Videos

Movie Review: CUT (2010)

CUT-D-Poster-1024Written By: Dominic Burns

Directed By: Dominic Burns

Starring: Zach Galligan, Dominic Burns, Simon Phillips and Danielle Lloyd

Synopsis:

Five friends return from a cocktail party to a cottage deep inside the English woods of the Peak District. Having brushed off the notion of urban legends as rubbish, never occurring in reality, our protagonist’s slowly find themselves weaving through their very own horror story.

I stumbled upon CUT at a local movie store and being a fan of Zach Galligan and a good dark comedy, I decided to give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised by this film.  CUT is a British dark comedy that was filmed in one continuous shot.

The main reason I liked CUT is the fact that this is another horror movie that could happen to someone.  There is something about the exploitation of a primal fear that many people have about being trapped with nowhere to go by a band of psychopaths that makes a film more enjoyable.  The cast was fantastic.  They all seemed legitimately frightened by the events that were unfolding.    Zach Galligan was leading man Jack and I must say, he definitely isn’t the sweet, Gizmo toting Billy anymore.  Galligan was a badass in this film, much like he was in Hatchet III.

Because CUT is a dark comedy, there is witty humor seamlessly sewn into the constantly twisting plot.  I will caution you, if you are offended by the use of the word “fuck”, I would not suggest that you watch this film.  Many times when a horror film tries to take the path of a dark comedy, it becomes way too camp and loses the horror aspects, but CUT added a great deal of humor without losing the suspense and the drama.

All in all, CUT was conceptually great and well executed.  As a matter of fact, my only real complaints about the film are that the audio seemed a little off (this could have just been the copy that I have) and the pizza boy’s unibrow.

CUT, in my opinion, is another film that was low balled by the critics.  It is one of those films that you either like or you don’t.  I happen to like it and I give CUT a 7 out of 10.

Trailer

Movie Review: Among Friends (2012)

Among-Friends-movie-posterI have been waiting a while to see Danielle Harris‘ directional debut, Among Friends.  Among Friends was written by Alyssa Lobit and directed by the lovely Danielle Harris.  It stars Jennifer Blanc, AJ Bowen, Christopher Backus, Brianne Davis, Kamala Jones, Alyssa Lobit and Chris Meyer.

Synopsis:

A group of friends get together for a murder mystery party, but things take a dark turn when 1377552356_3one hijacks the evening and is out for blood.

I was so excited to see the debut of Danielle Harris as a director, but I must say, Among Friends was kind of a let down.  In my opinion, it had nothing to do with Danielle‘s directing ability, but the script that ruined this film for me.

The plot of Among Friends held a lot of promise, but was not carried out to its full potential.  There were many holes in the plot and a lot of 2013_08_18_-_AMONG_FRIENDS_004_1“what the fuck” moments.  With this film being a dark comedy, every cliche stereotypical characteramong-friends-dvd-4 from traditional horror films were made fun of, and that is all well and good but the best part/character of the whole film was Kane Hodder’s cameo as the perverted limo driver.  I loved that we got to see Kane’s funny side when he spoke to the passengers of the limo, and none of his lines were scripted, it was all him.

To be completely fair, Among Friends was conceptually great.  Everyone wants to call their friends 1377552356_2out on their bullshit and we would all like to know what people do and say about you behind closed doors. This film to me was a bit of a fucked up dinner among-friends-dvd-3-300x169party with elements of Saw thrown in.  The ending was a total let down and completely confusing.

I love Danielle and I hope she continues to direct, but Among Friends was not a very good film in my opinion.  I give Among Friends a 5 out of 10 for a decent plot concept and a good cast, but the plot did not tie together well at all.

 

The Among Friends trailer:

Sons of Anarchy Season 6 Challenge

sons_of_anarchy_promo

This is not a horror related article, but Sons of Anarchy is one of my favorite shows.  Creator Kurt Sutter has issued a challenge to fans of SOA to make season 6 the most memorable one yet.  Fans of Sons of Anarchy are some of the most loyal fans a show could ever ask for, so I know it will not be difficult to set record numbers for the premier of season 6.

