Tuesday, April 28, 2015

San Francisco International Film Festival 58: Titles to Watch For

I've never been very good about film festivals, I'm not sure why. After they were over, I'd hear about some of the things I missed out on for no good reason, and would tell myself that I'd be more aware of what would be playing where and on which days, and make it to as many as I could, which resulted in a great experience at the Guillermo del Toro night. So here are some of the highlights I've found for the rest of this year's SFIFF:

"Seventeen-year-old Shiori’s Gothic Lolita garb attracts a lot of fans to her interactive video blog, a stepping stone she hopes will launch her career as a model and actress. One day while handing out promotional pamphlets, she meets Ayumi, a timid 13-year old who is in awe of her and her wardrobe. Shiori is initially wary of the attention but takes pleasure in being idolized, and eventually allows the girl to get closer. Ayumi’s growing infatuation becomes difficult to disguise, and their odd friendship takes an unforeseen turn after Ayumi runs away from home and quietly begins to infiltrate Shiori’s life and relationship with her boyfriend. Prominently showcasing the music of Japanese pop star Seiko Oomori, Wonderful World End embraces a narcissistic and hyper-commercialized version of Japanese teen life. Director Daigo Matsui spiritedly and stylishly presents a youth culture where emojis, text messages and candy-colored fantasies invade the screen in unabashed fashion. —Julia Barbosa"
This will be playing at the Sundance Kabuki Theatre 4/30 at 4pm, 5/1 at 8:45pm, and 5/3 at 4:45pm 

"From the fantastic team behind Father’s Day and Manborg comes a loving tribute to the giallo films of the 1970s. The Editor distills the best and most sublimely ridiculous bits of this unique, largely Italian-made thriller-erotica-horror genre into a story about a once-famous editor who becomes the prime suspect in a series of homicides. Editor Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks) was once a great practitioner of his craft, but a freak accident leaves him with four wooden fingers. Equipped with a clumsy prosthetic, he now spends his days slaving on lurid pulp movies in 1970s Italy. When the cast and crew of his most recent project start turning up dead, suspicions keep turning to Rey and even he starts questioning his own innocence. Hilarious, visually adventurous, politically incorrect and violent, The Editor is packed with cult actors, including Udo Kier, Laurence R. Harvey, Tristan Risk and Paz de la Huerta. —Evrim Ersoy"
This is will be showing at the Roxie Theatre only on 5/1 at 11pm. The trailer will get you Italian horror fans pumped, because that is actually Claudio Simonetti of Goblin taking part in the score of the movie.

"A mother (Susanne Wuest) recovers from plastic surgery in an idyllic country retreat while her two fresh-faced young twin boys Lukas and Elias (Lukas and Elias Schwarz) frolic about the house and in the nearby cornfields. What at first seems like an idyllic country paradise, however, is quickly shown to be rotten just beneath the surface. The boys are at home in nature. They collect bugs, play with animals, like to roughhouse and get a little dirty. Their fastidious mother sits in icy, stark contrast, much like their sleek, sterile, modern home juxtaposes the rustic countryside in which it is plopped. Mom needs absolute calm for her recovery and becomes increasingly annoyed and borderline abusive with her free-spirited children. They in turn begin to suspect that something might not be altogether right with her since her procedure. Austrian weirdo auteur Ulrich Siedl (The Paradise trilogy, In the Basement) produced Goodnight Mommy, and his distinctly odd, subtle flourishes of humor and style can be detected in its nooks and crannies. But writers/directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala craft a deliciously intense and genuinely exhausting thriller that is distinctly their own. With slow-burning tension that excruciatingly ratchets tighter and tighter from first frame to final credits, Goodnight Mommy will leave genre fans both exhilarated and exhausted. —Tim League"
This will be playing at the Clay Theatre on 5/1 at 4pm

"The avant-garde music and multimedia collective known as The Residents has never revealed the identity of its members, always appearing in costume in extravagant live musical performances and filmed projects. They have also been making some of the world’s most mind-bending music and visual artifacts for more than 40 years. Don Hardy’s fast-paced documentary tells the story of the group’s start in rural North Louisiana, their artistic awakening in late-‘60s San Francisco (including some incredible archival footage of the band in what appears to be a North Beach folk club), and follows them to the present day where they are still going strong creating and performing. The film employs a trove of archival material alongside contemporary performances and interviews with the band’s longtime “business managers,” the Cryptic Corporation as well as a wide variety of creative minds—including Penn Jillette, Jerry Harrison, Les Claypool of Primus,Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening and members of Neurosis, Henry Cow and Ween—drawn to the group’s uncompromising focus on creative control over conventional commercial success. Without exposing that final mystery,Theory of Obscurity illuminates the ethos and influence of a band whose perseverance and originality have begun to attract a whole new generation of fans. —Cory Sklar"
This film will be screening at the Sundance Kabuki Theatre 5/1 at 9pm, and 5/3 at 6:15pm.

"Akikazu Fujishima has made some mistakes. He beat his wife’s lover to within an inch of the man’s life, quit his job as a detective and now lives as an alcoholic, estranged from his family. When he receives a call from his wife, telling him that their daughter Kanako has gone missing, he sees an opportunity to quickly restore himself as the man of the house and sets off on a mission to find her. Fujishima quickly learns that his daughter is far from the picture of perfection he thought she was, and finds himself in a vile and extremely violent mess. From the high school cafeteria to underground raves to dark sewers, there’s nowhere Fujishima won’t go—and nothing he won’t do—to find his daughter. Tetsuya Nakashima (Confessions, Memories of Matsuko) has taken audiences to some severely dark places, and his latest film tells his most sordid story yet. Based on the novel Hateshinaki Kawaki by Akio Fukamachi, the pitch-black The World of Kanako combines a ‘70s sense of exploitation action with modern violent thriller tropes and a touch of unexpected humor. The result is a shocking yet frequently beautiful film that ventures into some horrific places. —Brian Kelley"
This will be screening at the Roxie Theatre on 5/2 at 11pm

"Set in the near future, Advantageous (winner of a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival) focuses on Gwen Koh, a single mother, whose aspirations for her daughter drive her to the precipice of a fraught decision. Including eerie and ingenious low-key special effects and a deliciously understated performance by Jacqueline Kim, this sci-fi film is rife with underlying tension and lyrical beauty perfectly matching the city’s atmosphere of quiet desperation. Gwen works as a spokesperson for the Center for Advanced Health and Living (an innocuous sounding organization that is, in fact, a corporate behemoth) and finds that she is in danger of losing her job. That would make it impossible for her to send her daughter Jules to private school, a termed “advantage” that in actuality is more a necessity to shield Jules from this future society's brutal economic disparities. The Center’s newest and untested health procedure offers Gwen a dangerous, life-altering chance to continue her career. To weigh her options, Gwen attempts to reconnect to the estranged father of her child (Ken Jeong) and his new wife, but as seems standard for all in this dystopian landscape, Gwen remains alienated and alone. Through this allegorical structure, Advantageous intelligently investigates present-day society’s perspectives on femininity and motherhood and how they intersect with questions of beauty, surveillance and the economy. —Sean Uyehara"
This will be playing at the Clay Theatre on 5/3 at 6:15pm and at the Sundance Kabuki 5/5 at 9:15pm and 5/6 at 1pm. 

Follow the respective links for ticket information to each movie. 
And let's all go to the movies!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bluray Tuesday!

April 28th 2015

The last week of April arrives and the last Bluray Tuesday of the month has not many horror releases. This month brought us many Horror releases to build our collections with so I don't mind the little break on my wallet this week. Shout Factory will release the only horror Bluray this week the 1987 Cult film From a Whisper to a Scream I never heard of this film but may check out sometime in the near future. Jennifer Lopez's Thriller film The Boy Next Door releases this week as well as Mark Wahllberg's The Gambler which Target will carry a steelbook exclusive for this that I'm for sure to pickup. What will you pick up this week or will you skip the releases this week all together? Let us know in the comments.

The Gambler: Amazon - $19.99

Literature professor Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) leads a secret life as a high-stakes gambler. Always a risk-taker, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster and offers his own life as collateral. Staying one step ahead, he pits his creditor against the operator of an illicit gambling ring while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a paternalistic loan shark. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must risk everything for a second chance.

The Gambler (Blu-ray) 

Target Exclusive Steelbook

The Gambler (Blu-ray) 

Inherent Vice: Amazon - $22.99

Set in 1960s Los Angeles, drug-fueled detective Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates a kidnapping case. Based on the novel written by Thomas Pynchon. In a California beach community, private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) tends to work his cases through a smoky haze of marijuana. One day, Shasta, a former lover, arrives out of the blue to plead for Doc's help; it seems that Shasta's current beau, rich real-estate tycoon Mickey Wolfmann, has a wife who may be plotting to commit him to a mental hospital. When Mickey and Shasta both disappear, Doc navigates a psychedelic world of surfers, stoners and cops to solve the case.
Inherent Vice (Blu-ray) 

The Boy Next Door: Amazon - $19.95

When a handsome, charming teenager named Noah (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door, newly separated high-school teacher Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) encourages his friendship and engages in a little bit of harmless -- or so she thinks -- flirtation. Although Noah spends much of the time hanging out with Claire's son, the teen's attraction to her is palpable. One night, Claire gives in to temptation and lets Noah seduce her -- but when she tries to end the relationship, he turns violent.

The Boy Next Door (Blu-ray) 

From A Whisper To A Scream: Amazon - $15.89

It's the end of the Civil War, a handful of renegade union soldiers roam the south on a mission of unholy terror. Includes five tales of terror from the blood spattered history pages of Oldfield, Tennessee, as told by the town librarian, master of horror Vincent Price.
From a Whisper to a Scream (Blu-ray) 

Paddington: Amazon -$19.99

Paddington follows the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British, who travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined.

Paddington (Blu-ray) 

This is a family fun film online a few days ago I came across this creepy bear in classic horror themed scenarios that would make a cool slasher check it out below.

The photoshops are pretty impressive (and grotesque).

The Creepy New Paddington Bear Has Inspired A Meme Of Him Starring In Classic Horror Movies

Welcome to Peddington Lake - Friday the 13th 

 -The Impostor

Sunday, April 26, 2015

SFIFF: An Evening with Guillermo de Toro

Last night it was officially confirmed that Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro will not be sending Norman Reedous to Silent Hill. I'll admit that I had completely forgotten Silent Hill was even in the works until I was explaining why I'd be leaving our weekly D&D game early and was asked by everyone to get in the Q&A line and ask about Silent Hill. Thankfully I didn't have to and the second question was just that.
"It's not going to happen and that breaks my greasy heart," is how Guillermo responded and I'll admit that initially I was indifferent as I don't really play video games anymore (except Hotline Miami).

(My photos came out terrible so I'm borrowing this one)

But as he continued to talk about how he and Kojima had planned on making the game truly invade our world and I saw del Toro become animated with excitement while explaining what he could (without being sued), I too became extremely excited for the game... It was a bitter sweet moment to say the least and Guillermo also ended that response by saying. "I'm 50 years old now and I've made a decision to just direct from now on." I'm paraphrasing here but the point is the same; he's sticking to film from now on.
On a side note, someone asked if there are any buildings in San Francisco he may want to destroy in the near future and he responded by saying. "If Pacific Rim 2 stays the way it's written now, I'll be getting medieval on San Francisco!"

In case you've never seen the Kojima - del Toro teaser...

- Lord Battle

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bay Area Movie Events: Roar and The Devil's Backbone Come to the City

First thing's first: Roar has started its almost week long run at the Roxie Theatre. It'll be there until the end of the month, for at least two showtimes a day and more on the weekend. I can't wait to see this movie, especially after seeing all of the stills and posters for it. Here's one, for example, although it is on the tame side of the scale. Pun fully intended.

Next bit of information: tomorrow night Guillermo del Torro will be doing a Q&A at San Francisco's beloved Castro Theatre at 8pm. 

