Monday, May 5, 2008

May 5, 2008 - New horror out on DVD today

And a happy Cinco de Mayo to all Dead Harvey readers... although I did most of my drinking over the weekend, I'm more than happy to raise a Pacifico today. So, I've switched things up and I'm now going to talk about all the new horror releases on Mondays... I think it just makes more sense. Also, be sure to check out our Youtube page, where we put all the trailers for these films AND, if you want to buy any of them, you can just click on them and get them from Amazon.

This is the kind of film that I'm all about... so, I'm leading off with it. "Zombies Anonymous", written and directed by Marc Fratto and released by Insane-O-Rama productions, is the new name to what was originally called "Last Rites of the Dead" way back in 2006 when it screened at the New York Horror Film Festival. The plot is a lot like "Fido", but it's way more indie... It's like "Fido" in that zombies live amongst the humans, however in "Zombies Anonymous", they've become a group of second class creatures, usually being beaten up and humiliated. Another thing that separates this from "Fido" is that when you become a zombie, you don't lose your brain. You just die and kinda rot.... So, in this, the zombies start to form terrorist groups and, eventually, a war breaks out. The hero of the film is a girl who was shot to death by her boyfriend in the opening scene... she later has to join a zombie support group to help her adjust to life undead, thus... "Zombies Anonymous".

"Teeth" is probably the biggest horror release of the week, as it was a Sundance film. It was written and directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein and Dead Harvey actually discussed it before it screened at the festival. If you don't know, it's about a girl who has a toothed vagina. That's right, her muff bites back... Since we wrote about it, it was nominated for a few awards and actually won a couple. The film won the special jury prize at Gerardmer Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The films star, Jess Wiexler, won the special jury prize for a juicy and jaw-dropping performance and was nominated for the breakthrough award at the Gotham Awards. When you first hear that it's a film about a virgin who finds out that she has a toothed vagina after someone tries to rape her, you think Troma. At least I do... However, the film does a great job of making the whole scenario seem, well... believable. So, don't expect a gory, slasher film about a girl who walks around on her hands, giving guys scissor locks with her legs... maybe they're saving that for "Teeth 2".

"Grizzly Rage" screams Sci-Fi original, but it, in fact, comes from RHI Entertainment... who was contracted out by the Sci Fi Channel to produce it. Before you dismiss it, there's a couple cool things about this... first off, as it's a Sci-Fi Original, you'd expect them to CG in a 20 foot, mutant bear. However, they used a real grizzly bear and it's actually a believable situation. (there is a mild hint that it's a mutated bear, but it doesn't act, look or behave mutated) A group of teenagers accidentally kill a bear cub, which throws momma bear into a rage and she comes after them. Secondly, it's directed by David DeCoteau, who seems to have been involved in every low-budget, indie shock horror film made since the mid-eighties, including: writing "Creepozoids", producing "Robot Ninja" and directing "Beach Babes From Beyond"... seriously, check out his credits at imbd... crazy.

"Abominable" is Ryan Schifrin's feature length directorial debut, having only directed the short, "Evil Hill", before this. He must have some pull somewhere, maybe because he's the son of film composer Lalo Schifrin, I don't know... but he managed to get horror icons Jeffrey Combs and Lance Henriksen in his film. The film is, obviously, about Bigfoot and it's got great production value. So, I don't feel I need to discuss the plot. I think this is a better opportunity to rank my top three Combs and Henriksen films. For Combs, let's go (and in order): "Re-Animator" and I leave out the sequels, then "From Beyond" and, finally, "The Frighteners". For Lance, let's go: Well, obviously "Aliens", then... "Near Dark" and, finally (and I'll apologize in advance) "Hard Target". F'ing love that movie...

"Bloodsucking Babes from Burbank" is written and directed by Kirk Bowman, who's directed some of indie-horror's best titles. By best titles, I mean just that... the titles. Who wouldn't want to see "Santa Clause Versus the Christmas Vixens", "Curse of the Pink Panties" or, now, "Blood Sucking Babes from Burbank". Bowman's done a few other things, as well, and he usually acts as producer and editor, along with being the writer and director... and he usually shows up as a bit role, too. "BBfB" is about some passionate archeology co-eds who unearth a cursed jewel box in the Burbank mountains which turns the girls into blood-thirsty cannibals and the guys they meet into "dinner".

I have to give some coverage to Patrick Roddy's "Mercy", not because of the fact that the film is award winning (which it is), but because Roddy graduated from the same University that I did. He received his B.A. in Media and Theatre Arts from Montana State University, just like me. Albeit, he did it a few years before me and went on to get his Masters in Film and Television Producing from UCLA and I just drank a lot of Bud Light in Encino after graduating. Roddy usually acts as a producer, but he's written, shot, directed and even acted. "Mercy" is about an ex-con who tries to settle into a new life on the outside, but a mysterious woman starts to follow him and finds her way into his dreams, creating nightmares with devastating consequences that threaten his parole, sanity and dream for a new start.

The fact that "Kill the Scream Queen" is being rereleased tomorrow is as good a reason as any to do a little post on Bill Zebub, who wrote, produced, shot, acted and edited the film. Actually, he plays all those roles on all his films, which include: "The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made", "Ass Monster: The Making of a Horror Movie" and "Jesus Christ Serial Rapist". "Assmonster" managed to get screened at the Fantasia Film Festival among a few others festivals... and reviews were actually quite good. Bill Zebub is the top manager of Bill Zebub Productions, which publishes a quarterly magazine called "The Grimoire of Exalted Deeds", which is about Death Metal and indie horror. He also hosts a radio show in New Jersey under the alias "Professor Dum Dum" and, apparently, lives at home, in New Jersey, with his Mom... who does his laundry for him.

"The Fearmakers" comes from German horror and sci-fi filmmaker, rapper and founder of 'Sword of Independence Filmworks', Timo Rose. He's best known for his "Mutation" trilogy, which is about a toxic chemical created by Nazis and rediscovered in modern times. All his films are low-budget and are generally based on the early films from other German directors, such as Andreas Schnaas and Olaf Ittenbach. In under ten years, he's directed more features than any other filmmakers in the underground German horror scene. "The Fearmakers" is about two old friends that team up with a woman to solver her sister's murder... and stop a vengeful, murderous ghost.

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