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Monday, June 26, 2017

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SNUFF -- Movie Review by Porfle

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SNUFF (2016) is like comedy-revenge porn for all the poor, hapless victims--especially the pretty girls--who were snuffed in torture porn flicks over the years.  The catch: the killers are just pretending this time, but the victim doesn't know that.  And when she gets away...

The pretend-killers are aspiring (and perspiring) actors Dresden and Dominic, brothers from the sticks who just can't catch a break in Hollywood.  In desperation, the less stable one, Dresden (Joey Kern, SUPER TROOPERS, ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE UNDEAD), hatches a plan in which they hold a fake casting call, kidnap the most promising actress in the bunch, and film a fake snuff film that will (in Dresden's clouded mind) win first prize in a film contest and make them famous.

All they have to do, he figures, is to take it to the brink and then reveal that it's all fake to the actress, who will then thank them for the opportunity for fame.  Weak-willed brother Dominic (Luke Edwards, MOTHER'S BOYS, AMERICAN PIE 2) protests at first but eventually agrees, and all goes according to plan...until Dresden starts to take it all a little too seriously, and before Dominic knows it, he--and their unwilling actress--are caught up in an honest-to-goodness real snuff film.

Naturally, this would be horrible if we took it seriously for a second, but it's practically a live-action cartoon, so that's not really a problem.  (Not at first, anyway.)  There are some very amusing setpieces such as the actress audition montage ("Could you do that again, only this time do it as though you were a good actress?")

Naturally, the last one is THE one, and is she ever--Jennifer (Bree Williamson, "One Life to Live", "General Hospital") is the perfect gorgeous, self-confident, outgoing babe to help elevate these guys' piece-of-crap film project into something at least marginally watchable.  BEGINNER'S GUIDE itself isn't a laugh riot, but it doesn't really try to be. It's just a consistently smart and amusing spoof that's sharply-done and fun to watch.

But that's the first half.  The thing is, once they actually kidnap Jennifer and their whole plan is put into motion, things start to get real.  Maybe even too real to be funny, depending on your tolerance level. 

It's hard to maintain a premise like this as a funny ha-ha joke when we're seeing a couple of psychotic-acting guys (and let's face it, Dresden really is a psycho, while Dominic's insipid acquiscence to him is bad enough in itself) and a terrified girl whom we've learned to like. 

And yet, as the film gets more violent, I begin to realize that director Mitchell Altieri is messing with me and my expectations big-time.  Is it a harmless gore-movie spoof?  Is it a funny (but in a really sick way) torture porn flick?  Does it really even know what it is?  My final answer: all of the above.

After the initial "Dresden goes too far" sequence, the movie doesn't really lighten up again until Jennifer gets away (I'm only revealing what the trailer already shows, so no spoiler here) and turns the tables on her captors in a big, bloody way.  Which, by this time, is uncomfortable in a traditional torture-porn kind of way but with an off-kilter premise that keeps twisting one way and then the other. 

Technically, it's a mix of conventional photography and "found footage" style which works pretty well most of the time.  Performances are outstanding, totally manic and intense, with Bree Williamson a very dynamic Jennifer and Joey Kern giving us a Dresden who grows more despicably unhinged and narcissistic by the minute. 

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SNUFF wants to keep us off-balance, uncomfortable, and wondering what the hell we're watching, and in that respect, it succeeds.  I think gorehounds and torture porn aficionados will especially enjoy it, as well as those who prefer their humor dark and demented.  I had mixed feelings at the end, but was glad I watched it because it's definitely a trip. 

Tech Specs

Runtime: 87mins
Format: 1:78 HD
Sound: Dolby SR
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Horror

Release Date: June 23, 2017 (Theatrical, Los Angeles) & July 11th, 2017 (VOD, DVD)

The film’s official trailer

More details on the film are available at Indican Pictures:

Read our original coverage


HICKOK -- Movie Review by Porfle

HICKOK (Cinedigm, 2017) is one of a current breed of modestly produced, low-key, but solid westerns that are just as entertaining as anything if you set your expectations accordingly. 

I've grown quite fond of their simplicity, their often beautiful photography, their museum-quality Old West settings (things look brand new, but back then, for a while anyway, they were), and their earnest effort to give fans of the traditional western what the big studios rarely offer these days.  

