Welcome to the darker side of AICN! M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. There’s another combo platter of good, bad, and ooglay for this week on AICN HORROR. Hope there’s something on the menu to your preference.
I also wanted to give out an open call to advertisers interested in helping to keep this column running. Any inquiries should contact me here!
On with the horror reviews!
(Click title to go directly to the feature)
Retro-review: HOUSE (1985)
Retro-review: FROM BEYOND (1986)
Retro-review: DEATH BY LOVE (1990)
Retro-review: SERIAL MOM (1994)
Retro-review: DONNIE DARKO (2001)
MORTUARY MASSACRE (2016)
LUNG I & II (2016)
BEYOND THE GATES (2016)
FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS (2016)
Advance Review: LET HER OUT (2016)
And finally… Terence Krey and Dan Fox’s GRAVES Webseries Season 2!
Retro-review: New in a Special Edition BluRay Collection HOUSE: TWO STORIES from Arrow Video/MVD Visual!
HOUSE (1985)aka HOUSE: DING DONG, YOU’RE DEAD!
Directed by Steve Miner
Written by Fred Dekker (story), Ethan Wiley (screenplay)
Starring William Katt, Kay Lenz, George Wendt, Richard Moll, Mary Stavin, Michael Ensign, Erik Silver, Mark Silver, Susan French, Steve Susskind, Joey Green, Stephen Nichols, Robert Joseph, Curt Wilmot, Peter Pitofsky
Reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
I never saw HOUSE in the theater, but I do remember renting it as a kid and loving the almost pitch perfect mix of comedy and horror. I believe at the time, what impressed me most was that it featured Bull from NIGHT COURT and Norm from CHEERS (two Thursday night mainstays in the 80’s and the one night of the week I was able to stay up until ten instead of nine). Having not seen the film since the 80’s I have to say, my nostalgia level was on high watching this film and while that often doesn’t really signal the most unbiased of criticism, at least I can acknowledge it and try to move on. Still, I love this film to its core and a lot of that has to do with the first time I saw the film.
When his elderly aunt seemingly hangs herself, writer Roger Cobb (William Katt) decides to use the house as a place of solitude for him to finish his latest novel focused on his experiences in the Vietnam War. Cobb is now separated from his wife Sandy (Kay Lenz) because his son vanished from the backyard of the house he just inherited and is still haunted by his disappearance. But that’s nothing compared to the haunts that are happening around him at the strike of midnight in his new home as the house seems to be pulling horrors from his past in order to claim him as its new victim.
OK, rewatching HOUSE clued me in that it simply wasn’t as scary as it was when I was a kid. That’s fine though. Not much ever is. But still, HOUSE does have a lot going for it. William Katt plays a likable hero, attempting to come to closure with lots of things in his life; from his failed marriage, to his missing son, to his Viet Nam days. The Viet Nam aspect of this film is curious as the whole film does play on a man suffering from PTSD (with waking nightmares, hallucinations, high anxiety, and bouts of depression). While this is a haunted house film, the film also plays as a haunted man story as the house pulls horrific images from Cobb’s own psyche to work against him. So this is much more of a psychological horror comedy than a haunted house horror comedy. Still, it’s not advertised as such as Viet Nam was no laughing matter in ’85 given that PLATOON and scores of other films were dealing with the weight that war held on America’s troops.
Nevertheless, HOUSE is still a horror comedy, despite it being an undercover comment on how war haunts long after the final bullets have been fired. Most of the comedy comes from physical humor and effects as Katt plays things pretty straight here. Dark humor such as Katt’s Cobb fearing that he may have killed his wife when the house makes him see an obese, snaggle-toothed witch and he blows her away. This plays as humorous because the witch is so cartoonish, but underneath, there’s absolute horror in that Cobb believes he has hallucinated and blown his wife away with a shotgun. So what do you do with a dead body? Cut it up and bury it in the backyard, of course. And that leaves things open for parts of the body to reawaken and be carried away by the neighbor’s dog and the neighbor’s kid. Again, these sequences are cartoonish, but underneath you have Cobb panicking that he is going to be discovered having killed his wife and Katt plays it real. Other effects such as Big Ben’s full body zombie costume and the closet beast are all prime examples of top notch practical work that you just don’t see anymore.
It helps that FRIDAY THE 13TH man Steve Miner directs this film and brings along F13 scoreman Henry Manfredini for the ride. Miner was able to bring that campy humor he added to his F13 films. This film was made when Miner was top of his game and he really delivers some well planned out scenes of tension, most of the time broken up with comedy from bumbling neighbor Harold (George Wendt). Even if I didn’t see Manfredini’s name in the opening credits, I would have known it was him as he once again, like no one else, is able to intensify any scene with his keyboard. While this one has a pre-Elfman era oompa-oompa sound, the underwater music sounds almost just like his FRIDAY THE 13TH stuff.
I find it interesting that this Arrow Films collection not only choose to highlight HOUSE I & II with a 60-page book by Simon Barber, but it also talks about two films that were simply branded with the HOUSE title and were released here in the states as original films untethered to the series. I always knew the third installment as THE HORROR SHOW (reviewed here), not HOUSE III, and I don’t think I ever did see REPOSSESSION aka HOUSE IV: HOME DEADLY HOME. Still the book reads as if they are tome. Still, neither is included in this collection which is kind of a bummer.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a ton of special features in this collector’s edition from the always amazing Arrow Films, including; a brand new 2K restoration of the film, “The House Companion” a limited edition 60-page book featuring new writing on the entire House franchise by researcher Simon Barber, an audio commentary with director Steve Miner, producer Sean S. Cunningham, actor William Katt and screenwriter Ethan Wiley, a new featurette “Ding Dong, You’re Dead! The Making of House” featuring interviews with Steve Miner, Sean S. Cunningham, Ethan Wiley, story creator Fred Dekker, stars William Katt, Kay Lenz, and George Wendt, composer Harry Manfredini and the FX team, a stills gallery, and theatrical trailers.
Retro-review: New in the Empire Pictures BluRay Box Set Collection from Full Moon Entertainment!
H.P. LOVECRAFT’S FROM BEYOND (1986)Directed by Stuart Gordon
Written by H.P. Lovecraft (short story), Brian Yuna, Dennis Paoli, Stuart Gordon (screenplay)
Starring Barbara Crampton, Ken Foree, Jeffrey Combs, Ted Sorel, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Bunny Summers
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug
Empire Pictures made some amazing films in the 80’s. The precursor to Full Moon Entertainment stretched their budgets and put varied and extremely creative images on screen. These mini-epics tackle horror, sci fi and beyond and now they’ve collected them all in one huge, badass box set. I’m going to be covering each film in this collection over the next few weeks, but if you’re a film collector, you’re going to want to grab this set as soon as possible as there are only 600 of them. Check out this sizzle reel featuring some of the iconic films collected in this Box Set.
Before I knew any better, I used to think this was a direct sequel to RE-ANIMATOR. To my twelve year old mind, seeing the same characters pittering around with twisted science, it only made sense that these two films were connected. Not knowing who or what an H.P. Lovecraft was, I simply didn’t know better.
All growed up and sophisticated-like, I understand that while this isn’t a sequel it does seem to occur in the same world as Lovecraft’s other works, and though the cast are playing different characters, I can appreciate that some of the crew from RE-ANIMATOR returned for another Stuart Gordon gross-out science gone wild yarn.
In FROM BEYOND, a Dr. Pretorius constructs a machine that allows us to bridge the gap between dimensions. It is a dimension that exists just a skosh off into our periphery, but once opened, as always, this portal is tough to close and much worse, those who look through this window to another dimension find themselves altered mentally and physically. Some decently heady stuff, and Stuart Gordon, who made RE-ANIMATOR such a classic with its tightrope walk between humor and horror, doesn’t really want to make folks laugh as much with FROM BEYOND. Still, it’s a film that will make you squirm quite a bit.
The squirming, for the most part, comes in the way the look into the other dimension effects people. First, inhibitions are loosened as the pineal gland in the brain becomes enlarged. This makes for some pretty amazing body horror scenes with Jeffrey Combs’ Dr. Tillinghast turning into a brain-eating monster with a pineal gland bursting through his forehead like a third eye. On a much more appealing note, we get to see more Barbara Crampton boobage, which I am always up for, as she dresses in S&M gear and tries to seduce both Combs and Ken (DAWN OF THE DEAD) Foree. The cast, two of which worked with Gordon before on RE-ANIMATOR, seem to be having a blast doing these off the wall things, and though the black slapstick humor such as the reanimated cat sequence and the “giving head” sequence is never quite achieved, the film does has a crazy sense of anything goes that is worth admiring.
The effects of FROM BEYOND are extremely ambitious and successful about 85% of the time. Though some of the monster effects are obviously latex sculpts and KY jelly, some of the effects such as the exposed pineal gland and the floating otherworldly monsters are actually quite amazing.
This version of FROM BEYOND comes with a ton of new and old special features including; an audio commentary from writer Denis Paoli, a featurette called “Multiple Dimensions” talking with the FX team - John Karl Buechler, Anthony Dublin, John Naulin, and Mark Shostrom, an interview with Barbara Crampton called “Paging Dr. McMichaels,” an interview with Jeffrey Combs called “A Tortured Soul,” an interview with Charles Band called “An Empire Production,” an interview with Stuart Gordon called “A Director’s Perspective,” audio commentary from Stuart Gordon and the cast, an interview with Stuart Gordon and the restoration team called “The Editing Room: Lost & Found,” an interview with composer Richard Band, storyboard to film comparisons, and two photo galleries.
Retro-review: New on a Special Edition Double Feature DVD from Intervision Films!
DEATH BY LOVE (1990)Directed by Alan Grant
Written by Alan Grant & Bil Andrews
Starring Alan Grant, Frank McGill, Yvonne Aric, Erika Mills, Peggilee Wupperman, Tamara Betz, Brad Bishop, Donald Hendrix, Grady Shytles, Rick Brame, Jim Thelen, Jo Honey, Vickie Mason, Jeanne McCrea, Andrea Smith, Lisa Wyatt, Dena Meek
Retro-reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
What DEATH BY LOVE lacks in technical sophistication, it makes up with ballsy, shameless charm as a sculptor can’t help but find himself the apple of the eye of every girl who crosses his path. The problem is that once they fall, they are murdered and drained of blood. The humble Alan Grant writes, directs, edits, and stars as this beleaguered sculptor being stalked by a man who he thinks is the devil. But who is the murderer here?
The thing is, this isn’t a bad little mystery. Look past the horrible hair, the terrible early 90’s clothing, the shot on video flatness, and the read straight off the script acting going on. There is a compelling little story here that had me enthralled pretty much all of the way through. Grant’s story actually has a few twists and turns that try to mislead the viewer a few times as to what is actually happening. Is there something supernatural going on or madness or just bad luck that all of the girls that fall for Grant’s character end up dead. The bumbling police don’t really know and the script kept me guessing.
The problem for most is simply looking past the rough edges and this one has a ton of them. There are those who will see the shot on video quality of this one and quickly turn away and that’s cool. I understand it’s hard to look past. But if you are brave enough to venture forth, I think this is one no budgeter that might have been something had the filmmakers the right agent. DEATH BY LOVE is paired with DREAM STALKER (reviewed here) in this Synapse double feature DVD and share nothing in common other than the fact that they are hard to find, shot on video schlock that might have been great had the filmmakers two pennies to rub together, but that didn’t stop them from trying to make ambitious films.
Retro-review: New on BluRay from The Shout Factory!
SERIAL MOM (1994)Directed by John Waters
Written by John Waters
Starring Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston, Ricki Lake, Matthew Lillard, Scott Morgan, Walt MacPherson, Justin Whalin, Patricia Dunnock, Lonnie Horsey, Mink Stole, Mary Jo Catlett, John Badila, Kathy Fannon, Doug Roberts, Traci Lords, Jim Caggiano, Jeff Mandon, Colgate Salsbury, Patsy Grady Abrams, Richard Pilcher, Beau James, Stan Brandorff, Kim Goff, Suzanne Somers, Bus Howard, Alan J. Wendl, Patricia Hearst, Nancy Robinette, Peter Bucossi, Loretto McNally, Wilfred E. Williams, Joshua L. Shoemaker, Rosemary Knower, Susan Lowe, John Calvin Doyle, Mary Vivian Pearce, Brigid Berlin. Jeffrey Pratt Gordon, Anthony 'Chip' Brienza, Joan Rivers, Catherine Anne Hayes, Susan Duvall, Mojo Gentry, Michael Sinclair Walter, Gwendolyn Briley-Strand, Johnny Alonso, Bess Armstrong, Kim McGuire, John Poague, Al Sotto, John Waters
Retro-reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
Made at what some might say the peak of John Waters’ transition from independent cult director to full fledged pop icon filmmaker, SERIAL MOM may be one of his best films technically, but it is one of the tamer films in his filmography. As always, Waters takes on the establishment by painting a picture of seemingly perfect Middle America and then zooms in to show that there is no thing as perfection. No, this one doesn’t have Divine eating poop, but it does have a lot of dark potty humor to slosh around in.
