Archive for the ‘News’ Category

p9257928_b_v7_aiI was beginning to get a little bored with all the movie reviews, so I decided to change it up and do a TV show review instead.  Instead of critiquing each season of my newly found favorite show, I thought I would just lump it up into one big review for you to digest so you can decide if this show is right for you or not.  I’m not that much of a horror TV show fan because I have rarely found any out there that have really piqued my interest. The Walking Dead? I was so bored I don’t think I even made it to the second season. American Horror Story? 2 seasons contained enough butchering and everything after that has just managed to butcher itself. Bates Motel? 1 episode and I was convinced the show just wasn’t for me.  The only horror TV that had me addicted from the start was Dexter, and we all saw how that one ended. 6 seasons of bliss and 2 seasons of just dragging me along through the commitment that I had already made.  Regardless, Dexter is still my favorite horror TV show out there.  Recently though, The Following, starring Kevin Bacon, made it onto my radar, and before I knew it, I had started and finished 3 seasons.  Coming from Fox, I had low expectations of how this show would be, but boy was I wrong. Where to even begin with this show…….??? So good I would compare it to Dexter.  The basis of the series is that Keven Bacon plays Ryan Hardy, a detective (or FBI, whatever you prefer to call it) that has been hunting a serial killer, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy).  Carroll, even from behind bars, has managed to put together a cult of serial killers that just continue to grow and grow.  They randomly choose victims and there seems to be drama and crazy situations at the end of each episode, which is obviously what lead me to finish 3 seasons of this in just about a couple weeks. Overall, this is the most badass series I’ve seen since Dexter.  Deaths in every episode, blood in every scene, everything completely shrouded in mystery that just keeps you coming back like a crack pipe; this show is everything for a horror movie fiend.  Now, if you’re expecting any true horror or scares……. don’t; because that is definitely not happening.  Instead, what is happening is completely unpredictable, mysterious, un-stereotypical characters and scenarios that truly take you on a wild and addicting ride.  Kevin Williamson, the creator, adds so many interesting and unusual characters and scenarios that I just couldn’t help but be impressed with the originality and complexity of everything which obviously led to my addiction to the show.  I will admit, season 3 gets a little corny with all the characters just acting like typical FBI agents and not taking as many twists and turns as I would like, but overall, all the seasons are incredible.  I really felt sucked into the show from start to finish in each episode, which I find to be extremely rare nowadays. I wouldn’t classify this show as gory, or scary, or perverse, or twisted even; but its a damn good show with lots of great twists and turns.  I guess I don’t know if I can even classify it as horror, but it definitely puts an awesome spin on the whole psychological thriller/ serial killer genre.  I would recommend everyone check this show out, great thriller / borderline horror. If you’ve already seen this show, what do you think about the ending? Answer in the comments, would love to hear your guys’ thoughts.

The Movie & Music Network

Posted: February 4, 2015 in News

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Two years into my “career” as a horror movie junkie with a passion for writing, I am happy to say, someone has decided I am interesting enough to partner with me and help me grow said career.  The Movie and Music Network has contacted me with an exciting opportunity to review the movies on their website.  Obviously, I wouldn’t have accepted this position without giving you guys, my loyal readers, the goods.  If you sign up through me, you can get half off for the first month of using their services.  Here is a bit about what they have to offer, directly from the Director of Communications, Sonia Chopra:

 “A little bit about us – We started about a year ago… we have been called Netflix’s culty and independent step-brother … We have the same business model as the company ($5.99 a month for unlimited streaming) but we cater to a completely different audience, demographic, market , and frankly… we have 0 of their mainstream content. Horror movie enthusiasts can enjoy all we have to offer for the price of a cup of coffee and a scone every month – unlimited streaming of our network via Roku, Android, iOS and online. Currently, we are switching over to Amazon as our web-streaming service, which is very exciting!

 Lastly, we just launched another network – the 99 Cent Network – a movie superstore for people who want to buy bundles of our films to build a library of cinema. They can even share that library for free with a friend too! We have an “Everybody Wins” giveaway going on right now for 3 FREE horror movies – www.99centnetwork.com/promocode for merely going to our site – use Promo Code HORROR1. It’s something fun we have started for the new year, and a cool giveaway to those who come visit our new site.”

