Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Uncle Lloyd's Take on Net Neutrality

Troma's Lloyd Kaufman is, if anything, a huge proponent of independent film.  All of his films are, in one way or the other, independent and he's done more for the indie film scene than anyone I can think of off the top of my head.  He's launched an indie film festival, he makes, produces and distributes indie film and he's always looking out for the community.  He also knows how important the internet is to independent film's success.

The internet is our only ability to have a voice.  It's our primary source for marketing, distribution and networking.  It's the only level playing field that we have with the studios.  So, when you hear debates on net neutrality and how it's about piracy, think again.

You should have an opinion on it, so do read as much as you can.  However, do yourself a favor and check out this article written by Uncle Lloyd.  It might make you realize how important this debate actually is.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Black Peter... The Anti-Santa.

It looks like there's only a couple of notable horror films coming out this week, the big one being the 2011 "Straw Dogs" remake of the 1971 Sam Peckinpah classic film of the same name...  This one is written, produced and directed by Rod Lurie and, well, I haven't seen it yet, so I'll reserve judgement.  Reviews were shitty, though. 

We also get a new Christmas/Slasher flick, "Saint Nick"...  which is actually about "Black Peter", a personal favorite fairy tale.  In fact, I'm a little choked because I've always thought this would be a good idea for a film...  I know what you're thinking, what's the idea?  Well, we all know Santa, right?  However, how many of you know about Zwarte Piet?  He's the guy that rode the white horse Sleipnir and flew through the air as the leader of the Wild Hunt... Don't know him?  Well, those tales came before the whole Christianity thing, let alone Christmas.  Anyhow, the story evolved and, eventually, he became "Black Peter", which is, of course, a translation of "Zwarte Piet" and he's the anti-Santa.  If you were good, Santa brought you gifts.  If you were bad, Black Peter threw you in a bag and beat you with sticks.  It looks like "Saint Nick" twists the story a bit or goes off a slightly different legend, as this opens with Saint Nick and a bunch of Black Peter's on a murderous spree, kidnapping kids, raping and pillaging in 1683AD.  Then, I assume he gets banished and returns in modern time.  Long and short, I've known about old Black Pete for a while and always thought it would make a good Christmas Slasher flick... now, here it is.  It's a Dutch film and it's a bit different from my imagination of it, so there's always room for a North American version.  Maybe we can still get away with making it... hmmm.  Any takers?  Who wants to make this with me?  Anyone?  Buller? 

There was a bit of other news out there that I found interesting...  A New York man was just given one year in prison for being the guy who uploaded the pirated copy of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" back in 2009.  I watch all this quite closely, as I think that torrent sites are great for indie and micro film.  Obviously, the studios hate the torrent sites, as they think they're stealing money out of their pockets... which I don't necessarily agree with.  I think a lot of people that download movies for free wouldn't pay for them, so they're just additional eyeballs... not lost revenue.  As for indie and micro cinema filmmakers, I think the torrent sites can act as a great marketing vehicle.  How many small films got popular because they're on there?  I can think of a few off hand - "Ink", "Troll Hunter", "A Serbian Film".  Granted, the festivals played a big part for those films, too, but whatever...  I think we should all watch this space closely, as I think the technology could be an integral part of indie film's future. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Louis CK snubs traditional distribution... and could pave the way for indie filmmakers?

I'm sure most of you know who Louis CK is...  if not, you should look into him.  He's a comedian that started out as a writer, he wrote, directed and produced a few projects, eventually broke out as a comedian, he has his own show on FX, which he created, writes, directs and edits and he's a big draw when he tours.  The show, "Louie", is awesome, by the way.  Anyhow, he's just done something that rattled the cages at a few big media companies... he self-distributed his latest show, "Louis CK - Live At The Beacon Theater", on his own.  It's only available on his site at a cost of $5, worldwide, paid via PayPal and you just download it and it's free of any restrictions.  Burn it to DVD, watch it on your computer, share it, pirate it, whatever... and how did it do?  Well, he gives a statement on his site, which I'll link to here.

This has drummed up a lot of press (CBS, mashable, mediabistro) and rightfully so, this is NOT what the big media companies and major distributors want to see.  However, is it the future of distribution?  Could something like this work for indie horror?  I think so...  In fact, I think this is exactly the direction that indie horror needs to go.  Drop the cost of the product and make it easily accessible, then cut out the middle man.  Less money overall, but a happier consumer and a happy filmmaker. 

Check out what he has to say and let us know what you think.  I think this is revolutionary.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Interview with an Indie Filmmaker: Frankie Frain

Things must be getting back to normal...  I've got Old Milwaukee empties scattered around my monitor, I've got a small stack of indie horror DVD's lined up to watch and we've got an interview with an indie filmmaker ready to go.  The best part is, the interview is with one of our favorites: Frankie Frain.  If you need a reminder as to who Frankie is, just look over on the right there and read what we referred to as his "genius article".  He made a Tromadance winning film called "I Need To Lose 10 Pounds" and then made "A-Bo The Humonkey", which is f'ing awesome.  A few years have passed, but now he's back with a vengeance with his latest film, "Sexually Frank".

I do want to mention that after you've thoroughly enjoyed the interview, you should head over to the site for the film at  Once there, click on "blog", scroll down a bit and then read the post entitled "Why Sexually Frank Exists".  It's a little long, but do yourself a favor and check it out.  If you're not motivated to go out and write or shoot a film after reading that, you're never going to be motivated enough to go out and write or shoot a film...

Anyhow, here's our interview with Frankie about his new film, "Sexually Frank".

        Tell us about Sexually Frank.

Sexually Frank is a feature length ensemble indie comedy about a group of friends with unique, sexually political issues they’re dealing with. It features a gay couple that breaks up, but find how inept they are in gay culture, a 24 year old virgin who’s going bald and worried about becoming a “creepy” old man, a nurse who isn’t interested in marrying her first and only boyfriend of ten years, and my character – a video sketch artist whose most recent opus is a comedy sketch about a girl who takes a toe up her ass. The themes of the plots cross and complement one another to make statements on the nooks and crannies of sex and stigmas.

What have you been doing since A-Bo the Humonkey and I Need to Lose Ten Pounds?

I Need to Lose Ten Pounds was written when I was 14. It took six years for me to muster the confidence, ability, and resources to complete that movie. It was an experiment in proving that I could complete something. Some people love that movie – I’m thankful for them, but that movie was a rite of passage. A-Bo the Humonkey was an experiment in, “can I do it again?” It was a more ambitious project, involving special effects, prosthetics, big set pieces and elaborate location shooting, child actors, all kinds of crap. It even had a little something to say somewhere amidst all the cynicism and irony. I was totally delusional, in that I thought that film could actually act as a calling card in Hollywood. So I moved to LA and quickly confirmed that I don’t make movies for everyone. In fact, I don’t make movies for most people. And I learned the most important thing – I make movies because…I make movies. And that has nothing to do with money, success, or even a shot at a budgeted, union production. I moved back to the east coast, got my old crew of freaks together, and asked if they wanted to make another one – except, let’s really not give a shit what anyone thinks this time. Let’s shoot for a creatively liberated experience. At the time, I was exploring how much sexuality informs someone’s identity, and having been inspired by my friends, the media, Dan Savage, and “To Catch a Predator,” I wrote Sexually Frank. I took a job as a Systems Administrator at Emerson College, which, combined with my nurse practitioner wife’s salary, would more than pay for our modestly budgeted film. This one was going to be people talking, and not much else. Fuck doing a Kickstarter or any of that crowd funding shit – that just perpetuates the idea that you need permission or validation to make a film. Since I worked at a film school, I was able to get an MFA for free – Sexually Frank acted as my thesis film, but only as a matter of convenience.

What lessons did you learn from those films that you’ve applied here?

