A Charlatan Who Surrounds Herself With Evil! “Vampz!” Review!


After countless interview screenings, Simone struggles to find a suitable roommate just like herself with an insatiable longing to be one of the undead, specifically, a vampire. As she strikes out applicant-after-applicant, her twin brother Sam persuades her to lock in on Ashlee, a beautiful, yet energetically ditzy cheerleader new to town who shows up late at night looking for a place of her own and with looming rent bills sucking her dry cash, Simone begrudging agrees on the dimwitted and un-vampiric prospect. Unbeknownst to Simone, one of her former screenings turns out to be a coked out vampire hunter and with Simone declaring herself a vampire during the screening, the oblivious and hopped up hunter’s ability to distinguish between the real McCoy and a wannabe has severely disintegrated as he aims to drive a long, wooden stake through her heart, but when the Hunter comes to claim his bounty, he inadvertently teams up with Simone and Ashlee against a tenebrous conspirator with a penchant for control of ghouls and monsters to not only save their lives, but also their friends.

“Vampz!” is the filmic version of a chaptered web series, that found a crowdfunded presence from circa 2012. Much like in the same vain as the “Hell’s Kitty” DVD release, “Vampz!” didn’t partake in any re-imagining, re-shoots, or even a re-cast for the movie; in fact, the so-called 2019 movie, helmed by director Ramsey Attia and scripted by Omar Attia and Lenoard Buccellato, is actually the web series spliced together to construct a 76 minute feature. To maintain comedy integrity that calls for hyperbolic reactions, profanity heavy dialogue, and some really nifty and amusing pop cultural intertwining, like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody dialogue rendition had me biting my smirking lip in assurance, Attia and Buccellato’s script never deviates from course. There’s are also other subtle homages that can be easily identified throughout. Between the TV web series and the film, no cast alterations or implementations have been made and so all of the established humor from the web series is still engrained from the actors and having never seen “Vampz!’ the series, gauging what, if any, soul from the original product is lost in the nearly decade old translation cannot be confirmed, but “Vampz!” has resilient comedic bite, going for both canine fangs into the throat in the face of being an independent picture.

Lilly Lumière at the forefront with her character Simone Castillo, an aspiring bloodsucker in all its fashionably formulaic vampire glory without being the recently bastardized Hollywood version a.k.a. “Twilight” trilogy, becomes the eyeliner nucleus of the story. Lumière presents an eye rolling, goth decked out quasi-vampire with a die hard approach to the banal side of the vampire mythos. Simone becomes the BFF target of Ashlee, who from the depths of the night shows up at her doorstep seeking the room for rent. Ashlee doesn’t seem to be Simone’s type, a high-spirited cheerleader tryout who is new to town; in fact, Ashlee represents all that is distasteful to Simone’s undead facade. Christal Renee has the vivacious personality type to pull the give me a S-U-P-E-R hyped Ashlee! Then there is Denis Ark as psychotic vampire hunter Marcus Denning. Ark is not just certifiable on screen, but he’s also certified off screen as a personal fitness trainer. With 20+ years in martial arts and sports training, Ark tackles the moderately physical role with ease and provides some point blank comedy. “Vampz!” remaining cast of misfits include Louis Rocky Bacigalupo, Guy N. Ease, and Cliff Hunter.

Shot in Peterson, New Jersey, “Vampz!” has a very Jersey feel, not to be confused with having an Italian Jersey Shore feel, despite being just a hop, skip, and a jump across the water from New York and even with that chip on the shoulder emanating from off of the screen and on the penny-pinching, crowd funded budget, the web series is without a doubt well done. The humor is touch and go with some misguided antiquation, but the effects capitalizes over that portion of content, especially when a creature or two appear for their grand entrance into the storyline. “Vampz!” has solid special effects working heavily to lead the charge into turning what could have been ho-hum film into a quasi engaging creature feature that deviates from the staggering conventionalism and genre tropes.

MVDVisual and Ruthless Studios sinks their teeth into the A Rear Naked Studios Production of “Vampz!” releasing the Ramsey Attia horror-comedy onto DVD home video in its full web series storyline. Presented in a widescreen, 1.78:1 aspect ration, the region free disc picture doesn’t provide a flavorful presentation. Attia and his team went faux grindhouse approach by adding grain and “missing scenes” on a pseudo-polyester film base, but the film looks washed and uninviting with droll hues. The English language dual-channel stereo track lies above the fray image with ample range of ambient sounds and a prominent dialogue track. Depth hardly comes through with most of the ambient remaining on a level plane that doesn’t resonate elsewhere from between outside and inside the finale factory or in between room-to-room. There are no bonus features included on this DVD that has curious cover art. Front cover pictures a badly photoshopped composition of a short red haired woman wearing an boxy amulet overtop a cutoff top and drinking blood out of a martini glass with a plastic straw. There’s also a white snake wreathed around the V and A of “Vampz!” and the same snake is also wrapped around the shoulders of a silhouette figure on the back cover but there are no snakes in this film, nor is there an high class, red-headed vampires drinking blood out of a martini glass so the cover is misleading. “Vampz!” garnishes heart and soul of the modern classic horror creature while adding a cascading charm of moderate-to-light hearted comedy to mask the rough edges of a home grown brew grindhouse film thats bemusing to perceive from a deceptively cheap DVD cover art.

Click DVD cover to Purchase “Vampz!”

Small Town Evil Under a Full Moon! “Silver Bullet” review!


A small town is under sieged by a callous killer, ripping victims to bloody pieces and shreds without an ounce of mercy. As the town goes into a lockdown curfew, a paraplegic young boy named Marty decides to enact his own version of rebellious fun with a stroll in his gas-engine powered wheelchair for some nighttime fireworks, despite a killer on the loose and lurking in the moonlight. Marty’s fun turns into a terrifying nightmare when the killer stalks the boy and when Marty comes face to face with the killer and lives to tell the tale, he discovers that the town maniac is no ordinary deranged person but, in fact, a nasty, snarling werewolf whose also living in plain sight amongst them in the small town community. The only two to believe Marty’s harrowing tale is his older sister, Jane, and his drunk Uncle Red, whose still on the fence about Marty’s werewolf encounter. When the moon is high and full, the three devise a plan to lure out the monster to definitively put it down with a single shot from their one and only silver bullet.

A true piece of Americana horror, “Silver Bullet” remains a staple werewolf flick for those who grew up watching genre films in the 1980s. Daniel Attias, his first and only ever feature film, had embraced a larger-than-life monster movie from a script written by the legendary macabre novelist Stephen King, based off his novella “Cycle of the Werewolf.” Attias and King were practically novices when in regards to directing and screenplays; yet, “Silver Bullet” offers much in the way of comedy, drama, and the frightening scares with a practical effects wolf and snippets of gruesome, violent death at the hands of the beast. “Silver Bullet” goes beyond just being a thrilling story of good versus evil by also blurring the lines of the conventional establishment that spark up the old idiom, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and dives into a satirical outlook of certain religious faiths and their viewpoints.

What makes “Silver Bullet” as one of the most recognizable and rememberable films, regardless of some microscopic sloppy screenwriting and first time directing woes, is the cast. Before his life altering motorcycle accident, Gary Busey (“Predator 2”) as Uncle Red brings flesh and bone, and booze, to akin King’s Uncle Al character from the novella. Busey fabricates a wonderful, heartwarming performance dynamic with Marty, whose played by the late Corey Haim (“Lost Boys”). Haim is fresh to the scene with his chubby cheeks and doughy soft eyes that would eventually make him a heartthrob idol later into his career and at the young age of thirteen, Haim’s paraplegic performance is respectable and empowering. Uncle Red and Marty are pitted against a sleeper antagonist in Revered Lester Lowe, a role who I could see no one else being in aside from Everett McGill (“People Under the Stairs”). McGill has a face for television, or the big screen in this case, as his chiseled, dark features make him a formidable foe that’s hidden behind a clerical collar. Longtime television and TV movie star Megan Follows plays big sister Jane whom factors in as Marty’s only ally despite their dysfunctional relationship which Follows portrays well with verbal jabs of adolescent wickedness toward her disabled little brother. Rounding out the cast is Terry O’Quinn (“The Stepfather”), Bill Smitrovich (“Manhunter”), and “Reservior Dogs” Lawrence Tierney.

Television cooking show host, Giada De Laurentiis’ grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, produced the film who was no stranger to the horror genre, such as “Orca” and “Amityville II,” nor to films adapted from Stephen King’s work like the “Dead Zone.” Under Luarentiis’ wing, “Silver Bullet” delivered brutal, traumatizing werewolf kills spun from the werewolf suit creating hands of another Italian, Carlo Rambaldi (“The Hand That Feeds the Dead”), and together, the two Italian filmmakers, along with an apt cast and crew, saw their installment flourish amongst an overcrowded werewolf subgenre in the early 1980’s with competition from films such as John Landis’ “An American Werewolf in London,” “The Howling,” and, yes, even “Teen Wolf.” “Silver Bullet” didn’t just arrive on the scene without some challenges to the storyline. For instance, a killing spree has already established with more than five townsfolk dead and a strict curefew has been set in place, but Marty, ignoring his Uncle Red’s solicited advice about staying near the house to set off fireworks, sneaks out in the middle of the night to shoot off fireworks away from the house. Marty’s fairly bright through the entire story and a nice kid, but the initial encounter between him and the werewolf is by far one of the most unintelligent and dim-witted action any character to make in the history of horror films. What makes the scenario even worse is that Marty is handicapped.

Umbrella Entertainment presents Daniel Attias’ “Silver Bullet” on region B Blu-ray home video in a widescreen 2.35.1 aspect ratio. Image quality of the full high-definition 1080p picture has an agreeable color palette, sharpness, and pinpoint details that especially come to light during the memorable church of wolves scene. A very few scenes have transfer instability where, in a blink of an eye, a revert to a faded frame comes into the fold. The English 2.0 DTE-HD master audio poises and harmonizes the elements and the dialogue into a vat of consistency that isn’t flawed by track damage. Jay Chattaway rallying, chilling score is a candor testament to the quality of the soundtrack that follows suit right behind the beyond par quality of the dialogue and ambient levels. Special features include audio commentary with director Daniel Attias, interviews with special effects artists Michael McCracken, Jr (“Deep Blue Sea”) & Matthew Mingle (“A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors”), an interview with actor Everett McGill, an Umbrella exclusive interview with producer Martha De Laurentii’s remembering “Silver Bullet,” isolated score selections and audio interviews with composer James Chattaway, theatrical trailer, TV Spots, radio spot, and still gallery. A complete and definitive set from Umbrella Entertainment! “Silver Bullet” is a howling success story of classic American horror that has timeless practical effects, a riveting narrative, and cast enriched characters that invest into the lycanthropy film paralleling David versus Goliath.

In Search for Evil, Evil is Always Close! “Lycan” review!


Set in Talbot County Georgia of 1986, six university students are assigned a write a 25-page report on a moment in history. The subject for the report was ultimately based off of local lore, a haunting story from a century old newspaper clipping that told legend of Emily Burt who was the prime suspect of being the notorious wild animal that tore through the local sheep herds. Ill-prepared and flippant for the report’s hot Georgia weathered journey into the woods, the students ride horseback through a labyrinth of trails on the Burt property and come under attack by a lurking bloodthirsty presence hellbent on separating them and tearing them to pieces. Desperation sets in when tensions flare, sides are taken, and perceptions are misled in a time of grave crisis, leaving the schooled students being taught a lesson in isolation and confusion in a classroom of ill-fated situations.

“Lycan” is the 2017 released survival horror thriller from co-writer and director Bev Land, making his inaugural feature film debut. Michael Mordler co-wrote the script that’s been described as “Hitchockian” and resembles a backdoor twist much to the similitude of M. Night Shayamalan films. Like Shaymalan’s earlier work, “Lycan’s” horror is extremely effective without having to bare witness an antagonistic beast and by leaving the girth of the killer’s destructive path to the imagination, our minds begin to formulate diegesis theories and build hypotheticals to the killer’s characteristics. The use of wolf-o-vision is a past time tool that flashes all it’s teeth to bring life to an unseen threat, but Land and Mordler pen a breadcrumb trail of hints that compound to a head in the midst of the chaos, unveiling the true threat in a full frontal way that’s a silver screen rarity, but nearly takes the fun out of the mystery.

Starring in “Lycan” is Bev Land’s wife, Dania Ramirez (“Quarantine”), in the lead role of the mysterious Isabella Cruz. Ramirez’s has to accomplish multiple feats with Isabella Cruz whose a bit of an awkward loner who then has to reintegrate herself into the social realm of a group of variously distinguished characters. Parker Croft portrays as pot smoking, wise-cracking, pervert named Kenny McKenzie who documents the trip with an 8mm camera, Rebekah Graf is the stuck up and prissy Blair Gordon who only accompanies the group on this trip because of Jake Lockett’s baseball jock Blake Simpson. Craig Tate, unfortunately, falls into the stereotypical ‘token black guy’ Irving Robinson while Blair’s sorority pledge, Kalia Prescott’s Chrissy Miller, opts to the gal to get laid. Aside from Ramirez, the rest of the cast of characters fall into formulaic limbo, stuck in their own devices, and never really elevate into more than just surface level characters. Two of the more eyebrow raising actors that never saw the character development light of day were that of Gail O’Grady (“Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2”) and Vanessa Angel (television’s “Weird Science”). O’Grady’s Ms. Fields warranted more background into how the ranch owner came to have Isabella Cruz enter her life and much more unopened mysteries about their dynamic.

While “Lycan” offers an up-to-snuff survival horror, the story’s bookends fall short of fully completing the story. The opening puts big man Presley Melson’s lonely farm boy stuffing lady of the night Anna, played by Alina Puscau (“Dracuala: The Dark Prince”), full of his pork roll. As the wolf-o-vision circles the lovemaking barn setting, Melson and Puscau trot out with only their skivvies to check out the outside racket and become, uh, victims of the antagonist? Not really sure because the scene starts from afar and the wolf-o-vision glides right up to Melson’s face without much of a peep from either Puscau or Melson. The ending is just as enigmatic with a brief present day scene (the story is set in Georgia 1986) of an unknown little girl picking up a razor sharp object from the leaf strewn ground and then there’s a cut to black to roll credits. Before this useless segment, the pinnacle moment of the third act springs too many leaks to plug. Combined with the stagnant and underdeveloped characters, “Lycan” is an unkempt story left wide open becoming a victim by it’s own scripted structure.

MVD Visual presents onto a region one, unrated DVD, the 1 Bullet in the Gun production, “Lycan.” Presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1, MVD’s DVD image is beyond spectacular with immense details in every scene, even in the production illuminated night scenes. Digital noise is completely absent and the coloring is naturally vibrant. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound has an effective ambient track with clarity and range in the wolf howls and the cracks and snaps of outdoor living. The original soundtrack by Devine Adams and score by Jason Pelsey revel in distortion free perceptible measures. An audio downside would be the dialogue track that suffers from unfortunate mic placement, leaving major story affected parts of the dialogue left muddled and indiscernible. Bonus material includes interviews with director and co-writer Bev Land, along with co-writer Michael Mordler, the cast including with Dania Ramirez, Rebekah Graf and Vanessa Angel, and Crystal Hunt (Executive Producer) and Steven C. Pitts (2nd Unit Director). A panel discussion with the Lycan producers and the original theatrical trailer round out of the extras. Land and Mordler’s “Lycan” disperses moments of original horror with snap-witty dialogue, but as a whole, the story trends toward a paint-by-the-numbers route without breaking the mold as a low tier “Hitchockian” thriller.

Buy “Lycan” on DVD at Amazon!

Evil Git Er Done in “Bubba the Redneck Werewolf” review!

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In the sleepy town of Broken Taint, dimwitted dog catcher Bubba Blanche is the town joke amongst the rest of the moronic residents even in the eyes of former girlfriend Bobbie Jo, wrapping her needs around the naked muscle-shirt arms of a triple wide trailer owning redneck. Bubba swears that he’ll do absolutely anything to win Bobbie Jo back and his pathetic cries stretch deep to the depths of hell, reaching the ears of the The Devil himself who suddenly appears in Broken Taint. The Devil strikes a dubious agreement with Bubba to make him stronger in order to win over Bobbie Jo, but when Bubba wakes up the next morning, the dog catcher has been transformed into a big, bad, and hairy werewolf. His curse becomes a gift straight from hell as he knocks the front teeth out of triple wide, wins the heart of Bobbie Jo back, and earns the respect of the local townsfolk. That is, until Bubba’s curse starts a chain reaction of unfortunate diabolical agreements between the conniving Devil and the town simpletons. As The Devil turns Broken Taint into his own tarnation playground, Bubba must use his newfound canine powers and some of his old hidden strengths to overpower and to outwit the clever Lord of the underworld.
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Comic book movies. We either love them or hate them. We judge their fantastic value on the precision of who was casted as the hero or heroine and on the accurateness toward staying true to character origins. This may be common knowledge or it might not, but “Bubba The Redneck Werewolf,” a cigar-smoking, shot-gun carrying, jean-overall wearing werewolf, has been a successful comic franchise since 1995. Created by former CRACKED magazine writer Mitch Hyman, the true success of the provincial lycanthrope stems from the classic tale of a downtrodden individual being granted a huge amount of strength to overcome fear, to unleash ambitions, and to reestablish a brick wall of confidence all the while drinking a six-pack and drive a big truck. I’m sure Mitch Hyman would also note that the hilarity of a rootin tootin redneck werewolf with a patchwork heart of good intentions appeals to the masses as well.
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When Two Rubbing Nickels, LLC partners with central Florida based and spoof-specializing video production company And You Films, that’s when Bubba truly comes to life from off the vivid comic book pages to ever critical independent big screen in 2014 where director Brendan Jackson Rogers’ colorful illustration of the hairiest super hero of all time and his barroom dingbats challenge a mischievous and dastardly Devil. What’s even more interesting about this under-the-radar adapted horror-comedy being released by MVDVisual onto DVD is the writer who penned the script. None other than writer, director, producer, and president of Unearthed Films, Mr. Stephen Biro. Yes, the man who delivers spectacular acquired gory avant garde and underground horror films to see a slither of public light puts forth his mighty pen to paper and etches out a perfect blend of comedy and horror that creates a sea monkey world where “Bubba The Redneck Werewolf” radiates with rib-tickling slapstick humor aimed to be darkly unapologetic and fused with embellished illustrations of spew and blood splattering mayhem.
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The ensemble cast doesn’t have one single recognizable name credited and that makes this outrageous comedy that much alluring for nothing is taken overly serious. The very title of the film should be a clear expectation without explanation. Without that thespian pressure mounting on the casts’ shoulders, Rogers was able to build an alleviated atmosphere and let the actors be kids performing on the biggest stage of their careers. Even lead actor Fred Lass, who dons the Werewolf suit, had his very detailed and comprehensive werewolf facial mold conformed to show the expressions and the contours of his face. Bubba creator Mitch Hyman even has a starring roles as the Devil, his thin physique and defined face definably pops under a lush shade of hell branding red under a crown of dual horns; his satanic performance cultivates the very worst of humanity, using their greed against them, and reveling in their agony soaked suffering. Mitch Hyman wins the best ungodly trope since Al Pacino rendition of the Devil in 1997’s “The Devil’s Advocate.” Another unique element to harp upon are the strong female characters. Though the comic routinely objectifies female characters on the front covers with being petite and scantily cladded women of the countryside positioned around the massive werewolf with a baseball cap, only Malone Thomas’ role of Bobbie Jo resembles such a booty-jort, low-cut shirt clothed character, but, at the same time, Bobbie Jo remains a fierce constant show of strength for Bubba. She knows what she wants, how she wants it, and when to take it without shame and selfishness. Sara Humbert and Gail Fleming do the same for their respective roles of the blunt bartender Jamie Sue and the clairvoyant gypsy.
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MVDVisual shotguns a beer and will deliver “Bubba The Redneck Werewolf” onto a region free DVD come 2017! The comic book image quality does well with the slight rotoscope composite with interlaced moments of raw and naturally colored scenes. The darker scenes in the widescreen 1.78:1 presentation comes off unsharp and blotchy, leaving details solely toward more well lit portions. The Dolby Digital audio track clearly puts forth dialogue amongst a balance ambient track. No issues are detected and sufficiently goes beyond being just good quality. A vast batch of bonus material outshines other indie releases, beginning with a 16 minute documentary “From Page to Screen. The Making of Bubba The Redneck Werewolf. Other extras include deleted scenes, blooper reel, Werewolf and Devil Make process videos, “The Ballad of Bubba” behind-the-scenes music video by The Blast-Offs, and the official trailer. Amongst the top contenders of modern horror-comedies and werewolf films, Brendan Jackson Rogers, Mitch Hyman, Stephen Biro, and Fred Lass have, literally, created a winning combination with their monstrous furry feature.
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Buy “Bubba” on DVD @ AMAZON.COM!

