Monday, 6 June 2016

Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown (2016)


CleaverDVD



Written by MJ Dixon,  Jason Harlow

Directed by MJ Dixon 

Stars:  Andrew M Greenwood, Stephanie Price, Vicki Glover, Jimi James, Georgie Smibert
Holly Anne Dodkins, Kylie Slevin, Lewis Cooper, Joe Hughes. Gary Baxter,  Dean Sills, Tiana Louise Rogers,  Emma Wilde,  Cy Henty,  Maria Barr, Darran Holliman








Cleaver – the killer clown from Slasher House (2012) is given an opportunity to shine in a film that effectively explores his macabre back story.

Opening in the dark Oklahoma Autumn of 1995 Cleaver gives slasher fans exactly what they want; creepy title credits, eerie shots of the man himself applying his costume and a spooky, Black Christmas-esque score.   Viewers are then treated to a cat and mouse stalking sequence which I personally felt worked amazingly well. I felt that rather than seeing things from the killers POV,  the tease of knowing he was somewhere in the house but not where was the real hook. With a creepy clown garden feature also causing a fright, the build up to the eventual attack by the killer was just solid. 

The rest of the film is primarily concerned with young Carley (Stephanie Price) a college student who is asked to babysit a young couple’s daughter on Halloween night.  Needing the money and also having a very personal connection to the parents, Carley agrees to sit for young Mary-Beth (Holly Anne Dodkins).  As news of a recent murder/disappearance makes its way round town, Carley is starting to get the distinct feeling that someone is creeping around outside. In parallel to this story we are also privy to Sheriff Hatcher (Jimi James) and Deputy Howells (Georgie  Smibert) investigation into the recent murder and disappearance– this allows us to go even further back in time as the Sheriff explains the events of five years previous that actually led Carlton Layton from successful  family man to jobbing children’s entertainer and eventually to crazed killer. It seems his murderous antics over the past five years has led him from the site of his first killings to this very town…but why?

As the bodies start to pile up, Carley will eventually be forced to fight for her life and that of a young child – but can she outsmart such a devious and sadistic man?  All I will say is check out that final pre credits shot – I was floored. Again MJ Dixon has crafted a twisted and well thought out tale. There are a couple of great twists along the way and I also urge you to stick around when the credits start to roll for yet another jaw dropping reveal!
   

Andrew M. Greenwood gives another terrifying performance as Cleaver and also as the man behind the face paint, Carlton Layton. I have no sympathy for the character and his reasons for snapping do not justify his future actions – which kind of just makes him scarier.  I also thought both Stephanie Price as Carley and Holly Anne Dodkins as Mary Beth did great jobs as the girls in peril. 

Coming to VOD and DVD August 29, Cleaver is the perfect film for those looking for a new Halloween tradition: PREORDER.  Both the DVD and HD Download come at a great price so get shopping!

As for whats next for MYCHO - I hear Slasher House 2 is on its way and I for one am very excited for this sequel.

Hollower (2015)


HollowerUKBox
(Digital Screener) 

Written by MJ Dixon

Directed by MJ Dixon 

Stars: Adam Williams, Nicholas Vince, Becca Talulah, Joe Hughes with Mike Halstead and James Ford
















Thanks so much to the great guys over at MYCHO Entertainment (Slasher House, Legacy of Thorn) for sharing with me two of their latest films Hollower and Cleaver.

In Hollower , the Slasher House character of Nathan Robbins (played again by Adam Williams) takes on a full movie that digs into how he came to be involved in such a dark situation later on. Not that you need to have seen Slasher House to enjoy this, you don’t at all but I personally feel it will enhance your viewing experience.

The film is spliced between the present and the recent past with Nathan being interrogated by Detective James Miller (Nicholas Vince) over initially mysterious events (i.e not spoon-fed to you, so stay with it).  In between these scenes we witness a painfully agoraphobic Nathan struggling to get by, all the while attracting the attentions of new neighbor Isabelle Carter (Becca Talulah).
As the movie progresses things take a creepier turn and it seems that things may not end well for Nathan and those directly associated with him.

Hollower please note is a psychological thriller with a definite horror streak. It may not be for everyone- depending on personal taste-  but if you want something more than a high body count and lots of grue and gore, I do think this will intrigue you from start to finish.  I would say Nathan is hands down the character that fans of Slasher House found most interesting, for reasons I can’t/won’t spoil here. to see a more elaborate version of Nathans life prior is essential viewing. 


The three core cast members all did a good job  and Adam Williams is great again as Nathan Robbins. He gets to play such a complex and multifaceted character and does so very well.  Becca Tululah and Nicholas Vince both provide strong support to Adam in what is largely a three man/woman show, Becca Tululah shines in her finals scenes and I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future. 

Again MJ Dixon shows a deft hand with his direction and writing. MJ is a really excellent story teller and I don't think that this is something that has been applauded enough to date. His movies intersect in a clever way and his attention to detail in this aspect shines through - no annoying plot holes which cannot be tied back to the film where we first saw some of these main characters. He also plots out his films in a way that hooks the viewers, doesn't necessarily give easy answers at first and then hits you with a great finale.  The coloring of Hollower is also on point, especially the dark and grey interrogation scenes. 

The really great news is that you can see it VERY soon - coming to VOD and DVD August 29, Hollower  is yours for pre-ordering.  Please please support UK independent film and head over to the official MYCHO website: PREORDER

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Crazy Lake (2016)

(Digital Screener)

Written by Jason Henne, Christopher Leto

Directed by Jason Henne

Stars: Skyler Joy, Marco DelVecchio, Diana Riley, Matt Valena, Libby Blanton, Graham Hunt, Keily Fernandez, Marvin Laviolette, with Rob Mello, Allis Bodziak, Caulin Donaldson, Leyla Lawrence, Ashley Allen






A killer trailer, as we all know, does not necessarily mean a killer movie - I still could not help but have high expectations for Crazy Lake because the trailer really is that good. Amazing cinematography, a beautiful cast and the promise of a different spin to the usual teens in peril slasher movie.

I am pleased to say that my expectations were well rewarded and that Crazy Lake lives up to its name in a great way.  Rather than spoil in detail the main story of the film I will just say that the lake where our hapless friends are staying has a macabre history and that drug testing plays a large part in it. However as in many a horror movie, those are just stories right? There isn't really anything out there to be afraid of... is there?

The core group are invited by alpha male Mark (Marco DelVecchio) to his uncles lake house and include his girlfriend Julia (Skyler Joy) outsider Corey (Matt Velena)  joker Tim (Graham Hunt) feisty Kim (Keily Fernandez) and her boyfriend Johnny (Marvin Laviolette) and finally rounded out with bookish Kristen (Diana Riley) and bubbly Megan (Libby Blanton).

The writers did a great job of keeping its core cast alive and kicking for a large part of the running time, allowing you to care about them. Too many recent slasher throwbacks get kill happy too fast, leaving a frustrating amount of time left for the final girl/guy (s)  to outwit the killer. Sometimes it works and sometimes it makes for a real bore. That isn't to say that nothing exciting happens before these teens realise they are screwed - far from it, but you will have to see for yourselves.

I enjoyed the characters, particularly Tim who could easily be unlikable but I think Graham Hunt plays him with a twinkle is the eye that makes him funny rather than a total ass. I loved Libby Blanton as Megan, a gorgeous but horribly insecure (thanks to Tim!) redhead who just brings her character to life with ease. To be honest everyone plays their parts well and there are certainly not bad performances, particularly from the main cast.

There are some nasty death scenes and some cool gore gags which all well executed practically and
as previously mentioned the film itself looks incredible. I cant comment on the budget of the film but its the most professional looking, well shot independent movies I have seen in a long time and actually have seen far worse in mainstream cinema.

I cant recommend Crazy Lake enough  and I sincerely hope you get to see it soon. Please check out the films official Facebook page to find out more and hopefully release details are upcoming!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

KILD TV (2016)

(Online screener copy)

Directed by William Collins

Written by Channing Whitaker 

Stars: D.C Douglas, Astrea Campbell-Cobb, Dan Braverman, Jared Doreck, Heather Williams, Aleeah Rogers and Grace Johnston 










KILD TV

The crew of a local horror movie showcase is used to broadcasting creepy stories of heinous

killers, but tonight they are the story, trapped with a real killer among them. Fans are tuning in to

the late night show as their favorite horror host, Dr. Perseco, weaves a macabre tale of suspense

and gore, but soon the horror becomes real and Dr. Perseco breaks character pleading for someone

to send help. Will the audience respond or pop more popcorn?!



Thank you to Channing Whitaker for reaching out and hooking me up with KILD TV  a film I had heard about and was keen to check out! Pleased to say that the film is smartly paced slasher movie backed up with an excellent variety of characters.

