Graveside Ramblings: Feedback Wanted

Hey everyone.  Well, I’ve been doing this blog for almost a year now, and I’ve been having a good time doing it.  However, as of late I’ve been curious to know how I’ve been doing in the eyes of you readers out there.  I’m always looking to improve myself, and Necropolis Macabre is no exception, as it’s an extension of myself in a way.

So what I’m getting at is, I want to get some feedback from as many of you as possible.  I would like to know the following:

  • What I’m doing right
  • What I’m doing wrong
  • Is there anything you want to see in the blog that I haven’t talked about yet?
  • Do you have any issues with my format, how often I post reviews, etc?

Those are just a few examples I thought of.  But anything you want to comment about, good or bad, I would appreciate you leaving some comments below.  I’m interested in hearing what you might have to say.  If I don’t see anything comment-wise, I’ll assume everything is good and I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.  That’s pretty much it.  Bye for now.

Guest Post: Gravedigger Glen reviews Demons (1985)

Stigmatophilia's gore splattered corner of insanity.

Demons (1985)

By Gravedigger Glen

 

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Ah, Italy.  It’s one of the greatest countries in the world for horror movies.  And today, as I have the honor of being a guest reviewer here at Stigmatophilia, I decided to take the Italian route with Demons, which was produced/co-written by Dario Argento and directed by Lamberto Bava.  It was released in 1985, which in my opinion is one of the greatest decades for horror.  But great countries and great decades aside, does Demons have what it takes to also be great?  Well, let me tell you all about it.

The movie begins with one of the main characters named Cheryl who, not long after getting off a train, has a run in with a strange man in a mask (this stranger just happens to be played by none other than Michele Soavi, who would go on to direct such movies as

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Deadly Presence (2013): A Macabre Review.

Deadly Presence Poster

Greetings to all once again.  Today I dive back in to the world of horror with the independent movie Deadly Presence, brought to you by Masked Films and Brain Damage Films.  Directed by Shane Cole and starring Megan Lynn and Kathy Sue Holtorf, Deadly Presence was shot on a micro-budget.  This of course appeals to my curiosity as I like to see what people are capable of without a Hollywood budget.  So let’s get into it and see what comes of it.

We begin with three friends Andie, Candace and Julie.  The three friends break into the home of the deceased John and Alice Stanton, which is rumored to be haunted.  Unexpectedly, the lights in the room and the candles lit by the women go out.  When the lights come back on, we find that Candace witnessed something that has completely shaken her.

Fast forward two months later, and after an absence Candace calls Andie over to stay with her for the night.  the next day Andie wakes up on the couch to find a note to play a video left for her.  After getting so far into it, Andie searches for Candace to discover she has slit her wrists in the bathtub.

Deadly Presence

“Wouldn’t this be more fun with some boys?” “For the last time, NO!”

The video comes back on by itself, and in the video Candace asks Andie to not call the police or an ambulance, but instead to stay another night in the apartment.  Unsure of what to do, Andie reads Candace’s journal and learns of what has happened to Candace in the two months since the night in the haunted house.  Andie decides to investigate whether or not supernatural forces truly are behind Candace’s death.

I enjoyed Deadly Presence, but it’s probably not going to be for everyone.  For one thing, it’s a slow-burn kind of movie.  And we all know how patience levels are deteriorating in society today when it comes to movies.  There isn’t a whole lot in the way of violence and gore either; it seems to prefer building up the story, and goes for tension building instead of throwing weak jump scares at you every five minutes in order to keep the attention of the dumbed down masses (a good move in my opinion).  And given that there was a very small budget to work with in the first place, a good job was done working around it.

As far as the acting goes, it was pretty good all around.  With the exception of  Kathy Sue Holtorf (Candace) and Sabrina Carmichael (Julie), supporting roles didn’t have a lot of screen time.  Most of the movie follows Megan Lynn (Andie) as she tries to make sense of the insanity that’s happened since the night in the haunted house.  For one who has apparently little acting experience, Megan has outdone other more experienced actors that I have seen in my day.  And given that she has the vast majority of the screen time, it’s pretty impressive.

Deadly Presence

The DC reboot had brought some unusual changes in it’s artwork.

There are a couple of questionable aspects for me though.  For one thing, I had a little trouble accepting that Andie actually did what Candace requested in the video and didn’t bother calling police or an ambulance.  I’ll level with you; I am a believer in the supernatural to an extent.  However, were a friend to commit suicide with me in their home I’m not going to just believe that the supernatural was involved.  Especially when it’s later revealed that Candace had medication that she seemed to not be taking.  Of course, after time passes, I was able to let it slide.  Especially since so much time had passed in the movie that it wouldn’t have made a difference.

The other issue I had was with the ending.  Obviously, I’m not going to give anything away, but I just felt the way it ended seemed a little abrupt.  Plus, I also didn’t feel it was a fitting sendoff of the main character Andie.  But hey, that’s me.  I leave it to you to watch it for yourself and judge accordingly.

So, that’s about it for me.  I did like it, and I suggest you watch it for yourself.  It’s not perfect, but for it’s previously mentioned budget restraints, I don’t think it did too badly at all.  It has a planned VOD release for December, so keep an eye out and watch it when it’s available.  Until next time, rest in peace.

Macabre Rating: 3.5 out of 5 tombstones

Necropolis News: ABCs OF DEATH 2 – Top 12 Finalists Announced!

Top Twelve Finalists Announced and Heading to Theaters in ABCs OF DEATH 2’s “Search for the 26th Director

Popular fan competition from Magnet Releasing, Timpson Films and Drafthouse Films secures triple the original film’s number of entries, from over 40 countries

New York City – 17 November 2013 – Producers Ant Timpson, Tim League, and Magnet Releasing have announced the twelve finalists in ABCs OF DEATH 2’s “Search for the 26th Director.”

The original ABCs OF DEATH, comprised of 26 alphabet-themed ways to die from the biggest names in horror, invited any and all indie filmmakers from around the world to submit their own T-themed deaths – with one exceptional entry being chosen to appear in the final film. The tradition of selecting the 26th Director proudly continues in the 2014 sequel.

The competition’s twelve outstanding finalists will be voted on by the upcoming anthology film’s other 25 directors, with a victor being announced on December 15th.

The Top Twelve finalists will be screened for free at select Alamo Drafthous locations on December 15th, after which Drafthouse founder/CEO Tim League will announce the competition’s winner. In addition to receiving a $5000 cash prize, the winning film will be become ABCs OF DEATH 2’s “M” segment.

The competition’s twelve finalists, half of which were chosen via public vote and half by jury selection, are Dante Vescio and Rodrigo Gasparini’s “M is for Mailbox”, Summer Johnson’s “M is for Make Believe”, Steve Daniels’ “M is for Marauder”, Robert Boocheck’s “M is for Masticate”, Sean Tretta’s “M is for Matchmaker”, Wolfgang Matzl’s “M is for Meat”, BC Glassberg’s “M is for Mind Meld”, Álvaro Núñez’s “M is for Miracle”, Antonio Padovan’s “M is for Misdirection”, Mia’Kate Russell’s “M is for Muff”, Santi González’s “M is for Multiverse Apathy”, and Jason Koch and Clint Kelly’s “M is for Munging.”

With a whopping 541 final entries from over 40 countries submitted to the competition, the sequel’s terrifying tournament ranks as one of the industry’s most popular fan film contests. “Our dedicated jury watched 27 hours worth of entries,” said producer and juror Ant Timpson. “The sequel’s ‘Search for the 26th Director’ had three times the number of entries submitted to the first film’s contest. Narrowing our selections down to six proved immensely difficult, given the massive number of absolutely incredible films submitted.”

Along with Timpson, the jury of horror experts also included producer Tim League, Associate Producer Ted Geoghegan, Magnolia Pictures’ Matt Cowal, Entertainment Weekly Senior Writer Clark Collis, Horror-Movie-A-Day founder and Badass Digest contributor Brian Collins, author Grady Hendrix, and Fangoria Magazine Managing Editor Michael Gingold.

Aside from creating the very best entries possible, the six finalists chosen by public vote used their own innovative takes on film publicity, marketing, contests, and viral outreach to secure their entries as many votes as possible.

The twelve finalists will be voted upon by the ABCs OF DEATH 2’s other attached directors: an eclectic, acclaimed group consisting of Julian Barratt of The Mighty Boosh; Goya Award winner Álex de la Iglesia (THE LAST CIRCUS, WITCHING AND BITCHING); Israel’s Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (BIG BAD WOLVES, RABIES); Japan’s arthouse provocateur Sion Sono (COLD FISH, SUICIDE CLUB); Academy Award-nominated animator Bill Plympton; ROOM 237 mastermind Rodney Ascher; Filipino icon – and Director’s Fortnight inductee – Erik Matti (ON THE JOB, MAGIC TEMPLE); Lithuania’s Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper (VANISHING WAVES); SPLICE and CUBE’s Vincenzo Natali; indie horror icon Larry Fessenden (THE LAST WINTER, HABIT); THE STATION’s Marvin Kren; Todd Rohal (THE CATECHISM CATALYSM); Canada’s king of lo-fi, Steven Kostanski (MANBORG); Cuba’s Alejandro Brugués (JUAN OF THE DEAD); acclaimed UK commercial director Jim Hosking; Japanese monster-maker Hajime Ohata (HENGE); Canadian short film wizard Chris Nash (SKINFECTIONS); France’s Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (INSIDE, LIVID); E.L. Katz (director of the SXSW breakout hit CHEAP THRILLS); twin auteurs Jen and Sylvia Soska (AMERICAN MARY, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK); A LONELY PLACE TO DIE’s Julian Gilbey; Brazil’s most controversial filmmaker Dennison Ramalho (NINJAS and LOVE FOR MOTHER ONLY); the founder of Nigerian “Nollywood” cinema Lancelot Imasuen; THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM and the upcoming STAGEFRIGHT’s Jerome Sable; and animator Robert Morgan – creator of the BAFTA Award nominated short BOBBY YEAH.

“Being a part of the original ABCs OF DEATH was the proudest and most important moment of my life,” says ‘T is for Toilet’ director Lee Hardcastle, whose innovative stop-motion entry won the first film’s ‘Search for the 26th Director.’ “Winning the competition was a dream come true and got my video in front of all the right people. I’ve since become great friends with many of the ABCs crew, and even collaborated with some of them on my own personal projects.”

Magnet is planning a 2014 release of the film. ABCs OF DEATH 2 is produced by Ant Timpson and Tim League, in conjunction with associate producers Todd Brown, Marc Walkow, Mitch Davis, and Ted Geoghegan.

About Magnet Releasing

Magnet is the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, specializing in films from the vanguard of horror, action, comedy and Asian cinema, and the home of genre classics like Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In, Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins, Christopher Smith’s Black Death, Ti West’s The House of the Devil, Andre Ovredal’s Trollhunter, Gareth Edward’s Monsters, Neil Marshall’s sword and sandals bloodbath Centurion, Michael Dowse’s hockey comedy Goon, and Tony Jaa’s Ong Bak trilogy to name a few. Recent releases include the terrifying anthologies V/H/S, V/H/S/2 and The ABCs of Death, Xan Cassavettes’ stylish vampire film Kiss of the Damned, and The Last Days on Mars starring Liev Schreiber.  Upcoming releases include Adrián García Bogliano’s Here Comes the Devil, the critically claimed Israeli thriller Big Bad Wolves and many more.

The Last Days On Mars (2013): A Macabre Review.

The Last Days On Mars Poster

And we’re back!  I must say, I had fun talking about the Halloween series (even though a couple of the sequels made me a little angry), but it’s good to be getting back to some variety in my reviews.  Which brings us to today’s review of The Last Days On Mars.  It was directed by Ruairi Robinson, an Irish director. And from what I can tell, this is his debut full-length directing gig.  So how does he do?  Well, let’s find out.

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