Sunday, 29 January 2012

Fear Eats The Seoul (2010)


(Screener Copy)

Directed by Nick J Calder

Written by Nick J Calder

Stars: Amber Green, Elinza Pretorius, Miles Meili, Nick J Calder, Hyun Do

Nick Calders Fear Eats The Seoul offers an interesting and original spin on the zombie (more like demon in this case) apocalypse scenario.

I was excited to check out this movie after viewing the trailer. It looked dark, creepy and action packed and the setting of a bleak and desolate South Korea gave it a fresh look. Although the film turned out to be a lot more dialogue heavy and lower on the action than I anticipated it was still an involving and original watch.

The story centres on four English teachers who had travelled to Korea to work only to eventually find themselves in a devastating and terrifying predicament with seemingly no hope for rescue. It turns out that in the time since the four arrived, the whole of South Korea has been afflicted by a mysterious horror , turning the population into freakish demons with the scariest looking claws you will likely see in a horror movie. Being lucky enough to be alive and thus far unaffected by the epidemic the four must figure out a way to get to safety or face the gruesome transformation into demon as they have seen happen to so many others. One break of the skin from one of these creatures and that's exactly what will happen. Add to this the personal demons of the four characters and effective flashbacks to their arrivals in Seoul before the horror began and you have a far more complex and layered movie than it might have been. Watching to find out if any of these characters would be lucky enough to make it to safety and normality makes for tense, edge of the seat viewing. I wont spoil anything by eleborating on this though!

The demon effects in Fear Eats The Seoul are incredible. The makeup work is second to none on the facial disfigurements and as previously mentioned, the claws are indeed scary. Think Freddy Kruegers glove mutated x10 and you have it! 

 The actors all do a great job in the movie. I found Amber Green as sacastic 'Nadia' to be extremely natural and she has some great/funny lines. Elinza Pretorius as 'Mary' also has a brilliantly acted scene involving an uncomfotable conversation with a slighty, shall we say crazy, young lady.

The movie is extremely well shot and absolutely looks like a big screen release. Nick makes the most of the setting to create a sprawling and treacherous wasteland. The score is also both haunting and appropriate for the dire situation unfolding.

I really look forward to hearing more about a wide release for the movie and would highly recommend checking it out. You can find out more about the movie over at the official Facebook page.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Rage (2010)

(Screener Copy)

Directed by Christopher R. Witherspoon

Written by Christopher R. Witherspoon

Stars: Rick Crawford, Audrey Walker, Jo-Black Jacob, M.L. Maltz, Anna Lodej, Chris Witherspoon

Writer/Director Christopher R. Witherspoon was good enough to let me check out his indie horror-thriller Rage and its an opportunity I am glad I got as the film is well made, well acted and suspense filled. And thats all before the blood soaked and devastating finale!

Rage features a disillusioned man named Dennis Twist (Rick Crawford) involved in an affair with a younger woman. The guilt caused by Dennis’ indiscretions is starting to eat away at him though and he finally makes the wise decision to end things for the sake of his marriage to Crystal (Audrey Walker). Sadly for Dennis, he chose the wrong day to head out for a final meeting with his mistress, as a run in with a sinister motorcyclist begins a VERY bad day for him and eventually those around him.

Chris does a great job in building up the suspense in Rage. The stalking and attacks by the motorclylist start off rather minor before buliidng in intensity, steadily turning Dennis into a terrified wreck of a man. This is a far cry from the rather cocky guy with a huge chip on his shoulder that we saw early on in the film. With the days events having well and truly taken their toll, Dennis returns home to Crystal where it turns out his nightmare is now truly beginning. From here on its home invasion horror all the way and others will unfortunately pay the price for Dennis mistakes. On this note, the finale includes some upsetting scenes – particularly those involving Ricks wife who is the ultimate victim in the film – both at the hands of the killer and her husband. There is also a very violent attack on Dennis and Audrey’s elderly neighbours which serve to give the film a bit of a body count – If only the nosy husband had just stayed home with his wife!! I felt that the film effectively changed it up from stalker thriller to gory slasher and by this point I was eager for the pair to fight back and get the upper hand against the maniac who had descended upon their lives. The garage climax is also very satisfactory and while the reveal of why the motorcyclist has been after Dennis all along could have easily came across as a joke or a bit silly, it was actually a quite chilling. The movie’s title subsequently becomes ever more relevant with this outcome.

Rick Crawford and Audrey Walker are brilliant in the film. Both were required to perform gritty roles where they have gone from an ordinary situation into an inconceivable nightmare and this is impressively portrayed by both. A scene where something unimaginable has occurred stands out as both characters look absolutely defeated and past the point of trying. This only serves to give their final fight back all the more punch. You never see the face behind the motorcycle helmet (acted by Christopher himself!) but I really don't think you  need to, the menace is very much there and actually elevated by his hidden identity.

The film is also impressively shot with perfect sound and picture - it could easily find its way into theatres as the standard is so high. It's rare to find that in a low budget film but it can be done and it's very apparent in Rage. The chase scenes were also really well presented and the comparisons with Duel are well deserved, although I still feel Rage is original in its own right.

All in all Rage is a really great watch and something a little bit new for the indie horror scene. I hope to hear some good news soon regarding worldwide distribution as the film thoroughly deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Abolition (2011)

(Screener Copy)

Directed by Mike Klassen

Written by Mike Klassen, Chris Lawson, Chantelle Kadyschuk 

Stars: Andrew Roth, Reggie Bannister, Caroline Williams, Elissa Dowling, Emily Alatalo

Director Mike Klassen delivers the creepy goods with his religious themed mystery Abolition, raising the question whether somebody living on your very doorstep could be responsible for the end of the world. Sounds promising huh?

The biggest plus point for me watching Abolition was how immediately engaging it is. Characters and events are so intriguing that I found myself drawn right in, eager to found out how everything would turn out in the films climax. The film is rather slow burning, yes, but slow burning never has to mean boring which is where Abolition really excels. You have a story which doesn't need to rely on gratuitous violence and sex throughout, but the character driven plot is so finely woven  none of this matters.

After a macabre opening involving the death of a young woman we are introduced to our lead character. Josh is is a very confused and haunted young man, plagued by mysterious black outs. Regularly finding himself at the scene of somebody in trouble he subsequently feels compelled to help them. The only problem with this is that this help seems to come at a price for somebody else. Soon Josh finds himself on a path to discover who he really is and what his real purpose in life is. I wouldn't want to spoil anymore of the plot but will just say Abolition provides a great mystery full of compelling drama.

The acting in this film is excellent. I can't recall one weak performance from any of the actors. Andrew Roth is superb as the tortured Josh. I think there is a definite successful future for him out there both on the indie horror scene and as an actor in general. Elissa Dowling absolutely nailed the role of Mia. The last role I caught Elissa in was playing an uber bitch from hell which was fantastic and fun as well as suitably campy for the type of film it was. Here however, a far more serious and emotional performance was required and that's absolutely what is delivered. Its always great to see Phantasms Reggie Bannister on screen and Caroline Williams small role as Joshs' mother is both  touching and important to the plot.The film is also very professionally presented, well shot, perfectly audible sound.As well as this the soundtrack is really great, very haunting and a perfect fit to the suspenseful story.

My only complaint about Abolition is that I was so sucked into it and had grown very attached to the charcaters, that when it hit its final scene it felt like there should have been more. That said this end more than sets up a potential sequel so hopefully there is even more to come from Mike Klassen and company.

I understand that indie horror champion R Squared Films has picked Abolition up for a 2012 DVD release which is great news. Fans of smart, well scripted supernatural thrillers are going to find a lot to love about this flick.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Hell is Full (2010)

Directed by Steve Hudgins

Written by Steve Hudgins

Stars: Grey Hurt, PJ Woodside, Steve Hudgins, Randy Hardesty, Steve Schwetman, Kristine Renee Farley, Cindy Maples, Savannah Pennington, Elaine Ruff, Katherine Kelley

USA DVD release – 28 June 2010 (Big Biting Pig Productions) 

Kentucky based Big Biting Pig Productions turns the zombie sub genre on its rotted head with their inventive and original horror film Hell is Full. 

Hell is Full tells the tale of a small town succumbing to the nightmarish scenario of townsfolk falling sick /dying only to return from the dead. Sound familiar? Probably. What sets this film apart from others of its kind is the unique way writer Steve Hudgins (also director and star of the film) chooses to share the chain of events with the audience. The movie initially opens with a gory and jump filled home invasion scene featuring zombified townsfolk. This scene however is product of previous events where a large number of locals are transformed into zombies due to various encounters with those already infected. It soon transpires that a meteor had landed in town and one character became infected by the contents within initiating the deadly chain of events we are slowly seeing unfold.

Hell is Full features some great jump scares and a nice level of body munching grue. It also has its share of really creepy scenes such as the infected guy in army gear lurking around and the final scenes showing the various residents of the town wandering around....looking for more 'food' no doubt. The army guy in particular really got under my skin every time he showed up just wandering around. The death/attack scenes themselves are simple yet effective, with just the right chomping sounds to satisfy the gore hounds but not so graphic to make the more sensitive steer clear.

I enjoyed a lot of the performances in the film. Randy Hardesty and Kristine Renee Farley as doomed father and daughter stood out as did PJ Woodside's (also co producer) wronged wife. Cindy Maples is as great as ever and plays a far naughtier character than she did in BBP's most recent outing: The Creepy Doll. The awkward scenes with her husband (played by Steve Hudgins) who smells a rat of the human variety in the bedroom, are particularly excellent.

All in all Hell is Full is an indie horror flick which deserves the attention it has continued to receive since its release. I think if you are not personally a zombie fan you could still find a lot to enjoy in the movie due to engaging characters and a very smart script. Plus it's nice and eerie in many places and doesn't rely on an abundance of gory zombie attacks from start to finish! Check out more about the film  here and pick up a copy! I also highly recommend all other available titles. BBP are currently working on a new film: Spirit Stalkers, which is due for release in this summer. Spirit Stalkers looks like it's going to be a great spin on the paranormal investigator style ghost story and I am sure from previous films that it will probably something very fresh and innovative.

Further links for your perusal:

The Hell is Full Official Facebook
The Big Biting Pig Official Facebook
The Creepy Doll Official Facebook
Spirit Stalkers Official Facebook

Friday, 6 January 2012

15 (2010)

(Screener Copy)

Directed by Jason Hawkins

Written by Jason Hawkins

Stars: Bob Olin, Natasha Timpani, Dara Davey,  Alicia Rose, Mayan Lewis and Jason Hawkins as 'Edward Payne'

Its not often I admit to struggling with the content of a horror movie (so don’t expect it to happen again!) but here is a film that really challenged me. It isn’t because it’s a bad film, it’s actually really well made, brilliantly acted and downright chilling. However it’s also unflinchingly graphic and hardcore in places and there were several moments I really found difficult to watch. If you check out the movies official website here - you will see this is all intended in what they were trying to convey with 15.

15 tells the story of Jack Hamil, a struggling camera man who leaves his wife to travel to the home of self confessed serial killer Edward 'Ed' Payne in order to document him before he hands himself over to the police. Joined by the enthusiastic but slightly acerbic Brenda, the pair intend to elevate their careers by getting into the mind of a man who has claimed to have killed a number of woman over the past decade, without the law coming even close to catching him. Meeting the mild mannered Ed (Played by Director Jason Hawkins) starts a slow burning journey, which if you are paying attention at the opening credits, cannot possibly end well - at all.

Scenes in the opening twenty minutes where Jack hears crying and music in the middle of the night are absolutely get- under-your-skin creepy. A further fright evoked by Jack leaving his room to investigate the noises is equally as unnerving and honestly made me glad I wasn't watching 15 late at night before switching all the lights off! Things only get more disturbing as the film crew try to get Ed to open up about his past, indicating very quickly that things are not right in the slightest. If they were not sure if this guy is for real or not before, a scene where Ed goes ballistic and storms out tells them otherwise. So the creepy atmosphere and uncomfortable tension has been well and truly set up by this point, but that’s nothing compared to the horrors that soon occur. There is one scene later on in the movie that is so utterly repulsive that I struggled not to stop the movie for a break. It is very graphic, doesn’t shy away from anything and makes for seriously horrific viewing.

The acting in 15 is brilliant, with no exceptions. The material is so dark, brutal and raw that it required actors who could really step up to the challenge, and you definitely get there here - particularly in case of the three leads. Natasha Timpani plays the ambitious, budding journalist perfectly. Brenda is ultimately a very complex character and I think Natasha tapped into her various personality shifts excellently. She starts out a bit cold towards Jack - she knows what she wants and what she intends to gain from the project and isn't prepared to settle for less - be it subpar equipment or ineffective shots or camera angles. Her facial expressions depicting her discomfort and weariness in the earlier scenes are superb. The character goes onto becoming a warmer person once she realises Jack is good at his job and the project is going better than they had hoped. However this doesn't last as Brenda suddenly goes all femme fatale about halfway through the movie leading her to a very grisly discovery. I don’t want to spoil anything for readers but there’s even more to come from Brenda before the movies end so hats off to Natasha Timpani for her multi faceted portrayal of a truly fascinating character. Jack Hamil is very convincing as a guy beaten down by life, desperate to make amends with his wife financially. He is only doing this project with one goal in mind and that’s to provide for the wife he feels he has let down. Unfortunately for Jack he gets pulled so far into Ed Payne’s twisted world that there isn’t any coming back. His screams of terror and disgust in the film’s final moments show a real talent and made me truly feel for him, despite some of his previous, shall we say questionable, actions. Director Jason Hawkins plays the twisted mad man Payne almost too is a man you would never want to find yourself alone with. Happy smiles and offbeat quips mask a hideous monster who is not at all choosy about who he inflicts torment and pain upon. Once that monster is fully revealed, Ed Payne becomes a character who may just haunt me for some time to come. This terrifying killers final words at the end of the film will likely leave you cold.

The movie also pulls off two twists in the brutal finale. One of these I had guessed from a previous dialogue from one character and the other...well...stunned me...and continued to stun me after the reveal. This aspect of the film will really get to viewers, I can guarantee!  

So in summary, 15 is a very hard pill to swallow in its very uncompromising nature. Don’t expect to go into this one and feel uplifted afterwards as it just isn’t going to happen. However the film is 100% effective in what it has set out to achieve and certainly leaves its mark. I highly recommend viewing this film BUT you have been warned: NOT FOR THE EASILY OFFENDED

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


Hacked in the Head Reviews had the pleasure of doing a Q&A with first time Director Sevé Schelenz in order to discuss his found footage frightener Skew. Featuring a road trip going more than a little wrong, Skew (review here) truly entertains, scares and more importantly challenges the audience. I wanted to find out more about the movie and its production and also more about the man responsible for creeping me the hell out! Read on for Sevé's fantastic response and please, please check the movie out on Netflix if you are lucky enough to be able to do so..........

Hacked in the Head: Hi Sevé, it’s great to have the opportunity to talk to you about your creepy horror flick  Skew. I personally really enjoyed the movie and firstly wondered how much of an inspiration The Blair Witch Project was in making it? Also, what are your thoughts on the BWP over ten years on? I still find it incredibly effective and unsettling whereas many horror fans do not appear to agree.

Sevé Schelenz: Hi Mark, I’m pretty stoked to be here… wait, where am I? Oh right, we’re doing this through e-mail and I’m at home. Okay. Actually, I’m very happy and excited to be doing a Q&A with you. Skew has been so well received by so many and it’s an honor to answer questions about the movie. Thank you for your kind words on the film. The Blair Witch Project was absolutely an inspiration for making Skew. When I wrote the film in 2004, there were two main questions that came to mind. The first was what do I actually find scary? And the second was how do I make a scary feature film on the little amount of money I have? With the former question, I realized so many elements of Blair Witch delivered truly chilling moments. One element was the fact that it was shot through a camcorder, thereby giving a truly personal feeling like it was something that really happened and could happen to anyone. The second element was the building of anticipation, the not knowing what was going to happen next. As for my limited finances, I realized I could shoot a film through the eyes of a video camera and the audience would forgive the low budget look of it. Camcorder footage is supposed to look like it’s shot unprofessionally and there are no expectations regarding perfect lighting or high definition quality results. In essence, Blair Witch was truly the catalyst for Skew. In the early stages of finalizing the script for Skew, I watched Blair Witch several times to learn from it. At the time, that film was only five years old so I felt there was room for another film similar in style but original in its own right. I did not want to copy Blair Witch and if you watch Skew I think you will see how truly different it is. Even down to the fact that in this “found footage” dubbed subgenre of horror, Skew does not fall easily into the category. Why is this? Because Skew is not really a “found footage” film at all. We’ve taken that subgenre and turned it on its ear.

HitH: How did you set about casting Skew?

SS:Casting for Skew was a very interesting experience. We decided to go with truly independent actors because not only did we want performers who were unrecognizable in today’s media to ensure the story’s credibility, but union actors were unattainable due to our limited budget. In 2004 there was no such thing as Craigslist so we had to do it the old-fashioned way by putting up signs at acting schools and spreading it through word of mouth. Luckily enough, I did stumble upon a website for actors where you could post your ad, but I’m not really sure if this generated a greater response. In the end, we were able to hold auditions over two weekends and the turnout was… colorful to say the least. I would say 50% of the actors who turned up should not be acting, while another 25% just did not fit the roles. We were very worried that we would not be able to find our three leads. Then, out of the blue, luck struck - and it struck hard. Amber Lewis turned up and read for the role of Eva. We were speechless when she finished and we pretty much offered her the role right then and there. Richard Olak followed with his reading of Rich and he nailed the part. It was down to our last lead, the character of Simon Lacey and in walked Robert Scattergood. Without a doubt, this film could never have been done without him. His screaming alone scared the hell out of me.

HitH: Five years in the making, what factors caused the process to be this lengthy? Did you ever feel like throwing in the towel?

SS: Again, it all had to do with my very limited budget. The reality is I had three sources of funding for Skew – me, myself and I. The truth is I called in as many favors as I could to create the film and this, combined with friends and others who truly believed in the project, were the core of this production. Pre-production and production went fairly smoothly but it also took a lot of the money from the budget to complete. Post-production was the real killer with visual effects taking a long time to complete. I had some very experienced artists working on the shots and it was just a matter of time for them to work on the VFX as they had their daytime jobs that took priority. Not once did I ever feel like throwing in the towel. I am a very persistent person and I was determined from the start to see this film through. There have definitely been a lot of obstacles along the way but I knew it would get done. Also, a lot of people sacrificed huge amounts of their time to help in creating Skew and I would not dishonor them by giving up after all the work they’d done until the film was complete.

HitH: The grotesque distortion of certain doomed characters faces provides a fantastically gruesome effect. What gave you the idea for this?

SS: When I wrote Skew I had always referred to the distorted faces as “blotches.” That’s even what the character of Simon refers to them in the film at one point. Initially I had imagined the effects as being a little more digital looking—this definitely would fall in line with the story. In post-production we had a visual effects artist create three different looks for this effect. Once completed, I had to make a decision. After lengthy discussion, we felt the final version that made it into the film was the most disturbing one. I would also say that the VFX in Skew was inspired by Japanese horror. My VFX supervisor wanted to do something a little different and after doing some research he felt this style was very ominous. Looking at them today in the final version, I have to agree with him and am very happy that we decided to go this route.

HitH: The ending of Skew has provoked much discussion. Which is great! Is this something you hoped for when making the movie?

SS: When I initially wrote Skew I actually had a couple of different endings in mind. I thought long and hard about which one really had the best payoff. I describe Skew as a “thinking man’s film” and I didn’t want to patronize the audience by giving them a conclusion that was expected. Too many films really project their ending right from the beginning of the film. I actually looked to The Sixth Sense for inspiration on this. I remember seeing that film in the theatre and jumping out of my seat when I figured it out—and that only occurred in the last five minutes of the film, exactly where Shyamalan wanted it to happen. At the same time, I didn’t want to finish Skew with an ending that was so obscure the audience wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of it. Every scene in Skew is relevant and provides a piece to the puzzle that comes full circle at the end of the film. It’s been quite amazing to attend some of the film festivals we have played at and participate in the Q&A afterwards. Not only have I been asked many different questions about the ending, but fans have provided their own creative interpretations of it as well. I’m sure the debate on the conclusion of Skew will go on for a while. I invite all your readers who’ve seen the film to message me through either YouTube or IMDb if they have any questions or want to comment about it.

HitH: Given the time again is there anything you would do differently with Skew? I read somewhere that there were some additional scenes which would give the film a more 'Hollywood feel' - are you still glad these never made the final cut?

SS: There really isn’t too much I would have done differently with Skew if I had the opportunity. It does bug me that it took over five years to complete but I can’t think of how I could have really changed that. In terms of the story itself, I did have additional scenes that were actually shot, but as expected in the process they were left on the edit room floor due to the “fat” they provided to the film. One of the most important and resourceful things I experienced during the filmmaking process was test screenings. We had about five screenings for the five different stages of the film. For every screening we usually had at least one really good piece of feedback that helped shape Skew into a better film. We even did some additional shooting based on this feedback that definitely created a better product. In terms of the “Hollywood feel” I had envisioned a bookends-style setup that would have easily positioned the film for a potential sequel. Unfortunately, I can’t give you any indication of what this would be as it would definitely be a spoiler for Skew. However, I can tell you that I am still glad this was never included in the film. In addition to making Skew a different film, it would have created a “double ending” feeling and that is something you want to avoid as a filmmaker.

HitH: What are your favourite horror movies of all time and why?

SS: I’ve had the chance to attend a few horror festivals when Skew was chosen as an official selection. I met so many horror aficionados that I felt pretty wet behind the ears when it came to all the frightening independent and Hollywood films out there. I learned so much from these horrorphiles that it has really opened my eyes up to films that I still need to see. These include: Let The Right One In, Wolf Creek and A Serbian Film. As for those that I can check off my horror film bucket list: Halloween, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, The Ring and, of course The Blair Witch Project are some of my favorite horror films. The one true characteristic that secures my love for a film of any genre is story. Without a well-written screenplay, believability is thrown out the window and you lose interest not only for the story, but also for the characters—for whom we’re supposed to be sympathetic towards because they’re living the nightmare—and that is the kiss of death for a movie. I continue to learn from such horror masters as John Carpenter and hope to one day be able to make films as good and diverse as his.

HitH: Have you grown up wanting to write/direct movies or is it something that came later?

SS: Early on in high school I begged and pleaded my parents to buy me a video camera. When they finally cracked and purchased a VHS camcorder—state of the art at the time—I began shooting everything in sight. This random shooting quickly gave way to scripted material as I created short films and commercials. At the time, comedy was my thing and I enlisted as many family members and friends to help me produce these masterpieces. It wasn’t long before I literally drove them crazy with the number of productions I was making. It was around this time when my guidance counselor took me aside and said it was time to decide what I wanted to study at university. The funny thing is, I never thought of filmmaking as an option. I guess I always believed you went on to post secondary school studying to be an accountant, a lawyer, or to study some trade. I avoided the counselor for weeks, as I didn’t know what else I wanted to do. It wasn’t until he finally tracked me down when he let me know that film school was an option. You wouldn’t believe how happy I was to hear that! After five years of university I graduated into the film industry. It’s been fifteen years now that I’ve been working in the post-production field, and in that span have had a chance to create my own original shorts, a television series and a feature film. None of these productions would ever have seen the light of day unless I took the initiative to make them myself. By default, I became the writer, producer and director on these projects in order to get them done. I guess my high school experience taught me to never give up. This thought process has made me a better filmmaker and I plan to continue making independent films for a long time.

