Directed & Written by Eric England
Starring Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams,
Alice MacDonald & Matt Mercer
Running Time 78 minutes
The movie pulls the viewer in right from the get go with a dose of necrophilia, leaving you wondering just what you actually saw. Then we find ourselves following the main character Samantha as she makes her way to a party, minus her better half. While at the party she tries to be a good girl but things go wrong as she falls to pressure and drinks her sorrows away. Before you know it she finds herself in trouble with a guy at the party, and wakes the next morning bloodied, sore, not too sure of what happened the night before. Samantha makes her way to the doctor with various symptoms, and tries to blow off her discomfort since the doctor doesn't seem concerned. Samantha's condition however wont let her ignore it. We watch in disbelief as she gets sicker in the most creepy and uncomfortable of ways, while her life falls apart around her. All of this becomes too much for Samantha to bear, as her body withers so does her mind, until she finally succumbs to violent madness pulling you along for the ride!
I have to say this movie started off really strongly. I was pulled right into the story and although parts were predictable it didn't matter too much as the tension and creepiness of the movie more than made up for it. Samantha's mental breakdown led to some unexpected fun that was a nice change of pace for the film,and helped keep the story moving. The effects are done really well too, making for some cringe worthy moments! Viewers will find it almost hard to watch parts of this film as the symptoms ravage Samantha's body. There were a lot of things that worked in this movie to make it very watch worthy!
While many things worked for this film, some did not. This film really takes a high level of "suspension of disbelief" to really be able to get into. Samantha's condition gets to a point where it makes no sense why she isn't, either voluntarily or by force of the doctor who is treating her, at the hospital for treatment and quarantine purposes. The fact that neither happen are truly a hard sell to the viewer. Samantha's mother (Caroline Williams) is also a bit of a hard sell as she seems completely oblivious to her daughters medical demise in front of her eyes choosing instead to believe drugs are the issue, which is fairly ridiculous given her symptoms. However, if you can overlook those two glaring points the rest of the story is pretty good, with some decent twists.
I mostly enjoyed this one. Contracted was tense, interesting and aside from the disbelief issue, pretty absorbing. The ending of the film was a bit of a disappointment for me. It felt like a cop out of sorts. I really wish they had done something different, but I wont pan an otherwise good film for the final 5 minutes. All in all, this is worth a veiw, I'd definitely recommend renting this one, but I won't be adding it to my collection any time soon.
Directed by Jacob Vaughan
Co-Written by Benjamin Hayes & Jacob Vaughan
Starring Ken Marino, Peter Stormare, Gillian Jacobs,
and Patrick Warburton
Running time 84 minutes
Bad Milo is another great example of what is right in horror comedy the last few years! Its a perfect blend of bad one liners, potty humor, heart and gore. Who would have thought that a film that teaches us about Anus Mythology, could be so awesome?! And I can't believe I am saying this about something that is borne out of a mans ass, but damn Milo is adorable. I swear by the end of the film you're going to want a Milo all of your own, poor misunderstood lil guy!
Duncan is an average good guy, living the average good guy life. He has a decent job, a good woman, and what looks like a okay life. He struggles with some tummy trouble, mom offers remedies, doctors try to help, and eventually he ends up unhappily in therapy where we can get to root of his problems. Pretty quickly this film pulls you in with a great opening scene, and then it keeps pace through the entire film, rotating between great blood soaked moments and humor sometimes mixing the two perfectly in such a disgustingly delicious way that you may feel both grossed out and ashamed for laughing at such wretchedness. You will also find yourself shocked by how much you want to hug this little ass borne, doe eyed, killing machine, i swear I even got teary at one point for the lil fellow! It was awful!, but it goes to show the amount of emotion that is in this film, not what you would expect from a story like this one.
If you haven't watched this film yet definitely add it to the list, it is a gem! The cast is made up of comedy veterans who bring this film to a whole new level of funny, and the gore is very effective with some scenes really looking incredibly good. I will definitely be pulling this one out again for years to come. It just goes to prove stress kills, but sometimes its kills the other guy!!!
Directed by Kern Saxton
Co Written by Destin Pfaff & Kern Saxton
Starring Tony Todd, Noah Hathaway, James Duval
Mark Hamil, Sonny Chiba, Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey,
Danny Trejo and Cortney Palm
Running time 98 minutes
What a fantastic departure from the films we are used to seeing many of these names associated with! I had to check this movie out as soon as I heard about it, with names like Todd, Hamil, Chiba, Trejo and all the rest you're attention is immediately grabbed. I mean really these are incredibly iconic names of some of my favorite genres of film, from horror and sci fi to martial arts action, wow! I would have never expected such a gathering as this, and needless to say I was very excited!!
The film is a bit like a pulp style action/revenge story. Its gritty, messy and violent. The story is a diamond heist gone wrong. Fish gets arrested but says nothing about his co conspirator or the goods. Years have passed since the robbery and everyone is awaiting payment, as Fish is getting released from prison, a meeting is called for the entire gang. Looking for their shares they are unhappy to hear that no one claims to know where the diamonds are. What follows is simply fantastic, and slightly reminiscent of Tarantino. Which lets be honest there's a lot worse things in the world than being reminiscent of one our generations most creative directors! Although this movie gives a nod to Tarantino, it in no way is a copy of his films. It definitely has a voice all its own, with some nice twists as it plays out.
The film isn't horror but it is still horrific, with over the top torture scenes that are definitely cringe worthy. It has some really unexpected unique moments from Mark Hamil, who delivers probably the strongest acting of his career. I have a new found respect for him, after watching this film. Tony Todd as "Duke the Crime boss" is an easily believable role, with his powerful persona, and dark character acting its a role that suits him well. The film is well rounded and will appeal to a vast audience. The individuals names associated with this will do much to pull in fans from various genres, but the beauty is once you get past the individual names and see beyond that you are greeted with a fantastic ensemble cast that really pull together to deliver a fun, exciting, interesting film!
This is an awesome flick! If your looking for something to check out over the weekend definitely give this film a try, you will not be disappointed! I too may be rewatching it over the weekend myself as it is just that good!
A Measure of the Sin
Directed by Jeff Wedding
Screenplay Co-Written by Kristy Nielsen and Jeff Wedding
Starring Katie Groshong, Stephen Jackson, Starina Johnson,
Dale Rainey, Allyce Wix, and Cody Cheyenne
First off let me tell you this is not by any means a horror film, its more of a case study of the bizarre. The story centers around a girl who grows up in a cult setting for lack of a better term, isolated from the world, and even the rest of the household. Upon her mothers passing she joins the other women in the home, all of whom are dominated by a single middle aged man. And for some strange reason there is a bear that only she can see who visits her at night, I think it may be a metaphor for the man of the house, but perhaps I am completely mistaken.
This is a film that is definitely an in the eye of the beholder type. Much of it is left for you to ponder and determine for yourself what exactly is going on with the interactions between this small cast. Its a narrative movie that is beautifully shot, with fantastic location, saturation and film feel. There is also an amazing timelessness to the movie, that is really quite cool, it could literally be taking place at so many different points in time. Its an indie film that definitely does well in production as it doesn't at all feel cheaply made. And visually really is incredibly stunning.
That being said this film is far from my favorite, for me the acting was at time a bit forced in the emotional moments. I didn't quite understand the whys of the film, and I definitely would have like to see a bit more development of the male character, as I didn't feel the apprehension between the male and females in this story. Perhaps that is because of the fact that it centers around just one, and focuses more on her lack of coping mechanism for what life in the real world may hold, her personal fears for the journey she is hoping to attempt... I'm just not sure I understand... But then again I am not entirely sure I am supposed to...
If you are a fan of bizarre, indie or open to interpretation films definitely check this out. The things it does right are beautiful, and well worth watching, there's a reason it has been so successful on the indie film circuit.
THE UPPER FOOTAGE
Directed and Written by Justin Cole
Running time 90 minutes
The Upper Footage is a movie that blurs reality and fiction.It reminds us the monsters are not always scary men lurking in dark shadows, nor are they the creatures of childhood nightmares, more likely they are the people we may think we aspire to, who maybe we all could too easily become. It is a riveting story of an all too familiar reality, that is so believable director Justin Cole was able to use the real media to help further blur the lines we cling to in order to feel safe as we sit back and get our fill of our favorite genre.
The film is billed as being an edited 90 minute version of 393 minutes of found footage covering the events of one night in the lives of a group of affluent young socialites. It is a story of privilege, money and affluence gone horribly wrong. We watch as this group shows their colors in overindulgent petty behaviors that eventually lead to an accidental death and that's where things get really interesting.
So many things about The Upper Footage are done incredibly right. Justin Cole starts with a story that we have all heard, and gives us an all access pass to the entire event. That in itself wouldn't mean much if the acting was flat, or if the dialogue felt scripted. Somehow, everyone comes together to make this feel very organic, lending incredible believability to the film. The marketing is another point that needs to be mentioned as Justin Cole effectively used our ceaseless desire for dirty news via tabloid tv, getting shows like Entertainment Tonight to bite on the "leaked footage" resulting in a blurring of the lines between art and reality. He further plays into that gray area, by not naming any of the actors involved in the film and has even pixilated his own image on the net, giving a true air of mystery to the entire production, and leading you questioning what you just watched.
I found that all of this played together beautifully well. I was beyond impressed with The Upper Footage and would highly recommend you take the time to check this film out. The film shows how effective the found footage genre can be. It pushes boundaries, and our sensibilities by taking it to the ugly but real conclusion. The film literally left me shaking with anxiety for a minute at the end, a reaction I can honestly say I have never before had from anything I've watched, and believe me I've watched a lot! I am already looking forward to what Mr. Justin Cole has in store for us next!
Self professed Horror addict, mom of 2 tiny monsters in training, Co-Founder of The Horror Nation.