Jinga Films and Dark Sky Films have announced the US release of Flavio Pedota’s award winning pandemic horror INFECTION which will be released on DVD and all major digital platforms today – April 14th 2020.
After an outbreak of a new strand of the rabies virus turns the population of Venezuela into bloodthirsty cannibals, a young doctor finds himself separated from his son. Navigating his way through the plague-infested streets and marauder-filled backwoods, he must use every resource to find his only child and unlock the secret to a cure for the deadly disease.
It is like a match made in heaven. One of the world’s most exciting cult filmmakers teaming up with one of Hollywood’s most under-rated leading men to make a film that is guaranteed to become a cult classic. For Ant Timpson the last few years has seen him re-invigorate the cult film scene working as a producer on films like The ABCs Of Death, Deathgasm and The Greasy Strangler. Now he steps into the director’s seat to direct Elijah Wood in the stunning new thriller Come To Daddy.
“This film really is by baby along with the writer Toby Harvard,” says Timpson laughing when we first begin to talk about the film. “I had worked with him before on a film called The Greasy Strangler so we kind of met through that process and kicked off a friendship and then after my Dad carked it in front of me that was kind of the whole creation of Come To Daddy.”
“So I got in touch with him and said I had this skeleton idea for a film that I want to make,” he goes onto explain. “My Dad’s passing really gave me a kick in the ass. I was really staring mortality in the face and I started to think about what kind of filmmaker I was and wanted to be. My life had taken a completely different path and I had ended up producing other people’s films and I had really gotten busy with a lot of different projects so I ended up taking this to Toby and he ended up writing a draft from there. So it started from an idea I had and then I saw it right through to completion.”
Hearing that leads me to ask Thompson how he found writing about something so personal when some filmmakers find they just can’t put pen to paper when the story is so close to home. “That actually happened to me when I set about doing another project when my mother passed,” he tells me. “That had the reverse effect on me to what this one did. That kind of put me off making anything, but this had completely the opposite effect, this re-energised me and made me want to be far more creative. This time I wanted to be at the helm and do more directing than producing. It was really a case of shit or get off the pot and once I knew I was going to frame it within a genre framework. That was something I felt a lot more comfortable with and it wasn’t going to end up being some morbidly depressing drama about the death of my father then I felt a lot more confident about it and a lot more positive about the whole experience.”
“I didn’t want to put too much weight on him as a man,” says Timpson referring to his father. “But I knew this is something that he would have dug as a viewer, but I knew this would be something that other viewers would dig as well. My whole family have kind of a gallows sense of humour around tragic things – making jokes at the worst possible time so that is kind of the atmosphere that I grew up in – dealing with death was not kind of contemplated it was more about cracking one liners. There is a lot of my background in this when it comes to approaching the subject of death.”
One of the biggest drawcards for this film is Elijah Wood who has been making a name for himself away from blockbusters over the past few years with amazing performances in Cooties, Set Fire To The Stars and the US production of Winifred. It turns out it wasn’t that hard for Thompson to get Wood involved in Come To Daddy.
“I’m good friends with Elijah,” explains Timpson. “That helped obviously. But we had also worked together professionally on The Greasy Strangler, but I had known Elijah for a long time. We had hung out and we had mutual friends in New Zealand also in Austin, Texas where he has his set-up as well. So it was quite easy to approach him and pitch it him, and then when Toby and I were working on the script he was always in the back of our minds and we found ourselves saying quite often ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if Elijah said yes to this.’”
“It felt like that because the character was kind of a really detested person – a white, millennial, rich LA douche bag, hipster, DJ – it was how are we going to get the audience to have an empathy for this character otherwise they would just tune out. But I always knew that Elijah had that inherent likable beneath whatever veneer he is going to put on. There would be some way that he would find a way to make the character really human and really fully-fleshed so people could get behind his journey. It was just so exciting when he came on board because then everything just picked up into a high gear after that.”
Come To Daddy is available on streaming platforms now.
