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Some B-Movies Are Actually Worth a Damn

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Zombeavers

Let’s face it… if a film is produced on a budget south of a few million dollars, we have a natural tendency to label those films B-movies. That’s never been a title I care for, and I’m not keen on the idea of labeling any low-budget picture a B-movie.

Halloween was shot on a budget that hovered around $300,000; Black Christmas was shot on a budget of $620,000; The Blair Witch Project was assembled on a paltry $60,000 budget; Paranormal Activity was shot for less than $12,000; the awesome zombie flick The Battery cost $6,000 to film; and speaking of low budget zombie fare, Night of the Living Dead, arguably the most important horror film to be released in the last five decades, cost just $114,000.

Every single film listed above went on to become a commercial success, with the exception of The Battery, which gains more followers with open wallets every day.

Zombeavers

These films are proof that sometimes a B-movie is destined for greatness, and as that greatness begins to swallow the perception of the productions, we tend to forget that they were cheap films to begin with.

The following films haven’t had a chance to blossom into fan favorites just yet, but they’re all excellent pictures that were shot on shoestring budgets, and it won’t be a surprise to learn that some of these movies go on to develop an unwavering fan base.

Zombeavers (Budget unknown)
Loaded with insane animatronics and puppet work, along with some amazing frat-comedy and memorable characters, Zombeavers is one of the more entertaining zom-coms to come our way in ages. Really, how do you botch a lighthearted flick about zombie beavers? We get all the things we want from cheap horror: strong comedy, a few very gruesome death scenes, practical effects piled on practical effects and even a little nudity. If you haven’t seen this treasure, do so ASAP!

The Cabining (rumored $3 million budget)
The Cabining arrived on the market and then fizzled out immediately. The problem is that it’s an awesome movie that blends slasher elements with satirical elements, and it comes together beautifully. There are a number of amazing characters (Bo Keister steals the show) in the lineup, and the script is far wittier than some may anticipate. It’s a flick with great twists, so we won’t speak on them here, but we will give you a heartfelt recommendation: Watch this movie!

Piranha ($660,000 budget)
I’m not talking about Alexandre Aja’s remake or even Piranha 3DD; I’m talking about Joe Dante’s overachiever of a Jaws ripoff. The picture may now be nearly 40 years old, but it’s still an amazing little picture that produces some amazing onscreen chemistry (that feels like constant and believable sibling rivalry) between the film’s two leads, Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman) and Heather Menzies-Urich (Maggie). For a flick looking to ride the wave of Jaws, the movie is stellar, moving at a speedy pace and even giving viewers some solid practical special effects. This is – no doubt – the greatest aquatic horror to arrive on the heels of Spielberg’s famed film… and it emerged a winner with a very, very modest production budget.

Wolfcop ($740,000 budget)
Wolfcop is one of the best werewolf films to hit the market in years. It’s got everything you could want from a lycanthropic tale. It’s gory, it’s well-shot, the script is top-notch and the characters, good and bad, are all extremely memorable. Writer/director Lowell Dean stretched a thin budget to maximum effectiveness, and that demands applause. The fact that this is a legitimately original story only helps to endear the flick to fans. And to think it all happened on a budget south of $1 million. Impressive, Lowell, very impressive!

Son of Ghostman (Budget unknown)
Son of Ghostman is less a horror film and more a picture about coming to grips with the disappearance of horror hosts while juggling a blossoming love. But there are plenty of horror aspects alive in the production, and seeing an awesome new horror host just hits a special place in the heart. Don’t look for big bombastic sequences; rather, keep an eye out for amazing characters and an obvious love for vintage genre fare.

Editor’s Note: Since the writing of this article, D.C. contributor Matt Molgaard has passed on. It’s an honor for us to share his final insights with you all. He will be sorely missed.

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SOMA Sailing to Xbox One on December 1

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SOMA (review) will be heading to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of a new safe mode, and we have all the details you need right here!

SOMA Coming to Xbox One with New “Safe Mode”
There’s no need to be concerned. You are always safe…

Isolated, submerged in the ocean’s darkness, chaos has overtaken the halls of PATHOS-II, and the boundaries of humanity strained beyond repair. From Frictional Games, creators of the critically acclaimed Amnesia series, SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of Safe Mode.

Safe Mode introduces an optional new way to play SOMA in the Xbox One and PC releases. Protected from the hostile creatures below, let yourself sink into the mystery and atmosphere of PATHOS-II as you uncover the truth and determine the fate of the station.

SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st and is available to pre-order now. Safe Mode will launch simultaneously as a free update for PC and will be available for PS4 at a later date.

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Thelma Is Fantastic and Now You Can Watch the Opening Scene

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One of this year’s most beautiful and subdued horror films is Joachim Trier’s Thelma (review), which opens in Los Angeles tonight. To give you a bit of what the film is like, The Orchard have released the opening scene, which shows a man and his daughter hunting in the bleak Norwegian winter. When they come across a young deer, the true intentions of this trip become apparent…

Having seen Thelma, I can tell you that it’s truly something special. It’s a slow burn, to be certain, but it plays out gorgeously, resulting in a film that has yet to leave my mind.

Related Story: Exclusive Interview with Thelma’s Joachim Trier

Locations and tickets for Thelma can be found here.

Synopsis:
Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

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Award-Winning The Child Remains Playing Tomorrow at the Blood in the Snow Festival

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The award-winning supernatural thriller The Child Remains, which has been on the festival circuit, is returning to Canada to play tomorrow night at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival in Toronto. Tickets for the screening, which is at 9:30pm, can be found at the festival’s website.

The film has won awards in festivals across Canada as well as Best Foreign Feature at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival in London, UK.

Described as The Shining meets Rosemary’s Baby meets The Orphanage, the film stars Suzanne Clément, Allan Hawco, Shelley Thompson, and Geza Kovacs. Directed and written by Michael Melski, who co-produced the film alongside Craig Cameron and David Miller, The Child Remains is aiming for a Canadian theatrical release in Spring 2018 and a US theatrical release in October 2018.

Synopsis:
An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and young mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’ and their macabre chapter in Canadian history, The Child Remains is a twisting supernatural thriller that emphasizes story and suspense over shock and gore.

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