Independent Movie

All posts tagged Independent Movie

The Last Exorcist

Reviewed by Killer Kelly

Synopsis

Internationally-recognized action and horror superstar Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn,3 From Hell) stars in The Last Exorcist, scaring up spites this October on DVD and Digital.
 
After every priest trained in exorcisms die in a terrorist attack, Joan Campbell must battle a demon from her past that, this time, possesses her sister.  
 
From writer/director Robin Bain, and starring Terri Ivens (“The Bay”), Danny Trejo, Rachele Brooke Smith (Cold Moon) and Cate Jones (Camp Cold Brook), The Last Exorcist is available on DVD and Digital October 13 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

The Last Exorcist

So, how did it do?

I gotta admit I was surprised by this one. Uncork’d Entertainment are usually the best distributors of indie horror movies (in my opinion). Mainly because they only seem to be involved in the best movies. But this one must’ve got through the net somehow.

There are a few good things about the The Last Exorcist, but a whole lot of bad. So much so, that I genuinely don’t know where to start. I guess the beginning is the best bet.

The entire storyline from start to finish was so farfetched that I just couldn’t get on board. A lone bomber blows himself up in a place that just happens to have every single person trained in exorcisms present. I mean, okay, I’ll try roll with it. But then to have our main character try to save her sister by first of all becoming a priest (which I’m sure goes against the Christian faith). Then, perform an exorcism. Neither of which she has any experience of. All the while, Danny Trejo’s character (who is already a priest and seems to know his exorcism stuff quite well) guides her. Really? Then to end up with a martial arts fight scene involving the random dude who keeps popping up everywhere? By that time I was literally shouting at the TV. Where the hell did she learn Kung Fu?!

Acting

The Last Exorcist

The acting was hit and miss. Ivens is becoming more active on the horror scene, recently appearing in Coven (check out our review here). Her role in The Last Exorcist was even more prominent and she did a fairly good job. Similarly, Rachele Brooke Smith did a pretty good job too. There were a few up and down moments but to be honest I’d put that down to the script. Some of the dialogue was cringey as hell and if I did a shot every time they called each other ‘sister’ I wouldn’t be alive writing this! Trejo did an exceptional job in his role. Swapping his macho, action man style for the divine, man of God approach. And it worked! Yet, some of the acting from the supporting cast was atrocious. I’m just gonna leave it there on that note.

What else?

So let’s talk about some of the action scenes. I’ve already mentioned how gobsmacked I was when the movie turned into Enter the Dragon at the end. So we won’t say anything else on that matter. But there were some parts which worked well and others which didn’t. A stabbing scene was painful to watch and I don’t mean due to the graphic nature. It was reminiscent of a sloth trying to crack a walnut. There was no ferocity, no drive and, despite the character being possessed, just looked like a tentative actor scared of hurting her co-star.

Later, an altercation in a bar worked pretty well. Irvine successfully portrayed a character with debilitating mental health and it was a pretty effective scene. So it’s not all doom and gloom. The movie did have its good points. It’s just a shame that these are overshadowed by the greater number of negatives.

The Last Exorcist

Storyline

The storyline confused the hell out of me. Yes, every exorcist being killed at once did put me on the backfoot. But, there was never any real explanation about… anything. I get that the two were orphaned after their crazy mother killed the father and then killed herself. No idea how they ended up in the care of the church and under the guide of a priest (is that a thing?) I have no idea who the random bad guy is that keeps popping up, and I have no idea what the ending is trying to imply.

I mean I could try watching it again to see if it makes sense the second time round. But, honestly, I can’t bring myself to do it any time soon.

Overall, the acting wasn’t bad from the three I’ve mentioned but there was some terrible performances from supporting cast. Storyline was confusing as hell (no pun intended) and it just felt rushed and incomplete. I think if writer/director Bain went back to the drawing board with this one, tightened the storyline, recast some of the lesser parts and did it again, it would be a lot better.

Check out the trailer here

 The Last Exorcist is available on DVD and Digital on October 13th from Uncork’d Entertainment.

What do you think of the movie? Like the sound of it? Let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram or in the comments below!

Want more movie reviews? Click here

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation

Reviewed by Mike Macabre

Independent horror constantly shows us that it can rival the efforts of its mainstream counterparts. With awesome special effects, great acting and stunning locations, many could easily be mistaken for a big budget flick. In fact, only recently we’ve reviewed such movies. The terrific acting in The Legend of the Muse, the stunning scenery in The Faceless Man and the great effects in both are prime examples. Redwood Massacre: Annihilation literally has all of the above.

Synopsis

A stranger obsessed with the unsolved Redwood murders, convinces a group of bereaved family members to venture into the wilderness in hope of proving the existence of the infamous killer. Their quest for truth sees a sinister turn of events, as the hunters become the hunted. A blood-soaked fight for survival ensues when they find that the tales of the axe-wielding maniac are very real.

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation

Review

The movie opens with a massacre. The Burlap Killer strolls amongst a sea of bodies, slicing and dicing survivors amid a cacophony of wails and screams. It’s a solid opening, giving viewers a reminder of the Burlap Killer’s brutal, unrelenting nature. This is then followed with another murder by a different killer! However, he’s just as sadistic as our main antagonist.

After this prologue we’re treated to some great cinematography. It has to be said, Scotland is an absolutely stunning place. With rolling hills, winding streams and endless landscapes, you couldn’t ask for a more picturesque location. Yet, the vast majority of the movie takes place in an underground military bunker. I mean, it makes sense. The beauty of the Scottish countryside would definitely detract from the brutal murders occurring throughout the flick! Director David Ryan Keith certainly made the best decision on that front.

Whilst we’re talking about good decisions, let’s focus on the acting!

Who’s who?

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation

The film is made up of a stellar cast each bringing a unique aspect to the storyline. Danielle Harris plays her role as Laura Dempsey superbly. A constant presence throughout the movie, Harris’ convincing portrayal of a kick ass fighter is certainly one to watch. With her confident demeanour and determination it’s easy to fear for the Burlap Killer himself as opposed to his potential victims. This is exacerbated even further when you incorporate Gary Kasper. With his huge, imposing frame and menacing persona you can’t help but yearn for a face off between him and the antagonist. Add to that the huge arsenal he brings with him, it’s not your bog-standard slasher! However, the man-mountain also has a softer side when it comes to his friends. The camaraderie displayed throughout the movie is a joy to behold.

Jon Campling is great in his role as Tom Dempsey, Laura’s father. He’s driven, yet easily swayed and is happy to let his daughter lead the way. Damien Puckler plays Max, the mysterious stranger who convinces the party to go and find the masked killer. His motives are clear from the outset and he lives up to these expectations as the movie goes on. Finally, Tevy Poe‘s portrayal of Jen is the only time the director conforms to stereotype. The flirtatious friend of Laura is a standard mould seen in the vast majority of slashers, yet, she still plays a good part and ultimately I think the movie is perfectly cast.

The Effects

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation

As you can probably expect if you saw the first film, Redwood Massacre: Annihilation is rife with blood, gore and great effects. Given the small cast, we do have to wait a considerable amount of time before we get to the brutal killings, however, this just serves to build suspense. There are some great props used throughout and the creative murders are a credit to the makeup department and special effects team. There’s dismemberment, evisceration and, as you can guess, bucket loads of gore!

Overall, this movie is certainly not one to be missed and I would highly recommend it to everyone. Even if you haven’t seen the first one, you can quickly grasp the concept!

Check out the trailer here

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation is coming to DVD and Digital on October 20th from Uncork’d Entertainment.

What do you think of the movie? Like the sound of it? Let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram or in the comments below!

Want more movie reviews? Click here

Legend of the Muse

Reviewed by Mike Macabre

We all love mythology, right? After all, the vast majority of horror influences can be linked to stories told in ancient times. Werewolves can be traced back to the Greek Legend of Lycaon, Frankenstein can be linked to the Jewish legend of The Golem, and as for vampires, well stories about bloodsuckers have existed for millennia. Legend of the Muse is another which draws on these old tales in the form of Celtic mythology.

Synopsis

A painter’s life is changed forever when a mythical and deadly spirit from Celtic lore becomes his muse and lover.

Starring Riley Egan, Elle Evans, Kate Mansi, Max Decker, Jennie Fahn and Lou Ferrigno Jr. and written/ directed by John Burr.

Legend of the Muse

The movie follows Adam (Egan), an introvert artist who lives alone in an overpriced, rundown apartment. When he meets Hector (Decker), a new tenant in the building, Adam’s life starts to get a bit more interesting. Whilst serving as a driver to assist Hector’s criminal activity, Adam encounters a mysterious woman (Evans). Silent, seductive and seemingly inhuman, the woman appears again in Adam’s apartment. From here the story progresses into an intriguing, sensual bloodbath.

Review

I’m genuinely unsure where to start with this one. John Burr has written an absolutely superb story that just keeps on giving. Admittedly, it was confusing to begin with, but it didn’t take long for the pieces to fall into place.

The accolade for outstanding performance would easily go to Elle Evans. Despite not having a single spoken line, she dominates the screen in every scene she’s in. To portray such a range of traits and emotions without words is an impressive feat. Displaying a multitude of characteristics from sweet and innocent, sultry and seductive, to downright terrifying, Evans pulls it off flawlessly. This, coupled with Egan’s convincing portrayal of the timid artist provides a strong cast that are a credit to the movie.

Legend of the Muse

There’s a good amount of blood/gore in the movie. Not too excessive, but enough to satisfy most horror fans without detracting from the main storyline. Speaking of the story, there may have been one issue I had with it. Who hides body parts under the floorboards?! I mean give it a couple of days and you’ll have a smell that even the strongest air fresheners wouldn’t be able to shift! That aside though, the effects were pretty good and the makeup department definitely deserve a shout out for their efforts.

Check out the trailer here

Legend of the Muse is available to watch now Amazon

What do you think of the movie? Like the sound of it? Seen it already? Let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram or in the comments below!

Want more movie reviews? Click here

The Faceless Man

Reviewed by Mike Macabre

There are so many great horror movies to come out of Australia. Wolf Creek, The Loved Ones, Babadook and so many more originated from the land down under. And why not? With its breath-taking landscapes, awesome weather and great wildlife its one of the most idyllic places on earth. Yet, in the same breath, its unforgiving landscapes, extreme weather and downright terrifying wildlife is also the perfect setting for a horror movie, right?

James Di Martino‘s The Faceless Man is an Australian horror that has took the Oceanic region by storm. The critically-acclaimed ozploitation film has already won 6 major awards at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival including Best Director and Best Film. Now, it’s hitting the rest of the world. Cited as “one of the best films of 2019”, we just had to check it out.

Synopsis

Emily (Sophie Thurling) is a recovering cancer survivor of three years. Faced with her fear of getting sick again, her best friend Nina (Lorin Kauffeld) plans a weekend away. Six friends venture out to a country holiday house to party over a weekend. Cut off from the rest of the world they soon learn the inhabitants are unsettling red neck individuals who terrorize and humiliate travellers. At the same time a para-normal monster seen as The Faceless Man haunts the house pushing the friends to their limits.

Also starring Lucas Pittaway, Andy McPhee, Roger Ward, Albert Goikhman, Brendan Bacon and Daniel Reader.

The Faceless Man

The problem with debut features is they can often spiral out of control. New filmmakers want to show us what they can do and this can often lead to a disjointed storyline (as seen in our review of The Good Things Devils Do). Whilst Di Martino clearly has a lot of talent, The Faceless Man just has too much going on.

We have three significant storylines all interwoven into one. First of all there’s the group of friends being intimidated by the redneck locals. Second, there’s the Russian mob boss and his cronies looking for a suitcase full of drugs (which the friends have in their possession). Finally, you’ve got The Faceless Man terrorising them at the same time. These are some unlucky kids! Whilst each story is pretty good in its own right, blending them all into one feature just doesn’t really flow well.

However, there are a lot of positives to mention!

This movie is pretty gruesome with an array of makeup, prosthetics and, you guessed it, gore! There’s decapitations, hammers stuck in heads and heads blown off completely! Then there’s chainsaw dismemberment reminiscent of that scene in Scarface, and of course – blood EVERYWHERE. That being said, despite the effects being top notch there were one or two issues. For instance, you chop off a head you expect there to be SOME blood, right? At least a drop or two? Whilst the lack of blood in that sequence was painstakingly obvious, this doesn’t reflect in other parts of the movie. The attention to detail for the most part was phenomenal! Credit is definitely due to the makeup department for gifting us with this level of entertainment.

The Faceless Man

Whilst the three storylines were very different in nature, one thing that was consistent throughout was the trademark Aussie humour. There were some parts which were hilarious. Most of these involved Daniel Reader’s character, Barry. Whilst the light-heartened nature was welcomed, it didn’t really fit well with the creepy aesthetic of The Faceless Man segments.

Whilst the premise itself was pretty original, there were some aspects that were lifted straight out of Tarantino films. One of the most famous scenes in Reservoir Dogs (Michael Madsen dancing whilst torturing) was one such aspect. Admittedly, Reader’s dance moves were better, and the fact he was making a sandwich at the same time was pretty funny too. But, should it have been there? I don’t know. It was pretty funny… There was also the rape scene straight out of Pulp Fiction. Should that have been there? You guys can decide.

Overall, I think it’s safe to say that for a debut movie, this was pretty good. Di Marco has definitely got what it takes to put together a great film. Hopefully, his next feature will focus on one strong storyline rather than three interwoven ones. If he assembles a talented cast and the same makeup department I guarantee it’ll be one to look out for!

Check out the trailer here

What do you think of the movie? Like the sound of it? Seen it already? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or in the comments below!

Want more movie reviews? Click here

Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers

Reviewed by Mike Macabre

Anyone who knows me will testify to my love of the 80’s. The camp, cheesy effects and the synth-tastic soundtracks just give me a buzz. I mean, after watching indie fave Knock Knock I was riding the nostalgia train for weeks! 80’s cheese AND comedy? I’ll take that all day long. Imagine my delight when I discovered Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers had all of that AND more!

The horror/comedy, starring Ryan Barton-Grimley, Ari Schneider, Jana Savage, and Richard Gayler, is currently making its world premiere at the Dances with Films film festival in Los Angeles. But, we got a sneak peek of the flick and let me tell you – Festival-goers will NOT be disappointed!

Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers

Synopsis

Philip “HAWK” Hawkins doesn’t just dream about killing vampires… He eats, sleeps, drinks and freakin’ breaths it. After getting kicked out of the Army for staking a fellow soldier with a blunt two by four, Hawk almost dies of boredom. He’s working as a night security guard at a deserted warehouse in his hometown of Santa Muerte, California… USA. Just when it looks like all Hawk’s options in life have expired, filthy blood-sucking vampires appear and of course… Nobody freakin’ believes him! With his back up against the wall, his sweaty Karate Kid headband tied on tight, real tight, and hordes of blood-thirsty vampires closing in, Hawk enlists the help of the one person who kind of believes him… Revson “REV” McCabe, a dimwitted, vegan-pacifist groundskeeper. Together they join forces to save the whole entire freakin’ world. Well… At least their hometown anyway.

Quote

Grimley, who is also the Writer/Director, had this to say;

“So why the heck did I make my film Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers? Honestly… The world is just so serious. It’s exhausting being tapped into media and technology 24 hours a day. It’s really intense how many issues are happening around the world. There are so many problems everywhere and I was looking for an escape… I was looking for a laugh and something heartfelt. I was looking for some much-needed levity and humor and I was looking for a break.

Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers is quite simply a love-letter to my childhood and a more innocent and clueless time when everything seemed possible and like it would turn out okay. It’s a love letter to goofy weirdos with big dreams and ridiculous ideas. It’s just plain old fashioned escapism. Sure, there are themes and morals and critiques of the 80’s, specifically toxic masculinity and homophobia in there too, but at the end of the day, I really just hope you enjoy the ride and leave with a nice heartfelt feeling and the knowledge that maybe… just maybe… we’ll all be okay. “

Review

Dumb and Dumber meets Van Helsing in this hilarious 80’s throwback!

So, let’s just come out and say it. This movie is ridiculous, corny and I absolutely loved it! There wasn’t a single scene that allowed my attention to wane. From hilarious dialogue, slapstick comedy and a whole load of OTT gore. This movie had it all. The acting was superb with each character bringing their own individual comedy element to the scene.

One of the best things about this movie is it doesn’t take itself seriously… at all! CGI gore and bad prosthetics were used in abundance with the hilarious results just adding to the comedic aesthetic. Now, I know for sure it’s not going to be to everyone’s tastes, thus is the diversity of humour. However, if you like goofball comedy, wacky storylines, hilarious actors with great supporting characters (I’m looking at you, Terry!) then this is the movie for you.

Check out the trailer here!


HAWK AND REV : VAMPIRE SLAYERS will be the ‘midnight movie’ on the opening and closing night of the festival, playing August 28 and September 5.

What do you think of the movie? Like the sound of it? Let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram or in the comments below!

Want more movie reviews? Click here