What's more, this easy-to-take saga of "Wild Bill" Hickok's younger days as outlaw-turned-lawman delivers the goods in a most satisfying way whenever it's time to clear leather and start blasting.

Luke Hemsworth (THE ANOMALY, "Westworld") stars as the young Civil War veteran making his way through the post-war west, as valor on the battlefield translates into a knack for survival in peacetime.  This often necessitates straddling the line of the law and sometimes ending up on the wrong side of it.

Bill is cocky and arrogant but only kills when he has to, a quality that helps land him a job as marshall of a lawless town when the mayor (Kris Kristofferson, nowadays ably portraying wise old souls) sees the good in him. 

This doesn't stop Bill from extorting protection money from the quietly dangerous saloon owner Phil Poe (Trace Adkins), whose wife Mattie (Cameron Richardson, OPEN WATER 2: ADRIFT) turns out to be an old and way-too-close acquaintance.  (Which, unsurprisingly, will end up causing some very unfortunate complications.) 

While engaging enough on their own, HICKOK's plot development and dialogue are frequently punctuated by welcome bursts of lead-slinging action that are excitingly staged and pack just the right kind of wallop.

What triggers the main conflict here is Hickok's decision to install one of those highly unpopular bans on guns within city limits, driving customers away from Poe's saloon and hotel. 

Relations between the two deteriorate to the point where coldblooded killer John Wesley Hardin (Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau, TRADED) is enlisted to eliminate the problem, resulting in one of the film's most surprising and suspenseful twists.

Hemsworth plays the lead role lightly at first--his "Wild Bill" has a mischievous streak and isn't nearly as full of himself as many western heroes tend to be--yet his character gains increasing gravitas as the story progresses.  Physically, he's just right as someone who can take care of himself in a situation requiring fists and/or guns as well as wits.

His softer side is demonstrated during a heartfelt scene in which he relates a tall tale of his own derring-do for Mattie's son after he's been shot in the leg, while the Doc (the venerable Bruce Dern adding his considerable presence to the proceedings) digs the bullet out.  Scenes such as this contribute to Hickok's evolution into a serious, thoughtful man with a sincere desire to set things right.

As his nemesis Poe, Trace Adkins (TRADED, STAGECOACH: THE TEXAS JACK STORY, DEEPWATER HORIZON) once again proves an imposing presence well-suited for this sort of robust, old-fashioned western.  Tall, brawny, and possessing a voice like the lower registers of a pipe organ, Adkins ably conveys his character's dark, slowburn anger that will eventually erupt into violence.

Playing fast and loose with the facts--but in the most fun ways--HICKOK harkens back to a time when westerns were populated by actors who actually looked like, and often were, the kind of real men they were portraying.  And when it's time for them to stop talking and start shooting, you can almost smell the gunsmoke.

Opens Theatrically July 7 in Top Markets Including Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas
Also Available On Demand & Digital HD

Read our original coverage

Watch the Trailer:


Thursday, June 22, 2017


"Will you welcome..." Johnny would usually say when introducing his next guest.  Over the years there were countless "Will you welcome"s on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", some who would remain in relative obscurity, and others who would parlay their once-in-a-lifetime chance at fame all the way to stardom.

Time-Life's 3-disc DVD collection THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON: JOHNNY AND FRIENDS FEATURING STEVE MARTIN, ROBIN WILLIAMS & EDDIE MURPHY is about three of those who became superstars in the field of comedy--Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and Eddie Murphy--thanks in large part to their early exposure with Johnny on his classic late-night talk show which is now such an integral part of television legend. 

Johnny, of course, was no stranger to either television or comedy, having labored in both fields since the 50s as host or co-host of various comedy, variety, and game shows such as "Carson's Cellar" and "Who Do You Trust?" before finally replacing Jack Paar as host of "The Tonight Show" in 1962.

Each show began with an opening monologue, which was basically a new stand-up routine every night.  It was here that Johnny really proved himself, getting more mileage out of bad jokes than most comics do with hilarious ones. In fact, his style was to willfully tell bad jokes--even telegraph them as being bad, building audience expectation--and then mine their groaning response for humor until he had them rolling in the aisles. 

