Monday, June 27, 2011

Backwoods boredom

BreadCrumbs (2011)

Director: Mike Nichols

Writers: Anthony Masi (story), Sam Freeman (screenplay),

Starring: Jim J. Barnes, Steve Carey, Marianne Hagan, and Amy Crowdis

I just don't understand why oh so many horror films have to have such compete morons and prize winning dicks as their main characters. What's so hard about giving us somebody, anybody to care about. Shit, even the killers were annoying. At least in a film with a bunch of suck ass characters you can usually root for the killer. Thanks for denying me even that simple pleasure. BreadCrumbs is so filled with crap it makes me wonder why I even bother with horror films made after 1999.

Her I liked
The story concerns a bunch of pricks going to some cottage in the woods to film a porn flick. But there's a couple of weird backwoods (Twenty year old) kids lurking about. The red headed sister who looks like Emily Browning and her retardo brother spy are adult filmmakers up to porn high jinks and decide to play a game with them. The kind of game that ends with arrows in the back and cookie cutters shoved into your face. The victims hole up in the cottage for your NOTLD siege/bickering before the final few decide to make a break for it. By the time that happened I was hoping for all the characters to die and have God sort them out. No such luck.

Getting all BWP on yo ass!
Well, I guess I didn't like BreadCrumbs. Marianne Hagan who starred in Halloween 6 and was fine there got stuck with perhaps the dumbest, most annoying character ever. Her getting ready to retire former party girl/porn actress character Angie was just too much. Okay, your under siege by a couple of crazy kids that have wounded or killed some of your friends what do you do? Why you go on and on about how they're just kids and are either innocent or being used by some unseen psycho. Even when all evidence tells you otherwise! Listen, if some bastard shot my wife or lover full of arrows their getting dead real fast. I don't give a crap if the bastard is 16 or 60, they're going down. Don't even get me started on ahole porn director Eddie. Does every horror film need the one dimensional cowardly douche? Though with Angie's consent whining I almost considered rooting for him, almost.

I like lots of crap films. There's always something that will endear them to me. I wish there was something good I could say about BreadCrumbs, something I liked. The girl with the glasses was cute. Okay I guess that was something. The dude in the pizza boy getup could have been a sympathetic character, had they not taken him out early. The crazy brother's freak out towards the end was sort of funny.

Almost over
Again, films like this make me wonder, what's so hard about writing characters that aren't total pricks or morons? I don't mind a dickish or moronic character if they're given some dimension. But populating a whole movie with a bunch cardboard characters? That makes me want to root for the killers. BreadCrumbs denies me even that simple pleasure.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Smackdown

Everyone's favorite One eyed Swedish vengeance machine walked away with a easy victory over the cigar chomping, balloon popping Mr. Krug. Now on to this weeks bit of business.

This weeks match up features two maniacs of the road. One is somebody you don't give a ride and the other, don't accept a ride in his car, no matter what!

On this end of the road we have one Mister John "I want you to stop me" Ryder. Ryder is a man who appears to have no past. He likes killing, is very good at it in fact. All he wants is for someone to stop him. Is he real? Is he the devil? We'll never know. But one thing is for certain, he's one crazy bastard.

Facing him for this game of horror chicken is Stuntman Mike. Mike has a thing for the ladies and their feet. He likes killing them. Mike also has one snazzy car that's all tricked out to death proof. Mike is a cold dude with a styling jacket and a scar. Who knows how many he's killed and for how long?

Let the road raging begin!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Disheveled in the woods: An interview with Mark Joseph Peek

Mark Joseph Peek is a true Renaissance man in the very low budget independent film industry. From acting to producing to writing, Mark has done it all! Working with Mad Angel Films, Mark is bringing us a myriad of independent entertainment!

1)What first made you want to get into movie making?

Mark: I've been watching movie my whole life. Later, in my early teens, I started to watch for camera angles, story, etc. It was then that I started buying the scripts for my favorite movies. They taught me the structure. Then, when I went to college, I picked film production as a major. Eventually that lead to drama and learning how to "act'. I wrote a few short script while in college, but not anything substantial until after graduating. I had a few experimental (unofficial sequels and studies of genre) that I was able to show around.

2)You've both acted and written, of the two which do you prefer and why?

Mark: Writing, most definitely. Writing takes a bit more time, but you're able to just go "all out". Yeah, you might have to change that, but the restrictions, at least in what I do, are a lot less than when I act. When acting, I'm always second guessing myself, while in writing its just a 'balls to the wall" type of attitude. When I spend months on a script, it doesn't feel like working, but one day acting on set is enough to make me want to become a blackout drunkard.

3)Were did your love of Horror films come from?

Mark: Sitting down with my older brother to watch Carpenter's Halloween for the first time, when I was about 11 years old. And then Friday 6. Up until then, I couldn't even think about horror movies without going into a panic attack. But, watching them with him, I realized that they were just fun, and I was taking them far too seriously. I was a small time collector and lover of the genre until I met you and Dan. I finally met people that shared the same love and I could actually discuss them with. From there on in, I've tried to watch every horror movie out there. I'm a glutton for punishment.

4)Tell us all about how you first got involved with Mad Angel Films?

Mark: An actress friend of mine had posted pictures of her on set in a Mad Angel Films (the legendary Brackish) on her MySpace page. After looking at them, I added the company myself. They posted an audition for their newest movie The Abandoned. I went, auditioned, and got the lead. Heh. Now, I weasel my way into all of their productions. It was on the set of the Abandoned that I told them that I also write. Matt, the supreme overlord, had an idea for the next project and asked if I could help. Star Cross'd was born.

5)Call you tell us a little about how Star-Cross'd came about?

Mark: I seem to have already answered that. Man, I have to learn to read ahead. Anyway, in more detail, Matt had the basic plot of Star Cross'd and said he wanted it to be a live action anime that was born of Shakespeare. Obviously, by the title, there's a lot of Romeo and Juliet, but we didn't want to make just another version of that story, so we added assassins and girls in schoolgirl outfits. I also added a lot of MacBeth and even used a direct quote from Richard II at the very beginning.

6)Three Days in the Woods is a fun throwback to old school backwoods slashers. What where some of the inspirations behind it?

Mark: I'd be remiss to not say I Spit On Your Grave. That's the main one. Last House on the Left. Eaten Alive...Chainsaw. Moon Stalker was a pretty big one. Savage Weekend. A lot I didn't notice until I was finished. These great movies are a part of my sub consious, I guess. Should I be scared?

7)What can you tell us about the making of Three Days in the Woods? And were was it filmed?

Mark: The entire Three Days experience was fun. Well, except for a pretty psycho actress, and her needing closure after a scene. From writing to editing it was a blast. I was also planning my wedding to by beautiful wife (who is also in the movie) so it got a little hectic at times and there were some on set fights... mostly my fault, that I truly regret, but other than that, it was great. I think you can see it when you watch it. Hopefully it's as fun to watch as it was to make. A few parts were shot outside of Utica, NY, but the majority was shot in the great Adirondacks. Hope Falls and Cliff was where we shot the big bloody ending. Great places to shoot this type of movie up there. We were originally going to shoot in the ghost town of Tahawus (,_New_York) but a big tragedy happened on my end and filming had to shut down until the next summer. When that happened, not only did we lose locations, but we had to take out an entire subplot. Some of which was filmed and edited out, but we think we erased all mention of it. I hope...

8)What lessons have you picked up from working on low budget films?

Mark: Write what you can afford! As mentioned before, I like to go balls out in scripts, but we can't always realize it. So, I've learned to write two versions of big scenes, one balls out and the other a bit less. Our highest budget was $500, so I can't write giant explosions or alien spacecraft plummeting to Earth. Some day. Our highest budget item is food. We pay our actors in food and free copies of the movie. That in itself is double edged sword. While, you get actors that are dedicated and aren't in it for the money or fame. you get some with the "I don't care, you're not paying me attitude". That comes up a lot in scheduling. We've had actors that were late for their call or didn't show up at all. But, we have no leverege since we don't pay them. We've learned how to get around it though. I brought my theater training into play and brought the idea of understudies to the mix.

9)What's next for Mad Angel Films?

Mark: A zombie film called Half Dead to be shot in the fall and a top secret sci fi / horror thing to be shot in January. Both written by Matt Peters and myself.

10)Do you have a final message for our readers?

Mark: First, if you're interested, we are very welcoming of new people. If you have a script, want to act, help out on set or whatever, we welcome you. Contact us at

Secondly, come check us out. We have showings of our films every now and again, plus we're trying to get into a convention or two

Thirdly, keep the dream alive... help keep me from becoming a poor disheveled man...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wind Beneath My Wings, Fist In My Face

Hell's Trap (Trampa Infernal) (1989)

Director: Pedro Galindo III

Writers: Pedro Galindo III, Santiago Galindo

Starring: Pedro Fernández, Edith González, Charly Valentino and Toño Mauri

Nachos make for a great snack. Who knew Nacho was the name for a hero too? I didn't, not until I witnessed the greatest 70 some minutes of south of the border slasher love ever.

Mullets are cool says Nacho
Nacho (King of mullets) and his best buddy Charly (A Mexican Sammo Hung?) enjoy betting on their paintball games against local a-hole Mauricio. After he latest crushing defeat at the hands of Nacho, Mauricio loses it. He decides the best way to get Nacho is to challenge him to a bear hunt! And not just any old bear. No, this one is supposedly responsible for killing some hunters. So, Nacho and Mauricio head into the woods for a little bear hunt. Along for the ride are Charly (Of course!), Alejandra (Nacho's hot, punch-happy girl), Javier (Mauricio's best bud) and their airhead (Cannon fodder) girlfriends. Our gang checks in with local arms dealer and roadside living crazy Jeremias, before heading out into the countryside for some bear whooping. Unbeknownst to our gang there's is Jesse, a crazed ex-Vietnam vet, who happens to like living in a cave and is "still at war...with everybody!" Though Jesse has no girl, he does have a mask, a shit load of weapons and many traps. By nightfall Jesse is on the hunt for our intrepid bear hunters.

Time for paddle ball
Just when we thought we'd run out of crazed slashers, along comes Hell's Trap or Trampa Infernal if you'd prefer. Trampa brings the sizzle and it brings the steak. We get a brisk pace. At a nearly 77 minutes this sucker doesn't have time for holding hands. But it does have time for some paddle ball. We get some basic setup and then it's off to the woods. No muss, no fuss. You want your backwoods stalk 'n' slash fix quick and Trampa knows it.

Paging Mr. Awesome
What about the characters? Well, Nacho is Nacho. He's an all around cool dude, loves his best pal Charly, loves his stonewash, his mullet and his girlfriend. Speaking of which, that Alejandra is a feisty one, or would that be fisty? She hasn't met a face she wouldn't like to sock. Not only does she like to punch, she also looks damn good in denim. Then there's Charly, he may be fat and sleep a bunch, but he's as much a hero as Nacho. There's more then a few instances here where Charly comes through. If this was an American made slasher Charly would be just your stock fat character to be killed off and nothing more. Which brings me to Mauricio, Javier and their girlfriends. These four are your stock horror characters. A douche, his buddy and their bubble headed gals. If there's one fault I had with Trampa Infernal it's them. These guys are there simply to make bad decisions and get killed. Nothing more.

Hood Ornament
That just leaves one more character worth mentioning, one awesome bag of badass killer named Jesse! Besides sporting a white mask and snazzy blonde wig combo Jesse likes wearing the Fred Krueger sanctioned finger blades. Unlike your Freddy or Jason though Jesse also likes to bring it with a bow, grenades and an M-16! He's also an ace at making booby traps.

Trampa? Infernal? Indeed!

Welterweight denim queen
A Fast, fun and straightforward little slasher. Trampa Infernal is 77 minutes well spent south of the border. Nacho is the man! Jesse is pure awesome. Charly has your back. Alejandra, oh me! Bring the denim. I don't mind an occasional punch. Just watch the face.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Smackdown

Last time a Stepfather trounced an Orphan. This week It's a vengeance seeking young lady with only one eye    wielding a sawed-off shotgun versus a cigar chopping sleaze ball rapist in a battle of '70's grindhouse gusto.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hump Day Posters: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Happy 30th! The film that not only lead to my love of history, but the need to own a bullwhip. For some time (Many years actually) after seeing it for the first time I also wanted badly to grow up to be an archaeologist.

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