Here is what Kurt had to say via his Who Say page:

If we increase our SONS OF ANARCHY season 6 premier numbers by any percentage in the key demos, myself and some unwilling cast member will show up to your house or favorite bar/club/cave and watch the finale with you, your friends and family. Even if you don’t want us to come. We will be there, baring gifts and good cheer. *

We’re hoping that the whole event will be taped and become bonus material for the season 6 DVD.

SOA SEASON 6
SEPTEMBER 10TH
10 PM ON FX

It promises to be the most memorable season premier to date.

Please join us and spread the word.

Thanks.

Kurt

* sorry, international SOA fans, we love you, but this challenge is for residents of USA only.

The Sons of Anarchy premier is always the highlight of my Septembers.  I know many of my friends feel the same.  Let’s help Mr. Sutter and the rest of the SOA crew make season 6 the biggest yet!

Here is the teaser trailer for what is sure to be another incredible season of the FX hit show:

Movie Review: Mama (2013)

1-Mama-PosterI have written a lot of positive reviews and a couple of negative ones as well, but I’m not too sure how to categorize this one.  Mama was interesting to say the least and I did not love it or hate it.  I am on neutral ground with this film.

Written by: Andres Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti and Neil Cross

Directed by: Andres Muschietti

Starring: Jessica Chastain (Annabel), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Lucas/Jeffrey), Megan Carpentier (Victoria) and Isabelle Nelisse (Lilly)

Plot:

The senior partner of an investment brokerage Jeffrey has a breakdown and kills his two associates and his wife. Then he takes his three-year old daughter Victoria and the one-year old daughter Lilly and drives his car through a winding snowing road. He has a car accident and fall off a cliff, but he brings his daughters to an abandoned and isolated cabin to kill them, but the children are saved by a creepy ghostly creature. Five years later, Jeffrey’s brother Lucas finds the children that were raised without social relationship and claim that they have been raised by Mama. Lucas disputes the custody with the children’s grandmother but Dr. Dreyfuss, who is studying the girls, selects Lucas to take care of the children. Lucas lives with his girlfriend Annabel, who plays in a rock’n’roll band, and Victoria and Lilly moves to their house. Soon Lucas and Annabel find that the girls were not delusional and they are not alone in the house.

images (1)With all the hype that Mama received and the seemingly promising trailer, I thought this film would be mama-01much better than it really was.  This was another case of an over hyped trailer that gave way too much away.  The story line for the film was promising, but there were a lot of missed opportunities for a real great film.  There were moments where the film seemed to be rushed and not completely thought out.

The cast was fantastic and made up a little for the holes in the plot.  Jessica Chastain was brilliant as she always is.  Megan and Isabelle were amazing for being child actors.  The whole cast was very convincing and sold the story well.  It was a bit of a let down to have such a talented cast and not have a better thought out script for them to act out.  Having an actress like Jessica Chastain portraying one of the lead roles is not enough to salvage a sub par script. mama-ghost-chase-movie-2013-e1359216253606

18MAMA1_SPAN-articleLargeMama was creative, but not at all what I would consider “horror gold”.  The film was entertaining, but I’m afraid that is it.  The “surprising” or “scary” parts were not exactly spin tingling.  There were however a few heartbreaking moments.  The story of Edith (Mama) was very depressing.  The ending was sad and very strange. images

Like I said previously, I did not love it but I did not hate it either.  I think Mama would have been much better had there have been more thought put into it.  As of right now, I think Mama, the way that it was written, would make a far better campfire ghost story than a full length film.  With that being said, I am giving Mama a 6.5.

Here is the trailer for Mama.  Give it a watch and see if this film is for you.

ku-xlarge

Help bleedingcritic Bring a New Breed of Horror to the World

e3e7dab338e7fcba8d4e48084952f2ecI have had the extraordinary honor to collaborate with the incredibly talented bleedingcritic on a couple of articles.  I am proud to say that I look to bleedingcritic as a mentor to my writings.   As previously mentioned in an article, bleedingcritic brings forth a brand new, original breed of horror that the horror world has so desperately needed.  He has been kind enough to share his genius horror mind with all of us, now it is our turn to help give back to him.

