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Friday, September 24, 2021

LAND OF THE PHARAOHS -- Movie Review by Porfle


Currently watching: LAND OF THE PHARAOHS (1955), a staggeringly epic film by Howard Hawks. 

While not Biblically inspired, this breathtaking cinematic fever dream of ancient Egypt rivals the greatest works of Cecil B. DeMille in sheer spectacle, with huge sets and the proverbial cast of thousands.

It's the sort of thing that's mostly left to CGI effects whizzes these days, and the fact that it's all real--even the magic of matte paintings and other photographic effects of the time is sparse--makes the grandeur on display throughout the film even more impressive.

The story is simple yet compelling. Jack Hawkins plays the Pharaoh as one who believes himself a living god, and the thought of his tomb being raided of his precious store of treasures after his death prompts him to hire the greatest architect available to design for him a theft-proof tomb, nestled inside the largest pyramid ever built, which will take many years and hordes of slaves to complete.

The architect is himself a slave, but he persuades Pharaoh to release his people if the theft-proof tomb is a success. Meanwhile, Joan Collins (at her most gorgeous) plays a would-be queen whose avarice rivals Pharaoh's, and she conspires to have him entombed as soon as possible so that she may claim both the throne and the treasure. 


How director Howard Hawks manages to make all this so compelling is a wonder to behold. The film is not only visually intoxicating but exceedingly literate (with William Faulkner among the screenwriters) and well acted.

Hawks stages it all to perfection, and seems to thrive on this sort of spectacle even without his trademark rapid-fire overlapping dialogue and touches of lighthearted humor.

While stately and exquisitely dry, the script also leaves Hawks plenty of room for the sort of gaudy visual and thematic indulgence which is the very stuff of the most satisfyingly over-the-top cult classics. This helps him keep things effortlessly involving for the film's entire running time, all the way up to the not-so-surprising yet still rewarding twist ending.

I'd heard about this film's cult popularity over the years--people who saw it as kids seem to have retained their fondness for it--but never suspected that I myself would find it so richly entertaining and rewatchable.

Still, it does lack a key element of DeMille's spectacles in that there's no core of religious faith, no ultimate catharsis of the spirit to send us off at the end with that soulful glow. LAND OF THE PHARAOHS does have a satisfying ending, but it's a rather hollow one.


(Thanks to William De Lay for the DVD)


"LOURDES" Stunningly Beautiful Doc Follows Pilgrims Seeking Healing At World Famous Site On DVD 9/28


Icarus Films


A film by Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai
From Distrib Films • An Icarus Films Release

On to DVD  September 28th

Lourdes: A stunningly beautiful mountainous village in the Southwest foothills of the Pyrenees went from a sleepy scenic town to a sacred wonder after 1858, when a 14-year-old peasant girl claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in a remote grotto. Today, the town is second only to Paris in the number of annual visitors (6 million), part venerated shrine, part Disneyland (shops selling bottled holy water and Virgin Mary-related tchotchkes). 



Vast processions of people seeking a miracle fuel a small army of caregivers who accompany them. These pilgrims are a surprising cross-section of humanity: accident victims, the terminally ill, an overweight and bullied teenager, a contingent of aging Paris prostitutes, et alia. LOURDES is an insightful meditation on the human capacity for empathy and hope and the mystery of religious faith in the face of profound tribulation.


A film by Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai
From Distrib Films • An Icarus Films Release
2019 • France • 92 min • Color • In French with English Subtitles SRP: $26.98 • UPC # 8-54565-00367-5


After Boffo UK Reception, Local Buffalo Filmmaker's "LAGUNA AVE." Crosses the Pond To US Premiere and Party at BIFF



Family Affair Brings Hometown Filmmaker and Hometown Venue Operator to Historic Theatre and Legendary Tralf Music Hall. “Lo-Fi Sci-Fi Horror Comedy” Film plays in-person at North Park Theater:


“Aesthetically [Laguna Ave] is impressive…recalling Lynch’s work on Eraserhead…it’s a refreshing piece of cinema that shows the potential that Buchanan and Papadeas has.” -Pip Ellwood-Hughes, Entertainment Focus

“Think of John Waters meets technology in this surreal tale of paranoia and Artificial Intelligence in Los Angeles. It’s strange, it’s funny, it’s filled with WTF moments. One for lovers of the bizarre who want their horror with a side of the darkest humour.”
-Sabina Stent, Sabina Stent

“Embrace the madness within! Laguna Ave is a demented vision of budgeted cyberpunk, paranoid frenzy and comedic surrealism. An easy highlight of this FrightFest 2021!” -Adam Symchuk, Grimoire of Horror

Buffalo, NY, September 24, 2021—LAGUNA AVE., director David Buchanan, Buffalo native producer Ali Barone and producer/writer/actor Paul Papadeas’ gender/genre-bending slacker lo-fi-sci-fi horror comedy follows one man’s mystical misadventures in and surrounding a rambling Echo Park apartment. After its’ successful screening at London’s prestigious FrightFest, LAGUNA AVE will make its U.S. premiere at the 15th annual Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF) in Buffalo, New York. The film will screen in-person at Buffalo’s historic North Park Theater on Thursday 7 Oct 09:30PM EST. A post screening party for the film takes place the next day, 8 October at 9:30PM at Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14202; phone 716-835-3500.

LAGUNA AVE. defies easy description. The film stars Russell Steinberg (ADVENTURELAND; DAY OUT OF DAYS; BELOW THE BELT (as “Johnny Fayva”)) as Russell, a middle-aged, burned-out TV editor with a prosthetic hand who futilely searches for work in Hollywood's brutal, exploitative underbelly. His former boss (Paul Papadeas) owes him money, his partner Rita (Stephanie Brait) is indifferent, always out of town and inaccessible, and his new downstairs neighbor Gary (Jamie Hall/James Markham Hall Jr. (NEIGHBORS)) keeps him awake at night with mysterious, disturbing noises. But everything changes one evening when Gary pays Russell a visit and introduces him to his sinister world of renegade accelerationism and a collection of outrageous, unstable but captivating fellow travelers and co-conspirators.

Russell Steinberg and James Markham Hall Jr. in LAGUNA AVE

"A film found on a trash heap after the apocalypse. That was Paul’s pitch when he sent me the script for Laguna Ave.,” Buchanan recalls. “I loved its many contradictions: cheap but ambitious, sleazy yet intellectual, funny and dark. It perfectly captures the trashy times we’re living in." The two former bandmates and Barone bootstrapped the production, drafted friends to help out, and let everyone add their own individual brand of insanity to the mix. “The production took on a life of its own, like some a self-propelled, malfunctioning cyborg bent on self-destruction."

Director DAVID BUCHANAN started making films in his local woods aged 14, and to this day is still driven by that same DIY thrill: of having a fun idea, getting a team together, and making it all happen with a budget of £20. Writer/Producer PAUL PAPADEAS has produced four features including AN INNOCENT KISS with Burt Reynolds in 2019, which premiered at the Vancouver’s Just for Laughs Film Festival and is repped by Shoreline Entertainment. Producer/production Designer ALISON BARONE, the founder and CEO of Polytime Atelier, has been a behind the scenes production director for fashion brands such as Rodarte, Libertine, Jeremy Scott and Marchesa. Ali's experience has allowed her to translate those skills into film production. LAGUNA AVE. is her first feature film.

Stephanie Brait in LAGUNA AVE

For the last 15 years, The Buffalo International Film Festival has been championing “regional, national, and international films that push the limits of independent cinema.” Established in 2006, BIFF helps support local artists and filmmakers through its workshops, seminars, fiscal sponsorships and internships. BIFF proudly celebrates the diversity of their community of Buffalo, NY, as well as amplifying the voices of filmmakers in underrepresented communities. This year, BIFF will host over 120 films from 24 countries bringing together a diverse cast of innovative storytellers and films. LAGUNA AVE. will make its U.S. premiere in the BIFF Narrative Features section of the festival.

