Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Overlook Hour Guest Profile: Vanessa Morgan, When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals

It seems like we’re some of the last people to find out just how prolific and well known this week’s Overlook Hour guest is but we were happy to finally join the party. She’s a published author with several film adaptations inspired by her work, runs several blogs, and is referred to as the “female Stephen King”. And she is the person responsible for compiling and editing When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals, which several of the Overlook's creatures were lucky enough to contribute to. We are thrilled to welcome Vanessa Morgan to the show.

Hailing from Belgium, Vanessa talks about the very different state of the film industry in her country, mentioning the few recent releases to come out of it and acknowledging that there are almost none to speak of. That, however, didn't stop her from cultivating a wealth of movie knowledge, especially when it comes to her favorite sub-genre of animal attack films.

In addition to her books and short stories, Vanessa also runs two blogs:

Traveling Cats, which documents the many cats that she has some across while traveling,

and Celluloid Diaries, which is an all things film site, focusing on film festivals and movie recommendations. Her published work includes Avalon: A Heartwarming True Cat Story, Drowned Sorrow, Next to Her, and The Strangers Outside. And she's also about to finish anther book!

I think I'm starting to see why people call her the female Stephen King...

You can connect with Vanessa through Twitter, and keep up with Traveling Cats on Twitter, Facebook, and their newsletter. Sign up for it here.

And don't forget to get your own copy of When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Bluray Tuesday: Featuring Evil Ed, The Blackcoat's Daughter and The Hearse

May 30th 2017

The final Bluray Tuesday of May arrives. I'm hoping you all had a fun three day Memorial Day weekend, now it's time for more bluray's to add to our growing collections. First up is 90's film Evil Ed from Arrow Video. Evil Ed looks pretty cool and I look forward to checking​ it out soon. Next up is The Blackcoat's Daughter aka "February". This is an interesting film, I'd pay close attention when viewing or you will miss something. I enjoyed it for the most part but I neel a second viewing before I make my final judgment. Vinegar Syndrome releases 80's cult classic The Hearse for the first time on bluray. This is also one I haven't seen but hope to change that real soon. Drama thriller Before I Fall and comedy Fist Fight round out this week's new releases. Not a big close to the May releases but next week is another story, much bigger release day. So what will you buy, rent, or skip this week? Let us know in the comments. Until net week.

Evil Ed: Amazon - $23.99

A mild-mannered film editor is assigned to cut a series of infamous slasher films and is driven murderously insane by the miles of extremely violent footage he edits.

Evil Ed (Blu-ray) 

The Blackcoat's Daughter: Amazon - $14.99

During the dead of winter, a troubled young woman (Emma Roberts) embarks on a mysterious journey to an isolated prep school where two stranded students (Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton) face a sinister threat from an unseen evil force.

The Blackcoat's Daughter (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

The Hearse: Amazon - $18.99

Jane Hardy decides to stay the summer in the house her aunt left her when she died, to try and recoup from a bad divorce. Little does she know, her aunt practiced witchcraft and is still thought of very badly by the town's citizens. As soon as she moves in, she is haunted by a old black hearse and it's creepy driver. Is she going insane or is she truly being menaced? She meets a friendly young man and becomes involved with him, but is he and the creepy driver one and the same?

The Hearse (Blu-ray) 

Fist Fight: Amazon - $22.99

On the last day before summer vacation, high school teacher Andy Campbell tries his best to keep it together amid senior pranks, a dysfunctional administration and budget cuts that threaten his job. Things go from bad to worse when he crosses Ron Strickland, the school's toughest and most feared teacher. When Strickland gets fired, he challenges Campbell to a fight after school. As news of the showdown spreads like wildfire, poor Andy desperately seeks any way out of his date with certain doom.

Fist Fight (Blu-ray) 

Blackenstein: Amazon - $24.99

Blackenstein, also known as Black Frankenstein, is a low budget 1973 blaxploitation horror film loosely based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It was made in an attempt to cash in on the success of Blacula, released the previous year by American International Pictures. However, Blackenstein fared poorly in comparison to its predecessor, with most reviews agreeing that the movie was "a totally inept mixture of the worst horror and blaxploitation films".

Blackenstein (Blu-ray) 

Before I Fall: Amazon - $22.99

Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) seems to have it all: popularity, a loving boyfriend (Kian Lawley) and a seemingly perfect future. Everything changes in the blink of an eye when she dies in a car crash but then magically wakes up to find herself reliving the same day over and over again. As Samantha tries to untangle the mystery of a life derailed, she must also unravel the secrets of the people closest to her and discover how the power of a single day can make a difference.

Before I Fall (Blu-ray) 

Collide: Amazon - $19.99

Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult) agrees to hijack a shipment of cocaine for his old boss (Ben Kingsley) in return for money to pay for his girlfriend Juliette's (Felicity Jones) transplant. Unfortunately, those drugs belong to Hagen Kahl (Anthony Hopkins), Germany's most powerful kingpin. Kahl seeks revenge by kidnapping Juliette and sending his goons after Stein. Casey must now race against time in a desperate attempt to save the woman he loves.

Collide (Blu-ray) 

The Shack: Amazon - $19.99

After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips spirals into a deep depression that causes him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.

The Shack (Blu-ray) 

     - The Impostor

Monday, May 29, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): Hey Monster, Hands Off My City!, The Shining Backwards and Forwards, City of the Living Dead

Welcome back everyone, and happy Memorial Day! We have some cool movies coming our way this week, so let's get right into it.
Mondays are generally a bit on the quiet side, but today is very much the opposite. Jurassic Park, The Shining Backwards and Forwards, and S is for Stanley are all screening one time only tonight. All are very different films, so you have a lot of choices. Starting tomorrow, Hey Monster, Hands Off My City kicks off a short run at the 4 Star Theatre. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director. I had never heard of this movie prior to seeing it on the theatre's site, but everything from the name and poster to it being set in San Francisco caught my attention, so I definitely want to check that out this week. Also this week, the SF Doc Fest kicks off its two week long programming, which will be spread across the Alamo Drafthouse, Roxie Theatre, and Vogue Theatre. I'll keep an eye on the programming but if you want to skim ahead, you can find it here.

Tuesday 30th to Friday 2nd (1hr 24min)
Comedy/ Crime/ Horror (IMDB)
This Fellini-inspired Comedy Film directed by Michael Meehan, features a large comic cast, and stars SF Comedians Johnny Steele and Reggie Steele as SFPD homicide detectives, who find half eaten bodies turning up all over San Francisco.

Followed by a Q&A with Director Michael Meehan After Every Screening

Monday 29th @ 7pm (2hrs 7min)
Adventure/ SciFi/ Thriller (IMDB)
Almost 25 years after its initial release, the massive Tyrannosaurus-sized imprint Steven Spielberg's JURASSIC PARK left on Hollywood (and, indeed, the movie-going world at large) remains impossible to ignore. And, thanks in part to both Spielberg's trademark knack for “big picture” storytelling and the still impressive visual effects brought to life by the legendary Stan Winston, we think it also remains essential viewing for anyone who calls themselves a movie fan! When iconoclastic billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) creates a gamechanging theme park full of real-life dinosaurs in Costa Rica, he needs to prove to his backers that his amazing discoveries are safe for the general public. And so, with a group of test dummies including jittery math wiz Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), rugged paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill), and energetic paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Hammond sets out to do just that. What could go wrong?!

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 30th @ 10:15pm (1hr 33min)
Splatter/ Horror (Google)
A reporter and a psychic race to close the Gates of Hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from their graves.

Monday 29th @ 6:45pm (1hr 18min)
Documentary (IMDB)
S Is For Stanley is the story of Emilio D'Alessandro, Stanley Kubrick's personal driver. It's also the story of a thirty-year-long friendship, involving the meticulous creation of four absolute cinematic masterpieces, and uniting two individuals apparently worlds apart, each of whom found his own ideal travel companion far from home.

Monday 29th @ 8:30pm (2hrs 26min)
Horror/ Experimental (Google)
It’s simply that, the USA cut of the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film overlaid with the visuals reversed, an experiment in alternate projection revealing an array of coincidences and synchronicities. Amplifying Kubrick’s trademark use of symmetry, repetition, mirroring, and doubling, the superimposition is a true psychedelic experience, the titular shining of film made literal, a vision of futures past, somewhere out between magic and madness.

