July 23, 2011

Filthy Review - Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors (2010)

Review by Jude Felton

I’ll get this out of the way right now, so as not put anyone under any illusions, Good Neighbors is the kind of movie that requires your complete attention and no small amount of patience. It isn’t the kind of thriller, albeit one with a rich vein of very dark humor, that throws instant gratification and cheap thrills at the viewer. It is a character driven movie with plenty of dialogue and slow-burning scenes. What director, and actor, Jacob Tierney has delivered here is indeed a cracking flick.

Set in 1995, the action, for the most part, takes place in an apartment building in Montreal where Victor (Jay Baruchel from Knocked Up) is in the process of moving in. He’s an excitable young chap who is keen to make friends with his neighbors. The neighbors in question though aren’t easy nuts to crack though, with Spencer (Scott Speedman), a wheelchair bound fellow with a cruel sense of humor, and Louise (Emily Hampshire), a cold and distant young lady who only seems to care about her cats.

Victor persists with his attempts at friendship and hopes that a dinner party, set to the backdrop of a vote on a referendum as to whether Quebec should become an independent State, would help break the ice.

Although cold, and often cruel, Spencer and Louise seem to share a joint fascination with a local serial killer who is raping and killing, or vice versa, young women in the neighborhood. Throw into this mix an obnoxious French-speaking neighbor, a couple of nosy old ladies and two detectives and the scene is set for a truly intriguing thriller.

Whilst for the majority of the movie it focuses heavily on the dialogue and interaction between the lead three characters Good Neighbors does have its moments of shocking brutality. There are a couple of scenes in which claret is spilled, one of which is particularly drawn out and uncomfortable to watch. Overall the general tone of the movie is dark, yet throughout it all there is a rich vein of wickedly black humor. Some of this humor sits comfortably on the surface, whereas some is buried deeper into the flick. Don’t get me wrong, you aren’t going to be rolling around with laughter but those with a sense of humor that leans towards the darker side will definitely get a kick out of this.

In an age of redundant thrillers that fail to thrill, or engage the old grey matter in any way shape or form, it is always a pleasant surprise to catch one that succeeds on both counts. Good Neighbors is a movie for those wanting to see something a little different than what is usually spoon-fed to audiences. Jacob Tierney has delivered a movie that will bare up to repeat viewings and have you thinking about it for quite some time after the credits roll.

Good Neighbors plays selected theaters from July 29th

July 22, 2011

Hotter Than Hell: Sweatshop to hit DVD

About time this hit DVD in the States. It's definitely another movie I will be adding to my ever-growing list of "to see" flicks.
SWEATSHOP, director Stacy Davidson's ode to classic slashers that has wowed the festival circuit for the past two years, finally comes to North American DVD on September 13th, courtesy Screen Media Films!
In SWEATSHOP, Charlie (Ashley Kay) and her friends break into an abandoned warehouse to set up the biggest rave they've ever thrown. Little do they know, an enormous, hulking beast (playing by newcomer Jeremy Sumrall) lurks in the shadows - filled with rage and brandishing a pulverizing foundry hammer. It isn't long before the kids are in a fight for their lives against this behemoth and his ghoulish minions, who will stop at nothing to snuff them out, one-by-one.

Packed with the latest industrial music by Android Lust and Lucid Dementia, featuring a sexy cast of up-and-coming talent (including Psychic Experiment's Peyton Wetzel and The Final's Julin), and featuring jaw-dropping special effects by Oddtopsy FX - SWEATSHOP is more than just an homage to the slasher films of the 70s and 80s that inspired it. It's a bloodsoaked love letter to the trashy, ultra-violent cinema of yesteryear.

Screen Media's unrated DVD features a packed photo gallery, art gallery, and filmmakers' commentary, as well as a special edition motion comic illustrated by Thomas Mason (Freddy vs Jason vs Ash) which gruesome reveals the fate of one of the film's characters prior to the events in the movie.

SWEATSHOP stars Ashley Kay, Peyton Wetzel, Melanie Donihoo, Julin, Brent D. Himes, Danielle Jones, Krystal Freeman, Naika Malveux, Vincent Guerrero, Jeremy Sumrall, and ViVi Sterling.

SWEATSHOP is being released UNRATED in the USA.

Contains adult language, extreme graphic violence, and nudity.

Feature runtime: 87 minutes.

July 21, 2011

One Way Trip 3D - New Trailer

The Swiss movie One Way Trip 3D now has a full trailer available to view, which you can check out below. For more info on the movie head on over to my previous post which you can find here

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - Official Website Live

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, coming August 26th, has a shiny new website and a very nice one at that. Lots of interaction to be had if you are brave enough.

Also, should you be in the vicinity of San Diego on July 21st you might want to check this out

FILMDISTRICT will be taking the stage at Comic-Con 2011 TOMORROW, Thursday, July 21 at 2:00 pm in Hall H with a panel that will feature DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK‘s Guillermo del Toroand Troy Nixey with DRIVE ‘s breakout director Nicolas Winding Refn. At 9PM fans will have the chance to meet and get signed posters from these filmmakers plus DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK sGuy Pearce and DRIVE ’s Carey Mulligan and Ron Perlman at Bar 207 at the HARD ROCK HOTEL (207 5TH Avenue)!

Blackwood Manor has new tenants. While architect Alex Hurst (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) restore their Gothic mansion's period interiors, Alex’s young daughter Sally (Bailee Madison)—neglected by her real mother and brushed aside by the careerist father—can investigate the macabre history and dark corners of the estate. Spurring Sally's investigation are the voices—rasping whispers who call out to her from the basement, who promise her understanding and friendship, who are so very hungry and would like to be set free. When Sally gives in to her curiosity, she opens a gateway into a hellish underworld from which an army of beady-eyed, sharp-clawed monsters emerge, small in size but endless in number: the homunculi. Confronted with the horror that now threatens to taker her life and destroy her family, Sally desperately tries to warn the whole house, but there's just one problem: no one believes her. Will she make them understand in time, or will they become another chapter in the centuries-long horror story of Blackwood Manor?
Based on the 1973 telefilm that Guillermo del Toro believes to be the scariest TV production ever made, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK was co-written and co-produced by del Toro and directed by Troy Nixey. Akin to PAN’S LABYRINTH, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK focuses on a young girl’s struggle against menacing and terrifying forces.

July 20, 2011

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D Cast Announcement

No idea what to expect from this movie, but here's some news on the casting and a few other bits and bobs

Film To Feature Cameos By Cast Members Of Classic Original Film In Addition To New Principle Actors

Principal Photography Begins In Shreveport, Louisiana
July 19, 2011 – Lionsgate and the filmmakers of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3D, the next installment in the long standing franchise, are pleased to announce the cast of the film, which picks up the story where the original 1974 film left off and will deliver a new chapter in the Leatherface saga with the goal of making it as horrifying as the original -- in 3D. 

The cast includes an all new actor in the iconic villain role of Leatherface, an exciting cast of principle actors, and featured cameos by several cast members of the original 1974 film, famously directed by Tobe Hooper. 

About The Cast
GUNNAR HANSEN, the original Leatherface who has never acted in another Texas Chainsaw franchise film, is set to appear in a cameo, with MARILYN BURNS, the original film’s lead actress, playing the role of Verna Carson.   Reprising his role as the Grandfather, JOHN DUGAN also makes his first series appearance since the original film. 

Beloved character actor BILL MOSELEY, who played the role of Choptop in Tobe Hooper’s 1983 sequel, will play Drayton Sawyer in this film.  Moseley will be standing in for Jim Siedow, who previously played the part before his passing in 2003.   The two actors appeared together in the 1983 film and were quite comfortable together.  Director Luessenhop explains how “Moseley is the perfect choice to capture some of the essence that Siedow had brought to the character.”

Playing Leatherface will be discovery DAN YEAGER.  Director John Lussenhop knew he was perfect for the role immediately, after a chance meeting.  He describes the 6’ 6” actor as having “huge farm boy arms, a brooding brow.  He’s quiet, circumspect, and immediately struck a menacing chord with me.  After five minutes, I could no longer think of anyone else for the role.” 

ALEXANDRA DADDARIO (PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF, HALL PASS) has been cast in the lead female role of Heather Miller.  The story centers around Heather, as she makes a trip to small-town Texas to collect her inheritance, unaware that her inheritance includes a live item – her cousin, the notorious serial killer Leatherface.

Rounding out the cast of friends visiting the inherited house are TANIA RAYMONDE (“Lost”) playing the role of Heather’s best friend Nikki, with acclaimed R&B singer TREY SONGZ making his film debut as Heather’s boyfriend Ryan and KERAM MALICKI-SANCHEZ (PUNISHER: WAR ZONE and JOHN Q) as Ryan’s friend.   SHAUN SIPOS (“Melrose Place,” FINAL DESTINATION 2 and the upcoming HICK) plays Darryl in the film, a hitchhiker along for the ride who knows more than he lets on. 

An all new cast of law enforcement and government professionals take on Leatherface in this chapter of the saga: THOM BARRY (THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, INDEPENDENCE DAY, “Cold Case,”) plays the role of Sheriff Hooper, with PAUL RAE (TRUE GRIT) in the role of town mayor Burt Hartman.  SCOTT EASTWOOD (FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, INVICTUS, GRAN TORINO) will portray Deputy Carl Hartman, a young officer who is battling a powerful attraction to Heather while hunting Leatherface.  Noted character actor RICHARD RIEHLE (OFFICE SPACE) will play Sawyers family attorney Farnsworth. 

About The Film
The film is a collaboration between filmmakers Carl Mazzocone and Mark Burg (the “Saw” franchise), Lionsgate, who will handle U.S Distribution and Nu Image, who handled International sales and provided production finance.   Mike Paseornek, President of Motion Picture Development and Production, and Jason Constantine, Lionsgate’s President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions are jointly overseeing the project at the studio.  

John Luessenhop (TAKERS) is directing the film, which is to be produced by Carl Mazzocone.  Production commences this week at Millennium Studios in Shreveport Louisiana.  Mazzocone, who served as President of Production at Twisted Pictures for four years before returning to independent producing, pursued the underlying rights to the property and ultimately secured an overall deal to make up to six future sequels. Nu Image’s Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort and Trevor Short are executive producing, along with and Mark Burg of Evolution Entertainment.

Coming Soon - The Caller

Due for a limited theatrical release on August 26th comes this intriguing looking thriller.

Directed by: Matthew Parkhill
Written by: Sergio Casci
Starring: Rachelle Lefevre, Stephen Moyer, Luis Guzmán
Running time: 92 Minutes
Rating: R
Distributed by: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Starring Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight), this supernatural thriller tells the story of troubled divorcee Mary Kee (Leferve) who is tormented by a series of sinister phone calls from a mysterious woman. When the stranger reveals she's calling from the past, Mary tries to break off contact. But the caller doesn't like being ignored, and looks for revenge in a unique and terrifying way.

The Last Circus - New Poster and Red Band Trailer

I first posted about The Last Circus back in March, you can read the article here, now there is a new poster to accompany its August 19th theatrical release through Magnolia Pictures. There's also a crazy new Red Band trailer to check out. I've only heard great things about this movie and personally cannot wait to catch it.

***WINNER of the 2010 Venice Film Festival Best Director and Best Screenplay awards***


1937, Spain is in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War. A "Happy" circus clown is interrupted mid-performance and forcibly recruited by a militia. Still in his costume, he is handed a machete and led into battle against National soldiers, where he single handedly massacres an entire platoon. This absurd and disturbing scenario raises the curtain on a twisted tale of love, revenge, and psychopathic clowns that could only spring from the mind of filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia

Fast forward to 1973, the tail end of the Franco regime.  Javier, the son of the clown, dreams of following in his father's career footsteps, but has seen too much tragedy in his life - he's simply not funny and is only equipped to play the role of the Sad Clown. He finds work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters, but as the Sad Clown he must take the abuse of the brutish Happy Clown Sergio, who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment.

It is here that he meets Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat, and abused wife of Sergio. Javier falls deeply in love with Natalia and tries to rescue her from her cruel and violent husband, unleashing Sergio's jealousy. But Natalia is torn between her affection towards Javier and her lust for Sergio.

With neither man willing to back down, this twisted love triangle evolves into a ferocious battle between Sad Clown and Happy Clown, escalating to unbelievable heights in this absurd, shocking, irreverent and unforgettable film. 

July 19, 2011

Filthy Book Review - The Wake

The Wake (2010) by  James Newman

Sideshow Press

Review by Jude Felton

James Newman is fast becoming an author to keep your eyes on. I have yet to read a story from him that I haven’t been totally engrossed in, and Midnight Rain (available on Amazon) is one of my favorite novels. His canny way with words help make you feel a part of the story and it is never too long before you will find yourself hooked.

The Wake is a short chapbook, 18 pages or so, that gets in, does its damage and then quietly walks away with a big grin on its face. Within those few pages I felt as though I was at the titular wake alongside the narrator, who is at the wake of his Grandfather. Within those first few pages I almost forgot that I was reading a story which I knew would have a dark side to it. There’s an almost gentle flow to the words that cleverly draw you in before giving you the short sharp shock.

If you haven’t read any of Newman’s work then this could be a quick place to start, if you can manage to find a copy.

Well Go USA unleash a Sushi Typhoon


This is fantastic news in my opinion. Well Go USA have secured the rights to 5 Sushi Typhoon movies; Helldriver, Mutant Girl Squad, Deadball, Yakuza Weapon and Karate-Robo Zaborgar. All of which I have been eagerly awaiting, so I will be all over these when they get released starting in the Fall this year. Another good thing about this news is that Well Go USA's recent releases, such as Ip Man 2, Legend of the Fist, Man From Nowhere and Blood have all been given pretty damned decent releases, quite often 2 Disc affairs.


Mutant Girls Squad, Helldriver, Yakuza Weapon, 
 and Karate-Robo Zabo

PLANO, TEXAS.  (July 18, 2011) -- Well Go USA has acquired DVD, Digital, VOD and Television rights for the North American market to Mutant Girls Squad, Helldriver, Yakuza Weapon, 
 and Karate-Robo Zabo
rgar from Nikkatsu Corporation’s leading genre film label, The Sushi Typhoon. Launched in 2010, The Sushi Typhoon was created by Producer Yoshinori Chiba andaims to bring the best talent from Japanese cult cinema to worldwide audiences. Well Go plans to make its initial roll out on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray starting in Fall 2011.
“We are very excited to have secured rights to these ‘neo action gore’ titles, a genre which has seen tremendous growth here in the U.S. and has such passionate and dedicated fans,” said Doris Pfardrescher, President Well Go USA Entertainment. “We continue to look for interesting and compelling product from Asia to introduce to the North American market.” 
“Nikkatsu Corporation is so delighted to have built up a solid business tie with Well Go USA to release The Sushi Typhoon titles in the U.S. market,” said Akifumi Sugihara, Executive Producer of The Sushi Typhoon, “We are more than certain that our strongest partner Well Go USA will leave no stone unturned through all media to deliver our product to those consumers who are so covetous of powerful and highly thrilling entertainment.”
Karate-Robo Zaborgar and Yakuza Weapon recently screened at the New York Asian Film Festival and will next be screened at Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival, the Puchon Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea, and events around the world throughout the summer and fall.
Karate-Robo Zaborgar, written and directed by Noboru Iguchi, stars Itsuji Itao, Yasuhisa Furuhara and Akira Emoto. Karate-Robo Zaborgar is a hilariously over-the-top tribute to the transforming robots of 1970’s Japanese television, and an exciting action/comedy that will stir the heart of anyone who longs for justice dispensed at the short end of a swift robot karate kick! The film had its World Premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
Yakuza Weapon, co-directed by Tak Sakaguchi and Yudai Yamaguchi, is a wild combination of hard-boiled gangster action, manga-style comedy and splatterific special effects. The film stars Tak Sakaguchi, Shingo Tsurumi, Mei Kurokawa, Akaji Maro and Jun Murakami.
Helldriver, written, character designed, edited and directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura, is an epic, apocalyptic road movie featuring non-stop action and over-the-top splatter. Starring Yumiko Hara, Eihi Shiina, Kazuki Namioka, Yurei Yanagi, Minoru Torihada and Guadalcanal Taka, Helldriver
 is Nishimura’s bid to create the ultimate zombie film. It had its World Premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin and is scheduled to be released on DVD and Blu-ray in early November 2011.  

Mutant Girls Squad
 was directed by Noboru Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura and Tak Sakaguchi, who have joined forces to bring three times the heart-pounding action, three times the jaw-dropping comedy and three times the head-exploding splatter of your average action/horror/comedy! It’s a three-times-larger Mutant Action Extravaganza starring Yumi Sugimoto, Yuko Takayama,  Suzuka Morita, and Naoto Takenaka.

The hilariously offensive, politically incorrect sports splatter comedy, Deadball is director Yudai Yamaguchi’s follow-up to his earlier zombie baseball classic Battlefield Baseball, and once again features action star Tak Sakaguchi, along with Mari Hoshino, Mickey Curtis, Koichi Yamadera and Ryosei Tayama. A riotous, over-the-top epic of excess, Deadball 
is the movie for the psycho sports fan in all of us. The film received its World Premiere on July 15, 2011 at Fantasia International Film Festival.

July 18, 2011

Filthy Review - Rammbock Berlin Undead

Rammbock Berlin Undead (2010)

Review by Jude Felton

This movie first came to my attention under the incredibly generic title of Siege of the Dead. A truly horrible name for a movie that just reeks of laziness, and is unfortunately the name it was lumbered with on its UK release. Granted, it does fit the movie to a degree but do we really need another “of the Dead”? The fact that it has Berlin Undead tagged onto the end is almost as annoying, but not quite. Just because a movie has zombies, or infected, in it does not mean you have to put “Dead” or “Undead” in its name. Maybe it’s just me having a toddler’s temper tantrum moment?

All that aside though it might be an idea(d) to focus on the movie instead. Rammbock is the first release by Bloody Disgusting Selects in partnership with The Collective (not the JABB Pictures movie) and AMC Theaters, which meant it got a short run at their theaters, and a pretty damned good one it is too. Whether you would call it a zombie movie or not is open to debate and how you define a zombie, but for the sake of arguments, and this review, it is a zombie flick.

The story follows Michael, a geeky looking fella, who has traveled from Austria to Berlin to find his estranged girlfriend Gabi. Upon arriving at her apartment he does not find her, instead he finds a plumber, who is having issues with a radiator, and his apprentice Harper. Before you can say “Oh my god, he’s a zombie!” the plumber attacks. This leaves Michael and Harper to defend themselves as best they can, and barricade themselves in the apartment as other zombies soon appear on the scene.

Through the use of radio and TV we get filled in on what is happening. This is where the zombie debate comes in as it appears that it is some kind of virus that doesn’t cause the dead to come back to life, instead they just run around infecting people ala 28 Days Later. In fact I would personally say that this definitely shared some similarities with 28 Days Later, in style and tone, which is not a bad thing. Throw in a dose of David Moody’s Hater novels and a touch of the Spanish flick [REC] and you might get an idea of roughly what to expect.

One of the good things about Rammbock though is that writer Benjamin Hessler and director Marvin Kren have added enough fresh elements to proceedings to keep it exciting and surprisingly tense through its short running time. The case states that the movie is 63 minutes but the credits actually start to roll at about 58 minutes, so it is a short movie, but it is an enjoyable one and there is plenty of scope for the filmmakers to expand on the story should they choose to.

The look of the movie is pretty sweet too, with the visuals having a washed out look to them. The action for the most part is confined to the apartment complex, with only the occasional panoramic shot of a ravaged Berlin. This works for the story though as at its heart it is a story about a man looking for his girl, or ex-girl as it may be, and the zombie/infected element is just an incidental fact that hinders his progress.

This isn’t a particularly gory movie, with just one or two really bloody scenes, but there are one or two “holy shit!” moments, that of course I am not going to spoil here. The effects on the whole are all executed well, and the production in general looks good.

The tagline line of the case is “Germany is dead”, but on the evidence of this movie I would say the zombie sub-genre is definitely not. Rammbock Berlin Undead is a good solid movie that moves along at a good clip, throws in a few cool new ideas and left me wanting more. I’d say that is definitely a good thing.