Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Showdown In Manila Coming This January From ITN Distribution


LOS ANGELES, CA – November 15, 2017 – ITN Distribution has acquired North American distribution rights to the action thriller SHOWDOWN IN MANILA starring international action star Alexander Nevsky (Black Rose). The film marks the directorial debut of Mark Dacascos (Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.",  "Hawaii Five-0”) with a screenplay by Craig Hamann (My Best Friend's Birthday, Boogie Boy).  SHOWDOWN IN MANILA also includes Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers, Sleepy Hollow), Tia Carrere (True Lies, Wayne's World) and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Hachi: A Dog's Tale, Memoirs of a Geisha). ITN will release the film in theaters January 19, 2018, with a Digital and On Demand release to follow on January 23, 2018.

The film follows private detectives Nick (Alexander Nevsky) and Charlie (Casper Van Dien) who live and work in Manila. A murder investigation leads them to the jungle camp of an international terrorist called The Wrath. Not trusting the police, Nick and Charlie assembly a team of daredevils to walk straight into the Wrath's lair and fight an army of his goons.

Nevsky is a former Mr. Universe and an established movie star in Russia. He is based in Los Angeles and his credits include Black Rose, Undisputed, Treasure Raiders, Somewhere and the upcoming film Maximum Impact. Nevsky represents Russia as a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

SHOWDOWN IN MANILA is produced by Nevsky through his production company Hollywood Storm and is executive produced by Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die) and Alexander Izotov (Moscow Heat). 

ITN Distribution President Stuart Alson negotiated the deal along with Nevsky on behalf of the filmmakers. SHOWDOWN IN MANILA is a theatrical box office hit in Russia/CIS. CineTel Films which has the film's foreign sales rights, has sold SHOWDOWN IN MANILA to 28 countries already.

GHASTLIES - Camp Motion Picture (Blu-ray Review)

Directed By: Brett Kelly
Written By: Chris Bavota
Starring: Kim Valentine, Eric Deniverville, Jessica Huether
Color/75 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: November 7, 2017

The Film
A spaceship interrupts some sort of Satanic sacrifice and the small creatures within devour almost everyone involved before they're captured and locked in a bunker. Five years later they're accidentally set free during a weekend getaway by a group of sorority sisters and these little guys are hungry again.

GHASTLIES is a mini creature horror movie in the tradition of Gremlins, Ghoulies and Critters and has more in common with the worst those franchises have to offer than the best. That's not to say there isn't some fun to have here with colorful and creative design of these otherworldly creatures like the green dragon wearing a fur coat, the five-eyed purple dude and the orange fleshed horned-blockhead guy, all of which feature some sharp teeth and an insatiable hunger for Earthly beings. They're without a doubt the highlight of the movie. You don't watch Gremlins hoping to see a group of rather obnoxious sorority girls (aside from Jessica Huether as the nerdy "brains instead of beauty" girl who is far from unattractive) drink in the woods and you don't put on Critters to watch a couple of bumbling bicycle cops in mismatched uniforms pump up their tires in the same woods that are supposed to be very secluded so these girls can "party as hard as they want and nobody will stop them". Their partying is quite soft and they're bothered repeatedly. There is a good bit of ghastly horror from the GHASTLIES and it is quite low rent and cheap. Sadly they puppets have very little movement of their own and what you see on screen is limited to the puppeteer shaking them around while performing an attack. I get it the budget constraints and it didn't hurt my enjoyment of these moments too much at all.

Unfortunately those scenes of campy goodness are put on the back burner for too much of the film's 75 minute run time and we spend a lot of time with characters I wouldn't want to be in the same room with. The lead Sloane is played by Kim Valentine who appears to be a good 15 years older than the rest of the girls and I'm not exactly sure why she's hanging out with them besides the fact that she was (is?) in the same sorority. It seems like a grown woman approaching middle age hanging out with kids that may not legally be able to drink. It just felt odd. Odd is better than I can say for the editing in this movie though. Did anyone pay attention to it? There are countless shots that don't match up to the ones before or after and a simple little fix would have been fine such as a guy getting chased through the woods by a Ghastly and his boxers are wet and dirty long before he ever goes to the ground. It's obvious they're dirty from a previous take and this happens continuously throughout the film or characters will be in one area and in the next cut they're somewhere else and it's obvious that parts of a previous scene were placed in another spot and it's absolutely jarring to watch. I don't want to rag on GHASTLIES too hard over this after all it is "just" a cheesy independent creature feature but this isn't difficult stuff and it honestly just came across as lazy to me.

I had fun with GHASTLIES. The little monsters have an interesting and original look despite wearing their inspirations on their sleeves, the best moments of the movie have that B-movie charm and the score even works in a cheesy pre-set Casio keyboard kind of way. But there's so many questions I'm left with. Why the need for a Satanic ritual? How did they escape being locked in the bunker? (the girl simply trips over it, never doing anything that would unlock it). Why does it take 50 minutes to make the Ghastlies the focus of the movie? Why is this middle aged woman hanging out with these kids? Why are these cops in the movie at all and why couldn't they at least get matching outfits? The good part of GHASTLIES are cute, bloody and fun but the movie is a mess to say the least.

I can't let this review go by without mentioning that the movie does have a great little GHASTLIES cartoon at the end. That sort of raises more questions to me but I'll sit back and just enjoy that little slice of animated goodness on its own.

The Audio & Video
Camp Motion Pictures gives us a beautiful Blu-ray of GHASTLIES with an anamorphic widescreen presentation that has a striking color palette including bloody reds and the Crayola box used in the design of the monsters. Detail level is great as well showing off the fuzzy and slimy nature of the creatures along with skin tones and surfaces and textures.

The Extras
An audio commentary track and a short interview with actor/creature designer/puppeteer John Migliore are the main special features. They're rounded out by a trailer for this film and a selection of trailers from other Camp Motion Pictures releases.

The Bottom Line
GHASTLIES isn't the next cult classic mini monster horror franchise and I doubt it'll spawn any sequels (though it could). It's messier than it needs to be and leaves a lot to be desired but the GHASTLIES themselves are adorable little carnivores from space and whenever they're around I couldn't help but have a good time.

GHASTLIES is available HERE

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cult Epics Bringing Death Laid An Egg To Blu-ray

ON NOVEMBER 28, 2017

Arguably the most insanely idiosyncratic giallo ever directed, DEATH LAID AN EGG (1968) is a true wayward masterpiece of kaleidoscopic Italian counterculture cinema.  Directed by largely unsung iconoclastic auteur Giulio Questi (DJANGO KILL!, ARCANA) and starring legendary leading man Jean-Louis Trintignant (THE CONFORMIST) as a married man that may or may not be a serial killer, Gina Lollobrigida (John Huston's BEAT THE DEVIL) as his delectable yet overly domineering careerist wife, and Swedish blonde bombshell Ewa Aulin (CANDY) as his murderous double-crossing mistress, the film is the virtual giallo equivalent to Godard’s WEEKEND in terms of its crass car crash fetishism, savage anti-bourgeois sentiments, and overall anarchic spirit.  Set largely in a hi-tech automated poultry factory that breeds mutant boneless chickens.

DEATH LAID AN EGG is a socio-politically sophisticated avant-garde giallo that is more pertinent today than when it was first released in terms of its quite modern depiction of the battle of the sexes and the perils of technology. The original Italian “superbly edited” giallo version is presented by Cult Epics in High-definition and with new bonus features.

Price:                              $34.95
Street Date:                              November 28, 2017
Production Year:                     1968
Country:                                   Italy
Video run time:                 Approx. 90 Mins
Language:                                Italian language w/optional English subtitles
Aspect Ratio:                           1.78:1
Audio:                                      DTS HD-MA 5.1 Surround/Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Label:                                       Cult Epics
Distributor:                              CAV 
Blu-ray                        CE-154
BD UPC:                                 881190015490
Rating:                                     Not Rated

. HD presentation
. Original Theatrical Trailer
. Lobby Cards photo gallery

. Isolated Score by Bruna Maderna

Monday, November 13, 2017

Comet TV November Freaky Feast Giveaway

November is here and what better time to think about friends, family and feasts? This month COMET TV is dishing out all kinds of supernatural goodness!
The Friday Night Movies feature Cowboys VS Dinosaurs and Vampires! Who knew Cowboys could kick the undead’s butt as well as prehistoric reptiles? Then we have the Jeff Bridges classic Starman and head into Deep Space!
There are also classics like Teen Wolf, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and each week on COMET TV there’s a different theme! Vampires! Ghosts! Werewolves! Oh My!

On Thanksgiving Day, COMET TV has The Freaky Feast Movie Marathon featuring Superbeast, The Incredible Melting Man, Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, The Video Dead, The Beast Within and Creature. Tune in for perfect pass-the-cranberry-sauce scenery.
And we want to give you the opportunity to have a Freaky Feast of your own all month long! The COMET TV November Freaky Feast Pack is perfect for a Horror-iffic gathering!

The Comet TV November Freaky Feast Pack has:
1 -Limited Edition Teen Wolf T-shirt: Get ready to Howl! This shirt sports the classic Teen Wolf logo on the front and is perfect for letting your inner freak fly. Whether you’re playing basketball or just letting your beard grow in, we got you covered! Literally, I mean… It’s a shirt. Hello!
2 -Limited Edition COMET TV Condiment Bottles: How can you have a feast without the accoutrements? These condiment bottles are just the thing for adding that secret sauce at any Freaky Feast!
8 -COMET TV Table Place cards: Haven’t you always wanted to tell your friends, “You’re a beast!” Now you have a chance, in a nice subtle way. These place cards are perfect for that elegant classy touch at your next Freaky Feast. Featuring aliens, robots, and more!
1 -COMET TV Collectable Card: You’ll get one of four collectable COMET TV cards featuring Teen Wolf, Once Bitten and more.
BUT… You can’t have a feast without candy! You’ll also get an assortment of gummy brains, hearts, livers as well as some candy blood bags and even a wax fang or two!

Rules And How To Enter
-Giveaway open to the US Only
-Send an email to titled "Comet TV November Giveaway" and tell me what your Thanksgiving movie watching traditions are (this includes the whole Thanksgiving weekend!) and include your name and address!
-Winner will be selected on November 26th

About COMET TV - November 2017

Thursday, November 23 starting at 10A/9C
Thanksgiving Day (November 23, starting at 10A/9C), COMET TV is cranking up the heat in the kitchen with Freaky Feast Movie Marathon featuring Superbeast, The Incredible Melting Man, Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, The Video Dead, The Beast Within and Creature. Tune in for perfect pass-the-cranberry-sauce scenery.
Superbeast (1972) 
starting at 10A/9C
Incredible Melting Man (1978) 
starting at NOON/11C
Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985) 
starting at 2P/1C
The Video Dead (1986) 
starting at 4P/3C
The Beast Within (1982) 
starting at 6P/5C
Creature (1985) 
starting at 8P/7C
November Weekly Themes
Airing weekdays at 4P/3C throughout November, check schedule at
Werewolves (11/6 – 11/10) 
Vampires (11/13 – 11/17) 
Ghosts (11/20 – 11/24) 
Interplanetary Romance (11/27 – 12/1)
Teen Wolf (1985) 
Monday, November 13 at 6P/5C 
Saturday, November 25 at 10P/9C
Teen Wolf Too (1987) 
Monday, November 13 at 8P/7C 
Saturday, November 25 at MIDNIGHT/11C
Friday Primetime Movie 8P/7C 
Saturday Encore Presentation 8P/7C
Cowboys VS Vampires (2013) 
Friday, November 10 at 8P/7C
Starman (1984) 
Friday, November 17 at 8P/7C 
Monday, November 27 at 4P/3C
Deep Space (1987) 

Friday, November 24 at 8P/7C

Friday, November 10, 2017

KILL BABY KILL (Blu-ray Review) - Kino Classics

Directed By: Mario Bava
Written By: Romano Migliorini, Roberto Natale, Mario Bava
Starring: Giacomo Rossi Stuart, Erika Blanc, Fabienne Dali
Color/83 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: October 10, 2017

The Film
Mario Bava is the Godfather of Italian horror and perhaps genre cinema in general. He made a huge splash with gothic horror films during the 1960s including the chilling slow burn ghost story KILL, BABY... KILL! This 1966 film stars Giacomo Rossi Stuart as a doctor summoned to a small Italian village to perform an autopsy on a recently deceased woman but finds that superstition and fear run deep among the population of this village and that the spirit of an undead girl and madness are the reason.

KILL BABY KILL is another fine example of Bava's mastery behind the camera. From his ability to create mood and atmosphere using the centuries old villas and colored gel lighting to the cinematography which he did partially himself along with frequent collaborator Antonio Rinaldi and was how he cut his teeth in the film industry before getting a chance to direct his own films, he oozes style and ability. Bava's attention to detail even went as far as finding exactly the right person to play the role of Melissa, the vengeful spirit and when he couldn't find a girl that fit his vision he cast a young male with these striking and protruding eyes. His storytelling here is simple, and Giacomo Rossi Stuart proves to be a capable and likable protagonist who investigates the strange dealings of the village and their fear of a ghostly apparition. His relationship with Erika Blanc provides a deeper and more personal motivation for the character to find out the true nature of this village's fear and the duo have strong chemistry.

It's all about the visuals though and Bava provides plenty of them. From Melissa's stony eyed gaze as she peered through windows at her next victim to the graveyard swing shot from her point of view as the camera plays with the audience. And there's something to be said about how effortlessly creepy the bouncing ball scenes are particularly as the child's toy bounces through an open door and across a corpse awaiting autopsy. The film brings chills in very simplistic ways but that is just a testament to Bava's ability as the film is never boring despite its methodical pace. This small world we're brought into a long with Stuart's Dr. Eswai is both mad and engrossing from the crowd that frequents the bar and the inn to the reverse gravediggers who want to buy bodies in a hurry as opposed to the typical characters we see digging them up and the haunting Baroness Graps, there's always something or someone worth paying attention to.

The 60s were the decade that Mario Bava became a name. He made three of his best films in the first half of the decade and while KILL BABY KILL isn't the film that Black Sabbath (1963), Black Sunday (1960) or even The Whip And The Body (1963) are, it is a fine example of a gothic chiller and a genuinely well made and effective horror film. Bava spent time in just about every genre you can think of but his gothic horror films may be his finest work. Or maybe they're second to this gialli... I'll let you decide for yourselves but be sure not to overlook KILL BABY KILL.

The Audio & Video
Kino Lorber delivers KILL BABY KILL on Blu-ray with a new 2K scan taken from 35mm film elements. The 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer retains the film's grain structure and there's no signs of digital noise reduction or edge enhancement. There's speckling throughout but it never becomes intrusive or excessive. Colors are strong with deep black levels and detail is definitely improved over previous DVD releases of the film. This release features Italian and English Dolby Digital mono audio mixes. There's no hiss or distortion but some light organic, natural background noise is present. Both audio tracks sound very good and I have no real complaints about them.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary With Tim Lucas author of the be-all end-all Mario Bava tome All The Colors Of The Dark
-"Kill Bava Kill" - A 2007 documentary on the production of the film with Mario Bava's son Lamberto Bava who served as Assistant Director on the film. This was previously unreleased and clocks in at 25 minutes and is a tour of shooting locations and filled with good memories from the production.
-German title sequence with alternate footage
-Interview with actress Erika Blanc
-International theatrical trailer
-TV Spots

The Bottom Line
Mario Bava is one of the greatest cult filmmakers of all time and his horror output can stand up to any other director's filmography and KILL BABY KILL is a strong part of his catalog and should be a strong part of your collection - Highly recommended.

KILL BABY KILL is available HERE

Friday, November 3, 2017

Casting News For "Killer Kate"


- Principal Production to Begin Next Week  -

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 2, 2017) – Feld Films proudly announces that principal photography for the horror comedy KILLER KATE! will begin Nov. 6, 2017. Set to shoot in Los Angeles, KILLER KATE! was written by Daniel Moya (Rental) along with Elliot Feld (General Education), who will also direct the film. It stars Danielle Burgess (“The Deuce,” “The Sinner”), Larry Cedar (“True Crime: The Menendez Murders,” “Deadwood”) and Tiffany Shepis (Victor CrowleyTales of Halloween).  
“We’re extremely excited for KILLER KATE! to get started,” said Elliot Feld, who not only serves as director of the film, but also as CEO of Feld Films.  “After diligently crafting the script, scouting locations, and completing casting, this project has been a labor of love, one we’re excited to bring to life next week as principal photography begins.” 
In KILLER KATE!, Kate attends her estranged sister's bachelorette party at the request of their dying father. The weekend, held at a remote cabin booked on a home sharing app, turns into a savage life-or-death struggle that pits family against family, and past against present.
The film is being produced by Alexandra Feld (Phoenix Forgotten), David Feld (Siren), Lawrence Feld, and Jesse Pruett (The Prince).

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Darren Lynn Bousman's St. Agatha Lands With Octane


LOS ANGELES (Nov. 1, 2017) – Octane Entertainment acquires worldwide sales rights to the highly anticipated, female-driven psychological horror film ST. AGATHA.  Shot in Madison, Ga. and currently in post-production, the film was written by Andy Demetrio (Star Trek: Into Darkness), Shaun Fletcher (The Road Trip), Sara Sometti Michaels (The Photographer) and Clint Sears (Tales of Halloween). Under the helm of prolific horror director Darren Lynn Bousman, the director behind three installments of the Saw franchise, ST. AGATHA stars Sabrina Kern (The Tension Experience), Carolyn Hennesy (HBO’s “True Blood”), Courtney Halverson (Unfriended) Trin Miller (Captain Fantastic) and Seth Michaels (PelĂ©: Birth of a Legend).

 Octane Entertainment President Jack Campbell made the announcement today.

“We’re very excited to introduce Darren’s latest masterpiece to buyers at the American Film Market this week,” said Campbell.  “This is exactly the type of project our clients have been looking for – a female-driven, elevated genre film with pedigree that is well-crafted throughout. We’ve seen huge successes in this arena lately, most recently with Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”  From the writing to the acting to the directing and execution – ST. AGATHA is a cut above anything that I’ve seen in a long time.”

“I have always been attracted to the dark, sinister, and macabre,” said Bousman.  “But, as I find myself getting older and now being a dad, blood and guts no longer amuse me.  I need something more.  I look for content, character and themes.  ST. AGATHA spoke to me as it takes a look at the unflinching horrors that befell women in the 1950’s and how that parallels to the not so different horrors that are befalling them today.  It was amazing to work with such a strong female cast, and I look forward to pulling back the curtain and letting others glimpse into our sinister world.” 

ST. AGATHA is set in the 1950s in small town Georgia, where a pregnant con woman named Agatha is on the run and seeks refuge in a convent hidden in deafening isolation. What first starts out as the perfect place to have a child turns into a dark layer where silence is forced, ghastly secrets are masked, and every bit of will power Agatha has is tested. She soon learns the sick and twisted truth of the convent and the odd people that lurk inside its halls. Agatha must now find a way to discover the unyielding strength needed to escape and save her baby before she's caged behind these walls forever.

ST. AGATHA was produced by Sara Sometti Michaels, Srdjan Stakic (The Operative) and Tara Ansley (Tragedy Girls) and was executive produced by Kevin Traier, Rick Le and Seth Michaels.

“Making this film was amazing,” said Michaels.  “The intensity of the film will keep the audiences holding onto their seats until the end.  Under the direction of Darren Lynn Bousman, we had strong female actors who embodied not only their characters, but also the era in which the movie took place, the atmosphere as well as the eeriness of the story.  To see the film from the inception of the script through the process of finding an investor, to preproduction, to principal photography and finally to the finished product was an amazing experience.  I am very proud to be a part of this project.”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

2017 October Horror Challenge Days 24 and 25

Day 24 had three very different films starting with GHOST STORY from 1981. This anthology movie revolves around one central ghost woman and a society of older gentleman called the Chowder Society. It's the definition of gathering around a camp fire and telling spooky tales. It's also a bit grosser than I expected. It has great performances to boot. Solid little chiller.

THE FOX WITH A VELVET TAIL aka In The Eye Of The Hurricane is a giallo from director Jose Maria Forque which doesn't have much in the way of horror but is more of a romance based thriller with all of the classic traits of the genre. It's a slow burn but the beautiful women, beach paradise setting and an overall solid story keep things interesting until the twist and full plot reveal themselves. This isn't a classic giallo or even among the more entertaining but I thought it was solid fare.

Finally for day 24 a bit of a disappointment, BLACKENSTEIN. You give me a blaxploitation version of Frankenstein and I'll tell you I'm fucking game! Well it's neither horror enough or blaxploiation enough and aside from a few scenes it's rather dull. I suppose there's some okay effects and the acting is good but man was I hoping for something along the levels of Blacula and what I got was miles behind that.

Day 25 had the lone viewing of DOLLS, a classic Stuart Gordon flick made for Empire Pictures. Empire just flat out got it. I don't know what has happened to Charles Band in recent years but there was a time when he just knew how to make fun and down right cool b-movies and make them quality as well despite not having big budgets. DOLLS may be the groundwork for Puppet Master, it certainly feels that way, but it's such a quick, fun little movie with a couple surprises in store.

2017 October Horror Challenge Day 23

Well let's try this again since autosave apparently didn't save jack shit....

Day 23 started out with DEMENTED from 1980, a movie with possibly the roughest opening scene I've ever witnessed. Before the opening credits even appear we witness a woman get gang raped by four men in a stable. Yup, that's your opening sequence. There's nothing left to the imagination for what type of movie this is going to be. The movie never quite gets as crazy as similar pictures like I Spit On Your Grave but it still is not a pleasant movie. We spend the entire time with a broken woman who is obviously not ready to be out of the psych hospital she was being treated in and is now being terrorized by masked assailants that may or may not be part of her broken mind. As far as rape revenge movies go this one isn't quite a classic but it stands tall and definitely gives the despicable antagonists a taste of their own medicine. The dinner scene is especially whacked out.

The only other movie of the day was a Swedish film inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's story The Color Out Of Space. FEED THE LIGHT is from director Henrik Moller and could be summed up by Lovecraft by way of very early experimental David Lynch but not iconic like either of those two things. It is a strange little movie set in an underground warehouse of sorts that offers up some chills, some claustrophobia and a bit of "what the fuck?". It was an interesting movie filled with invisible passages, and shadow dust monsters that I think warrants a watch but will probably prove to be something I don't revisit often.