Starring: Todd Blubaugh and Nicola Collie Directed by: Trevor Hawkins Rated: N/R Running Time: 97 minutes Forrest (Blubaugh) is a wanderer. He spends his days tending to his sailboat, which doubles as his house, on a Missouri lake. He goes to land for essentials and to zip around town on his motorcycle. One day he finds another wanderer named Everly (Collie). The two fall for each other immediately and discuss a future that may never happen. “Lotawana” reminds me a lot of 2016’s “American Honey,” and not just because both had scenes filmed in and around Kansas City, my hometown. Both films show aimless young adults coming into their own as adults even though they don’t want to become adults and do everything in their power to avoid that inevitability. Forrest, who we literally know almost next to nothing about, enjoys a simple life on a Missouri lake daydreaming about journeys around the globe he will never take. Everly, who we know barely a little bit more about, listens to these daydreams and adds to them. Neither of them is following through with those daydreams, but I won’t spoil why. As “Lotawana” goes through the motions, we learn very little about our characters, picking up hints from the nature surrounding them as well as interactions they have with people who also live on or around the lake. Because of its vague nature, it wouldn’t surprise me if viewers had different theories as to what is happening and why. Personally, I feel like Forrest and Everly represent two ideologies when it comes to youth. Forrest appears to be a symbol for privilege. We never really learn what he does or how he has money, but it’s clear he has no problem financially maintaining a boat with food. He also seems to be in no hurry to find a career unless that career is an unpaid internship he gives himself on his boat. Everly, who has a rocky relationship with her family, appears to be fleeing trauma she’s not willing to confront yet, if at all. Both find solace in their wanderlust, but both are following it for wrong reasons, meaning that the happiness we see on screen will eventually turn into conflict unless one of them makes the first move by making an adult decision. Very rarely do I find myself enjoying a film that features no exposition, much less dialogue that reveals the inner workings or backstory of our characters. Most of the time I’d probably find this frustrating, but thanks to some outstanding cinematography and vignettes involving Forrest and Everly’s relationship, “Lotawana” is gorgeous and serendipitous at times. If “Lotawana” is any indication, first-time film director Trevor Hawkins has a bright future ahead.
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
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Trick or Treaters. Candy bingeing. Horror marathons. Pumpkin carving. Costume contests. Even though this Halloween turned out to be more gnarly than Regan projectile vomiting green pea soup – that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the best time of the year together! Panic Fest won’t let Halloween die! Panic Fest Presents: TRICKS AND TREATS, a special virtual Halloween celebration that runs Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.
Every year we look forward to these traditions but with the pandemic they are in real jeopardy of not existing this year. Fear not, Panic Fest is here to satisfy your horror appetite.The three day event features new and classic films, shorts, live events including horror themed trivia, live podcasts, special guests and more. Best of all, you, the horror community get to participate with each other throughout the weekend. Hell, we even have a ‘Best in Show’ style pumpkin carving contest. So, grab your costume and bowl of candy and join us for a jam packed weekend celebrating our favorite time of year. Tickets are now on sale with full programming coming in October.
Panic Fest enters it’s 9th year and has been recognized for three years running as one of the top 25 best genre festivals in the world by MovieMaker Magazine. Panic Fest is scheduled to take place Jan. 29th – Feb. 4 2021.
Tenacious D/Wynchester July 27th, 2019 Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO
The self-named greatest band in the world, Tenacious D, stopped by Kansas City on a hot Summer night to promote their fourth studio album, “Post Apocalypto.” Their newest album isn’t filled with a lot of bangers, so the duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass stacked their setlist with more recognizable songs, predominantly leaning on their first two albums to fill their setlist. The crowd, certainly inebriated to some extent, ate up every minute of it.
Before the iconic comedy duo hit the stage, Wynchester, featuring Tenacious D’s electric guitarist, took the stage to perform some comedic country music and a handful of covers. The acoustic act was a fitting opener as they played some decent toe tapping music and joked with the crowd, although a good portion of fans weren’t even in their seats yet, as they waited in a never-ending merchandise line or loaded up on beverages before the main event.
Once the sun set, and Black and Gass hit the stage, the real show was on. Much like other comedic acts, Weird Al and Psychostick, Tenacious D is very serious about their silliness and their act. For those who don’t know, their shtick is that they’re a couple of guys who believe they’re the greatest musicians to walk the Earth, even though they’re a couple of pot heads equipped with acoustic guitars and a severe case of writers block. They crank that persona to 11 on stage, doing a handful of sketches before specific songs and sometimes improvising with one another. For those who’ve probably never heard of the band, or know of them, I’m not sure you would enjoy attend their show because you’d certainly be out of the loop and wondering why everyone in the crowd knows every word to their sexually explicit and juvenile songs.
Because any fans of The D would be content with a front to back cover of their first album, the concert felt a bit short because they only played six tracks off of their self-titled album. However, when I checked my phone before the encore, the duo, accompanied by a very talented backing band, had more than filled the requisite amount of time required, clocking in at nearly an hour and a half. By the time they were prepared to saunter off the stage, fans were already on their feet applauding and chanting, hungry for more, but happy with the massive helping of pot rock that they got. Fans who have yet to see the comedy rockers, like myself, will certainly leave satisfied. Those who’ve seen them before certainly won’t feel disappointed and will most certainly catch them on their next tour.
Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Fox Searchlight to give (5) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see one of the most anticipated films of the year, “The Favourite,” starring Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.
The film will be shown on Wednesday, December 12 at the AMC Town Center Theatre in Leawood, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.
All you need to do is let us know below what movie due this Holiday season you’re most looking forward to seeing. (5) random entries will be chosen and will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. The contest ends on Monday, December 10 at 8:00 p.m. CST. Winners will be notified by email. Good luck!
Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at Lionsgate to give 50 readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy “Uncle Drew.”
The screening will be held on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.
All you have to do is click HERE. The first 50 readers to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once all 50 passes have been claimed, the contest is over. GOOD LUCK!
I’ve been going to conventions since the late 1970s. I’ve gone to small, one room gatherings, to the World Science Fiction Convention and every size Con in between. And every year, the one that consistently gets my nod as the Midwest’s best is Kansas City’s Planet Comicon. This year’s event was no different.
What makes Planet Comicon so special, and it was true again this year, was the variety of guests the show attracts. Besides perennial fan favorites from film, television and comics, they always bring out big guns with guests not only making their Kansas City convention debut but, on occasion, their very first convention appearance ever. This year, Planet Comicon treated it’s attendees with the chance to meet film stars John Cusack, Jason Mamoa and musical legend Alice Cooper. Not a bad trifecta of guests, especially when you pair them with other fan favorites in attendance, including Danny Trejo, Michael Rooker and Alan Tudyk. They were among the nearly 40 celebrity guests on hand this year.
Also popular, as has been the case in recent years, was the amazing cosplay participants who once again spared no expense in honoring their favorite characters. For the newly initiated to cosplay, there were several tables in the dealers area that were more then equipped to get you started on your way. The days of poorly made costumes and rubber-band held masks are long gone as cosplay continues to dominate the convention floor.
We at MediaMikes would like to send out a special “thank you” to Chris Jackson, Tracy Jackson and their incredible staff for their constant kindness over the years. I’ve attended every Planet Comicon since it began and it has amazingly not only gotten bigger every year but better. Next year will mark the 20th Anniversary of Planet Comicon and I can only imagine what kind of a celebration they have planned for 2019!
Photos by Dan Lybarger
The Godfather of Shock Rock gets Geeky
We found Waldo
Clever “Moana” cosplay
John Cusack talks about the 1980’s classics he’s starred in
The biggest John Carpenter fans at the convention
We want to see this crossover
Danny Trejo radiates cool
Wet on wet
Hands down, the best “IT” cosplay at the convention
Media Mikes is happy to announce that they are giving five of their loyal readers and a guest weekend passes to attend the upcoming Kansas City Comic Con.
All you have to do is let us know below who you would like to see as a celebrity guest at a future convention. Five random entries will be selected and they will receive a pass for two to attend the Kansas City Comic Con, which runs from November 10th-12th, 2017 in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
This contest runs through 10:00 p.m. CST on Sunday, November 5th. At that time, five random entries will be selected and those winners notified by email.
Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Fox Searchlight to give 50 of our readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Goodbye Christopher Robin.”
The film, starring Domnhall Gleeson and Margot Robbie, will be screened at the Glenwood Arts Theatre on Monday, October 23rd and will begin at 7:00 p.m.
All you have to do is click here and download your pass. The first 50 people to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. After the allotted 50 passes have been claimed the giveaway is ended. Good luck!
When: Monday, October 23, 2017 – 7:00 pm Where: Glenwood Arts Theatre Leawood, Kansas
MediaMikes has teamed up with it’s friends at Paramount Pictures to give 50 of our readers and their guest a chance to be among the first to see the new film “Suburbicon.” Written by the Coen Brothers and directed by George Clooney, the film stars Academy Award winners Matt Damon and Julianne Moore.
The screening will be held on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at the Cinemark Theatre on the Plaza in Kansas City and will begin at 7:00 p.m.
All you have to do is let us know below your favorite Coen Brothers film. Perhaps you enjoy their early work, like “Blood Simple” or “Raising Arizona.” Or maybe you like their Oscar winning films, like “Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men.” Whatever it is, let us know below. 50 random entries will be selected on Sunday, October 22 and those selected will receive the pass codes via email. Good luck!
When: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 – 7:00 p.m. Where: Cinemark Theatre on the Plaza
Kansas City, Missouri
Media Mikes has teamed up with our friends from STX Entertainment to give 50 of our readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new action film “The Foreigner,” starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan.
The screening will be held on Wednesday, October 11th at the B&B Shawnee 18 and will start at 7:00 p.m.
All you have to do is click HERE. The first 50 people to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening. This is a first come/first served giveaway. Once the 50 passes have been claimed the giveaway is over. Good luck!
When: Wednesday, October 11th
Where: B&B Shawnee 18, Shawnee, Kansas
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Media Mikes has teamed with our friends at Lionsgate Films to give five readers and three guests the chance to be among the first to see the new animated film “My Little Pony: The Movie.”
The screening will be held Saturday, September 30th at the Cinemark 20 and XD Theatre in Merriam, Kansas at 10:30 a.m.
All you have to do is click here and download your pass. Each pass is good for five people to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. When all passes have been claimed the giveaway is over. Good luck!
Media Mikes has teamed up with it’s friends at Fox Searchlight to give 50 readers and their guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Battle of the Sexes.”
The story of the famous tennis match between world #1 Billie Jean King and former tennis champ Bobby Riggs, the film stars Academy Award winner Emma Stone and Steve Carell and will be shown on Wednesday, September 27th at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza. The screening will begin at 7:00 pm.
All you have to do is click here and download your pass. This giveaway is first come/first serve. When the 50 allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.
“Battle of the Sexes”
Where: Cinemark Palace on the Plaza, Kansas City, MO
When: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at 20th Century Fox to give 50 readers and their guest a chance to be among the first to see the upcoming film “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” All you have to do is click here and download your passes.
Each pass will admit the winner and their guest into the upcoming screening on Monday, September 18th at the B&B Shawnee 18 Theatre in Shawnee, Kansas. The screening will begin at 7:00 pm.
This is a first-come, first-served contest. Once 50 passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.