When it comes to remakes and reboots, Hollywood definitely has the market cornered. So, when it comes to original ideas, many flock to the underground production companies and distributors for a breath of fresh air. Writer/Director Damien Leone and Ruthless Picture present a coupling of two legendary works of literature for a brand new full-length feature, Frankenstein vs. The Mummy, which was picked up for distribution through RLJ Entertainment and Image Entertainment. But is this re-imagining of classic gothic Horror one worth checking out, or is this sacrilege to both of the original tales it takes from?
In keeping with the spirit of the underground, Nightfall Pictures and Twisted Illusions bring together eight of the Horror film underground’s most well known film makers for a brand new anthology collection. Originally put together in 2013, this set of Horror and Science Fiction themed short stories, eight in total with an overlapping ninth, all depict various takes on the styles as a whole. This is where HI-8: Horror Independent 8 comes to life. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that the film was picked up for distribution through Wild Eye Releasing, the perfect home for such a love letter to this recently resurrected style film making. But does this collection stand out, or is it nothing but a generic “shot on video” cash grab meant to play off the success of recent releases like The ABC’s of Death and VHS?
Crawl or Die is the intellectual spawn of writer and director Oklahoma Ward (Screen, The Battle of Tinker). It’s another entry into the post-apocalyptic Science Fiction library, though with one idea in mind: Crawling. It’s also meant to be part of a series, a growing trend in books and underground film making today, such as the series being built around some of the characters involved in the film Slasher House. This film found its way onto store shelves in August of 2014 thanks to Through Backyard Films and Vertical Entertainment, though was quickly met with poor reception across the board. But does Crawl or Die actually wind up a misjudged hit movie-goers really should see, or is it a lifeless husk best worth sitting at the bottom of the bargain bin?
2009’s Monkey Boy is an Italian Horror fairy tale from the mind of Antonio Monti, his first outing not only as screenwriter alongside Chiara Parodi and Davide Zagnoli (Il giardino del sonno), but also his directorial debut. The film is touted as being the tale of a freak who lived in the cellar until his handler is killed, carrying a “There are no bloodless fairy tales” tagline to play up the brutal reality behind the majestic start. It’s also the tale of an autistic girl, and how this creature plays a major role in her life. Of course, this summary is biref and a bit misleading in this winner of 2010 American Horror “Bury Award”, a film that was also nominated in three other festivals. Eventually, Monkey Boy was picked up for distribution through Chemical Burn Entertainment, able to reach a much broader audience who couldn’t attend any of these screening festivities. But does this film stand as a beautifully harsh realization to the whimsical worlds we tell our children, or is there something more afoot within?
Found. is based on the story from Todd Rigney and adapted to screenplay by Scott Schirmer (Off the Beaten Path, House of Hope). Produced by Forbidden Films and shot at an estimated eight thousand dollar budget in Bloomington, Indiana, the film made its rounds through a number of independent film festivals, winning awards like Best Director from the Winter Film Awards Independent Film Festival 2013, Best Feature at Elvira’s Horror Hunt 2012, and many more. The Drama/Horror/Thriller film began to take the world by storm, and it wasn’t long before XLrator Media picked it up for distribution for their Macabre line of DVDs. But does this coming of age story about a Christian family with a dark secret stand as a must see experience, or is it a long-winded exploration of boredom?
Leprechaun: One of the most embedded names within the Horror genre to date. A series about a pint sized wise-cracking leprechaun who will bite off your ear and make a boot out of it if you so much as touch his pot of gold. Since debuting in 1993, the franchise has found him in Las Vegas, sent him into orbit (Leprechaun 4), and even in the hood not once, but twice (Leprechaun in the Hood, Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood). The mixture of comedy, gore, and Irish lore was a picture perfect formula for cult film and b-movie lovers everwhere. So when the WWE announced they would be doing a prequel (which actually turns out to be a reboot) of this series under the guise of Leprechaun: Origins with wrestler Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl as the living myth, no one knew what to expect until the trailers started rolling out to show a darker, grittier version of the villain we’ve all come to know and love. But, as a stand alone modern take on the franchise, does Leprechaun: Origins actually stand as a film worth seeing, or is it really as poor an experience as most critics have hailed it to be?