Category Archives: Lo-Budget
Wild Girl Waltz is a hella fun movie about a day in the life of drugged up babes. Well, not THAT drugged up as they only have a pill of something each but ya know still. Up above you’ll find our gang – Angie, Brian and Tara. Tara and Brian are dating while Angie and Brian are brother and sister which sets up a really great group dynamic. And so our story begins with….
Poor Angie walking along the side of the road, only to have a truck drive by with a couple of guys in it who call her a whore and throw a milkshake all over her. Angie’s having kind of a bad day. She calls Tara to come pick her up and there is much mocking the entire time but eventually Tara tells Angie she has something that will make everything better. After getting Angie back home and showered and less of a sticky mess, Tara presents her with two overturned cups and tells her to pick one. Once Angie does, Tara reveals two pills that someone at work gave her and they each end up taking one even though neither knows what either pill is. Is this smart? Not really. But it makes for an entertaining watch. Meanwhile Brian, who was out yelling at some guy, comes home to find out he has to babysit two girls – one who appears to be on acid and the other who ends up being on ecstasy. He’s thrilled beyond belief, y’all. Thrilled, I say. ;)
What follows is simply one of those days where it’s the best day with your friends you ever had. Admittedly, some of this is funnier if you’ve ever taken drugs or on the flip side had the misfortune of being the sober one babysitting friends, but it’s just their journey to find beer, get pies, play on playgrounds, talk to turtles and watch the color trails.
While the movie starts out a little slow, it quickly picks up pace and the rest of the time goes by smoothly. There’s some nice exterior shots (although a tad bit too many at the beginning). The acting is great – it can be hard to act like you’re on drugs and make it convincing without going overboard and both actresses here (Christina Shipp and Samantha Steinmetz) take it just to the limit but never overdo it. I think my only complaint is that I didn’t really see what Brian yelling at the guy in the woods at the beginning of the film really had to do with anything else. It seemed a scene just designed to get him out of the house while the girls took the pills but it easily could’ve been left out as it didn’t relate to anything else and was never resolved.
Overall, a fun comedy, one I’d recommend for a Saturday night in.
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*
And then you have Barry Bostwick as the gin loving, piano playing Vegas singer whose been around the block more than a few times.
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”! ;)
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.
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!)
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!
Oh, 13/13/13 (2013) (Dir. Bressack),what were you thinking?? I don’t understand you at all. Your blurb says this: “For millenia, calendars have added an extra day every four years. In doing so, they violated the ancient Mayan calendar. Now we are in the 13th month of the 13th year of the new millenium, and the few who survive will battle a world of demons.” Really? Demons? Where the hell were these demons? What your blurb should’ve said was this – “A long and oft times boring trip through a world where people just wake up bonkers one day and start killing each other but of course, there’s at least one lone survivor and a girl who does nothing but carry around an ax and scream.”
I don’t even know where to start with this. Why did I watch? Because I watched 11/11/11 and 12/12/12 which I’m not even totally sure have anything to do with this one, mostly because those two were so bad I can’t remember what happened. But I felt obligated to finish out this trilogy, if indeed that’s what this is. Why do I do these things to myself? Not even I know the answer to that one.
Basically what happens is – we open on a scene of two bloody girls, then switch to some dudes having a guys’ camping trip. One of the dudes – let’s call him James, cause I think that might have actually been his name…maybe… – his watch is set to 13:13 and he thinks the other guys are messing with him. They insist they aren’t. They pack up to go home and go to James’ which is where I start getting confused because 1) it seems like he’s divorced from his wife and is going by to either pick up his kid or just say hi to his ex-wife but what ex-wife is cool with her ex-husband bringing along the guys’ and invading her house and eating her food and drinking her beer and stuff?? and 2) one guy seems to have an unhealthy interest in James’ 12 year old daughter – he remarks several times what a sweet little girl she is…creepy!
They get to the house and like I said before just invade the place, chatting in the kitchen and eating food like they live there while the ex-wife does dishes and the little girl plays outside. Then James realizes he’s trying to talk to his ex and she’s not responding perhaps because he’s all up in this place like it’s still his. Oh no, wait, she’s pulling a Lady Macbeth and has partially scratched the skin off one arm. Out, damn spot, indeed! So James leaves his kid in the hands of his knucklehead friends while he takes the ex to the hospital and they decide to drink beer and watch t.v. or something. Finally one dude goes outside to check on the kid and this is where you start to see that things are getting a little cray up in here.
Little girl starts saying things like “My dad told me not to talk to you. He said you like little girls.” Note this is is the friend who was all “She’s such a sweet little girl” earlier. Which makes me ask – if this is true, why the hell is James leaving his 12 year old alone with this guy around??? Take the kid to the hospital with you for pete’s sake. Anyway, little girl and dude get into a bitch slapping contest and then the little girl kicks dude’s ass. Priceless.
Meanwhile James has landed at the douchiest hospital on the fact of the planet where seriously everyone is an asshole. He even SAYS that to one lady. And then things get crazier and everybody is trying to kill everybody and it’s all because it’s leap year but if you were born on leap year then you’re immune and it’s all basically just stupid. And there are no demons, unless I really really missed something.
This is really something I can NOT recommend unless you’re just like me and try your best to watch all the bad movies out there. Definitely watch at your own risk!
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!
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!
So I’m having a problem wherein I keep trying to watch movies, ALL the movies, and my heart just isn’t into it. It’s entirely frustrating. I have more free time now but every time I turn something on, I just can’t seem to get into it no matter how good (or ludicrous) it may be. So as a result, I’ve been either catching up on tv shows on Netflix (Walking Dead, Chuck, that Breaking Bad thing people seem to love) or just not watching anything – I’m in a really big reading mood lately (probably because this is honestly the first time I’ve had a chance for reading in like, 6 months and I’m somewhere a step beyond the “avid” reader type so not being able to read has been just devastating. Yes, that’s melodramatic, I know. ;)). So I dunno, maybe I’ll throw some book reviews up on here at some point. I’m finally reading Doctor Sleep btw – the book I got for my birthday TWO MONTHS ago. I’ve missed blogging though and missed the interaction so I’m trying to blog and read you guys’ blogs as much as I can.
What else? Well, filming on my web series is almost complete. One more day of filming this Sunday and we move into post. I’ve seen some of the footage and it looks good. :) There’s small things of course – I think I’ll have to make it a game when it comes to continuity errors – we tried our hardest but sometimes trees will have leaves and sometimes they will not… ;) But it does look good and I hope that it actually IS good and I REALLY hope that you guys enjoy it. I just started writing Season 2 as well!
Other than the web series, I’m about to start work on a short film, something dark and artsy and gritty and a whole 2 minutes long, with one of my favorite directors…and I can’t wait. :) Then in January, we start pre-production on the movie version of our updated Hamlet where I’ll be playing Horatio again. And I’m waiting to hear back about one more project. So there’s definitely no lack of work happening here! I love it. :)
And other than that, I’ve been sick – really sick. Like rushed to the ER one day kind of sick. I’m okay now, much better, but these issues are going to be ongoing (it’s a combination of a lot of smaller issues – some physical, some more on the emotional health side of things). I’ve got a team of doctors though and am considering switching out some doctors and yeah, am doing what I can to get back to 100% but it definitely affects blogging and movie watching (may be the reason I’m having trouble watching things as of late).
I HAVE watched a lot of stuff I can’t review, lol. I watched the newest Star Trek last night and saw the new Thor on Sunday. Watched Pacific Rim a couple of weeks ago along with This is the End. So yeah, I’ve actually been mainstreaming it more lately (shhhhh! Don’t tell!!! ;-p). Light and fluffy seems to be the way to go at the moment. Ah, well, I’m sure the conflicting movie emotions will get resolved right? Probably just similar to writers’ block.
Anyway, for the moment, here’s this month’s Rogue Cinema offerings. Hopefully you’ll find something you like!
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!
So I got the heads up about this baby from writer/director, Jim Ojala. Jim has a professional background in Special Makeup/Creature FX (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Deadgirl, PROXY, Hellboy 2, Where the Wild Things Are, Pacific Rim, etc.)- HE WORKED ON BUFFY!!!! *SQUEAL OF EXCITEMENT* Ahem…I’m back….So how does his special makeup background fit in? Well, Strange Nature is an eco-thriller that revolves around the ongoing unsolved frog deformity outbreaks in the U.S. and the dangerous places they may lead. With Jim’s awesome special effects background, he and the rest of his team can bring the more fantastic elements of where these deadly deformities can lead to startling realism in the film….plus it helps keep practical FX alive! If people believe it on screen maybe they’ll pay attention to the real problem as well.
Also cool is the support they’ve gotten from the ecological community. One of their strongest supporters, Dr. Pieter Johnson of University of Colorado, and his research team found a population of frogs in Oregon this year where every frog suffered a deformity…100% deformity rate. The problem is growing and the cast and crew of Strange Nature hope to expose that.
Right now, these guys are working with Kickstarter to try to raise funds for the film. They only have 6 days left to raise the money (so far they’re halfway there!) so if this is the sort of thing you’d like to see, click the link above, swing by and check out their Kickstarter and donate a buck or two!
You can also check out their website to learn more about the film including what they’ve done so far to get started as well as lots of videos! Just click that link there that says “website” and away you’ll go! ;)
I dunno, I think it looks pretty cool and pretty unique so I’d definitely like to see this thing get made. :)