Most of you are aware of the site “indiegogo“.  bleedingcritic has launched his very own campaign to take the world of horror by storm with his unique, no nonsense brand of horror.  Here’s how bleedingcritic describes his campaign:

I need to get the attention of the worlds horror genre to get everyone addicted to my work which means I need to advertise, And that where I need your help.

bleedingwelcome. I’m bleedingcritic.

I supply pure class A horror medication. Horrormedication is a narrated series I’ve created, written and currently present.

Horror media is plagued by tired & cliché opinions.However, I’m different. No one knows my identity. I also provide intelligent spoiler free horror film reviews here bleedingfilms.com

I’ve designed mugs, hoodies and T-shirts which are currently available via bleedingfilms.com.

I need to get the attention of the worlds horror genre to get addicted to my work and to buy my quality merchandise, which means I need to start a marketing campaign, and that’s where I need your help.

I’ve contacted Empire Magazine, Total Film, Fangoria etc, etc and the cost to get in every major publication is over 24K. But that’s not necessary. A carefully placed, full page advert campaign, repeated will cost 13K (£13,000).

bleedingcritic™                                                                                                 @bleedingfilms

bleedingcritic has raised £50 towards his goal via the ‘flexible funding’ options.  There are 47 days left to help him reach his goal.  Like all other indiegogo campaigns, bleedingcritic offers some horrifically great perks for each donation amount. Click here to follow his campaign. We all know times are tough for most, so if you can not donate, please help spread the word of this campaign.  Every little bit helps out weather it is money or word of mouth, so do not think that any help will not be appreciated.

In addition to donating and or spreading the word, follow bleedingcritic on twitter, subscribe to his YouTube channel and visit his official site for spoiler-free reviews and your dose of horror medication.

Below is a video from bleedingcritic explaining his campaign:

 

*All links take you to their specified site*

Interview with Katharine Kellar on Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program

mueffectsheader (2)

I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview a few really influential people now.  I have recently been granted the opportunity to interview Katharine Kellar about the Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program at the Douglas Education Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For those that do not know about this program, it is a 16 month Associate in Specialized Business Degree Program.  Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program offers training in cosmetic make-up, eyes and teeth, animatronics, creature design, sculpting, anatomy, life casting, mold making, character make-up,painting techniques, appliance of prosthetics, air brushing techniques, hair and beard application and pretty much anything you would need to know to become a successful effects artist.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Katharine Kellar Interview:

LBoH: How long has this program been available?

KK: Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program at Douglas Education Center (DEC) is now in its 13th year. The program began in October 2000 with 13 students.

LBoH: How did this course come about?

KK: Tom Savini had been approached by various individuals in the past regarding the possibility of starting a special make-up effects program, but none ever materialized for one reason or another. When CEO / President, Jeff Imbrescia approached him, Tom was expecting the same kind of response he had gotten in the past. But, because he had been introduced to Jeff by a mutual friend, Tom decided to give him an opportunity. Tom asked to see a business plan. Jeff put together a 3-5 year business plan that was conservative, realistic, and most importantly, possible. He sent it to Tom. Tom laughed and ignored him. After a few weeks of no response, Jeff called Tom up for a business dinner. When they met, Jeff asked Tom why he never responded to Jeff’s business plan. Tom said it wasn’t worth it. “I spend more on cigars than you’re offering me.” Jeff said, what do you mean it’s not worth it? That’s when Jeff pulled out his ledger paper and put in front of Tom. Apparently Tom had misread Jeff’s business plan. What Tom originally thought was a decimal number turned out to be a whole number.

LBoH: Would you recommend this program for beginners or is it more for students that have a bit more previous experience?

KK: Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program begins by teaching a strong foundation in basic special make-up effects and works up. We’ve had students from each side of the spectrum – students who have never sculpted before in their lives to students who are experts. The way that the program is set up our students, regardless of their experience level, are able to flourish. We start by teaching a strong foundation and continually add to their already existing knowledge.

LBoH: How many students are in this program at one time?

KK: Tom Savin’s Special Make-Up Effects Program has anywhere from 150 to 200 students at one time.

LBoH: Have any of your student’s works been featured in a movie or television?

KK: Absolutely! We’ve had quite a few students on Television in recent years. Just to name a few – SyFy Channel’s “Face Off” is a big hit right now. The 5th season just started and we have 4 graduates on the show. Over the course of 5 seasons of “Face Off” we’ve had 10 graduates on the show. We also have a graduate as a cast member on TLC’s Cake Boss. His name is Ralph “Ralphie Boy” Attanasia. We’ve had a graduate on Food Network’s “Sugar Dome.” Her name is Kirsten Cosgrove.  As far as movies are concerned, our graduates have gone one to some of the biggest special make-up effects shops in the industry. KNB Effects Group and Burman Industries to name a few. Brian Hillard, one of our graduates, for example, work don Emmy Award Winning shows, HBO’s The Pacific, AMC’s The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad. He also lent his talents to Academy Award Winners for Best Picture, No Country for Old Men and The Departed. He also worked on The Hobbit, Django Unchained, and Oz: The Great and Powerful.

LBoH: What do you see happening with this program in the future?

KK: Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program recently underwent an overhaul. We recently added ZBrush as well as the popular new course “From Page to Screen.” Digital sculpting has become an important part of the industry. Students utilize cutting-edge 3D modeling programs such as ZBrush to bring concepts into reality. At the end of this course, students will have designed a variety of 3D examples that translate in to industries such as: movie/VFX, video games, illustration, figure creation, concept design, scientific illustration, and jewelry design.  In the From Page to Screen course, students learn all aspects of filming as they relate to special make-up effects by transforming written words of a script to moving images on a screen. Students learn the fundamental business practices for artists, as well as the importance of compromising, collaborating, meeting deadlines, and staying within a budget.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in learning more about Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program or any other program at the Douglas Education Center, visit their official site, like the Facebook page, follow them on twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

A special thank you to Katharine Kellar for participating in this interview.

Here is a video from the Douglas Education Center on Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program:

 

DouglasEduCent_logo

 

*All links are functional and take you to their specified sites*

 

 

Movie Review: Hitchcock (2012)

MV5BODAwNDI5NjIwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjc4ODc2OA@@._V1_SX214_Alfred Hitchcock is one of my all time favorite directors and I couldn’t resist the mixed reviews of this biopic.  I picked up Hitchcock a couple of days ago and was automatically impressed by the casting for the film.

Hitchcock is a biography/drama about Alfred Hitchcock and the creation of the 1960 classic, Psycho. Anthony-Hopkins-in-Hitchcock-2012-Movie-Image1 This film was written by John J. McLaughlin and Stephen Rebello, directed by Sacha Gervasi and stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, and Jessica Biel.

The striking resemblance between Anthony Hopkins and Alfred Hitchcock is astonishing.  His portrayal of Hitchcock, in my opinion, is his best performance since Silence of the Lambs.  Helen Mirren portrayed Hitchcock’s wife, Alma Reville.  Hopkins and Mirren were a dream pairing in this film.

With Hitchcock chronicling the making of Psycho, the cast of the film were present.  Playing the star of Psycho, Janet Leigh, was the lovely Scarlett Johansson.  Johansson was charming and a fantastic choice for such an important role.  Jessica Biel starred as Hitchcock’s scarlett_johansson_hitchcock_2012_640x360 (1)assistant and actress Vera Miles.  Biel was stunning and a perfect choice for the film.

The plot of Hitchcock was brilliant.  It was great to see a biopic that follows not only a Hitchcockmaster director like Alfred Hitchcock, but the making of a classic film by that director.  It brings to light the stress of trying to bring such a controversial film to the screen in such a conservative time.  Hitchcock also shines a little more light into the marriage of Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville.

I loved Hitchcock and would recommend it to any fan of Alfred Hitchcock and or Psycho.  There was not a bad element to the film.  I give Hitchcock a 10 out of 10.  “Good Evening“.

Official Hitchcock Trailer