Nathan Jones

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY OF  MONSTER FEST SYDNEY 2018

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY OF MONSTER FEST SYDNEY 2018

The last three days have been a whirlwind of screening delight at the second Sydney Monster Fest . From 7 pm on Friday, 9 March 2018, night until 11 pm on Sunday, 11 March 2018, Monster Fest screened a total of twelve films, and of those twelve, two were short films.

Unfortunately, there were two films I could not attend due to time restraints. These were Stefan Ruzowitzky’s Cold Hell (a German thriller about a woman in hiding following witnessing a murder) and Luke Shanahan’s Rabbit (noted as a strong, well driven Australian thriller surrounding the disappearance of a girl’s sister). Next year I shall be clearing my schedule to attend all of the screenings available as both, I felt, offered so many possibilities as a film fan, and I did want to see them.

Monster Fest 2018 - Living Space Q&A 01

Steven Spiel’s Living Space Q&A, 1 of 3

At Monster Fest, Australia served up some more homegrown horror with the two shorts Edward and Melissa LyonsAlfred J Hemlock (an impressive revamping of the better the devil you know style dealings with a hilariously lovable comedic twist- that kick-started the festival ahead of the opening screening) and Ren Thackham’s and Fliss Keep’s Tightly Ground ( a boring and rather overindulgent hipster attempt at satire with a bit of murder thrown in). As well as the films like Steven Spiel’s superb Living Space (an awesome time looping thriller featuring some pure moments of amazement – including a human swastika!), Daniel Armstrong’s Tarnation (which despite an impressively campy premise was ultimately an abysmal film featuring a group of annoyingly bad actors facing perils of obscure concepts – penis bugs, demonic unicorns and zombie kangaroos all sound great but if executed poorly are not as fun as hoped), and the standout Mystery Movie that ended the festival Chris Sun’s desperately anticipated BOAR.

Monster Fest 2018 - Living Space Q&A 02

Steven Spiel’s Living Space Q&A, 2 of 3

Monster Fest 2018 - Living Space Q&A 03

Steven Spiel’s Living Space Q&A, 3 of 3

BOAR is a beast of a film all of its own which features a huge quality bag full of lovable Australian larrikin humor, great creature effects and a cast of likable and deliberately unlikeable characters. Switching from the douchebag boyfriend Robert (played so well by Hugh Sheridan), to the hulking gentle giant uncle Bernie (played adorably by Nathan Jones) and even familiar faces such as John Jarratt, Bill Moseley, and even Steve Bisley, Sun has his star-studded cast guide this film superbly through the sentimental, the comedic and the terrifying!

From the USA, Monster Fest secured screenings of Johannes Roberts’ The Strangers 2: Prey at Night (which for me knocks the original out of the picture through its musically rich murderous antics and opened the festival with a bang alongside Alfred J Hemlock), the 1987 classic Fred Dekker film The Monster Squad (I had never seen this and am a huge lover of it now!!!!) , and  their 4K restoration screening of the classic George. A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (crisper clear quality without losing the original film’s awesomeness).

Canada served up Adam MacDonald’s Pyewacket, an impressive occult themed film about the suffering that follows a loss. It starred The Walking Dead’s Laurie Holden and Vancouver actress Nicole Munoz (both dove deep to create likable and unlikeable aspects to their tortured characters).

Lastly, from Turkey came the Can Evrenol film Housewife, an inexplainable romp into the insanity that it displays thoroughly throughout. With dream realms, surreal ongoing and a beginning classic to any horror film, you will not be let down by this film. Brilliant!!

All in all, Monster Fest was a thoroughly amazing viewing experience and I cannot wait for any further screenings throughout the year or events like this one. I will be there!

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in EVENT REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Charlie’s Farm (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Charlie’s Farm (2014)

 By Dixielord

Charlie's Farm

Charlie's Farm

Charlie's Farm is the new Australian slasher from writer/director Chris Sun starring Bill Moseley, Kane Hodder, Tara Reid and Aussie strongman Nathan Jones. I had heard of the project for a while and assumed, as I think many others did, that it was based on the Manson family. Possibly fueled by the continued rumors that Bill Moseley was set to star as Charles Manson in an upcoming film. Despite Bill himself calling shenanigans multiple times the rumor persisted.

But no Charlie's Farm is not a docudrama or fictionalized tale of the Manson family and their own farm. No, it's a down and dirty Australian slasher film, and it's pretty damn good. It's not Citizen Kane,it's not an exceptionally deep movie, but what it does it does well.

Charlie's Farm doesn't go for humor like seems to be the norm for a lot of slashers now. There is some joking around and lite humor between the characters but when the killing starts, it business time.

The story focuses on a group of campers looking for a new experience. Hearing the legends of Charlie's Farm they decide to head there for a couple days of camping and exploring the legends. It seems Charlie's Farm was the home of a family of cannibals that preyed on back packers. When the locals got fed up they attacked the farm killing the head of the family played by Moseley, and his wife. In the confusion the couple's young son Charlie (Cameron Caulfield) escapes into the woods. Years later he is rumored to be lurking nearby, The campers find that young Charlie has grown into a seven foot monster of a man, played by Nathan Jones (Mad Max: Fury Road), with his parents taste for mayhem.

One of the really cool things about Charlie's Farm, is we get to see Kane Hodder in a different role than he's most known for. The man who was Jason ( and always will be to his fans) has a large role, out of mask or makeup, and he's playing a heroic role. I don't want to give away too much, but it's not just a cameo, and we do get to see a fight between the two big men.

Bill Moseley (The Devil's Rejects) is basically playing a slightly older version of Otis Firefly. That's not a bad thing, as no one plays crazy, cannibal killer better than Bill. He has limited screen time but he hams it up with insane aplomb. But Nathan Jones as the grown up Charlie Wilson is the star of the show. He's big, impressive, strong and has a flair for interesting kills. If there's a down side it's that he doesn't have that much screen time, and we don't really see him till late in the film. Still, he would make am impressive killer to hold down a new franchise.

 

Tara Reid in Charlie's Farm

Tara Reid in Charlie's Farm

The biggest surprise for me was Tara Reid. She didn't annoy me nearly as much as usual. You kind of get used to the hot mess Tara, from tabloids and her show Taradise. Her last few film roles have been less than impressive as well. In Charlie's Farm she at least pulls it together and does a semi competent job, at least by Tara standards. She's still (***potential spoiler) a poor choice for a final girl, and co-star Allira Jones would have been a better choice

The rest of the kids, although they all seem a bit older than your usual slasher victims, are just that, your average cookie cutter victims. Sam Coward, as “Donkey” tries to be funny, and it's actually slightly amusing to see him attempt and mostly fail at humor. Allira Jones as Melanie, has the most personality of all the “kids” and a beautiful smile. The campers are rounded out by Dean Kirkright as Jason.

There's enough gore and kills in Charlie's Farm to keep the gore hounds happy, although it might not send them into a blood fueled ecstasy. It's not on the level with films like The Green Inferno but it's at decent levels for a slasher flick. It is a bit slow in the middle, and the heavy Aussie accents may make it hard to keep up with some of the dialogue in the slow parts.

So while Charlie's Farm isn't breaking new ground, or reinventing the slasher, it's a good throwback to the more serious, less campy horror films. It's not great but it's good enough, and it's got Kane being a good guy. It gets a solid 6 and a half out of ten stars. If you like slashers, check it out, and if you're a fan of Kane, run and grab a copy today.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments