DVD

DVD REVIEW: REAL HEROES (2014)

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REAL HEROES is the story of a misfit string of B-Grade super heroes who audition for a reality television show and hope to “hit the big time” from the exposure and gain some notoriety as a crime-fighting hero and not just some goofball wearing a stupid costume parading around town calling themselves a legit superhero.

These superheroes are (more…)


DVD REVIEW: PIGGY (2012)

piggy

I tossed in a dvd, snagged from an ever-growing tall pile of dvds and blu-rays sent to SHU-IZMZ for reviewing purposes. It seems like the pile never gets any shorter and no matter how many films I review from this pile, they just keep stacking up. Randomly, I grabbed a dvd with a title that sort of, ironically, grabbed me: PIGGY. (more…)


DVD REVIEW: LINSANITY (2013)

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linsanityOne of my all-time favorite sports films has always been HOOSIERS (1986), starring Gene Hackman and Barbara Hershey, about a small town high school basketball team from Indiana that becomes a top contender for the championship and makes it to the state finals. The film is uplifting, inspirational, and a real tear-jerker. I, personally, played basketball since I could hold a ball and grew up in a family that was centered around sports, having had (more…)


DVD REVIEW: POST MORTEM, AMERICA 2021 (2013)

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I was at Cinema Wasteland this year, having returned after a 4 or 5 year hiatus of not affording to travel so far for a convention even though its only around a 7 hours drive away. While there indie filmmaker and head of Jabb Films Jason Hoover told his buddy, who was sitting at the table pushing the POST MORTEM, AMERICA 2021  film, to give me a copy to review for the site. A little bit reluctantly, I feel, I gave in to pressure and threw a copy my way. After being told by Jason that he rarely gives out free copies of films to anyone (I don’t recall if he was the director, producer, etc of the film) but I was getting one. The copy I received was (more…)


DVD REVIEW: THE THEATRE BIZARRE (2012)

The Theatre Bizarre

The Theatre BizarreTHE THEATRE BIZARRE starts with a great deal of traditional darkness and atmosphere as the young Enola Penny (Virginia Newcomb) decides to venture into an old, abandoned movie theater whose doors have been left ajar. This theater has been an obsession for Penny, as her bedroom is located directly across the street and she has a montage of pictures and photos posted on her bedroom wall. Penny, once in the old theater is greeted by some very creepy automatons upon the stage, their faces painted and carnival music playing in the film’s background and score. The film starts out with some (more…)


REVIEW: ACADEMY COLLECTION: THE ENVELOPE PLEASE, VOLUME 1

Envelope Please

Envelope Please

ACADEMY COLLECTION: THE ENVELOPE PLEASE, Volume 1

It is that time of the year. The prestigious Academy Awards is almost upon us. Some film geeks (like me) love all forms and types of cinema. Whether it be the low budget, violent, gore fests that rarely see the light of day from any mainstream website or publication or the big-budgeted Hollywood film productions that have millions of dollars thrown into them—I really love them all and appreciate them all. I have always felt that the stories crafted in Hollywood films from the earlier years were generally more enjoyable because emphasis was placed on the story, rather than special effects and whatnot. (more…)


REVIEW: WORST IN SHOW (2011)

Worst In Show

Worst in Show WORST IN SHOW  is one of those documentaries that works so well no matter if one gives a flying fuck about dogs, or pets of any kind, for that matter. I, myself, think dogs are cool but would only have one if it didn’t act like a dog because I have a hard enough time cleaning up after my own mess let alone a dog’s. Why does this documentary work so well? It works so well because even though the dogs are the stars of this film they really aren’t. They aren’t the stars because they can’t talk; they don’t do anything in the documentary but sit there in their owner’s arms or laps. The stars of this film are the owners and I only say that because their personalities are so strong—some of them strong in a very bad way (or simply hilarious way!). (more…)


MIND OF THE DEMON: The Larry Linkogle Story

Mind of the Demon

Mind of the Demon

MIND OF THE DEMON: THE LARRY LINKOGLE STORY (2009)

 Freestyle Motocross is one extreme sport that I know absolutely nothing about. Is it extreme? I think I would think it is classified in that genre. I mean, the X Games showcased it before, as well as Snowboarding, Skateboarding, and BMX Riding so I am calling it extreme. Hell, the dudes are riding these tiny motorized bicycles (because they sure as hell are not real motorcycles because they don’t make that roar or weight nearly as much) on a dirt track or hill flying up and down all over the place. Hell, it looks pretty fun and I can imagine it gives those doing a major rush and thrill. (more…)


DVD REVIEW: ANTFARM DICKHOLE (2011)

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You may be wondering what the hell am I doing reviewing a film with a title like ANTFARM DICKHOLE. In fact, I would never in a million years have guessed that a film that has the nauseating compound word “dickhole” in it would be something I would even care to pop in the ol’ dvd player and watch in its entirety. But, alas, here is Shu reviewing a film from the infamous and somewhat legendary (in the metal community, anyways) Bill Zebub. Bill has directed a handful of films, most of them on very small budgets but on his own terms and answering to no studio or distributor. He is a truly independent filmmaker no matter what you think of any type of movie he has created. Granted, some of my favorite works he has made are a collection of interviews and commentaries from some highly influential names and bands in the metal community. In fact, some of the first “documentaries” on some of the more extreme metal bands, such as VENOM, CELTIC FROST, KING DIAMOND, and CANNIBAL CORPSE (all in interview form), came about because of Bill. I dug the way he filmed them, just a camcorder in hand with little to none production value. Unfortunately, some of his films were created in this same manner.

 

The one saving grace for most, if not all of Bill Zebub’s films is the nudity and raunchiness his films contain within them. When things lose momentum or the storyline gets dull, throw an attractive naked girl in front of the camera. Yeah, this style is very lowbrow, but so are his films, Sometimes, as with ANTFARM DICKHOLE, there is a social commentary slipped in there or a statement on society is made. Usually Zebub’s message is anti-Christian or anti-religion in general. If one is devoutly religious, I can’t imagine they would find anything within ANTFARM DICKHOLE enjoyable (or most horror, cult, or exploitation films).

 

So, lets get back to the dickhole of the antfarm. If the title does not already suggest it, the film is sleazy, low budget, filled with low-brow humor, a decent amount of nudity (full-frontal and rear), and has sarcastic one-liners and some humor with a bit of a bite.

 

The story starts out with a dude who has pre-mature ejaculation, as he explains it to his buddy (Bill Zebub), and then goes on to him whining about getting bullied while they are just chilling in the woods when all of a sudden a big European metalhead comes along and robs them and beats their asses. After all, the Nordic-looking Viking needed some beer money. After the boys are robbed, the shot cuts to a metal slut dancing to a strip-tease that really is not much of a tease because she bares her hairy-bush, breasts, and leaves only some sexy garter and lace stockings on. She starts blowing Ant-drew (Mike Nastri) and ants are suddenly crawling out of her mouth. I guess by crawling I mean fake plastic ants are spit out from her mouth. Yeah, I am talking about special effects lacking anything special whatsoever.

 

I now know exactly where this movie is going—–straight to the trashcan for its gratuitous nudity, trashcan effects, and skid row budget. The film’s scenes of dialogue did take some thought and effort, filled with sarcasm, puns, and colorful jokes but also has its share of cheeseball one-liners and sophomoric brand of comedy. At times, it got really old fast and even became painful to watch. It was especially painful to watch the 2nd and 3rd time. I came to realize just how awful lines of dialogue were delivered. Sadly, the director and “actor”, Bill Zebub (playing the role of Ant-Thony), gave the most believable performance in the whole film. He had more lines of dialogue than anyone in the film except for Nastri (He plays the main character Ant-drew, whom we get to see with a fake penis sticking out of his pants quite frequently with an ant popping out of it.)

 

The only aspect of the film that broke up some of the monotony of the comedic elements to it was the large amounts of full-frontal nudity and bush. It is nice to see a film that has metal sluts starring in it with unshaven snatch. None of the Hollywood glamour and silicone implants, tanned beauties with cleanly shaven pubic hairs and perfect complexions. ANTFARM DICKHOLE has regular women with curves, tattoos, not so perfect, sun-deficient skin with some spots of cellulite on the legs and booties. Yes, I am talking about real women.

 

As Ant-toin goes around masturbating to metal chicks, killing them as his killer ants slip out his dick and crawl onto the naked beauties and killing them (sorry, no graphic depictions of the deaths—only fake blood smeared on the body as the fake ants are strategically placed on breasts and other erogenous zones). This formula for the film reminds me of so many slasher films from the ‘80s and beyond. Almost every girl who gets naked, has sex, or is about to have an intimate moment gets killed by the ants. Bullies are not exempt from this either! If you are a douchebag the ants probably will kill you.

In one particular scene, a character and his lady are having a picnic in the woods (I think the whole film was made in a forest preserve of some kind) and the ants start attacking the male character. The female character is told to take off all her clothes because the ants are probably attracted to them. I chuckled at this ploy to get the girl to take all her clothes off, but to my disappointment, she only stripped down to bra and panties. In the next scene, another girl wearing a bikini takes all her clothes off and another hairy beaver is showcased. The scenes are filmed in the manner only a true pervert could capture when behind the camera. If anything, Bill (Zebub) has a future in making soft-core porno ala Russ Meyer-style.

 

Sadly, the film kept my attention only due to the fact that I was waiting to see what metal chick was going to get naked next. Yeah, when watching these type of low budget films I really only have excessive violence (or gore) and gratuitous nudity to peak my interest. Fortunately, ANTFARM DICKHOLE had an abundance of the latter. If one can sit through the movie to the hour mark, a really cool fight scene is filmed, complete with awesome metal soundtrack and a slow-motion battle sequence. After the T&A, this scene was the coolest.

 

This is my first Bill Zebub film that I have viewed and reviewed. I have a couple of others a fellow horror fan and writer gave to me because he refused to watch them, let alone review them for his website or the magazine he writes for. Apparently, the films were far too low below his level of decency or his standards. If any of you have read a handful of my reviews, you probably know by now that I have no standards. I will review a pile of dogshit sitting on an antique China plate with ornate gold trim and a sign next to it in elegant text stating “ART”, but just because it is called art does not mean it is either entertaining or profound. ANTFARM DICKHOLE is neither, but with its cool metal soundtrack, organized narrative and storyline, plethora of bush, booty, and breasts, and offbeat, vulgar humor—the film is not too bad a viewing. I also had a good time figuring out which metal bands’ t-shirt Bill would be wearing next. If anything, Bill has great taste in t-shirts.


BLU-RAY REVIEW: A BETTER TOMORROW (2011)

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Anyone that knows anything about Hong Kong action films knows director John Woo and his 1986 gangster film A BETTER TOMORROW starring Chow Yun-Fat, Leslie Cheung, and Lung Ti, containing some of the greatest shootout scenes between villains and police officers. Along with Woo’s THE KILLER, I rank A BETTER TOMORROW among some of my favorite action flicks from Hong Kong and the rest of the world for sheer indulgence  of violence, on-screen killings, and excessive waste of bullets and human life. If one is going to make a gangster film, then I expect their to be over-the-top gun shootouts with gun cartridges that carry an infinite amount of bullets so the user doesn’t have to stop the action to reload his/her weapon. Although highly unrealistic, it makes for one hell of an adrenaline rush when watching it unfold on-screen.  All that I have just mentioned is generally in most of John Woo’s films, most noticeably in the Hong Kong productions and not quite AS MUCH as in his films made in Hollywood.

But enough about John Woo and his film A BETTER TOMORROW because this review is about the South Korean remake from Hae-sung Song, a director that according to my research has not directed an action/gangster flick before in his career. He has directed a couple of romantic comedies (MAUNDY THURSDAY (’06) and FAILAN (’01), and a biographical pic about a South Korean wrestler entitled RIKIDOZAN: A HERO EXTRAORDINARY (’01). I am guessing that his resume still gives him enough potential to have a chance at remaking a classic action film from Hong Kong, with respect to paying homage to it and not creating a giant mess that will infuriate HK Action purists, as well as those particular about what favorite films of theirs are being remade by who.

Myself, anyone that knows me will tell you I am not a fan of remakes and what I define as a remake is a direct interpretation of a film made within the same format and media. If a play was written and performed on Broadway and that same play is put on film and made into a movie, I don’t really consider it a remake because the artistic mediums are so different. I can live with that. I can also live with books, stories, animated projects, and short films being remade into feature length films. To me, there are so many differences between the original and the finished project that I have no problem watching both and not really even comparing one to the other. When a movie that is far outdated from the original comes along, I usually can let that slide also because (depending on how far apart in years the two projects are) generally the technology, setting, and story can become so different and fresh because the film is so much more modern (in many cases) and seems as if the story and idea is a totally original and unique one.

With Song’s A BETTER TOMORROW, we have a remake that is 25 years newer than the original. Both movies are not far apart enough in years for me to consider one to be given a “pardon” and not undergo large scrutiny by me. I had to watch Song’s South Korean film while making comparisons to Woo’s Hong Kong film the whole damn time. It is just in my nature if a film has been made after the other film. The ironic thing about both films is that there is another A BETTER TOMORROW out there. This one dates back to a 1967 Cantonese film called Ying xiong ben se (Story of a Discharged Prisoner). I have not seen this film nor remember hearing about it when I originally watched  Woo’s A BETTER TOMORROW for the first time nearly 22 years ago.

When I found out that Woo’s A BETTER TOMORROW was a remake, I was kind of shocked. I truly loved a film that is a remake, less than twenty years old from the original. Now I was watching a film whose story has been made into a film not once already, not twice—but now THREE TIMES. I did not know what to think when I learned of this so I just sat down and watched Song’s South Korean remake of A BETTER TOMORROW and really hoped it didn’t suck and wish that I could enjoy the film for what its worth.

Having not seen STORY OF A DISCHARGED PRISONER, I can make no comparisons or allusions to, so I will just be mentioning and referencing Woo’s A BETTER TOMORROW from time to time. The stories of both films are very similar. Both films tell the tale of a brother going the life of crime, and being rather successful at it, and having a younger straight-laced brother whom is not a criminal and grows up to be a police officer. The rest of the film varies a bit with the story. The main plot of the film in Woo’s version is that the father of both sons dies due to the older sons’ actions as a gangster and the younger brother blames him for their father’s death and wants to bust him as a cop. Song’s version is a bit different because it takes place in South Korea so he has both brothers flee from North Korea into South Korea with their mother. Older brother leaves behind his younger brother and mother. The mother dies and the younger brother is locked up, all the while getting beaten and tortured for trying to escape (North Korea is pretty messed up). Woo’s version has Chow Yun-Fat (HARD BOILED) as the older gangster brother and Song casts Joo Jin-Mo (THE WARRIOR as Kim Hyeok, the older brother who abandons his family. The role of the mobster’s best friend and partner in Woo’s film is played by Lung Ti (A BETTER TOMORROW 2) and in Song’s version the role is portrayed by Song Seung-Heon (SO CLOSE). The role of the younger brother who joins the police academy and becomes a hard-driven cop is played by Leslie Cheung (FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE) in Woo’s film and portrayed by Kim Kang-W00 (MARINE BOY) in the updated version of the film. I only mention what actors play what characters in both films because as I watched the newest A BETTER TOMORROW, I watched the film thinking in my head what actors played the character in the original film so I thought I would just give readers some insight to what I had swirling in my brain during the whole movie.

Even though the film has subtle differences, such as taking place in South Korea instead of in Hong Kong and having the family escape from North Korea (all of which make sense since Song’s movie is taking place in the port city of Busan, South Korea and the cast and crew is mostly Korean), the stories are almost identical. Kim (Joo Jin-Mo) is a high-ranking mobster and his closest friend Lee (Song Seung-Heon), also a fellow mobster, get screwed over royally while traveling to Thailand with a new gang recruit Jung Tae-Min (Jo Han-Seon) for a meeting with some Thai gangsters. It is a set-up planned by the new recruit Jung and Kim is caught by the cops, locked up for quite a bit, reformed, and comes out planning to live a crime-free life and be a productive member of society. During the time Kim is locked up, his best friend Lee enacts revenge upon the Thai gangsters in Pusan and goes to kill their boss. During the shootout Lee is shot in the leg, forever crippling him and being the beginning of the downfall as his career as a successful gangster. Jung, on the other hand, rises to power and is still bitter over the once-successful gangsters who know firsthand of his treachery and deceit.

The film moves along at a great pace, filled with decent performances by all actors involved, and keeps the story interesting with the drama between the two fighting brothers, as well as showing the path they each chose and their current situations. Foreign films are kind of difficult for me to judge the acting on because I am reading subtitles of what the actors are saying and I can’t gauge the dialogue as it is delivered because I have no idea what the hell they are saying. If the subtitles are incorrect, it can be even more difficult. As far as I could tell, the performances were pretty good. Their body language and actions fit with the dialogue that was translated on the screen. I will say that at times, it was VERY confusing figuring out which character was which. With the time gaps of past and present, I almost had to take notes on which character was which. There were parts of the film that really moved fast and the introduction of new characters was not very long before some major turning point in the plot occurred, causing the story to jump back to a much earlier point in the timeline or to shoot forward quite a bit.

Besides that, I really enjoyed the film. I don’t think Song fully captured the action and violence of Woo’s A BETTER TOMORROW, as I believe Woo’s gun-play scenes were far superior and had a distinctive flair to them, but Song’s shootout scenes were pretty solid. One could tell that he was going for the slickness and trying to re-create the intensity that Woo had. The one thing I was hoping for was a lot of quickly edited and well-shot shootouts. If the action in the film was lacking, the film would have been a major flop but the action was there. It may not have been as awesome as it was in Woo’s film, but it still was quite entertaining and briskly paced. I tend to loath downtime in action flicks and was glad that Song did not throw in some cheesy, steamy sex scene that are prevalent in so many action flicks from the ’80s and ’90s. I come to think of a bunch of films starring Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme as having some needless romance within them.

The major difference were the acting in Song’s film, as well as the shootout scenes. Although he really tried to achieve the same intensity as Woo’s action scenes, Song’s sequences of violence are not on par with Woo’s. Of note, though, is the fact that John Woo did serve as an Executive Producer, as well as there being a 30-minute interview with him in the Bonus Features of the film. Looking at the film and making no comparisons whatsoever to John Woo’s A BETTER TOMORROW, Song’s A BETTER TOMORROW is still a well-done action film. It is not the greatest action film I have ever seen, but it is better than average and was a very enjoyable viewing. I think that there is enough action and violence for the action fans, along with the right amount of dramatic dialogue and plot about the past of brothers Kim Hyuk and Kim Chul. Personally, I felt that in-fighting between the two just got in the way of the revenge Kim was seeking towards Tae Min (Han Sun Jo). I could have been perfectly happy with a massive bloodbath. I also noticed there were no nasty villains in the movie. The “bad guys” were bad, but not really evil. There was no torturing, hacking off of limbs, brutal stabbings or dismemberment. The murders were pretty much straight-forward shootings and the victims either died instantly or were injured without the camera lens dwelling on their agony. I kind of missed having a villain that is larger than life in a movie, much as with how Hollywood films portray them, as well as in comicbooks. I guess Song was not going for a flashy stylized film. Too bad.

As well as having the John Woo interview, Well Go USA’s Blu-ray/DVD combo (I love when distributors put out combos because not all of my friends and family have updated to the digital age yet!) has Deleted Scenes, Actor and Director Interviews, a Theatrical Trailer, and a Photo Gallery. The film runs 124 minutes and is not rated.The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack retails for $29.98 and the DVD for $24.98.

Sadly, when one remakes a film as great as the original (or in this case, the earlier remake) such as John Woo’s, one really has to raise the bar VERY high to come anywhere near the quality and impact that Woo’s A BETTER TOMORROW. As you read, I was continually making comparisons to Woo’s film. How could one not?!? My advice to anyone wanting to see this film is to just watch the film and pretend it has nothing to do with Woo’s movie because it would be like going to a dinner party and having to choose between Filet Mignon and a Steak & Shake burger. There really is no comparison.

 

 

 

 


The waters are no longer safe on SHARK NIGHT!

Sink Your Teeth Into Something Terrifying

 

Take a bite out of the New Year with Shark Night 

on Blu-ray and DVD January 3rd

                                                                                                                   

Your deepest fears are about to surface with this frightening tale of seven vacationers whose fun weekend at a lake house turns into a nightmare when they become victims of a series of hellish shark attacks.  From David R. Ellis, the director of The Final Destination, SHARK NIGHT features a sexy ensemble cast who bring a whole new dimension of terror to the screen.  Jam packed with exciting extras including “Shark Night Survival Guide” – everything you need to know to avoid becoming human chum – the Blu-ray and DVD comes up for air on January 3rd from Twentieth Century Fox  Home Entertainment.

 

The moment Sara (Sara Paxton) and her friends arrive at her parent’s Louisiana lake house, the party is in full gear. Everyone is having a blast until Malik (Sinqua Walls) loses his arm in what initially appears to be a tragic wake-boarding mishap. Determined to get him to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible, it isn’t until they’re far from shore that they realize the lake is teeming with hungry sharks, and a tiny speedboat isn’t about to stop them from getting their next meal. As the feeding frenzy begins, Sara and her pals realize that their only hope for survival is to swim for their lives!

 

SHARK NIGHT features performances from Sara Paxton (Superhero Movie), Dustin Milligan (Slither), Chris Carmack (“The O.C.”), Katharine McPhee (“American Idol,” House Bunny), Chris Zylka (My Super Psycho Sweet 16, The Secret Circle), Alyssa Diaz (“As the World Turns”), Joel David Moore (Avatar) and Sinqua Walls (The Second Half).

 

SHARK NIGHT is available on Blu-ray and DVD on January 3rd.   Incentive Film Entertainment and Sierra/Affinity’s SHARK NIGHT was theatrically-released by Relativity Media on September 2, 2011.

 

SHARK NIGHT DVD Features:

·         Shark Attack!  Kill Machine! – Use this feature to jump to your favorite kills quickly

·         Ellis’ Island – A cast appreciation of what Shark Night director David Ellis brought to the film

 

SHARK NIGHT Blu-ray Disc Features:

All of the DVD features, plus…

·         Shark Night’s Survival Guide – Everything you need to know about the sharks in the movie to avoid becoming human chum!

·         Fake Sharks Real Scares – This behind the scenes featurette focuses on the use of both animatronic and CGI sharks in Shark Night

·         Digital Copy

SOURCE: 20th Century Fox


SHU-IZMZ HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Best shit to ask for during the Holidays!

Totally random cool shit one has to have (or at least I have to have!)

MOTORHEAD STOCKING!

How fucking cool is this? Head over to Official Motorhead Online store to pick this web exclusive up!

 

2011 Motörhead Holiday Stocking – Webstore Exclusive

Limited Edition Motörhead Holiday Stocking is made of 2-layer padded felt and features embroidered art and measures 15”x 10”
Product Number MH-11STOCKING

Price: $29.99

 

 

 BOOKS:

IMPOSSIBLY FUNKY by MIKE WHITE

http://www.impossiblefunky.com/

DIRTY! DIRTY! DIRTY! by MIKE EDISON

http://www.mikeedison.com/

http://www.mikeedison.com/3-d-dirty-dirty-dirty-trailer/

CINEMA SEWER Vol. 3

CINEMA SEWER Volume 3 by ROBIN BOUGIE

http://www.cinemasewer.com/

CONFESSIONS OF A PRAIRIE BITCH by ALISON ARNGRIM

http://www.hgd.com/alison/

Everyone has heard about Swedish exploitation and horror films, but how much does one really know about them?

I personally bought this book as soon as I saw it from a local indie bookshop in Chicago (Quimby’s), but those of you unfortunate to have a rad bookstore that carries awesome books like this should just order it from Bazillion Points, the publisher of the book, right here: BAZILLION POINTS If you buy one soon, it will even come signed!

And now A VERY SPECIAL X-MAS OFFER FROM HEADPRESS


Two of our most celebrated and sumptuous publications for the price of one…

Buy Shade Rupe’s lavishly illustrated, internationally acclaimed DARK STARS RISING now and get Scott Stine’s legendary TRASHFIEND absolutely free o’ charge! Sadly, I purchased DARK STARS RISING locally from Quimby’s bookstore in Chicago before this incredible deal came along, so I think I may have to just buy a second copy of DARK STARS RISING so I can get TRASHFIEND for free. I guess someone may be getting a rad copy of Rupe’s book for a present…or maybe I will just do a new giveaway contest?!?!

Buy Dark Stars Rising before January 1, 2012 and get a copy of Trashfiend absolutely free!
Two fantastic, big and heavy, fully illustrated books. The very best in film and alt.culture.
Get them before the price rise
DARK STARS RISING info:

DARK STARS RISING is a collection of 27 candid interviews spanning 24 years with unique and free-thinking artists, from America to Austria, and beyond. Working in different media, countries, constraints, and freedoms, the vortex here is created by New York film writer Shade Rupe, known for his avant interests and the cultural realm he inhabits with his Funeral Partybooks. Everyone in this collection has produced artifacts that affect the heart, mind, soul, and future.The smaller half of Penn & Teller ends the silence for a lengthy discussion of magic and falsehoods, Divine opens the closet for his transition to playing male roles, Crispin Glover discusses his love for the films of Fassbinder and other greats, Faster Pussycat! Kill, Kill!’s Tura Satana tells it like it is from burlesque shows to Hollywood, Alejandro Jodorowsky showers cinema lovers with psychomagic, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge lays down the gauntlet with his creations Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and much much more.A visually stunning package, DARK STARS RISINGcontains over 500 photographs and illustrations, many of them rare and hitherto unseen.Eight color plates  and a selection of choice reviews rounds out this amazing book.The Players:1.   Richard Kern2.   Alejandro Jodorowksy3.   Buddy Giovinazzo

4.   Udo Kier

5.   Jim VanBebber

6.   Dennis Paoli

7.   Tura Satana

8.   Teller

9.   Brother Theodore

10. Peter Sotos

11. Johannes Schonherr

12. Chas. Balun

13. Divine

14. Floria Sigismondi

15. Hermann Nitsch

16. Genesis P-Orridge

17. William Lustig

18. Dennis Cooper

19. Gaspar Noe

20. Johanna Went

21. Zamora, The Torture King

22. Andre Lassen

23. Arnold Drake

24. Richard Stanley

25. Dame Darcy

26. Stephen O’Malley

27. Crispin Glover

And now for some info on TRASHFIEND….

A loving look at “disposable” horror culture from the 1960s and 1970s.

Over two glorious decades the horror film waged war on good taste, exploiting every taboo and bursting every envelope along the way. TRASHFIEND is the definitive guide to the chaotic, creative and endlessly entertaining golden age of horror cinema. Scott Stine (author of The Gorehound’s Guide to Splatter Films series) shines a fond but satiric light on everything from low budget horror films to grisly comic art, lurid movie magazines to late-night creature features, campy monster toys to exploitive poster art.

Packed with reviews, trivia, interviews, anecdotes and rare illustrations, and written with witty and insightful flair, TRASHFIEND will fascinate aficianados, nostalgists and cinema lovers of every stripe  for a fun, energetic and critical look at this beloved genre.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Includes over 100 reproductions of rare ad art, as well as vintage books, toys and magazines from the era, with four pages of glorious, garish color.

  1. Up From the Depths (Preface)
  2. It’s Only a Movie (Film Reviews)
  3. Darker Side of Soul Cinema: Creature Features of Black Cinema (Article)
  4. It’s Only a Black Horror Movie (Film Reviews)
  5. The Ghouls Go West: The Horror Westerns of William Beaudine (Article)
  6. Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1965) & Jesse James Meets… (1965) (Reviews)
  7. Cal Bolder: The Boy Toy of Frankenstein’s Daughter (Interview)
  8. Dredging Crater Lake with Richard Cardella (Interview)
  9. The Crater Lake Monster (1977) (Film Review)
  10. John Stanley’s Nightmare in Blood (Interview)
  11. Nightmare in Blood (1975) (Film Review)
  12. Pat Boyette’s Dungeons of Harrow (Article)
  13. Dungeon of Harrow (1962) (Film Review)
  14. Pat Boyette Selected Horror Comic Checklist (1966–79) (Reference)
  15. The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters of Rankin & Bass (Article)
  16. Mad Monster Party? (1967) & Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters (72) (Reviews)
  17. Blood on the Canvas: The Art of the Belgian Window Card (Article)
  18. The Twisted Tales of Bruce Jones (Interview)
  19. Bruce Jones: Selected Horror Magazine Checklist (1968-79) (Reference)
  20. Those Marvelous Monsters: Marvel Comics’ Horror Magazines (Article)
  21. Marvel Monster Magazine Checklist (1964–1979) (Reference)
  22. Marvel Monster Magazine Artist & Writer Index (1964–1979) (Reference)
  23. Digesting The Haunt of Horror (Article)
  24. The Haunt of Horror Digest Index (1973) (Reference)
  25. Cut Down to Size: The Golden Age of Horror Digest Magazines (Article)
  26. Horror Fiction Digest Checklist (1960–1979) (Reference)
  27. Monsters on Parade: Shriek! The Monster Horror Magazine (Article)
  28. Shriek! Magazine Index (1965–1967) (Reference)
  29. Warren’s Hastily Erected House of Horror (Article)
  30. Reel Monsters: Collecting 8mm Horror Films (Article)
  31. Wally Wood’s Mars Attack! (Article)
  32. Mars Attacks! Trading Cards Checklist (1962) (Reference)
  33. Monsterabilia (Article)
  34. Sleepless in Seattle: Up All Night With Nightmare Theatre (Article)
  35. Keeping an Eye on the Count: Chuck Lindenberg (Interview)
  36. Sweeping Up After the Count: Dave Drui, Floor Director (Interview)
  37. Sources / Acknowledgements / About the Author

I think these books are going to be a fantastic read and very informative. I find that every time I read a decent book on horror, I am continually made aware of hundreds of new films that went below my radar. A fan of movies should also be a fan of reading books on movies. One can learn so much from the writing of one whom has devoted so many days, months, and years to researching one particular topic. I love reading books on horror and cult films so much. It is just as much fun as watching the movies themselves, making it that much more interesting when one knows the background and history of the film itself.

BLU-RAYS/DVDs

 

There are many DVDs and Blu-rays that I can recommend, but if you want to know what I think of a particular movie, just go search on my website and type in a particular movie to read my review. Breaking Glass Pictures and Vicious Circle Films have been sending me screeners, as well as prize giveaways, almost since the inception of the company (they are a fairly new movie distributor!). As well as sending me screeners and giveaways to movies in their catalog line-up, they now are offering SHU-IZMZ readers a Holiday Discount when purchasing any of their movies! How fucking cool is that?!!?

Save 40% On All Titles From Breaking Glass Pictures & Vicious Circle Films

Breaking Glass Pictures and our horror label Vicious Circle Films want to extend our holiday promotion discount to the readers of SHUIZMZ.com! Using the promotional code shuizmz at our web store (www.shop.breakingglasspictures.com) will give you 25% off of our already discounted titles for a total saving of 40% off of each title purchased. Our horror label Vicious Circle Films specializes in everything that is horror, from zombie comedies like “George: A Zombie Intervention” to cult revenge thrillers like “Run! Bitch Run!” and everything in between. We have a taste of all the different avenues of horror to keep every fan of the genre excited. The promotion is also extended to anything in the Breaking Glass catalog which has a great mix of different films to keep movie fans intrigued, including the documentary “The Lottery” which was short listed for the Oscars in 2011. So come check out our supreme selection of film and enjoy our gift of 40% off for the holidays.

Here are just a few of some of my favorite of their films:

CROPSEY is a film I really dug. It is a documentary and one that I think fans of True Crime and Horror will really get in tune with. I reviewed it here so check out all my thoughts on it. Definitely worth having in one’s collection! Capitalize on that discount and order it HERE!

Another of Ryan Nicholson’s ultra-gory and sleazy horror films that are never light on the raunchy nudity and sick humor! Order it here!

 

 

 

The following Blu-rays and DVDS are all available from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Check out there offerings here:

2oth Century Fox

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is out on Blu-ray/DVD from 2oth Century Fox. I saw this film in the theater and I thought it was a solid entry into the PLANET OF THE APES series. James Franco and Andy Serkis were phenomenal. Definitely a movie to just go out and grab, regardless of whether you have seen it or not. I think it is that good!

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Blu-ray + Digital Copy (North America)

  • Feature Film
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Alpha Gets Shot
    • Will’s Meeting with Lab Assistants
    • Will Discovers Caesar Has Solved Puzzles
    • Caesar Plays with Bicycle
    • Caesar Questions His Identity
    • Caesar Bites Off Neighbors Finger
    • Will Ignores the Risks of an Airborne Mutated Virus
    • Rodney Gives Caesar a Cookie
    • Rocket Gets Hosed by Dodge
    • Caesar Destroys the Lab and Koba’s Attempted Revenge on Jacobs
    • Caesar Pushes Helicopter
    • Koba with Shotgun
  • Pre-vis for The Future
  • Capturing Caesar – Script to Screen
  • Studying the Genius of Andy Serkis
  • Multi-Angle: Rocket Cookie Scene
  • A New Generation of Apes
  • Breaking Motion Capture Boundaries
  • Breaking New Sound Barriers: The Music and Sound Design of Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Ape Facts
    • Chimpanzee
    • Gorilla
    • Orangutan
  • Audio Commentary by Director Rupert Wyatt
  • Audio Commentary by Writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver
  • Character Concept Art Gallery
  • Three Theatrical Trailers

If you have know Shu personally, then you know I abso-fucking-lutely think that SONS OF ANARCHY is one of the greatest television shows ever to hit television. It is one of my favorite shows. I love motorcycles, biker culture, and outlaw motorcycle gangs and reading up on them. After watching episodes on GANGLAND of real biker gangs, SOA is the next best thing. I can’t think of any show that ever came out and an outlaw motorcycle gang was the subject of the television series. Creator KURT SUTTER is a genius for developing this program and making it happen once a week on the FX Network for fans of this genre of t.v. Shit, one episode even had a cameo by HELL’S ANGEL Sonny Barger in it! Now if that does not say that the show is the real deal than I don’t know what does!

 

Special Features:

 

  • Season 3 to 4 Story-Bridge
  • Extended Episodes
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Writer’s Roundtable
  • Commentaries with Cast and Creators
  • Fox Movie Channel at Season 3 Premiere

 

I pre-ordered this when it came out. My only complaint is that the original theatrical versions of Episodes 4, 5, and 6 are not included in this mammoth STAR WARS box set. Of course, I know how douchey George Lucas can be in releasing his movies on various formats. I mean, how many different box sets of the STAR WARS Trilogy (Ep. 4-6) do I have sitting in my mancave of movies, smut, videogames, and toys? Yeah, I can’t even count how many different freaking versions I have of the the STAR WARS films lying around. Hey, that is the price one pays for being OCD/ANAL about getting EVERY single version of one of the greatest Sci-fi franchises ever to be created on VHS/LASERDISC/DVD/BLU-RAY! Yeah, thanks goodness I never bought a BetaMax player or HD DVD player! I would have copies of the film on that dead technology lying around, too!

This nine-disc collection brings the wonder of the entire Saga direct to your living room this Christmas, where you can revisit all of your favorite Star Wars moments– in gorgeous high definition and with pristine, 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. It boasts an unprecedented 40+ hours of special features, highlighted bynever-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm archives.

With numerous deleted, extended and alternate scenes, new and vintage documentaries and a cross-section of the countless Star Warsspoofs that have appeared in pop culture over the past three decades you may have to spend your entire vacation geeking out on Tatooine and Hoth.

For fans that are only in need of the Trilogies, you’ll be happy to know that Episodes IV-VI and I-III are available in separate Blu-ray packages (artwork below). Ever since the first theatrical release of A New Hope in 1977 the franchise has been revealing new midi-chlorian activity in each young Jedi as they discover their connection to The Force.

In case you only wanted the newer films of the six because you enjoy watching inferior Science Fiction films with annoying plots, characters, and sub-par action and DISLIKE the best three films of LUCAS’ six, then buy this box set instead of the giant one. Really, seeing DARTH MAUL in the single fight scene he is in kicking ass is the only reason to buy this box set. Really, one should be buying the entire Saga on Blu-ray disc. The films in high-def are totally worth it!

These are three of the greatest Sci-fi flicks known to mankind. PERIOD. I can watch these films over and over and over and over and over again. I am not even exaggerating. I have probably seen these films at least 100 times a piece. Aside from SAVING PRIVATE RYAN which I saw in the movie theater about 12 times because I worked at a movie theater at the time and I got to see free movies, the original STAR WARS Trilogy is the only other films that I have seen more than 4 times each in the theater on the big screen.

20th Century Fox

One of the best X-MEN films to come out since the original. I really dug this entry in the series. I do have a hard-on for comicbooks and the Marvel Universe and the X-MEN. I also love when superheroes come to the big screen and I get to see them in a different format than just a comicbook. This is one movie I can’t wait to grab on Blu-Ray disc! Maybe someone will read this and get the hint!

Special features on the X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Blu-ray include:

  • 10 Marvel “X-Men” Digital Comics with exclusive “X-Men: First Class” Backstory Comic

  • More than two hours of never-before-seen extras, including:

  • Cerebro Mutant Tracker: The complete interactive Mutant Database with interactive videos giving fans the ability to learn about their favorite mutants in the X-Men film franchise

  • Children of the Atom: An eight-part behind-the-scenes featurette, charting the film from
    pre-production through post-production, including visual effects techniques and cataloguing “X-Men” transformations through prosthetic make up and costume design

  • X” Marks the Spot: An interactive feature allowing viewers the opportunity to learn more about specific scenes with talent interviews and behind-the-scenes footage

  • Extended and Deleted Scenes

  • BD-Live Portal with additional Cerebro Mutant Tracker profiles

  • Composer’s Isolated Score

  • Theatrical Trailer

20th Century Fox

Now for an epic soundtrack and its movie! Sony Classics brings you the movie DRIVE, starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (BRONSON, VALHALLA RISING), one of my new favorite directors!

Not only the soundtrack to REFN’s fucking masterpiece, I am going to add the film, too. This soundtrack is one of the finest soundtracks that I have heard for any film in quite some time. Ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers’ member CLIFF MARTINEZ has crafted a wonderfully atmospheric and thought-inducing mindfuck, as well as picking a few songs from other artists that all add the load-blowing experience. Pick this CD up immediately! I pre-ordered it and have listened to it on repeat the first 8 hours I had it in my possession. I can’t get enough of it!

Now for the movie…

DRIVE

Temporary Cover Art for DRIVE

The Blu-ray presents the film in its 2.39:1 original aspect ratio with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound. The disc also contains a number of bonus materials, including:

  • Five behind-the-scenes featurettes:

Drive Without A Driver: Talking with Director Nicolas Winding Refn

I Drive

Under The Hood

Driver and Irene

Cut To The Chase

Street date is January 31.

SOURCE: blu-ray.com

Here are some releases from SYNAPSE FILMS that are worth checking out….

This film has a pretty big cult-appeal and after having a chance to interview director Lewis Jackson on the SHU-IZMZ RADIO SHOW for over two hours, I appreciate the film even more. Check out the interview HERE!

Christmas Evil [Special Edition]

Price: $24.95

http://synapse-films.com/dvds/christmas-evil-special-edition/

Recently just reviewed SOUTH OF HEAVEN and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, even though I had to watch it a second time to just appreciate how much thought and care was put into the style and artistic shots within the film. Check out my review of the film HERE!

South of Heaven

Director: J.L. Vara

Starring: Shea Whigham, Diora Baird, Jon Gries, Thomas Jay Ryan, Adam Nee, Aaron Nee

Run Time: 97 minutes

Release Date: October 11, 2011

Language: English

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Format: DVD

Region: All Regions

Price: $19.95

Synopsis

NOBODY IS HIS NAME.

REVENGE IS HIS GAME!

When Roy Coop finished his stint in the Navy, he only had two things on his mind: seeing his brother Dale, and writing the great American novel. What he gets, however, is the homecoming from Hell!  A pair of violent vaudevillians (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE’s Jon Gries, and Thomas Jay Ryan) mistake Roy for his brother, looking to collect on a debt he didn’t know he owed. Eight fingers later, Roy is burnt to a crisp, forged by fire into a new man. Roy is dead.  Nobody is born.

Now it’s Nobody’s turn to have his wicked revenge, and to save his brother before it’s too late. Wrapped in bandages and ready for blood, Nobody is determined to kill those that get in his way, even the murdering masochist named Mad Dog Mantee (Shea Whigham, MACHETE and HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE). Dodging bullets and dodging dames, Nobody meets the nasty ne’er-do-wells Lily (Diora Baird, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING) and Veronica (Elina Lowensohn, SCHINDLER’S LIST). In this wonderful neo-film-noir, violence and vengeance are sure to meet in a little town they call… South of Heaven.

Features

  • THREE AUDIO COMMENTARY TRACKS! Featuring Director J.L. Vara, Star Shea Whigham and other cast/crew. Critic Commentary includes Todd Brown (twitchfilm.com), Scott Weinberg (fearnet.com) and Devin Faraci (badassdigest.com)
  • THREE SHORT FILMS by Director J.L. Vara, Including: MISERABLE ORPHAN, AZOLE DKMUNTCH and A BOY AND HIS FETUS

Reviews

“SOUTH OF HEAVEN captures the violence and grittiness of an unconventional Western of sorts with very unique characters and a certain level of mystery shrouding each.”SHU-IZMZ

“…there is NOTHING not to like about this movie.”Horror News

 

This is one film that I HAVE to have. I used to have a bootleg version of it on VHS that I rented from a local video store in Rolling Meadows, IL by the name of THUMBS UP Video from their Cinema Le Pew section (which in my mind equates to AWESOME FLICKS!) and I dubbed it. I think rented STREET TRASH again after losing my gigantic VHS Tape collection in a fire on St. Patrick’s Day at my apartment so now I have a copied version of it on a Dvd-R. Well, I need to own a legit copy on DVD, or even Blu-ray if it ever gets made on that format. Since that has not happened yet (to my knowledge), I am going to have to get the deluxe 2-disc Meltdown Edition from SYNAPSE FILMS. Interestingly enough, I was at a bar eating some delicious pizza, Chicago-style, and guess what film was being projected on the over-sized screens of the bar-STREET TRASH. Probably not the best choice of a film when one is eating, but so much fun for this gorehound! I love that movie each and every time I see it. Most notable, is the performance by James Lorinz as the smart ass doorman at the mafia-owned Italian restaurant. Classic!

Synopsis

!!Two-Disc Meltdown Edition!! – In the sleazy, foreboding world of winos, derelicts and drifters in lower Manhattan, two young runaways – eighteen-year-old Fred (MIKE LACKEY) and his younger brother, Kevin (MARK SFERRAZZA), live in a tire hut in the back of a vast auto wrecking yard. Fred is burnt-out by the forces that destroyed his family life, whereas Kevin, having missed much of their childhood trauma, yearns to get back into society and lead a normal life. The most lethal threat to the boys is the case of Tenafly Viper in Ed’s liquor store window. Ed found the cheapo wine behind a wall in his basement. The stuff’s forty years old, and it’s gone real bad. Anyone who drinks it melts within seconds… and it’s only a dollar a bottle!!

The bums are lining up for their deaths like moths at a flame, and Fred standing right there amongst them. STREET TRASH is the subversive cult classic horror-comedy that rode the last wave of super-gore in the late ’80s before the curtain fell on such outrageous material and we entered an era of safe, “R” rated horror flicks and endless, unoriginal remakes. Synapse Films is proud to present the 2-DVD Special Meltdown Edition of the 80s gore classic, STREET TRASH. Over four years in the making, this 2 DVD set contains the amazing two-hour documentary, THE MELTDOWN MEMOIRS.

SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:
– New Anamorphic Widescreen [1.78:1] Mastered in High-Definition
– New DD5.1 Remix and Original 2.0 Mono Soundtrack
– Two Audio Commentaries Featuring Producer Roy Frumkes and Director James Muro
– THE MELTDOWN MEMOIRS – All-New TWO HOUR Documentary on the History and making of STREET TRASH
– STREET TRASH – Original 16mm Short Film That Inspired the Movie
– Long Lost, Never-Before-Seen STREET TRASH Promotional Teaser
– Behind-The-Scenes Still Gallery
– Original Theatrical Trailer

ITEM #: SFD0057
REGION: 1
Running Time: 102 minutes
NTSC – Anamorphic Widescreen [1.78:1]
NOT RATED
1987

SOURCE: SYNAPSE FILMS

 

SEVERIN FILMS has some great titles to offer, too!

The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer

David R. Bowen, 1989

The murder and dismemberment of 17 young men in Wisconsin between 1978 and 1991 capped a century stained in blood by the heinous exploits of the blue-eyed cannibal killer known to a horrified nation as The Milwaukee Monster. Made in the three years between his highly-publicized arrest and his 1994 murder while serving 15 consecutive life sentences in prison, The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer follows the schizophrenic butcher from his first impulse slaying in his grandmother’s back yard to his infamous “rampage period,” in which he claimed up to one victim a week in his makeshift slaughterhouse on Milwaukee’s troubled west side. Inspired by Dahmer’s own highly-publicized confessions, David R. Bowen’s brutally intense indie has the half-starved aesthetic of a snuff film and a no-holds-barred lead performance by writer-actor Carl Crew as one the 20th Century’s most notorious serial killers.