It was a totally unique comic style and sensibility that set Johnny apart from all other stand-up comics, and he excelled at it night after night.  His loyal announcer and sidekick Ed McMahon, of course, played along beautifully, adding dry asides here and there in order to invite a sarcastic response from Johnny (often a mock threat to terminate his employment).  To which Ed would respond, naturally, with his trademark belly laugh.

The show was, importantly, for everyone, regardless of their political persuasion.  Johnny did get in some topical jabs here and there, but they weren't really all that caustic and he generally kept things goodnatured, unlike the profane, rabidly partisan hacks of today's late night shows. In other words, Johnny had something called "class", a quality in short supply on TV these days.

During the nine new-to-retail episodes in this Time-Life set, Johnny gives us old viewers some of our favorite bits such as "Stump the Band" and "The Mighty Carson Art Players." (Alas, there are no visits from either Art Fern, Karnak the Magnificent, or Aunt Blabby.)  Flamboyantly-dressed bandleader Doc Severinsen and his sometime stand-in Tommy "Mr. Excitement" Newsom come in for their usual ribbing, while Johnny and Ed play off each other like the seasoned pros that they are.

Disc one features three appearances by Steve Martin, beginning in 1976 with a stand-up that lets us see young Steve in his banjo-playing, "happy feet" prime.  A 1982 show finds movie-star Steve pushing his film DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID, and in 1991 a slightly more staid, reserved Martin talks about his starring role in FATHER OF THE BRIDE.  Each appearance is loaded with plenty of comedy in his familiar style. 

Other guests include the always beloved James Stewart, a spaced-out Karen Black, Sylvester Stallone (circa ROCKY III), comic Cathy Ladman, and singer Leon Redbone.  Some of the classic commercials of the era (if you choose to watch them--the DVD gives us a choice) include "Coke Adds Life", the "NesTea Plunge", and the little guy who wants to talk to us about...diarrhea.  In a 1982 segment Johnny jokes about upcoming TV shows such as "Silver Spoons" and "Knight Rider."

Disc two is a trio of hit-and-run appearances by the always hyper-frenetic Robin Williams, who would blow into the studio like a gale force wind and never let up.  Whether in 1984 or in his two 1991 shows, Robin is a non-stop whirling dervish of gags, voices, and flailing physical comedy that dominates not only his time with Johnny but that of the other guests as well.  It was as though he had no "off" switch, and was always dialed up all the way to eleven. 

Even fellow kooky improv comic Jonathan Winters barely gets a word in while sitting there with Robin. Other guests don't stand a chance, including good sport Phyllis Newman, dulcet-toned Steve Lawrence, and southern-fried Park Overall.  While Johnny does manage to converse with them in minimal terms, their presence is pretty much just another excuse for Robin to go wild.  His fans will be ecstatic, of course.

Disc three finds breakout "Saturday Night Live" player Eddie Murphy on his blazing rocket to fame, with all three appearances occurring in 1982 but already plotting a quick trajectory to superstardom. 

Eddie's first shot on the show is brash but in a controlled way--his ego has yet to become overinflated, and there's still a hunger in his clearly ambitious attitude.  He's already at ease and in his element in the stand-up spots, wowing the audience with his sharp humor and confidence.  He handles his time talking with Johnny well, too, easily getting laughs and charming both host and audience without breaking a sweat.  (Not that we can see, anyway.)

His second appearance is much more confident, and his stand-up features a bold use of the "N" word in an innovative and borderline abrasive way that has the audience in a tizzy of laughter.  By now, Johnny's regard for him has clearly grown, and by his third show, the cocky, brash, super-confident Murphy is getting a "superstar" ovation from the audience.

Other guests on this disc include McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers of TV's "MASH", boxer Randall "Tex" Cobb, Albert Hague of "Fame", and singer Angela Bofill. 

Watching this 3-disc set, I can't help but be filled with that old warm glow of nostalgia for a time when we could turn on the TV and watch Johnny and company every weeknight.  THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON: JOHNNY AND FRIENDS FEATURING STEVE MARTIN, ROBIN WILLIAMS & EDDIE MURPHY gives both old and new fans of the show a chance to relive those times, courtesy of some of Johnny's funniest and most outrageous guests, and tune in to that unique vibe all over again. 


