11/04/2019

NYCC 2019- Friday, Part 2- The Further Adventures of Logan, Deadpool, and the X-Men!

Last time I showed the first part of highlights from my adventures cosplaying as Logan at New York Comic Con 2019 on Friday. Here then, is the second half of that, with more pics of me with my fellow X-Men!

First off here are a couple of pics with of me with my friends Nelson D. Martinez and Breezeski as Deadpool and Rogue respectively.




Speaking of Deadpool, he was a busy man at comic-con as was looking for some hijinks!

XayBlackLion as Daken!

The following four amazing pics were taken by the incredible Paul Williams Photography. These are such badass pics that I am blown away by them every time I see them. I am so happy and honored to have taken a part in them!





And, let us end with one more X-Men pic. This came one came from one of my friends, I believe:
More NYCC 2019
NYCC 2019- Thursday, Part 1: Toys and Collectibles
NYCC 2019- Thursday, Part 2: The Best in Cosplay
NYCC 2019- Friday, Part 1: Logan, Deadpool, and the X-Men!

10/29/2019

Nightmare Cinema (Review)


Directors: Alejandro Brugués, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade
Writers: Sandra Becerril, Alejandro Brugué, Lawrence C. Connolly, Mick Garris, Richard Christian Matheson, David Slade
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Richard Chamberlain, Adam Godley, Orsin Chaplin, Eric Nelson, Kevin Fonteyne, Maurice Benard, Belinda Balaski, Lucas Barker, Daryl C. Brown, Ezra Buzzington
Year: 2019
Min: 119

This anthology deals with people who walk into an empty movie theater. Each time they are the only ones there, beside the mysterious projectionist (Mickey Rourke, who is quite enjoyable in the role) who plays a movie for each of them. In these films, the movie theater attendants see themselves onscreen in nightmarish stories.

Each segment is directed by a different director. The first and weakest story, The Thing in the Wood, comes from Alejandro (Juan of the Dead, ABC's of Death 2) Brugués. In it, the gorgeous Samantha (Sarah Elizabeth Withers) sees herself in a slasher movie where a killer known as The Welder (Eric Nelson), cause he wears a welder's mask and carries a blowtorch. kills teens in a camp.
It's a fun but really dumb (on purpose) story with a nifty twist. That and the gore really make this one. Among the mayhem are gory squibs, gun shot blast to the head, exploding head, crucifixion via knives, and immolation. That being said it is filled with every cliche imaginable (until the aforementioned twist), which while done as a parody is still something that has been too death too may times to fully work.

The second one Mirari, directed by horror master Joe (The Howling, Gremlins 1&2) Dante, has a couple walk in to the theater. The movie they see has the girl Anna (Zarah Mahler) worry about a scar on her otherwise beautiful face. Her finance tells her not be concerned and sets up an appointment with her mom's, who he says looks amazing, plastic surgeon Dr. Mirai (Richard Chamberlain). But, after the surgery, she realizes that something sinister is afoot.
Tonally this has a completely different feel (as does every other segment from each other), than the previous one, It is more serious, while still having a fun side to it. Zarah Mahler is great as Anna, and makes for a very likable character. It's a blast to see a legend like Richard Chamberlain in a movie like this, as he gleefully chews up the scenery. Dante knows how to build up the dread here. There is also a nice amount of the what the fuckery that really elevates this tale and makes it my favorite of the batch.

Ryûhei (Versus, Godzilla: Final Wars) Kitamura directs the third segment, Mashit, where a priest, Father Benedict (Maurice Bernard) sees himself onscreen. This time around said priest is one of the witnesses of a kid committing suicide. Later we learn that Father Benedict is banging the hot nun Sister Patricia (Mariela Garriga) but soon creepy and demonic shit starts to happen. Turns out a demon named Mashit, who loves to use and terrorize children, is behind it all.

This is a well acted haunted church tale that has some really creepy moments. This satanic entry is the anthology's wildest and most over the top segment. It features an awesome and gory climax that is filled with flying blood, limbs, and an impaling thrown in for good measure. It adds up to the second best in the lot.

Our fourth tale, This Way to Egress, is directed by David (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) Slade. It tells of a mom, Helen (Elizabeth Reaser), who goes to see a doctor. She tells him that she notices that people are changing. What we soon learn is that what she means is that they are becoming weird humanoid monsters. Things slowly get more nightmarish for our heroine from there on.
Slade uses black and white to give the proceedings a classy, art-house look. It is wonderfully acted, especially by the lovely Reaser as the mom trapped in this hellish world. While, it starts off slow, it gets increasingly odd and is even chilling at times. It really feels and looks like a Lynchian and particularly gory episode of The Twilight Zone, and I mean that in the best possible sense.

Mick (Sleepwalkers, The Shining [TV mini-series]) Garris, who also directs the wrap-around, comes back for the fifth and final tale, Dead. This time a kid named Riley (Faly Rakotohavana) has a near death after witnessing his parents get brutally gunned by a scumbag. At the hospital, he begins to see ghosts, including his mom (The X-Files lovely Annabeth Gish) who asks him to let himself sleep, AKA die.
This one is slow but real well acted, especially by Faly Rakotohavana as Riley. It also has some moments of graphic violence including bloody gunshots, brain splattering headshots, and a head impaling. It also achieves some really touching moments, in particular those involving Riley talking to a girl, Casey (Lexy Panterra) who can also talk to the dead who tries to help him.

Nightmare Cinema is an enjoyable anthology. The acting is great and so are most of the effects. While, the Brugué one is easily the weakest, there are no real duds here which is always a plus in an anthology. The Dante tale and the Kitamura one are the definitely the best ones. with the remaining two falling somewhere in the middle. I love that each story is tonally different, as are their themes and sub-genres. In all this makes for a likable, if slightly uneven time. The movie begins streaming on Shudder today, October 29, 2019.


3 out of 4

10/27/2019

Chiller Theatre: October 2019

Yesterday, October 26, 2019, my friends (Alan and Freddie) and I took another trip down to New Jersey for another edition of the best convention in the universe: Chiller Theatre! This Chiller had an insanely awesome guest list. It was stacked with cool celebs that we couldn't wait to meet. The result was one of the most fun and best Chillers ever (which honest to God is saying a lot!).

The first celeb that I went up was the beautiful Jordan Ladd. I had passed up on meeting her before, but that was no longer gonna happen! The star of Death Proof, Cabin Fever, Club Dread, and Grace was so friendly in person! She actually left her table and just started talking to us. She is a wonderfully sweet and down to earth beauty.
Next up were the gorgeous twins from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Camilla and Carey More. They were the people I was most excited to meet, being as they were my biggest Friday crushes growing up. I told them that I had huge, huge crushes on them as a kid. To which they said, "Aww!" They still look great!
Another person that I was super pumped in meeting was the absolutely beautiful Kassie DePavia of Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn fame. This still stunning actress (and Horror Crush on this site) was amazing in person! She was so sweet and friendly, as she talked to my friend Freddie and I for a bit. She has a southern drawl which despite living in New York City has not left her. I found it added even more to her natural charm. I told that she made my day, as I had such a crush on her as a kid. Meeting her was a one of the very top highlights of the con!
The last person, that I went up, on my own, was the stunningly beautiful Cynthia Gibb. I been a fan of hers forever, and yes, that means childhood crush. The star of Death Warrant, Jack's Back, and more is still breathtakingly gorgeous! She was all smiles and sweet, as I told her how much I loved Jack's Back (a very underrated horror/ thriller) and her interview on the Scream Factory Blu-ray. She thanked me and said she didn't remember doing the interview. That was a funny and cool highlight!
The next couple of stars I met, when they let us all join them in my friend Freddie's (the man of fine wrestling taste with the awesome AEW wrestling tee) pics:

Larry B. Scott of Revenge of the Nerds (there was a big reunion of that comedy classic) who was one of the coolest and nicest celebs of the entire show. This fellow New Yorker was a blast to talk to.
Bobbie Mannix is the amazing costume designer for the cult masterpiece The Warriors (for which there was an almost definitive reunion for going at the con!). She is such a wonderfully talented and sweet lady!
Timothy Busfield another one of the stars from Revenge of the Nerds, who was also extremely nice and friendly.
At some point later in the day, there was a fucking bomb scare that someone called in, apparently. They evacuated the hotel, so we headed out for dinner. After that we came back and all was back to normal and hours were extended.

Freddie went up to horror legend and all around goddess Cassandra Peterson, AKA Elvira! She is an ageless beauty with the sarcastic sense of humor that makes her so awesome! I must say that I was the happiest dude ever, as I had finally met Elvira (yet, another childhood crush)!
After that wen went up to Scott Ian and Charlie Benante of one of my utmost favorite bands ever, thrash metal gods and one of the Big Four: Anthrax! This led to other biggest highlight for me: Scott Ian being like we have met before right? I was so flattered that he remembered me from the time that I covered his and Keith Buckley's book reading at Saint Vitus. I mentioned that was were we had indeed met before. Seriously, you can't beat one of the founding members of one of your most favorite bands ever remembering you!
We, of course, hung at the party for a little while, where we had more fun! The Dead Elvi rocked the house, as they always do!


There was also some kick ass cosplay. Here are some of my favorites:
 My friend Maria always such awesome cosplays!



 This King Diamond fucking ruled!!!
Devil horns with motherfucking Satan!

Here is the swag that I got:
- I bought a copy of Screem magazine which won me a free copy of The Human Monster starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
- the Amityville the Cursed Collection from Vinegar Syndrome (at their booth, of course): which comes with The Amityville Horror: The Evil Escapes, Amityville 1992: It's About Time (my favorite from these), Amityville: A New Generation, and Amityville: The Dollhouse (the only one I have not seen from this batch from the franchise).
And, here are the autographs:
- Camilla and Carey More
- and, Kassie DePavia, who signed my old Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn DVD (which was signed ages ago by Bruce Campbell, himself):

And, so ends another AWESOME edition of Chiller! Until April (which already can't fucking wait for), that is when we shall return!

10/24/2019

NYCC 2019- Friday, Part 1: Logan, Deadpool, and the X-Men!


The Friday, October 4, 2019 edition of New York Comic Con had me return to my Logan cosplay. I had even more fun this time around. Each year, doing him gets more enjoyable and being involved in so many X-Men inspired shoots made it even cooler. Like before, my aunt did my make-up which got a great reaction, including an older couple, earlier that day on the subway, who were concerned that something had happened to me. I told them I was OK, and that I was going to Comic-Con!
The super, fucking awesome Deadpool above and beyond is my friend Nelson D. Martinez, by the way. Anywho, here are some X-Men inspired highlights, from this day:
 This Juggernaut is badass!

XayBlackLion made for an awesome Daken, AKA Wolverine's son! So, think of this as son versus dad! Until, we figure out that Deadpool is being a dick and we should kick his ass instead! 



 My friend Breezeski as an awesome Rogue!
 Not gonna lie, this is one of my favorite pics of the entire convention!

It turns out that I had met the totally kick ass Psyloche below, last year where she was an awesome Dark Phoenix! Her name is Elizabeth Haywood, and she is a great cosplayer, super cool, and the pics below came out badass, if I do say so myself. 


 Stevo was the best Gambit I saw during the whole con. His cosplay was just perfect!

I leave you with this awesome Jean Grey and myself (sans shirt). And, yes, I was cold (being only in a tank-top), but fuck it. I will gladly suffer for my art! Tune in next time for more Logan inspired Friday cosplaying action!

More NYCC 2019

10/23/2019

Shudder Obtains Mysterious Seaside Horror Flick: "The Beach House"


A Day at the Beach Turns in a Waking Nightmare in Debut Feature

October 23, 2019 — Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, announced today that it has acquired all rights in its territories to seaside horror The Beach House following its North American premiere as the opening night film at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. The debut film from writer-director Jeffrey A. Brown, The Beach House stars Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Jake Weber and Maryanne Nagel and had its world premiere earlier this month at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival and the Sitges Film Festival. It was produced by Andrew D. Corkin (We Are What We AreA Vigilante), Tyler Davidson (Take ShelterThe Signal), Sophia Lin (Take Shelter, Compliance). The deal was negotiated by Emily Gotto on behalf of Shudder, and by ICM and James Norrie of AMP International on behalf of the filmmakers. The Beach House is slated to premiere on Shudder next year. 

Hoping to reignite their relationship, Emily (Liana Liberato, Light as a Feather) and Randall (Noah Le Gros, Depraved) arrive at their weekend getaway only to discover a peculiar older couple already staying there. They all agree to share the home and after an indulgent night of partying, wake up to a living nightmare of apocalyptic proportions.

The Beach House is no ordinary vacation horror. Jeffrey and cast have crafted a mysterious, layered and increasingly eerie gem with shades of paranoid thriller and eco-terror. Shudder is thrilled to present this special seaside nightmare to our members,” said Emily Gotto, Shudder’s Director of Global Acquisitions & Co-Production.

"I could not be happier with The Beach House finding its home on Shudder, which has brought so many classics and contemporary groundbreakers to horror fans everywhere. I’ve always wanted our film to be discovered by this audience, and to come out alongside so many great films on Shudder’s platform is the ultimate endorsement. I can’t wait for the release!,” said writer/director Jeffrey A. Brown.

The film was fully financed by Davidson’s Low Spark Films. AMP International is representing all other international territories and will be presenting the film at the upcoming AFM 

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ABOUT SHUDDER
AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and originals is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland and Germany. To experience Shudder commitment-free for 7 days, visit ​www.shudder.com​.

ABOUT LOW SPARK FILMS
Low Spark Films is a Cleveland, Ohio and Los Angeles based company specializing in the production and financing of feature films for the worldwide market. For nearly a decade, the Low Spark team has produced acclaimed indie hits such as Take ShelterThe Kings of SummerGalvestonThe SignalCompliance, and The Land, which have launched some of the most vaunted emerging filmmakers working today.

10/22/2019

Haunt (Review)


Writer/ Directors:  Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Cast: Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauyrn Alisa McClain, Andrew Caldwell, Shazi Reja
Year: 2019
Min: 92

Harper (Katie Stevens) is being harassed, via text messages, by her abusive, piece of shit boyfriend. He hits her and has even left her with a black-eye. Try as she may to hide it with make-up, her best friend Bailey (Lauyrn Alisa McClain) notices it. Realizing what is going she invites Harper to join her for a Halloween party. After leaving the club that it was held at, they and three of their friends look for an extreme haunt to continue the holidays festivities. They find one, but it ends up being one where they must for their lives, as they are picked off one by one by the haunt's psychotic, masked workers.
Haunt is a 2019 slasher movie, produced by Eli Roth, that has quickly been garnering positive reviews and word of mouth. And, I am pleased to report, that for once, the hype is well worth it. The writer/ director team of Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, whom together co-wrote and served as executive producers on A Quiet Place, have crafted a tight and tense movie.

Through their co-written script and co-directing, the duo give the film a nice setup and manage to keep your eyes glued to the screen for all of its 92 minutes running time. They  also really take full advantage of its setting. The movie has a really nice and slick look to it, with a nice use of colors, shadows, and lighting. This is most effectively represented by the excellent set design, which is some of my favorite of the year. Beck and Woods know how to build tension as the movie progresses, each moment and scare ratcheting it up more and more. The movie's climax is great and had me gripping my seat in pure white-knuckle intensity. It leads into one hell of an ending, that I absolutely loved!
The whole cast is quite good breathing life into the characters and keeping them likable. They don't come off as annoying or as assholes, like so many a other movies. I am looking at you Hell Fest (and countless of other slasher movies, to be quite honest) and your awful, shitty characters! But, special mentioning must be given to the lovely Katie Stevens as Harper. She is tough, resourceful, easy to like and cheer and an excellent final girl.

A great heroine needs a great villain or villains, of course. And, while the killers aren't very defined they are intimidating. In a way, not giving them a clear reason for their evil makes them scarier and keeps them mysterious. Their masks are simple but effectively creepy. Once they reveal their actual faces, we see that they are even more horrific thanks to some good and realistic makeup FX. FX crew also helps brings life to the kills, which are violent and have some real impact cause we don't want these characters to die. A couple of gory highlights include mayhem like face ripping, an exploding head, sledgehammer bludgeoning, head crushing, and more!
 
I am not bullshiting by saying that I love Haunt! As someone who is very, very picky with slasher movies, I can honestly recommend this one wholeheartedly. It is without question one of the best movies of that kind of the last few years. It also easily tramples over similarly plotted or styled movies like the aforementioned Hell Fest and Escape Room. The flick is violent and intense with a simple but well done story that will keep you involved from beginning to its fucking awesome ending. Add some really creepy villains and a great final girl, and you have a bloody good winner. As an added bonus it takes place on Halloween, so now you have a new, destined be classic to add to your yearly October viewings. Haunt begins streaming on Shudder, this Thursday, October 24, 2019.


4 out of 4