Category Archives: American Cinema

River City Heroes: Ascendance

Title

*FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION*

From writer/directors Jeremy Scoggins and Matthew Hibbs and Executive Producer P.J. Starks (Volumes of Blood) comes the next generation of super heroes.

River City Heroes 3

The Trio: Knightmare, Dreamcatcher, and Anarchy-X, three ordinary people, called upon to be the vigilante heroes of a city wrought with dark secrets. Plagued with their own personal demons, they bring it upon themselves to become the saviors in a thankless city. Under the watchful eye of their mentor Chronos, who harbors a past of darkness himself, the Trio wages a war on the villains of the city. The sadistic drug lord Animus holds grip on the underworld, while Persephone Masters, a crafty and powerful politician, sits on high in the city and hires the cold and calculating assassin, Strife, to eliminate anyone who stands in her way. The villains play River City like their own personal chess game with the veiled and mysterious Cryofire corporate power quietly plotting all the moves. With the Trio holding on to what justice there is left in the city, they are faced with unexpected challenges both within themselves and throughout the streets as they set about hunting down the men and women who have corrupted their city.

River City Heroes 1

In a city where crime seeps from its pores, the victims must become the answer to their own prayers.

River City Heroes 2

Production Company: Hive Mind Studios

Starring: Jeremy Scoggins, Louisa Torres, Derreck Fraser, Markus Porter, Kevin Arnold, Jeremiah Hinson, Jaron Scoggins.

You too can help stop evil by contributing to the cause!

April Rogue is Here!

ROGUE

The latest issue of Rogue Cinema is here and you KNOW you’re dying to read it…so what are you waiting for? An engraved invitation?? Sorry, I don’t have any of those. I can give you a preview of the issue though! Inside this month, you’ll find great articles on awesome films like these (and TONS more)!

Blood

Tiki War

Volumes of Blood Premiere – Friday the 13th (cue scary music!!!)

Awhile back I did an interview with my friend P.j. about his upcoming horror anthology, Volumes of Blood, and lo and behold the premiere is finally upon us! I, for one, am super excited about this (even if I can’t go to the premiere because distance). I think the anthology is going to be pretty cool though and I’m excited to see it when it gets a wider release. P.j. sent me this teaser short to give you guys a taste of what’s to come, so enjoy!

“Kevin Smith has always been a huge inspiration for me, so I made the decision to create my own universe around Volumes of Blood. This is just the first online short in that mission. The Preylude shows you how one of the characters from the film gets into the situation we find her in, in the film. There’s no real pay off, because the conclusion follows through in the motion picture that releases on Friday the 13th this month at the Owensboro Convention Center. Tickets are only $5 and all proceeds go to a local charity. Doors open at 7 pm. It’s gonna be a great time for a good cause.” ~P.j. Starks

If you want to learn more, check out the Volumes of Blood Facebook page!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

Thankskilling

Today’s the day of turkey and gratefulness and to combine these two things, I’m sharing one of my favorite Thanksgiving movies – Thankskilling!! There’s nothing better than a homicidal turkey and topless Pilgrims on Thanksgiving, so I suggest you give Thankskilling a view after you’ve killed your turkey dinner. Heh. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

Berenice

creepers450theatrical2

If you’ve been a reader of this site for awhile, then there are at least three things you know about me: 1) I love horror 2) I’m a pretty big and pretty dedicated fan of Jeremiah Kipp’s work and 3) I am a fan of Edgar Allan Poe.  At least, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my love of Poe before (my memory is just the worst…). I started reading dear old Poe when I was 8 (not sure why my parents allowed that but hey, it gave me my first foray into horror lit and into the horror genre itself!) and “The Cask of Amontillado” was always my favorite. Something about being walled up for eternity just totally creeped me out (that 8 year old imagination probably came into wicked play there…).  My friend, Jeremiah, has taken one of Poe’s short stories “Berenice” and turned into an deliciously creepy short film. It’s his little piece of the upcoming horror anthology Creepers, debuting on Blu-ray and VOD on October 7.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, as I was (and thank goodness I didn’t read this one as a child, is all I gotta say), there once was a boy named Edward who had a lovely cousin named Berenice (names updated for our modern audience) who came to live with him and his parents. Edward (Thomas Mendolia) is a bit awkward and obsessive compulsive. He has to turn lamps on a certain number of times and tinkers with small mechanical parts at his desk, alone in his room. Social he is not. Then along comes Berenice (Cheryl Koski) who is everything Edward is not – sociable, graceful, roaming carelessly through life. Except there’s a catch. Isn’t there always? Berenice is ill, dreadfully ill, with a mysterious malaise that we, at best, know causes seizures. And then there’s Edward’s mother (Susan Adriensen), who while being a bit of a stiff actress, manages to be absolutely terrifying. I’ve no idea if she’s in love with her son or just extremely overprotective and overpowering but I would not cross that woman. Edward’s father (Bob Socci) is rather unassuming, although he too comes off as a bit stiff. Edward is eventually told that he must be the one to take care of Berenice as she worsens, which he seems to be fine with as he’s seemingly…charmed by her, shall we say? And from there, I’ll let you either watch the film or go hunt down the story because what happens next is at times gruesome and then creepy.

See what I meant about gruesome? ;)

See what I meant about gruesome? ;)

Is the film good? You betcha. Thomas and Cheryl both embody their characters in such a way that it’s almost painful to watch – which in this particular story is a good thing.  I’m far from being squeamish but there were a couple of scenes here that made me squirm just a bit (although it has been a rather long time since I’ve watched anything other than a tv show binge on Netflix…maybe that’s why…). And the ending? It’s not even the ending actually; it’s just the last final shot that got me. *shudders* Pure cinematic horror goodness right there.

If you love Poe, if you’ve liked my reviews of Jeremiah’s other works, if you just like short horror films done well and if you like horror anthologies (cause I hear the other parts are pretty kickawesome as well!), then check out “Berenice” and Creepers on October 7th!

 

A Mind Beside Itself

Some of you are familiar with P.j. Starks, some of you are not.  But either way, he’s a pretty cool guy who does a lot of fairly cool stuff when it comes to movies.  And he just released one of his films online, finally, for the entire world to see.  I haven’t had a chance to watch this one yet but hope to soon.  It’s only 19 minutes or so, so head on over and check it out!

 

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

all the boys love mandy lane

Whoo boy, you guys were right about All The Boys Love Mandy Lane!  I LOVED this movie!  So fun and such a trip.  I think I’m probably the last one out of everybody to see this one but maybe someone out there still hasn’t seen it and if not, then you definitely need to, got it?  ;)

Meet Mandy Lane.  Ain't she just gorgeous??

Meet Mandy Lane. Ain’t she just gorgeous??

It’s a pretty simple concept.  Mandy Lane gets particularly hot over a summer in high school and all the boys are falling all over her.  Mandy however is quiet and shy and bff’s with a guy who’s a bit of an outsider and gets to be even more of an outsider when he pulls a prank at a pool party that leaves a boy dead.  (He has the boy jump off a roof, even though the guy is wayyyy too drunk, to impress Mandy Lane).  Fast forward a bit in time and Mandy is still quiet and shy but no longer friends with Outcast Boy.  She’s now friends with the popular crowd.  She and a couple of other girls are invited to a weekend at Stoner Dude’s ranch and Mandy talks her aunt into letting her go.  Once they get there it’s all drugs, sex, and rock’n’roll until people start dying one by one.  But who’s killing them off?  And why?

Run, Mandy, Run!

Run, Mandy, Run!

For a slasher film, this one is aces.  Amber Heard is gorgeous and perfect as Mandy Lane and every one plays their part here well.  The cinematography is aces too.  Really, I have no complaints.  This is like a perfect slasher flick.  It’s fun, it’s enjoyable, it’s a heck of a thrill ride.  I didn’t see the ending coming till the very last second and was surprised when it came.  It’s rare these days that a movie can do that.  So check it out.  I promise you won’t regret it!

Sexy Evil Genius

sexy evil genius

Omg, why was Sexy Evil Genius so boring????  This had a really good cast – Michelle Trachtenberg, Seth Green, Anthony Michael Hall, William Baldwin, Harold Perrineau.  I mean, that’s a pretty darn good cast, right?  I love Michelle ever since “Buffy” and c’mon, who doesn’t enjoy Seth Green??  (Okay, to be fair, some people may not).  But he’s playing the straight man here and it’s awesome to watch.  In fact, everyone does a great job in this movie.  Even William Baldwin doesn’t suck.  But my gods, was it a boring movie.

The best two in the movie though.

The best two in the movie though.

So the gist is that Nikki (Katee Sackhoff, who I am NOT familiar with) gathers three of her ex-lovers (Seth, Michelle and Harold) to meet with her and her new fiance (William).  But she can’t just have a big group meeting and be straight about it.  We find out over the course of the film that Nikki is either a really free spirit or one straight up psychotic bitch (my vote goes to psychotic bitch btw) so the whole evening is one big mind fuck.  And the whole movie just spins in circles where you keep thinking one thing will happen but then it never does.  And the whole movie is set in a bar and the action rarely leaves the one table the characters are at.  Normally, I LOVE talky movies like this but this one I just could not get into.

So really that sums it up – great cast, terrible plot, great acting, very talky with no action which is normally a plus – I should’ve loved this thing…*sighs*

Blast Vegas

Blast Vegas

Oh SyFy, are there even words to describe how much I adore your offerings?  I’m not sure I can find just the right words to even begin to proclaim my love of your silly so silly and oh so fun movies.  The latest being Blast Vegas, of course.  *sighs*  Such movie perfection.  Such movie actors – Frankie Muniz (so THIS is where he went off to!) and Barry Bostwick (man, do I ever love you, Barry!!).  Just *sighs*.

Seriously, though this movie is ALL sorts of cray cray fun!  This group of college kids goes to Las Vegas on spring break, dragging along one Frankie Muniz and one Andrew Lawrence (and oh, did he ever get that cutie gene like his bros did!).  Frankie’s all “I don’t want to be here” and “Who puts ketchup on a hot dog??” (is that a weird thing?  I don’t eat hot dogs but I thought people DID put ketchup on them?).  Meanwhile, they meet a group of girls including one Olive who was also dragged along and would rather be studying ancient history than partying.  She and Frankie meet and it’s almost love at first sight.  *le sigh*

Frankie and Olive

Frankie and Olive

And then you have Barry Bostwick as the gin loving, piano playing Vegas singer whose been around the block more than a few times.

Barry, Frankie and Gin

Barry, Frankie and Gin

But really our story starts with Phil, the SendEx guy who gets robbed and pistol whipped at the very beginning of the movie by two guys who want a precious piece of cargo he’s carting to one casino – an ancient sword.  The robbing doesn’t go very well as once the pair of baddies start driving away, a dust storm tears them to pieces then dumps the sword right back by pistol whipped Phil, who apparently goes ahead and delivers it because next  time we see it, it’s in said casino.  Damn, those SendEx guys are good!  Robbed, pistol whipped and you STILL manage to get your delivery in on time??

Next, comes our spring breakers and boys being boys, Andrew Lawrence and the gang, minus Frankie steal the sword and go stick it in the dirt out back.  Now, did I mention this sword has an Egyptian curse attached to it??  But then, don’t they all?  Anywho, sword in dirt, sword not come out of dirt, boys go back to partying.  Boys not too bright.

What follows is an epic dust storm – actually a snakedustnado (a dust tornado made up of dust snakes) that wreaks havoc on Las Vegas while people die left and right and our spring breakers plus Barry look on in despair…will our gang survive?  Will they be able to break the curse?  Is it really  and truly up to Frankie Muniz from “Malcolm in the Middle” to save the day???

Well, boys and girls, I guess you’ll just have to watch and see for yourself the epicness that is “Blast Vegas”!  ;)

Bunni

bunni

I have to admit to being a fan of this offering from Red Serial Films and Daniel Benedict.  It’s def got an old school slasher feel to it with just the right amount of cheesy goodness to make it pretty damn fun for the whole family.  Okay, well, not the whole family.  Definitely don’t show this one to the kiddos!

Our story starts with an abused woman fighting with her husband and the whole thing just starts with a BAM! (picture that in comic book style writing, k?).  Then we move on to a bunch of college age kids out at a bar for Halloween – we’ve got Dickface (whom I wanted to punch in the balls), his girlfriend, Sweetie and then Honeybee and her boyfriend, Ninja Turtle.  No, of course those aren’t their real names in the film but we know how I like to name characters and make them my own. ;)

Honeybee and Ninja Turtle are pretty norms and a cute little couple.  Dickface is cheating on his girlfriend and majorly abusive towards her verbally.  Again, did I mention the ball punching I wanted to do?  Anywho, they decide to leave the bar and on the way home stumble across this old boarded up former sex shop so of COURSE they just have to break in and see what it’s all about.  Can’t blame them, I would’ve done the same thing.

HoneyBee and Ninja Turtle

Honeybee and Ninja Turtle

Dickface drags Sweetie off so she can give him a bj while Honeybee and Ninja Turtle explore the rest of the place.  And that is when the slasher fun begins.  I am happy to report that Dickface is the first to die in an EPIC way that includes…well, you just have to see it.   Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.  (Seriously, I hated this character SOOOO much.  I was SOOOO happy when he died first!)

Sweetie, HoneyBee and Dickface

Sweetie, Honeybee and Dickface

Obvis, as it’s a slasher movie, a whole bunch of other people die, so I’m not giving anything away there.  There’s also a twist, I actually didn’t see coming, that had me say ‘Wait, what?????’, so that was fun.  For such a lo-budget film, the special effects and gore are totally top notch.   This is one of the goriest films I’ve watched in awhile (although I haven’t been watching a ton of movies, I know but still).  And it seemed to be all old school effects so major ups for that shiz.

The acting varied.  The majority of people were pretty good but there were definitely a couple of moments where I wondered if this was some of these guys first film.  Nothing so atrocious that it totally took away from the overall effect, just a mild moment here and there where I went, “Huh.”  And if it was their first film, then good for them because they picked an excellent one to be a part of.

So what can I say?  I dug it, cheesy parts, gory parts, even the couple of parts that made me say “Hey, what?” because this right here is what true indie film is all about especially when it comes to horror.  You go Daniel Benedict (writer/director/Dickface) and Red Serial.  You guys are rocking it!

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