AS mentioned in the official synopsis, viewers become witness to the very real plight of a TV studio crew become trapped by a murderous stranger who may or may not be closer to home than they realise.

Several victims later the remaining crew members band together to try to survive the night but this may be much harder than they can comprehend!

I liked the way KILD TV didn't  make the usual mistake in killing off decent characters too early and allowed the actors to grow into their characters. I am not saying that nothing interesting happens in the first two thirds of the movie, there is plenty going on to secure viewer interest and it sets the stage brilliantly for a bloody finale.









This leads nicely to my next point; toward the end the film pulls off an excellently staged killer reveal which  really took me by surprise.

The cast did a great job - D.C Douglas as Milton/horror host 'Dr Perseco'  is great fun to watch especially while in character as Dr Perseco. He churns out the horror movie host cheese to great effect. Heather Williams as the spunky Geneva really impresses and I would love to see more of her work in the future, shes a bit kick ass! Astrea Campbell-Cobb is alluring as studio newbie Adel while Grace Johnston, Aleeah Rogers and Jared Doreck provide strong support.  As mentioned before its great that the characters are well written and given time to evolve and its something I really did appreciate.





A fun and engaging slasher mystery with a very successful whodunit element. Highly recommended!

The even better news is that you can grab a copy of the film right NOW at http://www.kildmovie.com/



Friday, 22 April 2016

Seven Dorms of Death (2016)





(Online screener copy)


Directed by Richard Griffin

Written by Matthew Jason Walsh

Produced by Ted Marr


Stars: Anna Rizzo , Graham King, Aaron Andrade, Laura Pepper, Evan Clinton and Michael Thurber. 


Firstly a big thanks to Richard Griffin for letting me check out his most recent horror feature which I was more than delighted to do. Murder University was an excellent slasher homage which I loved and Seven Dorms of Death absolutely nails the limitations (albeit fun) of the S.O.V horror film whilst still managing to look as professional and as stylish as hell.  Scorpio Releasing does it again. 

Sorry for the rant....but this film was clever. Clever, well made, hilarious and so well thought out. 

In a nutshell Seven Dorms of Death features a group of college students who have resurrected a play with a very peppered past..and that past is coming after them with...a potato peeler and more! There are so many hilarious moments in this film which not only entertain but also highly impress at just how well aligned to the S.O.V horror film it really is (see blatant mannequin stabbed in the head repeatedly...just brilliant).

The acting is perfect - it wont win any major awards... but this of course is the intent. All main players really sell their roles with Aaron Andrade and Laura Pepper stealing the show. Aron Andrade takes the 'will solve this mystery' cop to side splitting heights whilst Laura Pepper  impressively plays a cool as fuck reporter. In addition Micheal Thurber plays horror host Baron Von Blah (nice) as a means to introduce the feature....its goofy and it works a treat.

All of this is firmly held together by aforementioned stylish filmography; its all amazing colors and lighting complimented by a synth laden score and some killer reveals, Seven Dorms of Death is a must.

Oh and pssst...if you want a copy (and you do) :  Limited edition DVD

Friday, 18 March 2016

Wanna See Some Skin? PEELERS World Premiere is COMING!


Exciting news from Mr Sevé Schelenz of Sleep Apnea productions - his brand new horror film PEELERS is on its way and you can see it first on the big screen! The synopsis paints the film as an action packed blood bath and the teaser only serves to back this up. If you get the chance to attend the Palm Beach International Film Festival (April 6-14) then I strongly urge you to check this one out. Sevé's previous features SKEW was a mind bending. creepy, horror thriller that had me ranting about it for days (in a good way).

Read on the official details from the man himself and please support this film if you can!



Displaying Peelers_Final_MAIN_POSTER_RGB_smaller.jpgMEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE AND GRUESOME RELEASE
Contact: Sevé Schelenz

March 9th, 2016 – Independent Horror Feature Film PEELERS set to have WORLD PREMIERE at Palm Beach International Film Festival, Florida (April 6th – 14th).

The makers of the Independent Cult Horror Feature SKEW (2011) step it up a bloody notch as they begin their festival run with their follow-up horror flick PEELERS.

PEELERS - What starts out as the last hurrah on the closing night of an infamous small-town strip club, quickly turns into a night of bloodshed when a crew of coal miners shows up and with them a deadly contaminant.  Former baseball player and current club owner, Blue Jean Douglas has decided to hand over her bar to a new owner and leave town for good. But Blue Jean’s plans are thwarted when she discovers the magnitude of the epidemic that has been unleashed. With victims piling up, Blue Jean must step up to the plate toprotect her family, her friends, and her bar before it's too late and she loses everything she holds dear.

