Monday, November 28, 2016

TALES OF POE (Wild Eye Releasing DVD Review)

Directed By: Bart Mastronardi, Alan Rowe Kelly
Written By: Bart Mastronardi, Alan Rowe Kelly
Starring: Bette Cassatt, Lesleh Donaldson, Zoe Daelman Chlanda
Color/120 Minutes/Not Rated
Region Free
Release Date: October 11, 2016

The Film
TALES OF POE is a three part anthology film adapting Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems into horror films. Each short takes on a different story and a different vibe. Kicking things off is a chilling psychological thriller take on The Tell Tale Heart that has some gory moments and a disturbing antagonist. The film continues with chapter 2, The Cask, tells the story of a man who is murdered on his wedding night by his bride and business partner and buried behind a makeshift brick wall until he returns from the dead to take his revenge.

This take on The Cask Of Amontillado is my favorite of the three shorts. I love the visual style and special effects makeup in this rather bloody film of betrayal and revenge. This story has been adapted many times in several different formats and has even had some of its plot devices and scenes taken and added in to unrelated stories. This short stands tall among the better adaptations this story has seen. The story closes out with a very surreal short adapting Poe's Dreams. I think this short is filmed beautifully and has some memorable scenes and creepy moments such as the scene with the tap dancing man which is staged and choreographed perfectly but the non linear storytelling and length of this short left me feeling that it dragged a bit. I did enjoy it for the most part but I thought it could have been trimmed down a bit. It was smart to end the anthology on this short because I think it would have alienated some viewers from giving the film a fair chance or really letting themselves settle into it.

TALES OF POE shows that the stories of the legendary writer are still loved, still relevant and still translate well to film. Horror has a long love affair with Edgar Allan Poe and it's great to see the current generation of independent filmmakers getting on board with these stories and poems. The movie is uneven and flawed in parts but the direction shows an eye for style and artistry and the acting, including appearances from notable horror actors such as Caroline Williams, Adrienne King and Amy Steel, is better than expected and never poor. TALES OF POE is a welcomed horror film for this decade and hopefully will lead the way for more quality modern Poe adaptations.

The Audio & Video
Wild Eye Releasing brings this indie anthology to market with a nice looking anamorphic widescreen transfer that features true colors and an image that faithfully captures each short's individual feeling and atmosphere. The image is stable and clean. The stereo audio is also well done, with a crisp sounding track that has a nice mix between dialogue and score. There's no pops, crackles or other distortions to speak of.

The Extras
-Behind The Scenes
-Deleted Scenes
-Interview with director Bart Mastronardi
-Kickstarter Campaign Trailer
-Oiriginal Trailer

The Bottom Line
Whether you're a fan of Edgar Allan Poe or indie horror or both there's a lot to like about TALES OF POE. Recommended!

TALES OF POE is available HERE

Saturday, November 19, 2016

KILLBILLIES (DVD Review) - Artsploitation Films

Directed By: Tomaz Gorkic
Written By: Tomaz Gorkic
Starring: Nina Ivanisin, Lotos Sparovec, Nika Rozman
Color/83 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: October 25, 2016

The Film
Zina is contacted by her photographer Blitcz for a photoshoot in the countryside with Mia, an up and coming model who's bubbly and perky personality is quite the opposite of Zina who is taking this final gig for the paycheck. Along with their producer Dragica their photoshoot quickly turns into a nightmare when a family from the hills attacks and kidnaps them which starts the bloody fight for survival while the rural killers plan to use them in their recipe for homemade liquor.

In Slovenia this film was original titled IDILA which translates to IDYLL which I think is a much more attractive title than the budget bin sounding KILLBILLIES. Lucky for us KILLBILLIES rises above its generic retitling and is a fine example of backwoods horror in the tradition of Deliverance and Wrong Turn. KILLBILLIES doesn't try to reinvent the wheel but simply does its best to create a tense, violent and bloody affair in the hills of rural Eastern Europe with a twist in the story that connects it to the urban characters and lifestyle that is increasingly encroaching on more traditional culture.