Basically, think of the horror movies you’ve never heard of: B-Movies, exploitation films, 1930’s-1960’s horror.  That movie that you have tried to order off Amazon but couldn’t find a single copy of it? Movie and Music Network has it. The movie that you’ve Googled hundreds of times but can’t seem to find a single link to stream it online? This website is full of them.  That weird sexploitation film that you’re too afraid to admit you secretly want to see? Hundreds of them available for you to choose from. Not to mention the other genres it has available.  I would highly recommend this website for die-hard cinema fans, lots of new films to discover and even music to check out.  Let me know what you guys think in the comments! Curious to know everyone’s opinions on the movies they have to offer.

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Recently I had the pleasure of exploring some super advanced technology offered at a nearby mall and I have fallen in love.  I explored a haunted house using 5-d virtual reality and for the first time in months was actually scared.  Am I the only person that feels “scary” movies have completely lost the scare factor? Movies have ceased to scare me and I am convinced that I am desensitized to all horror and can never fully enjoy a horror movie again (devastating, I know).  With this technology though, instead of watching characters on a screen having scary experiences, YOU get to be the one having the actual scare.  Seeing as this particular technology is geared towards entertaining our youth, the haunted house was animated and it wasn’t the type of horror you’d expect to see in an R-rated film (PG-13 at most).  Basically, you sit in a roller coaster car with 3-d glasses and get to experience everything in 3-d with the car jerking you in all directions (actually quite fun) along with all the sounds of walking through a house.  Sounds alright, yeah?  The thing that sold me the most, was that I felt like I was in a found footage horror.  You don’t get the luxury of seeing the entire setting at once, which leaves an exciting unknown element.  You have no peripheral vision so everything in the room is a complete mystery except for what is right in front of you.  What’s more, is in this particular haunted house I explored, all I had was a flashlight to see what was in front of me (talk about creepy).  Given I knew that the basis of what makes this type of experience scary is the aspect of random shit jumping out at you, it actually was frightening to get to witness all of it.  Rather than corpses, ghosts, and freaky kids popping at you on the screen of your television, it actually felt like they were popping out right in front of your eyes.  Instead of watching a movie, you get to experience what it would be like to be in it. This is such new technology, but I think with the right people designing “scary” 5-d, horror could really reach the next level.  Obviously this is something that may never happen, but I encourage anyone who can find 5-d technology near them to try this out (fingers crossed they have something scary for you). The movie-watching experience has really become quite dull to me when it comes to horror, but getting to do something like this was refreshing.  Its not like anything I saw would actually be scary to me if it was in a movie, but getting to feel like it wasn’t a movie and was all right in front of me definitely got my adrenaline going.  In addition, horror movies are so predictable most of the time I feel like I already know the plot after 5 minutes.  Getting to experience a horror scenario first-person left the floor open for a completely random and unpredictable chain of events.  I hope everyone reading this gets the chance to give it a try, you can thank me later.

 

Director Interview: Aaron Mento

Posted: September 11, 2013 in News
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You wanted a director interview, I got you a director interview.  Check out what inspired up-and-coming horror director Aaron Mento in his first full-length feature film, ” Standards of Living”:

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1. What inspired you to make a horror film versus a film of any other genre?

Horror has always been my favorite genre, because literally anything can happen in a horror movie. Like in “Phantasm” when the silver sphere of death brain-drains that guy. I’m pretty sure nobody saw that one coming! It was exhilarating to be so surprised, scared, and disgusted all at the same time. Other genres have boundaries, but the horror genre is only restricted by the limits of your imagination. I was already ignoring boundaries by shooting an entire feature on an iPad, so the horror genre was a perfect fit.

2. What inspired the idea for this film in particular?

I only had two small locations available for shooting, so “The Twilight Zone” was a big inspiration, because that show could knock your socks off with the same limitations. David Lynch’s shot on miniDV “Inland Empire” was also an inspiration, because it showed me how disarming and mysterious a lower-resolution image quality can be. For the story of “Standards of Living” I was inspired by the magicians I watched during my childhood. I always used to wonder how David Copperfield and Penn & Teller could make objects disappear. Where the hell did these objects disappear to? In my movie, there is a man who can make things disappear for real, and we get to see exactly where these vanished objects go…

3. What is your horror background? Do you have a preference as to what type of horror you’re into?

I grew up absolutely obsessed with Freddy Krueger, and my favorite horror movie is probably still “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” I used to flip through the TV Guide, search for Freddy movies, and then cut out the listings to post on my bulletin board. Even if an “Elm Street” movie was on at 2:00AM on a Wednesday, I would stay up and watch it. I’m also a fan of gory Italian horror movies, and the awesome clamshell VHS tapes of Anchor Bay introduced me to the wonders of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci. I had never seen murder sequences taken to such extremes, and was absolutely floored by the obsessive artistry of the violence. While I love 70’s and 80’s horror movies, I am also a huge fan of the relatively bloodless Universal Horror classics, with The Wolf Man being a big favorite. I also think that Son of Dracula is very underrated and has some of the best cinematography of any Universal Horror film. For my SDSU and LMU graduate short films, the only genre I ever touched was horror. You could say that my background consists entirely of a lifelong infatuation with horror movies.

4. What is the message you are trying to send with your film?

While the movie definitely has moral thematic messages, I hope that the lasting message of “Standards of Living” is that you can make a good movie using any camera if the story is good. I worked really hard on the screenplay to make sure that the story was always moving, always evolving, and challenged myself to make it so good that it could be done live on a stage. The viewer will have to determine if I achieved that level of quality, but that’s what I was striving for. The iPad 2 camera has a wide lens, only shoots at 720P, and the image can be very grainy, but I embraced these quirks when writing the screenplay. I hope “Standards of Living” inspires other filmmakers to tell their own stories using any means possible. The key is to write something that can be achieved on a low budget, and to not worry about being criticized for using alternatives to high-end camera equipment.

5. Do you have plans on developing another film?

My next feature horror screenplay “Survival High” is an Official Selection of the PollyGrind Underground Film Festival of Las Vegas. I had previously won at PollyGrind for a short film of mine, “ABSENT,” and “Survival High” is the feature length version of that short film. Both stories feature the ghost of a maniacal teacher who tortures her students in brutal and creative ways. I’m working on finding funding for “Survival High” which is bloodier, crazier, and requires a more ambitious budget than “Standards of Living.”

6. How do you intend for the audience to take your film? What would you say your target audience is?

My biggest hope is that people are so drawn in by the story that they forget the movie was shot on an iPad. “Standards of Living” is a horror comedy, which is very tricky, so I also hope that the audience finds it has a nice balance of laughs and shocks. My target audience is not only horror fans, but also anybody who enjoys a good unpredictable story. If people watch the movie, are entertained, and can’t believe it was made on an iPad, I’ve done my job.

7. Could you provide me with a brief synopsis/summary of your film?

Peter Sayer is an awful stand up comedian who desperately wants to be funny. One night, after Peter bombs on stage, a mysterious man named Mr. Randall offers him a unique opportunity. Mr. Randall reveals that he has the power to make things disappear, and when he makes them reappear they are “improved.” A bent nail becomes straight, a tarnished coin becomes polished, and an empty saltshaker comes back full of salt. But Mr. Randall wants to make a human disappear…to find out where these objects go, and why they come back improved. Peter volunteers to “disappear” with the hope that he will come back funnier…but the bizarre truth about Mr. Randall’s powers is no laughing matter.

The movie is streaming for free at http://www.standardsoflivingmovie.com/

Desert Island Films Project

Posted: December 2, 2012 in News

#1 Mean Girls

No matter how many times I watch this movie, I get the same laughs over and over and over again.  I would say it is on of the most quotable movies of my time.  Even 8 years after its release I still find myself quoting it in my daily conversations, to the point where people think I could possibly still be living in 2004.  To me this movie doesn’t get old and its nice to see Lindsay Lohan not looking like a crackwhore.
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#2 Sex and the City

Even though I run this horror movie/ gore blog and pretend like I have no ounce of humanity and am borderline sociopathic, I am a sucker for a good chick flick.  No matter how fucked up my day has been or what I have had to go through, SATC cheers me up.  I have seen each episode of the show at least 4 times and have seen the movie probably 20.  It could be the fashion, the familiarity of the characters, or just the overall empowering feeling I get when I watch the film, but DAMN, SATC cures everything for me.

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#3 Evil Dead

Evil Dead is probably my favorite horror movie of all time.  It never gets old to me and I feel like each time I watch it, I discover some new element that I never noticed before.  Its 30 years old and it still manages to leave me with goosebumps every time I see it.  Its so original and even to this day I feel like not many other films compare to how scary and badass it is.

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#4 The Ring

At the age of 14, where I was dumb enough to think that I had “seen everything”, I decided to tune into “The Ring” and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the next 7 nights of my life would be sleepless with me hiding under the covers with all the lights on.  This movie legitimately scared the living shit out of me, to the point where I felt I was almost unable to function I was so scared.  The imagery was terrifying and even to this day all the disturbing images are stuck in my head.  I could definitely rewatch that movie over and over again, it freaks me out so much that I can’t get enough of it.

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#5 Monsters Inc.

I can’t even remember how many times I’ve seen this movie, all I know is that it possesses some type of magic healing properties that seem to solve every problem in my life that I cannot.  This movie is an instant mood booster and warms my heart every time I watch it.  I feel like its such an easy movie to rewatch because its just adorable.  You can’t get sick of the main character “Boo” and the story is just too cute for words.  Obviously there’s always cool new concepts in animated films and I loved their spin on closet monsters.  I honestly feel like this movie could cure any type of problem, it definitely cures mine.

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#6 Halloween

Already as it is, I feel like I have tuned into Halloween at least 50 times since first viewing it 15 years ago.  Halloween was the first cult horror movie I ever saw and thats how I knew I was in love with the genre.  Being so young and impressionable the first time I saw it, I was instantly addicted.  The thing that sticks out to me the most is the music.  Its perfect and Michael Myers has his own iconic theme song that sends chills up and down my spine.  It was my first slasher film, first R-rated film, and first cult classic.  It has meant a lot to me and I like to think of it as the origins of my passion for this genre.  I’ve seen it so many times, that I feel like another 50 times can’t possibly hurt.

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#7 Old School

No matter how many dumb movies Will Ferrell does, I will always love him for his legendary role in the film Old School.  This is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen and I feel a special bond to it because its a film I have watched many times with my brother, who happens to be one of my closest friends.  For the most part, my brother and I have a lot in common when it comes to the type of comedies we like.  We watch a lot of funny movies together because, as time has passed, we have realized our sense of humor is kind of the same.  I love Old School because its one of the first movie experiences I have shared with my brother and the humor in the movie NEVER gets old.  I laugh my ass off every time I watch that film and all the characters are absolutely perfect. Just everything about the script and the plot is too funny for words and I know every time I tune into this movie I will have a ton of guaranteed laughs.

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#8 Bridesmaids

Like I said earlier, I have a secret alter ego that absolutely loves tuning into feel-good chick flicks.  Bridesmaids to me was the equivalent to an all female cast of “The Hangover”.  I laughed very hard and I felt like it realistically depicted the struggles of a modern-day average woman.  All the characters were great and had original and vivid personalities.  The humor was great and the plot was too funny.  Just when you don’t expect something to happen it does and the movie always cheers me up and puts me in a good mood.

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Book: The Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

While I was in university pursuing my degree in English, I was required to take a class on YA Lit.  I wasn’t that thrilled because I thought I was a bit above reading high school and middle school level books, but at the same time I knew it would probably be easy because there was no way it would have the complexities of the books I’ve had to read in my other classes.  When I stumbled upon this book, I was going through one of the hardest times of my life I have ever experienced and reading this book changed my life.  I’m into some pretty dark stuff and not only was the book dark, but it presented me with a light at the end of the tunnel and reassured me everything in my life would be ok.  It literally only took me about 2 hours to read the entire book and I read it every time I feel extremely troubled in my life.  It is so meaningful to me and has inspired me to do great things because of the message it sends.

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Inanimate Object: Laptop

Honestly I’d probably bring my laptop if I was stranded on an island(along with hundreds of extra batteries).  I love to write and if I’m trapped out in the middle of nowhere, chances are I would write my crazy ass life story, which I have always wanted to do.  Not only has my life been extremely hilariously, but also deeply disturbing, traumatizing, and dramatic.  I have always felt like the events in my life have come straight out of a movie and I would love to share my absolutely insane life with the world.

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