09
May
14

NEIGHBORS (2014) starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron and Dave Franco

nieghbors
The new comedy movie NEIGHBORS from the producing team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg could be construed as an extreme re-imagining of the 1981 dark comedy of the same name starring the late John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. The general plot is basically the same, consisting of a couple of quiet suburban homeowners whose lifestyle is threatened by new obnoxious neighbors. But from that point onward the similarities end.
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The 2014 version has the quiet homeowners (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) adjusting to life as new parents with their ever-so-cute baby girl. A monkey wrench suddenly has been thrown into their midst in the form of a noisy hard-partying fraternity moving next door. Things between the family and the crew of Delta Psi lead by pretty boys Zac Efron and his 2nd in command (Dave Franco) start off friendly, with Rogen & Byrne joining in on their raucous fun, putting the frat boys and their friends at ease, as a ploy to get them to “keep it down” for future reference.
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Unfortunately the situation soon turns into an all out war, once both sides feel they have betrayed the other. Soon, sabotage ensues between the neighbors. The homeowners vie to get the fraternity evicted, while the raucous frat brothers are on a mission to make life a living hell for the suburban family (mainly Green and Byrne, the frat actually adores their baby girl – how can one not) that they either will want to move, or give up and co-exist with the frat without compromises on toning down the loud parties.

As she had done in the previous comedies GET HIM TO THE GREEK and BRIDESMAIDS, Byrne again steals the movie with her comic timing, aggressive antics and (in this particular case,) foul-mouth cursing, showing a different side to her almost melancholic movie persona showcased in horror films, like INSIDOUS and 28 WEEKS LATER. With her talent, she is poised to be the next Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock once she is given the chance to carry a major film on her own and shines.
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Rogen is his usual carefree stoner buddy self, seen in nearly all of his previous films. But that is why we enjoy watching him. He plays very relatable dudes, the kind of guys most of us know personally, if we are not a version of him ourselves.

Efron and Franco make for charismatic semi-villains as they tend to have a caring softer side that sometimes juxtaposes with a dark pathos – they do have moments of remorse throughout the film.
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Which brings me to the some of the minor problems I had with the movie. Given the nature of the original Belushi/Ackroyd film, as well as Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg’s previous hit, THIS IS THE END, I was expecting NEIGHBORS to go further into dark territory as the comedic moments become equally outrageous and over-the-top. At times, it appeared the film was going that way, but then it suddenly shifts into lightheartedness that kind of betrays the overall premise of the film. I believe NEIGHBORS would be a better film if the plot tension and stakes were raised to ridiculous proportions. However, since over time, I knew the movie was not going in that direction, I feel it should have ended earlier than it had. The final epilogue feels tacked on and anti-climatic.

That said, I still really enjoyed the movie and I laughed many times throughout. As uneven as it seems, NEIGHBORS is a fun, rollicking ride through the animal house!
5

03
May
14

AKIKO IZUMITANI’S THE OTHER ONES

tosks

I’m glad I was to  donate to my friend/up & coming filmmaker Akiko Izumitani‘s new action/martial arts short film The Other Side, starring TV show HEROES actor James Kyson and co-produced by Jason Hampton (producer on my upcoming project THE CIRCLE) and Hunter Woo.
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Akiko directing an action scene.

JH
Producers Jason Hampton and Hunter Woo

Akiko is an accomplished feature documentary filmmaker with a few other narrative shorts under her belt. She is also on imdb’s list of Top Rising Asian-American Directors: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls056929608?ref_=bio_rls_2

With THE OTHER SIDE, Akiko is making her debut foray into the serious action/drama genre.

The film is shot. As of yesterday, her campaign have surpassed the $9999 needed to complete Post-Production, but are still accepting donations until the campaign ends today. So, check out their Kickstarter page and donate HERE!: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/26048159/the-other-side-a-short-film-by-akiko-izumitani

 

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes photo of actor James Kyson (from NBC’s HEREOS) on set for THE OTHER SIDE.
JK

 

 The Other Side also features actor/stunt coordinator Alfred Hsing.

About Alfred Hsing (邢思杰) – He is an actor and martial artist who is the first American to win a gold medal at the World Wushu Championships. After that stunning achievement, Alfred moved to China to work for JET LI.
AH

After completing two major Chinese blockbusters with JET LI (“The Sorcerer and the White Snakeand TSUI HARK’s “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate“), Alfred decided to continue his education in the performing arts. He was accepted into the Beijing Film Academy where he enrolled in and completed an advanced studies acting program.

