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September 26, 2010

Movie Review: Graphic Sexual Horror (2009)

by Jeff Dolniak

Directed by: Barbara Bell and Anna Lorentzon

Synapse Films

Buy Graphic Sexual Horror on DVD

Generally, when a documentary appears on television (no matter what the subject matter) I tend to, at the very least, give it a watch. Real people, doing real things in this fascinating world of ours. Scripted film can rarely touch the drama or depth of what all we living humans do. Documentaries on adult entertainment have always appealed to me, but they tend to be all over the place. Graphic Sexual Horror, from producer and director's, Barbara Bell and Anna Lorentzon, is not one of them. It's not about adult films, or even straight up "screw-and-chew"; it's about the notorious and highly popular site called, INSEX. INSEX is not your average site for those seeking sexual gratification via the internet; it's a website solely committed to outrageous bondage and sado-masochism. Many of the acts shown on INSEX were so extreme it eventually led to their demise courtesy of The Department of Homeland Security.

Intercultural Barriers in Machete

by Neal Trout

Machete is the latest offering by writer / director Robert Rodriguez and his Austin, Texas based Troublemaker studios. Drawing from the highly charged current events surrounding immigration reform and border security, Rodriguez penned this grindhouse film centered on the title character, Machete, a Mexican Federale, who is double crossed in his home country, and, after his family is killed, ends up an illegal worker in the United States. Flash forward to present day, where Machete is hired by a mysterious business man to assassinate a crooked, anti-immigrant senator, John McLaughlin, played by Academy Award winner Robert De Niro. During the assignation attempt Machete ends up being framed, the whole thing setup as a publicity stunt to garner more anti-illegal support. This sets Machete off on a brutal rampage of revenge against his former bosses and their henchmen, including a group of vigilante minutemen, lead by Lt. Stillman, played by Don Johnson. He is helped by Luz, a woman running the Network, an organization that helps smuggle undocumented workers over the border, played by Michelle Rodriguez, and by Sartana, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent trying to stop the Network, whom Machete shows the error of her ways, played by Jessica Alba. In the end Machete is able to stop the men oppressing his people and get revenge on the drug lord who killed his family. Throughout the film there are a number of characters that encounter intercultural communication barriers. We will briefly examine a few examples of this, exploring exactly what these barriers were, and how the characters could have used different strategies to overcome them.

Buy Machete on Blu-ray or DVD

Movie Review: Color Me Blood Red (1965)

by David Hayes

This is one of the famed "Blood Trilogy" by Herschell Gordon Lewis. The other films in the trilogy (Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs) are a littler gorier and a little better done than this entry. Color details the
artist-y and neurotic-y life of one Mr. Adam Sorg, played by the ugliest man in Hollywood, Don Joseph, who is chastised by a local art critic, Gregorovich, for not having a sense of color. Now, this art critic is obviously worldly and intelligent, due to the prominent beret and long cigarette holder. The gallery that Sorg shows his paintings in is obviously austere and culture-defining because they use mismatched folding chairs to seat their patrons. To boil it down, Sorg is quite upset by his lack of acceptance and runs home to his HIDDEN HOME ON THE BEACH (sorry, but I am possessed by the Gods to capitalize plot devices) and his caustic live-in girlfriend. Blah, blah, blah Sorg cuts his finger and realizes that the color that he needed to be set apart and accepted in the art world is blood. Pay no mention to the fact that blood dries a maroon like color and Lewis blood dries a bright, brothel red. After Sorg drains himself of enough blood to paint an entire picture (and enough to kill a horse) his painting is accepted as genius by the worldly critic and the incredibly trendy gallery. But after that, what to do? The only sensible thing is to kill your wise-mouthed girlfriend (and after sex with Don Joseph, she probably asked for it) and paint another picture. Well, Mr. Sorg is off and running, but his materials are running low. What now? Of course, there are always teenagers making out on your HIDDEN PRIVATE BEACH, so the answer presents itself handily. He paints some more, he gets caught and he is killed. A copy of the film is sent to the Academy for Oscar consideration and the world is a better place.

Buy Color Me Blood Red or The Blood Trilogy on DVD

The first thing that I want to know is why would anyone steal the plotline from Roger Corman's Bucket of Blood? The second thing I want to know is, why does Lewis continue to hire Don Joseph? He looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid with severe acne. And finally, why did anyone make this film? The tagline is appropriate. The posters that Lewis printed for the "theatrical release" (all four days of it) say, "Fiendish is the word for it!" and I wholeheartedly agree. This movie is fiendish! In a bright spot, Iris Marshall plays a wonderful piece of cardboard interested in Sorg's paintings. Her characterization rings true, I actually believed her to be corrugated. Snubbed once again by the People's Choice awards, Lewis went on to hire Don Joseph again. Luckily for the world, Don Joseph's romantic ingénue days ended by 1970. Ironically, his sex appeal came to a halt when free love was in full swing.

Note: If you want to watch the entire movie, just press play below.

Game Review: Halo: Reach (2010)

by Zack Anderson

I just finished the campaign in Halo: Reach. As the Pillar of Autumn proceeds slowly toward the floating ring world that gives the series its name, I must say that it certainly has been one helluva ride. Ten years, five games, (I don't count Halo: Wars, and you shouldn't either) and countless dead Covenant have passed over my eyes and ears, and it has all been exciting and challenging.

Buy Halo: Reach for Xbox 360

That being said, I still don't know what the hell the story is really about, other than the simple one: "The aliens want to kill everyone. Kill them first." I've been told that the books fill in the story, so I guess I should check those out if I really want to know what's happening.

Movie Review: Lights Camera Dead (2007)

by Jeff Dolniak

Directed by: Tim Reaper

Buy Lights Camera Dead on DVD

These days, it seems many micro-budget filmmakers are going the way of the 60's and 70's exploitation films (I Dismember Mama, Night of the Bloody Apes, etc.) with the use of some truly absurd and at times humorous titles. Who can resist popping in recent b film entries with titles like Incest Death Squad or the awful Destined to Be Ingested? I know I can't, that's why I was excited to pop this micro-budget slasher, from writer and director, Tim Reaper, called Lights Camera Dead. Great title, right? Some times you find a diamond, and other times you get Destined to Be Ingested. Will Lights Camera Dead live up to its clever name, I wondered; or is it just going to seriously lay the smackdown on my brain-stem.

September 25, 2010

Doing the JOB... with Joe Broni: Des Moines, IA

by Joe Broni

Hello wrestling fans! Joe Broni here with my inaugural Cinema Head Cheese column. Being on the road is rough. As I travel up and down, around and across this great country of ours (and sometimes Canada, a great country that is almost ours) the professional wrestler can encounter any number of weird promoters, fans and fellow workers. Even though my win/loss record isn't stellar (currently 0-142), it seems there is no end of colorful road stories that you fans are drooling over. For example:

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #2 featuring Billy Blair

Episode #2 - Billy Blair from Machete and Jonah Hex

Heather Henshaw has coffee and conversation with the up-and-coming Billy Blair who gives us an interesting look at Hollywood on the way up. Also, Kevin begs you to join every social networking page we own.

Click here to listen or right click and choose "Save Link As..." to download.

Buy Machete or Jonah Hex on DVD or Blu-ray.

September 24, 2010

Movie Review: Machete (2010)

by Corby Kennard

If you were lucky enough to see the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez nostalgia vehicle "Grindhouse" in the theater, you saw a number of fake trailers for films like "Werewolf Women of the SS" and "Thanksgiving". One of those trailers, featuring a flying motorcycle sporting a gatling gun and the tagline "They just fucked with the wrong Mexican", received such an incredible response from the fans that Rodriguez decided to make it a feature film.

Buy Machete on Blu-ray or DVD

And what was that trailer? (Well, it's not really much of a surprise since you know what this review is for and decided to read it and … *big breath*.) Yes, that's right. It was "Machete". You're very smart. Anyhoo …

Movie Review: Machete (2010)

by Heather Henshaw

This film may just be the movie of the year. If you like blood, guts, boobs and decapitations, this is it. Your guilty pleasure is here and in theaters. I must say it's my guilty pleasure. I have seen it three times, and there will be a fourth. I hold my friends hostage with a machete 'til they go see it.

Buy Machete on Blu-ray or DVD

Interview: Film Ranch

by Heather Henshaw

Heather: When did you decide to form Film Ranch?

Andy Lalino: Andrew Allan and I met while employed at the Home Shopping Network in St. Petersburg, Florida. We quickly realized we had much in common in terms of taste in movies and books. Additionally, we both went to film school and had directed short films. In the early 2000's, Andrew had written several screenplays and I was working on an ambitious horror short entitled Filthy, so we would often review each others' work. We had gotten along well together and after years of doing things individually, we thought it would be a good idea to form a creative business partnership, which became Film Ranch, formed in 2007.

Out of the gate, Film Ranch was primarily focused on creating genre pictures. Andrew and I are huge fans of horror, science-fiction, fantasy, teenage sex comedies, art house and cult movies, so it made sense to parlay our interests toward those genres, however we are open to producing any type of movie, be it a drama, film noir, etc.

We were actually very efficient in getting our first major project into production, that being Brainjacked directed by Andrew Allan, which has garnered many rave reviews and won "Best Horror Feature Film" at the Melbourne International Filmmakers Festival. Our experience shooting and releasing Brainjacked positioned us for consideration as producers of Herschell Gordon Lewis's new horror film, The Uh-Oh! Show.

HH: Will your focus be mainly on horror, sci-fi, and cult?

Andrew Allan: Yes. Those are the types of movies we really enjoy. Not to say we wouldn't consider making other types of movies. But, horror, sci-fi, and cult movies are the meat, potatoes, vegetable, dessert and after-dinner mint of our cinematic diet.

Personally, I find horror and exploitation to be the most creative genre. You can do anything in it. That's very liberating. Anything goes. As it should.

