Catch of the Day (2014)

Catch of the Day posterGet ready to once again enter the batshit crazy world of James Balsamo. Balsamo is becoming a household name on the indie horror scene and is a machine, cranking out four indie horror films since 2011. I know that’s a film a year but for a filmmaker who doesn’t have a major Hollywood studio backing him and throwing money at him, it’s a pretty impressive feat. I was first introduced to Balsamo with his 2011 film, HACK JOB. This is an anthology film and was a lot of fun. I immediately became a fan of Balsamo’s. His energy is infectious and you can tell he and everyone in his films are having a great time. With his second film, I SPILL YOUR GUTS, he showed a lot of maturity as a filmmaker. The tone was a little more serious with the material but the result was the same — fun and gore!! He followed up GUTS with 2013s COOL AS HELL. This film was a little more light-hearted but the gore level stayed the same. So when I read Balsamo was close to releasing CATCH OF THE DAY I was eager to see it.

CATCH OF THE DAY follows the story of detective partners Rod Davis (Balsamo) & Hairy Chu (Jeff Kim). Hairy (no, I’m not misspelling his name) is a by-the-book detective and badass while Rod is a little more results-driven. Rod is slightly goofy, street smart and dumb at the same time, but is a good guy overall. When he and Hairy barge in on and ruin a six month undercover investigation, Hairy is reassigned as a desk cop and Rod is busted down to walking the beat. Rob now spends most of his days eating donuts and looking at titties on the beach. Lucky for Rod, though, that his uncle Murray (Carmine Capobianco), is a Lieutenant and gets him reassigned on an undercover investigation where a drug cartel is using fish to smuggle cocaine into the city.

Hairy & Rod ... they're partners!!
Hairy & Rod … they’re partners!!

To add more tension to the mix, Hairy is engaged to marry Rod’s sister, Roxanne (Shannon Mann). This leads to more than a few funny scenes of Rod being … let’s call it “culturally insensitive” to Hairy Chu. Balsamo’s character says some goddamn funny, offensive things and you just can’t help but laugh. Hell, I was laughing out loud!! If Rod’s comments actually offend you then you’ve got a real problem and should probably stick to watching The Brady Bunch and Little House on the Prairie.

Just when you think this is gonna be a goreless police story, Balsamo then throws in a crazy doctor, Professor Benjamin Jackal (Edward X. Young), who is working on a secret serum that mutates fish. Now Rod has to deal with a pissed off partner, a needy sister, a violent drug cartel, and some overgrown, mutant, killer fish. But it’s all in a days work for detective Rod Davis!! Balsamo definitely went for more comedy in CATCH OF THE DAY than he did in his previous films. Yes the humor is juvenile, filled with bathroom humor, racial stereotype humor, and locker room banter, but it’s also pretty damn funny!! And like many of his films, Balsamo fills CATCH OF THE DAY with tons of cameos from both film and the hardcore/death metal music scenes. Some cameos include Jason Mewes, Irwin Keyes, James Duval, Tueday Knight, Nick Principe, Debbie Rochon, Jasmin St. Claire, and John Carl Buechler.

Ya never know what will pop up at a Balsamo wedding!!
Ya never know what will pop up at a Balsamo wedding!!

My main complaint here is that CATCH OF THE DAY drags in the middle and could have been a little tighter. This would’ve created a better flow of the movie as a whole. But if you’ve seen one James Balsamo flick than you know what to expect: Hardcore music, lots of practically done gore, lots of cameos, and just a whole lot of fun. Balsamo’s Acid Bath Productions is the modern day version of the old school Troma Films. Balsamo has mastered the art of guerrilla filmmaking that Lloyd Kaufman perfected in the early to mid-1980s. In fact, I’d be pressed to come up with another horror filmmaker who absolutely loves the genre and who has more fun making films. Balsamo’s fun is contagious and can be felt in all of his films. I know some people won’t care for Balsamo’s style or his films, but I’m a fan and enjoy them immensely. Check this one out.

