Alpha Big Dog

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The ISCFC love to feature DIY projects, and here is a funny YouTube comedy series written by Joe Benarick called ‘Alpha Big Dog’. Essentially the series recognizes what it the UK is known as Lad Culture, represented by the oiks on ‘Geordie Shore’ and swaggering Football fans who worship Tim Sherwood. In America, Lad Culture is all about douchebags and frat boys. Alpha males who pose and posture. The kind of meatheads who’ve devoured the complete works of Tucker Max and mastered the art of beer pong.

‘Alpha Big Dog’ is about Joey B, an obnoxious wannabe Reality TV star, who reminds me of a cross between Kenny Powers from ‘Eastbound & Down’ and The Situation from the much maligned ‘Jersey Shore’. The first episode provides several laugh out loud moments and hints at the kind of surrealness that punctuates another YouTube comedy series ‘Pound House’.

You can watch the first episode of ‘Alpha Big Dog’ right here, right now…

Visit:

http://asetofworks.com/enter/

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Trailer Trash: Save Yourself

Here is the short but sweet trailer for ‘Save Yourself’. The trailer suggests that in the fiercely contested film industry an actress called Crystal has screwed over three of her contemporaries and lured them to an isolated house in the middle of nowhere. The perfect setting for a horror movie.

We hear screams, see our heroines in deep danger, doused in petrol, bound, glimpses of gory tools of torture, and then the women flee from whatever malevolent being is chasing them.

The female driven horror stars Jessica Cameron (Truth Or Dare), Tristan Risk (ABC’s Of Death 2), Tianna Nori (Clean Break), Sydney Kondruss (The Drownsman), Bobbie Phillips (Carnival Of Souls) and a slew of other Canadian actresses.

Most horror trailers give too much away, which is why when promoting a horror movie the teaser can be so much more effective. There seems to be a lot going on, and this raises questions like what’s with all the bodies wrapped in polythene bags? Who is the villain of the piece? Certainly being the inquisitive sort I’m not keen to watch the movie and find out.

 

For more details on ‘Save Yourself’ visit:

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SaveYourselfMovie

 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/SaveYourselfMVE

 

Website: www.SaveYourselfMovie.com

Point and Shoot (2014)

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Directed by: Marshall Curry

There are times when ‘Point and Shoot’ feels like a call to arms, an appeal, to twenty-something men who live comfortable safe lives to discover their manhood. I certainly felt that pang for adventure after watching the documentary, it made an itch, which has been there in recent months, a bit itchier.

Mattthew VanDyke is currently over in Iraq fighting against ISIS. Not so long ago he was an average twenty something bloke twiddling his thumbs, day dreaming about adventure. Like so many young men he lacked the ability to take action and make that happen. But one day he took action, he completed a foreign affairs course, purchased a motorbike, and went to Spain, from there Gibraltar, where he gazed across at Africa. Then he biked across North Africa and the Middle East. He made friends along the way, including some from Libya.

VanDyke miraculously completed his journey, which included stints working as a war correspondent alongside American forces in Iraq, and a chastening trip into Afghanistan. When he returned home he planned to settle down with his long term girlfriend and lead a steady life. Then the Arab Spring happened. Revolution was in the air, most notably in Libya, as the people, including the friends he made, decided to rise up against Muammar Gaddafi.

Feeling he needed to help his friends VanDyke left his family and went back to Libya, not as a filmmaker, but as a revolutionary.

What makes this story all the more unbelievable is that VanDyke suffers badly from OCD. His obsessive tendencies frequently delayed his travelling. He’d stop his bike, thinking he’d caused an accident, and drive back a couple of miles just for a peace of mind. He’d freak out when sugar got spilt on his guns and ammunition.

VanDyke’s time in Libya during the revolution is the most interesting part of the documentary. Particularly how the war is captured in the social media age. At times it seems like boys playing soldiers. The rebel army is a ramshackle band of brothers. What it does show is that most of the time modern warfare is uneventful. There’s a lot of hanging around, a lot of confusion and boredom; and I think this documentary shows that.

As for Matthew VanDyke himself, he’s a complex character and not a particularly likeable one at times, particularly how he treats his family, and goes against the advice of a senior journalist who at one stage tells him to go home. I’ve tried to avoid going into too much detail around this as I don’t want to reveal spoilers which would affect your enjoyment of the documentary, should you seek it out, but often it is the case that the most unlikeable personalities are the best documentary subjects.

‘Point and Shoot’ is a fine documentary about a flawed man who seeks adventure. When he finds adventure, he wants more and more.

– RJW

7/10

Point and Shoot on IMDB

AND YOU BELONG

AND YOU BELONG

 

Official Selection of London Fringe Film Festival

Official Selection of Chicago International Music and Movies Festival

Official Selection of San Francisco Documentary Film Festival

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BrinkVision releases the acclaimed music documentary AND YOU BELONG about the electro hip-hop band SCREAM CLUB on March 10th! AND YOU BELONG has screened at over 25 film festivals worldwide to critical acclaim, and packed audiences. This funny and tender documentary about a band that helped paved the way for new queer self esteem will finally be available on VOD and Limited Edition DVD on March 10th!

 

Synopsis:

In ” And You Belong “, acclaimed director of Gender X, Saila and Noise & Resistance Julia Ostertag delivers a visual and musical rocket ride through the queer music underground telling the story of two girl electro hip hop act Scream Club and their international network of friends. While Scream Club´s music has been the soundtrack for a decade of underground fun, friendship and activism, Julia Ostertag created a fascinating document on a new queer self-esteem through original footage, archival footage, music videos, and photographs.

 

 

 

Trailer:

 

You can purchase the film by clicking here

 

BBFC bans the horror film HATE CRIME

A big story is brewing…

Monday 2nd March 2015 – THE BBFC announced today that HATE CRIME, the first release in a new joint VOD venture between geek blog Nerdly.co.uk and TheHorrorShow.TV – has officially been banned in the UK. It is one of only four horror movies officially refused classification by the BBFC since 2009, the others being Grotesque, The Bunny Game and The Human Centipede 2, later released with nearly 3 minutes of cuts.

Set to be the first release under the new Nerdly Presents banner, HATE CRIME tells the story of a Jewish family, having just arrived in a new neighbourhood, who are recording their youngest son’s birthday celebrations on video when their home is suddenly invaded by a bunch of crystal-meth-crazed neo-Nazi lunatics.

The film is the second feature from director James Cullen Bressack (To Jennifer, Blood Lake, 13/13/13), and has already had a successful release in the US, reviewed favourably by the likes of Bloody Disgusting, MoreHorror and even the UK’s very own Starburst Magazine.

The full official statement from the BBFC:

“HATE CRIME focuses on the terrorisation, mutilation, physical and sexual abuse and murder of the members of a Jewish family by the Neo Nazi thugs who invade their home. The physical and sexual abuse and violence are accompanied by constant strong verbal racist abuse. Little context is provided for the violence beyond an on screen statement at the end of the film that the two attackers who escaped were subsequently apprehended and that the one surviving family member was released from captivity. We have considered the attempt at the end to position the film as against hate-crime, but find it so unconvincing that it only makes matters worse.  

 

“The BBFC’s Guidelines on violence state that ‘Any depiction of sadistic or sexual violence which is likely to pose a harm risk will be subject to intervention through classification, cuts or even, as a last resort, refusal to classify. We may refuse to classify content which makes sexual or sadistic violence look appealing or acceptable […] or invites viewer complicity in sexual violence or other harmful violent activities. We are also unlikely to classify content which is so demeaning or degrading to human dignity (for example, it consists of strong abuse, torture or death without any significant mitigating factors) that it may pose a harm risk.’

 

“It is the Board’s carefully considered conclusion that the unremitting manner in which HATE CRIME focuses on physical and sexual abuse, aggravated by racist invective, means that to issue a classification to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board’s Guidelines, would risk potential harm, and would be unacceptable to broad public opinion.”

