Monday, May 26, 2014

The Son of Celluloid Show

You've undoubtedly heard of the Son of Celluloid blog, run by my buddy Nathan Hamilton. I've even guest written for it before, during his annual "What Halloween Means to Me" theme. What you might not have realized yet, though, is that Nathan has taken the Son of Celluloid to the next level, by producing an actual show, complete with interviews, reviews, a indie horror spotlight, music, and all kinds of other horror related  goodness. The show is fairly young, only four episodes deep so far, but it's already better than a lot of similarly themed offerings I watch on youtube. Below you'll find the first episode, along with links to Nathan's youtube channel, and the Son of Celluloid's facebook page. 

Nathan has obviously put a lot of work into the Son of Celluloid Show, and I dig the hell out of it. I have no doubt that anyone who watches it will be in full agreement. Make sure to check it out, and leave a comment or two.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pernicious Trailer

The trailer for James Cullen Bressack's (Hate Crime, To Jennifer) new film Pernicious has finally hit the interwebs. This looks like it's going to be his best yet...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Affleck Batman Revealed

We finally got our first look at Ben Affleck as Batman, or "Battfleck" as he's more affectionately known. Looks pretty badass to me, I want to see him in action now though.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Blood Glacier Review

When I got the screener for Blood Glacier I knew very little about it, other than it looked like a creature feature, and as we all know, I love me a creature feature. I tend to not ask much from them either, especially those of the indie fair, as I understand budget restraints and the like. You give me some halfway decent practical effects, some gore, and a body count, and I'll kindly thank you for your time. Blood Glacier turned out to be a pretty ambitious effort, and ultimately ends up suffering a bit for it.

Way up in the Austrian Alps, a small group of scientists discover a strange liquid leaking from the glaciers. As they begin to study it, strange occurrences begin with the local wildlife. They attack unprovoked, and eventually begin to mutate. With the attacks becoming more and more frequent, and the mutation even beginning to spread beyond just wildlife to the scientists themselves, the small group fights to survive in the freezing cold with no help in sight.

Sound familiar? It should. Blood Glacier borrows heavily from John Carpenter's The Thing, and plenty of other similar movies. I give it props for an attempt at an original twist at the end, even though I rolled my eyes so hard I was afraid they were going to stick. Points for trying though. Other than that, there's nothing in Blood Glacier you haven't seen before, and most likely done better.

The cast mostly does what it's supposed to do, with no real standouts, and no real groan inducing performances. The dialog isn't exactly Shakespearean anyway. People run around and scream a lot, and when they aren't screaming in terror from the creatures, they're screaming at each other for various reasons, none of which are all that interesting. Let's be honest, the real reason we watch movies like these is the creatures, which we want to watch eat, tear to shreds, eviscerate, etc. said people. This is where the ambition that tripped Blood Glacier up I mentioned earlier comes in to play. There are somewhere around three main mutants that have the most screen time, a fox, some sort of bird, and a ibex. Problem number one is the bird, which is done with some pretty bad cgi when it's flying. If you know your budget isn't going to allow for cgi, then don't have a flying creature, folks. Problem number two is that every shot of the creatures is so dark, and cut so fast, that we never get a good look at them. If you know your budget isn't going to allow for multiple creatures to be built well, then maybe pool your resources into one badass creature? More isn't always better. I'd settle for a well shot decent creature over three or more shitty looking monsters in pitch blacknss every day of the week.

Still, even with all that negativity, I can't say Blood Glacier doesn't have anything going for it. I didn't hate it, I just wish it would've done at least something to differentiate itself from countless other movies out there with similar premise. If you're starving for a new creature flick to kill 90 minutes on, and don't ask a lot of your indie creature flick, by all means, give it a watch. All it really did was make me want to watch The Thing again.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Infinite Playlist - Unicorn Zombie Apocalypse

I'm not the world's biggest dubstep fan, however I am a fan of director James Cullen Bressack, and it just to happens that he directed this little video full of awesome. Check out Unicorn Zombie Apocalypse...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Sacrament Review

Ti West has done it again. I know there are plenty of people out there who don't like his films, but I am certainly not one of those. Since my first viewing of House of the Devil, whenever I see his name attached to a project, I am certainly going to be watching. The guy is simply the master of the slow burn. His movies are always entertaining from start to finish, and the payoff is typically huge, which for me just makes the journey all the more enjoyable. The Sacrament takes on some familiar subject matter, the Jonestown massacre, but adds a Ti West spin on it.

When he gets a strange letter from his sister Sarah, inviting him to come and visit Eden Parish, a commune she's taken up with, Jake and a small crew from the news website he works for decide to visit and record a story while there. When they arrive, the inhabitants initially all sing the praises of a man called Father and his village. Things quickly begin to take a turn however, when strange occurrences lead them to believe that all is not in fact well at Eden Parish.

It seems like AJ Bowen is almost always going to be around somewhere in a Ti West film, and this one is no exception. He turns in yet another strong performance here, as Sam, and is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. Kate Lyn Sheil is also good as Sarah, I could totally believe that she'd gone off the deep end and joined up with a group like Father's. Speaking of whom, Gene Jones plays him perfectly as a guy you know you're supposed to hate, but at the same time, can see yourself liking. The cast all work very well and do an admirable job of telling the story that Ti West was trying to tell.

With The Sacrament, Ti West does a fantastic job of telling but not telling a story that most of us are familiar with, but doing so in a way that makes it not feel like a rehash. I just totally dig the way he makes movies. At this point in his career, being familiar with the way he normally works really pays off here. From the very start, there's a sense of impending dread that is felt even if you're not at all familiar with Jonestown. If you aren't already a fan of Ti West, this one most likely won't be changing your mind. For those of us who are, however, it's yet another film to obsess over for years to come. The Sacrament is proof that vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. ain't got shit on a bunch of Jesus freaks. Two thumbs up.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Blue Ruin Review

Revenge flicks, one of the most polarizing sub-genre of cinema in existence, at least for me anyway. Here's the thing, I totally get the idea of wanting to exact revenge on someone who has committed a terrible injustice to you. What happens all too often in these movies though, is a murderer/criminal/mafia/something or other kills/rapes/something or other a member of a regular person's family, and regular person becomes super badass revenge guy, complete with all kinds of combat and firearm training, and a MacGuyver-like ability to fashion death traps from various household items. You know what I would end up doing if the mafia murdered someone close to me? I'd call the cops and hope they caught them. I'm not a badass, I don't have a switch that could be flipped in the event of a tragedy. I'm a regular person. I sat down to watch Blue Ruin because I'd heard good things about it, and while it's a revenge movie, this one comes with a dose of reality and a bit of a twist.

Blue Ruin begins with a lonely drifter named Dwight living out of his car. He gets news that the guy that killed his parents years earlier is being released from prison, and decides that the punishment has yet to fit the crime. When Dwight sets out to get his revenge, it turns out that being an assassin isn't as easy as it looks. Things go from bad to worse for him and his estranged sister and her family as they now find themselves targets of the killers much larger family.

This movie is the every man's revenge flick. Dwight does one dumbass thing after another, which you'd expect from a person in over his head after acting out of anger. He clearly isn't cut out for this kind of thing, and that's part of what makes this movie so great. Real people in a very fucked situation doing what real people would likely do. I'll take that in my revenge thriller every single time.

A movie is only as good as it's performers, and Blue Ruin impresses here as well. Macon Blair is simply fantastic as Dwight. There are moments when this film is almost completely silent, and yet somehow Blair is able to get across every single emotion Dwight is feeling just through his eyes. It's amazing to watch. The rest of the cast also perform admirably, even Eve Plumb (Jan from the Brady Bunch!) shows she's still got some chops when it comes to acting. I also particularly enjoyed Blair's back and forth with Kevin Kolack, the two of whom are attempting to kill each other, and aren't doing a great job of it on either count.

Blue Ruin is a well written, well shot, fantastically acted dose of realism in the revenge/thriller genre. The pacing is good, the violence is graphic but not over the top, and it even offers up a bit of a twist in the story at the end, which of course I'm not going to ruin here. Highly recommended for fans of the genre, but even people who normally roll their eyes at these types of movies (like me), may come out of this with a new perspective on things.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Free Comic Book Day 2014

That's right kids, tomorrow (Saturday, May 3rd) it's time for...

 Free Comic Book Day 2014!!!
As per usual, I've already gotten all of my free comics, and I'm here to give you a list of what I think are the highlights. Let get to the comics...

As you can see, there's lots of great stuff to choose from. Of course, these are just the books I picked up, you can see the full list here. Make sure and hit your local comic shops tomorrow, get yourself or your kids of a loved one a free comic book, and while you're there maybe spend a couple bucks. Support comics!