indie horror

All posts tagged indie horror

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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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