Monday, March 28, 2011

Slices of Life (2010)

Slices of Life (2010)

Director: Anthony Sumner

Writers: Anthony Sumner, Eric Richter, and Alan Rowe Kelly

Sexual Parasites, Disembowelment, Zombies, Serial Killers, Demon Children, Violent Vixens, Rabid Office Workers and Angry Embryos all spring to life from the flesh covered sketch books featured in Anthony G. Sumner's (Gallery of Fear) SLICES OF LIFE. Mira (Kaylee Williams) awakens in front of a seedy roadside motel with amnesia. She searches for clues to her identity in the pages of three bound sketchbooks, in which each book represents a different aspect of everyday life, maybe her life. WORK LIFE A lowly clerk at a nano technology firm unleashes a deadly virus at the office headquarters, giving new meaning to the term corporate zombie. HOME LIFE As local girls begin to disappear, a young pregnant woman is haunted by visions of evil demonic children hell bent on stealing her unborn fetus. SEX LIFE A young brother and sister on the run from a sexually abusive home life, take refuge in a countryside Victorian manor- only to discover the monsters hidden in this house have been looking for a new home. Convinced that the characters from these books are roaming around the motel, Mira's reality begins to crumble. Are these visions real or is she going insane? Desperate, Mira turns to the motel caretakers (Marv Blauvelt and Helene Alter-Dyche), only to discover the true evil bound in the flesh covered books and the destiny they hold for her. Written by Slices of Life

I have been waiting to see Slices of Life for quite some time now, and I believe that my slowly building anticipation may have only added to the sheer enjoyment I felt while watching it. I felt like it was really worth the wait. I have been looking for a great anthology for a while, and this one fits the bill. I could sit here and say that it holds a lot of similarities to other great anthologies like Creepshow or Campfire Tales, but in reality its on a level all of its own. Sumner and Richter manage to put together one killer trilogy of terror, only this trilogy is wrapped up inside a fourth and equally as terrifying as the other three. The only way I can break down this review is to go section by section and give you my thoughts.

Work Life: W.O.R.M.

Unfortunately, and I don't mean this in a really bad way, but I feel like Work Life is definitely the weakest of the four stories. That might only be because the others are so incredibly good. I really felt like Work Life was the story that wanted to be insanely crazy, and go as far from believable as it could get, and it worked, and after you read about the other stories, you may ask yourself why. The truth is the overacting, although bearable and forgivable, was abundant. The co-workers were hilarious and insanely brutal as Work Life pulled no strings in the originality department. The story was inventive, and the execution was in a playful manner, but about as gory as any movie I have seen recently. Being strangled by someones intestines is the first thing that pops in to my mind. William Robert Moss (played by Jack Guasta) was a good pillar for the story, and it is because of how easy it is to relate to him. I'm a nerd myself, so I had flashbacks of middle school as William was picked on relentlessly. To top it all of we get a special appearance of the insanely talented Alan Rowe Kelly as an online sex video chat vixen, and she is relentless! After watching Alan's mangled face screaming for more, I don't think I can look at Alan the same way again, haha.

Home Life: Amber Alert

This was such a complete turn-around from Work Life, that it completely shocked me. I was half expecting another half goofy but insanely gory film, but what I saw was a film full of raw emotion. The fact that Vonda (Toya Turner) is pregnant really amps it up a bit for me. I am a father of two wonderful boys and to see her go through the course of the film turned my stomach in ways I don't usually feel. It also didn't help that the premise of the story is about a slew of missing children, who come back like demons or ghosts, looking to take Vonda's unborn baby. I don't mean this out of any disrespect towards any of the other actors in the film when I say that Toya's performance was hands down the best in the film. She was very believable, and never lost her character. Lamont (Thurston Hlll) was the perfect companion character for her as the husband, and played his role respectfully. As for the demonic children, they probably steal the show. They were able to be horrifying without totally grossing you out with blood and guts, and that's why I commend this story as much as I do. I always love a good scare without having to be shocked or disgusted about it.

Sex Life: Pink Snapper

This little section was the perfect to round out the core trilogy. It knew all the right moments to be serious, and when to be fun. Deneen Melody and Galen Schloming as the brother and sister were perfect together, and played off each other very well. The story itself was set up very well, with the sexually abusive Uncle Jack (Mike Tracy), and having to run away for fear that they killed him. I really don't want to say so much about this film, for fear that I might give something away, but it has plenty of twists and turns. This one gets my vote for best blood splatter and ridiculous plot line of the year. It was awesome!