The BIFF Screening represents a homecoming of sorts for its producer Ali Barone, who was raised in Buffalo and whose father, Tom Barone, has operated the Tralf for the past 15 years. Barone recently saved the theatre from development. The Tralf, as music and sci-fi cognoscenti know, is short for Trafalmadore, the fictional planet that has figured prominently in the writings of Kurt Vonnegut. Lo-fi sci fi and highbrow sci-fi: too close for coincidence?

"Laguna Ave. is very much a story for the present moment, dealing with artificial intelligence, post-truth paranoia, the way that technology separates us from our own bodies,” concludes Buchanan. “But it also grapples with more timeless themes such as drink, drugs, poo and dildos, so basically there’s something in there for everyone. It’s a unique film that could only have been made by this group of people, at this point in history. After the positive reception the film received in the UK, we’re looking forward to seeing how American audiences receive the film. We’re ecstatic to be at BIFF.”

House Angus Productions, LLC and Succulent Films Present: LAGUNA AVE
Genre: Comedy/Sci-Fi/Horror; Running Time: 80 minutes;
Rating: NR; Language: English
Director: David Buchanan
Writer: Paul Papadeas
Producers: Ali Barone, Paul Papadeas
Co-producer: Gordon Gee
Director of Photography: David Speck
Principal Cast:
Russell Steinberg, Jamie Hall, Stephanie Brait, Sheridan Ward, Dan Crane, Zachary Taylor, Felixe de Becker, Jane Reardon, Jeff Hilliard, Paul Papadeas, Carlos Marentes.

Web and Social


Thursday, September 23, 2021

Joe Bob Saves The Planet -- Elvis' Environmental Footprint?


Due to the efforts of pioneering environmentalist Elvis Presley, 100 percent of the objects, flooring, ceiling and walls of the Jungle Room at Graceland are recyclable

NEW YORK—People ask me all the time, “How do you do it, Joe Bob? How did you achieve that negative-27,000 environmental footprint?”

Easy. I recycle everything. I once recycled a One-Oh-Eight Freightliner dump truck with a flat-leaf spring suspension and a stand-up right-hand drive that I inherited from Chubb Fricke when he went to jail for getting drunk in San Diego and stealing a penguin from SeaWorld.

But for day-to-day recycling, I’m gonna give you the foolproof Joe Bob Briggs Guide to Loving the Earth. If you follow these 21 easy steps, you won’t just be loving the earth, you’ll be having kinky sex with the earth. Other planets will be asking you for your phone number.

First off, you’re gonna need two dozen 55-gallon whiskey barrels, the kind used for Wild Turkey, then reused for Macallan single malt, then frequently used to dispose of dead bodies.




We’re gonna arrange our whiskey barrels into four groups—plastic, paper, metal and glass—and then we’re gonna put a single slime bucket next to each group. The slime bucket is for stuff you can’t categorize, like egg cartons.

What the fuck do they make egg cartons out of? Somebody please tell me. It’s not paper, it’s not cardboard, it’s not plastic, it’s some kind of spongy white Frankenbucket substance that’s cranked out through a 3D printer fed with squirrel manure.

And yet, I will recycle it. Do not challenge me. I have recycled machine-gun-toting members of the Medellin cartel.

Okay, let’s start with plastic. You’re gonna take seven barrels and label them as follows:

Styrofoam Coffee Cups: We use 24 trillion of these a year, and everyone believes they can’t be recycled. We’re gonna recycle these mothers anyway. We’re gonna smush em down into that barrel, tens of thousands of Styrofoam coffee cups in a single barrel, until that foam polystyrene becomes rigid polystyrene. They’re going right in with the plastic razors, CD cases, license plate frames, and Uber Eats utensils. America uses 2.5 million plastic bottles per hour, and I’m determined to increase that pace by proving that every Poland Spring container can become yet another Poland Spring container if we just shovel this stuff back into the Plastic Mash-up Factory.

Okay, let’s move on.

High-Density Polystyrene: This is your Lysol bottle, your Oreo tray, and your Tide dispenser. And we’re gonna make lawn chairs out of em.

Polyvinyl Chloride: This is all that stuff you thought was leather when you bought it but turned out to be made out of kitchen linoleum. We’re gonna use it to make traffic cones for use in midwestern cities that maxed out their budget subsidizing the B-B gun factory.