He will also be presenting The Devil's Backbone afterwards. This is just one of the events included in this year's San Francisco International Film Fest. 

I have yet to watch this movie and this sounds like a pretty perfect setting to see it for the first time; surrounded by fans. Tickets for this event are still available at the film festival's site but you'll probably need to act fast. And if this doesn't sound incising to you, I'm sure something on their calendar will stand out. You check it out here.  

Let's enjoy some movies this weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Overlooked Crowd Funding (well sort of) - Rob Zombie's 31

Some time last year, Rob Zombie launched an insanely successful crowd funding campaign in order to make his new film 31. You probably saw the artwork for it plastered all over the various social media that are relevant to you...

This film was inspired by the large number of people who mysteriously disappear on October 31st each year. 

I don't remember how much more than his minimum he raised, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was about double. There have definitely been those (including someone close to the Overlook Theatre) who feel that Zombie has the means to pay for his film to be made on his own and that he shouldn't look to fans for funding. I can understand that point of view, but I feel like this is more of a reassurance thing than a necessity. His past movies have been very polarizing and have received some very negative reviews, to the point where he said he was done making them. Then news about 31 came out. I believe he left it up to the fans whether he would make this film or not; if enough people wanted it and supported the campaign, that spoke for itself. 

Apparently, after the initial campaign for 31 was over, people showed up late to the party and wanted to contribute. Enough people to warrant a second campaign! So that's what happened; a second campaign with some new rewards was launched through Fan Backed. There are 18 days left in this campaign, and there is some cool movie art you could pick from, including one of the posters that was offered during the first campaign in the form of a sweater. 

But there is also new art all together, available on shirts and posters. It's this guy 

You can check out the campaign here and contribute for the next 17 days. You can basically pick out whichever rewards screams to you and support this movie just by shopping. One cool detail about this campaign: all contributors get entered into a raffle to win Rob Zombie tickets for the a lifetime. You can also buy these laminates for 1000 each, but winning them sounds much more exciting. 


Monday, April 20, 2015

Bluray Tuesday!

April 21st 2015

Bluray Tuesday has arrived once again. After a big week last week we have now a few less horror released this week. I have heard many good things about A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and some of the residents of the Overlook have seen this as well. Everly is the one I am most excited to finally own. I saw three it times and loved it more each time. While not perfect, I found it overall entertaining and a great blind buy for those on the fence, especially for only $13. Shout Factory is at it again releasing some good catalog titles on bluray. Ghoulies  /Ghoulies 2 for the first time and Escape From New York with massive new bonus features that is a must own. So what are you guys buying, renting or just skipping all together?

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night: Amazon - $22.99

In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire. Residents of a worn-down Iranian city encounter a skateboarding vampire (Sheila Vand) who preys on men who disrespect women. 

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Blu-ray) 

Everly: Amazon - $12.99

A woman who faces down assassins sent by her ex, a mob boss, while holed up in her apartment.
I loved this Film by Joe Lynch and recommend to anyone thinking of blind buying this film. The residents Of The Overlook reviewed this a few months back check it out HERE

Everly (Blu-ray)

Ghoulies / Ghoulies 2: Amazon - $15.89

Ghoulies (1985)
Upon returning to his family's abandoned mansion, Jonathan realizes he has inherited his father's powers of sorcery, which he uses to unwittingly unleash a handful of demons known as The GHOULIES! The tiny terrors run amok, getting into mischief and killing their unfortunate hosts before Jonathan summons the strength to defeat them...
Ghoulies 2 (1988)
The operators of Satan's Den, a traveling spook house, find out that they have picked up some unlikely hitchhikers when The GHOULIES begin terrorizing the carnival goers at their most recent stop! The creatures are mad after an attempt to kill them, so the beasties go on a rampage through the fairgrounds, ultimately leading to an explosive conclusion...!

Ghoulies / Ghoulies II (Blu-ray) 

Deep In The Darkness: Amazon - $15.89

Dr. Michael Cayle thought leaving the chaotic lifestyle of New York City behind for the quiet, small town of Ashborough would bring his family closer together. Soon after arriving, however, he discovers the town's deepest secret: a terrifying and controlling race of creatures that live amongst the darkness in the woods behind his home.

