Synopsis : An angel with a musical gift from the gods falls for a mortal woman. Left in limbo on earth, Will A. Is half angel and all rockstar. Doomed to walk alone each night after performing as the lead singer in the biggest rock band in the world, until he meets a young mortal woman that speaks to his soul. Is she the one that just might change everything?
Looks like Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and NetherRealm Studios aren’t done throwing awesome new characters into Mortal Kombat X. I’ll admit to be more of Tekkan fan than Mortal Kombat but with Leatherface, Xenomorph, Predator and Jason Voorhees I’m beginning to feel a need to play this game.
Check out the new DLC Trailer, it’s pretty badass.
Zombie comedies are certainly a popular genre nowadays and this one looks like a fine addition.
Synopsis: Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.
Followers of Japanese horror, aka J-Horror, in both literary and film media are well-versed in the genre trope more-or-less made famous by Koji Suzuki’s novel, The Ring. Many sequels, spin-offs, and copycats have been generated in both Japan and the US. The ghostly, and deadly Samara, with her long, black hair and dirty white nightgown, has become a horror icon. Similarly, the Japanese manga created by Tsugumi Ohba, Death Note, has spawned an anime TV series, two live-action films to date, and numerous imitators. It’s therefore forgivable to brush off Rin Chupeco’s 2014 debut novel, The Girl from the Well, as just another in a long line of followers seeking to cash in on the popularity of the above-mentioned classics. But that would be an error in judgment.
Make no mistake – there is definitely a strong resonance to both benchmark creations. However, Chupeco offers a fresh interpretation that incorporates revenge from the grave, spiritual possession, and cultural history into the lives of a very well-drawn set of characters. The result is a story that is absolutely chilling in some scenes, very violent in others, but always stressing the loneliness and isolation of the outsider along with deep, familial love.
Okiku, the girl from the well, was murdered 300 years ago. She is the most dangerous and horrific of ghosts: the mobile one, capable of moving across the world, reaching into our reality to exact a specific form of revenge associated with her death. She manifests in hideous ways – hanging from the ceiling, standing silently in a corner – and some special people, mainly children and young adults, can see her. One special child is fifteen-year-old Tarquin, covered in tattoos from his institutionalized Japanese mother at a very early age, and subject to attempted control by a very evil spirit. Tarquin, along with his older cousin, Callie, make the acquaintance of Okiku when Tarquin is abducted by a murderous pedophile. To say more would spoil the many genre pleasures found in this book.
The novel is not perfect by any means. The pace of the story is uneven, beginning fast and furiously, then slowing down through a process of info dump through lengthy dialog in the final third, before erupting once again in a nicely-realized and vicious battle. The story seems written for an eventual film franchise, with a sequel, The Suffering, released in August of this year. Regardless of motivation, the author’s prose is assured, precise and quite descriptive. Characterizations, including Okiku, are well-structured. While the book appears to be targeted for the YA market, it is a treat for adults as well. Emulation of classic tropes doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Rate it four out of five stars. Chupeco is an author to watch.
Written and directed by Eli Morgan Gesner and staring Johnny Messner (Tears of the Sun, G.I. Joe Renegades), Michael Gill (House of Cards, Mr. Robot) and John Abrahams (Scary Movie, They), Condemned looks like it might prove to be the non-handcam version of Rec/Quarentine we’ve been wanting to see.
Synopsis: Fed up with her parents’ bickering, poor-little-rich-girl Maya (Dylan Penn) moves in with her boyfriend who is squatting in an old, condemned building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. With neighbors that are meth heads, junkies and degenerates, this depraved hell hole is even more toxic than it appears: After a virus born from their combined noxious waste and garbage infects the building’s residents, one by one, they succumb to a terrifying pathogen that turns them into bloodthirsty, rampaging killers and transforms their building into a savage slaughterhouse.
Anthony Stabley’s Everlasting will have its World Premiere in London at the Crystal Palace International Film Festival on Nov. 11. The romance-thriller follows a HS Student (Adam David) as he journeys from Colorado to L.A. in order to find the truth behind the murder of his girlfriend (Valentina de Angelis).
Everlasting features a stellar cast, which includes SAG Award Winner Elisabeth Rohm (American Hustle), Pat Healy (Cheap Thrills), Michael Massee (Seven), Robert LaSardo (Nip / Tuck) and Bai Ling (The Crow).
Songs by Crystal Castles, Cold Cave and L.A. Vampires accent a strong original score composed by Scott Gordon, David Levita of Criminal Minds fame.
Jerry Smith (Icons of Fright) praised Everlasting as… “An honest and heartfelt look at young love, and the darkness that engulfs people at time. It’s a film that stays with you long after it’s over.”
Writer-Director Anthony Stabley, an Art Director for many years, initiated the project in 2011 with the help of Indie Producer / Casting Director Shannon Makhanian and long time collaborator Candi Guterres. “It’s been a long journey, but we are quite thrilled to be premiering in London. For our wonderful cast and the entire Everlasting team here in Los Angeles, this is greatly appreciated,” expressed Stabley.
Jessy Williams (Scream Magazine UK) applauded Everlasting and remarked… “Films like this are far and few between, and it’s refreshing to watch something so genuinely poignant and effective.”
The Crystal Palace International Film Festival, known as the UK’s Coolest film event, runs from Nov. 6 – 28th. For more info visit.. CPIFF
- Cast: Valentina de Angelis, Adam David, Elisabeth Rohm, Michael Massee, Robert LaSardo, Bai Ling, Molly Tarlov, Guinevere Turner, Yareli Arizmendi, Shayla Beesley, Cortney Palm, Kristina Ellery, Bernardo Pena, Mark Sherman.
- Writer-Director: Anthony StableyProducers: Shannon Makhanian, Anthony Stabley, Super Grande Films
- Executive Producers: Penny and David Drucker, Steven Schalk, Barbara and Scott Gordon, Candi Guterres
Associate Producer: Debra Trevino
- Cinematographer: Jon Bickford
Production Design: Candi Guterres
Editors: Bryan Colvin, Brad McLaughlin
Costumes: Alycia Belle
- Sound Mixer: Dana Ferguson
Composers: Scott Gordon, David Levita
A backwoods family of hillbillies, plagued with a mysterious zombie curse, are about to become stars thanks to Barnaby Hunt, the host of Horror Hunts in this “funny take on the zombie apocalypse” (Legless Corpse).
2001 Maniacs meets Tucker and Dale Vs Evil in Jimmy Lee Combs’s “wonderfully offensive showcase of grotesquely kooky characters and inventive low-budget effects” (Rue Morgue).
Official Synopsis : A disturbing mystery lurks on an old backwoods farm brought to new light when a traveling camera team arrives… seeking the one and only Hans Crippleton.
Scripted by Kevon Ward. Starring Andy Hankins, Lyle DeRose (the upcoming The Magnificent Seven) and Emma Moody.
Available November 17 everywhere from Uncork’d Entertainment.
A family who move into a remote millhouse in Ireland find themselves in a fight for survival with demonic creatures living in the woods.
Sounds like a cross between The New Daughter and The Decent. Either way this one looks like it’s going to be good and if you weren’t aware… writer/director Corin Hardy has been signed on to bring us the reboot of The Crow.
The Hallow is currently available on Amazon Instant Video. Click the Lobby Card below for more info.
There is an understandable reluctance to give much print space to low-budget genre films, mainly due to the similarity of subject matter that inundates various forms of visual media. Zombies, vampires, slasher/torture porn, and found footage evil are themes that dominate the market, and act to dull viewer sensibilities to the point where new titles are generally avoided rather than sampled. The category dealing with large monsters/critters is particularly susceptible to cut-and-paste storylines using bad CGI (examples abound, but for the sake of verisimilitude, see any title involving a sharktopus, or a whalewolf, or a megapirahna). It takes a bit of skill, but mostly just dumb luck, to find a film of this type that makes even a token attempt to present a decent screenplay, good acting, competent directing, and professional production values. Fortunately, a new German-US film, Stung, which just popped up on Netflix streaming along with DVD and Blu-ray release, meets most of those criteria.