Format: DVD/3 Discs
Running Time: 499 minutes
Genre:  TV DVD/Comedy
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: Stereo
Original Commercials: On/Off

Street Date: July 4, 2017

Read our original coverage


Universal Announces "JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM" In Theaters June 22, 2018



Official website






Two Brothers Shoot for Fame but Find Only Infamy in the Butcher Bros.' "A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SNUFF"

A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff

“Making it in Hollywood Can be Murder!”

West Hollywood, California (Thursday, June 22nd) - The Butcher Brothers - Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores - have completed their disturbing horror film, A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff. Darkly comedic, the film stars: Joey Kern (Super Troopers, Cabin Fever), Luke Edwards (Jeepers Creepers 2, The Wizard), Bree Williamson (True Detective, Haven), Brad Greenquist (Lone Ranger, Water for Elephants) and many others.

The film involves shooting a fake snuff film, to make one woman famous. But, the plan goes off the rails, from the get-go. A preview of A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff and its summer release is hosted here.

The story opens as two brothers, Dresden (Joey Kern) and Dominic (Luke Edwards) enact their scheme. Together, they decide to kidnap Jennifer (Bree Williamson), in the name of infamy and to make the greatest film of all time. The kidnapping quickly goes downhill. Now, the brothers find themselves being hunted by a raging actress, with an arsenal at her disposal.

The Butcher Brothers are best known for their work on vampire thriller The Hamiltons (2006), The Violent Kind (Sundance) in 2010 and they already have their next film finished – The Night Watchmen. Their latest production, A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff, has already won several awards, including: “Best Actor,” “Best Actress,” and “Best Feature Film” at FearNYC.

The film opens theatrically in June before Indican Pictures delivers this title, to horror fans, through Video-on-demand and on DVD - this July. More details on the summer release of A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff are hosted here.

The film’s official trailer

Release Date: June 23, 2017 (Theatrical, Los Angeles) & July 11th, 2017 (VOD, DVD).

Director: Mitchell Altieri. Writers: Cory Knauf, Adam Weis, Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores.

Cast: Joey Kern, Luke Edwards, Bree Williamson, Brad Greenquist, Perry Laylon and Carter MacIntyre.
More details on the film are available at Indican Pictures

About Indican Pictures
Indican Pictures acquires and distributes feature films to a broad range of entertainment outlets by providing a diverse selection of movies across theatrical, home video, TV, VOD, PPV and streaming platforms.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WITHOUT NAME -- Movie Review by Porfle

Sometimes there's a stalker in the forest; sometimes the stalker IS the forest.  Or at least there's some evil force (force...forest) that permeates it, drawing in unwary victims like flies to a spider web.

Or...maybe it's all in Eric's mind, and the sylvan solitude and verdant vastness of this mysterious place WITHOUT NAME (2016) simply act as a catalyst for coaxing the crazy out of his already fevered psyche.  

Eric (Alan McKenna, MALICE IN WONDERLAND, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS) is already in a bad place mentally, with an alienated wife and resentful son who make home life a misery for him.  As a surveyor for a shady Irish land developer, he's glad to escape the concrete prison of the city and venture into a wild land where he's surrounded by vast panoramic vistas of overwhelming primitive beauty.

At first, that is.  But before long, the forest begins to feel oppressive and strange in daylight, and dark--really dark--at night.  It seems to close in on the creepy little stuck-in-time cottage he's huddled into, giving him, and us, an almost palpable sense of isolation mixed with a growing dread of the unknown.

The late arrival of his helper and mistress Olivia (Niamh Algar) brings a bit of spiritual warmth to Eric that's reflected in the music (it's the film's first semi-happy musical theme) but it doesn't last long as their first foray into the woods almost instantly takes an eerie turn for both of them.  Not only is their equipment vandalized, but we get the feeling they're being watched.  And that's not even the half of it.

A third character, the gregarious Gus (James Browne, TREE KEEPER), is a roving trailer-dweller spending some time in the woods himself.  Gus knew the man, Devoy, who occupied the cottage until he went mad (Devoy's cryptic, handwritten journal, "Knowledge of Trees", which Eric becomes obsessed with, seems ample evidence of this) and his stories stoke the unease already coursing through Eric's veins.

