August 27, 2011

Welcome To Canada - One Fan's Ill-Fated Trip North Of The Border

This is an article I am sharing that is written by a colleague at The Liberal Dead. Am sure you will agree, after reading it, that something was definitely awry. Now, I don't know how trips to Canada work with a US passport, but I am planning on driving up to Toronto next year on my UK passport. As you may or may not know Canada is part of the UK Commonwealth so I am going on the assumption I won't have the problems Ted had. That's beside the point though, it shouldn't have happened and I am truly sorry that he got fucked over out of his money and time, not to mention pissing him right off. Anyhoo, here's the article in full.

Discrimination At The Windsor Ontario Boarder

As many of you know for the last six months I have worked extra hard in anticipation of attending FanExpo in Toronto Canada for the first time. Now let me inform all of you why I am not currently there but instead sitting here writing this article after giving myself a couple days to recover from the worse 72hrs of my life.
My trip to Canada started bright err dark and early 3AM in the morning last Tuesday morning as I boarded a bus and began my fourteen hour trek to the border. After an insanely log bus ride and a three hour layover in Detroit it was time for me to cross the boarder in Windsor Ontario and fulfill a childhood dream to attend Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear within Canada’s FanExpo convention.
I waited in line patiently as everyone on my bus quickly and smoothly made their way through customs and re boarded our bus. Then came my turn where right away I got the feeling something was different about my experience as every time I would answer the woman’s questions she would respond with a sarcastic sounding mmhmm in a very unbelieving tone. She asked why I was coming to Canada and for how long and I told her I was there to cover FanExpo as a freelance writer for some of my employers and to spend sometime seeing London and Toronto with a friend. She asked if I had ever been to the country before and I told her no it was my first time and once again was given her sarcastic mmhmm. Next thing I know she demands the bus driver retrieves my checked luggage and for me to place my carryon luggage onto a table where it could be hand searched because apparently my continued cooperation must have been suspicious.
The woman has a different man go through my things which are nothing more than some changes of clothing and misc. writing and make up related items that I needed for FanExpo, a factor that should have been more than enough to confirm I was in fact there to cover a convention. After my bags checked as clear, I thought this ordeal was over but I could not have been more wrong.
Next, the woman took me into a private room where she started to grill me like I was a convicted serial killer with a mountain of warrants. She continued to ask me for items that displayed my address that was featured on my passport; I managed to come up with four different items at this point proving that I did in fact have a home in Kentucky. Each time I provided an item she would give me her trademark snarky mmhmm then go on to tell me how she simply put has concerns. There I was with a 100% legit passport, return tickets in my possession, and endless items in my wallet sharing the exact same address, and yet she still felt I was there to slip into Canada never to return. Apparently my government issued pieces of proof were not enough but she seemed to believe if I happen to have a piece of mail from Kentucky that would be good enough because so many people travel across country with mail in their possession. I’d love to know how government created items are less believable then a envelope with my address written on it and it was this point that it dawned on me that I was being unfairly targeted by this woman. In her own words she basically informed me that she did not believe that I had a home or that I was here on work related business and due to my possession as a freelance writer who claimed to be living at home with his parents that I must have been trying to sneak into Canada to start a new life with 900$ US and no way to even obtain a job in Canada since you have to have proof you are able to legally do so, and my trusty four to five outfits worth of clothing.
After arguing with her for a while she left the room and then came back claiming to have a copy of my permanent record as she asked if I had ever been arrested. I said yes I have been charged with mistermeaner possession of marijuana before when I was much younger once again followed by mmhmm as she tried to claim it occurred in 2007 in Frankfort Kentucky where I had told her it happened in Ashland in around 2004, which is correct. Therefore, she told me I was lying about my charges even though I have not been to Frankfort since I was in Jr High. She would not allow me too see her magical paper of misinformation and used this as her “final straw” where she informed me that if I wanted to attend my convention I would have to ride a bus fourteen hours back to Kentucky where I would have to obtain a letter from my local police conforming my story, a piece of mail with my address and name on it because my government hard to fake issued IDs were not good enough, and I would need a letter from my employer saying I in fact had a job along with paystubs and then climb on for another fourteen hour ride to get back. The convention I was covering started the next day and was over with on Sunday and she knew that most of what she wanted would take a week or two to be able to get a hold of.
Its at this point she informed me that she was going to put me on a cab and send me back to Detroit. I asked her many times, where exactly she was going to drop me off and if there is anyway I could have the info she wanted faxed to her. She answered me by saying it was none of her concern where I was dropped off or if I would be able to have anything faxed in refusing to tell me one way or another. I have no clue what this woman’s issue was with me or why she choose me out of the group to harass but it was very clear she was not going to take any chances in me being able to get what she wanted in time to still make the convention. It was to the point where I even noticed other officers giving her strange looks as she continued to unfairly judge me and make things complicated for me.
When all was said and done she loaded me into a cab that dropped me back off in Detroit with no means to return to Kentucky. I had a wallet full of cash and arms full of luggage in one of the most dangerous cities in America. Luckily, I managed to find a reasonably priced motel near by where I got a room and waited as my parents drove up from Kentucky to pick me up.
I don’t know if it was my clothes, my tattoos, or just this crazy woman trying toss her power around but I do feel that I was not allowed to pass the boarder solely based on discrimination. Me and one other person on my bus were removed but to be fair the other person who was not dealt with by the woman who I was so lucky to get as my officer was authentically trying to sneak into Canada. There was no reason to see me as a threat or to even take things to the degree of searching me and interrogating me.
Let this be a warning to all writers, artists, etc. out there who do not have the luxury of fame and fortune if you have to cross into Canada by all means do not cross in Windsor and if you do cross your fingers that you do not get stuck with the blonde, middle-aged, woman that I got stuck with because if she does not like the way you look she will do everything in her power to ensure that you do not continue your journey. Thanks to this woman I lost over 800$ in non-refundable tickets and reservations on top not being able to do the job that I came to do.

August 26, 2011

More Driving Action With Ryan Gosling In Drive

The upcoming heist movie Drive, coming to theaters September 12th through FilmDistrict, has me excited because it's directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and my wife excited because it stars Ryan Gosling. Either way, this looks to be one of the more stylish theatrical releases of late and I plan on heading out to the theater to catch it. I previously posted a load of stills and the trailer from the movie, which you can check out here, and now I have a new clip to share with you.

Breakout Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (THE PUSHER Trilogy, BRONSON, VALHALLA RISING) throttles into the Hollywood fast lane with the precision-crafted action caper DRIVE.

Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can't help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac).

After a heist intended to pay off Standard's protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defense for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman). But when he realizes that the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash in his trunk-that they're coming straight for Irene and her son-Driver is forced to shift gears and go on offense.

August 25, 2011

Filthy Review - The Caller

The Caller (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

Phones have frequently featured in Asian genre movies over the past decade or so, with missed calls and other such horrors plaguing the victims. Now we have a new US entry, by way of Puerto Rico, which looks to put the spook-factor back into this seemingly harmless household item, because we aren’t talking cellphones here.

Mary (Twilight’s Rachelle Lefevre) is in the process of settling into a new apartment after the collapse of her marriage. The divorce proceedings from her ex-husband (Ed Quinn) are still hanging over her head, and he’s not about to make life easy for Mary. On top of this she starts to get strange phone-calls. The calls are from a lady who keeps asking after a previous tenant. At first Mary puts the calls down to a mistake, but over the course of time it becomes quite clear that something isn’t quite right about these calls.

The Caller does a good job of keeping us, the viewers, guessing as to what is going on throughout. This is due to director Matthew Parkhill’s clever pacing, which is more of the slow-burn type, and potential clues here and there in the writing. Assisting in this are Mary’s potential new boyfriend John and apartment super George (Luis Guzman), who may or may not know what is going on.

It’s a movie that is kept taut and focused when it is dealing with the caller of the title, and the events that relate to these calls. It’s when the movie veers away from this that it suffers a little. For example: Mary wandering into the wrong classroom at college just to set up the love interest. Also Mary’s ex-husband is almost the cartoonish villain of the piece. Granted Quinn plays the part well, but sometimes his scenes come across as a little unnecessary.

Overall though The Caller is a solid movie for the most part, it manages to be unsettling in places especially in the latter third, and as mentioned it does keep you guessing. Also working in its favor are the strengths of the cast, cartoon villains aside. Guzman is as dependable as ever and Lefevre puts in a really good performance as the troubled Mary.

The Caller is worth checking out for fans of Asian style horror or if you are just looking for a genre flick that is a little different from the run of the mill.

The Caller hits select theaters on August 26th through Samuel Goldwyn Films

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - 2 New Clips and Red Band Clip

Tomorrow, August 26th, will see the release of the Guillermo Del Toro produced Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, through FilmDistrict, at US theaters. To coincide with that I have a couple of new clips, including one that is of the Red Band variety, as well as a behind the scenes segment.

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?

The Woman - Official Trailer, Synopsis and Poster

Further to yesterday's preview of the UK quad for Lucky Mckee's The Woman, which hits AMC theaters on Oct 14th, we now have the US poster and accompanying trailer for the US release. I'm sure I am not the only one who is excited about this release. The Collective and Bloody Disgusting Selects track record so far has been pretty damned good if you ask me, and hopefully this will maintain that record.

Directed by Lucky McKee, based on the bestselling novel by Jack Ketchum, written Ketchum and McKee by and produced by Andrew van den Houten and Robert Tonino for MODERNCINÉ, THE WOMANis a disturbing tale of torture and dirty little secrets that can haunt any seemingly harmless neighborhood. The story follows a successful country lawyer who captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast in the wild for decades, thereby putting the lives of his family in extreme jeopardy.

Starring Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers and Angela Bettis, the film prompted furious debates and walkouts during its world premiere in the Park City at Midnight program at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Reports surfaced of people becoming sick while watching the graphic scenes and one irate Sundance audience member went so far as to say THE WOMAN “ought to be confiscated, burned. There's no value in showing this to anyone." Whether a “wonderfully bizarre tale” or an “inhumane degradation of women,” you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Rated R for “strong bloody violence, torture, a rape, disturbing behavior, some graphic nudity, and language" this film is sure to have viewers (and reviewers) squirming in their seats.

August 24, 2011

Cool New Poster For The Woman

Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum's The Woman is set for a theatrical release at AMC theaters through Bloody Disgusitng Selects on October 14th in the States. In the meantime here's the cool new quad from the UK. Sexy looking bugger isn't it?

Family man and lawyer Christoper Cleek (Sean Bridgers) must do what he can to protect his family when he comes into contact with a feral woman (Pollyana McIntosh) living in the woods near his isolated country home. Through a series of harrowing encounters Cleek and his family quickly discover there is more to this woman than anyone would suspect and that sometimes the devil wears a handsome face.

August 23, 2011

Coming Soon - Martha Marcy May Marlene

I tried to mix things up a little on here, so here's something a little different from the usual. Due for release on October 11th, after screenings at the Toronto and New York Film Festivals comes Martha Marcy May Marlene. It's directed by Sean Durkin and stars Elizabeth Olsen as Martha and John Hawkes, who was quite terrific in the excellent Winter's Bone.

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE stars Elizabeth Olsen as Martha, a damaged woman haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, who struggles to reassimilate with her family after fleeing a cult.

As well as the regular poster to promote the movie there are also two QR code posters which once scanned with a smart phone will unlock two new trailers, so have fun with that. Also, check out the Official Site which is pretty trippy.

The Profane Exhibit - Directors Announced

Thanks to Twitch Film for this info. News has come in on the first three directors for a new ten part anthology entitled The Profane Exhibit, and the details are below. Above is the very cool artwork as designed by Chad Michael Ward. This looks to be one to keep an eye on over the coming months, especially with Ryan Nicholson and Andrey Iskanov being two of the directors announced. I don't think we can expect anything less than a quite visceral experience.

Manna - Edmonton, Canada ( 14 mins )
Director: Michael Todd Schneider (August Underground's Mordum)

Cast: Amber-lynn Walker (Guinea Pig(TV) ) - 1st Apprentice
Madeleine Horn (International Fetish Model) - Priestress

Score: Seb Komor (Icon of Coil, Zombie Girl)

SFX: Autumn Cook (Sella Turcica, Theatre Bizarre)
Jerami Cruise (Murder Set Pieces, Theatre Bizarre, August Underground Series)

Good Wife - Vancouver, Canada (10 mins)
Director: Ryan Nicholson (Live Feed, Gutterballs)

Cast: Dan Ellis (Gutterballs, Hanger)
Monique Parent (80's B Movie Queen)
Tina Krause (Penny Dreadful, The Vampire Seduction)

Score: cEvin Key (Skinny Puppy)

Tochka - Khabarovsk, Russia (10 mins)
Director: Andrey Iskanov (Philosophy of a Knife, Ingression)

Score: Scott Putesky (Marilyn Manson, Jack Off Jill)

Inbred - New Posters!

With Inbred, from director Alex Chandon, fast approaching its debut at Fright Fest in London the makers have confirmed that the movie is all done and dusted and ready for its premiere. Great news methinks. They have also shared these wonderful posters with me that were designed by the ultra-talented Silverferox, who worked on them closely with Alex Chandon.

You can also check out the trailers and some stills on my previous post which you can find here

August 21, 2011

Coming Soon - Comforting Skin

Once again the Lair visits our Canadian neighbors, this time for debut director Derek Franson's supernatural thriller Comforting Skin, which follows Koffe and a tattoo which comes to life on her skin. Judging from the preview this looks to be a much more subtle horror movie than some I have seen of late, with a slow-burn approach to drawing the viewer into the action. The pace only picks up towards the latter stages, so I am hoping this translates into delivering the goods that the trailer promises. You can check out the impressive trailer below, as well as a slew of stills from the film.

Comforting Skin is a supernatural thriller that follows Koffie, a lonely young woman’s who's desperate need for emotional and sexual companionship draws her into a surreal and ultimately destructive relationship with a shifting and whispering tattoo she has willed to life on her skin.

The film stars Victoria Bidewell in her first starring role, along with Tygh RunyanJane Sowerby and Phil Granger. Victoria not only performed the lead part of Koffie, but voiced the tattoo character as well. Derek, Justin James and Andrew Webster produced the film. Our cinematography was handled by Adam Sliwinski, who did an amazing job for us, as did our editor Lenka Svab and Production Designer Elena Dubova. The film`s haunting music was composed and conducted by Alain Mayrand, who despite our miniscule budget was able to assemble an impressive group of orchestral musicians to record the score.

The slithering, shifting tattoo character was brought to life through the use of digital animation and compositing techniques, requiring custom code developed by VFX Supervisor Ollie Rankin.

You can find out more info over at Comforting Skin's Official Site and also check out the trailer below. There is a flash of nakedness, so if you are a little on the delicate side you have been warned!

Coming Soon - The Man In The Maze

From debut director Mitesh Kumar Patel comes The Man in the Maze. It's set for a September 2nd release in India, which is Patel's place of birth, with a US release following in October. Kids in the woods, Indian burials grounds and curse abound in this one, so let's hope it can lift itself up above the usual run-of-the-mill predictability that can so often hamper horror flicks.

"The Man in the Maze" centers around four college students on a field trip to learn more about the American Indian Trail of Tears. While traipsing through the woods, however, they stumble upon an Indian burial mound that marks the burial site of a Native American family that died on the trail. The mound was cursed by a distraught family member, and whoever disturbs it unleashes trouble and winds up lost in a maze, terrorized by an unknown force.

Coming Soon - 5150 Elm's Way

Known as 5150 Rue Des Ormes in its native Canada this nasty looking flick already has a DVD and Blu-ray release north of the border, as well as in the UK (and with the exchange rate it is cheaper to order the R2 UK version, even with shipping). Hopefully it will see a US release before too long. I'll be the first to admit that I am really digging some of the recent Canadian output. Movies such as Good Neighbors, 7 Day (Les 7 Jours Du Talion) and The Collapsed, amongst others, have all impressed. 

5150 Elm's Way is directed by Eric Tessier

5150 ELM'S WAY is located at the end of a quiet street in a small town. When Yannick fell off his bike, he knocked at the door of the Beaulieu residence so he could clean the blood off his hands. But Jack Beaulieu and his family had other plans for Ian. Beaulieu is a righteous psychopath and fanatic chess player who wants to rid the world of evil. And even though Ian has done nothing wrong, he is beaten, tortured and tormented before Beaulieu makes him an offer: win at chess and he is free to go. And so Ian is now a pawn in Beaulieu 's game. A game in which he will either lose his mind or his life.

Official Site (Very cool one as it happens)