EVIL Presses the Reset Button For Killer Results! “To Your Last Death” reviewed! (Quiver Distribution / Blu-ray)

Miriam DeKalb has just survived a bloodbath inside her tycoon father’s high-rise, walking out shaken, bloodied, and carrying an axe.  When the police detain her in the hospital, construing a case against her for the death of her siblings and father based off her previously unhinged mental state inside a psychiatric institute, Miriam is visited by an otherworldly being known as the Gamemaster.  Miriam is given two choices:  stay at the hospital to be pursued as the murderous villain in her harrowing escape from near death or restart her traumatizing experience to save her siblings in an intergalactic wager by infinite being gamblers eager for amusement, blood, and a clear winner.  Miriam’s foreknowledge of how the events play out should give her an edge in saving her family, but the restart is the Gamemaster’s game with the Gamemaster’s rules as timelines and outcomes are determined limitless. 

“To Your Last Death” is a science fictional brawl of Darwinism in this eviscerating adult animated survival horror from director Jason Axinn.  Originally titled as “The Malevolent” during the crowd-funded Indiegogo campaign, which raised 114% above film’s budget, “To Your Last Death” is Axinn’s first full length feature from a script co-written by Jim Cirile (writer of horror-comedy “Banned”) and is the first credited work of Tanya C. Klein, both who’ve previously collaborated on the superhero short “Liberator” in 2016 starring the original Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno  With an animated direction similar to that of FX’s “Archer,” Cartoon Network’s “Metalocalypse,” or an even slightly more advanced version of “Space Ghost Coast to Coast,” but, in fact, the hand-drawn, puppetry style animation is the first ever 2-D animated horror under the meticulous art direction of Carl Frank along with lead artists Luca Romano and Vicente Saldivar, who interned on “Metalocalypse,” that keeps in tune with the adult themed animation trend, but levels up the explicit nature that kisses the sordid substance of “Heavy Metal” with strong bloody violence and some nudity.  “To Your Last Death” is the first feature film of Jim Cirile and Tanya C. Klien’s Coverage Ink Films, a subsidiary of the screenplay analysis and development service group, Coverage Ink, and Quiver Distribution (“Becky”) with Cindi Rice, Paige Barnett and Jason Axinn taking on a producer role. 

The voice work is comprised of some of the most distinguishable voices in genre land; voices that carry the unparalleled weight in intensity, tenor, and madness to their darkly depicted illustrated characters.  You can almost feel the veins throbbing out of Ray Wise’s neck when spewing the murderous insanity of warfare kingpin and diabolical businessman, Cyrus DeKalb.  The “Dead End” and “Jeepers Creepers 2” actor’s inhumane avatar, who looks just like him, devises a plan to solidify his company’s legacy by eliminating his four children who, if banding together, can derail his egomaniacal runaway train.  His children are distinct individuals themselves, beginning with the BDS&M buff and death metal rocker, Ethan (Damein C. Haas), a pill-popping wrist cutter, Kelsy (Florence Hartigan “Phoenix Forgotten”), and a mirror-image disappointment and homosexual, Collin (Benjamin Siemon “Thankskilling 3”).  The fourth child, Miriam, is the principle lead.  Voiced with perpetual mixed reactions by Dani Lennon, a regular from the videogame-themed horror comedy and zombie apocalypse television series, “Bite Me,” Miriam’s complexities stem from a web of junctures that lead her to being a control freak amongst her siblings, an obsessive activist against her father, and a certified schizophrenic, but Miriam is also pragmatic with the strongest will to see through and survive her maniacal father’s abhorrence.  While everyone’s voice work is solid, Steve Geiger’s Eastern European accent replicated for the sadistic, warmongering henchman, Jurek, imprints a nightmare man unabashed by his decadent desires.  You wouldn’t think just be reading this review, but Bill Moseley (“Devil’s Rejects”) and William Shatner (“Star Trek” franchise) also have voice roles that are more cameo resembling as Moseley voices a short lived, facially disfigured hired gun and Shatner is the narrating voice in between the void as the Overseer, filling in with cryptic exposition of the Gamemaster’s existence, much like his narrative work on the reboot of the children’s show, “The Clangers.”   Mark Whitten, Bill Mishap, Rom Lommel, Paige Barnnet, Jim Cirile, Tanya C. Klein, Ruairi Douglas, Jason Axinn, and “Deadpool’s” Morena Baccarin as the Gamemaster round out the cast.