Worse, he introduces Eric and Olivia to some of the potent magic mushrooms that grow wild in the forest, which begins a jarring dislocation from reality for Eric that will lead to some of the film's most disorienting and disquieting passages. 

Needless to say, Eric's mental state, already not all that stable, takes a turn for the psychedelic as he goes off the deep end faster than Richard Boone's character in I BURY THE LIVING. 

Director Lorcan Finnegan, in a noteworthy feature debut, has the kind of artistic eye that gives his film visual interest even when nothing exciting is going on, eschewing sensation for a deep-seated unease in which we spend much time on edge.

He builds the mood ever so slowly, letting us gradually get used to the idea that this forest is a quietly ominous place where anything might happen.  Then, when something finally does happen, we get that queasy feeling as the director slowly twists the nerve and reality becomes as wispy as the fog wafting through the trees.

Thus, there are long stretches in WITHOUT NAME which, while lacking in action, are in the service of building a mood and atmosphere that gradually creep up on us like a draught of cold air.

Not visceral horror but closely akin to the weirdness and twistiness of "The Outer Limits", "One Step Beyond", and "The Twilight Zone", WITHOUT NAME leaves us feeling stranded in a dark place ourselves, albeit one which, thank goodness, we can blink away with the click of a button.  

Now available in North America on major platforms including iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Sony PSN, X-Box Live, Vudu, Vimeo on Demand, Steam, Roku, Crackle, Hoopla, Seed & Spark and Tubi TV. 

Cable VOD will follow at a later date.

Film clip -- "A late night walk through the woods:"

The film’s official trailer:

Official Facebook Page

Read our original coverage

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"BEHIND THE MASK -- THE BATMAN: DEAD END STORY" Uncovers the Aftermath of the Most Infamous Fan-Fiction Short of All Time -- 7/18



Street Date: July 18, 2017

"A fascinating look at what it takes to make a superhero --
figuratively and should sit on your shelf
-- GeekNation

In 2003, Sandy Collora and his friends set out to make an ambitious short film.
They wound up making history...

Available on DVD and Digital HD Platforms Including iTunes and Amazon, the "Behind-the-Scenes" Documentary Features Interviews with Collora, Comic Book Legend Neal Adams and Industry Luminaries Neal Adams, Sean Clark, Shawn Reevs and Jordu Schell

Official Trailer for BEHIND THE MASK

Director and writer Eric Dow (Honor in the Valley of Tears) goes behind the scenes of the most notorious fan-fiction short film of all time with BEHIND THE MASK: THE BATMAN: DEAD END STORY.

In the winter of 2003, commercial director Sandy Collora and some of his friends set out to make a low-budget short film for his demo reel.  What they wound up doing, however, was making one of the most elaborate, most watched, most talked about and most controversial short fan-directed films ever made: "Batman: Dead End."

The film launched a nationwide craze when all eight minutes were unveiled at Comic Con in 2003.  Director Kevin Smith called it "an amazing piece of work.  Possibly the truest, best Batman ever made".  In a Hollywood system where Batman movies are huge-budget, mega-merchandised projects, this low-budget short shattered all expectations, garnering an incredible amount of buzz outside of the Hollywood system. With appearances from The Joker, Alien, and Predator, the film was a hit with die-hard comic fans and modern action film lovers alike. 

Considering the amount of buzz surrounding the film, Collora was expected to be propelled into the Hollywood stratosphere.  Instead, his career sputtered.  Now, BEHIND THE MASK gives audiences an insider's behind-the-scenes look at the buzz-worthy short and the people who help create it including Collora, comic book legend Neal Adams, and convention all-stars Sean Clark, Shawn Reeves and Jordu Schell.

An incisive look at the making of the short film, BEHIND THE MASK, called "a fascinating look at an eccentric man who was geekdom's king for a day ("  truly uncovers what it takes to make it as a Hollywood A-lister.

Type: DVD//Digital HD (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play) 
Running Time: 99 mins.
Rating:  N/A
Genre: Documentary
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: Stereo

About Candy Factory Films
Candy Factory Films is a forward-thinking, filmmaker-friendly multimedia company dedicated to producing and distributing high impact, unique and compelling films.  Embracing emerging distribution trends to successfully promote releases, Candy Factory is at the forefront of a new vanguard of independent distributors maximizing profit by reaching distinct audiences in numerous ways.  With a catalog stocked with award-winning and acclaimed films across every genre, they're committed to creating and fostering communities around independent and progressive cinema.  Avenues for distribution include all leading digital platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes and the national Video on Demand platform on cable television.


"THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE" With Miles Teller -- Watch the Trailer Now


"THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE"                  
October 27, 2017 

DreamWorks Pictures’ Thank You for Your Service follows a group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq who struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield.

Starring an ensemble cast led by Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Amy Schumer, Beulah Koale, Scott Haze, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Brad Beyer, Omar J. Dorsey and Jayson Warner Smith, the drama is based on the bestselling book by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author David Finkel. 

Jason Hall, who wrote the screenplay of American Sniper, makes his directorial debut with Thank You for Your Service and also serves as its screenwriter.  Jon Kilik (The Hunger Games series, Babel) produces the film, while Ann Ruark (Biutiful) executive produces.


Genre:        Drama   
Cast:        Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Amy Schumer, Beulah Koale, Scott Haze, Keisha Castle-Hughes,
        Brad Beyer, Omar J. Dorsey, Jayson Warner Smith
Directed by:        Jason Hall
Written by:        Jason Hall
Based on the Book by:    David Finkel
Produced by:        Jon Kilik
Executive Producers:    Ann Ruark, Jane Evans


"AMERICAN ASSASSIN" With Michael Keaton (9/15) Watch the Trailer Now




AMERICAN ASSASSIN follows the rise of Mitch Rapp (Dylan O'Brien), a CIA black ops recruit under the instruction of Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton).

The pair is then enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) to investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on both military and civilian targets.

Together the three discover a pattern in the violence leading them to a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent (Shiva Negar) to stop a mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) intent on starting a World War.


CAST: Michael Keaton (Batman, The Founder), Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner, Deepwater Horizon), Taylor Kitsch (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Lone Survivor), Sanaa Lathan (Alien vs. Predator, Blade), Shiva Negar (The Art of More, My Babysitter’s a Vampire)

DIRECTED BY: Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger)

PRODUCED BY: Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers), Nick Wechsler (Under the Skin, The Road)

GENRE: Action Thriller



The Horrors Within Lorcan Finnegan's Supernatural Thriller Are "WITHOUT NAME" (Official Trailer & Poster)

Global Digital Releasing Unveils Trailer, Poster and Clip for Irish Horror Thriller WITHOUT NAME

WITHOUT NAME is a trippy, delirious time lost in the woods where you won’t want to find your way out…” - Daniel Kurland, Bloody Disgusting

“… the truest, and perhaps finest, example of the Lovecraftian sensibility ever put on film…” - Peter Gutierrez, Screen Anarchy

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 19, 2017) - Global Digital Releasing recently announced the North American digital and VOD release date of the award winning horror thriller Without Name.  Leading up to its official release on Tuesday, June 20th, the distributor is debuting the film’s official trailer, poster and a new clip ("A late night walk through the woods").

The story follows land surveyor Eric (Alan McKenna). He travels to a remote, unnamed, Irish woodland - to assess its suitability for a new development project. However, not all is as simple as it seems on this assignment. Intrigued by the wood’s foreboding mysticism, Eric finds himself drawn into a dangerous game, that could lead to him becoming a prisoner of this place without name.

 Without Name has won several awards and it has been nominated for many more. At the 2016 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, Without Name won: “Best Feature,” “Best Director (Lorcan Finnegan),” “Best Editor (Tony Cranstoun)” and “Best Cinematography (Piers McGrail).” The film has also been nominated for “Best Sound (Aza Hand, Patrick Drummond),” at the 2017 Irish Film and Television Awards. As well, Without Name was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize, at the Nashville Film Festival, in 2017. This title is worthy of the praise and film fans can find out why June 20th.

The film will be available in North America on major platforms, shortly. Hosting platforms include: iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Sony PSN, X-Box Live, Vudu, Vimeo on Demand, Steam, Roku, Crackle, Hoopla, Seed & Spark and Tubi TV. Cable VOD will follow at a later date. Be sure to check out the official trailer and poster and the latest clip titled “A late night walk through the woods,” right here!

