Good old Lionsgate; their DVD division can always be counted on to provide us with a constant supply of low budget fright flicks. Today I decided to help spread the word about six of the more low profile Lionsgate straight-to-DVD horror offerings coming in the next three months, starting from June and working backwards. Good news: none of them are new movies from Ulli Lommel.
ALIVE OR DEAD (June 17th): While traveling down a desolate road, Maria comes upon an apparently abandoned school bus. A girl has written “Help Me” in one of the windows, and Maria quickly discovers the messy secrets that lie in the back of the bus. Maria soon finds herself hidden and trapped with the girl as the killer takes them on the ride of their lives. Their journey leads to a bizarre medieval castle nestled in the desert, a location where they’ll quickly learn their enemy is not who they think. The girls must figure out whom to trust if they hope to make it home, alive or dead.
Before Lionsgate picked up the distribution rights, changed the title to Alive or Dead, and slapped an image of Hillbilly Jim carrying a warball & chain on the cover, this movie was called Inhospitable. I can understand Lionsgate not liking the title Inhospitable, but Alive or Dead … Was that really they best retitling they could think up? Head over to the Inhospitable MySpace page for more information and a trailer for the film now know as (UGH!) Alive or Dead.
THE EVIL WOODS (June 3rd) – Five high school teens take an impromptu weekend camping trip to a notorious desolate party spot. Following their ignorant group leader, John, they anticipated a fun weekend camping getaway composed of getting stoned and drinking beer. Upon arrival, they quickly realized that it might be a less than exciting field trip as the location was far removed from any other human life. As night fell and the beer dwindled, an older gentleman, The Ranger, appeared out of nowhere and joined the campfire. He cautioned the group of the “Beer Hunter” a legend who had taken many lives out of resentment to those who littered their beer cans in the woods and who out of stupidity, set fire to his remote wood cabin. The “Beer Hunter’s” spirit had lived on to get revenge on ignorant, careless teenagers. Although freaked, the majority of the group shook off the tall tale, split and retired to bed; John, with his two female groupies, and Steve with his girlfriend Shannon. After a morning hike, Steve and John returned to the car only to find that the tires on Steve’s Range Rover had been slashed. Without a spare, no cell phone coverage for miles and unwilling to drive on the tire rims, they appeared to be stuck in the woods. Again, out of nowhere, The Ranger appeared and agreed to meet the guys at the car at sunset to help them get cell reception. Nightfall came and went with no sign of The Ranger and slowly but surely the group began to winnow.
Wait. Did I read that correctly? Is this really a slasher flick about a killer called “The Beer Hunter” who has it in for drunken litterbugs? I’d swear that’s what I just read. It just sounds too good to be true. The Evil Woods has now just rocketed up my “must see” list.
THE ENTRANCE (May 20th): In the early 1600’s, renowned exorcist, Father Sebastien Michaelis wrote about a possessed nun, Sister Madeleine, in Aiz-en-Provence, France. The demon possessing Madeleine revealed itself as a fallen angel, a punisher of sinners and a tempter of the innocent. Four hundred years later, Ryan James, a street-savvy drug dealer, escaped from the hands of his kidnappers. Desperate and shaken, he sought out help from police detective, Jen Porhowski. In search of the truth and a fight for survival, she is swept into a web of deception as she finds herself in a contest with the forces of this occult.
Dread Central’s own Melissa Bostaph was quite complimentary in her “>review of The Entrance. Check it out before you checkout the DVD.
SIGHT (May 20th): When your sight becomes your worst nightmare. Jeffrey leads a quiet existence. Living in constant fear of being labeled a psychopath, Jeffrey constructs a complex world of denial. He is haunted by the spirits of the vengeful dead. After meeting Dana, a beautiful young woman who shares his “sight,” Jeffery finds comfort in knowing someone shares his affliction. But his comfort is short lived. Dana suddenly goes missing and Jeffrey is left alone to find the answers.
Though this Adam Albrandt film played the festival circuit last year there’s still surprisingly little info about the film out there – not even an IMDB listing. That’s usually not a good sign…
SEANCE (April 22nd): A college student thinks her dorm room is being haunted by the ghost of a little girl. Though her roommates think she is crazy, they decide to hold a séance during the Thanksgiving break in an attempt to get rid of the troublesome spirit. What they don’t realize is that their séance can’t bring back a ghost that is already present. Instead, they invite in something much more terrifying.
Am I alone in thinking this sounds as if it could have been written using a book of horror movie premise MadLibs? In actuality, it was written and directed by the writer of Vacancy. Also, be on the lookout for the Highlanderiffic Adrian Paul, though I have no idea what character he plays in this scenario. Unless he’s really trying to stretch his acting chops by playing the ghost of a little girl…
And finally, saving the worst for last, a little something from our good friend Ulli Lommel. Hey, I said there was nothing new from him. On June 24th, my birthday no less, Lionsgate is going to release a triple feature DVD of those classic Ulli Lommel flicks: Zodiac Killer, Black Dahlia, and Green River Killer. The suggested retail price for the triple feature is $14.95. That’s about five bucks a flick, which, coincidentally, I do believe was also how much money was spent filming each of them.
Wonder if any of ’em will be good in the Dread Central forums!