Call Girl of Cthulhu (2014) … Whores & the End of the World

What happens when virginal artist falls in love with a prostitute who has been chosen to be the bride of Cthulhu? Well, apparently you cause a lot of mayhem and try to stay away from lots of tentacles!! CALL GIRL OF CTHULHU could have easily been one of those films where the title was the best thing about the film, but writers Jimmy George and Chris LaMartina (LaMartina also directed) really dug deep to give viewers a fun and alternate look at Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos.

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The film begins with Detective Rita LaGrassi (Leanna Chamish) investigating a massacre at the Church of Starry Wisdom. Forty-three bodies were torn apart and there is no evidence of a weapon, motive, or even a sign of how it was accomplished. Even though the cops have no leads, their primary witness and suspect is Carter (David Phillip Carollo), who wrote a book about human sacrifices, alien gods, and whores giving birth to monsters. With no evidence to hold Carter, the police let him go.

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It seems Carter got mixed up with the wrong people. Being terminally shy, Carter decides to try his luck with a prostitute, Riley (Melissa O’Brien), but being the virginal nerd that he is, he falls in love with her. Unfortunately for them both, Sebastian Suydum (Dave Gamble), who has been planning for the return of the Elder God Cthulhu for decades, has targeted Riley to be the Elder’s bride in order to usher him into the world. There is another group who is fighting to prevent this from happening, but since each group is working according to their own agenda, who should Carter trust?

That’s right, this is the story of a boy, his whore, and a world-destroying monster.

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I had a great time with this film. There’s enough references to Lovecraft and his works to keep even the most die hard fan on their toes. We also get some great practical effects that for the most part work (yes, there are a few occasions where the effects look a bit laughable). The comedy elements are also nicely placed and never step on the toes of the horror elements. We also get lots of Lovecraftian-style horrors to linger at as well. Grotesque monsters, tentacled-things, and everything in between will satisfy the monster movie lover in you.

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Suydum eventually finds Riley and opens a metaphysical door so Cthulhu can impregnate her. But that was only step one. Now we get to watch as Riley transforms into a Cthulhu-like creature. This entire film is done for laughs and the writers and director get it right. When one of the characters yells the following:

“Find the whore and stop her before she fucks us into Armageddon!”

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You know this isn’t meant to be taken seriously. CALL GIRL OF CTHULHU is a lot of fun and has some solid performances and writing. The practical effects will have you grinning from ear to ear, and the ending has a great pay off. Don’t miss this one!!

My Summary:
Director: Chris LaMartina
Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Gore: 6 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer
Stay Bloody!!!

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New Official Poster Drops for the Giallo Film, Francesca

The Onetti brothers are back and they aren’t messing around. Luciano Onetti and Nicolás Onetti came on the indie scene in 2013 with the Argentinean giallo film, SONNO PROFONDO. Now they’re back with a new giallo film, FRANCESCA. Written by Luciano and Nicolás Onetti and directed by Luciano Onetti, FRANCESCA stars Raul Gederlini, Silvina Grippaldi, Luis Emilio Rodríguez, Gustavo D´Alessandro. Check out the new poster and plot crunch:

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It’s been 15 years since the disappearance of little Francesca, daughter of the renowned storyteller, poet and dramatist Vittorio Visconti, and the community is stalked by a psychopath bent on cleaning the city of “impure and damned souls”. Moretti and Succo, questioned by the ineffectiveness of the police force, are the detectives in charge of elucidating the mystery surrounding these “Dantesque” crimes. Francesca seems to have returned, but she is not be the same girl who everyone knew…

If you’ve seen SONNO PROFONDO–written and directed by Luciano Onetti, then you’ll know that not only can these filmmakers craft one helluva story, but visually they do some stunning work. They capture the feel of the old-school giallo film perfecting while at the same time taking it to a whole new level.

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FRANCESCA will be released in Germany and Spain this year, and is looking for North American distribution. Check out more info on this film by checking out their Facebook page. Now dig on the trailer:

Stay Bloody!!!

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Lazer Team Drops New Trailer & Release Date

The scifi-comedy, LAZER TEAM is finally seeing the light of day. Rooster Teeth has recently announced that LAZER TEAM will be hitting select theaters and YouTube Red later in January. The film is directed by Matt Hullum, is written by Hallum, Burnie Burns, Josh Flanagan, and Chris Demarais, and stars Burnie Burns, Gavin Free, Michael Jones, Colton Dunn, Allie DeBerry, and Alan Ritchson. Check out the press release, which contains the plot crunch, as well as the new trailer, some stills, and the release date.

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***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

“LAZER TEAM” COMING EXCLUSIVELY TO THEATERS AND YOUTUBE RED BEGINNING JANUARY 27

Austin, TX – Monday, December 14, 2015 – Sci-fi comedy LAZER TEAM, the first feature film from pioneering creative studio Rooster Teeth, is coming to YouTube Red in the U.S. and theaters across North America, the UK, Australia and other territories beginning January 27. LAZER TEAM made history in July 2014 when it broke Indiegogo’s record for Most Funded Film Campaign, and thrilled audiences when the film celebrated its World Premiere at Fantastic Fest, the largest genre festival in the U.S.

In the film, four small-town losers stumble across an alien crash site containing an incredible battle suit. One round of bickering and a quick scuffle later, they each find themselves wearing a piece of the suit, which has genetically bound itself to them. Now, they must to work together as one to save humanity. With the government chasing after them and desperate to remove their new equipment at ANY cost, the foursome must learn to use a strange alien device meant for only one person, train for a battle against an omnipotent enemy, and not kill each other in the process. They may not be strong, smart, or talented… but they’re Lazer Team.

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“We are thrilled that LAZER TEAM will be released simultaneously on the big screen in theaters everywhere and digitally with YouTube Red,” said Matt Hullum, LAZER TEAM director and Rooster Teeth CEO. “We couldn’t have done it without our community, from our generous IndieGoGo backers to the fans that have supported us along the way, and this release plan will allow us to share the film with all of them.”

To find theatrical screenings of LAZER TEAM and to get tickets, fans can visit LazerTeamTheMovie.com. Anyone who attends LAZER TEAM theatrical screenings on January 27 and 28 will get to see exclusive footage and receive a 25% discount to the Rooster Teeth online store. Interested event hosts can also visit LazerTeamTheMovie.com to request a screening for their community through Tugg, the world-leading cinema on-demand service.

Release Date (Theatrical & YouTube Red): Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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To learn about this film, you can check out the official website and like them on Facebook. Now dog on the trailer:

Stay Bloody!!!

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Krampus: The Reckoning (2015) … Voodoo Dolls & Fire!!

Krampus. This dark companion of old Saint Nick seems to be getting more popular with every passing Christmas. And why not? There’s a lot of fertile material to be mined from Krampus. Santa rewards the good kids with presents while Krampus punishes the bad children by beating their asses with tree limbs and whips. Of course there is the new film by TRICK R’ TREAT director, Michael Dougherty, titled simply KRAMPUS (review to come), and there is also the 2013 indie horror film, KRAMPUS: THE CHRISTMAS DEVIL, written and directed by Jason Hull. This 2013 film was a ton of fun and gave us  great history of what Krampus is and why he does what he does.

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Now there is KRAMPUS: THE RECKONING–a pretty dramatic title if you ask me. This is a rather disjointed, confused film that seems to not know what it wants to do with the legend of Krampus, and ends up giving us a final product that resembles something more along the lines of a revenge flick. The story revolves around a little girl, Zoe (Amelia Haberman), who lives with some uncaring and downright mean foster parents. One night Zoe produces a small voodoo-looking Krampus doll and before you can say “chestnuts roasting,” the creature appears and kills the negligent foster parents. Now Zoe is in the hospital and Rachael (Monica Engesser) a child psychologist who works with the police on various cases, is brought in to evaluate Zoe and to see if she can tell them any details about what happened to her foster parents. 

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Zoe is an odd little girl who doesn’t try to get long with the other kids in the hospital, and she also seems confrontational with a few of the hospital staff. Detective O’Connor (James Ray) works with Rachael to try and get to the bottom of the mysterious deaths. But when one of the male nurses from the hospital dies in a similar manner as the foster parents, all the signs point to Zoe somehow being involved. The plot is unraveled–very slowly–until we get an ending that will have you scratching your head. 

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KRAMPUS: THE RECKONING has a lot of problems, but the acting wasn’t one of them. Director Robert Conway, who also wrote the film, put together a strong cast of actors who do a good job with the material. Haberman (Zoe) is a great young actress who puts in a convincing performance and plays her role well. She comes across innocent and as a victim when needed, but she is also able to convey her darker side as the film progresses. The actors who play Rachael and the detective also give strong performances as they slowly come to realize that Zoe is not the child they thought she was. Unfortunately, the main problem here is with the story. There’s a good story buried within the script, but there just wasn’t enough of a plot to fill the ninety-minute run time. The film drags in many places and as you watch it you’ll find yourself repeating, “They could have lost this scene in order to tighten up the film” over and over again. What story we have would have been perfect for a thirty-five to forty-five minute short film. 

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The other problem I had here–which turns out to be a huge problem–was the entire Krampus aspect. The film opens on Christmas Eve with a grandmother telling her grandchild about the legend of Krampus, but after the opening credits the Christmas setting is abandoned. We get voodoo dolls, revenge plots, and even hints of ghosts. As far as staying true to the actual legend of Krampus, KRAMPUS: THE RECKONING fails. In this film, Krampus becomes nothing more than a tool of revenge for a disturbed little girl who can summon the demon by making little voodoo dolls of the people she wants dead. I have a strong suspicion that writer-director Conway wrote a revenge-ghost story and the producers asked him if he was able to rework the story to include Krampus into it. Krampus is definitely a square peg that was trying to be pounded into a circular hole–it just didn’t fit. And Krampus’ preferred method of death? Fire. Again, nothing like the legend.

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Krampus is no doubt a hot subject this Christmas season, but KRAMPUS: THE RECKONING is far from being a Christmas horror film. This is a revenge-ghost story that sneaks in the Christmas devil in order to try and sell more tickets. Add to this the dreadfully slow pace and you’ve got yourself a tedious film to try and get through. Definitely pass on this one and instead check out Jason Hull’s KRAMPUS: THE CHRISTMAS DEVIL or Michael Dougherty’s KRAMPUS.

My Summary:

Director: Robert Conway (& writer)

Plot: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Gore: 3 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay Bloody!!!

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House of Afflictions Gets February 2016 Release

Looking for a 1970s haunted house throwback? HOUSE OF AFFLICTIONS might just be exactly what you have been looking for. The film is written and directed by Anthony M. Winson and stars Michelle Darkin Price, Stefan BoehmPenelope Butler, Lindsey Parr, and Simon Crudgington. Check out the press release, trailer, and plot crunch below for more information:

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Wild Eye Unlocks the House of Afflictions 
Key Art and Trailer for February 2016 Release

New York, NY – Wild Eye Releasing has opened the doors to the House of Afflictions with a new poster and trailer. The latest supernatural thriller from UK director Anthony M. Winson (The Witching Hour, Unholy) follows a crime author mourning the loss of her child as she tries to start life over in a new home. She soon discovers that she is not alone in the house. Is something from her past haunting her, or is it something deep within the house itself that wants to ensure she remain restless forever?

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Kate Beckley was once a best selling crime author, but it’s been years since her last novel following the disappearance of her daughter, Julia. While attempting to write again in a new home, Kate finds herself haunted by strange visions and paranormal occurrences – which become worse each night. Has Julia returned, or is something more sinister preying on this grieving mother?

The February 2016 DVD release of House of Afflictions will exclusively include a number of bonus features.

Here’s the trailer:

Stay Bloody!!!

Horror-Comedy, Crying Wolf, Being Released This December

Looking for a horror-comedy with teeth (sorry, couldn’t resist)? Then maybe CRYING WOLF will be up your alley. CRYING WOLF is directed by Tony Jopia, written by Jopia, Michael Dale, and Andy Davie, and stars Caroline Munro, Joe EganKristofer Dayne, Chloe Farnworth, Gabriela Hersham, Gary Martin, Rosie Pearson, and Ian Donnelly. Check out the press release:

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Burbank, CA –  A blood moon rises this December when director Tony Jopia’s goosebump-stirring  horror-comedy Crying Wolf premieres on VOD.

A “fun, fast paced werewolf romp” (Dread World) Crying Wolf  tells the story of strange and weird goings on in a little English village called Deddington. The gruesome death of local girl Charlotte by a rabid monster causes alarm and revulsion – before desperate reporters, crazy detectives and revenge-seeking hunters descend on the scene!

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Legendary scream queen Caroline Munro (Maniac), Joe Egan (Sherlock Holmes) and Kristofer Dayne (Rush) star in what critics say is “a refreshingly funny movie with plenty of slapstick gore and some nice genre in-jokes” (Spooky Isles).

Crying Wolf is released December 12 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

Check out the trailer:

Stay Bloody!!!

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Ready For a New Holiday Horror Tale? I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday is Coming!!

Nothing makes me happier this time of year than getting news that a new holiday horror flick is on its way. Nothing gives me a warmer feeling inside than a holiday horror flick, and this one sounds fantastic!! Unfortunately, this one won’t be out until Summer 2016, but at least we can get a Christmas in July!! The film is titled I’M DREAMING OF A WHITE DOOMSDAY, and in it we see one of my favorite horror writers, Brian Keene, teaming up with a very talented indie filmmaker, Mike Lombardo, to give us what I’m sure will be a dark and twisted tale set during the holidays. Check out the press release:

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19th, 2015 

From Grandmaster Award winning author Brian Keene comes a disturbing post- apocalyptic Christmas Horror Story

Writer/director Mike Lombardo aligns with author Brian Keene to bring a bleak horror story about a family trying to survive in the post-apocalypse during the most wonderful time of year. 

Lancaster, PA – Brian Keene, bestselling author of such notable novels as “The Rising”, “Ghoul”, and “Castaways”, has teamed up as executive producer with frequent collaborator, writer/director Mike Lombardo (The Stall, Long Pig) of Reel Splatter Productions on the post-apocalyptic Christmas horror story I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday. 

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Having just wrapped filming in Pennsylvania, White Doomsday tells the tale of Kelly and her son Riley, weathering the end times in a bomb shelter amidst the ruin that once was the world. With supplies and hope steadily declining, Kelly makes a horrifying decision that will cause her to discover just how far she would go for her child, and what lurks outside. 

“What started as a short film we were shooting on the weekends just sort of took on a life of it’s own and kept growing until we realized we had a feature on our hands.” says Lombardo. “I’m usually known for doing the more comedic end of horror, so I think fans of Reel Splatter are going to be surprised at how bleak, disturbing, and nihilistic this one is. It goes to some pretty dark places.” 

Starring Damian Maffei (Joe R. Lansdale’s Christmas with the Dead, Closed for the Season}, I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday will be ready to make it’s way in the summer of 2016. 

To learn more about the film visit http://reelsplatter.com/  and  http://www.briankeene.com/

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More info as this one becomes available, but with the teaming up of Keene and Lombardo, I’m really looking forward to checking this one out.

Stay Bloody!!!

The Lovecraftian-Noir, The Last Case of August T. Harrison, Now Available!!

Here’s a film I’ve been waiting for all year!! THE LAST CASE OF AUGUST T. HARRISON is described as “a contemporary Loveraftian film-noir.” The film is written and directed by Ansel Faraj and stars Jerry Lacy, Maggie WagnerLisa Blake Richards, Kelly Erin Decker, Max Landwirth, Nathan Wilson, and Eric Gorlow. Check out the plot crunch:

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August T. Harrison, private eye, comes out of retirement to solve a bizarre missing persons case, but finds himself caught in the middle of a dark conspiracy involving the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

THE LAST CAST OF AUGUST T. HARRISON is now available on Vimeo on Demand, and I can tell you that this film just went to the top of my list of films to watch this weekend!! You can also learn more about the film on its official web site. Check out the trailer below followed by the official press release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A Film by Ansel Faraj

“Ever hear of H.P. Lovecraft…?”

Hollinsworth Productions is excited to present The Last Case of August T. Harrison, a dark neo- noir thriller influenced by Val Lewton and H.P. Lovecraft; Now Available on Vimeo On Demand!

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Set in and around Venice Beach, California – August T. Harrison, private eye, comes out of retirement to solve what seems at first to be a bizarre missing persons case, but as he digs deeper, he finds himself caught in the middle of a dark conspiracy involving the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. Are Lovecraft’s tales just fiction? Or do they hold the secrets of the cosmos?

The film stars Jerry Lacy (Dark Shadows, Play it Again Sam) as August T. Harrison, Maggie Wagner, David Graham, Lisa Blake Richards, Eric Gorlow, Max Landwirth, and Nathan Wilson as H.P. Lovecraft himself.

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The film is written and directed by Ansel Faraj, director of 2013’s Doctor Mabuse and the 2014 web series Theatre Fantastique. Ansel Faraj, Nathan Wilson, Rosa Taylor-Faraj and Roxie Zelden are the film’s producers. The score is composed by award winning composer Bill Wandel.

*Official Selection – 2015 Depth of Field Int’l Film Festival Winner: Best Film (Sci-Fi), Best Actor- Jerry Lacy,

Best Supporting Actress- Maggie Wagner *Official Selection – 2016 Other Venice Film Festival

*Official Selection – 2015 August Los Angeles Independent Film Festival – Official Nominee: Best Feature Film,

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Best Director-Ansel Faraj,
Winner: Best Ensemble Cast – Jerry Lacy, Maggie Wagner,
Nathan Wilson, David Graham, Eric Gorlow, Max Landwirth, Lisa Richards

*Official Selection – 2015 Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival (September) Winner: Best Feature Film (Drama),

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Best Director (Feature Film) – Ansel Faraj *Official Selection – 2015 Los Angeles CineFest (October)

www.hollinsworthproductions.com

Stay Bloody!!!

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Official Theatrical Trailer Drops for Dwelling

The haunted house/possessed mirror film DWELLING has released its official theatrical trailer. DWELLING is written and directed by Kyle Mecca and stars Erin Marie Hogan, Mu-Shaka BensonDevanny Pinn, Abigail Mary, Bill Brown, Josie DiVincenzo, and Alexandra Merritt Mathews. Check out the plot crunch:

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A young couple deliberately moves into a haunted house to contact the other side. Until their conduit, a painted black mirror proves to contain a malevolent presence hell-bent on bringing harm to their new family.

Let’s all thank Hollywood for another original horror film, shall we!! Maybe the trailer will blow our socks off:

…or maybe not. Sorry to sound so cynical here, folks–as in my previous article on ANGUISH–but I’m just getting tired of getting the same formulaic crap from Hollywood. I can even hear the Hollywood executives: “No no no… this films is unique. It has a haunted house and a possessed mirror in it.” Hopefully this one will surprise us.

Stay Bloody!!!

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Will The Witch be the Best Horror Film of 2016?

THE WITCH hasn’t even been released yet (it is slated for a late February 2016 release) and it is already being hailed as possibly the best horror film of 2016. THE WITCH, though, isn’t all empty PR/marketing promises. The film was a huge hit hit at the Sundance Film Festival–where it took home Best Director prize–and where it gathered more praise at Fantastic Fest. THE WITCH is written and directed by Robert Eggers and stars Anya Taylor-JoyRalph InesonKate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Lucas Dawson, Ellie Grainger, Julian Richings, and Bathsheba Garnett. Check out the plot summary:

The Witch poster1New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. ‘The Witch’ is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.

Early audiences that were lucky enough to screen the film are in agreement that THE WITCH is perfectly executed and that Eggers meticulously re-creates the New England, puritanical world down to the smallest detail. If the trailer (below) is any indication, then I can see what audiences are raving about. On a side note, Eggers has already been swooped up to direct a remake of the classic NOSFERATU. He seems to be a great choice!!

Stay Bloody!!!

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