Tickets are now on sale at Fathom Events; coming to theaters nationwide for a special one-night engagement on Wednesday, June 21st at 7pm, local time.
A lot of the media likes to use the words “Indie film” whenever referring to a movie that isn’t entirely mainstream. The word has been homogenized over the years, as films like “Mad Heidi” are lost in the shuffle. “Mad Heidi” is a real indie film that worked hard to get a distribution deal, and it is here for us to gorge on. According to the press release, “Mad Heidi” initially made waves for its innovative crowdfunded approach, bypassing traditional financing tactics to ensure that the film’s original vision was preserved while placing profits back in the hands of the creators and backers. Even if neo-grindhouse isn’t your cup of tea, “Mad Heidi” deserves a lot of love for its willingness to embrace its indie roots, while also being literally as cheesy as it can possibly be.
With Stephen King’s “The Boogeyman” now in theaters and wreaking havoc, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at five great horror movies for nyctophobes. If you’re terrified and absolutely petrified of the dark, these five movies use the darkness not just as a plot device, but as their primary setting. Things that go bump in the dark are what these movies thrive on offer some pure terror, and I highly recommend them as chasers for “The Boogeyman.”
Chris McKay’s take on the Dracula dynamic with Renfield has a lot going for it, but it also has so much stacked against it from the starting gate. In a year teeming with Dracula iterations, “Renfield” has a real shot at standing out among the other interpretations of Bram Stoker’s lore, but never really rises to the occasion. That’s mainly because while the concept is interesting “Renfield” never decides what it wants to be. It wants to be a satire on “Dracula,” and a commentary on abusive relationships. It tries to be a cop action, a buddy comedy, a vampire film, and straddles the dangerous line of being a satire on the abuser and abused relationship at times.
Bomani J. Story’s horror film is one part family drama, one part Frankenstein, and one part Re-Animator. Deep down beneath its grue and gore is a very relatable and heartbreaking tale of a family divided by death and a girl determined to beat it. Much of “The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” is centered around young Vicaria, a literal mad genius who is convinced that she can cure death, and like most mad geniuses, she finds out along the way that what is dead should stay dead, and that her madness might be symptomatic of the world she lives in.
For fans that are expecting another documentary about Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, “Hollywood Dreams & Nightmares” ends up being much more about Englund the actor. While the documentary, clocking in at two hours, does explore a lot about Robert Englund’s time as Freddy Krueger, Gary Smart and Christopher Griffiths’ film is so much more about the actor and thespian Robert Englund. I’m quite happy that that’s the angle that they aim for, as “Hollywood Dreams & Nightmares” is able to set itself apart from so many other horror documentaries. Robert Englund is a seasoned actor and thespian who was classically trained and spent his life trying to perfect his craft.
“Brooklyn 45” is a film that only Ted Geoghegan is capable of. It’s a ballsy, richly developed, and fascinating character study masking as a supernatural horror film. It’s like watching a stage play unfold on film with a seasoned, brilliant cast putting to life an absolutely compelling narrative. While “Brooklyn 45” features ghosts, and poltergeists, and some gnarly gore, it’s merely window dressing for a deeper look at the aftermath of a horrible war, and our grappling with the concept of death. Director Ted Geoghegan has a real flair for ensemble movies and creating genre entries that are just out of left field.
Charles Band and Empire Video and his sub-labels like Full Moon, Moonbeam, Action Xtreme and others were a huge part of the Video store shelves in the eighties and nineties. There was rarely a time where you could walk in to a video store without seeing something from Charles Band on the shelves. Now with Arrow Video unleashing their gargantuan “Enter the Video Store” box set for film collectors, fans can re-live a lot of their favorite titles from Charles Bands’ studios, along with a plethora of vintage extras and even some mementos for good measure. If you fancy yourself a Charles Band fan like I do, “Empire of Screams” will prove to be a treasure trove covering the his golden years from eighties with titles newly, digitally restored.
I’m assuming there’s a second box set planned spanning the 1990’s. Fingers crossed.
One of the best things about “Influencer” is about how absolutely unprepared I was for it. I didn’t know what was getting in to with Kurtis David Harder’s film, as I knew almost nothing going in to “Influencer” and I ended up with what amounts to a pretty slick and tense crime thriller. “Influencer” is a movie that is absolutely disarming and completely out of left field, as director Kurtis David Harder successfully subverts a lot of expectations with thrillers of this ilk. The movie is set in a foreign, mysterious land, centered on two gorgeous American women that are traveling abroad. From that smaller concept, Harder uses this as a launch pad to introduce us to one of the more sociopathic and cunning movie villains that I’ve seen in years.