Monday, May 19, 2008

May 20, 2008 - New Horror coming out on DVD

It's another decent week for horror, with lots of rereleases, double packs and, of course, new releases. The big release of the week is Romero's "Diary of the Dead" and, also, there's enough new releases out this week that I don't have to visit the rereleases... However, I will mention one of them, but only because it's a 5-pack of low-budget horror gems and you don't see that every day. So, as always, you can go to our Youtube page and see the trailers for all of these and/or click on them and buy them off Amazon.

You're on a horror site about horror filmmaking, so I'm going to assume that you've heard of this guy George Romero and his latest effort, "Diary of the Dead". It's being released by The Weinstein Company and Genius Entertainment tomorrow, simultaneously with yet another new edition, rerelease of "Night of the Living Dead". "Diary" was shot, independently, in 2006 on a budget of around $2Million, which is quite low considering it's Romero and he had a budget of around $16Million for "Land of the Dead", but that was studio backed and he wanted to get away from that 'whole scene'. "Diary" had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and was picked up by the Weinstein's four days later. A lot of people were disappointed with the film, but with no really good reason, as far as I'm concerned. It's an f'ing zombie movie, not his best, but is a Romero zombie feature. In fact, I thought it was pretty good. There's the usual, Romero, heavy handed social commentary and the lack of subtility, but that's him. There's also lots of good zombie deaths and the effects are great... and, if you're a horror fan, which you are, you just have to see it. End of story.

"Lost Colony" is another Sci-Fi Original. Originally called "Wraiths of Roanake", it was the first produced script from Rafail Jordon, who has gone on to write three more Sci-Fi movies, including: "Copperhead", "Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon" and "Captain Drake". It was directed by Matt Codd, who's spent the bulk of his career in the art department, but has dabbled in directing with "Epoch", "Shark Hunter", a couple others before this. It premiered on the the Sci-Fi Channel on October 13th, 2007 and it stars TV's "Highlander", Adrian Paul. In going through the different comments and ratings on it, my favorite has to be, "Overall, this was surprisingly un-retarded for a Sci-Fi Original". Enough said. For what it's worth, it's supposed to be one of the better Sci-Fi Original's of the year.

I think "Darkest Hour" actually came out a few years back, but not long enough ago for me to consider it a rerelease. In fact, I'm not sure if it's ever been available on DVD before... It's a great, low-budget, shot on DV indie horror that's written, directed and produced by Dan Zachary, who's supposedly working on another feature right now called "Slow the Decay". "Darkest Hour" is about a sleepy town that was terrorized by a skull-faced maniac and a group of actors who visit the town, trying to cash in on the town's noteriety by hosting an interactive murder mystery party based on the killings... then, of course, the party guests start getting killed off, one by one.

"The Entrance" is an award winning feature, which was written, directed, produced and edited by Damon Vignale. It won best lead performance by a female, best lead performance by a male and best picture editing at the Leo Awards. It's about a police detective that's swept into a web of deception and, in search of the truth, finds herself in a contest with forces of the occult. It does have a couple of great actors in it, in Sarah-Jane Redmond and Michael Eklund and it is award winning, so... what more do you need to know? Go check out the trailer on our Youtube page, it looks great.

"Sight" is from Adam Ahlbrandt, who wrote, directed, shot and edited the film. I haven't seen the film, but I'm going to have to now... The film stars relative nobodies, Clayton Haske, Tony Luke Jr, Allison Persaud and a few others and the trailer I found looks good and I think it may be shot on DV... However, wikipedia says it's narrated by Morgan Freeman and had a budget of $2.35Million??? I'm sorry, but what the f? It's about Jeffrey, who leads a quiet existence and lives in constant fear of being labled a psychopath. He constructs a complex world of denial, as he's haunted by the spirits of the vengeful dead, which he can see and no one else can. So, how does Morgan Freeman fit in? I'll check it out and report back...

This version of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is a modern adaptation of the classic story that came out in 2006 and stars indie-horror favorite, Tony Todd. It's written and directed by John Carl Buechler, who's won various awards for his special effects work, but has also directed a few horror classics, including: "Troll", "Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood" and "Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College". Well, okay, they're horror classics to me. Anyhow, this updated version, which takes place in modern day LA, is getting good reviews and it should deliver on the gore, as it's made by a certified gore wizard... and Tony Todd's in it.

I don't know much about the writer/director of "Sorority Sister Slaughter", Susan Hippen, but I do know that I like I like any low-budget indie that involves blood, babes and butchering, especially when it all takes place in a sorority house. It stars Kira Madallo Sesay, who actually came up with the story and then must have sold Hippen on the idea, which is about an uninvited guest to the Kappa Tau Omega sorority house, whose motto is Kappa Kappa Kill!

I gotta say, not only is it great to see a new Troma release, but it looks like "Bloodspit" could be awesome... well, in a Troma kind of way, anyhow. I don't think I even need to tell you the sub-genre, what else could it be? It's comedy horror.... and it was made in Australia a few years ago and was then picked up by Troma. The story screams Troma, as it follows the exploits of a crazed vampire hunter named Dr. Ludvich as he attempts to steal the family crest from the evil Count Blaughspich's coffin. Ludvich needs the crest in order to prevent the Count and his castle full of mutant freaks from returning to the "mirror world"... In regular Troma fashion, expect depraved vampire sex and well hung werewolves. Now, knowing all that... believe it or not, the film had it's world premiere at Cannes.

I was going back and forth in my head as to whether or not I should cover "Slashers" in this post, as it really came out in 2001. However, much like "Darkest Hour", I'm not sure if it's been previously available. "Slashers" is about Japan's number one extreme reality show, which is having it's first all-American special and to win a million dollars, all you have to do is stay alive. I've heard this plot a few times, but this go 'round the 'reality show gone bad' genre seems to be a little more extreme, but that tends to happen when you throw in that Asian twist. "Slashers" is written and directed by Maurice Devereaux, who also made Fangoria's "Lady of the Lake". It's really more of a "Running Man" rip off than anything, as contestants enter a 'dangerzone' where all hell breaks loose as they fight against three bloodthirsty 'slashers', Chainsaw Charlie, Preacherman and the psychotic medic, Dr. Ripper.

I'm only briefly going to mention "Bonejack's Splatter Platters (5-Pack)", as I rarely revisit old horrors, unless there's nothing else coming out that week. However, I wanted to cover this as there's some classics in this 5-pack of Chris Seaver's splatter comedies... you get the two pack rerelease of "Film Crew" & "Wet Heat", plus "Destruction Kings", "Mulva 2: Kill Teen Ape!" and "Quest for the Egg Salad". Without going into too much detail, Seaver is as low-budget, indie horror as you can get and he, without question, has a unique voice in the genre and knows what he's doing. If you want to learn how to separate yourself from the rest of the pack and get noticed or just watch some well done, no budget films, check these out. Outside of what's included in that splat pack, you'll also need to see "Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker! & Filthy McNasty (Double Feature)"

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