PEELERS destroys the cliché stripper horror sub-genre by giving us a story packed with exciting twists, baseball, strippers of unusual talents and a strong female lead.  What’s being described as “Rodriguez meets Tarantino” and “Not just a great indie film, but destined to be one of the funnest films of 2016”, has Director/Producer Sevé Schelenz pretty stoked about giving genre fans a whole new ball game of horror.

Want more carnage?

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Frances Stein (2015)

















Written & Directed by P.J. Woodside

Stars: P.J. Woodside, Scott Cummings, Cody Rogers, Jessica Leonard, Steve Hudgins,  Ruby Sayard Kelly, Felicia Stewart, Vivien Worthen-Powell and T.O.N.E-z









The next entry in Big Biting Pig Productions growing slate of dark entertainment, Frances Stein, gives a female led, current spin, on the tale of Frankenstein.Guess what? Messing with science is still ill advised folks.

Dr Frances Stein (PJ Woodside) is an angry, bitter woman with a grudge to bear. Her groundbreaking work fell apart in scandalous fashion not to mention her marriage - if that wasn't rough enough, her fellow scientist ex hubby (Scott Cummings) has moved his new lady in, the much younger vivacious (and snarky) Jayne, played brilliantly by Jessica Leonard. Her only real friend in the world is her assistant Avery (Cody Rogers) who really wants to help her with her work but is visibly uncomfortable with her manic disposition.

This review isn't going to delve any deeper into the plot of the film in respect to Big Biting Pig Productions and the fact you really should see this without spoilers.  Suffice to say PJ Woodside who writes and directs as well as stars, has woven a classic tale of suspense with some nice twists and a sense of 'how will this all turn out?'

The writing is so on point that for a horror/thriller, the use of gratuitous violence isn't really needed. In one scene, involving the description of a tooth, the dialogue alone is enough to make you book a dentalcheck up (after you are done hugging yourself and wincing of course).

All core cast members do an impressive job of conveying their very different roles. PJ Woodside ramps up the crazy as Frances, a woman whose intense stare and stoic demeanor could terrify adults children and animals alike. Elsewhere Scott Cummings gives a smarmy turn as the ex husband enjoying the high life with his new wife played by Jessica Leonard. Jayne stomps around in her super bitch sexy heels with some perfect, acid laced, comments and was a joy to watch. A BBP movie wouldst be the same without Steve Hudgins appearing and he does play those villainous types so well. This time around he is playing an interrogator of those that know Frances Stein and he doesn't hold back on the steely glare and the threatening dialogue.

I really enjoyed Frances Stein for its well crafted story, interesting and well acted characters and a compelling ending. Don't go in expecting a blood bath and you are likely to be impressed. Big Biting Pig continue to show that a very low budget needn't herald sub par results and for that I will always be thankful to them.


Friday, 5 February 2016

Snowed in (2016)













Written and directed by Hannah Luyton

Stars: Kaitlyn Marie 








Snowed In is a short film written and directed by high school senior Hannah Luyten. In addition it was co-produced and filmed by Jason Hawkins of Gravestone Entertainment who Hannah has assistedon previous projects. Jason has also been mentor to Hannah for the past two years and so she has had a great opportunity to learn from Jason whose own company has been behind some fantastic horror/thrillers (15: Inside the Mind of a Serial KillerThe Devil Knows His Own)


Snowed In features young Kaitlyn Marie playing a young girl (Kaitlyn) who is home alone during a heavy snow storm. To make matters worse she is on crutches and so really is isolated and vulnerable. When strange eerie noises start disturbing her Kaitlynheads up stairs to try to find the source...NOT  a good idea. From there Snowed In becomes an effective creep fest designed to make you seize up in fear of whatever hides in the dark.




A well acted and craftily directed horror short, Snowed In had me watching with the temptation to look away as it builds to a major scare in ingenious fashion. Again I am suprised and amazed at how well a horror story can be conveyed in a blink and miss it space of just five minutes. Hannah Luyten should be very proud of this film and the definite promise it shows for future projects.  Further to this the film has grabbed the attention of numerous festival including an invite to Jennifer's Bodies  so if you can make it to this brilliant celebration of women in horror you will get a chance to see it!