Ryan Kiser

Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare (2013)

Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare (2013)

Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare

Looking for something you may have missed over the past few years? Trying to find those lost titles to add to your DVD collection? Then have I got a film title for you…Truth or Dare. This wonderfully twisted and often gory Indie horror film was written by, directed by, and stars the always lovely Jessica Cameron.

Released through Ms. Cameron’s own Small Town Girl Productions, Truth or Dare focuses around a group of young adults who have found stardom and fame of its own kind by hosting a YouTube channel show called — you guessed it — Truth or DareTruth or Dare is an Internet-based reality show wherein each week the group plays the old game we all grew up playing but on a much more grown up and dangerous level. “How ?” you ask. Okay. For example, the film starts off with the group on a beach where actress Jessica Cameron picks dare and has to shoot fellow gamer Tony, played by Brandon Van Vilet, in the face with a handgun. Not quite how I played when I was young. Nevertheless, with stunts like this, the ratings for the show soar! Now you get the gist of how they play their rendition of Truth or Dare.

While interviewing on a local TV talk show, the group are confronted with questions by a member of the audience who seems to be a bit too eager and intense and is bounced out the door on his ass. But that’s not the last we see of our greasy little fanboy…

We next see our group in a basement getting ready to shoot another episode when in from behind the plastic tarps walks in our fanboy, played by Ryan Kiser who gives a stellar performance as Derik B. Smith. Smith, a fanboy stalker if you will, knows every -single- hidden inch of our new stars’ past and uses it against all of them to play his version of Truth or Dare, and of course, streams it all live on the web.

Smith’s version of Truth or Dare is basically the same as the group’s: You pick truth or dare, and you answer or act out whatever is asked of you 100%. The one small difference is that Smith’s dares are real! From the bullet in the gun to the blade on the knife to questions that can ruin or change lives, all of it is real. There’s no acting and no stunts, so many rounds end in death.

Jessica Cameron brought to the screen something that permeates today’s world — uploaded video, the more shocking and violent the better. Cameron brought plenty of that in Truth or Dare, including a few dares that are surprising if not shocking, to say the least!

If you haven’t seen this gem of an Indie horror film, you must. It will not disappoint! Jessica, great job all around with this one, and thank you for the screener. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for me next!

On a side note, be sure to keep an eye out for Jessica starring in Stephen Biro’s The Song of Solomon, an American Guinea Pig Film Series release from Unearthed Films, coming in March, 2018. You’re not going to want to miss it!

Happy early birthday, Jessica!!

Be sure to follow and support Jessica Cameron!

Keep It Evil…

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: House of Manson (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: House of Manson (2014)

By Dixielord

The story of Charlie Manson and America's most dysfunctional family is one with which most of America is familiar. With documentaries, pseudo documentaries, feature films, and interviews, it is well trod subject matter. For me, the gold standard has always been the 1976 television film Helter Skelter. Likewise every Charlie since then, even the real Charlie Manson, is measured against the performance of Steve Railsback. Now we have a new movie dealing with the Manson family and the Tate-Labianca murders. Brandon Slagle's House of Manson goes back to the beginning, and chronicles Manson's rise from rock star wannabe to murderer.

House of Manson poster
Photo credit Micro Bay Features and House of Manson

House of Manson, told mostly in flashbacks, introduces us to Charlie (Ryan Kiser) in jail awaiting trial for the Tate-Labianca murders. Under questioning from his lawyers, we see what lead him to this point. Kiser is one of the best things about House of Manson. He plays Charlie as a charismatic, likable young drifter. Yet we see touches, glimmers of his anger and insanity slip through every now and then. It's a different, more mellow Manson than the one familiar to us, but it makes it easier to believe he could become a leader - a leader that people would commit murder to please. He's far from the hectic, erratic real life Manson we have come to know from interviews and TV specials.

Because it deals with the early days long before the murders, the first part of the film moves at a slow pace, but it never gets boring. Kiser's charm and smile draws you in just like Manson drew in his followers in the late 60s. The slow pacing is a deadly trap, though, because when we get to the murders, it gets brutal really fast.

Things do get mean in House of Manson
Photo credit House of Manson

Slagle manages to make the murders brutal and horrific while limiting what we actually see. It's not a gory, graphic blood-fest, and it's more effective because of that. It's not easy to watch the murders, especially the stabbing death of pregnant Sharon Tate (Suzi Lorraine). For those who think gore is disturbing, watch the frenetic stabbing death of Tate as she begs for her life. This is disturbing - all the more so because it happened. The murders play out very close to the actual events, as told by witnesses, and crime reports.

This could have easily been a exploitative, gratuitous look at the Manson crimes. Kudos to Slagle for holding back, for taking a less sleazy, more serious look at Manson's life and crimes. The lack of gore will possibly be a turn off to horror fans, but it shouldn't. Some may even argue that House of Manson isn't a horror film. I disagree. The story of Charlie Manson is a horror story. It's no less a horror film than Silence of the Lambs just because it's not fiction. Kiser's performance and Slagle's direction make it all the more horrific because it feels real. This Manson could be someone we all know. He could be real. He could be our friend. That's scary.

House of Manson is directed by Brandon Slagle, and along with Kiser and Lorraine, stars Tristan Risk as Abigail Folger, Reid Warner as Tex Watson, Erin Marie Hogan as Linda Kasabian, and Devanny Pinn as Susan Atkins. House of Manson is available on Video on Demand now.

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