My Summary:
Director: James Balsamo (& writer, producer, & editor)
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Gore: 5.5 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Catch of the Day3

Release Date Drops for Newest Balsamo Film, Catch of the Day

Catch of the Day posterSome people just can’t sit back and enjoy a fun horror film loaded up with gore, titties, heavy metal/death metal, and more gore.  I’m of course talking about indie horror filmmaker, James Balsamo who came on the scene in 2011 with the very fun horror flick, HACK JOB (my review).  This film set the tone for how Balsamo approaches all of his films.  Balsamo loves the horror genre and you can actually feel his energy in each frame.  Then in 2012 he came out with his second film, I SPILL YOUR GUTS (my review), and then earlier this year he released COOL AS HELL (my review).  Look; Balsamo’s films aren’t gonna win any Oscars, but you will have a fun time with all the gore he throws around (quite literally most times) and with the hilarious dialogue and characters.

Balsamo’s latest flick, CATCH OF THE DAY, sounds like his funnest project to date.  Balsamo not only writes and directs CATCH OF THE DAY but also stars in it along with Jeff Kim, Tuesday Knight, Irwin Keyes, Kara Hankard, Debbie Rochon, Johnny Legend, Jennifer Banko, Carmine Capobianco, and Frank Mullen.  Check out the plot crunch:

Officer Rod Davis becomes embedded undercover when a cartel starts bringing drugs into the city through fish shipments. He soon finds himself and his city under siege when a scientist accidentally creates mutant fish people with a poisonous bite. It’s up to the rookie cop and a sexy lab assistant to find the drug stash and destroy the crime lord controlling the mutant monsters, but it turns personal when Rod’s sister is kidnapped. Are they fighting giant mutant fish monsters just for the halibut? See the badge, bass, and ass in a horror-comedy that you won’t want to throw back… because it’s the “Catch of the Day.”

Now dig on the trailer:

CATCH OF THE DAY is being released on October 19, 2013.  You can check out more info on CATH OF THE DAY on the official Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and check out their official website (where you can also pre-order CATCH OF THE DAY).

Stay Bloody!!!

Cool as Hell (2013)

COOL-AS-HELL-POSTER3_jpg21-647x1024James Balsamo is back and brings with him his no-holds-barred style of guerrilla-filmmaking that reminds me a lot of the old school Troma flicks from Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz (you know, before they had budgets). COOL AS HELL marks Balsamo’s third feature length film and he’s showing no signs of slowing down (he’s already announced his next film, MYSTERY MEAT, set to drop later this year). The themes in COOL AS HELL are the same as his previous entries: Death metal, gore, laughs, and a frantic pace. Balsamo’s films may not be perfect but I always find myself having a really fun time with them.

COOL AS HELL follows Rich (Balsamo) and Benny (Dan E. Danger), two very experienced underachievers who live for comic books, attempting to pick up girls way outta their league in bars, and partying hard. One day Rich meets the woman of his dreams, Ashley (Lauren Adamkiewicz) but she’s already dating a total douche-nozzle named Sal (Frank Mullen). Sal is abusive and neglectful towards her, he’s a thug by trade, and he’s just a repulsive person to be around in general. One day Rich runs into a low level demon named Az (Billy Walsh) he was summoned to earth to scare someone, but Rich interrupts and the demon becomes enthralled to him. At first Rich doesn’t know what to do with Az, but soon it becomes apparent that Az is a party demon. So Az, Rich, and Benny start hanging around with Az showing them the finer points of partying like a complete maniac.

Unfortunately something followed Az through the portal and now there’s a soul-eating demon and loads of zombies to deal with. So Rich and Benny must decide real fast whether to abandon their party ways or to grow up and become feared Demon Slayers. We all know which road they take.

indie filmmaker James Balsamo
indie filmmaker James Balsamo

COOL AS HELL is just like Balsamo’s other films: It’s a super low/no budgeter with lots of amateur actors. By the very nature of COOL AS HELL, I should have hated it. Yet Balsamo again injects a high level of energy into all his scenes and really creates an entertaining, gory genre flick that never takes itself too serious but always delivers on the fun. My criticisms of this film are the same as in his previous movies. Some scenes could’ve been trimmed down to create a tighter final product and I find the (over)use of the blaring death metal music in all the gore scenes a little distracting. The music takes the focus off of the gore, and the problem with this is that Balsamo is a pretty damn talented f/x artist!! Balsamo, once again, wears a lot of hats in COOL AS HELL. He’s the lead actor, writer, director, producer. editor, and production designer. He’s a true indie horror filmmaker. We also get some fun genre cameos. Indie horror filmmaker Donald Farmer, Laurence R. Harvey from HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2, and horror f/x guru Tom Savini to name a few.

COOL AS HELL proves once again that James Balsamo is here to stay and that the indie horror scene is alive and thriving. COOL AS HELL is a fun, no-brainer genre flick that’s works best watching it with some buddies and some booze. Check this one out.

My Summary:

Director: James Balsamo (& writer)

Plot: 3 out of 5 stars

Gore: 6 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 2 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Balsamo Announces His 4th Horror Feature, Mystery Meat!!

Mystery Meat posterJames Balsamo is determined to make his name a household familiarity.  Since 2011 Balsamo has made three films (his latest, COOL AS HELL, is being released soon) and has acted in nine indie horror films.  Well staying true to his mission, Balsamo has announced his fourth feature film, MYSTERY MEAT.  Check out the press release:

NEW YORK, NY – Acid Bath Productions, the makers of “Hack Job,” “I Spill Your Guts,” and “Cool as Hell,” are excited to announce the official release date of July 23, 2012 for a brand new Horror/Comedy, “Mystery Meat.” The film will be directed by James Balsamo and promises to be jam-packed with the insane gore and gratuitous nudity our fans have come to love.

Casting is ongoing, but we’re thrilled to announce the attachment of Cult-Icon Johnny Ledged. A space creature from beyond the stars lays its eggs in a meatball factory and the soon-to-sprout spawn are dipped in batter and shipped out cross-country. Fast food heat lamps will bring the little monsters to life and they are hungry! Strap on your bib for this blood splattering Horror/Comedy. They came from outer space to eat your face. You’re the tasty treat in Mystery Meat!

Mystery Meat is slated to hit stores worldwide this July.

###

More details on this one as it becomes available.

Stay Bloody!!!

Red Band Trailer Drops for Balsamo’s Cool As Hell

cool-as-hell-poster3_jpgIndie horror filmmaker James Balsamo is one hard working sonuvabitch!!  He’s been hard at work in post-production on COOL AS HELL, his upcoming film, and there’s no sign of him letting up any time soon (see my previous article on Balsamo here).  COOL AS HELL is written, directed, and stars Balsamo and also stars Tom Savini, HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 psycho Laurence R. Harvey, Frank Mullen, David Naughton, Frank Mullen, Donald Farmer, and Andrew W.K.  Check out the plot crunch:

Rich and Benny are having trouble with the ladies, until they befriend a demon named Az. It’s a non-stop party until a soul hungry beast leaps through an open portal from the underworld and starts terrorizing the town. It’s up to Az and the boys to send the creature back to the depths where it came from, and look good, while doing it in “Cool As Hell”.

If you’ve seen any of Balsamo’s previous films you know you’re in for a lot of gore, a lot of black comedy, a lot of death metal, and a lot of fun.  Check out the red band trailer and tell me what you think:

COOL AS HELL is set to drop on February 19, 2013.

Stay Bloody!!!

Lots of Updates from James Balsamo: I Spill Your Guts Gets a Book & VHS Release & News on His Latest Feature, Cool as Hell

I Spill Your Guts on VHS!!
I Spill Your Guts on VHS!!

James Balsamo is rather new on the indie horror scene but he’s a filmmaker I’m keeping my eye on.  Balsamo plundered the indie horror scene in 2011 with his debut, HACK JOB (my review), which too me back to the good old early days of Troma films.  He followed up HACK JOB with I SPILL YOUR GUTS (my review).  Balsamo’s energy and passion for the genre shines through in every frame and I appreciate that Balsamo makes horror films because he loves horror films.  The genre isn’t just a stepping stone for him and his career … it’s the actual path.

Well Balsamo recently contacted me with some good news.  His feature I SPILL YOUR GUTS has just been novelized and released in book form and it has also been released in VHS.  If you’ve seen I SPILL YOUR GUTS then you know that this is the perfect film to watch in VHS form!!  The novel was written by Nick Kisella and is available on Amazon.com in both paperback version (click here) and Kindle version (click here).  Acid Bath Productions & Horrorboobs Video has released the VHS exclusively through Forbidden Planet in NYC (click here).

Cover of the I SPILL YOUR GUTS novel!!
Cover of the I SPILL YOUR GUTS novel!!

In other news, Balsamo’s newest feature, COOL AS HELL, will be hitting the streets February 19, 2013.  Check out the plot crunch of COOL AS HELL:

Rich and Benny are having trouble with the ladies, until they befriend a demon named Az. It’s a non-stop party until a soul hungry beast leaps through an open portal from the underworld and starts terrorizing the town. It’s up to Az and the boys to send the creature back to the depths where it came from, and look good, while doing it in “Cool As Hell”.

As soon as I find out where it’ll be available, I’ll let you know.  Support indie horror filmmakers and see something original, gory, and fun for a change!!

Stay Bloody!!!

Official Trailer & Artwork Drop for James Balsamo's Cool as Hell

James Balsamo, the crazy bastard behind 2011’s HACK JOB (my review) and 2012’s I SPILL YOUR GUTS (my review), is back with his new film, COOL AS HELL!!  Balsamo contacted me earlier today with the official trailer and artwork for COOL AS HELL and this one looks FUN AS HELL (sorry … the pun was there so I took it).  The film is written and directed by Balsamo and stars Tom Savini, Andrew W.K., James Balsamo, and tons of cameos from some of death metals best performers!!  Check out the plot summary:

Rich and Benny are having trouble with the ladies, until they befriend a demon named Az. It’s a non-stop party until a soul hungry beast leaps through an open portal from the underworld and starts terrorizing the town. It’s up to Az and the boys to send the creature back to the depths where it came from, and look good, while doing it in “Cool As Hell”.

Now dig on the trailer and remember that Balsamo is an indie horror filmmaker making films with very modest finances, but putting all his heart and soul onto the screen … and he has a warped sense of humor and he’s bat-shit crazy!!  I’m a big fan of Balsamo’s.

Make sure to check out the official COOL AS HELL Facebook page and throw your support their way.

Stay Bloody!!!

Balsamo is Back and is Cool as Hell!!

James Balsamo is a busy man.  Balsamo has made two feature-length films in the last two years and it looks as though he has no intentions of slowing down!!  His first film, HACK JOB, was a horror anthology (my review) and covered just about every horror sub-genre you could think of (I think it also created some new genres along the way!!).  I SPILL YOUR GUTS (my review) was a more traditional narrative and really captured the heyday of the exploitation/grindhouse flick.  Now Balsamo is back with COOL AS HELL, a horror-comedy set for a December 1, 2012 release.  Check out the press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 23, 2012

DIRECTOR OF HACK JOB AND I SPILL YOUR GUTS PRESENTS NEW FILM “COOL AS HELL”

NEW YORK, NY – Acid Bath Productions, the makers of “Hack Job” and “I Spill Your Guts”, has announced the official release date of December 01, 2012 for a brand new Horror Comedy, “Cool as Hell”. Directed by James Balsamo, this intense demon-centric masterpiece is bound to get you excited.

Rich and Benny are having trouble with the ladies, until they befriend a demon named Az. It’s a non-stop party until a soul hungry beast leaps through an open portal from the underworld and starts terrorizing the town. It’s up to Az and the boys to send the creature back to the depths where it came from, and look good, while doing it in “Cool As Hell”.

“Cool As Hell” features horror legend Tom Savini, Carmine Capobianco, 3 Inches Of Blood, Municipal Waste, and lead singer of Suffocation, Frank Mullen. The film stars James Balsamo, Billy Walsh, and Lauren Adamkiewicz. “Cool as Hell” is slated for a December release.

###

***END***

Be sure to check out the official COOL AS HELL Facebook Page.