Tag Archives: Indie Horror

Kickstarter: Occam’s Razor- A USC Thesis Film

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Independent horror is the backbone of the genre today, the world of horror would not be the same without hardworking film school students taking risks. USC film student, Alex Parslow, has created a kickstarter campaign to help fund his thesis film, Occam’s Razor

What is Occam’s Razor? It is an atmospheric horror film in the vein of films like The Exorcist, Shutter Island and Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Synopsis:

Set in 1851, “Occam’s Razor” is about a post-mortem photographer who is called into a small community where dozens of children have mysteriously died. He soon realizes the spirits of the deceased are trying to communicate to him, leading him to uncover the town’s dark and twisted secret.

Characters sell a film just as much as the screenplay, and the concept/character art that I have seen for Occam’s Razor looks phenomenal. Period pieces are very difficult to make look historically accurate, but the team behind this film nailed it.

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There are two very notable Hollywood names involved with Occam’s Razor, Beth Grant (No Country for Old Men) and Carmen Argenziano (The Godfather: Part II). Grant is set to play the role of Sister Edith and Argenziano is set to play the role of Father Russo.

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The filmmakers behind this sure to be great film have spent the last 3 years honing and developing their skills at USC School of Cinematic Arts, the #1 ranked film school in the world. Meet the crew below.

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Director’s Statement:

“Occam’s Razor” is at once a graduate USC thesis film as well as a proof of concept for a feature length version of the same story. The film is a classic Gothic horror with a unique twist, set in a conservative religious town in 19th century Pennsylvania. The film is to be directed by USC School of Cinematic Arts MFA-candidate Alex Parslow, who co-wrote with Andre Kovalov. The two recently made a splash with their script Apex Dark, which landed them on both the “Hit List” and “Young and Hungry List,” for best unproduced screenplays in the industry. Through this they have secured representation with Lee Stobby Entertainment and are already taking meetings on the development of “Occam’s Razor”, and are eager to develop a fully conceived version of the short. In addition, both Director Alex Parslow and Producer Jonathan Maurer are co-writers on upcoming James Franco films, “Actors Anonymous” and “Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha”.

Parslow’s goal to create Occam’s Razor is currently set at $10,000, and of that sum, $1,435 has been raised. There are currently 21 days left to help fund this film, the campaign will end on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 2:59 am EDT.

Links:

Occam’s Razor Kickstarter Campaign

Occam’s Razor Facebook Page

Creepshow meets Chillerama In ‘Scream Machine’ Horror Anthology

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Horror anthologies were made popular with Creepshow and modernized and twisted with Chillerama, now, from the twisted minds that brought us films such as Death By VHS, Nightmare Alley and Junk Food Horror Fest, there is Scream Machine. Writer/Producer/Director Walter Ruether III teams up with filmmaker Paul C. Hemmes to bring 5 new chilling tales of madness. 

Scream Machine is kicked off with a great introduction from Troma FilmsLloyd Kaufman. After Kaufman’s introduction, we are introduced to two new horror hosts for the rest of the show, Dr. Fry (Walter Ruether III) and his assistant Dr. “Head”ley Graves (Paul C. Hemmes). Dr. Fry and Dr. Graves are the only two survivors after an Ebola plague has wiped all of humanity out and the only remaining form of entertainment is Scream Machine. The stories of this anthology include Sledgehammer, Cannibal Pen Pals, April Fool’s Party, Septic Shock and Deadly Indie Drive-In. I am going to review them individually in the order in which they appear in the anthology.


Sledgehammer

This story was a lot like a short film from Troma. The acting and effects were a bit corny and over-the-top which gave it a real 80’s B movie feel. I found Sledgehammer kind of humorous and not just for the dirty jokes, the death scenes were quite entertaining and there is a scene with a dog at the end that will for sure get a little bit of a chuckle from you. 


Cannibal Pen Pals

“The Dahmer Obsession”

This was the most disturbing of the 5 stories. Cannibal Pen Pals takes place in 1993 and chronicles the obsession one man has for notorious cannibalistic serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer and what could be interpreted as a pen pal love affair with him during his incarceration. If you are offended by rape, necrophelia, foul language and sexual situations, you may want to skip this segment. It is twisted and perverted. What makes this tale so much more disturbing is the fact that things like this do happen. Despite its intense graphic and disturbed nature, Cannibal Pen Pals was in my top 2 favorites from this anthology.  


