Indie Film

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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!

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Clownface

Reviewed by Killer Kelly

Well, I really don’t know what to say about this one. I’m trying to think of some positives to weigh against the negatives. You know – try and balance it out. I gotta admit though, I’m struggling. I mean the artwork looks great! There’s a lot of nice colours in it. That tagline is pretty sweet too. However, one thing Clownface didn’t do was put a smile on my face.

Synopsis

A deranged young man, donned in a clown mask made of human flesh, terrorizes a small town with a series of abductions and murders. Neighbors Jenna (Hannah Douglas) and Owen (Richard Buck) search for their missing friend Zoe (Dani Tonks), who may be the latest victim of this local urban legend known as Clownface.  The movie is directed by Alex Bourne.

Well, the synopsis sounds great. Check out the trailer below, that looks great too! But the movie itself… it just wasn’t.

Clownface

Okay, maybe I was a little too harsh with my initial statement. The movie does have some positives. It’s just a shame that the negatives far outweigh them. Lets start with Clownface himself. That guy is creepy as hell and if the movie had been executed better he could well have had the potential to be even more terrifying.

Unfortunately, the acting is mediocre at best and cringeworthy at its worst. We’ve mentioned a few times that whilst low budget filmmaking can suffer from a number of hurdles, poor acting doesn’t have to be one of them. It’s not all doom and gloom, with Hannah Douglas’ performance keeping the movie going. But, overall the acting is pretty substandard.

There’s more…

If this was the only issue, the movie wouldn’t have been so bad. But, the editing left a lot to be desired. There were audio issues throughout, problems with scene fluidity and some blatant errors concerning the SFX. However, the makeup department did a great job with a certain scene involving the removal of a face. There were also some good death scenes but others failed to hit the mark.

The best thing about Clownface would have to be the soundtrack. Gothic Punk band, Lesbian Bed Death, deliver the hard rock in droves. With a small cameo in the movie, the band certainly give the failing flick a boost.

Have a look at the trailer and see what you think.

Clownface is available on demand and DVD now.

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!

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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!

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The Good Things Devils Do

When we were asked to review The Good Things Devils Do I was genuinely surprised at the lack of publicity it had received. Kane Hodder AND Bill Oberst Jr. in the same flick?! A quick skim through the heaps of praise lauded by the few critics who’d reviewed it and I was sold. I couldn’t wait to watch it! Now, I’m left dumbfounded. Did we really watch the same movie? I gotta admit I was disappointed.

I don’t know if there’s a reluctance among some critics to give negative feedback (especially when there’s such big names involved). Indeed, they may well have enjoyed it. But I gotta be honest this one didn’t quite hit the mark for me.

Synopsis

Richard, a small-time gangster is retiring. Before he can, he must take one last job: to steal money from a rival gangster’s house. Miles apart, Melvin (David Rucker III) is a reluctant family man who has dreams of becoming a famous curator for his Museum of the Macabre. His newest acquisition? The remains of the notorious Masquerade, a vampire born from the embers of hell, slain centuries ago. On Halloween Night, their paths will collide and they’ll be forced to work together to fight centuries-old evil with everything on the line.

Directed by Jess Norvisgaard and also starring Linnea Quigley, Mary Katherine O’Donnell, Kelley Wilson Robinson and Veronika Stoykova

The Good Things Devils Do

Acting

Let’s start with the positives first! Hodder, Oberst Jr. and O’Donnell delivered some outstanding performances. Hodder’s portrayal of a sadistic psychopath was spot on. With his hefty frame and menacing glare, the role was perfect for him and he pulled it off with ease. O’Donnell’s quirky, impulsive character offered a feel-good vibe and was able to lighten the mood whenever she was on-screen. Finally, Oberst Jr. delivers yet again in the lead role which he carries flawlessly throughout the entire flick. With another highly convincing performance, he makes the role his own and proves his versatility yet again.

However, I’ve got to say I was disappointed with the role appointed to Linnea Quigley. We’re all aware of her acting prowess from her string of roles in 80’s horror flicks. Yet, there seemed to be little emphasis on her character in The Good Things Devils Do despite her being a constant presence throughout. Another issue is some of the action scenes were way too staged. They didn’t flow well and at times they were painful to watch. Yet, other times they were a joy to behold! The contrast was just bizarre. Almost like two movies spliced into one, but we’ll talk about that later.

The Good Things Devils Do

Effects

Okay, so the makeup and effects in this movie are definitely one of its highlights. The sheer amount of gore is more than enough to satisfy the bloodlust of any horror fiend. Add to that the impressive kills and attention to detail of blood flow, and it’s certainly outstanding from that perspective. John Lauterbach‘s talent is a credit to the movie and pushes The Good Things Devils Do to a whole new level.

The Big Issue

After watching the movie I was genuinely perplexed. Was it supposed to be a comedy? A genuine horror? I couldn’t tell. I was so tormented by Norvisgaard’s apparent indecisiveness that I watched it again. Admittedly, the second time it was a bit better, but the issue was still there. I mentioned earlier that it feels like it’s two movies merged into one. At times it feels like it should be a comedy (albeit some of the ‘comedic’ elements fell flat…) Yet, when it came to Hodder and Oberst Jr’s characters, they were just so intense it felt like a gripping, nail-biting flick.

That being said, it’s still worth a watch. The cast alone make it worthwhile but when you throw in the make-up, gore and effects you’ve got a fairly good flick. With Norvisgaard just starting out it’s definitely a commendable effort and his filmmaking prowess is clearly evident. If he’s able to establish a clear theme for his next movie and stick with that, the end result could be absolutely phenomenal.

Check out the trailer below!

The Good Things Devils Do is available now on digital and DVD.

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!

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Chills Down Your Spine

It’s been over four years since we reviewed the Shivers Down Your Spine Anthology. Made up of 10 stories, the original collection was a labour of love, taking four years and only $750 to complete! Now, Dead Lantern Pictures is back with twice the thrills, twice the kills and twice the chills! Their latest anthology, Chills Down Your Spine, is more ambitious than ever. The no-budget outfit from Nebraska have put together a wide variety of stories. From animation, western, film noir, a Lovecraftian apocalypse, even an intermission, the anthology has it all!

Just like Shivers, the Chills Down Your Spine anthology is laced with comedy, unusual storylines, unique characters and a whole load of b-movie goodness. Over 75 cast and crew members collaborated to make the collection and after nearly 5 years of production, we’re happy to report that this anthology is even better than their first!

Chills Down Your Spine


Synopsis

ROAD TRIP (Wraparound 1): Jeff, still searching for Sabiah after the events of Shivers Down Your Spine, finds a new lamp in an arcade. Upon rubbing it, out pops not Sabiah, but her little sister, Mahktoonah. Together, the two go on an ancient Road Trip that just so happens to be quite the odyssey… 

C’MON BABY LIGHT MY FLAME (Wraparound 2): Sabiah’s lamp is found by a sadistic killer who is biding his time in order to carve out her flame and bring about the destruction of the world!

THE DEVIL’S CORKSCREW: A group of thieves try to escape being hunted down by the owner of their stolen gold, all while dealing with their own internal issues in this intriguing Western.

ISABELLE RETURNS: Isabelle Wakeworth rises from the grave to murder horny co-eds in this animated tale of terror.

THE DITCH: A group of strangers come together and find something very interesting in a Nebraska ditch…

BED AND BREAKFAST: A young girl is hunted by a sadistic ghoul at an old Bed and Breakfast on a dark and stormy night…

INTERMISSION: Three individuals watch the first half of CHILLS DOWN YOUR SPINE and give you their important thoughts!

Chills Down Your Spine

HYSTERIA!: A burlesque troupe arrives for a show on Halloween night only to be wrapped up in a comedic, Scooby Doo-esque murder mystery!

BLOOD MODEL: An artist tries to find inspiration in a beautiful model but finds he’s having trouble getting his paintings to look right.

THE WHIRLPOOL OF NIGHT: A private investigator has to steal an object from a powerful woman with deadly results..

THE CALLING OF THE THINGS BEYOND: Reality begins to break and crack when a young woman finishes a cursed play…

As I’m sure you can tell, this is a LONG collection. But you can’t complain that you’re not getting value for money. They’ve even been courteous enough to provide an intermission!

Check out the trailer below

Release

Blurays and DVDs will be available later this year and, as with all Dead Lantern films, the Bluray special features will be STACKED:

  • Feature Length Outtake Reel
  • Feature Length Behind the Scenes Documentary
  • Multiple Audio Commentary Tracks
  • Bonus films: THE APARTMENT and BED AND BREAKFAST (BLACK AND WHITE)
  • ETERNAL NIGHT OF THE DEAD: THE LOST FOOTAGE w/ Commentary
  • HYSTERIA! Music video
  • CHILLS DOWN YOUR SPINE: Auditions and Read Throughs!
  • Sneak Peak at RETURN OF THE ROBO-MUMMY FROM OUTER SPACE PART 7!
  • And more!

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!

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