Polypropylene: Tic Tac boxes, Tupperware, prescription drug containers, beer coolers, and those little trash cans that you kick across the room in motels. This is stuff that is made to last. But it won’t. We’ll mash that molded deck chair into oatmeal residue.

Polyethylene: This is virtually everything plastic that you use in your daily life, from Head and Shoulders bottles to all those quilts they sell at Family Dollar—those things are 110 percent petrochemical-based, which is why we have heat-stroke victims in January. Here’s the part you’re gonna love, though. We’re gonna compact all that stuff and feed it to the Greater Wax Moth, an ugly little monster that normally feeds on beehives. The Chinese have determined that these creatures can live on polyethylene, and that means that it’s only a matter of time before Michael Bay makes the movie about China using its overwhelming polyethylene stockpile to breed monster Wax Moths that attack en masse and eat their way through redneck packing plants all over the South.

Okay, what else we got here?




▪     9/24-9/26 Monster-Mania, Hunt Valley, MD. Tickets
▪     10/9 How Rednecks Saved Hollywood, Columbus, OH. Tickets
▪     10/22-10/24 Monster-Mania, Oaks, PA. Tickets
▪     10/30 Scarefaire, Victorville, CA. Tickets
▪     11/19-11/21 Preserve Halloween Festival, Irving, TX. Tickets

©2021 Joe Bob Briggs | NY, NY 


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

“Elysia: The World in Children’s Dreams,” Making the Dream Alive on Screen — TV Show or Film


“Elysia: The World in Children’s Dreams,” Making the Dream Alive on Screen — TV Show or Film 


London, UK, September 23, 2021 – It’s time to wake up in the fabulous world of Elysia. With now fully completed film treatment and screenplay, Malcolm Chester’s “Elysia: The World in Children’s Dreams” is now eyeing to become the next great series or film adaptation.

After his publishing success on both the first book and sequel, Chester endorses his beloved story to be produced and turned into a movie. It’s a magnificent tale filled with a whimsical charm that has the potential to become a box office success.

A coming-of-age story in a fantasy setting about a young girl and boy whose nightly adventures in a dreamland teach them compassion, bravery, and love. Waking up in a strange and surreal place, Courtney finds herself in a dreamland. Welcome to the world of Elysia, a place of wonder and magic, light and beauty, purity and evil—an endless imagination of adventures and friendship.

The book begins with young Courtney, unsettled by the lights and sound of a police car, covering her ears as she lies down in bed. As she closed her eyes and fell asleep, she finds herself waking in a front of an iron gate with a sign reading ELYSIA.

Where… Where am I? Is this a dream or…

Inside the gate, greets a fantasy Funland with iridescent colors, candy mounds, fantastic creatures, and different amusement rides that every kid would enjoy. Each time Courtney falls asleep, she is transported into the dreamland. There, she meets new odd friends and encounters frustrating series of events.

In the real world, Courtney has troubles at home and only longs to come back to Elysia. She also fears puberty and hates to confront the thought of becoming a fully grown woman. As the story unfolds, the fine line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred. Although rich in fun and magic, Elysia is in grave danger as the Crystal of Light has been stolen. Apparently, the walls of Elysia are becoming weaker as days passed, and a journey to retrieve the crystal must be done in haste. The journey to the Maelstrom begins.

It’s a perilous quest that no one even dared to tread and most adventurers have failed to come back ever. Along their voyage, the Light Swords have to defeat a huge black snake, a pack of wolves, the Dark King’s soldiers, and a speaking dragon. Together with her newly formed friends, Courtney must complete the quest to return the magic crystal from the evil king and restore balance to the land.

“Chester keeps the vocabulary and subject tightly geared toward those things that interest and confuse children as they begin to grow up. At the same time, he provides children with a message of empowerment no matter what difficulties they may be facing in the sometimes all-too-real world of adults.”

--US Review of Books

Readers around the world love the wonderland Elysia, a convincing world of imagination that speaks of terror and tenderness, innocence and chaos in life. Book reviewers praise the author for depicting a fantasy novel that is not only fit for kids but also offers a timeless lesson for adults alike. It’s a beloved book that stirs your imagination with poignant words, keeping you in slumber into the dreamland, Elysia.

Away in the real world, reading Chester’s Elysia brings you into a dreamy land of childlike wonder. As interesting and imaginative in the text, creating a film about the world of Elysia will dazzle young ones and educate them with lifelong lessons. 

Lovely and enjoyable, author Malcolm Chester charms his reader into weaving an extraordinary world while introducing fantastic and charming characters. And also, these tales are about many things, like growing in different phases is also talk about: learning to feel, getting in love, and becoming an adult. Indeed, it’s a brilliant story that has a making of a great film, plunging the viewer into the extraordinary hidden beyond the ordinary.


Get a copy of the book, Elysia: The World in Children’s Dream from:


- - -

AEGA Design Publishing Ltd

Elysia: The World in Children’s Dreams

US Review of Books


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Hulu Original "MARVEL'S HIT MONKEY" Premieres 11/17/21 With All 10 Episodes -- Watch Teaser HERE!




Hulu Original "Marvel's Hit-Monkey" premieres on November 17th, 2021 with all ten episodes


SYNOPSIS: After a Japanese snow monkey’s tribe is slaughtered, he joins forces with the ghost of an American assassin and together, they begin killing their way through the Yakuza underworld.

CAST: George Takei, Jason Sudeikis, Olivia Munn, Ally Maki, Nobi Nakanishi and Fred Tatasciore.

CREDITS: Co-created and executive produced by Josh Gordon & Will Speck. Executive produced by Joe Quesada. 




Shinji (voiced by George Takei)

A lifelong public servant who has been the man behind the political career of Ken Takahara, his friend and political mentor. But when tragedy strikes, it falls to Shinji to pick up the baton and carry their political dreams forward. A good and honest man who raised his niece Akiko all by himself after the death of her parents. Shinji is the kind of politician everyone wishes they could have.

Bryce (voiced by Jason Sudeikis)

A world-weary Assassin who’s made some unbelievably poor life choices. He drowns his sorrows in work, travel, and gambling but when it comes to doing hits, there’s no one better. After he’s killed in the Japanese Alps, the ghost of Bryce and Monkey are tied together on a revenge quest. A terrible mentor with a sarcastic, cynical view of the world, Bryce must ultimately dig deep within himself in order to complete his final mission and help Monkey become who he was meant to be.

Akiko (voiced by Olivia Munn)

Smart, ambitious and powerful, Akiko is the niece of Shinji Yokohama the future Prime Minister of Japan. Having spent time in the west for College and Law School, she has returned with strong opinions about the future of her Uncle’s campaign. Her inherently good nature however masks a darker side, one that will emerge as the season progresses.

Haruka (voiced by Ally Maki)

An honest cop from a small town in the north, Haruka comes to Tokyo with dreams of reforming a corrupt city. But can she hold on to her values in the face of so much vice? Her new partner Ito will test her sense of right and wrong and ultimately prove to be the mentor she has always looked for. But when it falls to her to complete their case, will she have what it takes to become the cop she has always felt she could be?
Ito (voiced by Nobi Nakanishi)

The laughing stock of the Tokyo Police Department, and struggling with a drinking problem, Ito is the only one in Tokyo who suspects that Hit Monkey may actually be one of the good guys. But no one, not even his new partner Haruka believes him. He will have to dig deep into his past, and face his demons in order to finally restore his honor.

Monkey (voiced by Fred Tatasciore)

Monkey’s peaceful existence in the Japanese alps is shattered by the tragic loss of his tribe—setting him on a course of revenge and violence in the very world of humans that are responsible for his plight. He’s a killer of killers with a bit of a rage problem. Throughout the series, he must learn to navigate the struggle between his inherently sweet nature and the evil acts he must commit. It’s through his complicated friendship with the Ghost of Bryce (a former assassin and now, Monkey’s unwanted conscience), that will determine whether Monkey will be consumed by his rage or channel it for good. This is the story of Hit Monkey. 



IG | FB: @OfficialHitMonkey
TW: @HitMonkey


Monday, September 20, 2021

Freestyle Digital Media Acquires Horror-Thriller "THE INVISIBLE MOTHER" for October VOD Release -- Watch Trailer HERE!



Psychedelic Horror/Thriller Feature Sets Digital Debut on North American VOD Platforms October 12th

Los Angeles, CA – September 20, 2021 – Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios, has acquired North American VOD rights to the psychedelic horror-thriller feature film, THE INVISIBLE MOTHER. THE INVISIBLE MOTHER will be available to rent and own on North American digital HD internet, cable, and satellite platforms on October 12, 2021 through Freestyle Digital Media.

THE INVISIBLE MOTHER tells the story of a lesbian stoner, Marcy, and her grandparents, being tormented by the psychedelic spirits of an old photo album. Marcy returns to her grandparents’ home to find a hell of surreal ghosts and psychedelic visions, and Marcy must un-blur the lines of reality to save her family.




In this color-saturated psychedelic thriller, Marcy, having initially dismissed these visions as part of her grandmother’s dementia, quickly succumbs to horrors of her own, plagued by the warping reality and psychosexual ghosts seeping into her home.

But when a deadly entity from a Victorian photograph steals her grandfather in the night, Marcy has no choice but to team up with her eccentric southern belle neighbor, her ice-cream-truck-driving weed dealer, her ailing grandmother, and an enigmatic phone psychic to confront the dark phantasm before everyone she knows is snatched to the deadly bosom of THE INVISIBLE MOTHER.

Written and directed by Jacob Gillman & Matthew Diebler, THE INVISIBLE MOTHER was produced by Matthew Diebler, Zack Imbrogno, Ned Christensen, Dylan Sherman, and Andie Donelly.



The ensemble cast of THE INVISIBLE MOTHER features Fayelyn Bilodeau (‘Marcy’), Debra Wilson (‘Glorianna’), Kiersten Warren (‘Coco’), Richard Rhiele (‘Archie’), Helen Slayton-Hughes (‘Mona’), and Kale Clauson (‘Wyatt’).

Filming an independent movie is kind of traumagic, like child birth in a taxi. Releasing a movie is like sending that child to college, only its professors are John Waters, David Lynch, an anthropomorphic ouija board, and old tales from the darkside episodes,” said filmmakers Jacob Gillman & Matthew Diebler. “Making THE INVISIBLE MOTHER has been an artistic labor of love that we've bled our hearts and souls into. We're thrilled to finally be unleashing our twisted and beautiful baby into the world"

Freestyle Digital Media negotiated the deal to acquire THE INVISIBLE MOTHER directly with filmmakers Jacob Gillman & Matthew Diebler.



About Freestyle Digital Media

The digital distribution unit of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios, Freestyle Digital Media, is a premiere multi-platform distributor with direct partnerships across all major cable, digital and streaming platforms. Capitalizing on a robust infrastructure, proven track record and a veteran sales team, Freestyle Digital Media is a true home for independent films. Recent releases include THE WEDDING YEAR starring Sarah Hyland and Anna Camp, THE LAST PHOTOGRAPH starring Danny Houston, BERSERK starring Nick Cannon, UNTOGETHER starring Jamie Doran, Jemima Kirke, Ben Mendelsohn, Alice Eve and Billy Crystal. Other Freestyle titles include the action-comedy BETTER START RUNNING starring Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons and Maria Bello, THE BACHELORS starring Academy Award-winner J.K. Simmons, Julie Delpy and Odeya Rush, the award-winning documentary HONDROS produced by Jamie Lee Curtis and Jake Gyllenhaal, horror documentary DEMON HOUSE starring Zak Bagans, host of Travel Channel’s highest rated show Ghost Adventures, sci-fi thriller THE RECALL starring Wesley Snipes, MILES starring Molly Shannon and Paul Reiser, the animated feature HELL & BACK starring Nick Swardson, Mila Kunis and Bob Odenkirk, and THE GIRL IN THE BOOK with Emily VanCamp and Michael Nyqvist.