Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Overlooked Crowd-Funding: Boxhead

"Sometimes Nightmares Breath."

I'm very excited for this to happen, and I'm confident that it will. Right now, the Kickstarter campaign for Boxhead is less than $5000 away from reaching its minimum goal to be funded, and with 21 days left, which is plenty of time to get there. But the time frame is just one of the reasons I believe that this film will come to life. I also think the dark, intricate style is one that can easily appeal to a lot of people and that those people will get behind Boxhead.

The main character of this animated horror film is shown above. His name is Al. He used to be a writer but has withered away into an alcoholic hermit, drinking the rest of his days away. He has no reason to think that he's being watched from the shadows by something... inhuman. Al's monotonous days are interrupted when a piece of one of his incomplete mysteries falls into his life. He tasks himself with solving his own mystery.

This animated feature length film is the evolution of an earlier, live action version that was 28 minutes long. "Boxhead was not done with me," says the very intense Los Angeles based artist whose mind birthed this mysterious creature. To really do this project justice, it's best to hear it described by the man himself; the artist, creator, director, and voice of Boxhead in the live action short, Randall Kaplan. 

As taken as I am by Boxhead, I do have a couple of issues with the campaign. Mainly, I don't like the fact that a hard copy of the completed film is not among the rewards. The only way you'll be able to get your hands on this feature is by streaming it. Of course, this can always be changed later on. And by keeping the rewards pretty brief, the campaign was probably able to set a lower minimum. The focus is aimed at just getting this monster fleshed out. So, here are the highlights from the rewards list for now:

  • $25 will get you a link to watch the completed film, a Boxhead tarot card, and an exclusive desktop image. I already mentioned my materialistic problem, but I'd rather see this film done than not.
Under $100:
  • $50 gets you a limited 11x14 signed print, and everything that you'd get with a $25 pledge. And $25 for a signed print is not bad, especially with art as cool as in this campaign. 
Unfortunately, that's all for the under 100 bucks categories. There are some really cool things you can get for supporting but they get pricey kinda quick. 

Breaking the Piggy Bank:
  • $500 can get you a page of the actual story board, a link to the completed film, a special thanks in the credits, the desktop image, and either the signed 11x14 print or the set for 4 Boxhead tarot cards. It's pricey, but you'll get to own a genuine piece of this film and help it get made in the process. 
There are a couple of other things to choose from, but you can check them out at the campaign page. You'll also find about three minutes of the film, to give you an idea if what it will look like. And there were not many things to choose from but here's my pick for 
Interesting but Unrealistic:
  • $5000 gets you one of just about everything; a link to the movie, a set of 4 tarot cards, a signed 11x14 print, thanks in the credits, the desktop image, as well as an original custom oil painting. Someone has already claimed one of these originals, so "unrealistic" may not be the appropriate word for everyone. And again, this goes towards making this beautiful film a reality. Just one of these would actually push the campaign right to where it needs to be...
My fingers are crossed that this film will get made and distributed in the future, which is why I wanted you guys to know about it. This needs to happen!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Bluray Tuesday!

March 31st 2015

Bluray Tuesday is back! This week is very light No Horror Bluray's released this week at all. Next Month Many Horror titles will be released both new and older titles remastered for our great 1080p quality televisions. Intersteller a Sci Fi hit from last year is the main release this week that will have many retail exclusives.

Interstellar: Amazon - $19.99

An exploration of physicist Kip Thorne's theories of gravity fields, wormholes and several hypotheses that Albert Einstein was never able to prove. In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael Caine), a brilliant NASA physicist, is working on plans to save mankind by transporting Earth's population to a new home via a wormhole. But first, Brand must send former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and a team of researchers through the wormhole and across the galaxy to find out which of three planets could be mankind's new home.
I am looking forward to checking this out I have heard mixed reviews on this one but these kind of films do interest me. The Target Exclusive Steelbook will be mine tomorrow for sure.

Standard Version
Interstellar (Blu-ray) 

Target Steelbook

Interstellar (Blu-ray) 

Best Buy Bonus Content

Interstellar (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

Walmart Neo Pack

Interstellar (Blu-ray)

Imatation Game: Amazon - $19.95

In 1939, newly created British intelligence agency MI6 recruits Cambridge mathematics alumnus Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to crack Nazi codes, including Enigma -- which cryptanalysts had thought unbreakable. Turing's team, including Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), analyze Enigma messages while he builds a machine to decipher them. Turing and team finally succeed and become heroes, but in 1952, the quiet genius encounters disgrace when authorities reveal he is gay and send him to prison.

The Imitation Game (Blu-ray) 

-The Impostor

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Look Back on The Walking Dead Episode "Spend" aka When Jennifer Lynch Killed Noah

Two weeks ago an episode of the Walking Dead ("Spend") was emotional, gory, and just all around good TVcinema. It was also a glimpse of what zombie horror used to be; gory social commentary. I'm not going to pretend that all zombie horror was as poignant as the Dead Trilogy or gory like Fulci but fewer and fewer zombie films reflect these ideas or sentiment. The Walking Dead has also reached a point where things have changed in a narrative sense. Normally this show operates on surprising a mainstream audience with the horrors of a zombie apocalypse, but since Rick and his gang reached Alexandria the show has switched from surprise to suspense and it's gotten really exciting.
The problem with surprise is that we experience what the characters are experiencing, which means it's only effective for a brief moment and often applied to cliff hangers. In the Walking Dead's case every group of people they've encountered so far has had a surprise waiting for them (Like: cannibalism, a tyrant ruler, or a building full of zombies they believe can be saved). This season however they've come across good honest people, who have been removed from the zombie hordes. The dilemma this time comes in the form of our beloved heroes. We've spent 4 seasons watching these people slowly lose their humanity and now we actually get to stand them up next to "normal" people and see how far they've actually fallen. A good example is Carol. Carol was beaten by her late husband and it made an impact on her emotionally. So what will happen when she learns another woman in town is going through the same thing? We already know she's willing to kill people for the good of the group; she burned a sick couple that were her friends, surly she will kill a stranger... Right? That is suspense in the works.
Now I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't bring up the fact that the direction of this episode brilliantly assisted the suspense. Framing a shot is so important, whether you notice it or not, it effects the way you feel. So below I've posted some of the stills from episode "Spend", these were all pulled from the awesome We Geek Girls.

Relationships are portrayed by where people sit, who they face, and who separates them.
Think about the characters goals and then consider what this image is saying.

Another example of visual narrative using character placement. This time Maggie standing behind the banisters gives the image of imprisonment, as the rails become her bars.

~The pictures below depict a major spoiler and major gore~

This probably the most memorable scene from the episode. Or the hardest to forget for some people.

Thank you Greg Nicotero (Master of special effects and true horror nerd)

This is easily the coolest kill on the whole show so far but what really made this scene feel real was the performances given by Steven Yeun and Tyler James Williams. Not my favorite actors ever, or even on the show but the director sure got the best performances from them.
So who is this director? And why aren't I giving them credit? Those were the questions I directed at the internet 2 weeks ago. When "Spend" started the first thing I noticed was the name Jennifer Lynch.

This photo is titled "Grateful" from Jennifer Lynch's Twitter

Now I realize most people couldn't careless about who directed what (if you're reading this I'm guessing you might) but this episode had an interesting contributor.
Yes, Jennifer Lynch is the daughter of Art-house horror legend David Lynch. Honestly, up until last weeks episode this was about all I knew about her. Oh, and that she directed "Surveillance", which I've yet to see... Anyway my point is that maybe we owe it to ourselves to look into her work, since bringing us a truly awesome episode of the Walking Dead has turned out to be a very hard task and she may be the first to get this very polarized crowd behind a single episode.

"A surgeon becomes obsessed with the seductive woman he once had an affair with. Refusing to accept that she has moved on, he amputates her limbs and holds her captive in his mansion."

Boxing Helena is listed as Jennifer Lynch's directorial debut. With the description on IMDB and the picture I found via a Google search, I can now say I need to see this film. This one image has so much of what I love about film in it that I know I'll be buying the a copy within the week. I mean given what the brief synopsis says about this film, it already paints a picture of misguided love and obsession. A rich man who has everything and feels entitled to everything, I could go on and on already... So I think it's safe to say I'll start here with Jennifer's career.

- Lord Battle

Saturday, March 28, 2015

It Follows: Slasher Homage or Uneventful Art?