Stung grabbed this viewer immediately with a nicely-shot pre-credit scene that follows a bumblebee as it meanders lazily over a beautiful, bucolic countryside. Ho-hum, you say, another killer bee film. Nope. Following the bee is a sinister black insect that attacks its prey in mid-air, driving both to the ground, where a nasty, retractable stinger dispatches the peaceful bumble. We are talking killer wasps here. But it gets even better. There are BIG killer wasps in the immediate future.
The single setting for the film is an isolated summer mansion where the wealthy owners are throwing an outdoor celebration of… something or other. This kind of detail is really unimportant in an extremely simple story. Our protagonists are Julia and Paul, two young entrepreneurs who are struggling to keep her catering business afloat. Julia, in a fine, emotive performance by Jessica Cook in her first feature film, is a focused, frightened young woman who wants to make a good impression on her customers, and is oblivious to her mumbling, moon-struck helper/bartender Paul, played by veteran actor Matt O’Leary (Frailty, 2001; Brick, 2005). They arrive at the mansion, begin the outdoor setup, and a horde of wasps erupt from an underground nest. Chaos ensues. But the extra added attraction is that the wasps lay eggs in their hosts that grow into gigantic flying monsters complete with host characteristics. Thus, human wasps, dog wasps, and even bovine wasps. The beasties are presented in quite competent CGI forms, mostly when flying, and in excellent practical animatronics when on the ground. And that is the entire 82-minute (plus credits) film. It ain’t major award material by any means, but neither is it remotely akin to a sharktopus.
What is most interesting to this reviewer, however, is that Stung is the offspring of rookies. Adam Aresty’s script is his first screen credit; while the story is linear and simplistic, the dialog is sharp, occasionally funny, and surprisingly emotional. Director Benni Diez does a very competent job in his first feature film. The fine photography and scene composition by Stephen Burchardt is the sophomore effort after a TV movie (sf/thriller Killing All the Flies, 2013). Acting is confined to four major characters, all of whom are fine to acceptable. And it appeared to this reviewer that the director allowed some ad-libbing by O’Leary and supporting cast member Lance Henriksen (genre credits too numerous to mention).
As a complete package, Stung turned out to be a very entertaining little genre film, never pretending to be something it’s not. The effort by all of the creative people listed above is greatly appreciated by those of us who fondly remember the low-budget, black-and-white Big Bug films of yesteryear. There is still some life in this old trope.
Several of the black-and-white Big Critter films of the 1950s have received recent blu-ray releases that may or may not be a marked improvement on the original print but certainly cost more than a standard DVD release. Titles include, but are not limited to, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Them!, and this particular little gem starring a beefy former western star, Tim Holt, along with veteran actors Audrey Dalton and Hans Conried (of the Fractured Flickers segment of Rocky and Bullwinkle TV series).
Rather than true horror, this film should be classified as science fiction since it deals with the tried-and-true 50s theme of genetic mutation from radioactive material. In this case, the beastie(s) in question are mutated molluscs living in the Salton Sea. Although the title is more than a little hyperbolic (original title, The Kraken, was shelved), the storyline offers the possibility of a wide-spread infestation of the monsters through prolific egg-laying coupled with the inability of human ingenuity to come up with a way to contain them.
The movie benefits from a number of positive aspects. The screenplay is written by David Duncan, who went on to write scripts for big-budget productions such as The Time Machine (1960), Fantastic Voyage (1966), and many TV series. The actors take their roles quite seriously and professionally. The location filming at Catalina Island, the Salton Sea, and other California sites features crisp, clear cinematography. And the special effects are practical, including a life-sized monster that towers over its human prey.
The quality of this first blu-ray release is not much better than other standard DVD recordings, if at all. Feature-wise, the disk is almost bare-bones, but does contain an informative commentary track by genre film historian, Tom Weaver. The age of the film (and others) does nothing to reduce the price point. It’s ultimately up to the viewer/collector to determine if this purchase is necessary. But the movie itself is worth collecting in any format. It’s one of the best of its kind.