“Of course, the Board will always seek to deal with such concerns by means of cuts or other modifications when this is a feasible option.  However, under the heading of ‘Refusal to classify’ our Guidelines state that ‘As a last resort, the BBFC may refuse to classify a work, in line with the objective of preventing non-trivial harm risks to potential viewers and, through their behaviour, to society. We may do so, for example, where a central concept of the work is unacceptable, such as a sustained focus on sexual or sadistic violence. Before refusing classification we will consider whether the problems could be adequately addressed through intervention such as cuts.’ The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, given that the fact that unacceptable content runs throughout the work, cuts are not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.”

Says director James Cullen Bressack: “I am honoured to know that my mind is officially too twisted for the UK. So it goes … I find it unbelievable that a film that shows little to no on screen violence and no nudity was actually banned. it just shows the power of what is implied and peoples imagination; and is a testament to the fact that the same crimes that happen in the world are truly horrifying.”

Nerdly.co.uk‘s Phil Wheat adds: “HATE CRIME was always going to be a contentious title to submit to the BBFC, especially given recent racial tensions. But as part of Nerdly Presents’ remit to uncover great underground movies it was worth taking the gamble on James Cullen Bressack’s movie. After all, horror is often about pushing boundaries and making your audience uncomfortable. HATE CRIME does that by throwing political correctness out of the window to create a raw, emotive and disturbing film that is a tour-de-force in reality filmmaking, taking the found-footage genre to a whole new level – asking questions of both the filmmakers and the audience. As such it’s definitely worth championing.”

TheHorrorShow.TV’s Jack Bowyer said: “Although it may surprise some people, TheHorrorShow.TV supports classification over censorship, as we would hate for any of our growing number of films to be viewed by an inappropriate audience. We work in collaboration with the British Board of Film Classification to ensure that our content is appropriately rated, but sometimes you need to test boundaries to find out where they are. In the case of HATE CRIME, it appears that the BBFC has deemed the content inappropriate for people of any age, even adults, and regrettably we will be unable to bring the film to the UK as part of our very exciting collaboration with Nerdly.”

You can read our reviews of ‘Hate Crime’ here –

https://iscfc.net/2012/07/19/preview-hate-crime/

https://iscfc.net/2012/07/21/preview-2-hate-crime/

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013)

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Directed by: David Lowery

A couple of years ago I saw the trailer for ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’. I remember thinking at the time “That looks good, I’m going to see that”. I never did. This often happens. As an avid trailer watcher I tend to make a mental watch list, but due to my forgetfulness I often can’t recall what is on that list. Movies are missed. Good movies.

The trailer looked gorgeous. A bit Malick like. It looked like a film destined for awards. Aside from a couple of Sundance back slaps ‘Aint Them Bodies Saints’ went under the radar. People seemed to forget about it come Oscar season.

‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ is held together by a trio of talented young(ish) actors. Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster. Affleck plays small time criminal Bob Muldoon, Mara the Bonnie to Affleck’s Clyde, she plays Ruth Guthrie and Foster is police officer Patrick Wheeler. The three do nothing more than remind us that they can act. They perform solidly, but was this a movie that needed power and panache?

At the beginning of the film we see a young couple in love. Bob and Ruth are separated when Bob is imprisoned, but the possibility of a reunion occurs four or five years later when Bob escapes from prison. As Bob gets closer to returning to his home town, Patrick begins to move in on Ruth. He becomes a confidant of sorts. Bob slowly moves homeward, with the help of old friends but begins to find that the path to Ruth is blocked. He’s also unknowingly being tracked by bounty hunters.

‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ is a mournful drama, it is a film about loss. Bob loses his wife, and his daughter when he is incarcerated, Ruth loses her husband, Skerrit (played by Keith Carradine) loses his son, who dies in the shootout which sees Bob go to prison. Then there is even more loss at the end of the movie. Even the bounty hunters in the film lose their target. There are few smiles in the movie, and the only light comes from the majestic sun kissed scenery.

Director David Lowery shows great care and restraint in his direction. The film looks glorious, but the pacing struggles to capture the scenic magnificence and fully utilize the supremely talented cast. Essentially ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ is a sad ballad of a movie, the kind of folk tale befitting of a bohemian singer songwriter with a Southern drawl.

– RJW

7/10

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints on IMDB

Fright-Rags’ CHUCKY collection

Fright-Rags’ CHUCKY collection honors one of horror’s most iconic villains
Limited edition box set, shirts and posters up for pre-order: http://bit.ly/chuckyfr

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Wanna play with Chucky? The pint-sized killer has been terrifying and entertaining audiences for more than 25 years. Fright-Rags is excited to honor one of horror’s most iconic villains with the Chucky Collection.

The Chucky box set includes three Chucky shirts – one designed by Justin Osbourn, a second from Abrar Ajmal and a third tee exclusive to the set – as well as an exclusive 18×24 screeprinted poster by artist Matt Ryan Tobin, a prismatic sticker and a full-size Good Guys replica box. This killer set is limited to only 225.

Osbourn and Ajmal’s designs are also available separately, as are additional Chucky shirts from Coki Greenway and Christopher Lovell. Rounding out the Chucky collection is an 18×24 screenprinted poster by Kyle Crawford. Limited to 100, the print features a glow-in-the-dark layer that reveals Charles Lee Ray’s voodoo spell.

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The Chucky collection can be pre-ordered from Fright-Rags. Limited edition items may sell out during the pre-order period, so act fast if you want a friend ’til the end. Orders will ship in late March.

Fright-Rags other new releases include shirts inspired by Freddy Krueger, Castle Freak, Subspecies and Sleepwalkers. Find all these and more at Fright-Rags.com.

Hard Eight (1996)

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Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Before Paul Thomas Anderson dared to adapt Pynchon novels he made a lovely sparse seedy neo-noir movie called ‘Hard Eight’ in the mid nineties. The film has a stellar cast including Samuel L. Jackson before he became a parody of himself, Gwyneth Paltrow before Coldplay, John C. Reilly and a cameo from the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman. Such a cast is overshadowed by a perfect performance from Philip Baker Hall who plays wily fixer Sydney.

Sydney reminds me a lot of Harvey Keitel’s character from those Telly adverts, Winston something-or-other. He’s a problem solver, cool in the face of crisis. The film begins when Sydney comes across a beaten and bedraggled John (C. Reilly). John has lost money gambling. He was trying to win money to pay for his Mother’s funeral. Sydney buys John coffee, listens to his tale and then offers to teach him how to make some serious dollar.

Sydney takes John to Vegas and shows him how to hustle the casinos. The film then fast forwards to the next chapter. Two years later John is making good money. John and Sydney come across Jimmy (Samuel L. Jackson) who runs security and Clementine, a wayward cocktail waitress slash prostitute (Paltrow). Like with John, Sydney tries to help out Clementine, at first she misinterprets his acts of kindness. Thinking, like most men that he wants her body.

That’s the set-up, the film ramps up the tension levels with blackmail, hostage situations and stand offs. Paul Thomas Anderson loads his films with talented charismatic actors, unusual off beat dialogue, and we know that this has become a mark of his work, but it’s fascinating to see how minimal the film is. Café-Casino-Motel Room. There’s no need to present the glitz and glamour of Vegas, this is the other reality, the lives in the shadows.

A word or two must go towards the Philip Seymour Hoffman scene, it’s brief, but brilliant, a hint of things to come. Hoffman is at his blustering obnoxious best. A gambler who goes up against Sydney. He taunts Sydney, calling him “old man” and tries to get under his skin. The scene is reminder to any actor who get gifted s a couple of minutes of screen time and a handful of lines early in their career. Give it everything, snatch the opportunity. It could launch a career. You could become an icon. Hoffman would go on to work with Paul Thomas Anderson, and it’s fair to say this scene probably convinced Anderson  about what Hoffman was all about.

– RJW

8/10

 

Hard Eight on IMDB