Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bleedfest Now A Monthly Event!

Based on the success of her first Bleedfest event, filmmaker Lis Fies (The Commune) has now turned it into a monthly event! Bleedfest is a Los Angeles based festival, dedicated to spotlighting the works of female independent filmmakers in the realms of horror, science fiction, erotica, exploitation and much much more!

This month's programming focuses on Thrillers. All the pertinent deets including the lineup can be found below.

--Monthly Genre celebration BLEEDFEST FILM FESTIVAL announces schedule for its Thriller installment!--

The schedule for the highly anticipated second BleedFest Film Festival has been announced. It includes a dozen female filmmakers' short films and concludes with international genre superstar's Caroline Du Potet's thriller feature IN THEIR SLEEP, her follow up to the sensational and disturbing INSIDE.

Special guests sitting in their own VIP section include World Famous Scream Queens/producers Michelle Tomlinson and Tara Cardinal, prominent journalist/filmmaker Heidi Martinuzzi, Emmy winning filmmaker Barbara Stepansky, and horror filmmaking duo Marichelle and Drew Daywalt.
The Bleedy Award, a bronze statue designed by Neal Harvey of
RubberGorilla.co.uk, will finally be revealed in a video presentation at the Awards Ceremony. It will be awarded to the In Competition short voted on by the audience, and to the feature IN THEIR SLEEP.

All films screened will receive an award certificate and Winner laurels to add to their publicity.

The In Competition category is comprised of five short films by female writer/directors. They are BAD GIRLS by the Soska Sisters (sensational feature films DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK and AMERICAN MARY), ALGESIA by Cathy Alberich, DEAD BOYFRIENDS by Xstine Cook, MOCKINGBIRD by Marichelle Daywalt, and MORBID CURIOUSITY by Cindy Baer (acclaimed feature film PURGATORY HOUSE).

The Out of Competition block screens short films produced and/or written by women. December's BleedFest will feature SCREAM MACHINE written by Julia Camara (screenwriter of Spring 2010's Brazillian sci-fi blockbuster AREA Q), and UP UNDER THE ROOF produced by Danielle Stallings.

The Works in Progress section of BleedFest gives the audience top secret first looks at short films by several acclaimed female filmmakers including an Emmy winner, and are screening unofficially to get editing feedback from the audience of genre lovers and and generate buzz with BleedFest's press partners.

The festival will have two Open Bar sessions featuring free wine and beer, giving the audience a crucial chance to network.

During these breaks, BleedFest will screen trailers of upcoming genre films (World famous Tara Cardinal's actioner LEGEND OF THE RED REAPER
taracardinalactress.com), and trailers of genre work that is now available online (Marion Kerr's acclaimed feature GOLDEN EARRINGS indieflix.com/film/golden-earrings-30830/. Music videos by Sophia Segal will also be played at this time.

Sunday December 5th, 2010
TIME: 11am-3:30pm
Location: CAP Theatre
13752 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
$10 cash at door for all day ticket and open bar

And The Winners Are....

Sweet holy molasses! You guys made this one really hard. You shared with me some super spectaculoso stories regarding your drive-in memories.

I hemmed, I hawed and I pawed it about. And after long consideration (read: 5 minutes), I've decided that the winners of the Drive-In Horrorshow DVD giveaway are:

Michele P:

'Back in the 80's we used to go to the Winslow Drive In-at the time, Texas chainsaw Massacre was at its peak and happened to be playing one weekend. My cousin and I decided to head to the drive in to watch it since we both love horror movies. What he didn't tell me was that he'd brought along a chainsaw. So there we were sitting in the car watching the movie and he gets out to go to the bathroom. I heard him fumbling around in the back of the car but engrossed in movie, really didn't think much about it. Other couples were busy watching the movie... and doing other things that we all know went on at the drive in. Just as the movie was getting good, I heard a chainsaw start up-WAY too close. Not very safe, but there was my cousin, mask and all, parading around the parking lot with a stupid chainsaw. OMG, you should have seen people take off and others jumping out of their cars in various stages of undress... it was a riot. Even the nice officer that came and gave him a stern warning. It was a very interesting night!'



