Monday, May 30, 2016

The Badlands of Kain are Unforgiving: A Film Review

*full disclosure: an online screener of this film was provided by director Any Palmer.

*there are spoilers here. Please see the film before reading this review.

Director: Andy Palmer.

Writer: Rachelle Dimaria.

Cast: Rachelle Dimaria, Katrina Norman, Paul Soter and Jordan Belfi.

Andy Palmer and Rachelle Dimaria's Badlands of Kain reminds this reviewer of an old lyric. In the Eagles song Hotel California: "[in this motel] you can checkout, but never leave." All of the roads in this indie mystery lead back to the small town of Kain. And, it is late in the film where it is revealed that Kain is actually a spiritual purgatory. Here, both evil murderers and bubbly twenty-somethings can end up. While the film's morality and message resist logic, Badlands of Kain will draw many viewers into its suspenseful narrative.

Characters Shannon (Dimaria) and Kris (Katrina Norman) are off on a road trip. Kris wants to explore her debaucherous side in Las Vegas, while Shannon would prefer to see the sites of Yellowstone Nation Park. Both Shannon and Kris do not make it to their desired location. A car breakdown leaves them out in the desert. But, a saviour comes out to help, or does he have something more nefarious to offer? Soon, the two women are waylayed by a supernatural serial killer, while the rest of the town ogles events, strangely. The "last thing...[Shannon] remembers..." is running for the door."

While the film is mysterious, the setting is indeed purgatory. The character Terry (Paul Soter), who established Kain with his brother, has made his way to purgatory, because of murder and suicide. The Christian purgatory was believed to be reached via taking one's life. Also, Terry ponders where would you go outside of Kain. Is it "heaven or hell?" Kain is a one-stop destination, transitioning the film into a tragedy.

There are still other elements that remain in mystery. Why would Shannon and Kris end up in purgatory? Shannon is honest and friendly. She is unlike the revenge murdering Terry. Purgatory would be more for the dishonest and violent, rather than a normal, young woman. Also, there is no obvious scene in which this duo die. Though, one scene in the car does become bumpy, with Shannon drifting close to sleep. It could be argued that this scene led to the characters death and then to purgatory, due to Shannon's negligence. Another strange element, characters who enter Kain must be killed, in order to keep them there. Isn't one death enough? There are a few story elements that defy logic; or, the film's narrative rules are not completely clear and confusing for at least one viewer.

Badlands of Kain had a fairly under-the-radar release through video-on-demand. This film launched on Amazon and a few other platforms, this past April 5th. The film does offer a few tense scenes and strange interactions. Still, the film's conflicts are minimal. And because of this, Badlands of Kain is a slow burn feature. The final scenes do explain how Kain was created and how Terry got there. But, they do not adequately explain how or why Shannon and Kris were sent to this supernatural limbo. What were their sins? The film ends on a bit of a sour note. But, this feature will entertain most fans of mysteries.

Overall: 7 out of 10.

A fan page for the film:

Badlands of Kain on Facebook

Recommended release:

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Friday, May 27, 2016

There is No Mercy for Four Brothers in this Thrilling Trailer

A new horror film is coming your way via XYZ Films. Titled Mercy, the film involves a dying mother and a possible contested inheritance. The film's first trailer shows several masked characters attempting to kill a fractured family. Starring Constance Barron, Michael Donovan and Caitlin FitzGerald, this feature will be at the LA Film Festival, in early June. As well, the film will show on Netflix later this year. A preview for Mercy is hosted here.

The official synopsis reveals more about the film's central conflict. Four estranged brothers reunite to say good-bye to their dying mother. While at her home, they are attacked by a mysterious group, who hounds their isolated home.

Director Chris Sparling has written screenplays for other thrillers. Sparling wrote the script for Buried (2010) and the more recent slasher ATM (2012). With a background in the genre, Sparling's latest looks like a must-see title, with more to come on Mercy.

Release Date: June 4th, 2016 (Limited Theatrical).

Director/writer: Chris Sparling.

Cast: Constance Barron, Michael Donovan, Caitlin FitzGerald and Michael Godere.

A trailer for Mercy is available here:

Mercy at the LA Film Festival: Mercy at the LA Film Festival

Source: Mercy at Quiet Earth

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

An Explosive DVD Release for Landmine Goes Click this May 31st

The fine folks at Terror Films have set a DVD date for Landmine Goes Click. This terrifying film, from the country of Georgia, will be on DVD shelves this May 31st, 2016. The film features actors Sterling Knight, Spencer Locke and Dean Geyer. Each actor plays a backpacker, waylayed by an unexploded mine. As well, the official DVD artwork for the film is here, along with the film's official trailer.

The film has received praise from critics and it has won several awards. The film has already won Best Drama Feature, at the Atlanta Underground Film Festival. As well, Landmine Goes Click won Best Foreign Film at Fantafestival. This feature was released through video-on-demand platforms in November. But, this is your chance to track down a hard copy of the feature, on DVD!

Release Date: May 31st, 2016 (DVD).

Director: Levan Bakhia.

Writers: Levan Bakhia, Adrian Colussi and Lloyd S. Wagner.

Cast: Sterling Knight, Spencer Locke and Dean Geyer.

The film's official DVD trailer:

*the DVDs will be available at the Family Video franchises. More info' here:

The Family Video Website

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Canadian Based Shivers Entertainment Brings Back True Horror with Massacre Up North

Massacre Up North is an indie horror release from Canada. Originally released on VHS in 2001, new distribution company Shivers Entertainment is re-releasing this title on VHS. As well, Shivers is launching the film, for the first time, on DVD, today! The film is a revenge slasher feature, in which one disfigured killer sets out to kill his attackers. From director Paul Stoichevesk, Massacre Up North brings Canuxploitation to new levels of depravity. A preview of the film's latest release is hosted here.

The official synopsis talks of a camping trip. On the trip, a camper is scarred by his classmates. Leslie decides to go all Old Testament on his former friends, with drills and other useful instruments. This small Canadian town is soon turned into a bloodbath, with the inept authorities unable to respond.

The DVD release for Massacre Up North has already started as of May 24th. The VHS version has been available for over a week now. More info on both releases can be found below, at the Shivers Entertainment website.

Release Date: May 24th 2016.

Director/writer: Paul Stoichevesk.

Cast: Paul Stoichevesk, Leslie Rejick, Kieran Hart and Lorn Eisen.

A very NSFW trailer for the film is available here:

A Massacre Up North Trailer on Youtube

More details on the launch: A Massacre Up North at Shivers Entertainment

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Don't Hang Up Set to Prank the LA Film Festival June 4th

Don't Hang Up is a new horror film from directors Alexis Wajsbrot and Damien Macé. Slated to have its World Premiere at the LA Film Festival, this indie title involves two teenage boys and the prank calls they play. Those calls come back to haunt them. The film stars: Gregg Sulkin (Anti-social), Garrett Clayton, Bella Dayne and Sienna Gulillory. And, a couple of a stills from the film have been released, before the premiere.

A longer synopsis talks about how the two teenage boys have become internet sensations. They post their prank calls online. But then, the tables are turned. Now, one humiliated victim has a bloody prank of his own to play.

The first stills from the film show the boys and character Peyton (Dayne). Sam (Sulkin) and Brady (Clayton) appear worried, while Peyton stares into a recording device. A trailer is coming soon. For now, fans of horror can preview the launch of Don't Hang Up here!

Release Date: June 4th, 2016 (Limited Theatrical).

Directors: Alexis Wajsbrot and Damien Macé.

Cast: Gregg Sulkin, Garrett Clayton, Bella Dayne, Sienna Gulillory.

*a trailer is coming soon.

Source: Don't Hang Up at the LA Film Fest

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Friday, May 20, 2016

There is No Circus in this ClownTown Trailer - Only Scares!

Tagline: "They'll Rip Out Your Funny Bone."

Clourophobics beware! A new horror film, ClownTown, is coming out soon. Already completed, Steel House Productions has released a full length trailer, for this chilling feature. The clip shows several friends, stranded in a remote town. Only psychopathic clowns reside here. The film, from director Tom Nagel and scriptwriter Jeff Miller, stars: Lauren Elise, Brian Nagel, Andrew Station, Katie Keene and Jeff Denton. The official trailer is available below.

At first look, the plot for ClownTown is sparse. A one line synopsis reveals very little. The trailer also offers few explanations. Though, a voice-over narration states: "clowns are like that - like a pack of dogs" and "ghosts haunted this town for years." These ghosts are set to square off against four defenceless friends, in this mysterious feature.

As well, the film's first poster is hosted here. The graphic shows many of the villains. Meanwhile, the tagline: "They'll Rip Out Your Funny Bone" promises blood-curdling chills. All of the available details on ClownTown are hosted here.

Release Date: TBA.

Director: Tom Nagel.

Writer: Jeff Miller.

Cast: Brian Nagel, Lauren Elise, Andrew Staton, Katie Keene, and David Greathouse.

The official trailer for ClownTown:

*an alternate tagline for the film: "your fears live here."

A homepage for the film: An Official Website for ClownTown

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Purge: Election Year Puts a Senator's Life in Jeopardy with this Second Trailer

As a real life purge begins in Venezuela, director James DeMonaco and Universal Pictures have released a second trailer for The Purge: Election Year. The clip shows more bloody moments from the film, with a US Senator targeted by political factions. The character Sergeant (Frank Grillo) returns in this second sequel. But this time, Sergeant is not in search of revenge; he must protect this vulnerable state senator. The second trailer is hosted here.

The official synopsis reveals why this senator has been targeted. A survivor of the purge, in which her family was killed, Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) wants to end this violent night. She sets out on a presidential run. But, she might not survive the night as psychopaths lurk around every street corner.

This second trailer is much different from the first. The first trailer, released in February of this year, showed the events and some of the character motivations leading up to the purge. This second trailer shows that actual purge, taking place on city streets and even behind locked doors. All sorts of frightening scenarios take place in this exciting sequel to The Purge: Anarchy (2014).

Release Date: July 18th, 2016 (Theatrical, North America).

Director/writer: James DeMonaco.

Cast: Elizabeth Mitchell, Frank Grillo, Mykelti Williamson, Raymond J. Barry and Ethan Phillips.

The second trailer for The Purge: Election Year is here:

The film's first trailer: The Purge: Election Year Trailer #1

Source: The UHM YT Channel

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Harvesting of Souls Takes Place in this Preview

Tagline: "The Solstice is Coming."

The Harvesting is an indie horror title from first time feature director Ivan Kraljevic. Also developed by writer Ben Everhart and production company Leadhead Pictures, The Harvesting takes place in Amish country. Here, a family is pulled into a struggle with a malevolent force. A trailer for the film was released in the middle of last year and it is hosted below. As well, sales agent Tombstone Distribution has revealed a new movie poster for the feature. Both items are available to see in this article.

The official synopsis talks of a demon. From the trailer, this demon turns some of the characters into murderous or suicidal villains. Meanwhile, a new family in the area is overwhelmed by this malicious entity as their daughter turns into something very strange. The demonic force grows stronger, with the local Amish community turned into an evil army.

A release date for this title has not been announced. Currently, the film is being shown to potential distributors. And, more on this film will be shown to non-believers, very soon.

Release Date: TBA.

Director: Ivan Kraljevic.

Writer: Ben Everhart.

Cast: Elena Caruso, Chris Conner and Jennifer Gareis.

The film's official trailer is hosted here:

Source: The Harvesting at Tombstone Distro'

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