The ABC’s of Death (2013)

abcs-of-death-posterUsually when I get my hands on a new horror anthology I’m excited and eager to see it. But of late the horror anthology has taken a turn for the worse. Yes, I’m referring to the boring and extremely overrated V/H/S (my review). That film was enough to get me off of horror anthologies forever. But THE ABCs OF DEATH is an anthology that’s a little different than most. Instead of trying to create a wrap-around story to unify the stories in the anthology, THE ABCs OF DEATH uses the alphabet. Twenty-six directors each took a letter of the alphabet and created a short horror film focused on death. Statistically with 26 short films we’re bound to get some good ones in the mix, right? Please tell me I’m right!! I’m desperate here for a good horror anthology … does THE ABCs OF DEATH fill that void?

The short answer is yes. When it’s all said and done, THE ABCs OF DEATH offers enough strong entries that watching the full two hours is worth your time. Besides, if there’s anything that really bores you (and there’s a few of them in here), they’re so short that they’re over before they begin. But ya know what, I’m gonna do something different here and focus on the positives in this review. The one thing I’d like to point out is something that I’m not sure is a fault of the film itself or the service I was watching it on (I rented this one through vudu.com). The film was very glitchy and would often freeze up for a second or two. Like I said, this may have been an issue with vudu.com or it could be a flaw on the DVD. I’m not sure.

abcs-of-death dogThe first three shorts (A through C) were pretty forgettable. But when we get to D, not only do we get a fantastic short film, we also get what is perhaps the best short in the entire anthology. “D is for Dogfight” is a beautifully shot film that was shot entirely in super slow motion. “D is for Dogfight” was directed by Marcel Sarmiento, half the team behind the dreadful DEADGIRL (my review). But Sarmiento redeems himself beautifully here and really crafts an exceptional story. The story is about a man and a dog in a fight-to-the-death underground fighting ring where people bet on either the human or the canine. As mentioned, “D is for Dogfight” is shot in super slo-mo and there’s no dialogue; yet there’s a ton of emotion and sentiment being conveyed. This is a really fantastic story; perhaps the best among the 26 stories.

"L is for Libido" is disturbing & has a shocking ending!!
“L is for Libido” is disturbing & has a shocking ending!!

The next short that really stood out for me was Timo Tjahjanto’s “L is for Libido.” Tjahjanto co-directed 2009’s MACABRE and will be in the upcoming follow up to V/H/S, titled V/H/S/2. “L is for Libido” is a very dark, twisted, and disturbing short that’ll stick with you long after it’s over. Two guys are tied to a chair naked and have very limited use of their hands. A cute naked girl is brought in front of them and the first one to successfully jerk off and cum, “wins.” The loser is killed in a most disturbing way and the winner moves onto the next round. But with each new round, the “models” represent more and more depraved sexuality. There’s a semi-deformed girl in a wheelchair using a dildo on herself and then there’s a … well you’re just going to have to see this one to believe it. But with each round the man must keep beating his opponent (and apparently his own schwantz) and cum first. If he doesn’t, he knows there’s a grim and very painful death awaiting him. This one is really twisted, disturbing, and has close to no dialogue in it, but WOW it packs a real punch. You’ll leave this one feeling dirty and slimy. In fact, I don’t think I’ve felt this dirty since I watched A SERBIAN FILM (my review). I really liked this one for having so much of an impact in such a small amount of time.

Meet the Japanese Dr. Strangelove in
Meet the Japanese Dr. Strangelove in “Z is for Zetsumetsu.”

Luckily just a few stories away, “N is for Nuptials” provides some much needed comic relief after the L story!! “N is for Nuptials” is directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun, co-director of 2004’s SHUTTER (which was remade in 2008 for the American market). This is a real quick and fun short that starts out very romantic (a guy asking his girlfriend to marry him) and turns deadly after a bird can’t keep it’s mouth shut!! This one had me laughing out loud. It’s a lot of fun.

This kid's never gonna shit on the crapper again. "T is for Toilet."
This kid’s never gonna shit on the crapper again. “T is for Toilet.”

Other fun stories include Srdjan (A SERBIAN FILM) Spasojevic’s gory, “R Is for Removed;” Jake West’s story of a woman running away from Death, “S is for Speed;” Lee Hardcastle’s “T is for Toilet,” where every kid’s nightmare about potty training comes true; Kaare Andrews’ fast-paced and gory futuristic story, “V is for Vagitus;” and Jason Eisener’s “Y is for Youngbuck,” which has a young boy getting revenge on his molester. But besides the above-mentioned, “D is for Dogfight,” the other show stopper here is definitely Xavier Gens’ “X is for XXL,” which is about a fat girl who makes the decision to make herself skinny and alter her body image one piece of flesh at a time. “X is for XXL” actually gets hard to watch at times and has the gore to back it up!! It’s s great story with great execution.

This is EXACTLY what it looks like. "F is for Fart."
This is EXACTLY what it looks like. “F is for Fart.”

And for all you lovers of Asian horror films, fear not!! Asian directors are well represented here. Noboru (ZOMBIE ASS: TOILET OF THE DEAD; my review) Iguchi continues to explore his ass fetish with, “F is for Fart,” an extremely bizarre story that really didn’t make much sense; Yudai (VERSUS, MEATBALL MACHINE) Yamaguchi presents his “”J is for Jidai-geki”, the most serene and unfortunately the most boring of the lot; and then there’s Yoshihiro (MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD, HELLDRIVER) Nishimura with his acid-trip of a segment, “Z is for Zetsumetsu.” In this one, there’s massive radiation leaks in Japan mutating almost the entire population and creating a neo-Nazi state in Japan. Images such as a blond Japanese girl with a huge cock using her tool as a sword and another girl with big titties who has the World Trade Center tattooed on one tit and an airplane tattooed on the other, and when she shakes her titties it looks like the airplane crashes into the buildings … such images will stay with you for a long time even though the story really doesn’t make much sense. That was the problem I had with the Asian entries: They were all too goddamn weird for their own sakes.

She thinks she can escape Death. Silly girl!!
She thinks she can escape Death. Silly girl!! “S is for Speed.”

In the end though, TEH ABCs OF DEATH is a lot of fun that has a few really strong show-stoppers that make the entire anthology worth your time. Sure there’s a few real dog turds here, but the good outweigh the bad and in my book that’s a positive. Check this one out.

My Summary:

Director: 26 directors (too many to list individually)

Plot: 3 out of 5 stars for the overall anthology, but there’s definitely some 5 out of 5 segments

Gore: 6 out of 10 skulls overall, but there’s a few 8 & 0 out of 10 skull segments

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

I had to leave you with this image!!  Take a guess from which story?
I had to leave you with this image!! Take a guess from which story?

Red-Band Trailer Drops for The ABC's of Death … Blood Will Spill!!

Finally!!  I’ve been waiting to see the red-band trailer for the upcoming horror anthology flick, THE ABCs OF DEATH, for a while now.

THE ABC’s OF DEATH is a feature film produced by Ant Timpson & Tim League. A project made up of 26 individual chapters by 26 directors that showcase death in all its wondrous and brutal beauty.

That’s right … an anthology made up of 26 stories, each being directed by a different filmmaker.  The possibilities are endless!!  Now we have both the red-band trailer and the release dates:  THE ABC’s OF DEATH will be hitting On Demand January 31, 2013 and theaters on March 8, 2013.  I can’t wait.  Check out the plot description:

Twenty-six directors. Twenty-six ways to die. The ABCs OF DEATH is perhaps the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning fifteen countries and featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by children’s educational books, the motion picture is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free reign in choosing a word to create a story involving death.

