Monday, November 24, 2014

The Scarehouse Pulls Back the Curtain with this Clip Titled "Our Little Sisterhood"

Gavin Michael Booth's The Scarehouse will have its Toronto Premiere in December. The film will play for two nights, on Dec. 1st and Dec. 2nd. Canadian fans of indie horror are invited to take a look, with the film receiving high praise here (The Scarehouse Review on 28DLA). Most recently, a movie clip has been released for the film. The clip is titled "Our Little Sisterhood" and the reel is hosted here.

In the short sequence, two sorority sisters take revenge on another. They torture and humiliate a confined young woman. Will this encounter lead to murder?

This film was shot in Windsor, Ontario. And, the film involves a night of partying, which leads to tragedy. Revenge is chosen by two of the survivors as seen below. Fans of horror are encouraged to seek this title out as it shows in Toronto and several more upcoming locations.

Release Date: December 1st, 2014 (Limited Theatrical, Toronto, On.).

Director: Gavin Michael Booth. Writer: Gavin Michael Booth and Sarah Booth.

Cast: Sarah Booth, Kimberly-Sue Murray, Katherine Barrell, Teagan Vincze, Emily Alatalo, Dani Barker, Ivana Stojanovic and Jennifer Miller.

A film clip, titled "Our Little Sisterhood," is hosted here:

The film's first trailer is hosted here:

The Scarehouse Trailer on 28DLA

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Crossed" Fingers for More Excitement on"The Walking Dead:" A Television Review

*there are spoilers here.

Director: Bill Gierhart.

Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan and Chandler Riggs.

Yawn! Another episode of "The Walking Dead," titled "Crossed" aired tonight (Nov. 23rd). This time the series creators diversified the plot by focusing on four stories, in the zombie apocalypse. Beth (Emily Kinney) was at the hospital with Carol (Melissa McBride), Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was plotting to kill everyone in the hospital, Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) is truly showing his yellow streak and the others are just fishing. None of the plotlines were serviced well, in the short fourty minutes. Though, Rick and the other survivors did get closer to the hospital. Abraham was acting cartoonishly anti-hero. And, this episode was another forgettable entry in the zombie apocalypse.

There were four stories here, but only one matters. Rick decides to rescue Beth and Carol, through bloodsplatter and murder. Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) prefer a less violent method, involving kidnapping. They move ahead with plan B and an ambush is set up to capture a pair of cops. Then, the ambushees are ambushed in a strange scene. Can several armed survivors not stop one gunman? Still, Rick and company gain the upper hand as they move closer and closer to the hospital.

The three minor stories experienced much less plot movement. Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) ignored everyone else as he sulked on an isolated roadway. What happened to that thousand strong zombie horde? It is long forgotten, in favour of a search for water and fishing holes. This storyline was more of a distraction, compared to anything else. In another story, Beth is showing her trustworthiness to Dawn (Christine Woods), the enemy. She gains the key to the medicine cabinet. Instead of stealing the oxycontin, she gathers some epinephrine, a stimulant to save Carol. Carol will soon be on the mend. Woo hoo! In the third minor story, Gabriel is showing his penchant for irresponsibility. He leaves Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne to defend themselves, from any potential threat and tells no one. He almost gets his just desserts, by barely surviving a zombie attack. If Gabriel fell into the clutches of a zombie horde, it might be better for everyone else. He is not suited for survival in this dangerous landscape. All of these plotline only received a few minutes, in this unfocused episode.

In regards to characters, Abraham is the most overdone character on the show. It seems that he stepped right out of the comic book and landed on the show. This character beats a desperate character to near death, in one episode and sulks in the next. His bright red dyed hair makes him look like something out of a circus, with body language almost always overly aggressive and hostile. He just needs to drag his knuckles on the road, to make him look more comical. This character needs to be re-evaluated by the writers. Otherwise, this viewer will continue to simply shake his head, at his childishness.

This viewer enjoyed the previous episode, "Consumed," much more than this one. There are a number of reasons to like Epis. 6 much more than the one shown here. This previous storyline was much more focused and intimate. Only Daryl and Carol were shown, on the outskirts of Atlanta. Their characterizations were developed and so was the overall plotline. As well, there was more action in this previous episode. This duo had to fight through several ambushes, undead and otherwise, just to survive. "Crossed" only offered a few quick, action scenes and only one involving the undead. The fractured storyline did not allow any specific character to develop, very much. Only the introduction of several more characters created any interest for this viewer, in "Crossed."

There is one more episode, titled "Coda," before the mid-season break. Web reviewers are receiving early screeners of this showing, so it is expected that something big will happen in Epis. 8. That big moment will likely be a character death and this viewer is still betting on Carol's demise, despite her dodging a lethal injection, in this episode. A confrontation is definitely looming at the hospital. Though, Dawn and the other villains might not be as surprised by Rick's coming attack, because of Lampson's escape. Perhaps, Abraham might be struck down by a random zed attack; fingers crossed.

Overall: 6.75 out of 10 (four plotlines in fourty minutes? Daryl and Tyreese's softer plan goes very haywire).

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Poker Night Deals the Ace of Spades: A Movie Review

*an online screener of this film was provided by XLrator Media.

Director/writer: Greg Francis.

Cast: Beau Mirchoff, Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, Corey Large, Titus Welliver and Halston Sage.

This reviewer has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to review Greg Francis' Poker Night, for over a year. This film, which was shot in this critic's hometown (Victoria, B.C.), is set to release in late 2014. Poker Night is a blend of genres, including those of: horror, crime thriller and even comedy. Though, the comedic moments are often very dark and involve the film's central killer. Poker Night is also well produced and the film offers a recognizable cast. This viewer enjoyed the complex story and many film fans will find something to like here.

In the story, Jeter (Beau Mirchoff) is a rookie cop, invited to a game or two of poker. His fellow co-workers and police detectives tell stories of life on the beat and Jeter listens intently. These stories and words of wisdom later help Jeter to fight a serial killer, who has kidnapped his new girlfriend, Amy (Halston Sage). The motivations of the kidnapper are also revealed through storytelling as this burgeoning serial killer moves closer and closer to achieving his goals: to have sex with little girls and to kill anyone who gets in the way of the first rule. Jeter is getting in his way.

There are a few instances of dark comedy in Poker Night. Most of the light humour comes for the central villain. You can see the killer's mania rising in an early scene as he does his best to live a normal life. But, a normal life for a sociopath is full of blunders and awkwardness. As well, "looking for girls" involves a scene of possible child abduction. But, the killer is too forlorn to capture and kill, in this surreal scene. Even the killer's goals are introduced in such a way as to create humour. This character does some soul-searching to find his true meaning in life. He finds a road of blood, where most people would choose travelling or picking up a new hobby. The film's central killer is bloodthirsty, but often the source of the film's darker comedic bits.

Poker Night utilizes a few genres to flesh out is story. There are elements of the horror genre here, along with elements of the crime thriller. The horror plot devices are mostly minor and involve scenes of kidnapping, torture and confinement. In one scene, Jeter is stuck to a wall, much like a fly on sticky paper. His escape from this predicament is difficult to watch. However, crime thriller plot elements are more prominent, in the film. The film's central story involves finding and identifying the serial killer. Also, what are his motivations? Jeter must use the wisdom of his fellow police detectives to determine how the murderer will act next. There are chase sequences and scenes of cops surveilling suspects. So, Poker Night is most resolutely set in the crime thriller genre.

The strongest film element in this title is the writing. The film's central story is very complex, because of the way the story is told. The film takes place on a couple of timelines. Much of the film is told through flashbacks, with the present timeline only introduced near the film's ending. There are flashbacks within flashbacks. So, the film is multi-layered. Though, events are rarely difficult to follow. Characters also have many different motivations. One detective is in search of his missing daughter, while another castigates Jeter for pursuing Amy. Even the relationships are complex. Thus, Poker Night has an intriguing story, which will draw in most viewers.

As well, Poker Night is well produced. From acting to directing styles, the film is made of quality. It is also interesting to see so many recognizable cast members here, including: Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, Corey Large and Lochlyn Munro. Director and writer Greg Francis must have pulled several strings, to bring together such a great cast. On the flip side there are a few too many interior shots. Much of the film is shot in a dark basement. Still, fans of film will find the visual display well shot, while the pacing keeps the story moving ahead quickly. Everything unravels as it should within Poker Night.

Poker Night will release December 5th, 2014 through video-on-demand and this title is for both fans of horror and of thrillers. Many of the sequences are exciting and still more are unpredictable. You can never tell what this killer will do next, or who he will harm next. The protagonist has his hands full with this villain. Also, the story elements have been fine tuned to provide a well developed screenplay. And, this viewer enjoyed seeing some of the local landmarks on film, along with the serial killer's penchant for creating laughter in the darkest of moments.

Overall: 8 out of 10 (the narrative bounces around a bit, each detective has his own intriguing story to tell, an open ending).

*the film will release in select theatres, on December 19th, 2014.

An early trailer for the film is available here:

A Poker Night Trailer on 28DLA

Poker Night at XLrator Media:

Poker Night Release Details at XLrator

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Starry Eyes and A Road to Hell: A Movie Review

Directors/writers: Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer.

Cast: Alex Essoe, Amanda Fuller and Noah Segan.

The writers of Starry Eyes, Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, know their classic horror. An homage to horror greats, this body horror feature offers a John Carpenter-like synth' soundtrack. As well, David Cronenberg's use of visual horror can be seen here, in the protagonist's physical transformation. Sarah (Alex Essoe) devolves into something truly inhuman. This external transformation is expressive of Sarah's lack of integrity. She falls for a simple ploy, the casting couch as her life turns into a living hell. Starry Eyes is a horrifying feature, which will shock most horror fans.

Almost every scene brings Sarah closer and closer to the Devil. She is an aspiring actress, with dreams of making it big in Los Angeles. Many other dreamy starlettes have come to this beacon, like a moth to a flame. And, Sarah hopes to rise above the ashes. But, she must kill a few characters along the way, to get her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her dreams are somewhat realized. Though, the price to achieve her goals it too high.

A few viewers might hear one of John Carpenter's beats on the soundtrack. The musical selections have an '80s vibe as the beats come slowly and repetitively. Very retro in nature, the music matches the film's steady pacing. There is also a tension in the soundtrack. Gentle screams of anguish float through the score, especially leading up to climactic scenes. The music and sounds are often in synch with the dark events, on screen.

There are also influences of David Cronenberg's visual style here, in the makeup effects. During the third act, Sarah begins to physically unravel. She is transforming into something more evil and her descent involves the loss of beauty and of body parts. Much like 1977's Rabid, Sarah's flesh begins to flake away. Her deal with the Devil takes a huge toll on her body. As well, the gore and makeup effects are even more prominent in later scenes, in which Sarah turns her hostility outwards. Few can escape the follies of Hollywood, nor Sarah's knife. The protagonist's visual transformation, along with her violent acts, are evocative and disturbing to watch.

Sarah becomes more expressive as the film moves towards a final confrontation and climax. She often speaks poorly of her friends: "I am better than all of you." And, this viewer believes she is somewhat right. Many of the minor characters have dreams of making it in Hollywood. None of these smaller characters seem capable of making those dreams come into reality. They do not even take a step in that direction. In another scene, Sarah confronts a minor villain, in a kitchen scene. Instead of kowtowing to this villain as she usually does, Sarah says "you know what is sad? All of you." A darker, more vocal part of Sarah is taking over. Sarah does her best to better her life, while falling for a demonic trap. The other characters are on their own path to hell; they are just getting there more slowly.

There is really only one character who cares for the protagonist, her roommate. Unfortunately, her outcome is just as tragic as everyone else's. Tracy (Amanda Fuller) actively involves and invests herself in Sarah's dream. A more round character, Tracy also encourages Sarah to pursue her goals in Hollywood, no matter how difficult. Sarah's devilish transformation is completed, when Tracy is also lost to the abyss.

Starry Eyes recently released through Video-on-demand formats (Nov. 14) and most indie horror fans will find the visual display chilling. Cattiness and hostility between characters come to a head late in the film and these latter scenes are full of gorific, practical makeup effects. Well produced and thoughtfully developed, Starry Eyes is a nod to some of the horror icons of the past as Sarah completes her dark descent into a Hollywood hell.

Overall: 7.25 out of 10 (the later scenes bring Sarah's darker side to the surface, rivalries amongst Sarah's friends are developed believably and finished brutally).

A trailer for the film is hosted here, on 28DLA:

A Starry Eyes Trailer

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Zombie Bear Emerges from its Den in this Preview for "Z Nation" and the Episode "Sisters of Mercy"

The Asylum has released several photos for the upcoming episode "Sisters of Mercy." This episode, from the zombies television series "Z Nation," will bring Kelly McGillis (Stakeland) to the little screen. McGillis will play a cult leader, who is tasked with dispatching a zombie bear. Four photos have been released and one shows the zombie bear, in all his glory. Fans of the show can preview "Sisters of Mercy" here.

In this episode, the setting is Salt Lake City, UT. Here, a cult struggles to survive as Murphy and the other survivors search for shelter. They find a zombie bear is out of hibernation and looking to feed, on them!

The four photos show several of the actors from "Sisters of Mercy." Actor Keith Allan is shown as Murphy, in a partial zombie state. As well, Mcgillis is armed and ready to fire in another. A low resolution photo shows the zombie bear, who appears to be very hungry and very ferocious. More on this episode can be previewed below.

Showing Date: November 21st, 2014 (Television).

Director: Rachel Goldenberg.

Writers: Jennifer Derwingson and Craig Engler.

Cast: DJ Qualls, Anastasia Baranova, Michael Welch, Pisay Pao and Kellita Smith.

*a trailer is coming soon.


The Asylum. Press Release. 19 Nov. 2014.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Culling Debuts in the United Kingdom: First Trailer

United Kingdom distributor Signature Entertainment will release The Culling. The release will take place in March, on home entertainment formats. The film is a supernatural horror thriller, starring Jeremy Sumpter and Jonathon Schaech. Fans of horror can view the film's first trailer below.

In the clip, several friends find a lost, young girl. They take her back to her family home, but a malicious entity awaits them there. Friends are tormented by this spirit as they try to unlock the girl and the home's secret curse.

This title was completed in early 2013. The film is represented by sales agent Highland Film Group and a release date in North America is expected soon. Details on the United Kingdom release are hosted below.

Release Date: March 23rd, 2015 (UK, DVD).

Director/writer: Rustam Branaman.

Cast: Jeremy Sumpter, Jonathon Schaech, Virgina Williams, and Elizabeth Di Prinzio.

The United Kingdom trailer for the film is here:

*runtime seventy-eight minutes.


The Culling at Signature Ent.

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You Can Get Your Loot Bag Ready in this First Trailer for The Blackout

Tagline: "Darkness descends."

Lightning Entertainment will distribute the post-apocalyptic thriller The Blackout. This film, from director Louis Mandylor, involves a small town and a world-wide cataclysm. Raiders come to prey on the local townsfolk as resources dwindle to nothing. This title stars Abraham Benrubi (U Turn), Lymari Nadal (American Gangster) and Costas Mandylor. And, an extended trailer for the film is hosted here.

From the synopsis, the story focuses on Martin (Jordan Marder) and his pregnant wife. They are looking for relaxation, in Martin's hometown. But, the lights go off and the locals panic. Then, survivors come looking for food, water, shelter and victims. Martin might lose everything he has, unless he fights back, against impossible odds.

The extended trailer, courtesy of Lightning Entertainment, shows many of the film's main characters. The clip also gives away a few major plot points, including a central character's death. So, fans might want to skim through this clip, if they intend to watch the film. A release date for The Blackout will arrive shortly.

Release Date: TBA.

Director: Louis Mandylor.

Writers: Jordan Marder and Steve Yoon.

Cast: Abraham Benrubi, Lymari Nadal, Costas Mandylor, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Bill Sage, Joseph D. Reitman and Grant Harvey.

The extended trailer is here:

*previously titled Then There Was.


The Blackout at Lightning Ent.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Deadly Revisions Takes Several More Awards: Release Details

Gregory Blair's Deadly Revisions continues to pick up awards. This film has already won "Best Narrative Feature," at the Los Angeles Movie Awards and "Best Actor" (Bill Oberst Jr.), along with "Best Actress" (Cindy Merrill) at the FANtastic Horror Film Festival. Most recently, Deadly Revisions has won "Best Feature Film Screenplay" at the Terror Film Festival. Now, this psychological horror tale is set to release on home video formats, in 2015.

The film focuses on a horror writer. Grafton Torn (Oberst Jr.) has taken a fall, in his own home. But, he continues writing in a friend's cabin. Then, he begins to see strange visions and he seeks help from a nearby hypnotherapist (Merrill). Events become twisted as Torn loses his hold on reality, which leads to violence.

SGL Entertainment will release this title on DVD and Blu-ray. As well, the film will be distributed through video-on-demand, on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play and many more, in early 2015. Fans of horror can preview the release below, with the film's latest trailer.

Release Date: Q1 2015 (DVD, Blu-ray, VOD).

Director/writer: Gregory Blair.

Cast: Bill Oberst Jr., Mikhail Blokh, Cindy Merrill and Lise Hart.

The latest trailer for Deadly Revisions is here:

A fan page for the film can be found here:

Deadly Revisions on Facebook

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