Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Horror out on DVD this week... too much good stuff this week!

Seriously, there hasn't been a week like this in horror for a long, long time. I weeded out double-packs, rereleases and special editions and there's still a long list of quality horror here. As usual, if you're interested in the film and want to help us out, please click on the title and buy it off Amazon, through us. You can also go to our Youtube channel to check out some of the trailers. Now... let's get to it.

If you checked out our interview with Joshua Nelson from yesterday, you'll know that his next film, "Pink Eye" comes out today. Actually, Melissa Bacelar, his co-star in "Skinned Alive", is back in this one. "Pink Eye" takes place at a prison-like, dilapidated insane asylum where secret drug testing has gone very wrong... doesn't it always? Who ARE these doctors? Some patients die, others become raging, homicidal lunatics. Then, one patient escapes and brings death and terror to an unsuspecting town and everyone in it. It's essentially the same team that brought you "Skinned Alive", as it's written by and stars Joshua Nelson, has hottie Melissa Bacelar in it and is directed by James Tucker. This is a group of indie filmmakers that we're big fans of, so make sure you check this one out.

"Five Across the Eyes" is co-directed by Greg Swinson and Ryan Thiessen, the story comes from Marshall Hicks and the screenplay was by Swinson. It's an indie horror and it's about five teenage girls who get in a bit of trouble, then end up driving a van through an area that the locals call "The Eyes", where they're being chased by a guy in an SUV that they happened to damage earlier... As it's a low-budget indie, there's a few cool things they did to cut corners, including shooting the entire film from inside the girls white van. I haven't seen it yet, but this is the kind of thing that Dead Harvey's all about. I'll try to get in touch with these guys and talk with them about the film.

"Bryan Loves You" is produced, written, directed by and stars Seth Landau, it's also got Tony Todd, George Wendt, Tiffany Shepis and Lloyd Kaufman in it. It's based on the true story of a cult that takes over a small Arizona town. It's another take on the 'lost footage' style of filmmaking, which is another great way to cut corners on cost... in this case, a psychotherapist looks through camcorder footage and security tapes that witnessed the whole ordeal. I like the whole idea of 'lost footage', as it's a great way to justify using shitty cameras and low-production values... and I don't mean that in a bad way, really. I mean that in a good way.

"Summer Scars" is another low-budget indie from the UK and it's won a bunch of awards, including best actor at Austin Fantastic Film Fest, a few awards from BAFTA Awards, best narrative feature at Santa Cruz Film Festival, best child acting at Seattle True Independent Film Festival and bronze for best suspense / thriller at WorldFest Houston. It's written, produced and directed by Julian Richards, whose got a lot of good shit to his name, including the really well received "The Last Horror Movie", which came out in 2003. This is his latest film and it's about a group of teens who are faced with a life-changing experience when they meet a deranged drifter.

"Necroville" is actually an award winning film, as well, having won the best New Mexico Filmmaker award at the Santa Fe Film Festival. It was co-directed by Billy Garberina and Richard Griffin and it was co-written by Adam Jarmon Brown and Garberina. It's yet another low-budget indie, this one taking the schlock route... which I always appreciate. The film takes place in Necroville, a city overrun by zombies, vampires, werewolves and other monsters. Jack and his best friend work at a monster extermination company and he spends his days battling monsters and trying to please his girlfriend... but his two worlds collide when Penny's ex-boyfriend returns to town, as the unholy master of a coven of bloodthirsty vampires. Once again, this is a film that's right up our alley, so check it out.

Intriguing name, interesting concept, boobs on the box art... which can only mean one thing, "the darkest and most attitudinal all female collective on the planet", The Satanic Sluts, must be back. And back they are, in "The Satanic Sluts 2: The Black Masses". This is directed by Nigel Wingrove, who is, more famously, the guy who founded Redemption Films in 1992 following the banning of his film "Visions of Ecstasy" in 1989/90. He was largely responsible for bringing the work of Jean Rollin, Jess Franco and Dario Argento to the mainstream horror audience. "Satanic Sluts" is an all girl internet collective and the subject of this film, plus a few others. The Black Mass is also the name of a night club that Wingrove operates... specializing in strong horror, banned films and Europorn, you can expect this to be, well... over the top.

I guess "Pulse 2: Afterlife", the sequel to 2006's "Pulse", which was loosely based on the the 2001 Japanese film, "Kairo", would be the biggest budget release of the week. There's a third film planned, as well, called "Pulse: Invasion". I can't say that I was a huge fan of the first "Pulse", it was your standard PG-13 horror film from Dimension. "Pulse 2" is written and directed by Joel Soisson, who has some very interesting credits to his name, including being the director on: "Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence" and a couple of "The Prophecy" sequels, as well as, but not limited to, writing "Hellraiser: Hellworld", "Mimic 2" and "Dracula 2000". He also produced a whole helluva lot of good stuff.

This is something that I usually wouldn't cover, but I thought I would because I have a point. R.L. Stine is most well known for creating "Goosebumps", but he's written tons of books, almost all of them are horror for younger audiences. This film, "R.L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly", is another adaptation of his works. Now, like I said, I usually wouldn't comment on a film like this, as, really, I'm not going to see it, but it is worth mentioning for this one reason... targetting younger audiences is an easier way to sell your film. It boils down to that whole PG-13 vs. R rating debate. My personal opinion is that I like R rated films a lot more, however if you were a studio and just wanted money, you'd make a PG-13 film to attract a larger audience. Knowing that, if you are putting together a project that you wanted to pitch to a studio and it could be toned down for a younger audience... should you do it? It's a whole other category that I think is underserved right now - horror for kids.

"Buried Alive" is from Paul Etheredge, whose spent the bulk of his career in the art department, having worked on films like "JFK", "Hexed" and "I Shot Andy Warhol". This is based on the FEARnet digital series, following a group of friends who find themselves trapped inside coffins. On FEARnet, they were just a bunch of very short, shorts... as each person woke up in the coffin. This ties them all together, has them unravelling the clues, plus has siblings Meg and Travis above ground, trying to figure it out and save their friends, as well. To be honest, I didn't watch any of the shorts on FEARnet, but it was done fairly cheaply and could be worth checking out.

The orignal "Rest Stop" was the first direct to DVD release from "Raw Feed" and, to be honest, was quite good... even though it had Joey Lawrence in it. Now, we have the inevitable sequel, "Rest Stop - Don't Look Back". The director of this one, Shawn Papazian, was actually the second unit director on the first, which is pretty cool. So, it looks like "Raw Feed" promotes from within. He also directed a film called "Horror High", back in 2005, so this isn't his directorial debut, but pretty close. "Don't Look Back" revolves around the brother of the Jesse (from the first film), who sets out with a few friends to find the missing couple from the first film.

"The Vanguard" is written, produced and directed by Matthew Hope, whose only other directorial effort was 2005's "In the Field". It comes out of the UK and it's a low-budget indie about one desperate survivor in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. It screened at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival and it was fairly well received. I haven't seen it, but the trailer looks pretty f'ing good.

"Breathing Room" builds on the whole reality game horror thing... however, this one appears to take things a little further. This one starts with the main character being thrown naked into a desolate room with thirteen strangers, where she discovers that she's the final contestant in a "deadly game". The twist they throw in here is what I call the "Shoot To Kill" twist, where one of the contestants is the actual killer, you just don't know who. Now, I know that this story twist goes way beyond the Kirstie Alley film from 1988, but that where I first recognized it, so that's how I remember it. In any case, this was co-written and co-directed by John Suites and Gabriel Cowan.

"The Devil's Muse", written and directed by Ramzi Abed, is a new take on the Black Dahlia murder... which seems to never get old, for some reason. I guess it's an interesting story, but it happened a while ago. If you're not aware of it, Elizabeth Ann Short, subsequently nicknamed the Black Dahlia, was murdered in 1947 and it was gruesome - she was found severely mutilated, with her body severed in half and drained of blood. They never caught anybody and it's still considered a mystery. "The Devil's Muse" is about an actress who gets to play Elizabeth Short and an entire dreamworld awakens around her... all the while, a killer is on the loose collecting women and killing them in time for the 60th anniversary of the murder.

"Ghouls" is another Sci-Fi Original, this one from director Gary Jones, who was also behind "Planet Raptor: Raptor Island 2", "Crocodile 2: Death Swamp" and the upcoming "Boogeyman 3". "Ghouls" has William Atherton in it, who I'm going to think most people remember as Richard Thornburg from "Die Hard" and "Die Hard 2", as well as "Days of Our Lives" own Kristen Renton... who plays Morgan Hollingsworth (I had to look that up, I swear). The film is about a college student who returns with her father to his home country only to discover that her family holds a dark secret that involves her... and I can only assume that it has something to do with ghouls.

"Kiss Attack" comes from Carlos Batts and is the story of five deadly beauties spawned by Vlad Drakul, cursed with a poisonous and venomous kiss... and, a revolutionary sex fantasy blending an exotic cast, featuring comic illustrations, animation, martial arts and ground breaking music, it's beeing hailed as the first ever action / erotic film. I may just have to look further into this one...

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