age. After learning of the death of their grandmother, Jessica, Ethan, Lacey along with Ethans girlfriend Melanie return to the siblings childhood home which incidentally has been left to Jessica as an inheritance. Unfortunately terrors of the past are going to become the horrors of the present and soon all manner of unsettling and macabre events start to occur.

The thing I loved most about this movie was its structuring as a horror/mystery. You are given just enough information about some of the things that happened to Jessica and Ethan as children, but the rest you are going to have to find out as you go along as the past is resurrected. I am honestly not ashamed to admit that there several 'holy fucking shit!' moments which made my horror loving little heart jump into my throat.  Again I dont want to spoil anything so all I will say is look out for the shower scene, the 'smiling man' and the 'window'.  As well as frights, there are a couple of well done gruesome moments which the G-hounds will love. In fact it reminded me of the time I interviewed Dara Davey for the site and in response to my question about 15 being graphic, she quite correctly pointed about that the film wasnt at all graphic....its just made in such a way you could easily convince yourself that it was (if that makes any sense!). The Devil Knows His Own however most certainly does have its share of grue towards the end which may just have you crossing your legs and covering your eyes.           

The cast were all exceptional - not one poor performance, with the core cast smashing it. Dara Davey and Patrick D. Green both portray damaged people with just the right amount of emotion - you feel horribly sorry for then but also fall in love with their characters in their own right. I can't say enough how fantastic these two are in their lead roles, particularly as the film hits its final act. Natasha Timpani and Alicia Rose also turn in great performances as the sympathetic partners to Jessica and Ethan with both of them having a meaty story of their own woven into the plot. Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist and Exorcist II: The Heretic) also makes several appearances as the deceased - and really quite terrifying - grandmother of Jessica and Ethan. 

One additional point I wanted to make was that I was so so pleased to see a gay relationship written as loving and natural rather than gratuitous. All too often you get token lesbians in horror films who are there simply for tittilation, so it was extremely refreshing to see Jessica and Lacey's relationship as something that just is what it is. 

The film is sheer brilliance in terms of scares and emotionally enticing characters. I liked 15  because it was an extremely well made and acted film that challenged my ability to see a film through to end. However I LOVED The Devil Knows His Own because I just cannot wait to see it again! I genuinely hope that this film slays at festivals. Please check out the official Gravestone Entertainment website along with the Facebook page for The Devil Knows His Own. This is one you will want to check out!

Thursday 8 August 2013

The Bible Belt Slasher II : The Holy Terror (2013) + Bonus Short The Bible Belt Slasher!

Directed by Bradley Creanzo

Written by Bradley Creanzo

Stars: Bradley Creanzo, Taylor Raftree, Keri Korner, Greg Huneke, Stella DiFabio, Dan Del Ben, Travis Raftree, Andy Salmon, Siddharth Gupta, Genoveva Rossi, Nicolina Hemingway, Robert J. Huntley, Missy Heather Byron and Larry Baumer as ''Jason Fry''

The Bible Belt Slasher 

This review is largely going to be about Bradley Creanzo's awesome 80s inspired feature The Bible Belt Slasher II: The Holy Terror but first I want to touch on the short that started it all: The Bible Belt Slasher. In the short Bradley pulls off an entertaining revenge slasher all in the space of 25 minutes as a deranged, former mental patient goes gunning for the obnoxious teenagers who made him the butt of their joke. No lie when I say just how badly our crazed killer Larry Baumer (Jason Fry) takes out his rage on the young pranksters. Brutal drillings, drownings, bashings and even a mouthful of what appears to be DIY glue! As the group dwindles very quickly you soon wonder if anyone will survive this gore laden night!

I REALLY had fun with this short film. Some very very nice touches to support the fact that this is set in the 80s; the costumes work wonders and the party dance scene is not just a hoot but downright genius (plus I LOVED the track!!!). Well worth your time for a quick and fun slasher fix.

The Bible Belt Slasher II: The Holy Terror

Now...onto the sequel which is actually an 1.45 minute feature. The film sees the return of nutty Jason Fry as he sees fit to take an almighty revenge on those related to his former victims - all over the family friendly time of Christmas!

Rebecca Belle (Taylor Raftree) our lead girl, is sister of Regina (also played by Raftree) from the original short and after he makes his gruesome escape from the mental hospital, she is understandably concerned that she could soon become a new victim! Of course Jason has a lot of slicing and dicing to do before he gets to Rebecca so the audience can kick back with a nice cold beer and watch the madness commence!

The film features some great kills, some of which are Christmas inspired in keeping with the plot (ahem christmas star....) there is also a wince inducing disembowelment and lots of other messy kills. Good work on delivering the nastiness!

Maybe not all of the acting is incredible but its easily forgivable. I have never sat through an 80s slasher film judging it on the actors ability of lack thereof. However there are some definite standout performances which I really enjoyed! Taylor Raftree I found to be impressive in both roles of Rebecca and Regina. I preferred the Rebecca role purely because we get to know the character a lot more and she made for a great final girl, 80s jumper and hairdo and all! 

I have to applaud Bradley Creanzo who seems to be creatively involved in almost all aspects of this film including playing the major role of Dr Lander's, a man desperate to catch Jason Fry upon his escape. A great amount of heart and soul - not to mention slasher knowledge - has gone into this film which you can see from the outfits, music, dialogue and brilliant nods to other slasher movies. In addition the running time of the film really allowed Bradley and co to explore Jason Fry more fully as a character and flesh out his history both before the previous murders and since them. Using characters who have connections to those who died in the original short also works to excellent effect in binding the movies together and giving the sequel a more dramatic edge.

I cant wait to see what Bradley Creanzo comes up with next be it a new movie or a BBS part 3 - a good eye for the elements of slasher movies that keep fans flocking back is what the industry needs.

Check out the official Bible Belt Slasher II : The Holy Terror Facebook Page to find out more and be sure to pick up a copy as soon as you can!

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Don't Go To The Reunion (2013)

Directed by Steve Goltz

Written by Kevin Sommerfield

Stars: Stephanie Rose Leigh, Brady Simenson, Matty Dorschner, Hannah Herdt, Nick Sommer, Mike Goltz, Tawnie Thompson, J.R. Watkins, Spencer Harlan.

Here it is folks - the moment you have all been waiting for....Slasher Studios, the macabre minds behind horror shorts Teddy, Popularity Killer and Blood Brothers, release their first ever slasher feature! The movie successfully reached its goal via its online fundraiser, giving horror fans the most excellent opportunity to be involved in the making of the film. Steve Goltz and Kevin Sommerfield (Slasher Studios ultrafriendly  co-founders) also very kindly offered all manner of cool perks in return for donations (hence I have been able to review the movie prior to its official DVD release later this month!). 

The movies premise goes a little something like this; a group of popular kids play a spiteful prank on high school horror film nerd Scott Rantzen (Brady Simenson) which has a terrible effect on the poor guy. Moving on with their lives the friends go their separate ways until ten years later when they are invited to their high school reunion. Our beautiful lead girl Erica Carpenter (Stephanie Rose Leigh) gets coerced into attending against her best wishes and in true slasher tradition she will really wish she hadn't bothered. Soon all those involved in the prank against Scott are dying horrible deaths and the killer will soon be closing in on Erica who is going to have to literally fight for her life. Has Scott returned for revenge? Or does someone else hate the A List of Hamilton High??

Wow. What a true love letter to the sub genre. The movie is absolutely rife with slasher movie references and fun nods. For example, check out the characters names; how about the bullied kid Scott Rantzen (Slaugher High?) or our lead girl Erica Carpenter (Halloween?) or even fun and spunky Megan Cunningham (Friday 13th?). The hat tipping is just everywhere covering films such as Prom Night, Night School, Madman and many more. I just loved how this film was both a slasher flick in its own bloody right and also a total homage to the films Steve and Kevin adore the most. 

There were some great performances in the film with Stephanie Rose Leigh, Mike Goltz (as grade A arsehole Joe) Hannah Herdt (as down to earth Jessica) and  Matty Dorschner (as kind and clever Brandon) the definite standouts. A special mention to Spencer Harlan who really shines later on in the film. In regards to the writing some of the dialogue is downright hilarious and lends the film a decent comedy angle amongst all the killing. 

There's also some sweet kills none of which I intend to spoil but I will say the guys did a great job in delivering on the bloody goods with a low budget! Speaking of which the film itself looks fantastic and that's with aforementioned small budget - it's fantastically shot and I am betting Slasher Studios are so very proud of the final result. 

Oh and by the way...the film has a KILLER ending....,

Grab your copy of Don't Go To The Reunion HERE, these start to ship out on or around the 15 August so I urge you to invest in this movie - LOTS of cool special features too!

Thursday 1 August 2013

'House of Bad' Director unleashes 13 Girls!

I had a great time watching and reviewing Jim Towns effective haunted home film House of Bad. so it is quite the honour to share with you the press release for Jim's new horror film 13 Girls soon to go into production. The film sure sounds like it is going to take the supernatural elements rife in House of Bad to a whole new level!

Read on for the official stuff:

13 Girls press release:

Cameras will roll on Jim Towns’ new thriller 13 Girls this October, reuniting the writer/director of House of Bad with his leading actress from that film- blonde, whiskey-voiced Sadie Katz.

Katz will play a troubled detective trying to solve the group suicide of an entire classroom of Catholic schoolgirls. As she gets closer to the truth, she must face her own devils if she is to help thwart a demonic plot to usurp the world of Man.

Katz has most recently appeared in Chavez: Cage of Glory and Scorned, which she co-wrote. Other talent already attached includes Jamie Bernadette (Reel Evil, Axeman at Cutter’s Creek, The 6th Friend), Erik Preston (Halloween 4- The Return of Michael Myers), William Christopher Ford (Karate Kid III) and Australian actress Stef Dawson (Wrath).

House of Bad, which Towns describes as a ‘haunted heist flick’, is due out in February through Osiris Entertainment. He is also in development on A Man with a Gun, starring Tony Todd, which he wrote and is also producing.

13 Girls will shoot in Hollywood and the South Bay area, and is being produced by Towns’ Shadow Kamera Films and through independent financing.

I for one cant wait to see what these guys come up with next and you can find out more about the film via its official Facebook Page. I also hope to share more news on this film with you as it comes in!

PJ Starks releases trailer for WBKR Zombie Run!

Not so long ago I had the absolute privilege of reviewing Mr PJ Stark's awesome indie horror flick Hallows Eve: Slaughter on 2nd Street

Now it is a pleasure to share with you the recent zombie promo that PJ directed in aid of the WBKR to be held on 23 September 2013 in Owensboro Kentucky!

The short  features a fun, gruesome little chase through a park with numbers of grotesque undead folk popping up all over the place! Makes me think PJ could have a could zombie feature up his sleeve....ummmmm....

Please check out the promo here:


To sign up for the zombie run head on over to www.wbkr.com - sounds like great fun to me!!!

Sunday 14 July 2013

Morbid (2013)

Directed by Chuck Conry

Written by Chuck Conry

Stars: Olivia Hiers, Brandon Magouirk, Ryan Grooms, Jessi Grissom, Richard Chilton, Johnathan Cantrell, Kelly Carver, Michael Huffer, Ethan Willis, Kyle Quinn, Taylor Bonner, Maranda Faris, Craig Sanders, Jamie S. Braman, Jackie Offenbacker, Paul Myers, Reva Hagen, Cody Hagen, Laura Tucker, Steven Turner Jr, Devin Walls

Many of you have probably been hearing a lot about independent slasher film Morbid for some time now. If not for the promotion of the film depicting a maniac in a very cool mask going about his business then possibly for the guy behind the film. Chuck Conry, creator of the awesome horror website Zombies Don't Run, has stepped out of his writing shoes and made his own horror movie. Not only is this seriously impressive it's also extremely wonderful to see a fellow horror fan take the steps to create something for himself that is true to his passion. 

So the film itself has a nice simple plot as is the usual with many a slasher movie. Crazed killer stalks small town and a group of obnoxious teens are his prey. However there are many fun things thrown into the mix to spice things up such as a hugely entertaining debate at the start, over horror films that either had me nodding in agreement or yelling at the screen in disagreement. A great way to kick off the movie which also shows the breadth of Chucks knowledge of some of the horror greats and also highlights some of the more frustrating lacks of knowledge which you know will irk the most devoted of horror fan. It also plays with typical horror conventions such as having a young man take a shower at the start as the killer closes in rather than a large breasted female! 

As the film heads towards the end of its short running time (about an hour) the body count ratchets up with some hilarious kills (watch out for that arm stabbing) and our very obvious final girl must try to outwit the masked psychopath! 

Now please bear in mind that this is is very low budget movie. Therefore you can expect some ropy acting, cheap special effects an of course (purposeful mind you) cheesy dialogue. However you can also see that Morbid was made with a great big horror loving heart and I am sure that any fan of independent horror cinema will get a good kick out of it. Good job Chuck.

Please check out Zombies Don't Run to see just how much hard work and support this guy puts into the world of horror film and I will keep you posted on any news I hear regarding when you might be able to catch Morbid for yourself! 

Darkest Night (2012)

(Online Screener Copy)

Directed by Noel Tan

Written by Russ Williams 

Stars: DJ Perry, Anne Gauthier, Issa Litton, Nic Campos

Release: DVD, USA, July 16 2013 Courtesy of Brain Damage Films.
Found footage shocker The Darkest Night takes us on a nightmarish trip to the supernatural in the heart of the Phillipines. 

The film focuses on the creepy disappearance of 17 members of a family and their friends during a Christmas gathering. The film you are watching is a reconstruction of video tapes eventually found years later in the area where the mysterious events occurred which slowly lets viewers in on exactly what horrors transpired.

Young and attractive Susan (Anne Gauthier)  takes her daughter and her finance Ken (DJ Perry) back to her large family in the Phillipines for Christmas and as soon as they arrive strange events begin to take hold such as dead birds falling from the sky and a mysterious blackout.The film eventually builds to a heart pounding conclusion as the forces of darkness claims life after life and viewers are given the full truth as to what really happened to the previously missing people. Some of the horror scenes here are truly grotesque and shocking but I don't want to spoil them ...all I will say is keep an eye on the pregnant lady and an ominous box......

I really enjoyed The Darkest Night. It had plenty of genuinely creepy moments to keep you interested and a thoroughly interesting plot which keeps you guessing. Some of the performances don't always work but our leads Anne and DJ are extremely natural in their roles and have brilliant chemistry between them. The events are being filmed by a young, autistic family member and I don't recall any of those irritating moments in a number of found footage horror films where you just keep thinking DROP THE CAMERA! So definite points there also.

Find out more about the film on Facebook and head on over to Amazon to grab your very own copy now! 

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Blood Slaughter Massacre (2013)

(Online Screener Copy)

Directed by Manny Serrano

Written by Louie Cortes, Manny Serrano

Stars: Matt W. Cody, Danielle Lenore Calhoun, Mike Roche, Carmela Hayslett, Byron Howard

Back when I reviewed the Blood Slaughter Massacre DVD for film-maker Manny Serrano (Kind of a teaser for this feature movie complete with awesome faux trailers of the BSM series) I have been itching to take a look at the finished article. Well, as Manny so kindly promised, I have now had the chance to check out the full length feature of Blood Slaughter Massacre and how impressed am I? Let me count the ways...seriously.

If slasher lovers are not seriously impressed by the opening of this movie then, frankly, there is something wrong. The whole tone is nailed to perfection in terms of a good old fashioned 80s slice and dice picture, excellent score, group of people clearly being stalked by an ominous figure and an eventual massacre (off screen but the after math is damn chilling) where a young Officer Fincher ( Matt W. Cody) and Officer Cobb attempt to apprehend the masked murderer to no avail. I have to say the scene where Officer Fincher slowly climbs the stairs of the house in which the killings have occurred is so reminiscent of Laurie Strode's stair climb to doom in the original Halloween (1979).  Also the acting in the opening also really impressed me. Kayla Ferguson who plays the  character of Sally Lindberg really pulls off a great performance in her short time on screen and it would have been great to see her as a core character throughout the film. Really look forward to seeing her work in other films hopefully in the future!

Anyway....onto the plot of the film. Following the films opening massacre, we are transported ten years in the future where the sleepy town of Havenwood has yet again become the stomping ground to a crazed killer. Officer Fincher, now a Detective, takes it upon himself to rid this town of the maniac once and for all. It may prove to be quite the hard task though as Fincher is doing battle with his own personal demons at the same time and one false move could result in the deaths of even more people - or even his own. As the film progresses and the body count rises, its edge of your seat stuff as you watch to see if Fincher can stop the unfolding horror.

As the film progresses Fincher finds the search for the killer getting ever more desperate as things get horribly personal. The film nicely heads towards a total bloodbath at the home of young Danielle (a good final girl performance by Danielle Lenore) whose friends are unwitting lambs to a very nasty slaughter. History is most certainly repeating its self and only few will live to tell the tale.  

A superior 80s slasher film homage well worth your time. I strongly suggest the purchase of this movie once the DVD is released. Find out more about Mass Grave Pictures and Blood Slaughter Massacre NOW!

Tuesday 9 July 2013

HazMat (2013)

(Online Screener Copy)

Directed by Lou Simon

Written by Lou Simon

Stars: Norbert Velez, Aniela McGuinness, Todd Bruno, Gema Calero, Giordan Diaz, Tom Stedham, Daniela Larez, Reggie Peters, Dennis Spain, Mario Nalini, Massiel Checo and Brandi Rudicil

Big thanks to Lou Simon (Writer and director of the creepy horror film The Awakened) for asking me to check out her new film HazMat. HazMat came completely out of the blue for me so it was a really nice surprise to hear from Lou and get the chance to check it out. One thing I can say off the bat is that the film is a tense, frantic slasher film with a brilliant streak of originality.

The set up goes like that - a trio of friends enlist the help of a prank TV show, Scary Antics (think candid camera with blood, guts and lots of screaming) to try to scare their friend Jacob (Norbert Velez). The main reason behind doing this to Jacob are claimed to be to help him get past his obsession with an old chemical plant that he is convinced is haunted. However it is very clear from the pre-show interviews with the friends setting him up, that there is much more to it than that - jealousies, rivalries and an underlying fear of Jacob are very much apparent and this helps to ensure that we are not dealing with your usual stock slasher movie characters with no identity. As the Scary Antic crew (including the charismatic 'Scary Dave' and put upon Brenda) set up station in the eerie old chemical plant, our trio of conspirators Adam (Reggie Peters) Carla Daniela Larez) and Melanie (Gema Calero) do their part by tricking Jacob to the location.

I don't want to spoil anything about this movie so I will keep the rest of the plot short and sweet. What I will say is that Jacob's so called friends should have really cared enough about him to notice just how disturbed he really is - I would like to have hoped it would have stopped them from going through with the prank! As Jacob realises what is happening his mind has already snapped...and his friends and the film crew are very quickly running out of luck.

I had to email Lou after watching this film to congratulate her. I was drawn straight in by the strong characterisation and enjoyed the teasing build up to the horror elements. Once the horror truly kicks off its pretty much edge of your seat stuff as the characters try to escape Jacobs rage. Cue some excellently executed jumps and some really nasty kills. I thought that Norbert did an excellent job as Jacob particularly in his enraged state and also thought Todd Bruno and Aniela McGuinness as Dave and Brenda had brilliant chemistry together. Brenda's scenes towards the end are also extremely well performed. The bitchy banter between Carla and Melanie is just great and amusing and both actresses did a great job as playing the backstabbing best friends - in fact I wish we could seen a bit more of that along the way.

HazMat is a low budget slasher movie that I believe should be shown in the theatres. Its very well made, belying its budget and is excellently written and acted. It also provides, in spades, those elements horror fans want which is thrills, spills and some outright scares. A great job to all and I cant wait to see what Lou Simon comes up with next, she is one to watch in horror film, trust me!. Please check this film out on Facebook and show some love! 

Friday 5 July 2013

Lucid (2013)

Directed by PJ Woodside

Written by PJ Woodside

Produced by Steve Hudgins and PJ Woodside 

Stars: Brittney Saylor, Bill Johnson, PJ Woodside, Michael Coon, Steve Hudgins, Felicia Stewart, Scott Cummings, Megan Jones, Craig Angel, Jim Foreman

I was so chuffed to receive my DVD copy of the brand new Big Biting Pig Productions movie last week - every summer for the past few years this amazing companies new horror/thriller film has premièred and subsequently been released immediately to DVD. This year was no exception. Sooooooo...what's the new one all about? Well Lucid works excellently as both a thought provoking insight into the more complex side  of sleep and dreaming as well as a shock laden thriller.  Written and directed by PJ Woodside (who also has a meaty role in the film) and co produced by PJ and Steve Hudgins, Lucid marks another win in BBP's growing slate of movies.

Monica (Brittney Saylor) is becoming increasingly distressed by her horrifying nightmares. As the problem continues to escalate Monica fears that it could end her relationship with Kevin (Michael Coon) not least because she fears she may end up killing him in her sleep! Yes, the problem is THAT bad. 

Clearly poor Monica needs some real help and it seems her therapist Faith (a scene stealing performance by PJ Woodside herself) isn't doing much to provide Monica with the support she needs. After hearing about a  programme ran by a famous sleep therapist (Scott Cummings) Monica becomes ever more determined to seek the help she needs. However Monica is going down a dark path and as the intensity of her dreams grow, the lives of those closest to her are placed in danger. 