The way “To Your Last Death’s” story is structured runs along the same quivering line that’s equal to pure madness and this narrative path of unstoppable carnage is purposefully trekked to dislodge any judgements about what we, the viewer, think we know about the Gamemaster’s macabre game for galactic gambling.  Is the whole “Saw”-like designed bloodbath really a part of Cyrus DeKalb’s hatred and vindictiveness toward his children or is the lucid experience just a figment of Miriam’s break from reality?  Remember, Miriam was depicted to an ex-committed, living with and within the pressures of her father’s ever present, looming shadow. Miriam finds herself repeating moments but blueprinted differently than before or is manipulated by the Gamemaster’s gamer’s high for the adrenaline voyeurs betting on the outcome. The story’s effervescently fluid in pivots, tactics, and style; yet, the constant modify and rebuild was, perhaps, done one or two many times as staleness begins to set in and I eventually find himself anxious for a more linear goal for Miriam and her siblings to be out of limbo, out of being hacked to pieces on the fourth or fifth go-around, and reach the final stage, the final boss, to not be jerked back (or jerked around) to the beginning or midpoint like in unendurable game of chutes and ladders. Soon after that sensation of being uninterested in another rewind, the feeling immediately washes away as the story finally did progress, climax, finish, end, close, and put to sleep a rotunda of violence engendered by cosmic sadists that is “To Your Last Death.”

Like some warped version of “Clash of the Titans,” the insouciant Gods in “To Your Last Death” are not generous or kind in their gamble of human entertainment on this Blu-ray release distributed by Quiver Distribution. The feature is presented in a windscreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio with rich colors through but favor toward scenes splotched of dark red or saturated in full tints of blue. The animation can be a little jagged at times but tolerable and only one scenes stood out compromised with two character stuck still for a few seconds too long and color banding rear its little ugly head on their animated faces. The English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound renders equally gratifying that includes a pulsating and terror riddled soundtrack by Rene G. Boscio. Typical with animation, ambience is generally underused as the filmmakers control much of what’s in the frame and the same can be said with this film, but with the much of action stationary inside the building, the confinement fills in the auditory gaps in conjunction with lucrative and well timed effects, such as a ripping roar of gas guzzling chainsaw, the squirting sounds of blood sprays, and even with the lossless details of minor necessities, such as Jurek whistling, to build upon character development. Dialogue is prominent, clear, and syncs okay with the marionette animation. The Blu-ray case is sheathed in a cardboard slipcover, both arranged with the same front and back cover image and layout. The bonus features are lack as the bare bones release only comes with a high definition trailer of the film. “To Your Last Death” is this year’s cinematic graphic novel to knock back and lap up, loaded with transcendent selfish twists and second-chance carnage with dysfunctional family issues spot lit on center stage.

 

Pre-Order “To Your Last Death” for a October 6th release!

A Nightclub Owner is One Evil Bloodthirsty Bootlegger! “Bloodrunners” review!

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In 1933, the heart of prohibition-era regulation, a corrupt Southampton, New Jersey police department shakedown the illegal alcohol distilleries and bootleggers, forcing establishments to cough up payment for police protection. Chesterfields, the hip new brass club in the sleepy town, falls into the sights of enforcement officers, an alcoholic with post-war issues, Jack Malone and his partner Sam, who want the club owner, a ruthless black bandleader named Chester, to pay for his establishment’s booze sales and bootlegging, but Chester, and his conspicuously strange henchmen, are more than just bootlegging booze runners. The nightclub is a front for a vampire den that’s draining, bottling, and shipping the blood of Southampton residents and master vampire, Chester, operates the business with his human associate, Victor Renfield. An invasion of bloodsucking gangsters seep into the affairs of not only Jack Malone’s baffled police department, but also into the resident brothel that homes Jack’s longtime beloved lover, Rosie. Only Jack, the deranged town priest, and Willie, a boy caught in the middle, stand in between the corrupt, yet still innocent, souls of Southampton and the terrorizing dark forces that scratch at the town’s door.
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Hybrid genre film “Bloodrunners” blends a spin of classic tale vampirism with early 20th-century gangsters that concocts a bad batch of cinematic bamboozlement. Filmed in West Chester and Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, director Dan Lantz, who helmed adult film star Alexis Texas in “Bloodlust Zombies,” does construct a marvelous speakeasy, prohibition-era world out of the greater Philadelphia region’s most popular and historical locations. From the period piece costuming to the acquisition of an antique 1921 Ford Model A car, Lantz’s ability to build a story around such facets on pocket-sized finances that help bring 80 years past back to the present can certainly compete with settings of many big-budgeted Hollywood productions. Being a previous recent resident of West Chester, the landscape was convincingly alien to this reviewer. Co-star Michael McFadden co-wrote the script with Lantz and, together, they input a girth of 1920s to 1930s terminology and slang into a script that can’t quite coherently string along a narrative that works under cut and dry filmmaking involving anemic mains characters.
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Alongside McFadden, the “Law & Order: SVU,” or rather from one of my personal favorite films from 1994 entitled “Surviving the Game” co-starring Gary Busey and Rutger Hauer, star Ice-T takes on being a master, bootlegging vampire when he’s not busting heads of pedophiles on the streets of New York City. Ice-T maintains a hip hop persona that doesn’t translate well toward the 1930’s, but the legendary gangsta rapper has kept the hip hop schtick throughout this career and never in a hundred roles, eighty-seven credited roles to be exact, would I imagine Ice-T to break from a moneymaking image. Like his co-star, McFadden comforts himself in familiar roles that pigeonholes his career made up of authoritative figures such as cops or gangsters with examples including being a gangster in Fox’s hit television series, the Batman spinoff “Gotham” and also portraying the notorious real life gangster, Jimmy Hoffa, in the upcoming Tigre Hill film “American Zealot.” Then, there’s Philadelphia native Peter Patrikios. Patrikios’ phenomenal take on the iconic Renfield character is a break in the monotony highlight, reviving Renfield back to a sophisticated right hand man instead of a relapsing bumbling aid for his master’s whims of daylight chores and being more memorable than the “Bloodrunners'” main headliners. Airen DelaMater, Chris James Boylan, Julie Elk, Kerry McGann, Jack Hoffman, John Groody, and Dan McGlaughlin round up “Bloodrunners'” roster.
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When attempting to examine “Bloondrunners'” vampiric special effects, only this descriptive phrase comes to the forefront of my mind: “Bloodrunners” pits vampire gangsters against crooked cops in a “Matrix” styled, slow-motion action-horror. While that sounds rather exciting, selling these particular creatures of the night didn’t enlighten a firm stance that the modern vampire is alive (well, technically undead) and well. Instead, the Dan Lantz and Michael McFadden story stays the routine course that fills the overstuffed and out of control vampire barrel that desperately requires genre damage control from the first moment a scofflaw vamp enters the scene. Vampire action films haven’t been popular since “Blade,” unless adapted to television as in the case of FX’s “The Strain,” and “Bloodrunners” doesn’t fit the bill, boozing in as a blasphemous contemporary day vampire film.
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Paoli, PA based production company Impulse-FX delivers Dan Lantz’s latest schlock horror “Bloodrunners” with Speakeasy Films releasing the film out to the world and landing on retail shelves March 7th. The trailer held promise with vigorous action stamina, but, in the end, just turned out to be a well-edited trailer for an action-horror-thriller that needed a touch of stability in the story. Portions of the story are deemed absolutely unnecessary to motivate the characters or are place mats interjected to connect characters, such as Jack Malone’s encounter with a specific German vampire who just coincidently happens to be one of the henchmen in Ice-T’s vampire gang. The Speakeasy Films dual format 2-disc, Blu-ray and DVD combo, presents the film 1080p widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio in which the Blu-ray is on a AVC 26Mps disc. The image was a bit shaky under the compression, fizzing at times, more so during darker scenes, that outlined compression artifacts that remarked upon lighter shades of grey and black. The English Dolby Digital 5.1 track is fine through the 95 minute runtime. Jack Malone’s raspy gangster voice doesn’t become muddled and Ice-T’s epic hip hop swag comes through without even a hitch. The soundtracks fades in and out quite a bit over the LFE, during the “Matrix” slow-motion, that leaves much unbalanced when the soundtrack becomes warranted. Bonus features are nice, including a gag reel, deleted and extended scenes, filmmakers commentary, and an official trailer. In conclusion, “Bloodrunners” teeters on the edge of being a full bodied beverage that never really carbonates into a high-alcoholic contestant in being a good, modern day vampire thriller.