EXTRAS:
•Audio Commentary With Director David R. Bowen And Star Carl Crew
•Trailer

List price is $19.99 but one can find it for $13.99 on Amazon.com, or even cheaper if purchased used.

SOURCE: SEVERIN FILMS

Aside from the fact that I am extremely interested in serial killers and true crime, the case of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer holds a special morbidly unique place in my cold, dead, heart because this sick son-of-a-bitch was raping, torturing, and murdering victims in the Midwest area, specifically Milwaukee, WI and West Allis. I remember reading about his grisly crimes and murders, as well as the trial, in the newspaper. It probably was one of the most publicized cases I remember while growing up.

Check out my review for the INTERVISION/SEVERIN FILMS film that was, although very low-budget, one of the better films to chronicle Dahmer‘s life of crime and murders.

 

I mean, come on…Who has not seen this film? Well, maybe some fans of horror who are not hardcore, but I remember this film being played on television all the time. It has Lee and Cushing in it, as well as Telly Savalez. How awesome is that? It is also nice that the film is being released as a Blu-ray/DVD combo so those of you whom have not upgraded to HD can still enjoy it.

The ’70s horror classic returns like you’ve never seen it before! Screen legends Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing star as rival turn-of-the-century anthropologists transporting a frozen ‘missing link’ aboard the Trans-Siberian Express. But when the prehistoric creature thaws and escapes, it unleashes a brain-scarfing spree that turns its victims into the eye-bleeding undead. Can the crafty colleagues stop this two million year old monster, hordes of zombie passengers and a psychotic Cossack officer (Telly Savalas) before terror goes off the rails? Silvia Tortosa (When The Screaming Stops) co-stars in this all-time fright favorite from director Eugenio Martin and the blacklisted Hollywood screenwriters of Psychomania, now featuring explosive new Extras and a stunning HD transfer from vault elements recently unearthed in a Mongolian film depot!

EXTRAS:
Murder On The Trans-Siberian Express: New Interview With Director Eugenio Martin
Notes From The Blacklist: Producer Bernard Gordon Discusses The McCarthy Era
-The Guardian Interview With Peter Cushing 1973 (Audio only)
Telly And Me: New Interview With Composer John Cacavas
-Introduction by Fangoria Editor Chris Alexander
-Theatrical Trailer

Color
90 Mins
Region 0

$21.98

 

If ya dig kung-fu and action flicks from the East, then the film distributor WELL GO USA better be on your radar! They are putting out some phenomenal action, horror, and kung-fu flicks that are coming out on Blu-ray and DVD. Many of these films are new to the States, such as Korea’s A BETTER TOMORROW remake, as well as some nice versions of IP MAN,

WELL GO USA is cool enough to send SHU-IZMZ screeners, so expect to be reading reviews of many of their films. A review for A BETTER TOMORROW is on the way, as well as one for HELLDRIVER! Check out the cover for HELLDRIVER!

 

 

SOURCE: WELL GO USA

 

 COOL SHIRTS and OTHER CLOTHING ACCESSORIES!

 

80sTees.com

80sTees.com T-shirts is a website that actually contacted me and I checked them out. I checked them out because the 1980’s produced some completely epic movies and some of my favorite films that have a major repeat-viewing value! Hell, think of all the slasher films that the ’80s have produced. FRIDAY THE 13th series, most of the HALLOWEEN films, MANIAC!, MOTEL HELL, PROM NIGHT, HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, FRIGHT NIGHT, GHOULIES, RE-ANIMATOR, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD….Holy shit! I could go on and on. Anyways, this website not only offers killer horror t-shirts but they offer shirts from films throughout the ’80s. They got Chuck Norris T’s, STAR WARS, the VACATION films in various humorous t-shirts, and GOONIES! How can one not love a GOONIES t-shirt? I love THE GOONIES! Now one may ask why am I endorsing this website? Well, the guys and gals over at 80sTees.com sent me one of their shirts, in my size, which I have worn to work and washed. It was a XXL FRIDAY THE 13TH t-shirt. I am a big boy so I needed a big shirt. Needless to say, the shirt fit great. The shirt felt great and I now know where to go for movie t-shirts in the future. The prices of shirts vary from shirt to shirt. Some are $20, which is a little bit too high for me to pay for a T-shirt, as I generally look for shirts $15 and under, but in perusing through the website there were quite a bit of shirts that were under $20, some even as low as $4.99. Those would be the shirts I would go looking for. There are quite a bit of shirts for $10-$15. The clearance section does have over 700 items, t-shirts, hats, etc…that are under $20 so I found that to be pretty cool. They also sell Halloween costumes, music T’s, and non-80’s items. Worth a look when trying to find a new and unique gift for that special someone. Click HERE to check out all the cool shirts they have to offer!

Another favorite t-shirt they offer!

 

 FRIGHT RAGS

I have ordered almost a dozen cool horror T-shirts from this company. Right now, they got a sale going on for some $10 t-shirts. I do not know how long the sale will be going on but I bought a STREET TRASH t-shirt that is totally awesome and I have gotten many compliments on. My girlfriend also really digs the LOST BOYS t-shirt I bought her, too!

Check out the horror t-shirts HERE!

 

Don’t forget to pick up a SHU-IZMZ t-shirt, with art by PUTRID! They are always a great gift to get anyone with their slick design and gory artwork! They are selling for $15 + shipping! Get them while supplies last. When they sell out, they will be gone!

Only $15-- so buy one bitch!

 

MORE VIDEOS and cool shit….

Anyone into wrestling? Well, I am slowly getting into it because I have so many friends that dig it and when I was a young lad I really loved watching wrestling. In fact, my favorite wrestlers were Hulk Hogan, Junkyard Dog, and Andre the Giant. Then I got into more recent wrestlers like Goldberg who, to this day, is still one of my favorite wrestlers. I just picked up a Best of Monday Nitro dvd just to see Goldberg wrestle Hollywood Hogan. This all brings me to my next website that I think offers some badass shit. Now I contacted them hoping to get some free shit to give you guys, but no dice. The website still has some rad things to offer, especially if one is a fan of Chicago’s very own CM PUNK! I have only watched PUNK wrestle on youtube.com clips, so this is a great website to get really underground dvds of him. It has WWE wrestling videos, as well as some of the more underground ones sold on a dvd-r.

The website offers wrestling gear, belts, magazines, dvds, action figures, VHS, books, shirts, and tons of other apparel. I was hoping to get some promotional items for free, but no dice. Readers are going to have to head over there and buy the shit themselves. Another cool aspect about the site is that one can shop by wrestler. It’s a great feature for those that are novices to the world of wrestling and would like to just purchase dvds that have one’s favorite wrestler. Since I have met CM PUNK, hung out at his place, and talked to him before I feel that I must see some of his fights and see how good a wrestler he is. By the way, he is bar far the nicest celebrity I have ever met and extremely humble. Since he recently won the belt, I am guessing he is pretty awesome. HIGH SPOTS even sells stuff for wrestlers and wrestling promoters.

For years, the Money in the Bank match was a highlight of WrestleMania, with each of the six winners going on to successfully cash in their opportunities and win World Championships. Last year, the popular match headlined its own WWE pay-per-view event, and two spectacular matches led to two more successful title reigns, including the Miz seizing on his momentum at last year’s event to become the most must-see WWE Champion in history. So the stakes are incredibly high for the Superstars of Raw and SmackDown look to climb the ladder of success at Money in the Bank 2011.

  1. Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder Match
    Sin Cara, Kane, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and Wade Barrett
  2. WWE Divas Title Match
    Kelly Kelly vs. Brie Bella
  3. Big Show vs. Mark Henry
  4. RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match
    Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Alex Riley, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, R-Truth and Jack Swagger
  5. WWE World Hwt. Title – Title changes hands on a DQ
    Randy Orton vs. Christian
  6. WWE Title Match
    John Cena vs. CM Punk

Highspots.com is a leading online retailer for professional wrestling and mixed martial arts offering figures, DVD’s, Apparel, Belts, wrestling gear and even wrestling rings!

Highspots.com is committed to be your one-stop-shop for all wrestling and MMA products. Whether you are a wrestling fan, pro wrestler or promoter you can find what you are looking for at Highspots.com. Please read further to see all that we have to offer.

Highspots.com sells cool action figures like Roddy Piper

For the Wrestling Fan

With over 10 years in business Highspots.com has grown to be the company it is by serving the wrestling fans throughout the world with a great selection of merchandise. Highspots.com has everything a wrestling fan could want including the latest WWE & TNA releases, classic wrestling merchandise and our Highspots.com exclusive releases. We have listed below our different categories and some more information about what you can find in them:

  • DVD’s
    Highspots.com has over 2000 DVD’s for you to choose from, and we are adding new titles every week! You can find the latest WWE & TNA releases on our DVD section, as well as most other older titles from the two companies. If you like shoots please visit our shoot interview section which features shoots from many great stars, including the Ric Flair 4 Disc Shoot. You can also find a great variety of Independent, Japanese, Lucha Libre and wrestling documentary releases on our site. Highspots.com also has hundreds of compilation tapes featuring some of the best legends in wrestling (Hogan, Flair, Sting and more!).
  • Figures
    Highspots.com carries a huge selection of figures. We stock WWE Figures ranging from the newest series all the way back to the original WWF Hasbro Series! We also carry TNA, WCW and ECW commercial figures. For the fans of Puro and Lucha Libre Highspots.com offers authentic figures from New Japan, All Japan, NOAH and CMLL featuring some of their best stars from yesterday and today.
  • Title Belts
    Looking for a belt like the one your favorite stars on TV wear? Highspots.com can offer you authentic Replica Belts in almost any size/style you would like. We offer toy versions of WWE, WCW and TNA title belts, some as low as $4.99! We also offer kids size replicas, which are made the same way as the adults are but scaled down to fit children. We carry almost all WWE (New and Classic) Title belts, along with WCW, ECW, TNA and Japanese belts and can help you find the exact belt you are looking for. We also offer custom made title belts which are great if you are looking for a truly unique belt.
  • Wrestling Masks
    Ever wanted to have the same mask of your favorite wrestler? From Rey Mysterio, to popular Lucha, Japanese and Legends like the Masked Superstar, Highspots has close to 200 different masks to choose from, and we can also custom make you a mask as well!
  • Toys and Novelty Items
    These are some of the most popular items for us, and make great gifts for fans both old and young. You can find a great selection of wrestling games, trading cards, apparel, keychains, necklaces, 8×10 photos and more.
  • Books/Magazines
    Highspots.com has a huge inventory of wrestling books, featuring some of the greatest superstars of the sport. We offer wrestler biographies, wrestling history books, wrestling guides, children’s books and even wrestling instructional books. We also offer vintage wrestling programs and magazines, many of which include a free gift as well! Please visit the Magazine section to see our magazine back issue selection.

SOURCE: HIGH SPOTS

Now my list is just a handful of cool things I think are worth looking into or getting for someone. The important thing is I hope to have introduced readers to some cool websites that offer some cool products.

Now watch my video…it is nothing special.


REVIEW: VILLA CAPTIVE (2011)

Liza Del Sierra heats the screen up!

Liza Del Sierra heats the screen up!

It would be naïve to say that VILLA CAPTIVE was not paying quite a bit of homage to rape-revenge films like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (both original and new “adaptations” of the films) that are extremely graphic and uncompromising in their portrayals of violence, sexual assault, and the revenge the victim, or victims, take place within the film. I enjoy these kinds of films purely because, in most cases, the bad guys really get it in the end. Films such as the aforementioned, as well as even harder-edged movies like Gaspar Noe’s IRREVERSIBLE (the rape scene with Monica Belluci is probably one of the longest and brutal rape scenes ever captured on film to date) or THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE and MS. 45, films that I sadly have not seen but have heard nothing but good things about, mostly in a “notorious” sort of way. Interestingly, I feel a sick satisfaction as a viewer of these films when the woman (or man) that was raped, sodomized, and tormented (for whatever reasons) devises a plan to enact revenge on those that are responsible. Vigilante films, such as the DEATH WISH series, are satisfying to me for these very reasons.

 

With director Emmanuel Silvestre’s  (a.k.a. Jack Tyler) VILLA CAPTIVE, a feature film that was French-produced but was shot in the English-language. There is some French spoken here and there, but mostly the film has English dialogue, a comfort to many viewers who are lazy and abhor the act of having to actually read while viewing a film. Hell forbids one bone-up on their English skills while watching a film!

 

As I was watching VILLA CAPTIVE, I noticed a few things: 1. The lead actress Liza Del Sierra (Lucy Lust/Audrey) is quite attractive and in the first opening scenes in which she appears in she is wearing skimpy clothing that does nothing to hide her voluptuous curves and physique. In fact, as I was watching her on the screen, even before her character is revealed as portraying a French porn star, I was thinking this woman has a killer body that has all the attributes that a porn star needs to be successful in the business, regardless of her sexual prowess or particular talents in and outside of the bedroom. Little be known to me, French-born, brunette beauty Liza Del Sierra began her career in adult films in 2005 as an adult film actress in such films as ELASTIC ASSHOLES 9 and EVIL ANAL 14, and over the last two years or so has just started to appear in some American-produced film outings. According to IMDB (hardly the authority on adult films in any way), she has been in some ten adult films (which appear to be American productions) since VILLA CAPTIVE came out earlier this year.

Revenge is a dish best served cold...and bloody rare

 

There has been a growing trend of adult film actresses trying to make the transition from fuck flicks to more mainstream and “reputable” fare, but generally speaking, most actresses in the adult film industry end up having cameos or leading/supporting roles in indie or low-budget horror and sci-fi/fantasy flicks that generally are best forgotten. There are some rare cases, such as Traci Lords (CRY BABY, NOT OF THIS EARTH) and, most recently, Sasha Grey having been cast in a Steven Soderbergh film (THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE) but most films with porn stars do not rely on the performances of the adult film actresses to carry the film through but more so rely on the script, mainstream cast members, director and director-of-photography to make things go smoothly. Case in point, BLOODLUST ZOMBIES starring bootylicious-porn star Alexis Texas. The movie was tolerable at best and Texas showed her tits and her derriere in a thong. It was a major letdown.

 

Now with VILLA CAPTIVE, one of our lead actresses is a successful porn star in French and now, American porn films. Director Silvestre cast Liza Del Sierra in this film portraying a French adult film actress (not a big stretch to her real-life character what-so-ever) who has come to Florida with her ex-boyfriend/manager on a publicity run and to work on American adult films in the states.

 

While in Florida, Del Sierra (portraying French adult film star Lucy Lust) has rented a villa for the summer to get away from all the publicity when she is not working with her manager getting more roles and conducting meet-and-greets with horny porn geeks wishing to meet their jerk-off idol in the flesh. The villa has been rented out to her by a fellow lady who is fluent is French and visits there all the time and her son is responsible for being the caretaker of both her villa and the one being rented out to guests during summers. Obviously rich, the kid has a pretty sweet deal. He gets to clean up the house and pool of a French porn star. Did I mention that the porn star regularly lotions up and sunbathes nude outside during the day? Yeah, this film could have actress Del Sierra prancing around naked throughout its run-time and I would still be able to say that I was entertained no matter how mundane or tedious the storyline was. In this particular case, the story was interesting and kept me entertained throughout the whole film.

