“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!

knife party promo

LA Horror Presents: James Cullen Bressack

If you’re a lover of indie horror, then you should already know the name of our next featured horror artist.  His films have a knack for shocking audiences, turning stomachs and transforming the people and places that should always feel safe into your worst nightmares.  Director / writer / producer James Cullen Bressack is leading a new wave of brutality in indie horror that is rarely matched.  If you haven’t seen his work, then what the hell are you reading this for – go get one of his movies, goddamn it!

Bressack broke into the scene with “My Pure Joy,” a nasty little flick that he directed at the tender age of 18 years old, and his films have only gotten more intense and grisly.  In 2013, Bressack had a breakout year with three feature length horror films, including “Hate Crime,” which details the tragic events of a really twisted home invasion, “To Jennifer,” a super dark horror comedy with a shocking climax and “13/13/13,” an ultra gory interpretation of a modern apocalypse.  And while each one of his films has an engaging story and nasty murders, the thing that really stands out with Bressack’s work is the passion for the genre that oozes off the screen…which can be seen by the quality of his films all around.

The actors in his films buy into this passion, as there is never a poor performance in a genre that is often hard to do right.  The cinematography is always intense, be it shot on a traditional camera or even an iPhone (i.e. “To Jennifer”),  and to be a set decorator or make-up artist in a Bressack film would be a designer’s horror dream, as this is someone who not only understands what works in this genre, but someone who takes those concepts and amps them up 100%.  If you’re a fan of the extreme, brutal and super freaky horror, then you can’t do wrong with any Bressack film.

eyeballBressack’s next film, “Pernicious” is already creating a lot of buzz and seemingly for good reason. The spirit of a murdered child is unleashed with one thing on her mind: revenge.  And if the publicity stills from the movie are any indication (see right), this movie will be no joke. I’m in.

We had a chance to catch up with Bressack to talk about his films, horror in general and what has influenced this madman!  Check out our interview…enjoy horror lovers!

LAHorror:  What is your earliest “horror” memory?  In real life or in art?  Where did it all begin?

James Cullen Bressack:  It was for sure obsessing over the VHS cover art for “Hellraiser” that really helped my love for horror.  Pinhead looked so fuckin’ cool.  I would look at that cover every day and draw pictures of it at the age of four.  That and watching the TV show “Are You Afraid of the Dark.”

LAHorror:  What really scares you?

JCB:  Midgets… Little people… Political correctness.

LAHorror:  The trio of horror that you were behind in 2013 (“Hate Crime,” “To Jennifer” & “13/13/13”) all had excellent acting, Jody Barton in particular.  As a director, how do you engage with your actors to get these intense and memorable performances?

JCB:  I love working with Jody.  I am a strong believer that film is a collaborative medium.  It is a living breathing thing.  When working with actors on their character, it’s not just about my ideas, but theirs as well.  I like to ground things in reality.

Let’s say we were making a movie and you were the actor and you played the killer in the film.  The important thing is to humanize the character so the audience connects to them and don’t understand why.  That’s why “Psycho” was so brilliant.  We start to feel for Norman.  A killer is a human; they have wants, needs, emotions.  And every action is done for a reason.  We would dissect everything about the character, past what is written on the page and imagine them as a blank canvas.  Then we would both throw our ideas about the character at the canvas and whatever stuck for both of us would paint the picture of who this person is.  Always important to tap into what the character’s thought process is and what their moment before is.  They are so loaded with intent, darkness and meat that they are unbelievably interesting to dig into.  I would have you keep a journal as if you were that person.  And would probably want to spend a week or two before shooting going through the script together over and over again and observing your natural behaviors.

As a director, it’s important to play therapist with the actor as well and have them open up to you about real things from their own life in order to tie them into the actual character.  I would have to develop a mutual trust and understand your triggers…Needless to say I’m obsessive about character work with my actors.  I make them work hard.

LAHorror:  What’s your “dream” project? Any topics that you’d really like to explore?

JCB:  I want to make a movie like “Goodfellas.”  NUFF said.

LAHorror:  How do you approach violence in the writing and production of your films?

JCB:  I have fun with it!  I have a very strong stomach, so I spend time trying to gross myself out.  If I chuckle while doing it, I know the audience will squirm.

LAHorror:  A film like “Hate Crime” has some really strong social messages and also some pretty extreme violence.  Are you ever worried that a film like this could be misinterpreted in a negative way?  In the 21st century, are you someone who believes that life imitates art, or that art imitates life?

JCB:  I don’t control how people interpret things; some people always see things as negatives.  Like “Catcher in the Rye” for instance–in no way should that book have caused what it did.  But that’s just crazy people.  There are some in this world.  They attach crazy to anything.  But life doesn’t imitate art.  If it did then answer this, more comedies come out per year then any other movie and I don’t see people getting any funnier, why is that?

LAHorror:  Tell us something about “Pernicious”!!! What are you most excited for audiences to see??

JCB:  “Pernicious” is going to blow you the fuck away!  I’m not joking here.  It makes all my other films look bad.  Haha.  I guarantee you will have an amazing time with it.  Can’t wait to drop a trailer.

LAHorror:  Lastly, and maybe most importantly, who is going to win the Superbowl next year?

JCB:  My penis?

Check out the LAHorror.com reviews of “To Jennifer” and “Hate Crime.”  Stay up to date with James Cullen Bressack’s new film “Pernicious” on Facebook!  You can also follow Bressack on Twitter.  Be sure to rent or buy a copy of your favorite Bressack film on Amazon!

 

LA Horror Review: “Missing” – A Short Horror Film by Joey Medina

Missing PosterBlood. Violence. Chopping. Gore.

Gruesome, gruesome gore…

These are just a few of my favorite things, and when I’m watching horror I’ve always got my eyes peeled for the grisly money shot. And when it comes to the good stuff, the really nasty and ultra-violent carnage that we all love and adore, Joey Medina’s short horror film “Missing” does not hold back. In fact, “Missing” didn’t just satisfy my thirst for blood, but pretty much dumped a bucket of it onto my face. It’s a brutal, unflinching horror experience that managed to shock me all the way until the very end. I absolutely loved this film!

“Missing” is the type of film for the most depraved horror lover, and those are usually the ones that hit me just right.  Essentially, we follow a day in the life of a LA’s most twisted serial killer…dig it?

But what “Missing” succeeds in most is not only the carnage, but also a very stylized and unique viewing experience, as Medina takes a popular concept and gives it his own stylized twist. Without going into too much detail, I will say this: Medina made blood the main character, and oh what a role it plays.  There are also some excellent performances by a cast of oddly charming actors who all bring their A-games to a really intense story.

The film is making it’s way into the festival circuit now, so take notice as it should not be missed. There may also be plans in the future for a feature length version down the road. Keep your eyes out for it…

To learn more about Joey Medina, visit his official webpage.  You can also “like” the film on Facebook and follow Medina an twitter.

“ABCs of Death 2” – VOTE for your favorite short film!

There are a lot of ways to die, and most of them aren’t pretty.  In the 2012 short film compilation, “The ABCs of Death,” audiences were delighted to see 26 directors create short films about death, dying and being dead, each inspired by a letter of the alphabet.  And now that “ABCs of Death 2” is coming down the pipe, the producers are again allowing the audience to choose a segment for the film–but only if the death is inspired by the letter “M.”

Pretty awesome right??  As you can imagine, there are TONS of amazing entries from extremely talented horror filmmakers all across the world, but we’ve gone ahead and chosen a couple of our favorites for you to check out, and most importantly, VOTE for!

Just click the title and “LIKE” the video!

“M” is for Mormon Missionaries  (Writer/Director Peter Podgursky)

NOTHING is scarier than Mormons.  No, I kid, they’re usually great people, but Writer/Director Peter Podgursky has taken the common occurance of a visit from those loveable Mormons into something far more sinister, nasty and horrifying.   “M is for Mormon Missionaries” is legit and we’re fans of Podgursky’s work, so CHECK IT OUT, and if you find your door knocking Sunday morning, you might want to just pretend you’re not home…

“M” is for Mustache  (Writer/Director Levi Caleb Smith)

Murder, madness, mustache.  Need I say more?  Levi Caleb Smith’s “M is for Mustache” is a suspenseful look into the mind of a murderer and an awesome slow burn to a totally gruesome finish!  This short has a great leading performance and some pretty slick editing that makes it a MUST WATCH for this competition.

“M” is for Meltdown  (Writer / Director Alex Ray)

Who doesn’t love to save the environment?!  After all, isn’t it good to be green?!  In Alex Ray’s “M is for Meltdown,” saving the environment can be a killer!   Super gorey with throwback camp, this cracked me up in all the ways a horror flick should.   In fact, I was fortunate enough to be an actor in this one, so you gotta WATCH IT!

“M” is for Maleficium  (Writer / Director Alessandro Pulisci)

Okay, so I won’t lie, I wasn’t quite sure what “maleficium” was when I first watched this film, but boy oh boy did I learn in a hurry!  Look, this flick was disgusting, gnarly and totally righteous!  Not to mention super messy…and you know if a horror movie is messy that it’s way up my alley!  LOVED IT!

“M” is for Mercy  (Writer / Director Sean Blau)

We thought we’d end our endorsements on a lighter note, and “M is for Mercy” is a perfect example of how horror that gets right under your skin…Director Sean Blau (who is also behind our favorite “The Sunderland Experiment”) gives us a glimpse into a much larger world and floods us with questions.  A terrific, thought provoking piece – the type of horror film that really messes with your head.  CHECK IT!

Please SUPPORT INDIE HORROR and watch, vote and enjoy all of the entries. These are just the tip of the iceberg in a malicious and magical mess of movie madness!  VOTING ENDS NOVEMBER 14th!!!  So do it now!!!

Twixt #Nightmares

As a true fan of everything horrific and nasty, I always enjoy getting to experience other peoples #nightmares.  Twixt #Nightmares, a new horror website, calls for horror fans to post their creepiest photos to Instagram, Twitter and tumblr with the hashtag #nightmare in the hopes of creating “the most Twixted place on the web.”  It’s pretty much the best kind of sensory overload of horror, monsters and carnage — all shared by users.  It’s pretty gnarly, but be careful; it’s kind of addicting.  Check it out especially if you need a fix of some awesome inspiration and enjoy creepy and bizarre horror.

The site’s background features images from “Twixt,” the latest film from Francis Ford Coppola.  Yes, THAT Francis Ford Coppola.  Check out the trailer below and keep your eyes peeled — it’s coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on July 23rd!

Contribute to the #nightmare and be sure to like Twixt on Facebook!