Watch “Bloodrunners” on Amazon Prime!

NPH Guest Stars in AHS: Freak Show!

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American Horror Story: Freak Show will add Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka to their list of guest stars set to appear on this fourth season. Hollywood hot topic NPH will guest start in the 11th and 12th episode as a chameleon salesman while David Burtka will be in the final episode of the season.

Murphy and Harris have been friends and collaborates since Fox’s ‘Glee.’ Harris has also been a super-fan of the previous American Horror Story installments. Harris and Burtka would certainly round the lively and colorful cast of characters and their actors in Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, and Sarah Paulson.

American Horror Story: Freak show… freakin’ hell

American Horror Story: Freak Show
Season 4 Episode 1 “Monsters among us”

Evan Peters as Jimmy Darling.  The scene in which he pleasures an ordinary housewife with his lobster-like hands.

Evan Peters as Jimmy Darling.
The scene in which he pleasures an ordinary housewife with his lobster-like hands.


American Horror Story hit our screens after a largely anticipated return. We were quickly introduced to Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) and the other characters. Jessica Lange performs brilliantly and it was a surprise to find out that she isn’t just fame-hungry. She’s paraplegic and fame-hungry. Evan Peters is back with lobster hands, playing Jimmy Darling. We meet the very likeable Bette and Dot Tattler (Sarah Paulson). The relationship between the two is funny and very entertaining to watch. We see Ma Petite played by Jyoti Amge, who is actually the smallest woman in the world – claiming a Guinness Book of World Records title. Providing the terror in the first episode, and possibly the title, is Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch). If killing an innocent couple isn’t enough, he also keeps two young children locked up and terrifies them to the point of torture. “There’s a big story that explains the clown and what he’s doing that’s based on an urban myth we uncovered” revealed director Ryan Murphey. It is the fourth season that will explain to us what we are eager to know about Twisty, so stay tuned.
Twisty the clown
Kathy Bates comes across far too tame playing the bearded lady. Her acting skills are capable of providing a more sinister and malicious character… but this could be exposed throughout the season. We will meet Angela Bassett next week who is Desiree Dupree, the three-breasted lady (and according to her a “full-blown hermaphrodite”). We are also yet to meet con artist Maggie Esmerelda (Emma Roberts) and strongman played by actor Michael Chiklis.
Erika Ervin, Jyoti Amge, Evan Peters and Mat Fraser (Amazon Eve, Ma Petite, Jimmy ‘Lobster-hands’ Darling and Paul the illustrated seal).

