Thursday, 23 May 2013

DVD review: Nato Commando (Video 2005)

Alex Lommo (Ville Lähde) is the toughest commando in Nato. He is an ex-commando since he left his job due to the personal reasons and went to his cottage to live in peace. However his old pal from army, Colonel Fägerlund, manages to find him and he has a new mission for Lommo, but a group of terrorist kidnap Fägerlund right in front of Lommo's eyes. Lommo decides to personally find out what is going on... Nato Commando is written and directed by Ville Lähde. There is horrendously bad acting, the camerawork and editing is pretty decent (in effect not good but not too bad) and I must say that the frequent use of slow motion is very annoying. Nato Commando looks very much like a group of friends got together and decided to try to make a feature flick on a shoestring budget and in that way it´s reminiscent of Reckoning Day (2002) and Dragonetti the Ruthless Contract Killer (2010) . The soundtrack is decent. The pace is pretty decent, the running time is 82 minutes, there´s heavy use of flashbacks and I suppose that the purpose of the gratuitous slow motion is to padd out the running time. There´s a lot of both intentional and unintentional comedy in this, and Alex might just be the most unfit commando ever to grace the screen. Nato Commando is very violent, plenty of shootouts, a few fightscenes and there is even a scene where a car is chased by a helicopter gunship. The action isn´t very good and the low budget is evident throughout the flick. There´s gore, some of it is pretty decent, as people get shot, cut, stabbed, pierced through by pitchfork and so on. There are some creature fx, I won´t go into details, the concept is cool but they sure look cheap. There´s plenty of computer rendered fx, used for helicopters, some explosions and so on. There´s brief topless nudity in this.
Support independent filmmaking and get your copy from Horror Shop .
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) release from Trash Video. It´s uncut and english subtitles are available.
Rating: 1 out of 7. Nato Commando has many flaws, the bad acting, it isn´t very well made and the overuse of slow motion are just a few examples but it is pretty entertaining and is never dull. If you have a soft spot for trashy low budget action you might wanna check this one out.


DVD review: Limbless (2012)

Two brothers make a weekendtrip into the woods to their long-abandoned home. Shortly after arrival at the campsite they get ready for the scheduled hunt. But instead the hunters becomes the prey of an insane murderer. Limbless is written, shot, edited and directed by Daniel Konze. The acting is pretty decent, the camerawork and editing is pretty good. The soundtrack is pretty nice. The pace is good, the running time of this backwoods slasher is just 13 minutes. There is some build up but we hardly get to know the main characters before things start happening. The look of the killer is simple but quite effective. Limbless is pretty gory, the highlight is a well-made effect when a character gets his throat cut off. It´s all practical fx, some of it looks good and some looks amateurish but the viewer should keep in mind that this was shot on a shoestring budget. There´s no T & A in this.
Support independent filmmaking and buy your copy from Boredom Production , but be quick, it´s a limited release of only 50 copies.
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) DVD release from Boredom Production, it´s uncut and english subtitles are available.
Rating: 5 out of 7. Limbless is the first release from Boredom Productions, it has a few flaws, it isn´t perfect but it is entertaining and showcases some of Daniel Konze´s potential as a filmmaker, I look forward to see more from Daniel Konze and his company and in fact they are currently working on a new short titled The Rise of Valhalla which (if everything goes according to plan) will be finished 2015.


Sunday, 19 May 2013

"Saturday Night Special": Shootfighter: Fight to the Death (1993)

Shingo (Bolo Yeung) is world champion in shootfighting, a hard and dangerous martial art where only one man leaves the ring alive. In shootfighting, anything goes and anyone can sign up. But one thing is certain and that is that it's a fight to the death. Nick (Michael Bernardo) and Ruben (William Zabka) are Shingo's students and he hopes that one day they want to take over the title as champion when he withdraws. But Shingo has many enemies and one of them is Mr. Lee (Martin Kove). Lee tricks Nick and Ruben into enrolling in a fight before they are ready for it. Now they have to put their knowledge to the test in a fight to the death. Shootfighter: Fight to the Death is written by Pete Shaner, Judd Lynn, Larry Felix Jr, Robert Ginty (uncredited) and is directed by Patrick Allen. The acting is some suprisingly good, Martin Kove and Edward Albert are both good as villians. The camerawork and editing is good. The soundtrack is good. The pace is good, it never gets dull and there are plenty of fighting. The action, the fightchoreography is top notch. It´s very violent and brutal. Gory highlights include a character getting his larynx torn out, a very graphic arm breaking scene and more and it´s all practical make-up fx. There´s no T & A in this.
This review is based upon the Polish region all (Region 0) DVD release from Videoleader, it´s uncut and english audio is available.
Rating: 7 out of 7. I enjoyed this a lot! Shootfighter: Fight to the Death features some of the most brutal fightscenes I've seen in a martial arts movie, add to this the gore, that it´s well made and has some bad ass fightchoreography makes this is a winner in my book. Higly recommended if you´re into the martial arts genre.


DVD review Karate Cop (1991)

In the future with no law and order, John Travis (Ron Marchini) is the only honest cop left. In his future, there is only crime, corruption, andviolence around every corner. Gangs rule the streets and stage underground gladiator battles. Crime pays, until Travis makes a decision to put things right. Karate Cop is written by Denny Grayson, Ron Marchini, Bill Zide and is directed by Alan Roberts. The acting is pretty terrible with the exception of David Carradine who makes a short appearence. The camerawork and edting is pretty good. This is the sequel to Omega Cop (1990)  and it is better in almost every department, better made, better plot and better action. There are some bizarre elements in this but I won´t go into any details due to spoilers. The action consists of  shootouts and martial arts, there are several fightscenes and the fightchoreography is decent but yet better than in previous flick. A highlight is when Travis takes on the character Dad (David Carradine) and his gang/family at a roadside diner. There´s no gore in this but there some good squibs especially when Travis uses his doublebarreled shotgun. There is also some selfsurgery, plucking out a bullet Rambo-fashion. There´s no T & A in this.
Karate Cop is also known as Dragon Cop, Omega Cop II and Omega Cop II: The Challenge.
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) DVD release from Digiview Entertainment.
Rating: 1½ out of 7. I enjoyed this, it has its flaws but Karate Cop is actually a bit better than Omega Cop (1990), it´s better made (but I suspect that the budget was roughly the same as the previous movie about Travis) and more entertaining. If you keep your expectations pretty low (you should considering the title), if you´re a fan of the Post-apocalytic genre and mindless action in general you´ll probably get a kick out of Karate Cop.


DVD review: Omega Cop (1990)

In the not-to-distant future, the world has been overrun with criminals, who now hold the power over the well-intentioned authority figures. Only a small handful of people are willing to stand up and fight for justice. This small band of police officers is led by John Travis (Ron Marchini), the Omega Cop. With his small band of officers dying all around him, Travis  must become a one-man army and take on scores of criminals on his own. This sounds like an impossible task, but Travis resourcefulness is unmatched, and he begins  knocking the criminals off one-by-one. Omega Cop is written by Denny Grayson, Salli McQuaid, Joe Meyer and Paul Kyriazi who also is the director. The acting is pretty bad, Adam West and Stuart Whitman have small roles in this. The camerawork and editing is pretty good. The soundtrack is pretty decent. The pace is decent even if there are some noticeable attempts of padding out the running time. It´s quite obvious that this was made on a very low budget. There are several prolonged chase-scenes where Travis goes running after some thug/thugs, there are several fightscenes and a couple of shootouts. The fightscenes, where Ron Mancini gets to show off his martial arts skills, are pretty good. The shootouts are decent. There´s no gore in this, there are some squibs but that´s it. There´s no T & A in this, which is kinda disappointing as there are a couple of attractive actresses in this, Meg Thayer, Jennifer Jostyn and Chrysti Jimenez comes to mind.
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) DVD from from Digiview Entertainment.
Rating: 1 out of 7. Can´t really recommend this to anyone but to die hard fans of the Post-apocalyptic genre and B-movies. I´ve watched it now but it´s doubtful that I´ll ever rewatch it.


DVD review Empire of Ash III (1989)

From the ashes of Armageddon healthy survivors struggle to outrun a band of survivors infected with the great virus, The spread of the virus is relentless and like in the great plague many will suffer - few will escape its touch. The surviving souls cling to life by constant transfusions of fresh blood from uncontaminated victims. In their lair of the afflicted no one is spared, To survive you need an army... The afflicted must be eliminated to ensure an uncontaminated world. They turned America into a wasteland. Empire of Ash III is written by John Eyres, Chris Maruna, Shane Kennedy and Lloyd A. Simandl. It is directed by Lloyd A. Simandl and Michael Mazo. The acting isn´t very good but Melanie Kilgour is pretty decent as the survivalist Danielle, the bad guys are led by William Smith who plays the same character that he usually does. The camerawork and editing is decent.  The soundtrack isn´t very good. The pace is pretty good. There are some unintentional comedy but there is also are some silly/wacky intentional comic relief reminiscent of the Porky´s (1982). There are lots of action and there doesn´t seem to be any shortage of guns and ammo in the post-apocalytic USA as there are a lot of guns in this, a lot!! And there are no airsoft guns in this, instead we have real guns or blankfiring versions which is nice to see!! But, sadly, most of the action is badly staged and are reminiscent of David A. Prior´s shoot 'em up flicks in which any kind of realism goes out the window. There are some glitches in continuity now and then. There´s brief gore as a cannibal gets killed by a trap and a few squibs but most of the kills are bloodless. There´s quite a bit of T & A in this, it´s provided by Melanie Kilgour and several other actresses.
Empire of Ash III is also known as Last of the Warriors, The Bronx 2001
This review is based upon the UK region all (Region 0) DVD release from 23rd Century that has the title Empire of Ash which is kinda confusing.
Rating: 1½ out of 7. I enjoyed this, it isn´t very good or even especially entertaining but there is plenty of action and nudity and I have a soft spot for the Post-apocalyptic genre The running time is good and it doens´t overstay it´s welcome. Now, I´m hoping to get ahold of Empire of Ash I which apparently is also known as Empire of Ash II. To conlude this review, if you are a fan of B-Movie action and/or of the Post-apocalyptic genre then you should check Empire of Ash III out.


Friday, 17 May 2013

DVD review: Jungle Assault (1989)

When general Mitchell's (William Smith) daughter joins South American rebels, he asks two of his ex-soldiers, Becker (Ted Prior) and Kelly (William Zipp), to get her back. They soon discovers that the rebels are in league with Russians. Jungle Assault is written and directed by David A. Prior. The acting is dreadful. the camerawork and editing is pretty bad.  The soundtrack is pretty bad and inappropriate at times. If your looking for realism you´re in the wrong place this is more like amateurs playing war in the woods, they got no idea of tactics or gear. The action, fightscenes and the numerous shootouts are badly staged and are just bland and boring. If I ever go out into war I want one of those magic guns that Ted Prior and his buddy uses in Jungle Assault, they fire their guns like crazy, kills a LOT of bad guys and yet I don´t think they change clips even once. It´s violent, we get lots of big practical squibs as people get shot and believe me there are a lot of people getting shot in this. There´s a chainsaw kill but obviously they didn´t have the guts, excuse the pun, to show it on screen. There´s brief topless nudity in this.
This review is based upon the italian region 2 DVD release from USA Home Entertainment, it´s uncut and italian language only.
Rating: 0½ out of 7. I´ll be the first to admit that I got a weird relation to movies made by David A. Prior, most of them ain´t good but yet I kinda like them in a weird way. The gunplay and action in Jungle Assault is so uninspired and bland that it, untintentionally, places it in the same territory as Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993) which is a spoof on the shoot 'em up movies.


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Review: Armynel (2012)

For Savannah (Mariel Gomsrud), a personal assistant at a law office struggling with a dark secret, bad dreams soon become nightmares and then progress to hallucinations. Finally, she can't take it anymore and decides to tell her girlfriend Felicia (Danielle DiLorenzo ). Felicia tries to help by introducing her to psychiatrist Doctor Dale (Neal Polister). As she begins her hypnosis therapy sessions and her dark secrets come to light, tragedies begin happening around Savannah and all the signs point to her being the suspect. Armynel is written by Phil Aslaksen and Markus Innocenti and it is directed by Lance Dumais. The acting is good. It´s professionally shot and edited, some of the visuals are really beautiful and there some nice imagery on screen (won´t do into details due to spoilers). The pace is good, there are a couple of scenes that are very effective and atmospheric. The soundtrack is good. There is only very brief gore, blink and you´ll most probably miss it, in Armynel but the kills are wellstaged and effective. There´s brief topless nudity, courtesy of Mariel Gomsrud.
This title will be released on July 16, 2013 by Midnight Releasing.
This review is based upon a passwordprotected online screener provided by Midnight Releasing.
Rating: 6½ out of 7. Armynel is so close to get a top rating from me, it´s well made, it´s suspenseful and offers a few surprises. I just wish that it had been a little bit more graphic (yes that´s the gorehound in me speaking). The plot and imagery are reminiscent of larger and more lavish thrillers directed by Brian De Palma and Paul Verhoeven. Recommended and if you´re into thrillers make sure to check this one out


Review: Hayride (2012)

Steven Summers (Jeremy Ivy) returns home to southern Alabama from college with his girlfriend Amanda to attend his uncle's annual Haunted Hayride. Unaware that an escaped killer is on the loose, Steven will soon face the real life embodiment of PITCHFORK, a character his uncle created for the Hayride and Steven's childhood tormentor. Steven will soon realize that not all childhood fears are imagined when the legend of Pitchfork suddenly becomes dangerously real... Hayride is written and directed by Terron R. Parsons. The acting is pretty good. Some of the editing is a bit shaky during a few scenes but for the most part it and the camerawork is good. The soundtrack is good. There´s a overlong flashback that could have benefitted by a bit of editing. There´s brief gore, the highlight probably being death by chainsaw. A few of the kills are on screen and fx are both practical and computer rendered but most of the kills are off screen. That said there are a couple of nice and inspired moments in this, the best is when a guy dressed up in a Jason hockeymask mets his end. There´s noT & A in this.
Release date: 5/7/2013 from Midnight Releasing.
This review is based upon an passwordprotected online screener provided by Midnight Releasing.
Rating: 1 out of 7. Hayride was kinda dull and a bit boring. There are some good stuff they are few and too far between so save your time and money.


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

DVD review: Le réserviste (2012)

Private Joseph Danton (David Doukhan ) returns after 10 years in his native village. Welcomed by his uncle Gerard (Michael Pichet) who raised him he starts gradually enjoying life again. This will  soon be interrupted when a crooked promoter decides to buy the whole region in order to build a recreation center. Le réserviste is written by Alain Cogne and Mathieu Berthon who also is the director. The acting is pretty good, the camerawork and editing is good and the soundtrack is nice. The pace is nice, it is a short with a running time of 39 minutes and the filmmakers use that time to the maximum. There are several momens of comedy in this, it doesn´t take itself too seriously, and we get a couple of the mandatory oneliners from the hero.  The action is very good, well staged and choreographed. There is plenty of both shootouts and martial arts. It´s very violent and it´s pretty gory, one of the the highlights being when a head gets blown off by a shotgun. The plentiful squibs are a combination of practical and computer rendered fx. There´s brief female topless nudity in this courtesy of Hélène Darras .
This review is based on the French region 2 DVD release from Oh My Gore!, english subtitles are available.
Rating: 7 out of 7. Le réserviste is a great 39 minutes short! Entertaining, packed with action and some nice funny moments. This is a very nice tribute to the action-movies of the 1980s and in my opinion it is superior to Sylvester Stallones big budget tribute known as The Expendables (2010). Le réserviste gets my  highest recommendations!


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

News Update: Deadliest Prey (2013)

From film maker David A. Prior comes the sequel to the original “Deadly Prey”. Colonel Hogan (David Campbell), still alive and just getting out of prison on parole, some 28 years later. But he has only one thing in mind and that is revenge on Mike Danton. So once again, Hogan puts together a group of mercenaries, has Danton kidnapped, and the games begin. Only this time Hogan is funded by a huge internet company in exchange for broadcasting the hunting of Danton over the internet, worldwide. And even though Thornton (Fritz Matthews) had his arm cut off and was scalped in the first movie, he does appear in this movie and is as much the sadistic killer as he was before. For Hogan, winning is everything. Proving that there can only be one best and that it is him. What he had not thought of is that he isn’t the only one who had twenty eight years to get pissed off. Because now Mike Danton is pissed off and that means few will survive.

Watch for a release on the web, coming soon

Below are a couple photos taken behind the scenes


DVD review: Left for Dead (2007)

Drugs, sex and wild parties - every year for Halloween the students throw all inhibitions overboard. But this time an uninvited guest comes to visit. He's wearing a Halloween mask and is decimating the pleasure-seekers with a machete. Tommy witnesses the murder of his friend Freddy, but neither the police nor his friends believe him. And the body has disappeared. What is going on here? Tommy harbors a terrible suspicion and an extremely bloody spectacle takes its beginning ... Left for Dead is written and directed by Christopher Harrison. The acting is decent but Danielle Harris who plays the character Nancy is a solid actress and never fails to deliver. The camerawork and editing is good.  The pace is pretty good, it moves almost to quickly forward, and yet the flick is quite boring and this might be due to the fact that with Left for Dead we´re in very familiar slasher territory (some scenes and plot points are more or less copied from earlier movies) and yet it only delivers parts of what we expect. There isn´t much atmosphere and it never gets scary. The soundtrack is pretty decent. There´s some brief gore, high lights include a character getitng his head blown apart by shotgun blast, someone getting their throat cut and machete to the head.  The look of the killer is so and so, it´s decent but could have been more effective. There´s gratuitous T & A including full frontal nudity during a prolonged shower scene and two sex-scenes.
Left for Dead is also known as Halloween: Left for Dead and Devil´s Night
This review is based upon the Austrian region 2 DVD release from ARTGORE.
Rating: 2 out of 7. It´s a pretty decent contribution to the slasher genre, certainly not one of the better but also not one of the worst. Danielle Harris is, as always, good but she doesn´t have much screentime, there are a good amount of nudity but the plot needs work, it could have been scarier and more gore would have been nice. Check it of if you´re a Danielle Harris fan or a die hard fan of the slasher genre.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Interview: Sonny Laguna (Director | Writer | Actor | Cinematographer | Producer | Editor | Visual Effects | Special Effects | Sound Department | Camera and Electrical Department )

Today we´re speaking with Sonny Laguna who is part of Stockholm Syndrome Film, over the past few years they have finally put Sweden on the map of horror with movies such as Madness (2010), Blood Runs Cold (2011) and Wither (2012).

J.L: How did you get into film making?
S.L: Hi Jörgen! Well, we were three teens at the time, around 15 when we started making lousy short movies on a VHS-camera. We didn't think anything special about it other then it was a fun thing to do. But soon enough it got serious, especially when we could start edit on a computer. Suddenly the world of real film making had opened up for us, and from that point on we could never let go. There was nothing else that was as fun and rewarding as putting together stories through a lens.

J.L: What are some of your favorite films?
S.L: Always a tough question to answer. I'm a Star Wars geek to begin with, but there are simply tons of insanely great movies out there. Some of Nolan's movies, their overall tones are captivating. I could probably list a few hundred great movies ranging from low budget to blockbuster movies.

J.L: Who are some of your influences?
S.L: To list a few, John Carpenter, Christopher Nolan, Sam Raimi, George Lucas. Actors, well, there are once again at least twenty I can think of so... Let's just leave it there. Well ok, it was a shame that both Heath Ledger and Brittany Murphy passed away in that regard, one can't help but think of all the cool movies they would have made if they had lived.

J.L: Please tell us about Stockholm Syndrome Films?
S.L: We started the company in 2006, by we I mean myself, Tommy Wiklund and David Liljeblad. Yes, the guys that started with a VHS-camera all those years back. We started the company so we could potentially make money and be taken serious and that happened with our first feature film, MADNESS in 2009.

J.L: Which films and what inspired you in the creation of WITHER?
S.L: Evil Dead is what everyone says and we say to. If someone says to us that we draw inspiration from Cabin in the woods I will punch them in the face. Why draw inspiration from shit? (IMHO) Well, I think that's basically it. Oh wait, we are fans of Norwegian horror films such as Cold Prey and Troll Hunter.

J.L: What kind of budget were you working with on WITHER?
S.L: 300.000 SEK, which translates to about 45.000 USD. Which is compared to most films, absolutely nothing.

J.L: How did the shooting go for WITHER?
S.L: The shooting went well I must say. With all the blood and make up that had to be applied for everyday use and the actors not being able to see anything through the special lenses we used we naturally went over the time schedule. We became very tired and lost our way so to speak and just went on instinct the last 10-15 shooting days. It sounds harsh, but that's the reality of it. Luckily the vision and script is well talked about before so we can go always rely on our old plan and not just the in the moment feelings. Planning is essential to success and improvising when someone get's sick and the weather is wrong and the money is burnt.

J.L: What kind of reception has WITHER been getting?
S.L: Most people seem to like it for what it is and some has given it really high scores in reviews. We'll have to wait and see when the film is released in both the US and Sweden to know for sure, but we know very well what is good and bad about it.

J.L: How different is the final version from earlier drafts?
S.L: I can't say for sure but I think at least 4-5 scenes went into the dumpster. Some scenes just don't work on screen and some things aren't needed when editing. And then there were scenes we had to re-shoot because either we fucked up the lightning or the actors sucked.

J.L: What lessons did you learn while making it?
S.L: Planning is a lesson you never can have enough of. Don't underestimate the forces you can't control and be sure to kill a scene quickly if it doesn't work for some reason. And be sure to test your actors properly or you could end up with a person that isn't easy to work with and don't deliver. And yeah, working closely with the actors on the script beforehand is a must. We are such a small things we often rely on them to come through but it doesn't work that way.

J.L: Were there any scenes that didn´t make it to the final film?
S.L: Like I said earlier, there were several. One scene in the beginning setting up one of the characters while having a Swedish comedian named Soran Ismail in the scene just wasn't needed in the end, though I would have loved to meet the guy and surely he would have been a good actor. There is an alternative ending that is included as extras on the Blu-ray/DVD so check out that one, it features two new actors at the end.

J.L: WITHER will be released on on Blu-ray and DVD on May 31, 2013 in Germany by Mammut Home Entertainment, Is there any dates for the region 1 DVD release for it?
S.L: No, not yet. It will release in the U.S sometime this year and hopefully follows up with a U.K release. WITHER has been sold to Japan and Hong Kong also, but no word on release there.

J.L: BLOOD RUNS COLD will be released on July 2, 2013 on Region 1 by Salient Media.  Which films and what inspired you in the creation of BLOOD RUNS COLD?
S.L: BLOOD RUNS COLD has been out in the U.K since 2011 so it's been a slow start for the U.S release. I guess BLOOD RUNS COLD was inspired by films such as Cold Prey but The thing is a film that comes to mind for all snowy films. BLOOD RUNS COLD was a lost vision that turned into a slasher, I've said in earlier interviews that I would redo around 50% of the script if I had the chance. But we have a small fan base there which I'm grateful for.

J.L: What kind of budget were you working with on BLOOD RUNS COLD?
S.L: As the trailers say, 5.000 USD. So nothing basically. It was the hardest shooting ever for us and I think I can still say that in five years.

J.L: How did you raise the funds?
S.L: Money from our own pocket goes for all our films.

J.L: How did the shooting go for BLOOD RUNS COLD?
S.L: Since we had to fight the extremely cold swedish winter and we could barely heat up the house we shot in we were freezing our asses off. But we had a very tight crew that fought for it so I can safely say it went fairly straightforward. Not as gigantic as the shooting of WITHER

J.L: What kind of reception has BLOOD RUNS COLD been getting?
S.L: A really mixed bag. Some people love it, some people hate it so much they need an explanation from me. It's funny though, I've watched a lot of shit in my days and I've never felt the need to ask for an apology from the film makers. It's not like I bought a million DVDs and went bankrupt while watching it.

J.L: How different is the final version from earlier drafts?
S.L: Very different. A totally different film. It wasn't meant to become a slasher but maybe it should have been from the beginning.

J.L: What lessons did you learn while making it?
S.L: Mostly script lessons. Let's just say we've become at least 200% better between BLOOD... and WITHER.

J.L: Were there any scenes that didn´t make it to the final film?
S.L: The villain didn't make it into the final film. We actually shot the new character Tommy and David came up with over one old shot that we had already filmed prior to changing the bad guy. No has ever noticed, but he walks and attacks one character and it's the wrong guy from the shot! Yeah, it's messed up. And the ending is totally different.

J.L: You got a new feature flick in the planning called REVENGE. Any updates on it? What can you tell us about it?
S.L: Well, the crowd funding went to hell, but we are making it anyway. We plan to start shooting it this July. It will be very different from our previous efforts and I think it will be a lot of fun to shoot and very disturbing to watch. I can safely say there is no monsters and supernatural killers in it. Just humans. And damn we are capable of some horrible deeds... Please look forward to it. I'd love to discuss it with you later down the road. Thanks for having me here, take care!

I´d like to thank Sonny Laguna for taking the time off to answer my questions.



DVD review: Born Killer (1990)

Two deranged and homicidal escaped convicts terrorize a group of survivalists engaged in a paint-ball war. Born Killer is written by Ted Prior and David A. Prior and is directed by Kimberley Casey. The acting is uneven but I do like Ted Prior in this, he´s good in this. The camerawork and editing is good. The soundtrack is good. Early on in the flick, when the main characters are introduced, one of the good guys punches a female character in the face with his fist and sends her to the ground and he´s one of the good guys.. Ted Prior probably had the time of his life (remember he co-wrote the script) playing the sadistic and vicious Spencer which is a stark contrast compared to the roles he usually plays. The pace is pretty good, Born Killer has its flaws and one of them appears towards the end when the hero builds a ridiculous makeshift weapon.  The action, shootouts, fistfights and even some brief martial arts are a bit uneven when it comes to how they are staged. To put it in simple terms, some sequences work better than others. This flick also suffers from what many of the Prior-lensed features do, the shootouts tend to be a bit bland and get boring pretty quick. Born Killer is surprisingly graphic and brutal, there are some nice juicy squibs in this. There´s topless nudity in this and there´s a rape-scene but you don´t see anything as your view is obscured by a camp fire.
This review is based upon the italian region 2 DVD release from USA Home Entertainment, it´s uncut and italian language only.
Rating: 5 out of 7. I like Born Killer despite its flaws, it´s brutal and pretty graphic and unexpectedly dark.


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Interview: Adam Sotelo (Director |Writer |Cinematographer )

Today we´re speaking with Adam Sotelo who is currently working on Perseveration which will be his feature flick debut.  

J.L: How did you get into film making?
A.S: I was always interested in film making, especially horror movies. Since I was younger I've wanted to make horror films and I recently attempted to do something film-wise just by making a fake trailer. After the trailer blew up on Youtube and Horror websites, I decided to make it into a feature film called "Perseveration."

J.L: What are some of your favorite films?
A.S: A Serbian Film, The Bunny Game, Texas chainsaw Massacre, August Underground Trilogy, Evil Dead, & Frankenstein are some off the top of my head.

J.L: Who are some of your influences?
A.S: Lars von trier, Quentin Tarantino, and Anton Lavey.

J.L: Which films and what inspired you in the creation of Perseveration?
A.S: A Serbian film & The Holy Mountain

J.L: What can you tell us about it?
A.S: Perseveration will be shocking, disgusting, and offensive to most. The film is unscripted, I used the ideas for scenes that were in my head and put them toward making the movie.

J.L: What kind of budget are you working with on Perseveration?
A.S: It has been paid out of pocket until recently, when someone offered to throw in a couple thousand dollars to help move it along quicker to meet my deadline.

J.L: How did you raise the funds?
A.S: Originally, a year ago, we had an investor that was offering us $10,000 then he backed out when I told him the content of the film. After that we tried kickstarter and Indegogo, however, none of them worked out in our favor. After that falling through we put on a benefit show to help raise money for the film and that seemed to work out pretty well. Besides all of that, everything has been funded out of pocket.

J.L: How is the shooting going for Perseveration?
A.S: Slow. We havent been shooting much because of the lack of funds, however, now that we have what we need we will be filming more and quicker to meet our deadline of October 2013.

J.L: What lessons have you learned so far while making it?
A.S: If you want to make a gore flick... HAVE THE FUNDS FOR IT BEFORE JUMPING INTO IT! 

J.L: What advice can you give someone looking to get into the industry?
A.S: Just do it! Dont wait for anything, if you have an idea for a film, buy or rent what you need and dont wait for anyone. Have the drive to finish a project and always try to have an original idea.

J.L: Where do you see yourself heading?
A.S: Hopefully i would like to see myself being known in the idependant horror community and Making Hellsgate Pictures a successful independant film company.

I´d like to thank Adam Sotelo for taking the time off to answer my questions.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

DVD review: Zombie Wars (Video 2007)