With an Intro by Filmmaker John Fell Ryan
Interview with Room 237 Director Rodney Ascher Before the movie

Cat Power!

Thursday 1st @ 7:30pm (1hr 55min)
Adventure/ Comedy/ Drama (IMDB)
Harry is a seventy-plus Manhattan widower who loses his tiny apartment to the wrecking ball. Accompanied by his pet, an aged cat named Tonto, Harry sets out upon an odyssey to Los Angeles. Throughout the film, Harry makes disappointing stops at the homes of his grown children.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: 7th Day, Jason Koch's

4 of 7 viewers "Liked" "7th Day" (2013, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Trash - "An awkward guy working as a dishwasher is, surprise, secretly a serial killer. Of course he kills nasty women. Of course he rapes corpses. Of course he's going to blather on and on about his bullshit murder mandate. We've seen this story so many times, a common first idea of so many uninspired genre writers, and it's almost never done well. I mean, The Voices doesn't really work, and it's way more interesting than this. It's such a shame that a director who seems like a powerful new voice in underground cinema kicks off his filmmaking career with such a poor, typical script. There's some oddness buried in it, like the occasional appearance of a creature holding a microphone up to the narrator’s mouth, some sort of spectral interviewer that goes entirely unaddressed and unexplained -- in a way that made me wonder if it was even in the text at all. I wish there was more of that! Alone, I would have hit “eject” on the DVD after the first half hour, but sadly I did not have that option in the theater. I was bored and frustrated, and trying really hard to be polite, because oh boy I hate forcing myself through this! When I was younger, the explicit slaughter scenes and dismembered corpses would have at least given me reason to fast forward through to watch the good parts, but nowadays, I don't even have the patience for that." - 1.5 Stars

Math Mage - "Slenderman interviews a serial killer, the unreliable narrator babbles half literate philosophy while hallucinations mock him and he gruesomely kills a lot of people." - 2.5 Stars

Huntress - "Without a doubt, the special effects are the winning element of 7th Day. All of my favorite parts are tied to it; the crazy over the top gore and silent secondary character are going to stay with me for a while. This movie paints a pretty good picture of how the main character imagines himself, but by the end of it I wondered how many of the events really happened." - 3.5 Stars

The Impostor - "Interesting take on the psyche of a perverted serial killer. We see the day in the life of Allen who makes his "selections" to murder and dismember to feed his hunger. While there are some gross out moments and cool gore at times, the rest of the film fell a bit flat for me, especially after seeing Pig Pen beforehand which I thoroughly enjoyed. 7th day definitely would fit in the dark black comedy sub genre for me. I'm not sure if most was intentional but there were a few funny laugh out loud moments. The voice over was okay, I can tell the Dexter like vibe it was going for, but I wasn't wowed by 7th Day. Good watch with company, I honestly don't think I'd finish watching this alone. Overall nice directorial debut from Jason Koch." - 2.5 Stars

Lord Battle - "7th Day is an unflinching exploration of what goes on in our quiet neighbor's house, or what the dishwasher does after you're through being mean to him at work, and how one channels all this unguided frustration... Urban Fantasy is what I call these dark genre explorations or suburban/city life and what separates a great Urban Fantasy from an amateurish Walter Hill knock off is cinematography. 7th Day perfectly frames and shoots the city in a way that both feels familiar and looks otherworldly, and what I mean by otherworldly is that a white trash living room looks like a Terry Gilliam set and an alley overgrown with weeds looks like a lost part of the city taken by nature." - 4 Stars

The Great Hornito - "7th Day felt like an ultra gory version of The Machinist. This was not as bleak as Pig Pen but I thought how dirty and sad everything was was very effective as well. The soundtrack was great but this movie was so gory that I'm surprised I liked it so much." - 4 Stars

Dabbles - "Really didn't really care for this one. I did like the gore and the slenderman reporter, but other than that I did doze off for a couple of moments" - 3 Stars (I'm allowing this review since the goblin only fell in and out of sleep for minutes at a time, not exceeding 15 minutes total)

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

A couple months prior to our 7th Day screening, The Ascendant programed a marathon for the Overlook creatures. This marathon was supposed to give us an inside look at films that best described his taste. Pig Pen appeared as a previously unseen third film as I requested that at least one film in the marathon would be new to everyone. Pig Pen was such a good example of the type of film we like to promote that an official screening for review would have to take place. The Ascendant suggested that when we screen Pig Pen we use the bluray copy (to fix some audio issues) and show it with 7th Day, Jason Koch's first film.
On 5/25/2017 the summoning spell was cast and the creatures arrived to partake in the bloody cleansing of our Jason Koch double feature. I first showed Pig Pen and followed it up with 7th Day. My thought process behind this was some fiends religiously show up late, either due to scheduling issues like work or lack of excitement (remember just because they are attracted by the lure of the Overlook, it doesn't mean they actually like horror films) and a couple regulars had seen Pig Pen before so it seemed like the obvious lead in.
When feeling out an indie horror film among friends in a theatre setting, there always seems to be someone that tries to MSK3 the feature right off the bat. Luckily this isn't always the case but when it is, it's usually the Math Mage. The bleakness of Pig Pen mixed with the raw emotional performance laid down from Vito Trigo proved too much for our resident wizard and he was quickly silenced. In fact I personally love Vito but I would have never expected the resounding positive reaction he got by portraying such an evil... Anyway, in hindsight showing Pig Pen first set the bar a little high... This however doesn't mean that the post-film conversation wasn't fruitful. The Great Hornito quickly began to explain how he thought none of what had taken place actually happened and reminded everyone how he constantly would contradict his actions by his statements to his demon reporter (dubbed Slenderman by the ghouls in attendance). I tend to agree with the luchador as I think everyone who's ever worked a terrible job and has had to clean a grease trap has also fantasized about dismembering their coworkers.

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 4/25/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Book Wyrm Leaves Her Lair for Fanime Con

Hello everyone! I am currently at fanime in San Jose and I was harassed by Lord Battle to please write about the convention, so I am sitting outside of artist's alley dressed as Sasuke with all of my freshly bought merchandise strewn about on the floor typing this post on my phone.

They asked me to write about what I've watched but I haven't had any time to watch movies or even go to any of the video rooms because I've been too busy going to panels and buying things. Yesterday I went to the Osomatsu San Panel, Fanfiction Roulette, and Anime to Watch Before You Die (18+) Version. I was planning on going to a horror anime panel tonight after I go to the Bad Hentai panel but I'm not super set on it yet. Fanime has been super fun so far and I wish I was already done this post so I could get back to the convention. Yesterday I was here for 15 hours and it was the best, I was delirious by the end.

This year is pretty much the same as last year except I'm more prepared and came loaded with money and booked my hotel on time! I keep running into people I know and everyone's in a great mood. It's still super awkward in that weird anime way and everyone is talking about gay ice skating anime. I just bought four new figures and have plans to buy more, I'm living my best life friends are all waiting for me at the game hall though so I need to end the post here. I'll probably do a more formal wrap up next week. See you!

-Book Wyrm

Friday, May 26, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday): Blood Diner, Drag Queens of Comedy, Stalker

Happy Friday everyone! I'm so ready for this weekend to start because there are so many thing's I've been looking forward to happening in the next couple of days. First off, the newly restored Stalker opens at the Alamo Drafthouse today and we'll be kicking off the weekend with this Russian sci-fi adventure film tonight. Saturday, the Drag Queens of Comedy finish up their tour with two shows at the Castro Theatre. And finally, Sunday the Roxie Theatre will be screening Blood Diner in the Big Roxie. The screening will be attended by special guest and director of the film, Jackie Kong, who will be interviewed after the film by Josh Grannell! The night will then move across the street to The Pork Store for an after party.

Opens Friday 26th (2hrs 43min)
Drama/ Sci-Fi (IMDB)
Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker, an allegorical science fiction film like his earlier Solaris, was adapted from the novel Picnic by the Roadside by brothers Boris Strugatsky and Arkady Strugatsky. The film follows three men -- the Scientist (Nikolai Grinko), the Writer (Anatoliy Solonitsyn), and the Stalker (Alexander Kaidanovsky) -- as they travel through a mysterious and forbidden territory in the Russian wilderness called the "Zone." In the Zone, nothing is what it seems. Objects change places, the landscape shifts and rearranges itself. It seems as if an unknown intelligence is actively thwarting any attempt to penetrate its borders. In the Zone, there is said to be a bunker, and in the bunker: a magical room which has the power to make wishes come true. The Stalker is the hired guide for the journey who has, through repeated visits to the Zone, become accustomed to its complex traps, pitfalls, and subtle distortions.