'I grew up in Alaska, and for obvious reasons, Drive-In's are not a very popular form of recreation up here, as the freezing cold in winter and an appalling lack of interest in summer keeps it from latching on. So it was not until I was nineteen and was visiting my family in Washington state that I got to go to my first drive-in. It was something else. We saw Lake Placid. While the movie was okay, it was really all about how the movie was watched. Me, my three cousins, and one cousin's fiancee set up chairs in the back of a pick-up truck and drank beer that we had smuggled in. Being able to make noise during a movie while sitting in the pleasantly cool evening was amazing. We talked, laughed, and tried unsuccessfully to ignore the not-so-secret goings on in the volvo about ten feet away from us. The scent of hot dogs and popcorn coming from the snack shack reached out to us from the other side of the drive-in, watching that giant crocodile snack on a bunch of horny morons gave us some appetites of our own. We sent one of our number (the only one who had seen the movie before) out to bring back our food. He came back with most of it, having dropped my nachos in the grass. As I recall, the movie was merely okay, the hot dog made me ill, and I left wishing that I had a volvo of my own. But I knew that if I could have, I would have been at that Drive-In every week of my life. I heard a few years ago that that wonderful theatre where I lost my drive-in virginity was torn down. It is news that still tugs on my heart strings, as a very fond memory of mine still sits in that vacant lot.'

Leatherhead, please leave a comment on this post with your email address or email me directly so I can get your home or other domicile mailing address: jcorty28@gmail.com

Congrats kids!

Cortez the Killer

Monday, November 29, 2010

Burning Inside (2009)

Fear 2/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 2/5

Burning Inside has the look and feel of a midnight movie with more than a few stylistic cues taken from the weird and wacky David Lynch. But don't let that scare you off (if you aren't a fan of his work). The film isn't muddled by some of the odd imagery the aforementioned filmmaker typically employs. Instead, you get that style of film along with some striking imagery which makes sense and fits within the film, given the context of the subject matter. And overall, what you're left with is a fresh and interesting take on the classic revenge tale.

Our film begins with a nurse caring for a man, his medical chart clipped to his bed identifying him only as John Doe. During the prolonged opening, in no words merely actions, you get the sense that this nurse has cared for him for a long time as she gently shaves his face. Further special care is witnessed when she kisses his forehead which causes the previously comatose man to instantly awaken.

The doctor and a psychologist both work to try and snap the man out of his silence, both by jogging his memory and using child nursery rhymes as a means to get some sort of response. The latter, it's explained, sometimes helps people as childhood memories will spring forth and illicit some sort of reaction. But their efforts are met with no avail. However, things turn one day when John Doe paints a striking mural on his hospital room wall of two crosses staked into the ground with a lush field surrounding. The nurse takes this as a break through and leaves him with a pencil. After a near fatal, self-inflicted stabbing, the nurse comes under fire from the doctor. She soon leaves the confines of the hospital with John, making their way out to the countryside that was featured in his mural.

John and the nurse show an immediate closeness. After a stroll through the countryside, we are taken to the (presumably) old residence where he used to live. Despite an incomplete picture of who he is and how he came to be under the care of the hospital for over a year, John is quick to take the nurse as his wife and start a new life in the home. It's also (in rather short time as scenes quickly come together) revealed that she is pregnant.

But the new life is all shattered one day when John comes across a video camera in his storage shed and plays the footage. We see what happened to him and his previous girlfriend and we start to piece together other scenes which are interspersed throughout the picture. A group of local gas station owners and attendees are responsible for putting John in the hospital and we find out that a far more gruesome fate befell his girlfriend. John begins in on seeking his revenge, leading up to the final act as he exacts the last bit in rather brutal fashion. But you're then lead to question 'Is all of this really as it appears?' as another series of flashbacks occurs and our film concludes.

I mentioned earlier the striking imagery employed in the film and my review wouldn't be complete without mentioning it. Crosses play a large part: in John's hospital room, his mural, and in his home. You get the sense that there is a righteousness about what he is doing, no matter how horrific his actions. Also a part of the story, is an overhead light which shines within his hospital room. You get the feeling, as it shows up consistently throughout the story as well, that the light is illuminating a bit of who he is as he comes to figure things out. Secondary to that, the way the light is shown before it is lit, almost looks like a door's peephole. I don't know if it was intended or not but I got the sense that it provided a 'means' for us (as the viewer) to stare deep into his soul and psyche.

Gripping and enthralling, Burning Inside is an incredible achievement through and through. If you are looking for something different and far from the norm, you won't go wrong.

For more information about the film, including how you can purchase a copy of it or rent it via iTunes, check out its website: http://www.monsterpants.net/channel/bi.html

Cortez the Killer

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Early Gobble Gobble Day!

Wishing you and yours a very happy turkey day! I'm flying out tonight to Columbus, OH where it's supposed to be ass freezingly cold. On top of that, I'm dealing with some nasty sinus stuff. Nothing that can't be cured by some whiskey and a tryptophan induced coma, right?

Have fun, stay safe and keep the light on for me. I'll be back in a few.

Cortez the Killer

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

H1N1: Virus X (2010)

Fear 2/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 1/5

I've been wanting to check this one out after watching the trailer for it a few months back. I'm a sucker for viral outbreak/post apocalyptic types of films. In addition, all of this mass hysteria around a piggy virus was at a fever pitch. Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago when I was given the opportunity to obtain a screener copy. What I received and watched was a film that starts off as a taut and serious thriller, but quickly devolves into utter camp with the appearance and dialogue of one character in particular. I could have overlooked that had it not been for the 'shocking' twist that it is employed. Ultimately, its what does this film in.

Our story begins with a bunch of researchers holed up in a heavily secured facility. They've taken to injecting test subjects with a highly aggressive strain of the H1N1 virus. Initially, we are lead to believe that this handful of researchers are looking for the perfect antidote to the virus. Taking up the cause, is another researcher who has seen the deadly effects of the virus first hand.

Things become a bit suspect when a mysterious woman calls the head of the facility, being all too demanding in her request for creating a more hyper strain of the virus not curable by conventional means. Furthering our suspicions, is the late night ventures of her gothic-y looking henchman who picks up people on the streets and brings them back to the facility for testing. After being taken back to the facility and injected with a super duper strain, our latest experimentee wrestles away, biting a researcher in her attempt to escape. Further complicating matters, she's shot in the head with blood being sprayed onto everyone within a five foot radius. Guess who's in that radius? Whoops. The facility then goes on lockdown courtesy of our head researcher. And we soon learn it's only a matter of a couple days before the virus takes the lives of everyone trapped inside.

So now you are left with a group struggling to either get out of the compound or persist in finding a cure but knowing full well their chances of doing so are fat and slim. After the cure effort is ditched, they band together to force their way out and find the head researcher who's hiding somewhere within the facility. All the while, they're being stalked by the henchmen who spews 3rd rate bad guy lines with a heavy Euro accent. This is troubling considering that, for the most part, the acting of the other characters onscreen is solid. His dialogue and appearance is really that bad. Not too mention, he looks....

.... like the blond version of this guy:

Thankfully, our researchers off him and we get to the 'why' of the film. And really, it's not that hard to figure it out beforehand. Expensive research facility + a rich, evil-y intentioned lady + hyper virus + a cure for it (that no one else has) = X. Solve for X.

This film could have been so much more but as it stands, it's a complete dud. A shame considering the solid production values and (for the most part) acting.

Cortez the Killer

Editor's note: apparently, this film is being released by Lionsgate early next year. And the name of it has been abbreviated to simply Virus X.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giveaway Time!

I've got copies of the wildly entertaining horror anthology flick Drive-In Horrorshow to dispense to 2 lucky recipients.

All yous gots to do is leave a comment on this here post, detailing either your earliest drive-in memory or one that's particularly funny. For those kids who've never been to a drive-in theater before or don't know what one is (for shame!), you can share a story about any other movie going experience.

This is the interwebs kids and you can hide behind relative anonymity. So I expect some backseat, horizontally challenging, don't come a knockin' if this station wagon is a rockin', stories.

You've got until Nov. 29th. Happy winning!

Cortez the Killer

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Human Centipede (2009)

Fear 1/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 3/5

When I first heard about this film, my initial reaction was that it was going to be a lot more about concept and less about the actual story and characters presented onscreen. Sure, the concept itself would be one of the most vile and depraved act(s) that one could ever commit. But as a whole, there wouldn't be much done to reel me in and get me emotionally invested. After finally watching this now notorious film, I can firmly say that my first inklings hold true.

The film centers on a couple of gals on a road trip through Europe. They get into a bit of a pickle when their car breaks down on their way to a party in Germany. Pretty much stuck out in the middle of nowhere, they come upon a secluded house (which serves as a great set piece to the film with its ornateness). Ringing the doorbell, they are greeted quickly by a tall, dark haired and lanky man who immediately displays a judging eye and a stern look. Without hesitation, they enter his home upon invitation and at this point we know it's all downhill from here.

Not really doing much by this point in terms of building suspense or anticipation, the girls immediately succumb to the spiked water they're given. They eventually awaken, finding themselves on operating tables alongside an Asian man. It's on these tables and within the confines of the operating room that our man and 'doctor' reveals his sinister plan. And by now kiddos, I'm sure you all know just what it is.

What ensues after the operation is an hour long, drawn out affair which could have been summed up in about 15 min. The Asian 'head' of the human chain screams in (what I believe) to be Japanese, the girls whimper quite a bit, while one of them is succumbing to effects of the experimentation as her body is obviously shutting down. And what is very surprising, is the fact that none of the onscreen 'horrors' are really as gruesome as initially thought. There were a couple of icky scenes for sure (one most notably on the operating table), but relatively speaking, the film was pretty tame.

Overall, what really detracted from the experience, was having no real back story on the doctor or his victims. These characters were painted in the thinnest of senses and as a result, you really didn't care much for them at all. One could say that the sheer not knowing of the rationale of his experimentations or the reasoning behind them was terrifying enough. But the way the film ends makes it all feel a bit hollow and all for naught.

Maybe more of a backstory will be given with the sequel and more depth to the characters involved. By no means is The Human Centipede a bad film. But for me, it was an incredible letdown.

Cortez the Killer

Help My Broheim Matt

Matt House, AKA The Dancing Destroyer, The King of Sting, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Master of Disaster, and of course, the proprietor of the always wildly entertaining blog, Chuck Norris Ate My Baby, is in a contest with his fiance and a few other couples (whew, that was a lot of commas!). They're in a contest to win a dream wedding and they need YOUR help to win. Their story is a bit different from some of the other people in the contest. You see awhile back, Matt was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. In a completely selfless act, his fiance gave him (and saved him) with one of her kidneys. They've been together longer than a lot of married couples and due to a bit of a financial pickle, they've never been able to afford a decent wedding. So they decided to enter this contest for the heck of it.

Well they've now advanced to the 2nd round and could use your support and more importantly, votes. As a man who got married this year to the woman of my dreams, I am lucky and fortunate that we were able to do so with great health and our own accord. I can't begin to imagine what they've been through as a couple but it's a testament to them that they keep on keepin' on. Matt has been a long time supporter of this blog and he's one of the most genuine people that I've met within the blogosphere. And he's on the short list of people I'd like to meet in 'real' life.

It only takes a couple of clicks to register and you can vote daily until Nov. 28th.


Thanks for your support mighty followers!

Cortez the Killer

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Taint (2010)

Fear 1/5
Gore 5/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 2/5

Disgusting. Foul. Offensive. Riotously funny and entertaining. Its like John Waters and Herschell Gordon Lewis had a sleep over, snorted coke and listened to 80's synth pop while getting each other off as they simultaneously came up with new and repulsive ways to gross the shit out of people. The Taint would make Henenlotter blush.

Kicking off our adventure, an emo-ish kid named Phil O'Ginny is trying to get into the knickers of a young lady near a farm. During mid 'Oh babys', he's foiled by old man Rivers who's got a scythe and a bad case of the Hershey squirts. He exits stage left lickity split and escapes into the woods. But he soon runs into other men who are suffering from a severe case of engorged and exploding members with a raging need to bash the heads in of any women they come into contact with. You see, the local water supply has been 'tainted' and its caused all of the men to become zombie-like, crazed misogynists.

Our skinny, fat rimmed sunglass wearing, and now toting a .44 magnum (I mean really, who doesn't carry one in their man purse?), hipster runs into a woman who tells the story of her husband falling victim to the infected water. Their love was one that was perfect, as illustrated by a hilarious and over the top flash back sequence as they profess their love for one another. They draw the conclusion that anyone who questions their commitment must be gay. After story time, the two band together and head out in search of fresh water and to get away from the madness which is quickly surrounding them.

Setting out on their journey, they soon run into a group of men lead by the hyper sexual PE teacher of the local high school whom Phil is all too familiar with. He says he's prepared for a day like this (another hilarious sequence ensues as we see a Rocky-like montage), when chaos rules and abled body men must attempt to restore society. When Phil and his female cohort don't fall in line, it's go time as Phil and him square off. But before the gym teacher can finish beating him to a bloody pulp he's saved by a strange masked man.

The trio flee the scene, taking refuge in the basement of a nearby home, away from the ever growing siege of pants splitting, full wood sporting, crazed men who are running around, bashing in the heads of women with rocks while baby batter spews all over the place. -- My wife heard a symphony of 'icks' and 'yucks' throughout the entire time I watched this looney film.

Our masked man relays the story of how this all came to be as he and a partner were working on a serum which would enhance a man's sexual performance. Instead, it turned them into crazed deviants and lady killers. After his own evil intentions are revealed, our reluctant hero Phil whips out his .44 and goes on a massive spree, laying waste to the infected and setting records for the most exploding penises ever committed to film along the way.

If you love brash, irreverent and over the top trashfests, then you must experience The Taint. But The Taint isn't for everyone. Many will find it repulsive in fact. But if you give The Taint a chance, you'll see that exploring it can be pleasurable.

For more information on where you can find The Taint, look no further:


Cortez the Killer

The Taint Trailer (NSFW) from Dan Nelson on Vimeo.

Friday, November 12, 2010

News You Can Use

Lots going on in the world of horror this week, blogosphere and festival-wise. Are any of you fine folks going to Horrorhound Weekend or the New York Horror Film Festival? At NYHFF, I'm curious about a little picture called YellowBrickRoad that's garnering a lot of attention. If you happen to catch it, let me know how it is. Looks spooky make you go dookie in your gym shorts.

Anywhos, this post is really meant for a handful of updates.

1. Our fine friend Geof Capodanno relaunched his blog with a new look and shortened the name of it to The Man-Cave. You know, in case you're into that whole brevity thing. Check out the snazzy new look and follow his blog pronto if you aren't doing so already: http://www.theman-cave.com/

2. Our other fantastical friends over at All Things Horror got into a class action lawsuit this week with some douchenozzle who temporarily stole their .com domain name. Mike tells me they hired some wet behind the ears kid from Hahvad to sort out the mess.* In the meantime, they have a new .net location. Clicky here: http://www.allthingshorroronline.net/

*These statements are not factual in the slightest.

3. I added a banner & link to our In Memorium promotion to the right of the blog just underneath the header and above my mug shot. Support independent filmmaking at its finest, won't you kindly?

4. And last but certainly not least, our friend Kristy Jett, a multi-talented kicker of assess and conqueror of worlds, has started an online petition to get the 1991 slasher film Popcorn released on DVD. She's a huge fan of the film. And she's even working on a documentary about it to accompany the release of the film. I say release because Kristy is one determined gal and she's one of the hardest working individuals in horror that I know. You can follow her efforts on a blog she started as well as sign her online petition. Click here for the deets: http://www.popcornthedoc.blogspot.com/

When this release happens, I hope she lights a fire under the pants of the dudes who started The Video Dead Myspace page. That film needs to be released, ASAP.

Have a great weekend y'all. Some cool things coming up next week on the blog including another DVD giveaway. Keep your peepers peeled.

Cortez the Killer

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blackout (2007)

Fear 0/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 1/5
Creepiness 0/5

A film that's becoming known as that other horror movie set in a stuck elevator (even though it came out a couple years before Devil), Blackout seems like one destined for greatness: a trio of folks are trapped in an elevator, one of which happens to be a serial killer who needs to get to his apartment in time to clean up a 'mess' before a court ordered child protective services rep. gets to it with his young daughter in tow. The insanely glaring problem? From the word go, there is no suspense as to who the killer is. No red herrings. No second guessing. No slight of hand. It's this main character as suspect numero uno and no one else. Really, I'm not spoiling the film by saying he's the killer from the word 'go.' It's that front and center.

The opening to our film sees our killer looking over the body of a dead woman in a bath tub, blood dripping from her hands. After a monologue about life, death and fate, we see our killer next in a graveyard with his young daughter, talking to and leaving flowers at the gravesite of his wife. Immediately, you are drawn to him as a potential suspect but you think 'No, it can't be. The proceedings are way too early going for this to be THE guy.'

We are then introduced to our two other eventual captives: a college age girl and a rebel type, motorcycle riding guy. If either of these two people have any intention to throw us off the scent, they fail on every level imaginable. The girl is hardly threatening. We find that she is set to lose her grandmother after she was struck by a car earlier that morning while walking. She wants to get to her apartment to snag a photo that holds sentimental value so she can die bedside with it. The guy, even though a tough looking dude, is seeking to runaway with his girlfriend who takes a lot of abuse from her alcoholic father. Scruffy in appearance but hardly the serial killer type.

So our three converge in the apartment building elevator and as it ascends, a blockwide blackout occurs, trapping them in the elevator. Initially, cool heads are the order of the day. But quickly and inexplicably, things fly off the rails as our serial killer guy (his words and actions only amplifying the fact that this is the guy) goes all cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and becomes violent and threatens the girl sexually. To further make sure there is absolutely no doubt in our minds as to the fact that this is the killer (if by some reason you are just incredibly retarded), we see flashbacks of him in night clubs, snapping pictures of women, seducing them, and taking him back to his apartment where he then kills them.

Before this over revelation actually occurs, you've already been taken out of the film. It's boring, uninteresting and completely devoid of any suspense. It ends in somewhat spectacular fashion as our killer meets a grisly demise (the best part of the film). But even then, you just shrug your shoulders as the film itself has not a leg to stand on.

I don't know what compelled the filmmakers to reveal so much early on or not make any attempt to build actual suspense and intrigue. By not doing so, it simply crushes the film from the starting gate and as such, is a completely dull and boring affair. And the dialogue spouted by the killer was equally irritating. It's like a book was checked out at the library entitled 'Bad Guy Quotes For Dummies' and that's what the script writer chose to go off of. Avoid this time waste at all costs.

Cortez the Killer

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In Memorium: Now Available For Streaming

The fantastic cinema verite fright flick In Memorium is now available for streaming in its entirety over at Indie Flix. Clicky here: http://www.indieflix.com/film/tbd-31680/

For the price of an extra value meal, you can stream the film for a full 30 days. In conjunction with it, I'm going to hold a contest of sorts. If you rent the flick, and comment on this here post, I'll enter you into a drawing. The winner, who'll be chosen by the director herself, will get a cool prize package from yours truly. For those of you who follow the blog regularly, you know I'm not a cheap-o. And if you need evidence to back my claim, look no further than here.

I can't recommend this film enough and I'd really appreciate it if you fine folks would rally around it. Simply put, films like this deserve to be seen by as wide of an audience as possible and are worthy of your time, attention, and hard earned dinero.

Cortez the Killer

Monday, November 8, 2010

Drive-In Horrorshow (2009)

Fear 1/5
Gore 5/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 2/5

Now THIS is a great anthology horror film. Not this. This. With a solid lineup of 5 stories that range from the serious to seriously goofy, Drive-In Horrorshow is the perfect film for a Friday night. Or any night for that matter.

Set to the backdrop of a nuclear holocaust, a ghoulish man and his ragtag group of drive-in theater employees sell tickets, dispense popcorn and fire up the projector for their undead patrons. Serving as host, our ghastly ghoul introduces each story with the necessary fervor and over the top adjectives. The rundown of stories is as follows:

- A girl having been roofied and horizontally polka'd by a frat bro the night before, takes revenge by drugging him and plaster glueing him to a poreclain bath tub. She finds that he's hiding a small fortune in his room and attempts to retrieve it. And as she does, he tries to escape by tearing off some of his skin from the tub in the process. Ouch-O-Rama! Does he make it out alive?

- A little boy who's mostly neglected by his family finds that there is a monster living in his closet. Making up scores of excuses to sucker them into the closet, he leads them one by one to their fateful doom. Just when he thinks he has the life he's always wanted, bills start piling up and the respective employers of his two folks keep calling wondering where they're at. Oh noes!

- A doctor who takes to the care of homeless and those who can't afford normal care, falls victim to a strange disease which eats away at his skin. Is it a government conspiracy or something far more sinister?

- A couple of kids begin to suspect that something is up with their neighbor, a man who seems normal on the surface but who may actually be the notorious 'Meat Man.' A local killer who has a penchant for chopping up his victims and storing them in his garage's meat freezer for future consumption.

- A group of friends head out to the woods for a camping trip. But their getaway weekend becomes an exercise in terror as a mutant cannibal runs wild. Gadzooks!

Drive-In Horrorshow is a lot of fun and it includes some really great practical effects work. Especially in the 2nd story with the caretaking doc.

Check it out. You won't be disappointed.

For more info regarding the film, looky here: http://driveinhorrorshow.com/index.php

Also, be on the lookout next week when we'll be giving away two copies of the film for nada.