8 of 8 viewers "Liked" "It Follows" (2014, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Math Mage -  "The slasher is an STD and to add dramatic tension, is also a hot potato." - 3 Stars

Lord Battle - "Serine, surreal, suspenseful, the suburbs... It Follows is a movie with layers, you just need to look below the surface (maybe that's what the swimming pool theme was getting at). Fans of John Carpenters masterpiece, Halloween will feel right at home in this film. The removed-from-time 70's era that never was, still manages to echo Haddonfield despite the modern touches and being located in Detroit. Even the amazing modern soundtrack feels like a parallel universe John Carpenter wrote it." - 5 Stars

B4DK - "Original. Very intense at times and guaranteed to have your heart pounding. The musical score could not have been better. Cinematography was definitely on point. Creepy." - 4 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "Tension and tone are the name of the game here, but perhaps the most impressive thing about It Follows is the insular modern 70's era world that has been crafted. As this nameless and ultimately mysterious entity stalks the ever growing pool of infected, we too are hemmed in by this place of beer-bottle ridden suburban negligence. Children of the eighties will understand the groovy soundtrack, and some philistines simply won't get it. A fresh mixture of Under the Skin and the celebrated graphic novel Black Hole, It Follows is worth chasing." - 4 Stars

Book Wyrm - "I really enjoyed this film. I take things at face value so I didn't read into it like the other citizens but I genuinely liked the film. It was gorgeous, the soundtrack was awesome (if you like Fez check it out), and the story was great. I thought the concept was terrifying and it was so suspenseful. There were so many cool moments, I would totally watch it again. I like the aesthetic of it all!" - 5 Stars

Huntress - "There's a lot going on in this movie, even with the seemingly slow pace. By not to including some of the more "action" scenes, the film was able to focus on mood and atmosphere. The soundtrack seemed like it was almost too upbeat at points but it never felt out of place." - 5 Stars

KillDozer - "Going into a film hoping you haven't set the bar too high and then having it surpass your expectations is a rare and amazing thing. Visually striking, the cinematography alone was worth the price of admission. Extremely thought provoking while still delivering solid chills, this film is one to remember. I eagerly await the follow up from this writer director." - 5 Stars (Collection Worthy)

The Impostor - "Unique psychologival horror, It Follows uses creepiness as it's scare factor. It Follows also has the best soundtrack in a horror film I've heard in a long time. I really enjoyed the suspense the music brought to the film as well as the sceanery of the city that seemed empty or abandoned at times. I highly recommend this film, I enjoyed it from begging to end." - 5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

What is "It"? Why does it choose to look like certain people at certain times? Why are they watching only old films? If this is a period piece why is there a compact computer? Where are the adults?
There is no end to the awesome questions this film stirs up and if you have one you'd like to discus. please leave a comment. Math Mage has never handed me a review that covered an entire page so of course I'm giving him the spotlight. Also we kinda argued (loudly) in the Kabuki Theatre after it screened and I feel it be weak of me to post a retort right after I had read and posted what he thought (I don't want an unfair last word). Math Mage really broke this movie down well and was honest about how he felt but there are so many layers to this film that I'd love to talk about...
- Lord Battle

The slasher is a strange creature, they move very slowly when you can see them, yet it's always hard to run away. They catch up unexpectedly when they're off camera, no one else seems to see them, no one can really help you (if anyone does try, they'll die maybe buying you some time) and nothing you can do can hurt them. Slashers usually have little or no reason for hurting you, but are often associated with teens having sex (maybe they hate {pre-marital} sex). This film takes all of those tropes and fuses them into a logical arrangement, I'm having trouble finding words to describe "It" that don't limit it, the characters in the film are very vague about referring to it. The titular "It" is invisible to anyone it isn't targeting, moves at a brisk walk towards the target constantly*, is invulnerable** and has the touch of death. It also appears as a variety of people, almost always in pajamas, or otherwise ready for bed/sex and its target can change to someone else by having (unprotected?) sex with that person. So the slasher is an STD and to add dramatic tension, it's also a hot potato, because if the new target dies "It" starts hunting the previous one. (These spoilers aren't too bad since these properties are spelled out in the first 20 minutes, the bulk of the film is the protagonist trying to deal with "It" mostly by brooding amid beautiful scenery.) But this isn't a simple metaphor; the characters eventually come to terms with the fact the "It" will eventually kill them, so they just need to live with that; in the same way that people with terminal (sexually transmitted) diseases do. The supporting cast also deals with fatal disease metaphors; they can't help or even understand, and even if they share the disease they are limited to providing moral support. For a film about sex, the sex we see is not very sexy. The BGM cuts out during the sex scenes and no one seems to be enjoying it. Subtle acting and great direction help explore themes of absent parents (who paradoxically manage to overprotect their children forcing them to discover the real world on their own). For all the praise I've heaped on "It Follows" I found the film boring. The conclusion seemed everyone from the introduction of "It" and I couldn't maintain suspense. Unlike a regular slasher who can kill the supporting cast in an unpredictable order, "It" is dedicated to a specific target and will only initiate attacks against that target so I knew the protagonist would escape somehow despite her peril at the 40 minute mark.

* "It" may deviate from this path, avoid, or bypass barriers, but may never move away from the target.
** Not completely, since if "It" is truly invincible, "It" wouldn't bother defending itself.
Unfortunate parallels: "The Horribly Slow Murderer With an Extremely Inefficient Weapon" (2009, USA)

- Math Mage

 The Kabuki Theater had a runner up for the "It Follows" review movie poster.

Here's a better look. Amazing right?

Thanks to "The Film Stage" blog for sharing the poster above, it's amazing!
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Overlooked Crowd Funding: Gehenna - Where Death Lives

Here's another cool project that needs your love: Gehenna - Where Death Lives. It was co-written, directed, and produced by Hiroshi Katagiri, who has earned his fame by being an amazing and prolific creature creator and special effects artist. Although he's directed several shorts, this will be Katagiri's first time directing a feature length film. It will of course showcase his specialty and have the scariest practical effects that his and his collective team's mind can come up with. 

The film is about a group of location scouts and the guides they hire, looking for a location to build a new resort. While walking around the grounds, they find a cave and head in to check it out. There they find a man, but more accurately a fleshy disfigured skeleton (the one in the movie poster), who hobbles a touch too close to the hired guide and gets shoved away, into the wall of the cave. Instead of killing the creature, this causes an explosion and downpour of rubble debris. The exit is blocked and chaos (or something else) causes the explorers to black out. They later awaken and find themselves trapped. They must wander the forgotten tunnels to find the route to their freedom, ignorant to the fact that dark secrets from their past are trapped inside with them, and they're tired of staying hidden.

Now, I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed when I started reading up on this movie. The plot, although good for jump scares and bad CG ghostly figures, has been done more than a couple of times and not always done well. Usually not. The poster grabbed me, but nothing else really did. But I continued reading and recognized a couple of the other films that various parts of this team have worked on. Then I recognized a name: Tim Gore, who I'd met at Son of Monsterpalooza.

I was coming around, but the video sealed it for me. Hearing director Hiroshi Katagiri speaking about his love and appreciation of horror, not just jump scares, got me excited. He also mentioned that the effects in this project would all be practical. It seemed obvious after hearing it; he started out in special effects and worked for names like Steven Spielberg, why wouldn't he put his passion to work to make the best film he possible could? He also said that part of the money raised would go towards building the movie set. That meant it would be the perfect set for the movie, because it would be tailored to it. The part that really got me into this idea was when Hiroshi Katagiri spoke about making a great horror movie. Something about his conviction and pride told me that he knew what he was doing, he thought about various aspects in detail, and most importantly that he loved what he was doing. I honestly feel that he would not allow a bad movie come from his brain. On top of all those reasons, he must really believe in this project because this is the second time he's attempting a Kickstarter campaign for it.

The rewards for contributing to this campaign are somewhat standard at the lower price ranges, but that is not to mean that they won't look great. Here are a couple of noteworthy ones I picked out:

  • $15 gets you a download of the completed movie, a scary screen saver, and a thank you on the movie site. That's about the price of a movie ticket, so I'd say it's worth it.
  • $20 will get you early access to the downloadable versions of everything having to do with the project: the film, soundtrack, script, extra art, and scary screen saver. This is limited to 200 supporters, and there are currently 74 left.
Under $100
  • $40 is the price for a Deluxe DVD, which comes with audio commentary and other special features. This also comes with the soundtrack, script, screen saver, and extra art as downloads. 
  • $100 gets you the Deluxe DVD and a crew shirt, movie poster, and thanks in the credits. There are versions of this that come with either a shirt or poster, but for the indecisive among us, this is perfect. These are limited to 80 but only 12 have been claimed so far.
Now the prices increase kind of drastically, but so does the quality of reward.
Break the Piggy Bank
  • $265 gets you everything in the $100 pack but you also get to meet and talk with the director about film and special effects. You'll also get a tour of Spectral Motion workshop. A very cool opportunity for anyone heading down the effects path. This is also much cheaper than rewards involving meeting someone generally goes for. 
  • $355 can get you one of two packages. Both contain everything in the $100 reward but also come with 2 tickets to a premier of the completed film. You get a choice between the screening in Los Angeles or Japan. 
There are a lot of other rewards to pick from, but they were a little too similar and I felt like I'd be repeating myself. Check them all out at the Kickstarter page. Here's my pick for

