Indie Film

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Review: Housesitters

Published February 10, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

house

I’m a little jealous. In my stints as a house and dog sitter I found some weird things – homemade porn, leopard print sheets scented with perfume. I even got shown around one apartment by an owner who made no effort to hide his early morning boner. But, I never sat at a place with a creepy pentagram strewn basement and its own personal demon!

Best friends and eternal wisecrackers Angie (Annie Watkins) and Izzy (Jamie Jirak) hit the jackpot in director-writer Jason Coffman’s truly fun horror-comedy Housesitters, though.  Left a credit card and enough 80s/90s fashions in one closet for an effective musical montage, all they need is a couple of hot, trouble making  dudes to make their first house sitting adventure a total success. That’s where Greg (James Timothy Peters), a pizza delivery guy, and Zach (Peter Ash), Izzy’s boyfriend, come in.  Zach, in a nonverbal apology for eating all of Angie’s brownies, also brings along her current crush, Mark (Ben Schlotfelt).

But soon Greg and Mark are attacked by a miniature green creature and disappear. The appearance of Zach’s friend Dan (Jay J. Bidwell) singles more mayhem. Unable to leave the house due to their benefactor’s devilish dealings, the group venture to the basement to try to resolve their problems. The wounded Dan, though, emerges as something a bit more demonic and life between the bosom companions will never be the same again.

Smartly utilizing one location, haunted by Dustin Wayde Mills’ ravenously adorable monster-puppet, Coffman wisely builds the relationships between his main characters here. In fact, Watkins and Jirak are so natural and spontaneously goofy that they become the highlight of this tight yet carefree production. As the closing credits roll, it is obvious that they were allowed to riff on and improvise a large part of their material, making “Broad City Meets Monster Movie” a hoped for trend in the near future.

The duo’s male co-stars, Ash, Schlotfelt, Peters and Bidwell, also key into their low-key, naturalistic vibe. They all deliver believable and slightly ironic performances, surely a product of their seeming theatrical groundedness. Their skill, coupled with the surprising twists that Coffman provides for their characters in the film’s final moments, ultimately make Housesitters a truly entertaining celluloid outing. That it is also one filled with femme powered horror amusements is probably its greatest strength and joy. Let’s hope this really is a trend!

Note: This review was done on a work-in-progress version of the movie as it gears up for festival submissions. To be sure to join Angie and Izzy as they party their way to different events, follow https://www.facebook.com/HousesittersMovie/.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Review: The Cheerleader Trials

Published January 20, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

cheerleader-1

When the Golden Age meets the Modern Age things can get a bit bloody. Writer-director Zach Lorkiewicz knows this well and proves it with his fun and inventive new short The Cheerleader Trials.

Taking place backstage during a production of a school play, actress Greta (Garbo) is confronted by her fellow cast mates, who just happen to include Judy Garland, Anne Baxter and Marilyn Monroe. It seems someone has been murdered on stage and Greta’s costars are determined to be judge, jury and executioner…especially if it means knocking off any competition for the spotlight. cheerleader-2

Nicely, Lorkiewicz is able to create an environment that seems both to encompass the bleak emptiness of those off limits areas of professional theaters and a vast and dreamy never-world, as well. Anyone who spends their rainy afternoons luxuriating in the clipped and precise rhythms of the black and white worlds of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis should find much to enjoy here, too.

But The Cheerleader Trials also feels ultra-contemporary due to its violent atmospherics. We live in an age when retaliation is just a keyboard stroke away and our leaders seem to encourage vigilante justice. Therefore, Marilyn and crew have never felt so (bleakly) new.

Lorkiewicz will debuting The Cheerleader Trials, online, for a week, beginning on January 22nd, 2017 at

https://www.youtube.com/c/counttheclock

More information is also available on the event page listed, below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1029321563834173/

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Review: Party Night

Published December 29, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

party-night-1

From torrential rainfall to broken hearts to pyrotechnic teens, prom nights have always had the potential for disaster. Unfortunately for them (and lucky for us), the soon to be graduating friends in writer-director Troy Escamilla’s fun throwback Party Night find that this particular rite of passage can be very deadly, as well.

Here, sensitive Amy and crew head to her boyfriend’s uncle’s remote house for an intimate celebration after their prom. Of course, girls have been disappearing at an alarming rate, nearby, and the six young adults soon find that they have landed right in the killer’s lair. Amid drunken relationship trauma and the angry rhythms of growing pains, members of the group are soon separated from each other and meet their fates at a stealthy killer’s savage hands…and his various knives and assorted kitchen pottery, as well. Soon the ever reliable final girl is fighting for her life as gallons of red stuff spews and lives are irreparably damaged forever.

With loving reverence, Escamilla plays with the familiar tropes of these films…an important event, a secluded location and lots of bloodshed. We get the expected characters, as well, with the intelligent, slightly awkward heroine, her sensitive boyfriend and a variety of sexually adventurous and hard partying companions. But as a writer, Escamilla adds nice shades of angst and normalcy to his stock personas, giving all of the major characters a nice sense of depth.

The actors also accomplish much in making this an effective exercise. Nicely, they are a diverse lot, culturally, and despite a bit of awkwardness here and there, they deliver solid performances. Laurel Toupal is, perhaps, the most natural and endearing as Amy, with her final moments ringing with true emotion. Tommie Vegas, meanwhile, brings a nice sense of effective sass to Molly while Ryan Poole and Drew Shotwell each perform with a natural grace and a definite color of urgency when the stakes of their characters’ lives are thrown into savage turmoil. Nicely, as an antidote to the expected female nudity, it is Poole who spends the final third of the film shirtless while Toupal’s Amy fights for her life in a formal gown.

The film’s true highlights, though, just may be Mark D’Errico’s gloomy and prescient score and Heather Benson’s special effects work. Benson’s wounds are simple yet effective, but she definitely luxuriates in the red stuff, making Party Night one of the bloodiest slasher films ever made, a fine achievement for a film made from a very obvious love for the genre, but very little cash.

https://www.facebook.com/partynightmovie

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Movie Review: Murder for Pleasure

Published November 15, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

murder-2

The only time I care about cereal killing is on those mornings when I wake to find that my box of generic Frosted Flakes is empty. Writer-director Derek Braasch’s early hours, however, find him more interested in the mind of a surprisingly vicious serial killer named Victor in his latest feature film, Murder for Pleasure.

What is, perhaps, most gratifying about this bloody dive into the mind of a sadist is how Braasch, and his co writers Anthony Pellizzeri and Mike Miller, capture, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the mindset of an unbending patriarchic male with their lead character.  Victor, quietly and thoroughly played by Nick Bender, attacks his victims for their supposed sins – promiscuity, homosexuality, lack of romantic interest in him, abortion – with the fervor of the religious right. It is a portrait of unchecked masculinity that is surprisingly representative of our current and often violent, misogynistic culture.

Beneath the copious amounts of gore and symbolic torture porn, Braasch also supplies some truly striking visual moments – a scene of watery child abuse is potent and a dream sequence that spells the end of Victor’s latest, unrealistic coupling is full of languid purpose, as well. In fact, Braasch works with a nightmarish quality throughout the film’s running time, creating an almost unreal universe where Victor’s crimes are never punished.

A bit too meandering at times, with major characters and motivations sometimes revealed far too late in the proceedings, Murder for Pleasure is still an ambitious project that lovers of cinema about unrepentant murderers will probably find very enjoyable.

https://www.facebook.com/Murder-for-Pleasure-535499069797697

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Terrortory

Published March 22, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

bianca

There is nothing like a good anthology film and the ingeniously titled Terrortory, with a reported summer 2016 release, looks like it could fit into that category nicely.

Director-writers Kevin Kangas and Mark Wenger have also, wisely, included gorgeous indie Scream Queen Bianca Allaine (above), currently riding high due to the publicity for the upcoming Zombinatrix, among its cast members.

You can take a peek at the first official trailer at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFFHtcbxvAA

…and you can keep with all further activity at

https://www.facebook.com/terrortoryfilm  and http://www.terrortoryfilm.com/.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Night of the Slasher

Published March 11, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

night of the slasher

I try to punch in for work right on the dot and sometimes…I even smile throughout my shift.

But Jenelle, the lead character in Shant Hammassian’s Night of the Slasher, really puts me to shame with her commitment to her job. Deciding she has to take part in all the typical horror movie sins, such as drinking and having sex, to capture a killer, the troubled teen attacks her goals with gusto…and is soon facing down a ferocious psychopath.

Receiving raves since its release, including a consideration as a Best Oscar Short nominee, Night of the Slasher is currently playing such celebrated festivals as SXSW and has proven to be one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year.

Personally, I can’t wait to see it!

https://www.facebook.com/nightoftheslasher/

http://www.nightoftheslasher.com/

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

 

Review: Spades

Published January 28, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

Spades

You can’t blame me for wanting to stick to a game of Go Fish after watching writer-director John Wesley Norton’s Spades. It may not be as much of a thrill ride, but it would be decidedly less bloody.

This violent noir-like crime meditation opens with a quartet of tough guys playing the titular card game. Skillfully, Norton eventually reveals that something more sinister is at play here. It turns out these criminals-for-hire have kidnapped a young girl and her friends and are waiting for the right time to take the action into high gear. Back stories are revealed and soon double crosses, murky motivations and sexual violence are placed, firmly, on the menu. As the gang’s intended target finally arrives, lives are lost and the quiet Sims (a truly fine and subtly menacing Thomas A. Jackson) reveals one final, truly brutal plot twist.

Here Norton works especially well with his skilled cast and grooms sophisticated performances out of such veteran television and film performers as Alex Skuby, Xango Henry and Juan Riedinger whom play the three other intruders. Equally fine are indie scream queens Deneen Melody (As Night Falls, III Slices of Life) and Heather Dorff (Hole in the Wall) whom are not only beautiful, but bring as much sensitivity and versatility as possible to their roles of the piece’s primary victims.

Ultimately, working methodically and precisely, Norton creates a truly enjoyable thriller here, belying a small budget with heart and cinematic passion.

www.boomstickfilms.com

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

 

 

Hobo With A Trash Can Charity Event!

Published April 24, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

hobo with a trashcan
Compassion thy name is Grindhouse!

Clare “Fluff” Llewellyn, one of the visionary forces behind the anthology Hobo With A Trash Can, wherein a homeless man discovers stories of horror among the refuse, is planning a blowout charity event and food drive for the film’s premiere.

The film, featuring scary segments from Llewellyn and 7 others including Christopher Kahler, Steven Grainger, Lloyd James Emmons, Kyle Leonard, Mark Charles Adams, Vincent Marshall and (Big Gay Horror Fan favorite) Tonjia Atomic, will make its debut in Chicago on June 14th, 2015 at the Patio Theater. More information is available at: https://www.facebook.com/events/974440952568158/.

Llewellyn, who is still looking for raffle items and other forms of event assistance, can be contacted at http://www.twitter.com/trashanthology. Meanwhile, the film’s official site is http://hobowithatrashcan.wix.com/hobowithatrashcan.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Plastic Toys R Deadly!

Published April 10, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

plastic toys
Are those a pair of handcuffs or are you just happy to see me?

Actually, what you really should be excited about is upcoming indie horror flick Plastic Toys.

Described as a “dark, gothic, erotic horror with themes of homosexuality”, the film is currently trying to generate buzz as it goes into its production stages.

So, be sure to check out https://www.facebook.com/plastictoysmovie and twitter.com/plastictoysfilm.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan