This is a great week for indie horror and, by that, I mean the over-the-top, shot on DV variety. Although I haven't seen it, "Dead Moon Rising" has got to have the best cover art that I've seen in a while... it's sort of "Shaun of the Dead" meets "The Toxic Avenger". Either way, "Dead Moon Rising" will top my list for films I need to check out this week.
So, "Dead Moon Rising" has a few things going for it... (1) it won the audience award for best feature at Cine-Fest, 'Best of Fest' at another and it won "Best Zombie Film" at the Fright Night Film Festival. (2) It's as indie as it gets, with the special effects, music, editing, producing, cinematography, writing and directing all being done by the same guy, Mark E. Pool. (3) They're pending certification from the Guiness Book of World Records for having the largest cast of zombies and the largest zombie scene ever filmed... Oh yeah, the plot... it's a zombie movie.
"Automaton Transfusion" is being released by Dimension Extreme, the 'extreme horror' arm of the Weinstein's company. This film was one of Fangoria's top 10 horror films of 2006 and screened at tons of horror festivals, but don't let those accolades fool you - it's a low-budget, indie horror. Shot in the summer of 2005 on a budget of $30K, it was written and directed by Steven C Miller right after he left film school. He made an award winning short film, "Suffer or Sacrifice", while at Full Sail Film School in Orlando, FL, then made this. It's generated tons of buzz and it's the first of a trilogy. I guess it's doing alright, because he's currently working on the sequel, "Automaton Transfusion: Contingency".
"Carver- UNRATED" comes from writer/director Franklin Guerrero Jr., who's only other feature film is "The 8th Plague". I haven't seen this unrated version, but I have seen the other version... it's your run of the mill backwoods, 'based on a true story', slasher flick until you get to the end... and the last 20 minutes is for the gore-hounds. I'm not sure what else will be added, but the ending is pretty good, if you're into the special effects and blood and guts.
"Mega Snake" is one of the made for TV films from Sci Fi Pictures, directed by Tibor Takacs, who's made tons of 'like quality' films, such as "Ice Spiders" and "Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep". Sci Fi Pictures original films actually comes out with quite a few low-budget horrors and some of it isn't bad. I'm not sure how their process works, as far as how they commission films, but I may look into it. They typically make films with budgets of $1 - $2 Million and they air around 28 original movies per year.
"The Fun Park" was written and directed by Rick Walker, whose day job is hosting a morning radio show in Oklahoma City. Over his 28 year career, he's casually been picking up filmmaking and screenwriting accolades, having won various awards. "The Fun Park" is his second directorial effort, the other one being a romantic comedy called, "Sam & Janet". Okay... won't be checking out that one, but, "The Fun Park" is about 'Bobo - The Insult Clown', who was supposedly murdered 26 years ago, but was discovered living in the bowels of an abandoned fun park by a group of kids. Bizarre and grisly, ritual murders ensue...
"Army of the Dead" is being released by Maverick Entertainment and was directed by Joseph Contegiacomo, who usually goes by Joe Conti, I guess. The title and artwork are blatant rip-offs of "Army of Darkness", so I'm having a bit of a tough time with this one... Joe Conti got his start in the world of visual effects, then crossed over into writing and directing with "Bugs" in 2003. "Army of the Dead" marks his second stint as a director. "Army of the Dead" is about a university professor and his students, who unwittingly unleash a long dormant curse while visiting the Baja peninsula and find themselves in a life or death battle with an army of skeletal warriors, the undead remnants of Coronado's conquistadors. Having read that, it's not really a rip-off, well... kind of. Couldn't they have called it something else?
Albert Pyun is back with the action/horror/western, "Left for Dead", about a desperate criminal and a merciless posse who become trapped in a remote Mexican ghost town by a vengeful demon. As far as I'm concerned, all of Pyun's movies are 'must see's' and if you don't know about the Hawaiin born director with a penchant for making films that mix martial arts and science ficition in dystopic and post-apocalyptic settings and sometimes involve cyborgs, lets take a look at some of his highlights. Well, of course, there's the classic, "Cyborg", starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, the "Nemesis" series, "Omega Doom", "Postmorten" and "Urban Menace", just to name a few... I say he's back, but, really... Pyun makes an average of two movies a year. In fact, he's made 5 movies inbetween this film, "Left for Dead", which came out in 2007, and it's sequel, "Left for Dead 2", which comes out in 2008.
"The Forever Dead" is the directorial debut from Christine Parker, who also wrote and produced the film. It's being released under The Adrenalin Group label, which is her label, so I believe that means that she's distributing it independently, which is great. It's the prequel to a 15-minute short that she made called "Second Death" and it was done on the cheap. I don't know much about it, but from what I've read, it's a true indie horror, so do yourself and the industry favor and pick it up.
If low-budget, shot on DV horror with guys in monkey suits is your thing, then "Suburban Sasquatch" is your film. Written, directed, shot, composed, edited and staring Dave Wascavage, "Suburban Sasquatch" is about the mystical and mysterious Bigfoot, who goes on a blood thirsty rampage in the heart of peaceful suburbia. I love the cover art because it looks nothing like the guy in the gorilla suit in the film, which you can see in the trailer here. "Suburban Sasquatch" was Wascavage's first film, he's subsequently made three more, "Tartarus", "Fungicide" and "Zombies by Design". All of which are currently available...
Even though they're saying that shot on 35mm, Super 16mm and digital video, this is a low-budget, shot on DV film... and I mean that in a good way. "Satan's Whip" is about a seminarian who embarks on a bizarre and horrifying quest that will end in a blood-bath of insanity, cannibalism and witchcraft. To be honest, the trailer looks great and it doesn't hurt that it looks like there's at least one blood soaked sex scene in it... boobs in trailers always sell me. Here's a link to the trailer.
"The Deepening" is about a fireman who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder after working the tragic events of 9-11. Searching for a fresh start, he heads to a rural town, where he has to seek treatment for his recurring nightmares... which don't go away. In fact, they turn into a terrifying reality. It's getting some decent reviews and it looks pretty good, but if you're going to pick it up, pick it up because Gunnar Hansen and Debbie Rochon are in it.
"Torment" - I couldn't find anything but this blurb, so here's the blurb: From the makers of DEAD CLOWNS ("one of the most effective indie horror films I've seen in years" - bloody-digusting.com) comes a new tale of coulophobia! Suzi Lorraine (Chainsaw Sally, Satan's Schoolgirls) plays Laura Wiggington, a woman recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital. Her husband Ray (Tom Stedham) takes her to an isolated river cottage to recover. There she is stalked by a psychopathic clown named Dissecto (Lucien Eisenach -- Hellbound: Book of the Dead) who performs macabre "tricks" for his literally captive audiences. But does the clown really lurk nearby or only in the dark recess of Laura's troubled mind?
I usually don't cover the old rereleases, but I have to mention the "Cult Fiction" series, which is coming out with some wicked rereleases this week, including: One of the best 80's horror of all time, "C.H.U.D.", one of George Clooney's first movies, "Return of the Killer Tomatoes", "Night of the Living Dorks", "Kidnapped" and "The Wicker Man".
New horror on DVD - March 4, 2008: