My name is Katie Kadaver and I’m a body positive horror artist, plus size alternative model and burlesque performer and producer in Milwaukee, WI. I’ve also been the makeup artist for horror punk band Ratbatspider, since 2015. My experience with movies comes though my work as a Deadgirl with the horror tv show, Deadgar’s Dark Coffin Classics, as a Tromette for Troma Entertainment and as a regular contributor to the weekly podcast, Inside Movies Galore.
The following is my first film review for Movies Galore and the first review for the independent romantic comedy, The Backslide, written and directed by Adam LeHouillier, who actually cast me in his first horror feature, Guts on the Ceiling (1999). (That role is currently uncredited.)
LeHouillier meets the mark with this honest and hilarious look at a horrible relationship between a meter maid and a fanny pack designer, that refuses to die. The tagline says to see it with your ex and I’m excited to report that my ex was in fact in attendance for this one (and also created the Justifiable Pictures logo – Shout out to Pat Schaefer Art).
What begins as the hyperbole of a perfect match between two twenty-somethings, in the quaint town of Los Angeles, quickly deteriorates into a break-up that sparks desperate pleas from friends on both sides of the couple-ship, to run away and never look back… except they do, in the most hilarious way.
Painfully-average Shawn (Justin Marshall Elias) and style-challenged Lindsey (Atlee Feingold) are lovebirds in the city of Angels, who realize, upon dating for a year, that they’re just not feeling it anymore. In hopes of finding happiness elsewhere, the couple splits and Lindsey gets her own place in the valley. After a short time apart, loneliness sets in and the estranged couple becomes reacquainted with one another, to the sounds of Jingle Bells, in the back seat of Shawn’s car, following a run in at the local watering hole. This “one night stand” quickly becomes a “backslide” as the two fully rekindle their relationship, much to the dissatisfaction of their respective friends, Big Joe (Ron Ramsey) and Angie (Beau Dawson). These two light up the periphery of this clever storyline, with their larger than life personalities, laughable anecdotes and comical quirks. A very colorful supporting cast, which includes Michael J. Sielaff, (The New Girl, Workaholics, Maron) Kimberly Jurgen (Good Samaritans, The Night Stalker, Bones) and Brianna Oppenheimer (The Trail, Honey Pot, Late Bloomer) take full advantage of their characters’ idiosyncrasies and exploit them hilariously. The hits keep coming with a script full of both subtle and overt gags that deliver the kind of humor and amusement necessary of a romantic comedy that works as well as this film does. LeHouillier definitely aims high and this feature reflects that. Few independent comedies pack the punch that The Backslide does, in terms of a well written script, delightfully campy characters and overall consistency throughout the film.
LeHouillier’s dedication, experience and aptitude for commendable film making, are showcased by his ability to bring the struggles of modern romance to life in a humorous and at times, disgustingly hilarious, way. Relate-able, entertaining and overly giggle-worthy, The Backslide is a perfect date movie for those couples who can’t seem to get it quite right, or for anyone at all.
So it has been a while since I have review to film from Great Lakes Artists Group with Ingy Films Entertainment director James Baack (The Bloody Rage of Big Foot) from Illinois where he brings to us a modern-day tale of Dracula starring a local Chicago magician Ron Fitzgerald with the title Dracula Orgy of the Damned from 2013 and distributed by Cheezy Flicks.
I believe in this film is when James begins building a name for himself as he introduces the character Lord Victor Fleming played by Tim Pollard as he introduces himself as an avid collector of various stories who seems to have a very particular baritone to give off a creepy vibe As he introduces the story and announces it as a true one…
Patricia Hughes played by Claire Fluff Llewellyn a local Chicago actress and director herself Is speaking with a therapist Jill Flanders in the beginning of the film thinking that she is being punished for some reason. Patricia relates to this therapist Usher believes that Dracula has killed her parents and has turned her into a vampire if this doesn’t sound like crazy the therapist doesn’t know what is so she refers her to someone else.
After Patricia leaves Dracula pays her a visit with his henchmen. Dracula lets Flanders run just a little bit as it seems Ron Fitzgerald and enjoys embellishing in his role for as the therapist reaches her car suddenly the vampire appears and in broad daylight with his henchmen in tow, drinks the blood from her neck.
Meanwhile Patricia has been sent to see a father Alexander Cutler about the matter of trying to exorcise the demons that are within her if there are any, but he has been sent away to Ohio to bless A hidden cathedral so in his Stead she meets with a Father Mallory played by Ron Feyereisen whom she meets in an abandoned building. He talks like a southerner but he makes claims that he has been successful in the exorcisms. while in the presence of Father Mallory Patricia has somewhat of a Daydream where it seems that Dracula comes to her division with her therapist who is Bella vampire at least in the dream and there is some kind of fiery substance along with some green smoke that we see which is actually kind of A cool effect but then the Green Smoke or red fire rises from her body and we see some kind of spiritual explosion of glass and then Patricia wakes up. father Mallory tests her with holy water and gives her a bit with a cross ultimately to use it against her fight with Dracula as Patricia is seeking him out for Revenge for I believe the death of her family.
Back at Castle Dracula the vampire has taken a barmaid back to his lair where she is to be put through the blood ritual of becoming one of his Brides of his already growing Entourage of female blood drinkers almost groupies… Patricia then begins her avenge meant as she attacks one of the brides of Dracula, while the Miss Flanders is now turned into Loosey-Fur another vampire floozy.
While I realized the first half of this film is about the track down and destruction of Dracula for the murder of Patricia’s husband and family the second half is about Crooked Hollow, the town in which the castle Dracula sits. we are introduced to a professor of the miskatonic college Dr. Gregory Bezkorovainy played by the director James Baack where he brings two of his students to the Castle Dracula To relate to them the history of Dracula and some of the tales that have happened in Crooked Hollow.
Meanwhile Shawn C Phillips film collector producer-director and probably one of the most known contributors two independent horror films, who has been known to send video clips of acting bits, as well as runs a YouTube channel where he must be somewhat Rich himself because he always Gets all the new Blu-rays and DVDs and posts them on his channel and a friend in his circle of film collectors Brandon Mitchell as well plays in here as two friends who don’t know the transformation that one is undertaking as he has been bitten by a werewolf. Meanwhile the students under take a trip to Crooked Hollow to visit the remains of a castle and spend the night at a voodoo woman’s house only to get attacked by a man and a skull mask as well as the creature which I believe is the same creature that attacked the character that Shawn C Phillips plays…
I want to say that I relatively enjoyed these performances by these actors and actresses that played in here especially Claire Fluff Llewellyn’s character Patricia for there was a moment when she had gone and visited a cemetery where the characters husband lay. And the scenery in which she was in at least of surrounding Woods was actually quite picturesque. I don’t know what it is about the British accent but for her it gives an attraction to her character which I believed helped her in the end and made her character very believable. I also think that Ron Fitzgerald cut a very nice look of Dracula and knowing that I’ve had dealings with him before myself, I think he cut an image that was very striking in leather.
I was fairly entertained and was slightly impressed with some of the effects that were very slightly used in the fight scene between Patricia and Dracula as it went down. If you enjoy this kind of film then I would certainly suggest you seek this film out. I believe as time goes on director James Baack is learning the way of his craft as all Indie directors start out as fans of Horror and not all films that they make can be considered masterpieces and I’m not sure If this can be labeled as such but the film is definitely intriguing and I believe that the director has many more stories in store for us.
Here is the trailer:
Starring Andrew Baack as Goblin boy, James Baack as Dr. Gregory Bezkorovainy, Tina Boivin as Jill Flanders / Loosey-Fur, Joe Burdick as Dracula’s henchman, Cassandra Carvajal as Unya, Colleen Carvajal as Mia, Desiree Demonix as
Dracula’s bride, Ron Feyereisen as Father Mallory, Ron Fitzgerald as
Dracula, Steve Galayda as Hezekia, Cherries Jubalie as Dracula’s bride, Christopher Kahler as Damien, Cleo LaVamp as Dracula’s bride, Claire ‘Fluff’ Llewellyn as Patricia Hughes, Robert Miller as Reaper Madness, Brendan Mitchell as Best Friend, Shawn C. Phillips as Werewolf, Tim Pollard as Lord Victor Fleming, Jelissa Buttercup Washington as Hot Cocoa, Pat Washington as Mama Voodoo.
Brought To Us by Dirty Jobs Films is a Noir black and white short film directed by Michael Weber and written by Ross Bigley and the director in 2010 as it follows the murder of a wealthy Beer Baron By the name of Vanderhouse and the job falls to The OP which happens to be the name of our film.
The OP who is played by Michael Weber starts his investigation with the wife of Vanderhouse played by actress Pamela Brown who seems to come off rather strong on the flirtation with the detective who was hired by Mrs. Vanderhouse herself so like a good detective he goes around and interviews the people who might have been in and around the house the time of the murder.
I like that the spelling was done in them Dragnet type of style since this film was set in the 30s it was very much believable that this was set in this time frame probably due to the type of car that the hired help Was working on as well as the type of car that The OP was driving. I think this film goes to show how someone can deduce the idea of a crime from knowing the force of that which could possibly kill someone as well as knowing the people involved in the crime and then deducing from there what may or may not have happened.
I will say that even though you only see him for a matter of seconds Rex Sikes (A Dubious Night) who also from what I gather did quite some post production work behind this film but played one of the many lovers of the Mrs. Vanderhouse as Utz. But I’ve always enjoyed just a plain who-done-it mystery where everyone is a suspect The fact of which the main character being the OP Ends up in the bed of one of the possible killers and being able to figure out exactly what happened just by speaking to everyone involved I have to say the ending was comical.
Without knowing where this was going at first, this was a very odd film but I’ll have to say that this is my second favorite of the Dirty Jobs films that I have seen. I thought the acting was brilliant with all the actors involved and I would love to see more short films done in this manor for this brings back memories of black and white films with James Cagney or even Perry Mason. One of the things that I enjoyed about this film the most was the tongue and cheek Parts between the detective and Mrs. Vanderhouse when he was describing the scene of the crime there was an almost eroticness involved as he stood very close while he was bringing his hand up to her neck and explaining that it could only be a man…
If it sounds like you might enjoy this film then I would definitely recommend that you seek the short film out. It was under ten minutes and I’m glad that I was able to get to watch it.
Starring Michael Weber as The Op, Pamela Brown as Mrs. Vanderhouse, James Fletcher as Rodney, James J. Gallagher as Thornton, John Van Slyke
Vanderhouse, Rex Steven Sikes as Utz.
Before I got into reviewing David Palmieri’s Witchcraft movies that he directed back to back with David Sterling and his slasher film Claw I wanted to go back and check-out his live action film made from and inspired by a comic book hero from the Golden Age of comics which was featured in Lev Gleason’s Silver Streak Comics from the 11th issue till about the 23rd issue. Well produced by David Sterling Entertainment in association with St. James Films LLC. along with Tom Cat Films is a feature-length live action film probably the first associated with Captain Battle being that it is Palmieri’s Debut film called Captain Battle: Legacy War from 2013.
The film begins somewhere in rural America Where it appears a man is giving up Nazi swastika sign on a paper that says catch us if you dare and a man in a ninja Hood with what looks like an Uzi is shooting back at the man who seems to have just a handgun… Ultimately the man with the handgun thwarts the vehicle and the man on the motorcycle behind him but is caught by surprise buy a bazooka for evidently he was carrying some important papers or something like that and the men that killed him laid a Nazi flag over his dead body…
Private Sam Battle is a rookie in his platoon, as far as we know his female Commander and himself we’re just going on a routine mission when it appears some men who look like their from the Taliban or at least Some men that look like their middle eastern and one of them is carrying the bomb with a detonator, Sam gets stabbed and gets brought to his medic friend Brandon Storm who is also kind of a scientist who has been experimenting privately with some kind of serum, the head general in charge knows about these experiments and in a Split Second orders that Sam be injected with this secret experiment serum since in any matter of minutes Sam could possibly die. So he does.
Three months later Sam is alive and has a ripped body that he has never had before when his friend Brandon Storm stops over and brings him back to his place to tell him about the serum that he was injected with and shows him the research, so far as We Know he’s had some amazing healing capacity. And after Sam had left Brandon was offered to help on a team of stem cell researchers.
Meanwhile a couple of guys went to a club a strip club and kidnapped one of the main dancers and brought her back to what is considered and called a breeding house. Women are raped repeatedly until pregnant, pregnancies are aborted and then the process starts over again as a way to harvest stem cells. Battle learns about the hooded League a group of guys probably Rogue criminals masquerade in Black capes using Nazi paraphernalia and propaganda From Brandon storm sister who just so happens to be a newspaper journalist.
The next morning when Jane, Brandon’s sister and Battle arrived back at Brandon’s hotel room they find the room ransacked and the door somewhat ajar and Brandon nowhere to be seen…
By then Jane Storm has connected the dots About who Sam’s father was John Battle a man it was known to another newspaper man at her job as a vigilante of sorts but one who did the job that police could not which is take down criminals first hand and that there was a conspiracy that is Father didn’t just die in a car crash that he was in fact murdered.
After finding this out Jane was kidnapped by the hooded League to be held in order to control Brandon integrating a serum that would bring back the Fuhra himself Adolf Hitler and his first in command Heinrich Himmler All led by the beautiful Femme Fatale The Necromancer In order to take down the Americans with their Nazi army. Can Captain Battle take up the reins that his father once led, save Jane and Brandon from the Nazi’s and save the world from World War 3 and the fourth Reich.
I actually thought the acting in here wasn’t too bad, grant it the fighting sequences could have looked or at least been portrayed better than using slow motion action but Cuyle Carvin wore the suit well as far as action heroes go he had a souped-up car, friends that could help him and only when someone he cared about was in jeopardy did he seem to go to an extreme against these Nazi thugs. I think that this was very believable, I also think that this was intended to have more than just one film for the way it ended which means it might have been originally made to be part of a series and if it had had a bigger budget I imagine that it would have had maybe a better receiving.
I actually Relatively enjoyed this comic book hero and wouldn’t have minded a sequel if one had come from it. I think the character development was pretty stable, the storyline was somewhat believable and because stem cell research at the time was relatively huge and being that this was made somewhat after the war in Iraq I believe some of the statements about having the troops coming home was something that people were thinking at the time so I believe it was current as well as trying to be true two I believe the comic but I also think that this film was a try rebooting the character. In a sense this character reminds me of Captain America in a way so to me they have similarities. If you enjoy this kind of a film as I enjoy superhero films just like the next person then I suggest that you somehow seek this film out I certainly found this film entertaining.
Here is the trailer:
Starring Cuyle Carvin as Sam Battle / Captain Battle, Andrew J McGuinness as Brandon Storm (as Andrew McGuinness), Marlene Mc’Cohen as Jane Storm, Jenny Allford as Necromancer, Pete Punito as Steve Kelly, Sean Fletcher as Rick, Christopher Senger as Tank, Todd James Jackson as Heinrich Himmler (as Tod James Jackson), Abby Wathen as Claire, Scott R. Wright as Neville (as Scott Wright), Julian Starks as Colonel Weiss, Sari Melain as Private Dokes, Ken Van Sant as Sam’s Father (as Ken VanSant), Kimberly Spencer as Hispanic Woman (as Kim MacKenzie), Genna Mc’Cohen as Marine Nurse, Will V. Moore as Undercover Cop (as William Moore), Augusto Valverde as Cop #2, Darell Wilson as Bouncer, Tracie Douglas, Brian Peck as Skinhead #1, David Palmieri as Skinhead #2, Eric Rasmussen as Skinhead #3, Georgie Halali, Marc Anthony Revivo as Assassin #2, Tom Newth as Jonathan Battle (as Tom von Logue Newth), Mindy Robinson as Anna, Marie Barforough as Marine Nurse (uncredited).
Brought To Us by Curnan Pictures with Sound Logic Studio’s and Persistence Films in association with producers Cynthia Curnan and Brad Thornton being directed by a legend in independent film Albert Pyun of Nemesis, Cyborg and The Sword and the Sorcerer and of recently Abelar fame Is a science fiction action and political film that seems to be larger than life but done on a small-scale.
Much of the film was filmed probably in a room with a ton of green screens they don’t have to be green but you can almost create a holographic digital image in order to create your locations and I’ve noticed that In some Independent films lately I’m going to mention a few like Badass Monster Killer and before that Planet of the Vampire Women directed by Darin Wood somewhat recently in 2011 and 2015. Another director that I have known to have used a similar design just not on such a grander scale is the director of Doctor.Mabuse and Doctor Mabuse: Epitomar directed by Ansel Faraj under Alpha Video and I’m mentioning these films because these are films that have used green screens in a similar manor at least the type that I’m trying to describe. As i understand it Abelar: Tales of an Ancient Empitre was filmed in a similar scope as well.
The film itself is called Interstellar Civil War: Shadows of the Empire also having been called Guardians of the Future. In the film we have a race of beings or factions that are led by an Empress played by Ellie Church (Sex Babes From Outer Space) by the name of No-Bu Which it seems her guiding force is a group of women that call themselves Buo something or other It is hard for me to remember the exact name but these are group of Mystics that consider themselves to be precognitive.
Which means that they believe that they can control exactly what happens in the future. much of the first half of the film is political where we see the mystics that appeared to be the Council for the empress over a planet called Endor which apparently is in turmoil over some rash decisions of the empire which means that there is rebellion and the rebel alliance is led by Kindo-Ker another Mystic who knows some dark energy which is exactly why this group of Mystics is set against destroying Kindo-Ker and Squelching the Rebellion and it’s midst.
I want to say that I’m getting some what of a George Lucas’s Star Wars meets Frank Herbert’s Dune kind of vibe because every so often there are quotes from the empress No-bu and for some reason the group of female Mystics that I a for mentioned kind of remind me of the Bene Jesuits that predicted the Kwisatz Haderach in the world of Dune.
Much of the dialogue was done with much seriousness to the extent that I feel could probably turn a lot of viewers away but bear in mind it gets better as we find out that there is a plot that was sentenced over a hundred years ago by these Mystics, some kind of DNA that can turn into a virus, and the film even it explores an act of rape which starts the intergalactic War to begin with.
The reason why I say don’t give up on this film it’s for the stellar performance which I believe Was put on by actor Brad Thornton (Sorcerer) who played the character Captain Starslayer Burk, one of the main characters who was part of the mission to retrieve that certain someone that had created the entire War to begin with. Brad Thornton reminds me of a ripped version Adrien Brody except he has more of a Snake Plissken attitude. I think that this film is ready to rock the science fiction atmosphere of this Film Community. If you enjoy this kind of film all I have to say is look to the Stars… I didn’t want to say too much about the film as this was the premier of the film which was at the Times Cinema here in Milwaukee which was a festival feature at the Milwaukee Twisted Dreams Festival. So far that I have heard the Twisted dreams Festival put on a kind of old fashioned spookshow this last weekend and from what I hear is heading into its fourth season.
Here is the trailer:
Starring Brad Thornton as Captain Starslayer Burk, Clare Hoak as Ren-Bergman, Jennie Carroll as Abrami-Kenedi, Ellie Church as Empress No-Bu, Paul Gunn as Sergeant Lobo Katz, Kelsey Carlisle as Lord General Oward Kazan, Ashley Campbell as Corporal Jule Watts, Nathan Ferrier as McQuarrie, Cat Cakmis as Leah C6, Christopher Curnan as I. L. Motion, Moorea Wolf as Paladian Assassin, Paige Lauren Billiot as Officer Edwards, Madeline Brumby as Kasdai Lawrence, Josef Cannon as Doctor Lanno Calro, Daniel Faust as Colonel Hans Tremolo, Joei Fulco as Agent JC-ZC4, Miranda Kwok as Sgt. Lili Samaela, Glenn Maynard as Kindo-Ker, Dru-Anne Perry as Doctor Lucas, Nick Rush as General Ryan, Shane Ryan as Captain Duo, Fulvia Santoni as Maanu-Agu, Anastasiya O. Vasilyeva as Sara-Micheal Ker (as Anastasiya Vasilyeva), Tommie Vegas as An-Jo.
Brought to us by Night Creature Productions in association with Eyecon Productions is a short film directed by Chris Ambriz (Dark Blood of the Vampires and Muerte: Tales of Horror) by the name of Pen half in subtitles from 2011.
A lady by the name of Ophelia (Bazen-Towns) is sewing some kind of a doll at a table in a flea market typesetting, there is a pen on the edge of her table that a man walks up to and asked to buy, she refuses. The man known as Eloy (McCann) offers up even a lot of cash for the pain and the lady calls him a name and still refuses. As he is walking away another man who had seen that he had offered cash and said that he would grab the pen for him, so the man did and gave Eloy the pen for the cash.
Eloy gave the pen to his girlfriend or sweetheart Gina (Golden) whichever you may call her for her graduation. As soon as the Gina picked up the pen, she became possessed took the pen to the bathroom and pulled out a gun and shot herself leaving a note behind her in Spanish what she does not speak nor write.
Almost the same thing happens to Eloy’s friend once he gets near the pen, only this time the two men fight and somehow a knife ends up in this throat. Ultimately Eloy, goes back to the lady at the flea market and demands what is happening, she responded that she had warned him that the pen was special and it was he who now has the bad luck… Eloy kills the lady Ophelia and she comes back as some kind of zombie telling him that he doesn’t have the right to take the souls only she does…
In this film I thought the acting was okay, the storyline is kind of a Drag Me to Hell kind of vibe meets Stephen King’s Thinner and the thing that I Enjoyed the most about this film is the makeup for when the lady turned as she was more of a voodoo type of woman. For some reason I really liked her character in this. If this film sounds like something that you would like to seek out definitely do so. I would definitely recommend you at least give it a try. I was entertained.
Starring Will McCann as Eloy, John Ellis as
Detective, Jessica Lee Golden as Gina, Paul Droutsas as David, Dale Stephan as Thief, Berna Bazan-Towns as Ophelia.
I’m not sure of the production company for this short film that I am about to describe but I do know the director’s name and where the film was filmed, it was filmed in Milwaukee and is part of the UWM film class. So I do believe it is a student film.
I bring to your attention the short film Balloons. it is more of a visual and inspirational as well as uplifting. The camera zooms in on a boy line on a table in a doctor’s office, the doctor is probably trying to explain the bad news that her son will not be able to walk. we see a balloon pass over his head and as it does we see that the boys life has fast forwarded to his young life as a man. As a man he has created a brace for himself in order to be able to stand up and walk straight, he attaches the balloon to a pulley and rope system attached to his brace so we see him use the balloon I believe as a security blanket to walk down the stairs, and right out the door, down the street, across the bridge until he stops by an alley where he sees himself in a window. suddenly the balloon takes off and disappears and the man loses his balance and falls only to realize a young girl with the same problems is standing right where the balloon had led him to.
I think and feel that this film is very uplifting especially to those who have disabilities like myself. In fact I believe that everyone on this Earth has some form of a disability if there’s something that you cannot do weather riding a bike or just solving a simple math problem you have a disability. to me that’s what it disability is it defines something that you just cannot do and even what Society calls a normal person cannot do everything and is not perfect. I think this film is about achieving the impossible even if it looks like you cannot. this one was shot well and I believe accomplished what it said out to achieve. if this film sounds like something that you would seek out and watch definitely going to do so I would recommend that you do. I was entertained once again.
Starring Jared Dutelle as Young Boy, Kim Dutelle as Mother, Mike Dutelle as Doctor,
Daniel Lindsay as Young Man, Meredith Milburn as Young Woman.
Brought to us by director Ron Purtee Of Wisconsin’s web series The Social Media Massacre which eventually became one film and Becoming Undead the short film is another zombie short film that gives a small punch called indoor air. I think it really helped Ron to have the star of Travis Legge’s Bloom As a woman who doesn’t know what to do with her captive.
The film begins in a garage as we see Kara (Baker) sitting on the floor in front of a man tied to a wheelchair or some kind of chair. Kara is almost crying because she can’t believe how her husband or lover I don’t know which But his name is Roger (Nichols). Now you can see this film two different ways for there are two different versions in the first you watch as she talks to the creature in the chair talks about their life and how it was and why he had to turn into what he is and then of course we hear a gunshot so we assume that she kills me.
In the second version which is the version that the director likes more and seems to be more popular amongst the festival’s you see the same thing except all you here is the breathing and the groaning of the creature Roger which takes it to a different level where you see it from his point of view. Ron believes that this silent version is his better felt version. I kind of like both in their own way. with the sound you hear what she says and you expect that she has offed whatever creature is sitting in front of her in the silent version you wonder what she is saying but see what he is thinking by his expressions and his moaning you can almost understand his language even though he isn’t saying much of anything at all. This was just a small taste and I enjoyed the film and hope that if you enjoy films like this that you will seek the film Out for yourself. I would definitely recommend let you do, I was entertained.
Here is the trailer:
Starring Deann Baker as Kara, Brandon Nichols as Roger.
So before I started reviewing some of Todd Sheets Earlier films which I have Tracked Down and for the most part I bought many straight from Todd Sheets himself. So I have most of everything by him signed but a lot of his earlier works were thrown into 50 packs with pendulum pictures which I believe was a spin off of Mill Creek entertainment for horror films which eventually many of those 50 packs went out of print and then eventually we’re separated in packs of six. as many directors started out Todd sheets began in Kansas city, Misouri under Trustinus Productions but then from there went on to Cinema Home Video, onwards over to Tempe Video under J.R. Bookwater as well as Video Outlaw and Pop Cinema until J.R. decided to get out of distrobution and sold a few films of Todd’s to Brain Damage Films. About 3 months ago I picked up a two-volume Blu-ray set from Ron Bonk’s Sub Rosa Cinema which was rather pricey but I believe worth it in the end even though I am not a fan of Blu-ray nor would I recommend it for anyone for reasons of my own. I will personally not pick up a Blu-ray unless I have to. number one mainly because I don’t have a Blu-ray player of my own I have to say I am going off my wife’s player. this being said I shall begin was trying to describe the films on these two volumes:
The first short film on the first volume is called ”Blood of the Undead” Which to me it looks like a group of four friends and I’m not sure of their names walk up to an abandoned building to investigate as boys do. The thing you have to remember about Todd sheets films is that they are shot on video which means you will see tracking because of how old the video footage is and you have to understand, this was when he was first beginning so to me there is a bit of a Goonies feel to the short film. As the tale moves on the boys find a book and a knife was in the abandoned building in which the boys speak of a Maniac that wants live there. One of the boys gets cut by the knife, turns into the undead and then one after the other tries to kill the rest. I’m not going to tell all of it but there is a lone survivor there is definitely guts eaten, a transformation of sorts of puking green slime, and beheading with a machete which is pretty awesome all to the tune of thrash metal.
In “Gone But Not Forgotten” We have two boys and a girl one of them I overheard by the name of Robert, Walks out of a house explaining to each other that they overheard on the radio to seek shelter for some reason. So they go over to the church and the church is locked they walk around the corner to another building and two other kids who had turned into the undead stumbled out of a storm cellar after them. suddenly there is more than just those two zombies As It Seems the rest of the town has been turned into the undead and we watch as each friend is Rundown and mutilated…
In “Gotta Quarter?” A skinny ass bum who has a bottle of possible liquor is standing around talking to himself when another bump walks up and asks for a swig of his drink, the skinny ass bum it looks quite like the Scarecrow of Oz hands in the bottle and begins to talk about the good old days while the other bum runs off with his bottle. in a comical effort to chase after the bum that stole his bottle the Scarecrow looking like bum runs into a payphone which is kind of funny as payphones seem non-existent these days… the bum who stole the bottle eventually shares the drink with a few other bum Buddies, but begins to melt from whatever substance that he drank. Sometime in between this a scientist and his assistant were walking outside there lab when his assistant dropped some kind of radioactive chemical that can destroy the world. Meanwhile another bum stole the Scarecrow looking bums cigarettes from him and still another bum is murdered from behind so I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here except for the fact that the short film reminds me a lot of Street Trash in a way…
In “Sanguinary Desires” A group of young people have been cordially invited just spend the night with a master played by David Byerly either Illusionist or master of something but in any case they’re supposed to spend the night to win $10,000. Well the master has an assistant that kind of reminds me of Renfield just a little bit and they only person I can figure out a name of is Frankie and she gets lured to the young master only to get embraced and bitten as it appears the young people are among a race of blood sucking vampires…
In “Edwin Parker” I believe that Todd sheets is using the same area of streets that used in Gotta Quarter? We have a brother by the name of Edwin played by Mike Post who also played the scarecrow looking bum in Gotta Quarter? The short begins with a young man being chased down by another with a machete which I believe is the escaped brother. On the other hand Edwin’s brother played by Daran Holt who also played the Masters assistant in Sanguine Desires kind of reminded me of Renfield as well as playing the young kid in Blood of the Undead who got cut by a knife and turned into a zombie is searching for his brother while a group of people are waiting for a bus… Followed by a very interesting scene where Edwin jumps down from above and chases down several women as he continues to tear an entire skin of a breast clean off… Not to mention a brain moving on its own and its own splatter…
In “The Unwanted” Which is part of the blood of the undead short film series as I believe there are four films related to each other… The film begins with a young kid running into a tunnel followed by some kind of demonic Force or spiritual whichever you want to take it as… Next we are take him to a room where a group of friends are playing ping pong, We find out the young kids name is John as he bursts into the room. John has been bitten by what we don’t know but whatever it is it has turned him into the undead as we see him stagger up and attack one of the young girls and she in turn is turned as we see her rise as one of the undead as one by one each are attacked…
About this first volume of short films and I believe it’ll be at the same about the second volume as well I believe that these were made just for fun with a bunch of friends they weren’t entirely trying to be serious and yet the subject matter was definitely serious enough that they wanted to get together to shoot this stuff on film. So yes there is some obviously bad acting And because it was the 80s and it was shot on video the audio isn’t entirely the greatest but I can tell that this group of people had fun while they were making these films together and I believe that these short films showcase a lot of where Todd Sheets first began. If I had to choose a favorite out of this first volume I would have to say Edwin Parker for some reason that ending with the moving brain was just comical to me and I liked Mike Porter’s acting in here…
Moving on to volume two in “The Evil of 1327” Two young boys go to retrieve some props From an abandoned haunted house where they run into a bit of an infestation of some reanimated corpses and in the course of trying to fight them off they mistake one another in the end as becoming one of them…
In “Dead Things” the short film version we have a father and son duo, being a couple of hillbillies coming from what looks like a broken down Cottage of some sort as the father tells the son that’s some city folks have killed his baby brother. Meanwhile a group of young people with mental health issues is on a hike in the woods that this father and son consider their property. When they don’t leave entirely right away the somewhat Deft son Chases is down one of the young boys in the group and him and his daddy tie up the boy and chop off his legs. when the group realizes that they are missing a member one by one they go after him but against Hammers and axes and bats that they don’t have it is a feudal fight… and ultimately the last surviving female of the group is chosen to bring up there inbred cannibal baby…
In “The Land of Shadows” Which I don’t know if I mentioned this before before director Todd Sheets created Extreme Entertainment his company was called Trustinus Productions And this short film is tagged as a sword and sorcery fan film. In the beginning of this film we have a man with a cloak and a sword who is traveling along the road and something attacks him where he has to throw his cloak to the ground and fight…In a way this is a little bit of a romance and the first time that Sheets delves into the werewolf realm of film.
Jenny has just broken up with her boyfriend and is on her way to a friend’s place when she starts having a headache and runs into the cloaked figure that we see in the beginning. The cloaked man played by Troy Alexander and Jenny start to travel the road together as he tells her about the Woodshire werewolf that is roaming the forest as well as his ancient dark magical foe that he is after. Two other young boys in strange dress end up walking into this fantasy world in which it seems to be some kind of alter reality. Which kind of goes back to the Choose Your Own Adventure type of stories. The cloaked Swordsman does eventually have a fight with the magician with the crystal that could help Jenny return to her world. since Jenny’s life was saved by the Cloaked Swordsman she wanted to do him a favor and have him return what’s her to her world but the werewolf that had been chasing after them followed them into her world… Grant it the sorcerer was wearing a graduation robe I thought this was put on rather well…
Starring Jenny Noel, Troy Alexander, Tom Berg, Mike Post, Robert Herman, David Mckintire.
In “Blood of the Undead: The Final Chapter” A group of four kids and it almost looks like this film was filmed before the first Blood of the Undead for Daran Host a young man that has been in many of these films seems rather young and this short film. But the group runs into another young man who is a zombie who chases after them with a chainsaw in the same house in which the other group of boys in Blood of the Undead had been so the same location. I give sheets props for this one as the boys in here that are filmed are much younger in age and it does just seem that they are just having fun. Ultimately the kids have to kill each other and there isn’t as much Gore as there was makeup in this film.
I want to say about this second volume as well as the first volume which funny as it may seem ended up on one single DVD next… though I just found out the dvd is like 5 or 6 short films short of the 2 disc Bluray Set So makes sense. I enjoyed watching these earlier films. I understand that these weren’t really made for anyone’s critical eye. these were made out of love of the horror genre and created amongst friends which ultimately led Todd sheets down his path towards being one of the second generations of Gore Godfathers which we can put him right alongside Herschell Gordon Lewis may he rest in peace. Many of these films were filmed in the 80s I figure if you enjoy films of this nature and you want to seek these films out you the viewer can figure out for yourselves what years these short films were from. There were things that were enjoyable about each of the short films and there were things that were laughable but in the end you have to think about how it was at that time. Sheets never thought that there would be any interest in some of his earlier work and I believe there is. I believe that it shows some of his growth into becoming the director that he has become. My biggest problem with the Bluray Set is one of the films on the second volume wasn’t even titled and that would be the Dead Things short film.