Well the biggest would be the simple ability to make a feature length piece for next to no money. When you’ve done this as many times as I have, you start to really hone in on what corners can be cut and what can’t be. I don’t remember who said it, but a filmmaker once said “A film can just be an actor in focus” – point being, your performances are the most important thing (yes, that’s arguable, but it’s fact in the case of Sexually Frank). In documentary, if you can make a subject comfortable, you can get an honest, compelling interview out of them. Actors are very similar – it all comes down to comfort level, which was crucial in this film, because it needs to be as honest as possible. And I learned from my last films that personal relationships with the actors can be everything. So I cast my wife as “Jess” and one of my closest friends, Keith Sadeck, as “Neil” (who was based on him in the first place). They’re the most complimented performances in the film. We have lots of trained actors in the film, and I’m proud of every performance in that film – but when you don’t have a relationship, you’re more likely to accept or go lax on your direction, so I tried to hold myself to a higher standard and really beat on the actors when I didn’t get what I wanted. In the past, I worried that I didn’t have the right to do that – to beat on my actors I’m not paying them. But for most actors, the opposite is true – if they’re doing this shit for free, they want to do it right, and since you’re the idiot who wrote the lines and who’s standing behind the camera, they’re relying on you to speak when something’s not working. I established wonderful (and what I expect to be), long lasting relationships with the actors in this flick.

We were also able to improve our techniques, mechanically. We shot 110 pages in 16 days – so we shot with two cinematographers simultaneously, with two 7Ds. We shot non-sync sound so we weren’t bogged down by cables or wires. We also knew to focus on shooting at the actors’ eye lines, both for performance reasons and for the audience’s comfort (something we failed at pretty hard in A-Bo). I had never worked with the two cinematographers before – one was a freelance videographer and the other was an interactive media developer. But we worked together at Emerson, and like with actors, having a working relationship informed the cinematography, and I think it’s by far my best looking film, thanks to those guys.

What was the budget for Sexually Frank?

Depends who you ask. When you have a dual-income, no kids (dinc) financial situation like my wife and I, a movie that has very few production expenses, a crew who owns and operates all of their own equipment, and software bought by your college, there’s really no reason to budget for the film. You just kinda pay for shit as it comes up. So I’d say we spent about three thousand dollars or so – that’s a guess, but that’s probably the amount we wouldn’t have spent if we didn’t make a movie (gas, food, hard drives). However, if we made the movie from scratch, and bought every piece of equipment we ultimately used, and accounted for everything (excluding salaries, I’m just talking about raw, necessary expenses), it would have cost $17,000. That doesn’t include festival submissions or DVD/Blu-ray dupes and mailers, which I’ve already spent a few hundred dollars on. But you get the idea. Check out the blog post on expenses at the Sexually Frank website to see the budget breakdown.

What are your goals for the film and what’s your plan to accomplish those goals?

I’m in the same boat as anyone who makes a movie like this. I think there’s an audience at festivals for this, but only niche festivals. I’m really leaning on the LGBT audience to come out for this movie – so far, it’s been playing great for gay audiences, since the movie goes to great lengths to naturalize gay men and their relationship to gay culture. So I’m chiefly interested in just playing the film at various venues and seeing where that takes me. If it doesn’t lead to distribution (which, I’m not holding my breath, who buys DVDs anymore?), I’m going to explore online video-on-demand and Netflix Watch Instantly. I’ve also built a DVD and Blu-ray that I’m happy to self-distribute, both of which have commentaries, feature length documentaries on the film, and the Blu-ray (which looks amazing) has over 9 hours of special features. Contact me if you want one of those, they’re badass. But yeah, I just want people to see it, and most of all, I want to talk to people about it – I made it to say something, and I just want to have that conversation.

Where can people find out more about Sexually Frank? is obviously the aggregate for all Sexually Frank news, blogs, videos, info, screenings, etc., and they can follow my ass (just the ass) on Twitter @frankiefrain, or on Facebook (production still of me and my wife from the movie). Subscribe to the website blog if you want to know when a screening is coming up. On the Sexually Frank website, you can read an epic blog post called “Why Sexually Frank Exists,” which is a touching look at the events that lead to making this film, and how much it and the people involved mean to me.
You can also see most of the special features from the DVD/Blu-ray, including a feature length blooper reel. And as always, anyone can feel free to e-mail me at

Any other projects in the works?

I just produced and co-directed a short film called Vibes, which we can talk a little about a couple of months from now when that goes out to festivals. It’s a script by Ingrid Stobbe about a group of girls who buy a vibrator for their friend for her birthday. I’m also interested in developing my visual sense, which I may work on in a short I want to direct titled The Talking Cure, a psychological horror about a gay reparative therapist, and his work with a homosexual Ugandan man. I’d also like to make a documentary about cyber-bullying and social media amongst pre-teens. And of course, most people know me from my animated lampoon of George Lucas, “Lord of the Rings by George Lucas” and I’d like to get back to satirizing directors and egotists in animated form. So I’m spinning a bunch of plates right now.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The NYC Horror Film Festival WILL RETURN!

