Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Masked Criminal Targets Crazy Lake this October 3rd!

Tagline: “What Doesn’t Kill You...Rips You Apart!”

Crazy Lake is a film that takes a note from '80s slashers. Formerly titled Ripper Lake, directors Christopher Leto and Jason Henne will release this title in early October. Indican Pictures will handle the launch. And, Crazy Lake stars Rob Mello (Magnificent Seven), Skyler Joy (21 Jump Street), Libby Blanton, Marco DelVecchio and many more. A preview of the film's home entertainment launch is hosted here.

The DVD artwork shows the lake and a killer bikini. The tagline: "What Doesn’t Kill You...Rips You Apart!" will deliver murder. Meanwhile, everything in the graphic is covered in blood. There is no escape from Crazy Lake!

The film will release on multiple digital platforms and at online retailers. On October 3rd, Crazy Lake will be available on DVD and Video-on-demand, in the United States. The film has already had its World Premiere in Florida. In just a few weeks, horror fans can see what lays in store on these bloody shores.

Release Date: October 3rd, 2017 (DVD, VOD).

Directors: Jason Henne, Christopher Leto.

Writer: Jason Henne.

Cast: Skyler Joy, Libby Blanton and Rob Mello.

The official trailer for Crazy Lake:

A fan page for the film: Crazy Lake on Facebook

Crazy Lake details at Indican Pictures: Crazy Lake at Indican Pictures

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Slasher Feature Axeman 2: Overkill to Hew More Human Cordwood this October

A release date has been announced for Joston Theney's Axeman 2: Overkill. This slasher feature and follow-up to the 2013 film will be released in mid-October. The film involves a few groups of people and one crazed axe-wielding local legend. This is no Paul Bunyan, though. And, the bodies pile up at Cutter's Creek. In the film, Farrah Abraham ("Teen Mom"), Rachel Reilly ("Big Brother"), Angelica Bridges and Bryan Clark star. A preview of the film's launch is hosted here.

The trailer shows lots of bloodshed. As the Axeman goes about his business, the characters look for escape. But, no one knows Cutter's Creek like this notorious killer.

#SinningWorks will be releasing the film. Axeman 2: Overkill will be available in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, this October 17th. This title will also be showing through Video-on-demand platforms, on this date. Fans of slashers can find all of the details on Axeman 2: Overkill right here.

Release Date: October 17th, 2017 (VOD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack).

Director: Joston Theney.

Writers: Joston Theney and Christopher Otiko.

Cast: Farrah Abraham, Rachel Reilly and Angelica Bridges.

The film's latest trailer:

*will be available at Vimeo, via VOD.

A fan page for the film: Axeman 2: Overkill on Facebook

The first film in the series, Axeman (2013):

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kitamura Continues His Bloody Streak with Downrange: A Film Review

*full disclosure: an online screener of this film was provided by the film's publicity arm.

Director: Ryûhei Kitamura.

Writers: Ryûhei Kitamura, Joey O'Bryan.

Cast: Kelly Connaire, Stephanie Pearson and Rod Hernandez.

Japanese director Ryûhei Kitamura is known to this film fan for his work on The Midnight Meat Train (2008) and No One Lives (2012). Both of these earlier horror films are dark, gory spectacles. Kitamura continues his trend, to bring bloody scenarios to the screen, with Downrange. Six college students are trapped along the side of the road as a sniper takes aim at them. They are one bullet away from becoming roadkill. The film's plot is very bare bones; Downrange is more of a scenario, than a typical story. Downrange is also similar to other films, like Joel Schumacher's Phone Booth (2002) and Doug Liman's The Wall (2017). The focus is on the victim and their psychology as the villain remains anonymous. And, Downrange is really for fans of bloody spectacles, like gorehounds. There is more to like in Downrange, than to dislike and the film is consistently entertaining.

The story has been stripped down, by writer Joey O'Bryan. Still, the plot focuses on six mostly acquaintances. Their destination is never really revealed. Though, one girl, Jodi (Kelly Connaire), needs to get to her sister's surprise birthday party. A punctured tire forces them to get to know each other, a little more. But, this is no ordinary flat. A sniper is taking potshots at them and their vehicle. Everyone takes cover for the next eighty minutes, or so. And, very little is revealed about the sniper, his motivations or if this is one of his regular past times. A memorial, by the side of the road, suggests this is not the first time he has stopped traffic.

The plot is really more of a scenario, than a story. Almost the entire film is shot through the victims' eyes. The killer is only shown in a few brief scenes (high up in a tree), later in the film. There is no real interaction between the rifleman and his prey. Everything is communicated through the end of a gun. So, the plot is really stuck in neutral, until the friends can finally confront the villain. Still, Kitamura introduces a few interesting developments. Another car enters the fray, to spectacular fashion. As well, the police eventually show up. But, all of these minor characters just increase the sniper's body count. Viewers should not expect a huge reveal, in the conclusion.

This viewer was reminded of a few other titles, while watching Downrange. The film is similar to Schumacher's Phone Booth. In both films, protagonists are vulnerable. There is little way to protect oneself from a sniper bullet, especially when unprepared. Also, in both films characters are stuck in a setting or environment. There is nowhere to go, unless the shooter allows them to move. Liman's The Wall also keeps his killer offscreen, thereby increasing the tension through mystery. The mystery, within Downrange, is never broken. One character's identity is forever kept in shadows. Still, there is one central difference between these two earlier films and Downrange. In Phone Booth and The Wall, the killer talks with his victims and torments them through dialogue. That is not the case here. It is all mute silence within Downrange, between killer and soon-to-be-killed.

Finally, Kitamura knows how to play to his fan base. Kitamura is known for his visual spectacle. He plays true to his strengths once again, by delivering gory goodness, here. The practical effects, by team lead Matthew Gabriel Wagner and makeup effects artist Jungeun Lee, are all believable and deeply disturbing. One character is nearly decapitated by a bullet. Others lose an eye or parts of their arm. Brain and blood matter cover the road. And, all of the visual muck is plentiful. Kitamura and his visual crew consistently deliver the bloody goods. Downrange focuses on the visual display and this will delight most horror fans, especially gorehounds.

Downrange recently had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will continue its film festival rounds, throughout the year. A wider release is expected soon. Also, tThere are plans to release the film in Japan, already. Indie horror film fans will have to be patient, to see the film, unless they can find it at their local festival. As well, the film's plot also requires patience as it creeps along. In the meantime, a whole assortment of bloody scenarios will be put onscreen as the characters struggle to respond to the sniper bullets. A truly terrifying plot contrivance, Downrange focuses on the character's mental states unwinding, while keeping its villain hidden, both figuratively and metaphorically. The result is a tense, though slowly developed story of hunter versus prey.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10.

*it is strange to see the character Jodi, or Keren (Stephanie Pearson) with a sniper or hunter's scarf, in her kit. As well, the sniper never shoots at Jodi, even though he has the chance. Two more mysteries.

A movie clip for Downrange, is here ("Hole in the Head"): A "Hole in the Head" Movie Clip on 28DLA

Downrange at TIFF, with showing and story details: Downrange at the Toronto Int. Film Festival

One of this critic's favourite horror titles (The Midnight Meat Train on Blu-ray via Lionsgate):

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Bob Golub is a One Man Show and a One Man Army in this Trailer for Die Laughing

Bob Golub's Die Laughing has released this week. The film brings Golub's comedic act to home entertainment formats. Though, the film is a dark comedy as other characters find themselves on the business end of a knife, or a fist. Partially improvised, Golub has teamed up with writer Mark Mannschreck to bring this title to film fans. Now, the official trailer and poster are hosted here, for Die Laughing.

The trailer shows Golub turning on almost anyone in his path. He acts out violently. And, no one is safe when Golub steps off the stage.

Terror Films has released this title on September 15th. The film is being hosted on major digital platforms. From iTunes to Amazon Prime, indie horror film fans can find Die Laughing everywhere. More details on Die Laughing are hosted below.

Release Date: September 15th, 2017 (VOD).

Directors/writers: Bob Golub & Mark Mannschreck.

Writer: Bob Golub

Cast: Bob Golub.

The official trailer for Die Laughing:

For more information on Terror Films, visit: Die Laughing at Terror Films

Available at Amazon, here:

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Jeepers Creepers III Returns to Kill Again in this Theatrical Trailer

Tagline: "Third Time's the Charm."

Townsfolk are on the hunt for the creeper, in Jeepers Creepers III. This third film, in the series, turns the tables on the monster. And, Jeepers Creepers III is slated for a one night theatrical showing, later this month (Sept. 26th). Screen Media Films is hosting the launch. As well, this third film will take place between the two previous films' timeline: Jeepers Creepers (2001) and Jeepers Creepers II (2003). Actor Jonathan Breck returns to play the Creeper. Now, a full length trailer is available for this controversial title.

In the story, Sergeant Tubbs (Brandon Smith) teams up with local police to track down a relentless killer. Appearing every 23 years, local townsfolk will make sure this is the last appearance of this grim-faced monster.

United States' horror fans can check their local listings, for show times. Fathom Events is providing theatrical location details. There are at least three showings in the Los Angeles' area. There are a couple of showing in New York. And, most major U.S. cities are hosting two or three film showings. More release details are hosted below.

Release Date: September 26th, 2017 (One Night Only, Early Showing).

Director/writer: Victor Salva.

Cast: Jonathan Breck, Brandon Smith, Gina Phillips, Brandon Stacy, Stan Shaw, Chester Rushing, Ryan Moore, Patrick Thomas Cragin, Gabrielle Haugh and Justin Hall.

The first full length trailer for Jeepers Creepers III:

*some times titled Jeepers Creepers: Cathedral or Jeepers Creepers: Ravenous.

Ticket details for the September 26th showing: Jeepers Creepers 3 Tix Details at Fathom Events

The film's first teaser: A Jeepers Creepers 3 Teaser on 28DLA

The first film on Blu-ray (A Scream Factory release):

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Downrange and in the Sights: A Movie Clip ("Hole in the Head")

Tagline: "Hell is on the Way."

The horror thriller Downrange is already showing at TIFF. In Toronto, Downrange is taking part in the Midnight Madness film section. Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura (The Midnight Meat Train, 2008), the film involves six college students and a mysterious shooter. Downrange stars: Stephanie Pearson (Insidious: Chapter 2), Rod Hernandez-Farella, Anthony Kirlew, Kelly Connaire and others. The film's latest clip, self-titled "Hole in the Head," is here.

The short clip shows the friends. They are repairing a blown tire. Unbeknownst to them, one of their friends has been killed, off-screen. His bloody remains can be seen at the end of this clip.

Downrange has already started showing this month. The first showing was September 11th. There are a total of five showings at the Toronto International Film Festival, with the final showing taking place on September 17th. The film will continue to show at film festivals, this year. A wider release has yet to be announced. All of the latest details on Downrange, at TIFF, are hosted here.

Release Date: September 11th-17th, 2017 (Limited Theatrical, Toronto).

Director: Ryuhei Kitamura.

Writers: Ryûhei Kitamura, Joey O'Bryan.

Cast: Jason Tobias, Graham Skipper, Alexa Yeames, Stephanie Pearson and Anthony Kirlew.

A clip for Downrange is here, titled "Hole in the Thead:"

Downrange at TIFF: Downrange Story Details and Showings at TIFF

The film's official trailer: A Downrange Trailer on 28DLA

A must-see for horror fans (The Midnight Meat Train, Blu-ray):

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Perfecting the Long Take: An Interview with Director Adam Mason

United Kingdom born filmmaker Adam Mason took time to answer a few questions on his body of work. From one of his earliest features (Dust, 2001) to his latest ("Empire of Dirt"), Mason talks about some of the highlights in his career and some of his collaborations, in this interview. Fans of his film are encouraged to have a quick read as Mason talks about what is coming up next for him and his filmmaking career.

(Mike Allen) Just to get readers up to speed, I wanted to talk about a bit about your background and your previous films. You graduated from film school, in the United Kingdom and quickly went into your first production, Dust (2001). What was it like shooting your first film?

(Adam Mason) My first movie was actually called The 13th Sign and we shot that back in 1999. It was completely awful. As was Dust, the second feature I did right after. No one's asked me about either of those in a long long time! I always pretend Broken is my first feature. That's one I'm really proud of.

That said, it was a wonderful time back then. I'd just got fired from Marks and Spencer's in London, which was the one and only normal job I ever had. I raised some money to make The 13th Sign, and was kind of off on this path of doing whatever I wanted with my life. The movie's awful because I didn't have the faintest idea what I was doing back then, but it was a case of work begetting work, and I've never looked back since.

(MA) Another one of your earlier works, The Devil's Chair is a film I own and it was shot in 2007. The film is a surreal title, involving drugs, mental illness and a strange demonic creature. Was there anything you took from your experiences shooting Dust into The Devil's Chair?

(AM) I guess by that point I was working in firm collaboration with my writing partner Simon Boyes, and had got the hang of what I was doing and what it was I wanted to say. He's the perfect creative partner for me, and meeting him was when things really took off for me.

Over those initial years I'd learnt how I like to shoot things, and most importantly the importance of having a good script and the best possible actors. I believe that with a strong script and good performances it's actually pretty hard for a director to fuck a movie up. So from about the point I did Broken onwards, I turned all my attention to those two things. Everything else is essentially dressing when it comes to filmmaking.

(MA) Now, Blood River (2009) is a film that I sometimes mix-up with ‪Blood Creek‬ (2009). They both released in the same year, with similar titles. I like both films. But, Blood River is more of a thriller, which includes a strange drifter and a ghost town. Can you give me and readers a bit of insight on who the character Joseph (Andrew Howard) represents? He comes across as very mysterious in his early scenes.

(AM) Joseph is a heady mix of Charles Manson and Jesus Christ. In the movie, the female character represents idealist America, the male character represents capitalist America, and Joseph represents the truth. The themes of Blood River have never been more relevant than in 2017. It's about the lies men tell, and how they eventually catch up with them.

(MA) Onto Pig from 2010, this is a film that I remember being shot in one take. That is an incredible feat as the film is over 70 minutes long. I am sure you have been asked this before, but what is the greatest challenge in filming a huge take like this?

(AM) I like doing single take stuff. I've done a lot of single take music videos, obviously Pig is all one shot, and the opening of "Empire Of Dirt" is a four minute continuous shot. For me, I just like how if you remove edits, everything feels so much more real. It's like anything can happen at any time, as conventional film grammar has gone out of the window. I'm a huge fan of the theatre, and to me shooting in that style is like watching a piece of theatre.

Obviously the challenges are enormous... but in a sense it also makes things simpler, as everything becomes smoke and mirrors in its purest form. There are not so many ways to solve each problem that arises, so you just work through them methodically. I actually like having less choices, as a rule. It helps me focus and solve the important problems instead of getting caught up in minutia.

(MA) Also, how much of the dialogue was improvised within Pig?

(AM) It was 100% improvised. There wasn't a script.

(MA) Now, your most recent film is a short film called "Empire of Dirt." The film plays out a bit like a nightmare. The strange lighting is off-setting and some of the characters are very disturbing. Also, the film does not follow normal rules of reality, involving death. Is this film a nightmare put to screen, or something else?

(AM) The short is a proof of concept for a feature my mate Paul Sloan wrote, which I really want to make. It's basically Oldboy (2003) meets Hellraiser (1987). I dipped my toe in those waters with The Devils Chair, and so it was nice going back to shooting creatures and using old school FX.

The feature script's about a low level street hood who gets cursed by this supernatural entity to avenge the death of a young girl. It's basically a hardcore action movie like The Raid (2011) set in the HP Lovecraft universe.

(MA) What sort of message did you want to get across to the viewer, with "Empire of Dirt (if any)?"

(AM) There's no message apart from - 'how cool are monsters?'

(MA) Finally, what do you want to say to your fans and fans of horror about what is upcoming for you, in the film world?

(AM) I've been focusing 100% on writing with Simon here in Hollywood for the past five or six years, and that's been going brilliantly. It's led to a career in screenwriting I never even dreamed I would have. I also had three beautiful kids with my amazing, lifesaver of a wife Elizabeth. Which has really chilled me out! I'm a lot more mellow and happy these days, thank goodness!

But now I'm ready to step back into the directing arena, and this short is the first fruit of that. Hopefully much more to follow :)

Mason's website is here: The Adam Mason Homepage

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Die Laughing Brings Improvisation and Screams to Home Theatres September 15th

A new horror and comedy title is coming your way, via Terror Films. The title is Die Laughing. From writers Bob Golub and Mark Mannschreck, Die Laughing is an example of guerrilla filmmaking as Golub takes his comedy off-stage. In the vein of Patrick Brice's Creep (2015), Die Laughing is an improvised work, in which Golub turns from stand-up comedian into a serial killer. Recently, a few stills have been released for the film. And, the film's release details are also hosted here.

The stills show Golub at his worst. In disguise in one still, characters dump a body in another (above). No one is safe when this comedy act comes to town.

The release will show through Video-on-demand. Several online, digital platforms will host the show. Die Laughing can be seen, on September 15th, on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, X-Box Live and many others. Film fans, who like dark comedy, are encouraged to see the film in just a few days. As well, the film's official trailer and movie poster are coming soon.

Release Date: September 15th, 2017 (VOD).

Directors/writers: Bob Golub & Mark Mannschreck.

Writer: Bob Golub

Cast: Bob Golub.

*a trailer is coming soon.

Die Laughing at Terror Films: Die Laughing Story Details at TF

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