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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Dustin Wade Mills' Applecart.

 Applecart DVD




This is my first foray into the films of Dustin Wade Mills. His work is spoken about with great enthusiasm between fans of horror, and as I am always interested in viewing new and interesting horror films, I requested to view a screener of 'Applecart', as I have read many raving over his films.

Watching this film, you truly feel you are experiencing the mind of both a genius and a madman. The film, a four part anthology connected by ideas of forbidden fruit and love, works on many levels. Not only is it incredibly artistic, it draws you into its warped nightmarish landscape like nothing else out there. A feat many films fail at the first hurdle. Not 'Applecart'. It continues to draw you in, almost hypnotising the viewer and twisting their stomachs into knots throughout the entire film.

I watched this film with mouth agape, eyes locked on the screen, nails digging deep into the palm of my hand. Shot in black and white and featuring no dialogue, 'Applecart' transcends both the exploitation film tropes it displays, and to a greater degree the artistic performances and storytelling on offer, to become something much greater than the sum of its parts. It is purely and simply breathtaking, and pushes boundaries in every respect. The fact the cast all wear near white emotionless masks helps the viewer proect their own fears upon the individuals who perform in this cinematic triumph, making it that much more disturbing. You can literally feel everything being played out in your gut. This film, despite not showing it, really succeeds in portraying raw emotion and disturbing images to turn even the most jaded horror fans stomachs. As honest as it is transgressive, 'Applecart' is a thing of nightmarish beauty.

The fact that the actors and actresses cannot convey emotion through their faces means they take a much more theatrical approach to their performances, using elements of performance art, and it works to the advantage of the film, keeping the audience on edge and not letting them have any idea where the film is going to go next. How many films do that? I presonally can't think of any that have come out in the last ten years that have such impassioned and artistic merit as 'Applecart' does.

Even after watching horror and exploitation films for nearly 28 years, it is such a great feeling to see something wholly original. Something that manages to shock and surprise in equal measure. 'Applecart' is that very film. If this is any indication of just what Dustin Wade Mills can do, then this man should have his films in every horror and exploitation fans collection. That's a fact.

You can purchase 'Applecart' from Crumpleshack by clicking HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.




Thursday, 26 March 2015

Facebook is an asshole.

Further to my previous post about this blog moving over to WordPress, that is now not going to happen. While in conversation with a director whose work I am incredibly looking forward to checking out and writing about, I noticed Facebook once more allowed me to post links to Blogger on my timeline.

As before, when they stopped this, there was no mention this was the case. So I am as surprised and slightly annoyed as everyone else who uses this blogging platform who had the same problem.

As I am now back on track with University work (and have onlyeight weeks left) there will be an increase in output here once more. Coming over the next week will be a review of Alexis Gonzalez's 'Spookfield' anthology, and Dustin Wade Mills' new flick 'Applecart'.

Thank you all who continue to read my ramblings. This World of Horror will carry on here!

Darkest regards......Dani.


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

My move over to Wordpress.

Doctor Carnage's World of Horror is moving to Wordpress. Facebook has blocked all links to Blogger, making this move necessary as without Facebook, I have very little to promote my articles with. I will be moving all of the articles/promos and reviews over to doctorcarnage.wordpress.com so I hope you will join me there for more reviews, promos and editorials.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Extended synopsis and awesome page shots from Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!







Well look here! The Soska sisters have today released page shots and an extended synopsis for their upcoming collaboration with writer Daniel Way and artist Rob Dumo. I for one am really looking forward to this. Here is the extended synopsis!

Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack! is an original graphic novel presented in a grindhouse/exploitation film style. It’s irreverent and raw but, at the same time, it’s a story–an actual story with a beginning, middle and end–that’s infused with relevant social commentary.

The story centers upon Purvis Gunt, a malcontent and pervert who works at a pharmaceutical lab. Purvis is obsessed with having rampant, porno-style sex with nearly every woman he sees but it’s never gonna happen for him because, in addition to the fact that he’s married, he’s revolting in every possible way. So he turns to science for a way to cheat the situation, using the resources of the pharmaceutical lab to create something that will cause women to lose any and all inhibition or restraint and fill them with uncontrollable lust. Purvis, however, is a terrible scientist. What he cooks up is a virus that fills women with not only a lust for sex…but for blood!

When the virus gets out and infects the female population of the small town where Purvis lives, carnage ensues and it’s up to Purvis, disgraced priest Father Osorio and super macho but sexually ambiguous SWAT officer Mack Diesel to contain the situation before woman-hating US President Pole drops a nuke on the whole goddamn mess!

Tell me that doesn't get you excited! This graphic novel is going to revel in 42nd Street madness, bringing the exploitation style of the films shown there to great effect in the style of artistic storytelling.

Look! Page shots too!! I have to say, it really does look incredible!



 

Don't forget to visit the Kickstarter for this amazing project, as there are fantastic perks on offer, so donate and/or share as much as you can!!

You can visit the Kickstarter for Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack! by clicking HERE.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Is it fair that illegal downloading is wholly to blame for filmmakers not making a return?

Piracy. The bane of many an indie horror company. It never ceases to amaze me how fast something will end up on torrent sites, or even on Youtube. One could argue that this sort of exposure brings these underground films into the homes of many more fans than a normal DVD/Blu-Ray release would. But at what price? If the filmmakers aren't making a return, how are they going to continue making films?

In this piece, I will be looking in detail at both sides of the argument, from the filmmakers and from someone who knows an awful lot more about the subject than I.

When I suggested this post on Facebook and asked filmmakers to get in touch with me to share their experiences (for a second time, as Facebook decided to do away with my original post) it became obvious just how passionate filmmakers are about this subject.

Jessica Cameron wrote "When the OTHER side is illegal and immoral how much focus does it need?
I think "giving the other side focus" is part of the problem and in no way a solution. If I get mugged, the mugger gets caught, they get their chance to say their side in front of
a judge. Here's the thing - if you are a film maker who believes having your film avail for free is helpful, great - post your movie for the world to see on a public site. THAT is another point entirely. Stealing is wrong. Period". 


From this post alone, I could see where the lines were drawn, and both sides were as far away from each other as they could possibly be. On the one hand, many filmmakers detest torrents and piracy (and with great reason). Not only are people stealing work these filmmakers have put their heart and soul into, they are exploiting everybody who worked on that movie as well as taking any money the filmmaker might have made and practically throwing it into the wind. There is no doubt that piracy hurts filmmakers in every respect. There is no doubt that it is wrong. But I could not talk about one side without looking at things beyond piracy that might be to blame for the loss of money these filmmakers are experiencing.

An open letter written by filmmaker Lee Vervoort (Horror Movies Ca, 2014) which you can see by clicking here, makes a very interesting argument and touches on some home truths also. While Lee is angry that his film 'Gun Town' is being shared on websites that let people view movies for free, he understands why it is done. He even outlines an idea to work around piracy and use the internet to share his movie whilst also giving fans a chance to donate for watching. Just think, with the reach of the internet, and people being charged $2 per viewing of a movie, what the return could be.

While filmmakers seem content to bemoan piracy, I do not see many trying to act in ways which would combat it. Understandably, it would take time and energy, and more importantly money, but it would put money back into the filmmakers product, and fans would be able to support the filmmakers work. It works in respect for campaigns on Indiegogo and such, whereby fans donate to filmmakers for perks and rewards. I have no doubt that if someone is a fan of a filmmaker, they would donate a little money to see a filmmakers piece of work.  

In talking to David Austin (former writer for Deep Red magazine, Cult Cuts, Ultra violent and The Wall Street Journal) he bought up some very good points, of which I will  share later on. His statement he sent to me outlines what he feels is the reason why physical media is failing.

He wrote "Independent filmmakers and distribution companies are going to point the finger at torrents and bootlegging as the death of their industry because they make an easy target. It's far more palatable to take aim upon anonymous movie fans running uTorrent than it is large corporate entities refusing to carry their films. Cinemageddon makes a far easier target than Rkyo Distribution".

He makes a very good point. Of course taking on anonymous individuals who share things online is going to be much easier than taking on a large company, but is it really these individuals who illegally share the work of these filmmakers that are responsible for the apparent downfall of physical media?  

David Austin goes on to say "The internet and trading is definitely hurting all facets of the entertainment marketplace, but it's a bit more than that. Tower Records shutting down was the true beginning of the end. When Tower was the industry leader, every store followed suit. Best Buy, Media Play, Hastings, Borders Books and Music, Barnes and Nobel etc.Tower shut down, and everyone expected Best Buy to pick up the slack. They didn't. All of a sudden, Synapse and Media Blasters and Shock O Rama discs were nowhere to be found at Best Buy. When the brick and mortars shut down, those casual shoppers who picked something up on a whim were pretty much eliminated from the prospective customer base. The people who download are those who never would have bought the movie anyway. So in a real sense, the good that downloading has is increasing market awareness. If titles were actually available in stores, people would buy them".

Again, David brings up some very good points. Does the lack of stores to sell the physical media in affect the availability of a persons movie? Does the waiting time between ordering from a seller/filmmaker themselves or from an online store mean people are more concerned with having the product here and now?

David also mentioned how "the distribution opportunities for independent features are rapidly dwindling, and that major damage was done by the New York Post when they published a hit piece on the fact that Johnny Legend's XXX film 'Teenage Cruisers' was being distributed through WMG/Ryko Distribution. As a result of this, every niche distributor wound up having their contracts with companies like Ryko and Sony/RED anulled. Companies such as Synapse and Blue Underground no longer had access to the storefront marketplace that those companies facilitated.
It was a real house of cards effect for the smaller companies. It pretty much put labels like NoShame and Casa Negra and even Media Blasters out of commission permanently. Everyone was forced to scale back considerably". (You can read more on the situation above by clicking HERE.)

On the other side of the coin, filmmakers feel very passionate about their films being stolen, and it is understandable why, and it is understandable why they feel torrents and bootlegging is such an important issue. How anyone can take something that someone has put so much time and effort into beggars belief, and I cannot imagine how much it destroys ones spirit to have this happen to them. It again becomes apparent that bootleggers and torrents are not only to blame for this. 

Joe Castro and Steven Escobar wrote and told me that they have had many issues with Youtube and have to manually remove videos every time it happens. They say that even though Youtube has a programme that can block people from uploading their content, they have been denied this because they are independent filmmakers and not studios who have hundreds of movies. They have nine movies, and Youtube thinks that they do not have the rights to their own movies and to protect them online.

They go on to explain that "Another issue we had in the past was from distributors, one of them being Breaking Glass Pictures, aka Vicious Circle Films.  They distributed THE SUMMER OF MASSACRE until I found out they had sold to Australia without our consent as per our contract with them. We pulled the film from them and made them pay us for that and took them to court".

As we can see from this, not only are the illegal uploaders to blame, but distribution companies which manage to deny the filmmakers money from their overseas sales. Again though, if it wasn't for these distribution companies, would these filmmakers work see the light of day? Do they have to take the chance of losing money just to have a chance to have their movies circulated? Is this not as bad, if not worse than torrenting and bootlegging films?

Brad Sykes, filmmaker for fifteen plus years sent me his comments on torrents and piracy, which I shall share in full.

"In the fifteen plus years I've been making movies, I've watched internet piracy become more and more of a threat to indie filmmakers and distributors making their money back, let alone profiting from their work. Of course illegal dowloads and torrent sites have always been around as long as the internet itself, but back when I started directing, the market was supported by video stores and sell-through, and foreign sales were still strong as well. A small title like 'Camp Blood' not only did well on VHS and DVD in the US, it had multiple DVD releases in the UK, France, Germany etc. The sequel, 'Camp Blood 2' was greenlit literally on the basis of strong foreign presales, before we even had a script.

Nowadays, filmmakers have to rely on online sales, where it's hard to stand out without marketing/advertising dollars and online/VOD rentals , which everyone - including the studios, are still trying figure out how to properly monetise. The foreign market has dried up, partially because of increased piracy overseas. There just isn't enough money to be made for some territories to justify making a DVD/BluRay, when the film is already available on dozens or hundreds of torrent sites. There's a whole new generation of viewers who grew up believing that everything - movies, music etc - should be free for the taking. It's just about impossible to combat these sites, most of whom are overseas and exempt from copyright laws. 

Our new movie, 'Hi-8' was released last December on DVD in the US, and almost immediately afterward started appearing not only on the usual torrent sites, but on Youtube aswell. The same thing happened with our last movie 'Plaguers' which hit the net soon after its legitimate Russian DVD  release. 'Hi-8' pops up from a different uploader just about every day, so we are constantly contacting Youtube, asking them to remove our film from their site. We have been successful at this, but it is time consuming and irritating to say the least, with lots of hoops to jump through to prove you are the rights holder. We find it ironic that they put so many challenges to the filmmakers, yet do nothing to stand in the way of their users uploading illegal content. 

If filmmakers want increased exposure for their work, I think a happy medium would be offering their film for a specific time period on a controlled channel, such as Vimeo, and spreading the word about it. But none of us are ever going to recoup our investment or turn a profit which we could then turn into a future film, if these torrent sites remain unregulated and the viewers continue to use them".  

In conclusion, we can see that filmmakers feel strongly about their works being 'stolen' by people who upload their films to torrents and who bootleg their work, and with great reason. This could scupper a filmmakers chances of making another feature, desroying all future chances of them ever doing something they love again. We can also see, from both Lee Vervoort's open letter and from the statement made by Brad Sykes, that if these channels were controlled, and filmmakers had the choice to upload their work, that they would be great tools to spread the word about the filmmakers work. David Austin makes it clear that torrent users and bootleggers should not be blamed entirely for the money lost, and that some responsibility has to be aimed at the decline of stores and the fact that large distribution companies no longer had access to storefront displays because of the furore uncovered by the New York Times.

These statements and pieces of evidence show that while the internet is a fantastic tool for filmmakers, there are always people out there who are willing to take things for free. I want to finish off this article by stating my views once more so there is no argument on which side of the fence I sit on (even though this article was written in a strictly objective viewpoint). I am against all piracy. No ones work, no ones art should be taken without the artists permission, or without paying for it when it is for sale. I personally cannot condone something which hurts filmmakers, and may very well take away some very strong new hopes in the movie industry simply because there are people out there who feel entitled to see things for free.

Darkest regards......Dani.





 

Anthropophagous forthcoming worldwide HD debut from 88 Films.

 Anthropophagous (Blu-ray) - The Italian Collection 07 ****PRE-ORDER NOW - RELEASED 22/06/15****




Yes! That is all I could say when I read this piece of news. Finally, the United Kingdom (and the rest of the world) is finally going to get a HD version of this Joe D'Amato classic!

Joe D’Amato cemented himself into genre film history with this slickly directed, and sinisterly suspenseful creature feature which has some unprepared tourists arriving on a desolate Mediterranean island – only to find themselves stalked by a silent cannibalistic Neanderthal! Featuring gory special effects, that convinced some British moral guardians that ANTHROPOPHAGOUS was a legitimate ‘snuff movie’, there is little doubting that this timeless terror totem still holds up today. Also boasting a cast of genre legends, such as Tisa Farrow (ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS), Zora Kerova (CANNIBAL FEROX) and George Eastman (RABID DOGS), 88 Films is proud to present ANTHROPOPHAGOUS fully uncut and uncensored and re-mastered for its worldwide HD debut!

Not only will you get a HD transfer of the aforementioned Italian classic, it also includes the feature length documentary 42nd STREET MEMORIES: THE RISE AND FALL OF AMERICA’S MOST NOTORIOUS BLOCK!

What better accompaniment to a certified classic like ANTHROPOPHAGUS than this long-awaited expose of New York’s notorious den of sex, sin and cinema? Many a movie made its mark in one of Manhattan’s long-demolished exploitation establishments – and 42nd STREET MEMORIES tells the story of the good old days of big city slime, sweat and sleaze. Directed by Calum Waddell and featuring an esteemed list of interviewees, including Joe Dante (GREMLINS), Frank Henenlotter (BASKET CASE), Larry Cohen (Q, THE WINGED SERPENT), William Lustig (MANIAC), adult performer Veronica Hart, author John Skipp and many more – this is the last word on the golden era of the world’s most celebrated sprawl of film theatres.

This film will ONLY be available for a six month period, and will only be available from the 88 Films Website. All pre-orders will receive a gloss finish O-card with the original banned artwork plus four collectible postcards.

A list of the special features featured on this release are as follows: - 
  • Available to watch in either English Language or Italian Language with English Subtitles
  • 42nd Street Memories - Feature Length Documentary
  • Trailer
  • Reversible Sleeve with original UK Video Nasty Art
  • More features to be announced…...
You can pre-order Anthropophagous from the 88 Films website by clicking  HERE. 
 
Darkest regards......Dani. 

The Soska Sisters + Daniel Way = Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!




Today (or last night for us in the UK, and believe me, having to sit on this news until now wasn't easy) Jen and Sylvia Soska announced their first original graphic novel, where they are going to collaborate with famed Wolverine: Origins and Deadpool (amongst others) scribe Daniel Way.

According to the Soska sisters, "Kill-Crazy Nyphos Attack! is is an original graphic novel presented in a grindhouse/exploitation film style. It's irreverent and raw but, at the same time, it's a story--an actual story with a beginning, middle and end--that's infused with relevant social commentary.

The story centers upon Purvis Gunt, a malcontent and pervert who works at a pharmaceutical lab. Purvis is obsessed with having rampant, porno-style sex with nearly every woman he sees but it's never gonna happen for him because, in addition to the fact that he's married, he's revolting in every possible way. So he turns to science for a way to cheat the situation, using the resources of the pharmaceutical lab to create something that will cause women to lose any and all inhibition or restraint and fill them with uncontrollable lust. Purvis, however, is a terrible scientist. What he cooks up is a virus that fills women with not only a lust for sex...but for blood.

When the virus gets out and infects the female population of the small town where Purvis lives, carnage ensues and it's up to Purvis, disgraced priest Father Osorio and super macho but sexually ambiguous SWAT officer Mack Diesel to contain the situation before woman-hating US President Pole drops a nuke on the whole goddamn mess.

The Soska sisters promise that, as with their films, you will see them tackle some serious social and gender issues in a loud, take no prisoners, whimsical, and altogether maniacal manner. The graphic novel will be filled with iconic, complex, cosplayable characters, including ourselves, for the first time, appearing in graphic novel form as the "Sister Sisters".
 
Both the Soska sisters and Daniel Way have full creative control over this project, and they are launching it via Kickstarter. 
Kickstarter is acting as more of an online store where fans are being offered exclusive experiences and items that are only available to those who donate. The incentives are a way for The Soska Sisters to give something back to the fans who support them and their work. 

The final word has to go to The Soska Sisters. "KILL-CRAZY NYMPHOS ATTACKS! is exactly the unadulterated insanity free from any restrictions, creatively or budget wise, that our audiences have been waiting for".
To check out and/or donate to the Kickstarter campaign, click HERE. 
Darkest regards......Dani.