"Spiral" was shot right after "Hatchet" with the same director (Adam Green), same actor (Joel David Moore) and producer (Cory Neal), but if you're looking for "Hatchet 2", you've got the wrong movie. Adam Green is trying to make sure he doesn't get pigeon-holed as the guy who makes 80's style splatter-fests, so he stayed with the genre, but got away from the themes. "Spiral" revolves around a reclusive telemarketer, whose dysfunctional friendship with his boss is alleviated when a whimsical co-worker enters his life. But as he begins to sketch his new friend's portrait, disturbing feelings from his past threaten to lead him down a path of destruction. It was an official selection and was awarded the "Gold Vision" Award at the 22nd Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2007 and was in various other festivals, including the Fantasia Film Festival, the London Fright Fest, Fantastic Fest and the Hollywood Film Festival. I love the fact that this was shot the way that most old-school low-budget films were, back to back with as much of the same crew as possible... all that and it's a pretty good flick.
"Gabriel", an Australian supernatural action film set in purgatory (the place between heaven and hell, if you're not up on your religious stuff), had its Australian theatrical release on November 15, 2007. "Gabriel" is unconvential and worth checking out for two reasons: it was produced without government funding on an extremely low budget, even though the filmmakers wanted to create a film that could compete in international markets and become profitable AND the movie's ending is far from mainstream, leaving the audience to decide which ideology mentioned in the movie to trust. The film follows archangel Gabriel who fights to rid purgatory of the evil Fallen and save the souls of its inhabitants... it's the first feature from director Shane Abbess, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Matt Hylton Todd. Filmed for roughly $150,000, it has the look of a film made for millions. Everyone involved in the production worked on deferred payment and, in addition, the filmmakers used money from the international distribution rights to complete post-production. It was funded mostly out of pocket and with loans and Abbess worked various jobs in order to raise the money. Apparently there's a 2 hour 'making of' on the DVD, which will definitely be worth checking out...
I'm really going to have to reserve judgement on "Catacombs", even though it's 'from the producers of "Saw". I haven't seen it, but I think it's got a lot going against it. I'll be watching it soon, so I might come back with an editors note. "Catacombs" is the first original movie from FEARnet, the website that's a collaboration between Lionsgate and Sony Pictures. So, it should be no surprise that Lionsgate is releasing it and it stars Sony recording artist Pink. "Catacombs" is set in the Paris Catacombs and is about a young woman who's trying to find her way out, while being pursued by a killer. It premiered on FEARnet On Demand in October of 2007, was then released in Germany on Feb 8, 2007 and is now being released here, today. No, like I said, I haven't seen it, but... this seems WAY to corporate for me. It's just a massive package deal, as far as I can tell. It's co-directed and co-written by Tomm Coker and David Elliot. David Elliot wrote "Four Brothers", "The Watcher" and wrote and directed "Nothing Sacred". Tomm Coker is a comic book artist, turned director with his short film, "A Day Between", which premiered at the 2003 Sacramento International Film and Music Festival. "Catacombs" is his first feature.
"Black Water" is another Australian film, this one is a terryfing tale of survival, set in the crocodile inhabited mangrove swamps of Northern Australia. Don't mistake it for Tobe Hooper's "Crocodile", it's sequel "Crocodile 2: Death Swamp" or either of the "Lake Placid" movies. "Black Water" is actually award winning and was based on a real story. It won Best Cinematography and Best Director at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, it also screened at London Fright Fest Festival, Montreal World Film Festival and Fantasy Filmfest.
If low-budget, tounge-in-cheek horror, vampire movies starring lots of people who reside in the 'where are they now' files is your thing... "Revamped" is for you. It's written, directed by and stars Jeff Rector ("Scarecrow 3", "Double Impact") and also features: Martin Kove ("Cagney & Lacey", "Karate Kid II" and lots of other low-budget stuff), Billy Drago (every low-budget film ever), Fred Williamson (wishes he could get in more low-budget films), Mickey Jones (every biker film every made), Carel Struyken (Lurch from the "Adams Family" movie), Tane McClure (every low-budget sex flick ever) and, honestly, the list goes on...
"Nightmare Detective" is a Japanese import, which was originally called "Akumu Tantei". It's about a detective that investigates two mysterious and very bloody suicides that are somehow connected as the two victims dialed "0" on their cell phones moments before their death. Then comes in the guy who has the ability to manipulate people's dreams and if the case is going to be solved, the detective comes to the realization that she must dial the mysterious "0" herself... As it is a Japanese import, expect creepy, surrealistic violence, gore and mutilations.
"Eyes Front" is two parallel stories about 'man' committing moral crimes against God. In a hallucinatory adventure of the senses, a crazed murderer wanders the streets on a remorseless hunt for victims. Meanwhile, a distraught family man (Michael Madsen, Sin City, Reservoir Dogs) who accidentally kills his wife desperately searches for redemption. Written and directed by acclaimed hardcore/punk music video director Darren Doane, "Eyes Front" breaks new ground with its cutting-edge imagery, fueled by a pulse-pounding alternative music soundtrack. ...but, just so you know, I didn't write that... that was cut and pasted, I haven't seen, nor heard of this before 2 minutes ago.
"Frankenstein's Bloody Nightmare" comes from first time director, John R. Hand, who also stars in this, plus wrote and directed it. It's a low-budget, experimental film, so if you're not into retro, art-horror, you may want to skip over it. If you find yourself listening to 70's rock, sitting on your couch that you found in an alley, baked and bored... take a look-see.
There's a few collections being released, I think each of them are 3 DVD sets with 3 movies per DVD. So, you get 9 movies total when you get "Bloody Horror Collection", "Living Dead" and "The Walking Dead". So, if you're looking for over 700 minutes of crap horror for under $10, click on the link below!
There's also a bunch of old films being rereleased, but I'm not going to bother writing about them or posting the links to them because, quite frankly, I don't think anyone cares. If you do, let me know and I'll do them next time...
New on DVD today, February 19, 2008: