Saturday, 27 April 2013

DVD review: Devils of War (2013)

It s Poland, 1944 and a team of Special Forces soldiers are called up by FDR. Their mission... to stage a daring raid on a fortress where the Nazis are kidnapping women and experimenting with the occult to raise a demon army. Furious and inglorious, get ready to raise hell! Devils of War is written and directed by Eli Dorsey. The acting is pretty bad but this ain´t a flick that you´ll be watching and expecting any awardwinning performances. Everyone in this are stereotypes but that´s a part of the universe where the flick takes place, it´s all fun and games. The composition of the Special Forces team is fun, a black samurai, a redneck sniper, the old timer and so on. The camerawork and editing is pretty good. The soundtrack is clearly inspired by italian movies of the 1970s, and parts of the soundtrack sounds like it is from a spaghetti western. It´s hard not to picture Rob Zombies faux trailer for Werewolf Women of the SS as one a major source of inspiration for the filmmakers. There are also influences from Ilsa She Wolf of the SS and Inglorious Bastards. This is, of course, not intended to be taken seriously and it´s very tongue in cheek and there is quite a bit of intentional comedy. The pace is quick, there´s plenty of shootouts, swordplay and fighting. There´s computer rendered fx, it is used for muzzleflashes, an aircraft and so on. There is brief gore, a badly mauled face which looks pretty good but I´m pretty sure that it is a computer rendered effect. There is also s nice practical burn make-up fx design. There´s topless nudity courtesy of Carly Kingston as Claudia Klum and Apple Lee as SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Solvig von Bosch.
This review is based upon the UK region 2 DVD release from Signature Entertainment.
Rating: 6 out of 7. I enjoyed this a lot, and I admit that I was a fan early on. Commandos, nazis doing occult experiments, demons, nicelooking women, a bit of comedy and a lot of light-hearted action makes this a winner.


Monday, 22 April 2013

DVD review: Dragon Hunt uncut (1990)

Now this is a special occasion on Independent Flicks, for the first time I´m revisiting a flick I´ve already reviewed. The reason for this is that the german DVD release from Madison Home Video that my earlier review is based upon is very heavily cut and had german audio only but now I have managed to get my hands on an uncut release of Dragon Hunt. Mad man Jake and his People's Private Army set the captured twins Martin and Michael McNamara (Martin and Michael as themselves) loose on an island with vicious killers hot on their trail. Out-numbered and out-gunned, the twins are in trouble! Mick and Martin are the underdogs but they have a reputation to fight their last breath! The hunters become the hunted as the game takes a deadly turn! Dragon Hunt is written by Michael McNamara and is directed by Charlie Wiener. The acting is hilariously bad and there is a wealth of unintenional comedy in this. The main bad guy is laugh out loud funny, he´s like a cartoon character.The camerawork and editing is pretty okay. The plentiful actionscenes, both the shootouts and fightscenes, are pretty ridiculous and quite funny. I do know that the McNamara brothers are martial artists but it just doesn´t show on screen, this could be due to bad fight choreography or that the fights are badly shot. There is some slow motion in this but nothing compared to Twin Dragon Encounter (1986). It´s quite violent but there´s no gore in this besides a few squibs and someone being killed by punji sticks but that´s it. In contrast to the first flick about the McNamara brothers there are people getting killed in this and the bodycount is pretty decent. There´s no T & A in this.
Dragon Hunt is also known as Dragon Kickboxers in France.
This review is based upon a DVD-R released by Twin Dragon Kick-Boxing, you can buy your copy here .
Rating: 3½ out of 7. This and Twin Dragon Encounter needs to be seen by any serious fan of the action genre, they seem to be more or less forgotten. In my opinion they are at equal terms with classics such as Samurai Cop and Deadly Prey. This release has a running time of 91 minutes compared to the german release which is 77 minutes, i couldn´t pinpoint any obvious cuts but I imagine that it is the fight scenes that has been trimmed.


DVD review: Twin Dragon Encounter (1986)

The celebrated identical-twin martial artists Michael McNamara (plays himself) and Martin McNamara (plays himself) take their girlfriends to a remote island for what they hope will be a quiet, relaxing vacation. They however, are terrorized by a group of weekend mercenaries. Despite the twins efforts to avoid trouble and enjoy their holiday, the girls are kidnapped and the twins although vastly out-numbered must fight for their safe return. Twin Dragon Encounter is written by Gary Hart and Michael McNamara and is directed by Paul Dunlop. There´s a ton of unintentional comedy in this, due to hilariously bad acting and just plain ridiculous situations. It´s quite funny that the McNamara brother, who are real martial artists, looks to be not particular good fighters in this.. But this could be due to bad fight choreography, the fights being badly shot and to the heavy use of slooooow motion during the fight scenes. The flick is more or less one big advert for the Twin Dragons Kung Fu school, we get to see their martial arts studio, their vans are with the name, address and phone number of the studio clearly visible.The running time of Twin Dragon Encounter is 79 minutes but that includes a long recap showing the whole flick while to some atrocious song. This lasts for almost 6 minutes and then the end credits starts rolling. There´s no gore in this, actually no one gets killed in this. There´s no T & A in this.
This review is based upon a DVD-R released by Twin Dragon Kick-Boxing, you can buy your copy at .
Rating:  I´m having problems placing a fair rating, it´s bad and so entertaining that I more or less love this so I´ll give it 3½ out of 7. I´m so happy to have discovered the McNamara brothers and the flicks based on themselves. I´ll be posting a new review (I kinda revisited Dragon Hunt after being able to get a hold of an uncut release) of the sequel to Twin Dragon Encounter.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

DVD review: Alien Showdown: The Day the Old West Stood Still (2013)

An alien scout is to find a new habitable planet for his people, stranded with his ship in the Wild West of the Year in 1854. The living conditions on earth seem almost perfect for the aliens. Just a Cowboy (Robert Amstler) is now between the alien invasion fleet and the rest of humanity. It must be prevented that the alien informs its fleet. An almost hopeless battle between modern weapons technology and a .45 revolver. Alien Showdown: The Day the Old West Stood Still is written by Barry Massoni and Rene Perez who also is the director. The acting is bad, it actually feels more like amateur theater than a feature flick. The camerawork and editing is good. The soundtrack isn´t very good. The action, fights and shoot outs, are badly staged and non-exciting if not outright boring. Sadly Alien Showdown: The Day the Old West Stood Still is as a whole is pretty boring and fails to engage me as a viewer. There´s no gore in this. The alien fx design is pretty nice although they seem very familiar and I can imagine that a large chunk of the budget went to the creature fx design team. There´s female topless nudity in this, from Gemma Donato and Nadia Lanfranconi.
Alien Showdown: The Day the Old West Stood Still is also known as Alien Predator War.
This review is based upon the german region 2 DVD release from HMH Hamburger Medien Haus, english audio is available.
Rating: 1 out of 7. Alien Showdown: The Day the Old West Stood Still is pretty bad and boring. The high light of the flick is the alien scout, a practical man in suit fx, but besides that there isn´t much to cheer about.


DVD review: Mad Foxes (1981)

Playboy Hal Martin (José Gras) kisses Babsy while driving a fancy Stingray. As a band of bikers roll up their leader taunts Hal and spits on him. Hal forces one of the bikers into a fatal accident. While Hal and Babsy are at a club the bikers are waiting outside and beat him up and Stiletto (Eric Falk) brutally rapes Babsy. Out for revenge Hal hires a friend who runs a kickboxing school. At the bikers funeral for their fallen buddy, the kick boxers show up and beat up the bikers and castrate their leader. In retaliation the bikers turn up at the kickboxing school with machine guns. Two nude lovers on a beach get dressed and start hitchhiking when Hal drives by. Hal picks up Lily (who ditches her boyfriend) and they drive to this parents' estate. As Hal and Lily make love in the forest, the bikers show up and kill the family and servants. Hal, armed with guns and grenades, goes off to finish off the bikers. Mad Foxes is written by Jaime Jesús Balcázar, Melvin Quiñones, Hans R. Walthard and Paul Grau who also is the director. The the acting and dialogue are terrible, the camerawork and editing is choppy. There is a prolonged scene where three couples in the beginning of the flick when Hal takes his date to a nightclub, the dance-scene don´t match with the other scenes that takes place in the club. The main purpose of the scene seems to be to padd out the running time. The nazi bikers are just a ridiculous and cartoonish bunch of characters. The fight choreography when the kick boxing school attackts the bikers is poor if not laugh out loud bad. The pacing of Mad Foxes is, at least in parts, pretty crazy. I was quite surpried by the fact hat Hal is such a unsympathetic character who in the beginning is out only to get his drunk 18-year-old virgin girlfriend home to have sex with her, later he seems to forget  that she got raped and it doesn´t take long before he hooks up with a new girl. The action, besides the big fight already mentioned earlier there are numerous shoot outs and fight scenes. There is some gore in this, squibs, genitalia mutilation, gutting and so on. Yup, it´s pretty violent and it´s mean-spirited.There´s gratuitous T & A in this, there´s both female and male full frontal nudity. There is several  laughable sex-scenes and a rape-scene.
Mad Foxes is also known as Stingray 2 and The Bikers And The Disco Kid.
This review is based upon the region 2 DVD release from X-Cess, german and spanish audio is available.
Rating: 3½ out of 7. Mad Foxes is so silly and bad but yet extremely entertaining so it´s hard to give a fair review but I gotta say that I really enjoyed the flick. There´s gratuitous nudity and some real mean-spirited violence. Make sure to check it out!


Friday, 19 April 2013

Interview: Dustin Wayde Mills (Director, Writer, Editor, Producer, FX artist, Cinematographer and Actor)

Today I´m speaking with independent filmmaker extraordinare Dustin Mills, a veritable "jack of all trades" who has given us The Puppet Monster Massacre (2010), Zombie A-Hole (2012), Night of the Tentacles (2013), Bath Salt Zombies (2013) and Easter Casket (2013).

J.L: How did you get into film making?
D.M: I just kind of started doing it. I researched it a lot beforehand over the course of several years. I finally just decided to try and thats where Puppet Monster Massacre came from.

J.L: What are some of your favorite films?
D.M: Man I hate this question. I just love movies. I guess I will answer based on what I watch the most. Monster Squad, Hellboy, The Avengers, Night of the Creeps, Forbidden World, Humanoids From The Deep, The Incredibles, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, are a few that I watch over and over.

J.L: Who are some of your influences?
D.M: I think that Sushi Typhoon and Guillermo Del Toro are my strongest personal influences. I don't know if it comes across in my work, but my love of their films fuels a lot of what I do and how I tell my stories. Night of the Tentacles is of course influenced heavily by the films of Frank Hennenlotter.

J.L: I´ve been following your career but thought I should focus on your latest productions. I loved EASTER CASKET, which films and what inspired you in the creation of EASTER CASKET?
D.M: Thank you very much. I wanted to make Easter Casket because there are actually a few Easter themed horror movies, but none of them have the actual Easter Bunny as the antagonist. For whatever reason its usually a guy in a bunny suit. I wanted to do it differently. Easter Casket is a bit like Night of the Tentacles in that its very very very much my bizarre psyche put to screen. Its not as personal as Night of the Tentacles, but it has a lot of my personality and weird filmmaking/storytelling fetishes. It was the film that made me realize that I'm not really making horror films. I don't know what my films are. They have horror elements, but they don't seem like horror films to me.

J.L:  What kind of reception has EASTER CASKET been getting?
D.M: So far its been incredibly positive. I'm really glad that people seem to be liking it. Obviously not everyone will love it, but I think its an honest, crazy, sexy, fun film. Its the sort of movie I would want to watch.

J.L: What kind of budget were you working with on NIGHT OF THE TENTACLES?
D.M: We started with $2k and then managed to raise an additional $3k. Most of the additoinal money went to fulfilment and stuff. There is probably about $3k on screen in Easter Casket. Most of that was paying the cast.

J.L: How did you raise the funds?
D.M: The first $2k came from Josh Eal (executive producer and star) and the rest was raised via

J.L: How did the shooting go for of EASTER CASKET and NIGHT OF THE TENTACLES?
D.M: They were both really easy shoots. Comparitively anyway. Anything is a breeze after Puppet Monster Massacre and Zombie A-Hole. Making a movie is always very very difficult, but it was fairly smooth sailing on those films.

J.L: How different are the final versions from earlier drafts?
D.M: They are pretty much identical. I had a pretty clear vision for both films.

J.L: What lessons did you learn while making respective film?
D.M: On Night of the Tentacles I learned how much a personal film can speak to an audience. When I was finished with it I was sure everyone would hate it. Quite the opposite. It was received rather warmly. Easter Casket made me realize how many fans I really have out there and how willing they are to help get a movie made. It was inspiring. My small but loyal fan base make me want to be a better filmmaker. They are the driving force behind DMP.

J.L: Were there any scenes that didn´t make it to the final films?
D.M: I don't think there are any deleted scenes for Easter Casket. On Night of the Tentacles there are a couple of scenes I cut. One was a kill scene that included on screen tentacle to vagina contact. It was sexy and weird and dirty, but it was cut because ultimately the scene didn't really fit anywhere. I am going to put it on a mailing list exclusive DVD soon.

J.L: Any updates on your forthcoming features called BALLAD OF SKINLESS PETE and KILL THAT BITCH? What can you tell us about them?
D.M: Skinless Pete got a bit of a revamp and continues filming in June. Kill That Bitch will be filmed Sporadically over the next couple of months and will be a DMP Mailing List exclusive. Both will be released this year. Kill That Bitch is a weird little tale that seems like a slasher but is something else in disguise. Its also very serious. Skinless Pete is a science gone wrong monster story that is darkly funny but also explores themes of obsession, the nature of friendship, and the horrors of rape. Think The Fly meets Re-Animator... but with a much much smaller budget.

J.L: What advice can you give someone looking to get into the industry?
D.M: Make a movie. Stop making excuses and just make a movie.

I´d like to thank Dustin Wayde Mills for taking the time to answer my questions!


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

New DVD giveaway: Olaf Ittenbach DVD package

It is time to have a new giveaway at Independent Flicks. The prize is a package containing several of Olaf Ittenbach´s flicks, we´re talking limited Tin Metalpack Editions. 5 of them. You´ll get Black Past (Video 1989) (german language only), Premutos - Der gefallene Engel (1999)  (german language only), Beyond the Limits (2003) (english audio available), Garden of Love (Video 2003)  (english audio available) and Dard Divorce (Video 2007) (english audio available).

Beyond The Limits and Dard Divorce have been opened as they were floaters when I got them. Black Past, Premutos Der Gefallene Engel and Garden Of Love are in mint condition and still in protective plastic wrapping.

In order to win send a email to as soon as the blog passes the 100 000 visitors mark.

First come first served..

edit: these are region 2 DVD releases in case anyone is wondering.


DVD review: Night of Redemption (2010)

High school student Flex Worthington, stumbles upon an ancient journal written by the evil sorcerer Sir Teitan. Flex has unleashed the Wrath of Sir Teitan who has a quest to dehumanize mankind and take over the heaven and earth by turning humans into an army of demon zombies that he can control. Flex must undo the spell with the help of an old man Vondue, who knows about myths and legends to save the girl of his dreams. Flex fights them with his Martial Arts and weapons to send Sir Teitan back to hell. Night of Redemption is written, produced, edited and directed by Paolo Carascon and co-directed by Michael Haboush. Paolo Carascon also stars and is the creator of the fight choreography. The acting is pretty decent, not very good but not all too bad either. The camerawork and editing is decent. The soundtrack is decent. Some of the props, for instance the journal, looks like it was bought at a novelty shop. And the gun looks like a waterpistol. One thing that I liked with Night of Redemption is Martial Arts scenes, the fight choreography is good, it´s staged and shot so we can se the strikes and kicks and Paolo Carascon gets to show off some fancy moves/techniques.  Sadly, they make the misstake of speeding up the action during one fight which looks ridiculous and why they did that during that one scene is anyone´s guess. There´s brief gore as a skull is crushed with a stone, most of the kills occur of screen. The demon zombies look cheap and funny but are pretty decent as I can imagine that they didn´t have much of a budget for a fx department. No T & A in this but Keeli Ross is very cute as Amber.
This review is based upon the region all /Region 0) DVD release from P.D.C Productions.
Rating: 2 out of 7. It´s hard not to compare this with The Vanisher (2012) and I must say that Night of Redemption is far better as it offers the viewer more and better action. It would be interesting to see Paolo Carascon make a fully fledged Martial Arts flick which features plenty of fighting, perhaps an old fashioned tournament flick or a vigilante flick.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

DVD review: Savage Vengeance (1993)

Jennifer (Camille Keaton) can’t get away from crazy psychos. After being raped 5 years ago, she is once again being hounded by some low life characters. But these guys don’t know who they’re fooling with. You see, gorgeous Jennifer got back at those rapist in a serious way. Some of them aren’t even around anymore! She is deadly with a chainsaw and pretty accurate with a shotgun too! Savage Vengeance is written and directed by Donald Farmer. The year given by IMDB is obviously wrong, this was shot in 1988 but was not released until 1993. The acting is dreadfully bad, a lot of the dialogue is laughable, the camerawork and editing is shoddy. The audio quality is poor. The soundtrack is horrible and brutally kills any sense of atmosphere. The budget of is very low and it´s one of those Shot on Video productions of the 1980s. There are flaws in continuity, notable attempts at padding out the running time. We get two prolonged scenes of bands performing/playing music. There is some gore but it is far from a gorefeast, a lot of it looks amateurish but all of a sudden there is a good throat cutting fx that I guess was added/shot during post production or is borrowed from some other flick, the scene is wierdly edited so it´s pretty obvious that the knifeattack is shot at one time (victim is lying down) and the throat cutting at another time (victim standing up) resulting in errors in continuity. The chainsaw to the head (it ain´t a spoiler as it´s proudly shown on the DVD cover) is also pretty nice. There´s topless nudity courtesy of Camille Keaton and Linda Lyer. The rape scenes, there are three different scenes, are laughably inept and lacks any impact. For instance the opening gang rape, which is prolonged and could have been nasty and sleazy, just looks just lame and ridiculous as it is very obvious that all characters keep their pants on throughout the entire time. I guess they took turns dry humping her..
Savage Vengeance is also known as I Will Dance On Your Grave Savage Vengeance and I Spit On Your Grave 2: Savage Vengeance
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Massacre Video.
Rating: 1 out of 7. Savage Vengeance is a pretty awful but yet strangely entertaining. This might be due to the fact that I´m a fan of the rape/revenge subgenre. I would be careful not to recommend this to anyone else but fans of low budget and Shot on Video flicks.


DVD review: Demon Queen (1986)

The mysterious and lecherous Lucinda (Mary Fanaro) is the cold as ice, soul-devouring evil embodiment of the Demon Queen! She’s a sinister and murderous Succubus wildly rampaging on an unholy quest of lust and terror. Lucinda loves brutally killing her victims, but she reserves the most horrendous horrors for her forlorn lovers! Jesse (Dennis Stewart) tries to thwart Lucinda’s orgy of blood lust, but Lucinda has summoned her most horrific and unspeakable powers especially for his demise! Fear the Demon Queen, she WILL kill you! Demon Queen is written and directed by Donald Farmer. The acting is hilarously bad, the character Izzy might be one of the most unintimidating gangsters to ever appear on screen. The camerawork and editing is pretty bad and it is evident that Demon Queen is one of those very cheap shot on video productions from the 1980s. The pacing is pretty good, there are noticeable attempts to padd out the running time and the very thin storyline. The audio is pretty bad in some scenes, the picture quality isn´t very good but this was shot on VHS a long time ago so I guess it will do. There is gore, some of the fx (which of course is all practical) are surprisingly impressive for a flick shot on such a tight budget. There´s gratuitous topless nudity in this.
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Massacre Video.
Rating: 1 out of 7. Yeah, the rumours are true Demon Queen is terrible. It isn´t well made or good but it is at least an entertaining 48 minutes and 13 seconds.. Yes, that is Demon Queen´s running time excluding the end credits which lasts 6 minutes or so... Recommend to fans of low budget and shot on video horror. Others should stay away.

DVD review: Slime City Massacre (2010)

A dirty bomb has decimated New York City s financial district and reduced midtown to a post-apocalyptic nightmare. The neighborhood known as Slime City has been evacuated, except for the homeless, and in the ruins of a soup kitchen four squatters discover a supply of food that transforms them into hideous slime creatures, driven to murder! Meanwhile, a greedy developer who has set his sights on Slime City hires a team of mercenaries to wipe out the creatures. It s a battle royale between the Slime Heads, the mercenaries, and bloodthirsty mutant cannibals! Slime City Massacre is written and directed by Greg Lamberson. The acting is, for the most part, pretty good but special praise should go to Debbie Rochon who´s is really good in this. The camerawork is and editing is good. There´s quite a bit of tongue-in-cheek comedy in this, I don´t wanna give away any spoilers but I loved the end. There´s a recurrent goof when the character Alexa's hand is bandaged in some scenes, and not in others. I liked the homage to Street Trash (1987), I also like the more eccentric parts of Slime City Massacre. It has a decent bodycount but it isn´t a gorefeast but there is gore, mostly practical fx. There are some computer rendered fx that are pretty bad. There´s only brief topless nudity and while there are several sex-scenes they are very soft and you don´t see much (the characters keep their underwear on).
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Shriek Show.
Rating: 4 out of 7. I enjoyed this, I haven´t seen the original Slime City (1988) but apparently it is not necessary to have done so. Now I wanna run out to purchase the original Slime City (1988).


Monday, 15 April 2013

DVD review: Black Blooded Brides of Satan (2009)

Linda (Anne Rajala) is a student from a well-off family and her parents have high expectations and put a lot of pressure on her to succeed. Too high pressure and expectations cause some rebellion in the young woman, however, and lead by her friend Linda drifts into the dark and twisted world of Satan's worship - To the clutches of charismatic Master, to rituals where truth and nightmares mix and to the vertigo of self-destruction...  Black Blooded Brides of Satan is written Kenneth Holmström and Sam Haavisto who also is the director. The acting is pretty amatuerish but okay for the most part, I did like Tomi Kerminen as the leader of the satanic cult. The camerawork and editing is good. The plot and atmosphere is dark, bleak and gritty and you get a feeling right from the start that this will probably not end well for Linda. The soundtrack is very good and used to good effect. The pacing is decent but Black Blooded Brides of Satan could probably benefit from some slight editing. There is some gore but it would be a shame to give anything away. But if you´re expecting a gorefeast you will most probably be disappointed. There´s T & A including both full frontal male and female nudity, there are scenes of violent rape and necrophilia. This ain´t for the squemish.
This review is based upon the Finnish region 2 DVD release from Blood Ceremony Films. It´s uncut, english, swedish, finnish, french, italian, spanish and german subtitles are available.
Rating: 5½ out of 7. I enjoyed this a lot. I especially liked that it´s so unexpectedly dark and very bleak. Trust me this is not a feel good movie!  


DVD review: The Vanisher (2012)

Professor Larry Melba a scientist, invents a very special and unique teleportation device, with the help of his nephew Jeff Melba, a student in Martial Arts. Mr. Thorn, an old acquaintance finds out about this creation and he wants to steal it for his own personal vendetta. Now it's up to Jeff to reclaim the teleportation device by stopping Mr. Thorn and his henchmen using his Martial Arts to bring justice back in order. The Vanisher is written, edited and directed by Paolo Carascon who also stars as Jeff Melba. He´s also executive producer besides being involved in almost all parts of the production. The acting is decent, the camerawork and editing is pretty good. The pacing is pretty nice but it takes awhile for the action to get going. The soundtrack is pretty horrible. The visual fx consists of pretty bad computer rendered fx being used to show the teleportations. It isn´t hard to imagine the potential the concept does have but due to the limited budget it isn´t utlilized to its full effect. The fight choreography is decent, Paolo Carascon gets to show of some nice moves but sadly the fightscenes aren´t very well shot so they don´t high light his proficiency in Martial Arts. There no gore in this and there´s no T & A in this.
Support independent filmmaking and order a copy here .
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) DVD release from P.D.C Productions.
Rating: 1½ out of 7. I know I mentioned a lot of flaws but I do admire the ambition of the filmmaker/-makers. Too bad about the fight scenes being badly staged as I think that if they´ve been better shot it would have resulted in a better rating. Later this week I´ll be reviewing another flick from P.D.C Productions called Night of Redemption (2010) and judging from the trailer is looks like it will features more and better fightscenes.


Friday, 12 April 2013

Review: ArMe (2013)

First I´d like to thank Keith Voigt Jr. for contacting me and providing me with a screener.
Daniel Copic (Alexander Suder) is a young handsome Iraq veteran. He has returned from the war and re-entered civilian life. But something is not right. He slowly declines into a descent of loneliness, anger and sadness. ArME is written, edited and directed by Keith Voigt Jr. He´s also involved in all the technical aspects of the making of the flick. The acting is pretty good, Alexander Suder more or less carries ArME on his shoulders and does a good job portraying a veteran plagued by post traumatic stress disorder. The camerawork and editing is good, there are some nice visuals on display especially when the filmmakers captures the chaos within the main character. The soundtrack is very good! The pacing is good and this is correctly labeled as drama/horror combo on IMDB. There´s some gore in the shape of stabwounds and gunshotwounds. There´s T & A and a gratuitous sexscene in the beginning.
This review is based upon a online screener. According to Keith Voigt Jr. the screener version is pretty complete besides some VFX and audio tweaks, and the credits are missing.
ArMe should be out sometime later this year on dvd and blu ray.
Rating: 5 out of 7. I enjoyed this, it´s a little bit uneven but I´ll attribute that to the limited budget available to the filmmakers and it is very possible that it´ll be even better when post-production is finished. I like the fact that it isn´t too predictable even if we understand from the beginning that this ain´t gonna end well.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

New DVD giveaway: Terror Optics DVD package

It is time to have a new giveaway at Independent Flicks. The prize is a package of one copy of the double feature DVD release of Attack of the Cockface Killer (2002) and Stabbed in the Face (2004)  and one copy of the DVD release of Goregasm (2007) . They are brand new copies and are still in protective wrapping.

In order to win send a email to as soon as the blog passes the 95 000 mark.

First come first served..


DVD review: Pleasures of the Damned (2005)

When a group of Satan worshiping bikers seek out a book holding the secrets of eternal life, they accidentally resurrect an ancient evil in the woods, that manifests itself in the zombified forms of cult members that killed themselves in the same woods some 200 years ago. Private Investigator, Jack Steele (Sean Tigert), while on a mission to help rescue Evelyn Crane's brother Tommy from the hands of the bikers, gets entangled in the situation, and may be the only one that can lay the curse to rest for good. Pleasures of the Damned is written and directed by Mark Leake. The acting is intentionally bad and VERY tounge in cheek, several of the male character sport wigs (some more extravagant than the others) and fake moustaches. The voice-dubbing of the characters is hilarious. The camerawork and editing is decent. The soundtrack is cool! There is quite a bit of gore in this but it´s amateurish fx. There´s no T & A in this.
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Dire Wit Films.
Rating: 2½ out of 7. Not by far as good as Isle of the Damned (2008) but yet funny and entertaining if you´re in that kind of mood. This is certainly not for the mainstream audience but fans of the 1970s grindhouse flicks might appreciate it as it´s both a homage and a spoof of those flicks.


DVD review: Dead Bodies Everywhere (2011)

A group of seven friends embark on a weekend getaway. When they get there, things seem a bit off. They come across Arthur Grigsby, a brutal serial killer who has one goal: Kill Everyone. Dead Bodies Everywhere is written, shot, edited and directed by Shea VanLaningham. The acting is pretty bad but I wasn´t expecting any awardwinning performances. The camerawork and editing is pretty decent. There is no suspense and zero sense of atmosphere. The soundtrack is pretty good. The audio is atrocious, it´s either too loud or too low. In some scenes it´s very hard to hear what the characters dialogue but beware, don´t raise the volume as in the next scene the audio probably goes up and you´ll probably blow your speakers. The lighting is decent, some scenes are way too well lit considering that the scenes are supposed to take place at night. There´s some gore, it consist of both poorly done computer rendered fx and some decent practical fx. Some of the computer rendered/visual fx stuff look just plain weird, for instance in a scene where a character gets an ax in her back. Most kills take place on screen but there is a scene where there´s a quick cutaway and it is a very weird edit. In the T & A department we get some female topless nudity.
This review is based upon region all (region 0) DVD release from End Of Line Productions.
Rating: 1 out of 7. Dead Bodies Everywhere is a zero budget feature flick and it best to be aware of it. It´s a straightforward slasher, if you´re familiar with the genre you know what you will get. It´s the technical flaws that brings this down crashing, the atrocious audio, the lighting, the bad computer rendered fx more or less kills it for me.


Friday, 5 April 2013

DVD review: Parasitic (2012)

A group of friends are trapped inside a nightclub with an unseen terror. Unable to escape, one at a time they fall victim to the ravenous, bloodthirsty beast. The club-goers must fight to survive and destroy the creature before it is let loose into the world. Parasitic is written and directed by Tim Martin. The acting is so embarrassingly bad that it's painful to watch it, the dialogue is ridiculous and there are several characters that are so unlikable and annoying that I sat and wished that they would disappear quickly and hopefully die in a gruesomely graphic fashion.  The camerawork and editing is mediocre. Parasitic isn´t remotely scary instead it´s boring and tedious (the bad acting and annoying characters doesn´t help) to sit through. The soundtrack is bad. There´s no gore and the best creature fx appears to late to have any impact. There´s topless nudity courtesy of  Bianca Holland and there is an excruciatingly bad sexscene.
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Phase 4 Films.
Rating: 0 out of 7. I can't think of anything positive to say. It´s a horrible, inept creature feature that leaves a lot to be desired. I actually started to contemplate if I should turn the damn flick off or not but I decided to watch it all. Spend your time and hardearned money on something else than this excruciatingly bad flick. I want my 79 minutes back!


Review: Found (2012)

First I´d like to thank Scott Schirmer for providing me with a screener.
Marty (Gavin Brown) is the ideal fifth grader. He gets good grades, listens to his teachers, and doesn't start trouble in class. But a darkness is beginning to fall over Marty's life. The kids at school won't stop picking on him, his parents just don't seem to understand him, and now Marty must grapple with a terrible secret that threatens to destroy life as he knows it -- his big brother is a serial killer! Brotherly love is put to the ultimate test in this emotional coming-of-age story that descends into full-blown horror. Found is written by Todd Rigney and Scott Schirmer who also is the director. The acting is excellent and Ethan Philbeck is just brilliant as Steve (Marty´s big brother) and he´s one of the scariest characters I´ve seen on the screen for a very long time. It´s professionally shot and edited with really strong, beautiful and sometimes haunting imagery. The soundtrack is fantastic and chilling! I must confess that I didn´t know much about this flick before pressing the play button and I found a refreshing new take on the serial killer genre as this is equal parts drama and horror. It´s a slow burner, I think that some might be put off by the pacing which is pretty slow but I enjoyed it as it only helps build up the characters and make us care. There are some really suspenseful, terrifying and downright disturbing stuff in this. Let´s just say that the end is shocking and a true example of hauntingly effective horror. Found is gory but not all the kills/violence occur on screen but I actually think that this works in it´s favor. I don´t wanna give anything away but in a sort of a way, even if I´m a gorehound at heart, I actually prefered that certain scenes stayed off screen and in my opinion it only increased the impact. But gorehounds have no need to worry as there is some really nasty stuff on screen, not for the squemish, and the fx are top notch! There is full frontal male nudity and female topless nudity. There is a few "sexscenes" (actually it´s the wrong word to describe it), again I don´t wanna give anything away but they ain´t for the squemish.
This review is based upon a passwordprotected online screener.
Rating: 7 out of 7. Found is a fantastic flick and it will, without a doubt, be one of the best flicks I´ll watch this year. It´s a very well made, very well acted coming of age flick in the horror genre. It´s Scott Schirmer feature film debut and what a debut it is! This is one director that I´ll be keeping an eye out for in the future. Even if I´m a seasoned fan of the horror/exploitation genre I do find the ending of Found truly haunting and it will probably stay with me for some time. Found gets my highest recommendations, now make sure to catch it when it is showing near you. This is a must watch!!


Monday, 1 April 2013

Interview: Adam Ahlbrandt (Cinematographer, Writer, Editor, Director, Actor, Producer, Composer)

Today I´m talking to Adam Ahlbrandt, he´s the cinematographer, writer, editor and director of CROSS BEARER (2012) and THE CEMETERY (2013).

J.L: How did you get into film making?
A.A: I first started making films on my fathers VHS camera. Just playing around with my brother and our friend Shawn making wrestling videos. That was when I was about 5 or so. Flash forward a few years to when I was seven and I got a babysitter who was more than a bit neglectful... She let me watch The Shining, The Exorcist and New Jack City. That's when I became obsessed with horror movies. I wanted to scare someone as bad as The Shining scared me, I couldn't go to the bathroom without my dad checking behind the shower curtain for two weeks! I started making horror movies with my new babysitter, Jay Shively, who to this day I have to thank for being the coolest dude ever. He would take the VHS footage we would shoot and edit it, add titles and music... He really started me along the way to making films.

J.L: What are some of your favorite films?
A.A: Some of my favorite films are: Friday The 13th Part 2, Slumber Party Massacre, Prince Of Darkness, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, The Exorcist, Strange Brew, Caddy shack, Commando, Twins Of Evil, 8 1/2, Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, The Goonies, Pet Sematary, Night Of The Demons, Hellraiser, Candyman, Up In Smoke, Lost Highway, City Of The Living Dead, Aguirre The Wrath Of God, Apocalypse Now, Habit, Army Of Darkness, Evil Dead 2, Henry, Dead Alive, Maniac, Laurence Of Arabia, Deep Red, Childs Play, Taxi Driver, Woman In The Dunes... This list won't end so I'll just stop and say that I love movies. All types, although mostly I watch slasher horror.

J.L: Who are some of your influences?
A.A: I am influenced by new things everyday. I try and watch as many movies as I can, listen to as much music as I can, look at as much photography and painting as I can and read as much as I can. I'd say my Dad, Henry Miller, Steve Austin, Clive Barker, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Ayn Rand, Miles Davis, the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep the world safe and allow me to dream up new ones, Joel Peter Witkin, All the people who told me to keep going, All the people who told me to give up, this list also could go on for days...

J.L: Which films and what inspired you in the creation of CROSS BEARER?
AA: Cross Bearer was made after much of the same crew shot The Cemetery. We had a hard shoot on The Cemetery but also a very rewarding shoot so we all wanted to work together again. The idea behind Cross Bearer was simple, it was originally supposed to be a very campy slasher. The screenplay followed the formula of Slumber Party Massacre and was meant to have much more tongue in cheek moments then wound up in the film. Films like Maniac, Friday The 13th Part 2, Halloween, Silent Night Deadly Night were all some of the films I had when I wrote the script. Funny enough the original title of Cross Bearer was Strip Club Slaughter.

J.L: What kind of reception has CROSS BEARER been getting?
A.A: Cross Bearer seems to have found its audience of sleaze and gore hounds. I have been getting a few angry email here and there(keep it up, I love your hate!) but for the most part I think people see it for what it is. Yes it is gory, yes it is sleazy, but isn't that what you want in a slasher movie? I don't think we're pretending that Cross Bearer is anything other than what it is.

J.L: What kind of budget were you working with on CROSS BEARER?
A.A: We had a modest 15 million dollar budget which mostly went to strippers and coke... And that's not true at all. We had what we could come up with. It wasn't a lot compared to most productions but it was a lot to us. People often try and put a number on what they spent on their film but leave out all the people who donated time, space, labor, equipment, etc to the production. How much is it worth that people went without heat or sleep? How much is a script worth? A donated meal? A skilled tech? A skilled actor? I don't put out the numbers other then to say Natalie Jean emptied her bank account and so did I.

J.L: Which films and what inspired you in the creation of THE CEMETERY?
A.A: The Cemetery was inspired by Pet Sematary originally and started out in script for much darker then it ended up. Sort of the opposite of Cross Bearer. I originally wrote The Cemetery as a very serious possession movie and as the process went along and producers got involved things changed. They wanted the film to be more in line with campy slashers or Evil Dead 2 so rewrites were in order. I love the movie it became but would also have loved to see what it would have been. Maybe they'll let me make the Pet Sematary prequel I've been dreaming of. ;)

J.L: How did you raise the funds for THE CEMETERY?
A.A: Raising the funds for The Cemetery was really an extension of the success that came from a documentary I shot for my friend Brian Iglesias. The film did very well and was even shown theatrically, then got picked up by Epix. That film, Chosin, opened the door for Brian to fund The Cemetery. Natalie Jean also put some money into the project along with myself in the later stages of the production.

J.L: How was it working on CROSS BEARER and THE CEMETERY?
A.A: Working on both films was A DREAM COME TRUE. Don't get me wrong, each had 24 hour plus days... But it's what I love to do and I feel privileged to be able to do it. There are many people who complain about the hardships they endure to make films. I won't. The work is the reward for me. I'm just lucky to be alive and in good health doing what I love.

J.L: How different are the final versions from earlier drafts?
A.A: Both Cross Bearer and The Cemetery are drastically different from earlier versions. For example, in the earliest versions of The Cemetery Sandra lured the team out to the site because she had made a deal with the demon to keep a drunk driving accident in which she killed a young man a secret. In the original version of Cross Bearer Heather was killed by Bill, the strip club heckler played by Joe Franz. We even shot that sequence!

J.L: What lessons did you learn while making respective film?
A.A: Each film had its own set of revelations. On The Cemetery it was that sound needs to be included in the scout process when it is at all possible, sorry big O! We were shooting IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE... And the entire shoot we had construction noise. BRUTAL. On Cross Bearer I'd say I learned to always be open to any suggestion, not that you have to take them but Victoria invented her character having a child to add depth to her death scene and it changed the whole movie for the better. Thanks Vic!!!

J.L: CROSS BEARER has recently been released on DVD and is available through your website. Is there any date for a DVD release of THE CEMETERY?
A.A: I have to correct you a bit here, Cross Bearer has not been released yet. We were selling a very limited number of DVDs (500) to help support our convention run. We have stopped selling them and are still actively seeking gainful distribution for both films. It's tough because we really want the films treated a certain way and released in the proper manner, but we do currently have several offers on the table so we'll see, it's all up in the air right now.

J.L: Were there any scenes that didn´t make it to the final films?
A.A: There were a few scenes that never made it into both films. In The Cemetery I cut out about 3 min of vulgar jokes during Mike and Andrea's "love making" tent scene at the producers insistence... Still got to keep the "God damn girl! You're wetter than Atlantis" line in!!! And in Cross Bearer there was a ton of slow moving dialogue which got cut out that explained the wear house and Victoria, Heather and Bunny's plan to escape.

J.L: What advice can you give someone looking to get into the industry?
A.A: I'd say that if you want to be a film maker because its your dream go for it! If you want money and fame then seek another profession. Making movies has to be the payoff, not the after party, not the sex or the drugs, do it for the thrill of crafting a new universe born out of your own mind!!! Don't listen to the haters or the doubters, because people will laugh in your face when you tell them you want to make movies. Use it as motivation. Hone your craft, learn everything you can about all aspects of film making, become self sufficient in every area so you don't have to rely on anyone else and can effectually communicate to all departments what your vision is. No one will care about your project as much as you will. Do whatever it takes to make your films as good as they can be . Sell your life, your body, all your worldly possessions, your soul if you have to, I did  Have an iron will and a positive attitude. Never give up, raise the black flag and show no mercy to yourself in the quest to make your dreams come true. You define your own success, you define your own happiness. Get busy dreaming right fucking now!!!!!

J.L: So where do you see yourself heading?
A.A: I see myself making films, at all costs and by any means.

J.L: Are there any more films in your future?
A.A: I am slated to shoot a feature this summer... All on VHS!!! Thanks Jörgen for everything, all the best in sleaze and gore!!!!

Thank you Adam for taking the time off to answer my questions.