Film clip -- "A late night walk through the woods:"

The film’s official trailer:

Official Facebook Page:


Sunday, June 18, 2017


I grew up with TV shows that were designed for very young children to watch, shows that taught us our ABCs and how to count to ten in addition to little life lessons and stuff.  But what we didn't have in those days were shows that were literally designed for babies (or, at most, pre-pre-schoolers), which is a niche that "Teletubbies" has been filling almost exclusively since 1997.

The show was enough to blow my adult mind in its original form, but now, with more advanced digital backgrounds, green-screen effects, and other visual enhancements, the new, improved Teletubby world is more cheerfully bizarre than ever, as seen in Sony's six-episode DVD release TELETUBBIES: BUBBLES (2017).

Teletubby Land is a peaceful place of verdant, rolling meadows, colorful flowers, and scampering bunny rabbits, where the sun is a giant baby head that observes all with a bemused laugh and four fat, fuzzy creatures with TV antennas on their heads and monitor screens in their tummies--namely, the Teletubbies--emerge from their underground "home dome" to play until the sun goes down. 

Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po, whom you can distinguish only by their color and shape of their antennae, think and speak on an almost pre-verbal level, using a few simple phrases ("Eh-oh!" means "Hello") but mainly repeating what the dulcet-voiced narrator says. 

Interestingly, the narrator gives them their cues--for example, he'll say "The Teletubbies ate some Tubby Toast" and the Teletubbies, upon hearing this, will hop around with joy and activate their giant Tubby Toast toaster.

At other times, they seem to be subjects in some strange laboratory experiment when a number of odd periscope-shaped devices emerge from the ground to observe them and issue instructions such as "It's sleepy-time" and "Wake up!"  But since there's no conflict or any individual concerns in this world, it's all just an excuse to celebrate and be happy for the eternally amenable Teletubbies. 

This results in a viewing experience that practically radiates calm and good vibes.  Plot is practically nonexistent, so what the show mainly does is to introduce toddlers to the most basic words, ideas, and images which are probably still new to them, and then to show the roly-poly characters having a little innocent and entirely harmless fun with it all.  It's like a visual tranquilizer. 

The titles of the six episodes (approx. 12 and a half minutes each) tell the whole story of each: "Bubbles", "Music Box", "Puddles", "Wake Up Time!", "Windy Day", and "Bumps!", the latter featuring a brief segment on bumper cars along with a little bumpy dancing by the Tubbies. 

When a nearby broadcast antenna is activated and its spinning wheel begins radiating multicolored stars (always an exciting part of their day), the Teletubbies writhe on the ground with pleasure until one of them receives a transmission via his tummy telly. 

This is our introduction to a short film with happy children demonstrating the episode's fun new thing (in "Puddles", we see two girls in galoshes splashing around in the rain; in "Bubbles", children are actually encased in large bubbles; the other shorts are equally self-explanatory) to which the Teletubbies invariably respond with "Again! Again!" for an abridged instant replay. 

Their subterranean home is a colorful playspace with a Tubby Custard machine that doubles as a train ride and a big smartphone that calls them with fun messages.  A new feature that still has me a bit freaked out is a miniature terrarium-like dollhouse containing tiny versions of themselves known as "Tiddly-Tubbies", which we see only when it's time for them to go to sleep. 

(I have no idea what's going on there, but it reinforces my feeling that this is all some strange experiment conducted by the mysterious periscope beings.)

Each episode ends with a cheerful goodbye and several group hugs ("The Teletubbies love each other", the narrator comfortingly assures us) before the furry brethren retire to their home dome for the evening and Big Baby-Head Sun slowly sets.  If Arnold Schwarzenegger were a Teletubby, his main catchphrase would definitely be "Big Hug." And unless you're a total cynic, the feeling should prove somewhat infectious.  

The pre-schoolers for whom TELETUBBIES: BUBBLES is intended won't care about any of that stuff, though.  I think these simple, repetitive, candy-coated little adventures will captivate them with their playful charm and tranquil, benevolent ambiance. And considering all that's going on in the world today, there's certainly no harm in a show that can make someone happy just thinking about bubbles for awhile.

Bonus Features:

·“Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” Song
·"Meet the Characters": Laa-Laa

1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital Sound
English Subtitles
Approx. 75 min./Color

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