Here’s a list of all the participating filmmakers:

Kaare Andrews (segment “V is for Vagitus”)
Angela Bettis (segment “E is for Exterminate”)
Hélène Cattet (segment “O is for Orgasm”)
Ernesto Díaz Espinoza (segment “C is for Cycle”)
Jason Eisener (segment “Y Is for Youngbuck”)
Bruno Forzani (segment “O is for Orgasm”)
Adrián García Bogliano (segment “B Is for Bigfoot”)
Xavier Gens (segment “X Is for XXL”)
Lee Hardcastle (segment “T Is for Toilet”)
Noboru Iguchi (segment “F is for Fart”)
Thomas Cappelen Malling (segment “H is for Hyrdo-Electric Diffusion”)
Jorge Michel Grau (segment “I is for Ingrown”)
Anders Morgenthaler (segment “K is for Klutz”)
Yoshihiro Nishimura (segment “Z is for Zetsumetsu”)
Banjong Pisanthanakun (segment “N is for Nuptials”)
Simon Rumley (segment “P Is for Pressure”)
Marcel Sarmiento (segment “D Is for Dogfight”)
Jon Schnepp (segment “W is for WTF?”)
Srdjan Spasojevic (segment “R Is for Removed”)
Timo Tjahjanto (segment “L is for Libido”)
Andrew Traucki (segment “G is for Gravity”)
Nacho Vigalondo (segment “A Is for Apocalypse”)
Jake West (segment “S is for Speed”)
Ti West (segment “M Is for Miscarriage”)
Ben Wheatley (segment “U Is for Unearthed”)
Adam Wingard (segment “Q Is for Quack”)
Yudai Yamaguchi (segment “J is for Jidai-geki”)

There’s some pretty damn recognizable names, up and coming names, and some new names on this list.  I’m pretty excited to see what this anthology has to offer (especially after the shitty V/H/S horror anthology).  Now dig on the red-band trailer for THE ABC’s OF DEATH:

What do you think?

Stay Bloody!!!

New Stills & Artwork Drop for Paris I’ll Kill You … I Hate Mimes!!

New stills and artwork for the massive horror anthology, PARIS I’LL KILL YOU, have dropped and if you think you hated mimes before, well just take a look.  PARIS I’LL KILL YOU boasts having ten of horrors most “prolific directors” contributing stories to this anthology.  The directors are:

David R. Ellis (FINAL DESTINATION 2, SNAKES ON A PLANE), Xavier Gens (FRONTIER(S), THE DIVIDE), Joe Dante (GREMLINS, HOLE 3D), Christian Alvart (PANDORUM), Christopher Smith (BLACK DEATH, CREEP), Paco Plaza ([REC], [REC]2, [REC]3: GENESIS), Timo Vuorensola (MACABRE), Eron Sheean (ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY), German music video director Joern Heitmann, and duo Bjorn Stein and Mans Marlind (UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING).  Check out the closest thing we have to a plot crunch:

Instinctive Film and Blind Spot Pictures produce. K5 has boarded sales on the anticipated project (in pre-production for over two years now) which imagines Paris in different horror contexts. “Darkness has descended on the city of Romance, and Death is coming for you in the most glorious way imaginable…”

TWO years??  Seriously?  Oh well.  Check out the first stills.  There’s a reason everyone hates mimes!!  Check out their Facebook page to stay up to date on this anthology’s progress.

Stay Bloody!!!

New Artwork for The Farm & News on Future Grindhouse Films Drop!!

All things have a way of circling around and reappearing.  Take the grindhouse film, once considered the red-headed step child of the genre, the grindhouse film has made a come back of Herculean proportions!!  There’s films like HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN and FATHER’S DAY that pay tribute to this sub-genre and there’s films that like to align themselves with the grindhouse film (THE VICTIM).  Well brace yourselves because the modern-day grindhouse film ain’t going anywhere.  Actor-director Michael Biehn and director Xavier Gens are jointing forces to give us a slew of new grindhouse flicks, starting with THE FARM.  Check out the press release:

Aspect Film’s genre label Chiller Films has pre-sold Xavier Gens’ upcoming grindhouse feature The Farm to German distributor Tiberius Film, with other territories including North America and UK circling. The deal was brokered by Aspect’s Hugh Edwards and Tiberius’ Wolfgang Carl and David Marsh.

The first in a series of three grindhouse films from Blanc/Biehn Productions, The Farm will reunite Hitman director Xavier Gens with The Terminator star Michael Biehn, who worked together on The Divide. Also back from starring in The Divide is Michael Eklund, Courtney B. Vance, Ivan Gonzalez, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, while Danielle Harris will also star.

actor-director Michael Biehn

The Farm centers on a war veteran (Michael Biehn) who returns to his hometown in Texas a broken man, who must not only fight his inner demons to save his farm from a greedy corporation, but also an inhuman force that threatens to devour the American heartland.

The film is written by Bradley Marcus and Kevin Marcus and will be produced by Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Michel Teicher and Avi Federgreen. Shooting is scheduled to commence early 2013 in Canada.

Tiberius will shortly release Michael Biehn’s directorial debut The Victim, also from Blanc/Biehn Productions, and previously released Xavier Gens’ breakout film Frontiers(s). Michael Biehn said, “We love that Tiberius has The Victim and now The Farm, too…we are very excited to continue working with them.”

“The inspiration to do The Farm came from a desire to work once again with Michael Biehn,” Gens said. “We had so much fun making The Divide. I really liked him and didn’t want to wait too long before we could go back on a set and work together. I wanted to find the right project in which to reunite the family of The Divide before too much time passed.”

director Xavier Gens

Before taking on The Farm, Gens will helm two other films, the first of which is called Cold Skin. “Cold Skin is my top priority project after The Divide,” he said. “It’s a passion project which will be shot soon. We are supposed to lock the budget in Cannes. I am also developing a big French gangster film with LGM and Gaumont in France which will shoot in 2013. The Farm will be a good fun ride after those two big projects.”

Also slated for production under the Biehn/Gens partnership is Up and Down, directed by Carlo Rizzo, and The Predicator, directed by Greg Morin. Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn most recently produced the grindhouse film The Victim, which co-stars Harris. It is currently slated for a late summer theatrical release through Anchor Bay Films.

I’m really liking Biehn’s dedication to the genre, and I’m glad to hear THE VICTIM is getting a distro deal.  More on this as it develops.

Stay Bloody!!!

THE DIVIDE (2011)

As far back as I could remember, I always wanted to be a survivor. And I’m not talking about surviving some reality show. I mean surviving when everyone else was dead. Surviving the End of the World.

My favourite movie from a very young age was Charlton Heston’s THE OMEGA MAN. I imagined myself as the Last Man on Earth, and in the summer days I would wake up at the crack of dawn and go bicycling in my neighbourhood, prowling through the city streets pretending I was foraging for supplies and avoiding albino mutants. I suppose it’s a modern extension of the old Robinson Crusoe fantasy: being free to act as I wanted, but having access to all the modern conveniences – and without having to pay for them.

I devoured movies like MAD MAX and its thousand bastard Italian and Filipino offspring, as well as DAMNATION ALLEY, LOGAN’S RUN, and many others. I was also aware of the more serious ones that emerged in the early 80s: THE DAY AFTER, THREADS, TESTAMENT. They captured the apocalyptic zeitgeist of the 80s, during the last cusp of the Red Scare with the accompanying threat of Doomsday, and they did it without a gas-scavenging punk-haired mutant in sight. They were serious, and realistic, and they had messages to impart to the audience. I understood that, even if I wasn’t mature enough at the time to properly appreciate it.

Michael Biehn as Mickey in THE DIVIDE

In the years since those turbulent times, the nuclear threat has lessened if not gone away entirely, replaced by environmental, political, cosmic, technological and societal threats. But I think my generation might never get that image of the mushroom cloud out of our heads, or forget what it represents. But I still enjoy watching post-apocalyptic films, both the entertaining ones and the ones that had messages.

I didn’t enjoy watching Xavier Gens’ THE DIVIDE.

The gathering survivors

It opens powerfully, with panicked New Yorkers looking out their windows in abject horror at the sight of multiple nuclear explosions ripping their city apart; this is a scene that wastes no time, and convincingly paints a picture of immediate panic and imminent perdition. Immersed in utter chaos, the residents of one tenement building scramble down the stairs as their home crumbles around them, several residents making their way into their building’s fallout shelter. Their superintendent, survivalist-driven Mickey (Michael Biehn, ALIENS, TERMINATOR) reluctantly allows them in before sealing the door shut to the outside world. He’s been ready for this all along, but with the unwanted additions to his shelter, he makes an effort to ensure they know he’s boss and to stay out of his private room.

Lauren German (Eva) in THE DIVIDE

Eva (Lauren German, DARK COUNTRY) and her passive partner Sam (Ivan Gonzalez) make an effort to make the best of things, as does Marilyn (Rosanna Arquette, TRUE ROMANCE) and her young daughter Wendi (Abbey Thickson). But Mickey’s attitude grates on Designated Assholes Bobby (Michael Eklund, HUNT TO KILL), Josh (Milo Ventimiglia, who played Peter Petrelli in TV’s HEROES) and Delvin (Courtney B Vance, LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT). Life in the shelter is hard, activities are few and far between, food is rationed, and the toilet is a simple hole over a reeking septic tank. Mickey proves to be irritating, even aggressive at times, though his preparedness makes him right in most of the arguments, such as when he prevents Josh and Bobby from breaking the seal around the door and letting in the contaminated air.

This is how the world ends …

The door seal gets broken anyway – from without. A squad of armed men in white hazmat suits invade the shelter, none of them identifying themselves. In the struggle with the survivors, some of them get killed, but they still succeed in abducting Wendi. Josh volunteers to go out in one of the dead soldier’s hazmat suits to find out what is happening, and in his infiltration, he discovers a network of isolation tunnels and labs set up in the streets, where Wendi and other children, presumably taken from other survival places, are being experimented upon. Josh is discovered, and is exposed to the contaminated air before escaping back to the shelter, where the soldiers weld the door shut and trap them inside.

Knock knock …

More time passes, and tempers and sanity fray among the survivors. Eva’s relationship with Sam fractures, Josh begins to suffer the effects of exposure to the outside air. Marilyn told that her daughter is dead, escapes into insanity and an abusive relationship with Bobby, who’s out to become the next Alpha Male of the group. And his chance comes when Delvin discovers Mickey has been keeping supplies to himself, is killed in the consequent fight, and Bobby and Josh take over, torturing Mickey and threatening to plummet them all into chaos…

Firstly, the positives. The acting is commendable all around, particularly from Lauren German as the everywoman Eva, trying to maintain a sense of civility and decorum as all around her physically as well as metaphorically crumbles and rots, and Michael Biehn as the paranoid, emotionally damaged Mickey, able to be both sympathetic and unsympathetic at once. Xavier Gens takes the cramped, claustrophobic settings he created in FRONTIER(S) and exploits them to the fullest here (as well as working very successfully on a limited budget). The sets looks very realistic, and you can almost feel the grime and smell the decay as the characters spend more and more time down there (the movie was shot in chronological order, and a nutritionist was hired to put the actors on a strict diet to simulate starvation). And those few external shots looked incredibly real.

This is going to get messy!!

But there were a number of negatives about this film which for me overwhelmed the positives. The whole subplot about the hazmat soldiers taking the children comes and goes without explanation or exposition. Who were they? What were they doing? Were they the government, the UN, terrorists? Why take the children and not the adults? The level of organisation they displayed following a disaster of this apparent magnitude made me expect a twist at the end where it was all some insane social experiment being carried out. But no, their inclusion seems to be there to give the characters some more weapons, a hazmat suit, some bodies to cut up and dump down the septic tank, and to remove the child from the picture. Which, given the subsequent events, is a small blessing.

Which leads me into an even bigger problem with THE DIVIDE for me. Gens presents us with some startling images that are almost poetic – but then seems content to let the film slide into a wallowing exercise of nihilistic cruelty. We witness physical and emotional abuse, rape, torture (though somehow we’re spared witnessing the numerous bodies actually being dismembered with an axe), and while I’ve seen more far more visually explicit images in other films, the tone of THE DIVIDE made what we saw feel so much worse. It was exploitative, but unlike other movies, there was no relief about what is seen here, no hope. There is a pervading sense of despair throughout, and as the characters succumb to their darkest sides, I wondered why they even bother remaining alive. No one talks of rebuilding society, or finding family, or of helping each other. They appear little better than talking animals, and if I were there, I would not want to survive.

We seriously are not gonna get an explanation for this!!

And therein lies my biggest gripe with the movie: its message. Throughout the ordeal, the characters descend into madness, brutality, degradation, and writers Karl Mueller and Eron Sheean have taken a few pages out of LORD OF THE FLIES to present us with the notion that stripped of societal constraints, people will descend into savagery. Not even Eva, the character most likely to be the film’s conscience or moral compass, is immune (I won’t detail any more, for fear of spoilers, but I was both appalled and disappointed by her ultimate actions). The writers treat this as a Major Truth.

It’s not.

It’s all too easy to adopt a cynical attitude about humanity, to think that a selfish, murderous beast lies just beneath our civilised skins and clothes, and all we need is the opportunity. Sure, there will always be opportunists, and people who will crack under pressure. But for every story you hear or read about looters following a disaster, there are also stories of people offering aid, shelter, rescue to folk they don’t even know (of course, the negative stories will always get the headlines). For every war profiteer, there are more willing to lay down their lives for another, with no thought of reward.

Maybe I’m taking this far too seriously. Maybe it’s just the timing; my daughter is seventeen, about to become an adult and enter a wider world. There’s room in this world for a movie with a grim, nihilistic message, I suppose – but I couldn’t see myself watching this again, or recommending it to anyone else. I was much more pessimistic when I was younger, but now I believe that people have more sense of community and compassion than a movie like this would have us believe, and that this capacity is as ingrained and as a strong as our capacity for survival. They are better than you might think from watching this.

THE DIVIDE is out on DVD. Check out the trailer here.

Deggsy’s Summary:

Director: Xavier Gens

Plot: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Gore: 5 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Derek “Deggsy” O’Brien

More Casting News for James Wan's House of Horror

A little more news is seeping out about the upcoming James Wan produced, HOUSE OF HORROR, written by Max La Bella. According to bloody-disgusting.com, actress Maria Bello (A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13) is in final negotiations to star in HOUSE OF HORROR. Director Xavier Gens (FRONTIERS) was previously attached to direct but has since dropped out. A new director is supposed to be announced soon. Dimension Films is producing the film, so take that as you will!! Here’s the plot crunch:

The Devil made me do it.

The House of Horror is a horror-thriller that centers around a gruesome crime scene. The film is shot with a blend of found footage, interrogation video, news cameras and classical cinematography. The film focuses on the aftermath of an horrific massacre: five college students, brutally murdered inside a decrepit, abandoned home.

We are thrown right into the mix as the lead Detective, Mark Lewis, and the police department’s psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Klein, question a suspect. The young man at the center is John Ascot, bound by handcuffs in a mobile command station. During the interrogation John explains everything leading up to the deaths of his friends.

We discover that they were amateur ghost-hunters, seeking out paranormal phenomenon at the abandoned house believed to be haunted. What started out as a harmless activity turned into something truly terrifying and more than they ever could bargain for. John explains to the police that he isn’t responsible for his friends’ deaths, but rather, it was the house. He tells them he believes the house is a gateway to hell, a place of concentrated evil.

We slowly witness an eerie change in John’s demeanor through the course of the movie. Things take a disturbing turn when John hints at the notion that he is possessed by the Devil. Detective Lewis and Dr. Klein are forced to unravel the mystery of how John’s friends were murdered. All this leads to a stunning revelation about the man they’ve been interrogating and a gut-wrenching conclusion.

More on this one as it develops.

Stay Bloody!!!

A Ton of Clips Hit the Web for Xavier Gens’ The Divide

The PR machine behind Xavier Gens’ THE DIVIDE has been really picking up steam lately. Written by Karl Mueller and Eron Sheean and directed by Xavier Gens, THE DIVIDE stars Lauren German, Jennifer Blanc and Michael Biehn. Here’s the plot synopsis:

In this graphic and violent, post-apocalyptic thriller, nine strangers — all tenants of a New York high-rise apartment — escape a nuclear attack by hiding out in the building’s bunker-like basement. Trapped for days underground with no hope for rescue, and only unspeakable horrors awaiting them on the other side of the bunker door, the group begins to descend into madness, each turning on one another with physical and psycho-sexual torment. As supplies dwindle, and tensions flare, they grow increasingly unhinged by their close quarters and hopelessness. Each act against one another becomes more depraved than the next. While everyone in the bunker allows themselves to be overcome by desperation and lose their humanity, one survivor holds onto a thin chance for escape, even with no promise of salvation on the outside.

Now check out the slew of clips below … this one might manage to hose off the stench of Gens’ FRONTIER(S)!!

Stay Bloody!!!

Gens’ The Divide Opens with …. a Food Drive!!

That’s right; the highly anticipated Xavier (FRONTIERS) Gens flick, THE DIVIDE, is opening up on January 13, 2012 and in some select theaters there’s gonna be a food drive to support and help generate more buzz about the film:

Select theaters screening The Divide will be hosting a canned food drive with those audience members donating to the fund receiving some free swag from the film.

And here’s more info and a listing of the theaters hosting a food drive during the opening night (as always, I’m so glad I live in Austin, TX … I can’t say that all the time!!):

The Divide Food Drive Details
Anchor Bay Films has teamed up with Feeding America Food Banks to conduct a canned food drive in conjunction with the January 13, 2012 release of Xavier Gens’ new film, the unrated post-apocalyptic thriller, The Divide.

In a tongue-in-cheek allusion to the canned goods needed for survival in the film, the first 50 people in each market attending the opening night midnight screenings who bring a donation of canned goods will receive a limited edition poster for the film designed by Mondo-commissioned street artist “Jock.”

The canned food drive will be held at the following theatres:

  • Los Angeles at The Nuart
  • New York at The Landmark Sunshine
  • Austin at The Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
  • Boston at The Coolidge Theater
  • Dallas at The Landmark Inwood
  • Denver at The Landmark Esquire

Considering Gens’ FRONTIER(S) was a huge disappointment, I curious to see how he does with this one. Gens definitely has some filmmaking chops — that’s not what’s in question. What I didn’t like was that FRONTIER(S) was completely unoriginal and I thought it was pretty damn tame. But check out the trailer and plot crunch below:

The Divide features a large and diverse cast featuring such icons of horror and sci-fi as Lauren German (Hostel Part 2), Michael Biehn (The Terminator, Aliens), Milo Ventimiglia (NBC’s “Heroes”) and Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction). In this graphic and violent, post-apocalyptic thriller, nine strangers—all tenants of a New York high-rise apartment—escape a nuclear attack by hiding out in the building’s bunker-like basement. Trapped for days underground with no hope for rescue, and only unspeakable horrors awaiting them on the other side of the bunker door, the group begins to descend into madness, each turning on one another with physical and psycho-sexual torment. As supplies dwindle, and tensions flare, they grow increasingly unhinged by their close quarters and hopelessness. Each act against one another becomes more depraved than the next. While everyone in the bunker allows himself or herself to be overcome by desperation and lose their humanity, one survivor holds onto a thin chance for escape, even with no promise of salvation on the outside.

And the trailer:

I’ll definitely be there for opening night with my canned goods and non-perishables (now ya know the meaning of the tie-in to the food drive)!! Are you looking forward to this one?

Stay Bloody!!!

Trailer & Stills for Xavier Gens’ The Divide

No one can ever say that I’m not a fair person. I always give everyone and every project a shot. Take, for example, Xavier Gens. In 2007 Gens wrote and directed FRONTIER(S). The film got fantastic reviews from both critics and fans alike. I thought it was extremely boring and predictable. I hated it. But Gens is back, this time with the film THE DIVIDE. The film stars Lauren German, Jennifer Blanc and Michael Biehn and is written by Karl Mueller and Eron Sheean. Here’s the plot crunch on this one:

In this graphic and violent, post-apocalyptic thriller, nine strangers — all tenants of a New York high-rise apartment — escape a nuclear attack by hiding out in the building’s bunker-like basement. Trapped for days underground with no hope for rescue, and only unspeakable horrors awaiting them on the other side of the bunker door, the group begins to descend into madness, each turning on one another with physical and psycho-sexual torment. As supplies dwindle, and tensions flare, they grow increasingly unhinged by their close quarters and hopelessness. Each act against one another becomes more depraved than the next. While everyone in the bunker allows themselves to be overcome by desperation and lose their humanity, one survivor holds onto a thin chance for escape, even with no promise of salvation on the outside.

The Divide features a large and diverse cast featuring such icons of horror and sci-fi as Lauren German (Hostel Part 2), Michael Biehn (The Terminator, Aliens), and Milo Ventimiglia (NBC’s “Heroes”) as well as Courtney B. Vance (Final Destination 5, The Hunt for Red October), Ashton Holmes (CW’s “Nikita”, A History of Violence), and Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction).

This one sounds pretty damn good, and the potential is here for a very claustrophobic and violent powder-keg of a flick. THE DIVIDE is set for a theatrical release on Friday, January 13th, 2012 in the following markets: New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Denver (more cities are supposed to be announced). This theatrical release is the full, unrated director’s cut, so this’ll definitely be worth seeing in the theater. Now check out the trailer and some stills from the film and tell me you aren’t a little curious about this one. Like I said; I’m a fair man and will always give a filmmaker a second shot!!

Stay Bloody!!!

Xavier Gens to Direct James Wan’s Next Project

You know the James Wan is the unspoken toast of Hollywood. Wan is the man who started the very lucrative SAW franchise and then went on to make the uber-hit INSIDIOUS, which grossed $97 million worldwide and has an estimated budget of $1.5 million. Yeah, chew on those numbers for a second!! Well Wan is currently working on another horror flick, HOUSE OF HORROR, and Shock Till You Drop is reporting that Xavier Gens is attached to direct. You all know who Gens is; he’s the director of the extremely overrated French film FRONTIERE(S). But even though I didn’t care for that film at all, I did see some promise in Gens’ direction. Here’s the synopsis of HOUSE OF HORROR:

The Devil made me do it.

The House of Horror is a horror-thriller that centres around a gruesome crime scene. The film is shot with a blend of found footage, interrogation video, news cameras and classical cinematography. The film focuses on the aftermath of a horrific massacre; five college students, brutally murdered inside a decrepit, abandoned home.

We are thrown right into the mix as the lead Detective, Mark Lewis, and the police department’s psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Klein, question a suspect. The young man at the centre is John Ascot, bound by handcuffs in a mobile command station. During the interrogation, John explains everything leading up to the deaths of his friends.

We discover that they were amateur ghost-hunters, seeking out paranormal phenomenon at the abandoned house believed to be haunted. What started out as a harmless activity turned into something truly terrifying and more than they ever could bargain for. John explains to the police that he isn’t responsible for his friends’ deaths, but rather, it was the house. He tells them he believes the house is a gateway to hell; a place of concentrated evil.

We slowly witness an eerie change in John’s demeanour through the course of the movie. Things take a disturbing turn when John hints at the notion that he is possessed by the Devil. Detective Lewis and Dr. Klein are forced to unravel the mystery of how John’s friends were murdered. All this leads to a stunning revelation about the man they’ve been interrogating and a gut-wrenching conclusion.

Sounds pretty interesting. More on this one as I hear about it.

Stay Bloody!!!