Andy Lalino: In the near future, that's what I foresee. They're likely to be more profitable than other genres and visually translate well to foreign audiences. But as I responded previously, we're open to material from any genre. Plus, Andrew Allan and I are lifelong devotees of the fantastic genres as well as filmmakers and are well-versed in their history and aesthetics, so it's the old adage of "doing what you love".

HH: How long did it take for you to put together "Brainjacked"?

Andy Lalino: The shoot was spaced out over weekends and occasional weekdays over five (5) months. That seems long, but when one compresses the time, it was actually an efficient shoot. A particular challenge was the fact that Brainjacked was shot primarily at night. For many a night, cast and crew call started at about 5pm, and the shoot would often last to 5am, with little rest for the following day, which was just as long. We did some pre-production, but no storyboards. Andrew Allan had all the shots in his head, however, and was well-organized. He had a production notebook, which became our "bible" - colored tabs and everything. We were in post-production for almost a year, which is typical for an independent film. Andrew and I come from post-production backgrounds, so we're very particular about editing, graphics/animation, music and sound effects, which I'm sure most Brainjacked watchers will agree are all phenomenal elements of the movie.

Andrew Allan: We produced The Uh-Oh! Show during the time we were finishing BRAINJACKED, so that lengthened the post time a bit. We don't like to rush things. We tend to be very deliberate.

HH: Bravo on casting Rod Grant as "Dr.Karas". What was the casting process like?

Andrew Allan: Not enough can be said about Rod Grant. He is fantastically talented and one of the best people you will ever meet. In our eyes, he is already a great cult movie star who simply hasn't been seen enough outside the Tampa Bay Are to be fully appreciated. We hope BRAINJACKED changes that.

I first saw Rod in Marcus Koch's fine film, 100 TEARS. He was very captivating in what was essentially a non-descript role. But, for whatever reason he stood out amongst the wall-to-wall gore. When he walked in to audition, I was like "That's the guy from 100 Tears!!!" I was very excited. Even more excited when he gave a great audition…for the part of Norm Simpkins, the newscaster which ended up being played by another genuine cult movie star, Joel Wynkoop.

We wrote Dr. Karas as an older character, probably in his sixties. Refined, polished, worldly, and dignified. So we auditioned based on that. But, we just didn't see anyone who embodied what we were looking for. Because Rod was so compelling, we toyed with the idea of making Dr. Karas younger. We suspected Rod had the chops the pull it off, so we brought him in to re-audition, this time for Dr. Karas. And he nailed it. The room where we were casting just went cold when he hit some of the more chilling lines. I mean, no one does dark and creepy like Rod Grant. The gamble paid off very well. In our opinion, and based on Rod's performance, Dr. Karas is now an iconic character in horror.

One other thing…I don't want to imply that Joel Wynkoop was second banana in the Norm Simpkins role. We knew going into the movie that we wanted to cast Joel for something. How do you not cast Joel Wynkoop in your movie? As his world-famous shirts say, "He can play anything!" He was a very good fit for the Norm Simpkins character. Creepy and entertaining.

Andy Lalino: Casting is always fun, and is one of our strong points. I personally really get a kick out of hearing that mental "click" inside my head when you know an actor is right for the role.

We held two major casting sessions, both in Clearwater, Florida. In our state, it's common for actors to come from different towns, even as far as Miami, to attend a casting session. We cast most of our actors the first session, including Rod Grant, Chris Jackson - who was phenomenal as the lead Tristan Davis - and Christopher Sarlls, who is equally tremendous as the snarling "Zane" - a misshapen mutant.

The female lead character "Laney" was played by Somali Rose, who auditioned for us much later in the casting process - a last-minute lucky discovery. I think fans will agree she's perfect as "Laney". We always had in mind casting three actors from our area who have solid followings in the cult movie universe: Joel D. Wynkoop as newscaster "Norm Simpkins", Krista Grotte as the sexy siren "Heaven", and Jillian Kinsman as "Evelyn Graham". Joel is featured as "Fred Finagler", the lead baddie in the aforementioned H.G. Lewis's The Uh-Oh! Show and has a long history of acting in cult movies. Krista also appears in The Uh-Oh! Show as "Champagne", a beautiful, heroic game show model and also played "Pussey" in our award-winning horror featurette Filthy. Jillian Kinsman is a good friend of ours who recently had a juicy role in Drop Dead Diva. She's excellent; we would have cast her in two roles, but we decided to drop a character from the script, that being "Cookie Teedler", a co-anchor for Wynkoop's "Norm Simpkins".

HH: What we're some of the main creative influences on the production of Brainjacked? It's really, a very pretty film, even with all the head-drilling.

Andy Lalino: The goal was to give Brainjacked an otherworldly ambiance via the lighting design, much to the credit of director Andrew Allan, director of photography Wes Pratt and gaffer Andrew Hawthorne. Allan had a definite vision and was influenced by the horror films of Mario Bava and Dario Argento. Plus, Allan's a huge fan of pre-Star Wars sci-fi, such as Soylent Green and The Omega Man, which manifests itself more in the story than the visuals. Andrew and I were fed on '70s and early '80s exploitation and grindhouse films, which influenced us immensely.

Andrew Allan: The main influences were horror and exploitation films from the 70s and 80s, dark synth and dark wave music, and print advertising.

The movies with the most influence were Bill Lustig's MANIAC, Mario Bava pictures like BLACK SABBATH, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, and as Andy mentioned, OMEGA MAN, and SOYLENT GREEN. I love the urban, sleazy vibe of MANIAC. The trick was trying to create a similar vibe in St. Petersburg, as opposed to shooting in New York City. I think we pulled it off. THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, despite not being a cult/exploitation movie, is one of my all-time favorites. It has that lonely 70s paranoia magic. I wanted to wrap BRAINJACKED's main character Tristan in a similarly haunting atmosphere.

In my humble opinion, science fiction filmmaking has never been better than it was in the early 70s. OMEGA MAN and SOYLENT GREEN epitomize this dystopian era. So, right off the top I started to refer to BRAINJACKED as a pre-STAR WARS sci-fi movie. Forget the special effects. Forget the CGI. Forget everything being metallic and silver. We took a stylistic cue from those earlier movies and leaned more towards color and Plexiglas. My wife, Vanessa, and our Art Director Mary Dietz nailed it with set design and styling.

Then our terrific DP Wes Pratt and Gaffer Andrew Hawthorne and their team used very creative lighting to solidify BRAINJACKED's other-worldliness. If that's a word. They were great. Wes, Andrew, and I have worked together on hundreds of commercials. So that's where the film's slick production value and "prettiness" come from. They're pros and can pull off pretty much any look. I also pay close attention to print advertising, especially fashion ads. They create a different world with every photo shoot. As a horror filmmaker I probably shouldn't admit this, but I read Vogue, Bazaar, V, and Elle monthly. I don't miss an issue. So, I pulled a bunch of magazine swipe to give Wes and Andrew a better idea of where I saw the film going visually. This was in lieu of storyboards. I didn't use any storyboards.

I will also say this…I fully expect people to compare the BRAINJACKED visuals to SUSPIRIA. That's fine. I love SUSPIRIA. But, I didn't attempt to emulate it with BRAINJACKED. Rather, the heavy colors in BRAINJACKED were chosen to really make it feel like another world. I also wanted lots of color because it makes the film look different from so many other movies out now. Many strive for the de-saturated SAW look. I think it's overdone. Frankly, I don't know why the heavy use of color fell out of practice. I guess it did get a bit cliché in the 80s. But, I don't believe in limiting a filmmaker's storytelling tools. The same with camera zooms. They work as well today as they did in the 70s.

HH: There is also another film you all have recently done that has won Best film chosen by audience at TFW the name of this film is The Uh-Oh Show. Can you tell us a little about this film?

Andrew Allan: The Uh-Oh! Show is the triumphant return of "Godfather of Gore" Herschell Gordon Lewis! It's the first film he has written and directed in nearly 40 years. And it is one hell of a good time.

Andy Lalino: The Uh-Oh! Show is a horror parody mash-up of game shows and reality TV shows. In the world of Herschell Gordon Lewis, it's a showcase showdown of game show gore! It's about a crazy-violent game show called The Uh-Oh! Show, where the contestants lose body parts in various ultra-gory ways if they give the wrong answer! It's so popular that a "spin-off" show is created to capitalize on more gore - called "Grim Fairy Tales", which depicts contestants getting torn to pieces by favorite fairy tale characters, like the "Big Bad Wolf", "Papa Bear" and "Old Lady Blume". It's up to intrepid TV reporter Jill Burton to find out what's happening behind-the-scenes of the world's most grisly TV show, and try to stop the slaughter.

There are dump trucks full of bloody, oozing gore, courtesy of popular make-up effect maestro Marcus Koch. It stars Brooke McCarter (The Lost Boys) and has cameo appearances by Lloyd Kaufman and Mike Christopher, who played the "Hare Krishna Zombie" in the original Dawn of the Dead. No horror fan should miss seeing this one.

HH: This is a H.G. Lewis film, and he is known for his classic cult films; such as the original 2000 Maniacs, Wizard of Gore, and many more great films. How did Film Ranch get on board for this gore filled ride?

Andy Lalino: I had met Herschell Gordon Lewis years ago at the Screamfest horror convention in Ft. Lauderdale (now known as Spooky Empire and held in Orlando, Florida). We had chatted a bit, and I had mentioned that I made a successful horror featurette, Filthy, which he seemed mildly impressed by. It's funny to note that Herschell - though he liked Filthy - hates the title! It's hard to imagine the title "Filthy" distasteful to the Godfather of Gore! Anyway he saw the movie, and had given me his personal contact info, and to my shock, he actually responded! This initial meeting led to a friendship which turned into a creative partnership, resulting in The Uh-Oh! Show.