Nobody knows exactly how it happened.  Some think it was the tail of a comet that passed too close to the earth, while others believed that it was simply time for man to atone for thousands of years of sinning.  Whatever the reason, the dead rose from from the ground, and they were hungry! After years of war only small, rebel bands of humans now remain in the war against the undead. When David (Adam Mayfield), the leader of a military group, is captured and taken to a nearby farm, he learns of a horrific secret - the zombies are farming groups of humans and harvesting them as food. Now it is up to Brian to organize an uprising to reclaim the freedom of his fellow humans but even when the battle is over, an even more insidious secret awaits in the nearby town... Zombie Wars is written and directed by David A. Prior. The acting is dreadful, the camerawork and editing is good but the  transitions between scenes is awful. The female narrator is just annoying. Zombie Wars is dull and unengaging as it pretty quickly looses its pace and gets quite talky with sporadic action-sequences. There is quite a bit of unintentional comedy in this, for instance the humans base camp is ridiculous (it looks pathetic) and the love story between Brian and Star (Alissa Koenig) is failed attempt to include some romance in the flick. There´s not a modicum of atmosphere or tension in this. There´s a decent amount of gore, we get lots of squibs, a couple of beheadings, and some characters getting bit and eaten. There is both practical and computer rendered fx. The effects are decent  The zombies make-up fx design is pretty basic stuff and if you´re familiar with the genre you won´t be impressed with what is on screen. There´s no T & A in this.
Zombie Wars is also known as Zombie War and War of the Living Dead.
This review is based upon the Austrian region 2 DVD release from EuroVideo, english audio is available.
Rating: 1 out of 7. Zombie Wars is pretty terrible but it is definitely not one of the worst movies I´ve seen. There are a few good moments in this despite all its flaws but it is not scary at all. 


"Saturday Night Special": Galaxy of Terror (1981)

When a team of astronauts land on a strange planet to rescue a stranded space ship, they are soon attacked by alien creatures - physical manifestations of fears projected by their own imaginations. Galaxy of Terror is written by Marc Siegler, Bruce D. Clark and William Stout. it´s directed by Bruce D. Clark. The acting is actually pretty bad despite several recognizable actors/actresses in the cast, the camerawork and editing is good. It´s a pretty incoherent and confusing flick but it isn´t meant to be straightforward. The concept of the crew slowly driven mad and attacked by their own fears is pretty awesome and I loved it (it has huge potential). The soundtrack is good. The pacing is pretty good but it gets a bit dull at times. The atmosphere is very effective and some of the visuals are very impressive  (especially for the relatively small budget). The kills are kinda cool and the gore is pretty good. It is of course all practical effects. The creature fx are pretty good and the filmmakers  are careful not to expose them too much. There is T & A, courtesy of Taaffe O'Connell, and rape of a worm-phobic woman by a giant worm that has to be seen as it is cinematic history even if it looks a bit silly it´s one of the highlights of Galaxy of Terror.
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Shout Factory.
Rating: 5½ out of 7. Despite some flaws, it´s a bit spaced out at times, I enjoyed this. Spaceships, alien planets, monsters, worm rape, gore makes this an entertaining little flick.


Friday, 10 May 2013

"Saturday Night Special": Self Defense (1983)

After the start of a police strike in Halifax, Nova Scotia, illegal groups who want to impose their own view of law and order form. A group of of right-wing extremists belonging to the "New Order" enters a gay bar and the bartender killed. All eye witnesses to the crime are then killed in the most brutal manner. Daniel (Terry-David Després) is the only one who manages to escape from his pursuers seeking refugee in a small building. A siege begins, in the course of Horatio (Tom Nardini) , his friend Barbara (Brenda Bazinet), whose blind brother Patrick (Jack Blum) and a neighbor called Chester (Daryl Haney) not only reject all attempts storming, but also bring the utmost determined "New Order"-people, man by man. Self Defense is written and directed by Paul Donovan and co-directed by Maura O'Connell. The acting is pretty good, the camerawork and editing is good. The soundtrack is nice. The pace is good and this is a gritty urban-survivalist flick similar to Assault on Precinct 13 which surely was a major inspiration. I like the concept of fighting against the odds, making do with the stuff that they have at hand (Chester is a survivalist) while the attackers have silenced guns, night vision scope and so on (more similarities with Assault on Precinct 13). There´s brief gore, death by broken bottle, arrow through the throat, squibs as people get shot and so on. There´s no T & A in this.
Self Defense is also known as Siege and Night Warriors.
This review is based upon the Austrian region all (region 0) DVD release from Dr.´s uncut, engllish audio is available.
Rating: 7 out of 7. I love this flick! it´s a solid action flick! I must have seen it at least 10 times throughout the years since I first watched it on VHS as a teenager. Violent and gritty. I love the concept of urban survival. Highly recommended!


DVD review: The Carpenter: Part 1 - And So They Die (2009)

The tale of a writer, a group of high school kids and a killer. The Kids party, the writer writes and the killer becomes legend. The Carpenter: Part 1 - And So They Die is written and directed by Jared Cohn and co-directed by Frank Aragon. The acting is pretty good, the camerawork and editing is pretty good but the image is too dark and most of the flick does take place at night and it is sometimes very hard to make out exactly what´s happening. We´re in familar slasher genre territory so you know what you gonna get, in effect T & A, a pretty good bodycount, gory kills and killer in a cool outfit. I like the plot and the ending where the identity of the killer is revealed is gratifying. The soundtrack is pretty good. The pace is good. There´s gore, the killer main weapons of choice is a pair of  hammers so there´s plenty of head-trauma on display but there´s also a beheading, throats being cut off and so on. A few kills are off screen. Sadly the best and most graphic kill loose a lot of its power due to the image being too dark which makes it hard to see any details.  There´s T & A, several actresses provide topless nudity, there´s some sex including girl on girl action.
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) DVD release from Vesuvio Entertainment.
Rating: 4½ out of 7. The Carpenter: Part 1 - And So They Die is a pretty good contribution to the slasher genre it´s just a darn shame that the image/picture is so dark at times which makes it hard to see what´s happening on screen. It delivers all the standard trademarks of a slasher, it´s better acted and better made than I expected. If you´re a fan of the slasher genre you should take the time to check it out.


DVD review: Deadly Game of Death (Video 2005)

 Duwarn Iverson (Marco Johnson) is a young martial artist trying to avoid the pitfalls of growing up in the inner city. The Boss (Willie Johnson) is ca wealthy drug dealer who gets his entertainment and kicks by having fighters participate in his illegal fight circuit where the only outcome is victory or death. After hearing about Duwarn’s reputation of being one of today’s top and upcoming fighters, the son of one his previous workers that he had to destroy, The Boss staged a special fight similar to that of his hero, Bruce Lee, which would be in his own words "the completed version of the ‘Game of Death’". Duwarn, who was unaware of his invitation to fight, continues to struggle with the normal pressure of an urban teen, under the custody of his adopted guardian, The Professor (Olivia Lee) who was also the instructor of Duwarn’s father. She is the "Mother Theresa" of the inner city, helping kids to avoid the normal pitfalls of such an environment. Unaware of this invitation, The Professor and her adopted daughter, Jade (Jessie Anderson) are suddenly kidnapped by the Boss’s main henchmen led by Lady Whirlwind (Kimber Johnson). Duwarn is now faced with no option but to rescue them, and when his plot fails, he is sent to an intensive martial arts training program with several of The Professor’s younger students to prepare for the upcoming tower fights. Deadly Game of Death is directed by Willie Johnson. The acting is horrendous but to be fair it is pretty obvious that none of the cast got their roles for their acting skills. It´s badly shot and edited, in fact some of the camerawork and editing is so atrociously bad that it ranks among the worst I´ve seen ever. There´s a ton of unintentional comedy in this besides some intentional comic relief. The soundtrack is horrible, it consist of some really bad hip hop. Filmmaker Willie Johnson sure do love slow motion and uses it repeatedly during the fight scenes and even in some scenes when it´s uncalled for. The pace is fast, even if there are several noticeable attempts at padding out the running time,  and then all of a sudden the flick ends. The running time is 48 minutes (not approx 85 minutes as stated on the DVD box cover) excluding end credits, blooper reels and so on. The fight choreography is uneven but some of it is actually pretty good, there are a lot of fight scenes in this, and there is heavy use of exaggerated sound effects as people get punched and kicked. There´s no gore in this. There´s no T & A in this.
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0)  released by Rising Sun Studios.
Rating: 0½ out of 7. OMFG this is so bad!! Deadly Game of Death is a prime example of inept filmmaking, the makers of this should focus on martial arts and leave the filmmaking to others.
Now I need an aspirin as got a freakin headache after having been exposed to that god damn soundtrack...


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

"Saturday Night Special": Savage Streets (1984)

 Brenda (Linda Blair), is the vivacious leader of the Satins, a fun-loving group of pretty high school girls. The Satins are in for trouble from the first moment they play a harmless trick on the Scars -- a vicious gang who runs loose on the Hollywood streets. The Scars and their malevolent leader, Jake (Robert Dryer), take their revenge seriously -- first with Brenda's deaf-mute sister Heather (Linnea Quigley), and then her soon-to-be-married best friend. Savage Streets is written by Norman Yonemoto and Danny Steinmann who also is the director. Aside from Robert Dryer and Linnea Quigley most of the acting is pretty bad. Actually Linnea Quigley is the only one in the flick that looks the part, she looks younger than the rest of the actors and actresses who look like young adults, which kinda softens its edge and makes it hard to take some of the stuff seriously.The Scars are a frightening gang of thugs and are the highlight of Savage Streets, Jake (Robert Dryer), Red (Scott Mayer) and Fargo (Sal Landi) obviously embrace their roles and have their own personality traits and they are truly a vicious and repulsive bunch of characters. There is also Vince (Johnny Venocur) who is something of a hang around and wanna be gang member.  The soundtrack, which is very 80s is good! The camerawork and editing is good. The pace is good but the climax as Linda Blair, armed with a crossbow, beartraps and a switchblade, takes on the Scars is a something of a letdown considering the build up to it. It´s violent but there´s only brief gore. There´s gratuitous T & A in this, including several scenes of female full frontal nudity. The rape of Heather (Linnea Quigley) is brutal and  disturbing, it features gratuitous female nudity and to add a bit of sleaze-factor it is also implied that she´s underage which in effect makes it childrape.
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Scorpion Entertainment.
Rating: 6½ out of 7. I enjoyed this, it´s an entertaining vigilante flick depsite some flaws (bad acting, overaged actors/actresses). You get sleaze, violence, gratuitous T & A... what´s not to like?  Check it out if you´re a fan of '80s vigilante movies, Linnea Quigley or Linda Blair.