Cross Bearer Cap

Cross Bearer (2012)

Usually I’m hot and cold with indie horror. I feel a lot of indie film makers use horror as a…means to an end, they are some of the easiest films to make, you don’t need an extremely large budget, and almost everyone wants to “die” on camera. Needless to say when I had the pleasure of meeting Adam Ahlbrandt at Horror Hound Weekend in Indianapolis back in September, I was a bit skeptical. Don’t get me wrong, Adam was a very nice guy and we had a very nice conversation about our favorite franchise (Friday the 13th) but ultimately I realize he was there to sell and promote his film. With that said I thought he was just trying to make a sale and hype up the film, I was wrong.  Adam is a totally awesome dude and after talking at the con, I hit him up on Facebook and asked to review the film. So now we are here.

Cross Bearer is a good movie, I was entertained through out its entirety. My warning to readers is that it is a genre film. My guess is that most casual horror fans will not enjoy this film…partly because of the content and the fact that they wont understand it. It’s an easy story to follow, but the excess nudity and sleaze will more than likely turn away the casuals, While bringing out all of the true genre fans foaming at the mouth.

Cross BearerThe film is about a dancer (Natalie Jean) who is trying to turn her life around, after devising a plan with her girlfriend (Kacie Marie) figure out a way to turn their life around. Only there plan takes a drastic turn when they face the judgment of god. I think the story is great. I always find some form of fascination from religious yahoos, I mean people really do kill for their religious beliefs every day, that much is evident over seas. So when I see films and stories of people killing in the name of Christianity and shit like that, it puts chills down my spine. That shit could actually happen!

I think my favorite aspects of the film are the special effects and cinematography. I am not sure what the budget of the film was but regardless the makeup effects were very good. Gore Hounds should be satisfied with the amount of red stuff and over the top head bashing’s. At one point the killer gets crazy with a head & hammer and turns a skull into brain soup. The cinematography was set up well in the beginning of the film offering some unusual camera angles, then once the action starts becomes a by the book slasher thrill ride that will leave you utterly satisfied. You may also notice some tracks from the band CKY which make an appearance in the film. Which is fitting due to former member Deron Miller is an avid horror film and CKY stands for Camp Kill Yourself.

The film has its share of faults. Some editing mishaps here and there and a bit of overacting, however it do not take away from the overall aspect of the film. There is a scene of banter between the cast that takes place in the car. while it is written well, and is a believable conversation, I felt the actress’s delivery was forced. Almost as if she was reading straight off the script.

This film also has its fair share of sleaze. Numerous boob shots and sex scenes, strip club montage, and some hilarious horror porn clips that will leave you laughing. Unfortunately for the ladies, there are not much in the way of guys, better luck next time. For sheer nudity alone…A++

Collectively I enjoyed Cross Bearer. Writer and Director Adam Ahlbrandt did a really good job with making this project a reality. GLP gives this indie blood bath a 3 out of 5 stabs for great practical effects, cinematography, and creative story. If you are interested in learning more about the movie or getting it for yourself check out the movies official website.

 

GLP Rating:

3 stabs

Presidents Day Cap

Presidents Day (2013)

In the 80’s, horror fans were treated to a very common slasher theme. Holiday Slasher films became very popular and as a result ton sof titles were subsequently released. Titles like Silent Night, Deadly Night, My Bloody Valentine, April Fools Day, New Years Evil, Halloween were flying off of home video shelves and filling theaters alike. However as the genre died so did the amount of holiday-based slasher movies. Sure some still trickled into video stores but, those really didn’t do anything for seasoned fans. Its hasn’t been until recently that holiday slasher films have started making a slight comeback,Granted most are in the form of remakes like My Bloody Valentine 3D, Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 & 2, Silent Night, but I’m also seeing some upcoming original films like Easter Sunday… and the yet to be made Eli Roth fake trailer Thanksgiving! Presidents Day is no exception to this group!

Written by Jimmy George & Chris LaMartina Presidents Day is basically about a slack named Berry, he gets a hard on for the new girl and notices she’s running for student council president. As a way to get to know her more, Berry also runs for President. Little do they know another President is in the running, and this time he’s killing the competition.Presidents Day

Being that the film was shot in 2009 and just now released,gave me worries but Presidents Day is a really good new slasher film.Everything is good about this film. Acting, Practical Effects, Story, Editing,and Directing are all just pieces of what makes this film so successful. The film notably stars Bennie Mack McCoy IV as Berry, Lizzy Denning as Joanna,Nicolette le Faye as Chelsea, fellow film reviewer Shawn C. Phillips as Dennis and Ryan Thomas as Officer Kennedy. All the actors, even the ones I didn’t name did great jobs with their respective roles. I felt that every character was believable and seemed like they were all around the age of high school students. Bennie was the stand out for me, he did some subtle thing in reactions and mannerisms that really helped bring a fluid & natural feel to his character.

The gore in the film was done very well, and the body count is very high. Practical effects took the lead in the effects department offering up some choppings, decaps, slices, dices, burnings, hangings, suffocation,smashing, some comical dismembering, and more. This film is not without the red stuff and gore hounds should be satisfied. Also the film boasts some skin for the guys including two breast shots, and a lingerie shot. The ladies are out of luck on this one, sorry girls better luck next time.

The story is fluid and there were no big plot holes or continuity errors. My only disappointment is I knew who the killer was right off the bat. It doesn’t take anything away from the film as the reveal was still good, I just had my suspicions. Editing of the film was also very well done, no harsh cuts or terrible dialogue levels, I believe this can be attributed to the direction of Chris LaMartina, nothing was out of place or weird. We got some fairly straight forward shots and as a result the film is easily watchable.

Obviously, GLP loved Presidents Day and we thing you will to, It does everything a slasher film is supposed to do. Independent films are taking the for front of Horror and I am not complaining. GLP gives Presidents day a solid 4 out of 5 stabs for great story, gore, acting, and behind the scenes work. I highly suggest hunting down this film and grabbing your copy. It’s a great flick and has classic written all over it. The film is currently available on DVD through Amazon.

GLP Rating:

4 stabs

Cassadaga screen

Cassadaga (2011)

The best part of finding a movie that is actually worth watching, is when comes in the form of something that you normally would not have given the time of day. With the film dabbling in such topics as murder, psychics, and self mutilation the film takes itself seriously and doesn’t let up until the final reel.

Directed by Anthony DiBlasi, Cassadaga is a film about a deaf woman who uproots her life after she experiences a devastating tragedy. Not long moving to a new town she realizes that something is not quite right when she starts experiencing unexplainable events. Written by Bruce Wood & Scott Poiley, Cassadaga’s strengths lies in its story. The tale is an intriguing one at that and guessing whos the killer is the best part. The film seems familiar at times but seems to come into its own as the film progresses.

Cassadaga Movie PosterCassadaga stars Kelen Coleman, Kevin Alejandro, and Academy Award Winner Louise Fletcher. The acting in the film is not bad, there are some parts that could be better. Overall the actors did a very good job with their respective rolesThe beautiful Kelen Coleman did a wonderful job as the deaf Lily, however I really wish the writers would have incorporated more barriers with Lily’s disability. The way the character was portrayed was like she wasn’t deaf at all. Kelen did a great job, and in the process showed off some pretty decent talent in the process. Kevin Alejandro (True Blood) did a decent job as Mike, although I feel his acting skill was best put to use in his time on True Blood. The other actors in the film did a good job with their respective roles and helped take the film to another level.

My favorite aspect of the film was that of the serial killer dubbed “Geppetto”. His story is twisted, dark and all around creepy which makes for good cinema. What makes Geppetto such a strong selling point for me is because i don’t recall seeing it before. As the amazing poster art implies Geppetto turns his victims into human marionette puppets! That alone would be creepy enough, but as it turns out, is a major selling point for the film.

When talking about the effects the film, the crew makes use of some decent film & sound editing techniques. As for special effects make-up the film boasts limb removal, self mutilation, some maggots, rotting corpses, and a pretty cool ghost makeup. Also for the subject matter in the film, its rather light on red stuff. Thats is ok because the film doesn’t need the gore shocks to get it point across. It mainly uses creepy imagery and atmosphere to get its point across. As for skin…forget about it…You get 1 or two scenes of the gorgeous Kelen running around in short nightgown, and on strategically placed camera angle during a love scene.

Cassadaga is a very good horror movie with ideas of its own. With solid cast, a great script, and a fine director the film stays true to itself and delivers of good original storytelling. A unique killer, with a pension for puppets brings the film to a whole new level of creepiness as well. GLP gives this indie gem a solid 4 out of 5 stabs for creative killer, script, and acting. If you are interested in getting the movie you can find the DVD here.

 

GLP Rating:

4 stabs

Frankenstein Day of the Beast Screen

Frankenstein: Day of the Beast (2011)

When I think of the old universal monsters, I just smile. They take me back to a time where things were simple. As a kid the universal monsters were my first introduction to horror. Without even seeing a movie as a child I automatically knew who Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and The Creature were, I attribute the toy line “Monsters in my pocket” for this.

frankenstein day of the beastRegardless of how I feel about the classic universal monsters, times have most certainly changed in the case of horror. Torture Porn, Found Footage, and Remake films seem to be polluting the horror landscape these days. As a fan of local films, the early horror movie monsters and creature films this film interested me.

Frankenstein: Day of the Beast was actually very fun. I am by no means saying it was perfect, because it wasn’t, but I enjoyed watching the film. While watching this I kept thinking how much the style, and score reminded me of classic Hammer films and drive-in monster movies. The acting by supporting characters was at time hokey, and most of the digital effects were very obvious, but I felt it really added to the fun of the feature.

Michelle Shields and Adam Stephenson carry this efforts characters like the weight of the world. Miss. Shields plays Elizabeth the soon to be wife of Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Adam Stephenson). While she seems in the dark about why her soon to be husband has taken her to a desolate island to be wed she reluctantly complies. Soon they realize that they are being hunted by a gigantic creature that is picking off the group one by one.

Adam and Michelle were the best part of this feature. I felt they both did an amazing job with the characters emotions and development as the story progressed. My problem is more with the supporting actors performances. I felt most scenes were forced and unnatural. The story was ok, I felt there were some unnecessary scenes used, but that is usually the case with smaller feature length efforts. Generally those scenes are used to extend the running time, however at 1 hour and 30 minuets I feel some of the scenes could have been shortened to add fluidity to the movie.

The film really nailed the setting, while some of the rooms in the church were custom built it really felt like you were in the church from the ceremony. The island is a great setting for the film as well. The heavily wooded areas around the grounds were a great touch. The gore special effects were very well done as well. Some great shots of ripped off skin and entrails really set the pace for kills.

I really enjoyed the film. I think the supporting actors could have done better, but I think it added to that drive-in movie feel. GLP gives this independent effort 3 out of 5 stabs for retro feel, movie monster throwback, and strong lead performances. If you would like to know more about this film check out the official website and Facebook page. View the trailer below.

GLP Rating:

3 stabs

Paranormal Incident

Paranormal Incident (2011)

Where do I start, Paranormal Incident is for all intensive purposes…not good. This film is just another casualty of the most recent found footage craze that Paranormal Activity revamped and capitalized on. I really tried to like this movie, I went into it with an open mind and all I got in return was boredom and regret for even watching it.

Long convoluted story short, Paranormal Incident is about 5 college student that travel to an “abandoned” sanitarium to investigate and prove the existence of the paranormal for their parapsychology final. The film starts with a young man in a hospital bed,  he is then interrogated for the death of his friends. While interrogated he is then shown the footage from the Paranormal Incidentinvestigation. The film periodically jumps back and forth from the found footage to the man being interrogated.

The acting is very forced and stiff, I didn’t believe that these kids were scared & I didn’t even believe they were college students. With that being such a distracting aspect, the character development suffered greatly. In my opinion in order to enjoy a film in any genre, you have to connect with at least one character in the film or have some emotion toward them…this film did not do any of that. All I could think about while watching this movie was “When are these people going to die!” I felt like I was watching a daytime soap opera rather than a horror movie.

Beyond the characters the “scares”, if you even want to call them that, are not scary or creative. The makers of this film pretty much telegraphed every scare so you could see them a mile away. The best part about found footage films are the scares, and the fact that most of them come literally out of nowhere and this film did none of that.

Collectively this film is garbage. I would not even wish this film on my worst enemy. The whole film just stinks of raw sewage and overacting. The “abandonded”  sanitarium wasn’t even abandoned. It was supposed to be vacant for 30 some years and some areas looked brand new! I cant even write about this film anymore as I feel like I’m wasting more of my life away. The only good thing about this film was the cuts of the dude cheating on his girlfriend with some random chick with amazing breasts. For that alone GLP gives this film 1 out of 5 stabs. Terrible acting, Slow moving plot, weak scares, and bad shooting locations were the death of this film from the start.

If for some reason you still want to see this atrocity you can purchase it here. View the trailer below.

 

GLP Rating:

GLP 1 Stab