Category Archives: Horror
I’m going with the assumption that we’ve all seen V/H/S, the original, right? If not, it’s another found footage, a film within a film (or rather several films within a film) and directed by a handful of different directors. And it did well enough that they came out with V/H/S/2.
I liked the original enough that I jumped at the chance for a screener of the second. And I have to say while I don’t remember tons about the first one, I liked the second one a lot better, especially the outside frame story.
Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his abandoned house and find a collection of mysterious VHS tapes. In viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be terrifying motives behind the student’s disappearance.
I dunno about those “terrifying motives” the blurb from the box mentions but there definitely were a couple of scary moments here, a few creepy moments and a whole helluva lot of bloody ones. And at least one sweet one, which probably wasn’t meant to be sweet but it was. Awwww!!!
Our first VHS tape tells the story of a guy with a robotic eye who sees dead people (typical really) and while fun, didn’t do too much for me. The second was, I believe, the zombie one which was the one that had the sweet moment (because zombies just want to be people too y’all!!!). That was also one of the more fun ones because of the way it’s filmed – we see everything from a zombie’s point of view. Def nice. And then we had the one about the cult, which may have been the creepiest but was, in my opinion, the most boring. Full of blood and ick but somehow it still couldn’t quite capture my attention (is this a side effect of getting old???? :( ). And the last was the alien one which was actually super fun and possibly my favorite. Just the action in that one and the energy and oh, the dog, the wee little dog!
Do you need to own V/H/S/2? No. Should you watch it? Def.
What do you get when you’ve got a wannabe vampire and an actual vampire living together? Well, in episode 2 of Vampz! you get a dead, coked up vampire hunter. Whoopsies! Not to mention a very drunk little brother who stumbles upon the scene.
I am totes digging on this web series – it’s fun, it’s quirky and it’s got so many things I love (like vampires!). Plus the special effects are pretty groovy for a (I’m assuming) lo-budget production. There’s not a ton of special effects, no over the top CGI or anything but the few they use feel very organic and really enhance the plot. Major kudos for that, guys.
I also really, really love the character of Ashlee (not to mention the actress that plays her). She’s adorable (like me! ;)). All the characters are fun but she’s definitely my fave.
I’m not sure how many more episodes are in this season (I know 3 is out and 4 is about to hit the net) but I’m excited and I really hope there’s a second season as well. Hmmm…I wonder if there will be new characters? Or bit parts? Ahem….
Check out Episode 2 in all it’s glory, y’all and let me know if you’re digging it as much as I am!
I’m reblogging this at the request of Wordsmith Dale who created this entirely nifty little infographic which I find totes cool. I mean, look at it guys – can you even imagine the time it must have taken to create this?? Plus I’m so not artistically talented (I only do mixed media and I would not call it good by any stretch of the imagination, lol) so I am uber impressed with this. You can also read the article that goes along with it HERE.
Wordsmith Dale plies his trade as a comedy writer for the likes of That Mitchell and Webb Sound and Russell Howard’s Good News.
This was originally posted on Rogue Cinema back in February but now that the rest of the series has been going up, I’m reviewing the whole thing here, episode by episode. To read the original, go here!
VAMPZ!, written by Omar Attia and Lenny Buccellato, is about the supernatural hijinks & misadventures of Simone, a “wannabe vampire” and her ditzy cheerleader roomie, Ashlee. Described on their Facebook page as “a horror comedy webisode series that could be described as Fright Night meets Three’s Company (without even a whiff of Twilight)”, I’d say it’s exactly that (although Twilight is mentioned though only in mocking ;)).
Currently, there’s only the first episode of this web series up on YouTube and it starts out strong with Simone interviewing several people as potential roommates. As the view switches from potential roommate to potential roommate, their hilarious stories of roommates past and their interests (really? Tentacle porn??) overlap to create a hysterical montage that really drives home the fact that finding someone to live with is scary business. To add to that scariness, when the three potentials say to Simone, “Gee, you kind of look like a vampire…” she responds with, “I AM a vampire! Duh!”. Oh Simone, with your black hair and gothy ways…we’ll see how far that gets you in life…
After another day of hapless searching, Simone’s annoying fraternal twin brother comes over to cheer her up. Or something. Then arrives, Ashlee, who can best be described as one of those annoyingly cheerful, ditzy cheerleader girls that you always kind of wanted to kick in high school. Simone is full of “No effing way!” till her brother points out that she’s already said no to 30 something other people and can’t pay the rent herself. With a sigh of disgust, Simone agrees to let Ashlee move in.
So what happens next? Oh, but that’s much too fun to give away, dear reader, so you’ll simply have to watch for yourself. This is exactly the kind of web series I love – silly, irreverent and with a touch of darkness. The script is fun and I love the way this is shot – not sure what kind of camera they used but there’s a blur around the edges that makes it all a little dreamy (oh and speaking of dreams, wait till you see the dream sequence in this one. Ha!). All the actors do a fine job with their parts with the stand out being Louis Bacigalup as Simone’s annoying brother (seriously I kinda wanna give the guy a good kick to the shins).
So head on over to Youtube and check them out!
Since I haven’t been so much in a blogging about movies mood but have managed to watch a few flicks, I’d thought I’d do some quickie reviews. Maybe it’ll help get my head back in the game.
This is a fun little documentary if you’re into Star Wars. Did you know there’s a place in NYC where they teach you to fight with light sabers??? How cool is that?? This also features a belly dancing Leia and well, that’s just hot. Like TOTES.
Loved this one, though it broke my heart a little. Based off a book from the 1800s, I believe, this one tells the story of a Maisie, a little girl caught between absent, bitter parents and their respective much younger lovers. Featuring the total hottie that is Alexander Skarsgard and a very awesome Julianne Moore, this is a fabulous little drama that teaches you what NOT to do if you get divorced with kids. Seriously people. *eye roll*
Hehehe. Drunk people and aliens – why did no one ever think of this before?? Or did they and I just missed that movie? Anyway, this one reminds me a lot of Slither and I loved that movie so very much. Great cast (especially when everybody starts getting drunk) and super fun, definitely add this one to your list.
And other than that, I’ve mostly been catching up on the last season of The Walking Dead and Chuck (my dad used to LOVE that show so much, he would call me every week to remind me it was on but I never made it past the first season – it’s actually amusing just a little short on plot as they pretty much keep doing the same plotlines over and over again).
Till next time!
So…was I the only person who wasn’t aware that Lisa Loeb had an acting career? Because yeah…that was the best thing Serial Killing 101 had going for it. Not even Thomas Haden Church could save this atrocity (although he had the one funny line in the whole thing). Okay, Corey Feldman’s cameo was kickawesome too. Just overall…it always makes me sad when a movie has a decent cast, has a decent idea and just can’t follow through.
Casey (Justin Urich) is a teen who is having some issues lately – he’s moody and cranky and well, ya know, a teenager. Plus his dad died a year ago, so there’s that. And there’s of course a girl, Sasha (Lisa Loeb), whom he desperately wants to impress. And a gym teacher (Thomas Haden Church) who seems to have a personal vendetta against him. What’s the solution to all these issues? Becoming a serial killer – DUH! Although that works mostly to impress Sasha because she’s like TOTALLY GOTH and shiz. TOTES.
And one more thing – while Casey is studying up on how to be a serial killer (because basically this film is just that, a tutorial), there’s a real serial killer running around serial killing teenage girls. We only see one murder but it’s a doozy. Our serial killer kills the Annoying Ditzy Popular Blond by…wait for it…stuffing a doll in her mouth! OMG. The insanity.
Basically this flick is suffering from a severe lack of plot. All we see are Casey and Sasha reading books on serial killing and going to the library (apparently this was before internet?); Casey’s lame attempts to kill (he can’t even dissect a frog in biology, y’all!) and his murderous daydreams which are just downright stupid. I read on Wiki that someone said this movie is better than it has any right to be – um…I’m guessing someone has never seen another movie before? This is much worse than it has a right to be. The story is inane and there’s no mystery as to who the real serial killer is. There’s also not much in the way of funny happening. The only thing I liked were the PE coach’s insistence on always referring to PE as “gymnasium class” (with a Southern accent) and Corey Feldman’s “blink and you’ll miss it” cameo.
Don’t waste your time on this one. There’s way better dark comedies out there.
I recently got the opportunity to chat with director/writer Daniel Benedict whose latest film, Bunni, premieres today. The premiere is being hosted by Verite Cinema and owner Pj Starks has this to say, “I’m stoked that Verite Cinema will be hosting the premiere of Daniels film. Since 2007 my goal was to showcase local talent and ultimately use my connections to help aspiring filmmakers reach the next level. By setting up the premiere of BUNNI, this definitely falls into line with what I want to accomplish. It should be a fun event and I look forward to seeing Daniel get his film out there. It’s a big and exciting step. I’m glad I can be apart of that journey.” Learn more about Daniel, his love of horror and all about Bunni below! Also be sure to visit the Red Serial Films website to watch the Bunni trailer (I’m super excited to see this one!!).
ML: Bunni is your latest film. You’ve been making films (8 shorts and 3 features to be exact) since 1994 and all in the genre of horror. What draws you to horror?
DB: I’ve always been obsessed with monsters, villains, and scary things of all kinds. The only books I used to check out of my elementary school’s library were ones on ghosts or the Universal movie monsters, etc. As I got older and was able to see R rated films, an entire new world opened up for me. A wonderful world of masked murderers and dream stalkers. So in 1994, a friend and I decided to get together and make our own Friday the 13th sequel. We had just seen Jason Goes to Hell at the drive-in the previous summer and thought we could continue the story. So I convinced my parents and grandparents to play the victims , which resulted in the most valuable (to me) VHS tape of all-time.
ML: Bunni was produced by Red Serial Films – is this your company or did they simply call you in to direct this? If it is your company, can you tell us a little about Red Serial Films?
DB: Red Serial Films was started by myself and long-time friend Steven Boling who served as producer for Bunni. He and I had been involved in making films since the late 90’s. So when the time came to start production on Bunni, we decided we needed to take the next step, gather together some highly creative talent, and create a brand striving to produce quality entertainment.
ML: So you also wrote Bunni?
DB: I started writing the script in the fall of 2010. I bounced it around among Steve, our script supervisors, and special effects team for about a year. This enabled us to flesh out the plot and characters more, work out the kinks, fill in the holes, and gave us a really cohesive story.
ML: Bunni, from the trailer, looks to be a slasher film. What’s the synopsis?
DB: Bunni takes a classic slasher stance. Basically four people are walking home from a Halloween party and make the terrible mistake of breaking into an abandoned building where a killer waits to bludgeon them. Two of the group discover what appears to be living quarters and a disturbing home video that reveals a horrific truth.
We’re by no means redefining the horror genre; our goal was to create an entertaining movie with originality at the same time paying homage to slasher films of the past. And I think we’ve accomplished that.
ML: Can you tell us a little about the cast of Bunni and what they’ve done before this?
DB: Mercedez Varble portrays Paige- the film’s protagonist. Mercedez is involved with the Theater Workshop of Owensboro and most recently starred in their production of Little Shop of Horrors. Paige’s boyfriend, Chris, is played by Kent Blue who is a regular cast member on the October Road Youtube channel.
ML: Is directing and filmmaking your full time gig or do you have a “day job”?
DB: I currently produce tv commercials as a living, so I’m constantly writing/directing. I hope to be able to continue to do feature films and take it as far as I can.
ML: Do you have any advice for future directors and filmmakers?
DB: I would tell anyone interested in doing films to just make one regardless of your resource limitations. Use whatever equipment you have, collaborate with anyone willing to help you, and create something that you love. Everyone has to start somewhere. It doesn’t matter if you have a Red Epic or a Sony Handycam, or whether you use Final Cut Pro or edit with 2 VCR’s, a cassette player, and Mario Paint (which is what I started with.)
Also, be willing to compromise, selflessly help others as much as you can, and please don’t get an ego. That’s so annoying.
I was sent this screener recently and wasn’t sure I was going to find anything to like about it. It just didn’t seem to be my type of humor. Oddly enough, however, I ended up really digging this story about a guy who shits out a demon on the reg. Quite strange really. Maybe I was just having an off day.
Duncan’s (Ken Marino) life is a real pain in the ass. Tormented by a manipulative, crooked boss (Patrick Warburton), a nagging mother (Mary Kay Place), a deadbeat new age dad (Stephen Root), and a sweet, yet pressuring, wife (Gillian Jacobs), his mounting stress starts to trigger an insufferable gastrointestinal reaction.