Sketcher was the glue that held the stories together. It starts the film, narrates in between the films, and ends the film on a strong not. This helps the film never trail off course. Sometimes you will have films with narration, and that narration to the stories is so boring you forget about what happened in the stories. Sketcher uses Mira (played by the awesome Kaylee Williams) as a way to narrate the story using actions, while becoming a story all on its own. Kaylee did such a wonderful slowly transitioning her character in to fully understanding the books she found before her. Marv Blauvelt as Tiny! I never though he would go with this "short" joke, but it works for him. Marv is always fun to watch on the screen, even if he does to mostly small roles, but he played the part of Tiny very well, and made me laugh along the way with his ridiculous accent, dress attire. It was the perfect character to accompany Mira, and Irma (Helene Alter-Dyche). I think without this segment, there other three stories would just be a confusing mess.

From start to finish, Slices of Life captivated me as a horror writer, and a horror fan. They are such imaginative stories and feel like they are taking seriously. I can't count the number of times I have received screeners of independent films to watch, and had them turn out to be pure garbage that I didn't even care to review... So I didn't. Slices of Life is not that film, and you could tell from the solid opening credits and professional level film score, this was going to be a professional and respectable film.

Worried at first, Slices of Life never let me down, and had me fist pumping by the end. Great job to Mr. Sumner and Mr. Richter on putting together one hell of a film that will stick with me for a long time to come. I WILL be purchasing the DVD!

Entertainment Value: 9/10 Exploding Heads!

Cinematic Value: 8/10 Exploding Heads!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sucker Punch (2011)

Sucker Punch (2011) Dir. by Zack Snyder A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility. First of all, the critics are tearing this film apart, and for the life of me I just can't see why. What do they expect when they go to see a Snyder film? I know I expect there to be a lot of use from the Green Screen. I also know that I expect there to be the minimal amount of story it requires to get from point A to point B. Last but not least, I expect to see a lot of badass action sequences that end up being the driving point of film. I'm not a terribly intelligent person, but knowing these facts I thought I had a pretty good grasp on what I was going to be watching, and I was right. I just don't see how the critics can get off saying there is no depth within the characters. The only none action filled sequences of the film were oozing with character depth and development. Snyder managed to create characters who were each so very different from the next one and made it damn near perfectly visible. Baby Doll, played by Emily Browning, carries the film in its lead. She offers up insane amounts of depth and emotions playing a girl who accidentally kills her sister while trying to protect her from their abusive stepfather. He then puts her directly in to an insane asylum where she is to undergo a frontal lobotomy in just a few days, and the stepfather will then be in charge of the items in the mother's will. Playing Blue Jones (The leader of the mental ward, doubling as a pleasure palace) is Oscar Isaac, and I think he was really the underestimated part of this film, as he offers a delightfully evil bad guy, and often had me laughing at his ridiculous mustache. The other pleasant surprise to me was Carla Gugino, playing the foreign Doctor/Dance Instructor. She was almost unrecognizable, and though she really brought the veteran feel to her role, he accent seemed to fade a bit at times. I give her credit for trying though, as it seemed like a difficult role to portray. Jon Hamm offered a nice little touch in his dual role of doctor/high roller, and even though his role was small he played it with the poise he usually does. And now for the other girls; Sweet Pea (The ever so beautiful Abbie Cornish from Limitless), Rocket (Played by Jena Malone with boyish good looks, haha), Amber (played by Jamie Chung of Sorority Row), and Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens, of HSM, and not naked) all do an amazing job playing their straight forward roles supporting Baby Doll in her quest for freedom. Each girl serving her purpose and doing so very well. As for the film itself, I highly enjoyed the ability of transferring from reality to fantasy with the use of dance. You could never know what kind of sexy dance Baby Doll was doing to distract the people she needed to, and a dance intense enough to let her slip in to a fantasy world in order to visualize the stuff her and her little team of misfits needed to accomplish. With characters and actions in the fantasy realm often resembling events and people in the real world. Snyder was able to pull it off perfectly. I actually do look forward to seeing Snyder's upcoming Superman reboot, but until then, I will look forward to the DVD release of Sucker Punch, as it was the most entertaining film I have seen in a while. Entertainment Value: 9/10 Items needed to escape Cinematic Value: 8/10 Items needed to escape

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Scream of the Banshee (2011)

Scream of the Banshee (2011) Dir. by Steven C. Miller

An archeology professor unearths a dangerous artifact, unwittingly releasing a creature that is able to kill with the power of its bone-splitting scream.

