Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And Now the Screaming Starts (1973)

A newlywed couple moves in to the family mansion, where the beautiful young Catherine succumbs to the home's malevolent spirits and quickly becomes impregnated by a mysterious force. As those around her begin falling prey to a series of deadly accidents, Catherine must uncover the family's dark history with the help of a local doctor if she hopes to live! Although it often echoes the paranoia and madness found in both ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE INNOCENTS, the British shocker AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS is a frightful ghost tale all unto itself. It features top-rate performances by Ian Ogilvy, Herbert Lom, Peter Cushing, and Stephanie Beacham, whose role as Catherine truly sets the film apart. Catherine nearly faces a mental collapse as she is haunted by the ghastly images from the past, but it is never certain whether they are held within her own imagination or if she is truly being tormented by the ghosts. Roy Ward Baker preserves this soft-spoken suspense using his graceful camera work and sinister mood that prevails all throughout the house. AND SOON THE SCREAMING STARTS proves to be a chilling tale of murder and revenge from beyond the grave, and is one of only a few feature-length Horror films by Britain's famous Amicus Productions.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS, check out:
SCREAM OF FEAR, THE INNOCENTS, ROSEMARY'S BABY.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Loreley's Grasp (1974)

Amando de Ossorio steps away from his BLIND DEAD series momentarily to deliver this frightful creature feature in 1974's THE LORELEY'S GRASP! Legend tells of a hideous beast, the Loreley, that must set out to kill seven young women and consume their hearts during each full moon in order to return to her youthful slumber. When the legend comes to life in a small village off of the Rhine, it is up to a local hunter to destroy the beast before it disappears once more! Ossorio taps into Lovecraftian lore and mythic tales from the sea in order to bring his seductive siren to life. Unlike in his undead features, which focus on building a terrifying mood and thrilling suspense, LORELEY relies far more heavily on its shocking gore to set up its scares. The beast shreds its victims' skins and rips their beating hearts from their rib cages in graphic detail! One cannot overlook the artistic touch that Ossorio instills in each of his shots, a skill he uses to create a number of atmospheric moments along the riverbanks of the Rhine. Unfortunately, the creature's costume appears to be very cheaply made, and would have been far more effective if it had been left in the shadows. Fans of DAGON and THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM are sure to enjoy this lost Spanish gem!

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.

If you liked THE LORELEY'S GRASP, check out:
ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN, SHE-CREATURE, DAGON.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Puppet Master 3 (1991)

The Nazi's obsession with the occult leads them to the home of a gifted puppet master, Andre Toulon, where they hope to uncover the the secret behind his living puppets for use in their own military applications. Their confrontation with Toulon leaves his wife Elsa dead at his feet, and after a daring escape, Toulon vows to avenge her using his murderous puppets to destroy the Third Reich! Full Moon Entertainment mainstay David DeCoteau presents the strongest entry in the PUPPET MASTER series with this origin story, which features Toulon's early beginnings and the creation of several of the most memorable puppets. Guy Rolfe offers a truly sympathetic and sincere performance that humanizes the character of Andre Toulon while giving him a meaningful reason for revenge. PUPPET MASTER 3 is the largest production of any of the films, using the Universal backlot to simulate Nazi Germany with exceptional results. The puppetry and stop-motion animation also rank very highly within the series, particularly in the articulation and movement of the puppets' newest addition, Six-Shooter. Although there would be a few entertaining entries to follow, PUPPET MASTER 3 marks the high point for Toulon and his friends.

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Night of the Demons (2009)

NIGHT OF THE DEMONS opens in 1925 with a woman killing herself just as a horde of bloodthirsty demons close in on her at the Broussard Family Mansion. Eighty years later, a wild Halloween party is being thrown at the rundown estate, but after the police shut down the party, the seven remaining guests unwittingly awaken the mansion's evil spirits and must fight in order to survive the night! Horror tag-team Jace Anderson and Adam Gierasch revamp the 1988 classic for a newer generation, with more boobs, blood, and gore than ever before. It also boasts highly original make-up designs that are different for each demon. Unfortunately, these are the only things the film really has going for it in an otherwise tiresome script and poor production. Shannon Elizabeth, Tiffany Shepis, Edward Furlong, Bobbi Sue Luther, and Monica Keena contribute nothing but throwaway performances that are overacted at best and lazy at worst. No improvements have been made to the story to even warrant a remake, and what few changes have been made are both silly and contrived. The low-level humor rarely rises above crude sexual debauchery, with a bloody reprisal of the lipstick gag and gratuitous demon doggie style. Some fun can be found in the gory deaths and rocking soundtrack (including Punk group 45 Grave), but overall the NIGHT OF THE DEMONS remake is a wasted opportunity that sells itself on cheap shocks.

Rating: 5/10.
Gore: 7/10.

If you liked NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, check out:
THE CHURCH, DEMONS, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Bleedfest Returns this December!!

Monthly Genre celebration BLEEDFEST FILM FESTIVAL announces schedule for its Thriller installment December 5th, 2010

SHERMAN OAKS, CA - Monday, November 29 - The schedule for the highly anticipated second BleedFest Film Festival has been announced. It includes a dozen female filmmakers' short films and concludes with international genre superstar's Caroline Du Potet's thriller feature IN THEIR SLEEP, her follow up to the sensational and disturbing INSIDE.

Special guests sitting in their own VIP section include World Famous Scream Queens/producers Michelle Tomlinson and Tara Cardinal, prominent journalist/filmmaker Heidi Martinuzzi, Emmy winning filmmaker Barbara Stepansky, and horror filmmaking duo Marichelle and Drew Daywalt.

The Bleedy Award, a bronze statue designed by Neal Harvey of RubberGorilla.co.uk, will finally be revealed in a video presentation at the Awards Ceremony. It will be awarded to the In Competition short voted on by the audience, and to the feature IN THEIR SLEEP. All films screened will receive an award certificate and Winner laurels to add to their publicity.

The In Competition category is comprised of five short films by female writer/directors. They are BAD GIRLS by the Soska Sisters (sensational feature films DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK and AMERICAN MARY), ALGESIA by Cathy Alberich, DEAD BOYFRIENDS by Xstine Cook, MOCKINGBIRD by Marichelle Daywalt, and MORBID CURIOUSITY by Cindy Baer (acclaimed feature film PURGATORY HOUSE).

The Out of Competition block screens short films produced and/or written by women. December's BleedFest will feature SCREAM MACHINE written by Julia Camara (screenwriter of Spring 2010's Brazillian sci-fi blockbuster AREA Q), and UP UNDER THE ROOF produced by Danielle Stallings.

The Works in Progress section of BleedFest gives the audience top secret first looks at short films by several acclaimed female filmmakers including an Emmy winner, and are screening unofficially to get editing feedback from the audience of genre lovers and and generate buzz with BleedFest's press partners.

The festival will have two Open Bar sessions featuring free wine and beer, giving the audience a crucial chance to network. During these breaks, BleedFest will screen trailers of upcoming genre films (World famous Tara Cardinal's actioner LEGEND OF THE RED REAPER taracardinalactress.com), and trailers of genre work that is now available online (Marion Kerr's acclaimed feature GOLDEN EARRINGS indieflix.com/film/golden-earrings-30830/. Music videos by Sophia Segal will also be played at this time.

BleedFest's coveted Partnership Award is bestowed each month to a male filmmaker whose genre film has captured the spirit of BleedFest in its unusual, bold, and refreshing female protagonist. The recipient of December's Partnership Award is feature filmmaker Dave Reda, whose music video THE HORROR OF OUR LOVE will screen.

BleedFest has a red carpet, an event photographer, a VIP Guest section, and an open bar for only ten dollars cash at the door. You may buy half price tickets at Goldstar the week before the event, and can get two tickets for $12 by donating to their IndieGoGo campaign or using the PayPal link on BleedFest.com http://www.indiegogo.com/BleedFest-Film-Festival

Local renowned artist Kami Lerner will be present with a display of paintings and jewelry available for purchase. www.KamiArt.com

Festival founders and directors Elisabeth Fies and Brenda Fies are a filmmaking duo whose critically acclaimed feature thriller THE COMMUNE was embraced by the genre community in 2009 and 2010. They are thrilled to be filling a hole in the community by providing access to fantastic genre content by indie female filmmakers, and to disprove the widely spread myth that there are no female filmmakers making indie genre. Explains Elisabeth Fies about the discrepancy between reality and industry attention for genre female filmmakers, "It's not even about being taken seriously. It's about being discounted to the point that you're invisible and told you don't exist. BleedFest aims to prove to the world that hundreds of us ovary-challenged filmmakers are here, and we're making bold, exciting movies filmlovers need and don't want to miss. We're positive, we're fun, we're in partnership with men, and we're unstoppable." The Fies Sisters thank everyone for the outpouring of support and excitement about BleedFest that helped them reach their IndieGoGo fundraising campaign in under two weeks.

The BleedFest website will be updated Sunday November 28th 5pm Pacific time at http://www.BleedFest.com with the full schedule, and include bio info and links for each filmmaker featured in the festival. There will also be a Paypal link to purchase tickets now at a discount of 40%.

The lineup for the January 2nd BleedFest event will be announced live on the 5th, and includes a sci-fi western feature and a fairytale thriller. The schedule will be released to the press December 6th.

Submissions are free to filmmakers, and BleedFest is always looking for quality genre work. There is only one space left for the January and February screenings:
-Submit your film
-Tell us about a film we should screen
-Find out how you can participate, attend as a vendor, VIP, or support us with a donation

Sunday December 5th, 2010
Time: 11am-3:30pm
Location: CAP Theatre
13752 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
$10 cash at door for all day ticket and open bar

Schedule subject to change, personal appearances dependent on schedule:

11am-11:15 Mixer and greeting

11:15-11:45pm Works in progress:
Titles are top secret and will be revealed at event
(32 minutes)

11:40-12:00 Break (open bar)

12:00-1:05 In Competition:
ALGESIA by Cathy Alberich (15 minutes) Q & A
MOCKINGBIRD by Marichelle Daywalt (3 minutes) Q & A
MORBID CURIOUSITY by Cindy Baer (6 minutes) Q & A
DEAD BOYFRIENDS by Xstine Cook (7 minutes)
BAD GIRLS by The Soska Sisters (7 minutes)
(39 minutes)

Ballots collected from audience

Partnership Screening and Award:
THE HORROR OF OUR LOVE by Dave Reda (6 minutes)

1:05-1:25pm Break (open bar)

1:25-2:10pm Out of Competition:
SCREAM MACHINE Written by Julia Camara (15 minutes)
UP UNDER THE ROOF Produced by Danielle Stallings (20 minutes)

2:10pm Bleedy Award
Reveal of the new Bleedy Award design
Bleedy presented to the Audience's choice

2:15-3:40 Feature:
IN THEIR SLEEP (90 minutes)

By Caroline du Potet and Eric du Potet, the duo behind Inside. The film stars Anne Parillaud, Arthur Dupont, Thierry Fremont, and Jean-Hugues Anglade.

Synopsis:
After the brutal death of her 18-year-old son, Sarah's life is in pieces. Late one night her car accidentally hits Arthur, a young man the same age as her boy, who suddenly emerges out of the forest and onto the road. Wounded and frightened, he is running from a mysterious assailant, hunting him down after Arthur caught him red-handed in the act of burglary...

Sarah sympathizes with him, taking him in, only to be tracked down by the burglar whose murderous rage towards Arthur forces her to take action. Unbeknownst to Sarah, things aren't quite the way they seem, but by the time she finally realizes, it is too late to turn back.

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I Like Horror Movies will be attending this event in support of the female filmmakers working on the fringe of Independent Horror, so be sure to attend the event if you will be in Southern California this weekend!! Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)

The infamous slayer D is hired to rescue a young maiden from the fierce vampire lord Meier Link, but D must elude a roughneck band of mercenaries that plan on claiming the prize for themselves while battling through Link's terrifying guards in order to save her in this highly anticipated sequel to one of Anime's most groundbreaking entries of all time! VAMPIRE HUNTER D set the standard for all animated features coming out of Japan in the mid-1980's, and it only seems fitting that BLOODLUST would raise the bar once again and surpass the original in nearly every way imaginable. D has never looked better, blending the artwork from the industry's top animators with cutting-edge computer imagery. While the stylization of the characters and environments remain true to the original, the intricate designs, incredible attention to detail, and more cohesive storyline are just a few of its many improvements. On top of the non-stop action and heart-racing adventure, BLOODLUST combines its eerie Gothic atmosphere with hi-tech vehicles and weaponry to form an Old World nightmare in a futuristic setting. Vampires, werewolves, and zombies aren't the only fiendish creatures that D must face on his quest before his final confrontation with Meier Link in his dark citadel. VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST is top-rate animated Horror at its finest, and an excellent sequel to the cult classic!

Rating: 10/10.
Gore: 8/10.

If you liked VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST, check out:
AKIRA, NINJA SCROLL, BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE.

Read The Full Post HERE!

ILHM Interviews Horrible Imaginings Founder Miguel Rodriguez!!

I Like Horror Movies is proud to present another entry in our ongoing interview series! Tonight, we had the opportunity to speak with one of San Diego's most valuable assets: the founder of the Monster Island Resort Podcast and the first-ever San Diego Horror film festival Horrible Imaginings, Miguel Rodriguez! Miguel has brought Horror home to Southern California, and is here to discuss the next exciting film series taking place on Wednesday, December 22nd 2010:

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ILHM: Miguel, what were the first horrible imaginings you can remember experiencing on film as a kid?

MR: As a kid I was fascinated by all kinds of horror movies. I was more or less raised on television and movies, and many of my favorites were the horror movies coming out at the time like Nightmare on Elm Street or American Werewolf in London. That last one is actually a bit of a milestone for me because it is featured in the Making of Thriller documentary because John Landis directed Michael Jackson's Thriller video. When I was a kid, my mom borrowed that on VHS from the library in order to show me how movies were made and how they are make believe. I think it was her way of separating reality and fantasy for me. Anyway, I was OBSESSED with that documentary. I made her check it out from the library constantly, and it is largely responsible for my werewolf obsession. A lot of the makeup work they show is turning Michael Jackson into the werewolf, and I thought that was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. From a very young age, I was introduced to horror movies, rather than shielded from them, and there was always conversation surrounding them.

ILHM: Did your parents support your Horror habits?

MR: Horror was a bit of a secret in my house. My mom and her side of the family are all horror fans. My dad and his side are not. I think it was an agreement of my parents that I would be shielded from horror stuff when I was born, but that ended when I was three or four years old and I was left with my Grandmother. Actually, my mom tells this story on episode 2 of my show Monster Island Resort as a tribute to my grandmother, who passed away in June of this year. Anyway, my parents went on a date, and when they got back to my grandmother's house they overheard her telling me a story about some killer hacking someone's head off and blood squirting everywhere. It was pretty much all over after that. My aunts and uncles would always have monster movie nights where I was introduced to all kinds of classic and modern horror. I absolutely have to give credit to my dad for one thing, though--it was he who took me to see Godzilla 1985 when it was released theatrically here in the States. I wonder if he knew what kind of monster THAT would create!

ILHM: When did you first begin writing about films?

MR: I've written about everything for a long time. I've worked as a freelance writer and copyeditor, I keep a journal, I write about all kinds of topics. Writing about films comes naturally because I am passionate about them. I didn't start really making that public until this year, though, for a number of reasons--not the least of them being that I'm my own worst critic. As much as I love films, it has been hard for me to convince myself that I have anything to say about them that other people would enjoy reading. You hear a lot from writers that they write for themselves, but if I'm going to put something online, I'm writing for my readers or listeners. I want them to be entertained by what I'm doing, and maybe learn some trivia along the way.

ILHM: How did Monster Island Resort Podcast finally come together?

MR: Monster Island Resort is actually a Myspace group I had a few years ago. It was all about Japanese giant monster movies then. I would have trivia contests, post videos, share news, and stuff like that. I had always thought about starting a podcast, but never did for the same reasons that I was reluctant to share any of my thoughts or writings on movies. That, and I have no experience doing anything like a podcast, and knew very little about what I'd need and what format it would have. There is a fantastic Godzilla podcast out there called Kaijucast, run by San Francisco's Kyle Yount. It's all Godzilla all the time over there--well, "Godzilla and his many rubber suited foes," as they say on the podcast. That was a big inspiration for me finally deciding to give that a try. I also got some encouragement online from August Ragone, author of "Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters." He told me there was always room for more, so I bought a microphone and rambled away a first episode. It's been growing exponentially ever since.

ILHM: What was the inspiration behind starting San Diego's first Horror film festival, Horrible Imaginings?

MR: It wasn't inspiration so much as desperation. I've lived in San Diego for a good amount over a year now, and for most of that time I've been painfully cognizant of the lack of horror events in town. Googling "horror San Diego" invariable leads me to San Diego Comic Con stuff, and having been there I can say that not even the con is particularly friendly to real horror. So, I found a few places in Los Angeles like the Downtown Independent and the New Beverly--theaters that do good horror screenings pretty often--and I would make the trek there to get my fix. At this point, I still had zero friends in this area so I was on my own. I attended The Viscera Film Festival and BLEEDFEST by myself, too. They are film festivals that spotlight female genre film makers, and I loved the idea of giving a stage to marginalized artists. I also loved the idea of giving a stage to independent film. I think it is something that is sorely needed, since the most difficult part of filmmaking seems to be getting visible. It was on the drive back from Los Angeles in early August that I decided San Diego needed an event that was both horror-themed, and that would provide visibility to independent artists. Three months later, Horrible Imaginings happened. And I have some pretty amazing friends in town now!

ILHM: How were selections chosen or submitted?

MR: For this year, most selections were already chosen before I even had the idea. Some of them were submitted and I found a way to squeeze them in, but the others were films I had seen and decided to give them a little venue right from the beginning. It's important to note that my original intentions for Horrible Imaginings were a bit more modest than what it became. Now, my vision is quite a bit larger for next year.

ILHM: Did you expect to see such an overwhelming response from the local community?

MR: Not at all. I was actually afraid there wouldn't be an audience for an event like this in San Diego. Many people I've talked to seem to doubt it. When I came up with this idea, I was completely on my own. I didn't know a single person in San Diego, which makes promoting an event extremely difficult. Through social networking online, I was able to meet some really passionate and supportive people who I now call my good friends. The owner of the 10th Avenue Theater, Jeff Cotta, has also been extremely supportive of an event like this. He is doing a lot for the art community, and I was extremely pleased at how receptive he was to a horror event. I maintain the feeling that horror is something that people are drawn to at a subconscious level, even if they are loathe to admit it. I know the horror fans are out there, I just need to get the word out and unite them. But I am very happy with the response I got to Horrible Imaginings--I hope to see more faces at my next show!

ILHM: The second festival, aptly named Ho Ho Horrible Imaginings, is fast approaching. Which films will be screened this December?

MR: There are some real holiday treats here! We are starting out with some real schlocky goodness with Thankskilling, a crude hour-long splatter movie about a killer turkey. Then, the 15-minute short Treevenge. That one is about killer Christmas trees, and it's made by the people who are bringing Hobo with a Shotgun to life! Finally, I am ending with Christmas Evil, a very good Christmas-themed horror film.

ILHM: We understand there will be a special guest in attendance?

MR: Yes, the director of Christmas Evil--Lewis Jackson--will be in attendance to discuss his masterpiece. I am very excited to have him on board. What a treat for San Diego!

ILHM: Have the filmmakers and distributors been supportive of the event?

MR: Oh extremely. For the last event, I received an awful lot of encouragement from the distributors and the film makers. I am thankful for those filmmakers who were able to attend. I think I've said before at how grateful I am for Rialto Pictures and how receptive they were to my screening of Peeping Tom. It would be very easy for a company of their stature to ignore an extremely independent venture like Horrible lmaginings, but they were on board all the way. Of course, Grindhouse Releasing is also fantastic. For the Christmas show, I've been dealing directly with the film makers, and they are all happy about Ho Ho Horrible Imaginings.

ILHM: With a large selection of holiday-themed Horror films in existence, why were these three chosen in particular? Do you have a special connection with any of these films?

MR: Hahaha, well I don't know if I should admit this, but it started because my friend Beth said "I wish someone would do a holiday double feature of Thankskilling and Treevenge." So I did. Christmas Evil was mentioned by my friend Leland, and I love that movie so much I had to get it, as well.

ILHM: What is the most rewarding part of putting on these special events for San Diego?

MR: I honestly think the single most rewarding thing for me was during the first Horrible Imaginings after we screened Nicolas Simonin's short DERAILED. There was an 10 or 11 year old boy there and he walked out spaghetti-legged out of the theater and said, "that one was real scary!" I truly think there is something cathartic about a feeling like that--it's a big part of the draw of horror for me. Also, every time someone has approached me and thanked me and said how long he or she was waiting for an event like this in San Diego--that tells me how sorely it was needed. Very rewarding, indeed.

ILHM: Monster Island Resort Podcast is also involved in the upcoming Bleedfest, taking place Sunday, December 5th. Can you tell us a little more about the event?

MR: Oh definitely, I mentioned the first Bleedfest earlier. It was created by Brenda and Elisabeth Fies, the producer and director of The Commune, which was screened at Horrible Imaginings. As female genre film makers, they know first-hand some of the inequalities in the film industry. Bleedfest is an attempt to level the playing field by spotlighting female genre directors and they will be screening films on the first Sunday of every month at CAP Theater in Sherman Oaks, CA. On December 5th they are showing suspense films. It may be a quixotic attempt right now, but the hope is that over time things may change and female film makers will get more recognition. I am excited for this upcoming event on December 5th, which will have shorts, awards, special guests, and they will be featuring the French director Caroline Du Potet's newest thriller IN THEIR SLEEP. If you haven't seen Du Potet's INSIDE, then you should check it out. Just prepare your stomach for some churning!

ILHM: Where can readers find out more about the Monster Island Resort Podcast, the Horrible Imaginings film festival, and Bleedfest?

MR: The websites are always best! www.monsterislandresort.org, www.horribleimaginingsfilmfest.com, and www.bleedfest.com. You can also look up all three on Facebook, and don't forget to friend me on there! I'm always up for saying HELL-O!

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Miguel, thanks again for taking part in tonight's interview, and for anyone that isn't already following the Monster Island Resort Podcast, the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival, or the Bleedfest Film Festival, please be sure to visit the links above and support local and Independent Horror!

Interview By: Carl Manes. Read The Full Post HERE!

The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)

When King Richard's armies are defeated by the corrupted King Cromwell and his maligned sorcerer, it is up to his son, the mighty Talon, to reclaim his throne and vanquish the evil from the land of Ehdan! The setting seems right for High Fantasy action and adventure, but THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER is quick to point out that a few broadswords, decent costuming, and age-old locations aren't always enough to dress up a shoddy production. Released as an immediate response to CONAN THE BARBARIAN's box office success, this cheap imitation throws all sorts of popular Fantasy cliches together into a giant melting pot, and dishes them out with lackluster results. The goofy acting is taken far too seriously to be considered camp, and the laughable special effects drag it further into 80's cheese. Still, for the prospective budget, there are enough big action sequences, gory deaths, and moments of inane humor to please most Fantasy fans.

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 4/10.

If you liked THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, check out:
HAWK: THE SLAYER, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, CONQUEST.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sorum (2001)

Yong-Hyun moves in to a dilapidated new apartment in downtown Seoul, where he meets an abused wife that has recently lost a child. After a particularly violent episode, her husband is killed in a fall, and Yong-Hyun aids her in burying him. As the two begin a love affair of their own, they soon discover each other's dark secrets and uncover the hidden past of their wretched housing complex. SORUM is an oppressive character drama in which none of the tenants are able to escape from their own miserable surroundings. It is their own lies and deceit that keep them imprisoned under the apartment's corrosive curse. The unpolished sets and restrained score set an eerie mood that reflects the loneliness and despair in each of the characters. Any attempts to unravel the mystery of room 504 and the ghost tale that underlies the plot will likely require multiple viewings, as each of the clues and explanations are deeply embedded in unspoken metaphors. SORUM succeeds with a constant sense of unease, but Horror fans will have to look elsewhere for their scares.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked SORUM, check out:
THE UNINVITED, DARK WATER, SPIDER FOREST.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Harpoon: Whale Watching Massacre (2009)

A routine whale watching trip ends in bloodshed when a family of ex-whale hunters board the ship and begin ruthlessly slaughtering its passengers. This Icelandic import is filled with grisly murders on the high seas, including a harpoon through the chest that leaves one of the victims hanging off of the side of the ship like an anchor. Gunnar Hansen makes a special guest appearance as the ship's captain that kills over early on in just one of the film's many links to TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The psychotic family members also draw distinct similarities to the Sawyer family; each were forced out of their occupations that involved animal killing, and each are composed of three members with one parent and two dysfunctional youths. HARPOON's familiar plot does not take away from its overall enjoyment, but the uneven pacing and unlikable victims do make it harder to connect. By sticking with traditional practical effects aboard the cold and cramped setting, Julius Kemp builds a dark and suffocating mood that reflects many of his grindhouse influences with this brutal and bloody Slasher.

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.

If you liked HARPOON, check out:
LAST HOUSE IN THE WOODS, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, STORM WARNING.

Read The Full Post HERE!

The Taint (2010)

If gratuitous gore, sex, and gross-outs are your thing, then it is time you caught THE TAINT! Director Drew Bolduc spews forth this gooey shocker from the same pus-filled sore that produced films like SLIME CITY, STREET TRASH, and POULTRYGEIST. Every shred of moral decency, political correctness, and tact is thrown out the window as the men in small town Virginia are turned into murderous misogynists with raging boners after being exposed to tainted drinking water. Phil and a few select survivors must battle their way through the city before their heads are smashed in by the crazed sex maniacs! THE TAINT must have broken several records, with no less than twenty smashed heads and an equal amount of penises shot off during Phil's patriotic rampage in the end. Bolduc takes on the hilarious lead himself as the carefree skater that must face his own fears and man up against the misogynists. Anyone familiar with the Troma features can appreciate the campy performances and nonsensical plotting, where random scenes are interjected with no particular rhyme or reason. THE TAINT is a tribute to low-budget gore classics that more than pays off in laughs, blood, guts, and splatter!

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 10/10.

If you liked THE TAINT, check out:
SLIME CITY, TERROR AT BLOOD FART LAKE, STREET TRASH.

For more information or to purchase the film, visit:
http://www.taintmovie.com/ Read The Full Post HERE!

Escape from New York (1981)

John Carpenter had already proved himself as a master of suspense in HALLOWEEN and THE FOG, but with ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, he also demonstrates his ability to tackle multi-million dollar blockbusters with the same skill and precision. The year is 1997. Manhattan has been turned in to a self-contained prison that harbors the country's most dangerous criminals. When a group of criminals hijack Air Force One and crash it into downtown Manhattan, the President of the United States is taken hostage and held as a bargaining tool in exchange for their freedom. The special police forces must enlist the help of Snake Plissken, an ex-Special Forces agent turned criminal, to infiltrate the city and rescue the president before the world powers initiate a global takeover! Carpenter and production designer Joe Alves have done an amazing job at transforming the New York City streets into a ravished post-apocalyptic nightmare. Kurt Russell puts in one of his most memorable performances as the raspy-voiced and resourceful Snake Plissken, who has since become a cult action hero. Although the plot is rather sparing, it is filled with plenty of dark humor and explosive action sequences as Snake battles his way into the interior of the city against all odds. Thirty years later, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK packs just as many thrills and impressive special effects as it had at the time of its release!

Rating: 9/10.

If you liked ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, check out:
THE OMEGA MAN, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, THE WARRIORS.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Friday the 13th (2009)

As one teen sets off to locate his missing sister, seven others pull up to a secluded house in the woods for a weekend of fun at Crystal Lake, but what none of them realize is that there is a crazed killer in a hockey mask picking off anyone that trespasses into his forest... The Platinum Dunes re-imagining of the Slasher classic FRIDAY THE 13TH returns the series to its frightening roots by removing the 80's camp in place of hard scares and raw, gritty gore. After a lengthy false start, the film finally gets underway with a moderate pace and frequent kills. Its average teen characters are no more complex than in any of the earlier entries, but the acting is slightly better than usual. Derek Mears brings a power and ferocity that makes him a formidable choice as the new Jason Voorhees. Although the violent murder sequences are darker and more realistic than ever before, many fans responded with far less enthusiasm since this also reduced much of the fun and entertainment. This new version is also unable to strike the delicate balance between laughs and scares that has typically defined the FRIDAY THE 13TH films. Where Marcus Nispel succeeds most is in creating a variety of striking visual moments where Jason looms over his victims in nightmarish poses. FRIDAY THE 13TH is given far less credit than it deserves, when it should be considered amongst some of the better sequels.

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 7/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

News: Come Be a Part of the Upcoming Project Vincent!

Nicolas Simonin, director of the incredible Horror short DERAILED, is looking to the fans to help support his current project, VINCENT. Simonin has been taking home numerous awards around the country for his work, which can be viewed below. Please take the time to visit Nicolas at the project's homepage, and help support Independent Horror!



Project: VINCENT Homepage

More info on : www.aboutvincent.com

STORYLINE:
Late night. After an argument with his wife CLARA, VINCENT -a young father suffering from brain seizures and memory loss after a car accident- wakes up alone in his car, parked in an isolated gas station. What is he doing here? Vincent's memory is blur. He does'nt clearly remember.

Random flashes of his life start emerging:
- The 1st time Vincent kisses his wife,
- The moment Clara gave birth,
- Her screaming,
- The fear of loosing her…
Vincent's main problem: he doesn't remember WHEN he is in his life? Is he right now parked in this Gas station? with his wife home? or just recovering from a car accident?

Disturbed by these flashes, Vincent gets out of his car only to notice a black SUV parked few feet from his car, motionless. He approaches the SUV with tinted windows, then cups his hand around his eyes. It is too dark in there... Vincent presses in to look closer when spots blood appearing on the glass window! Inside the SUV a woman struggles against a man who is holding a Stanley knife. The woman is now dead! Vincent rushes inside the gas station building.

The Attacker emerges out of the SUV and starts chasing him.

Will Vincent escape from this startling nightmare? What if this traumatic
night was the only way for Vincent to accept who he really is?

THE PROJECT:
This is my third short film after DERAILED.
I am a Film Maker and a professional Screenwriter with 6 years of experience in Europe. I've written a dozen one-hour episodes for prime time TV since 2004 (french CSI, 'Lea Parker,' and Alias-type of spy show). I've also worked as a reader and story consultant for EUROPACORP for almost two years. They are a major production company in Europe, having produced "TAKEN," "The Fifth Element" and "From Paris with love" (enclosed a reference letter from Europacorp).

You can find my Bio on Imdb by searching 'Nicolas Simonin' or Go to this link WWW.DETOUR.FR/PDF/BOOKLET to know more about my film maker philosophy.

MY PREVIOUS AWARDS WINNING FILM:
My last film "DERAILED" got a great response here in the USA with 5 Awards (among them Best Weird Tale Brown Jawkin Award at H.P.Lovecraft Film Festival 2010, Best foreign Film at Fort Worth Fearless Film festival, Outstanding Achievement at New Port Beach Film Festival 2010) and 12 festivals screenings around the world.

Check www.detour.fr for more details (You can save the hero of the film on this website). Or these links (press reviews): http://www.ilikehorrormovies.com/2010/11/short-derailed-2010.html
http://www.horrorsociety.com/2010/06/15/derailed/
http://newportbeachfilmfest.posterous.com/nbff-filmmakers-five-with-nicolas-simonin
http://hplfilmfestival.com/awards/portland/2010

HOW I WILL USE THE $6000:
I will be using the money to pay for equipment, food, props, SFX, actors, post-production, editing, sound design, and some of the marketing.

WHY I NEED THAT MONEY:
I financed my previous film DERAILED all by myself. It was tough, but worth it.
Today I cannot afford to finance VINCENT all by myself. Besides, I think it is a great opportunity to share this filming experience with you (long before any Q&A after a Festival Screening).

The internet offers amazing tools to share and communicate. Since I got an audience with DERAILED, I think this is the right time to share.

IN EXCHANGE FOR YOUR SUPPORT YOU'LL HAVE ACCESS TO ALL ''VINCENT'' BACKSTAGE and more (check the Pledges).

ALL OR NOTHING:
I need to reach $6000 in pledges by January the 5th. We have one month and a half to achieve this goal. I will share the most that I can during this Month and a Half to prove to you that VINCENT is a great and solid project.

MY CURRENT SITUATION:
I am now living in the LA area with the purpose of expanding my career as a Film Maker mostly in Thriller and Horror films. I work free lance as an editor. I also work sometime as a Story Consultant, since I am continuously improving my English writing and my expertise as a screenwriter still working with France.

More info about the film: www.aboutvincent.com or www.DETOUR.FR

"DERAILED" 5 awards:
Best Weird Tale at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
Best foreign Film au Fearless Film Festival 2010, Texas
Outstanding Achievement for a Short au New Port Beach Film Festival 2010
Best Short à l’Accolade Film Festival 2010
Quaterly Short Winner au Famous Monsters Film Festival 2010

"DERAILED" 12 Festival screenings:
H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival 2010 – October 2010
ScreamFest Film Festival 2010, Los Angeles – October 2010
Sainte Maxime Horror film Festival - October 2010
New Port Beach Film Festival 2010 – April 2010
A night of Horror 2010, Sydney Australie – April 2010
Fearless Film Festival 2010, Forth Worth Texas – May 2010
Indie Film Festival 2010, Colorado – May 2010
SouthSide Film Festival , Bethlehem NYC –June 2010
Famous Monster Film Festival 2010, Indianapolis – June 2010
Accolade Film Festival 2010, La Jolla 2010 –August 2010
2010 Eerie Horror Film Festival, Edinboro Pennsylvanie – October 2010
San Diego Horror film Festival 2010, San Diego – November 2010

Project location: San Diego, CA Read The Full Post HERE!

News: Ho Ho Horrible Imaginings Returns to San Diego!



Just in time for the holidays, Monster Island Resort Podcast founder Miguel Rodriguez is bringing back the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival in San Diego, with a Christmas themed round-up filled bloody good cheer! The event takes place at the 10th Avenue Theater in Downtown San Diego on Wednesday, December 22nd from 7:00PM until Midnight. This year's line-up includes the first-ever Thanksgiving Slasher THANKSKILLING, along with last year's hit film short TREEVENGE. Rodriguez is wrapping up the night with the Christmas classic CHRISTMAS EVIL, which will be introduced by director Lewis Jackson, himself! Ho Ho Horrible Imaginings is sure to be another smash hit, so if you are in the San Diego area over the holidays, be sure to head on over to the 10th Avenue Theater and join us for a night to dismember!! Read The Full Post HERE!

News: American Mary Teaser Coming Soon!

To celebrate their 2nd anniversary, Indie queens Jen and Sylvia Soska will be debuting the brand new trailer for their highly-anticipated second feature film, AMERICAN MARY, on December 11th, 2010! Be sure to mark your calendars, as this is sure to be a real treat for Horror fans. The Soska Sisters are back in production after an incredible film festival tour of their first picture, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK, with AMERICAN MARY expected out in early 2011. For more information, be sure to visit the Twisted Twins Productions homepage, as well as Jen and Sylvia's blog Penny Dreadful, and their individual Facebook pages! Read The Full Post HERE!

Give-a-way: Win Shadowland on DVD!!

The fine folks at Pirate Media Group are happy to announce the release of their epic new vampire picture, SHADOWLAND, available Tuesday, November 30th! To celebrate the release, they are giving one of our lucky readers the chance to win the DVD in this week's give-a-way presented by I Like Horror Movies!

SHADOWLAND tells the tale of the beautiful vampiress Laura, who awakens from the grave after being locked away for a century only to find herself lost in the modern world. As she struggles to find her place, she must allude the authorities and outrun a vampire hunter that has been sent after her by the church. See our review HERE!

What do you need to do to win? First, look over the terms and conditions below, and then send us the answers to the following questions in an e-mail:

1. On the SHADOWLAND soundtrack, who performed the song "Vampire"?

2. How many awards has SHADOWLAND won?

3. Where was lead actor Carlos Antonio León born?

Don't know the answers? Be sure to visit the Pirate Media Group homepage and IMDb for the clues:
http://www.ShadowlandTheMovie.com
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1097017/

Terms and conditions: Entrants must be 18 years of age or older, and must reside in the United States or Canada. Only one submission is allowed per household. Answers to the questions must be submitted to ilikehorrormovies@yahoo.com along with your full name and mailing address on or before 11:59PM Monday, November 29th to qualify. The winner will be selected at random. The winner's e-mail address and contact information will be supplied to Palisades / Tartan in order to issue out the prize; no other personal information will be shared with any other third-parties.

Thanks again to Pirate Media Group for supporting this week's give-a-way, and good luck! Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Human Centipede: First Sequence (2009)

When you set out to make a movie about a man that sews three people together ass-to-mouth, one thing is certain: People will talk. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE: FIRST SEQUENCE has drawn more attention and curiosity than any other Horror film since 2008's MARTYRS, shocking audiences around the world with its bizarre surgical atrocities.

Two American tourists run afoul of a mad surgeon after they get a flat tire on the side of a desolate road in rural Germany. They awaken from a drugged sleep to find that their captor plans to create the first Siamese triplet using a horrifying new procedure that will join them together with another unfortunate victim to form a single mold of flesh. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE is as sick and depraved as it sounds, and yet it is impossible to ignore the jet-black humor embedded throughout the script. Its absurd premise is given an unusually high level of credibility thanks to a series of strong performances, particularly in Dieter Laser's chilling role as Dr. Heiter. Heiter's cold disregard for human life and sadistic sense of self-absorption make him a frightening villain, indeed. Considering the vulgarity of the subject matter, very little is actually shown at all, but the implications of the act and the cruelty of Heiter's treatment of his subjects are each unbearable to watch. The surgical horror motif handed down from a long tradition of European shockers like EYES WITHOUT A FACE or THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF is handled with a great deal of skill, making THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE a welcome addition to this twisted sub-genre.

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, check out:
MARTYRS, ANTIBODIES, ANTICHRIST.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Blood Fare Teaser Online Now

Female Action Filmmaker, J.A. Steel, Releases “Blood Fare” Teaser Trailer

SALT LAKE CITY, UT. – On November 22, 2010, J.A. Steel, the award winning female writer and director, released the first teaser trailer of her fourth feature film “Blood Fare”.



“Blood Fare” is a Civil War ghost story with a modern twist, by J.A. Steel and Co-Producer Christian K. Koch. It is the tale of Corporal Henry Trout (S. Edward Meek - “Wild Stallion”), who in 1861 fought valiantly in a forgotten skirmish after the first battle of Bull Run. 150 years later, he will come face to face with his descendants as the battle for blood continues on a haunted battlefield. Tyler (Brandi Lynn Anderson from the upcoming Syfy original series “ZEROS”) and her brother Chad (Adrian West), Henry's fifth generation grandchildren, will challenge the very legend of Charon the Ferryman, as the lines between the living and the dead become blurred.

Gil Gerard, internationally recognized for his lead role as Captain William ‘Buck’ Rogers in the science fiction movie and television series “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”, plays the character of Professor Meade, mentor to the protagonist Tyler, in “Blood Fare”. Gerard was recently seen in the Syfy original movie “Ghost Town”, and will star with his castmate Erin Gray, in the upcoming television movie “Buck Rogers Begins”.

In addition to Gerard, several other amazingly talented actresses and actors have joined the “Blood Fare” cast, including Michelle Wolff (“NCIS”, “Chicago Hope”, “ER”, and “Providence”), international action star Kim Sønderholm (“Westbrick Murders”), Savannah Ostler (“Vengance”), Bridget McManus (“Wanted”), Scott Beringer (“Ocean’s Eleven” and “21”), Brenden Whitney, Alison Trouse, Thomas J. Post, Antonio Lexerot and April Knight. Marcus Intheam, Salt Lake City star radio DJ of “Marcus in the Morning” on Z-ROCK 94.9 and “The Real L Word Live Lounge” host Natalie M. Garcia add live broadcast talent.

Chris Hanson, one of the most recognized special makeup effects artists of Hollywood, joined the crew of “Blood Fare” as Special Makeup Effects Supervisor. He demonstrated his unique creativity in “Hellboy”, “Underworld”, “Men in Black”, “Men in Black 2”, “The Green Mile”, “The X-Files”, “The Faculty”, “Spawn” and many other productions.

Steel began stock footage filming in mid-August with the dedicated members of the Utah Civil War Association, a re-enactment group including Meek. Utah Civil War Association member Amanda Bowman Jones will be composing the soundtrack, along with Rob Lambros of “The Street” band, who provided the soundtrack to Steel’s third feature “Denizen”, winner of the Park City Music Film Festival Bronze Medal for Excellence. Steel rounds out her crew with Director of Photography Michael B. Call (“127 Hours”) and Executive Producer Jessica M. Bair.

“Blood Fare” is a green, sustainable film production, and Eco/Sustainable Production Executive Micheline Birkhead was on set to ensure the project meets green certification requirements.
Fans can receive “Blood Fare” limited edition movie memorabilia through IndieGoGo (http://www.indiegogo.com/BLOODFARE). Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Let Me In

“The BEST American horror film in the last 20 years.”

– Stephen King

ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS
THE HAUNTING AND PROVOCATIVE THRILLER

LET ME IN

Available On Blu-Ray™ And DVD On February 1, 2011

Jam-Packed with Bonus Features, the Blu-Ray™ and DVD Boast an Exclusive
Let Me In Comic Book and Fan-Favorite “Car Crash Sequence” Visual Effects Piece!

Beverly Hills, CA – A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire in the thriller, Let Me In, available on Blu-ray™ and DVD on February 1st, 2011 from Anchor Bay Entertainment. Written and directed by filmmaker Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), Let Me In is based on the best-selling Swedish novel Låt den Rätte Komma In (Let The Right One In) by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and the highly acclaimed film of the same name. The film’s score is by Oscar®-, Emmy®- and Grammy®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up, “Lost”).

Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road), Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass), Elias Koteas (Shutter Island), Cara Buono (“The Sopranos”), and Oscar® nominee Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Let Me In is a poignant coming-of-age story as well as a bone-chilling horror film. In a pop-culture landscape littered with the bloodthirsty undead, the 2010 release from Overture Films Let Me In stands out as a very different kind of vampire movie – a haunting meditation on the difficult and often painful transition into adolescence. SRP is $39.99 for the Blu-ray™ and $29.98 for the DVD. Genre fans and DVD aficionados will be thrilled with the generous amount of bonus features on the Let Me In Blu-ray™ and DVD, including the much-talked-about visual effects piece, “Car Crash Sequence Step-By-Step”, with commentary from Director Matt Reeves; “From The Inside: A Look at the Making of Let Me In”; “The Art of Special Effects”; Unrated Deleted Scenes; Trailer Gallery: Greenband Trailer, Redband Trailer; and a Poster and Still Gallery. The Blu-ray™ edition also includes the Blu-ray™ exclusive: “Dissecting Let Me In”, as well as a digital copy of the film. And if that wasn’t enough, both editions include a Let Me In comic book with an exclusive cover designed by award-winning comic book artist Sean Phillips. A graphic novel will be released next year.

Here’s what the critics have to say about Let Me In:

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post calls Let Me In, “The scariest, creepiest and most elegantly filmed horror movie in years.” Says TIME’s Richard Corliss, Let Me In is “Seductive and shocking. A film people will talk about!” Adds Bloody-Disgusting.com’s Brad Miska, “It will be nearly impossible for any vampire film, ever, to measure up.” Scott Bowles of USA Today calls the film “chillingly real,” while Cinematical describes it as “one of the best horror films of the year,” and Pete Hammond of Boxoffice Magazine says Let Me In is “a haunting, touching and unforgettable thriller.”

In bleak New Mexico, a lonely, bullied boy, Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), forms a unique bond with his mysterious new neighbor, Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz), who moves from town to town with the man who appears to be her father (Richard Jenkins). Trapped in the mind and body of a child, however, Abby is forced to hide a horrific secret of bloodthirsty survival. But in a world of both tenderness and terror, how can you invite in the one friend who may unleash the ultimate nightmare?

Based on the Swedish novel, Let the Right One In, “Let Me In is a dark and violent love story, a beautiful piece of cinema and a respectful rendering of my novel for which I am grateful,” says the book’s author, John Ajvide Lindqvist.

About Anchor Bay Entertainment

Anchor Bay Entertainment is the home entertainment division of Starz Media, LLC. It includes the Anchor Bay Films and Manga Entertainment brands. It distributes feature films, children’s entertainment, fitness, TV series, documentaries, anime and other filmed entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray™ formats. It is the exclusive distributor in the U.S. of the theatrical titles from Overture Films. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment has offices in Troy, MI, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Starz Media (www.starzmedia.com ) is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).

LET ME IN BLU-RAY™
Street Date: February 1st, 2011
Pre-book: January 5th, 2011
Cat. #: BD21464
UPC: 0 1313 21464-9 2
Run Time: 115 Minutes
Rating: Rated R
SRP: $39.99
Format: 2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Bonus Features: Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Matt Reeves
From the Inside: A Look at the Making of Let Me In
The Art of Special Effects
Car Crash Sequence Step-By-Step
Blu-ray™ Exclusive: Dissecting Let Me In
Unrated Deleted Scenes
Trailer Gallery: Greenband Trailer, Redband Trailer
Poster & Still Gallery
Digital copy of the film.

LET ME IN DVD
Street Date: February 1st, 2011
Pre-book: January 5th, 2011
Cat. #: OV21461
UPC: 0 1313 21461-9 5
Run Time: 115 Minutes
Rating: Rated R
SRP: $29.98
Format: 2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Bonus Features: Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Matt Reeves
From the Inside: A Look at the Making of Let Me In
The Art of Special Effects
Car Crash Sequence Step-By-Step
Unrated Deleted Scenes
Trailer Gallery: Greenband Trailer, Redband Trailer
Poster & Still Gallery
Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

The teens of Springwood have forgotten the name Freddy Kruger, thereby robbing him of his power over their dreams. But now, Freddy has a new plan for his beloved "children:" he has invaded the mind of the notorious serial killer Jason Voorhees to help him strike fear in the hearts of the Springwood teens once more in order to revive his evil legacy! After over a decade of delays and countless treatments, Sean S. Cunningham and New Line Cinema finally found a script that they felt confident enough in producing, but would it be the climactic battle that fans had clamored over for years? Aside from having the oldest looking cast of "teen" characters, FREDDY VS. JASON also has some of the worst dialog, most overstated performances, and most contrived plot points in either series. Lori and friends piece together their parents' plot to cover up Kruger's existence with unnatural speed and precision for a bunch of stupid teens that can hardly keep their pants on. Somewhere underneath the poor scripting there is a really interesting premise, and it is this shred of decency that drives the film forward between kills. Robert Englund arrives in top form after being away from the series for nearly ten years, and Ken Kirzinger steps in with a strong and surprisingly humanizing performance as the hulking Jason. For all of its downfalls, FREDDY VS. JASON does have many entertaining moments and a ton of excellent splatter that make it a huge fan pleaser and a welcome addition to both franchises.

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 7/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Jason X (2001)

While New Line was still busy locking in a script for FREDDY VS JASON to follow up the ending proposed in JASON GOES TO HELL, they took the next logical step in this tenth installment, and shot the main character into outer space. Unable to kill him using any normal means, Earth's lead scientists decide to cryogenically freeze Jason Voorhees in order to end his violent killing spree. Nearly five-centuries later, when all other life on Earth has been destroyed, a student research vessel that is surveying the planet in search of lost artifacts uncovers the body, and brings it aboard their ship. Unfortunately for them, the smell of teenage lust and unsuspecting female victims re-animates him during the thawing process, and he returns to work aboard The Grendel! JASON X shares most in common with FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART VI in its light tone and silly humor. The audience is clearly intended to champion their Slasher "hero" in this film, and it pays off! Not only do the deaths come fast and furious, but it offers some of the most inventive kills in the series. Jason tops out at a staggering body count of twenty-eight people, excluding the thousands killed when The Grendel rams through a giant spaceport. After a near-defeat when battling the crew's android unit, Jason is rebuild using Nano-technology, making him bigger, badder, and stronger than before (but definitely no cooler). Unfortunately, the special effects and computer animation in JASON X are light-years behind the times, but what can one expect in a film with such a ridiculous premise? Stupid and cheesy, yes, but equally bloody and wildly entertaining! JASON X is a guilty pleasure at best, but far from the worst in the series.

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 9/10.
Gore: 7/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Eaten Alive (1977)

Deep in the Texas bayou, there lies a rusty motel run by a crazy old innkeeper, but while Judd is more than happy to check you in, his pet crocodile will be checking you out! EATEN ALIVE is a dark and oppressive swamp shocker from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE's Tobe Hooper. Hooper brings back Marilyn Burns and many others to round out the cast in his second feature. While it offers a far more stylized look (particularly in its bold color filters), EATEN ALIVE retains much of the same raw, gritty aesthetic and constant sense of unease brought over from his earlier film. Neville Brand's portrayal of the mumbling schizophrenic Judd wins out over what is otherwise a below average production. The characters scramble about the hotel in a typical fashion before Judd mangles them with the garden tools and feeds them to the croc. Hooper strikes a key note of suspense when the hungry reptile corners the young daughter of one of the hotel guests in the crawlspace beneath the house. EATEN ALIVE is an interesting watch for TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE fans, but a near miss overall.

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Puppet Master 2 (1991)

The puppets are back, and this time they have revived their vengeful master Andre Toulon! When a group of paranormal investigators set up shop in the Bodega Bay Inn, they discover that the rumors about the Inn's murderous living puppets are true, but only after they become the puppets next victims! PUPPET MASTER 2 carries over all of the quirky humor and extravagant characters from the first film in another oddly entertaining entry. Each of the original puppets return with the addition of Torch, a bullet-toothed assassin that comes fully-equipped with a powerful flamethrower! Toulon releases the puppets to extract the spinal fluid from their victims in order to create enough of his secret formula to reanimate a life-sized puppet of his deceased wife, which leads to a number of blood-soaked deaths at the hands of the pint-sized terrors. Not surprisingly, the plot is scattered and misdirected, leading to a number of pointless side-steps and tedious filler. The special effects, on the other hand, continue to delight as the killer puppets head out on their murder spree. Strictly saved for B-movie savants.

Rating: 5/10.
Entertainment: 6/10.
Gore: 4/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Book Review: The Art of Hammer

The Art of Hammer
By: Marcus Hearn
Published 2010, 192 pages

Marcus Hearn, author and Hammer Film Productions historian, presents this lavish poster archive that spans through the most prominent years of Hammer's existence. Covering not only Hammer's famous monster movies, The Art of Hammer includes examples from each of the various genres, while producing many rare and forgotten works from around the world. As Hearn demonstrates, Hammer spared no expense in promoting their films with masterfully-painted one-sheets and extravagant compositions that drew audiences in to every viewing. These incredibly well-kept samples have been assembled from both from Hammer's own film archives and from devoted private collectors. Hearn opens with a fascinating introduction documenting the company's attempt to overcome critical disdain through their colorful artwork, then goes on to discuss the artists, publicists, and salesmen that helped make the posters and finished films such a riveting success. The Art of Hammer is the first and only collection of these classic posters, and is an absolute must-have for Gothic film fans!

Rating: 9/10.

If you liked The Art of Hammer, check out:
Hammer Glamour, The Hammer Story, Graven Images.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Jason Goes to Hell (1993)

After taking a staggering hit with JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise burst forward with new life after New Line Cinema took over with JASON GOES TO HELL, but an increased budget and enthusiastic new production company weren't enough to save it from becoming the most ludicrous entry in the series! It is incomprehensible how anyone in the cast or crew managed to take the project seriously considering the absurd script and illogical storyline. In the opening scene, Jason Voorhees is eviscerated by a tactical police force, leaving only body parts and his cold, black heart. When the coroners go to perform an autopsy, Jason's evil spirit overcomes one of the men, causing him to devour the heart and become possessed by the unstoppable killer. Jason manipulates his way through a series of hosts as he attempts to become reborn through his last remaining relative, but not before slicing his way through half of Crystal Lake! Were it not for the hilarious over-acting and the outrageously over-the-top murder sequences, JASON GOES TO HELL would have been an abysmal failure. Steven Williams can never be taken seriously in his attempts to play the macho bounty hunter Creighton Duke, as entertaining as he may be. The existentialist approach to Jason as a form of evil incarnate falls flat on its face, especially when compared to Wes Craven's brilliant NEW NIGHTMARE. Adam Marcus and his fellow writers only manage to ask more questions than they answer: Where did the demonic "Jason" originate from? Why is Jason only able to be reborn through a Voorhees woman? Why is it that when he is reborn, he is wearing the same ragged costume and hockey mask? And why is Jason so fond of mood lighting? JASON GOES TO HELL should be considered as more of a cheat than A NEW BEGINNING ever was, since Jason does not appear in his "true form" for more than a few minutes. There are only two things that Marcus got right in the entire production, and those are all the naked hotties and gruesome deaths that had been missing from the past several films. In the end, JASON GOES TO HELL is a mixed bag. It constantly confuses the line between camp and cheese, but it delivers in the gore department.

Rating: 5/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 7/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Press Release: Intervision Open For Business!

INTERVISION PICTURE CORPORATION TO OPEN FOR BUSINESS IN JANUARY

Legendary Indie Shocker 'The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer', First New Jess Franco Film In Years Slated As Maiden Releases

San Francisco, CA/Bangkok, Thailand – November 15, 2010 – The newly created Intervision Picture Corporation, featuring several longtime veterans of the home video scene, today announced it was rolling out its aggressive schedule of Cult and Exploitation releases starting this January.

Bangkok-based Intervision Picture Corp. has just inked a deal with distribution/manufacturing mainstay CAV to handle solicitation and physical distribution.

First releases are both helmed by recent Goya Award Winner Jess Franco. The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff, a long-thought-lost classic from 1971, was finally unearthed in a Budapest vault following an exhaustive international search. Orloff will be paired with Paula-Paula, the most acclaimed Jess Franco film in over two decades.

Intervision Picture Corporation has also just announced the acquisition of the seminal serial killer study The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer, along with two of the greatest Ozploitation entries of the 1970s - Australia After Dark and The ABCs of Love and Sex.

The deal was negotiated by Larry Gold Sr., Founder and CEO on behalf of Intervision Picture Corporation, and Jay Douglas, Vice President of Product Development on behalf of CAV.

CAV’s Douglas said, “Larry Gold is one of the few true legends of the video industry and we are thrilled to bring his latest and greatest brand to the CAV stable.”

Intervision Picture Corporation's Gold added, “When I decided I was getting the band back together and putting out a new line, Jay was the first person I called. CAV and Intervision both are in the midst of new, exciting ventures, and I look forward to the partnership."

Gold, an early leader in the world of VHS distribution, has an impressive resume stretching back to the early 1960s, when he founded the London-based Solid Gold Films Ltd. Long thought retired to his estate in Southeast Asia, Gold cited "the need to get quality pictures back on the shelves" as his chief reason for getting back into distribution.

"I've still got the rights to over 850 films across all formats - and I intend to exercise them in a manner that will result in classy, special-features-laden releases crafted for the discriminating picturegoer. Film distribution has gotten a bit off its bearings as of late, and we at Intervision Picture Corporation intend to bring back a little of the way things used to be." Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Until the Light Takes Us

UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US
UK DVD Release kicks off with a London Reprise at ICA, 15-31 December

FEATURING: Gylve “Fenriz” Nagell, Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes, Jan Blomberg, Harmony Korine,
FEATURING MUSIC FROM: Darkthrone, Mayhem, Burzum, Ulver, Thorns, Gorgoroth, Enslaved, Boards of Canada, Black Dice, Sunn 0))), Múm,, with original soundtrack music by Lesser
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Aaron Aites & Audrey Ewell, Copyright 2009
RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes/Digital/Not Rated (contains language and graphic images, not suitable for under 15)

Until The Light Takes Us tells the story of black metal. Part music scene and part cultural uprising, black metal rose to worldwide notoriety in the mid-nineties when a rash of suicides, murders, and church burnings accompanied the explosive artistic growth and output of a music scene that would forever redefine what heavy metal is and what it stands for to other musicians, artists and music fans world-wide. The film goes behind the highly sensationalized media reports of "Satanists running amok in Europe" to examine the complex and largely misunderstood principles and beliefs that led to this rebellion against both Christianity and modern culture.

Until The Light Takes Us returns to the UK after a successful summer rollout. The film’s London reprise marks its debut at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), and coincides with the its UK DVD release via Field Pictures. Until The Light Takes Us screens on a double bill with Anvil, The Story of Anvil on 15 December, then continues a solo run at the ICA through December 31. The film’s DVD release, also on 15 Dec, includes four hours of extra features. Details & info at www.blackmetalmovie.com. Screening dates and times at http://www.ica.org.uk.

Distributor & Press Contact: Field Pictures: info@blackmetalmovie.com, +1 347-495-1476
OFFICIAL SITE: www.blackmetalmovie.com
FULL PRESS NOTES AND STILLS: www.variancefilms.com/press

Press and Awards:
“Gripping” – Empire Magazine “Crafty and compelling” – Salon.com “Fascinating” – Filmshaft “A great piece of work” Guardian.com “An intriguing Film” – Eye For Film “Uniquely compelling” – The Wire Magazine
Winner, Best Documentary: Athens International Film Festival
Winner: Best Music and Film category, Grossman Film and Wine Festival Read The Full Post HERE!

Friday the 13th, Part 8 (1989)

JASON TAKES MANHATTAN is an ambitious idea that never lives up to its awesome premise. Due to expected budgetary limitations, director Rob Hedden was unable to shoot the majority of the planned sequences in New York City, and as a disappointing result, most of the picture occurs on the cruise ship that is transporting the teens from Crystal Lake (?) to Manhattan. With the end of the decade also came the end of the Slasher era, and FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 8 signifies the death of the genre more than any other film. The confusing back story, idiotic characters, and pathetic death scenes are just a few of its many problems. Only two scenes stand out in this otherwise forgettable entry: Jason's jaunt down Times Square, and Julius' rooftop battle with the big guy! Kane Hodder is the only saving grace in the entire film thanks to another explosive performance as Jason. JASON TAKES MANHATTAN's poor performance effectively put an end to the original FRIDAY THE 13TH series until New Line Cinema later acquired the rights to the character for JASON GOES TO HELL.

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Short: Enter the Dark (2010)

An amateur filmmaker and his friend set up cameras around his house in order to disprove a haunting so that he can convince his wife and kid to return home after they had been hearing frightening voices. Unfortunately for them, the ghost are in this house are very, very real! In the tradition of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY before it, ENTER THE DARK uses the "found-footage" approach along with a series of simple devices to create effective shocks. Writer/Director Todd Miro injects humorous dialog throughout the script, making it that much more jarring when the characters' witty banter is broken up by unexpected scares! ENTER THE DARK does require a much greater suspension of disbelief than the films it models itself after, since the effects are so pronounced and happen in such rapid succession. Fans of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY will be happy to discover this spooky short!

Rating: 7/10. Read The Full Post HERE!

The Werewolf (1956)

THE WEREWOLF combines the mad scientist motif with classic Horror themes when an unsuspecting patient is transformed into a snarling werewolf by a geneticist that is looking to strengthen the human genome against atomic radiation. Duncan reverts back to human form and escapes, but without any recollection of his past. When he wanders into a nearby town, he unwittingly changes back into the wolf when confronted by a would-be attacker, and kills the man. His furry alter-ego runs off into the woods while the police plan to trap the beast before it kills again! Director Fred F. Sears dismisses all of the classic mythology in this unlucky tale about a reluctant werewolf. There are no full moons, pentagrams, or silver bullets to be found anywhere in the plot, as it attempts a much more modern approach to the material. Like Lon Chaney before him, Steven Rich provides a sympathetic performance that becomes even more pitiable when Duncan's wife and child are discovered searching for their lost loved one. Clay Campbell does an excellent job with his original make-up designs, which are instantly recognizable from his earlier work in RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked THE WEREWOLF, check out:
RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE, CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, THE MAD MONSTER.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friday the 13th, Part 7 (1988)

Jason returns from his watery grave to break up another party out at Crystal Lake, but this time, the telekinetic Tina is sure to put a stop to his murderous rampage once and for all! John Carl Buechler's FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART VII is arguably the darkest, cruelest, and most terrifying film in the series. There is no comedic safety net to balance the horror, and the death scenes are not left to silly gags like they had been in earlier entries. PART VII aims for a hardcore Slasher, even if it falls short of its ultimate goal. A disastrous run-in with the MPAA left Buechler defenseless against harsh censorship, and without the support of Paramount to back him up, the film was mercilessly butchered in order to earn an R-rating. Most of the gore has been removed entirely, but even still, THE NEW BLOOD contains some of FRIDAY's most memorable murders. The sleeping bag death, in particular, would live on in infamy for years to come, and was so popular that it was later revisited in JASON X. Buechler makes up for the flaccid action sequences with his atmospheric use of light and shadow as well as high- and low-angles to emphasize the sinister mood. The vision of Jason that he presents on-screen is a zombified brute that shows all of the wear and tear he has taken in his years of slicing and dicing. PART VII is most notable for introducing audiences to Kane Hodder as Jason, who would become the only actor to wear the hockey mask more than once (for a total of four films). Kane Hodder is the stuff that nightmares are made of. His specific mannerisms, huge stature, and heavy breathing would define the role for most fans. Jason completely raids the tool shed in this one, killing his victims with the most absurd weapons imaginable. Even though THE NEW BLOOD is riddled with poor special effects, lame acting, and corny dialog, the combination of Buechler behind the camera and Hodder imposing himself on-screen make this a very scary entry.

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 4/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: I Spit On Your Grave Remake and Original

“It’s unrated. Can you handle it? I don’t think you can.”
– Kyle Smith , New York Post

“Despicable remake of the despicable 1978 film…”
– Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times


ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
UNLEASHES
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
1978 ORIGINAL AND 2010 REMAKE

Dual Blu-ray™ and DVD releases February 8th
With All-New Bonus Features


Beverly Hills, CA – In 1978, Meir Zarchi’s I Spit On Your Grave shocked audiences all over the world. Critics reviled it, but audiences embraced its “Day of the Woman” empowerment message. Three decades later, lightning struck again with the 2010 remake, which shocked 21st century moviegoers. Now, Anchor Bay Entertainment completes the grisly circle of revenge with the February 8, 2011 release of the unrated I Spit On Your Grave – both the 1978 original classic and the state-of-the-art 2010 remake on high-definition Blu-ray™ and DVD. This release marks the U.S. Blu-ray™ debut of the original cult classic. SRPs for the 2010 DVD are $29.97, and $34.99 for the Blu-ray™; the 1978 version SRPs are $24.99 for the Blu-ray™ and $19.98 for the DVD. Pre-book is January 12th.

Produced by CineTel Films’ Lisa Hansen and Paul Hertzberg in association with Anchor Bay Films, and directed by Steven R. Monroe, 2010’s I Spit On Your Grave tells the story of Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler), a city girl who rents an isolated cabin in the country to write her latest novel. On one terrifying evening, a group of local lowlifes break into the cabin, overpower and assault Jennifer, ultimately leaving her for dead. But Jennifer miraculously survives her ordeal; consumed with hell-borne vengeance for those who so violated her, she repays their heinous acts in gruesome ways that these lowlifes never thought imaginable. The cast includes Jeff Branson (“The Young and the Restless”), Daniel Franzese (Mean Girls, Bully), Rodney Eastman (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 & 4), Chad Lindberg (“Supernatural,” The Fast and the Furious), Tracey Walter (Erin Brockovich, Batman, Repo Man) and Andrew Howard (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). Meir Zarchi, the writer/producer/director of the 1978 original, served as Executive Producer.

Unlike with the original film, mainstream and genre critics alike have embraced the new version from the very beginning. The New York Times called it “extremely efficient grindhouse,” while New York Magazine’s David Edelstein extolled “Each killing is as protracted, humiliating, ingenious, gory and downright poetic as any I’ve seen, and I’ve seen it all.” Bloody-Disgusting’s Brad Miska said “The audience gasped, screamed and cheered as they watched Sarah Butler drop the axe on her assailants,” while Rue Morgue Magazine declared it “a cinematic bulldozer…it handily trumps the original in the ferocious revenge sequences.”

Bonus features on the 2010 I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray™ and DVD include a filmmakers commentary track with Hansen and Monroe, an in-depth behind-the-scenes featurette, the original theatrical teaser and trailer, deleted scenes and much more. The 1978 I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray™ features an all-new high definition transfer, Dolby TrueHD audio and an all-new interview with writer/producer/director Meir Zarchi about the making of this infamous cinematic landmark and its legacy for the past three decades.

About Anchor Bay Entertainment

Anchor Bay Entertainment is the home entertainment division of Starz Media, LLC. It includes the Anchor Bay Films and Manga Entertainment brands. It distributes feature films, children’s entertainment, fitness, TV series, documentaries, anime and other filmed entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray™ formats. It is the exclusive distributor in the U.S. of the theatrical titles from Overture Films. Headquartered in Beverly Hills , CA , Anchor Bay Entertainment has offices in Troy , MI , as well as Canada , the United Kingdom and Australia . Starz Media (www.starzmedia.com) is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).

# # #
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Ed Peters
Sue Procko Public Relations
edp@sueprockopr.com
323-653-5153 x227

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2010 Blu-ray™
Street Date: February 8, 2011
Pre-book: January 12, 2011
Cat. #: BD21696
UPC: 0 1313 21696-9
Run Time: 108 minutes
Genre: Horror / Action
Rating: Unrated
SRP: $34.99
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2010 DVD
Street Date: February 8, 2011
Pre-book: January 12, 2011
Cat. #: AF21693
UPC: 0 1313 21693-9 2
Run Time: 108 minutes
Genre: Horror / Action
Rating: Unrated
SRP: $29.97
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) Blu-ray™
Street Date: February 8, 2011
Pre-book: January 12, 2011
Cat. #: BD22340
UPC: 0 1313 22340-9 0
Run Time: 101 minutes
Genre: Horror / Action
Rating: Unrated
SRP: $24.99
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) DVD
Street Date: February 8, 2011
Pre-book: January 12, 2011
Cat. #: DV22335
UPC: 0 1313 22335-9 8
Run Time: 101 minutes
Genre: Horror / Action
Rating: Unrated
SRP: $19.98
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Read The Full Post HERE!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ILHM Interviews the Salacious Soska Sisters!!

In between kicking ass and taking names, Jen and Sylvia Soska have been gracious enough to drop by I Like Horror Movies to discuss the upcoming release of their feature film, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK. For those of you that may have missed our review, be sure to stop by the Twisted Twins Productions webpage for additional information on the film, and check out the DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK trailer available on Youtube and other social networks!

ILHM: Ladies, where did the idea for DEAD HOOKER come from?

SS: We were frustrated with what was being offered to us as actresses, we have been acting since childhood, and decided we needed a change. We had been heavily training in martial arts and stunt work seem like a much more empowering field. There was a new film school that had an amazing stunt program that we enrolled in, but after that section of the course ended so did anything that was amazing about the school. It was disorganized with barely a curriculum. It got worse when time for our final projects came about and they decided to cut funding for our group and insisted that we simple merge with another group. It was horse shit.

We had been going to the theaters a lot because Rodriguez and Tarantino's GRINDHOUSE was playing and it got us so excited about film making. After seeing it in the theater one time, Jen turns to me and says 'Dead Hooker in a Trunk. That's what we should call it. We should make a fake trailer and we should call it Dead Hooker in a Trunk. From there, we decided to produce, write, and direct it in spite of the school. We would present it as a 'fuck you' at graduation with everything they paid to get made. They had a list of everything that was dubbed 'inappropriate' to put in a project, but since it was our own project we could add anything we liked and piss them off in the process. We put almost everything on that list and then some stuff that somehow missed the list. It was exciting, edgy, engaging, and offensive. When we presented, half the audience walked out. The other half was cheering so loud, that you could barely hear our offensive dialogue.

People asked when the feature was going to be made and with the sudden interest, we wrote the script and starting preparing to make the film. The team that came together often joked that the film was blessed because it really seemed that way. There was a writer's strike that left the incredible talent in the city with newly open schedules. We took Rodriguez's indie film making guide, REBEL WITHOUT A CREW, as the Bible on set and used creativity to solve problems and money limitations. People heard about the project and got excited to be a part of it. The script was usual and insane and that helped too. I am still humbled to think of how many people heard this crazy story with a couple of new directors and trusted in that vision. It was incredible.

JS: We've always loved film, particularly horror. Don't you just love a film that takes you on a ride and when you leave the theatre you have that embarrassing "I'm-so-happy-on-life" feeling? We wanted to replicate that. It started with the title, a crap-tastic film school experience, and a whole lot of ambition. The most important thing is to start with an idea that you're really, really passionate about. For our hero, Robert Rodriguez, it was a man with a guitar case filled with guns. For us, it was a dead hooker in a trunk.

ILHM: Are you typically Horror and Exploitation fans?

SS: We have been horror fans since we were little girls. Learning about exploitation films came later when we had grown up and started seeking out different films and genres. As children, we would go into horror movie sections and look at all the movie covers. We would run to the other to show the scariest images or the most gore. My mother had explained to us that is was fake and created by very talented artists, so we weren't scared. Just curious. My mom had a deal with us, if we read the book, we could watch the movie. That's when we really learned about the world of horror from Stephen King. At nine years old, we were reading at a highschool level and starting our romance with horror.

JS: Horror has a very special place in our hearts. I attribute that to my folks and my mom's huge collection of everything Stephen King had ever written. My mom had no problem letting us dig in and read whatever we wished. Not only did it hone our dark sense of humor, as mister King's brand of horror was always sprinkled with his trademark humor, it advanced our reading levels to a highshcool level in elementary school. Much to the dismay of our teachers and principal. I remember I selected "Pet Sematary", because I loved animals. Our teachers' opposition was probably our first experience with censorship. My mom spoke with the principal who was hell bent on keeping us from reading these "inappropriate" books and my mom told them that if we're reading at that level, she's not going to discourage us. As it turned out, we had to put covers on our books, but we kept on reading them.

ILHM: What were your greatest inspirations going in to the film?

SS: That people would have fun watching the film. We wanted to create something people could throw on and have a great time watching.

JS: We're very inspired by so many people, though we try not to be too pointed about who influences us. Stephen King, as we mentioned. Robert Rodriguez. Big time. I really love Joss Whedon, as well. His work has so much playfulness to it, but it also has a lot of heart. I hope our work has the same effect on our audiences. More than anything, we wanted our audiences to watch DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK with pure enjoyment. We wanted to make something fun, horrific, hilarious, utterly ridiculous, and wholly original.

ILHM: What is your method for writing and directing as a team? How do you share responsibilities?

SS: With script writing, we first write an outline that has all the major story points on it. We talk back and forth about what should happen, what would be a cool sequence, and who wants to write what. There's a lot of back and forth and we really support each other. We are also brutally honest with one another, which is important when you are working together. If we get writer's block, we simply tag in the other twin. And because we are twins, we don't have to go into big explanations about things, we just think the same. We do a lot of pre-planning before directing days, one will be the voice for the day and we'll talk back and forth as we shot the day. It's nice to have two sets of eyes on everything.

JS: It's a joint venture and that's really nice. Together, we can cover twice as much, be in two places, work on two totally separate things at once, and work twice as fast. We love story telling and always have. It's so exciting when we start a new project. We'll sit, with energy drinks on hand, and shoot ideas rapid fire back and forth. When we find some common ground, will sharpen our approach and work to feel out the details, set a back story, and go from there. Whether it even makes an appearance in the final project or not, we always have a deep background story for every character. To us, for the film, it's like we're capturing them in a moment of their lives. We have to know where they came from to know where they're going.
Sylvie is great to work with. She will never sugar coat something for you. If she's not sold, you'd sure as hell better be able to make her see what you see. She challenges me all the time. In a good way. If she just smiled and nodded, neither of us would be the artists we are today. The right person will make you into the best version of you and that's fully true with her. We're very passionate about our work. We do, at times, disagree and go at each other, but it's only because we care so much about our work.

On set, we divide up who will have the final say to avoid any possible conflicts. It's never good to have too many cooks int eh kitchen, y'know?

ILHM: How did you go about funding the film initially?

SS: We maxed out our credit cards to pay for anything we needed for the film - props, equipment, food, wardrobe, makeup and effects. The budget was extremely modest, but taking the time off from work to make the film and put it together was really difficult. We had amazing support - lots of people volunteered their time and came out to help the film. Carlos Gallardo of EL MARIACHI appeared in the film for free just to support indie film making and because he dug that we were following in his and Rodriguez's shoes. The actors were incredible and gracious. At the end of the production, our parents, Agnes and Marius Soska, and our crew members, Maryann Van Graven and Donald Charge helped us so we could focus on the final cut and post-production of the film.

JS: A few great friends, a lot of creativity, and a whole poop load of debt. Living the dream, pretty much, ha ha.

ILHM: The credits list no more than 20 people in the entire cast and crew. Did this make filming more difficult, or was it liberating to work on such a small scale?

SS: It was very intimate and close working with such a tight group of people. No one had one job, actors doubled as crew, everyone went the extra mile to make the production a success. We did a fair bit of guerrilla film making, so it was good to work in a small group. Oddly, people would see the camera and just politely stay out of our way.

JS: It made it so much more personal. I hate being on a set where people are obviously just there for the buck. "What are you working on?" "Ah, some local piece of shit. I-don't-know." Everyone on set cared not only about the film, but they love this business. It was our first film, done without anyone looking over our shoulders, so one of the things we wanted to do was show the world just how talented this group of people is. Almost no one had only one job. We had actors behind the camera, we personally decorated every location, we were all in very deep. I think that's something else that makes the film so special. It's important to surround yourself with people who really love this business and what they're doing. Set days are long and hard. That last thing you need on your set is poison. You have enough in the way of challenges.

ILHM: Did you both plan to star in the film from the start?

SS: It was weird. From the get go, we knew we wanted to write, direct, produce, and star in the film. We wanted to be as involved as possible. We would come to locations early, do the set decoration as the rest of the team arrived, then we'd get into wardrobe and makeup as we discussed the day. We would discuss shots and sequences. Sometimes things would go smoothly and sometimes we would have to think creatively on our feet to fix the problem.

We had the characters before we had any idea of cast. We decided to make Badass and Geek siblings, Jen and I playing the roles seemed to make sense. I never had the opportunity to play a bad girl before, so Jen thought it would be cool if I was Badass.

JS: I would say the film is an ensemble cast. I knew we wanted to act in the film. Part of the reason we wrote the parts we did is because of the piss poor roles we had been consistently offered. Sylv had been pigeon holed into the bubbly, sweet girlfriend type roles (polar opposite to her stunning take on our much beloved Badass) and I had been type cast as a mega bitch (I blame the eyebrows...) when I wasn't being asked if I'd take my clothes off. We wanted to show our range and break out of those stereotypes. I'm not sure if we've now type cast ourselves as the Geek and the Badass, but I feel there's a little of both in everybody. that's probably part of the reason people react so strongly to those characters.

ILHM: Was there ever any discussion over who would get to play Badass and who would play Geek, or did you write yourselves into the characters?

SS: After we decided who would play who, we started really going into the crazy scenarios. When we wrote the feature, Jen suggested a lot of crazy things that she thought would be funny to have happen to me. When Jen and I were little, she wore these big glasses ( I got teased when I wore mine, so I went blind rather than be mocked insecurely enough) and was very smart. We were both clever, but Jen was 'I think people under the age of eighteen should have the right to vote' smart and that was at ten.

JS: I wanted Sylv to play the Badass. I knew she'd knock it out of the proverbial park. Admittedly, Badass got to have a lot of fun and at times I wish I was the one in her stylish yet affordable boots, but Geek got to have a completely different variety of fun. Getting roughed up was pretty exciting. I love stunts and it was fun to get slapped around. Everything in my brain was screaming to fight back, but that's what Badass twin sisters are for.

ILHM: You both have such an awesome chemistry with Rikki and C.J. (Junkie and Goody Two-Shoes) on-screen. How did they become involved in the project?

SS: CJ and I were good friends before the film started. The original script had all lead characters as female, but the actress playing Goody dropped out two days before filming. I tried desperately to find a replacement but the material in the script offended almost everyone and the rest weren't interested in working on an ambitious film paid out of two twin's pockets. I started thinking that maybe I should change the role to a male, maybe move some things around. When CJ invited me to a screening for a couple of shorts he did, I saw him play a very Goody-esque character. It was perfect and finalized the male re-write. I asked him if he would play the role and he agreed.

We started filming and after shooting the Junkie monologue at sunset, he told us that he would cut the shit out of that sequence and he was right. He not only cut the film, but also did almost all the post production, color correction, as well as composing original tracks for the film. His song as Goody, I NEED YOU NOW, is one of my favorites. He does so many funny, ridiculous things in the film. We were very lucky to get him in the film.

It's funny because our characters, Badass and Goody, hated each other and in reality, we get along very well. We actually started dating during the production and had our third anniversary this past Halloween. That makes the end sequence with Jen and him very funny. People ask me if it bothers me, but I wrote it and it's sexy as hell.

JS: I love Rikki. She's so incredible, a very talented actress and stunt performer, and she's a great friend. She's full of life. It's funny that Badass and Junkie are bffs, lingering on almost being sometimes lovers, and Geek and Goody were romantic in the film, while in reality Sylv and CJ fell in love and Rikki and I became very close.

I remember when we were looking for a Junkie. Our Hooker, Tasha Moth, a very talented stunt performer herself, highly recommended Rikki. I had worked with her on sets before and chatted with her, but we were little more than acquaintances. I met her at a Starbucks up the street from my parents' place and talked to her about DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK, Junkie, and our hopes for the film. I sat there so nervous collecting my thoughts, carefully watching the door so I could stand and greet her immediately. Buy her a coffee, as I like to do when I first meet someone. When she came in the door, she just had this big, beautiful smile that brightened the room. I remember thinking, "Oh, God. She's perfect. I hope she'll do it." The rest is history.

ILHM: DEAD HOOKER has been receiving an enormous response in film festivals around the country, and has even drawn critical praise from cult filmmakers like Eli Roth. Did you ever expect your first feature film to become such a huge overnight sensation?

SS: The response the film has gotten has been overwhelming and wonderful. The support that the horror community has given us is incredible. I get messages from people all over the world about the film and it doesn't feel real. I talk to Eli Roth about what we're up to and he's given us some great advice. When we made the film, we just wanted people to enjoy themselves as they watched it and that came true. Every time someone goes out of their way to support the film, we are just so humbled by it. We started filming in October 2007 and then through various edits, film festivals, and meetings it is at a very good place right now. Currently, it is being handled by the rad team at Industry Works and is in the hands of some very impressive distributors. We should have some exciting news to share soon.

JS: I'm incredibly grateful for all the support we've received from reviewers, sites, fellow film makers, fans, and just everyone. It's funny to hear it called an over night success. I remember at first desperately trying to find someone to watch the film. Anyone. At first it was so hard to get even an email back. Now we have to dedicate hours to responding to our friends in the business, new fans, and so many wonderful people. We personally get back to everyone who writes us. I cannot begin to thank everyone for their support of us and our work. We hoped that DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK would put us on the radar, but we never expected to have so many people love the film. It makes us so happy. So many people support the film and us without ever even having seen the film! We get so many emails every day asking for us to bring the film to them. It makes us so happy. All we ever wanted from this film was to make a movie that was pure enjoyment for our audiences and share that film with as many people as possible. I'm proud to say I feel we have exactly that. It's very humbling.

ILHM: Is a sequel already in the works?

SS: We have joked about a sequel, but we don't have any firm plans. We have about seven projects written that we are interested in making, not to mention shorts, music videos, and other projects like our annual Massive Blood Drive for Women in Horror Month.

JS: It would be interesting to see what a "Desperado" version of our "El Mariachi" would be like. Never say never, right? We are dedicated to not letting our audience down. If they want it, they'll have it.

ILHM: What other projects are the two of you up to currently?

SS: We will be releasing a teaser for our second feature on our site for our second anniversary, December 11th. It's entitled AMERICAN MARY and we're very excited about it. We are also finalizing the cut on our documentary, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE, that we made with CJ Wallis and his company, Forty FPS Productions. It follows the life of four YouTube personalities - David Choi, Happyslip, Daxflame, and Tay Zonday - as they venture in the forefront of this new medium of online entertainment.

JS: AMERICAN MARY is the big one. There is another film, THE MAN WHO KICKED ASS, that I'm very excited to make. I can't say much, but I have a feeling it's going to be very special in a lot of ways.

ILHM: If given the opportunity, would you rather work on a multi-million dollar studio project, or continue making films on an Independent bill?

SS: I'm interested in telling stories that I want to tell. I like working with creative people on interesting projects. If a studio would let me exist in those means, then I would be happy. We are working with some very cool folks that are passionate about the horror genre, which is the best way to work on a project. It's going to be a larger budget than DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK, but it certainly isn't in the massive block buster budget range. It's very gracious.

JS: I have a special place in my heart, but I don't think people realize that we work very hard to pull off independent projects. It's hard to work 8 to 10 hours daily on Twisted Twins Productions stuff and still work a day job. For that reason alone, I'd like to work with a studio. Having said that though, we are far from through with Grindhouse. We have a couple killer projects in store for everyone. Whether we have a big studio backing us or not, we'll continue to make films forever.

ILHM: What makes a 'good' movie in your opinion?

SS: Anything that is honest that has a purpose for existing. I want to hear more unique voices. We don't need remakes. We need more originality.

JS: Something thoughtful. Something that has something to say. Something that isn't just obviously manipulative shit that insults the intelligence of their audience. I will watch bad films along with good films. Both can teach you very different things. bad films are important to teach you how to recognize what makes a bad film and how to avoid that in your own work.

ILHM: What are some of your favorite films?

SS: MARTYRS, SUICIDE CLUB, AMERICAN PSYCHO, ANTICHRIST, THE MARIACHI TRILOGY.

JS: WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? (yes, seriously), SUICIDE CLUB, AMERICAN PSYCHO, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY, BATMAN RETURNS. So, so many... I love films so very much.

ILHM: Has DEAD HOOKER been picked up yet by a distributor, and are there any current release plans?

SS: We have it in the hands of some very rad people. Once things are finalized, we can't wait to share it with everyone.

JS: Soon, my dear. Soon. I can't wait for DEAD HOOKER to be in living rooms across the world.

ILHM: Where can readers find out more about DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK?

SS: You can see everything at http://www.twistedtwinsproductions.net It's our site. We blog and put updates on regularly as things happen. We have more information on DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK and our other projects there. We even have a contact button so folks can drop us a line and say hi!

JS: Our site, particularly our Penny Dreadful Diary.

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Thanks again to Jen and Sylvia for creating what is sure to become an instant cult-classic, and for taking the time to chat with us this evening! Be sure to support DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK by visiting the Soskas on their homepage above, the Penny Dreadful Diary and blog, as well as on Facebook!

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