Monday, December 05, 2016

Santa's Suit Soaks up the Blood with this Preview for Good Tidings

XLrator Media and Two-Headed Snake Entertainment would like horror fans to celebrate Christmas with Good Tidings. This United Kingdom shot feature involves a trio of psychopaths and a break-in, on Christmas Day. Rum and Egg Nog are substituted for guns and bloodshed. Someone has definitely been naughty this year! The film was directed by Stuart W. Bedford, from a script by Giovanni Gentile. A trailer and release details are available here, for the film.

Good Tidings will release, appropriately, this December. Through Video-on-demand, the film will be available this December 6th. Several platforms will host the release, including: iTunes, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Google Play and the Xbox Network. The launch is being supported by both XLrator and Blue Fox Entertainment, on the Macabre label. Film fans can add Good Tidings to their Christmas list, now. More details on the film's launch are hosted below.

Release Date: December 6th, 2016 (VOD).

Director: Stuart W. Bedford.

Writers: Stuart W. Bedford, Giovanni Gentile.

Cast: Colin Murtagh, Alexander Mounsey, Stu Jopia.

A trailer for Good Tidings is hosted here:

Release details at XLrator Media: Good Tidings on XLrator Media

Recommended release:

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Sunday, December 04, 2016

Killjoy's Psycho Circus Returns for a Fifth Outing VOD-style!: A Film Review

*a screener of this film was provided by Full Moon Features for Review.

**spoiler alert.

Killjoy's Psycho Circus could easily have been UHF meets "Power Rangers," had the story been given more of a nerdy kid's style pop culture bent. As a continuation of a franchise and saga about a demon clown summoned to Earth, to cause mayhem and destruction in a willy-nilly manner, is the wait for another movie worth it? Instead of a direct to video release, this latest entry is now on Amazon and Full Moon Streaming.

The previous tales had him reigning chaos like an evil djinn upon unsuspecting mortals. After four films and four years since the last round of daemonic silliness where the titular character went to hell and was put on trial, it's hard to say. To see Killjoy turn web TV talk show host for part of the movie feels like a bit a departure of what to expect from him. While he's as fun as the Crypt Keeper ("Tales from the Crypt"), I wanted more. There are moments to enjoy, like seeing Killjoy interviewing himself (Trent Haaga) without the makeup (and the explosive glory is fun) but this film felt like a departure from what I roughly recall from the earlier films.

All the foul mouthed banter and camp remains, but where's the terror? There's a few suitably gory moments and this film is more about the camp than anything else. Killjoy's comrades in arms, Batty Boop (Victoria De Mare), Punchy The Hobo Clown (Al Burke), Freakshow (Tai Chan Ngo) and Handy (Tim Chizmar) are mising home.

The story gets more exciting when Beelzebub (Stephen F. Cardwell) enters the story like a Sentai style villain (hence the Power Rangers). He is bent on catching Killjoy and returning to Hell with this prisoner to get back his horns. Just why he needs a spaceship is never explained. Production-wise, the digital effects are very good! When this half of the film turns into a Flash Gordon inspired pulp action tale — which I actually liked — any notion of this franchise being a horror comedy is gone as it takes on a tone of Spaceballs (with music sounding like and a moment taken from Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn).

After watching this latest installment, I'm inspired to pull out my Queen soundtrack to Mike Hodges' 1980 film Flash Gordon and have that playing in the background as I give Psycho Circus another whirl. Sorry KISS, but your album of the same name does not cut it anymore.

Overall: 6 out of 10.

Killjoy selections at Full Moon Entertainment: The Killjoy Series at Full Moon Ent.

Writer Ed Sum talks about film and media on his own site, here: Ed Sum at Otakunoculture

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Friday, December 02, 2016

Stake Land II Shows a Vampiric Wasteland with this Official Poster

Tagline: "Death is no Escape."

It has been six years since Stake Land (2010) was released. This original film is being followed-up with a sequel, titled Stake Land II (aka The Stakelander). This latest film has already debuted on television. It is set for a home entertainment launch on Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2017. The film was developed from a script by Nick Damici. Damici also stars as Mister, in the film. Also, Stake Land II was co-directed by Dan Berk (Body, 2015) and Robert Olsen. And now, the official artwork for the DVD and Blu-ray are hosted here.

This sequel takes place several years after the first. This time, Martin (Connor Paolo) is alone in the vampiric badlands of America. In search of Mister, Martin looks to take revenge on the Brotherhood, who have destroyed New Eden.

The film poster for Stake Land II shows Mister and Martin. Obviously reunited, vampires lurk behind every corner and tree stump. The graphic looks very much like a book cover, with drained colours and artistic drawings. Finally, the action begins in just a couple of months, with Stake Land II sure to bring back fans of the original.

Release Date: February 14th, 2017 (DVD, Blu-ray).

Directors: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen.

Writer: Nick Damici.

Cast: Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Laura Abramsen.

*a trailer is coming soon.

**the film has a runtime of 95 minutes.

Source: Dark Sky Films. 2 December 2016. Press Release.

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This is More than Your Typical Office Grind with The Belko Experiment: First Trailer

The Belko Experiment is a film from director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and writer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy). The film's first trailer shows a group of office workers and technicians tasked with murder. It is kill or be killed as this office turns into a warzone. The film notably stars Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), Sean Gunn and Adria Arjona. As well, the film is set and has been shot in Bogota, Colombia. The film's first trailer will shock you here.

BH Tilt, the distributor, has only provided a line or two of story. 80 Americans are thrust into the fight of their lives. They must kill each other, or be killed by a small explosive device, lodged in their neck. The result is a pencil-pushers nightmare as co-worker turns on maintenance worker.

The murderous fun begins this March. On March 17th, The Belko Experiment will be launched in theatres, across the United States. More territories will be announced soon.

Release Date: March 17th, 2017 (Theatrical).

Director: Greg McLean.

Writer: James Gunn.

Cast: Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Tony Goldwyn and John Gallagher Jr.

The first trailer for The Belko Experiment:

Source: The Belko Experiment at Screen Anarchy (Chris Webster)

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

It is Time to Put on Your Straight-jacket with this Trailer for Eloise

Another horror film is set in another insane asylum. This time, the film is titled Eloise. The film is from director Robert Legato and writer Christopher Borrelli (The Vatican Tapes). Eloise joins a long list of horror films set in mental health institutions, including: Session 9 (2001), Psych 9 (2010), Blackburn (2015), and dozens of others. This time, the film was shot in one of the largest institutions, the Eloise Insane Asylum. Involving a death certificate and a large inheritance, the film's first trailer shows four friends, attacked by the hospital's supernatural past.

The film hosts a recognizable cast. Eliza Dushku and Robert Patrick both star in this 2017 release. Dushku has appeared in several horror films, such as the cannibal thriller Wrong Turn (2003) and Open Graves (2009), while Patrick has starred in the recent Hellions (2015). The film hosts a large cast, which also includes: Chace Crawford and Nicole Forester. Fans of horror can see this diverse cast in early February, when the film is released. More release details on Eloise are below.

Release Date: February 3, 2017 (Theatrical, VOD).

Director: Robert Legato.

Writer: Christopher Borrelli.

Cast: Eliza Dushku, Robert Patrick, Chace Crawford.

The film's first trailer:

Recommended release:

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mercy Draws You in with Its Mystery: A Film Review

*there are spoilers here (see the film first).

Director/writer: Chris Sparling.

Cast: James Wolk, Caitlin FitzGerald, Tom Lipinski.

Mercy is a horror and thriller from Chris Sparling. Notable for writing 2010's Buried, Sparling has created a very intriguing film, here. The film appears as a letting-go of a family member. But, it proves to be more complex, especially when a group of masked characters are introduced. Two groups of characters are motivated by two very different reasons; neither motivation is very honourable, however. Playing out like a mystery initially, events take a darker turn, at the film's mid-point. It is here where a point-of-view is changed, as well. Grace's (Constance Barron) relationship with a cult-like religious sect, also creates some of the film's mystery. Finally, murderers conflict with these money-counters; everyone loses. However, viewers of Mercy will win with this latest Netflix outing.

The film's story plays out straight-forwardly, at first. Act I involves one family coming together, over the death of their mother or wife. Grace is completely housebound. The brothers, two from a previous marriage, argue over an inheritance, while forgoing any feelings for the death or the suffering of their mother. A second husband, to Grace, is also uninterested in bringing the family together. This family is only interested in Grace's financial holdings. Characters conflict here and there. But, once a second, more murderous group is introduced, events really take a bloody turn.

A group of masked men bring events to a head. They infiltrate the home and quickly dispatch two characters, one by accident. The masked characters speak very little to each other as they go about their murderous work. They are there for Grace, too, but for a very different reason. The differing motivations of the brothers (greed) and the masked characters (salvation?) cause a lot of the trouble, leaving few characters untouched. There are no happy endings here as these mysterious cultists move about a remote country farm and home.

Chris Sparling's Mercy will offer tips on how to create one's own mystery. If character's identities are hidden, it is difficult to understand how they will act. One ringleader appears in an early scene. His identity is only revealed much later, in Act III. His final reveal and subsequent speech finally offers some denouement. As well, if one keep's a masked group's dialogue minimized, motivations become next to impossible to discern. Why are these characters disguised at all? There are very few clues, outside of a videotape recording, to chip away at this question. Also, much of the film is shot at night, which further hides characters' body language in a dark cloak. Nuance in facial expression is consistently kept ambiguous. Viewers will have to be patient, if they are interested in a plot explanation.

There are a few explanations available, if one looks closely. The initial conflict is a simple brother versus brother storyline. The four brothers are broken up into twos. One set comes from an earlier marriage, while the second group is related to the surviving second husband. Both groups are positioning themselves for an impending windfall. One group of brothers is obviously favoured over the other, by Grace's current husband. Everyone in the family is motivated by greed and little else. The cultists are less motivated by greed. And while their costume identifies them as villains, they could be seen as rescuers, if it was not for their murderous methods. As well, Mercy does not come through death, but through an experimental cure. She can be saved. And, Grace is also the founding member of the Grace New Life Church. The masked men are her parishioners as revealed late in the picture. These parishioners have saved Grace from a former husband and from this one, too. Everything in the film begins to make sense, especially after a second viewing.

The film's morality is a bit convoluted. The family is obviously motivated by greed and vice. They are completely uninterested in saving their mother, despite a cure being available, nearby. Each family member is evil, to varying degrees. Their degree of evil is only discerned by their level of greed. Yet, the cultists are even more immoral. Their intentions are noble, in rescuing Grace. But, their methods are murderous. Is it moral to kill six people, to save an old woman? In a word - no! They are even more evil, when compared to the family. The film offers a message, which is anti-greed. But, its solution - to kill the family, muddies the underlining message.

Mercy is a complex film and worth your time. Sparling has pieced together a couple of very different perspectives, with Mercy. The point-of-view will change at the film's fourty minute mark. This switch fills in some of the film's plot and message. Also, a puzzle piece is symbolic of how part of the story is kept hidden, through much of the film's runtime. Mercy will keep most viewers interested as one mysterious group faces the family. Conflict ridden, the film's final message is a bit ambiguous. Still, there is a lot of plot to chew on and viewer's will have to pay attention, to understand characters' motivations. It is worth the effort to figure out what is actually happening in this mysterious thriller.

Overall: 8 out of 10.

*Grace is also likely the founder of the Church, based on the cult's name: Grace New Life Church. This is also the reason why she has inherited so much money from this religious sect.

A trailer for the film: A Mercy Trailer on 28DLA

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Horror Fans Can Invite The Monster into Their Homes on January 24th!

Lionsgate is set to release Bryan Bertino's (The Strangers) The Monster. The film will launch in early 2017, on DVD and Blu-ray. The film stars: Zoe Kazan, Scott Speedman and Ela Ballentine. In the film, characters become stuck on a backroad route. Something lies in ambush, in the nearby woods. The home entertainment release will host but one special feature (listed below). And, an official trailer, for the film, is available below.

The film's official Blu-ray cover is hosted here. The graphic reveals the film's deadly killer as one character awaits her fate. There is a lot of green in the picture, which connects with the film's central, isolated setting. More release details on The Monster are below.

Release Date: January 24th, 2016 (DVD, Bluray).

Director: Bryan Bertino.

Cast: Zoe Kazan, Scott Speedman and Ela Ballentine.

A trailer for the film is hosted here:

*the film's special feature will include an "Eyes in the Darkness" featurette.

Available on VOD, here:

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Beg for Mercy with this Latest Launch from Netflix

A new horror title has just launched on Netflix; the film is Mercy. Developed by Chris Sparling (Buried, 2010), Mercy involves a looming inheritance and the four brothers who want to walk away with it. This title was just released on November 22nd, via Video-on-demand. And, this film was produced by XYZ Films and Uncorked Productions. As well, this horror title had its premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, in June. In case you missed it, the film's official trailer is hosted here.

Reviews of the film have been mostly mixed. At Heaven of Horror, one reviewer mentioned the film's mystery: "mystery is at the heart of the movie." Other reviews have mentioned the film's tension. Mercy offers a twist in the third act, part of which can be seen near the end of the film's trailer. Fans of horror can view Mercy in the USA and Canada, now!

Release Date: November 22nd, 2016 (Netflix).

Director/writer: Chris Sparling.

Cast: James Wolk, Caitlin FitzGerald, Tom Lipinski.

A trailer for Mercy is hosted here:


Bloody Disgusting. 28 Nov. 2016. YT Channel.

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