If you're into the indie horror scene, especially if you live in the New York City area, you should be familiar with The New York City Horror Film Festival.  You may also be aware that the festival was cancelled last year due to the untimely passing of the founder of the fest, Michael J. Hein.  He was a huge supporter of indie horror, plus he was a producer and director of indie horror himself...  It was very sad news and the horror community certainly lost a big piece of the puzzle last year.  Anyhow, we were lucky enough to interview Michael a few years ago and here's a link to it.  It's a great interview and take note of what he says when I asked about what advice he would give to up and coming filmmakers.    

The good news is, the festival will be back in 2012!  We received an email from them and they want to get the word out that there's a new NYC Horrorfest website coming out by January and the fest will continue in Michael's memory.

We'll be sure to post some sort of reminder once we see that's it up and running.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cowboys & Indians

Alright, I'm going to admit that it's going to take more than a few days for me to get properly up to speed.  I haven't even started on my inbox, which is going to take a while...  However, I do want to get in the habit of posting new things regularly.  In the next day or two, I'll post about some of the things that Brad and I have been working on...  and, hopefully, by early next week, I'll get in a groove and start talking with some of you indie filmmakers out there.

First off, I want to make a point of mentioning a film that the Burk brothers, Aaron and Ty, have recently made called "Cowboys and Indians".  They're good friends of ours, we went to film school together, and they did a hell of a job on this indie flick.  I don't want to get into it too much here, as I do plan on doing a Q&A with them, but do them a favor and click here to go to the film's Facebook Page.  Check out the trailer and like it to keep up to date on what's going on with the film.  It's being released in the new year through Screen Media Films and we'll definitely keep you posted, too.

Speaking of what's coming out on DVD, this looks like a good week for indie horror...  "Zombie Allegiance", "Porkchop" and "Santa Claus Vs. The Zombies" are all new this week.  Go look for them on Amazon.        

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Back In Action

It's almost been a full year since we last wrote a post on the site...  we meant to take a bit of time off to work on some projects, get caught up and then make a rejuvinated return.  Instead, one project is all but dead and we're still working on all the others.  Oh well, thus goes micro-cinema life.

Anyhow, if you're reached out over the last little while, I apologize for not getting back to you.  I have a shit-ton of emails saved up in my inbox and I'm going to start going through them today.  I promise that I'll get to you eventually.

Otherwise, we've also got some new ideas and directions that we want to take.  So, bare with us...  and stay tuned. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Where We've Been And Where We're Going

If you're a regular reader of Dead Harvey, I apologize for the lack of new information. To be honest, for the next little while, chances are that new posts will be infrequent at the best of times. Having said that, I AM going to do my best to keep the horror film festival and indie horror distributors info up to date. I know a lot of you guys use that and I do want this to continue to be a resource. Truth is, I spend a lot of time on the site, which gives me less time to work on our other projects - we're working on indie films, scripts, books... you name it - and we need to spend some more time on those projects. That and I have a new day job and, combine that all up, it doesn't give me much time to do any side-show stuff, so... long and short, the site is going to suffer a bit. At least for now.

Having said that, if you want to promote your film, please contact me. I can easily send you some generic questions and do up a post. In fact, PLEASE contact me about promoting your film. It's easy to post information AND people really dig it. I think I'll change things up on the site to reflect our new direction... bear with me on that.

Anyhow, I'll keep you posted on any new things that we have going on and, when I get time, I'll be sure to write a post or two. Otherwise, keep using the site as a resource and send me an email if you have something you'd like to promote or want people to know about.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Interview with Dr. Karen Oughton

I'm not going to lie to you, life's been busy lately... and because of that, there's been a recent lack of regular posts. What can I say? New job, new responsibilities and I'm just trying to figure out how to rebalance my life. It happens every now and again. Because of that, I'm struggling with the fact that I'd rather produce a decent post than just rip one off a few times a week and I really don't want to post something that's useless. I did, however, recently receive a very intriguing interview back from Dr. Karen Oughton... finally, something decent to post.