Out of ideas and at the end of his rope, Duncan seeks the help of a hypnotherapist (Peter Stormare), who helps him discover the root of his unusual stomach pain: a pintsized demon living in his intestine that, triggered by excessive anxiety, forces its way out and slaughters the people who have angered him. Out of fear that his intestinal gremlin may target its wrath on the wrong person, Duncan attempts to befriend it, naming it Milo and indulging it to keep its seemingly insatiable appetite at bay.
You wouldn’t expect to find a lot of sweet in a movie like Bad Milo but it actually was rather touching. Touching in the way Dead Alive is touching sure (oh c’mon, it totally is!!) but touching nonetheless. The relationship between Duncan and Milo, while being a relationship of manipulation is also a cute friendship/father and son relationship, a relationship which actually ends up bringing Duncan closer to his own estranged father. There’s hope here, folks.
And I do love when people’s feelings and emotions become physical manifestations because who HASN’T felt like they were so stressed out that their stress was just going to become this thing, this entity and go around wreaking havoc? We have so all totally been there. TOTES. So Bad Milo wins points for that.
It even wins points for the gross out factor. Gross out is something where I can go either direction, just depends on how it’s presented. Jackass? Hate it. This movie, totes down with it. Probably helps that the majority of the gross out factor is either alluded to or is of a bloody nature rather than a shitty one. It really is the finite details that can make all the difference, peeps.
Bad Milo definitely isn’t for everyone. Hell, I can think of about 10 people right off the bat that it isn’t for. But if you take a chance and look past the fact that this is a movie about a dude who has a demon that comes out of his ass, you might just be pleasantly surprised, as I was.
And if you wanna find out more about Bad Milo or find out how you can watch, check out Magnolia Pictures site!
If you’re a long time reader of this site, then you’ve heard me mention Jeremiah Kipp a few times. His short films were one of the first things I ever reviewed here and I’ve also interviewed him for Rogue Cinema. I also may or may not have repeatedly begged him to cast me in something because I really love his work and I may or may not have completely embarrassed myself in doing so….ahem…anyway….
The latest thing he’s working on is something that is very exciting for me not only because it’s a horror thing but also because in the “About” video on Indiegogo they mention Hansel & Gretel which means it’s kind of a horror/fairy tale mesh which totally hits my sweet spot cause we all know how I feel about those two things! I mean, we do all know, right? I have made that pretty clear on this site, right? *giggles*
Anyway, they ARE running a campaign on Indiegogo so if you are so inclined, hit them up with a couple of bucks or if you have a friend you think would dig on this, give them the heads up. Because if this doesn’t get made, I might cry. :( You wouldn’t want to see me cry would you???
Coming Up Next on Cinema Schminema: Bad Milo, The American Scream, Velvet Elvis, interviews and more!
Oh, 7 Below, you were such a disappointment. *sighs* I mean, I wasn’t exactly expecting too much from a movie I’d never heard of featuring Val Kilmer but still. How is it possible for one movie to be SOOOO boring?? Especially when you’re supposed to be a horror/mystery/thriller…at least I think that’s what you were attempting to be…
K, so we start out with these kidlets and the rest of their family back in old-fashioned times (yes, that’s what I’m calling it now when I can’t remember what the actual year was). Creepy boy there decides that it’d be super fun to kill his whole fam so he does. Then we flash forward to the present where there’s a whole bunch of people on a bus going…um…somewhere…maybe a retreat? Anyway, Val Kilmer is there and he STILL does not look like he did when he played Jim Morrison and was totes a hottie and I think that makes him a little sad sometimes. But his character is this total jerkface who cheats on his wife. Then there’s a pair of brothers and a doctor with an accent. And a girl who works at a gas station who has an accent. Then there’s Ving Rhames, who when this bus breaks down, shows up and invites them all to his house. And when they get there he’s like, “Yeah, there’s no phone. You guys are fucked.” Totes random and weird.
Then people start dying or something but it’s really boring so I stopped paying so attention. And the doctor with the accent is a terrible, terrible actor who basically repeated the same line over and over “I don’t know how this happened!” in a wooden, emotionless voice. We get it Dr. Accent, no need to repeat yourself 800 times seriously. I think he was the 2nd to die though so that was good. And then, I dunno, there was something about the house being a time warp (but not the fun Rocky Horror kind) and everybody on the bus was a reincarnation of the family from old-fashioned times or something and Ving Rhames was the devil. I think. It really didn’t make a lot of sense.
Tis a silly movie, no fun whatsoever. Boo hiss!