Actress Felissa Rose is no newcomer to the horror genre. The talented actress has over 100 film credits to her name, with a lot of them centred in a genre that she obviously loves. Brand new horror film A Nun’s Curse does get to see Rose play a psychopathic nun for the first time and when you begin to talk to her about the role you very quickly start to see the passion that she put into playing Sister Monday.
“I am so proud of being involved with this film,” she says to me as we talk about the genius of A Nun’s Curse. “I first met Tommy Faircloth, the amazing writer and director of the film, a few years ago at a horror convention called Days of The Dead in Atlanta. He and I hit it off immediately and become fast friends and it was then that he asked me to do a film of his called Family Possessions. I flew to him and we filmed it and it was a wonderful experience, we got along so well and it was just a great collaboration between us.”
“So we stayed in touch and we became really close,” she says continuing. “Then he told me about A Nun’s Curse and I thought ‘oh man I would do anything with you again’ and now here we have it. Now it is coming out and I am super thrilled.”
That leads me to ask what it is about Faircloth that makes her enjoy working with him so often. “Well first up Tommy is so passionate,” she says. “And he is just so easy going and like I said the word collaborative really comes to mind. As the director, actually especially as the director and the writer you already have a vision and he is incredibly kind in hearing what you have to say when you are creating the character and he just loves to use the space as a wonderful place to work in. He has great vision and I just the love the way his films like ascetically, I love the way he creates characters and he is just really a beautiful soul. He is also as funny as all get-out, so the set is always fantastic.”
As we begin to talk about Sister Monday the nun that Rose plays in the film she bursts out laughing hysterically. “She is bat-shit crazy,” she says laughing so hard that she can barely get the words out. “She is clearly a villain, the poster art is very revealing so I am not giving anything away by saying that both Tony Rosen and Sean Krumbholz who created the look really gave her that devious, dark and villainous exterior. She is sort of one of those characters that I would just have to say that from very deep down, right down to her feet, of who she is is just pure evil. And that is always fun because the characters that I always play I love to play something different… something different to what I have ever done before and certainly Sister Monday was a character that I had never portrayed in any other film so it was just really nice to be able to step into these shoes and create something that was so devious and so deeply evil. She is just so deeply rooted in that awfulness, though I have to say it was fun… it is always fun to play the bad guy.”
As we talk about heroes and villains in films I ask Rose whether she finds it more fun to play the hero or the villain. “I definitely have played my share of villains and victims,” she says laughing. “But I love the monster. And I do love them both equally but you definitely do have a lot of fun playing the bad guy because you get to portray something that you would never really do in life. I would never chase someone with a weapon or you know get really angry and loud so it ends up being very therapeutic because you run the rage of these characters in a way that you would never do in real life and it is just fun to play those colours and sort of get mad and I do enjoy it… it is a lot of fun.”
Felissa Rose is truly memorable as Sister Monday so make sure you check out A Nun’s Curse when it is released on streaming platforms on May 12th.
The first trailer for filmmaker Miles Doleac’s THE DINNER PARTY, premiering at festivals soon before a wider release later this year through Uncork’d Entertainment, has been released.
In the film, written and directed by the Banshee alum,a budding playwright and his wife attend a dinner party hosted by wealthy, cultural elites, who have promised to bankroll the writer’s latest play to Broadway, but, in fact, have darker designs in mind for the couple.
Shot in Hattiesburg, MS, the film stars Bill Sage, Lindsay Anne Williams, Jeremy London, Mike Mayhall, Alli Hart, Ritchie Montgomery and Doleac.
Universal Pictures Australia will release an extended sneak peak of the most controversial film of the year. The FIRST TEN MINUTES of THE HUNT will be available to stream tomorrow night THURSDAY 9 APRIL @ 8pm AEST via Universal Pictures Australia YOUTUBE or FACEBOOK platforms.
The film which sparked controversy, including a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump accusing the film of being made ‘to inflame and create chaos’ is a chilling real-world suspense-thriller starring BETTY GILPIN (Glow) and two time Oscar® Winner HILARY SWANK. Set in the dark spaces of a modern America where a sinister organisation ‘removes’ societies undesirables and transports them to a remote location to be hunted for sport by the wealthy elite. However the hunters become the hunted when they capture one mysterious woman who has a powerful will to survive and the skills to exact a bloody revenge.
YOU CAN WATCH THE FIRST 10 MINUTES ON THURSDAY 9 APRIL @ 8PM AEST ON UNIVERSAL AUSTRALIA’S YOUTUBE OR FACEBOOK CHANNEL or RENT THE ENTIRE FILM FROM APRIL 9 ACROSS A VARIETY OF ON DEMAND CHANNELS
Zach Galligan (Gremlins) won’t be getting much sleep this May when Evil Little Things hit town!
From director Matt Green, and starring Hannah Fierman, Courtney Lakin and Jonathan Horne, comes a deliciously wicked new horror anthology in the tradition of Creepshow.
A young boy finds a mystical toymaker with stories to tell. The first is of a leprechaun seeking revenge on a defenseless family. The second is of a doll who works evil on her fragile owner. The toymaker gives the boy a clown named Giggles. Clowns are supposed to be the guardians of happiness, right? These Evil Little Things will cause you many sleepless nights.
Written by Yasmin Bakhtiari and Nancy Knight.
Evil Little Things are unleashed May 12 on DVD and Digital from Uncork’d Entertainment!
From writer-director Tommy Faircloth, and starring scream queen Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, Silent Night, Zombie Night), discover the horrifying truth about Sister Monday this May!
A Nun’s Curse, also starring Damian Maffei (The Strangers : Prey at Night) and Gunner Willis (“The Resident”) , premieres on DVD and Digital this May from Uncork’d Entertainment.
On a weekend trip, a group of friends are forced to seek shelter inside an abandoned prison where a nun named Sister Monday had once been assigned. During her time at the prison, Sister Monday was suspected of killing prisoners who were serving out their sentences but before she could be questioned, she disappeared. Once inside the prison, they will learn the terrifying truth.
A Nun’s Curse premieres on DVD and Digital May 12 from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Summary: It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind…but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time-stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying tomb.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th September 2019
Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA
Australian DVD Release Date: 12th February 2020
Country: United States, Canada, Hong Kong
Director: Andre Ovredal
Screenwriter: Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Guillermo del Toro (story), Patrick Melton (story), Marcus Dunstan (story), Alvin Schwartz (novels)
Cast: Austin Abrams (Tommy Milner), Hume Baugh (Deodat Bellows), Gil Bellows (Chief Turner), Javier Botet (Big Toe Corpse), Will Carr (Ephraim Bellows), Zoe Margaret Colletti (Stella Nicholls), Victoria Fodor (Mrs. Milner), Natalie Ganzhorn (Ruth Steinberg), Michael Garza (Ramon Morales), Karen Glave (Claire Baptiste), Troy James (Jangly Man), Brandon Knox (Harold Bellows), Kyle Labine (Deputy Hobbs), Jane Moffat (Delanie Bellows), Dean Norris (Roy Nicholls), Kathleen Pollard (Sarah Bellows), Deborah Pollitt (Mrs. Steinberg), Gabriel Rush (Auggie Hilderbrandt), Amanda Smith (Gertrude Bellows), Matt Smith (Mr. Steinberg), Mark Stegar (Harold The Scarecrow/Pale Lady), Ajanae Stephenson (Lou Lou – 8yrs), Lorraine Toussaint (Lou Lou), Marie Ward (Mrs. Hilderbrandt), Austin Zajur (Chuck Steinberg)
Running Time: 108 mins
Classification: M (Australia) 13 (Thailand)
OUR SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ Our Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Review:
After the disappointment that was It Chapter Two it is with a sense of relief that I am able to say that Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark was a film that surprised me a lot more than I thought it would. The film feels like it should be described as Goosebumps for teenagers but there seems to be something a little darker to this film that will mean that horror fans of all ages will be drawn to the film.
Based on the novel by Alvin Schwartz the film follows a group of young friends – the horror-obsessed Stella Nicholls (Zoe Margaret Colletti – Annie, Wildlife), the very mature Auggie Hilderbrandt (Gabriel Rush – Moonrise Kingdom, No Letting Go), the fun-loving Chuck Steinberg (Austin Zajur – Fist Fight, Kidding) and the outsider that nobody knows anything about Ramon Morales (Michael Garza – Wayward Pines, Timeless)who find themselves in a world of paranormal trouble after trying to out-run the town’s resident bully – Tommy (Austin Abrams – Paper Towns, Gangster Squad) after a Halloween prank goes badly wrong.