Andrew Allan and I had traveled to south Florida to pitch an idea to Herschell for a movie, but in turn he pitched us a project - The Uh-Oh! Show, which then was titled Grim Fairy Tales. It's easily Herschell's best film and is an absolute horror roller coaster and laugh riot at the same time - it is THE perfect midnight movie! Judging from the response we received at Spooky Empire 2009 and Florida Supercon 2010, we have a big crowd pleaser on our hands. The Uh-Oh! Show won "Audience Choice" award for Best Horror Film at the Texas Frightmare convention in Dallas in 2010.

Andrew Allan: And yes…we are the luckiest horror movie fans in the world because we did get to work with one of our idols. It was amazing. And everything you've heard about how Herschell makes a movie is absolutely true!

HH: The cast has such a nice mix; you have Joel Wynkoop, Brooke McCarter, Jack Amos and others. How did you cast for this film? It seemed that everyone in this movie had a unique chemistry.

Andrew Allan: We cast using the traditional method. Fortunately, we already knew most of the fantastic actors you've listed. So, they were right at the top of our list when it came time to filling the roles.

The great chemistry is due in large part to Herschell's directing. He insisted that, despite a very aggressive 12-day shooting schedule, everyone needs to have fun. What's the point of making a movie if you're not having fun making it? So every day was a pleasure. And Herschell knows exactly what he's doing. So he was able to guide their performances towards the perfect pitch.

Andy Lalino: Like Brainjacked, we held a few casting calls in Clearwater, however we had Joel in mind for "Fred Finagler" and Jack Amos as "Dean" - another ominous villain. Brooke McCarter was a complete surprise!! We held a casting session, and a handsome actor came in to try out for the lead role of "Jackie" - The Uh-Oh! Show's host. When he introduced himself, he mentioned he was in the 1987 horror hit The Lost Boys - and we couldn't believe our luck. The Uh-Oh! Show worked well for all concerned, in that Brooke was looking for a starring vehicle here in Florida, and found it in our film! In turn, we had the benefit of casting a truly talented, charismatic actor in the role who the fans really dig. Krista Grotte, mentioned above, was our first choice for "Champagne" and Herschell had wanted to cast popular Florida-based actress Trish Dempsey as "Old Lady Blume" (who's akin to the witch in "Hansel and Gretel").

We were lucky to get a very talented actress to play Jill Burton: Nevada Caldwell. She really understood the character and played it like a cartoon, which was the objective. She's really great; I hope Uh-Oh! gets her a well-deserved "scream queen" fan base. Other great finds were: Broward "Eclipse" Holsey as Radial Saw Rex - who we hope will become horror's newest slasher icon - and Kenny Rogers (not the singer!) who plays "Oscar" - Jill Burton's cameraman and loyal friend. Another popular character has proven to be "Coco Marie-Smith", played by stunning newcomer Lauren Schmier - who excelled in her first feature film role!

Of course there are many other colorfully creepy characters in The Uh-Oh! Show too numerous to mention - but envision a Big Bad Wolf who wields razor-sharp slicing knives; a sexy, sadistic Goldilocks, and a maniac "Old Lady Blume"!

HH: I had the privilege to see this film at TFW (Texas Frightmare Weekend) and I must say I know why it won best film. I stayed just to see this film. The FX in "Uh Oh Show" are top-notch. From decapitated heads to rotting arms, how did you get Marcus Koch involved? If I am not mistaken, he also did the FX for Brainjacked.

Andrew Allan: Once again, we have the good fortune of living in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida, which is rife with genuine filmmaking talent. We've known Marcus for years and first worked with him on a trailer for a movie we were developing at the time. He's the best. So, it was a no-brainer to use him and then-partner Shelby McIntyre for The Uh-Oh! Show. We also brought in Mark Angenola who is a really talented fx artist we met during BRAINJACKED. Mark did great work on both films along with Marcus and Shelby.

Andy Lalino: Yes, Marcus worked his effects magic in both films. Marcus has a reputation for being one of the best special make-up effects artists in the Tampa Bay area, and because we all lived here and knew each other, it actually was easy to secure him. Marcus, along with Mark Angenola, did great work on Brainjacked, and we had a great time working together. Then, about a year later, we called up Marcus and told him he's doing a film for Herschell Gordon Lewis, and he loved us forever.

We're proud that most all the effects in The Uh-Oh! Show are practical and not CGI. The best effect Marcus concocted for Uh-Oh! involves a giant buzzsaw blade who an unlucky contestant falls prey to. You won't believe what happens!!!

HH: When can we all expect to see The Uh-Oh Show up for sale? Is there a set date yet?

Andy Lalino: It's currently being shopped around - we're hoping for a 2011 release. It's a great, gory, fun, crowd-pleasing film that not only delivers, but gives the viewer their money's worth. And, it's pure Herschell Gordon Lewis.

Andrew Allan: Ultimately, whoever distributes the film will determine when it will be available in theaters and on DVD. In the meantime, the movie will continue to play festivals around the world. There are dates coming up in DC, Indiana, Chile, and at Sitges in Spain.

HH: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Is there any last thing you would like to add?