We usually talk with indie horror distributors and filmmakers, but Dr. Oughton is a little different - she's basically a horror aficionado. She's writes, she reviews, she does commentary and, because of all that, she knows a thing or two about the whole scene. In fact, she's just the type of person you want to hear from if you're a filmmaker. She's completely unbiased and she studies the industry - when I figured that out, I figured we should ask her a few questions. Trust me when I say, it's a worthwhile read if you're a filmmaker. However, before you read the interview, feel free to read up on her. You can check out her two websites by clicking on these links: and After you're well versed, check out the interview...

Tell us about the FrightFest and what you do with the festival.

I’m organizer Ian Rattray’s assistant. I write the “Who’s Dead” obituary column, articles and reviews for the e-Magazine and have helped with the editing and checking processes. I was also let loose to coordinate the stage lighting and microphones and liaise with guests before they went on stage for the introductions and Q&A sessions.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What got you into the horror scene?

I’m a journalist, lecturer, commentary provider, film promoter and long-time horror nut! I was hooked by The Pit and The Pendulum when still in pigtails. These days, I love anything that is done well, from The Haunting to A Serbian Film and to Beautiful Girl Hunter (AKA Star of David). I got into the festival circuit after attending the Celluloid Screams festival to take my mind off my PhD exam the next week – replacing one horror with another!

There are some great films screening at different film festivals this year. What are the highlights? Which films really rattled the cages this year?

It has been a varied year in terms of both films and festival audiences. We had everything from giggles ‘n’ gore crowd-pleasers like Hatchet II through to infamous offerings like A Serbian Film and I Spit on Your Grave. These latter two are interesting not only because of their subject matters and the stylistic reasons they incurred the wrath of the British Board of Film Classification, but also because of how different audiences reacted to them. I have seen I Spit on Your Grave three times with different audiences, one looked extremely uncomfortable at the milder sections, one didn’t seem bothered either way, the other cheered through all the nasty bits! A similar thing happened with A Serbian Film. People either picked out the comic elements, understood it as a serious social commentary or saw it simply as an attempt to make the sickest film of all time. Personally, I think it is elements of all three.

A surprise cage-rattler was Jake West’s Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship and Videotape documentary, but for all the right reasons. It got a particularly good reaction (I suspect) because it is entertaining, is about films people love and (sometimes!) respect, and because the contributors were so enthusiastic. They took part in a fantastic discussion panel at FrightFest. It bought home what a political act a film festival can be, and frankly what we have got to be grateful for. It was brilliant to see the contributors - academics, journalists and directors - mobbed by the world’s politest crowd as soon as they got off the stage. In England that kind of reaction simply isn’t that common an occurrence. The contributors were stunned by the attention as they had done only what they felt was right in standing up for these films when all around were claiming they were corrupting society. It was such an amazing moment.

You also provide audio commentary for Lionsgate. How did you get into that and what’s that process like?

I went to the Celluloid Screams Festival in Sheffield, England and went to a screening of Neighbor. Being an academic specializing in film, I got talking to the producer, Charles St John Smith, afterwards and he invited me to put some ideas together for an audio commentary and a few other marketing tools. He gave me free reign, so after doing some interviews with him, director Robert Angelo Masciantonio and key cast members, I did what I’ve always enjoyed watching but rarely see - a commentary that talks about what is happening, when it happens. People don’t often do it like that because it’s fiddly. I watched the film a few more times to work out what sections needed notes and how long I had to talk about them. I then went into the recording studio, put the DVD on silently and read some of my notes at the right times, but riffed the rest from scratch and sometimes included information I had been given by the producer and director. I tailored my tone to fit the film – sensible when it was serious, playful when it was funny, and down right filthy when The Girl got going! I’m used to public speaking, so most of it was done in one take. When we’d finished, we did some editing work and sent the whole thing through to Lionsgate, who approved it.

Talk about where horror is at right now. What trends do you see going on and where do you see things going?

Well this year it was all about the different guises of gore, gore, gore! FrightFest was a really good indicator of this, as it showed how gore is used in different subgenres of horror. There’s homage horror in the veins of Hatchet 2 which makes the appreciation of the execution of the gore (ewwww!) a main part of the audience’s experience, there was the fabulous F, which shows a trend towards the incorporation of horror into real life scenarios (as could also be seen in Cherry Tree Lane), and there’s supernatural shocker in films such as 13 Hrs.

