Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lisa Ovies to Direct Beverly Hills Lizard People

Cthulhu Crush Productions have announced that filmmaker Lisa Ovies will direct horror-comedy Beverly Hills Lizard People.

Written by Cthulhu Crush’s Jody Wheeler, Beverly Hills Lizard People is described as a mix of Slither and Scream, and tells of an ancient race of shape-shifting Lizard People from the depths of the Earth who return to the surface to reclaim what was once theirs: Beverly Hills.

An estimated 12.5 million Americans believe in the existence of Lizard People.

Wheeler and Steve Parker produce for Cthulhu Crush Productions alongside I No.Films.

Ovies is an award winning producer, director and actress. Her feature Taking My Parents to Burning Man took home audience choice awards at the Sonoma International Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Maui Film Festival. Puppet Killer, currently in post-production, has gotten huge buzz and anticipation based on its unique premise.

“Lisa got BHLP from word one. She not only got the horror elements, but the moments of humor peppered through the script, laughs that emerged from the terror, not in spite of it,” Wheeler said.

“Everyone swears they’ve met people who were not quite human,” Parker said. “Who knows? They may indeed have been shape-shifting reptilians looking to rule the world.  Or just looking to improve their tan.”

“I had to direct this,” Ovies said. “It’s a crazy blend of horror, humor, and personal empowerment — precisely the kind of stories I love to tell. I’m looking forward to getting people to wonder what’s really beneath the skin of their best friends or loved ones.”

Ovies is represented by Moving Pictures Talent & Entertainment Group. Her IMDb page.

Beverly Hills Lizard People will be the fourth Cthulhu Crush Production, whose films include Love, Colin and the current horror flick WTF!. Wheeler and Parker were also creatives on cult hits Judas Kiss and The Dark Place.

Production is slated to begin Summer 2018, in Vancouver, Canada.

Official Synopsis

Disturbed from their ancient slumber by the excavation of a cross-town subway, the ancient reptilian masters of a faded empire strike out to reclaim what was once theirs: Beverly Hills.

Ground zero for their invasion? A once popular, though now faded, hotel, currently the site of a reality TV cooking show competition, and directly overhead of their secret city. Can the collection of unlikely contestants — ambitious, backstabbing, and determined — stop the shape-shifting Terrors From Below below before the reptilian ravagers achieve their goal of conquering first Beverly Hills and then the world?

Jody Wheeler
CEO & Creative Partner

Jody Wheeler is an award-winning creative, based in Los Angeles. He is the writer-producer-director of the 2014 mystery-thriller THE DARK PLACE, the writer of HEAT WAVE, the producer JUDAS KISS and the forthcoming WTF!. He wrote for the groundbreaking TV series “Inside / Outside The Beltway.” His short film “In The Closet” was nominated for the 2008 IRIS Prize. He’s a graduate of the UCLA MFA Screenwriting program.

Steve Parker
CFO & Creative Partner

Steve Parker is an award-winning editor and executive producer, based in San Francisco. He directed, shot and edited the music video of Tom Robinson’s “Loved By You”, produced  the shorts “Begging for Change”, and “Barbie Boy,” and the feature films JUDAS KISS, THE DARK PLACE, and the forthcoming WTF!. He recently directed the short “Love, Colin”, set to premiere in 2016.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Want Me to Promote Your Film with Cartoon Captions?

No, I'm not offering a pay for promotion service, or any kind of paid service. This is just something I do for fun, that coincidentally can help to promote your indie film using humor; and also sates my sadistic tendencies for torture. :)

Some of you, yeah the both of you, have probably noticed the captioned screencaps I have been using to promote Slashening 2's crowdfunding. I started this on my own initiative promoting the release of Fear Town, USA and the first The Slashening on Blu-ray. The reason why is because if you've seen their work you already know they have a damn good sense of humor. And frankly, having seen the ending of Fear Town, USA, they pretty much set a line that would be hard to cross. They promised to cross that line in Slashening 2, and I'm not sure I want to see what can cross that line. O.O

Of course the point of that rambling is that Brandon and Rey have provided me with screencaps to use, perhaps at times regretfully on their part, and I don't know if there is such a thing as going too far when the picture you're starting with has a plate of vagina on the wall. But to do the same thing with others' films might offend someone.

If you want me to promote your film with my captioning, you'll have to tell me, and of course either provide screencaps or provide a download I can screencap myself. And of course you'll have to have a good sense of humor.

Before you ask me, have a look at some of the captioning I did for Slashening 2:

If you still have the daring and gumption to ask, contact me on my Twitter or Facebook page. And don't forget you can support the making of Slashening 2 by donating on their GoFundMe page.

Toxic Fletch

Friday, November 17, 2017

Movie Review: Skybound (2017)

Skybound (2017) - USA - Action/Disaster - Not Rated (14+)
Written and Directed by Alex Tavakoli
Starring Scarlett Byrne, Rick Cosnett, Gavin Stenhouse, Tyler Fayose, Carla Carolina Pimentel, Morten Suurballe, Jerry Coyle

An interesting premise with good direction and cast is riddled with clich├ęs bringing it down like a jet plane out of fuel.

Five friends board a plane going from New York to California. What starts out as a joyride becomes terror as media outages and loss of contact with the ground leaves them to wonder what is happening below, and if they'll even be able to land.

It sounds interesting, and I don't doubt it could have been. With capable direction and a good cast it starts off promising. It's not long before "seen this...expected that" comes to the forefront of ones thoughts. You know you're in a nosedive to hell when you get the bravado rallying speech complete with musical accompaniment. I mean for Green Acres or Animal House this works because of the ridiculousness of it, but for something taking itself as serious it becomes its own self-parody.

Other elements in this with no bang for their buck include a love triangle which wilted the rose before it even had a chance, the most impotent bad guy I've seen in a movie of recent memory and a mixed bag of special effects from really good to video game quality, and I don't mean a good video game at that. And that is the film's problem in a nutshell is there was potential here too often ambushed by cheap one-offs.

From a standpoint of average fare for SyFy you could use to fill time, this would fit as it is entertaining enough for that. Perhaps I'm just being down on it as there was potential here to be more than that and it was brought down by screenwriting 101 checklisting: love triangle, check; bad guy, check; bravado speech, check; heroic sacrifice, check. To add to that the ending of this is truly "how the hell!?"

I would give standard SyFy time fillers 2 Fingers, but there are at least some better elements here such as the direction and a good cast.

My Rating: 2 Fingers Plus.

You can get Skybound on DVD or VOD from Amazon Video.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Movie Review: Hex (2017)

Hex (2017) - UK - Historical Thriller/Horror - Not Rated (PG)
Independent Feature Film - Rubicon Films
Directed by George Popov
Co-Directed by Jonathan Russell
Written by Jonathan Russell and George Popov
Starring Daniel Oldroyd, William Young, Suzie Frances Garton, Tony Broadbent

Tediously paced at times it overcomes this with nerve-racking tension in a story though set during the English Civil War is fresh and relevant in today's times.

Two soldiers on opposite sides during the English Civil War (1644) find themselves alone against each other in the forest. But they soon become suspicious they are not the only ones in this forest and that other one is a witch preventing them from getting out of the forest. Trust comes hard but fear and suspicion come easy.

Made for a staggering (wink) £1000, that's just over $1300 for us yanks, what these filmmakers have accomplished on a budget that wouldn't even buy lunch for a Hollywood film crew is simply outstanding. The use of lush woodland scenery, re-enactment period costumes and props, austere ruins and three top of their class actors imbues this film with quality components.

Up front, what doesn't work for Hex is tedium in some of the scenes, especially the nighttime scenes and not being well lit adds to it. It's just my feeling that having trimmed the running time of this could have improved upon it as it is a bit long for what could be an hour long Outer Limits episode.

What does work for the film is tension and story. From the first encounter of the two soldiers culminating in a brutal fight, which makes one wonder if some of the blood might be real, to a cat and mouse game between the soldiers early in the film the viewer's nerves are honed raw. Even as the film progresses reality and fear are often indistinct for the soldiers, as well the viewer. As much the soldiers fear the witch of the forest heightening their paranoia, even beyond that is the unsettling sense they might turn on each other at any moment.

What brings the story freshly into modern times is smartly using the English Civil War as a backdrop: most basically a war between political opposites the Royalists who sought to maintain a 'divine right' in leadership and the Parliamentarians who opposed a monopolistic monarchy and church. Congruency aside, even more germane in the face of xenophobia, building walls and decayed institutions is the rallying of distinct nationalities under a greater fear and hatred of another through a cloud of unknowing.

Despite some slowness in the film at places and dark nighttime scenes overall it is well done. A complete story that works as a whole gets my basic recommendation. But this additionally has rich dialogue, taut direction, beautiful cinematography and some of the best audio capture I've heard that captures every distinct sound, as well what lies beneath the story is thought provoking.


This is a first for me, at least on this blog, to change my rating of a movie. Some might consider my movie reviewing style to be a bit scopious, but it is for this very reason that it is such. I watch movies twice for a review. Usually I give myself a few days during that time for lingering afterthoughts, and especially to feel what staying power a film has. Usually it takes me several days to a week to review a movie. Being this film was being released on the 17th, I wanted to have it reviewed by the day before and really did not let it take time to sink in.

Yes, the film is tedious in several places as I said and that took it down a notch from 4 Fingers. Yet it has stayed with me. It has magnificent imagery and incredible sound quality where the slightest brush of grass or babble of a brook comes through with clarity; it's a pleasure in and of itself just to listen to this movie. I chose the screencap of Daniel Oldroyd as his expression in it defines the quality of acting in this. Of course there is the story central to the film which draws an allegory using the past as sort of a mirror for our present, and might I say beautifully done.

I've been having a lingering of conscience asking myself if I rated it fairly. Though it may be a fair rating something keeps clawing at me. Within the short time since I've seen this it has become one of my favorite films or 2017 along with Fighting Belle and Night Kaleidoscope. For these various reasons, to me, my rating has to go up a notch from the 3 Fingers Plus I originally gave it.

My Rating: 4 Fingers. That's 8/10 for IMDbers.

You can find out more about Hex on its Twitter and Facebook pages.

You can rent or buy Hex from Amazon Video.