Deep in the Darkness (Blu-ray) 

Escape From New York (1981): Amazon - $18.99

In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a prison which houses the world's most brutal inmates. And when the President of the United States crash lands inside, only one man can bring him back: Snake Plissken, a notorious outlaw and former Special Forces war hero who, in exchange for a full pardon, descends into the decayed city and wages a blistering war against the captors. But time is short: in 24 hours, an explosive charge planted inside Snake's body will end the mission -- and his life -- unless he succeeds.
Escape from New York (Blu-ray) 

Taken 3: Amazon - $19.99

Ex-government operative Bryan Mills finds his life is shattered when he's falsely accused of a murder that hits close to home. As he's pursued by a savvy police inspector, Mills employs his particular set of skills to track the real killer and exact his unique brand of justice.

Taken 3 (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art

 -The Impostor

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Unfriended, A Cautionary Tale for A New Generation

6 of 6 viewers "Liked" "Unfriended" (USA, 2015)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "Annoying kids have always been murdered in horror films, just never like this. Imagine the intro to "Prom Night" but modern and done over the internet... Unfriended isn't what I had in mind when I started this blog but it's exactly the kind of film I wanted to write about, low brow/high art, bravo!" - 5 Stars

Huntress - "This is definitely a cautionary tale for the next generation, who won't be able to escape the internet while growing up. Everything from the dialog to the situation felt authentic after a slightly awkward start. Once I got used to the Skype filmed format, I got really into the story. I was so surprised by the amount of suspense they were able to inject into the story and always in ways that were relevant to the format. There were a couple of moments where the dialog felt like a parent trying to scare the audience away from drinking but it worked for the cautionary tale aspect." - 4.5 Stars

Book Wyrm - "Unfriended was originally a movie I knew little about and had even less faith in. I knew it was about being cyber bullied and then haunted by the ghost of that victim but I had no idea it was entirely through a computer screen during a Skype session. The movie felt incredibly realistic and the acting was incredibly convincing. It felt as though it did happen all at one night and that the shooting took place all in one take. Unfriended was very suspenseful and there were parts where I needed to close my eyes. I enjoyed the movie very much and it was definitely a pleasant surprise. If you have the chance see it, do it!" - 4 Stars

The Impostor - "Unfriended is a rather interesting and new concept added to the found footage-like films. It actually feels like you are on your computer, I was surprised how engaged I was and how much this film exceeded my expectations. This is a horror film and has a few jump scares but also I feel it's attempting to show people how cyber-bulling is out there and people really do kill themselves because of these kinds of things. Overall Unfriended is executed better than I expected." - 4 Stars

Unicorn Slayer - "First off, I have to say, the way in which this film was made was absolutely brilliant. The style, aside from being relatively easy to pull off on a low budget, was believable and immersive. Even in being filmed completely on a computer screen, it was easy to watch and follow and never became boring or flat. I am definitely not at all a fan of jump scares, or one to appreciate them, but they were tolerable in this film. Following all the right paths of successful films before it, it mirrors the classic supernatural punishment film, retelling the story with a nod to found footage, Unfriended is the perfect taste of horror for the next generation." - 4 Stars.

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

Unfriended seems like the early summer horror hit that prays on the moronic by giving them annoying characters, no plot, and a ghost. They will make millions and once again solidify horror as low brow garbage that's made to be ignored while you makeout / become intoxicated. I'd just like to say, if this is what you're looking for this film could still work for you but it is far from actually fitting that role. Opening with the most realistic horror scene in a movie I can think of, Unfriended is packed with tension,a couple huge cinematic breakthroughs, and peppered with jump-scares.
The film opens with a computer screen open to the page "Live Leaks," prompted by a disclaimer asking that you click "I agree" to being 18+ to view the following video (Has anyone ever clicked the other button?). This is one of the moments people don't think about and the best example of this film's main theme; taking responsibility for what you do on the internet.
The video is our soon to be poltergeist killing herself. I make light of the situation because horror is often funny when thought of in a realistic manner; the reason this case isn't very funny is because kids are watching actual death daily on this site and on the million various avenues there are to find things you shouldn't see. Then there's the whole theme of cyber bullying but that is already being talked about a lot. I'd just like to say that this is by far, the best cyber-bullying movie to date and I'm a big fan of CyberBully.
As far as cinema is concerned, this film could feel as alien as the first time you see a Harmony Karin film, but it doesn't. There are often upwards of 3 things on screen that you could be watching at any given moment, the trick is to listen and make choices as to which is most important. Honestly it's not as life and death as I'm making it sound but, as far as a horror film goes, I found my self keeping busy looking at things couldn't become a jump-scare of some form. Now the suspense in this film is amazing and I think a huge part of that is because of the alien shooting style. This film is literally just one computer monitor that we see through, operated by the "good girl" of our 5 brat kids. Since they are talking over Skype or various other programs the scenery changes enough that we stay entertained and don't even realize until it's over that there is no cutting in the way we are used too. Conversations, deaths, jokes, and location changes all happen through one screen. So we aren't getting "cool shots" or jump-cuts and the tension builds in a natural and very effective way because of this. Not to mention that we actually get a good idea of what our protagonist is thinking, since we not only get to see how she reacts to things but also the messages she starts to type out but deletes. We also get to see what she decides to send via a messenger rather than just speak over Skype. Huntress nailed it when she said this is a cautionary tale for a new generation because it truly is. Imagine showing someone this movie 20 years ago, they'd have no clue what was going on.
Normally what is written down in this section should be seen after viewing the film but since it's new and so many people don't know what to expect, I spent a lot of time kinda explaining just that. So if you end up seeing this film, please come back to the Overlook Theatre and discuss it. There are seriously not enough comments for the amount of views I'm seeing daily... So start now!

- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Peaches Christ Presents Digging Up the Marrow in San Francisco Tonight

The 2015 San Francisco Underground Short Film Festival will be screening the San Francisco premier of Digging Up the Marrow tonight at 11:30! This event will be hosted by horror buff Peaches Christ and Sam Sharkey at the Victoria Theatre.

Tickets for this event are only $12 and, according to his Instagram, Alex Pardee will be there to talk about making monsters and filming the movie. Tickets are available here

I've only heard about the interviews that Peaches Christ conducts and they sound like something you don't want to miss. Especially this one that is accompanied by such an inventive and horrifying film. And Alex Pardee is such a nice guy, you should go just to meet him and hear his stories. It's also an excuse to check out the oldest operational theatre in San Francisco. 

Let's support our local theatres while we still can!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Overlooked Crowd Funding - Scary Stories: A Documentary

I'd bet a lot of you horror fans out there have at least heard the title of this book series, many of you have probably even read it as kids (or adults even). This series was responsible for turning kids on to reading and even ignited a love of the horror genre in many of its young audience, the founder of this blog being one of them. These three books both inspired and frightened with their folk based stories and still eerie illustrations; they were constantly challenging. The books I am referring to are the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy.

There are also those of us who have only heard the titles and the reputation, but for whatever reason have never gotten to read the actual stories. I'm am in this group, but hoping to get my hands on the books and change that. Either way, whether you've read them or not, you still don't know the whole story behind them. And that's where this campaign comes in.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark left its mark on a good number of people, enough to inspire documentarian Cody Meirick to start an Indiegogo campaign to make a movie about it. Based out of Chicago, this documentary plans to interview people about the history of gothic children's stories and illustrations, the censorship surrounding children's books, and the efforts that Alvin Schwartz took to find and compile the stories in the books to name a couple. Days after the project began, the Schwartz family contacted Meirick in order express their support for the project. 

