2 Cool 2 Geek the Film (YouTube) – A no budget film that documents two guys (Old School and 50-K) who have a web series and these guys have gotten big enough Spike TV is gonna pick the show up. Spike TV arrives to start filming and follow these two around until their buddy of the show Youngblood is kidnapped and of course hijinks ensues. There are cops, way too many comic book conventions, talk of sex slaves, way too much Sonic the Hedgehog worship, a bat on a string, and a Swedish exchange kid that cannot wait to do cosplay. This project is from Craig Blake and Adam Stern, so if you have enjoyed such films as Doug Waugh’s “Trash Juice”, “The Wet Ones” from “Wig Wolf”, or Addison Binek’s “Magnum Opus: The Movie” this chaos will be up your alley as I give it 2 ½ out of 4 stars.
Valentine Bluffs: My Bloody Valentine Fan Film (YouTube) – ‘Fan Film’… let’s start there because that to me is always gonna be a tough sell especially a sequel to horror fans’ favorite over the years and there was only one movie, never a sequel. I am not opposed, I might be old thinking on this, but I always felt when you do see that term your expectations are already lowered right or wrong as a viewer. Anyhow it has been 40 years since the original killings of Harry Warden/Axel and the town of Valentine Bluffs has spent a lot of time healing and not talking about the legend. But two things are happening that will possibly rip the town apart again as it has barely kept alive this long. First, is TJ and Sarah’s son is heading to the small town looking for his father and second is the mayor (Lloyd Kaufman) who has come up with a gimmick for the closed mine “Harry’s Bloody Attraction” that most are not too keen on the idea. As you watch the film, filmmaker Tom Smith (pretty much his first feature) tries to connect certain things to the original to keep fans interested. Once TJ’s kid comes rolling into town the small town murders begin to happen again and without giving too much away Tom Smith tries to give answers to what may have happen after the first film. Now I know there are some fans of this film already but this is how I seen it right or wrong it’s just an opinion. But here we go folks: I felt the pacing was off and the buildup to the end was slow. The production looked great, you had a location, but in my mind what you did in the last five to ten minutes of the movie should have been expanded or made more of the plot point of the film. Because I think you can’t get away from the ending of the first film without explaining what happen to Axel so it sucks fans in. Second, I understand the appeal of Lloyd Kaufman as the mayor but anymore he only brings humor and not a sense of seriousness to the role that I believe was key for this project to work. Clearly you had a mine location I just felt you should have used it more as the last five/ten minutes felt great compared to what came before it. Again why it will always be tough to do a project/sequel to such an iconic film “My Bloody Valentine” of horror fan lore, so let the hate mail role in but anyway if anything filmmaker Tom Smith has my attention as I am curious where he goes with his second or third feature length film as I give this 2 out of 4 stars.
Good Old Days (Dropbox) – A short film where we have a beautiful summer-like day for three young ladies to take a bike ride to the field of a drive-in. Enjoying a great time and wanting a picture of it they get something they weren’t looking for and that is a sadistic couple with video cameras! But the best scare yet to happen. The five minute short is too the point, professional, and the ending will make yinz savor the entertainment you just witnessed as I got to give Zane Hershberger’s and Bridget Murphy’s project 4 out of 4 stars.
Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama 2 – (Full Moon) – We are introduce to the sorority that has been trying to get from under the past of the strange murders at the bowling alley with a new set of sorority sisters wanting or needing more pledges or the house charter will be taken away. Kelli Maroney the sorority mother tries to put a stop to any thinking of the young ladies doing something stupid but they do it anyway as the sorority sisters and pledges head to the bowling alley to once again steal the bowling trophy. Remember it is about tradition so they are trying to restore it by unleashing the evil imp again! It’s cheesy, stupid fun, and has a few fun cameos. Is it the original B-movie madness some of us nuts loved 30-some years ago, probably not but they were smart to not reinvent the concept and go with what works as new Full Moon fans should enjoy this one as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Doppelganger (YouTube) – A Matt Diulus short film that deals with a man that falls into his dream world meeting another version of himself. What sets this idea a part from some others that might sound familiar is the music as it sets the tone for what happens as I give the short film 3 out of 4 stars.
Victim No More – A Friday the 13th Tribute Film (YouTube) – Written and directed by a person some Indy fans may know from Ramsteer Films from several years ago, Bob Heckman. In this project Mr. Heckman tackles of course the Jason Voorhees legend. A young man Robbie who is talking to his therapist wanting to prove to his mother that Jason is long dead along with the Camp Crystal Lake serial killer legend. All Robbie wants is to put this behind him and be able to live a normal family life as his mother was a survivor of these Camp Crystal Lake bloodbaths many years ago. Meanwhile a young couple is exploring the woods in search of the legendary stomping grounds of Jason believing he has been long gone since 1984 (if you are listening to their conversation). But to the surprise of all three the ghost of Jason is very much alive and still stalks these woods. I gotta give Mr. Heckman credit for the cast, a solid story, and of course the location and keeping this fan film at 40 minutes. Really felt it didn’t allow the film to get dull. To be honest I am surprised there haven’t been more real attempts of this universe by fans? Now is there something for me to pick at, yes, but they are small things: What happens at the end (without spoiling it) thought there could have been a little more subplot there to sprinkle in but that would have made the film much longer. Also Jason… love the look (Part 6 undead/part seven rotting Jason) but felt like a much bigger person or more opposing person (CJ Graham perhaps) should have been in the suit. Overall Mr. Heckman had a budget to check off everything a “Friday the 13th” would want from a fan film as I give it 3 out of 4 stars. Curious to see if an idea like this would cross over into a bigger Hollywood budgeted version of “Friday the 13th” or will we always stay in limbo with projects like this?
Then My Mind Walked Away (DVD) – One of my favorite Indy filmmakers of all time Jim Roberts has a new project coming to haunt fans as he introduces us to Logan Hill. Filming during COVID, Jim took full advantage of not much crew, not much cast, and the world changing. In the first couple tense minutes the dark tone of the film is set as Logan beats to death his girlfriend and the man she was cheating on him with in bed with a baseball bat. Logan now forced to get rid of the bodies is also quickly faced with visions of horror after the fact. He is soon haunted constantly by a dark figure and visions of himself killing himself constantly. As time passes Logan is going nuts as the young man’s visions get more vivid and real. But when Logan thinks he has completely lost his mind he is shocked by a secret from his family’s past! Trying not to spoil this intense and beautiful film of Jim Roberts, but anyway how to explain it as gore and Jim have gone hand and hand since the beginning. This film has the gore but Jim doing a 180 has only made it a set piece in this feature as this talented bastard may have made the most complete film of his career! And that is coming from someone who absolutely loved “Welcome to Deer Creek” and “Tonight You Die”. This project felt like Jim got out of his comfort zone (now I could be wrong of course, lol), kept it simple, and made something that will surprise Indy fans as this is possibly the best Indy film that I will watch in 2023 (there is a couple releases yet coming). It was a serious film from beginning to end! Everything about this film with the help of Karen Roberts, Jorge Delarosa, and bare bones crew should be proud as the look of this film was beautiful, the natural sounds outside of the music caught in the background, and bare bones cast all played a role in making this wonderful. If I need to say anything else that will make you the movie viewer drool over or run to get this once available is I have a saying about filmmaking: “I am not a filmmaker that would be insulting to actual talented filmmakers, I just know where the record button is…” In this case Jim Roberts is truly one of those talented bastards as I give this movie 4 out of 4 stars!
Results (YouTube) – A short film project from Austin Muratori that has a young man dealing with some depressing and shitty medical news. Without talking to family first this man makes a heartbreaking decision. There is a small twist in this depressing, effective, good short film as I give it 3 out of 4 stars.
Half a Mind (YouTube) – A cautionary tale of futuristic brain surgery and what good or bad can come of it. The short film looks wonderful and a great setup or trailer for a feature length film that all was missing was Rutger Hauer in a leather jacket and sunglasses in the background of the dinner scene as I give this Buzz Meade short 3 out of 4 stars.
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