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This week Kyle and Tim return from another fantastic trip to the greatest convention in the solar system, CINEMA WASTELAND! We recap all the goings on, answer your questions, recap what we have been watching, and cover RAZOR DAYS from Mike Watt and happy cloud pictures and a groovy 60’s flick starring Donald Pleasance A.K.A. the fantastical tiny P. in FANTASTIC VOYAGE. Check out all the shit and shenanigans right here.
Gross Movie Reviews checks out “Movie Outlaw”
By Tim Gross
Yeah it is crazy to think I read two books in a year let alone in a month. Most likely this hasn’t happened since the days of before my writing on a regular basis that I ordered all of Joe Bob Briggs books together off of Amazon before his “Profoundly Disturbing” books. But when you get great stuff like Mario Dommick’s first effort or Mike Watt’s latest “Movie Outlaw” (which I will discuss) it causes me of all people to put down the latest sequel of Charles Band’s “Puppet Master” or SyFy’s latest mash-up “Sharknado” flick and take notice. Hell, I keep the beer in the fridge and bust out some coffee not the instant shit just so I can feel smart, educated, or refine to read such material. If that wasn’t enough I even stop listening to the voices in my head to rewatch the “Swamp Thing TV series” DVDs that sit eye level with me every time I am at the computer and that takes guts folks… You just don’t understand how tough it is?
But anyway enough of that random shit about my weird ass I am here to talk and review Mike Watt’s latest effort “Movie Outlaw”. Mr. Watt has always written for several magazines, websites, movie scripts, etc., etc., etc. The dude has gotten around and rightful so as he is a talented fellow. But the last couple of years Mike’s career is proof with age comes wisdom and greatness apparently as he is hitting a stride like no other I know of. Between his flick “Razor Days” and his last book “Fervid Filmmaking” Watt has had me excited to read or see what’s next and he does not disappoint with his book “Movie Outlaw”. Now you might say or know it took me a couple months to literally find myself sitting down and reading this but hopefully my introduction to this review explains a little about me. Some are addicted to drugs, alcohol, porn; I am addicted to horror flicks so it’s hard to pay attention to anything else. With saying that Mike’s book is an amazing trip through the unknown, weird, and just rare films that you may be interested in but never watched or films you know and seen on certain celebrities IMDB pages and asked yourself if that flick even exists?
Mr. Watt does an amazing job of not only explaining the film and its origins but talks about what went into the film, where it went, and why most of them were never successful or haven’t been released in the latest Hi-Def format. He writes about films like: The Dark Backward, Dust Up (which I recently purchased just for the mere reason after reading about it in the book it perked my weirdness of checking it out), Escape From Tomorrow, I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle (a personal favorite of mine), Killer Tongue, The Odd Job, The Spirit (two different versions) just to name a few. He dissects them, analyzes them, and brings to light what worked, what didn’t, and what it could have been. Or in my case it was like watching Joe Bob’s Briggs Monstervision days where he decided he was going to discuss a young Robert Patrick in “Future Hunters” for five minutes before the next commercial break. I enjoy how Mike breaks down the film good or bad he makes it interesting and how the book flows you do not have to read from beginning to end, you can start in the middle or at end. The structure allows weird film geeks like me to choose where to go next or what to discover next I should say. As like his “Fervid Filmmaking” the book gets your inner film nerd excited to know about some flicks most haven’t even thought of. It is a journey my friend but what makes it even a little different or more interesting is Mike invited some contributing writers to give their take on the same film he just dissected and gives you a whole different view of what Mike may have just written.
In closing, anybody including myself can sit there and write reviews. Tell the reader the flick sucks balls or is the greatest thing since Rutger Hauer played a blind man with a samurai sword. But Mr. Watt separates himself from the crowd, the bloggers, the vloggers, the journalists, the whatevers to make you take notice and discover the beautiful, the odd, and possibly and truly bizarre works of art we call film that you may have never known about and for that I am thankful! I give the book “Movie Outlaw” 4 out of 4 stars.
For details on Mike Watt or to purchase the book here’s a couple links to follow:
Gross Movie Reviews #345
By Tim Gross
Gingerclown (DVD) – A film made in Budapest but takes place in Hollywood, California 1983 where a group of local high school teenagers are hanging out behind the famous Hollywood sign and they call themselves “the Wolfpack”. Of course the lonely nerd named Sam or Tully as the “Wolfpack” calls him rides by on his bike and they make him an offer to be a part of their gang “The Wolfpack”. Sam takes them up on the offer for the mere reason he likes the cute blonde Jenny. They go to an old abandoned amusement park and is told he has two hours to enter the park and come back with something to prove his effort. The strange old place has a history of mysterious deaths and fires and hasn’t been open since the 60s. Once Sam enters, Jenny follows and the two are faced with odd evil things from an evil tea kettle to an evil pile of crap, something that makes you think this flick was lost from the Charles Band’s Full Moon collection over the years. What it comes down to is the park is full of expelled demons from hell that prey upon humans that enter. It has the cast of famous genre favorites in: Lance Henriksen, Tim Curry, Brad Dourif, and Michael freakin Winslow but they are all voice overs for the characters in the park. A fun concept for a horror flick but just never reaches its potential and for that I give it 2 stars.
The Scribbler (DVD) – Our film begins with a woman named Suki being interviewed or interrogated by a doctor and a detective to figure out what just happened at this woman’s mentally unstable halfway house/apartments I guess. The film is based on a comic book I never heard of but sure T-shirt Joe Garcia from www.fastcustomshirts.com would know? The film is a little ridiculous, weird, dark, and very interesting. But you need to stick with this oddity as it takes about twenty minutes to get going as it lays out some plot for you to dig into and understand the subject matter better. But Suki tells a story of how crazy people in this building are being killed and the doctor and detective know that Suki suffers from multiple personalities herself. But without trying too much more of giving the film away Suki is given an electrical device from her that is supposed to help her get rid of her multiple personalities one by one. From there it becomes a lost project from the mind of David Croenberg if possible? It stars the likes of Gina Gershon, Eliza Dushku, Billy Campbell, and Michelle Trachtenberg and no doubt will be on end of the year list for best movies of 2015 as I give it 4 stars.
Apocalypse Pompeii (DVD) – Asylum Entertainment once again proves nothing is off limits and tries to capitalize on the big budget piece of crap called “Pompeii” that littered theaters last year. Adrian Paul’s wife and daughter go visit the ruins and the volcano erupts and only Adrian Paul and the brilliant John Rhys-Davies can save them. Its unwatchable crap but I still watched it as I give it 0 stars.
Razor Days (DVD) – A long awaited project that has been years in the making from Mike Watt and Happy Cloud Pictures is making its way out on the festival circuit. The film stars Debbie Rochon as Jessamay, a disfigured woman who has survived a horrible attack of rape, torture, and cannibalism. She approaches Anita (Amy Lynn Best) who helps women defend themselves and takes interest in Jess when Jess tells her story. But Jessamay believes if she escaped then there has to be other survivors? Survivors that need to be found as they got to feel the same way she does and that is to find these horrible things or men and wipe the earth clean of them. With Anita’s help they find a woman named Reina across the state and together they become fast friends and soon share the wanting of closure and no longer of being haunted by their horrible past. This new project from Happy Cloud Pictures is much different project you are used to seeing as they go dark, very dark and miserable. The flick feels a little like “Ms. 45”, “I Spit on Your Grave”, and “They Call Her One Eye” but walks that fine line of not going too far extreme and have Debbie Rochon possibly give her best performance since “American Nightmare”. The film also has appearances from Michael Varrati, Alan Rowe Kelly, and a few other Happy Cloud Pictures regulars. As much as I really enjoyed the deep darkness and grit of this film for me at least it felt like something else was going to happen but didn’t? But do not let that stop you from checking out Mike Watt’s darkest film to date as I give it 3 out of 4 stars. For more info on the film go check out: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Razor-Days/125372234198963?fref=ts .
Starry Eyes (DVD) – A young woman named Sara who is a struggling actress believes she is meant to be a big star and will eventually do anything to get there. After another rejection for the film “The Silver Scream” she takes out on herself but the people see this and believe she could be right for the part if she is willing… At first Sara turns it down but soon runs back even if it means sucking an old dude’s wiener! Even with that she must complete the transformation. Predictable flick but has some great gore but not enough for me to want to revisit the film anytime soon as I give the film 2 stars.
The Pyramid (DVD) – It is 2013, Cairo, Egypt, and archeologists may have stumbled upon the biggest discovery ever as they find a pyramid under the surface of the desert. Something that may predate any of the ancient pyramids. Excited to investigate it all the plug has been pulled on them as war has broke out inside Cairo. Forced to pack up the archeologists and the camera crew that is following them quickly make their way into the tomb/pyramid to investigate soon understanding they are in a maze that was constructed to keep something in? I am always a sucker for this subject matter as a horror movie but sometimes it fails and this is one of those times. It’s not horrible but with a film like “The Descent” still fresh in many horror movie fan’s minds you cannot help but comparing the two. Interesting horror film that just taken the wrong turn of how it could have developed into something far cooler as I give it 2 stars.
Pain Shack (DVD/YouTube) – Now mind you fine folks the film I watched is a rough cut that has since has a couple new scenes added and deleted in the official DVD that will be available. Anyway the film is made by the duo of Marissa and Alex Murphy. No, that isn’t Robocop Alex Murphy before you ask. But the film takes you on a long spiraling dark ride with the character Alex who believes his dream is to review music. To do this he studies YouTube and its users to come up with his own gimmick the “Noodledroop show”. In the process Alex becomes obsessed with a movie reviewer Ricky Shores and becomes abusive in his relationship with Marissa so he can achieve his ultimate goal of becoming a YouTube sensation as his followers grow or do they in this dark horror/comedy. The film runs a little long for its subject material in my opinion but I really enjoyed all the performances by all in the film and really enjoyed how Alex and Marissa filmed their characters because I believe I know some of these people currently or of at least met them on occasions at several conventions and for that kids I give the flick 2 ½ out of 4 stars. For more info on where you can purchase a copy of this film or see where its playing at next check out www.facebook.com/rickyshoresingstheblues .
Any comments or questions please send to: GrossMovieReview@verizon.net, GrossMovieReview@aol.com or www.facebook.com/grossmoviereviews . Remember folks always support your local independent movie theater, independent video store, and independent filmmakers! It will keep horror alive………
You can always visit and see some past reviews, independent film news, or me ranting at: www.grossmoviereviews.com !!!
Don’t forget you can also hear Kyle Poling and me talking about horror flicks on a weekly basis on the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast at: www.bloodbathspodcast.blogspot.com/
Plus you can always go to the greatest T-shirt place online or if you are in Texas visit the store of “Fast Custom Shirts” where T-shirt Joe is the only place you should purchase your horror T-shirts: Go to www.fastcustomshirts.com for details.
And do not forget to order your copy of Gross Movie Reviews: The Wrath of Gross at: http://www.lulu.com/shop/tim-gross/gross-movie-reviews-the-wrath-of-gross/paperback/product-21975934.html
Gross Movie Reviews reads a book… again!
By Tim Gross
This time around it’s a book project I have been waiting a couple years for. The book is “Exploring the Underground: The Mainstream Viewer’s Guide to Low Budget Horror Cinema” from writer/fellow film lover Mario Dominick. The project has been at least four years in the making reason I have been waiting so long and remember having conversations with Mario about doing a book. But Mario wanted to do something different, something that isn’t talked about much or I should say followed as close as maybe mainstream film, but also something weird people unlike Mario and me would easily understand and get the idea. So Mario who may be the biggest fan of independent film I have ever met made it his goal to sit down and interview quite a few of the popular, possibly unknown, and groundbreaking filmmakers who are behind these no budget underground films and their companies. Mario goes into great depth with their projects, scripts, characters, etc. hoping to give even the most mainstream film viewer a peak behind the curtain of what it is like to be an independent filmmaker and their passion for it. Mario takes you deep inside the mind of people like Fred Vogel from Toe Tag Pictures, Mike and Amy Watt (Lynn Best) from Happy Cloud Pictures, Chris Seaver of the now defunct Low Budget Pictures, and Bill Zebub from Bill Zebub Productions and many more. And Mario’s writing style allows even the most jaded film fan to enjoy the structure of the 458 page book. You don’t have to read it in order as the book is structured to allow you the reader to skip around chapters if you like? But Mario not only tries to educate you about these very talented people but hopes you will think twice and maybe show a little support by giving their projects a second look. Mario Domnick’s book is absolutely brilliant! Be proud my friend as I already started reading the book again and believe I have even more respect if possible for independent film and the people behind it… and for that I give this must have book 4 out of 4 stars.
You can purchase the book through Toe Tag Pictures website: www.toetag.biz