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Post-Apocalyptic Satire Hot Launches Exclusively on VHX Platform

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If the idea of a post-apocalyptic satire appeals to you, you’ll want to check out Hot, which arrives exclusively on the streaming digital platform VHX today.  We have a pair of posters and the film’s trailer to get you hot and bothered.

From the Press Release:
Glydascope Magnet Films is pleased to announce today’s release of the apocalyptic satirical comedy HOT, based on the award-winning play from Daniel Keleher and directed by Victor Warren. HOT is launching exclusively on the streaming video service VHX, a digital distribution platform backed by major angel investors including Chris Sacca and Fred Wilson that empowers independent artists to sell video content directly with their audience.

From producer Dallas Sonnier: “Every filmmaker hopes to premiere their project at Sundance and sell to Netflix in a bidding war, but the statistical likelihood of this happening is microscopic. Once reality takes hold, you still have a movie that you love and believe in. We have experienced first-hand the vast limitations of some distributors, and I was long impressed with filmmakers like Jeremy Gardner who embraced distribution through VHX successfully on his film The Battery. Since we made this highly experimental film HOT for less than 100k, it felt organic to embrace a DIY nature for distribution, take control of your film’s destiny, and get creative by launching the film on VHX.”

From director Victor Warren: “HOT is truly an independent film in every sense of the word. I am proud of what we were able to create with the audacity and tone that will evoke controversy and hopefully entertain. You create some magic, love what you are doing, and laugh along the way. We made this film for close to no money, people cleared the days on their calendars, craft service was bought, cameras were rented, and we created a little piece of art. I am so appreciative of the talented cast and tremendous crew who trusted me to lead them on this journey of getting my first film made.”

HOT is a comic yet ultimately devastating look at an apocalyptic future Los Angeles torn apart by a dangerous virus, most of its victims left unconscious to die slowly. Life-long best friends Jones (Steven Strait) and Benny (Zachary Knighton) are holed up in an ostentatious penthouse with Jones spending his days caring for his comatose fiancée (Kate Siegel). Their only connection to what remains of the outside world is a militia member named Horn (Noah Segan) tasked with patrolling the city for newly infected citizens. Benny grows increasingly jealous of Jones, and strikes a deal with Horn to procure Benny his own girlfriend… albeit in a coma.

With brutal language and imagery, alternately funny and horrifying, Keleher’s play tears back the curtain of social niceties to reveal the animal instinct of men. Warren’s background in theater led him to option the piece from Keleher, who is the past recipient of the George Burns and Gracie Allen Fellowship for Outstanding Comedy Writing and the Skirball/Kennis Playwrights Award.

Sonnier and Warren even embraced the DIY mentality when it came to the marketing. With virtually no budget to make a preview, the filmmakers tracked down Tim Gonzales, who gained popularity on YouTube for cutting a modern-day trailer for The Last Starfighter and fan trailers for “Supergirl” and Wonder Woman. HOT is Gonzales’ first paid gig as a trailer editor.

The filmmakers created a main poster to pay homage to the comedies of the 1980’s, while turning to emerging UK artist Adam Hale, whom Sonnier followed on Instagram, to create a gonzo alternative poster.

For the female “love interest” to Knighton, a challenging role with over an hour of screen time but no dialogue, the producers knew they would need to discover a new talent of striking beauty. International talent scout Marlon suggested a young model named Jessica Dykstra, who has been on the cover of GQ Italia and was featured in Sports Illustrated India’s swimsuit edition. Warren met with her immediately, and she was cast the next day.

HOT is available today via VHX.

HOT main poster

HOT alt poster

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French Thriller Series Glacé Now Streaming on Netflix as The Frozen Dead

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New to Netflix this month to kickoff the year for the killer crime genre and miniseries streams, is “The Frozen Dead,” translated from its original French title, “Glacé.” It made its debut on our screens as the next foreign language series to bring us chills and thrills since the German-language time travel series, “Dark,” released in October of 2017. It looks like we can look forward to more of these international inclusions on our bloody palette.

So, if you are looking for a serial slasher in an icy setting to hold you over this winter and give you an investigative mystery fix, watch “The Frozen Dead” for a six-episode look at the bloody chaos the mind of a disturbed killer spews on The French Pyrenees.

From the very first introductory scene and the creepy children’s chorus that accompanies the goosebumps – inducing snowstorm view that is in the show’s theme, the eerie tone is set pretty early on. If that does not offer enough incentive to go watch, the camerawork and imagery alone throughout the show are incredible and worth appreciating. These striking visuals are significant if you know it is a television adaptation based on Bernard Minier’s dark novel. All-embracing, the series carries an increase in dread and suspense all throughout, so be prepared to be uncomfortable and most of all, confused as you unravel.

If you happen to enjoy this chilling setting that forces a detective to confront an unsettling past, you’ll be happy to know I found that same cold-evoking, murder mystery intrigue in Christopher Nolan’s work on Insomnia (2002), a film in which Robin Williams unconventionally and successfully jarringly plays the enigmatic man being chased by Al Pacino’s detective character. There’s a film to check out (if you haven’t already that is) if that parallelism interests you – after bingeing the six hours of “The Frozen Dead” that is.

Synopsis:
A grisly find atop a mountain in the French Pyrenees leads investigator Martin Servaz into a twisted dance with a serial killer in this icy thriller. Starring Charles Berling and Julia Piaton. Available now on Netflix.

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Editorials

We Need to Stop Our Alarming Obsession With Child Actors

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On Sunday, January 21, Buzzfeed tweeted an article with the byline “Millie Bobby Brown just Insta-confirmed her relationship with Jacob Sartorius and I have butterflies”. Quite quickly, the tweet was met with a barrage of comments, ranging from mild tuts that it was in poor taste to extreme condemnations of pedophilia and sexualization of a minor (Brown is 13-years-old as of this post). I personally weighed in on the matter.

Earlier that day, CNN ran a video and story where actress/director/producer Natalie Portman opened up about her own experiences being a young girl in Hollywood. Portman’s breakout role was at 12-years-old in The Professional, a movie that celebrated her phenomenal acting abilities. Per CNN, she received her first fan letter a year later, after the film had come out. In it was a rape fantasy. Her local radio show began counting down the time until her 18th birthday, when she would be of legal age. Mind you, she was 13 when all of this was happening, the same age as Millie Bobby Brown.

The parallels between these two stories should immediately be understood and seen. The sexualization and fanatical obsession with children, much less celebrities, is a plague that can only cause damage and harm to those who are on the receiving end. It is time that we recognize that this practice needs to stop. It is time that we all held ourselves accountable.

A cursory search of Browns’ name on Buzzfeed will bring up at least 50 separate articles, on top of the one previously mentioned. These include what was said between “Stranger Things” co-star Finn Wolfhard and herself before their kiss in the second season. There’s a strange obsession with Brown’s instagram account and the conversations between her and other celebrities. There’s even one that states Brown looks like a young Natalie Portman. The irony here is undeniable and it seems very difficult to say that the site doesn’t have an obsession with the young actress.

Hollywood is under a great deal of pressure, rightfully so, from the #MeToo movement as well as Corey Feldman’s pursuit of revealing the truth about widespread pedophilia in that world (watch as he’s shut down by Barbara Walters). His claims have been echoed by Elijah Wood, although he himself states he did not suffer at the hands of any abusers.

Eliza Dushku’s alleged abuser Joel Kramer was recently let go from his agency twenty years after supposed events took place. When those who wonder why the actress didn’t come forward sooner, they overlook the fact that she went to authorities at that time. She details everything in an emotional post on her Facebook page.

The issue, however, does not just lie within those who create in Hollywood. It is exacerbated and pushed on by those who report on Hollywood’s actions and those that read it, lapping up the non-news proclamations with unabashed glee, not recognizing that they are feeding the same system that many are fighting against. Then, even more worrying, is that these “fans” feel entitled to these children, as though they are objects for their pleasure at any time, puppets that need to dance when beckoned.

Sophie Turner weighed in with her thoughts on the matter:


Wolfhard himself has asked that the infatuation and near assault of him and his co-workers come to an end:


And yet even on that particular tweet, Wolfhard’s fans responded with, “Ma babe trust no body“, “I love the right person bixo ♡“, “Love you finn“, and more. “Fans” are declaring their love for a 14-year-old boy that they’ve never met, a person that they’ve only really seen playing someone other than himself.

A culture has been established and reinforced that celebrities are somehow open for our sycophantic obsessions. This needs to stop. We need only to remember our own experiences as children so that we can apply them to these kids today. As Kevin Brown so wonderfully put it on Twitter:

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DVD and Blu-ray Releases: January 23, 2018

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After a few weeks of smaller lists, this week should be a welcome breath of fresh air, with 12 pretty solid releases.  There are mainly recent films this week, but there are a couple of classics thrown in the mix as well.

Probably our top release of the week, Jigsaw will be hitting shelves on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD.  I found myself wondering recently if they will still be making films from this franchise when my son (who is a toddler now) is able to get into R-rated movies.

Up next is The Killing Of A Sacred Deer.  If you didn’t get your fill of Christmas last year, you can check out this clip for one last holiday hoorah.

In terms of classics, Dario Argento’s Opera will be heading our way as a Blu-ray release from Scorpion Releasing.  Additionally, you can check out Robert Englund in 1992’s Dance Macabre, brought to us as part of the Scream Factory collection.  Lastly, if you’re a Linda Blair fan, 1987’s Grotesque will be available on DVD this week as well.

I also have to give a nod to Let Sleeping Corpses Lie.  I’m not going to say it’s the best zombie movie ever created, but a few years back I happened upon a used DVD copy at a cool book store/café in New Haven, CT.  I didn’t go into it expecting anything miraculous, but for a very dated living dead movie it was worth the three dollars it cost me.

Keep checking back each week.  We’re going to be seeing an uptick in the quantity of release listings over the next month at least so you won’t want to miss a thing.  Pleasant viewing.



MOVIES

Dance Macabre (1992)

Starring:

Robert Englund

Synopsis:

A dance instructor brings his dance troupe to Russia for training. What his dancers don’t know, however, is that he has a dual personality–and his hidden personality is a serial killer.

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Devil’s Well, The (2017)

Starring:

Bryan Manley Davis, Chris Viemeister, David Alexander, Kristen Seavey, Anne-Marie Mueschke

Synopsis:

Karla Marks mysteriously vanishes while conducting a paranormal investigation with her husband into the Devil’s Well, an underground location reported to be a gateway straight into hell, and the site of ongoing strange phenomenon. A year after her disappearance, a group of investigators go back to uncover the truth about Karla, and are faced with evil forces greater than they ever imagined.

BUY IT NOW!


Grotesque (1987)

Starring:

Linda Blair, Tab Hunter, Donna Wilkes

Synopsis:

A gang of crazed punks breaks into a typical American family’s vacation home in the mountains and slaughters the entire family, except for one daughter who gets away in nothing but her pajamas. As the gang pursues the girl through the outside elements, they slowly realize that a murderous creature is chasing them all!

BUY IT NOW!


Hot Tub Party Massacre (2016)

Starring:

Chrissy Cooke

Synopsis:

The sisters of the Delta Omega sorority won a free weekend at a luxurious hotel & spa. They planned on having a fun and steamy weekend. However, things go from steamy to bloody when an escaped serial killer checks in to the hotel and crashes their party. The heat will be on at the Hot Tub Party Massacre!!!

BUY IT NOW!


Jigsaw (2017) (Blu-ray + 4K)

Starring:

Hannah Anderson, Laura Vandervoort, Mandela Van Peebles, Tobin Bell, Brittany Allen

Synopsis:

Bodies continue to turn up when the notorious Jigsaw killer returns for the eighth installment of one of the most successful horror franchises in history!

In the latest terrifying installment of the legendary SAW series, law enforcement finds itself chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade, embroiled in a diabolical new game that’s only just begun. Has John Kramer, the infamous Jigsaw Killer, returned from the dead to commit a series of murders and remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a different killer with designs of their own?

BUY IT NOW!


Killing of a Sacred Deer, The (2017)

Starring:

Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Alicia Silverstone

Synopsis:

Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.

BUY IT NOW!


Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

Starring:

Cristina Galbo, Ray Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy

Synopsis:

A young couple in love is travelling along the English countryside. While they plan their next stop, a man who has been dead for several days attacks, to be followed shortly thereafter by a full-scale zombie invasion which could very well be a result of the agriculturist’s distribution of ultrasonic radiation. In the end, a cop figures out the countless murders are not the work of the young couple, but the living dead.

BUY IT NOW!


Lost Tree, The (2017)

Starring:

Thomas Ian Nicholas, Michael Madsen, Lacey Chabert, Scott Grimes, Clare Kramer

Synopsis:

The Lost Tree is centered around Noah (Nicholas), who is guilt-ridden for the death of his wife. He travels to an isolated cabin in search of peace and isolation. But he soon learns of the dangerous surroundings of the area.

BUY IT NOW!


Opera (1987)

Starring:

Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini, William McNamara, Antonella Vitale

Synopsis:

When young opera singer Betty takes over the leading role in an avant-garde presentation of Verdi’s Macbeth, she triggers the madness of a crazed fan who repeatedly forces her to watch the brutal murders of her friends. Will her recurring childhood nightmare hold the key to the identity of this psychopath, or does an even more horrific evil lay waiting in the wings? Legendary horror maestro Dario Argento delivers a savagely stunning thriller featuring some of the most shocking sequences of his entire career.

BUY IT NOW!


Planet Dead (2017)

Starring:

Charles Adames, Joe Debartolo, Raven Oscar Flores, Larry Greene, Emilie Jolie

Synopsis:

The world falls into chaos after a rogue scientist unleashes a virus that turns the living and the dead into flesh eating monsters. A Special Forces Team is sent into a growing danger zone to recover the cure from the scientist, but as they enter the hot zone they must seek refuge in a nearby nightclub with a few civilians as they wait for the rescue chopper to arrive. Armed with limited ammo they must battle the ever growing number of once human monsters. Mankind will pay for the nastiness of it’s inhabitance.

BUY IT NOW!


Punk Fu Zombie (2017)

Starring:

Stephane Messier, Xavier Dumontier, Tommy Gaudet, Caroline Danserau-Loiselle, Jonathan Simon

Synopsis:

In 2028 a zombie invasion, coupled with a thermonuclear war, plunges the world into a new darkness. Now, in 2048, the so called leader of the original movement has a new nemesis: his son Zack. Trained in kung-fu since his childhood by his robot friend, nothing could prepare the young Zack for the political adventure waiting for him, filled with trials, love, politics and ultra-violence.

BUY IT NOW!


Red Krokodil (2012) (Director’s Cut)

Starring:

Brock Madson, Valerio Cassa, Viktor Karam

Synopsis:

Red Krokodil is the story of a man (Brock Madon) addicted to mind numbing drug, Krokodil. He suddenly finds himself alone in a post-nuclear city similar to Chernobyl. His physical decay, caused by the massive intake of drugs, is mirrored in his inner world, as reality mixes with hallucinations. The breakup of the body that this drug causes, is sever in it’s graphic and yet, slow destruction while he is slowly falling into madness as his addictions to the drug, runs out of control. This movie deals with many themes, from the environment to the use of drugs, but the story is just an excuse that director Domiziano Cristopharo uses to focus on a psychological condition that brings a total detachment from oneself and from the surrounding world. A dark trip that shows no way out.

BUY IT NOW!

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