Writer/director Tomaz Gorkic has a natural eye for horror films and knows how to stage all of the scenes from a foot chase through the woods to limbs being lopped off. KILLBILLIES has no shortage of bloody violence and gore. It never shies away from showing the goods and it has little reason to as the special effects are very well done practical effects. Nina Ivansin is a fantastic lead and final girl as she gives a strong performance and plays her character Zina perfectly and is easy to connect with. There's never a moment where I wasn't cheering for her to win, whether that would be an escape or killing her attackers.

The rest of the cast is quite good as well from Nika Rozman as the increasingly stuck up and annoying Mia who is the perfect counterpart to Zina to Sebastian Cavazza as the rude "bratty" photographer Blitcz and rounded out by Lotos Sparovec and Jurji Drevensek who are the two main killers whose deformed faces, perverse actions and downright scary demeanor are all handled perfectly by this duo. They certainly rival the inbred clan of the Wrong Turn series.

KILLBILLIES is a fast paced, over before you know it ride that will leave your heart pumping. You've seen plenty of similar movies but that won't stop KILLBILLIES from impressing and standing out in your memory as a damn good entry into the backwoods terror style of horror.

The Audio & Video
Artsploitation Films gives KILLBILLIES  a 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer that looks very nice. The picture is sharp with bright colors and good detail for a standard definition release. The 5.1 digital surround audio mix handles audio decently. Early on in the film the audio is quiet and specifically the dialogue is a bit lost in the mix. This is remedied after the opening bar scene but if the film didn't have subtitles it'd be difficult to understand. Dialogue is in the film's native Slovenian with optional English subtitles.

The Extras
Bare bones.

The Bottom Line
KILLBILLIES is a really solid horror movie that is definitely worth your time despite not breaking new ground. I wish the DVD had some behind the scenes featurettes or interviews because I think it'd be interesting to hear about horror culture in Slovenia but the film itself is worth a recommendation.


Friday, November 18, 2016

THE EXOTIC DANCES OF BETTIE PAGE (Blu-ray Review) - Cult Epics

Directed By: Irving Klaw
Starring: Bettie Page
Black & White/60 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: September 13, 2016

There's nothing in the way of narrative here as this is more of a historical document (an important one at that) of Bettie Page's early films in what could be considered the 1950s version of stag films than any sort of narrative film or even a documentary. These films by Irving Klaw feature Page dancing in home settings in lingerie with tinted photography. The preservation of these films is equally important in preserving Irving Klaw's history as it is Page's. Klaw operated a mail order business for photos and film of beautiful women and was one of the first notable fetish photographers in the country from the 1940s until censorship of the 50s ended his career with attempted court hearings trying to link pornography to juvenile delinquency. After closing his business Klaw burned many of his negatives with estimates of up to eighty percent of his work being destroyed. Having these reels of Bettie Page dances is made all the more important by that fact.

These films were shot on presumably cheap 8mm film so the image quality isn't incredibly sharp or detailed but it is still perfectly watchable and enjoyable. The image is quite clean however and free of damage or dirt and debris. The audio sounds wonderful but it is nothing more than overdubbed music and doesn't feature any talking from Bettie Page which is standard for what these films were intended to be. The Blu-ray presentation from Cult Epics is solid top to bottom and features a brand new 2K scan. It's safe to say this is the best these films will ever look. There's also a selection of special features including a selection of Bettie Page's Kamera Club Films which are more short 8mm films presented in HD and a Q&A with Bettie's nephew Ron Brem called Bettie Page Uncovered: The Private Life and Photographs which is a perfect companion piece of Bettie history to these films.

There's so much to love about this release from the historical value in the preservation of these films to the loving presentation and quality release and more importantly it's just a fun time to watch Bettie Page do what she did. Fans of Bettie Page, pin-up culture and stag film buffs all need to take note of this release.

Support the Cult Epics IndieGoGo campaign HERE

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Possession Experiment - Trailer and Release Dates

ON DEMAND, DIGITAL HD AND DVD:  December 6, 2016
DIRECTOR: Scott B. Hansen
WRITER:  Mary J. Dixon, Scott B. Hansen
CAST:  Chris Minor, Jake Brinn, Nicky Jasper with KT Fanelli and Bill Moseley
SYNOPSIS:  THE POSSESSION EXPERIMENT tells the story of Brandon (Minor), who has always been drawn to the supernatural.  So when asked to pick a topic to base his final world theology class project on, he decides to explore the dark world of exorcisms. Teamed up with three classmates, the group investigates a multiple homicide that they eventually discover was an exorcism gone horribly wrong. Brandon becomes obsessed with the event, and in a strange turn of events, decides the only way to research this topic is to undergo an exorcism himself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MANHATTAN BABY (Limited Edition Blu-ray Review) - Blue Underground

Directed By: Lucio Fulci
Written By: Elisa Livia Briganti, Dardano Sacchetti
Starring: Christopher Connelly, Martha Taylor, Brigitta Boccoli
Color/89 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Limited Edition

The Film
A young girl on vacation in Egypt with her archeologist father is given a beautiful but mysterious charm of a jeweled eye which causes her father to go blind in the middle of a dangerous pyramid. Things only get worse when the family returns home to Manhattan as a series of supernatural horrors plague the family and the family must find a way to break the ancient curse they have fallen under.

MANHATTAN BABY was a bit of a departure from the films horror fans had come to expect from Lucio Fulci as it came at the tail end of his extreme gore era that he is perhaps still best known for today and more immediately came directly after the hyper violent and ultra misogynistic The New York Ripper which in all fairness is a rock solid giallo but received poor reviews and a lot of criticism for being overly cruel towards women. Perhaps this made Fulci take a step back with MANHATTAN BABY which was released in the same year as The New York Ripper but is a much different type of horror film.  MANHATTAN BABY features visual effects that we had not seen from Fulci before, including computer generated laser beams which were the cause of the father's blindness. While these  computer generated effects were nothing more than your standard effects of the time this created a bit more of a "high tech" film for Fulci for the first time, something we'd see him continue with in his next two films, the sword and sandal epic Conquest and the futuristic post apocalyptic sci-fi/action flick The New Gladiators. Both of those films would make more use of computer generated special effects than the practical gore effects that Fulci made use of so frequently and masterfully immediately before these pictures.

MANHATTAN BABY is probably best described as the bridge between those short eras of effects work for Fulci as it has its own memorable scenes with practical gore effects including the first death inside the pyramid and the bird scene, both leaving their victims a bloody mess. Unfortunately I think MANHATTAN BABY is overlooked as it isn't lumped in with those gore classics and isn't mentioned in the same breath as his non-horror films that came in the two years after. It's almost an anomaly in that regard but it shouldn't be. While I admit that MANHATTAN BABY didn't leave the greatest first impression on me when I first watched it as I found it to be slow and just a bit tedious it has since grown on me with subsequent viewings and is now something I find to be unfairly overlooked. First, Fulci creates a thick dream like atmosphere that almost gives the film a surreal quality. Fabio Frizzi's wonderful score accentuates these moments with a pulsing synth and almost jazz-like sound. It's almost worth checking out the film for Frizzi's score on it's own. MANHATTAN BABY also has some creative and innovative scenes that will stick with you such as a child's bedroom vanishing into a desert of sand. This is just one of several moments that has really good cinematography from Guglielmo Mancori who photographed some of Italy's best genre films of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

MANHATTAN BABY does suffer from the same problem that many Italian horror films of the era do in that it just doesn't make a ton of sense. Now this is no problem for me as a massive fan of these films I've come to accept that it's really style over substance quite often and you can piece together enough of a story to make it all work but be warned the story of MANHATTAN BABY is fairly thin. The visuals should more than make up for it. I don't think MANHATTAN BABY is the Fulci's best film or even his best of the 1980s but I do think it is much better than it usually gets credit for. It's also an interesting piece in Fulci's filmography to look at from a historical standpoint. Shocks, gore and Egyptian curses... what more could you want?

The Audio & Video
Blue Underground's anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 transfer comes from a new 2K scan and restoration and maintains the films original aspect ratio and looks quite good. Detail is easily the best it has ever been on home video for this film and is strong enough at times that you can almost count the individual grains of sand sliding through a hand. Colors are vibrant and vivd while skin tones are fleshy and healthy and not at all waxy. Black levels are deep and have no issues with blocking or compression. The disc features two audio mixes, both in English - A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is strong and allows Fabio Frizzi's memorable score to really pump through the speakers. There's also a DTS-HD mono mix that features the film's original mix in the finest quality. Both mixes are a pleasure to listen to and are crisp and clear with no distractions or distortions. There's also no background noise to speak of. English, French and Spanish subtitles are available.

