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

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!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Harvest Lake (2016)

(Online screener copy)

Written and directed by Scott Schirmer

Stars: Jason Crowe, Ellie Church, Tristan Risk, Dan Nye, Kevin Roach.

Huge thanks to Scott Schirmer, the mind behind indie shocker Found, for hooking me up with his newest film Harvest Lake. A very different beast to the grim murder/coming of age horror Found, this film is rife with mystery and seductive charm.

Five standout actors make up the main cast and their performances give five interesting, likable and sometimes funny characters. Under the thumb Ben (Dan Nye) cute and sweet natured Jennifer (Ellie Church) sexy and insatiable Cat (Tristan Risk) and unlucky in love nice guy Josh (Jason Crowe) are four friends off on a lakeside getaway where there is literally something in the water. But what is it and what does it want with these fun loving young souls? 

An eerie opening scene already previews to audiences that this may not be the best place to hang out but its not until the main group arrive, soon meeting the mysterious Mark (Kevin Roach) that we really start to get a feel of the sexually charged nature of the area.  As the five start to relax, a creeping sense of dread begins to grow and shortly after the introduction of bizarre, phallic plant life adds another expert layer to the film.

As mentioned the performances  are great and the cast really step up to the challenge. American Mary's Tristan Risk gives a sexy, fun edge to Cat, the kind of character who can drop a shocking sentence without a second thought. Dan Nye is just great at comedy I have now realised after seeing him in the Legend of Wasco recently where he played the mischievous Byron, intent on getting his brother law into all manner of trouble. Again Dan plays a funny role but rather than being totally alpha male in Harvest Lake, the comedy stems from him being told what to do by his girlfriend (Cat).  Ahem red swimming briefs...

Elsewhere Jason Crowe (aforementioned brother in law from LoW!) provides the more sensible and intuitive member of the group, Josh, who may have caught the romantic eye of Mark (Volumes of Blood, Bloody Hooker Bang Bang) the handsome stranger who is seemingly being pulled into the same web as the others. Finally Ellie Church, a girl who blew me away in her role of a devious, adulterous wife in And Then YOU Die! plays a nice sympathetic character this time round and comes off as genuinely lovely although being a mysterious thriller this is of course subject to change..

A well written, well acted indie thriller with beautiful cinematography and a gripping, original story. Harvest Lake is one to watch.  In one sense it begs for a sequel, on the other hand the film is just as satisfying left as it is, dark, eerie and intriguing. GRAB A COPY NOW: 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Preternatural (2015)

Displaying Preternatural Promo Poster.png

Directed by Gav Chuckie Steel

Written by Dixon Barker 

Stars: Gav Chuckie Steel, Dixon Barker 

I was thrilled to be contacted by Deadbolt films, the guys behind one of my favorite independent slasher films (and its British to boot) The Shadow of Death. This time around Gav Chuckie Steel and Paul Dixon Barker are gearing up to release new film Preternatural.

To be honest I think its best that the mystery of this film is contained - you need to see it for yourself so just take the short synopsis: Two amateur film-makers find the movie they thought they were making, is actually making them and run with it. 

Gav actually stars in the  film, playing one of the two filmmakers along with Dixon Barker who...can you guess?....wrote this film. I really liked the way this film plays with reality and fantasy and a key element of suspense throughout is having no clue which way it will twist next.

Both Gav and Dixon do a great job playing the bickering filmmakers (they may of course not be acting but that's their business) as they struggle to get their work done on a low budget. Its when their recently cast actor turns up that things start making a more insidious decline. Mark Williams as 'Mark' does a superb job of playing the creepy and mysterious actor who Gav and Dixon will wish they had never met!

Things continue to get stranger and I think that is genuinely the real appeal of Preternatural - you probably haven't seen anything quite like it and that can only be a plus point.

Viewers who like a simple narrative and all questions answered may find themselves disappointed so do take this as a warning. However if you appreciate something a bit more mind bending and unwilling to conform to genre devices then this is your movie.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Pizza Girl Massacre (2014)

(Online Screener)

Written and directed by Jason Witter

Stars: Amy Bourque, Rhiannon Frazier, Debi Kierst, Scott Bryan


In the summer of 2013, a community theatre group from Albuquerque, NM decided to stage a production of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Since the majority of the play takes place in an enchanted forest, the troupe thought it would be a good idea to rehearse in the woods. So they rented a cabin... In the woods... They never returned.

I was happy to talk to Jason Witter, the man behind this very different kind of found footage flick and obtain a copy for review. I am pleased to say it strikes a good balance between horror and comedy and comes across as downright dark and creepy in certain places.

Obviously renting a cabin in the woods is a terrible terrible idea and shooting a movie at the same time just means that when you are 'never seen or heard from again' people like me will have to watch to see what might have happened to you. I enjoy found footage horror, although some can truly test the patience of a saint, and this one was fresh and inventive as well as kind of nuts.

The rag tag group of theater actors, actresses and crew seem a bit spooked when they first meet the offbeat mother and son owner of their rented cabin. To be honest Mama Debi's initial appearance     dragged me kicking and screaming back to the one truly scary part of Sleepaway Camp...Aunt Martha.

 Of course this odd little interaction isn't going to throw a spanner in their works and so rather than run screaming for the hills they commence work. But there is more to this family unit then they realise and soon they will meet the dreaded daughter  (played by Amy Borque) who is only too happy to be star of the show...with the theater group her unwilling prey.

The film plays out like a found footage slasher movie with shades of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it does a great job of keeping you interested. You are not waiting for a final scene of true horror before the film abruptly ends which is refreshing to see and it also boats some insanely batshit performances (particularly Debi Kierst and Amy Borque). As previously mentioned there are moments of comedy throughout but some scenes are also downright disturbing - throw in some grisly murders and the outcome is actually a pretty well balanced film.

Looking forward to more work from Jason in the near future!