Since Alfred’s move to China, he has worked as an actor, stuntman, action coordinator, and production associate. Some notable projects he has worked on include national commercials for Adidas, Feng Xiaogang’s “Back to 1942” with ADRIEN BRODY and TIM ROBBINS, and “My Lucky Star” starring ZHANG ZIYI and WANG LEEHOM.

Again, check out the campaign and DONATE!: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/26048159/the-other-side-a-short-film-by-akiko-izumitani/posts/806905

CONGRATULATIONS Akiko Izumitani and Jason Hampton!!!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

02
May
14

REST IN PEACE JEFF HANNEMAN (JANUARY 31, 1964 – MAY 2, 2013) ONE YEAR LATER

Jeff
Today is the one year anniversary of the passing JEFF HANNEMAN – guitarist & (best) songwriter of Los Angeles-based Thrash Metal icons SLAYER.

Next to AC/DC, SLAYER is one of my top favorite bands of all time. Ever since their second release, the “Haunting The Chapel” EP, they instantly became the band I was the most ravenous about – something about their aggression and tales of the darkside attracted me like no other band has since. Though musically, their albums have been spotty ranging to god to mundane after of the release of “Seasons In The Abyss” – they still were the incredible live act with one of the, most craziest, joyously violent fans on the planet.

HTC

In the early days, it was guitarist/founder Kerry King that drew my attention. With his overtly Satanic image and ominous -looking nail wrist band, he kinda became the band mascot akin to AC/DC’s Angus Young in his schoolboy uniform. However later, Jeff started to get my attention. Most of my favorite songs were written mainly by him and he was always had an energetic stage presence with his long blond mane rapidly swinging in time to SLAYER’s thrashing beat.
BAND

My fondest memory of him, was when I got to see SLAYER perform for a 2nd time ever in 1985 (during their “Hell Awaits” tour at The Stone in San Francisco with local evil thrashers POSSESSED opening up). At some point during the show, I wanted to stage dive, so I wound up being thrown to the stage and I landed at the feet of Jeff Hanneman. Lying on my back, I was kind of stuck their on the floor between him on one side, playing and headbanging away and the crowd on the otherside. We made eye contact, and I knew I needed to get the hell off the stage immediately. I kept wondering what was going through his head seeing the site of little black kid metalhead lying at his feet. Though I was nervous, I banged my fist on his leg three times like a true metal head to acknowledge how bad ass he was, then I got up and lept off the stage. I always think myself that he could have easily kicked me off the stage like a football – yes, I was that tiny then at 15 years old. But he didn’t. He just kept playing away, and I got to have memory that has stayed with me for all of these years.

(photo of EXODUS live below to get an idea of what I’m describing above – c/o Brian Lew: MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW Book)
STAGEDIVE

Cut to last year, when SLAYER announced to the world that Jeff had passed due to a weakened liver, most likely from drinking too much while still recovery from necrotizing fasciitis caused by a brown recluse spider bite. Because of this incident, he was unable to tour with the band, missing out on playing some seminal shows in the America, consisting of METALLICA, SLAYER MEGADETH and ANTHRAX aka the BIG 4. These former thrash metal rivals did play together (with a healthy Jeff) in Europe.
BIG4

But then Jeff got bit shortly afterwards at his home. He did manage to make one triumphant appearance with his bandmates, playing one song towards the end of their set at the last of the BIG 4 shows in Southern California. With his arms raised, he wasn’t shy at revealing at what had become of his arm due to the flesheating disease the spider bite had caused (he had to undergo many skin grafts to get his arm to heal). I don’t know what had happened afterwards from the time of this show to his death (there has been many seculations on his personal life as SLAYER had to continue onward without him with fill in guitarist Gary Holt of San Francisco Bay Area Thrashers EXODUS, longtime friends of all of the BIG 4 bands).

