Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Genre - Sci-Fi/Mystery
Year Released - 2013
Running Time - 78 minutes
Directed by Alex Galvin
Written by Alex Galvin
Cast Includes: Elliot Travers, Dean Knowsley, Liz Kirkman, Rachel Clentworth, Amy Usherwood, and Ralph Johnson
Rating: 5 Skulls
In the near future, police detective Richard Manning is investigating the most difficult case of his career - the seemingly impossible locked-room murder of a wealthy property investor.
The more Richard investigates, the more complex the case seems to become.
He soon realizes his own future and survival depend on him solving everything - and quickly.
This film is the first New Zealand/Hong Kong co-production. It is also director Alex Galvin's 2nd feature film. (the 1st being 'When Night Falls', from 2007, which I have not yet seen - though I just upped it to #1 on my Netflix Queue!)
This film has already been running the festival circuit, and has already received several awards - rightfully so!
Galvin has shot a beautiful film, utilizing superb locations and gorgeous scenery.
Let's hope that this film sees U. S. distribution sooner, rather than later!
In the film, several detectives are paired into teams of two and placed inside of a computer program/game through what is known as "transference technology".
Within the game, the detectives are to determine not only who committed the crime of murdering a billionaire, but also how and why.
*Slight, very minor, SPOILER ALERT below:
(do not read if you want to be completely taken by surprise)
The twist is that there is a virus in the program that is causing a perpetual time-loop, creating one endless day. As the day goes on, those detectives not pulling their weight, so to speak, are being erased/wiped from the game, so time is of the essence.
Okay, safe to continue reading now...
Galvin has created a very cool concept here, utilizing the "reality-perception" genre, as well as some very cool tech gadgetry.
If you enjoyed 'Soylent Green' or 'Inception' then definitely keep an eye out for this film!
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Genre - Christian Fiction
Year Published - 2012
Length - 389 [digital] pages *Read on my Nook
Written by William Sirls
Rating: 4 Skulls
When facing the impossible, will you believe?
Storm clouds gather over a small Michigan town. As thunder shakes the sky, the lights inside St. Thomas church flicker... and then go out.
All is black until a thick bolt of lightning slices the sky, striking the church's large wooden cross - leaving it ablaze and splintered in two.
When the storm ends, the search for answers begin.
James Lindy, the church's blind minister, wonders how his small congregation can repair the cross and keep their faith in the midst of adversity, and then he hears the words "only believe."
Macey Lewis, the town's brilliant young oncologist, is drawn to Alex, a young boy who has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive type of leukemia. She puts her hope in modern medicine - yet is challenged to "only believe."
And Alex's single mom, who has given everything she can to her boy, is pleading with God to know the reason this is happening... to save her son. But she hears only silence and wonders how she can possibly "only believe."
I understand that this isn't my typical review fare, however I feel that this book needs to be promoted. This is Sirls' 1st book and it is very well written.
Believe it or not, the above plot summary is only a small portion of what this book is really about - there are several more characters, and the book gets progressively better as it moves along.
One of the things that I loved the most, was Sirls' use of "imperfect" characters. Pretty much anyone can relate to one of the characters in this story, at one point or another, and that brought "life" to them.
Sirls has written an emotional novel that really tugs at your heart-strings - both physically and spiritually.
For anyone out there who doesn't believe in second chances, "believe" and give this book a shot!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Genre - Horror/Thriller/Anthology
Year Released - 1989
Running Time - 90 minutes
Directed by Jim & Ken Wheat
Written by Jim & Ken Wheat
Cast Includes: Ramy Zada, Jillian McWhirter, Marc McClure, Penelope Sudrow, and Marg Helgenberger
Rating: 5 Skulls
Tagline: "Welcome to Fear 101. There will be a test."
A horror anthology about a college professor teaching a course called "The Psychology of Fear".
First, I just have to thank, commenter, "Johnny C" for recommending this movie.
Secondly, I keep asking myself, how did I ever miss this movie?!?
Written & Directed by Jim & Ken Wheat (the brothers who brought us 'Ewoks: Battle for Endor" and who co-wrote 'A Nightmare on Elm Street 4', 'The Fly 2', 'Pitch Black', and 'The Chronicles of Riddick') all movies that I have seen - I have no idea how I missed this one.
Again, "Johnny C", thank you for bringing this film to my attention - I loved it!
In fact, I plan on adding this one to my library of films...
This movie immediately grabs your attention with a strong "wrap-around-story".
As stated in the plot summary, a college Psych professor begins teaching a course on fear, however due to his extreme methods, he is asked to stick to school curriculum. This brings about the professor inviting his students, to his home, where he is not under school authority, thus setting up the "anthology stories".
(I don't know what it was, but for some reason, in my head, I can envision horror author Ray Garton in the professor's role)
Aside from the excellent "wrap-around" story, we are also treated to three additional tales:
The first one is about a couple whose car breaks down, during a midnight excursion. Fortunately for them (or is it?) their car breaks down not too far from an old (presumably abandoned) house... (aside from the "wrap-around", this one is my favorite of the tales)
The second story tells the tale of 4 female friends, out looking for fun, who end up low on gas and getting lost in a warehouse district on the bad side of town...
The third story is about a night-shift answering service worker who is being harassed by a repeat/stalker caller...
Each of the stories are good, in their own right, and tie in nicely with the wrap-around.
The Wheat brothers did an outstanding job directing this film, providing terrific atmosphere!
I definitely recommend this one - my new favorite anthology film!
I can't wait to watch it again, on a dark, stormy night...
Monday, April 15, 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
Do I have your attention?
Good, because this isn't going to be one of my usual reviews - I'll let the above poster speak for itself, and I will also say that I agree that this film, most likely, will be the best horror film that you will see this year! (Yes, it's that good!)
Also, be sure to watch through the credits, as there is a "groovy" clip at the end, that just adds more icing to the cake ;-)
The reason for this post, is to once more bring your attention to the fact that I use Google+ as my social media outlet. There, you will find brief thoughts on other films/books that I watch/read, that I might not otherwise bring to your attention, on this blog.
What were my thoughts on Texas Chainsaw 3D, Sinister, Girls Against Boys, The Last Stand, Bullet to the Head, Jack Reacher, Wreck-It-Ralph?
What about other films, such as , Deadfall, The Tall Man, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, or the Red Dawn remake?
I will also post on there, the occasional short film that I come across, such as:
The Black Hole, Project S. E. R. A., R'ha, E. T. A., or Black Metal
You will also learn what mobile games that I'm addicted to, like, Sleepwalker's Journey or Vector...
If any of the above peaks your interest, just circle me on G+
Here's my Profile Link: https://plus.google.com/109795610721992967686/posts?partnerid=gplp0
With all of that said, I will leave you with the official "Red-Band" trailer for Evil Dead:
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Year Released - 2012
Running Time - 98 minutes
Directed by Don Coscarelli
Written by Don Coscarelli
Cast Includes: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, and Doug Jones
Rating: 5 Skulls
Promising a trip that transcends time and space, a drug called Soy Sauce is sweeping the landscape - and quietly robbing users of their humanity.
Now, it's up to a couple of slackers to stop the psychotropic invasion before it's too late.
About this exact same time, last year, I started to read the book that this film is based upon. (side note: the book is published by one of my favorite publishing companies - Permuted Press) However, all I read was the prologue, and it was just too bizarre (yes, extremely rare, I know) even for me!
I put the book aside, knowing that it was being made into a movie, and now that I have watched the film and understand what exactly is going on, I will most likely pull the book back out, dust off its cover, and continue to read it...
This film kicked off last year's Knoxville Horror Film Festival, and I was so looking forward to attending - then, the one time last year that I got sick, was right at that time (and I mean sick as a dog!) Figures, right? I would have loved to have seen this film on the big screen!
However, after having watched it now, I can definitely see this film becoming a cult classic, so maybe one day, in the future, I'll be able to catch it again, on the big screen...
For those who may not be aware of this film (if you're reading this on my blog, I doubt that is likely) it reminds me a lot of Cronenberg's 'Naked Lunch'. So, if you didn't like that film, I doubt that you will like this one.
The film follows David Wong (the author of the book/played by Chase Williamson) telling his story to newsreporter Arnie Blondestone (played by Paul Giamatti).
We quickly learn about the "sauce" through trippy hallucination sequences (you will know in the very 1st two minutes if you are going to enjoy this film or not!) and about an otherwordly invasion by the demon Korrok...
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then definitely check this film out! I imagine, from just what I read over a year ago, that this film is a pretty accurate adaptation of the book.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Genre - Short/Horror/Western
Year Published - 2013
(this story has just been released as a stand-alone-short ~ it was originally published in the anthology, 'Welcome to Hell', in 2012)
Length - 22 [digital] pages
Written by Franklin E. Wales
Rating: 5 Skulls
Thirteen steps up the gallows to the hangman's noose:
One step to reflect each day that brought Dramos to this point in his life.
There is a lot more to the Circle Star Ranch massacre than the sheriff knows about...
Pay close attention to the 1:20 mark... ;-)
Yesterday, I posted the above book trailer. In my excitement, I failed to realize that I was already familiar with this story. (I, of course, recognized the title '13 Steps' and I was familiar with the name Dramos) I just assumed, after having viewed the trailer, that Wales' had expanded upon his original short story (as stated above; previously released in the anthology 'Welcome to Hell: An Anthology of Western Weirdness' - which I mentioned in my June, 2012 blog post...)
Let me explain a little further:
As you all already know, I am a HUGE fan of Wales' work (my favorite Independent author!) I read everything that the man writes! He is a most excellent storyteller!
This being the case, I have been aware that Wales' is creating his own mythos (now, officially titled 'The Dramos Saga' which, after re-reading this story, I have learned that it is going to be a series of stand-alone short stories, each one leading into the other, yet still being able to be read as individual stories...
On a side note, after you have read this story, take my advice and read another of Wales' short stories titled, 'Homecoming' (see my review of it, posted on Jan. 10th)
It is not officially part of the Dramos Saga (to my knowledge) yet it does, in its own way, tie in to Dramos' tale. (without giving anything away, it has to do with Dramos' Italian heritage)
Also, reading both of these stories will also benefit you when Wales' next full-length novel, 'Eaton Falls' is released (coming soon!)
See, I told you that Wales is building his own, unique universe...
I feel as if I am rambling, in my excitement, so I am just going to tell you to get this story!
$1.00 on the Kindle/Kindle App
For only a buck, you will learn a little of Dramos' past - 13 days, in fact, which lead him to the gallows...