Stanger With My Face International Film Festival is a festival that concentrates on female-make film, with a definite penchant to horror and life explorations. Each edition brings current films and issues as well as older films and a bunch of shorts to their audience while also pushing them to think about some of the issues women face in life as well as in moviemaking.
A young woman leaves home to go work for her cousin the city as this one is gradually going blind. As the cousin’s sight leaves her, she get a gift of being able to see and communicate with the dead. Her newly arrived cousin has difficulty adapting and may not be going about things the best way.
Mill Creek Entertainment is looking to make your summer as action packed as possible with a three bill economy blu-ray of some pretty nifty action pictures. Allowing a bang for your bucks, “Payback Time Triple Feature” garners action movie essentials that should allow for a great afternoon with popcorn and some beer. First up there’s the very good (and my personal favorite) “Blind Fury,” a solid remake of a classic “Zatoichi” movie starring Rutger Hauer as a blind Vietnam Veteran Nick Parker, who is taught the art of the sword after being rendered disabled.
Every month we discuss some of the best and worst cult films ever made, from the hits, classics, underground, grind house, and utterly obscure, from Full Moon, and Empire, to Cannon and American International, it’s all here, minus the popcorn, and car fumes.
The Plot is Afoot! A group of rotten teenagers are invited to a local “Waxwork” wax museum by its mysterious curator David Lincoln. Little do they know that each wax exhibit is a supernatural portal in to another realm composed of monsters and ghouls of many kinds. Before long young Mark and Sarah learn that the curator has sinister plans for the unwilling participants, and it’s now up to them with the help of a wheelchair bound historian to stop him and destroy the gallery of supernatural beings.
I first saw “Phantasm” thirteen years ago and it’s one of the more mind blowing horror films I’ve ever seen. It surely holds up better than the sequels, all of which I’d seen way before ever watching the original film. While “Phantasm” is still a bit of a goofy horror film in some instances, it’s also an entertaining one with some great moments of atmosphere and eeriness. Director Coscarelli is never afraid to stretch the limits of his premise, making “Phantasm” feel like some surreal nightmare that our characters are stuck in. There’s the demonic fly, the dwarf drones, and of course one of the best scenes involving character Mike watching the Tall Man stomp through his small town.
It’s a shame that this is the only movie that patient fans of “Phantasm” will be getting since “Ravager,” the apparent final film in the series, isn’t that much of a horror film. Despite David Hartman’s best efforts, “Ravager” feels more like a fan film for the “Phantasm” movie series than anything else. I went in to the movie expecting pretty awesome and big things and sadly only got the bare minimum. When the movie ended, I literally muttered “That’s it?” to myself. Even Angus Scrimm in his final role appears for a few minutes here and there, and is mostly seen in the prologue through flashbacks.
On the anniversary of Richard Kelly’s unparalleled masterpiece, “Donnie Darko” is given a wonderful treatment a la Arrow Video. The set features not only the theatrical cut, but the extended director’s cut, as well as a plethora of special features and unique collectibles for fans of the universe he’s created. Except for “S. Darko” (Kelly has publicly denounced that alleged “sequel” to his film). That said, “Donnie Darko” from Arrow depends on your enjoyment of the movie, since the original film was given a nifty release years ago, as well as the Director’s Cut, but both cuts differ vastly in quality and pacing. I’ve expressed my love for “Donnie Darko” in the past, as it’s a stunning and gripping labyrinth of mystery that combines horror, fantasy, surrealism, and existentialism in a tale about parallel universes and fate.
I think most people go in to a movie that’s labeled a found footage anthology film might be expecting something like “VHS,” but directors Michael McQuown and Vincent J Guastini have so much more ambitious in mind. While the aforementioned horror film garnered a small assemblage of horror stories with a framework, “The Dark Tapes” tries to add more cogency. Everything in “The Dark Tapes” is cryptic and complex, and what we’re watching ends up making more sense the more we think about it. The directors obviously aspired to make a movie you have to watch more than once to understand. And of course they invite audiences to go to the movie’s website to perhaps convey their own theories about what the movie entails.