Friday, 13 February 2015

Sodomaniac (2015)

(Online Screener Copy)

Directed by Anthony Catanese

Written by Anthony Catanese, Steve Ravesz

Stars: Craig Kelly, Allan Sconza, Kirk Ponton, Dale Gordon, Josh Rocco, Nicole Hamilton, Amanda Stauss, Greg Kline










Thanks so much to the guys behind this crazy little flick for letting me check it out for review.
A friend out in the reviewing field tipped me off to Sodomaniac, a film that actually hadn't come across my radar til then. I am glad I got to hear about it as the film is a certifiable blast - it has some amazingly loyal 80s slasher tropes (atmosphere, soundtrack, foreboding music, obnoxious and unlikable cannon fodder) all mixed up with something new, gross and unusual. So many points already huh?

So the plot goes a little something like this; a group of arsehole men (aside from Derrick played by Allan Sconza) fancy themselves as the ultimate of alpha males and spend their time talking shit, drinking, doing drugs and umm....date raping young women. Obviously this shocking crossing of the line and outright criminal behavior needs to be addressed and this being a horror film at heart, there is someone out there watching and waiting to take a painful revenge.  In fact said revenge is going to hit these guys right where it hurts - for all their jokes and comments about gay sex and anal sex, the killer is intent on making the punishment fit the crime.  Decked out in a mask which is basically a big arse (yep- see picture above!) the vengeful madman sets about putting their own visceral spin on sodomy, taking the rapist men out one by one...in the bum....

Although the subject matter is undoubtedly dark, rest assured that Sodomaniac is an effectively funny horror comedy. The dialogue works well as it helps to ensure you are in no way rooting for the victims to be but also gets the intended laughs along the way.

The story is well drawn and clips along at a decent pace which is great as there is a lot going on throughout and all the while you are getting closer to the truth regarding the killers identity. On that note I was extremely impressed by the red herrings and hints dropped all the way along. I LOVE whodunnit plots whether it be in a movie, soap opera, TV series and I always enjoy the scenes that are basically telling you 'yep this guy/girl could be doing because...'. I think Sodomaniac did a great job at keeping you guessing and changing your mind as the film heads to its climax. One part of the final reveal I did get right (but I did second guess myself at one point on this also!)

I have to recommend this movie 100%, its funny, crude, rude, gross and hilarious with a good story and a great dose of mystery chucked in as well. The main cast all play their parts well and there is definite promise from director/writer Anthony Catanese to deliver some more excellent horror and/or comedy in the future. Please check this flick out over on Facebook and hopefully release details will be forthcoming soon.

Watch your ass folks!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Agoraphobia (2015)

Agoraphobia (2014) Poster




(Online Screener Copy)

Written and Directed by Lou Simon

Stars: Cassie Scerbo, Tony Todd, Maria Olsen, Julie Kendall,  Adam Brudnicki, Aniela McGuinness, Mario Temes, Gema Celaro, Mario Nalini, Roberto Escobar









As a fan of Lou Simon's work in the horror genre (with the creepy The Awakened and grisly Hazmat under her talented belt) I was delighted to be asked to check out her most recent film Agoraphobia an impressive melding of mystery, suspense and the supernatural.

Featuring Cassie Scerbo as Faye, a young sufferer of Agoraphobia who, after inheriting her childhood home from her deceased father moves in on advice from her Psychiatrist (the one and only Tony Todd). This is all well and good until she realises bit by bit that nothing is as it seems.

Strange things are occurring in the house and it soon becomes clear to Faye that there are skeletons in the closet which need to be let out. The apparent evil stalking Faye also starts to reach out to those around her such as her husband Tom (Adam Brudnicki), best friend Stephanie  (Aniela McGuinness) and home carer Nina (Gema Calero) but in a series of well placed twists and turns, things turn on their head dramatically. In addition to all of this Cassie has the vindictive and bitter fiance (Julie Kendall) of her father baying for her blood and claiming that the house should have been hers. All elements of the story are important to the overall picture so this is a film that you want to pay close attention to - this is quite easily done as it does a great job of keeping you intrigued and interested throughout.

I was impressed by the performances, particularly Cassie who plays the fragile and haunted Faye with refreshing ease. I found myself drawn to the character and sympathised with her plight, suffering from such a crippling illness as well as trying to unlock some pretty dark and dangerous secrets. The main supporting cast were all effective in their roles; Adam Brudnicki and Aniela McGuinness as Fayes husband and best friend, Maria Olsen as her boozy aunt and Gema Calero as the newly appointed home help. I also got a great kick out of Julie Kendall as the gold digger from hell Elizabeth and kind of wished she was on screen a bit more. Still there is a GREAT pay off with this character and I will say no more.

The film is shot to the highest standard, something that Lou Simon and her team always excell at and really set the bar high for independent cinema. What they do with a limited budge is just amazing so I  can only imagine what would come out of a project with really big bucks. That said I am really enjoying the current journey of Lou Simon and seeing each and every film just get better and better.

I have just this morning read news of a pretty wide distribution deal for this film which is wonderful! Read more about this via the official movie Facebook page - it looks like you will be getting to see this real soon!




Monday, 22 December 2014

Red Christmas (2014)

Movie Poster






Written and Directed by Steve Rudzinski

Stars: Seth Gontkovic, Amie Wrenn, Shawn Shelpman and Steve Rudzinski

(Online Screener Copy) 











Many thanks to Mr Rudzinski for sharing another of his films with Hacked in the Head. I have seen a fun slasher from Steve followed by a campy and fun adventure horror film and this time around we have a found footage style creeper told from the killers point of view.

Said killer is Tara (a scarily natural Amie Wrenn) a happy go lucky, intelligent and coherent young woman who just happens to be a serial killer!!  Tara is only active in the month of December when she seeks to kill three men until the following holiday season.

The film in its basic form plays as Taras video diary as she takes the audience through her ghoulish lifestyle; the how, the why, the when etc. Things take a decidedly darker turn after Tara bags herself another victim (after going 'Christmas shopping' as she cheerfully puts it).  Seth Gontkovic plays our unfortunate victim Bill as Tara opens a vicious can of Christmas misery on him.

To not give anything else away I will add that events don't play out exactly as you might expect with a nice twist on the tale coming in following some pretty wince inducing torture scenes. I applaud this curveball very much!

While I am on the gory side of things, let me just elaborate on Tara's MO as a serial killing loony tunes. She likes a hefty dose of torture, tied to a chair style and oh man does she play with her prey. Poor Bill suffers a lot of physical and mental torture and both are sometimes hard to watch. Effects are all practical and again this should be applauded.

Red Christmas is a an engaging and well acted movie only clocking in at 55 minutes meaning it never outstays its welcome. There are some genuinely chilling moments and these are enhanced by the killer performance by Amie Wrenn and the pure bewilderment and horror conveyed by Seth Gontkovic. I'm very impressed by Red Christmas particularly since it also gives a new spin on the seasonal horror sub genre.

Thats not all - you can purchase the film yourself along with Steve's other movies right HERE which is great enough on its own BUT its also available in Blu Ray and limited edition - so go get it!

Tara is dreaming of a Red Christmas....good luck to.any poor dude on her radar!!!!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Captain Z & The Terror of Leviathan (2014)


                                                       










 (Online Screener Copy)


Director by Steve Rudzinski

Written by  Steve Rudzinski, Zoltan Zilai

Stars: Zoltan Zilai, Madison Siple, Steve Rudzinski, Aleen Isley, Julie Alexander, Rebecca Amick.








After checking out and reviewing Steve Rudzinski's comedy slasher Everyone Must Die, I considered myself a fan and eagerly looked forward to his next project.  Steve was nice enough to ask me to check out an online screener of his newest film which is as wacky as its title: Captain Z & the Terror of Leviathan.  Asked to direct the film by co writer Zoltan Zilai, Steve soon found himself cast as the lead character Glen, for those who want some background!

Starting off in 1714, Captain Z (writer Zoltan Zilai) manages to avert a bloody disaster when a group of possessed townsfolk almost raise the horror of Leviathan via magical amulet.  Fast forward 300 years and it appears that history is doomed to repeat itself when a ragtag group of hillbilly's get their grubby mitts on aforementioned amulet.  Its not long until they are too possessed and being led to raise Leviathan - but not to worry, the legendary Captain Z has been transported to present day too and he isn't going to take this lying down!

In a nutshell this movie is hilarious and entertaining. It absolutely does NOT take itself seriously if you hadn't already guessed that and this made me love it even more. It has some well written comedy and also a great separation of characters and their individual identities - something that is always important to me personally. 

The acting was engaging and worked well toward bringing the various characters to life. Steve totally shines in front of the camera so its no wonder he ended up playing Glen - impressive work. The hillbillies were all a lot of fun and local museum employee Heather (Madison Siple) also shone. Zoltan Zilai's performance as Captain Z is delightfully OTT - lots of laughs here.

Hats off to Steve and Zoltan for a fun movie which, refreshingly, is not in the slasher sub-genre (and I love slasher movies). It has good laughs and lots of adventure making for a highly entertaining hour and a half. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Varsity Blood (2014)

Screener copy courtesy of Aim Publicity

Directed by: Jake Helgren

Written by: Jake Helgren

Stars: Lexi Giovagnoli, Wesley Scott, Natalie Peyton, Blair Jackson and Debbie Rochon







Release: DVD, UK, August 18 2014, Image Entertainment
                DVD USA, August 19 2014Image Entertainment




Varsity Blood follows a group of teenagers partying it up on Halloween on the anniversary of a local tragedy. What they did not count on was a vengeful killer to arrive with the intent of picking them off one by one by one by - yeh you get the picture.

As the group of cheerleaders and jocks dwindles to next to nothing its up to new girl in town Hannah (well played by Lexi Giovagnoli) to unmask the maniac and try to escape with her life! Who knew moving would turn out so fun...

Varsity Blood is one of those films that sounds great on paper - an 80s style slasher film complete with costumed, mysterious killer. In fact the mascot costume worn by the killer is one of the most fun and interesting (if impractical) I have seen for ages.

Where I think this movie failed to hit the spot for me personally was the lack of imagination beyond the costume.  This kind of film will likely have slasher fans screaming out for some creativity in the kills and a more focused separation of the characters identities. Sadly both are fairly generic, and while I enjoy a good old fashioned generic slasher plot wise, I really enjoy well drawn characters and some offbeat kills even more.  It got a bit hard to really tell who was who while the arrows (points for the killer using a bow and arrow!) were flying all over the place and I ended up not really caring who lived or died sadly.

For those looking for a quick and easy slasher fix I certainty wouldn't deter you from this film, Its got the babes, the blood and the general chaos you would expect with a madman descending on a group of vapid teens. I would personally still be keen to see what Jake Helgren has up his sleeve next, its just a shame that Varsity Blood didn't deliver what I thought it might.



Friday, 17 October 2014

Doll Factory: Exclusive Poster Art and Premiere News!

Not too long ago I had the opportunity to interview writer/director Stephen Wolfe about his upcoming horror comedy Doll Factory a film I have been excited about ever since!

Now producer Carlos Tovar has very kindly shared details of the films upcoming premiere (why oh why do I have to be stuck here in the UK??)  and some exclusive poster art!

The poster has a fun 80s style to it which only endears me to this flick even more. It was designed by horror artist Nathan Thomas Millineand I am sure people will agree that it promises a fun ride.  Check it out below along with details of how YOU can see the film!

From the official press release:

“Doll Factory” is an over-the-top horror comedy that centers on a small Texas town terrorized by evil possessed  baby dolls. Wolfe wrote and directed his second feature a year later. His second feature was produced by Andy Palmer, Carlos M. Tovar and Joe Grisaffi. It stars Nicole Elliott (Abel’s Field), Patrick Sane (Breaking Bad, Sin City 2), Deke Anderson (Army of Darkness, Green Lantern) and Larry Carrell (Jacob, She Rises). 

“For the Doll Factory key art, I wanted to go for a classic creature feature look and feel,” explains Wolfe, “so I reached out to a well-respected artist named Nathan Thomas Milliner. Milliner has created artwork for a wide

variety of classics including the Scream Factory anniversary DVD/Blu-Ray releases for Halloween 2, Halloween 3, The Howling, Terror Train and others. His unique blend of realism and eye for dynamic artistry elevated the key art well beyond anything we could have created in-house. It perfectly captures the spirit and tone of the film.” News and updates from “Doll Factory” can be found on the Official Facebook page (http://www.Facebook.com/DollFactoryMovie). 


The film is scheduled to screen in Houston, TX on October 29 before beginning a 2015 horror festival & convention run''


Displaying DFposterIMDB_final.png

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Legacy of Thorn (2014)

Legacy of Thorn Movie Poster Mem Ferda to Play Detective in New Horror Film Legacy of Thorn









Directed by MJ Dixon 

Written by MJ Dixon

Stars: Jade wallis, Mem Ferda, Paris Rivers, Craig Canning, Jane Haslehurst, Aaron Jeffcoate, Stephanie Jezard, Evie Constanti, Alex Tamaro, Dave Laurie and Richard Daniel Thomas Holloran as 'Thorn;' 





I doubt anyone was more excited than me (challenge me I dare you) when Mycho Entertainment announced a spin off movie from their original Slasher House featuring the colossal sized and colossally crazy manic 'Thorn'. Clad in black, face covered with steel, and wielder of HUGE blades, Thorn chased poor actress Eleanor James around the mysterious Slasher House in an attempt to claim her as his victim. However, there is far more to this mammoth maniacs story then we ever knew and Legacy of Thorn truly lets us into that bloody, twisted world.


The basic premise of LoT is a group of survivors from Thorns previous antics banding together to take him down once and for all, but there is even more to it then that. You need to pay attention to this film as it makes a number of time jumps in order for the audience to witness what has led all of these characters to this dark place (and it gives audiences a chance to see Thorn flex those vicious muscles).

For the majority of this film I felt swept up in what I'm going to call an action horror film as opposed to a slasher film - although there is plenty of slashing throughout mind! I hope that this is not offensive to MJ and co but I felt definite Terminator 2 shades in several parts of the film - a good thing obviously.

Now remind yourselves that this is an independent feature people - money is tight and resources are usually low. That besides there are some incredible scenes in this film that totally belie that fact. Not only are many of the death scenes done with a keen eye and impressive practical effects but there is an under water shot that had me on the edge of my seat. This particular scene was extremely well shot and creepy/depressing as hell and gives me great faith that MJ Dixon and his team may well have the UK horror scene by the nads soon.

Performance wise the group of survivors all do a great job of portraying wounded and angry people, their lives in ruins because of an encounter they never expected or wanted. Jade Wallis as lead 'Jess', Paris Rivers as 'Eric' and Craig Canning as 'Clark' are clear standouts and its easy to see why they where chosen as the core survivors. Special mention to Evie Constanti as school mean girl 'Sally Marsh' who producer Anna McCarthy assures me is a sweetie in real life. This is the kind of intimidating, spiteful girl that would have even had the boys running and hiding at my school! Great albeit scary character.  Not as scary as Thorn however....by a margin....Richard Holloran plays the masked madman with a far more hulkingly creepy presence than many a horror icon. The thought of turning around to seeing that behind me blades and all is enough to make me stop watching horror films (well probably wont go that far but still...)

I completely recommend Legacy of Thorn and please don't be put off by my references to Slasher House you don't have to have seen it to enjoy this in the slightest - although I recommend it. The film has everything, horror, action, emotion and some laughs and to top it off a very intriguing ending that strongly suggests there is even more to explore in the world of Thorn. Thank you to the Mycho team for sharing this with, it was my pleasure to watch.

UK and US viewers can show they support AND get their hands of a fantastic movie by heading HERE and preordering the official Legacy of Thorn DVD. If you like your movies digital then go HERE.  Go get this film folks!