FIENDISH PICKINGS WEEKLY #2 4/9/17

articles

Blood and Beauties – An Interview with Death-Scort Service Part 2: The Naked Dead Director Sean Donohue

The beginner’s guide to Italian exploitation cinema by Den Of Geek (contributed by Mando Ayala)

The films of Radley Metzger

6 Reasons Why “Kagemusha” Is Akira Kurosawa’s Late Masterpiece by Panos Kotzathanasis

CGs Film Reviews

From a House on Willow Street (2016) yeah this was not a good film. There are some great practical effects and creature design but its mixed with laughable CGI effects and characters that are so paper thin and just plain stupid.

The films starts out introducing our characters and their backstories just so they can then be used against them later on. The first half of the film is mainly characters walking around in the dark followed by jump scares. We then get an exposition dump that slows the film to a crawl followed by a third act that ramps up the action and gore.

The last act is where the film is at its best but the characters are so underdeveloped and uninteresting that it just didn’t grab me. I could see some people really enjoying this but not me. 2.5/5 stars.

Galaxy of Horrors 1h 45min | Horror, Sci-Fi | 2017 (Amazon VOD)

A horror/scifi anthology that reminded me of the film released last year called Patient Seven which was created by grabbing international shorts and creating a wrap around story to loosely tie them all together. As with any anthology you will always have a mixed bag with some shorts being strong, some being okay and some being terrible. Here’s the breakdown:

Eden – 2.5/5, IRIS – 4/5, Pathos – 3/5, Flesh Computer – 2/5, Eveless – 1/5, They Will All Die in Space – 4/5, Entity – 3.5/5, Kings – 3/5, Wrap Around Story – 1/5

There are some really strong highs and some really low lows. So overall I had a fun time but each story is very different from each other. 3.5/5 stars.

Quarries 1h 23min | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 2017 (Amazon VOD)

This has to be one of the most generic backwoods horror films I’ve ever seen. Our group of women are all one note cliches and our villains are the most boring cookie cutter redneck family.

Everything just happens in the most boring way possible as there is no build of suspense and our so called threat is dispatched with relative ease. It doesn’t get more middle of the road than this. 2/5 stars.
Alleluia (film) 1h 33min | Crime, Horror, Romance | 12 November 2014 (Belgium)
A very disturbed woman goes on a date with a man who she discovers is a scam artist and has issues of his own. She quickly becomes obsessed and it all spirals out of control from there. Based on a true story this is a very dark and gritty film that has a very 1970s feel. 3.5/5 stars.

A Room to Die For 18A | 1h 24min | Horror, Thriller | 2017 (Amazon VOD)

This is a pretty terrible film. We then are given flashes of whats to come within the first 5 mins so this undercuts any suspense of what may happen. The performances are not good all around.

The young couple are pretty unlikable right from the start especially the boyfriend and the older couple are so uninteresting so we can’t engage with them either. What happens in the film is supposed to generate some kind of emotion but all I felt was sorry for the actors involved in this film.
Avoid! 1/5 stars.

videos

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) – Arrow Video Limited Edition Blu-Ray Set Unboxing! by deadbydawn93

DEATH-SCORT SERVICE PART 2: THE NAKED DEAD (2017) teaser trailer

Amy Heckerling’s Criterion Closet Picks

So’s Film Diaries #1 | TAKE ME INTO THE MATRIX | FILM VLOG by So’s Reel Thoughts

AllScreamingEye: The Greasy Strangler review by Gore Hounds

podcasts

Zach’s Ceremony, Ghost in the Shell and A Man Called Ove on Plato’s Cave – 03 April 2017

Dark Discussions Podcast Episode 278 – The Belko Experiment

THE LAST KNOCK presents: THE EYES OF MY MOTHER (2017)

POST MORTEM WITH MICK GARRIS with Walter Hill 3/29/17

sponsors

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Grindhouse Video Tampa

Cavity Colors

FIENDISH PICKINGS WEEKLY #1 4/2/17

articles

QUARRIES (2017) film review by Billy Crash

From the Drain (David Cronenberg, 1967) article by Emma Westwood

Series Rundown: “Resident Evil” (2002 – 2017) by Jonny Numb

Life (2017) film review by @MFFHorrorCorner

Behind Green Lights (1946) at Noir City Film Festival by @LaurasMiscMovie

‘Personal Shopper’ (2016) film review by @FaithEverard

Simon Rumley talks about CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1963)

Voice From The Stone (2017) film review by Chris Alexander

Streamer (2017) film review by Danni Winn

THE HERETICS (2017) Film Review by Jim Morazzini
cgreviews

Chris Genro’s Film Reviews

The Lesson
1h 37min | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 2017 (Amazon VOD)

A okay film that can’t decide whether it wants to be an art house or exploitation horror film. The performances are good here as we are presented with believable characters.

Our films starts out as a teen drama with two brothers living together. The older brother has a girlfriend and you have a setup for the typical love triangle. We then have the big switch in the film as our younger brother and his friend are kidnapped by a disgruntled teacher. They are tortured by the teacher who goes on long monologues and you wish someone would just shut him up.

The film definitely has a message and I’m sure there are people out there who can dig into what the film is trying to tell us. But the film’s concept is so drawn out and the climax had me rolling my eyes more than once I just didn’t care by the end. 2.5/5 stars.

Dig Two Graves (2017)

1h 25min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery | Amazon VOD

A well shot and extremely well acted film that’s part revenge drama and part coming of age story. The acting from reliable character Ted Levine and relative new comer Samantha Isler is absolutely fantastic.

For some it may be a bit to slow to get to the point and the big reveal really isn’t that surprising but I was engaged all the way through. So its nothing to jump and down about but its a satisfying multi generational tale that I think will be passed over by many. 3.5/5 stars.

Psychos (2017)

1h 22min | Crime, Drama, Horror | (VOD)

A low budget drama/thriller with some okay acting and some pretty godawful acting. I actually enjoyed where the story went in the end what you need to endure to get there is pretty up and down in terms of quality. A couple of the actresses were actually pretty likable and did an admirable job with the dialogue they were given but the film is so clumsy in its execution its all a big waste in the end. This is a miss unless you absolutely love indie horror and need something to put on. 2/5 stars.

The Ritual (2015)

1h 20min | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 2015 (NETFLIX)

A very surrealistic dark fantasy with a very simple story but a not so simple conclusion. The acting is a little rough and the pacing a bit slow. Even with a short running time the film seems somewhat plodding which I’m sure may frustrate the average viewer.

But if you power through you will be presented with some pretty astounding cinematography and imagery. It’s like someone decided to smash The Cell and Silent Hill together and make it a European art film. The story become more interesting during the films climax but unfortunately we are let with lots of questions but no answers. So a mixed bag that I give 3/5 stars.

events

Event Report: Monster Mania 36 by Jonny Numb

Blood Wrestling Event presented by Gore Noir Magazine… photos by Fernie Renteria & Jesse Midnitekrawlr

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videos

Dario Argento’s Suspiria – Modernized Trailer by the Supercasa

PARANOIA short film introduced by Bleeding Critic

A FIEND ON FILM SPECIAL “The Love Witch’ (2016) 3/26/17

AllScreamingEye: The Love Witch Review by GoreHounds

Rites Of Spring (2011) film review by Horror Retrospective

Phantasm Collection Unboxing from Well Go USA by zombiesdontrundotnet

 

podcasts

THE LAST KNOCK presents: Thespians of Terror: Bill Paxton

Dark Discussions Episode 276 – Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word

The Cinephiliacs Episode #90 – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Ms. 45)

Dead As Hell Horror Podcast covers The Shining (1980)

Clash, Life and The Greasy Strangler on Plato’s Cave – 27 March 2017

 

sponsors

Grindhouse Video

Cavity Colors

New Blog Series: Fiendish Pickings Weekly!

Just a small post announcing a new series (as long as it lasts…) which will be posted every Sunday. I will be aggregating various genre film related articles, videos and podcasts from the previous week. The goal is to expose people to new things and the excellent work from film writers, podcasters and video content creators.

While the emphasis will be on horror, cult, exploitation, film noir films, you never know what might pop up each week.

-Dave K./A Fiend On Film

Films I Watched in 2017: The first 50!

I have been on a mission to see at least 365 films in 2017. Here’s a list of the 1st 50 titles I haven’t seen before and my Fiend ‘O’ Meter ratings!

#1) Zombie Fight Club (2014) Fiend ‘O’ Meter: 9/10

#2) Fences (2016) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 6/10

#3) Tangerine (2015) Fiend ‘O’ Meter: 8/10

#4) Tiger House (2015) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 5/10

#5) Neighbor (2010) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 6/10

#6) Assassination (2015) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 9/10

#7) The Stratosphere Girl (2004) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#8) Franklin: A Symphony of Pain (2015) Fiend ‘O’ Meter 6/10

#9) SS Hellcamp (The Beast in Heat) (1977) Fiend ‘O’ Meter 4/10

#10) Phantasm: Remastered (1978/2016) Fiend ‘O’ Meter 9/10 (A rewatch of the new print)

#11) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 8/10

#12) Tokyo Psycho (2004) Fiend ‘O’ Meter Says: 3/10

#13) Make Them Die Sleazy! (2014) Fiend ‘O’ Meter 7/10

#14) Sin Dejar Huella (Without A Trace) (2000) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 6/10

#15) 31 (2016) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 6/10

#16) Massage Parlor Murders (1973) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 1/10

#17) Helga: She Wolf Of Stilberg (1977) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#18) Killbillies (Idyll) (2015) Fiend ‘O’ Meter 5/10

#19) Hell’s Caretaker (2013) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 5/10

#20) Madame O (1967) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 9/10

#21) Experiment In Terror (1962) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 9/10

#22) Piranha (1978) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 6/10

#23) The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (2011) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 8/10

#24) 3 A.M. (2001) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 8/10

#25) Slaughter of the Vampires (1962) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 5/10

#26) What Have You Done To Solange? (1972) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 8/10

#27) Thanatomorphose (2012) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 9/10

#28) The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai (2003) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 5/10

#29) Spider Baby (1968) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#30) The Loveless (1982) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#31) Naboer (Next Door) (2005) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 9/10

#32) Shock (1946) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#33) See The Sea (1997) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#34) The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death (2014) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 6/10

#35) Gun Crazy: A Woman From Nowhere (2002) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 8/10

#36) The Shiver of the Vampires (1971) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#37) Possession (1981) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 8/10

#38) Lower Level (1991) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 5/10

#39) Subway (1985) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#40) Twenty Plus Two (1961) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 6/10

#41) Repulsion (1965) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 8/10 (A rewatch/reevaluation after 20+ years)

#42) Mexico Barbaro (2015) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 8/10

#43) Gurozuka (2005) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 3/10

#44) Variety (1983) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 6/10

#45) Lady Street Fighter (1981) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 1/10

#46) The Last Best Sunday (1999) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#47) Night Angel (1990) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 7/10

#48) Lady Snowblood (1973) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 10/10

#49) Siren (2016) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 5/10

#50) Tell Me Something (1999) Fiend ‘O’ Meter says: 8/10

A FIEND ON FILM’S HALLOWEEN SPECIAL October 31st 2016

I am working on a short video production for the Halloween season and I am looking for you to take part! Just make a very short video (no more than 2 minutes in length!) of one of the below:

Make a short Horror Film Review video, could be something you have always loved or something you have recently seen.

OR

Make a short video of a Halloween nature. Could be you in costume, make up tutorial, etc… pretty much anything use your imagination.

OR

I am looking for very short trailers for your upcoming horror film  as bumpers/”commercials”.

Upload your video to You Tube as “unlisted” and send me the link, so I can download it for editing. If you don’t have a You tube account, we will figure out how you can get the video to me. Since the finished video “special” will be uploaded to You Tube, please avoid using any copyrighted material or anything in your videos that can get us flagged.

I need your video by October 27th 2016! The “special” will be uploaded by Halloween!

One last thing: This “special” will be done in the style of one of my video projects called The Horror Element Show. It is to be presented in Black and White. You do not have to make your video in B & W as I will be doing all the processing and editing later.

This may very well be the last thing I do on You Tube so I want it to be big! Please contact me at: Grandnagus69@yahoo.com or DM me on Facebook (if you have an account there, you know me already) and also on Twitter @AFiendOnFilm. Any questions just ask!

-Dave K./A Fiend On Film

halloween-special-2016

Quick Film Reviews 9/5/16 by A Fiend On Film

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Such a disaster of watching a couple of Jean Rollin films for the first time (The Living Dead Girl & The Grapes of Death) and recent The Other Side of the Door (2016)…almost made me forget I actually have seen some pretty good films as of late…

1) Intent To Kill (1992) Picked up on a whim, the cover of the DVD just has Traci Lords holding a revolver. Usually that wouldn’t make me get excited about a film but saw that Yaphet Kotto was in it…sold. I must have missed this one in the olde VHS days because I don’t remember it. Traci Lords is a detective on the beat in early 90’s LA, living with her cheating boyfriend of 7 years (also a detective). One night trying to lure a drug dealer in via prostitution, it goes south leaving many cops dead. They recover 50 million dollars worth of cocaine but she gets pulled off the case. There is lots of double crossings with both the drug dealers, the mobs and the police and she doesn’t know who to trust.

The film, is surprisingly solid, with a decent script and some classic low budget gun violence. Lords still has that soft and sweet look and holds her own through the picture. The stereotypes are hilarious though. The DVD is full frame, I think at the time it was filmed that way for home video but I could be wrong. If you like Cannon produced action/cop films from the late 1980’s (which this definitely has that feel), then Intent To Kill is for you. I liked it.

2) Dark (2016) I have been wanting to see this Elias (of Gut and soon to be released Ayla fame) written film and directed by Nick Basile. The plot is during the big NYC blackout of 2003 (which was all over the Northeast really), a lady is alone in her apartment with feelings of paranoia which leads to really bad results. Whitney Able, who plays the lead, is actually a fine actress who portrays “losing one’s mind” very well. The trouble is…I really didn’t care. I really disliked her character throughout the story. I didn’t even think having it set during the blackout helped, it could have been set “at night” with the same results in my opinion, especially since, due to budget limitations, you do not get the feeling anything is really amiss. Kudos for the film makers trying to be accurate with the times, the phones and laptops used were vintage 2003 but this film kinda just falls flat for me.

The big gripe I have though is with the marketing. It is really important to put on the cover “From executive producer Joe Dante, the twisted mind that brought you Gremlins and The Howling”? How the hell is that relevant? Both of those films came out over 30 years ago. The front cover of the DVD should have “A Film by Nick Basile” whose name is on the back in such small letters I had to look up the film on IMDB just to make sure I had the spelling right for this review…

3) Eating Raoul (1982) Somehow in all my years on this earth, I still have never seen this long considered classic of indie film making. Mary Voronov and Paul Bartel play a very strange married couple who want to open a restaurant but…they have no money. With bill collectors moving in on them, a accidental murder brings them to the realization they can “take out” people they find to be deviants & rob them at the same time. They will have the money in no time right? Enter Raoul, a small time thief who makes a deal with them to score big as long as he gets his cut. Guess who gets it in the end?

I picked up the Criterion DVD during the past sale because I was tired of waiting to see this one. I loved it and I am not a comedy guy, but this has that droll polish and situations that I tend to find funny. It was weird, the whole time I was watching the film, I kept thinking “Raoul looks familiar”. I really couldn’t place it but when the credits hit, I was like, “Oh that is Chakotay from Voyager!” Wow…I’m really dumb. Eating Raoul was great across the board, very weird but a must see.

4) Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000) While it’s definitely not a first viewing, I only recently picked up the DVD at Grindhouse Video in Tampa, FL after never seeing it in the wild. Since I only had this one on VHS many moons ago, this would be my first time seeing the film letterboxed. There is kind of a plot running through the film, which is about a few dancers at strip club in the film’s title. There is drama and some humor here, all the actresses (Daryl Hannah, Charlotte Ayanna, Sandra OH, Sheila Kelley and Jennifer Tilly) all get equal time here and show it off nicely. Clearly defined characters, great cinematography and scripting…This one will be seen many times by me for sure. I love it.

5) Hit Me (1996) This is a film which I just never heard of before and is a blind buy. The back has a blurb referring to a modern film noir and it stars Elias Koteas…sold. Koteas stars as Sonny, a pretty much down on his luck hotel worker (run down hotel which has seen much better days), who is a very minor criminal on the side. He lives with his mental challenged brother, which there “living” situation is a sight to behold. One day, he has to give room service to a beautiful but very odd woman. Sonny is obviously attracted to her but can’t see how to make the move. A day or so later, he doesn’t have to worry about that as she puts the moves on him. This all leads to an awkward sexual tryst which after which she starts for some insane reason…screaming. Everything after this moment is a downward spiral for our “hero”…

Saying this is a “modern” film noir is an understatement. It’s not even Neo-Noir, it’s like they took a 1940’s plot and slammed it into the 1990’s. Elias Koteas was an indie actor that came of age in the 1990’s and I have to say this is the best film/work I have seen him do. You know for the opening frames, that his character is doomed to the bottom but you will love the ride taking the trip down with him. Forget the cover with William H. Macy being 3rd billed, he is only in one scene. Trying to sell the film on that does the film a disservice. Overall Hit Me is a 9 out of 10 for me. I just don’t know how I never heard of it previously.

6) Der Samurai (2014) Picked this up after hearing a bit about it and it’s on Art Exploitation Films, a label which consistently puts out quality titles. The film’s plot follows a very young policeman in a very small town. He is trying to capture a wolf, which has been causing trouble, tearing up garbage cans, etc. On a lead one evening, he stumbles upon a strange man, dressed in a white dress, after receiving calls at the police station and having a package sent there. The package absurdly enough is addressed to the man in white, who opens it and reveals the contents…a samurai sword. Is this the “wolf” he is looking for? Is it all in his mind? Once the carnage starts, our policeman is faced with many dilemmas that he has to solve quickly or lose his mind…

Probably one of the strangest films I have seen as of late outside of some of the Asian films I watched last month. The plot is relatively simple for an “art house” type horror film but has moments that I know “mean” something, I am just not smart enough to know. Loads of gore, as the villain’s method of killing in decapitation, though some of it is done it an “artsy” manner. I am still trying to figure out the ending, which focuses on our policeman’s journey in life. It would be a recommend for horror film fans who are looking for something outside the norm and look to Europe for their horror fix.

7) Cell Count (2016) Todd E. Freeman is a film director I met online through others. I was following this film he was working on for a bit but then after it was completed, I didn’t hear much about it. Was it available? After communicating with him after seeing ABC’s Of Death 2.5 (2016), I found out that yes, you could buy it on DVD. So I hit the “buy” button and in a few days, it was in my DVD player. In an undisclosed time but surely the future, a strange disease is going around. One man’s wife has it and after he is told there is no hope, a strange doctor pulls him aside and tells him there might just be a chance. It’s seems he is working with the government on an experimental cure. They would have to go with him to a secret facility to have it applied and chances are, she would live. The facility they are taken to is a place of complete lock down. They and the other residents/patients they meet can move freely about the facility but cannot leave once inside. “It’s just too dangerous…” They are introduced to the cure…but there is some nasty side effects. Did I mention that there is also some “prisoners” here?

I have to say I have somewhat mixed feelings about the film and it’s execution. Todd E. Freeman is obviously a talented director and gives Cell Count a nice high tech shine. The acting is good, the effects are great (some decent CGI and practical ones) but the main problem is he didn’t seem to have an ending. And that “ending” has a more famous actor in it as a cameo and it’s pretty cheap. There are some cool ideas throughout and it looks great though when we got to the credits, I was kinda dumbstruck. (and what the heck was it with the WW2 era weapons???) Well, it’s still a recommend. I would like people to see it for themselves and make up their own minds, it wouldn’t be fair to say otherwise in this case.

REVIEW: TAMPA BAY SCREAMS 2016 Convention

I recently attended a new convention which was a celebration of independent horror film and a showcase for local Tampa Bay talent and film companies. Top shelf stuff, period.

 

There have been more videos produced from the show:

Eight the Chosen One…

 

Jesse posted a couple:

 

and Shelby’s Daily Grindhouse:

 

there was more….probably will be another post. -Dave K.