In terms of the future, my guess is that we will see two distinct strands of scream films: those that continue in the shrieking with laughter slasher vein and an increasing focus on serious subjects. Horror is becoming more widely appreciated. In the past, (as I found out when researching the “Who’s Dead” Obituaries column for FrightFest Ezine), horror films were what you did to gain experience - a number of mainstream industry professionals had horror films buried down in the darkest depths of their CVs. Now it has gone mainstream and A list actors like Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton are appearing in features and Dr Who’s David Tennant is currently filming the Fright Night remake! It’s taken seriously as a genre now, is featured on university courses (including mine!), and it’s becoming far more acceptable to like even the more hardcore stuff. This is great because it means that horror can continue to develop and give fans just what they want, be it a horror-action flick, a slick slasher, a really great ghost story, or indeed anything else in between. And the best thing is that more and more films are coming through that are so good at turning the thumbscrews they blow everything else away.

Now, as we’re a site about indie horror, let’s talk about low-budget, indie horror. In your opinion, what does it take for a film to break through and have mass appeal?

Well, I’ve seen one heck of a lot of indie horror and wrote a review of the Raindance Film Festival for the FrightFest e-Magazine this year, and from what I can see there is really only one absolute necessity: decent actors or character representation. They don’t have to be playing serious characters but they do need to buy into the scenario they’re portraying. If they do, the film is probably going to be watchable and, importantly, remembered. If they don’t, it just becomes another low-budget blood and bore-fest. Of course, this is discounting the whole issue of luck and being seen in the right place at the right time, but having just turned off a great indie film with a good premise and great camera work but absolutely awful acting, I’m becoming more and more convinced that if you don’t have the actors to convey it, even the best story will just die. Horribly. In great pain.

What’s next for you?

Well, I’m writing for film magazines including Fangoria and Scream: The Horror Magazine, am scheduled to appear as a special guest on a few radio shows (I can’t say which as they’re making a formal announcement soon), am developing a new horror review website and am in discussions over one or two film projects. I also teach media communications (including film studies) at Regent’s American College London (Webster University). If I’m not laying awake in the night thinking about what might go ‘bump’, appear or bite, there’s something wrong!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Distribution Problems and Apprehensive Films

I totally forgot to put the Amazon links in with my last post... if you've been scrambling around for the last few days, desperate to find links to those two films... you can relax, I've added them. Now, since we're talking about my last post, I'd like to mention Apprehensive Films, which distributed the film "Colony of the Dark". I was on their site and came across something interesting...

Let's just preface what I found, though. Usually, while I'm perusing the latest indie horror titles, I check out who's distributing. That's partly because I'm interested in the whole distribution angle and partly because I want to pass my findings on to you, my dedicated reader, the indie horror filmmaker.

Maybe I should go back even further... Look, I've said it a thousand times and I'm going to be right... one day. I guess it's kind of like that old saying, even a broken clock is right once a day, but... I think that indie film, especially indie horror, is on the verge of breaking out. And I'll keep saying it until it does. However, there's a couple things that are holding it back, one is distribution and the other is awareness. If I win the lottery... or someone wants to pay me a handsome salary, I would dedicate my days to solving both problems and I could solve them... However, until that time, I'll have to keep my day job and do this on the side - fighting the good fight for indie film, a half hour here... a half hour there. Anyhow, awareness is something that is going to be an issue - how do you differentiate indie horror from mainstream horror and attract a new audience? Indie horror does have a dedicated audience, but right now... supply outweighs demand. There's just too much product. We need to build that audience. As usual, I have ideas on how to do it, but... I'm just a guy with a blog.

Distribution is the other thing. Currently, in most cases, the indie filmmaker is getting screwed by the distributor and if an indie filmmmaker wants to distribute himself, he doesn't have the weight or clout to really be successful. They don't know it, but the way that most distributors work is actually holding back the entire indie horror scene. They need to break out, try new things... what they're doing now isn't helping anything but their coffers. Anyhow, back to Apprehensive Films... when I was reading up on them, I couldn't help but notice a section on their site called "distribution options". So, I checked it out... and they do have a cool spin on it. Basically, they do have the weight and clout to get in to big retailers, but they want you to take on the risk by pressing your own DVD's and, well... paying them. I don't think it's THE answer and I won't get in to why, but I do think it's a good option for those that are having trouble dealing with distributors that don't want their film and don't want to do the hustle of distributing themselves... and, of course, you'll need to have a few extra thousand dollars to burn.