 

The acting throughout the film was fairly solid and the pace generally lacked any really slow or boring points. Sometimes films like these drag some of the scenes or torture or rape out too long, get loaded down with long scenes of pointless and trite dialogue, but this really was not the case. There was a minimum of useless dialogue between cast.  Dario Lado (portraying Jeremy) did a fine job as the responsible and non-judgmental youth who respects Lucy Lust’s privacy and need to just relax and enjoy her downtime as a regular person. His mother owns the villas and is renting out one of them to Lucy Lust for the summer. The buddy of Jeremy (Lado), Dan (portrayed by Shalim Ortiz), is a wage-slave auto mechanic whose jealousy for Jeremy and everything about him is beyond transparent, figures out one day after hanging out with him, Vanessa (played by the cute and innocent-looking Ashley Price), and Michelle (Patricia Rosales) at the beach that a bonafide porn star is staying next door. Jeremy’s friend Dan even snaps some pictures with his phone’s camera in order to brag to friends at the gas station that he has nude pics of a porn star. Later during the week, in a fit of rage over how Jeremy (Lado) reacted to Dan’s (Ortiz) invasion of privacy towards his tenant, goes and tells his boss Frank (David Perez-Ribalda) (who just so happens to be a dirt bag as well as friends with an ex-convict) about this spoiled little rich kid and his porn-star tenant next door. The thugs, Frank (Perez-Ribalda) and Gus (Derek Evans) devise a plan to break into the two villas when no one is present and rob them blind. After all, aren’t all porn stars fucking loaded?

 

Of course, things do not go as smoothly as planned. Do they ever in films?

 

The violence, gore, and blood soon arrive when Jeremy and his porn star friend arrive home from dinner and surprise the robbers during their robbery. Desperately trying to escape, both are taken hostage as the creeps decide what to do with them. Obviously, having a buxom brunette whom each robber has seen naked and in porn is an enticing invitation to rape being involved in the film’s plot. Throw into the mix a mildly-retarded brother Kyle, along for the ride who is completely obsessed with this particular adult film actress (even going as far as cutting out pics of her naked in sex sequences and cutting out a pic of his face and pasting it over the male actors banging Lust. I cracked up hard during this portion of the film, it adding a bit of comic relief and humor to the overall seriousness of the situation.

In researching this film from One-Eyed Films, I found out that the film was shot in Miami on the Canon 5D and premiered at the Panic! Cinema in France. For a lower-budgeted film starring a porn actress in her first non-adult film role, I think she did an incredible job and may be able to make the transition from porn star to mainstream movie star if she continues to pick roles in films that have decent scripts and do not go beyond her scope as an actress. Having never seen any of her adult film work, I really can’t say what her limitations may be and having only done adult films, maybe she does not know either.

 

VILLA CAPTIVE not only delivers the nudity and violence, but the film also delivers some nasty kill scenes as well as some gore. The final thirty minutes really amp up the action and blood, keeping the pace going at an intensely neck breaking speed, and delivering the outcome most viewers will agree with and enjoy. I guess one can say that there are not too many surprises about what should or does happen to specific characters, but one particular murder threw me in for a loop.

 

In trying to come up with some bio on porn director Jack Tyler, I consulted the IAFD (Internet Adult Film Database) where I did not find too much more information except a handful of adult films he directed. With all the aliases and nicknames that adult filmmakers posses, it sometimes becomes a somewhat arduous task in researching this info, but since this review is about his rape-revenge film and not a film in the adult film industry, I shall give up and let readers further investigate if they so desire to.

 

Distributor One-Eyed Films whose catalog of movies generally specialize in art-house and horror films from all over Latin America have recently added me to their list of critics (if I may indeed call myself one) and SHU-IZMZ readers will be able to read about more films from them being reviewed in upcoming posts here.

 

VILLA CAPTIVE is a welcome entry into the rape-revenge sub-genre and I recommend checking this film out, if not only for the novelty of seeing Liza Del Sierra in a non-adult film role that packs a great deal of punch! My satisfaction in this film was fulfilled by meeting the quota of nudity, gore, and violence that I personally expect in watching a film of this nature. To have the film watered down any in any specifically mentioned category would be doing rape-revenge films a great disservice. I recommend checking the film out.


INTERVISION comes out with some AUSSIE SEXPLOITATION goodies!

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AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK
DVD
Label: Intervision Picture Corp.
Streets: 1/10/12 SRP: $19.95
Run Time: 82 Minutes English language Color Widescreen Anamorphic
Dolby Digital 2.0 All Regions
Director: John D. Lamond
Stars: Gina Allen, Count Copernicus
Genre: Erotica

Five years before he turned the world on with his schoolgirl sexploitation classic FELICITY, producer/director John Lamond made his indelible debut with this mondo-style look at the depraved underbelly of a land down-under. It’s an ultra-sleazy, full-frontal journey through “the weird and the pathetic, the ugly, the obscene and the beautiful”, featuring strippers, swingers, murderers, devil worshippers, nutty gurus, drunken aborigines, and much more. From the back alleys of the big cities to the savage cruelty of the outback, discover a continent of pleasure, pain, erotic art, wriggling cuisine, tiny bikinis, alien landings, record-breaking beer consumption and insane amounts of ’70s nudity, now fully restored from a print recently discovered in the cellar of the Lower Wonga Drive-In and presented uncut & uncensored for the first time ever in America.

Bonus Features: Audio Commentary With Director John D. Lamond and “Not Quite Hollywood” Director Mark Hartley, John D. Lamond Trailer Reel.


ABC’S OF LOVE AND SEX
DVD
Label: Intervision Picture Corp.
Streets: 1/10/12 SRP: $19.95
Run Time: 85 Minutes English language Color Widescreen Anamorphic
Dolby Digital 2.0 All Regions
Director: John D. Lamond
Stars: Brigitta Almsron, Rettima Borer

Genre: Erotica

In between the mondo mayhem of AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK and the softcore teenage classic FELICITY, producer/director John Lamond schooled the continent with this graphic grindhouse jaw-dropper: What was ostensibly presented as a serious study of sexual behavior is actually an erotically-charged trip through an alphabet of deviant sexual pleasure, including mile-high clubs, female masturbation, mincing homosexuals, hot lesbians, enormous genitals, disco music, rape fantasies, interpretive dance, socio-cultural blathering, relentless nudity and even a bit of creepy stop-motion animation. Marilyn Rodgers (FELICITY) and Maj-Brith Berstrom-Walan of The Swedish Institute For Sexual Research star in this delightfully dubious documentary relic, now fully restored from a print originally seized by the Australian Classification Board and presented uncut & uncensored for the first time ever in America.

Bonus Features: Audio Commentary With Director John D. Lamond and “Not Quite Hollywood” Director Mark Hartley, John D. Lamond Trailer Reel.

Okay, so my skills with Photoshop border on being some of the worst skills in the world! I apologize, but Intervision has not failed to put out some seriously wicked films on dvd! I have a raging hard-on for films from Australia, too! Sexploitation and SHU go hand in hand…err…maybe I meant to say dick in hand. Either way, I will give ya all the lowdown on what the films offer and how sleazily epic they may or may not be.

If one has not seen both NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD and its sequel, FOR SHAME! Great docs on the Aussie film scene and some of the epic classics that have come from down under! Check them out as well!


Jackie Chan’s 1911 hits Blu-ray/DVD Jan. 10 from WELL GO USA

1911 jackie

“… an impressively big-scale war epic …– G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

Fall of the Last Empire

1911

Jackie Chan, Li Bing Bing, Joan Chen and Jaycee Chan Star in the War Epic,

Debuting on Blu-ray™ + DVD Combo Pack and DVD January 10

 

Bonus Materials Include Deleted Scenes,

Making-Of Featurette and Behind-the-Scenes Footage

 

 

PLANO, TEXAS.  (October 24, 2011) – Legendary action star Jackie Chan (Rush Hour trilogy) marks the milestone of his 100th film with 1911, debuting on Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack and DVD January 10 from Well Go USA Entertainment.  From the walls of the Forbidden City to the battlefields of China, with no expense spared in production and no detail ignored in its quest for historical accuracy, making 1911 a true epic in every sense of the word.  The film details a key moment in modern Chinese history—the fall of the Qing Dynasty—and the violent rebellion that brought it down.  In addition to Chan (who also co-directed with cinematographer Zhang Li), the film also stars Li Bing Bing (Triple Tap), Winston Chao (The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman), Joan Chen (The Last Emperor, Lust, Caution) and Jaycee Chan (Break-Up Club).  The extensive bonus features include deleted scenes, interviews with Jackie Chan and Li Bing Bing, a making-of featurette and behind-the-scenes footage. 1911 will be available in a standard edition DVD for $24.98 SRP, in a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack or Collector’s Edition DVD for $29.98 SRP and in a Blu-ray Collector’s Edition for $32.98 SRP.

 

Synopsis:

With China split into warring factions and the starving citizens beginning to revolt, the ruling Qing court is building a powerful army to quash any rebellion. Revolutionary leader Huang Xing (Chan) decides he must act before the Qing army becomes too powerful … and leads an increasingly desperate series of violent uprisings against the powerful Qing court.

 

Bonus Features Include:

§  On set interviews with Jackie Chan and Li Bing Bing

§  Making Of Featurette

§  Deleted Scenes

§  TV Spots and Trailers

§  Behind-the-Scenes Footage

 

1911 has a runtime of approximately 124 minutes and is rated R for “war violence.”

SOURCE: WELL GO USA


REVIEW: SOUTH OF HEAVEN (2008)

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Upon completion of J.L. Vara’s “comedy-crime” feature that was an Official Selection at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, the Fantastic Fest, and Cinevegas of 2008, I had no idea whatsoever to say about the film and its bizarre style, set designs, and off-beat performances but that I was pretty sure I really enjoyed the film. I kind of had the same feeling and thoughts in my head after having completed a David Lynch film, but one that pays homage to so many other films of past (possibly a Coen Bros. film with how the film was shot?): I am not sure I grasped or understood exactly what each scene was about or its purpose in the film the first time aound-but the scenes were shot elegantly, beautifully, and with a very distinct style all of its own. The film was classified in my head as somewhat of an art film, which told a simple yet complex story of revenge. I feel that the complexity of the film was due to the fact that scenes were not fully explained as the plot began to unfold. If one is distracted and either glances away from the screen or drifts off and loses focus while watching SOUTH OF HEAVEN, one may suddenly stop and roar,

“What the fuck is going on? I didn’t pay attention for a minute or two and now the current scene is making absolutely zero sense!”

Suffice to say, that was my reaction when my A.D.D. tendencies took over and I started to look up some facts about the movie and its director on IMDb. This is a film whose beauty will be lost, as well as crucial plot points if one’s brains start to think of other ideas and thoughts. Yes, the aforementioned reaction is what happened to me, forcing me to rewind a bit and direct all of my attention to the film.

Elina Lowensohn

When it all comes down to it, SOUTH OF HEAVEN is a movie about a psycho. Mad Dog Mantee (Shea Whigham) who kidnaps a girl, Becky (whom we never actually see), who is Mr. Bobo’s daughter, with Dale Coop (Aaron Nee). Dale’s brother, Roy (Adam Nee), has been away at sea while in the Navy and just got a letter from Dale telling him that he ran into a great amount of luck and to hurry up and write his million-dollar story so the two brothers can be rich and live a lavish lifestyle of the rich and famous. That scenario is just about the brightest portion and sequence of the whole film and viewers learn all of this via a cute animated cartoonish intro reminiscent of cartoonist Tex Avery and his style. In fact, the cartoon intro really sets the tone for the rest of the film because it really does have a cartoonish look and feel to it, coupled with a film noir look.

Then enter the two cartoon-character tough-guys, portrayed by Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite) and Thomas Jay Ryan (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), who believe that Roy is his brother Dale and the two believe Roy to have kidnapped a certain Becky Barnes. They then proceed to beat the living hell out of him (most of which is artfully filmed with a bit of class, cutting away from the violence and showing the beatdown through shadows given off from the lighting. I thought the manner in which cinematographer Darren Genet shot this scene, as well as many of the others was magnificent. At times, because of the simple set designs and lack of outdoor shots (ANY) and all of the filming done on sets, it had the look of an elaborate stage play. I mean that in a good way, though.

The film bounces back and forth between Roy getting his ass kicked by two very well-spoken and very classy dressed tough guys. When Roy is not getting his ass kicked, a sexy yet mysterious brunette who just happens to show up and cater to his needs and wants (like sleeping with him). Since Dale left his brother a type-writer, the aspiring writer can work on his million dollar novel. The story tends to just show how messed up Mad Dog Mantee (Whigham) is, through acts of sadism and rape towards the women they encounter and kidnap. Oh, I might add that Mantee generally slaughters everyone they come in contact with except the women he decides to keep around as his “pets” and sexual “playthings”.

As Roy gets his face beaten in by punches and kicks, his fingers chopped off one-by-one (as were Becky’s fingers so they could be mailed to Mr. Bobo for their ransom plot), and even having his face burnt to a crisp, one gets a feeling, or at least hopes, that an act of revenge will be inflicted at some point in this film’s bleak portrayal of mistaken identity. One brother’s bad decision making and choice of friends is causing the other brother an insurmountable amount of grief, aggravation, and ultimately— great amounts of pain.

Jon Gries and Thomas Jay Ryan as the Hoods

If the arty shots, unique and colorful set designs (some with just a painted backdrop), and well-executed performances were not enough to win viewers over, then the original music by Russ Howard III (Hobo with a Shotgun) sure will. I was thoroughly won over by the riveting soundtrack, with its use of violins, pianos, and other elegant instruments. The music added a certain amount of class and elegance to the whole affair.

When the mysterious and beautiful chesty, brunette Veronica shows up (portrayed by Elina Lowensohn of Schindler’s List fame) with her very thick accent and very European looks. She comes and goes, always there right before Roy gets his ass kicked, or immediately following it within a few hours. I found it odd that she just shows up and Roy does not really question why she is there and accepts her weak explanation, but maybe because she is mothering him, pampering him, and screwing him he just does not give a shit.

We learn that Veronica knows alot more about what is going on and the plot gets even thicker, and the pieces start falling into place. At the root of the story, it is a movie about a kidnapping and ransom. It just is a little bit more bizarre than most films about this subject matter. At one point in the movie, there is even a cameo from wrestling great George “The Animal” Steele, as the Manton. The movie takes a turn for the better when the victim of the film starts to taking charge of the situation, giving an almost super-hero quality to his once-spineless character. This part of the film was what one me over, as well as the level of violence and the overall strange tone and pacing of the film. The film is worth a watch either way, and how could one not have their interest piqued by a film with the title SOUTH OF HEAVEN, the title coming from a small town in Texas.

This is J.L. Vara’s (or Jonathan Vara’s) first full-length feature, and aside from a few short films (which are also included on the Synapse release of SOUTH OF HEAVEN), I believe he did a very fine job. SOUTH OF HEAVEN captures the violence and grittiness of an unconventional Western of sorts with very unique characters and a certain level of mystery shrouding each. The reason the characters in the film work so well is his choice of actors and actresses. There are so many deep, dialogue-driven scenes between characters, such as Jay Whigham’s who really gives a standout performance, as well as Elina Lowensohn. I think I really loved Lowensohn’s heavy accent and choice of wardrobe (Unfortunately the film contains only a brief scene nudity (including full frontal nudity and bush!) and it is not Lowensohn because she would be a fine addition to the nude scene!)

As well as The Short Films of J.L. Vara: Miserable Orphan, Azole Dkmuntch, and A Boy and his Fetus, there are also three audio commentary tracks featuring director Vara, star Shea Whigham (Splinter, Blood Creek) and other cast/crew, and a critic’s commentary featuring Todd Brown (Twitchfilm.com), Scott Weinberg (Rottentomatoes.com), and Devin Faraci CHUD.com). The commentary is extremely informative, sheds great amounts of light as to why the fimmakers filmed certain scenes in a certain way, as well as explaining what certain scenes meant. There was a lot of effort and focus directed to the whole look of the film, with its very solid and distinct colors, as well as the cool costumes worn by cast members. Although I did notice how the three of them referred to actress Elina Lowensohn (who portrays Veronica) as actress Lena Hill (who plays Lulu), but it may be due to the fact that Lowensohn has a nice rack on her and she shows plenty of cleavage with the dress she is wearing. Apparently their notes were incorrect.

I feel that SOUTH OF HEAVEN will get better with each and every viewing, a film that may be overlooked for its genius and ingenuity. In its essence, South of Heaven is a crime drama with a great deal of artistic thought put into it that has a wonderful soundtrack, superb casting and cinematography, and a bizarre style all its own. Just don’t be distracted as I was the first time and pay attention to all the lovely details that were thrown into the film—they give the movie its charm.

 


SCREAM 4 DVD GIVEAWAY CONTEST from ANCHOR BAY!

SCREAM 4 DVD GIVEAWAY!

The guys and gals at Anchor Bay sent me 3 SCREAM 4 dvds to giveaway to some lucky and creative horror fans for the Fall and Winter Holidays! That’s right, I am feeling festive and giving this year so there will be a bunch of giveaways and contests for Halloween and the Holidays in December.

SCREAM 4 DVD details:

SCREAM 4

 

Directed by suspense master and director of the first trilogy, Wes Craven, Scream 4 is the newest installment in the acclaimed franchise that ushered in a new wave of horror in the 1990s. In Scream 4, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courteney Cox), who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (Emma Roberts). Unfortunately Sidney’s appearance also brings about the return of Ghost Face, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends (Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Adam Brody) and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger. (Source: Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Genres: DVD, Halloween, Horror

Cast: David Arquette , Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox , Hayden Panettiere , Emma Roberts , Rory Culkin , Adam Brody
Director: Wes Craven

The SCREAM 4 CONTEST rules are simple:

Tell me what your favorite SCREAM movie is, as well as your favorite “kill scene” in it. Be descriptive in telling why you chose that particular movie, the murder scene, and what aspects to the killing (choice of weapon, victim, actor/actress was killed, etc..) you were particularly fond of. Is that all one has to do? Of course not! This is, after all, a SHU-IZMZ Contest and you have to work a little bit for your free horror. Then I want a TOP 10 LIST of your favorite SLASHER FILMS! (You all know how much I love lists!) Since Anchor Bay Entertainment is sponsoring this contest, re-post, re-tweet, and share the links with everyone on your favorite social network sites. All these factors take a part in me choosing a winner. Winners will be notified via the email address they mail their entry from. Please email me at shuizmz@gmail.com. All entries must be emailed to that address. Mailing me won’t spam your address and I am not sharing these email addresses with anyone, so don’t worry.

Now that you know the rules, start working on your entries! DEADLINE is November 1st! Get the entries in before November 1st!

ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT

 


REVIEW: VICKTORY TO THE UNDERDOG (2009)

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VICKtory to the Underdog is a documentary about world-renowned tattoo artist Brandon Bond and his efforts to save and rehabilitate 3 of the pitbulls seized from the property of the Michael Vick estate. The documentary not only shows in great details and depth the amount of time and efforts that Bond and his wife went through while nurturing the dogs back to health (one of whom Bond’s friend took care of) but also explores other celebrities and individuals that also take time and effort to take action to help raise awareness and donate their time for dog rescues and shelters.

The documentary takes a bit of its 105 min. running time to tell the back story on Brandon Bond, just who exactly is he, and what he went through growing up and how he got to where he is today. Personally, I don’t know many specific tattoo artists (minus the one’s that have inked me) and I had no idea who the hell he was. Upon watching the punkrock/metalhead-styled doc, I began to get a sense that Bond pretty much built his tattoo business from the ground up by devoting many hours and sacrificing much of his social life to make ends meet and become a very successful tattoo artist. He now is a two-time international “Tattoo Artist of the Year“, as well as making this highly informative and entertaining documentary on pitbulls and how they have been stereotyped in the media and the news as being a vicious and harmful breed of canines.

(l to r) Brandon Bond, Donal Logue, Debbie Trejo, Danny Trejo

I, personally, have a few friends that own pitbulls and they are the most loyal and caring dogs I have ever met, but in being loyal they won’t let any harm come to their owners and I think because pitbulls are not pussies- people take that as meaning they will just go around attacking and mauling people at any given moment. For lovers of dogs, tattoos, and fans of horror films- this film is really amazing. The film follows tattoo artist and celebrity Pixie Acia from L.A. INK, legendary actor Danny Trejo (MACHETE, FROM DUSK ‘TIL DAWN, DESPERADO), horror icon Michael Berryman (THE HILLS HAVE EYES, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, WEIRD SCIENCE), and funny guy Donal Logue (BLADE, TV’s GROUNDED FOR LIFE) and explores how much they love dogs, pitbulls in general, and viewers get a chance to see some different sides of the celebrities and see them in their natural habitats. I had no idea Danny Trejo’s wife, Debbie, is such a devoted and, at times, insanely passionate fighter for pitbulls’ rights. She spends a great deal of time and resources visiting “Kill” Shelters (animal shelters that end up killing dogs, pitbulls specifically, if they are not adopted within a given period of time due to population control) and giving the dogs within dog treats and some love and affection. It is quite sad that there are shelters that kill dogs because there are too many of them and there is no one to care for them and take them in. Pitbulls have a bad rap and many that go to adopt a dog do not choose to take a pitbull, especially one that has been abused or used in dog-fighting because they feel the dog is violent and may turn on them.

Michael Berryman and Brandon Bond

The documentary really focuses on the cruelty and savagery that engaging and supporting illegal dog-fighting imposes on the rights of the animal. Specifically, the Michael Vick pitbulls that were confiscated by authorities when his dog-fighting ring was exposed and made national news and media. Bond, through his film, reinforces that theme that EVERYONE deserves a second chance, from the abused and once-aggressive pitbulls that are sitting alone in dog pounds waiting for someone to give them a home to even, Michael Vick, who after being incarcerated lost all his money, his stature, his contracts, and even his NFL team when he was locked up for 21 months in prison and two months under house arrest (a penalty that I personally feel was pretty light for the crime he committed). Vick and his actions are not the focus of the film, but instead, three of the dogs that Bond rescued are. The movie really sheds light on several individuals who hold celebrity status and adore dogs and specifically, pitbulls.

The quick pace and many different edited shots make for an enjoyable viewing, accompanied with some modern-edged rock and metal giving a “cool” look and feel to the film. If one had any misconceptions about pitbulls or dog shelters in general, this film may debunk those thoughts. Although not too heavily backed up by science and statistics about pitbulls and the rate at which dogs in “kill” shelters are euthanized, there was a segment with dog veterinarians when the film showed the ever-gorgeous Pixie donating her time at an unnamed clinic two-hours away from her home (so she can avoid the publicity and media), as well as a portion of the film where a dog trainer who runs a doggie “bootcamp” takes new (or old) dogs to be trained (or re-trained) to follow commands and listen better to their owners.

Pixie Acia and her buddies

Bond’s documentary is one to be loved by dog-owners and pitbull lovers everywhere, but also a decent viewing for those interested in the tattoo and rock’n’roll lifestyle of a rebel of sorts that finally found his calling in art through tattooing. The film serves more than purpose and agenda-it is a bio of sorts for acclaimed tattoo artist and owner of ALL OR NOTHING Tattoo Studio in Atlanta, GA. Myself, not a dog owner but a dog lover, I found that because the film did not only focus on the dog rescuing operation but also on Bond and his career and struggles, the film completes a total package for entertaining, educating, and creating awareness for the film’s primary focus and cause.

The film was directed by Brandon Bond, also starring Bond as well as the aforementioned celebrities, Bond’s wife, and a handful of his friends. At times, the film is just footage of Bond, his wife, and their dogs going for walks, driving to different shelters, and interviewing some Atlanta Falcons fans about what they think of Michael Vick (specifically those wearing Vick’s jersey). The message I got out of the film was that humans are for more hateful and inherently harmful creatures than most breeds of dogs will ever be as we have a conscious and an ability to think about what we are doing yet still tend or CHOOSE to make the wrong decision most times. Pitbulls, the way I see them, are loyal to their owners and just want to please them (even if it means tearing apart another dog owned by another person). The message was that these dogs’ usually are just reflections of their owners and if their owners are consistently training them to fight and kill on command, then that is what they are going to do. If the dog is given love and affection, then the dog will no longer feel the need to attack anyone or thing, and give that love and affection back.

I was recommended this film from a friend, Flip, who knew I had a great respect and fondness for actor Danny Trejo, as well as enjoying the work of Michael Berryman. Flip arranged for SHU-IZMZ to get a review copy sent to our headquarters but what I walked away with after watching this film was something far more greater than just seeing one of my favorite actors in a documentary about pitbulls—I learned a great deal about what happens to pitbulls (and other dogs) at “kill shelters” when no one adopts them and that breeding pitbulls is, in fact, harmful to the existence of the pitbulls already without a home and family. Breeding can cause overpopulation. I wanted to run out adopt a dog immediately after viewing VICKtory to the Underdog. The film also teaches viewers an even greater lesson: Everyone deserves a 2nd chance in life sometimes. Bond got a second chance. Bond’s wife was given a 2nd chance (she was a drug-addict and alcoholic). All these pitbulls deserve a second chance at having a life and Bond even told the camera that Michael Vick even deserves a second chance, although Bond feels Vick has lost the right to ever own and care for a dog again (I agree!).

VICKtory to the Underdog is a documentary that entertains, as well as educates. I recommend it for those that own dogs, love dogs, or are even fearful of pitbulls and dogs. I feel one will walk away with a little more love and compassion for the animals, as well as quite a bit more knowledge. After this film was made, all the proceeds were given to an animal shelter that houses pitbulls and also gives convicts on probation a job working with the dogs. Not only are the dogs being rehabilitated, but the convicts also are getting rehabilitated.

To get a copy of VICKtory to the Underdog, head over to STRANGLEHOLDMERCH.com to buy one,  as well as Brandonbond.com to learn about getting some killer ink and a bit more about his cool tattoo studio.

 


Synapse Films delivers an INTRUDER this Christmas!

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SYNAPSE FILMS PRESENTS
THIS CHRISTMAS, SYNAPSE FILMS HAS THE
GROSSERIES!

Scott Spiegel’s infamous gore classic finally hits the aisles with a splatterific new HD Blu-ray transfer!

INTRUDER

From Lawrence Bender, the producer of
Quentin Tarantino’s PULP FICTION
and RESERVOIR DOGS, and the classic FROM DUSK TILL DAWN!

Scott Spiegel’s INTRUDER presented uncut for the first time in beautiful high-definition in a DVD/Blu-ray combo!

It’s 10 pm and the employees of Michigan’s Walnut Lake Supermarket are in for a really bad night. The place is shutting its doors for good, and the night crew has a long shift ahead of them… longer than they think! The lovely check-out girl has a deranged ex-boyfriend, the store’s phone lines are cut and the employees start dying in the most stomach-churning ways imaginable (courtesy of Academy Award®-winning KNB EFX Group). A deranged killer is on the loose in the grocery store! Can anyone stop this murderous intruder?

Synapse Films is proud to present Scott Spiegel’s INTRUDER, the “holy grail” of extreme gore cinema, in an all-new 2K high-definition transfer of the original uncut, uncensored version. Sam Raimi (director of THE EVIL DEAD and SPIDER-MAN trilogies) and Renée Estevez (TV’s THE WEST WING) star in this blood-drenched cult film classic that critics call “a gorgeous low-budget shocker that has long been one of the best kept secrets of the genre scene” (Alan Simpson, Sex Gore Mutants). Be sure to look for Bruce Campbell (THE EVIL DEAD, TV’s BURN NOTICE) in a cameo role.
Special Features and Disc Info:

Audio Commentary with Director Scott Spiegel and
Producer Lawrence Bender
Slashed Prices: “The Making of INTRUDER” featurette, including interviews with Spiegel, Bender, the KNB EFX team, actors Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Elizabeth Cox, Danny Hicks and others
Never-before-seen extended murder sequences from the original workprint
Outtakes from NIGHT CREW short film
Interview featurette with filmmaker/fan Vincent Pereira on INTRUDER
and GOREZONE magazine
Cast Audition Tapes
Behind-the-Scenes Still Gallery
Original Theatrical Trailer

Director: Scott Spiegel
Starring: Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Elizabeth Cox, Danny Hicks
Run Time: 88 minutes
Release Date: December 13, 2011
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1:78:1
Format: DVD/Blu-ray Combo
Price: $29.95SOURCE: SYNAPSE FILMS


REVIEW: DRACULA: THE VAMPIRE AND THE VOIVODE (2011)

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Now that my favorite month of the year has finally arrived, I have decided to primarily focus on horror films and what can be more fitting than the subject of vampires and, specifically, Dracula, the most infamous bloodsucker of them all. I am not just talking about the fictitious figure in both literary and cinematic circles, I am referring to the man that gave birth to this character in the form of a novel—none other than the Irish author Bram Stoker.

The documentary, DRACULA: THE VAMPIRE AND THE VOIVODE goes to great length to examine and thoroughly explore the history of Bram Stoker and how he came up with the ideas, plot, setting, and what influenced Stoker to craft a tale of one of the most legendary characters in horror fiction to this day. After all, Dracula has never gone out of print and is only rivaled in copies printed by the Bible.  After all, Dracula was first printed in 1897 and has been published in 100’s of different languages.

Author Bram Stoker

The Dracula documentary goes into great depth and research talking with many experts on locations of various importance in Ireland, Transylvania, other parts of Romania, and England. The film is also produced in association with the Transylvanian Society of Dracula and features interviews with some of the leading international Dracula experts such as Elizabeth Miller, Dennis McIntyre of the Bram Stoker Society, Tina Rath of the Dracula Society, Harry Collet, and Nicolae Paduraru. The film not only gives viewers a timeline, including all or any influences that Stoker may have had or were believed to have had, but the movie also travels to key locations and gives viewers a little bit of history about each location, as well as the significance and importance in showing them.

Elizabeth Miller, author & President of the Canadian Chapter of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula

For this viewer, I felt as though I were really traveling to each location and had an expert on hand as a tour guide for the manner in which much of the documentary is delivered to viewers is as though one were on a guided tour with an expert on hand. At times, parts of the film were a bit dry because one individual was merely standing, walking, or sitting while recounting tales or facts concerning Stoker and his novel, without complementing the facts with some sort of visuals or background music but most of the time these accounts of facts had unique accompaniment.

Vlad III Dracula a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler

Sadly, this fan of horror has NEVER even read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, even though he has seen over twenty films covering the dark prince, but this documentary is portrayed in such a manner that one can not resist wanting to read the novel after learning so much about the man whom created it and all the many different influences he had. The film has so much knowledge held within that I think anyone watching the documentary will come away with learning at least a few new pieces of information that until this film came out they were not privy to.

The one portion of the documentary that I found most interesting was the many different geographical locations that were mentioned in the film, as well as many key spots or tourist attractions (some that are legit and others just made popular by misinformed fans and tourists searching for areas mentioned in the actual novel) which opened this fan of horror to a whole new world of vacation ideas.

The film attempts to separate fact from fiction surrounding much of the confusion between Count Dracula, the fictional vampire, and Vlad “Tepes (The Impaler)” Draculea III (1431-1476), the voivode, Old Slavonic, meaning “one who leads warriors.” I read a whole book on Dracula (In Search of Dracula by Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally) and Vlad the Impaler was one individual that was mentioned quite often and himself would make for a brutally delightful documentary since his story of royalty and violence during his six-year rule of Romania has been made famous to not only history buffs but to those interested in Dracula because others believe Vlad was partly responsible inspiration. The filmmakers even go so far as to say that a large amount of tourism for certain areas was due, in part, to the book In Search of Dracula and as a result some regions and cities have capitalized on this and sell numerous souvenirs related to Dracula and vampires. If individuals really did want to visit key locations in parts of Europe than this would be the documentary to view and take notes on. This film is as much for fans of literature as it is for fans of history and horror films. The film really transcends to all generations and ages and not to just fans of horror. I can easily sit and watch this with my grandmother as I can with a young boy or girl in their teens.

The movie was filmed, written, and directed by Michael Bayley Hughes whom I could not find as to having any entry in IMDb, nor could I find the film’s entry, but fear not, for there is a wonderful website draculadocumentary.com where one can learn more about the locations explored within the documentary, as well as purchase the film. The site is simplistic in nature, some links not offering much more to the film, but the links section of the website offers the whole book online to read for free, as well as info on Bram Stoker, Vlad the Impaler, notes by Bram Stoker, and a plethora of more information and knowledge supplementing the already vast amount of information the documentary already provided.

The movie was narrated superbly by Jason Walford Davies, complete with accent, and is presented in full frame with an aspect ration of 4×3 (1.33:1) and in 2.0 Stereo sound. The film runs to just about 84 minutes in duration and has a suggested retail price of just $19.99. The film is presented by Virgil Films and Walking Shadows and is a Teleg Films documentary.

Any purist or completest of vampire films and knowledge on Dracula must obtain this documentary as part of their collection to consider it complete. For fans of Gothic literature and a fan of literature, in general, will find this film about Bram Stoker and the lore of Dracula just as fascinating as any fan of classic horror films, both older and more current. DRACULA: THE VAMPIRE AND THE VOIVODE has to be one of the most interesting and fascinating documentaries that I have ever seen on Dracula and the history concerning one of the greatest novels of the horror genre. Now, please excuse me, for I am going to finally crack open my hardcover edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and film my mind with nightmarish visions of teeth sinking into my neck before I retire for the night.

 


REVIEW: MISS NOBODY (2010)

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Comedies have never been my favorite genre of films to watch. After all, horror is my bag. Going into MISS NOBODY I was not sure what to expect. I mean, I was expecting to have to sit through a 90-minute feature of jokes that packed little to zero punch and did not even tickle, for a moment, my funny bone. Director Tim Cox, known for having directed some SyFy Channel originals for t.v., such as MAMMOTH (2006), MORPHMAN (2005), and ALIEN LOCKDOWN (2004), was not really impressing me with his list of movies credited on his resume. I find most of the SyFy Channel original movies to be a semi-decent way to kill 2 hours when nothing else is on for some cheap genre thrills, but whose use are nothing more than that. So I was thinking, “Great! A genre I am very particular about directed by a man who has made low-budget and cheesy Sci-fi films whose general execution in plot and entertainment are almost along the lines of a decent Roger Corman flick. I was setting the bar to my expectations for MISS NOBODY pretty damn low. After I finished the film, I was MORE than pleasantly surprised. I found out this dark comedy really won me over.

MISS NOBODY is a romantic comedy, on the darker side, about a secretary, Sarah Jane McKinney (Leslie Bibb) who is trying to climb the corporate ladder and rise about the menial role of answering phone calls and fetching coffee for her superiors. One day she, with the help of her quasi-eccentric mother Claire McKinney (Kathy Baker, COLD MOUNTAIN), decides to stretch the truth on her application and apply for a much higher position within the company she works for. To her surprise, Sarah lands the job. No sooner than she gets the does she already have it swiped out from under her by Milo Beeber (Brandon Routh, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD) when the boss that hired her gets fired. Totally devastated, she calls upon her lucky patron saint St. George for guidance (this saint’s statue fell from high above a church steeple and killed her alcoholic father) and decides to get to the top by any means necessary (with the help of her guardian angel), even if it means killing her competition.

Leslie Bibb as Sarah Jane McKinney

Bibb (IRON MAN 1&2) is asked to work through dinner with her new boss Beeber (Routh) and when he tries to force himself upon her stating, “I have sex with all my secretaries“, McKinney (Bibb) pushes him off the ladder he had cornered her on in his apartment and knocks him to his death via an umbrella stabbing. Frankly, I do not think an umbrella would be able to impale anyone through the chest, but that is where the dark humor and ridiculousness to the whole matter of affairs comes in. The film is full of creative murders and a pretty amusing array of characters with descriptions of each character voiced-over by McKinney (Bibb) throughout the film. Think of it like THE OFFICE meets DEXTER(with just a touch of morbid overtones such as in HEATHERS), but with a semi-ditzy female version of Michael Scott doing the murdering of all her co-workers and none of the slick maneuverings of Dexter Morgan . Every co-worker is viewed as a potential thorn in McKinney’s (Bibb) side, from the sharp and voluptuous Nan Wilder (Vivica A. Fox) to the oversexed Joshua Nether (Eddie Jemison) to the foot-fetish perversions of Pierre Jejeune (Patrick Fischler).

The inventive and creative kills within the film had me glued to the screen with interest, as well as the goofiness of how the murders were executed. Leslie Bibb was a pleasure to watch on film and her character was perfectly cast to her quirky, yet sexy style, as an actress. She is one of those individuals that I can see as being really gorgeous and sexy, yet also have a nerdy and a side lacking confidence. I believe I really enjoyed the movie so much because of Bibb’s performance and the quasi-innocence her character portrayed. I just could not feel sympathy for any of Bibb’s co-workers as they were killed off, some in quite painful fashion.

Brandon Routh and Leslie Bibb

The love interest in the film comes in the form of a detective assigned to the case who just also happens to be a tenant in Bibb’s mother’s inn. Adam Goldberg (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN), portraying Detective Bill Malloy was a fine pick for Bibb’s attraction. Actor Goldberg is great at playing a schmuck-like type of character that also can transition to having a pair of balls when need be. I fondly remember him as the Jewish roommate, David,  of white supremacist Remy (Rappaport) in Singleton’s HIGHER LEARNING. Throw into the cast character actor Geoffrey Lewis (THE DEVIL’S REJECTS), comical David Anthony Higgins (TV’s Ellen), and the always likeable Richard Riehle (OFFICE SPACE) and I felt the cast was very well-rounded. In fact, I am surprised to be hearing myself say that I really liked the film. The dark overtones and elements of black humor are what won me over to enjoying this film so much. I also do enjoy a film that has elements of mystery and a whodunnit aspect to the movie.

Doug Steinberg (TV’s Beverly Hills 90210) wrote the film and the delightful soundtrack is credited to John Dickson, mostly known for doing a bunch of SyFy Channel movies’ soundtracks. I really loved the soundtrack and felt that it added to the overall charm and character of the movie. I kind of was reminded of Danny Elfman a little bit. I think the dark humor, plot, and characters in the film went along superbly with the efforts of Dickson and his playful soundtrack.

For a film tagged as a romantic comedy, I can wholeheartedly say that MISS NOBDOY is one of the few films that I will go on the record for as saying that I really enjoyed and think fans of that genre will enjoy quite immensely, as well as those that normally aren’t into these types of films. I recommend checking out MISS NOBODY.


REVIEW: RAGE (2010)

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Christopher Witherspoon’s RAGE starts up with an applicable definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary for the definition of the word rage: violent and uncontrolled anger. That very simple and direct definition aptly defined the whole plot and purpose of the film. The film not only entertained, but RAGE also taught viewers a lesson—a lesson that many may find to be useful in their everyday life.

The film starts out in present-day suburbia, just outside the beautiful city of Portland, with a thirty-something man saying goodbye to his lovely wife (Audrey Walker) as he drives off into the city. Leaving his picture-perfect house with its finely manicured, lush, green lawn waving goodbye to him. The scene definitely was getting ready to set up some tragic and ominous events that were to occur in the future of this film. As our lead character, Dennis Twist (Rick Crawford), heads into the city to meet a friend for lunch he encounters a mysterious biker clad in black from head to toe (even including a helmet with a dark visor making it impossible to identify the individual underneath).

The biker honks its bike’s horn after Twist pulls into a parking spot and gets out. Twist looks at him in utter confusion, motioning with his hands as if to say, “What???”, then still mystified shrugs it off and leaves for his lunch date. On the way to it, he stops by for a visit to the woman he is having an affair with and gives her the news that it’s over and that he loves his wife. She takes the news badly, threatens to tell his wife, and then asks if it is because of Steven, her formerly incarcerated ex-boyfriend who just got out of prison and is seemingly on probation of some sort. Twist tells his lover, Dana (Anna Lodej) he just loves his wife and does not want to continue the relationship with her anymore.

All the while, the mysterious biker from the parking lot is seen watching them from behind the trees. At this point in the film, I was sensing that the biker was going to be directly causing some sort of trouble for our cheating, married, author. Yeah, the guy gave one of his unpublished works to his lover to get her opinion on the book. Of course she loved it.

As the movie progresses, our mysterious biker begins to follow Steven and slowly annoy him at every point in his day, whether it be pulling up in front of him and sitting at a green light while blocking his way from driving off in his oh-so-suburbanite PT Cruiser or an even more bold and rash act of aggression such as pulling up next to him and keying his car with a knife as the biker speeds off. One is starting to get the idea this elusive motorcyclist has it out for our poor, unfaithful, well-to-do suburban author.

The rest of the film turns into a cat and mouse game of chase, going back and forth between the driver of the wimpy PT Cruiser and the tough-looking, clad-in-black biker speeding around on a crotch-rocket. Just when I was beginning to think this film reminded me of another movie or two in which two drivers are “duking it out” in their respective vehicles on the road, a majorly obvious DUEL reference is made between to random individuals who are chatting with each other. One guy tells his friend the plot of Spielberg’s well-done, made for television tale of a guy driving on the highway battling a huge semi-truck having only his wits as a weapon and an open road as his arena. One could say that RAGE is a modern-day take on Duel, heavily inspired by the film, but set in an urban setting with other locations instead of just one big empty highway.

RAGE is an indie film with a budget that looks to work with the material at hand. The film was very well-shot and edited, paired nicely with a compelling soundtrack that added suspense and intrigue to the action and scenes on hand. With each scene in the film, the severity of the biker’s actions towards Steven increase more and more, from cutting the brake lines of his stupid Cruiser to following him into the bathroom of the auto repair shop (where Steven overhears the conversation between the two men talking about Spielberg and his first movie DUEL along with some metaphor crap about the film that probably was taught in a class at film school entitled “The Psychology of the Mind in Cinema” or something along those lines) and beating the hell out of him.

At this point in the film, I was really wondering where this was all going. All of the dialogue was coming from Steven and the few interactions he had with his buddy (who also is his therapist) whom he met at lunch and explained his biker problem to. At about the 35 minute mark, I was beginning to crave for some more direct action, violence, blood, guts, nudity, explosions, or some epic crashes or chase scenes reminiscent of Miller’s MAD MAX films. I guess I was not going to get anything really crazy involving a crotch-rocket and a fucking PT Cruiser, but I can still hope for it.

The rest of the movie is a semi fast-paced game of “cat-and-mouse” as Steven tries to elude the biker and get home safely to his home. At this point, it is nighttime and after the bathroom beat-down, Steven decides that he just better stay away from him and hide rather than confront him and get his ass kicked…or even worse.

When the film progresses its action back at Steven’s house, things pick up yet again and there is a little bit of blood and some rape. The rape scene could have been more graphic, showing some actual nudity and more extreme violence towards the victim (which would have given the scene more impact and made it that much more horrible for the viewer to watch (we get a side buttocks view and most of the actual rape is from the waist down and our angle of view is from just above the waist and up but the point of the scene was to show that a rape did occur and not really “shock” the viewers which I think would have worked better).

At this point, the film’s impact was starting to wear thin and my interest was starting to dissipate. I was becoming bored with this mute biker and his acts of violence, seemingly random but maybe motivated from an unknown purpose. We then get an idea of just how unbalanced the biker is when he/she uses a chainsaw on some unlucky individuals. This scene, again, could have shown more of the actual act of violence (along with even more blood and gore) to make more of an impact on the viewers and satisfy the horror fans out there, but no such luck. There is some gore involving a chainsaw, finger digits, and spraying blood but more would have been so much more satisfying.

At the conclusion of the film, which I won’t spoil, I kind of felt let down. I felt as though all the acts of violence really were ridiculous in nature when it is known who is doing them for what reason. I did not feel cheated with the film’s conclusion but I just felt that the outcome was kind of absurd and ridiculous because the tone and style of the film had a fairly sensible tone going for it and then it made a turn towards the absurd, which really wasn’t a bad thing. I just wish the director had decided to cut some of the banal minor acts of violence and aggression and begin with the major ones sooner than later. I felt the build-up was a bit too slow in the making.

The film had many solid points within it: a cohesive storyline, well shot scenes, superbly edited, and the film had a very polished and slick look to it that really shouted “big budget” even though it was a smaller-budgeted indie flick. My wishes were that is was bloodier, gorier, depicted specific scenes in a more graphic manner to elicit stronger emotions and attachments towards the protagonist and victims (like in the rape scene) and, at times, move the story along at a quicker pace.

In the end, Witherspoon’s RAGE does blow away many of the indie flicks out there that I have reviewed and felt I totally wasted my time while watching. I think I just saw that their was a great deal of potential in the film and that it could have been far better. I got more entertainment and satisfaction from watching this film than many with similar budget restraints. The film was better than most.


REVIEW: MUD ZOMBIES (2008)

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Due to a friend of mine referring to this film as “Brazil’s answer to Peter Jackson’s BRAINDEAD a.k.a. DEAD ALIVE“, I just had to see it. So I decided to do a little research and find out if I could obtain a screener from the Brazilian director, Rodrigo Aragao, via information on the IMDb Pro account I had for a short period before my credit card maxed out and I had no way of paying for their somewhat pricey service. I emailed Aragao, as well as the distributor, and received a wonderful 2-disc retail version of the movie on dvd. I was so happy that they sent the movie to me, all the way from Brazil!

If one has never heard of MUD ZOMBIES a.k.a. MANGUE NEGRO, I am not surprised. I only heard of it through a friend whom really has a knack for finding out about obscure horror films, many of them really gory or violent in nature. MUD ZOMBIES is right along those lines in terms of violence and gore.

The film’s plot revolves around a mangrove located along a river of sorts that is located in a poor community in the remote state of Espirito Santo, Brazil. The extremely poverty-stricken community makes a living by fishing and capturing crustaceans from the local tropical mangroves. Their meager existence is threatened when some sort of pollution enters their waters, thereby making the food supply infected and the inhabitants that rely on it as the source of their livelihood infected as well. As the inhabitants start to become infected, one very unlikely survivor and the woman he is smitten over are two of the unlikely heroes and main characters left in the community. The nerdy and physically inept man really turns out to be a character that I was rooting for throughout the whole film.

When I started watching this film, the whole terrain and topography of the area reminded me of the many Italian cannibal/jungle films that I have seen, such as MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, etc..At one point I was wondering if some naked tribesman were going to come running across the screen with their twig and berries swaying merrily in the breeze, a few bare-breasted women following in suit with their breasts sagging down to their knees, but I was pleasantly surprised that everyone in the film was clothed, even the attractive lead Brazilian actress portraying Raquel, Kika de Oliveira, a newcomer to the world of film. This seems to be the only movie she has ever been in. Raquel plays the obedient and devoted daughter to her family. Her mother is very sick, laid up in bed and looking as though she were a failed wax museum exhibit of Vincent Price’s in HOUSE OF WAX. Upon my first screening, I was not sure if all the elders in the village just start to look like old, melted mutants or if this was a result of the polluted waters. The reason as to where or why the pollution occurs is never really explained. In fact, I am not sure if it is pollution, but the film’s synopsis on IMDb tells me so, therefore, I am going to believe it. Some in the film seem to think that the mangrove is haunted. Upon hearing this word so many times, and not really understanding what exactly a mangrove is, I decided to research it a little bit. Here is what I found out: Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the Tropics and Subtropics– mainly between 25° N and 25° S.

So mangroves are are medium sized trees that grow in certain coastal areas in the tropics and subtropics. This having been explained, I now really could focus on zombies and gore. After all is explained, the whole movie is about Luis (Walderrama Dos Santos) , who is in love with Raquel, try to find out what is killing everyone and turning them into zombies. After a few of the locals turn into flesh-craving monsters with their eyes turned a milky white and black, rotting blood and fluids dripping from their open cavities, the focus turns to finding some of the elders who were usually found to contain remedies for every type of sickness or ailment. In villages such as these, I assumed it would be a local witch that lived alone in a modest cabin and creepily kept to herself. As suspected, the old lady looks like a melted life-size wax figure and is extremely bizarre, talking about 3 words a minute, almost causing me to scan through her tediously delivered dialogue to get to the gore and guts sooner.

As with most horror films, and movies of any sort, there always has to be the human element of the film presented and usually against better judgement, a woman is spearing the drive to go see if her family and loved ones are o.k., even though every character in the film has told her they are probably already dead, eaten, or the living dead eating other people. Leave it to a sentimental woman to ignore the obvious facts and predicament and have faith that, although everyone else is a mud zombie ravenous for human flesh, her parents somehow avoided the whole damn zombie plague in the mangroves. If there were no stupid people in movies, or the world for that matter, how would ridiculous situations and tragic events take place then?

At only 3o minutes into the film, there have been a few murders, several zombies awakening from the mud and the effects within the film were incredibly well done and extremely creative. The film itself looked to be shot on some sort of high-def digital camera, but there was something about the lensing and the way the film was shot that made it look really good and I was really shocked and happily surprised at how awesome some of the gore and zombie effects were done. In one scene, Raquel has just found Luis tending to her brother who happened to fall on a pile of infected crabs and therefore caught the zombie infection. Raquel knocks Luis in the head with a chunk of wood and before she is done beating the crap out of him a rotting zombie with barely any flesh left on its skull comes and takes a bit out of her arm, thereby infecting her. The manner in which the zombie shown walking around looks to be some very solid stop-motion effects. The zombie moved in a manner that reminded me of how “Tarman” moved in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. Similar technology may have been used for this effect in MUD ZOMBIES.

The remainder of the films is comprised of the few remaining villagers fighting for their lives against a mangrove full of ravenous zombies, including the old fisherman from the beginning of the film whose name in IMDb is just Agenor dos Santos portrayed by Markus Konka, a recurring character throughout the film. His acting in the film seemed pretty decent, though it is kind of hard to gauge foreign language performances sometimes. The film was shot with quick edits, great angles, and phenomenal effects. I can’t say that the references to Jackson’s BRAINDEAD a.k.a. DEAD ALIVE are warranted (as that film was a gore masterpiece), but the similarities are their in regards to a nerdy character coming to save the day and protect his loved one (even though she does not know for most of the film in MUD ZOMBIES and in BRAINDEAD the missus is in love with him the moment her tarot card reading comes true).

Kika De Oliveira portraying Raquel

The only major slow points in the film are the relationship building  and chemistry that is being built up between Luis and Raquel. I guess if there is going to be some sort of love connection going on between two individuals, I would rather it be in a zombie horror movie than a stupid chick flick with no gore, blood, or guts. I found it quite humorous that whenever there was some downtime in the horror, blood, and gore–Luis would try to share his feelings with Raquel and just at the moment when she would hear his proclamation, zombies would crash through the scene and the two would be forced to dismember the hell out of every walking undead in sight.

Of particular note is the handy little axe that Luis uses to decapitate, mutilate, and aggravate a majority of the blood-lusting walking dead. The weapon appears to be the next best thing to chop and dice up the monsters. It also looks great on film as it dices off a head and it goes whistling through the air. Many of the gory scenes are over-the-top and include a large amount of blood and splatter. There is one epic scene in which very fat female zombie has a huge tongue, as large as a cow’s but even longer, and it gets ripped off and seems to have a mind of its own. This very scene reminded me of BRAINDEAD, in the scene where a zombie’s intestines spill out and have a mind of their own, fighting for survival. I guess one can see that Rodrigo Aragao, whom also wrote the script for the film, was the primary cinematographer, and also was responsible for all of the special effects. The man has an extremely great amount of talent and I can only imagine what incredible gore films he can create with larger amount of resources and money. The man is one that I am going to be keeping tabs on and watching for in the future.

a little bit of finger food

The 2-disc dvd includes a commentary conducted by director Rodrigo Aragao, as well as a tiny little assortment of various zombies getting their make-up put on by the fx artists on the same disc that the movie is on. I thought it was hilarious that a dude played the part of the old, witch-like grandmother whom helps Luis and Raquel with her unorthodox methods of medical assistance. The director’s commentary would have been so much funner to listen to if I could understand a lick of Portuguese. There were no English subtitles for the commentary, but there were English subs for the film, as well as Spanish subtitles. I was so grateful for this. The version I received, I believe, is the International Version. It came in widescreen, runs 105 minutes, and came with eight full-color collectible lobby cards with actors and actresses in the film portrayed in screenshots, as well as what I believe to be two pictures of the director filming a scene and holding one of his prosthetic masks that the zombies were made of.

The second disc includes a trailer of MUD ZOMBIES, a making of segment with narration by the director (all in Portuguese w/ no subs) but it is very cool to look at, regardless. Also, I believe a few short clips from some of his prior work (none of which has been entered into IMDb and is probably stuff that is not available on dvd anywhere but his own personal collection), but the really cool thing is that most of the special effects scenes are shown in this, from applying make-up to showing how particular scenes were created. I love when dvds have an extensive amount of extra features that go deep into the making of the film. If I could understand a lick of Portuguese, I would be in horror heaven while watching this.

Also included on this disc is three of his short films: CHUPA CABRAS, PEIXE PODRE, and PEIXE PODRE 2! I thought this was pretty sweet. There is an introduction by Aragao to each film, as well. After watching each short, the quality getting lower with each movie (particularly PEIXE PODRE). I do like the fact that some awesome metal was used in the soundtracks’ of both films, including a track by Slayer. I always felt metal and horror went hand-in-hand. The special features on this disc are awesome, and I hope that when this director starts becoming a little bit more well-known, which he will be, he continues to keep pushing the envelope in the gore and guts department.

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REVIEW: THE SECRET LIFE: JEFFREY DAHMER (1993)

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Everyone in the Midwest, and probably everyone in the United States (if not the whole world) has heard of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. It was a tragic story that was reported in the media where I lived (in Illinois) regularly once he was apprehended because of the states’ close proximity to Wisconsin, where most of the murders were occurring. I remember as a teenager being horrified, yet disturbingly fascinated by each and every article I read on this very sick and disturbed individual.THE SECRET LIFE: JEFFREY DAHMER (1993) paints a very vivid and true-to-facts type of film on this notorious serial killer, including his victims, methods of dispatching victims, and digs into the psyche and mindset of an adult Dahmer.

What I found so interesting about the 1993 bi0-pic on Dahmer is the fact that this was the first movie to come out on Dahmer (the first of many more to come), and this film was made while Dahmer was still alive before Dahmer was killed by an inmate in prison by a barbell pole. This is probably the reason the film was so controversial, on top of the fact that the film was made about a serial killer and sex offender who murdered 17 men and boys. When the movie came out, it was already steeped in controversy and so much controversy that it got the filmmakers, director David R. Bowen (whom also composed the music in the film) and actor/writer Carl Crew (BLOOD DINER) a spot as guests on his show-along with the victims of Jeffrey Dahmer. The film outraged many people. especially the family’s victims (and understandably so) but what angered many of the families even more was the fact that the family members of the victims did not get earn any money for the exploitation of their loved ones’ tragic deaths being portrayed.

Carl Crew portraying serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer

Even though there is a disclaimer stating that the stories and victims’ of Dahmer’s portrayed in the film had details changed to protect the victims, from what I know about each case in reading newspaper articles and doing research on Dahmer and the murders, they were pretty accurate with the actual events.

The film, although shot on the cheap, really comes off as a very grim and accurate portrayal of Dahmer and his methods of luring, murdering, and eating his unlucky victims. The movie shows viewers a bit of Dahmer’s mindset, the thoughts going inside his head and how he went about choosing his victims and the lies he told them to convince them to come home with him or go to various locations for what most thought was going to be just  sexual encounter or a way to make some quick cash in a photo shoot. The film was the first come out and tell the story of Dahmer, as in the coming months and years there have been at least a dozen films made concerning his awful story.

I think that as far as the acting went, Carl Crew really did a wonderful job in his portrayal of Dahmer and was the only actor that stood out and carried the whole film. I remember Crew for starring in the horror-comedy BLOOD DINER (1987), another film that I really liked and used to have on VHS (currently looking to buy myself another copy of the gem!), and his performance really added to the authenticity of THE SECRET LIFE: JEFFREY DAHMER. Intervision picked up this film and gave it a dvd release, as well as a very informative director’s commentary, along with actor/writer Carl Crew, and I really enjoyed this movie much more than I thought I would. The film looked to have a very low-budget and I just did not expect to enjoy the movie quite as much as I did.

Cops busting Dahmer with a young boy

I think films on serial killers always interest me more than most other films, factual or fictionalized, on the subject matter of horror and real-life events. The films’ voice-over narration conducted by Crew, as well as the film’s lack of a decent budget as all the interior shots were filmed in a soundstage in Burbank (before the Japanese investors pulled out leaving the crew with only 30% of the movie filmed) and the crew had to use friends and family to get the film finished. If having investors pull out a third of the way was not enough of a reason to be discouraged into quitting the film, the Rodney King Riots occurred in L.A. during this filming period and the lighting company and dollie company had their buildings and equipment torched to the ground by rioters.

As for the blood and gore of the movie, there really was not a whole lot of it, but I felt that the lack of it did not hurt the film any. There were some violent scenes, such as a victim getting hit in the head with a weight from a weight bench set, or the scene where Dahmer is drilling a hole in a victim’s head and pouring some chemicals in it resulting with the victim having a seizure of sorts, angering Dahmer and leading to the victim being instantly killed. The fact that these scenes are based off of real-life events is pretty disturbing, whether the effects are very well done or not. I believe the film was just trying to show viewers the means in which Dahmer murdered his victims, but not necessarily go into any sort of graphic detail. There was one scene in which a decapitated head was shown sitting in Dahmer’s refrigerator and I thought it was a well done prosthetic and really looked realistic.

The film really shows quite a bit the sexual nature of Dahmer, the intense foreplay that led up to the victims’ demise, as well as having some really hilarious dialogue that in listening to the director’s commentary and hearing writer/actor Crew stating that the dialogue (most of it) had to be pieced together from the source materials at hand which happened to be mostly from police reports. THE SECRET LIFE: JEFFREY DAHMER is a film that, after having watched it once with my girlfriend and again while writing the review, find myself liking it more and more with each viewing. The film really has a lot of personality and character to it, and I was surprised at how much the film angled into getting into the psyche of Dahmer and his twisted mind. The other films that I saw about Dahmer were not that in-depth, did not follow the facts nearly as closely, and were more dramatized more than anything. I give the filmmakers great credit into sticking to the facts and really telling a story worth telling. I saw DAHMER (2002) with Jeremy Renner and the film had a much larger budget and failed to paint such a vivid picture as Bowen and Crew crafted in their film. It just goes to show you that a larger budget with bigger named actors from Hollywood does not always equate to a better motion picture.

The film has inspired me to dig back into the details of the murders and pick up some books on the murders and further my research on the subject matter. Sometimes when I see a film about a subject matter that really interests me and I have a decent understanding of the materials and the movie sucks, I get really pissed off at the filmmakers for ruining a subject I enjoy learning about. If anything, the makers of THE SECRET LIFE: JEFFREY DAHMER will inspire others to research about Jeffrey Dahmer and even more importantly, remind folks to be leery and very careful when meeting very charismatic individuals that one does not know very well or are meeting for the first time. It amazed me how trusting so many boys and young men were when meeting Dahmer for the first time. I also felt that the movie also portrayed the police in a realistic manner, especially in scenes that showed how the cops disregarded protocol and the rules of procedure which led to Dahmer to continue going out and killing more unsuspecting men.

I really have to recommend picking up the INTERVISION release of THE SECRET LIFE: JEFFREY DAHMER on dvd. To date, this movie has been my favorite release from the fairly new distributor. I am looking forward to what undiscovered film gems that company digs up and puts out on dvd. I am glad that THE SECRET LIFE made it to dvd almost 18 years later and with a commentary track with director David R. Bowen and actor/writer Carl Crew. This film ranks as one of my top serial killer films and one of the best that I have ever seen, regardless of the film’s low-budget.