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Wednesday, November 25, 2015
DRIVE IN PICTURES Presents
A disenfranchised former child star devolves into a serial killer
People go missing every day and most of them won’t be missed. At least that’s what Alan, a narcissist with an inflated opinion of himself, who thinks the world is full of stupid people or ants as he calls them, believes. The world is full of dark stories about sinister figures who live off the hopes and dreams of people trying to survive.
So what happens when you have a reclusive, former famous narcissist, whose side hobby is murdering young women, who’s new roommate is the perfect California blonde? Let’s just say his hobby becomes a full time occupation and the puppet master becomes the one pulling the strings…
TRT: 89 minutes
Format: 1:85 Flat (35mm)
Sound: Dolby SR
Rating: R – equivalent
Cast & Crew
Directed by Jim Lane, Eric Troop
Starring: Daniel O’Meara, Jackie Moore, Eric Roberts, Tiffany Adams, Brett Miller and Tony Powers
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 10:42 AM
Monday, November 23, 2015
Described as a "psycho-sexual thriller", THE LAST HOUSE, a.k.a. "Breath of Hate" (2015) wants to be deep and maybe even a little avant-garde--in addition to being violent and perversely sexy--but doesn't quite have the finesse to pull it off.
CLERKS' Jason Mewes (ZOMBIE HAMLET, SILENT BUT DEADLY) is Ned, a lovesick schlub trying to convince his hooker heartthrob Love (Lauren Walsh, MEET THE SPARTANS) to quit the business and be his one-guy gal. But when Love finally goes to her pimp to serve notice, Sonny (Jack Forcinito, SILENT NIGHT, ZOMBIE NIGHT) strongly insists that she go on one final job with two other hookers to a swanky mansion where a wild sex party is to be held. Reluctantly, Love agrees.
Bad idea, since we've already seen the three psychotic squatters occupying the mansion do away with a lady realtor (SLEEPAWAY CAMP's Felissa Rose in a brief, thankless cameo), and it's obvious their idea of "party" will prove unpleasant for the three unsuspecting working girls.
There's Cleb (Ricardo Gray), an excitable young black dude whose "crazy happy" mood, we're told, must be seen to be believed; Selma (Monique Parent, THE PERFECT HOUSE), a wickedly dominant sex bomb; and "Hate" (Ezra Buzzington), the oily, enigmatic, and endlessly verbose ringleader of the tawdry trio. Once this dubious situation gets into full swing, THE LAST HOUSE becomes a round-robin series of sexual trainwrecks.
Cleb, we discover, likes cheerleaders. In fact, he thinks they look good enough to eat--literally. He's also partial to heating up half a canteloupe in the microwave and then making love to it AMERICAN PIE-style, and when these two scenarios are edited together the confusion is compounded when Love suddenly shows up and starts hacking away at him with a butcher knife. Or does she?
Meanwhile, some of the film's kinkier deeds are performed in the upstairs bedroom when Selma has her way with the other hooker in a mistress-slave scenario that includes spanking, toe-sucking, and other sleazy sex stuff that skirts the boundaries of "softcore" before turning baseball-bat violent and, for me anyway, baffling.
But the most perplexing part comes when we watch our heroine Love in an increasingly troublesome tryst with "Hate", which starts out creepy and just gets worse, until he starts to live up to his name and she finds herself in grave peril.
Which sounds straightforward enough, but is anything but because this film, remember, wants to be some kind of sleazy art film with its jumbled timelines and rambling monologues.
Despite his on-the-nose moniker, Hate reminds me mainly of an evil David Spade--not very menacing, even when his true nature starts to bleed through. The story gets progressively strange as characters die, live again, kill, get killed, etc. and we see a variety of flashbacks, flash-forwards, dreams that foretell the future, alternate outcomes, and other timeline-fiddling. While all this is going on, Ned is busy trying to track down Love by haunting the strip club where she works and going head to head with Sonny.
Jason Mewes handles his role well enough but it's Lauren Walsh as Love who's the real standout here. Monique Parent is meant to be wickedly sexy, which is something she could do without breaking a sweat. As Hate, Ezra Buzzington gets an "A" for effort although I never found the character as intriguing or mysterious as intended. Jack Forcinito is sleaze personified as the pimp Sonny, whose main concern is his miniature pet turtle.
The DVD from WildEye Releasing is widescreen with Dolby Digital sound. No subtitles. Bonus features consist of a writer and director commentary, deleted scenes, a Cinemayhem Film Festival director interview, and the film's London premiere at the Gorezone Film Festival.
While some members of the cast double as prolific porn stars, THE LAST HOUSE is more thriller and less sleaze than the synopsis might lead you to believe. I didn't find it all that thrilling, either, but I must give the filmmakers credit for trying something different.
Buy it at Amazon.com
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 9:36 PM
Wild Eye Unlocks the House of Afflictions
Key Art and Trailer for February 2016 Release
New York, NY - Wild Eye Releasing has opened the doors to the House of Afflictions with a new poster and trailer.
The latest supernatural thriller from UK director Anthony M. Winson (The Witching Hour, Unholy) follows a crime author mourning the loss of her child as she tries to start life over in a new home. She soon discovers that she is not alone in the house.
Is something from her past haunting her, or is it something deep within the house itself that wants to ensure she remain restless forever?
Kate Beckley was once a best selling crime author, but it's been years since her last novel following the disappearance of her daughter, Julia. While attempting to write again in a new home, Kate finds herself haunted by strange visions and paranormal occurrences - which become worse each night. Has Julia returned, or is something more sinister preying on this grieving mother?
House of Afflictions (Official Trailer)
The February 2016 DVD release of House of Afflictions will exclusively include a number of bonus features.
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 2:23 PM
Sunday, November 22, 2015
A foolproof kidnap/blackmail scheme that we just know will go way wrong, a damaged damsel who might not be so innocent, a heartless womanizer who maybe isn't quite that deserving of the fate devised for him--these and other unpredictable variables go into the bloody, suspenseful thriller THE BADGER GAME (2014) and out comes a taut and twisted little tale that keeps us guessing.
Alex (Augie Duke) lays out the supposedly perfect plan to her erstwhile best friend, Shelley (Jillian Leigh), which consists of kidnapping Alex's former lover Liam (Sam Boxleitner), a wealthy businessman who failed to mention that he was married, and blackmailing him for two million dollars which he must pay lest they send his wife a bunch of incriminating photos. The dubious Shelley, badly in need of money for herself and her daughter, is to be the bait to lure Liam into their clutches.
The other variables include meth-addicted stripper Jane (Sasha Higgins), another of Liam's former flames who claims to have been abused by him in a number of ways, and Alex's musclebound ex-con brother Kip (Patrick Cronen), who we fear just might be capable of anything. Top all that with a mysterious figure secretly spying on them and photographing it all from the shadows, and the fuse is lit for things to eventually blow up real good.
THE BADGER GAME is refreshingly adept at confounding our expectations and detouring the predictable storyline at every turn. Just when we think it's going to be one of those feminist revenge fantasies about the wronged woman giving the awful user-abuser male his comeuppance, we find out things about both which complicate matters in a big way.
Sympathetic rehab queen Jane turns out to be scarier than we first imagined, while Kip, bless his heart, is the original poster boy for Impulse Control Disorder. Where all this leaves Liam, all tied up with literally no place to go, makes for some white knuckle moments, with poor Shelley swept along with it all until forced to take drastic action herself when the kidnappers begin to turn on each other.
While not as dark and sadistic as the usual "violence for its own sake" torture fest, the story does have its bloody moments, including some grievous wounds for hemophiliac Liam (which his captors attempt to stem with Krazy Glue) and a particularly nasty garden-implement-to-the-face gag that might put you off din-din for awhile. Still, it's all in service of the story and, while of passing interest to the gorehounds in the audience, isn't quite what I'd call gratuitous.
What really makes THE BADGER GAME so much fun is just sitting back and watching what comes next as Alex's foolproof plan to score a bundle of cash and some sweet revenge goes off the rails in a number of ways. Some characters show their true colors, others reveal their dark sides, and some wind up dead. It's just that kind of game.
The Blu-ray from Intervision Pictures Corp. is in 16:9 widescreen with Dolby Digital sound. English subtitles are available. Bonus features include two commentary tracks--one with writer-directors Thomas Zambeck and Joshua Wagner (MIMESIS) as well as composer London May, and another with actresses Augie Duke, Jillian Leigh and Sasha Higgins--plus cast and crew interviews from the Los Angeles premiere.
Usually a story like this is done tongue-in-cheek and laden with obvious gags to let us know it's all in gallows-style fun. THE BADGER GAME presents all this in straightforward fashion and trusts us to glean the inherent humor from it ourselves. Along with the bloody horror, the bitter irony, and all that other good stuff.
Buy it at Amazon.com:
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 10:23 PM
Friday, November 20, 2015
Described by its writer-director Chris Alexander as an "impressionist underground art film" and by one IMDb contributor as a "minimalist vampire moodpiece", QUEEN OF BLOOD (2014) challenges viewers to stay with it during its long, slow passages of atmospheric visuals and navel-gazing contemplation in order to reap its rewards.
Alexander isn't interested in feeding the filmic needs of the typical Jason and Freddy fan, nor those of just about any other average horror fan. His take on the vampire genre is, as he puts it, more of a "tone poem" which should be viewed as one views a painting.
To that end, the film is sumptuously photographed (despite a rock-bottom budget) in a lush rural setting which seems to be a thousand miles from any kind of civilization, by a camera that lingers over each image even more languidly than the Kubrick of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY or David Lynch at his most ERASERHEAD-centric.
The absolutely barebones story--if one can even call it that--begins with the enigmatic vampire Irina (Shauna Henry) emerging naked from the fetid waters of a swamp in a scene that reminded me of Virginia Christine's haunting entrance in THE MUMMY'S CURSE. It seems as though this unnatural creature is being born or reborn in some way although no further explanation is given.
Irina is taken in by a woodsman (co-producer and cinematographer David Goodfellow) who cleans and dresses her and trims her flowing mane. We see a photograph on his shelf of a woman who resembles Irina, hinting that the man is a widower who's remaking Irina in his late wife's image. But he succumbs to the spell of the vampiress, who silently mesmerizes him before ripping out his throat with her bare hands (her preferred method of killing).
For much of its subsequent running time, QUEEN OF BLOOD shows us Irina stalking very slowly through the woods or across vast pastures, intercut with shots of her future victims as they stand around contemplatively or stroll hither and yon. The actual killing scenes are equally impressionistic, bloody yet shot and edited with an artist's eye.
We also see the black-clad Preacher on her trail, strangling Irina's unfortunate victims before they themselves can return to life as the undead. As the Preacher, Skinny Puppy's Nivek Ogre (SCREAM PARK) is the most animated thing about the whole movie.
One sequence in which he goes into blood-spewing convulsions has to be seen to be believed--it goes on too long and took me out of the movie for a while, but is fascinating nonetheless due to the way Ogre throws himself with abandon into a total state of wildly-thrashing hysteria as he lurches, flips, and rolls around on the forest floor.
But the most riveting element of the film, aptly enough, is Shauna Henry herself. Looking like a soiled china doll possessed by some dark spirit, she wanders wraithlike through the film's idyllic Western setting with piercing eyes (she has a great "creepy face") and a compelling presence.
Her charisma in the pivotal role of the ever-ravenous vampire who goes through victims like Homer Simpson goes through doughnuts almost compensates for the long stretches which tax our patience and will, no doubt, have many horror buffs giving the fast-forward scan button on their remotes a workout.
Still, the artful execution and evocative atmosphere of QUEEN OF BLOOD should appeal to certain viewers who favor the offbeat in their cinematic fare, especially those willing to settle in and patiently indulge the film its eccentricities as it slowly unfolds its story as though painting loosely in watercolor.
The excellent New Age-y musical score by Alexander and castmember Carrie Gemmell is fitting for a movie that is itself a kind of visual equivalent to New Age music--and which, incidentally, is utterly free of dialogue, essentially making it a silent film with music and ambient sound effects.
The Blu-ray from Intervision Pictures Corp. is in 16x9 widescreen with Dolby Digital sound. No subtitles, since there's nothing to subtitle. Bonus features include an introduction by Nivek Ogre, bloopers, 2 alternate endings, the featurette "Directing Ogre", a trailer, a director and cast Q & A from the Toronto premiere, and a director commentary.
Most notable is the inclusion of Chris Alexander's previous film BLOOD FOR IRINA (2012) in its entirety. The precursor of QUEEN OF BLOOD, this feature recounts Irina's vampiric exploits in modern times and is even more deliberately paced and dreamlike than the latter film.
Willfully experimental and often deliberately obtuse, QUEEN OF BLOOD is hardly the sort of thing one would add to an evening's fare of FRIDAY THE 13TH and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET flicks. But if you're in the mood for something completely different, this is one horror movie that will definitely fit the bill.
Buy it at Amazon.com:
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 9:27 PM
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
CALIFORNIA’S FAVORITE MOTORCYCLE HIGHWAY PATROLMEN ARE BACK AS
WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES
CHiPs: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER
ON DVD MARCH 15, 2016
Includes all 21 one-hour episodes of Season 4!
BURBANK, CA (November 18, 2015) – Ponch and Jon are back in the fourth installment of the six season series of highway crime fighting, as CHiPs: The Complete Fourth Season is released for fans to enjoy! The star-studded cast includes Golden Globe nominated Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers Francis “Ponch” Poncherello and Jon Baker.
The successful series has inspired the all-new upcoming theatrical release starring Dax Shepard as Jon Baker and Michael Peña as Frank Poncherello. The excitement and action-packed drama continues as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases CHiPs: The Complete Fourth Season on March 15, 2016 for $29.98.
In season four, the highway adventures continue with Ponch and Jon as they continue to keep the busy freeway of California safe from crime. Whether making routine stops for speeding or nabbing criminals on the run, California Highway Patrol is on the case. Nothing can stop these fearless partners, as they hit the streets of Southern California, in the pursuit of justice and highway safety. CHiPs: The Complete Fourth Season provides endless entertainment and action throughout all 21 episodes and will leave you longing for the release of season five!
“We are excited to release CHiPs: The Complete Fourth Season for the first time ever on DVD,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHEG Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “We are thrilled to share the exciting fourth season of this hit show with fans of all ages.”
DVD Standard Features
· 5 DVD-9s
· Language: English
· Feature Subtitles: ESDH
21 One-Hour Episodes
1. Go-Cart Terror
2. Sick Leave
3. To Your Health
4. The Poachers
5. The Great 5K Star Race and Boulder Wrap Party: Part 1
6. The Great 5K Star Race and Boulder Wrap Party: Part 2
7. Satan’s Angels
8. Wheels of Justice
9. Crash Course
10. Forty Tons of Trouble
11. 11-99: Officer Needs Help
12. Home Fires Burning
14. Ponch’s Angels: Part 1
15. Ponch’s Angels: Part 2
17. New Guy in Town
18. The Hawk and the Hunter
20. Dead Man’s Riddle
21. A Simple Operation
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution, interactive entertainment, technical operations and anti-piracy businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com.
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 10:50 AM