Saturday 27th @ 6pm & 10pm
The boisterous line-up of The DRAG QUEENS OF COMEDY 2017 features drag-royalty superstars including: MISS COCO PERU, ALASKA 5000, WILLAM, BOB THE DRAG QUEEN, LADY BUNNY, Lady Red Couture, JACKIE BEAT, HEKLINA, PEACHES CHRIST, and the acerbic heiress and producer of the show SASHA SOPRANO.

Midnight Madness

Saturday 27th @ 11:55pm (1hr 41min)
Comedy/ Horror/ Musical/ Sci-Fi (Rotten Tomatoes)
This low-budget freak show/cult classic/cultural institution concerns the misadventures of Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) inside a strange mansion that they come across on a rainy night. After the wholesome pair profess their love through an opening song, their car breaks down in the woods, and they seek refuge in a towering castle nearby. Greeting them at the door is a ghoulish butler named Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien), who introduces them to a bacchanalian collection of partygoers dressed in outfits from some sort of interplanetary thrift shop. The host of this gathering is a transvestite clad in lingerie, Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), a mad scientist who claims to be from another planet. With assistants Columbia (Nell Campbell) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn) looking on, Frank unveils his latest creation -- a figure wrapped in gauze and submerged in a tank full of liquid.

Get Out (2017)
Playing All Weekend (1hr 44min)
Horror/ Comedy/ Suspense (Rotten Tomatoes)
Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

Comic coming soon!

Sleight (2017)
Saturday 27th @ 4:15pm (1hr 29min)
Sunday @ 10pm
Action/ Drama/ Si-Fi (IMDB)
A young street magician (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents' passing and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.

Sunday 28th @ 8:30pm (1hr 28min)
Comedy/ Horror/ Suspense (Rotten Tomatoes)
This splattery horror-comedy is the story of the two Tutman brothers, the owners of a successful health-food restaurant with some exotic menu items... namely the leftover body parts from the brothers' nightly human sacrifice rituals, conducted at the behest of their reanimated uncle (or more correctly, his reanimated brain and eyeballs). The nightly rites are intended to complete the job their uncle never got to finish: the resurrection of the goddess Sheetar, who will hopefully be reborn in a body the Tutmans have assembled from the hacked limbs and organs of their victims. If seen as a kind of acerbic homage to Herschel Gordon Lewis' seminal gore film Blood Feast, this could stand as a fairly entertaining black-comedy romp -- though it tends too often to stumble into some of the same low-budget pitfalls as the bloody epic which inspired it.

Followed by a Q&A with Director Jackie Kong moderated by Josh Grannell
Afterparty @ The Pork Store

Cat Power!

Sunday 28th @ 2pm (1hr 45min)
Animatin/ Adventure/ Comedy (IMDB)
From the producers of the Academy Award-nominated Persepolis and the mind of renowned graphic novelist Jacques Tardi comes a riveting sci-fi adventure set in an alternate steampunk world. Paris, 1941. A family of scientists is on the brink of discovering a powerful longevity serum when all of a sudden a mysterious force abducts them, leaving their young daughter April behind. Ten years later, April (Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard) lives alone with her cat, Darwin, and carries on her family's research in secret. But she soon finds herself at the center of a shadowy and far- reaching conspiracy, and on the run from government agents, bicycle-powered dirigibles and cyborg rat spies.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: The Void

5 of 6 viewers "Liked" "The Void" (2017, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

The Ascendant - "Founded in 2007 by Jeremy Gillespie & Adam Brooks, the ragtag Canadian Collective known as Astron-6 (which also includes Conor Sweeney, Steven Kostanski & Matt Kennedy) have been consistently filling Genre-Addicts’ stomachs with their nutty low-budget (but whole-hearted) films such as Father’s Day (2011), Manborg (2011) & The Editor (2014). When I heard that members of Astron-6 were working on a new project that (from early Press Materials) looked like a cornucopia filled to the brim with influences ranging from H.P. Lovecraft & Lucio Fulci to Clive Barker & John Carpenter (all served with Occult-Flavored Dipping Sauce), I couldn’t contain my excitement. Now that the film’s day-and-date On Demand release has passed (April 7th, 2017), as well as its limited theatrical release and subsequent Blu-Ray/DVD release, do I feel the same? For most of its run-time, directors Jeremy Gillespie & Adam Brooks play to their strengths as individual filmmakers as well as to the strengths of Astron-6. Scenes are shot and framed well, considering that most of the film takes place indoors, at night or within low-light situations. There are some fantastic visual compositions on display here throughout various points in the film, most involving characters (or creatures) that even the most casual film viewer has seen on Social Media. There is much to absorb here visually and therein lies the other strength of this film, creature design and FX work. Considering that co-director Jeremy Gillespie has spent 12 years working as an FX & make-up artist (with credits ranging from NBC’s Hannibal to the upcoming IT film), it’s no surprise that he and Adam Brooks have assembled a fantastic team of artists that have successfully brought their Lovecraftian nightmare to life. Creatures wiggle, crawl, twitch and drip their way throughout this film, making it a treat if you admire practical FX. Within these strengths, the film falters within in its (convenient) plot and extremely dry character archetypes. Even at 90-minutes, I never truly cared about what happened to each character in the film, viewing them merely as plot-devices or vessels to arrive at the next piece of creature or set design. In-turn, the glitch in well-rounded characterizations cause the film’s pace to drag (not slither) along. Even with its faults, this is the film that I wanted Baskin (2015) to be. Welcome to hell." - 3.5 Stars

The Impostor - "I went into this blind after just hearing the great reviews it got before its release and I'd recommend everyone else do the same. I was thoroughly surprised. The atmosphere is very dark and nightmarish and instead of jump scares every two seconds we are watching the tension build from beginning to the crazy end. I definitely held my breath for a few moments. There are also some cool practical effects used and not much CGI, which was a plus. The Void definitely picked up a few things from Hellraiser, The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness in a kinda cool way. While the acting is sub par and some moments were kinda dragging in the dialogue, I overall enjoyed the film." - 3.5 Stars

Huntress - "The Void is a strange experience and one that I don’t think I got the full effect of from a single screening. The characters populating this film are each unique but their many stories sometimes got tangled up for me. I loved the different elements at play here; freaky monsters, disorienting labyrinth-esque settings, amazing practical effects, and clashing personalities forced to work together. Although a second viewing is absolutely recommended, I can say this: if I made a sci-fi indie horror film that looked like The Void, I’d be extremely proud of it." - 4 Stars

Trash - "I love the Astron-6 guys, and I was thrilled to support this movie when it was in its early crowdfunding phases, especially knowing that the Astron offshoot of the filmmaking collective behind The Void were their FX heavy, creativity maniacs. The early stills were really exciting, and I think maybe my high expectations did some damage to my viewing experience. The movie just never comes together for me. It's too sparse, too devoted to maintaining a tone that's not quite working, because the movie is just too small, and the massive Lovecraftian horror it wants to put into you is way beyond its grasp. There's very little playfulness in The Void. The FX are buried in the failing atmosphere, shrouded in darkness, strobe lights, and rapid editing, I rarely could get a good look at the set pieces. Maybe the low budget hurt the quality of things, it's hard to say. Still, worth checking out, because these guys are talented, and I'm hoping their next project overcomes the weaknesses of this one. Now I've just gotta get the group together for a screening of Father's Day, because it's the best movie ever. I'm calling you out. You hear me?" - 2.5 Stars
Lord Battle - "The Void played very nostalgic for me. I found myself reminiscing over survival horror games like Silent Hill and low level melee's with cults in Dungeons & Dragons. I imagined being 15 and watching The Void and praising it for having captured John Carpenter's The Thing's aesthetic and managing to inject it into an HP Lovecraft plot with a Clive Barker Philosophy. Yet after the film ended and I was leaving the theater, I just found myself wishing the characters were somewhat fleshed out and likeable." - 3.5 Stars

Math Mage - "In a recent review yahtzee Croshaw observed that having a gun in a survival horror situation can make that situation even more terrifying than if you're completely helpless. The Void is an example of this very thing: our heroes have just enough agency to give us hope but are clearly at a terrible disadvantage. This is terrifying and they go down in the basement (which doesn't exist!) anyway." - 5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

The triangle cult in The Void generated just as much conversation as the amazing special effects and creature design which seems impossible, considering how detailed and abstract the horrors are compared to the straight forward garb of the cult. So why does the simple triangle conjure up so much conjecture? I'm not sure but I've decided to touch briefly on some of our favorite and little known occult triangles.

The most obvious and admittedly confusing of our current culture's symbolic triangles appears on our currency and is called The All Seeing Eye. Most already know about this intricate symbol that has captured the mind of conspiracy theorists for years, as the internet makes it easy to research such a thing. But I've decided to quickly touch on the subject anyway. Below is an excerpt from "How the Pyramid Side of the Great Seal Got On the One-Dollar Bill in 1935" on

Turning to page 53, I noted the colored reproduction of the reverse side of the Seal. The Latin phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum impressed me as meaning the New Deal of the Ages.

I was struck by the fact that the reverse side of the Seal had never been used. Therefore I took the publication to President Roosevelt and suggested a coin be put out with the obverse and reverse sides of the Seal.

Roosevelt, as he looked at the colored reproduction of the Seal, was first struck with the representation of the "All Seeing Eye," a Masonic representation of The Great Architect of the Universe. Next he was impressed with the idea that the foundation for the new order of the ages had been laid in 1776, but that it would be completed only under the eye of the Great Architect. Roosevelt like myself was a 32nd degree Mason.

He suggested that the Seal be put on the dollar bill rather than a coin and took the matter up with the Secretary of the Treasury. He brought it up in a Cabinet meeting* and asked James Farley [Postmaster General and a Roman Catholic] if he thought the Catholics would have any objection to the "All Seeing Eye" which he as a Mason looked on as a Masonic symbol of Deity. Farley said "no, there would be no objection."
- Excerpts from Henry A. Wallace's letters written in 1951 and in 1955

Popularized by the wave of Heavy Metal docs that road the coattails of Anvil! The Story of Anvil, the Tritone is an endlessly talked about, but worth covering (quickly), topic...

Every interval begins with a single note, just like the sound produced by a conch shell. In music theory, there is an interval called the tritone, considered to be one of most dissonant sounds existing in the major scale. In early church music it was known as diablo en musica, or devil in music, resonating with the classic “pitchfork” imagery of Satan.

The Lucis Trust's publishing company was founded in the early 1920s as the Lucifer Publishing Company. The Lucis Trust says that the name was probably chosen to honor Lucifer. The name was changed in 1925 to the Lucis Publishing Company. In Latin lucem ferre means "to bear light" and lucis means of light. The company has headquarters in New York City, London, and Geneva.

The Lucas Trust and Alice Bailey are major occult figures, big enough for Kubrick to name a character Alice in Eyes Wide Shut. But they appear in this wrap-up because of the strange training the Lucas Trust gives relating to triangles... See video below:


I honestly think the Lucas Trust is insane but I doubt that any single use of the triangles above actually inspired the cult's hood design. I'd rather choose to believe that our obsession with the 3 sided shape was reason enough. It's said that the “G” in the middle of the Freemason compass is said to stand for both “God” and “Geometry”, what does this mean? Who knows, it might mean that people are often confused by both or that triangles open portals directly into the cenobite's dimension. Honestly, the hoods just reminded me of the thrash band Rigor Motis' logo... I guess we just see what we want in the end, kinda like the cult.

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in the 4 Star Theatre for a screening on 4/14/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Overlook Hour Guest Profile: Jai Love, Dead Hands Dig Deep

Lord Battle and I first saw Dead Hands Dig Deep at the San Francisco Doc Fest (which happens to be starting up again next week) and we were pretty shocked for several reasons. Either for never having heard of Kettle Cadaver even though they were from southern California, for the crazy stunts lead singer Edwin Borsheim performed regularly throughout the life of the band, or for later finding out that Trash was actually in that same audience. Not to mention the director was only 19 while making this film.

Photo from Cult of Monster
We got in contact with director Jai Love some months later, after not having heard anything about the film being released any time soon. As of now, the film is still making its way to DVD and Bluray, but we were able to check out a screener and review it. You an find it here.

After several weeks of scheduling and email tag, we were finally able to get Australia on the phone and talk to Jai Love on The Overlook Hour.