While trying to hide, and in a bid to impress Ramon, Stella leads the group into the ‘haunted house’ the house where it is alleged that Sarah Bellows (Kathleen Pollard – The Shape Of Water, The Handmaid’s Tale) killed a number of the town’s children a few years earlier. Sadly for the friends and Chuck’s sister Ruth (Natalie Ganzhorn – Make It Pop, Wet Bum) visiting the house makes them part of a series of stories that could cost them their lives.
The most intriguing part of the film is that while it is supposed to be a film aimed for teenagers director Andre Ovredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy Of Jane Doe) gives the film a darker edge that makes a lot more interesting for an older audience as well. Where the film works well though is that it doesn’t fall into any of the mistakes that It Chapter Two did. The team of screenwriters which includes the legendary Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) have made the key central characters likeable which instantly means the audience are barracking for them to live when the horror starts. The team have also carefully chosen which stories from the original novels to use and the result is an interesting collection of ‘horrors’ that in no way feel like a group of short stories put together to make a larger story. The only weakness is at times that the ‘horrors’ at hand don’t always seem to mirror the fear or nightmare that the character it relates to has as well as it could have done.
Given the creative minds of Del Toro and Ovredal coming together for this film there is little wonder that the horror and fantasy aspects of this film look so good. The ‘creatures’ and horrors that are seen throughout the film do have a real Pan’s Labyrinth feel and look to them. It’s these horrors that also seem more ‘scary’ than what you would expect in a film aimed at teenagers. The end result though is a film that will also be enjoyed by adults rather than films like Goosebumps that are more suited to teenagers. It also means that sequences like the Scarecrow sequence and the scenes in the mental hospital and Police Station are going to stick in the minds of the audience a lot longer than many of them would have expected them to.
The young cast also put in great performances. Zoe Margaret Colletti leads the way with a performance that is much more mature than her years would suggest. In a challenging role Colletti is a real stand-out and it is obvious that she has a great career ahead of her. Her character goes through a range of emotions from sheer fear to worry about the relationship that she has with her father and the young actress doesn’t skip a beat no matter what situation her character is put in. She is well supported by Michael Garza who really announces himself as an actor to watch while veteran actor Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption, Patriot) also brings his A-Game to the film.
Creepily spectacular Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is a throwback to films like Jeepers Creepers and Gremlins, films that were aimed for teenagers but had more of a horror side than most films aimed at that age-group. On reflection we should have expected something special when the minds of del Toro and Ovredal came together but I don’t think any of us expected something as enjoyable as this.
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Summary: The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th September 2019
Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA
Australian DVD Release Date: 11th March 2020
Country: United States, Swden
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Screenwriter: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Eszter Balint (Fern), Steve Buscemi (Farmer Frank Miller), Austin Butler (Jack), Rosal Colon (Lily), Maya Delmont (Stella), Adam Driver (Officer Ronnie Peterson), Larry Fessendon (Danny Perkins), Danny Glover (Hank Thompson), Selena Gomez (Zoe), Caleb Landry Jones (Bobby Wiggins), Carol Kane (Mallory O’Brien), Bill Murray (Chief Cliff Robertson), Rosie Perez (Posie Juarez), RZA (Dean), Luka Sabbat (Zack), Chloe Sevigny (Officer Mindy Morrison), Tilda Swinton (Zelda Winston), Tom Waits (Hermit Bob), Taliyah Whitaker (Olivia), Jahi Di’Allo Winston (Geronimo)
Running Time: 104 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia) TBC (Thailand)
OUR THE DEAD DON’T DIE REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ The Dead Don’t Die Review:
Some directors are just an acquired taste. Think of filmmakers like Gaspar Noe or Terrence Malick. They are directors that you will normally find that cinema-lovers are left in awe of or go to the opposite and can’t stand their work. Another director that should be added to that list is Jim Jarmusch. For me films like Only Lovers Left Alive and Paterson are absolutely sensational films that need to be savoured as you watch them. At the same time though I can perfectly understand why someone wouldn’t enjoy the more alternative aspect.
