Screamfest L.A. 2014: Filmmakers Talk the World Premiere of Parlor - Dread Central
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Screamfest L.A. 2014: Filmmakers Talk the World Premiere of Parlor

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With co-writer and director Kenny Gage and Devon Downs’ “tourists in peril” feature Parlor set for its World Premiere this coming Tuesday, October 14th, at 7:30 pm in Hollywood, CA, at the venerated Screamfest Film Festival, read on for our exclusive interview with the filmmakers and have a look at some stills from the flick.

Produced by Andrew Pagana, Bill Ceresia, Todd Slater, Thomas Mahoney, and Brett Donowho, Parlor follows the plight of six young college hopefuls vacationing and partying in Eastern Europe who get more than they bargained for when they unwittingly get caught up in a maniacal tattoo artist’s fiendish side business. Actors Jordan James Smith, Tiffany Demarco, Sara Fabel, Ben Whalen, Claire Garvey, Anthony Del Negro, Beth Humphreys, and Joey Fisher star with Robert Lasardo (“Nip/Tuck”, Death Race, The Human Centipede III) appearing as the nefarious artist.

Shot in Vilnius, Lithuania, over the course of twenty days on the Red Epic camera, co-writer and director Gage stated of the project’s inception, “We were throwing around ideas focusing on real life horror and the possibilities of shooting in Eastern Europe, and Devon mentioned there’s a longstanding tradition in tattoo culture (in which) people get tattoos while on vacation, which sparked the concept.”

With tourists running afoul of bad elements in Eastern Europe having been previously assayed by Eli Roth in his 2005 film Hostel, we asked the writer/director duo what sets Parlor apart.

Responded Downs, “It’s amazing to draw a comparison to Hostel as we are fans of that film; however, aside from having tourists and being set in Eastern Europe, the two films aren’t similar. Without giving away too much, our story revolves around Robert Lasardo’s character of “The Artist,” who runs a tattoo parlor, and his apprentice, Uta, played by real life tattoo artist Sara Fabel.”

As for the casting of Lasardo, “He’s one of the most underrated actors of his generation, and that’s not an exaggeration,” stated Downs. “We’ve been friends with Robert for a few years, and we specifically wrote this film with him in mind.”

Added Gage, “Robert is a true professional and is a pleasure to work with. He’s extremely smart and philosophical, which translated well with the role of ‘The Artist,’ and the three of us were very in sync the entire production. What we can tell you about his character is that ‘The Artist’ is multi-faceted and a bit of a nomad, and he is part of a long bloodline of artists with a very unique talent never before seen (on film).”

Hearing the waft of a potential intended cinematic horror villain, we queried as to whether or not the character was intended as a franchise villain, to which both filmmakers replied unanimously, “Yes, we already have outlines for sequels two and three.”

This being a horror film, the topic of onscreen gore and cinematic mayhem was broached.

“We were shooting for as much practical gore as possible,” allowed Downs. “We flew out the crazy talented Christina Kortum (of NBC’s “Grimm”), and she was simply amazing. With very little time she calmly pulled off awesome life casts and prosthetics. We also called our good friend Mario Torres, Jr. (One Missed Call, Hellboy II), to consult on the gore, and for additional blood and gore VFX we were fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with (the lab) Stargate (“The Walking Dead”), who pulled off some amazing visuals. The combo makes for some disturbing and uncomfortable moments!”

Regarding the programming of Parlor for the opening night gala of Screamfest, Down effused, “Being selected is an honor. With fourteen years of history, Screamfest is a great outlet for independent horror, and we couldn’t ask for a better venue to premiere our film.”

For tickets to the premiere (with a Q&A following with moderator and director of 2013’s Evil Dead Fede Alvarez) and to the Opening Night Party, which will be held at Madame Tussauds’ Hollywood Wax Museum, you can visit Screamfest here, and for more info on Parlor you can visit the film’s official site here.

Screamfest runs from October 14th to the 21st.

The Parlor

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Check Out the Opening 2 Minutes of Another WolfCop

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It was just earlier today that we brought you guys The Dude Design’s the newest poster for writer-director Lowell Dean’s horror-comedy sequel Another WolfCop.

And now we have the movie’s opening 2 minutes!

The clip showcases the new flick’s villain trying to sell us on his “Chicken Milk Beer” before losing his cool and taking it out the commercial’s crew. We then cut to a ragtag group of criminals, dressed as homeless Santas trying to outrun the cops.

A fun two-minutes if you ask me!

You can check out Another WolfCop‘s opening scene below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on social media!

The film is written and directed by Lowell Dean, produced by Bernie Hernando, Deborah Marks, and Hugh Patterson, and distributed worldwide by Cineplex.

Another WolfCop co-stars Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, and Serena Miller. The film also features special appearances from Canadian music icon Gowan and legendary filmmaker Kevin Smith. It was executive produced by Sean Buckley, J. Joly, Bill Marks, Brian Wideen, Michael Kennedy, and Michael Hirsch.

The film is slated for a wide Cineplex theatrical release on Friday, December 8, 2017, with the film seeing a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital home entertainment release through A71 and Black Fawn in 2018.

Synopsis:

A month has passed since the eclipse transformed hard-drinking Officer Lou Garou into the crime-fighting hellion WolfCop. Although the Shape Shifters controlling the town have been extinguished, Woodhaven is far from returning to normal. Lou’s liquor-fueled antics and full moon outbursts are seriously testing his relationship with Officer Tina Walsh – the new Chief of Police. An old friend has mysteriously reappeared with a truly bizarre secret to share, and a homicidal new villain has emerged from the shadows looking to finish what the Shape Shifters started. To defeat this lethal adversary, it will take more than a lone wolf packing a pistol.

Prepare for the next chapter of WolfCop that will be more dirty and hairy than the original! Consider yourself warned.

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The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror

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Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods


The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom
4.0

Summary

In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

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User Rating 3.9 (10 votes)
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Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – First Trailer and Artwork!

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As a fan of flicks like Mad Monster Party, I was surprisingly pleased with the last two Hotel Transylvania affairs. For my money you can put the classic monsters in just about anything, and I’ll watch it happily, and these animated features feel like a natural progression of the 1967 Rankin and Bass classic. Which is why I’m looking forward to Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and if you are too, check out the film’s new trailer and poster.

Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who co-wrote the film with Michael McCullers, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation features the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, and Mel Brooks.

Look for it in theaters on July 13, 2018.

Synopsis:
In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans.

But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

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