Re-Edited Lycanthrope Evil! President Wolfman review!

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The world should recycle more. Every single plastic bottle, every single piece of cardboard, every single scrap paper, and every piece of jagged edge metal should be recycled and reincarnated for another purpose. The world would be cleaner and less money would be spent on brand new material when perfectly good, slightly used material already exists. This little rant brings me to a film that hits DVD shelves today! “President Wolfman” – a fairly catchy title and my second in a row werewolf review (see Werewolf Rising) – uses and re-edited public domain footage to give birth to an entirely new movie about President John Wolfman, who in the midst of trying to veto a bill that would involve China buying out America and make the land of the free one of China’s colonies, becomes bit by a mystical Native American wolf that transforms him into werewolf. Not just any werewolf, but the Commander-n-Chielf werewolf that will do anything to stop this bill no matter who he has to slaughter.
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One hundred and twelve pieces of stock footage and public domain film was re-edited to create this masterpiece. Most familiar piece of film is “The Werewolf of Washington” from 1973 starring “Quantum Leap” star (no, not Scott Bakula) Dean Stockwell. Stockwell is an actually a White House press reporter, but in Preside Wolfman portrays the President of the United States with the voiceover provided by Marc Evan Jackson. John Wolfman is also portrayed from other various public domain films, none of which I’ve ever seen before nor do I probably care to. If The Werewolf of Washington wasn’t already campy in 1973, then surely, most definitely, absolutely camp-a-licious in this re-edited masterpiece.
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The script written by director Mike Davis (“Sex Galaxy”) can be quite witty and colorful making scenes have life, but there are times when the voiceover is overdone and burnt to a dull, tasteless crisp. However, that is the whole point of this film isn’t it? To turn a mediocre film into something more ridiculous? If so, then Mike Davis went beyond that goal without a shadow of a doubt.
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“President Wolfman” can lose focus at times with non-cohesive splice in scenes that only work to the film’s charm. Even though this film was released in 2012 and won various festival awards from Atlanta Horror, New Orleans Horror, and Alien to Zombies Los Angeles film festivals respectively, “President Wolfman” is finally, about damn time, getting a DVD release from WildEye releasing, a great, great company who know what rare and campy are all about. The DVD, which drops in stores today, also includes commentary, funny short films, out takes, trailers, highlight reel, and a great music video! Lets also not forget that a certain scene of public domain film includes stock footage of a woman giving birth in a backseat of a car! Placenta and all!
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