Please note: Screen grabs do not represent the new Blu-ray's image quality.

The Extras
-"Fucli & I" - An hour long interview with composer Fabio Frizzi detailing his career spanning releationship with Lucio Fulci
-"For The Birds" - Interview with co-star Cosimo Cinieri
-"25 Years With Fulci" - Interview with make-up effects artist Maurizio Trani
-"Beyond The Living Dead" - Interview with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti
-"Stephen Thrower On MANHATTAN BABY" - Interview with Stephen Thrower on the production and history of the film. Thrower is the author of "Beyond Terror: The Films Of Lucio Fulci"
-"Manhattan Baby Suite" - Live studio performance of the score by Fabio Frizzi
-Theaterical Trailer
-Poster and still gallery
-Soundtrack CD
-Booklet featuring new writings by Troy Howarth

The Bottom Line
Blue Underground has given this underrated and overlooked Fulci film new life with this packed limited edition Blu-ray release and I don't foresee a better release of MANHATTAN BABY coming down the pike anytime soon.


Monday, November 7, 2016

KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE (Blu-ray Review) - RLJ Entertainment

Directed By: John Stockwell
Written By: Dimitri Logothetis, Jim McGrath
Starring: Alain Moussi, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dave Bautista
Color/90 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: November 8, 2016

The Film
Eric Sloane is a renowned marital arts champion and in an attempt at making life changing money he agrees to fight in the high stakes world of underground fighting in Thailand. Eric isn't prepared for the  violence that is common in these fights and when he faces the ruthless Tong Po (Dave Bautista) he meets the end of his life. Eric's brother Kurt (Alain Moussi) has a plan to assassinate Tong Po but when that fails he decides to train under the man that trained his brother in a quest to avenge his brother's death.

John Stockwell handles KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE with as much grace as you want out of an ass kicking action movie, that is to say he made me believe that this film is a product of the 80s when action films were arguably at their best. Many of the best parts of 80s action films are present; the training montage, marketplace battles where produce flies, the passionate love scene and the dramatic climax where time seems to slow down. As a director John Stockwell has never really done it for me with his best work dwelling in so-so films or worse but he has won me over with his remake/reboot (however you want to look at it) of KICKBOXER. The movie is most certainly flawed but I don't think that moments of clunky editing and storytelling, largely due to scenes being cut and left on the editing room floor which would have helped better fill a couple of small plot holes and wouldn't have made the movie drag any, hurt the overall product. Stockwell handles the action scenes with skill and doesn't revert to annoying modern tendencies such as shaky camera work or unnecessary slow motion. The fight choreography is fantastic and the use of actual martial artists is not only noticeable but appreciated.

Jean-Claude Van Damme cemented his legacy in films such as Bloodsport, Timecop, and of course the original KICKBOXER and he returns here in the role of the trainer and mentor. Van Damme steps into the role seamlessly which is aided by the fact that he still kicks ass and gets to showcase his stuff. And while I loved seeing Van Damme get to show off his stuff, the man has kept incredible shape, there's no mistaking that the star of this film is without a doubt Alain Moussi. It's immediately apparent that Moussi has that old school action star charisma, that it factor that guys like Arnold, Sly and JCVD were all able to harness and capitalize on. If Moussi finds a way to fully capture that likability and "it factor" he could definitely be the next big action hero. It doesn't help that he bares more than a slight resemblance to a young Van Damme. Moussi is also a legitimate ass kicker, he's not the biggest guy around but he is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has worked stunts on X-Men: Days Of Future Past and Suicide Squad just to name a few. Moussi's testosterone fueled quest for revenge is kept in check by Sara Malakul Lane who plays an agent for the Thai police and tries to protect Kurt from being locked up or even worse out on the street. She's the feminine side the movie may not have needed but is certainly better off having.  She portrays her character, Liu, perfectly as smart, cunning, and just the right amount of sexy. I first became aware of her when I reviewed Sun Choke a few months back and was pleasantly surprised to see her here because she's not only beautiful but a fine actress as well.

But no hero is complete without his main foe, right? Guardians Of The Galaxy proved to me that Dave Bautista, known from her on out as Batista, could act because he rarely showed much charisma in his WWE days. And while he's not asked to do as much here as he did in Guardians, he's a really solid big boss type character. Batista is not a small man and he looks every bit as intimidating as you want your big boss to be. His look is a throwback to that of the original Tong Po and he carries the torch well.

In fact the movie as a whole carries the torch well. KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE doesn't re-write what a good action movie is and it didn't have to. It is a remake but it doesn't get too cute with things in trying to be new and different or to make things more slick and polished than its predecessor. Movies like the original KICKBOXER work for a reason and remakes are an inevitable fact in current Hollywood so all we can hope is that they turn out to be a good movie. That is exactly what KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE turned out to be- Just a good old fashioned action movie.

The Audio & Video
RLJ Entertainment delivers this new KICKBOXER chapter with a stellar A/V presentation. The 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is very sharp and features strong detail. Colors are vibrant and vivid while skin tones are flehsy and natural with no signs of waxiness. The blood, sweat and tears shine on this disc! The audio is handled with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mix that is strong and crystal clear. English dominates the dialogue but there are a handful of scenes in what I believe to be Thai and those have subtitles that are translated very well but the subtitles are stylized and splashed across various parts of the screen. I'm not a fan of getting crazy with subtitles but it's a minor gripe that doesn't effect the film much.

The Extras
-Photo Gallery

The Bottom Line
It's not easy to revive a franchise from decades passed and have the film feel like it belongs under the same umbrella as the original films and be a good movie but KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE gets it right. While the film can easily stand on its own it also feels like a KICKBOXER film.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

HOBGOBLINS (Blu-ray Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

Directed By: Rick Sloane
Written By: Rick Sloane
Starring: Tom Bartlett, Paige Sullivan, Steven Boggs
Color/88 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: October 25, 2016

The Film
Kevin just got hired to be a security guard at a film vault and is warned by the aging veteran guard to stay out of one particular part of the building but curiosity kills the cat and Kevin accidentally unleashes a group of little ankle biter furball aliens who love to wreak havoc and cause chaos by taking over the minds of their victims! It's up to Kevin and his motley crew of friends to stop these devious little bastards before they take over the whole city.

HOBGOBLINS is part of a subgenre of puppet horror films that was quite popular in the 1980s. Films like Gremlins, Critters and Ghoulies became successes and spawned numerous sequels. There were plenty of other movies that incorporated mini monsters into their plots as well. It was a glorious time for pint sized terror. 1988's HOBGOBLINS is one of the most notorious films of the bunch. While this is technically a horror film there's nothing scary about it. This is an exercise in cheesemaking of the stinkiest kind. And stinky cheese is good cheese.

The monsters themselves are puppets with no movement which is incredible seeing as how they're able to escape a sealed vault, steal a Jeep and create all sorts of havoc throughout the city without the grace of movement. These green furballs are adorable in the same way an untrained puppy is. You hate to deal with the damage they cause but you love watching them cause it because they're just so damn cute. It helps that every character in this movie is an absolute idiot and a total caricature of the 80s. It starts with the slutty bad girl who is cheating on her boyfriend home on leave from the Army but still wears his fatigues (that is, a tucked in camoflage tank top) everywhere he goes and has a supply of grenades handy. And it keeps on going to the nerd who calls a sex hotline pretending it's his girlfriend, hilariously racking up the 900 number charges on everyone's phone bill but his own. And then there's the rough and tough crew at the seedy bar downtown called Club Scum who are among the softest tough guys in movie history.

HOBGOBLINS is inept in just about every way. It's cheap and stupid. The dialogue is childish and it's full of bad jokes. Director Rick Sloane apparently knew what he had created because he himself submitted the film to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew which they took on to show and riff on. The cult classic show about bad B-movies turned HOBGOBLINS from an unknown obscurity destined to be lost to time forever into a fan favorite episode of MST3K and turning it into one of the best bad films of all time.