Interesting but Unrealistic 
  • $7500 can get you the only full sized dummy of the creepy guy on the floor of the cave. There is only one of these and it's still up for grabs! Add another thousand to get the "creepy puppet body" that will be worn in the film itself. This is also limited to one. The one and only. 
Spread the word so that this loved movie can finally be funded! I have high hopes for it and I have a feeling that this won't be the last we hear about it even if the campaign fails.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Bluray Tuesday!

March 24th 2015

Happy Bluray Tuesday! This week's major release is The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies various retailers will have exclusives for these this week Best Buy Steelbook. Target will have their exclusive with lego figurines. Out This week as well is Adam Green's new film Digging Up The Marrow. I loved every bit of this movie and will watch as soon as my signed copy arrives. I understand the film is cheaper through retail and amazon around under $15 but ordering through ArieScopes website you will get your Bluray or DVD Signed by Adam personally and money spent some goes toward his company and fund for Holliston Season 3 which most of us here would love to see get made in the near future. I highly recomend this film and is worth the blind buy. What will you pick up this week?

Digging Up The Marrow - Amazon - $12.99
ArieScope Shop - $25 Signed copy by Adam Green

A documentary exploring genre based monster art takes an odd turn when the filmmakers are contacted by a man who claims he can prove that monsters are indeed real.
This is a Adam Green fan's must have to own on Bluray. some of the residents of the Overlook took a field trip to see this on the first stop of Adam Green and Alex Paradee's Touring Through The Marrow Tour here in the San Francisco bay area. This was a great experience to meet them as well as see this awesome film! I look forward to re-watching this again soon along with all the bonus features.

Digging Up the Marrow (Blu-ray)

The Beyond - Amazon - $24.99

From legendary Italian horror master Lucio Fulci come the ultimate classic of supernatural horror. A remote and cursed hotel, built over one of the seven gateways, becomes a yawning malevolent abyss that begins devouring both the bodies and the souls of all who enter in a graphic frenzy of gory crucifictions, chunkblowing chain-whippings, eyeball impalements, sulphuric acid meltdowns, flesh-eating tarantulas, throat-shredding demon dogs and ravenous bloodthirsty zombies. The Beyond is a towering achievement in hair-raising, mind-bending cinematic terror!

The Beyond (Blu-ray) 

 The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies: Amazon - 24.99

Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the Lonely Mountain from falling into the hands of a rising darkness. The Company of Thorin has reached Smaug's lair; but, can Bilbo and the Dwarves reclaim Erebor and the treasure? And, if so, can they hold on to it?
I preordered the Best Buy Steelbook for this release and look forward to finishing this trilogy i loved the 1st two and have high hopes it all ends well.

Standard Combo Pack
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Blu-ray) 

Target Exclusive
The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies (Blu-ray) 

Best Buy Steelbook
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

-The Impostor

Thursday, March 19, 2015

It Follows - In Theaters Earlier Than Expected

Somehow, even though we've been waiting for this movie, It Follows managed to sneak up on us and come to theaters a week earlier than previously anticipated. The Impostor reported excitedly this morning that showtimes start tomorrow, Friday 20th. Sadly, no midnight screenings. 

There are three theaters around the bay area that have times listed: AMC Metreon, Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, and Rialto Cinemas Elmwood. Bloody Disgusting also posted an exclusive update on the film rushing to VOD (or not). 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Twin Peaks Revival - Speculation Turns to Panic

Controversy about the third season of Twin Peaks seems to be changing every day, but it is definitely growing. Since the announcement was made that this new season, set 25 years after the end of season 2 in both real life as well as the Twin Peaks life, would happen, I've only heard excitement and wonder from Lynch faithfuls. Until now.

This all started because of an answer David Lynch gave at the opening night of his art exhibit. He was asked if the season was "definitely happening," (which is kind of a weird way to ask that) and he answered it the best he could: "I don't know. There are complications." This is the source of people's dismay; that word, complications, carries too many possibilities for anyone to be sure what he meant, so people started to speculate and the worries grew. Some sources, many of them actually, ignored the rest of the interview and failed to mention that he actually elaborates on these dreaded complications: there are some contract issues. Sounds livable, and fixable. Bloody Disgusting got it right and tried to stop the panic but we'll have to see what the rumor mill churns out tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The End of Metalocalypse..?

Hopes were raised when a trailer and promises of a new season of Metalocalypse spread on the internet a couple of days ago, but they were swiftly executed when it was confirmed that this was a bunch of bologna. Co-creator and the beating heart of the show, Brendon Small tweeted that the whole thing was a mix up, that season 5 had been turned down by the network, and that he doesn't know why the update ever got posted. There was also this cryptic tweet about the fate of Dethklok: 

That could be promising, but it doesn't change the fact that fans are pissed and want Adult Swim to know about it, so there is a petition currently growing by the minute meant to do just that. You can see and add to it here. Let them know how you really feel!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Bluray Tuesday!

March 17th 2015

Bluray Tuesday Is here once more and of course you all know is my favorite day of the week. I have read recently that starting this year sometime new release CD's will be released on Fridays instead of the normal Tuesdays. So I wonder if Blurays and DVDs will follow and do the same. Interesting for them to do that. My guess is doing this will catch more sales but we will see. This week on Bluray brings Kane Hodder's new horror film called Muck. Best Buy will carry it for only $9.99. No other horror is out this week on Bluray but also released today is Exodus: Gods & Kings. I have not seen this and I've heard mixed reviews but I may check this out sometime soon. On the DVD front, since not much out this week, is Brittnay Murphy's last film that has been delayed for a few years, called Something Wicked. Usually films being delayed for so long means it's bad but who knows, this may be somewhat good. I will watch it, of course. Thanks for reading weekly and be sure to comment on what Bluray's you are excited to add to your own collections. We would love to hear from others.

Muck: Best Buy - $9.99

After narrowly escaping an ancient burial ground, long forgotten and buried underneath the marshes of Cape Cod, a group of friends emerge from the thick, marshy darkness, tattered and bloody, lucky to be alive. They have already lost two of their friends in the marsh, presumably dead. They stumble upon an empty Cape Cod vacation house alongside the foggy marsh and break in to take shelter. Whatever was in the marsh is still after them and soon after one of them goes for help, the rest of the group learns that the evil in the marsh is not the only thing that wants them dead. Something worse, something more savage, was lying in wait just outside the marsh, in the house. What happens next is unspeakable horror that cannot be unseen. These unlucky travelers spend their St. Patrick's Day trapped between two evils forcing them to fight, die, or go back the way they came.
I was pretty excited to check this film out, especially when I saw Kane Hodder was a part of it. After watching I was scratching my head over many things that happened. I Googled more about Muck and found out this is basically the sequel in a trilogy that will be made over the next few years. The prequel to this film will be out later this year and the sequel will end the trilogy next year or so. So Muck is kind of the sequel in the series. The film starts abruptly and ends same way, I will check out the next two films to see what happened in the beginning and see how it ends. It's a very different approach for sure. The characters in Muck were unbelievable and made bad decisions throughout which kind of annoyed me, I mean we see this all the time in horror films but this one was different. Maybe it has to do with the acting quality. Kane Hodder is not in this as much as I wanted and I hope to see him more in the next in the series. If anyone checks this out please comment on how you felt about Muck and if you are looking forward to its sequels.

Muck (Blu-ray) 

Exodus Gods & Kings 3D: Amazon - $22.99

An account of Moses' hand in leading the Israelite slaves out of Egypt, defying Ramesses II. The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

Exodus: Gods and Kings 3D (Blu-ray) 

 Something Wicked: Best Buy - $12.99

As a young couple embarks upon their wedding plans, gruesome secrets from their past collide with sinister forces of the present to ensure these newlyweds do not live "happily-ever-after."
This is a DVD only release.

Something Wicked (DVD)

-The Impostor

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Overlooked Crowd Funding: Frankenstein Created Bikers

"Cinephiles, degenerates, headbangers, dreamers, we need you!"