April Fool’s Party

This was my least favorite segment. I wouldn’t really classify this as horror but more of a drug-fueled, more twisted version of Weekend At Bernie’s. I didn’t hate it, but in my opinion, it didn’t quite fit with the rest of the anthology.


Septic Shock

This was my favorite story. The best way to describe it is psychological thriller meets the corny gore of the 80’s. The setting was very dark, adding to the overall spooky feel of the segment. I gave Septic Shock bonus points for the random tortoise crawling around munching on celery for a bit of comedic relief. Bravo. 


Deadly Indie Drive-In

There was a bit of a nod to 80’s slasher films in Deadly Indie Drive-In. This segment is also a revenge tale of sorts. The feel of the story combined with the dark lighting with moments of acid trip-like colors, I got a bit of a Rob Zombie vibe from it.


If you are into extremely messed up stories accompanied by foul language, necrophilia, murder, gore, revenge, drug use and loads of darkness, Scream Machine is the anthology for you. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Scream Machine. It is unique and twisted, the way a horror anthology should be. 

Team Necro Announces Indiegogo Campaign and Premiers Teaser Trailer for Cannibillies

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Team Necro is preparing to put the Wrong Turn series out of business with their upcoming cannibalistic masterpiece, Cannibillies. Not only are they preparing for its release, but they have announced plans for the sequel, Cannibillies 2: Gathering of the Carnivorous

Anyone that has ever made a film knows that it costs money. Team Necro shot Cannibillies on a zero dollar budget, but need your help for some post production costs and some equipment to help them make the sequel even more brutal than the first. They have launched a campaign via Indiegogo to help cover these costs. Your donations will go towards getting Cannibillies out on DVD, the production of Cannibillies 2, a digital recorder, a used camera body, a lens that captures multiple angles in one take better tripods and a couple of LED lights. The left over amount will go towards blood and effects for the second film. There are 30 days left to donate towards the $1,666 goal. Every dollar counts.

Want to see what you will be contributing to? Here is the very first teaser trailer for Cannibillies!

Not a visual learner? Then, read the synopsis below.

Eve is a single mother who raised her three children the best that she could. Eve’s children all were brought up with the word of God. A sense of right and wrong. The art of self-reliance. And a belief that nothing is more powerful than the bond of blood. To the outsider, they appeared a loving family that relied on each other, and the bountiful gifts that God brought them. To those that stepped foot into Eve’s house, like Abigail and her friends, they saw a different side. The side that stayed hidden behind the front door of the Iscariot house. The side that was just out of view from anyone passing by. The dark side. Genesis, chapter 9, verse 3; “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Abigail and her friends would not only be killed here, but would also become food for the Iscariot table.

If you like what you see and want to be a part of helping Indie Horror and Team Necro, you can donate >>>HERE<<<.

Gallery

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Team Necro is looking to release Cannibillies in April of 2015 and begin shooting Cannibillies 2: Gathering of the Carnivorous in May of 2015.

To keep up on all things Cannibillies and announcements for the sequel, like the Cannibillies Facebook Page and follow them on twitter and Instagram, @cannibillies. Be sure to visit Cannibillies.com for even more awesome pictures and news.

Also, be sure to support Necro Girls Magazine and all of Team Necro, they are fantastic people with the passion and creative drive the horror genre has been missing. Like the Necro Girls Facebook Page, and if you like what you see there, you can subscribe to the magazine and much more at NecroGirls.net.

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The Other Side: The most unique zombie flick to hit the screen. (Movie Review)

other2With the popularity of The Walking Dead, zombie shows and films have been growing in popularity faster than zombies multiply. The only problem with that, they are all trying to be The Walking Dead and they are all very similar in content. The Other Side thankfully has changed this mundane pattern. Based off of a short film by the same name, this is the first feature length film from Orchard Place Productions.

Written and co-directed by Chris Niespodzianski, The Other Side stars Chad Conley (Mason), Danielle Lozeau (Werewolf Rising), Chuck Hendershot(It Came from Yesterday), Jack Davis (Bray Road), Robert Liscio (Confessional) and Christine Starkey. Most of the actors and extras in this film as well as the crew are from the Pittsburgh, PA area where the film was shot,and what better place to shoot a zombie flick than the zombie capital of the world? All of the music featured in the film is also from local Pittsburgh bands and artists, and it all sounds awesome.

I am over the zombie scenarios being set in the city. I am so happy to see that there is finally a new zombie film that takes place in the middle of nowhere. All locations featured in the film can be found around Pittsburgh and Claysville, Pennsylvania. The entire film took place in the woods and countryside. 

The Other Side is a film that Romero would be proud of. The slow buildup is reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead. All of the events leading up to the real action were believable and exactly what I would expect to see happen right before the zombie apocalypse. The script was well written and the cast was phenomenal. 

The film boldly boasts practical effects, and they are fantastic. The zombies are not at all over done, the makeup is basic, much like those in a Romero film. They also run as apposed to a lumbering walking pace. I love this concept, zombies have always been more terrifying to me when they look and move more like those that are still alive. 

The audio and video quality is amazing. A lot of indie films tend to be grainy and the audio can be a bit scratchy, but not in this case. 

What makes The Other Side so unique is the absolutely insane plot twist at the end. During the film, you will feel as though you are watching a normal zombie film. The whole film is fantastic, but the last five minutes will absolutely blow your mind. The Other Side is everything a zombie film should be and much more.

I highly recommend this film to any fan of zombie films that are over the Hollywood zombie scene and looking for something that will actually make you think. I would love to see a sequel.

You can purchase a copy of The Other Side at TeamOrchard.com. You Can also see the film if you are planning to attend this year’s HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati (for screening times, check with HorrorHoundWeekend.com). Be sure to like The Other Side Facebook Page for stills, announcements and just to show the cast and crew some love.

Synopsis:

It’s just another routine day in Elkwood, PA… or is it? People are missing, and lives will be changed forever once the haunting truth is revealed.

Trailer:

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Cannibillies Trailer Coming Soon

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With Hollywood horror being saturated reboots and watered down pieces of sh!t, it is up to Indie Horror to bring the fans the gore they crave. Team Necro and Necro Girls Magazine have delivered just that, a gore filled piece of horrific art with their upcoming horror film, Cannibillies. The short film stars some pretty amazing people and I am sure we will be seeing these names much much more in the future, Jami Cullen, Gina Heartless (Lucy Fur), Adam Rogers, Shamus Donnelly and the rest of the Necro Crew.

What is Cannibillies?

Eve is a single mother who raised her three children the best that she could. Eve’s children all were brought up with the word of God. A sense of right and wrong. The art of self-reliance. And a belief that nothing is more powerful than the bond of blood. To the outsider, they appeared a loving family that relied on each other, and the bountiful gifts that God brought them. To those that stepped foot into Eve’s house, like Abigail and her friends, they saw a different side. The side that stayed hidden behind the front door of the Iscariot house. The side that was just out of view from anyone passing by. The dark side. Genesis, chapter 9, verse 3; “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Abigail and her friends would not only be killed here, but would also become food for the Iscariot table.

I was lucky enough to get an advance view of the teaser trailer, and Cannibillies is the next generation of cannibalistic horror. It will shock you, awe you and leave you wanting more. What is even more impressive, they have outdone the Hollywood productions, and they had no budget for the film. That’s right, they have out done films with millions of dollars poured into them with just a group of friends and hard work.

Stay tuned for the full trailer and campaign info for Cannibillies 2!

Meat the Iscariot family this year.

If words have not been enough to entice you on to the Iscariots’ dinner table, here is a small gallery of stills and teaser posters.

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To keep up with the progress of Cannibillies and announcements for the sequel, be sure to visit Cannibillies.com, like the Facebook Page, and follow them on twitter and Instagram, @cannibillies.

Short Film Review: Call Girl

callgirlCall Girl had it’s world premier at HorrorHound Weekend Cincinnati in March of 2014, and is now available free to watch online via Vimeo. This amazing short was written by Eric Havens and marked the directorial debut of the immensely talented Jill Gevargizian.

Call Girl is a 5 1/2 long short film starring Laurence R. Harvey (The Human Centipede 2&3) and Tristan Risk (American Mary). The best way to describe this film is exploitation at its finest. Nothing is what it seems in this thrilling tale of voyeurism gone wrong or right depending on how you look at it. 

Call Girl is a new breed of short film that packs even more punch than most feature length films. This is by far one of the best shorts ever created. If you have yet to see it, I highly suggest you get on it. Check it out here — Call Girl -short film –. 

To show your love and support for Call Girl and the cast and crew, like the official Call Girl -short film Facebook Page and follow the short’s twitter, @CALLGIRLfilm. Also be sure to check out SixxTape.com for more of Jill Gevargizian’s upcoming work.

 

North Woods: IndieGoGo Campaign

NorthWoodsIndie Horror holds a very special place in my heart. There is an IndieGoGo campaign for a new horror film called North Woods. There is currently a week left to help them reach their goal of $5,500 to complete the film. Funding ends on Black Friday. Since the campaign ends on Black Friday, you will receive a discount on all of the perks, this means that you will receive some pretty awesome stuff for any contribution. Below you will find information about the North Woods campaign as well as videos.

Synopsis:

In the vein of such terrifying films as Phantasm (1979), The Evil Dead (1981) & The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), comes psychotic motion picture of unrelenting terror!  A horror film set in modern times, but is shot, stylized & paced like a film straight from the 70’s & 80’s.  But despite its’ sense of nostalgic familiarity, it flips many of the old tropes & cliches on their heads & will keep you on the edge of your seat, not knowing what is bound to happen next…

From within the woods, a blood splattered young man, John Prescott, runs out in front of a car, terrified and muttering gibberish. Enter Dr. Pamela Alley, an esteemed psychiatrist, and Detective Morris, her contact & partner from the local police force, who have just been assigned the boy’s case. As the teen begins telling his diabolical tale of a local weekend vacation gone horribly wrong, it becomes clear that nothing is ever what it seems when a very troubled substitute teacher, with a webbed past of nightmares, emerges as the center of the proceedings. What keys does she hold to the nearly phantasmic events surrounding the area for the last several years?

When it comes to the woods in Brahams County… sometimes digging for answers digs your grave…
…And if you go in… you won’t come out.

Featuring legendary Indie Horror/B-Movie scream queen talents of Debbie Rochon & Lynn Lowry, North Woods guarantees you an authentic visceral yet surreal experience, straight from the era where Grindhouse Slashers & Drive-in Horror relentlessly ruled the cinemas!

Teaser Trailer:

Campaign Video:

For more information on the film along with more art and videos, CLICK HERE to visit the IndieGoGo Campaign page. Be sure to like North Woods on Facebook and follow them on twitter for more up to date news.

Short Film Review: ‘Home Sweet Home’

Indie horror and short films are the backbone of the genre right now, and they seem to be about the only way to find original material anymore.  I was contacted about reviewing a short film by Adam Krause titled ‘Home Sweet Home’.  This short is currently on the festival circuit and from what I’ve seen, shows a great deal of promise.

MoviePosterCreditsWritten/Directed/Produced by: Adam Krause

Starring: Heather Marie, Justin Koehler, Eric Heuvelman, Steve Golla, Dylan Olson, Benjamin Agustin

Runtime: 28 Minutes

Script 4 Sale Productions

Set in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Synopsis:

In the middle of a massive house hunt, a young married couple finds an obscure listing for a “For Sale By Owner” house way out in the country. Ignoring advice from their realtor, the young couple drives out to the house to take a look. Appearing temporarily uninhabited, they see no problem with entering the house for a closer look. But the horror that awaits them is far, far worse than any cramped living area or leaky basement.

‘Home Sweet Home’ is one of the most incredibly written shorts I have seen in a long time.  The arch of the story may have been completed in 28 minutes, but it was just as good if not better than many of the feature length films I have seen recently.  The beginning of the film was startling and contained quite a bit of action for an opening scene.  The middle part of the film was a moderate pace, and the film closed out with a shocking, action packed end.  Every bit of the film went together seamlessly.  One thing that makes this short truly horrifying is the fact that this is something that could truly happen.

A big complaint with short films usually has to do with cheesy acting and bad video quality, but none of these were an issue in ‘Home Sweet Home’.  The video and audio quality were HD quality, and I could easily hear the actors with minimal to nonexistent background interruption .  There was no grainy appearance of bouncing camera.  The acting was phenomenal.  There was no over or under acting.  Everyone was believable and sold the script well.

The killer/villain and effects, whether a short or feature length film, can very easily make or break a horror film.  ‘Home Sweet Home’ quite honestly had one of the most unique, creepy killers I have seen in horror.  Not only was he creepy, but he killed with one of the most bizarre weapons ever to be used on screen.  Both aspects were creative, well thought out and very original.  As far as effects go, there weren’t an over abundance used, which I like, but the ones that were used were great.  Very believable.

Final thought: I loved ‘Home Sweet Home’ and would love to see more from Adam Krause.  There wasn’t anything I could find to complain about.  I loved the originality of the film.  Truly Indie horror at its finest.

To keep up to date on this film, like the ‘Home Sweet Home’ Facebook.

Trailer:

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