I know... I know... it aired on SyFy tonight so there will be 9 million other bloggers tonight that post this review, but it is really the first feature length horror film I have watched in a month or so. Judging from this sexy poster here... I'm going to go ahead and guess there were some scenes cut out of this film from After Dark Films for its premiere on SyFy. That being said... The poster is pretty flippin sweet. I had been waiting for this night for quite some time now. It marks the 200th SyFy original film aired on Saturday nights and that is a pretty big accomplishment. I think Scream of the Banshee fits in really well with their group of crappy but awesome movies!

I didn't know what to think about Steven C Miller at first. I don't typically like filmmakers out of Full Sail University in Florida, but I have a friend that goes there now, and so I give it a chance now. It also helps that Miller made that insanely fun flick Automaton Transfusion, so I knew there was a chance I would enjoy this... and I did.

The whole article for this film should be "This has Lance Henriksen in it..." Then give my vote, but I can't do that because his role is so small, so I have to talk about other people. That being said... Lauren Holly is in it! She really adds the veteran actress feel to the film, and pretty much carries it. I'm not saying anyone else does a bad job, in fact... voice actor Todd Haberkorn did an amazing job in his supporting role in front of the camera for once. As far as everyone else they are never bad enough to be a distracting part of the film.

For anyone else out there that knows me well, knows that I'm a bit of a mythology and legend freak. So when I knew they were doing a story involving the Banshee from Irish folklore, I was damn ecstatic. Miller managed to use various elements of the original banshee background and do it very well. The image of the creature itself is more of his own creation than what is given in a majority of the books, but he makes it his own, and I respect that. I mean... it is a horror film, so he has to make it look scary. Overall... the film was entertaining. It was one of the better SyFy original films, just barely edging Sharkoctopus, haha. I wouldn't mind seeing the unedited version of this sometime, but it had creative deaths and used the folklore well, so I enjoyed it.

Entertainment Value: 7/10 Screaming Severed Heads
Cinematic Value: 7/10 Screaming Severed Heads

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Remote (2010)

Remote (2010) Written, Produced and Directed by Marc Roussel

On a cold February night, Matt loses his cable signal during a severe snowstorm. He's left with channel after channel of static, until he comes across a station that is the mirror image of his apartment, but 30 years in the past. He soon discovers that he can communicate with Justine, the young woman residing in the apartment on the television. As the two get to know each other, Matt discovers that Justine died on that very night 30 years ago. Can he change her fate? Written by Marc Roussel on

Everyone knows I'm a sucker for shorts, so it probably doesn't surprise anyone when I tell them that I jumped at the chance to review Remote for Marc Roussel. I had read a previous review done my my good friend The Mike over at From Midnight, With Love, and fell in love with the concept. Actually, more pissed at Marc for coming up with the idea before I could! I'm only kidding... but really... pissed. Either way the film is brilliant, and I was happy to have the chance to see it.

The story itself is a very familiar concept, but never really done so much in this fashion. It kind of reminded me of that shitty film, The Lake House, with Keanu, only this film was good. It starts off with very believable characters doing very normal things. When Matt(Ron Basch) discovers his T.V. is having a bit of a fit, it is all played off very realistic. That's when he meets Justine (Sarah Silverthorne), who just happens to be living in his apartment 30 years ago to this day. Upon a little getting to know you session, Matt decides to look up Justine in the present day and found out what she is doing. That's when he says that she was murdered on that very day, in that very apartment. Before he has time to warn her, he spots the killer(Peter Racanelli) in the apartment with her. I know what you are thinking, that those are some crazy twists, but the film doesn't stop there, and I'm not going to continue for the fear of ruining it.

The cast and crew did an amazing job on this film. Despite being a short I really felt the film hand some potential to be stretched out to a longer film, maybe even a feature length film, but maybe that is me. I wanted more. It was clear to me that Marc Roussel knew exactly what he was doing behind the camera, and that he had extensive experience in the editing department, giving his editor a direction to go. The film was smooth, and well paced, with above par acting. I highly recommend it to everyone, and I look forward to seeing some more great films from Marc in the future.

Entertainment Value: 8/10 Polaroid Pictures
Cinematic Value: 8/10 Polaroid Pictures

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Making of Crestfallen Diary - Entry #6

Here is the final entry I have for the diary. I hope someone found something interesting in there, haha. I know I did, and it was my movie.


Post-Production didn’t star on CRESTFALLEN for a while. Dominick and I were fighting to meet a delivery date for our first cut of THE SADIST, our “killer in the woods” feature film we shot in the summer of 2010. Russ and our other collaborators had to wait patiently, occasionally chiming in with queries on what the hell was going on with this little movie we shot back in September. When we finally started cutting the movie, I can only commend Dom, who had a very clear-eyed poetic approach to the material. When selecting the opening image, we had miles of B-roll but he became fixated on this image of a dreary old barn against a cold sky. “I don’t know, it just feels like death,” he said, then turned to me with a smile and said, “Nobody is gonna understand what the hell this movie is about!”

The second act of the movie took a slip into what we called “purgatory”, with Chris Cunningham inspired sound effects as the narrative as it were fell right off the rails. And in the original script, the character has a moment of epiphany where she comprehends that the child provides her with a reason to live. But this realization comes too late. Our editing ground to a halt as the movie felt leaden with despair, and we had run out of places to go with our material. We had always intended on shooting a baby and a toddler upon our return to New York, but figured out it was an essential element to the completion of CRESTFALLEN. We went out and spent a pleasant afternoon on a misty Sunday morning filming a friend’s children up near the Cloisters far uptown. Once we had that, the editing resumed and we had the necessary climactic beats of our picture. We caught an image of a baby’s tiny fingers wrapping tight around her mother’s hand; that bit of magic encapsulated our central character’s reason to live.

I hope everyone finds the time to at least stop by the Crestfallen Facebook page and click "LIKE" for more updates on the film from time to time.

Here is the link:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Making of Crestfallen - Entry #5


The key scene in CRESTFALLEN is the main character’s suicide, which is the engine that drives the entire picture.

A recent horror movie I love called VINDICATION, directed by Bart Mastronardi, has a suicide as a peak moment in the first act that defines the anti-hero. Bart’s film was the wall I had to bounce off of. How not to replicate his vision, which was personal, wounded, a naked display of vulnerability? My only fallback was that the entire opening of Bart’s movie is steeped in naturalism, to lull us into a “real world” that spirals into a nightmare.

That defined the way CRESTFALLEN had to go, which was the opposite direction—epic, operatic, a spectacle. That was the only way to escape VINDICATION. So we created a stylized world of smoke, light, water, something that shows how our emotions resonate large – Love, Hate, Despair, Envy.

These are as big as castles and kings, and we should never be afraid to go big. I never want to make a small movie. Yet here we are again, working with pennies, scraping together a movie with only two or three lights. With that, we aimed for the grand scale, shooting in widescreen. The paradox is it remains a small movie, a humble offering, a pauper’s feast. A woman attempts to kill herself and a flood of images wash over her. She goes to purgatory and emerges with a new understanding.

As you can imagine, this scene took the longest to shoot. Deneen, Dominick and I were up well into the night, and our colleague-at-arms was Arthur Cullipher. Arthur makes very, very bizarre, provocative and unnerving movies (one of them involves a kind of Lovecraftian vagina monster) and yet he must work out all of his madness onscreen because he was utterly professional, serene, calming, and very present for us when everyone else had, quite sensibly, gone to sleep (except for assistant director Leya Taylor, who fastidiously helped restore order to the mess we’d made in the rest of the house). Arthur was with us to the last, fastidiously setting up blood gags (and other, more invisible gags) that onscreen seem so simple but required diligence and steady care and reapplication. On a closed set where you want as few people around as possible during this emotionally and physically naked sequence for the actor, Arthur made himself indispensible and nearly invisible; an amazing bit of magic on his part.

I also nearly got my foot shot off by a small purse-sized handgun during this sequence, but that’s a story for another time…

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Making of Crestfallen Diary - Entry #4


They say never work with children or animals, but in my experience it can be very rewarding. Kids are able to access their imagination much quicker than grown-ups. And when directing children, it’s important to make sure you lead them, guide them, and are assertive; otherwise they’ll lose confidence in you and take over the entire production based on their whims. If any child actor gives me any crap, like one did a few years ago on the set of another movie, I just threaten to fire them or cut them out of the movie, and that whips them into shape pretty fast.