Erika Ervin, Jyoti Amge, Evan Peters and Mat Fraser (Amazon Eve, Ma Petite, Jimmy ‘Lobster-hands’ Darling and Paul the illustrated seal).


We know from the previous seasons to expect; brutality, rape, seduction, distressing scenes of violence, racism, discrimination and so on. Sensuality and seductiveness has always been a huge part of the show which has interested us, the mature audience, because of its candid approach. I have never had any issues with the previous scenes of this nature, sure I’ve been like “what the hell” during rape scenes but it’s never disgusted me to the point where I feel nauseous. That is until now. Prior to watching this episode I generally perceived that the freaks were ostracized from the “normal” townsfolk. I wrongly assumed that the freaks would be considered vermin, and that even making eye contact with one could result in receiving the cold shoulder from ordinary people living in the area. What I see instead is quite the opposite. In one scene Jimmy Darling, who has lobster hands, can be seen pleasuring regular women with his deformities. Women are literally lining up to pay for this. We see him moving his lobster hands towards the woman’s sex, leaving absolutely no room for doubt that he is prostituting his deformed hands. This left me feeling slightly bewildered more than anything because I just cannot believe that that many women, if any, would be sexually intrigued by this man with lobster-like hands. The moment of nausea smacked me in the face when we see Elsa Mars watching a video reel. A young woman enters threatening to expose all of the shenanigans happening behind the scenes at the freak show. It soon becomes clear that the young woman was willingly high on opium and whilst she was so, she took part in a sex orgy with the freaks. This is the most unsettling scene American Horror Story has offered us to date. Pepper getting excited like a child in the clip intensified my feeling of horror and I was left feeling utterly shocked. If the programme continues to show these depraved acts, which I’m sure they will, I’m not sure how much my stomach will be able to handle.
Jessica Lange and Jyoti Amge (Paraplegic and world’s smallest woman)

Jessica Lange and Jyoti Amge (Paraplegic and world’s smallest woman)

American Horror Story: Freak Show

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It’s back! “American Horror Story” returns on FX for its fourth season: Freak Show. 

The first episode is expected to air on 8th October 2014 at 10pm. Hopefully we are provided with more gripping storylines like all the previous ones that we know and love. This season is set in 1952 and will follow a freak show trying to survive in Jupiter, Florida. Dark entities flood the town and both the outcasts and normal townsfolk must fight to survive the fearsome rush of darkness. Much loved favourites are back for our viewing pleasure; Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Naomi Grossman and Emma Roberts.

Slender man?

Slender man?


A two-headed woman, a strongman, a bearded lady, a fortune-teller, a three-breasted woman and a man with lobster hands are amongst some of the characters we will see. It is rumored that Slender Man may make an appearance and although this hasn’t been verified the Official Teaser #10 (see teaser below) backs this up. The video shows the legs of a tall man holding the hand of a little girl. His top half isn’t visible which intrigues us all the more. Slender Man is a mythical creature, inhumanely tall and skinny, who preys on little children. He is rumored to kidnap them but it remains a mystery as to what he does with them beyond this. If Slender Man and freaks isn’t enough, this season is also reported to feature a killer clown. Some people believe American Horror Story is mediocre, but most people are anticipating the return of the most suspenseful and nightmarish television show around. Don’t miss it!


 

Sarah Paulson:  The Two Headed Woman

Sarah Paulson: The Two Headed Woman

Kathy Bates:  The Bearded Woman

Kathy Bates: The Bearded Woman

Angela Basset:  Rumored Strong Man's Wife

Angela Basset: Rumored Strong Man’s Wife

Evan Peters:  Lobster Hand Man

Evan Peters: Lobster Hand Man

Jessica Lange:  German Expat and Troupe Leader

Jessica Lange: German Expat and Troupe Leader

Michael Chiklis:  Strong Man

Michael Chiklis: Strong Man

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