Beverly (Kathleen Turner) lives a perfect OZZIE & HARRIET lifestyle. At least that’s what it looks like to her family including her husband (Sam Waterson), and children Sam (Ricki Lake) & Chip (Matthew Lillard). But when they aren’t looking, Beverly has a dark side that turns to homicide whenever someone ticks her off by being becoming, unladylike, or just plain rude. So in between making the perfect meatloaf and doing the wash, Beverly is also racking up quite a death toll. But even with the cops on her tail and itching to arrest her, Beverly’s family sticks with her through the trail of the century and the making of her own TV miniseries starring Suzanne Somers (played by Suzanne Somers, of course).
While this film came out before the OJ trail, Waters was able to hone in on the country’s growing fascination with high profile murder cases. Beverly’s kills are pretty shocking as she meticulously plans out the demises, stalks them, and then puts them away in a brutal fashion which seems quite ludicrous juxtaposed against the typical Harriet Nelson trope that Turner exudes. But even more twisted is the way the public and her own family reacts once she is caught and is given the then Trial of the Century with movie rights being bartered for, souvenirs being sold by her kids, and the public more interested in what Beverly is wearing than the murders she committed. Water’s satire level is high here and while everything is done in a cartoonish fashion, the commentary on society’s fascination with serial killers is spot on.
Turner is pretty amazing here in the lead role as the psycho mother. She really seems to be having fun swearing into the phone as she makes an obscene phone call or bashing someone over the head with a lamb’s leg. While the last half of the film is all dedicated to the trial, the first half if all Kathleen Turner and she soaks up the spotlight in every scene. And while Waters’ films are often ensemble pieces, even recognizable faces like Matthew Lillard, Rikki Lake, and Sam Waterston are completely outdone by Turner’s iconic performance.
This Shout Factory BluRay is loaded with stuff for the SERIAL MOM fan in all of us, including; a new featurette: a conversation with director John Waters, actress Kathleen Turner & actress Mink Stole, “Serial Mom: Surreal Moments” featurette, feature commentary with John Waters & Kathleen Turner, another feature commentary with John Waters, “The Making Of Serial Mom” original promotional featurette, “The Kings of Gore: Herschel Gordon Lewis & David Friedman” featurette, & original theatrical trailer (which you can see below)!
Retro-review: Newly collected in a BluRay box set from Arrow Films/MVD Visual!
DONNIE DARKO (2001)Directed by Richard Kelly
Written by Richard Kelly
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase, James Duval, Arthur Taxier, Patrick Swayze, Beth Grant, Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore, Mark Hoffman, David St. James, Tom Tangen, Jazzie Mahannah, Jolene Purdy, Stuart Stone, Gary Lundy, Alex Greenwald, Seth Rogen, David Moreland, Kristina Malota, Marina Malota Darling, Carly Naples, Tiler Peck, Patience Cleveland, Katharine Ross, Lisa K. Wyatt, Rachel Winfree, Jack Salvatore Jr., Lee Weaver, Phyllis Lyons, Ashley Tisdale, Alison Jones, Jerry Trainor, Joan Blair, Sarah Hudson, Fran Kranz, Scotty Leavenworth
Retro-reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
I will admit it—the first time I saw DONNIE DARKO, I didn’t know what the hell it was about or how it all worked. But I was blown away by a mesmerizing performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, some rock solid comedy, and some emotionally moving song/scene pairings. Plus how cool was the badass bunny suit? Having seen the film in portions on cable and viewings with friends since then, I have developed an appreciation for what Richard Kelly was trying to do, but it wasn’t until I sat down with this box set recently released from the awesome sauce wizards at Arrow Films that I tried to appreciate it from a critical standpoint. Either way, DONNIE DARKO is an iconic and unique film deserving of this giant box set collection with a ton of extra bells, whistles, and letters to Mrs. Roberta Sparrow included.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays troubled teen Donnie Darko. While it looks like he is living the American Dream with a typical family in a typical home in a typical town named Middlesex, Donnie is deeply troubled, experiencing increasing signs of schizophrenia including sleepwalking, hallucinations, and delusions with increasing intensity. Donnie would have died on October 1, 1988 had he not been sleepwalking, as an airplane engine crashes through the roof of his home and lands in his bed where he would have been sleeping. This event seems to trigger an increase in Donnie’s symptoms. He begins seeing a six foot bunny named Frank warning him that the world will end at the end of the month. Frank also guides Donnie to act out in school and while sleeping, as there is an increase in vandalism in the town resulting in fires and floods. These acts of vandalism cause a panic in the town, culminating into a 1984 scenario where books and teachings encouraging free speech and thought are deemed unlawful and unethical and outlawed from the school. All of this culminates on Halloween night. The intricate story also involves wormholes, THE EVIL DEAD movie, a self-help guru (played by Patrick Swayze), the rabbits of “Watership Down,” Seth Rogan as a school bully, time travel, and a dance troupe called Sparkle Motion.
There is so much to talk about in this film. It’s really hard to narrow it down in one review. What stands out the most to me is that is blends genres in such a unique way. DONNIE DARKO is a satirical comedy. It’s a character driven drama. It’s a psychological horror story. And it’s a ground level sci fi flick. It’s all of that and more. From a character standpoint, Kelly crafts not only a fascinating character in Donnie, but an entire world around him. While Middlesex is supposed to be Typical Town, USA, it is itself unique with its town eccentrics, square suburban neighborhoods, rolling hills, and couches set up in an open field. Gyllenhaal plays it extremely subtle here. It is obvious that he is sleep walking through life, yet he still manages to be clever and snarky at times like any typical teenager. He plays kind of a shadow of a character rather than one with an actual personality. As if he is being moved through the motions and not completely in control of himself. It the same time, he doesn’t really fight this as if he knows of some kind of grand plan and not really reacting surprised at seeing a giant talking bunny and wormholes bursting out of people’s chests. He reacts as if he is watching his life play out in front of him as if in a dream rather than really living it. It all adds to the ethereal quality of the entire film—which makes sense once the film plays out completely.