MAY 23, 2013 – JEEF HANNEMAN MEMORIAL at the Hollywood Palladium
The event was cool, yet bittersweet as Kerry King and other close family & friends talked about their favorite memories of Jeff. This was followed by montage video of Jeff’s life both personal, showing him a s a child to personal photos, including wedding photos with his wife and of course with the band and other musician friends. You can view some of the pics I took on Facebook – click here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151458726704562.1073741832.580404561&type=1&l=b77d5fc03f
MEMORIAL

At a certain point during the memorial, the SLAYER song “Raining Blood” written by JEFF HANNEMAN blared over the speakers and INSTANTLY 5 thrash circle pits erupted on the floor. At this exact moment, I was caught between 2 pits – this one in front of me and another one behind me. Had to snap this quick and then protect my belongings, while pushing thrashers out of my way, like I used to do back in the day.
THRASH RIB

Overall, the memorial was a great event, and one year later, Jeff Hanneman is still sorely missed by all of us SLAYER fans around the world! REST IN PEACE.
ME

01
May
14

THE QUIET ONES – ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE – OCULUS – UNDER THE SKIN

THE QUIET ONES

QUIET

I thought THE QUIET ONES was an effective supernatural movie that recalls modern horror films like THE CONJURING (2013) and HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2009) to much earlier classics such as THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) and THE ENTITY (1982). Some of the visual imagery was also reminiscent of EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC (1977), namely the electronic hypnotherapy contraption that Linda Blair wore on her head in that film, plus a particular bathroom incident seemed to be a homage to a scene in THE LEGACY (1978). Furthermore, the excellent British cast, locales and the recreated early 70’s period gave the movie that beloved Hammer Horror vibe, that I could see Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee in their prime, playing the psychoanalyst role that Jared Harris (AMC’s MAD MEN; SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS) embodies this time around. Taking cues from THE HAUNTING (1963), sound plays a major role in creating tension and jump scares throughout, making the film come across as the exact opposite of quiet. I found THE QUIET ONES is worth seeing on the big screen and to be the new, rebirthed Hammer Films‘ best release to date.

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE

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I loved ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE. Storywise, on the surface, it reminded me a little bit of Xan (Alexandria) CassevettesKISS OF THE DAMNED (2012), in regards to a certain character (those of you whom have seen that film will recognize who & what I mean). That said, this is very MUCH a Jim Jarmusch film with all of his quirky & amusing sensibilities, plus some cool poetic cinematography (vinyl record lovers will certainly enjoy this aspect)! To me, the film seems to comment on the lack of appreciation from the masses for real artists, visionaries and craftsmanship (especially of vintage guitars) that only a select few can truly understand, like our long-living lovers in the film. There are also sly witty references to well known historical figures, and the passion for music truly had me hooked. I MUST find the soundtrack & score immediately, especially for this song “Trapped By This Thing Called Love” by DENISE LASALLE: http://youtu.be/s7qvvJWkUXk – a GREAT moment in the film.

 

OCULUS

OCULUS

OCULUS was good. Unsettling creepiness – to a lesser degree it’s THE SHINING meets THE CONJURING. I have to give the filmmakers kudos for the ending. Also just realized because of National Siblings Day, that possibly was one of the reasons they released the movie the day after, given the two lead characters are brother & sister.

 

UNDER THE SKIN

UNDER

Had my 2 and a quarter doses of Scarlett Johansson on the big screen lately via CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, the LUCY trailer and now with UNDER THE SKIN directed by Jonathan Glazer (SEXY BEAST and BIRTH) – this unconventional sci-fi/horror/noir thriller plays a lot like John SaylesBROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET (1984) meets Nicolas Winding Refn‘s VALHALLA RISING (2009) in character-study theme and slow pacing with minimal dialogue (and thankfully no story/plot exposition)! I enjoyed it. But UNDER THE SKIN definitely is not a film for your average mainstream movie goer. Those with eclectic/adventuresome cinema tastes should dig it.

03
Dec
11

OUTRAGE Movie Review

My review of Takeshi Kitano’s awesome cinematic return to the yakuza: OUTRAGE, now up at LIVID AMBITION.COM!!! Click image below!

21
Nov
11

ANOTHER HAPPY DAY Movie Review

Recently reviewed ANOTHER HAPPY DAY the debut film from director Sam Levinson (son of filmmaker Barry Levinson). I enjoyed this dark comedy drama very much! Click image for review!

21
Nov
11

LIVID AMBITION Movie Reviews

I have begun to review the occasional movie & music CDs again, this time for a new site called LIVID AMBITION. A lifestyle entertainment website created by my dear friend, journalist/author/comedienne/actress Dana Davidson.
Harley Dana Davidson

The first one I completed was for the indie film I MELT WITH YOU. To say the least, I didn’t melt with the movie. Click the image below to read my thoughts.

21
Jan
11

STACI LAYNE WILSON’S THE KEY TO ANNABEL LEE [OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE]

The Key To Annabel Lee [A Woman In Triptych] Principal Photography Wraps

Annabel Lee Triptych

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 19, 2011) – Principal photography concludes this weekend on director Staci Layne Wilson‘s first film, The Key To Annabel Lee [A Woman In Triptych]. “Interestingly enough,” says Wilson, “wrap date was locked in on Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday. We had some rather remarkable coincidences every date we shot — we commenced on December 8, 2010 which marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination (whose song ‘Imagine’ fits our theme as well) and finished the bulk of our filming on December 15, the day one of my favorite directors and a great inspiration, Jean Rollin, passed away.” The director adds, “I also think it’s interesting to note that Annabel Lee is the last complete poem composed by Poe, and it’s the very first thing I directed.”

“The death of a beautiful woman, is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.” — Edgar Allan Poe

Death, and things in threes, are major themes in The Key To Annabel Lee [A Woman In Triptych]. Narrating and starring in the films (four shorts, in all — best-described as a cinematic form of installation art) is Nivek Ogre (Repo! The Genetic Opera), famous as the lead singer of the industrial rock band, Skinny Puppy. Diane Ayala Goldner (Feast) appears as a wolf-like seducer in two installments of the experimental film, but “the star of the show, as in the poem, is Annabel Lee herself,” says Wilson. “She is the triptych of the tale, representing a notion along the lines of The Three Faces of Eve.” The director plays a version of the doomed heroine, along with Cherilyn Wilson (Parasmonia) and Corrie Shenigo (After You).

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” — Edgar Allan Poe

“I have three distinct dynamic segments, each of which are comprised of the women portraying Annabel Lee,” just because, “I like things in trios: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. Trinities. Sun, moon, and stars. My color palette of red, white, and black. Trimesters. Seraphs — as mentioned in the poem — are angels described as having three wings. Poe uses three R’s – rhyme, rhythm, and repetition – in Annabel Lee.” The fourth, and most major, part is entitled “Integration” and merges the three personalities into one story.

While the plot line hasn’t been revealed yet, Wilson offers some insights. “One of my favorite novels of all time, Lolita, was a little inspired by Poe’s Annabel Lee… Originally, Nabokov titled the novel The Kingdom by the Sea. There are a few connections in my film, especially in regard to the forbidden, obsession, and fetish. Other inspirations include Little Red Riding Hood (see: the Blue Streak Productions logo), the works of Lewis Carroll, and the photography of Helmut Newton.”
BSP Logo

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.” — Edgar Allan Poe

The Key To Annabel Lee will be shown on July 17, 2011 at the 4th Annual Los Angeles Viscera Festival. To keep updated, please visit www.bluestreakproductions.com

Contact:
Terrence Kelsey, Media Relations
bluestreakproductions@gmail.com

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The ANNABEL LEE’s (photo credits Staci Layne Wilson. Shem Byron and Annette Slomka):

Cherilyn Wilson
(Cherilyn Wilson as Annabel 1)

Corrie Shenigo
(Corrie Shenigo as Annabel 2)

C&D
(Corrie Shenigo as Annabel 2 & Diane Ayala Goldner as The Wolf)

Staci
(the writer/director/temptress herself Staci Layne Wilson as Annabel 3)

17
Dec
10

STACI LAYNE ALLEN POE & HER DYING BRIDES

‎”The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.” ~ EDGAR ALLAN POE

EAP

Seems that Mr. Poe has been having quite the successful posthumous career with Jeffrey Combs performing his critically-acclaimed one man show as the famous dark prince of literature, and now word has it that  John Cusack will play him in the upcoming film, THE RAVEN.
CombsPoeCusackPoe

Speaking of The Raven, the dark-feathered one has given me permission to announce a new Poe-adapted short film titled THE KEY TO ANNABEL LEE written & directed by my dear friend Staci Layne Wilson (her cinematic debut), and which comes from Poe’s poem ANNABEL LEE.

Besides being an entertainment reporter, film critic, author, and now filmmaker, Staci is quite a talented natural photographer. Check out her PICASAWEB PHOTO ALBUM album, showcasing her visually stylish and curious angles of various people and things that catches her eyes (whether they be architecture, her friends, and even herself, via some very interesting self-portraits)! Click the image below to view her various photo albums:
StaciArt

Her film stars Cherilyn Wilson (no relation), Corrie Shenigo, Diane Goldner, Ogre (of SKINNY PUPPY) and Staci herself.

She and her loyal multi-tasking crew, which included your’s truly as one of the “Set Photographers/Production Assistants” (on the first day of shooting), recently wrapped principal photography (aside from a few pick-up shots), and then she will begin the post-production process very shortly (i.e. editing, music score etc.).
T&SPoe
(Me and Staci after we – mostly she – almost got swept away by the sea… LITERALLY!!!)

In the meantime, she has set-up a website for the film, via BLUE STREAK PRODUCTIONS (named after her signature blue streak within her natural red hair), where she currently has the production photos posted and a link to more photos via her cinematographer Enzo Giobbe‘s website. Click on the image below to be taken to Staci’s production site.
Staci Blue Streak
(yes, that’s an illustration of Staci as Little Red Riding Hood, c/o talented artist-storyteller Terrance Zdunich of REPO:THE GENETIC OPERA fame)
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(Terrance Z. with Staci, on camera for Horror.com)

Annabel Lee Staci Layne Wilson
Cherilyn Wilson Anabel 1
Staci Layne Wilson Annabel 2
Diane Goldner Corrie Shenigo Partner & Annabel 3
Ogre The Narrator

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Annabel Lee ~ EDGAR ALLAN POE

MDB LOGO

Lastly, I leave you with the somewhat Poe-inspired Gothic Death/Doom Metal band from England, MY DYING BRIDE, who’s name and nearly every song embodies that Edgar Allan Poe quote at the beginning of this blog.
MDB
MDB A&A
(founding members/songwriters: vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe and guitarist Andrew Craighan)

They have 10 full length albums, a live album and a couple of live concert DVDs. The most notable is the 2nd album, “Turn Loose The Swans” (1993). One of my personal favorites (though I love ALL of their albums) is their fourth release, “Like Gods Of The Sun” (1996)
swans coverlikegods

Here’s 3 cool videos from the band.

“I Cannot Be Loved” (2009/2010):

“Bring Me Victory” (2009/2010)

“For You” (1996):

and here’s a fan video tribute to this MDB song:
“For My Fallen Angel”

(this song concludes the fourth album “Like Gods Of The Sun”, and is one of the rare – possibly only – tracks the band has done, consisting of just vocals, violin & keyboards)

As I draw up my breath,
And silver fills my eyes.
I kiss her still,
For she will never rise.
On my weak body,
Lays her dying hand.
Through those meadows of Heaven,
Where we ran.
Like a thief in the night,
The wind blows so light.
It wars with my tears,
That won’t dry for many years.
“Love’s golden arrow,
At her should have fled,
And not Death’s ebon dart
To strike her dead.”

For My Fallen Angel ~ MY DYING BRIDE

And That’s All Folks! To Beauty and Death! Thanks For Reading!

04
Nov
10

OCTOBER RECAP

It is now November, which means another Halloween season comes to a close. I really didn’t celebrate my favorite holiday this year, for various reasons I’d rather not go into. But I still managed to check out or be involved with things that are related to the horror film genre.

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SHRIEKFEST POSTER
At the beginning of this month, I went to SHRIEKFEST’s 10th Annual festivities, where my latest script 10/31 (a Halloween-themed spec I co-wrote with my buddy Jag Sandhanwalia), was a Semi-Finalist and garnered the attention of a literary agent who is interested in us as a writing team. Since the agent wants to see more writing samples, Jag and I are currently working on our 2nd horror script as a team. We both have our individual screenplays that we intend to direct in the future. But we’ll see where this spec route takes us.
10/31 poster A10/31 poster B

I was able to see an amazing sci-fi thriller from Germany, titled TRANSFER, which (to me) came across like a cross between GATTACA and Reminded me of GATTACA with a twist, dealing on issues of race, aging, class & slavery in a high-tech future. TRANSFER definitely was the most though-provoking film I had seen a very long time. The film won as bast Science Fiction film at Shriekfest. Here’s a cool review at Dread Central.com: http://www.dreadcentral.com/reviews/transfer-2010
TRANSFERS poster

Another cool Sci/Fi Horror film that I enjoyed in the festival is GREY SKIES…
gsposter

…which is sort of a cross between THE EVIL DEAD and CABIN FEVER meets M. Night Shyamalan’s SIGNS (but with superior alien creatures created by Barney Burman). The film features a stand out dramatic performance from actress/producer Stacy Jorgensen and comic relief from Michael Cornacchia (whom clearly made an impression on the audience; they kept laughing at all the snarky comments his character made). GREY SKIES would go on to win Shriekfest’s Audience Award.
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(Stacy will probably want to kill me for snapping her in mid speak! Ha!)

View the GREY SKIES trailer below:

Check out more info at the GREY SKIES website: http://www.greyskiesmovie.com/

Barney Burman’s PROTEUS MAKE-UP FX site: http://www.proteusfx.com/PROTEUS%20FX/The%20TITLE.html

Here’s a great interview with actress/producer Stacy Jorgensen:

A quick interview with Stacy’s screenwriter husband, Mark Reilly:

And a cool interview with the film’s Rock ‘n’ Roll guitar playing director, Kai Blackwood:

And here’s their Facebook pages:
STACY JORGENSEN: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690665842&ref=sgm

MARK REILLY: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1013647926

BARNEY BURNAM’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/barney.burman?ref=sgm

KAI BLACKWOOD: http://www.facebook.com/kai.blackwood
KAI BLACKWOOD’S MYSPACE MUSIC PAGE: http://www.myspace.com/kaiblackwood

I also saw a cool zombie origin flick titled ASHES from director Elias Kostas that starred Brian Krause formally of the long-running WB witch series CHARMED, and Kadeem Hardison (formally of THE COSBY SHOW spin-off A DIFFERENT WORLD). The movie dealt more with the deadly virus that came from a sick jellyfish and how the infection quickly spread through a hospital. In most zombie films, this scenario would be the beginning of the opening act. What I found refreshing was that the whole film centered on how the disease was spreading. The actual zombie apocalypse would take up the last act of the film. ASHES took the top prize as best Horror.
ASHES poster
asheshriekfest

Here’s the ASHES Trailer:
http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi3557398809/

ELIAS MATAR Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashes/113349478722135?v=info#!/profile.php?id=832681520
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(Director Elias Matar accepts his award)

In addition to the feature films showcased, the festival included a number of excellent short films. I didn’t see all of them. But out of the batch I saw, here’s the five that I enjoyed the most:

MIRACLE FISH – about a precocious young boy who awakens from a nap in the school’ sick room and realizes he’s the only one left on the campus. That is until he discovers, there’s someone else there with him. Someone very dangerous. In the midst of this scenario, a “miracle fish” toy will decide his fate.

This 18 minute Australian short has grade A feature film quality all over it from the performance of the little boy to the excellent scope widescreen cinematography. Seek this little film out whenever possible. It was nominated in the best live action short films category at the 82nd Academy Awards!

You can view the film below:

THE GUEST – a cool short concerning a woman who accepts questionable guest into her home one late evening, who seemingly is on the run from the police over some recent murders of women in the neighborhood. Though he pleads his innocence to her, tensions quickly rise for the both of them with deadly results.
the guest poster b

Here’s a 5 minute “making of THE GUEST” (don’t worry! no spoiler alerts needed)

DISPATCH – synopsis from Shriekfest program booklet – a woman wakes up to find herself barely hanging on to dear life. With evidence of bloody violence, she must figure out who or what is responsible if she is to make it through the night.

Check out the short on Vimeo
http://vimeo.com/13237339

Tim Hyten website: http://transforensics.com/download/hyten/timhytenhomepage/index.html

BY A HAIR – will probably become the ultimate gross out ode to zit popping/in grown hair scenarios

You can check out the website here: http://www.byahairmovie.com/index.htm

FRANK DANCOOLO: PARANORMAL DRUG DEALER
fd poster

Not sure what to make of this cyberpunk/neo noir/sci-fi/slapstick comedy/thriller from director Andrew W. Jones. But it had everyone in stitches, especially when the female protagonist warns her boss to never underestimate “THE POWER OF MY FUCKING UTERUS!” You just have to watch it.

You can click on this link to view the short:
http://www.aw-jones.com/dancoolo720.html

Here’s the filmmaker’s website, which includes a couple of animated shorts as well: http://www.aw-jones.com/

Lastly, I made a new friend in screenwriter Will Link, who was a Finalist this year in Shriekfest with his script VALENTINE’S NIGHT, and I met a logtime FB friend in person for the first time – the very cool (and very pretty) photo journalist Dana Davidson!
t&w
t&d
w&d
shriekfestawards

A special shout out goes to festival director, the ultra-sweet Denise Gossett, who was moved to tears by the support that Shriekfest has attained for the past decade. She’s a true champion of independent horror cinema, and just one of the kindest, endearing people you will ever have the pleasure to meet.
todd & denise
(here’s Denise with her husband/festival co-director Todd Beeson)

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NIGHT OF DEMONS Screamfest/LA premiere & review
SF2010
NOTDPOSTER

October 8th, 2010 – Twas the NIGHT OF THE DEMONS remake premiere at the 10th Annual SCREAMFEST LA, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… okay, that’s just a bold face lie! Ha!

The screening was a lot of fun… I met up with my LA horror partner in crime Staci Layne Wilson (whom was working the red carpet) and other friends/acquaintances.
S&T
(me & Staci, photo taken by Enzo Giobbe)

S&B
(screenwriter Sean Keller & horror journalist Brian Collins)

T & R
(indie scream queen Devinny Pinn, me, Rob G and his fellow MASSIVE HYSTERIA scribe Aaron Pruner – photo taken by Dana Davidson)

notdredcarpet1
(NOTD actress Monica Keena)

NOTDredcarpet2
NOTDredcarpet3

The filmmakers (writer/director Adam Gierasch and writer Jace Anderson) did a raffle gift giveaway to a packed house beforehand, and then the movie began.
A&J1
A&J2
packedhouse

Here’s my review of the flick: http://wp.me/pLllW-dV

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New Beverly Horrorthon
horrorthon

Another cool event I checked out was the 12 hour Horrorthon at The New Beverly Theater, which was screening 7 flicks starting from 7:30pm and ending at 7:30am the following day.

I almost didn’t make it inside, as the show was Sold Out a couple days in advance. Still, some of us took a chance that a few tickets might be available at the door. Luckily, I (and 3 others, whom were also at the front of that long line) were chosen ones to get inside. Due to our common bond of being ticketless at the door (with no guarantee of ever getting inside), we ended up being our own group for the duration of the event.

The list of movies playing in order were Dario Argento’s TENEBRE (1982), Lucio Fulci’s THE GATES OF HELL (aka 1981’s CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD), THE EVIL (1978) , secret movie TRICK OR TREAT (1984), THE GIANT CLAW (1957), THE OUTING (1987) and BREEDERS (1986). I managed to stay awake for most of the movies (I wasn’t in the mood to watch THE GIANT CLAW, so I slept during that one, and I dozed off occasionally during THE OUTING and BREEDERS. I wished I slept through those entirely though. They were atrociously bad, and not in a “so bad, they’re good” kind of way; they were just plain bad that I never want to see them again. Not even BREEDERS’ gratuitous nudity could distract me from some of the most blatantly amateur acting I’ve seen in a long time.
tenebregoh
theeviltot

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REAPER AWARDS
reaperawards
rshh
awards

Taking place at the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood & Highland, this was the last major horror event I participated in – this time as a photo journalist. Thanks to my aforementioned gal pal Staci Layne Wilson (of Horror.com), I was offered the chance to cover the REAPER AWARDS on her behalf. She was one of the judges.
s&t
stacispeaks
sign
horrordotcom
press

The awards show basically showcases the best in home entertainment DVD releases within the horror genre.

You can click on my article link at Horror.com for details on what titles won and who I interviewed and snapped pictures of on the red carpet: http://www.horror.com/php/article-3384-1.html

You can view more of the red carpet I took (and some of myself taken by Staci Layne Wilson & Dana Davidson) in my Facebook album
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=235153&id=580404561

mereaper
(photo taken by @nnette Slomka)

In case some of you didn’t know, I like to take pictures occasionally of whatever catches my artistic eye. In this case, I took some photos of the interior décor and architecture of the Roosevelt Hotel. Here’s a sample.

corridor
chandelier

The rest are in my picasaweb album

http://picasaweb.google.com/112828908629757174062/RooseveltHotelViaREAPERAWARDS#

This pretty much covered my October festivities. Unfortunately, I didn’t get dressed up and go ot this year, so I instead I watched a two of my Italian Horror favorites – Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND and Dario Argento’s SUSPIRIA

Until next time… thank you very much for reading!!!




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