Thankfully, I had no such problems from Taylor Metzger. She was the first actress I wound up working with on CRESTFALLEN, and it was simply because we were scouting a location, she happened to be there (it was her mom’s house) and the sky was perfect. We immediately got her into wardrobe and brought her out into the field, where she proceeded to run back and forth, over and over again, tirelessly. Since I am a particularly expressive director (I’ve been known to punch my director of photography in the arm over and over again while excited, screaming, “YEAH YEAH YEAH!”) she seemed to respond to that, and grew expressive herself. I like that she took it seriously and worked herself as hard as she could; I like that she did not complain about it at all, ever, and I especially like that she showed up and did her job. She had to be dragged off to bed at the end of the night, sort of bummed out that it was over with.

It was an important role. Russ’s script makes the child the predominant reason why the parent wants to slide back into the world of the living. It’s more than a sense of obligation; it’s a connection. Thankfully, I felt very connected to Taylor, and I’m glad she connected with the movie.


Dom is my closest collaborator, more than just a Director of Photography. He has cut all of our latest pictures together, so he’s very involved during multiple steps of the process. And yet Dom never, never reads the script. It’s downright infuriating. CRESTFALLEN was only two pages long (CONTACT was only one!) but Dom is constitutionally incapable of sitting and reading.

Here we are, on the plane to Indiana where we are going to start shooting B-roll that afternoon and principal photography the following day and he turns to me and says, “What’s this movie about again?”

What you have to understand is Dom is reactive, impulsive, and cannot comprehend the image until it plays out before him. What I try to do when working with him is be as verbally articulate as possible, and then allow his poetry to shine through. If you asked Dom what his sensibility was, he’d answer, “Make it look awesome!” or “HMI through a window, smoke it up, soft top light!”

But when you collaborate with him, you understand fully that Dom expresses his philosophy through his work.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Making of Crestfallen Diary - Entry #3


Dominick had worked with Deneen Melody before on the short film “Lewis” by a vividly talented filmmaker named Anthony G. Sumner. He described her as being my kind of actor, which means she shows up, knows her lines, hits her marks, and there’s not a lot of bullshit. I was daunted by the fact that we would have zero rehearsal time with her or the other actors (other than a lively 30-minute phone conversation a few days ahead of principal photography—Dom and I would be landing in Indiana the day before we started shooting). On CONTACT, which is a 10-minute short, we had two or three rehearsals prior to filming. On CRESTFALLEN, we had to hit the ground running.

She does her homework, though, and she also did a good job of sizing me up before the shoot to see what sort of filmmaker I was. I was frank with her about the content of the film, and she was brave in her willingness to go there. Deneen reminds me a little of Kate Winslet. She has a natural grace about her; she projects sensitivity and of wheels turning inside. (She’s also a major science fiction nerd who delights in talking about Peter Jackson, LORD OF THE RINGS and unicorns.) On set, she’s very well prepared, but what makes her also pleasant is she gives all due consideration to her fellow actors and the crew. She and her co-star Michael Partipilo, who plays her husband, were very generous with each other. They became friends on “Lewis” and drove in together from Chicago; they felt safe with each other. And Michael grew to feel safe with me, too, since I involved him in every bit of improvisation we did with Deneen and the other actors even if he was not participating. He had to catch the wavelength of what her character was going through. If her character was the spinning top, Michael had to be the rock. He had to be solid. Michael projects an inherent decency even after his character has been caught cheating on her. He doesn’t play the guy as manipulative or conniving. My favorite moment with him is when he is taking the daughter away; the way he closes the car door, the way he’s containing himself. He and Deneen played off of each other and intuited each other. I’m grateful to have worked with them.

The rest of the cast was brought on by Marv, and I have to say Nicole Ann Watson worked overtime in the brief role of Deneen’s friend and Michael’s lover. She has to show up, do a very intimate scene, and the rest of the time she was helping with wardrobe and hair (forget about gore; the toughest special effect ever is a woman’s hair and clothes!), to be our on-set representative making phone calls to Russ Penning back in Iowa letting him know how the shoot was going (I can only imagine how Russ felt), and be the mother to Taylor Metzger, our wonderful child actress who plays Deneen and Michael’s kid.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Making of Crestfallen Diary - Entry #2

Entry #2


Russ lives in the Midwest, and it felt somehow important to make this project in that neck of the woods. I’d previously worked for producer Marv Blauvelt on a short film shot out on the east coast, “No Rest For the Wicked”, directed by Raine Brown as part of his horror anthology PSYCHO STREET. Marv has been developing horror features, short films and webisodes out in Bloomington, Indiana, and seems to benefit greatly from this midway zone between two coasts. It’s not the airy, industry-driven vibe of Los Angeles or the gritty, slightly aggressive independence of New York; no, the Midwest has its own character, a slightly friendlier and looser vibe, a kind of cheerful and open quality. As a producer, Marv is the guy on the set walking around slapping folks on the back saying, “You having fun?” I’m the kind of irritant who will respond slightly cynically, “Are YOU having fun?” and he’ll of course answer, “YEAH! I’m having LOADS of fun!” I wish I were as earnest as he is; I have too much city dust sprinkled upon me.

After signing up Deneen Melody in the lead role, there was still much to be done. We enlisted Marv’s resources at Muscle Wolf Productions (finding and securing cast, locations, catering, props, et al), and during our first production meeting it kind of felt like those scenes in LORD OF THE RINGS where all the different factions of good guys unite. In addition to the muscle-bound hunks of Muscle Wolf and their bearded, canny and gentle “man behind the curtain” Jason Hignite, there were Chris Jay and Kitsie Duncan of Dark Rider Productions generously providing lights and gear, Arthur Cullipher and Leya Taylor of Clockwerk Productions handling special effects and logistics, a variety of local actors and helpers, and of course me and my director of photography/editor Dominick Sivilli from New York. We attacked the meeting with high energy, but it is typical of Marv that as soon as we wrapped production on CRESTFALLEN, that same day they’d be shooting a trailer for the Dark Rider production MOTHER’S BLOOD featuring several of the same actors and crew. That’s the other thing about what Marv and his colleagues are doing out in Bloomington; they’re kind of like a factory continually generating product.

(Heck, the day we landed in Indiana they were scouting catacombs for ANOTHER horror picture. Months later they ran the Dark Carnival Film Festival, and the day after that finished they were shooting more of the wraparound segment of PSYCHO STREET with Tiffany Shepis—the VERY NEXT DAY after their festival ended. It’s funny, because Marv said he was taking a break in 2011 from movies, but he’s already acting in a slasher movie, making his directing debut, and in early pre-production on a controversial and button-pushing feature; does the man ever sleep?)

Throughout the shoot, Marv was a very present force. He has the gift of the gab, and would continually be telling amusing stories about other shoots, or self-deprecating tales of the film festival circuit, and of course with a politician’s grace greasing the wheels for us to get access to various locations. He’s also doing a million different projects at all times, which is why he surrounds himself with folks like Jason and Leya, logistical captains and stage managers to keep him on point while he’s spinning. But if we’re the A-Team, Marv is absolutely Face Man.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Ok, so most of you know that I haven't really been one to advertise for anyone else. That time has officially come to and end. I have found the most badass website on the face of the planet! There are horror t-shirts gallore on this site! Not to mention other awesome ones.

Bates Motel Coffee Mug
I just recently got the zombie carebears and the overlook hotel tshirts in the mail, along with an overlook hotel keychain and big zombie survival poster.

Overlook Glass

Along with shirts there are numerous awesome items like keychains,coffee mugs, caps, and my personal favorites Winchester Tavern and Overlook Hotel glasses! Which I will soon be calling my new beer glasses.

Zombie Care Bears

This site is so unbelievable awesome, I don't think I will order my fun shirts from anywhere else. Screw the $10 t-shirt section in Walmart! This site has everything I need, but I wouldn't recommend buying your work clothes from here. Unless you have a slack job, haha. Seriously, go check this out.

Zombie Eat Flesh Tshirt

Here is the link for it.

Tshirt Bordello

and here is an extra special link to one of my favorite sites right now.


The Making of Crestfallen Diary - Entry #1

Jeremiah Kipp was nice enough to forward me these nice littel writings about the making of Crestfallen. I'm going to post one entry per day until they are all gone. I hope you find some interesting information in them as well as inspiration to maybe make your own film.


When I completed my short film CONTACT in the fall of 2009, our plan was to put it online so anyone and everyone could see it. It became an experiment in the horror blog-o-sphere, and one of the critics who reviewed it was Russ Penning, at Dead-End Drive In. Russ was enthusiastic about our work, and before long was sharing his own film scripts with us. Many of them were straight-up genre projects, but one of them clearly stood apart, and that was CRESTFALLEN. It felt sincere, heartfelt, emotional, and somehow deeply honest. It didn’t read like a horror movie at all, but an impassioned look at the spiral into suicidal depression. Was it autobiographical—I hesitate to ask how close to the bone Russ went with this material; but it sure felt personal. His original draft was quite different from the film we wound up making, but that’s not such a bad thing. It was longer, the genders were reversed, and we agreed that this short version of CRESTFALLEN (just under six minutes) would allow room for a longer interpretation down the line, perhaps directed by Russ or another emerging filmmaker. I think it would be wonderful to see that version made, probably running 15-20 minutes with a male lead character that would be a closer stand-in to Russ himself. I felt like I needed a separation from that, a necessary distance, and asked if we could make the lead character a woman and approach the wonderful actress Deneen Melody to play the part? Russ, who shares my enthusiasm for Deneen’s talent, was open to that and agreed. As we went in and revised the script, which was already daring and experimental in its design, we scaled back dialogue and narrative elements, reducing the movie to a stream-of-consciousness flood of images. I’m grateful to Russ for allowing us to go in that direction. What was our total budget? Gosh, I think it was $750 before Russ paid for the flights from New York for me and Dom. But within those shoestring means, I wanted so badly for the movie to feel epic in size, and not like a movie made in the backyard.


DP/Editor Dominick Sivilli and I flew in together on September 10. We shot on September 11, which has powerful connotations that were unintentional on our part. And Dom had to fly back on September 12, early, to honor the anniversary of his father’s death. So that kind of feeling was in the air.

A new entry is coming tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rubber (2010)

Rubber (2010) Dir. by Quentin Dupieux

When Robert, an inanimate tire, discovers his destructive telepathic powers, he soon sets his sights on a desert town; in particular, a mysterious woman becomes his obsession.

I knew that I wanted to watch Rubber the first time I read the synopsis. I mean, come on, a tire that can kill people? Why the hell wouldn't I want to watch it? It was hard to really get pumped for it considering a good 75% of the reviews for it have been negative. That also doesn't make sense because it still has nearly a 7/10 rating on IMDB, which is damn good. Either way I knew I wanted to watch it, so I did so last night. I had never seen any of Quentin's films so I didn't really know what to expect, but the French have been doing such a good job with horror lately.

The film started out a bit slow and kind of had an old western feel to it, but what the film was doing was incredible. Dupieux actually manages to imbue human qualities in an inanimate object and make it believable. The tire wakes up in the desert, slowly rights itself, and begins wobbling with not particular direction; trying to find it's way out of the desert, just like a normal person would. Using the surroundings and character interaction, Dupieux is able to almost give the tire emotions. Making it visibly angry at times while pursuing his prey. It runs in to normal issues a human stalker would. I kind of felt like he was making fun of the horror genre of film at times, saying that the movies are so basic and unpredictable that he could get an inanimate object to appear just as scary as a killer in a mask with a knife. The sad part is he clearly accomplishes that goal. I felt like it was a normal slasher film while watching it, and it never affected me that the killer was a tire.

The acting in the film isn't all that great most of the time, specifically from the the observers the story is essentially told through. I understand that have a lead character who couldn't speak would be hurtful to the film without some sort of narration, but at times they were down right distracting and annoying. On the other hand, rising star Roxane Mesquida (Sheitan) does an amazing job as the object of the tire's obsession. She brings life to the film in the dull moments, and her beauty is undeniably a selling point for this film. The other person who I enjoyed watching was Wings Hauser (Beastmaster 2, Watchers 3) as the Man in the Wheelchair. Everyone else in the film seems a bit annoying most of the time, but they are definitely essential to the completion of the film.

While Rubber does clearly make fun of the horror and comedy genres, it is also a brilliantly made film. I will be purchasing the DVD for sure, and watch it many times again. As a horror film reviewer I tend to have my favorite types of death sequences, and two of them are exploding heads and decapitations, and this film is filled with nothing but exploding heads and bodies, and it is awesome!!! I highly recommend at least one viewing of Rubber, and then maybe you can see it for the brilliant film it truly is.

Entertainment Value: 8/10 Exploding Bunnies
Cinematic Value: 9/10 Exploding Bunnies