Mel House of Upstart Filmworks has spent more than a decade working in the world of independent cinema. As such, he’s acquired quite a few amusing anecdotes about his time crafting motion pictures on limited budgets. Instead of keeping all of these experiences to himself, House has decided to craft a semi-autobiographical tale with the help of a few genre vets.
In addition to Lisa Wilcox (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5), Richard Riehle (Office Space, Hatchet), and Debbie Rochon, Mel House’s 30 to 45 stars Fishbone lead singer Fishbone. However, House recently added horror vet and Candyman star Tony Todd to the cast. If that doesn’t get your inner horror nerd squaredancing, then I have no idea what else to do.
30 to 45 also stars Omar Adam, Jill Brumer, Chelsea McCurdy, and Tye Blue. The flick still needs some financial assistance, so if you have some extra cash to spare, consider stopping by the flick’s Kickstarter campaign and helping out. The site also features a handy pitch video, which should give you an idea of what House and company hope to achieve with their project.
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Starring Cassie Steele, Sloane Coe, Jason London, Becky Andrews, Laura Cayouette
Directed by Misty Talley
It’s become apparent to me from watching the premiere movies of Syfy’s “Sharknado Week” that I am all sharked out. Sharks in the water. Sharks on the land. Sharks in the sky. Sharks in swamps. Sharks in the snow. Sharks in the sand. Sharks that are mutants. Sharks that are prehistoric. Sharks that are gigantic. Sharks that are tiny. Sharks that are ghosts. Sharks that are aliens. Sharks that are robots. Sharks that fight robots. Hybrid sharks that fight other hybrid animals. Sharks with Twitter accounts.
The Bigfoot genre called. Even it said the shark genre has been run into the ground.
As the stakes keep getting raised to come up with increasingly outlandish new entries in the sharksploitation genre you almost have to wonder how it took this long to get around to making Zombie Shark. That concept is a no brainer – in more ways than one.
Of all the “Sharknado Week” movies Zombie Shark; was the one I found myself most curious about because it seemed to be a total mystery. No trailer. No poster art. One lone production still. Next to zero promotion. Almost felt like the network was trying to hide this one. I can kind of see why now. Though I feel like I should give it some credit for being so straightforward at a time when Syfy’s shark movies have become increasingly meta and think they’re being witty by being as purposefully stupid as possible. Not that the premise of shark zombies isn’t loopy enough as it is. An argument can be made that this one maybe should have tried be more willfully stupid.
The tiresomely formulaic set-up has a boyfriend inviting his girlfriend and her sister and their bikini babe BFF to join them on a weekend island getaway in the Gulf of Mexico. The island is near a supposedly closed down research facility that’s actually still operating and working on “Project Bruce”, a top secret human regeneration experiment involving shark DNA. Bruce gets loose; begins infecting other sharks that then become zombie sharks, and the zombie sharks begin infecting victims that also come back from the dead as zombies to infect even more. A private contractor mercenary-for-hire joins forces with the girls to stop the Carcharodon/homo sapien zombie plague before it spreads to the entire world. Everyone has a hard-luck backstory in a noble but failed attempt to make us care about the fate of any of these people.
Most puzzling are the pointless scenes involving the parents of the sisters sitting at home lamenting the fate of their children based on weather reports of an incoming tropical storm that either never happened or just wasn’t in the film’s budget. Did I miss something regarding this storm they kept speaking of but never materialized?
Syfy movies aren’t exactly known for their high quality special effects but Mega Shark vs. Kolossus now looks like a Michael Bay production by comparison. A rubber severed shark head puppet proves a more special effect than anything computer-generated. The digital sharks look unfinished, mostly 2D, and lazily inserted into the film. Fins frequently cut through the water without even leaving a wake. Worst of all, the sharks rarely even look zombie-like.
Zombie sharks are paler, possess whiter eyes, sometimes display physical damage, and can only be killed by being blown up, shredded to pieces, or stabbed in the brain (just like any other shark). I suspect if The Asylum had been behind this one the only way to kill a zombie shark would have been to shoot it through the dorsal fin. As moronic as that sounds, at least it would have been something. There’s hardly anything that makes these zombie sharks distinct from ordinary sharks, and with one mildly amusing exception, the means by which they kill their prey proves equally unimaginative. Even the notion that they can survive on land goes absolutely nowhere. When your whole movie is based on a crazy gimmick and you fail to make any creative use of that gimmick…
The zombie sharks can also infect humans turning them into boring old lumbering Romero-esque zombies. I get that if a human zombie bite only leaves a small wound; shouldn’t people being infected by shark bites have more devastating wounds? Would it not be more amusing if the human zombies were savagely maimed shark attack victims reanimated as dripping wet (water and blood) zombies? Why not have some fun rather than just tossing in generic zombies in an already too generic film? Even sharkified human zombies with shark teeth and fins coming out of their heads would, as dumb as that sounds, been some welcome lunacy to break up the monotony of low budget shark b-movie #530593705.
Zombie Shark ends up feeling stale and played out on two levels.
I spent two hours at the gym on the treadmill while watching Zombie Shark. When it was over I had burned thousands of calories and probably even more brain cells.
Starring Ameet Chana, Poppy Drayton, Marcus Griffiths, Thomas Law, Will Thorp
Directed by Russell England
Distributed by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
A group of students from posh London boarding schools are tasked with patrolling the grounds of the historic Dhoultham School on the last day of term. In conjunction with the British Army, the students – a selection of male and female individuals from two different institutions – take on the responsibility of spending the night on the grounds and keeping watch over its valuables.
But in a twisted turn of fate, it becomes apparent that said grounds were once the site of a group of horrific deaths, all the way back at the time of the bubonic plague’s ravaging of England – and it seems that the spirits of the deceased have far from moved on.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that a pair of thieves, led by ex-military man Shane, have chosen this night to break in and bag themselves some swag. The groups are, of course, destined to come to loggerheads – but even with a gang of ghosts in the mix, things aren’t exactly what they seem.
And that’s probably Unhallowed Ground‘s strongest element. While most of the tension and scare setups are very much par for the course – jump scares, creepy figures moving in backgrounds and foregrounds, and hallucinatory shocks – Paul Raschid’s script uppers up a selection of varied and convicted characters, and a couple of uncommon approaches to the material. Where one would expect the kids and robbers to take the usual route of forming a reluctant partnership amidst the supernatural goings-on, for example, Unhallowed Ground keeps them firmly at each other’s throats – quite unmercifully so, in fact.
The same kind of positive surprise is to be found in the big reveal – which, even if director Russell England and his cast have trouble pulling it off with total confidence – is a pleasantly different shift in direction from what you may think the generic setup has been leading to. It plays out with far too much of a pantomime feel to it, though, rendering it as regrettably awkward as it is surprising.
Casting across the board is solid, with each of the players seemingly enjoying their time as intelligent characters in a stock horror setting. These are smart kids, and the robbers aren’t stupid either, so there’s little in the way of eye-rolling when it comes to their actions. However, there’s something of a negative trade-off there, with the reliability of the ghost fodder lumbering Unhallowed Ground‘s second act with very little of standout interest. Sometimes a little hysterics are exactly what you need to break the monotony – something that Unhallowed Ground just doesn’t manage to do.
Rather, it’s predominantly a re-tread down familiar haunted grounds with characters who naturally assess their situation instead of immediately running screaming into the nearest dead end to await their deaths – and honestly, the approach proves almost morose given the lack of genuine unexpected frights or extreme violence. It just kind of trudges along, offering up the occasional smart idea with a big smile on its face and confidence in its heart. But once the meeting’s over, there’ll have been little to be gained from it.
Unhallowed Ground is a competent, but largely uninspired horror jaunt that, in whole, proves just about worthwhile on the strength of its cast and a smattering of good ideas (not to mention the seriously cool plague doctor design). But you certainly needn’t kick yourself too hard if you give it a miss.
Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment’s UK DVD release of Unhallowed Ground holds only a trailer up its sleeve in terms of special features.
Heading our way on Saturday night as part of Syfy’s “Sharknado Week” is Lavalantula from director Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!), and on tap right now we have two new teasers for the film.
Actually, you can only see one of them below (it’s for the Space channel in Canada); the other is on the Syfy website, which you can access by clicking here.
Lavalantula stars Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy), Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy), Michael Winslow (“Police Academy: The Series”), Marion Ramsey (Police Academy), Nia Peeples (“Pretty Little Liars”), and Ralph Garman (KROQ DJ). It premieres at 9pm on Saturday, July 25th, on both Syfy and Space.
A volcano erupts in Los Angeles, spewing out lava-breathing tarantulas.
We told you during the San Diego Comic-Con that Guillermo del Toro’s sequel to Pacific Rim was to begin shooting in November, but now we have a couple of more minor details.
The Global News is reporting that the working title for the follow-up is Maelstrom. At this time we have no idea whether the title will stick, but for now it is what they’re calling it.
“[Pacific Rim 2 is] starting shooting in November,” said del Toro amidst the chaos of the SDCC. “We are deep into designing the robots, the kaijus… having fun planning the battles. We have an epic battle at the end of this that we started to design a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been up for about three or four months designing, and we start shooting in November.”
Legendary’s Pacific Rim 2 will be released in 3D.
The time has come, Sinners and Saints, to choose sides! In this latest introductory video for Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival, Lucifer (Terrance Zdunich) is calling us all into battle.
After triumphant collaborations on 2008’s Repo! The Genetic Opera and 2012’s The Devil’s Carnival: Episode One, cult filmmakers Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich are back with the second installment to their fantasy-musical film franchise. In Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival, Lucifer sets a plot in motion against Heaven, and all hell breaks loose.
The film, which stars Barry Bostwick, Ted Neeley, Adam Pascal, David Hasselhoff, Terrance Zdunich, Paul Sorvino, rapper Tech N9ne, Emilie Autumn, Briana Evigan, Marc Senter, and Dayton Callie plus musicians Chantal Claret, Jimmy Urine, Shawn “Clown” Crahan of Slipknot, and Kevin “Ogre” Ogilvie from Skinny Puppy, will kick off a traveling circus tour with its premiere in Los Angeles on August 11th before continuing in cities across the U.S. throughout the fall.
Zdunich wrote the script and co-wrote the musical numbers with Saar Hendelman. Producers are Chris M. Bonifay and Sean E. Demott. Brian Perera is executive producer.
Synchronicity is a concept we could all use a bit more of these days, and if you’ll be at the Fantasia International Film Festival tomorrow, you can check out the World Premiere of Jacob Gentry’s film of the same name. Curious as to what it’s all about? Then check out this pair of new clips!
Synchronicity screens on Wednesday, July 22nd, at 7:15 PM at the J.A. DeSève Cinema. Director/writer Jacob Gentry, producers Alexander A. Motlagh and Christopher Alender, and stars Chad McKnight, AJ Bowen, and Brianne Davis will be in attendance for a Q&A after the premiere.
Synchronicity follows the story of a daring physicist who folds time to travel into the past, trying to stop a mysterious woman from stealing his invention. But once there, he gets caught in a love triangle that will fracture his reality and endanger his entire future.
The film stars Chad McKnight (“The West Wing,” Last Goodbye), AJ Bowen (The Signal, A Horrible Way To Die, You’re Next), Brianne Davis (Jarhead, Prom Night), and Michael Ironside (Top Gun, Total Recall).
Synchronicity is produced by Alexander Motlagh, known for The Signal and MTV’s breakout series “Finding Carter,” and Christopher Alender, founder of Soapbox Films. Worldwide sales are being handled by Preferred Content.
From the creators of The Signal (Sundance 2007) comes SYNCHRONICITY, a mind-bending “sci-fi noir” in the tradition of Blade Runner, Gattaca, and Memento.
Daring physicist Jim Beale has invented a machine that can fold space-time, and ruthless corporate tycoon Klaus Meisner will stop at nothing to get it. When Jim uses the machine to tear open the fabric of the universe, a rare Dahlia appears from the future. But in order to keep the rights to his invention, he must prove that it works by finding the flower’s identical match in the present. Jim soon discovers that the Dahlia lies in the hands of the mysterious Abby, who seduces him into revealing his secrets. Convinced that she is in league with Klaus to take ownership of his life’s work, Jim travels back in time to stop the conspiracy before it can happen. But once in the past, Jim uncovers a surprising truth about Abby, the machine, and his own uncertain future.
The post Fantasia 2015: Watch these Synchronicity Clips and Achieve Inner Peace appeared first on Dread Central.
We feel like it’s been awhile since the last comic adaptation news broke, but then again, they all seem to blur together. Next up, though, is a real classic! THR is reporting that the rights to Action Lab Entertainment’s comic series Herald have been acquired by Romark Entertainment in partnership with Markerstone Pictures.
The deal will see newcomer Jared Battaglia adapt the comic for a TV series. Herald, created by writer John Reilly and artists Tom Rogers and Dexter Weeks, is an alternate universe story in which a time-traveling Nikola Tesla teams up with writer H.P. Lovecraft and other historical figures to save the world from various cosmic horrors. Historical characters appear throughout the storyline; the television series will largely stick to this premise.
“Herald” will be produced by Romark’s Rock Shaink and Markerstone’s Mark Lawyer with Joseph New overseeing for Romark.
More as it comes.
The post Herald: Lovecraft and Tesla Team Up on the Small Screen appeared first on Dread Central.
Back in June we told you about the latest Bigfoot flick to stomp our way, Kampout (previously known as Campout), and believe it or not, we have a trailer already. Filmmaking gets speedier every day, I tell ya!
The film stars Zach Galligan and the much beloved Clint Howard, who are the next two to tango with the mythical beast for writer/director Glenn Martin.
Also starring will be Dave Sherrill (The Rookie, The Wraith), Jamie Bozian (Con Air, The Wraith), Johnny Lechner (Fraternity House), Stephanie Grote (Fraternity House, The Grudge Match), and Chris Nash (Mischief, The Wraith).
Bigfoot, enraged by the murder of its offspring, rampages through the countryside of Southeast Ohio. A detective, a park ranger, and a Bigfoot researcher scramble to locate the legendary creature before it attacks a group of teenagers on a camping trip to an isolated place called Kampout.
Wild Eye Releasing has announced an October 27th DVD release date for the latest horror anthology on the proverbial block, The Horror Network. Read on for details, artwork, and more.
Brian Dorton and Douglas Conner have created the film with segments directed by Dorton, Joseph Graham, Manuel Marín, Lee Matthews, and Ignacio Martín Lerma.
Serial killers, ghostly phone calls, inner demons, otherworld monsters, and creepy stalkers collide in this frightening anthology. Five of horror’s most promising new directing talents join forces to pay homage to classics like Creepshow, Tales from the Crypt, V/H/S, and ABCs of Death and weave an unforgettable, disturbing tapestry of terror.