LA Horror Review: “Deadly Revisions”

unnamedA horror writer.  A hypnotherapist.  A cabin deep in the woods. These are just several pieces to Gregory Blair’s puzzle in his twisty-turny directorial debut “Deadly Revisions,” a freaky new thriller that will no doubt be a delight to the true horror viewer. This isn’t the type of horror flick that’s going to throw blood at you on every shot or have many gratuitous scenes, but rather a slow burning mind fuck that will get under your skin and no doubt keep you guessing until the very end. As an overall fan of the genre in general, there’s a hell of a lot to appreciate about this flick.  Did I mention that it stars horror super stud Bill Oberst, Jr.?

“Deadly Revisions” was the first featured project on LAHorror.com, and it’s great to see Gregory Blair’s vision come to life. I’m hesitant to call it a psychological thriller, because there are so many great elements from several horror genres that play out throughout the film. The story follows Grafton Torn (Oberst, Jr.), a horror writer struggling with amnesia, and when the memories begin to come back with the help of a beautiful hypnotherapist (Cindy Merrill), the line between horror fiction and reality starts to blur…

Because our protagonist is a horror writer, we get a good mix of all sorts of sinister scenarios in this film, which makes “Deadly Revisions” exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. Prior to viewing, it was recommended that I watch with the lights off, and I’m so glad that I did, because by the end of this flick things get pretty damn intense.

Bill Oberst, Jr. absolutely crushes it as the disturbed Grafton Torn, with a portrayal of a tortured soul that is both disturbing and utterly heartbreaking. Oberst, Jr. looks so incredibly natural and ever in his element, and he is no doubt the powerful engine driving this film towards its shocking and horrifying climax. “Deadly Revisions” is another excellent example of just how much versatility he brings to the screen, especially in a horror picture.

And while Oberst, Jr. manages to steal the show, a terrific supporting cast and an extremely clever and engaging screenplay no doubt enhances his performance. There were several scenes, in particular, between Oberst, Jr. and actress Lise Hart that sent some serious shivers down my spine.  It’s hard to beat a horror flick with a kick ass story and actors that aren’t afraid to really go for it.

“Deadly Revisions” is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre or a horror writer yourself, so keep your eyes peeled hard for this one.  The film is currently in the festival circuit where it has already received several awards, and I have a feeling there will be plenty more to come. Check it, horror lovers!

You can learn more about how to see “Deadly Revisions” on the films official website.  Also, be sure to keep up with “Deadly Revisions” on Facebook and follow the film on Twitter!

VHS Spotlight: “Evils of the Night”

Our dear friend and contributor in horror Alex Ray returns, this time with a VHS Spotlight that’s out of this world!  We love to feature flicks that aren’t widely available to the masses on LAHorror.com, so be sure to check out our growing collection of VHS Spotlights on our Behead-itorials page and be sure to drop us a line to let us know which ones you’d like to see!  Enjoy horror lovers!

VHS SPOTLIGHT: EVILS OF THE NIGHT

1984 * 85 minutes * Lightning Video * Directed by Mardi Rustam

evils_01_coverIf you’re trying to find the worst 80s horror VHS box art out there, look no further. The movie itself is a crazy good time—but the box makes it look like Lovers Retreat, the 1989 romantic dramedy starring Bobcat Goldthwait and Daphne Zuniga (this film does not exist). Yes, it tried harder to make me not watch it than The Witching (I defy anyone to rent a horror movie adorned with the bespectacled visage of Orson Welles). Point is: despite a complete lack of salesmanship on the part of Lightning Video—a rare oversight for a company that churned out a zillion lurid covers back in the day—I consider it a high value asset to my VHS collection.

And, okay, yes—there is a DVD. But good luck finding one for less than fifty bucks. It seems the fine folks at Shriek Show woefully underestimated demand and now it’s as tough to find as Shadow: Dead Riot is easy to come by. And that’s just downright shameful. But you know what? We still got some sweet ol’ magnetic tape to fall back on.

This really is a movie that should be seen on VHS anyway. It epitomizes what’s great about cheesy 80s horror—totally un-ironic and self-serious, but comprised of ridiculous and disparate elements. No matter how many times I put this in the VCR (I’m up to three), I feel like I’m missing something (and lemme tell ya: this ain’t exactly Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy when it comes to plot). I think I can summarize it somewhat concisely: beach bums and babes become the target of aliens who need their young people blood to survive. But if you start asking questions—like, any questions—things get complicated.

For instance, how did the mechanics get recruited to kidnap teenagers for the aliens? And why, with their spaceships and laser rings, would the aliens need a couple grumpy old men to do said kidnapping for them? How did the aliens come to inhabit a hospital? What happened to those lady aliens after they made bedroom eyes at each other for thirty seconds? Yeah, Evils offers up quite a few stumpers.

The trick is to not think too hard about it and just go along for the ride (to the hospital with the mechanics who are selling you to the aliens). You do that, and Evils of the Night becomes Goods of the Day. Or Night, still. If you watch it at night. I don’t judge.

evils_02_blackbgMuch as we all love how meta and self-aware everything has become, it’s sometimes nice to go back to a time when movies didn’t seem to know they were bad. Who can say—maybe Mardi Rustam thought he was making the ultimate satire, but he definitely fooled me. The charm of Evils lies in just how blissfully sincere it is about being pretty dumb. By any quantifiable standards it’s a terrible movie, and yet I’ve still watched it three times. So what does that tell you? Yeah, I don’t know either.

Look. It’s silly. It’s fun. Joe Bob would definitely say check it out, if you know what I mean (boobs). With the bland box art, you might just be able to convince a normal person to watch it. Take all that into consideration, and I think you can see the good in Evils of the Night (I do love it when titles lend themselves to this kind of scintillating wordplay).

Postscript: A random Amazon check has revealed that this is going to get a re-release on October 14! Now the masses will have easy access to this cinematic gem. But while the DVD may be of higher quality and have better box art (because it couldn’t possibly be worse), I must say I’ll always be partial to my VHS. However, I’ll concede that it’s worth seeing any way you can. And if you can’t wait that long, well, there’s an ex-rental with your name on it somewhere.

3 out of  4 stars

VHS Spotlight is written by LAHorror.com contributor Alex Ray.

LA Horror Review: “Killer Mermaid”

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Who doesn’t love a good sea monster movie? They take humans out of their element, often have something with wicked sharp teeth and almost guaranteed bikinis galore. And while we’ve recently seen a lot of movies about killer sharks and giant reptilians recently, which is all fine and good, there’s been a key sub-species of the oceanic variety that is being far underrepresented in the horror spectrum nowadays. Mermaids, bro! And in Milan Todorvic’s slick horror flick “Killer Mermaid” (aka “Nymph”), we are shown just how vicious and deadly, these creatures can be!

The story: two beautiful young women go on an exotic Mediterranean vacation and uncover the watery lair of a killer mermaid hidden beneath an abandoned military fortress. What was once a carefree adventure becomes a deadly fight for survival…

Look, I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Mermaid themed horror movies, but I do say with confidence that “Killer Mermaid” sets the bar pretty damn high for what genre enthusiasts should expect from a movie about a killer fish woman. This film begins as a slash-em up but slowly turns into something much darker, and much more interesting once our heroes come into contact with the Mermaid. This is a villain that I absolutely loved, and by all means don’t let her sexy, angelic voice lure you in or you’ll pay a hefty price. This Mermaid has got some bite.

This movie, much like its cast, is absolutely beautiful. There’s some amazing cinematography that makes the most of its exotic setting, and while it does take a bit of time to get to the real meat of the story, it is an intriguing ride to get there, mostly because this film takes itself so seriously. With a movie about a killer mermaid, it’d be really easy to fall into the campy, over the top attitude that a lot of horror has nowadays, but this film does the opposite. The characters are real and believable, the special effects are well above average and I found myself invested and excited by the time the film was wrapping up.  “Killer Mermaid” may not have been the scariest movie I’ve ever seen, but it definitely was a lot of fun.  Put your swimsuit on and jump in for this one.  Just be wary of any ladies of the sea you might meet on the way…

“Killer Mermaid” is now available on DVD and VOD from Epic Pictures!  The film is also available XBox!

“Bunnyman 3″ – Coming Soon!

Brutality.  Blood.  Babes.  Bunnies.  No, I’m not talking about Bugs, I’m talking about Bunnyman, THE horror bunny, and he’s back again in the third installment of the cult horror series created by filmmaker Carl Lindbergh.

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Raising havoc and murdering many in his demented quest for carnage, this Bunny is no fucking joke, and with the release of “Bunnyman Massacre” (AKA “Bunnyman 2″) on DVD as well as “Bunnyman 3″ in post production, fans of killer bunnies and horror are in for a  happy, or hoppy, horror show.

The Bunnyman trilogy is bizarre hillbilly horror, the type of movie that will get under your skin and make you feel pretty damn uncomfortable.  What this trilogy offers is an intriguing horror villain, the Bunnyman, and his travels through the backwoods slashing anybody that comes in his way.  But that being said, he isn’t just another slasher killer in a mask.  Bunnyman is human, after all, and his adventures often focus on the demented company he keeps, rather than the victims that fall into his web.  Essentially, there is more behind the mask and floppy ears that meets the eye.