There are some amazing smaller performances. Jena Malone plays Gretchen, the new girl in town and basically, our ears and eyes as she and we ourselves are trying to figure out what makes Donnie tick as well as what the hell is wrong with him. This being such a big story, her part is not that big, but she provides some key moments that both humanize Donnie, but also show how unhinged he is becoming. There is a scene later in the film when Donnie is experiencing a full on manic episode where she tries to calm him down and is seeing that this eclectic kid who she is attracted to has real problems that will feel very familiar to anyone who has ever had to deal with someone with mental illness. Donnie’s parents (Mary McDonnell and Holmes Osborne) are cool enough—most likely ex-hippies now struggling with the humdrum life they have found themselves in. And it’s fun to see Jake Gyllenhaal interact both affectionately and antagonistically with his real life sister Maggie in more scenes that flesh out Donnie the normal human being. Other roles such as Drew Barrymore and Noah Wiley’s take on progressive teachers in a backwards town are well realized, as Beth Grant makes up the fanatic anxiety that is the backbone of “Sparkle Motion” and cause for a lot of the Orwellian fascism that occurs once Donnie begins wreaking havoc on the school system. Patrick Swayze offers up a fun turn as a self help guru with all of the answers and a few dark secrets. And little Daveigh Chase (who has grown up to be quite the stunner—see JACK GOES HOME for details!) plays Donnie’s little sister who dances her little heart out in the creepy, yet amazing dance squad “Sparkle Motion.” Every character feels lived in and fully realized, even if they only are on the screen for a few minutes and it’s because of Kelly’s writing and filmmaking genius at world building.
DONNIE DARKO operates under the theory that if an anomaly in time occurs where fate is changed, that anomaly will work itself out sooner rather than later. It doesn’t let you know that’s what it is about, but by the end, you walk away with that simple theory. Time travel stories always make my brain itch. If you think about them too hard, the theories unravel as no one really knows what will happen if we were able to leap forward and backwards into time. But through watching many films and tons of comic books, time travel most commonly seems to operate under the appealing credo that we are in charge of our own destinies and that there is no grand plan. That’s the romanticized version of things—that we can control our fates, not the other way around. DONNIE DARKO operates on the opposite level where fate is determined and even when that fate is changed, things will sort itself out and make things right by the end of the story. Again, this is all speculation, but I appreciate Kelly going a more unconventional, albeit less likable route with his made up time travel theory. In the end, for Donnie’s entire struggle—his attempts to cope with his sanity, his illness, and all of the craziness in the world around him, doesn’t matter as there is a grand plan and Donnie’s fate is sealed no matter what you do. It’s an apathetic pointless kind of theory, where one can justify sitting back and simply letting the world go on around you. It’s not a popular one and antithetical to most Hollywood messages, but still it all feels original through Kelly’s lens and is one of the reasons why the film is so watchable—because of its anti-establishment, anti-well worn path attitude.
On top of me trying to figure out the secrets of time travel, this film is filled with so many simply fun moments. Donnie and Gretchen’s EVIL DEAD movie date which leads to a house fire. Donnie taking on Swayze’s Jim Cunningham in front of the entire school. The musical montage at the end to “Mad World” that sends chills down my spine every time I hear and see it. And everything about “Sparkle Motion” is both disturbing and absolutely awesome. This is a story of a modern day questioner and free thinker, who is undeniably insane, but not wrong in the world he wakes up in. It’s a story about waking up and taking a look at the absurdity of life and not accepting it. Not only that, but it’s a beautiful movie using subtle effects, fantastic musical choices, and costuming to speak volumes. There is just so much good in DONNIE DARKO, I just could keep on typing and typing, but I’ll just quit, recommend it highly, and talk about the special features.
They’ve stuffed everything but your own bunny suit into this collector’s edition box set including; a gorgeous new transfer of both the theatrical and director’s cut from the original camera negatives produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director Richard Kelly and cinematographer Steven Poster, audio commentary by writer-director Richard Kelly and actor Jake Gyllenhaal on the Theatrical Cut, audio commentary by Kelly, producer Sean McKittrick and actors Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone, Beth Grant, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross and James Duval on the Theatrical Cut, audio commentary by Kelly and filmmaker Kevin Smith on the Director's Cut, a featurette called “Deus ex Machina: The Philosophy of Donnie Darko,” a brand-new documentary by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures on the making of Donnie Darko, containing interviews with writer-director Richard Kelly, producer Sean McKittrick, director of photography Steven Poster, “The Goodbye Place,” Kelly's 1996 short film, which anticipates some of the themes and ideas of his feature films, “The Donnie Darko Production Diary,” an archival documentary charting the film's production with optional commentary by cinematographer Steven Poster, 20 deleted and alternate scenes with optional commentary by Kelly, archive interviews with Kelly, actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duval, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Noah Wyle and Katharine Ross, producers Sean McKittrick, Nancy Juvonen, Hunt Lowry and Casey La Scala, 3 archive featurettes: “They Made Me Do It,” “They Made Me Do It Too” and “#1 Fan: A Darkomentary,” storyboard comparisons, B-roll footage, “Cunning Visions” infomercials, “Mad World” music video by Gary Jules, photo galleries, trailers, TV spots, an exclusive collector's book containing new writing by Nathan Rabin, Anton Bitel and Jamie Graham, an in-depth interview with Richard Kelly, introduction by Jake Gyllenhaal and contemporary coverage, illustrated with original stills and promotional material, and a Roberta Sparrow letter featuring new artwork by Candice Tripp. This is a simply amazing collection well worth every penny and then some.
New on DVD from MVD Visual!
MORTUARY MASSACRE (2016)Directed by Christopher James Miller
Written by Erin Blaisdell, Christopher James Miller (screenplay), Mark McGarrey, Kyle Morris, Sean Stearley (story)
Starring Todd Brown, Carl Crew (“Toe Tags” wraparound), Mark McGarrey, Rafael Killyan, Hart D. Fisher, Jamie Katonic, Karey Miller, Aaron Chodor, Michelle Mogilevsky, Nicole Mogilevsky (“The Apartment”), Erin Blaisdell, Steve Dorfman, Jamie Lawrence, James M. Ryan, Sean Stearley, Kit Bateman, Eric Berggren, Dan Cameron (“Snake-Eyed Jack”), Kyle Morris, Steven Briggs, Jonny Hart, Christine McLarty, Lawrence David Foldes, Jerry Mogilevsky (“False-Face”)
Find out more about this film here
Reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
This Do It Yourself (DIY, for those in the know) anthology is heavy on the gore and attitude which makes up for some rather easy writing decisions, ground level acting, and rudimentary filmmaking skills. This one is tied together with a fun little wraparound called “Toe Tags” in which a cop chats casually with a mortician as he goes from one mangled body to another, each with a gnarly story of its own.
The three anthology tales that happen in between the wraparound segments are all pretty simplistic stories. The first tale, “The Apartment” focuses on a manic and paranoid landlord who distrusts all of his tenants and becomes fearful that the hooligans hanging around outside of his building are out to get him. When he reports the taggers to the cops, they don’t believe him, so he decides to film what they do which only succeeds in implicating him as being a lunatic. This one is less gory than the other two films, but works mainly because the landlord is so over the top. I love the music in this installment which signify between the real world and the fantasy world the landlord lives in.
Story two features the bony hedge-trimmer wielding zombie on the cover of the DVD box. It’s called “Snake-Eyed Jack” and involves a group of kids trying to communicate with one of their dead fathers using a witch’s scrying mirror. The spell goes awry and ends up awakening the corpse/ghost of Snake-Eyed Jack, a notorious wild west outlaw who likes to kill things. Once Jack shows up, this becomes a pretty simple story of a monster chasing and murderizing a bunch of kids. Still the gore is pretty splatterific.
My favorite of the three installments is “False Face” simply because again it features a crazy person in the lead role. A failing actor loses all of his auditions to a hotshot new actor in town and worse yet, his girlfriend is sleeping with the hotshot. So the actor goes nuts, cuts off his own face and begins cutting off the faces of others. While the story is simple, the script is what had me rolling as the failing actor has all of the typical failing actor complaints. The dialog here is crisp and funny and while the effects are messy, they are extremely effective and fitting of the comedic tone throughout this one.
MORTUARY MASSACRE wants to be a grindhouse throwback style film, or at least wants to have some fun with the subgenre. It even comes with trailers worked into the main film for other grindhousey horror films like “Psycho Beach Blanket A Go Go” which actually is an actual short included in the DVD which is really rough, but looked fun to do. But in actuality, the film feels more like the talky nineties films trying to be like Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino as the characters all seem to speak with the same intonation and personality. That makes it kind of a double throwback kind of film. I liked MORTUARY MASSACRE with all of its rudimentary rough spots and top notch gore. The filmmakers have a wonky kind of humor that made me laugh a few times that never takes itself too seriously. If you don’t take your horror very seriously and don’t mind a ton of sludgy gore, try this one out.
New in select theaters from Indican Pictures!
JASMINE (2015)Directed by Dax Phelan
Written by Dax Phelan (story & screenplay), Jason Tobin (story)
Starring Jason Tobin, Byron Mann, Sarah Lian, Eugenia Yuan, Glen Chin, Cara Louise Grogan, Adrian Halkes, Grace Huang, Jayson Li, Jane Wong, Brian Yang
Find out more about this film @jasminehelovedher and on Facebook here
Reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
While it leans more on the taught mystery thriller side than out and out horror, JASMINE deals with the darkest parts of obsession, revenge, and delusion in a manner that I would definitely call horrifying.
A year ago, Leonard (Jason Tobin) lost his wife and the case was never solved. Now returning to Hong Kong where his wife was killed, Leonard is trying to pick up the pieces of his life. Attempting to make new friends in bars, trying to get a new job, and trying to come to grips with the death by going to self help groups. But while putting flowers on the grave of his wife, Leonard sees a mysterious man at the cemetery and then again at the site where his wife was murdered. When attempts to contact the police go nowhere, Leonard begins following the man and comes to the conclusion that he was his wife’s killer.
The magic of JASMINE is that it is all told from the perspective of Leonard, so basically it is a one man show. This takes a special kind of actor to carry all of that weight and Jason Tobin is such an actor. Last seen in #1 SERIAL KILLER (aka CHINK, about an Asian man who hates his culture so much that he becomes a serial killer – reviewed here), Tobin once again plays a broken man. Tobin does a fantastic job of playing a character so overcome with guilt and remorse that he is pushed over the edge. While at times Tobin presents as whiney and unsympathetic, he isn’t afraid to make himself look bad or creepy in order to get into this role and this extra mile is appreciated and adds yet another layer to this tense thriller.
This is a mystery through and through and the way the whole thing plays out is rather genius. Without revealing too much, this is a film with a powerful shock of an ending. While I kind of wanted to see a scene or two more after the big revelation letting us know the fates of the characters involved, I also admire the simplicity of this film and the balls director Dax Phelan had to end it how he does. The open ending will frustrate some and I have to admit I am one of those somewhat as it feels like a buildup to this big shockeroo without the dénouement such a well plotted thriller and a well realized performance deserves. Still, JASMINE is a sneaky little whodunit or more appropriately, whoizzit style mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.
New this week on DVD/BluRay from Uncork’d Entertainment!
PITCHFORK (2016)Directed by Glenn Douglas Packard
Written by Glenn Douglas Packard, Darryl F. Gariglio
Starring Brian Raetz, Lindsey Nicole, Ryan Moore, Celina Beach, Nicole Dambro, Keith Webb, Sheila Leason, Vibhu Raghave, Rachel Carter, Andrew Dawe-Collins, Derek Reynolds, Carol Ludwick, Addisyn Wallace, Anisbel Lopez, David Mayorga, Dena Woods, Shane Adkins, Mason Packard, & Daniel Wilkinson as Pitchfork!
Find out more about this film here, @PitchforkOfficial, and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Mark L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
There’s a lot to like about this new attempt to make an iconic slasher, but just when something cool happens in PITCHFORK, filmmaker Glenn Douglas Packard injects something absolutely asinine.
The motive of this one is original; Hunter (Brian Raetz) brings a group of his friends home as support since it’s his first time home after announcing that he is gay to his family. While his parents are disapproving, they accept the varied group of kids which consist of pretty much every stereotype you usually find in these films. But while the gang has a barn dance party on their minds, a killer wearing a dog carcass on his face and a pitchfork on his hand is tracking them down one by one. And there’s an extended dance sequence…
Everything with the killer, and there’s a lot, is pretty cool. While the Pitchfork is derivative of Leatherface and his inbred kin, actor Daniel Wilkinson really does give a great, primal performance here—jumping around like an animal and panting like he is in heat with his female victims. The problem is that Packard seems to want to prove he can make both a slasher film AND a dance video. I understand breaking things up with a musical interlude. I’m a fan of Scorsese and have enjoyed my share of MTV videos back when MTV played videos, but having every character stop what they are doing, stare directly at the camera and bust out in a barn dance with multi-colored spotlights and extreme zooming in and out is a buzzkill of epic proportions. The problem is that the song is lame, the dancing is lame, and the cast is obviously so into it and thinks it’s so cool that you can’t help but feel they are lame too. All of the cast look like they stepped off of a modeling shoot and act out stereotypes rather than real characters. None of them seem to get along very well and there is no real reason this group should be friends (one of them doesn’t even accept the fact that Hunter is gay). This is just a Breakfast Club style scenario (and one cast member even points that out) with a half dozen unlikable characters.
Plus there is an attempt at some kind of back-story between Pitchfork and Hunter, but it’s never fully realized. Living one farm over, one would think Hunter would have warned his friends about the fork-handed psycho next door, but maybe he hates his friends as much as I do and wanted them to be forked. The gore is pretty intense and Packard is able to play out some rather tension filled scenes. But damn…that dance number. PITCHFORK has a good psycho, but it’s got some bad decisions built around it.
New on DVD from Unearthed Films!
LUNG (2016)aka LUNG II
Directed by Phil Stevens
Written by Phil Stevens
Starring Phil Stevens, David Chopping, Samantha Coppola, Angela Jane, Michael Kennedy, Bryant W. Lohr Sr., Colette Kenny Mckenna
Find out more about this film here, @LUNG2themovie, and on Facebook here
Reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
Packaged together in one gory and twisted double disk set is Phil Stephens’ LUNG I & II. I’ll be covering both films in this review as I think it serves the films best to do so. The two films themselves serve as a sequel of sorts to Stephen’s last film FLOWERS, which I have yet to see, but after viewing these two, will rectify that very soon.
LUNG I is shot, acted, and created solely by Stevens himself who plays a man haunted by sins of the past. The film opens with him destroying a dead body and dismantling it into tiny pieces which I assume is to get rid of it. The film then jaunts to outdoors as the lead (Stevens) wanders the streets, haunted by visions of rotted corpses and crying babies. As Stevens attempts to seek out the source of the crying baby, he is faced with reminders of his own terrible sins and ends up trying to create instead of destroy by painting. The final moments of the film focus on Stevens’ attempt to find some kind of catharsis through painting and depicts a fascinating (albeit somewhat indulgent) sequence of Stevens using his hands and fingers to splash paints and create imagery on canvases from start to finish. For me, this was an engrossing portion of the film as the destroyer attempts to create in order to piece himself back together. Instead of focusing on the victim as most horror films do, this one puts you in the mind of a tormented killer and though it is an uncomfortable spot to be in, the ride is exhilarating for those brave enough to take it. Before the credits roll, we see that while the attempt was made to atone for his sins, Stevens is still haunted by the horrors he has done. The whole thing is a fantastic little trip into a twisted mind seeking to cope with what it has done and it’s a much more sophisticated look into the mind of a killer than any slasher flick you’re bound to see. The film is made using a handheld camera and shots set up solely by Stevens himself and truly is a one man show that accomplishes a lot.
LUNG II is basically a re-edit of the first LUNG film. It tells pretty much the same story, but sort of cuts the ties with FLOWERS, makes the art a little less important to the narrative, and expands the story to tell the viewer what happened moments before we see the protagonist (again Stevens himself) at the beginning. It also shows the lead character at different stages in his life, as if he is wandering around this purgatory littered with bodies of his victims and still lost by the end. LUNG II tells the same story, but cuts out the art making and the soul-searching and adds in more remorse and angst by highlighting the prison the lead character has put himself into. It’s still the same message, just a tweak or two to say it. Personally, I think I prefer the original as I enjoyed the art making scenes, which are sped up and almost glossed over in the second film. There was a slightly hopeful tone to the first as it shows that the lead is actually trying to process where he is and what he has done. In the second film, he is simply wandering around and wallowing in his own sorrow.
Both films are shot in black and white and silent for the most part aside from droning and moody musical scores that only amplify the dark happenings that may or may not be going on. Both of these films lean closer to art house horror than anything that would be seen in theaters these days. Both feel a lot more like ERASERHEAD than anything else, which itself deals with the overpowering weight of grief and the burden of taking a life on one’s soul. Both LUNG’s are also soulful, disgusting, and sometimes inspiring looks into the darkness of the mind and those who aren’t put off by art house self-indulgence are in for a beautifully twisted and thematically morbid treat.
New this week on DVD/BluRay from The Shout Factory & IFC Midnight!
BEYOND THE GATES (2016)Directed by Jackson Stewart
Written by Stephen Scarlata & Jackson Stewart
Starring Graham Skipper, Chase Williamson, Brea Grant, Barbara Crampton, Matt Mercer, Justin Welborn, Jesse Merlin, Sara Malakul Lane, Henry LeBlanc, Caryn Richman, Pierson Ryan, Jentzen Ramirez, Ryan Kunert, Colton Toles, David Bruckner, Josh Ethier, Pete Perry, Stu Jefferson
Find out more about this film here, @beyondthegatesmovie, and on Facebook here
Reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
Some fun genre performances and a retro vibe are what is in store if you dare venture BEYOND THE GATES!
Gordon (THE MIND’S EYE’s Graham Skipper) returns to his hometown with his girlfriend Margot (THE DEVIL’S DOLLS’ Brea Grant) to help his estranged brother John (JOHN DIES AT THE END’s Chase Williamson pack up their father’s video store after their father went missing 7 months ago. While rummaging through their father’s office, they happen upon an old VHS Game called “Beyond the Gates” and on one boring night, the three decide to give the game a try. Immediately, they realize that this game, hosted by a spooky beauty named Evelyn (RE-ANIMATOR’s Barbara Crampton), is more than just a game. And as spooky shit begins to go down, Gordon, John, and Margot are compelled to finish the game to find out what happened to their father and if they have a life to get back to once the game is over.
The highlight of BEYOND THE GATES for me was seeing all of those fresh, but familiar faces from other horror films in one place. Not only do we get genre actress Barbara Crampton in a bit role as the hostess of the game, but Skipper and Williamson do a great job as estranged brothers who are attempting to come together to do the unpleasant job of packing up their seemingly dead father’s things. This relationship is played well by both actors and is the heart of the film. Brea Grant, who usually doesn’t get this meaty of a role, plays the cement between the two brothers, trying her best to believe in her flawed boyfriend, yet frightened of an underlying dark side. Grant always exudes a sassy sweetness, but here she backs that up with good intentions and strong belief in her boyfriend. It’s also great to see minor roles filled by familiar genre faces such as Matt Mercer (from CONTRACTED and its sequel) as a sort of Barney Fife-like cop, JUSTIFIED and SiREN’s Justin Welborn as John’s scumbag buddy, and the stunning Sara Malakul Lane (from SUN CHOKE) in a bit part as a waitress. All of these cool actors involved make the film seem like a much bigger story than it really is.
And I think that’s the problem with BEYOND THE GATES. While the lead in to playing the game is suspenseful and well paced—filled with all sorts of nice little set pieces, once the game is played and the gates are crossed, there really is nothing going on that we haven’t seen before and bigger in other films. I love the setup where the game instructs Gordon and John on a sort of scavenger hunt and the voodoo dolls they find end up causing harm (unbeknownst to Gordon and John) to people they know. But the final act indicates that both creatively and monetarily, the film had spent its wad, and all we get are a couple of actors done up in uninspired ghoul makeup, a smoke machine, and some moody lighting. Had the final act met the fun ideas leading up to it, this would have been a much more positive review.
Seeing these familiar genre faces and the fine character work of Skipper, Williamson, and Grant make this film worth seeking out. There is a strong beating heart to BEYOND THE GATES. The first half is strong, but the ending just runs out of gas too soon and doesn’t feel like it has the heft that was there leading up to it.
New on limited edition BluRay/DVD found here!
FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS (2016)Directed by James Bickert
Written by James Bickert
Starring Jett Bryant, Laurence R. Harvey, Tristan Risk, Ellie Church, Madeline Brumby, Paul McComiskey, Billy Ratliff, Gia Nova, Jim Sligh, Shane Morton, Johnny Collins, Elizabeth Davidovich, Allison Maier, Diana Prince, Nick Hood, James Bickert, Megan Moore, Eddie Mumma, Jessie Grainger, Ki Corwell, Chris 'Casper' Kelly, Dave Willis, Trey McGriff, Bill McConnell, Fred Woelper, Bryan G. Malone, Oliver Kasiske, Sarah Beth Moseley, Mark Schemanske, Rob Thompson, & Jim Stacy as the Bigfoot!
Find out more about this film here, @frankensteincreatedbikers, and on Facebook here
Reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
This crowd-funded sequel to DEAR GOD NO! (reviewed here) continues the sadistic, gory, bodacious debauchery that began in that film and then some. Those looking for dramatic horror and subtle chills please press on to the next review. But for those who think seeing a one eyed woman have her empty eyehole fucked is something to guffaw at, I think I have the movie for you.
In the grindhousey home invasion/biker/Nazi science horror mash-up DEAR GOD NO!, a gang of hellraising bikers called the Impalers break into a home, rape and murder the family (including the gutting of a 9 month pregnant woman), and then stumble into a secret Nazi lab in the basement of the home. At the end, Bigfoot shows up out of nowhere and kills all of the bikers. The End. Well, this one opens with a group of horny teens heading out to a lake to party and after getting naked and talking about all of the fucking they are going to do, Bigfoot appears out of nowhere and kills everyone but one screaming girl who is rescued by the Impalers, inexplicably alive and this time, they are ready for Bigfoot. But that’s not really what this story is about. It is. But there is so much more as the Impalers have pissed off a whole lot of people in their time being badass bikers, and after they were revived by the same Nazi science they encountered in the first film, even more people want them dead. So a FASTER PUSSYCAT-esque, one-eyed biker woman badass wrangles up a bunch of folks with a grudge and tries to track them down. Meanwhile, the cops are after them, and the lone survivor of the massacre before the credits is wandering around a madhouse of horrors naked and covered in blood just trying to survive. It all culminates in a gory mêlée Coliseum-style gladiator match between undead bikers, mercenaries, policemen, Bigfoot, and HUMAN CENTIPEDE II’s Laurence R. Harvey doing his best Peter Lorre impersonation.
I love the no-fucks-given attitude this film and its predecessor has. Obviously, a lot of movie watching was done by the filmmakers as nods to everything from FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL to THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE to CASABLANCA is referenced in between the opening and closing credits sequence. It’s meant to be an homage to the grindhousey biker-sploitation flicks of the seventies which emulated the baddassness of the biker lifestyle. But it is so much more. James Bickert really does shovel in so much of the so-wrong-but-so-right kind of gore and wrongdoing in this film that I can’t help but marvel at the energy and attitude FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS has.
And while no Oscars will be given to this movie in the acting department, there are still some great performances going on here. AMERICAN MARY’s Barbie girl Tristan Risk plays the daughter of the Nazi scientist, now just a head on a saucepan, who falls in love with the biker gang leader Jett (Jett Bryant), whose line delivery isn’t realistic, but still is entertaining as all get out in a badass Sling Blade sort of way. Laurence R. Harvey, who looks a lot like Peter Lorre, is even dressed in an all white suit here and does a fantastic job of playing the conniving villain he seems to have been born to play. Finally, I have to talk about the awesome job of PLANK FACE’s Ellie Church who is naked and covered in blood and guts pretty much through this entire movie and while most of her lines are screams in terror, the south side of hell she was put through deserves some honorable mention in stamina and lung power.
FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS might be a bit long in the middle portion as the film clocks in at about two hours and should be shaved to about an hour and a half, but still, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. This film plays like a Rob Zombie film if Rob would not take himself and his content so seriously. Everyone is an asshole in this film and it’s awesome to see all of those jerks blowing each other away, coming back from the dead, screwing each others brains out, and then blowing each other to bits with bullets, explosions, and Bigfoot swipes. Which reminds me; this film has one of the best looking Bigfoots you’re going to see this side of capturing the real thing. FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS is a bodacious, hellacious, downright fun time at the movies. It kicks the teeth in of PC screws and is not for prudes who think boobs and bloods are going to hurt their feelings. Find this film and see it if you like gore and gristle in gratuitous amounts and prepare to laugh at how wrong it is.
BEWARE: This trailer is Not Safe For Work at all!!!
Coming soon – currently touring fests! Find out when and where here from Black Fawn Films and Breakthrough Entertainment!
LET HER OUT (2016)Directed by Cody Calahan
Written by Cody Calahan & Adam Seybold
Starring Alanna LeVierge, Nina Kiri, Adam Christie, Kate Fenton, Michael Lipka, Brooke Henderson, Glen Reid, Deborah Jayne Reilly Smith, Kyle Hytonen, Paul McGinnis, Eric Picard
Find out more about this film here, @letherout, and on Facebook here
Reviewed by M. L. Miller aka Ambush Bug
This “Jekyll & Hyde” slash possession slash evil twin film is sleek and sexy, with a heavy dose of sleaze. LET HER OUT is a scary, grimy, and heartbreaking metaphor for alcoholism, drugs, and mental illness with a slightly supernatural angle, but heavy on character. It’s simply an excellent, and jarring horror film.
LET HER OUT begins with a scene of a prostitute doing her thing with multiple different johns in a seedy hotel room. It’s not a sexy scene and highlights the distance the woman goes outside of herself in order to get through the demeaning work that she does. After wrapping up for the night, a mysterious john comes into the room and has his way with her roughly. This is a horrifying scene where the prostitute is not a million miles away, but aware of herself and her predicament that she may not survive as seen by the pained and horrified look on her face. Cut to the prostitute later who is pregnant in the same room and takes a knife to her belly in an attempt to kill herself and her child. After the pro is found, she is rushed to the hospital and we are rushed 23 years later in the narrative following Helen (Alanna LeVierge), who we come to know is the daughter of the prostitute and a bicycle messenger, living with her actress step-sister Molly (Nina Kiri) , and trying to find a place for herself in this world. After being hit by a car on her bike, Helen begins experiencing blackouts and after an MRI is taken, she finds out that inside her head is what looks like a tumor, but in actuality is a twin that was consumed by Helen in the womb. Of course, this place goes into some dark and seedy places as it seems the tumor is growing in both power and conscience, causing havoc and absolute horror in Helen’s life.
Metaphorically, this is a rich one as one can read a lot into LET HER OUT—from statements on sexual repression vs. freedom to comments on drugs and mental illness to the current health care crisis. Helen presents herself as not really knowing what she wants sexually when we first encounter her as she comes on to an artist who admires her, then stops he makes the moves on her. Later she struggles when her twin begins to emerge as the twin seems to be much more sexually free-spirited and downright perverse when she takes over Helen’s body. When Helen is back again in control, she only remembers snippets of what has happened and is horrified by it. With all supernatural evil twin stuff aside, Helen is suffering from terrifying blackouts and mental breaks and this as well is handled deftly as Helen deals with trying to wait for her operation date to have the tumor removed, but this deadline only makes the evil twin work harder and harder to take control. On top of that, Helen self medicates with alcohol and pills, trying to suppress her inner demon and bind herself to her own bed with ropes in order to keep this uncontrollable other self from getting free. And as if the metaphorical well wasn’t full enough, LET HER OUT adds to the growing health care system commentary in horror as Helen, instead of going to the hospital, chooses to treat herself and use rudimentary ways to take care of her inner demon—again this seems to be somewhat of a commentary on this generation’s mistrust in health care and the popular choice to ignore the obvious dramatic medical emergency by using over the counter meds and age old remedies over up to date medical treatments.
Allegorical dissections aside, LET HER OUT is both a gory body horror film as Helen is taken apart literally piece by piece by the end of the film and a terrifying film to boot with some scenes with such perfectly timed scares that put the modern theatrical releases to shame. Director Cody Calahan & and his co-writer Adam Seybold know their scary and do a fantastic job at delivering an authentic and original terror trip. Add in a rollercoaster of a performance by the lead Alanna LeVierge as Helen and strong supporting performance as Helen’s step-sister Molly Nina Kiri (though Kiri and LeVierge look a little bit too much alike and cause a bit of confusion throughout the film), and you’ve got a can’t miss body horror shocker of the highest order in LET HER OUT.
Special note: I don’t like to brag about stuff I get from production companies—mainly because I usually don’t get them at all and even if I do get a comp copy of something in the mail, I don’t let it sway whether I like the film or not (as I hope you can see in my reviews). But even if LET HER OUT was a bad film (which it most definitely is not), I would have heaped praise on Black Fawn Films and Breakthrough Entertainment PR Department for the original and twisted way they sent me this movie.
Not too long ago, I get an unmarked package in the mail. Inside, wrapped in bubble wrap, is a severed forearm in a plaster cast (much like the cast Helen wears in the film). On the forearm is a massage that says LET HER OUT and then has instructions to cut along the interior of the cast. When I did that, embedded inside the skin under the cast was a thumb drive with the movie in it. Dammit if that wasn’t one of the coolest things I’ve ever received (check out the pics to prove it)! The arm is so freaking creepy. It has real weight to it. The fingers have fingernails. And it looks like I got a freaking severed arm in the mail! This is by no means gloating over gifts from a film, but rather, it was just something that was so cool, I couldn’t help but share. Hope you understand.
Nevertheless, despite the morbidly awesome mode in which I received this film, I really loved LET HER OUT and will definitely let you all know when it will be released as it is one of the most intense and twisted little films I’ve seen in quite some time.
And finally…here’s a new comedy horror webseries called GRAVES from Terence Krey and Dan Fox. The story follows what happens when some high schoolers stop a demon apocalypse and then picks up with them trying to pick up the pieces afterwards. This fun little series is in its second season and I you like what you see here, new episodes are dropped every Sunday. Check out the GRAVES website here and enjoy the first four episodes of this low fi horror comedy series below!
See ya next week, folks!
Ambush Bug is M. L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over 15 years & AICN HORROR for 5. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller and on his new website collecting posts for AICN HORROR as well as all of the most recent updates on his various comic book projects on MLMillerWrites.com.
Look for our bi-weekly rambling about random horror films on CultPop and Ain’t It Cool on AICN HORROR’s CANNIBAL HORRORCAST Podcast every other Thursday…or so!
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