Andrew Allan: Thank you for the fine interview. To the readers…you'll find the very best DVD offer on the planet at You get the BRAINJACKED DVD, plus, the entire movie soundtrack, PLUS the Make-Your-Own-BRAINJACKED clips disc which features digital clips of scenes from the film. With it, you can edit your own version of BRAINJACKED. It's really cool. Not only that…at you will see the world's bloodiest infomercial. It must be seen to be believed!

All hail Cinema Head Cheese!!

Andy Lalino: We'd like to thank all the fans who have supported all Film Ranch movies - Brainjacked, The Uh-Oh! Show, and Filthy. We're proud of our quality line-up of cult movies, and always aim to produce motion pictures that horror fans and the general public really enjoy and will be entertained by a thousand years from now. In the next few years, expect new, original Film Ranch features and collaborations with cult movie all-stars.

Music Review: She and Him: Volume 1 & 2 (2008, 2010)

by Hollis Jay

As I listened to Volume One and Volume Two of She & Him, I am left with only one nagging question: Why does Zooey Deschanel continue to act? Yes, I am left perplexed by her astoundingly big eyes and her clean almost slate like face which seems to be pondering-just like we are-why am I here…but, she doesn’t need to try to act anymore when she can just sing. For it is in her singing and songwriting in which she shines. The she (Zooey) and the him (M. Ward) create a wonderful construction of music. For a minute, if I closed my eyes I thought that I was listening to a young Dolly Parton or The Carpenters all over again except without that picky eating disorder.

Buy She & Him: Volume 1

As Zooey tunes in with folk sounding songs like “In the Sun” and “Thieves”, she also plays a bit with the original girl groups of the late 1950’s with “Don’t Look Back.” I can tell you that I was still listening to this cd in my head, even after the music stopped. Charming is the word that I kept writing down, as I listened to every song play in my car. The two cds should definitely be listened to together, as they seemingly tell the story of a young woman’s search for life and love.

September 21, 2010

Movie Review: Crazy Eights (2006)

by Hollis Jay

At three in the morning, I found myself alone and left unattended. I had nothing to do the next day, so I went channel surfing which can be a very dangerous thing to do….at three in the morning….when no one else is around….especially when you find Crazy Eights on your television. I honestly don’t know why I started watching it. It has the two actresses and/or actors that I usually avoid upon contingency of death: Dina Meyer (except for Starship Troopers) and Traci Lords due to my effective and energetic imaginative process which can only see her with her mouth hanging half open in a seemingly misplaced orgasmic moment. I don’t know why I didn’t listen to my instincts. Maybe I wasn’t thinking or the fact that this movie was part of the eight films to die for series messed with my senses and had me ignore my own free will due to the production of some great horror movies, like The Hamilton’s and Penny Dreadful. But, I did ignore my baser instincts and merged head first into bad horror.

Buy Crazy Eights on DVD

September 16, 2010

Movie Review: Underbelly (2010)

by Jeff Dolniak

Directed by: Matt A. Cade

Buy Underbelly on DVD

On a dark desolate highway, during a sweltering Texas summer, a young girl is being pursued by a mysterious predator. We see inside the vehicle of the pursuer. In the vehicle, is yet another young female applying some sort of "war-paint" on her face. Let's just say, it doesn't end well for this "damsel in distress". This is the opening sequence in Matt Cade's thriller Underbelly. It's a fairly effective and quite creepy introduction; setting up our lead character Henry Rose (Mark Reeb) for the predicament he becomes infused in, having his wife vanish on the side of road . Henry's search brings him to a confrontation with another man, Toby Haynes (Fritz Beer) and his family whose personalities mirror that of the group of psychos in Wes Craven's Last House on the Left. These people are little more restrained than Krug and Weasel, but still have a powerful thirst for murder and rape. Like Henry, Toby, his half-retarded brother, Eugene Haynes (Joe Abercrombie) and cousin, Terry (John Mense) have lost a kin member, Sweet Lily Haynes (Bianca Lopez). Where are these people disappearing to? Is it some kind of supernatural entity?

Altered Views: Session 9 / The Eye of Danvers: A history of Danvers State Hospital

by Hollis Jay

I happen to love all movies in which an inanimate object becomes the central character of a story. Having written and/or been in the process of re-writing such a story, I know that this is not an easy feat. But, one of my favorite movies, Session Nine pulls this effect off seamlessly and without strain. The asylum becomes the central character, and one listens for its’ dialogue in every scene and one watches it’s movements as they circle and entwine its’ victims.

Buy Session 9 on DVD

To begin with, Session Nine was filmed on location at Danvers State Hospital. Not only did this hospital perform the first pre-frontal lobotomy, but it is also rumored to be haunted. In fact, if you own Session Nine there are not only a few scenes where one has to question the shadows that appear on the walls but there is also a section on the DVD where the cast talks about their strange experiences at the hospital while filming. This is one of the things that makes the location all too creepy and actually scary as your watching the film.

September 15, 2010

Movie Review: Cryptic (2009)

by Hal Astell

Directors: Danny Kuchuck and John Weiner

Stars: Jodee Thelen, Johnny Pacar, Toby Huss, Jadin Gould, Brooke Vallone, Nicole Cannon and Julie Carlson

Buy Cryptic on DVD

On 4th July, 2000, nine year old Jessie Graver had a rather memorable birthday. Her family was moving into a new house, a cool one in the mountains with a pool, and her mother gave her a mobile phone, her first one. 'Who do I call?' she asks. The intention is that she should call her mother, naturally, whenever she's in need, but she never gets the opportunity because her mum is promptly electrocuted in the pool in a tragic accident. Nine years later, as she turns eighteen, Jessie rediscovers the phone and on a whim rings her old number. Amazingly there's still enough battery to make the call and a little girl answers, one with whom she seems to have rather a lot in common. It isn't just the same phone number, it's the same address too, along with the same poster on the same crack in the same wall and the same target in the same tree outside. What's more they both seem to have put up that poster and that target. Yep, they're the same person.

Movie Review: Office of the Dead (2009)

by Hal Astell

Director: Matthew Chung

Stars: Teddy Chen Culver, Shawn Parikh and Christina July Kim

Buy Office of the Dead on DVD

How was I ever going to resist a zombie movie in which the three lead characters are a couple of software engineers and a project manager? I'm an IT professional and a horror movie maven, so something that merges two of the key things that make my brain tick is a very cool rarity indeed. It's only one of the rarities writer/director Matthew Chung chose to set up here, because almost nobody in this American movie is of the typical WASP heritage. The software engineers are Ben and Raj, a Chinese American and an Indian on an H1 visa. Their project manager is a 'hot Asian mama' called Liz, who used to be Ben's girlfriend before she got promoted above him but who he secretly wishes still was. I don't blame him. By the way, that isn't my description, because I would naturally never be so insensitive about gorgeous young ladies, it's the description used by a couple of consultants brought in by gay jerk boss Nate when they can't meet their deadlines.

Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast! #1 featuring Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero

Episode #1 - The Room's Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero

In our first thrilling episode, we attend the Love is Blind tour at MADCAP Theaters in Tempe, AZ where Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero do a pre-Room Q&A and sit down with Kevin Moyers for separate interviews. Also, David Hayes berates Jeff Dolniak for being inept, which is really just another day at the Cheese.

Click here to listen or right click and choose "Save Link As..." to download.

Buy The Room on DVD

September 14, 2010

Movie Review: The Descent: Part 2 (2009)

by Hollis Jay

To me, there has to be a good reason to have a sequel. Maybe there was a character that was particularly unexplored or good and we-as an audience-want to know more. Or maybe, a great story or a great script comes about to not only enhance the power of the first story but to make it an epic experience. But, I can guarantee that neither one of these things happened when The Descent Two movie was discussed and then made. Who knows what was talked about during those five minutes when script, story, and character were talked about-but I can be sure that smart horror was neither involved nor thought of in those fragile minutes.

Buy The Descent: Part 2 on DVD

Movie Review: Vampires Suck (2010)

by Heather Henshaw

I went in to this film thinking it was going to be good. I mean, a takeoff film of Twilight? What more could you ask for? Well, I failed to realize it's about TWILIGHT! How could I be so stupid to put myself through the anguish of watching this film?

Buy Vampires Suck on DVD

The plot is the same as Twilight; girl meets boys, girl torn between the two boys and so on. The names are changed. Bella is known as Becca, and the Cullens are changed to the Sullens. Not only do you get one Twilight movie spoof, but they take on all three of the Twilight films. I will say there are a few parts in this film that made me laugh, and when I say few I mean a few. There was a chihuahua pack instead of a werewolf pack, and to make it worse, they were gay guys singing "It's Raining Men." I did enjoy the part where Becca beats up her dad and maces him and the scene where the guy in the wheel chair gets the crap beat out of him, but I must say the best part of the whole film was (get ready for a big spoiler now) the credits. I was so happy once it ended. I had to watch this film in three parts just to get through it. Vampires Suck is from the guys who brought us Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, and Disaster Movie. Somehow they keep getting funds for these dreadful spoofs. PLEASE STOP ALREADY! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

September 11, 2010

Cinematic Hell: Mesa of Lost Women (1953)

by Hal Astell

Directors: Herbert Tevos & Ron Ormond

Stars: Jackie Coogan, Allan Nixon and Richard Travis

Buy Mesa of Lost Women on DVD

Mesa of Lost Women is two films in one but that's two too many. It started out under the working title of Tarantula, which would have been original at the time as Jack Arnold's movie of the same name didn't arrive until 1955, but this one didn't arrive at all, partly because the funds started to run out but mostly because writer/director Herbert Tevos was a little too good at driving the cast and crew into quitting. A couple of years later, his replacement was one of the more fascinating names in exploitation cinema, Ron Ormond, who wasn't just a writer, producer and director of low budget movies, but also a vaudeville performer, magician and Air Force colonel. At this point he was known mostly for his Lash LaRue westerns, but this mess proved to be his ticket into an ever more eclectic world that soon included gorilla sleaze, frigid wife sexploitation and Nashville musicals. Eventually he would turn to Jesus and become the foremost name in Christploitation.

Book Review: Devil Girls by Ed Wood

Devil Girls is another of Wood’s novels that has been reprinted again and again and is quite easily accessible. It is also noteworthy as the first appearance of Sheriff Buck Rhodes, small town peacekeeper and globe-trotting do-gooder (he is also seen in Parisian Passions).

The story involves the running of illegal and illicit drugs (chiefly heroin and LSD, which in Wood-speak turns from Lysergic Acid Diethylamide to Lost Souls Delivered). The drugs are being sent into the small town by Lark, the sadistic pusher, and carried by the drug-addicted girl gang of the title…the Chicks. Amid strife in the Chick’s organization (the leader Lila has escaped prison, through murder, and has come back to claim her territory from Dee) and the bumblings of a do-gooder preacher, Reverend Steele, Sheriff Rhodes, ex-junkie and hamburger joint owner Jockey and his hulking assistant, Chief, Wood manages to get off a well-plotted, if not exactly a well-told, story.

September 10, 2010

Eats and Drinks Reviews: Mighty Arrow, Münchner Gold and Sweaty Betty

by Lane Smith

#1 – Mighty Arrow by New Belgium Brewery

I’m a fan of almost everything New Belgium Brewery does (Fat Tire, 1554, etc.), and Mighty Arrow was no exception. For $9.99 a 12-pack this was a great beer and a value buy.

Appearance- Hazy peachy with tones of copper and a nice head.

Aroma - Excellent cascade hop aroma.

Taste- Bitter and hoppy up front with a nice mild caramel/citrus finish.

Texture- Medium body, nice and crisp.

Overall - I loved this beer. This moves towards to top of my list of New Belgium’s creations and for the price I got it, hard to beat in any situation. 6.00% ABV. Score 9/10.

Interviews: Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero

The monthly showing of The Room at Madcap Theaters in Tempe is usually an event, but this time more than usual. The big attraction this time around was the appearance of writer/director and star Tommy Wiseau and his co-star Greg Sestero. The two came in to huge fanfare and did everything from tossing the football around to dueling with light sabres. As the crowd enjoyed the movie, I was able to find a quiet room and interview both stars about their travels, the movie and upcoming projects. Check out the videos and enjoy.


September 7, 2010

The Room

by Jessica Condit

Tommy Wiseau, writer, director, producer and star actor in The Room, didn't know he had created a cult classic film when the movie premiered in 2003, but seven years later his cinematic status has been solidly affirmed. Today, only one question remains for thousands of fans and movie critics across the country:

Does he know his movie sucks?

Known nationwide as "the Citizen Kane of bad movies," The Room is the longest-running independent film in history and still sells out midnight showings from Los Angeles to New York-but not because it is good in any classical sense. The script is banal and often completely nonsensical, the editing is dubious and the acting ranges from the high school theater production to sophomore year of Community College levels. Because of this, it is one of the most successful independent movies of all time, and Wiseau doesn't need any more affirmation of his cinematic genius than that.

Six Degrees of Cheese: Six Lost Albums

by Lane Smith

About a year ago, I was at a party when a friend decided to put on some music. I saw him reach for what I expected to be an iPod, but instead he had an old Joe Walsh album. When the needle first touched vinyl I heard the familiar, yet forgotten, crackling sound. The sound transported me back to the first time I heard "Blonde on Blonde" through the massive headphones attached with a spiraling black cord to my parents' old turntable in their living room. I was hooked. The next day, I added a turntable to my Christmas list and started going through the dusty stacks of albums in my parents' house.

I am a fan of classic rock and consider myself to have an above average knowledge of music, so there were many albums I was already familiar with. Floyd, Dylan, and The Beatles were all present. As I searched through the albums, however, I couldn't believe the amount of music that I had never heard of. I have picked out the 6 albums that I was previously unfamiliar with of but enjoyed the most for the following list.

Movie Review: Piranha 3D (2010)

by Corby Kennard

When I heard there was going to be a new Piranha film way back at Comic Con, I was thrilled. I love these sorts of cheesy nature attacks films. I'd recently seen Piranha 2, with the young-old Lance Henriksen and directed by someone named James Cameron, and as much as I enjoyed the silliness of the movie, I was a bit leery of the director porting over the flying-piranha hybrids to the 3rd installment of the Joe Dante-started franchise.

Buy Piranha 3D on DVD or Blu-ray

If you feel the same way, lay those fears to rest. This one is much more believable, as it involves piranha who somehow managed to stay alive for somewhere around 3 million years in a cave under Lake Havasu Arizona. An earthquake opens a crack in the cave, releasing the killer fish into the teeming and naked throngs of party-goers during Spring Break. The kids party, the cops try to save them, and the fish kill and kill and kill. Seriously, this is one of the biggest and bloodiest body counts you're gonna see in this sort of film.