1BR (2020)

Going in to “1BR,” its pretty clears that director David Marmor takes pages from Ira Levin’s psyche, reflecting many themes and ideas the author was known for. Director David Marmor builds a simplistic but absolutely harrowing thriller that confronts similar feminine themes. “1BR” feels so much like a movie torn out from 1979 and altered for modern times. That element works for the movie, as the lack of more modern constructs gives his thriller a very timeless displaced feeling. This sense of aesthetic contributes to the sheer claustrophobia and alienation that character Sarah experiences.

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Shorts Round Up of the Week: Art Under Quarantine

It’s the middle of the summer and quarantine is still under way, sadly. We hope you and yours are doing well during these bizarre, frightening times. “Shorts Round Up of the Week” once again goes back to Quarantine, visiting a list of short films of varying genres that were created during quarantine. This scenario allowed a lot of great filmmakers to build genuinely beautiful, fun, and sometimes horrifying cinema, and it’s managed to be a great twist in such unusual circumstances.

For this edition we have some great short films including a documentary, a horror comedy or two, and yes, a zombie flick.

If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.

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Gutterballs (2008) – The Plotdigger Collection: Limited Edition [2 Disc Blu-Ray]

Director Ryan Nicholson’s slasher throwback is thankfully a horror film that, while imperfect, has managed to appreciate in value since its release in 2008. While we may be well past the age of the eighties revival in horror cinema, “Gutterballs” is a nice look at the fad done well and with some semblance of substance over style. It’s still not a masterpiece, but it’s definitely midnight movie fodder that should be appreciated with its cinematic contemporaries. Frankly I’m surprised slasher BBK’s signature look never caught on with the horror community, but I digress.

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Another Plan from Outer Space (2018)

Despite the title which weirdly made me think this was an homage to “Plan 9,” Lance Polland’s science fiction thriller is quite an impressive survival film. Director Polland obviously has great affection for and knowledge of classic science fiction television, thus he creates an interesting character study that feels like a more sophisticated take on the original “Star Trek.” In many cases, so much of the scenes feel like something directly ripped out of “Star Trek” (and I mean that as a compliment).

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In Action (2019)

How do you deliver an action comedy filled with gun fights and car chases on a 30K budget? You be as clever as humanly possible, and add in a bit of suspension of disbelief. “In Action” is a shockingly clever action comedy that takes a unique premise and puts it on film, come hell or high water. Working simultaneously as a proof of concept, directors Eric Silvera, Sean Kenealy, and Jon Warren’s bring to life a premise with potential to be pretty damn good, and they do whatever they can to bring their concepts to life.

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Horrors of Spider Island (1960) [Blu-Ray]

Most of my knowledge and experience with “Horrors of Spider Island” (aka “Body in the Web,” aka “A Corpse Hung in the Web” aka “It’s Hot in Paradise”) begins and ends with “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” It was lampooned in easily one of the funniest episodes of the series, and as it was nothing but goofy thinly veiled porn then, it’s goofy thinly veiled porn today. It’s somehow become something of a cult classic today, which is shocking considering the movie has almost nothing to offer. Even in its original uncensored form, the narrative is non-existent, and the movie is teeming with uncomfortable rapey overtones and very obvious lesbian overtones.

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