I really enjoyed Lucid with its many twists and turns and ominous plot. You are never quite sure where the film is going to take you and whether you are witnessing a real event or one of Monica's many disturbing dreams. I also felt that it built to a fantastic climax and I for one was on the edge of my seat, eager to know how it would all end. 

The movie had some great performances with Brittney Saylor as the haunted Monica and PJ Woodside as the acerbic and untrustworthy Faith. Special props to PJ for releasing her inner demon for this role and playing a VERY different character to any I have seen her play before. I think the vivacious red hair also helped - just saying. 

Anothrr great film from this fantastic independent company. I would rank Lucid as an absolute must see and you can find out more about it HERE

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger (2011)

Directed by Brad Mills

Written by Brad Mills

Produced by Brad Mills, Jacquelyn Mills and Ryan Spence

Stars: Michael G. MacDonald, Joshua Demeyre, Bhreagh LaFitte, Colleen Macisaac, Stefanie Peters, Ricky Newtown, Samuel MacDonald Lemoine, Jeannine McLean, Gabrial House.

Release: Official DVD available from Black Fawn Distribution right HERE.

Now here's a movie that I have wanted to see since I first heard about it! Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger is a good ole' fashioned slasher flick right out of the 1980's and if the title doesn't spell it out to you then yes, its about a nutzoid Forest Ranger who hates people intruding in his woods.

The overall plot sees a group of stock characters (serious brunette, airhead blonde, joker and jock) head off for a weekend away. Running into car trouble they seek refuge in a nearby house and eventually run into a another group of teens who practically mirror them (a great touch). Soon, our resident crazy Ranger begins to take them out in all manner of mean spirited ways and as the group gets smaller and smaller you are left wondering who may survive - and it may not be at all who you think!

I know that the legendary Psycho Cop (1988) was a large influence on this movie and my word can you tell! I cant say enough how impressed I am (as a real fan of good old Officer Vickers) at how they NAILED the tone. Everything is just spot on, from the ominous music signalling the Forest Rangers arrival/stalking of victims, the cheese filled dialogue that  makes our hapless teens sound like programmed robots rather than human beings, to the crazy one liners spewed out by our killer as he merrily dispatches his victims. Its just perfect, I sat and there and just thought, 'this is like watching Psycho Cop for the first time!'. Maybe this will be something that puts some people off but if you just love a good old cheesy slasher film or you likewise cant help but love Psycho Cop, flaws and all, you will LOVE this movie. In fact its incredibly difficult to be critical of the bad acting and poor dialogue because well....that's kind of the point!

I had a a great time watching this movie, its hilarious, has some good gore and offbeat kills and the Forest Ranger is just a brilliant parody of some of the pun filled slasher greats of the 80s (Freddy, Officer Vickers, Angela Baker in her older years  etc). Looking very much forward to further work from Brad Mills and co in the future!

Check out the movies official facebook page HERE and be sure to head over to Black Fawn Distributions website to grab yourself a copy! Who doesn't want a DVD with that fantastically old school slasher art on their shelves!?

Saturday 29 June 2013

Sledge (2013)

(Online Screener Copy)

Directed by John B Sovie II and Kristian Hanson

Written by Kristian Hanson

Stars: Dustin Bowman, Stephanie Tupper, Russ Matoes, Travis Hanson, Desiree Holmes, Kristian Hanson, Tino Faygo, Mary Ann Hanson,  Fernanda Lins Hanson

A huge shout out to writer and director Kristian Hanson for sending me an online screener of his campy slasher flick Sledge! In essence Sledge is a back to the basics, body count in the woods horror film, however it has does have some differences which add to its charm.

One of these differences include the way in which the carnage is presented. A young lonely teenager sits at home on a weekend evening watching a late night horror show which screens B movies. No prizes for guessing which movie is going to be aired for our female friend as both she and us the audience are transported into the tale of Sledge.

The core of the film then centres on a group of camping friends who have quite obviously chosen the wrong woods! It transpires that a crazed lunatic named Adam Lynch stalks these parts and sadly for these hapless teens he is one CRUEL motherfucker! This leads me onto one of the other key differences that this movie has going for it. Adam Lynch, I mean seriously...the mean spirited comments this lunatic makes while sending his victims to an early grave...they makes Panela Springsteens 'Angela Baker' seem like a sweetie!! Yes you read that correctly - our masked killer talks! It's a nice touch that I really appreciated about Sledge even if, as a die hard horror fan, I was shocked at how mean this dude was. Seriously though, what did I expect from a guy who likes to pummel his prey with a walloping great sledgehammer!?

This nicely leads me to the kills, which is always a key feature in a slasher movie right? Well this film delivers brutal bashings, smashings, stabbings and impalements without batting an eyelid. The gore effects are really well handled with zero CGI and, as with most horror films, this certainly works in its favour. Props to the special effects guys on this one - really great work. 

I also really enjoyed the directing style in the film. There were some rather surreal shots which made me think of many a David Lynch film when watching this, particularly in the long car journey scene at the start. 

My only real criticism is that, while the actors all did a great job, there were a few scenes where the dialogue between the friends just fell slightly flat. This isn't indicitive of the whole movie though so I'm not panning the performances of the actors as a whole. 

I would love to see more from Kristian Hanson, John B Sovie II and co. With Sledge they have made a fun, sometimes funny, gruesome little homage to the slasher greats and I am positive that this will find a very happy audience on its release. If it doesn't I am sure Adam Lynch will be cracking some skulls! Head on over to the official Sledge Facebook page and find out more! 

Thursday 20 June 2013


Ahhh...I love this time of year. The sun is (not) shining, its muggy outside and in, and life is busier than ever. Still all those excellent things aside it also means its premiere time for the next Big Biting Pig Productions movie. The formidable force of Steve Hudgins and PJ Woodside thid time bring us, the thriller Lucid, a creepy looking tale featuring a young woman who consults a famous sleep therapist due to her disturbing dreams and then the trouble really begins.....

Read on below for the movies official press release and if you are in the area you MUST go and see this movie as these guys never disappoint!

LUCID - Trailers & Press Release from Big Biting Pig Productions

MOVE OVER WES CRAVEN, there's a new nightmare in town! The Award Winning Big Biting Pig Productions is pleased to announce the release of their latest film LUCID, written and directed by PJ Woodside, on June 21st, 2013.

Two very exciting reasons to see LUCID:

LUCID features actor Bill Johnson, who played "Leatherface" in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Victor Miller, author of the original Friday the 13th screenplay, says of the movie that: "After seeing 'Lucid' you'll never sleep the same again."

The World Premiere of LUCID will take place on June 21st, 2013, at the Ballard Convention Center in Madisonville, KY.

DOORS OPEN AT 6:00pm Central Time for VIP Ticket Holders.
DOORS OPEN AT 7:30pm for GENERAL Ticket Holders.
The movie starts at 8:30 p.m. Central Time. TICKET PRICES:
VIP Tickets: $20 (Price includes a FREE Lucid DVD)
GENERAL Tickets: $15 (Price includes a FREE Lucid DVD)

ADVANCED TICKETS ON SALE NOW: http://www.bigbitingpigproductions.com/LucidTickets.html

More information about the World Premiere of LUCID & Big Biting Pig Productions can be found at the LUCID web page: http://www.bigbitingpigproductions.com/lucid.html

View the two LUCID trailers here:


Please contact PJ Woodside (pj.woodside@gmail.com) or Steve Hudgins (admin@bigbitingpigproductions.com) for more information!

Friday 24 May 2013

The Crann Doll (2013) (Short)

(Screener Copy)

Directed by J. Michael Whalen

Written by J. Michael Whalen

Stars: John C. Bailey, Teena Byrd, Sarah Lomke, Nicholas Wagner.

Many thanks to director J.Michael Whalen for sending me a DVD copy of his short horror film The Crann Doll. The film will soon part of the holiday themed horror anthology - MERRY F@#KING CHRISTMAS (awesome name) and I was only too delighted to check the film out, particularly after seeing a few stills of the titular doll, which looks a bit like a murderous rabbit!

Viewers who like gore and action may not be too impressed with The Crann Doll and I don't mean this in a negative way against the film its just a fact - the film relies on a build up to an eerie final shot where the viewer is left wondering what may happen next. Very much to its the credit the film succeeds in the build up due to interesting characters and an ominous atmosphere.

So the plot - disgustingly rude and mean spirited Allen (John C. Bailey) is stopped by a a young couple out on the road, Bedillia and Alosious Crann (Sarah Lomke and Nicholas Wagner  who are desperate for help for their young baby. Allen is not in the helpful mood it would be fair to say and gives Alosious a really hard time and demands payment of some kind to in order for him to agree to take the pair and sick child into town. After a painful exchange between the two, Allen makes it clear he doesn't trust the pair and isn't prepared to help and drives off...however this then causes an even more horrific tragedy to befall the young Crann child, devastating the young parents. Allen of course drives off.

Fast forward three months and Allen is at home in the company of drugs and a prostitute (Teena Byrd) ready  to live it up. Being Christmas and the time for giving Allen is surprised to find a mystery package turn up at him apartment. The gift turns out to be the Crann Doll of the title, a mean looking little bugger and sadly for Allen a gift from the Crann couple from months prior....

Allen's female company for the evening decides to scarper when she realises who the gift is from - it seems the Crann family are very dangerous and certainly not to be messed with. Considering what Allen did to them.... well.......

As it said before there is not much in the way of action in this short, not where pay off is concerned anyway. The ending is creepy and its made quite clear that our unlovable lead Allen is in big trouble. I would love to see a feature film or maybe an extended short continuing the story of the Crann Doll as there is huge potential here for a good, scary killer toy film.

The performances were really good also with John C. Bailey the obvious stand out as the despicable Allen - John is great to watch as one of horror films most unsympathetic and cruel men, but his character also makes you want to reach into the TV and throttle him.

I am most certainly eager to see more of J. Michael Whalen's work and am also really looking forward to watching this film again as part of the full anthology that it will form part of!

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Chill (2012)

(Screener Copy)

Directed by: Noelle Bye and Meredith Holland

Written by: Meredith Holland (additional writing by Noelle Bye and Roger Conners)

Produced by Noelle Bye, Roger Conners and Meredith Holland

Stars: Roger Conners, Brad Arner, Angelia DeLuca, Kelly Rogers, David Gilmore, Erinn Bakun, DJ Remark, Mike Kafury, Jason Orr, Wednesday Vinson, Ash Katt with Bella Sin, Rick Montgomery Jr, Janine Sarnowski.

I was SO excited and pleased to be given the chance to screen and review the final cut of upcoming horror film Chill. This is following my review of the one hour rough cut that I had the opportunity to check out earlier this year.

I guess the main question is did the movie as a whole live up to that great first hour? Well that would be a resounding YES!  In actual fact the second half of Chill builds on the mystery and suspense racheted up in the first hour (not to mention great character development) into a gory, action packed slasher fest. Not to say it doesn't prolong the overall mystery until the very end as it absolutely does. In fact the film does such a good job at churning out the twists, turns and surprises that I was regularly kept on my toes. There was one thing I thought I had figured out from the previous cut and I was actually right...but then there was so much else I didn't expect or see coming and I really do give the guys behind Chill their due for this.

As mentioned in the previous review the plot centres on college student Jared (Brad Arner) who coerces his best pal Kyle (Co writer and producer Roger Conners) into helping him stage a web broadcasted game called Chill. The game is an interactive murder mystery which is notorious (and banned) on campus due to the unsolved killings of a group of students playing the same game years before. As Jared sets up his 'Chill revival', his 'cast' assemble, ready to play the game - unfortunately so does a mysterious killer, intent on making bloody history repeat itself.

I cant say enough about some of the great acting and brilliant characters in Chill. In fact this time around I really fell in love with the character of Maddison (Angelia DeLuca). She is just a great, fun character with layers to her personality which I really appreciated. I spent a great deal of the film enjoying her sarcastic comments and slightly mean spirited sense of humour to then be rooting for her to escape the killers grasp when she proved herself to be a caring human being. Go Maddie.  Brad Arner as Jared and Roger Conners as Kyle were great as the sparring best friends and many of their spats are just hilarious. Roger Conners really pulls out some fighting spirit as the film spins towards it dark finale. I LOVED 'Chi Chi' (Bella Sin) and also the journalist Kelly Masters character (Erinn Bakun).

The film is especially well made for an indie production. The cinematography is particularly great and this is demonstrated very well when the opening credits start to roll and we follow Kyles journey from the college to a local library. I cant tell you how impressed I was with the writing also - great one liners, great humour and perfect interactions between the varying personalities locked together in what will soon become a fight for survival. 

A well written, acted and produced horror mystery which I can promise will keep you on your toes throughout -you really need to keep up to date on the progress of Chill's release. Here is a link to the official Facebook page - get liking the page and stay up to date! When your chance comes to see the film - TAKE IT.