I have another cool project to share: Frankenstein Created Bikers. This is a sequel to the previously crowd funded film Dear God No, but can still be appreciated as its own movie. In case anyone is interested, it is available on Amazon on DVD or as a streaming rental. Dear God No is a "70's drive-in throwback exploitation / action / horror hybrid" about a gang of outlaw bikers who attempt a home invasion and are blindsided by the secret hiding inside. 
This poster was one of the rewards for helping Dear God No come to life
With the sequel, the film makers didn't want to give up any control or blood, so they're staying away from any big studios and asking the fans to help them create a movie with only the audience in mind. This campaign is only for a portion of the cost of the film and will go towards funding the action filled parts of the movie. Dear God No had all practical, no computer generated effects, which is an amazing labor of love. I'm not sure how the sequel will be handled, but from the sound of things, I'm expecting gallons of blood. In this new movie, a mad scientist re-animates a notorious biker gang from the South, in order to hire them to capture a Bigfoot carrying a pathogen that will allow him to perform a human head transplant. And that's just the beginning. 

In order to hang on to the drive-in, grind house feeling that the first film had, Frankenstein Created Bikers will be filmed on the rapidly vanishing 35mm film. This is another intensive labor of love and all the more reason to help this project out; film won't be around forever and the number of people who want to work with it seems to be shrinking. 

There are some big names already attached to Frankenstein Created Bikers, even if you don't necessarily know their actual names. Here are a couple of the big ones:

 Lawrence T. Harvey
(Human Centipede 2 & 3, The Editor)
Tristian Risk
(American Mary, ABC's of Death)
Ellie Church
(And then YOU Die!, Headless)
There's just under 2 weeks left to contribute to this Kickstarter and there are a lot of different reward packages to pick from. This campaign has a good idea I haven't seen from any others, they have several different rewards each for the same price. And if you spend more than $20, you'll be able to see the what happens if any of the stretch goals are met. Here are some of the highlights I found within the perks:

  • $5 is all you would need to spend to get access to an online screening of the completed movie, before anyone else sees it. Nothing else though.
  • $15 gets you a copy of Dear God No, signed by James Bickert (the director), Shane Morton (SPFX artist), and Madeline Brumby (actress). This is at least $5 less than you'd pay at Amazon, and it actually helps the sequel. So just ignore that link I posted...
  • $20 will get you an advanced copy of the completed movie on DVD without any frills. 
Now the fun ones!
Under $100
  • $40 will get you the Curator pack, which comes with a drawn picture "suitable for framing," which could mean there's no nudity/blood, or maybe just that it's a quality piece of art. Either way, 40 bucks for original art is a great deal. You'll also get a thanks in the credits and access to an advance online screening. Not bad.
  • $75 gets you one Hair Ball Special, which comes with hair off of the screen-used Bigfoot suit, a special edition "Contributor" edition bluray that's different from other releases, a 1-sheet, thanks in the credits, and the advanced online screening. These are limited to 100 and they're all still unclaimed.
Breaking the Piggy Bank
  • $100 gives you the opportunity to make a secret cameo in the movie by naming a character. There are 4 versions of this perk, giving you a choice between naming a biker, redneck, female hench woman, or a nasty stripper. All the redneck slots have been filled. All of these also come with a 1-sheet and 2 tickets to the premiere of the film.
  • $100 can also get you the VHS lovers edition of the film. Limited to 40, you'll get a signed and numbered VHS/bluray release that come in one big plastic case. This also comes a 35mm frame of the movie footage with Bigfoot in it, a one of a kind illustration from a cast or crew member, 2 stickers, and a thanks in the credit. Tapes are making a very nice comeback, so this is a good collector's pack. and the oversized case will probably look great displayed, judging by the art associated with this movie. 
  • $300 gets you something a little... I dunno, unusual? You can get a private burlesque DVD or download starring Tristian Risk, dedicated to you. These were limited to 10, and half of them have already been snagged. 
  • $500 can get you a tattoo, valued at $500 done by the star of Dear God No and Frankenstein Created Bikers. Talk about bragging rights. You'll also get a cast signed 1-sheet, the first printing of a limited run of blurays, Dear God No DVD, the advanced online screening, and stickers!
There are so many other packages you can get, but you'll have to check out the campaign page to see the rest. Here's my vote for most
Unrealistic but Interesting
  • $500 and you can be listed in the credits as a Fluffer. Google it if you don't know, but at your own risk. This also comes with 5 1-sheets, a cast signed script, a bluray, an invitation to the wrap party, and 2 tickets to the premiere. There is only one of these and it's unclaimed.
At the time I'm posting this, the minimum goal has been met for the campaign, so the risk of it not getting funded is no longer there. Hopefully you'll at least check out the Kickstarter page and read up on the details and the rest of the perks. This sounds like a very cool project with a lot of homage being paid. Grindhouse fans will be drooling. Drooling! 


Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Berkeley Blazer Overlooks: Peter Strickland's, "The Duke of Burgundy"

Are you comfortable?
You'll want to be, as you enjoy the first edition of 
The Berkeley Blazer Overlooks...

Four citizens of The Overlook ventured forth into San Francisco’s famous Mission district to one of the artsiest of art house theatres, the Roxie.  The Roxie regularly features films far off the center, even for a city like San Francisco.  When Michel Gondry’s Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?,  a fantastic, crudely animated interview with linguist Noam Chomsky first debuted, the Roxie was the only venue in the bay area to feature it.  There is a Big Roxie (238 Seat) auditorium and and Little Roxie (49 seat), and the Little Roxie was an appropriately cozy place to see The Duke of Burgundy, an intimate, gothic, BDSM fairy tale about an entomologist lesbian couple and the ironic vicissitudes of their erotic power dynamics. Burgundy immediately feels like a period piece despite its never mentioning what year or decade it's supposed to take place, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to say the look is “somewhere in Europe in the early 20th century." Strickland plays this one mainly for a heady, hypnotic atmosphere; content wise this film is a straightforward love story about living up to the desires the one you love.  The 70’s-style opening homage has a student on her bike pedaling through a sylvan landscape to the waify angelic vocals provided by Cat’s Eyes, the ambient pop duo who lend the Burgundy much of it’s ethereal tone. It is then our privilege to be taken behind closed doors to observe the two leads enact fantasies in a majestic ivy-clad manse in the middle of a forest.  

Locals in Burgundy vary but all convey a sense of blissful, brooding isolation; though there is nothing particularly meaningful about the factual local it is nonetheless interesting to note that the film was filmed in Hungary. The woman we find therein: a deliciously auburn-tressed professor who plays the immovably tyrannical domina to our apparently demure student; both attend and work at a nearby all-female society of entomology where young ladies and their doting professors lust over and analyse insects. Throughout the picture, camera framing and visual effects work longingly and lovingly meditate over these otherworldly bugs --both dead and alive-- intensifying an already eldritch mise-en-scène: hooded figures with lanterns; nights in the woods; emphatically European decor, architecture, and dress. 

When Burgundy begins we are dropped into the middle of this fantasy as we watch the student despairingly hand-wash her mistresses’ panties while the soap bubbles pop luridly in our ears.  It seem as if the poor girl is being humiliated and simply has not the backbone to defy her unwavering domina. As the story unfolds, of course, the truth is more complicated and their relationship is revealed to be much more prosaic, scripted, and basically mechanical.  We find our student is pulling her increasing despairing lover into an endless repetition of banal fantasies enacted in detail.  The beauty of Burgundy's world and propensity for scenes falling into a visual reverie prevent the fantasies from becoming too tedious, as does the film’s subdued sense of humor: our two heroines discuss with a consultant about obtaining an particularly elaborate constraint device, the domina desperately downs glasses of water while performing her dehydrating duties.  At the same time, the repetition is just taxing enough to allow us to easily sympathize with our ultimately submissive domina and her growing angst at her situation, and this is ultimately where the true dramatic core of the story emanates. 

Burgundy is a fine example of how genre film can be used to create something new and potent, for this film would not be possible without the sexploitation films produced in Europe in the 60’s and 70’s. Some Overlookers found aspects movie slightly bewildering but nonetheless enjoyed its visual storytelling and genre trappings, and I personally thought it ran just a little too long. It of course must be mentioned that this film follows hard on the heels of the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, but having no familiarity with that story besides a few quick skims of the source novel I feel any comparisons I could venture would seem superficial, except to mention that despite being a film original, Burgundy seems the more “literary” of the pair. I just hope that the fact that something like Fifty Shades could be mainstream indicates that there will be a larger potential audience for Burgundy despite it’s limited release.

-Berkeley Blazer

All opinion's as they are seen above do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Overlook Theatre. Although if you agree with them, we'll take the credit.