Easily one of my favorite films to come out of 2012 is a probably one you haven’t heard of called “Strange Frame”. This movieis brilliantly animated and directed by GB Hajim, co-written by Hajim and musician Shelley Doty, and co-stars voice talents including Tim Curry, Cree Summer, Juliet Landau, Ron Glass, Alan Tudyk, Michael Dorn, Claudia Christian and George Takei. It centers around the theme of the transformative power of love between two women. It is definitely a trippy fun beautiful film that needs to be seen by everyone!
Well, after that long intro, the reason we are here is that GB Hajim is back with a new feature film that is currently in production called “Mermaids’ Lament”. The film is a psychological drama with elements of fantasy. According to the director it pays homage to an 1986 foreign film titled “Man Facing Southeast” and deals with the issues of depression, anxiety, and trauma. It follow a woman drowning in trauma who takes a therapist beyond her own depth into the darkness and together they find the surface and the sun.
Here is the film official synopsis from the director: “It’s about two women: One who suffered an incredible trauma that left her mute and she may or may not be a mermaid. The other, a therapist who has crippling anxiety, is trying to help the first woman overcome her delusions of being a mermaid and fit better in the world. They end up helping each other out and finding a middle ground because the world is crazy and we need a little mermaid inside each of us to cope.”
Hajim has gathered together another amazing collection of creatives to bring this project to fruition which is apparent in these first official images:
To find out more about GB Hajim’s first film “Strange Frame” and how to watch it, click here. I honestly cannot wait to see what he puts together for this next film. I am sure it is going to be something very special. Be sure to check out the film’s official Facebook page here to follow the film’s production and plans for release, which the director mentions he is aiming for 2022 release.
Well, thank God that’s over. The final film award ceremony of 2021 is over, and not a minute too soon.
Viewers who tuned in to the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony (guilty, but I have a website. What’s your excuse?) were treated to un-enthusiastic presenters, amazingly long speeches (I’m guessing Questlove wasn’t told he could play people off) and an “In Memoriam” segment that looks like it was thrown together at the last minute. And can someone tell me how a show with no host, opening monologue and zero musical numbers – unless you count the embarrassing “Oscar Music Trivia” game that featured Glenn Close shaking her ass to E.U.’s “Da Butt” – ran almost 3 1/2 hours??
On a positive note, there were some great achievements rewarded. A woman of color (Chloe Zhao) was named Best Director, only the second time a woman has won that Award. Think about that. Out of 465 nominees only SEVEN women have been nominated: Lina Wertmuller, Jane Campion, Sophia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow (who won), Greta Gerwig, Ms. Zhao and Emerald Fennell, who with Ms. Zhao was nominated this year. Which means such female directors, like Penny Marshall and Barbra Streisand, have been totally ignored, even though in the past they had directed films nominated for Best Picture!
Daniel Kaluuya and Youn Yuh-jing took home the Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards, respectively, putting a slight dent into the #OscarSoWhite reputation.
Frances McDormand became the second actress to receive (3) Best Actress awards when her name was announced last night, putting her right behind the immortal Katherine Hepburn, who won (4). Meryl Streep does have (3) Oscars, but one was for Best Supporting Actress. Ms. McDormand picked up a 4th Oscar as one of the producers of the evening’s Best Picture, “Nomadland.” And whose idea was it to give the Best Picture award out early? Normally it’s the last award of the night, but on this night it was awarded before Best Actress and Actor were named. My hunch is that the producers assumed the late Chadwick Boseman, who was nominated for his final performance in the film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” would win, which would have made for a nice emotional way to end the evening. Instead, Joaquin Phoenix sheepishly announced Anthony Hopkins as the winner of the Best Actor award, and that was a wrap!
My beef with the “In Memoriam” segment was that, for some reason, the Academy figured if you were watching you knew who everyone was and what they did. An introduction that took u 1/3 of the segment, no film clips and, while known talents like Christopher Plummer, George Segal and Wilford Brimley got a few seconds of screen time each, others – among them Marge Champion (a great dancer), Shirley Knight (a fine actress), Kelly Preston (same) and Michael Chapman (an amazing cinematographer whose credits include “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” and “The Fugitive”) whizzed by in a blink.
The fact that only nominees and presenters were allowed to be in the venue also made for dull television. Smatterings of applause signaled that the guests in the theatre were apparently as bored as the ones at my house.
Blame it on COVID. Blame it on the fact that none of the films nominated were “NAME” films – no “Titanic,” “Avatar” or “Lord of the Rings” in the bunch. Blame it on bad television. There’s plenty of blame to go around.
For those of you who went to bed early, here is a list of the winners:
Best Picture – Nomadland
Best Actor in a Leading Role– Anthony Hopkins (The Father)
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Frances McDormand (Nomadland)
Best Director – Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Youn Yuh-jung (Minari)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)
Best Adapted Screenplay – The Father, Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller
Best Original Screenplay – Promising Young Woman, Emerald Fennell
Best Animated Feature Film – Soul
Best International Feature Film – Another Round (Denmark)
Best Sound – Sound of Metal, Phillip Bladh, Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés, Carolina Santana
Best Costume Design – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Ann Roth
Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Matiki Anoff, Mia Neal, Larry M. Cherry
Best Live Action Short Film – Two Distant Strangers
Best Animated Short Film – If Anything Happens I Love You
Best Documentary Feature – My Octopus Teacher
Best Documentary Short Subject – Colette
Best Original Song – ‘Fight for You,’ (Judas and the Black Messiah)
Best Visual Effects – Tenet, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Scott R. Fisher, Mike Chambers
Best Cinematography – Mank, Erik Messerschmidt
Best Production Design – Mank, Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale
Best Film Editing – Sound of Metal, Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
Best Original Score – Mank, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
In its 93 years the Academy Awards have seen some strange occurrences.
In 1973, Marlon Brando, who was announced as the winner of the Best Actor Award, sent an actress pretending to be a Native American up to the podium to refuse the award, citing the way Native American’s were portrayed in films.
The next year, David Niven was startled when freelance photographer Robert Opel decided to “streak” across the stage behind them. I always thought that this was a set-up. The camera angle was such that none of Mr. Opel’s nether-region was shown and Mr. Niven was awful quick and his quip: “The only laugh that man will ever get in his life is from stripping off and showing his shortcomings!”
And, of course, who could forget the 1989 ceremonies when Rob Lowe and Snow White engaged in a musical number? Only months before a sex-tape with Lowe and two women (one underage) had been released, which I’m sure upset the folks at Disney, who were already upset because they hadn’t given their permission for the character to appear.
But this year could be the strangest and most unpredictable ceremony ever.
Tonight, for really the first time since last year’s Oscars, nominees have been encouraged to be in attendance. In the past year, shows like the Emmys have had a minimal crowd (usually first responders) and the awards have been “delivered” to the winner via Zoom. Tonight we could actually see people walk across the stage to give their acceptance speeches.
Tonight also notes the first time that a streaming service has received more total nominations than any of the established studios. NETFLIX leads the way with 35 total nominations, followed by Amazon with 12. The highest number of studio nominations is 8, shared by Warner Bros. and the Walt Disney Company.
Streaming has been the thing this year. Though theatres are now open again, very few people are going. The one closest to me, and 18 screen mega-plex, is showing films that range from current (GODZILLA vs KONG, MORTAL KOMBAT) to titles that are months old. They are even trying to fill their screens with Bollywood features.
In the past year, I have seen three films in a movie theatre. The aforementioned GODZILLA vs KONG and MORTAL KOMBAT, both in the last 2 months. Before that, the last film I saw on the big screen was TENET. And I LOVE going to the movies.
With the exception of TENET, every other Oscar nominated film or performance I have seen this year has been either on a streaming platform or a DVD screener. A nice way for a critic to binge on what they need to see but also a way that takes the fun out of the movies.
I enjoy going to the theatre. Getting my popcorn and sitting in a room with 250 strangers who are about to share an experience with me. I like hearing others laugh along with me and I like sitting in the silence and hearing if anyone else is crying at the incredibly sad scene I just witnessed. And I like talking to people as we exit the auditorium, discussing what we saw and whether or not we liked it.
I should note that there were no more than four other people in attendance at the three films I have seen in a theatre. Which makes for a lonely exit conversation.
Hopefully after the awards some of the winners will be released to theatres. That is how Hollywood makes a little more money off of their films – re-releasing them to theatres after the awards to get a post-Oscar push at the box office. I, for one, would love to see MANK on the big screen. It’s impeccable recreation of 1940s filmmaking would be glorious to take in on a screen 40 feet high.
However, there are also good reasons to watch the Awards this year. Many of the nominees are a “pick-em” – there are no such things as “Titanic” nominated tonight. But my fingers are crossed for two awards and the reaction they will receive.
The late Chadwick Boseman is nominated as Best Actor for his amazing performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” It is his last film performance and it is brilliant. A victory here would not only honor a talent gone much too soon but will surely bring the house to it’s feet.
Secondly, tonight Glenn Close is nominated (for the eighth time) for her Supporting turn in “Hillbilly Elegy.” Not only is she the best thing in the film, she is so overdue for a win. Should she not win tonight, she will tie the late Peter O’Toole as having the most acting nominations without a win. O’Toole did receive an Honorary Oscar in 2002. A win by Close would surely trigger and emotional standing ovation. It certainly will at my house.
As the mark of a full year of shutdowns and quarantines goes sloth-crawling by and we begrudgingly re-examine (for the thousandth time) the trials we’ve survived (however barely) … there’s still a piece of us constantly looking for a beacon of hope. There’s questions to be asked. Will you continue to mask up and socially distance or are you moving to Texas? Will you be getting the vaccine or waiting it out? If you’re a monster kid… you have one more important question: are you going to rent Psycho Goreman or buy the damn thing and watch it on loop until you break your Blu-ray player? Your answer better be BUY because this movie is that good. Except Psycho Goreman ‘PG for short!’ isn’t a blinding beacon of hope… he’s a foul-mouthed alien overlord sent here to destroy the universe and resurrect the creature feature genre.
Canadian Director/Writer Steven Kostanski, who previously delivered the Lovecraftian THE VOID in 2016, clearly has a tremendous affinity for practical effects and eccentric storytelling. Psycho Goreman takes us onto the battlefield in a crazy war of good vs. evil and evil vs. evil — with blood, guts and meme-worthy Gigaxian one liners flying everywhere. Ninety nine minutes that plays like an R-Rated visit with Power Rangers in the most hilarious and bonkers capacity imaginable. Psycho Goreman drop kicked exactly what I needed into my lap when I genuinely COULD NOT handle a single extra day of “2020 Part 2″‘s regularly scheduled SNAFU lineup.
I hereby present to you…my wish list for movies from BEFORE Psycho Goreman came to earth:
[✓] A resurgence of credit-roll theme songs. This was one of the greatest things about the 80s and 90s. Remember when they commissioned artists to write completely asinine lyrics and roll them into absolute BANGERS? It’s musical slapdash that I’m, honestly, 105% here for. Calling it now — this will be the next thing to make a comeback in cinema of a certain brand.
[✓] Millennial 80s/90s nostalgia vibes…with heart. Not something that feels like a filmmaker googled ‘what were the late 80s like?’ and used an immersion blender to make an on screen disaster. I’m honestly so exhaustively far past being done with branded cookie cutter faux 80s-kid content. I want someone and something to bottle the feelings I felt watching shows after school but bigger, grosser and more fucked up… because I’m not six, I’m thirty six. I’ve humbly traded in Pogs and Gushers for IcyHot and Tums and so NOW I want to see body parts flying. I want kids using bad language and monsters who talk dirty. I want to root for a kid who is authentically and effortlessly cooler than I ever was and a monster who is sexier than I’ll ever be able to be.
[✓] Practical effects out the yinyang. I don’t care what the story is… CGI in horror, generally, should be outlawed. Go big. Then bigger. Keep going. Did everything explode all over the place? Turn it up to eleven. More alien guts! Look at these costumes! We’re almost there. Make me look up who did the fx work. “Give ALL these people a raise!” Ahhh. That’s perfect. If this is the only redeeming element then so be it… but if it works in tandem with a story that makes me want to suspend disbelief in every capacity then all the better. I’m in.
[✓] A soundtrack that I need to buy, like, yesterday: I consume a lot of tunes and I appreciate the greatest cinematic needle-drops as much as the next dweeb but good lord, there is something to be said about an original score that lets me live my own personal version of on screen adventures with outrageously, bombastic earworms. I’m there. You wanna release it on vinyl in deluxe packaging? Take my money. I want you to deliver to my ears… big hair, big drums, big synth, big aural explosions and none of this Stranger Things nonsense. I don’t like being manipulated. Bring those things and mean it because I very much am paying attention to the man and the noise behind the curtain.
[✓] Yo, literally just anything to be excited about? I don’t have the mental or emotional bandwidth anymore to recreationally consume anything that requires work. I want something that’s easily digestible and leaves me feeling amazing. I’m just getting back to the point where I’m willing to roll the dice and try to connect with something media-wise but, directly, I’m telling you that I’m looking for lightning in a bottle. So much of what we’re getting now is just more of the same thing we’ve just recently seen: major IP fatigue up in my brain. Show me something new and weird and make him ugly but charming so I can do a hard swipe right. Give me light and snappy. Let me cheer for and also laugh at and with him. Anything that makes me feel bad is getting turned off.
[✓] Make me want a whole line of action figures and a series of school supplies. I need a trapper keeper with gay-friendly alien monsters and a thermos to take soup to work in. Why are things meant for adults never flashy or covered in drippy, neon, monster madness? I’m sad that I’m not represented.
[✓] Give me a monster-kid I identify with and hey… it’s 2021 so it better be a girl and no one better be sexualizing her. We’re done being here for that purpose. I want a little girl on screen who I believe, with every fiber of my being, could save or destroy the universe with her death-glare and smart mouth alone. Not a single super power required.
[✓] Make me LOVE this movie. I want to authentically insist that the people I care about see this movie so they’ll be able to have the same magical feelings I did. I’ve spent much of my adult film-watching experience itching for just one more opportunity to dip my toes into the syrupy pool of Spielbergian kid-adventure but that’s not really where I’m at anymore. You never TRULY outgrow the things you loved in your formative years but now, as a parent, I think I’ve dropped the desire for a newly packaged version of that. I want to see what someone like MY kid would do with an E.T. like experience. My daughter isn’t the Elliot type and, if we’re being honest, I never was either. Maybe if an alien comes to earth, I don’t want it to be a sob fest. Maybe I want it to be a party. Maybe I want to see aliens play rock music? Quick…add that to the list. [✓]
There’s a fine line when you expect originality. There’s formulas that flourish because they’re dependable. The Hero Cycle’s Call to Action will forever exist because deep down most of us want to be emotionally guided to a promised feel-good moment. We want to feel like our however-fleeting emotional investment to characters and their story has contributed to our own personal journey… and temporarily that’s totally fine.
For those of you who find your viewing habits to be influenced by the current social atmosphere, there’s absolutely something to be said about returning to things-familiar. Sharing a moment, or ninety, with characters who are in the time of their lives before developing a sense of reflexivity is really comforting. Envy inducing. I think we’ve all had many moments during this past year where we wish we were in our childhood and entirely unconcerned with adult stressors or problems. Re-examining things we loved as children seemed right and safe because we knew what to expect. However as movie fans we have to encourage the continuation of new storytelling. Steven Kostanski had the opportunity to go big and went huge. I think someone must’ve told him to go nuts and he really went for it. In a time when so many things within the genre lean hard into serious, dark and emotionally exhaustive arthouse-horror… this was a bold move that at this moment in time I’m incredibly grateful for. He made something new and he made it really damn fun. Fun: Little word. Means everything in this moment.
The world is seriously scary enough right now but that doesn’t mean we can’t still like horror. I’m happy someone lightened things up by making it weird, gross and thrilling. Go watch Psycho Goreman and keep an eye on Steven Kostanski. And Steven, (if you see this) can we make sure this toy line happens? We’re all here for tiny, plastic hunky boys!
PSYCHO GOREMAN, available on DVD and Blu-ray starting March 16.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Panic Fest kicks off two weeks of genre packed programming as the ninth annual festival begins April 8, 2021, virtually and in person at Screenland Armour in Kansas City, MO.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer Panic Fest as both in-person and virtual experiences. It’s important that we allow for all comfort levels and situations. The prospect of bringing Panic Fest to the entire country is unbelievably exciting for us,” says Panic Fest Co-Founder Adam Roberts.
This year’s lineup includes over 25 feature films and 40+ short films from around the world in addition to signature podcasts, special events, and virtual meet-ups via the Gather platform.
Panic Fest Co-Founder Tim KC Canton says, “We know that our festival is built upon networking and a sense of community. We wanted to ensure that when people attend virtually that it feels like our festival. That they walk away with new relationships as well as discovering new, emerging voices through our unparalleled programming.”
For the first time in fest history, all films will be in contention for awards picked by audience members. “Each year we assemble a panel of judges to decipher the awards. This year we’re putting that in the hands of our attendees,” says Canton.
Panic Fest continues their partnerships with IFC Films, Shudder, Dark Sky Films, Epic Pictures, Dark Star Pictures, and Fangoria. New this year as presenting sponsors are 4 Hands Brewing Company and Logboat Brewing Company.
“Horror movies and great beer. It’s one of the all-time great matches and we couldn’t be happier with our new partners,” says Roberts.
The festival will utilize the latest in networking applications to bring the fest experience into your home with meet-ups, happy hours, and more over the Gather platform and special events via Clubhouse.
Panic Fest kicks off April 8, 2021, as one of the leading genre festivals in the world. Don’t miss what MovieMaker Magazine and Dread Central have named one of the best genre festivals in the world for three years running.
An Ideal Host D: Robert Woods Regional Premiere, 1h 25minLiz just wants to host the perfect dinner party but an unexpected guest sends the evening into chaos, with potentially apocalyptic consequences.
An Unquiet Grave D: Terence Kray Regional Premiere, 1h 12min A year after the death of his wife, a man enlists her sister to help him bring her back.
Below the Fold D: Clayton Scott World Premiere, 1h 32min Without a trace, Susie Potter vanished from her home in the quiet town of Skidmore, Missouri. Ten years later, two reporters uncover a harrowing new detail, which leads them on an obsessive hunt for the truth through the dark labyrinth of rural northwest Missouri.
Benny Loves You D: Karl Holt Regional Premiere, 1h 34min Jack is desperately trying for a new start in life, but when he throws away his childhood bear Benny, it’s a move that can only end in death.
The Blazing World D: Carlson Young Regional Premiere, 1h 41min Decades after the accidental drowning of her twin sister, a self-destructive young woman returns to her family home, finding herself drawn to an alternate dimension where her sister may still be alive.
Blood Conscious D: Timothy Covell North American Premiere, 1h 46min A vacationing family turns the tables on a mass shooter who claims to be fighting demonic forces.
Caveat D: Damian Mc Carthy Regional Premiere, 1h 28min A lone drifter suffering from partial memory loss accepts a job to look after a psychologically troubled woman in an abandoned house on an isolated island.
Censor D: Prano Bailey-Bond Regional Premiere, 1h 24min After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister’s disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.
The Carnivores D: Caleb Michael Johnson Regional Premiere, 1h 17min Alice and Bret’s dog Harvey is dying, and he’s ruining everything. What had been a bright little family is quickly getting consumed by clouds of self-doubt, suspicion, and a disturbing amount of ground beef.
The Djinn D: David Charbonier, Justin Powell, Clayton Scott North American Premiere, 1h 22min A mute boy is trapped in his apartment with a sinister monster when he makes a wish to fulfill his heart’s greatest desire.
Duncan D: John Valley Regional Premiere, 1h 31min A dark social satire inspired by the real-life conspiracy theory known as Pizzagate. An amateur journalist and a far-right militiaman team up to expose the ugly truth behind rumors involving sex cults, a pizza place, and the lizard people.
Honeydew D: Devereux Milburn 1h 46min Strange cravings and hallucinations befall a young couple after seeking shelter in the home of an aging farmer and her peculiar son.
Jakob’s Wife D: Travis Stevens Regional Premiere, 1h 38min Anne, married to a small-town minister, feels her life has been shrinking over the past 30 years. Encountering “The Master” brings her a new sense of power and an appetite to live bolder. However, the change comes with a heavy body count.
Katherine’s Lullaby D: Savvas Christou Regional Premiere, 1h 29min A teenage runaway who’s trapped by a delusional man, pretends to be his daughter in order to escape.
Keeping Company D: Josh Wallace Regional Premiere, 1h 22min A fateful chain of events begin to unravel after two brash insurance salesmen go knocking on the wrong door and find themselves trapped in a stranger’s basement.
The Last Matinee D: Maximiliano Contenti U.S. Premiere, 1h 28min It’s a soaking wet day with rain pouring down and one of the best things to do is to go seek refuge in a great old cinema. There’s only one problem: A scary murderer is on the loose and he also has taken refuge there.
My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It Too D: Jonathan Cuartas Regional Premiere, 1h 30min Two mysterious siblings find themselves at odds over care for their frail and sickly younger brother.
Night Drive D: Brad Baruh, Meghan Leon Regional Premiere, 1h 22min A rideshare driver’s life is turned upside down after an unexpected series of misfortunes.
The Old Ways D: Christopher Alender Regional Premiere, 1h 30min Cristina, a journalist of Mexican origin, travels to her ancestral home in Veracruz to investigate a story of sorcery and healing. There, she is kidnapped by a group of locals who claim she’s the devil incarnate.
Parallel Minds D: Benjamin Ross Hayden Regional Premiere, 1h 26min In the near future, an A.I. called URM is investigated by a detective and researcher for a lab about to release a contact lens with the power to record what the eye can see to re-create memories.
Prisoners of Ghostland D: Sion Sono Regional Premiere, 1h 40min A notorious criminal must break an evil curse in order to rescue an abducted girl who has mysteriously disappeared.
Red Snow D: Sean Nichols Lynch World Premiere, 1h 20min A struggling vampire romance novelist must defend herself against real-life vampires during Christmas in Lake Tahoe.
She Watches From the Woods D: Beau Ballinger World Premiere, 1h 19min A troubled artist with a dark past attempts to make peace with her dying mother while investigating the mysterious death of her teenage sister.
The Stylist D: Jill Gevargizian 1h 45min A lonely hair stylist becomes obsessed with the lives of her clients and descends into murderous madness.
Threshold D: Powell Robinson, Patrick Robert Young Regional Premiere, 1h 30min A sister claims to be cursed and persuades her brother to embark on a cross-country road trip to break her spell.
Vicious Fun D: Cody Calahan U.S. Premiere, 1h 36min Joel, a caustic 1980s film critic for a national horror magazine, finds himself unwittingly trapped in a self-help group for serial killers. With no other choice, Joel attempts to blend in or risk becoming the next victim.
The Whooper Returns D: Samuel Krebs U.S. Premiere, 1h 24min Following the death of their mother, four estranged siblings find themselves fighting for their inheritance and their lives when an eccentric stranger arrives, claiming their famous haunted childhood home was left to her.
Short Film Programming
“Aftertaste” D: Chloe Wicks “Bloodshed” D: Paolo Mancini, Daniel Watchorn “Body of Mined” D: Eric Jungmann “Coil” D: Spencer Ryerson “Crock Pot” D: Ty Jones “Death Scene” D: Mando Franco “Deep Learning” D: Andrew Laudone “Diabla” D: Maya Korn “Diving Bell” D: Kyle Brewis, Josh Klaassen “Dystopia” D: Laura Ugolini “Gastral Projection” D: Zachary Eglinton “Green Cobra” D: Sigurd Culhane “Hare Hunt” D: Ken van Mierlo “Hey, It’s Me.” D: Courtney Sposato, Mark Sposato “Koreatown Ghost Story” D: Minsun Park, Teddy Tenenbaum “Lake Forest Road” D: Ashton Avila “Late Night” D: JJ Pollack “Love Bite” D: Charles de Lauzirika “Make A Wish” D: Dinh Thai “Mourn” D: Joanna Tsanis
“New Not Normal Trilogy Supercut” D: Ryan Oksenberg “No One is Coming” D: Matthew Barber, Nathaniel Barber “Occurrance” D: Deb “Pare” D: Lauren Sick “Pirouette” D: Peter Howard, Glenn Delaney “Strayed” D: Sarah Bonrepaux “Stuck” D: David Mikalson “Suspense” D: Jacob Burghart, Ben Burghart “Sweet Nothings” D: Christian Klein “The Good Samaritan” D: Jonathan Norberg, Maria Forslin “The Occult Son” D: Patrick Murphy “The Rage” D: Steven DeRock “The Relic” D: J.M. Logan “The Rule of Three” D: Elwood Quincy Walker “The Snoop” D: Tom Hipp, Scott Hipp “There’s Someone in the Garden” D: Nicholas Cole “Watcher” D: Meg Swertlow “Who Wants Dessert?” D: Venita Ozols-Graham “Witches Midnight” D: Lisa Ovies
A Puff of Smoke Short Film Special Presentation Presented by Yellow Veil Pictures Clubhouse Weekend Hangouts Colors of the Dark Podcast Final Exam (Horror Trivia) FREE hosted by Ted Geoghegan Frightday Podcast Gather Fandom Weekend Happy Hours Gather Weekend Filmmaker Networking Happy Hour Knight Light Podcast Nightmare on Film Street Podcast Nightmare Junkhead Podcast Screen Drafts Podcast with Rebekah Mckendry & Graham Skipper
Feature film will be coming down the chimney in 2022
Orwo Studios and Black Hanger Studios (JEEPERS CREEPERS: REBORN) announced today that they have acquired the remake rights to the seminal slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night. The original film’s producers Scott Schneid and Dennis Whitehead of Wonderwheel Entertainment will join Orwo in bringing an exciting new vision of this cult classic to modern movie audiences in 2022.
The project was brought to Orwo by producer Anthony Masi of MasiMedia. Schneid, Whitehead, and Masi will produce along with Jake Seal, Terry Bird, and Jamie R. Thompson of Orwo Studios/Black Hangar. Orwo Studios is financing and representing the film for worldwide sales rights.
Declared as the most controversial film of the 80s – Silent Night, Deadly Night tells the story of a child who is traumatized after seeing his parents killed by a man dressed as Santa Claus. Years later, he dons a Santa suit himself and gets bloody revenge on the naughty list.
Wonderwheel says, “The continued desire for horror content and the ongoing success of the genre meant it was the perfect time to be able to offer up this chilling revival of the iconic title.” Masi adds, “We are thrilled to be working with the original producers as well as Orwo and Black Hangar and are committed to honoring nostalgia for the original while offering surprises for new audiences to discover and embrace.”
Certainly not to be confused with Disney’s animated musical, this is easily one of the most intense films I’ve ever seen and guaranteed to stay with you FOR-EVER!
A must see for all horror fans, a weekend ski party at a lodge goes terribly wrong. Look for Kane Hodder, better known as Jason Voorhees, in a cameo, My favorite horror movies are the ones that feel real and that possibly could happen, no matter how unlikely. This movie is raw, nerve-wracking and one of the most gut wrenching films I’ve ever seen!
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
You’ll find one helluva cab ride here!
Scorsese’s mesmerizing film is so low-key it might put you to sleep. Not because of boredom though – it’s combination of a soothing jazz score (the final one by the great Bernard Hermann, who died 24 hours after delivering the score to Scorsese) and DeNiro’s narration will definitely relax you.
Travis Bickle has a deep concern. He feels the need to be a hero in a society that’s gone wrong. In fact, he’s just an extraordinary person in normal circumstances.
As Media Mikes celebrates their 11th Anniversary, we are proud to welcome Keith Stevenson to our stable of writers.
Keith has been a lover of cinema since he was a young man and runs almost 20 film pages on Facebook, with a total membership of almost a quarter-of-a-million fans. His pages include tributes to JAWS, the ALIEN anthology, Directors Ridley and Tony Scott, Spike Lee and Black Cinema and Filmology – A Cinema Group, in which he writes about films of all genres. Give the page a look by clicking HERE
Look for his first essay, on the film TAXI DRIVER, later this week!
LOS ANGELES, CA (January 13, 2021) — Voltage Pictures has sold US rights to writer-director Will Wernick’s (Follow Me) upcoming pandemic thriller Safer at Home to Vertical Entertainment, it was announced today by President and COO Jonathan Deckter. Vertical has set the release for February 2021.
Voltage first introduced the film to buyers at the recent American Film Market. Key international deals include Falcom in German speaking Europe, Eone in Canada, The Searchers in Benelux, Sun Distribution in Spain and Latin America, Central Partnership in Russia, Signature Entertainment in the UK, Madman in Australia, Cinemundo in Portugal, Front Row in the Middle East, and Filmfinity in South Africa.
The film, which was one of the first projects to go safely into production during the Covid-19 pandemic, stars Alisa Allapach, Adwin Brown, Jocelyn Hudon, Dan J. Johnson, Michael Kupisk, Emma Lahana and Daniel Robaire. The film might seem like a gamble but it more seems like a sure bet, so be sure to check out this page.
Safer at Home was produced by Bo Youngblood and John Ierardi of Showdown Productions, and Will Wernick under his 7930 Entertainment banner. Executive producers are Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier, Jonathan Deckter and Babacar Diene.
The film was written by Will Wernick and Lia Bozonelis, from a story by Wernick, Bozonelis, and John Ierardi. The score was composed by Genevieve Vincent. The film was shot by DP Jason Goodell. Jason Phillips and Lia Bozonelis served as co-producers.
Set in 2022, the Corona Virus pandemic has created mass chaos in Los Angeles and turned the city into a police state. To escape the grim reality of life, a group of friends get together for an online party: a night of music, drinking, games…and drugs. To kick off the party, they collectively take a hit of what they think is molly. At first, the night is an exciting departure from the boredom of isolation, but as the drug kicks in, things go terribly wrong and the safety of their home becomes more terrifying than the raging chaos outside.
“Follow Me was a strong success for many of our international partners, so when the chance came to partner with Will for the third time was a no brainer,” said Deckter. “He’s created a whip-smart, edge of your seat thriller that will speak to audiences worldwide, as they simultaneously experience the varying stages of the pandemic.”
“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Will and Voltage this year following the domestic success of No Escape (AKA Follow Me),” said Rich Goldberg, co-president of Vertical Entertainment. “Safer at Home provides exciting twists and turns at every moment and we can’t wait to share it with US audiences.”
Safer at Home joins the robust Voltage sales slate including the political biopic Reagan, starring Dennis Quaid, the action-thriller The Marksman starring Liam Neeson, the upcoming third and fourth installments of the After franchise, the horror-thriller The Seventh Day starring Guy Pearce and the YA romance Finding You.
ABOUT VOLTAGE PICTURES
Voltage Pictures, established in 2005, is a privately held, film and television production, financing and sales entity. Voltage has won six Academy Awards including Best Picture for The Hurt Locker, and three Academy Awards for Dallas Buyers Club.
The current Voltage sales slate includes the highly anticipated action-thriller The Marksman starring Liam Neeson, the gangster crime biopic Lanksy starring Harvey Keitel, Sam Worthington and Annasophia Robb and the horror thriller The Seventh Day starring Guy Pearce.
Voltage represented worldwide rights on After, based on the internationally best-selling series of books by Anna Todd, debuted number one at the box office in 17 international territories including Germany and Italy when released in April 2019 and grossed over $70m worldwide. The highly anticipated sequel, After We Collided, recently opened number one in Italy, Portugal and Spain. The third and fourth films in the franchise are currently shooting in Eastern Europe.
Voltage also produced the blockbuster comedy I Feel Pretty starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, and Naomi Campbell, which generated nearly $100m in worldwide box office. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario, Jim Parsons, and John Malkovich premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim.
ABOUT VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT
Vertical Entertainment is a global independent distributor that offers a unique combination of full-service marketing and sales services. Dedicated to providing highly-effective and collaborative solutions, Vertical leverages unparalleled relationships to maximize revenue across all streams. The marketing and sales expertise from Vertical’s seasoned team gives content partners a wealth of experience minus the studio costs.
Vertical won a Gotham Award for Best Actress for Nicole Beharie’s role in “Miss Juneteenth“ this year. Additionally, the company won a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for Molly Shannon’s role in “Other People” and the film won a GLAAD Award for “Outstanding Film Limited Release” as well. Vertical also had four other Indie Spirit nominations – three more for “Other People” (Best Lead Actor for Jesse Plemons, and Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay for filmmaker Chris Kelly) and one for Best International Film for Babak Anvari’s “Under the Shadow,” which was also the official UK submission for the 2017 Oscars, in addition to winning one BAFTA Award and three British Independent Film Awards as well.
Notable Vertical releases include “Shadow in the Cloud” starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Nick Robinson; and “Skylines”, the third installment of the Skyline franchise; “The Informer” starring Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Common, Clive Owen, and Ana de Armas;“ “Miss Juneteenth”, the directorial debut of filmmaker Channing Godfrey Peoples starring Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, and Alexis Chikaeze; “Robin’s Wish”, the powerful true story of actor/comedian Robin Williams’ final days; “Yes, God, Yes” starring Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Wolfgang Novogratz and Alisha Boe; and “Capone” starring Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, and Kyle Maclachlan.
Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to give one random reader the opportunity to win a Blu-ray/DVD copy of Liam Neeson’s latest action film, “Honest Thief.”
The film, written and directed by Mark Williams (“The Accountant,” “Ozark”) stars Neeson as a notorious bank robber who turns himself in, only to be betrayed by a pair of corrupt F.B.I. agents.
All you need to do is let us know in the comments below what your favorite Liam Neeson film is. Is it one of his action flicks, like “Taken?” Something romantic like “Love Actually?” Or something prestigious like “Schindler’s List?” Let us know below. One random entry will be chosen and that reader will win the prize. This giveaway ends at 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, January 3, 2021. Winner will be notified by email. GOOD LUCK!
“Honest Thief” is now available wherever you can purchase Blu-rays or DVDs.
It’s hard enough establishing yourself as one of the best in one field. Nicholas Meyer has achieved this goal in several. His first novel, “The Seven Per-Cent Solution,” introduced a new generation of fans to the exploits of Baker Street’s best known sleuth, Sherlock Holmes.
Following the enthusiastic greeting of the film version of the novel, for which Meyer wrote the script, he made his film directorial debut with 1979’s time-travel classic “Time after Time.” For his next project he simply created the greatest “Star Trek” film in the series when he took the helm on “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
Mr. Meyer then proceeded to frighten everyone living in the Midwest with the television film “The Day After,” which told the story of the town of Lawrence, Kansas dealing with the devastating effects of a nuclear bomb. Twenty years after the film aired my son went to the University of Kansas, which is in Lawrence, and the first thing I thought of was this film.
His other films include “Volunteers” with Tom Hanks and John Candy; “Company Business” with Gene Hackman and Mikhail Baryshnikov (which he also wrote) and the final adventure for the Original Series cast, “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”
Stepping back from directing after his wife passed away from breast cancer at the age of 36, Mr. Meyer has continued to write, not only novels but for both the big and small screen. Mr. Meyer recently took some time out of his schedule to talk about his career, past, present and future. I should note that I am posting this on Christmas Eve, Mr. Meyer’s 75th birthday. Happy birthday sir!
Mike Smith: You graduated from Iowa State with a degree in filmmaking and drama. You also wrote film reviews (hope for me to yet to become successful). What was your career goal upon graduation? Acting? Directing?
Nicolas Meyer: My motives were doubtless inchoate. All I knew was I wanted to “Make Movies” (I’m guessing I meant Directing), but hadn’t much of any idea how to go about it.
MS: Your first success was the Sherlock Holmes novel “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.” Did you have to get approval from the Conan Doyle estate before you began writing?
NM: “Where ignorance is bliss ‘tis folly to be wise.” I had – typical – no idea the difficulties I would encounter with the avaricious and totally mismanaged Conan Doyle estate. Had I known what I was in for, I doubt I would have written the novel.
MS: You’ve written three additional Holmes stories. Was this a favorite character of yours when you were younger?
NM: I fell in love with Holmes around age 11 when my father gave me “The Complete Holmes” to read.
MS: You received an Academy Award nomination for your adapted screenplay of “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.” Was it easy to convince the studio to allow you to write the script? Did they try to pair you with another writer?
NM: It was very easy as I refused to sell the rights to the book unless I got to write the script.
MS: Do you have a favorite story about the making of “Time after Time?”
NM: I was amused when my producer’s wife, Nel Jaffe, suggested that Malcolm McDowell and his leading lady, Mary Steenburgen, were falling in love. “Nonsense,” I thought, I’m simply a brilliant director. (NOTE: McDowell and Steenburgen married shortly after the film was released and were together for a decade).
MS: Were there any “rules” you had to follow on “Wrath of Khan?” Did you ever have an idea that was nixed from above because it wasn’t something “Trekkie?”
NM: I was pretty much left to my own devices writing and directing the movie. Sometimes the film’s producer, Harve Bennett, would reel me in. I remember at one point Carol Marcus warns her son against killing Kirk – “You’ll be a parricide!” I wrote. Harve said, “Nick, no; you’ll be killing your father.” That sort of thing. Occasionally the cast would offer corrections: “This isn’t the way so-and-so talks” and I’d make those kind of adjustments.
MS: You are the only director to pull what I considered an award worthy performance from William Shatner. Every time his voice cracks when he describes Spock’s souls as the most….human it brings a tear to my eye. Much more emotional. How did you address the character with Shatner?
NM: I found the trick with Mr. Shatner was to make him do scenes several times. He would get bored and stop attitudinizing. He’d stop “acting” and start “being.” That said, Shatner’s performance is his own and all credit for it belongs to him.
MS: A favorite memory from working on “Wrath of Khan?”
NM: Really a post film memory. I was talking with my friend John McNamara (NOTE: Mr. McNamara’s credits include the television series “The Magicians” and the feature film “Trumbo”) and I mentioned that my favorite shot in the film is the pullback in the torpedo bay as the torpedo is lowered and makes its way towards the audience. I said, “I know it’s an anachronism from old Pirate movies but I couldn’t resist.” Whereupon John protested, “what do you mean ‘anachronism?’ The weapon’s electronics were all out of commission. They had to go that way!” To my way of thinking this is a perfect example of the imaginative contribution of the audience, essential for successful artistic experiences. You want people’s imaginations engaged. Or, as Shakespeare puts it in “Henry V,” “On your imaginary forces, work!”
MS: This is a question inspired by my friend Andrew Armstrong, who is the biggest“Star Trek” fan I know and who is quick to point out little things that most people would never notice. Did you ever get scolded by a fan about Khan recognizing Mr. Chekov, even though Chekov wasn’t in the “Space Seed” episode that inspired the film?
NM: Yes he was, but on a different deck!
MS: You have a bit of matchmaker in you. Shortly after “Time After Time” Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen were married and Tom Hanks met Rita Wilson on the set of your next feature, “Volunteers.” Could you see then the career Hanks had in front of him?
NM: I confess I could not. I thought Tom was (and is) a terrific actor and a wonderful human being. I was delighted he and Rita fell – and remain – in love. I knew he’d have a career but couldn’t dream how big it would get.
MS: I imagine if was a fun set working with both Tom Hanks and John Candy. Do you have a favorite memory from “Volunteers?”
NM: The scene where they are sitting next to one another on the plane and Candy talks about Albert Speer’s quote that fear is victory’s fuel. No matter how many times we rehearsed this, Tom couldn’t keep a straight face – and I’m talking MONTHS between rehearsals and shooting.
MS: Apparently DeForest Kelley did not want to direct (I joke – I actually think Shatner did a competent job with TREK V, especially when you read his book about the experience) and you were brought back to close out the Original Series portion of the “Star Trek” film legacy with “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” How did you manage to squeeze Christian Slater into a cameo?
NM: Christian’s mother, Mary Jo Slater, was my casting director. She mentioned that her son was a big fan.
MS: Are you working on anything currently?
NM: I co-created (with Frank Spotnitz) the Italian television series “Medici, Masters of Florence.” I’ve published my fourth Sherlock Holmes novel, “The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols.” The paperback edition just came out November 10th and the fifth novel, The Return of the Pharoahm” will come out next fall. I’m also working with Frank Spotnitz on a new television series.
If you want a more in-depth look at Mr. Meyers work, you can visit his official website HERE
Fans can also contribute via a “Virtual Fruit Drive” on Animal Crossing: New Horizons by visiting “Croods Cove” using dream code: DA-1282-8266-2121. Each piece of virtual fruit that users donate on the island will translate into real meals for families in need.
The Croods have survived their fair share of dangers and disasters, from fanged prehistoric beasts to surviving the end of the world, but now they will face their biggest challenge of all: another family
The Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved … except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans.
The Bettermans (emphasis on the “better”)—with their elaborate tree house, amazing inventions and irrigated acres of fresh produce—are a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder. When they take the Croods in as the world’s first houseguests, it isn’t long before tensions escalate between the cave family and the modern family.
Just when all seems lost, a new threat will propel both families on an epic adventure outside the safety of the wall, one that will force them to embrace their differences, draw strength from each other and forge a future together. Thinking about a future it is a smart move to look into a project management mba, which is a great way to start a career.
The Croods: A New Age features the voice talent of returning stars Nicolas Cage as Grug Crood, Catherine Keener as Ugga Crood, Emma Stone as their daughter, Eep; Ryan Reynolds as Eep’s boyfriend, Guy; Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Thunk and Cloris Leachman as Gran. They’re joined by new stars Peter Dinklage (HBO’s Game of Thrones) as Phil Betterman, Leslie Mann (Blockers) as Hope Betterman, and Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi) as their daughter, Dawn.
The film is directed by Joel Crawford, who has worked on multiple DreamWorks Animation films, including Trolls and the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and is produced by Mark Swift (Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted).
Genre: Animated Comedy
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran
ARRIVING ON 4K UHD BLU- RAY™ COMBO PACK, BLU-RAY™, DVD AND DIGITAL FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Burbank, CA, November 5 – “Tenet,” the must-see motion picture event, playing now on the big screen wherever theatres are open, will arrive on 4K, Blu Ray, DVD and Digital on December 15 in time for the holidays. Written, directed and produced by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan (“Inception,” “Dunkirk”), “Tenet” opened globally beginning in August 2020 and has grossed $350 million to date, with the much-anticipated theatrical openings in the major markets of New York and Los Angeles still to come. “Tenet” will be available to preorder from digital and physical retailers beginning November 10.
“Tenet” features an international ensemble cast led by John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman,” TV’s “Ballers”) as the Protagonist. The film also stars Robert Pattinson (the “Twilight” films, “The Lighthouse,” upcoming “The Batman”), Elizabeth Debicki (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “The Great Gatsby”), Dimple Kapadia (“Angrezi Medium”), Martin Donovan (“Ant-Man,” “Fahrenheit 451”), Fiona Dourif (“Cult of Chucky”), Yuri Kolokolnikov (“The Hitman’s Bodyguard”), Himesh Patel (“Yesterday”), Clémence Poésy (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“The Avengers: Age of Ultron”), with Michael Caine (“Inception,” “The Cider House Rules,” “The Dark Knight”) and Kenneth Branagh (“Dunkirk,” “Murder on the Orient Express”).
The film was produced by Emma Thomas and Nolan. Thomas Hayslip served as executive producer.
Nolan’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema, production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Jennifer Lame, costume designer Jeffrey Kurland, visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson and special effects supervisor Scott Fisher. The score is composed by Ludwig Göransson.
Armed with only one word—Tenet—and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist (John David Washington) journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel. Inversion.
4K AND BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS
“Tenet” 4K UHD Combo Pack and Blu-ray contain the following special features:
Looking at the World in a New Way: The Making of “Tenet” – An hour-long exploration of the development and production of the film as told by the cast and crew.
4K UHD Combo Pack $44.95
4K, Blu-ray, DVD and EST Street Date: December 15, 2020
Preorder date: November 10
DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, English-ADS, Canadian French
BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, English-ADS, Brazilian Portuguese
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French
BD Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Brazilian Portuguese
Running Time: 151 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some suggestive references and brief strong language.
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.
It’s been so long since we’ve reported on upcoming films that I couldn’t resist the chance to remind our readers that the currently untitled seventh film in the “Mission: Impossible” series is currently filming in Rome.
Long time friend Fabio Mazzarella is a professional photographer in Italy and has graciously allowed us to share this image he took of Tom Cruise during a break in filming. According to Fabio “He (Cruise) saw me taking pictures and came close and waved “hi.” I didn’t expect it. He was cheerful with the fans a paparazzi and stopped to take selfies.”
Fingers crossed, “Mission: Impossible 7” will be in theatres November 19, 2021.