Cortez the Killer

Friday, November 5, 2010

Satan Hates You (2009)

Fear 1/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 4/5
Creepiness 3/5

Wacky. Batshit crazy. Off kilter and left of center. Totally raucous. On the surface, this pretty much encompasses the whole of James Felix McKenney's film Satan Hates You. But there is a lot more going on with it and ultimately, the message to be gained is entirely up to the viewer to decide.

The film starts off at a bar where people are being their wild and debaucherous selves: drugs, alcohol, having sex in the bathroom. One girl in particular, takes no issue while men wait in line to have their way with her. Intermingled with the goings on, is a couple of scheming and drinking demons, watching over things with a gleeful giddiness about them. In addition, a mid to late 30 something guy and regular of the bar, heads outside to grab a smoke with another man. When his overt sexual advances are rebuffed, he immediately flies off the handle and brutally takes a 2X4 to the man in the back alley of the bar. What a way to kick off a film, eh?

Our story centers around these two characters: the young girl who we come to find is knocked up but still not averse to doing drugs or drinking and the man, the daily patron of the neighborhood watering hole who can't come to terms with his sexuality and becomes incredibly violent as a coping mechanism for the shame he feels in being himself. And trailing them both, are our co-conspiring demons (Larry Fessenden playing one of them, almost stealing the show with this creepy, maniacal glee about him) who egg and prod them on to do terrible things. The height of which, includes the girl going through with a late term abortion and the man going through a string of killings in a nearby hotel room.

Interspersed with the proceedings, are various religious types reaching out to both. For the girl, one on TV stands out in particular (Angus Scrimm playing a grandfather-like figure) as he's not your typical over the top bible beating televangelist. She's entranced by him and even goes so far as to thinking he's reached out to her well beyond the confines of her boob tube. Another figure, a local church goer, reaches out to the man, staying with him in his hotel and telling him about the love that Jesus has for him despite his terrible wrongdoings.

Not your typical horror film, right? So how does the film end? I don't want to give it away. But I will say that tragedy befalls the pair and you are left pretty much on your own to come up with what it all means. For me, I questioned whether or not the pair really achieved some sort of salvation.

So if you like horror films that are a bit different, thought provoking and open ended (not to mention, totally wacky and over the top), then Satan Hates You is right up your alley. Highly recommended.

A neat-o fun fact: Reggie Bannister also appears in the film, playing the bar owner/bartender. This is the first time he's appeared in a movie with Angus Scrimm since the Phantasm films.

Cortez the Killer

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Original Horror vs. The Retro Tag: What Do You Think?

Last week, I had a conversation with a filmmaking buddy of mine regarding recent independent horror productions and the overbundance of retro style horror films: grindhouse, slasher, exploitation, etc. Our conversation went back and forth quite a bit, with him stating that it's hard for truly original works to break through when these styles of film have been done a 1,000 times over while I claimed that there's enough space in the sandbox for everyone to play. The discerning film fan (genre specific or not) can decide for themselves what they want to support: a re-hash of 60's-80's fare or truly unique and original stories.

But I think my position may be wavering a bit as these retro films are sweeping a lot of awards at film festivals. Don't get me wrong, these films are fun albeit not very original. Are they winning these awards based on the true merit of the work or because voters feel a bit of strong nostalgia when voting? But I digress. That's a different question for a different time.

My question to you is this: Do you think this style of film (and the recent proliferation of it) poses a challenge for filmmakers who have created truly original works?

Cortez the Killer

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And The Winners Are....

The winners of The Darkness Within DVD giveaway are:

- The Mike
- Ron O.
- Charlie B.

Congrats kids! I'll be emailing you soon to get your home addresses.

Be on the lookout for another DVD giveaway coming soon.

Cortez the Killer

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trailer Time!

Well my Monday just got infinitely better. And I hope this trailer makes yours better too.

I received an email from the producer of an independent horror film called Midnight Son. It's a film that promises to take a '....gritty, realistic, new look at the vampire genre.'

All I can say is 'WOW' after watching the trailer. The filmmakers are currently working on getting distribution for Midnight Son and are doing all that they can to spread the word.

Check out the trailer below and keep your eye out for this one. For more information regarding the film, check out its website: http://www.midnightsonmovie.com/

You can also follow their efforts via the requisite social networking mediums:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MidnightSonMovie

Twitter: http://twitter.com/midnightsonfilm

Cortez the Killer