To be honest I had never seen the film without the MST3K presentation prior to this Blu-ray release and was skeptical that the movie would hold up on its own. Now, I don't mean hold up as a good movie, I simply mean hold up as an entertaining movie. Many of the reasons I loved to watch HOBGOBLINS is because of the jokes and skits in the MST3K episode. I am pleased to say that HOBGOBLINS on its own was an entirely new and wonderful experience in watching bad filmmaking. Being able to focus on the film itself instead of the commentary provided by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew made me catch more bad dialogue and details I previously didn't notice and let me settle into the movie itself and really take it all in.

For what there is to take in, of course. HOBGOBLINS isn't going to scare anyone. It's not going to be featured on a list of best small monster horror movies, though it is featured on every list of small monster horror movies, there's nothing "best" about it unless we're discussing the best bad movies ever. There's a permanent place for HOBGOBLINS on that list and it's a reason this movie is infinitely watchable and entertaining. Right now I'm thinking about how much fun it's going to be seeing the single greatest hand to hand combat scene featuring lawn equipment ever committed to celluloid. Ahh, HOBGOBLINS.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome makes Hobgoblins look like a million bucks which is far more than the movie cost to make! Their brand new 2K scan and restoration from the original 35mm negative is stunning and provides great detail depth in surfaces and textures. The film is rather colorful despite its incredibly cheap set design and those colors really sparkle here. Black levels are deep and show no signs of compression issues. The English audio is handled with a DTS-HD mono mix that sounds crisp and is free of any background noise, or damage like popping, wobbling or crackling. The mix is stable and levels are complimentary.

The Extras
-Archival audio commentary with director Rick Sloane
-"Hobgoblins Revisited" - A brand new making-of featurette
-"Hobgoblins: The Making Of A Disasterpiece" featurette
-"Hobgoblins Invade Comic-Con" featurette
-Brand new interview with creature fabricator Kenneth J. Hall

The Bottom Line
HOBGOBLINS has long been celebrated as a favorite cult oddity that we loved to riff on, or hear others riff on but now the film can stand on its own two feet having never looked better and can proudly say to us "Bring on the riffing!". Vinegar Syndrome's impressive release doesn't change the fact that HOBGOBLINS is a strong candidate for favorite in the so-bad-it's-good film tournament (if this tournament doesn't exist it needs to) but Vinegar Syndrome's release is an absolute gem and is packed with a slew of in depth and downright loving special features. This is an outstanding release.

HOBGOBLINS is available HERE

Friday, November 4, 2016

Voice From The Stone Acquired By Momentum Pictures

Starring Emilia Clarke
Film Set for Release First Quarter 2017
LOS ANGELES – NOV. 4, 2016 – Momentum Pictures announced today that it has acquired North American rights to the anticipated thriller VOICE FROM THE STONE.  Eric D. Howell (Ana's Playground) makes his directorial debut with the screenplay written by Andrew Shaw based on the Italian novel “La Voce Della Pietra” by Silvio Raffo.  It stars Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”), Marton Csokas (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), Caterina Murino (Casino Royale), Remo Girone (Heaven), Lisa Gastoni (Sacred Heart) and Edward Dring (Nella Tasca del Cappotto).  VOICE FROM THE STONE will be released in theaters and On Demand in the first quarter of 2017.  Momentum Pictures’ Senior Vice President of Content Ian Goggins made the announcement today.
"We’re excited to bring this amazing film to the big screen and to work with the talented Emilia Clarke on this project,” said Goggins.  “Emilia has proven to be a versatile actor from her dominant role in ‘The Game of Thrones’ to her quirky, yet lovable character in Me Before You.  We’re confident that her legion of fans will follow her in her new role in VOICE FROM THE STONE."
At the gates of an isolated stone castle in the 1950’s Tuscany, a determined young nurse arrives to cure the mute heir within.  As Verena (Clarke) struggles to bring silent Jakob back into the world, she finds herself submerged deeper and deeper into the hidden secrets of the castle.