Now comes Jarmusch next little beauty – The Dead Don’t Die which sees the talented director bring his own sense of humour to the zombie genre in a way that makes this a truly memorable film. So many supposed comedies this year have failed to impress me at all so it was a welcome relief to see The Dead Don’t Die and find myself laughing all the way through it.
Set in the small peaceful town of Centerville the film centres around three Police Officers who bring law and order to the town. Chief Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray – Ghostbusters, Lost In Translation), Officer Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver – Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Officer Mindy Morrison (Chloe Sevigny – Boys Don’t Cry, Big Love) do what they can to bring law and order to the town but when the dead start rising even they aren’t completely sure what is the best avenue to follow.
Plot wise The Dead Don’t Die is probably one of the most simplistic films you will see this year. For most of the film the plot follows the traditional zombie trope storylines that we have come to know and love over the years. What makes the film so special though is the interesting characters that Jarmusch has created to inhabit the town. Interesting characters such as Farmer Frank Miller (Steve Buscemi – Fargo, Reservior Dogs) and Zelda Winston (Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer, Suspiria) keep the audience guessing throughout the film. Countless times you find yourself whether Zelda’s sword-fighting skills are going to be what ends up saving the town or whether someone likes Hermit Bob (Tom Waits – Seven Psychopaths, Down By Law) knows more about the events than they are letting on.
Also making the film stand-out from other zombie comedies is the unique Jarmusch humour and dialogue that is delivered by the characters here. At times the dry wit humour and language used by the characters brings back memories of legendary television shows like Northern Exposure… and that is a welcome relief in a time when it feels sometimes that some screenwriters have forgotten how to create good dialogue.
The take it or leave it aspect of this being a Jim Jarmusch film will most likely come into play for most people when he takes this film into the weird territory of breaking down the line between the characters and the actors. Early on when Adam Driver refers to a song playing on the radio as ‘the theme music’ you realise that Jarmusch breaks down the third wall and here the actors know they are ‘characters’ in a movie. That might be a little confronting and a little weird for those that are not used to alternative film-making but once you get a handle of it it is something that adds to the creativity and uniqueness of the film.
The resulting nature of the film does allow its stars to shine. Bill Murray and Adam Driver seem to enjoy the deadpan style of their character’s interactions. The pair seem to share an amazing on-screen partnership that only enhances the film. Jarmsuch’s star-pulling power also sees the likes of RZA (The Man With The Iron Fists, American Gangster) and Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers, Hotel Transylvania) play smaller roles in the film while the inclusion of screen veterans like Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, 2012) also add to the films atmosphere. Jarmusch also doesn’t waste his plethora of stars giving them all memorable moments while also brilliantly giving small nods to their past roles throughout the film.
What Jim Jamusch has created here is a smart horror-comedy that deserves all the accolades that the film has been garnishing. The film is smart enough to be different that previous zombie horror-comedies like Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead and has that unique Jamusch stamp on it which will mean it is a film that will be adored by those who love his unique style of filmmaking.
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Getting away is just the beginning in director Lane Tolan’s Getaway, premiering on DVD and Digital this April.
Halloween’s Scout Taylor-Compton stars in an unnerving kidnapping thriller from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Tamara Miller has planned a weekend lake getaway with her two best friends. When she gets kidnapped by a backwoods cult, eerie and unexplained occurrences arise. Will she make it out alive or become the treasure of these deranged lunatics?
Landry Allbright (“Star Trek : Picard”), Lane Tolan (“Hey Arnold”), Jamil Walker Smith (“Stargate Universe”), Jaclyn Betham (“The Haves and Have Nots”), Ben Deschaine (Super Shark), and Chrystopher Ryan Johnson (“The Riches”) star in a Lane Tolan film.
Betham and Toran wrote the script.
Getaway is available on DVD and Digital April 14 from Uncork’d Entertainment.