Here's a link to their "distribution options", check it out. It's a good little read, even if you're not currently looking to distribute your film.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Golden Globes and a couple of new DVD's

I'm writing this on Sunday, a few hours before the Golden Globes start, and that means we're at that point of the year that horror fans dread - the start of awards season. So, we get a lot of artsy shit, but there are some good flicks in the mix, too, including "Black Swan", "The Fighter" and "The Social Network". The only thing that's notable for horror fans is Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan", which is, essentially, a horror movie... that's set in the world of ballet. If you haven't seen it, it's worth checking out. I mean, if you're a gorehound, it's not going to blow up your skirt or anything, but if you want to see a horror film that's got the critics talking, it's actually really good.

There is another cool thing about this years festival season... a lot of the directors have indie roots. "Inception" director, Christopher Nolan, started with "Following" and "Momento", two awesome indie films. "Black Swan" director, Darren Aronofsky, started with the micro-cinema film, "Pi". "The Fighter" director, David O. Russel, started with the indie film "Spanking the Monkey". All the films they started with could've been done by any of our readers... there is hope, people.

Anyhow, the point of that wasn't to tell you to check out "Black Swan" or give you a pep talk, the point was that we're in awards season and that means that means art films at the theaters, no horror. So, not much to talk about at the box office. Further, there's not much to talk about that's coming out in DVD, either. Really, there's only two things of note, "Colony of the Dark" and "Nite Tales: The Series"

"Nite Tales: The Series" is from Deon Taylor and is based off of his film, you guessed it, "Nite Tales: The Movie" and Flavor Flav reprises his role as a crypt-keeper type character. I never saw it, but I think it aired on WGN. Each episode was shot in one day on 35mm and budgeted around $20K - $50K. That sounds super indie, to me. I'm almost positive that it only lasted one season, but if you missed that one season... here it is.

"Colony of the Dark" comes from Apprehensive Films and it looks pretty good... shot entirely on Super 8, it's a feature length creature feature and the low budget creature effects are what makes it. You have to check out the trailer, here's a link to it. Also, the film introduced me to Apprehensive Films, which I had never heard of before. I'm going to have to do a post on them soon, as they could be a great distribution partner for a lot of you filmmakers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Look At Breaking Glass Pictures, Distributor of "Hanger", "Run Bitch Run" and "Ticked Off Trannies"

It's been a while since we added a new distributor to our list, but we recently added Breaking Glass Pictures... To be honest, I'm not sure how new they are, but they came to my attention after checking out "Hanger", which is a pretty good indie horror flick.

So, they were named after David Bowie's 1977 hit song and were founded by Richard Wolf and Richard Ross... odd that they're both named Richard. I wonder if they've ever been called the two Dick's? Anyhow... they stick to provocative and challenging films of all genres, namely horror, gore, LGBT and the odd erotic drama. They also distribute up to twelve titles a year through their new specialty horror label, Vicious Circle Films. Their first film under that label was the afore mentioned "Hanger", which is about a botched abortion that lives and seeks revenge. They also released "Run Bitch Run", which is slowly turning into an indie cult classic.

They have all their contact info on their site, which you can find by clicking here. If you're looking for a distributor, just head over there and start emailing them. It can't hurt! If you want to check out all the other distributors that we've covered, head on over to our section called "Indie Horror Distributors", you can go directly there by clicking here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Horror Coming Out on DVD This Week

Okay, things are slowly getting back to normal around here. Well, the new normal, anyhow. We here at Dead Harvey are working on a few projects and we're going to be spending some more time on those. Of course, we're going to continue to post new things on the site, it may just be at different times and on different things. At the end of the day, if you're in to indie and micro-cinema horror, as a filmmaker or fan, we'll keep you happy. Anyhow, there's really nothing of note, horror-wise, going on at the box office, so I'm just going to get right to the new horror coming out on DVD.

Anyone worth their weight in indie horror knowledge knows that "Piranha II: The Spawning" was the directorial debut of James Cameron. It came out in 1981 and it's the sequel to the low-budget 1978 film, "Piranha". The story goes that James Cameron was originally hired to be the special effects guy, but ended re-writing the script and taking the helm... however, the executive producer, Ovidio Assonitis, got involved and Cameron was only allowed to shoot the film, he wasn't allowed to cut it... legend has it that Cameron broke into the editing room in Rome and cut his own version, but ended up getting caught. In any case, the film was a bit of a bust and Cameron was later allowed to cut his own version of the film, but it's rare. It's probably easy to get now, but I've never seen it. ANYHOW, I'm fairly certain that this story is one of the only reasons anyone knows about the "Piranha" franchise and it's probably why it was remade and available this week on DVD as "Piranha 3D". This version is actually directed by French horror director Alex Aja, who is the guy behind the new wave French Horror classic, "Haute Tension". He also did the remake of "The Hills Have Eyes" and a few other big budget horror films. This is one that I didn't check out in the theaters, but will definitely be checking out on DVD.

Most indie horror fans are aware of the 2004 film "Chainsaw Sally", where April Monique Burril plays the title role of Chainsaw Sally, a girl that witnessed the murder of her parents and grows up to become a serial killer that gets her inspiration for killing from horror films. What I didn't know about... and haven't seen... is "The Chainsaw Sally Show, Season 1", which is now available on DVD. I really dug the film and I'm going to have to check this out. Apparently it's filled with horror references, cameos, gore, hot chicks and hapless victims. What more do you want? All that and I believe it's distributed by Troma... probably through its Troma TV, which I have no idea of how to subscribe to.

I like the cover art for "Halloween Night", but only because it kinda reminds me of the cover art for Slayer's "South of Heaven" for some reason. It's released by Tempe Video and it's directed by Mark Plonia... and it's about a college party gone bad, where a mistreated student exacts his revenge on those who wronged him. His uses the effigy of a living scarecrow, a Frankenstein-like creation, to carry out his plans. Definitely piques my interest...

Here's one for the horndogs... "Chinese Kamasutra" is about an American scholar of Chinese lore that takes a job at a Chinese library and stumbles upon a volume of the Kamasutra... and unleashes her sexual fantasies. There's some sort of connection between the book and some haunted house and then she somehow falls into the clutches of the Kamasutra cult, who probably do terrible sexual things to her.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Horror Coming Out on DVD This Week

Wow, it's been a good two or three weeks since I've posted anything. Sorry... lots of family in town and Christmas was hectic. Truth be told, things are still hectic. Hopefully I can get back in a groove soon and be posting on a regular basis again. Anyhow, let's get right to the new horror DVD's that came out this week.

First up, there's "WolvesBayne". It's a Syfy original that premiered back in 2009 during their 31 nights of Halloween. It's directed by Griff Furst, who's the son of none-other-than Flounder (from "Animal House") himself, Stephen Furst, and stars Jeremy London from "Party of Five" as a newly transformed werewolf that's working with vampire hunters to stop a vampire cult that has plans to resurrect Lilith, the mother of all vampires. So, basically, your typical Syfy original.

I doubt that "Let Me Die Quietly" will be a true horror, but it's garnered some awards and is critically acclaimed. It comes from indie label, Breaking Glass Pictures, and is directed by Mitchell Reichler and Brian Finn. The film follows a broken-down alcoholic who's haunted by psychic visions of murder victims. It won best suspense feature at the Indie Gathering Film Festival and Best Suspense Thriller at the New York Film and Video Festival.

"Sci-Fi High: The Movie Musical" comes from Brain Damage Films and Midnight Releasing... and it's a musical. I'm not sure what the budget was, but it looks like they sure did a good job with whatever it was. I don't think it's one for the gore hounds... at all, but it looks pretty damned good.

We just interviewed the guys behind "The Shadows" and we definitely recommend checking it out. Here's a link to the interview that we did with them... or you can just scroll down. It's the last post we did.

Believe it or not, the reviews and comments on "Alien Vengeance II: Rogue Element" are good... and I kinda like the idea behind the plot. A group of friends get together after a decade apart when they find out that one of them is actually an alien... and they cut off his head.

It's shot in black and white, it's low-budget, it looks hilarious and awesome... and it's got a great title - "Hamlet the Vampire Slayer". Enough said, check it out.