This campaign doesn't have too much in the way of diverse rewards to choose from so I'll just make due with what they are offering.
  • $30 will get you a download of the completed film and a thanks for your support in the credits. Pretty bare but a part of your donation will also go to a literacy program, Open Books
  • $45 can get you the above reward and also a behind the scenes featurette, which sounds like cool addition to a download-only film. Again, part of your donation goes to Open Books. 
Breaking the Piggy Bank:
  • $110 will get you all of the above rewards (movie and behind the scenes downloads, a thanks in the credits) and also some kind of limited edition artwork. This level of donation will double the amount that will go to the Open Books organization. The organization seems to be more of the focus in this campaign's rewards. 
There are a couple of other things to pick from, but the artwork seems to be the only physical thing you can get. After the $110 donation, it jumps to $2100, which allows you to be in the actual film. Still, this sounds very nostalgia heavy, but also like a very interesting project. You can read more about the theory and thought behind it at the project's site. This campaign only has two weeks left, so let's see if we can help it get made.

This project surfaced at a kind of weird time since talk of an animated film, based on a combination of all the books, started over a year ago. CBS was the one who started these talks, and the people who were being attached to it sound very promising. John August, the writer responsible for Big Fish, is one of them. You can find the whole article on Deadline.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Fear Clinic, The Negative Space Of

0 of 6 viewers "Liked" "Fear Clinic" (USA, 2015)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "The worst kind of horror is boring horror and Fear Clinic is aggressively boring." - 1.5 Stars

KillDozer - "So bad it's awful, and not in a good way. Very confusing and not even riffing with a group or the almighty Robert Englund save this film. *Spoiler* The one star is for Robert Englund mangina (no i'm not kidding)." - 1 Star

Huntress - "If you can make it through the anticlimactic build up for the first half of the movie, you'll be rewarded with a disjointed mess of an ending that you can't be ready for, not because it's super original or shocking but because it's kind of terrible. Most of the acting wasn't bad but it could only carry the movie so far. Part of the way through the movie I was convinced Corey Taylor funded the whole thing to make sure it was a love letter to SlipKnot." - 2 Stars

Math Mage - "Waste of a 100 minutes, filled with unlikable characters, weak gore, jump "scares", and annoying lighting. Predictable, boring, hilariously pretentious, have I mentioned boring? I need more diverse negative adjectives to fully encompass my disdain for this film but I don't care about it enough to try any harder than this: vapid and monotonous." - 1 Star

The Impostor - "Fear Clinic is a mediocre horror film. I really only watched for my favorite horror icon Robert Englund. I have never seen the original Web series so was not sure what to expect. I went in with an open mind and tried to take the film for what it was but unfortunately I was left confused and bored." - 2 Stars

Ice Giant - Fell Asleep - 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

It really isn't hard to spot a film that is purely marketing itself on the star or stars it has to offer, this goes for all genres. Horror is right up there with Action films as far as repeat offenders is concerned. I chose the standard poster/cover art used for Fear Clinic rather than something more interesting like I normally do so I could make a point. The first thing you read is Robert Englund, this typically is a bad sign, then add that to the fact the poster is mostly negative white space and this just screams "Terrible film inside." 
Now, Robert's name appearing first is pretty obvious; they are advertising the one selling point they really have and it's a good one. I know several people who not only watched, but purchased the film based on that simple fact. I myself bought the film because I saw how cheap the pre-order from Best Buy was ($11.99 I think) and it came signed by Corey Taylor (I have a hard time passing up signed merch) singer of Slipknot and various other alt/nu-metal bands.
The negative space on the cover is a bad sign for a couple of reasons, first this space would normally be filled with laurels won at film festivals or glowing blurbs written by reliable sources (like the Overlook), but if neither are present it may be because the film never hit festivals for fear of negative reviews or no one has said anything positive enough worth sharing. I add that people really love the minimalist look lately and these rules don't apply to minimalist covers.
I'd really like to have something constructive to say about Fear Clinic but for a film based on a web series, they made no mention of the FearNet project on the packaging, except to mention it's based on it, which is strange since everyone who was the screening felt completely lost throughout the whole film. I had seen 2 of the webisodes a long time ago when they were originally posted and I have a distant memory of this show but remembered liking it much more than I did this film. It also felt like this film was a continuation of the web series, which would warrant at least a suggestion to view the series first. 
Fear Clinic is ultimately a boring film that features an awkward nude scene and terrible acting by Corey Taylor.

- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.