HitH: Finally, what's next for Sevé Schelenz?

SS: The festival run is slowly winding down for Skew. With official selections in 40 festivals and six awards for the film, we have done pretty well with the film. Skew also began streaming on Netflix in the U.S. and has been released for DVD sales in Germany. We’ve even had quite a run with reviewers who seem to really dig the film. So the next few months will hopefully find us locking down our U.S. sales for DVD as well as some interest in other markets. In terms of our next project, we are just putting the finishing touches on another feature script and will spend the next little while gathering funding and preparing for pre-production. Yes, it just so happens to be another horror… but this time we’re going a little more traditional and stepping away from the POV style of filmmaking. It was definitely fun to play with that sub-genre of horror, but it’s time to change course and scare the hell out of our fans another way. But don’t worry, this film will definitely have its share of twists.

HitH: Thank you so much Sevé for talking to Hacked in the Head Reviews! We look forward to news on your new movie soon!

SS: Mark, thanks so much for taking the time to watch Skew and put these questions together. I’m really glad you like the film and I hope your readers have a chance to check it out. I’m pretty pumped that Skew turned out the way it did and look forward to hearing from more fans. Thanks for supporting independent horror and keep the pen sharp and the blood flowing!!

Mold! (2009)

Directed by Neil Meschino

Written by Dave Fogerson, Neil Meschino

Stars: Ardis Campbell, Robert Fattorini, Chris Gentile, Lawrence George, Edward X. Young, James Murphy, Rick Haymes, Mike Keller, Edison Carter

Release: streaming through

Take a trip back to the more amusing side of 1980s horror with Neil Meschinos gloopy, gungy and splat-tastic Mold!

The initial striking part of this micro budget horror flick for me, is its authentic 80s look and feel. It honestly could have easily been an old horror film from that decade which was criminally unreleased for some reason. You can actually imagine a legion of pissed off horror fans lobbying for its release after researching every internet stored morsel of it. Luckily for fans however, the movie was actually made in 2009 and it is now available to stream via the movies official website.

So what can you expect from the plot of Mold? Well its 1984 and we have a group of scientists at a research laboratory trapped with a deadly strain of - you guessed it - mold. The mold itself has been developed in order to wipe out Colombian coca fields but unfortunately it is far more dangerous than that!. Its not long before the ferocious funghi starts taking out each and every one of the baffled scientists in the nastiest ways possible. And when I say nasty, don't take my word for it. You have imploding faces, exploding guts, decimated eyes and FULL body rottage. Plus, there's more where that came from! The special effects required for this type of carnage is very well done, and all practical to boot, so there's a definite thumbs up. There is also another aspect to the plot that I wont spoil, but I will just add that not everything is what it seems with some of the characters.

The film itself is very professionally shot with some impressively directed scenes. In particular, the scenes of a character turned crazy, marauding along corridors ....with a literal axe to grind. There's also a nice claustrophobic atmosphere evoked with many characters trapped together in the same room - this may or may not have been down in part to budget, but it did work well.

On the acting front, I loved Ardis Campbell and Chris Gentile as the not-so-secretly-in-love (or lust?) lead characters 'Julia' and 'Dave'. Both come across as very natural and engaging, particularly Ardis Campbell who I predict big things for! I also enjoyed the schlocky, chain smoking Colonel character, played by Edward X. Young. He provides some nice comedic moments despite coming across as more than a tad imposing and dangerous! There are a lot of funny one liners and gags in the movie which I think the actors all delivered extremely well - I definitely laughed out loud more than once.

The film is also nicely set up for a sequel which I really hope happens. I am thinking mold let loose in a small nearby town.... or how about a group of truckers trapped in a diner on the outskirts of town (in order to keep the claustrophobic aspect present in this movie?)

I strongly recommend you check out the movie on Facebook and then get yourselves over to the the official movie site and get the green stuff streaming.....just be sure the green stuff doesn't stream all over you!