Shot on location in Siena (Tuscany), Viterbo and Rome-Cinecitta in Italy, the film was produced by Dean Zanuck (Road to Perdition) and Stefano Gallini-Durante (White Shadow).  The film was financed by Bruce Johnson, Zanuck Independent and Producer Capital Fund.  
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Momentum Pictures by Sejin Croninger, senior vice president of worldwide acquisitions for Entertainment One, and with CAA on behalf of the filmmakers. 
13 Films will serve as the international sales agent at AFM

About Momentum Pictures, an Entertainment One Company
Momentum Pictures is focused on distributing multiplatform film, television and special interest content in the U.S. and around the world.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

SCARS (DVD Review) - Wild Eye Releasing

Directed By: Sean K. Robb
Written By: Sean K. Robb
Starring: Danielle Cole, Neale Kimmel, Matt Wells
Color/108 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: May 10, 2016

The Film
Scar and Scarlett are a pair of women who have awful experiences with men. Scar has a deadbeat slob of a father that she hates and Scarlett often finds herself blackmailing men who are cheating on their wives with her. Their disgust for the male sex becomes extremely violent and deadly when they meet each other and bond over their feelings.

SCARS is tough. I think there's good stuff here. The cast is decent and the film moves along at a steady pace never letting the viewer cool off too much before Scar and Scarlett act out again in some way, whether they're murdering, torturing or blackmailing. But there's some bad as well. The editing is clunky and choppy which makes me think the script had big holes in it that they simply didn't know how to transition from scene to scene so there are numerous sudden cuts to black and coming back to a new scene. It is jarring and took me out of the movie briefly on a few occasions. There's also some really poor moments of direction such as when Scarlett is in the midst of demanding payment from her second blackmail victim and he responds to her that he has already left his wife so he doesn't care - The man's head is entirely chopped off for the duration. That's an amateur mistake that needs fixing.

SCARS is down right cold and has an attitude about it. I think the bitter attitude and cold shoulder it turns to the viewer works in context of the the story but it left me feeling a bit disconnected from the film. A cold and depressing movie usually doesn't stop me from liking a film but I think it could hurt the film's rewatchability. SCARS is still a rather successful serial killer movie that has some cringe inducing violence, especially for guys.

The Audio & Video
Wild Eye Releasing gives SCARS a DVD release with an anamorphic widescreen transfer that looks very good. The image is sharp and crisp with strong colors, especially the hot whites and deep blacks of the two killers' makeup. The stereo English audio mix is serviceable with no damage or background noise. The levels are stable and the overall audio quality is pleasing to the ear.

The Extras
Aside from a selection of trailers for other Wild Eye releases this disc is bare bones.

The Bottom Line
SCARS is something slasher and serial killer fans will definitely want to seek out.

SCARS is available HERE

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Cult Epics IndieGoGo Campaign Is Live


 Los Angeles, CA (November 2016.) 

For Immediate Press release. Over the past 25 years, Los Angeles based Cult Epics has released nearly 150 videos of the most sought after, obscure, provocative and previously unknown films to the home video market. As the video distribution model continues to evolve, additional funds are required for transfers, restoration, production, replication and rights acquisitions. Now, Cult Epics is reaching out to our fans and film lovers to help support us in our efforts to continue bringing you new releases. Help us continue our journey bringing you definitive editions of our upcoming releases on Blu-ray and DVD.

Slate of films to be scheduled to be released, are now live on Indiegogo for Pre-order:
Mondo Weirdo/Vampiros Sexos (Carl Andersen) BD/DVD/CD 3 Disc Limited Edition Feb, 2017
100 Girls by Bunny Yeager (Nico B) BD Premiere March, 2017
The Flesh/La Carne (Marco Ferreri) BD/DVD Combo April, 2018
Obsessions (Pim de la Parra) BD/DVD Combo May, 2017
Moon Child (Agusti Villaronga) BD/DVD Combo June, 2017

Furthermore to celebrate 25 years of Cult Epics we be producing a coffee-table book: Cult Epics - Comprehensive Guide to Cult Cinema on the directors and films we have released, including reviews of the film releases, interviews with directors, behind the scenes, fully illustrated with rare photos and memorabilia. Hardcover, Approx. 250 Pages, 9”x11”, color and b&w.

We ask you for your support on the INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN, 
Get your copy now of these films, book and more at: