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Strippers, Torture, Lionsgate

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Experiment in TortureIf there’s one thing the movie Captivity (review) taught me, it’s that if you just have to kidnap and torture another human being, then you might as make it a hot chick. Movie slashers have understood for decades that attractive women make for the best victims, but for some reason the torture porn genre has been a bit slow to catch on.

Now if anyone understands torture porn, it would be Lionsgate AKA “The Saw Studio”, so it only makes sense that they would be releasing a sexed-up experiment in torture that just happens to be titled Experiment in Torture. Specifically, it seems to be an experiment to find out what happens when you mix together Saw, Hostel, Bucket of Blood, and Stripped to Kill. I believe the late Mr. Wizard also once conducted that experiment, only in his version he threw in some dry ice. The things that man could do with dry ice…

This exercise in human depravity is about a wealthy voyeur who waves some $100 bills in the faces of some exotic dancers, luring the women to his remote, mountain hideaway. One would immediately think the remoteness of the location from which escape would no doubt be difficult would be enough to set off some warning bells, but then we all know strippers generally aren’t the brightest of bulbs to begin with. Sure enough, they get there and quickly find themselves drugged, tied up, and sadistically tortured with everything from blowtorches to power drills by a madman seeking to use their bodies as a canvas for his twisted artwork. I’m curious to see how the killer works their tramp stamps into his paintings; I mean they’re modern day strippers so they must be covered with unsightly tattoos, right?

There is no listing for Experiment in Torture on IMDB, not even in the filmography of any of the four people with the same name as the film’s lead actor, Brendan Connor. Google turned up about as much. However, I did find a website that featured a clip from a movie called Experiment in Torture and find it too hard to believe there’s a second movie out there with that title that also features an attractive young woman strapped to a chair being systematically tortured. You can view that clip here if you so choose.

For the rest of us, we’ll just have to wait until October 16th when Lionsgate releases Experiment in Torture to DVD. Dry ice not included.

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Such Sights to Show You – 01/17/18

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Working on shedding those holidays pounds at your local gym? As you’re about to see from the latest entry of Such Sights to Show You, things may not always be what they seem, and the best of intentions can lead you straight to the old coroner’s slab!

Kevin D. Clark is a cartoonist from Scotland who grew up watching classic monster movies, cartoons and wrestling, as well as reading comics. He started drawing at an early age and hasn’t stopped since. His sense of humor is a veritable cornucopia of the wacky and weird inspired by the likes of Monty Python, Mel Brooks, “MST3K,” Rab C. Nesbitt, as well as his older brother.

Kevin was diagnosed with Aspergers and because of that, he tries to push himself to work as hard as possible. Kevin also has a self-published comic book and helps run a film club for autistic people. He has recently earned a degree in cartooning from the London Art College and he’s pretty sure that he could take an octopus in a fight.

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A Demon Within Review – Familiar Possession Beats To A Dreary Tune

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Starring Charlene Amoia, Clint Hummel, Patricia Ashley, Michael Ehlers

Directed by Ayush Banker and Justin LaReau


Possession flicks don’t often hold a long shelf life in the horror community, with Ayush Banker and Justin LaReau’s A Demon Within suggesting why. Hands emerging from the darkness, exorcisms, anxious priests – you’ll see it all again as you’ve seen it before. Early scenes glimmer a polish unlike equal indie products, but that’s just the devil playing tricks on you. Once the film’s main satanic takeover begins, cursing teens and stony glares become the been-here-before norm. Low-budget filmmaking isn’t an immediate detractor like some high-society snobs may believe, yet it’s surely no excuse either. Today’s review being an example of both mindsets.

Charlene Amoia stars as Julia Larsen, a divorcee who moves into Crestwick, Illinois looking for a clean start with daughter Charlotte (Patricia Ashley). Their dusty toucher-upper is a quaint, aged farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, complete with electrical issues and weird noises at night. Nothing to worry about, right? Julia’s focus is better directed towards town doctor Jeremy Miller (Clint Hummel), who she immediately hits it off with (after almost hitting *him* with a car). She’s eating stir-fry at his place one night, all things going well, and that’s when it happens – Charlotte is possessed by an evil force who enacts its sinister plan. Charlotte may physically be present, but only as a vessel for “Nefas.”

Without hesitation, A Demon Within lays predictable groundwork as small-town haunters have for decades. Charlotte’s new home is already infested with a spiritual squatter, Jeremy bottles (and drinks down) a blemished past that’s exposed too late, there’s plenty of characters sneakin’ up on one another – never with much “oomph.” Charlotte’s teeny-bopper voice drops to truck-driver deep at the height of possession, but it’s a distracting sound design that alone strikes little fear. Serious scares are attempted, be it a pitch-black basement slashing or Charlotte’s hide-and-seek pounce, just never delivered. An inconsequential failure to unite tone and atmosphere.

Performances are…well…rigid, to say the least. Amoia and Ashley strike a surprisingly likable chemistry as living humans, but once Ashley goes demonic, chemistry bottoms out. The way A Demon Within positions Charlotte when possessed is utterly dull and undefined; Ashley playing an unenthusiastic harbinger of death. It’s bad enough that Hummel’s tortured doctor masters the emotional range of Mona Lisa and the town’s pastor is hardly a scene stealer – but to have a demon be so vanilla (without a side of nuts, no less)? Getting past the limited lighting and Charlotte’s manly demon voice is hard enough, let alone her mostly relenting threats.

Making matters worse, the film’s third act is hardly a religious salvation that flows with ease. I had more fun watching Julia stammer over pizza and beers with Jeremy than their final fight against ghastly hellspawns. The truths of Jeremy’s past leak out in flashback form, only to reveal his stubborn inability to comprehend one’s own possession encounter in the very house Julia bought (useful information, eh?). The local priest shows up in the nick of time, a few cutaway jolts attempt cheap thrills, and some holy water mucks up an old painting – but again, minimal notability. Er…not even minimal? Shaky last-minute framing makes it hard to even notice the touch-ups to Charlotte’s face that signify her unholy imprisonment, even worse than blackened CGI mists.

A Demon Within tries, fumbles, and tries some more, but it’s best treated as a reminder of better exorcism stories that exist elsewhere. Even something like The Vatican Tapes is an improvement over this possessive redundancy, hokier than the honky-tonk love song that plays atop a pizza-chain flirt scene. There’s something to be said about getting out and creating original horror, but herein lies the problem – this ain’t *that* original. With harsher scares and tension, such a fate could be ignored. As-is? It’s hard to see past anything more than a January release placeholder.

  • A Demon Within
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Summary

A Demon Within is a seen-it-before possession thriller that brings nothing new to the conversation. Not the worst, but also not a “hidden secret.”

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TONIGHT! #Brainwaves Episode 73: Powerman 5000’s Spider One

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For the 73rd edition of Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio, we’re being joined by Powerman 5000 frontman Spider One to talk about his latest album, his career, and just what happens when worlds collide! Are you ready to go?

Join us TONIGHT at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

SUPPORT BRAINWAVES ON PATREON!

Listen to Stitcher

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes. Not an iTunes user?  You can also listen right here on the site.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC and @JonathanBarkan using the hashtag #BrainWaves.

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

Brainwaves Contact!

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