The third installment of this franchise looks incredibly promising and shows what indie horror filmmakers can do on an ultra low budget.  Lead by the talent of actors Omari Washington, Marshall Hilton and the return of Joshua Lang as Bunnyman, this flick looks like it could be the best of the trilogy, or potentially the next step in a much larger franchise.  With some amazing cinematography, a plethora of victims (which may or may not include this very horror blogger), accompanied by the bizarre vision of Lindbergh, I honestly can’t wait to see how this flick turns out.  This is going to be one hell of a twisted flick.  Don’t believe me?  Watch the trailer and you’ll know what I mean.

Be sure to grab your copy of “Bunnyman“, as well as the second installment, “Bunnyman Massacre“!  “Bunnyman Massacre” was recently featured on our films we are DYING to see, and we interviewed director Carl Lindbergh about part 2 here!  Horror lovers, check it!

“Reality” – A New Web Series from Ready Freddy Films

realityposterReality television.  It’s everywhere nowadays.  “The Bachelor,” “Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Sister Wives,” just to name a few, have taken over the airwaves and given us some unforgettable (and often unbearable) moments that make even this horror lover cringe.  Every season there’s a new gimmick, a new dating craze and of course a new babe (or stud) that’s looking to find their soulmate and live happily ever after.  And in Ready Freddy Films‘ new web series/reality TV show “Reality,” we are shown this familiar premise with a terrifying spin.  One man, eight girls, one elimination each episode.  But I’m not talking about red roses or tiki torches, because in this show elimination means brutal death, and the winner gets to spend the rest of her days with Rusty Polar, the psychopathic killer who’s searching for his soulmate…

A horror reality TV show is so refreshing, and the execution by this cast and crew, led by creator and leading man Dustin Puehler, is nearly flawless.  This really feels like a poppy reality TV show, but even better than that, it feels like a slimy, freaky torture flick.  We get glimpses into the lives and pasts of these characters in the ways only a bubbly reality show could do, and I honestly feel invested to find out who wins it all.  And just like any reality television show, it’s full of humor (albeit DARK), raw human emotion and plenty of backstabbing surprises…

We had a chance to chat with Puehler about the series, his “bachelor” Rusty Polar, as well as some other fun stuff!  Check it out, horror lovers!

LAHorror:  Do you think that there’s any HORROR in today’s actual reality TV??

Dustin Puehler:  Definitely. The way you have major networks manipulating image and reinforcing stereotypes, while making tons of money, can be quite horrific to see how they paint someone to create entertainment, especially when it is the “girls chasing the guy” format.  They drink people up and just wait for them to do something that they can turn into drama or better yet humiliating.

LAHorror:  Reality TV shows, in particular dating shows, have a “bachelor” type character that runs the show. Tell us about Rusty Polar.  How is it playing this character who does some pretty nasty things to these women?

DP:  Exhausting. I wanted to emulate the process of reality TV, so I would set up these scenes and we would do 6-7 minutes at a time.  Making it as brutal as possible and absolutely no sarcastic satire. It was through the edit that I wanted to force myself to find those moments and get into that state of mind to exploit this images with reality show editing techniques.

LAHorror:  How did you pitch this project to your actresses? It’s horror, no doubt, but there’s a lot of VERY dark humor.  Tiffany (Tiffany Gollinger) is really good, by the way. I’m rooting for her to win the competition.

DP:  I was very lucky to have such an amazing cast!  They all went for it pretty easily and understood the vision of the piece.  I won’t say who wins, but I’m very proud of the way the show wraps up!

LAHorror:  How much of the show is scripted?  It feels really natural.

DP:  As the writer too, almost all my lines are scripted. The settings, the camera work, and the structure was all laid out. There was a line thrown to the girls for narrative purposes here and there, but they are all reactionary to my lines. They did a great job embodying their characters through improvising!

LAHorror:  How would you compare “Reality” to some of Ready Freddy Films’ other horror projects?

DP:  Most of my horror ideas (“Spots,” “Caleb,” “Cutie“) are very slow, brooding, and character based to get any message across, where “Reality” really needs weird tonal shifts to play up the satire thats intended. It was interesting to craft scenes where we would create moment to laugh with, but then follow it up with a dark horror element, then remind you of what you are watching to break the laughter.  It is an interesting balancing board.

The remaining five episodes of “Reality” will be premiering throughout August, so pick your favorite contestant and enjoy the ride!

Be sure to “like” Ready Freddy Films on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!  You can also learn more about their original projects at their official website.

LAHorror.com Announces “Knife Party” – a new horror film coming soon…

While LAHorror.com short film “Melody” is getting ready to drop on 9/13/14, we are excited to begin production on our new film “Knife Party,” a terrifying descent into carnage and the belly of the beast!  The short film, which will be directed by Paul Stephen Edwards and produced by contributors Mikhail Zakharchuk and Hunter Johnson, is being filmed in Southern California this month.  It will be featuring actors Alec James, Hunter Johnson, Chrissy Cannone, Cassandra Jones and Robert Michael Price in what’s shaping out to be a feast of super GORE! Get ready horror lovers, and be sure to follow us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook for updates, behind the scenes photos and more!

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Slasher Studios is Bringing a Christmas to Dismember!

I know it’s only July, but it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas.  The presents, the love of family and friends, the stockings, and of course the bloody, gory MURDERS!  At least that’s what Slasher Studios has in store for their second feature film, “Dismembering Christmas,” which is in it’s critical last weeks of it’s kickstarter campaign!

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We are major fans of what these guys do, not only because of their die-hard love for all things slasher, but because they’re unbelievably engaging with fans and encourage everyone to get involved in the slasher fun.  Open auditions to the public, fan contests to create their poster designs, as well as a lot of unique and awesome kickstarter rewards for backers, including but not limited to the first ever Slasher Studios Blu Rays, weapons from the film, IMDB credits and even the opportunity to put your own original art in the movie itself.

We were big fans of their short flick “Teddy” and their debut feature film “Don’t Go to the Reunion” and now their back, teaming up with director Austin Bosely, to film what Kevin Sommerfield (writer, producer) calls “the most grisly script Slasher Studios has ever written.”  We had a chance to catch up with Kevin and Austin and discuss this film that will be shooting in Wisconsin early next year!  Check it out Holiday Horror lovers!

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Kevin Sommerfield (writer, producer)

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Austin Bosley (Director, Actor)

LAHorror:  First of all, I have to ask what you guys are asking for for Christmas this year??

Austin Bosely:  A ticket to Wisconsin.

Kevin Sommerfield:  Lots and lots of slasher movies. The same thing that’s been on my wish list since I was 7.

LAHorror:  “Dismembering Christmas” is joining a group of awesome slashers that take place around the holidays.  What are some of your favorite holiday horror flicks?

 

 

KS:  The original “Black Christmas” is one of my all time favorite slashers. “Silent Night Deadly Night” is a hell of a lot of fun as well.  For guilty pleasures, definitely “Jack Frost” and “Santa’s Slay.”

LAHorror:  Why did you decide to write a Christmas slasher Kevin?  How long has this been in the works??

KS:  I started writing “Dismembering Christmas” with Steve Goltz (co-writer) late last year, actually right around Christmas time. We always wanted to see a “Friday the 13th” film set around the winter season. Fun characters, wintery deaths, etc. This film captures that same spirit while adding the atmosphere of the holiday season.

LAHorror:  Adding a different type of holiday cheer, no doubt.

AB:  Holiday fear.*kickstarter

LAHorror:  Austin, when did you come on board? I love your style, your short film “Tahorror” was badass.  What is your game plan when looking at a script like this?

AB:  I came on board only a few weeks ago, actually. Just before initial casting closed.  I read the script a couple weeks before I was on board to direct and I really enjoyed it.   It definitely has a wintery “Friday the 13th” vibe to it and I couldn’t be more excited to bring that across in the final product.  If it does, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

LAHorror:  Kevin, your flicks always have some great slasher deaths, what kind of GORE can “Dismembering Christmas” viewers hope for in their stockings??

KS:  All deaths are somehow connected to either the winter season or Christmas itself. Lots of carnage from beginning to end with each death hopefully topping the ones that come before it.

LAHorror:  How about your final girl, Kelli Anderson? Is she tough enough to handle this killer??

AB:  Oh yes.




  I mean…who said she’s the final girl?

KS:  She’s going to be a fighter and someone the audience is definitely going to want to root for. That is if she makes it to the end…

LAHorror:   Since you finished up “Don’t Go To The Reunion,” how do you feel heading into your second feature slasher film?

KS:  I’m really proud of this script and I’m loving the cast and crew we have lined up. With Austin’s unique vision, I think this is going to end up being Slasher Studios’ best yet.

LAHorror:   I totally forgot, your fan created posters are awesome!! Slasher Studios is super engaging with their fans, which is great.

KS:  Thanks! We try to involve everyone.  I mean we wouldn’t be making movies without the support of the slasher community.  Horror is a family first and foremost.  It is also a family that I am honored to be a part of.

So bring your holiday FEAR over to the Slasher Studios “Dismembering Christmas” kickstarter now, and ensure that this will be a BLOOD RED Christmas!

Be sure to keep up with Slasher Studios on Facebook!  You can also follow Kevin Sommerfield and Austin Bosely on Twitter.