“Melody” – an LAHorror.com Original Film Coming Soon…

Welcome, horror lovers!  For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Hunter Johnson, and this is LAHorror.com!  I started this website to share the work of amazing indie horror artists and violent gore as I find it, but now, I’d like to introduce you to a creation of our own.  “Melody” is our first original film coming 9/13/14 exclusively to LAHorror.com.  Produced by myself and my partner-in-horror, Megan Perrin, along with the help of associate producers Michael Cannone & Chrissy Cannone, this will be the first film in a series of brutal horror that we currently have in the works.  Needless to say, we’re about to get bloody, and why not start with something really, really nasty?  Well, “Melody” is just that.

Melody Colin Towers Promo

The film is just about 17 minutes long and features the work of some unbelievably talented artists.  Starring stand-up comedian / actor Beau Smith and beautiful Emily Dahm as our title character, “Melody” is not one to be missed.  I can promise you this: our film will leave you feeling slimy and uncomfortable, and the gory ending created by make-up effects guru Ryan Reynolds will be a delight for all of you sickos who enjoy…well…this kind of thing…

If you have a horror blog or website and embed our film, let us know, and we will put your banner link on our “Friends of LAHorror.com” page!

MELODY LOOKING PROMO

Until then, be sure to let us know what you think by hitting us up on Twitter and Facebook!  Thanks so much for checking out our work, and I wish you a lifetime of fear, carnage and terrifying HORROR!

XOXO,

Hunter Johnson

Four Horror Films That We’re DYING To See…

So much great horror!!!  We thought we’d take a moment to show you a couple of bad-ass trailers for some indie horror films that we’re absolutely DYING to see!  Keep your eyes peeled for these flicks, especially if you like murder, monsters and horrifying GORE!  Enjoy horror lovers!

Truth or Dare”  (Facebook / Twitter)

This trailer just dropped TODAY and damn it looks fucking nasty!  I love a ton of gore in a horror flick so if this trailer is any indication of things to come, then this looks like a must see.  This flick has been absolutely killing it in the horror festivals, and major props to filmmaker / #ScreamQueen Jessica Cameron for showing us some of the gross stuff in this trailer!  Can’t wait!

Pernicious”  (Facebook / Twitter)

I’m a sucker for what some people call “torture porn,” and while this trailer definitely has some of that vibe, it also has a mysterious beauty about it, not to mention a very intriguing looking villain.  This film is from James Cullen Bressack, an LAHorror.com featured artist, so you know it’s going to be sick!  And for God’s sake people…don’t fuck with ancient artifacts.  Like, ever.

The Bunnyman Massacre”  (Facebook)

I love bizarre stories where anybody can be a victim, and judging by this trailer “Bunnyman Massacre” looks like it’s going to be super violent and over the top.  We interviewed Director Carl Lindbergh a while back about this film, and since he has been knee deep in horror with several projects coming up, including “Bunnyman 3,” which begins filming soon.  This horror blogger may even be making an appearance…

Brutal”  (Facebook)

Okay, so this doesn’t necessarily look like a horror movie per say, but damn it looks disgusting!  While I’m sort of a noob when it comes to MMA, I definitely think this flick looks like a knock out.  Director Donald Lawrence Flaherty certainly knows how to ramp up the intensity, and it definitely looks like this flick will live up to it’s own name…brutal!

Thanks for visiting LAHorror.com!  Be sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

LA Horror Review: “Possessed Forklift of Death”

Well, this is one where the title says it all.

unnamed“Possessed Forklift of Death,” a short horror film from director Levi Caleb Smith and producer Robert Fure, brings exactly what it advertises: a possessed, killer forklift that causes tons and tons of death—brutal death, I might add. The film, which is about five minutes in length, manages to pack a wide variety of great horror elements into such a short runtime and does it with ease. It’s got legitimate suspense, loads of great tongue-in-cheek horror moments and a pile of bodies that you’d need a forklift to move.

Now, I’m not going to speculate as to who or what has possessed this forklift, but in a flick like this, it’s really not necessary to dive into the back-story of this merciless piece of machinery. What we do know is that it acts as sort of a demented guard dog to a shipping yard, terrorizing any unwanted visitors that dare enter its domain.   And on this particular night, one repo man finds all of this out the hard way.

unnamed-1Pretty gnarly, right? There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a horror film that knows exactly what it is, yet manages to exceed the it’s own expectations with flying colors. “Possessed Forklift of Death” does just that. This flick has some intense acting from leading man Daryll Scott, some really well shot and edited horror-action sequences and an ending that may blow your mind once or twice. Hats off to a great score as well by Eric Friedlander, which really gave it a fun and retro heavy metal vibe. No pun intended.

Now, I won’t sit here and pretend that this is a super deep or intellectual short film. You probably won’t have a revelation about yourself or learn much about the world after watching, but if you’d like to see a bunch of people get absolutely pulverized by a possessed forklift, then this is definitely for you!

“Possessed Forklift of Death” is currently making its rounds through several horror festivals. To keep up, be sure to “like” the film on Facebook!

Unicorn Zombie Apocalypse

Doesn’t horror make you want to dance??  You gotta check out “Unicorn Zombie Apocalypse,” a dope new music video from Gorestep artist Borgore, directed by James Cullen Bressack.  It stars Shannen Doherty, Zack Ward, a whole bunch of ultra gory zombies and a mother fucking unicorn.  Just turn the speakers way up before you start watching it!  Enjoy horror lovers!

“Survivor Type” – Watch it online NOW!

LAHorror.com is stoked to say that Billy Hanson’s short film “Survivor Type,” based on the short story by Stephen King of the same title, is now available to watch online via the American Online Film Awards!  As one of King’s Dollar Babies, films like this are rarely available online, so this is truly a great opportunity to not only support some amazing independent filmmakers, but also watch a gruesome movie that I absolutely dug.  This is without a doubt one of the most brutal short horror films I have ever seen.  Check out the festival trailer here!

This flick has an unbelievable performance from leading man Gideon Emery, is extremely effective given the small scope of the story and has some of the most gut-wrenching and nasty make-up and gore effects that you could ever hope for.  If you’re a fan of Stephen King, a fan of independent horror or just a fan of the macabre, then check this movie out now!  You will NOT regret it…unless you have a weak stomach, that is…enjoy!

Keep up with “Survivor Type” at the film’s official website. You can also “like” the film on Facebook.

LA Horror Review: “The Campground”

The CampgroundOne of the most unique parts about the horror genre, and slasher films in particular, is the charm that they bring to the table no matter the scope or size of the film. No genre has such dedication from fans around the world than horror, and a lot of that is because young filmmakers aren’t afraid to throw their hats in the ring and create their own horror stories for other gore lovers to enjoy. Roman Jossart’s debut feature film,“The Campground,” is a perfect example of a horror fan becoming a horror creator, in a film that creates its own slasher that has no problem terrorizing a group of partying teens.

The legend goes like this…

In 1980, ten-year-old Charlie Varsin was taken into an abandoned campground by his mother to celebrate his birthday. His mother had other plans, however, brutally stabbing the child seven times to the face and six to the chest and heart. Now, 30 years later, a group of partying teens have chosen the old campground to celebrate a birthday of their own, not knowing that Charlie Varsin still lurks about, seeking revenge on anyone that gets in his path. His weapon, of course, is the same rusty screwdriver…used by his mother…only this time it’s Charlie who is dishing out the fatal blows.

Sure, it’s a familiar sounding story, but who cares; this is an uber-campy 80s style slasher movie. The execution does leave a bit to be desired, as there are some head scratching moments and some inexperienced actors, but just by looking at my collection of slasher films, many of my favorites are guilty of the same. And that’s fine. A movie like “The Campground” is made by and for slasher lovers, so casual horror viewers or film perfectionists probably aren’t the target audience anyways. “The Campground” could easily be a gem of some horror lover’s collection down the road.

The standout of this film is actor/writer/director Roman Jossart. His performance is easily the best and most natural, and you have to admire somebody who had a vision, went for it and made it happen. While “The Campground” does have its problems, it’s easy to see the potential and possibilities of things to come for this group of filmmakers.  It will be fun to watch these guys hone their craft and create more slasher disgustingness.

I will say this: “The Campground” did keep me entertained and managed to have a pretty high body count for a film that runs just under an hour. I can’t say that it’s the greatest slasher I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely a quality, complete debut for a fresh group of young filmmakers. So take it for what it is. If you’re a fan of campy, ultra low budget slasher nastiness, then get your ass to “The Campground”! Charlie will be happy you did…

For more on “The Campground” or to get your hands on a copy, visit the film’s official website.  You can also “like” the film on Facebook and follow the film on twitter!  The filmmaker’s next slasher project, “The Woods Within,” is currently raising funds on Indiegogo.  Check it out here!

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.

VHS SPOTLIGHT: “Spookies”

Alex Ray is back with our second VHS Spotlight, shining the light on some VHS only horror movies that need to find their way onto DVD!  If you’ve got a copy of one of these then take good care of it…now let’s all adjust our tracking…

VHS SPOTLIGHT: SPOOKIES

1985 * 85 minutes * Sony * Directed by Eugenie Joseph, Thomas Doran, Brendan Faulkner

spookies_coverFirst, a little business: this is available on DVD in the UK. But I’m not counting that. If it ain’t on good ol’ region one in the US of A, it’s fair game for this column. I shouldn’t have to figure out the pound-to-dollar conversion rate just to get my DVD fix. (Tangent: I was totally willing to do so for the awesome Jake West documentary, “Video Nasties,” which is only available on PAL digital video disc–and so worth it.)

Now, on to our show…

The terms “visually stunning” and “special effects extravaganza” don’t carry much weight anymore, but they both apply to “Spookies.” Kind of like “Return of the Alien’s Deadly Spawn” or “Bad Taste,” it’s got a heaping helping of indie charm, along with FX work that puts the big boys to shame–at least as far as quantity goes. Even if the creatures and gore aren’t always on par with KNB or Savini, this is still one of the most ambitious ’80s horror flicks I’ve seen. It’s got a menagerie of monsters to rival “Cabin in the Woods,” and they don’t just pop up late in the flick–it’s a non-stop barrage of cool critters and creepy setpieces.

Let’s play Horror Mad Libs: some ______ get lost and end up at ______ , where they’re attacked by ______ . In this case, the blanks are filled by random New Yorkers, an old mansion, and a cross between Grandpa Munster and The Tall Man. The setup is pretty standard, but once we get past the pleasantries, things start moving along at a good clip. Our characters are picked off by a wide variety of monstrosities (my favorite of which would definitely be the fart monsters, or, as the box describes them: “lust-crazed muck men”) under the command of Old Man Greasepaint, who needs some souls to bring back his dead wife. Of course, things don’t quite go according to plan.

The narrative might not be the strongest (it’s basically the cinematic equivalent of walking through a funhouse), but it’s still a heckuva ride. That is, if you’re feeling nostalgic for ’80s cheese. This is by no means a forgotten masterpiece–just a fun movie with a lot of heart and a few nods to the horrors that came before (“Evil Dead” being the most obvious). If you’re looking for something that lies somewhere on the spectrum between “The Dead Next Door” and “Waxwork,” it fits the bill.

spookies1An R1 DVD would be nice, especially if the original Richard Corben poster/box art is used. The UK disc kinda makes it look like something more along the lines of “Demons” or “Night of the Demons” or the aforementioned “Evil Dead”–which it is not (it also refers to the cast as “teenagers,” which they are definitely not). “Spookies” is an entirely different beast (several different beasts, actually), and worth a look–whether you wanna shell out a few pounds for a disc from across the pond, or considerably more in US currency for the VHS. Either way, it’ll make you remember why you fell in love with this stuff in the first place.

2 1/2 out of 4 stars

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

“The Best There Ever Was”

What good horror fan doesn’t want another “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” film?!  They’re mean, nasty and always full of guts.  The mere sound of that chainsaw revving up and covering a hopeless scream with it’s menacing roar just warms my heart!  “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” franchise has always been an all time favorite amongst us sickos, myself in particular, which is precisely why we have to share this fan made trailer by some awesome filmmakers who may love this franchise more than anybody else!

“The Best There Ever Was” is a promotional trailer from 2 Man Production for a film that I certainly hope they get to make.  They have the film written and wanted to give a glimpse into their vision of the loveable Sawyer family, in particular Grandpa, who we all know was the best killer there ever was.  A trailer like this truly shows the passion horror fans have for these films and this could really bring The Texas Chainsaw Massacre back to it’s glory days, or should I say, GORY days.

Filmmaker Derek Cole breaks it down nicely as to what this film, if it indeed can get made, would contribute to this franchise.  “I have wanted to do this film since I was a kid.  Something about them calling Grandpa ‘The Best There Ever Was.’  A family doesn’t just decide to be crazy all at once they are usually raised to be such a way so I thought it would be cool to kind of incorporate the Grandpa more and see how this family took such a turn to go bat shit crazy as they clearly are.”

Intrigued yet?  Well now for the fun part…enjoy, and SHARE this trailer if you think it would be an awesome flick…it could just help it get made!!

We will keep you posted on this project as we learn more!  2 Man Production is also behind “An American Ghost Story,” which we reviewed here.  “An American Ghost Story” is now available on DVD, and we HIGHLY recommend checking it out!