Thursday, November 23, 2017

Bushwick and a Modern Fiery Fairy Tale: A Film Review

Tagline: "The New Civil War Has Begun."

Directors: Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott.

Writers: Nick Damici and Graham Reznick

Cast: Dave Bautista, Brittany Snow and Angelic Zambrana.

Bushwick is an action thriller, which had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Starring former pro-wrestler Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect, 2012), the film tries to answer the question: what if Texas seceded from the United States? Naturally, they would attack Bushwick! a suburb of Brooklyn. Writers Nick Damici (Stakeland II) and Graham Reznick have offered a modern retelling of the Grimm Brothers' Little Red Riding Hood, as Lucy (Snow) attempts to get to Granny's house. The path is littered with gunfire as the big bad wolf gets in the way. As well, much of the film is shot via long takes, with a steadicam. This shooting technique puts the viewer right in close with the characters. Meanwhile, there is a left versus right political bias in the film, with right-wingers looking worse for wear. Still, the film is very entertaining as an action thriller, with Lucy transitioning from lost girl in the urban woods to proficient insurgent.

The first act plays out much like the German fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. Lucy is decked out in her red cape, er red jacket. She is off to meet Granny, with the Huntsman (Bautista) in tow. She is missing her picnic basket. But, Granny is already dead, killed by the big bad wolf. In the film, the wolf is a paid army similar to the now defunct Blackwater aka Academi. They fight for the South a la 1861. In this modern re-telling, the big bad wolf does not jump out of the closet, but busts down the front door. Once this fairy tale plays itself out, Lucy transitions from innocent girl into rebel and insurgent. It is all army jackets from here on out. And, this modern telling, of an age old story, offers many more twists and turns - before getting to Granny's place.

Meanwhile, the Texans and a few allies are laying waste to much of Bushwick. How many troops would it take to overcome a medium sized city? If many of the citizens are armed (despite New York's strict anti-gun policies), it would take close to half a million. But, the Texans have only brought a couple of busloads of people and an attack helicopter or two. It would be near impossible to take a city block, with this small force. But, Lucy and Stupe (Bautista) trudge on towards a demilitarized zone. Here, the coast guard is airlifting refugees out of the area. Though, the coast guard, in the later scenes, look very much like the U.S. Army. Strange. It is no straight shot from rural Bushwick to the DMZ. This gives the two main characters time to bond over gunfire, gun shot wounds and a now very postponed engagement.

All of the action is caught with longshots and a steadicam. There are imperceptible cuts. Usually, a stairwell is used or a dark wall, to transition from scene to scene. For instance, near the seven minute mark, Lucy ascends the stairs and the camera shifts left, ever so slightly. A very subtle cut takes place here, amongst the smoke. Other cuts take place when the lights briefly go out, in a hallway or when Lucy struggles to exit a darkened Church basement. In the meantime, directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott stay with the action for as long as possible. This shooting style has been tried in films like Children of Men (2006) and Birdman (2014). In an action film, it is particularly effective. This style of directing really puts the viewer in with the characters and with the consistent, fiery action.

There might be only one detraction from the film. There is a slight left versus right political message in the film. Texas is one of the most Right leaning states in the U.S. and they are the instigators of the violence. Basically, they are the bad guys. New York and the surrounding areas are much more Left leaning, or Democrat. The Democrats are made to look like the heroes as they defend their streets. Also, Catholics, who are also often conservative, look particularly bad in the film. One Catholic Priest commits one of the worst sins from the Holy Book, while another does little to help others. God is never there when you need him. Still, the political message (the Left is good, the Right is bad) is never beaten over the head of the viewer. This is more of an action film, than a political analysis of modern American politics.

Bushwick was released this past Summer, in the U.S. A Canadian release has still not been secured and this reviewer had to rely on an import, to view and review the film. Bushwick is also available through Video-on-demand, in the U.S. And, action film fans should check this one out. Very reminiscent of John Milius' work on Red Dawn (1984) and its counter-insurgency, this film takes a microscopic look at what could happen if one state or several states broke away from America. The characters, here, are interesting. Though, viewers should not get too attached. The action is consistent. Thanks to the directors' shooting style, the action is particularly visceral, within Bushwick. And, as California promises to split from the U.S. in 2017, film fans can see what would happen in a new American Civil War (before it actually happens)!

Overall: 7.75 out of 10.

*the music, from Aesop Rock, is also well done - especially through the opening credits.

A trailer is available here for the film (courtesy of RLJE Films):A Bushwick Trailer at RLJE Films

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Bodies Can be Buried and Forgotten in this Preview for Martin Copping's The Dunes

The Dunes is an upcoming psychological thriller. The film is partially based on director Martin Copping's own life, in that he lost his own mother to addiction. The film is being co-produced by Mem Ferda (The Devil's Double, 2011). As well, the title stars: Tim Phillips (The Secret Circle), Jacinta Stapleton (Never Tear Us Apart), Kate Neilson and Maria Volk. A trailer has just been released, along with a movie poster; both items can be found here.

The trailer reveals more of the story. Director Copping stars as Nicholas. Nicholas gets into a relationship with Misty (Stapleton), while a strange man prowls the woods. A confrontation looms, near Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, aka The Dunes.

Addiction is one of the film's underlining themes. Co-producer Ferda says of the film's inspiration: "this film is of such importance, in spreading awareness and educating the public about the vulnerabilities of addiction. I myself lost a dear friend to addiction and feel this delicately woven story will highlight and educate about the dangers as well as entertain." Addiction is growing problem, especially with opiates in the United States and across the world. Finally, The Dunes will show in 2018, with all of the available details hosted here.

Release Date: 2018.

Director/writer: Martin Copping.

Co-producer: Mem Ferda.

Cast: Maria Volk, Jacinta Stapleton and Tim Phillipps.

The film's official trailer:

A fan page for the film: The Dunes on Facebook

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Prognosis is Terminal for Amy in this Preview for Inoperable: Out December 1st!

Tagline: "In This Hospital the Patients Never Leave..."

The horror film Inoperable had its World Premiere in late October, at FearNYC. Now, this terrifying title is preparing for a limited theatrical run, in the United States. The film, from director Christopher Lawrence Chapman (Clowntown, 2016), stars Danielle Harris (Hatchet III), Katie Keene (Lost Lake) and several others. A trailer for the film was released in 2016; it has already received over 14 million views. Now, a specific release date has been announced for Inoperable. Updated story details are also here.

Inoperable involves a swirling hurricane. It is approaching a hospital, which is stuck in a time loop. Amy (Harris) will have to find a way out, before the storm hits or be stuck in this strange universe, forever!

Inoperable will see several major U.S. cities in early December. On December 1st, the film will be available nationwide. Cities hosting the theatrical launch include: Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Cleveland and Minneapolis. The theatrical showings will last for at least a week. And, fans of indie horror will want to pick up their tickets soon as Inoperable promises a razor sharp surgical knife and a maze-like hospital, where every turn is deadly.

Release Date: December 1st, 2017 (Limited Theatrical, U.S.).

Director: Christopher Lawrence Chapman.

Writers: Christopher Lawrence Chapman and Jeff Miller.

Cast: Danielle Harris, Katie Keene and Isabella Sofia Menna.

The official trailer for Inoperable, from Zorya Films:

Inoperable at Zorya Films: Inoperable Details at Zorya

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Two Famous Creatures Return to VOD: Boggy Creek Monster and The Mothman of Point Pleasant

Terror Films is re-releasing Seth Breedlove's: Boggy Creek Monster and The Mothman of Point Pleasant through Video-on-demand. These two documentaries cover strange creatures, who have been sighted or encountered by locals. Some say one of these monsters still exist, to this day. Sightings have begun as early as the the last '60s. Now, Breedlove is bringing his in-depth research and coverage to digital platforms. Details, including new posters and trailers, are available for both films. The poster and trailer for Boggy Creek Monster are hosted here.

The Boggy Creek Monster aka the Fourke Monster was first seen in the '70s. Appearances took place all around Fourke, Arkansas. Much like a Bigfoot, this creature attacked local families and destroyed livestock, according to early reports. The creature's legend continues to grow!

Terror Films has released this title via most digital platforms. These two documentaries are available on: iTunes, Google Play/YouTube and X-Box Live. As well, both films will show on iFlix, very soon. More details on Boggy Creek Monster, including a trailer, are hosted below. The Mothman of Point Pleasant story details can be found at the Terror Film's website, also found below.

Re-release Date: November 21st, 2017 (VOD).

Director/writer: Seth Breedlove.

Cast: Lyle Blackburn.

The trailer for Boggy Creek Monster:

A homepage for the documentaries: The Small Town Monsters Official Website

Boggy Creek Monster at Terror Films: Boggy Creek Synopsis at Terror Films

Mothman at Point Pleasant Details at Terror Films: Mothman Story Details at Terror Films

Boggy Creek Monster at Amazon:

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Monday, November 20, 2017

The Graveyard Shift Just Got a Bit Deadlier with Stephen Hall's Nightshift: A Preview

Tagline: "His Beginning. Your end.

Nightshift is an upcoming Irish-shot horror film. From director and writer Stephen Hall, this title is a supernatural thriller. Within Nightshift, Amy (Ashleigh Dorrell) works the nightshift, in an old hotel. She encounters a flesh obsessed killer. And, her only escape lays in uncovering the secrets of the killer's previous victims. Tombstone Distribution is representing the film as Nightshift nears completion. An early poster is here, along with the film's story details.

The first poster shows the killer. Hooded and bleeding, this supernatural murderer is ready to kill again. "666" it etched into the wall, while the tagline states: "His Beginning. Your End." The fatalities likely begin in 2018, when the film is released.

Nightshift has already announced casting. Dorrell will play the protagonist, while Mathew O'Brien ("Blight," 2015), Chrissy Randall and Nigel Mercier also star. More on this title will come this way soon, once production is completed and a trailer debuts.

Release Date: TBD.

Director/writer: Stephen Hall.

Cast: Matthew O'Brien, Chrissy Randall and Nigel Mercier.

*a trailer is coming soon.

Source: Nightshift at Tombstone Distribution

More terror on the nightshift (The Abandoned, DVD):

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Friday, November 17, 2017

A Quiet Place But Not for Long in this Tense Trailer

Tagline: "If They Can't Hear You, They Can't Hurt You."

The first trailer for A Quiet Place has debuted, this week. The clip shows a small family, living in a rural location. They speak with sign language as a monster? stalks the yard. This title was developed by John Krasinski (13 Hours, 2016), who is married to castmate Emily Blunt in real life; they also play a distressed couple in the film. A Quiet Place also stars deaf actress Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck) and young actor Noah Jupe. The trailer is a tense one and it can be found here.

The trailer shows a strange family routine. A cross stands up on a bridge. A marked path leads one character to it. In another scene, a young girl walks a painted path as claw marks streak across a wall. There is no dialogue. Later, the family gathers for a game of Monopoly. But, something is nearby and on the hunt for them!

The film was developed by a couple of production companies. Paramount Pictures will show the film in U.S. theatres, in early April. Platinum Dunes and Sunday Night are the production houses behind this post-apocalyptic feature. And, this is one mysterious thriller to look out for, with more details to follow.

Release Date: April 6th, 2018 (Theatrical).

Director: John Krasinski.

Writers: Scott Beck and John Krasinski.

Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds.

The first trailer for A Quiet Place:

Source: A Quiet Place at the UHM

Another mysterious horror title (It Comes at Night, 2017, DVD):

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Strangers: Prey at Night Ruins a Family Road Trip in this First Trailer

Tagline: "Never Underestimate the Kindness of Strangers."

The first Strangers film was released in 2008. It has been nine years since Bryan Bertino brought the original film to screen. This time, Bertino has scripted an "inspired by" follow-up. As well, Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) has directed this latest feature, in the series. Notably, Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") and Bailee Madison star. And, the first trailer, for Strangers: Prey at Night, is hosted here - along with the film's early poster.

The synopsis mentions a mobile home park and a family road trip. The trailer shows that trailer park, mostly abandoned. Meanwhile, three familiar, masked psychopaths return in this feature. Everyone struggles to survive into the third film.

Both The Strangers and this title have been influenced by true events. The "based on a true story" is not just a rubber stamp this time around. The two stories have been drawn from the famous Charles Manson murders in 1969 and also by writer Bertino's own experiences, involving a series of neighbourhood break-ins. Finally, all of the latest details on Strangers: Prey at Night are available here, with more to follow.

Release Date: March 9th, 2018 (Theatrical).

Director: Johannes Roberts.

Writers: Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai.

Cast: Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, Lewis Pullman, Emma Bellomy.

The first trailer for Strangers: Prey at Night:

The film's homepage: Strangers: Prey at Night

The first film, starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman (DVD, Unrated):

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Zombie Home Invasion Brings the Chaos in ZBurbs: Out November 21st

Tagline: “Zombies Have to Live Somewhere!”

Indican Pictures is releasing Greg Zekowski's ZBurbs this month. The film is a zombedy, involving a husband and wife team. Bill (Ian Alda) is turned into the undead, but he is still useful to Shelly (Marieh Delfino). Then, the CIA enters the picture and everything goes to hell, from there. ZBurbs stars: Bill Oberst Jr. ("Criminal Minds"), Gina Hecht, Carl Bressler and many more. A preview, for the film's Video-on-demand release, is hosted here.

The trailer shows Shelly and Bill, plus an undead home invasion. Bill is quickly turned into the undead. Meanwhile, a zombie apocalypse is taking place in the neighbourhood. Then, the government turns up, hoping to turn Bill into a flesheating, unstoppable weapon. It is all undead mayhem from there.

Zburbs will show next week. The release date is scheduled for November 21st. The film has been rated restricted. And, this title will be rentable on Amazon, on this date. As well, an alternate poster is available here, for the film. And, several stills are hosted below. Zombie film fans can sink their teeth into this one, in just a few days.

Release Date: November 21st, 2017 (VOD).

Director/writer: Greg Zekowski.

Cast: Marieh Delfino, Gina Hecht, Bill Oberst Jr., Ian Alda, Clint Carmichael and Carl Bressler.

The official trailer for ZBurbs:

More details on ZBurbs are available at Indican Pictures: ZBurbs at Indican Pictures.

Available at Amazon (with alternate poster):

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