Sci-Fi

“Cult Favourite” ‘Mandao of the Dead’ selected for LA Comic Con and Kickstarter campaign for sequel ‘Mandao Returns’ launching 8th October

“Cult Favourite” ‘Mandao of the Dead’ selected for LA Comic Con and Kickstarter campaign for sequel ‘Mandao Returns’ launching 8th October

Scott Dunn’s Mandao of the Dead, is now available to stream on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Vimeo on Demand.

The Sci-fi Horror Comedy has also been selected to screen at the LA Comic Con on Sunday, October 13th, 2019.

“Mandao of the Dead is a true indie horror with colorful, wildly quirky characters […] sure to be a cult favorite” — Nightmare on Film Street

Mandao Films has recently announced that the cult indie film Mandao of the Dead has been selected to play at the LA Comic Con.

Mandao of the Dead is scheduled to screen:

Sunday, October 13th, 2019
4:00pm
Room 301A
Los Angeles Convention Center

Mandao of the Dead is a supernatural comedy about the reclusive Jay Mandao who lives frugally off his late father’s cereal royalties. He wants nothing more than to live in solitude, but is duped into taking in his adult nephew-in-law, Jackson.

As Halloween approaches, Jay begins having odd dreams, and comes to find that he has the ability of astral projection. Jay and Jackson are approached by a ghost who has a small window of opportunity to reverse his death at the hands of Jackson’s murderous ex-girlfriend.

This is the second feature from Writer/Director Scott Dunn and Producer Gina Gomez DunnMandao of the Dead gained some media attention after screening at the San Diego Comic Con. It was considered a “cult favorite” among film critics and lauded as, “the horror equivalent of Napoleon Dynamite,” (Horror-Fix).

Mandao Films has launched a Kickstarter on October 8th – November 8th in an effort to raise $20,000 USD for their sequel “Mandao Returns”. This time, Mandao Returns takes place around Christmas. After abstaining from astral projecting, Jay Mandao’s life starts to unravel.  Jay’s cousin Andy hatches a plan to steal money from the past after encountering some serious financial issues. To make matters worse, they encounter an evil ghost intent on possessing one of their bodies to live again. Jay, Jackson, Cousin Andy, and their cab driver Fer must team up to stop the entity. Will they succeed?

You can support the campaign, donate by visiting www.mandaoreturns.com and sharing on Facebook and Twitter. 

Posted by Philip Rogers in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
“CULT FAVORITE” ‘MANDAO OF THE DEAD’ Screening Coming to Comic Con 2019

“CULT FAVORITE” ‘MANDAO OF THE DEAD’ Screening Coming to Comic Con 2019

Mandao Films has announced that the cult horror comedy ‘Mandao of the Dead’ will be screening at the Comic Con International Film Festival 2019, which is part of the San Diego Comic Con.

Mandao of the Dead is scheduled to screen:

Saturday, July 20th, 2019 at 7:45pm
Grand Ballroom 6
San Diego Marriott Marquis

The unambitious Jay Mandao lives frugally off his late father’s cereal royalties. He wants nothing more than to live in solitude, but is duped into taking in his adult nephew-in-law, Jackson.

As Halloween approaches, Jay begins having odd dreams, and comes to find that he has the ability of astral projection. Jay and Jackson are approached by a ghost who has a small window of opportunity to reverse his death at the hands of Jackson’s murderous ex-girlfriend.

This is the second feature from Writer/Director Scott Dunn and Producer Gina Gomez Dunn. The “genre-bending” film has recently gained some media attention with Dunn lauded as a filmmaker who, “… makes a better film than contemporary directors with twenty-plus features on Amazon” (Film Threat).

The “charming winner of a flick” is now available to stream on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Vimeo on Demand. The film is also available to purchase on Blu Ray via the Mandao Films website – www.mandaofilms.com.

Mandao Films has also announced a sequel in the works, currently entitled “Mandao Returns” slated for a 2020 release. Prior to filming, the Mandao team will launch their crowdfunding campaign on October 2019 on to raise funding for the film. Details of the campaign to be announced soon.

Posted by Philip Rogers in Categories, EVENTS, HORROR COMEDIES, HORROR NEWS, PARANORMAL, PRESS RELEASES, SCI-FI HORROR, 0 comments
[Episode Review] Twilight Zone: “The Comedian”

[Episode Review] Twilight Zone: “The Comedian”

I took advantage of watching the first episode of The Twilight Zone produced by Jordan Peele (Key & Peele, Get Out, Us), for free to see what the hype was. It premiered on April 1st on CBS All Access. This 10 episode anthology based on the original 1959 television series created by Rod Serling, is also narrated and hosted by Jordan Peele.

The first episode called “The Comedian” which was produced by Owen Harris takes us into the life of Samir Wassan (Kumail Nanjiani—Silicon Valley, Adventure Time) who is a struggling stand-up comedian. After his act, he sits at the bar where he stumbles upon J.C. Wheeler (Tracy Morgan—SNL, 30 Rock) a veteran comic whom he admires. In awe, he starts up a conversation with J.C. and asks if he can offer any advice, he advised Samir to add personal material into his act. When Samir takes the stage, he sticks to his old routine, upon silence from the crowd he starts to think about what J.C. said and makes jokes about his dog and the audience gets loud in laughter. What Samir discovers next is what boggles his mind. After the dog jokes, the dog vanished, and no one seems to remember that he existed. Samir determines that anyone and anything he mentions start to disappear forever. He has to make a crucial decision, is naming someone close to you worth mentioning in your act for laughs and are you prepared to lose them forever? 

In Samir’s case, he chooses to use those around him for laughs, he accidentally erased his nephew and then started deleting those he thinks will be better off living in this world. The love of his life Rena (Amara Karan—The Task, The Upside) breaks up with him after he decides to erase someone from her life that helped her become a successful lawyer. Samir still does not learn, he even goes as far to almost delete his fellow stand-up comedian rival Didi Scott (Diarra Kilpatrick) but was then confronted by Rena herself after she finds his journal with a list of people that he erased from this world. 

This is an ultimate lesson of going to the extreme while wanting fame and being selfish. A monster was created and cannot be stopped. It shows how far one will go for their career, and if it’s worth any sacrifice for you to go now in life. I thought this was well done in how it was perceived. It wasn’t hard to believe about or to figure out what was happening, but you do think about how your decisions in life can affect you and those around you — the perfect balance of real-life horror and sci-fi suspense.   

Check out the trailer below. The first episode is free and you can watch it on YouTube. ⬇️⬇️

 

 

Posted by Sarah Gregory in ANTHOLOGY, NEW RELEASES, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Dark Tapes (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Dark Tapes (2017)

Face the Unknown with The Dark Tapes (2017)

The Dark Tapes (2017) / Fair use DoctrineAfter three long years of dedication and personal funding, Michael McQuown and fellow producers, are proud to present their film The Dark Tapes. This film blends genres with its interlocking story-lines covering horror, fantasy, sci-fi and more. With a crew comprised primarily of himself and four producers (who also served as the primary crew members), The Dark Tapes is Michael McQuown's first film to direct. Fellow producer, Nicola Odeku gave him the original idea for the story. When asked what three words he would use to describe this film, Michael said, “Twists, Tension and Terror”. This film was 100% independent from any studio but that has not affected its achievements. Among the film festival circuit, The Dark Tapes has won or been nominated for 61 awards across 30 festivals. This includes a nomination for a Rondo Hatton Award for “Best Independent Feature”. You can also find it ranked in the top three highest rated films ever on FoundFootageCritic.com.
The Dark Tapes is a found footage horror anthology film comprised of four primary narratives. As you watch, you will find each story original and interweaving with some great surprises in store for you. The scares are not cheap and the fear is genuine. This film doesn't rely on jump scares or gore to scare you. It will build the tension until you must turn your lights back on. It proves that you don’t need a big budget to put out a quality film. Dark imagery, good effects and sincere acting drives it to success.
It is now available for purchase on most VOD platforms, including Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, Google Play, Sling TV, Vimeo, Xbox, PlayStation, and more. Due to its popularity, Michael and his crew are already in pre-production working on a sequel titled The Darker Paths. I expect them to lead us even further into the nightmares with this follow-up.
Check out The Dark Tapes at the links below:

Happy Nightmares,
ZombieGurl

Posted by ZombieGurl in ANTHOLOGY, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Monsters (2010)

MOVIE REVIEW: Monsters (2010)

By John Roisland

monsters-reviews

A few weeks ago I finally had a little time to myself, so I decided to watch a movie. As I scrolled through the entire horror section on Netflix (Which is, in my opinion, becoming worse and worse every month. I mean no disrespect, but the selection dwindles down to crap that even kids don't want to watch anymore.) I came across the 2010 movie called Monsters. The description sounded interesting and the screenshots that they provided kind of caught my eye. So I figured I'd give it a shot since it's something that I had not seen yet (and I hoped it wouldn't end up being a total shit sandwich).

The opening scene of the movie was in night vision. You see military personnel fighting a large monster, kind of a scene out of an old fifties sci-fi/horror film. I thought that was pretty cool. The monster itself looked like a giant squid or octopus on stilts and appeared to be about 50 feet tall, something a bit different. I liked that! However, as the movie goes on, the action/horror and the titular monsters themselves become less and less part of the film.

Monsters takes place in Mexico (gee, imagine that, aliens that are from Mexico, go figure), so the writer obviously had a huge sense of humor when first coming up with the idea from the film. The movie is actually well done, but the problem is that it is slow. Incredibly slow.

Monsters - map

The story revolves around a photographer who is on assignment in Mexico when he receives a phone call from his boss telling him that the boss' daughter just happens to be vacationing in that same area. The boss tasks the photographer with safely escorting her back through what is now considered the contamination/danger zone of Mexico and into the US.

Monsters - the wall

The two trek through the jungles (paying their way) guided by local guerrillas who are fighting these monsters as they try to get home safely. The two of them build a small relationship (of course) as the perils of their journey home bring them closer. The movie is very, very slow, but the ending was well done and actually kind of surprised me. If you are looking for an action-packed, scare-filled, or traight up monster movie, this is not it. If you are looking for a slow-moving adventure borderline romance movie then Monsters is the one for you. It gave you enough to keep you watching, but fell short on delivery ONLY because of lack of action.

The cinematography in the film actually has some great moments, and the acting was surprisingly good. Monsters stars Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able and was both written and directed by Gareth Edwards who also directed the 2014 Godzilla.

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

Man is the warmest place to hide.

By Woofer McWooferson

rpenter's The Thing movie poster

Director: John Carpenter; Writers: Bill Lancaster (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (short story "Who Goes There?"); Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David; Rating: R; Run Time: 109 min; Genre: Horror | Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1982

As most horror fans already know, John Carpenter's The Thing received deeply mixed reactions at its theatrical release in 1982, but has amassed one of the largest cult followings in the decades since. Information on this can be found easily, so this review will not dwell on this aspect. However, it is worth noting that the creature was so groundbreaking that it was nearly impossible to describe without sounding silly – at least at the time. In fact, Rob Bottin's description of his vision for the creature, while intriguing to Carpenter, needed to be set down on storyboards before Carpenter was sold on the idea. For this reason, John Carpenter's The Thing needs another theatrical release to enable people to enjoy it on the big screen. Perhaps it should even be shown in theaters once a decade. Or year.

John Carpenter's The Thing is a watershed film for several reasons, not the least of which are the top notch effects by Rob Bottin. While Stan Winston's group made the dog Thing, he is adamant that all know the effects were Bottin's baby and he was just called in to help. This is remniscent of Howard Hawks insistence that The Thing From Another World was Christian Nyby's direction alone – an apt comparison since Carpenter's masterpiece is, itself, an homage to The Thing From Another World (as well as a more faithful yet modernized adaptation of John W. Campbell's “Who Goes There?”). In addition to the effects, the paranoia and claustrophobic nature of being at a camp in Antarctica in winter is so effective that the audience begins to experience it. We feel as if we are just as trapped and just as helpless as the people at US Outpost 31. We have nowhere to go except to ride this pony to the finish line as we watch pull ahead and watch the others fall away. Having an all male cast was also brilliant. It creates a feeling of pent up frustration. If the movie had smell-o-rama, we would undoubtedly smell exactly what is described in the opening of the original short story, which begins with the Thing already in camp:

The place stank. A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber. An overtone of liniment combated the musty smell of sweat-and-snow-drenched furs. The acrid odor of burnt cooking fat, and the animal, not-unpleasant smell of dogs, diluted by time, hung in the air.

Lingering odors of machine oil contrasted sharply with the taint of harness dressing and leather. Yet, somehow, through all that reek of human beings and their associates—dogs, machines, and cooking—came another taint. It was a queer, neck-ruffling thing, a faintest suggestion of an odor alien among the smells of industry and life. And it was a life-smell. But it came from the thing that lay bound with cord and tarpaulin on the table, dripping slowly, methodically onto the heavy planks, dank and gaunt under the unshielded glare of the electric light.

Added to this, of course, would be the unmistakable smells of ejaculate and marijuana, for there is no way those men were stationed up there that long without masturbating. We see marijuana being smoked in the film, but the greenhouse that Childs (Keith David) and Palmer (David Clennon) tended was cut from the final release for a number of reasons.

John Carpenter's The Thing dog creature

The cast. It's difficult to convey just how perfect this ensemble is. Every character is perfectly cast, with each actor bringing pathos and realism to his role, thereby creating characters which feel thoroughly developed even though we only see them for a couple of days of their lives. R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) is a strong, no-nonsense, tough helicopter pilot with whom everyone wants to have a drink. Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley) is the scientist able to put the good of Earth first. Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart), who is determined to help the Norweigans at the nearby camp, feels like a real doctor – and one that someone might actually want to visit. Skating cook Nauls (T.K. Carter) brings youth and freshness to a cast full of older men. Clark (Richard Masur), the dog handler, is more than sympathetic, and the audience truly feels his pain when the something happens to the dogs. Likewise Vance Norris (Charles Hallahan), George Bennings (Peter Maloney), Captain Garry (Donald Moffat), Fuchs (Joel Polis), and radio operator Windows (Thomas Waites) all seem like real people, people who might live next door or go to the same gym as you do.

The Siberian Huskies. Siberian Huskies are some of the most, if not the most, majestic and handsome dogs. While all of the Huskies in the film are well trained, Jed, who plays the lead Husky in the film, is the unequaled stand out. Jed was a wolf-dog hybrid, with the wolf side dominant, so his owner/trainer remained on set whenever Jed was being filmed. In fact, when Jed was acting, sets would be closed and this wolf intensity shows through as the Dog Thing, amping up the creep factor geometrically.

John Carpenter's The Thing Norweigan camp thing

John Carpenter's direction cannot be dismissed as it is what brought all these elements together to create the perfect horror movie. There is not a single note out of place, from Copper's nose ring and full frontal in the hall to Let's Make A Deal on videotape, from the Norwegians to the Huskies, and from MacReady to Garry to the Thing itself – this movie is a not only a phenomenal horror film, it's a damn good movie all the way around.

Man is the warmest place to hide.

By Woofer McWooferson

rpenter's The Thing movie poster

Director: John Carpenter; Writers: Bill Lancaster (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (short story "Who Goes There?"); Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David; Rating: R; Run Time: 109 min; Genre: Horror | Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1982

As most horror fans already know, John Carpenter's The Thing received deeply mixed reactions at its theatrical release in 1982, but has amassed one of the largest cult followings in the decades since. Information on this can be found easily, so this review will not dwell on this aspect. However, it is worth noting that the creature was so groundbreaking that it was nearly impossible to describe without sounding silly – at least at the time. In fact, Rob Bottin's description of his vision for the creature, while intriguing to Carpenter, needed to be set down on storyboards before Carpenter was sold on the idea. For this reason, John Carpenter's The Thing needs another theatrical release to enable people to enjoy it on the big screen. Perhaps it should even be shown in theaters once a decade. Or year.

John Carpenter's The Thing is a watershed film for several reasons, not the least of which are the top notch effects by Rob Bottin. While Stan Winston's group made the dog Thing, he is adamant that all know the effects were Bottin's baby and he was just called in to help. This is remniscent of Howard Hawks insistence that The Thing From Another World was Christian Nyby's direction alone – an apt comparison since Carpenter's masterpiece is, itself, an homage to The Thing From Another World (as well as a more faithful yet modernized adaptation of John W. Campbell's “Who Goes There?”). In addition to the effects, the paranoia and claustrophobic nature of being at a camp in Antarctica in winter is so effective that the audience begins to experience it. We feel as if we are just as trapped and just as helpless as the people at US Outpost 31. We have nowhere to go except to ride this pony to the finish line as we watch pull ahead and watch the others fall away. Having an all male cast was also brilliant. It creates a feeling of pent up frustration. If the movie had smell-o-rama, we would undoubtedly smell exactly what is described in the opening of the original short story, which begins with the Thing already in camp:

The place stank. A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber. An overtone of liniment combated the musty smell of sweat-and-snow-drenched furs. The acrid odor of burnt cooking fat, and the animal, not-unpleasant smell of dogs, diluted by time, hung in the air.

Lingering odors of machine oil contrasted sharply with the taint of harness dressing and leather. Yet, somehow, through all that reek of human beings and their associates—dogs, machines, and cooking—came another taint. It was a queer, neck-ruffling thing, a faintest suggestion of an odor alien among the smells of industry and life. And it was a life-smell. But it came from the thing that lay bound with cord and tarpaulin on the table, dripping slowly, methodically onto the heavy planks, dank and gaunt under the unshielded glare of the electric light.

Added to this, of course, would be the unmistakable smells of ejaculate and marijuana, for there is no way those men were stationed up there that long without masturbating. We see marijuana being smoked in the film, but the greenhouse that Childs (Keith David) and Palmer (David Clennon) tended was cut from the final release for a number of reasons.

John Carpenter's The Thing dog creature

The cast. It's difficult to convey just how perfect this ensemble is. Every character is perfectly cast, with each actor bringing pathos and realism to his role, thereby creating characters which feel thoroughly developed even though we only see them for a couple of days of their lives. R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) is a strong, no-nonsense, tough helicopter pilot with whom everyone wants to have a drink. Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley) is the scientist able to put the good of Earth first. Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart), who is determined to help the Norweigans at the nearby camp, feels like a real doctor – and one that someone might actually want to visit. Skating cook Nauls (T.K. Carter) brings youth and freshness to a cast full of older men. Clark (Richard Masur), the dog handler, is more than sympathetic, and the audience truly feels his pain when the something happens to the dogs. Likewise Vance Norris (Charles Hallahan), George Bennings (Peter Maloney), Captain Garry (Donald Moffat), Fuchs (Joel Polis), and radio operator Windows (Thomas Waites) all seem like real people, people who might live next door or go to the same gym as you do.

The Siberian Huskies. Siberian Huskies are some of the most, if not the most, majestic and handsome dogs. While all of the Huskies in the film are well trained, Jed, who plays the lead Husky in the film, is the unequaled stand out. Jed was a wolf-dog hybrid, with the wolf side dominant, so his owner/trainer remained on set whenever Jed was being filmed. In fact, when Jed was acting, sets would be closed and this wolf intensity shows through as the Dog Thing, amping up the creep factor geometrically.

John Carpenter's The Thing Norweigan camp thing

John Carpenter's direction cannot be dismissed as it is what brought all these elements together to create the perfect horror movie. There is not a single note out of place, from Copper's nose ring and full frontal in the hall to Let's Make A Deal on videotape, from the Norwegians to the Huskies, and from MacReady to Garry to the Thing itself – this movie is a not only a phenomenal horror film, it's a damn good movie all the way around.

Over 9,000/10 claws – I don't even know how many times I have seen this movie. Stop reading right now and go watch John Carpenter's The Thing.

Over 9,000/10 claws – I don't even know how many times I have seen this movie. Stop reading right now and go watch John Carpenter's The Thing.

UPDATE: Looking over this months later, I realize that I paid no compliments to Rob Bottin's SFX in making John Carpenter's The Thing come to life. Bottin's efforts paid off and, in my book, are the measuring stick for creature SFX to many horror fans. Neither Carpenter nor Bottin received the credit they – and everyone involved in the production – deserved. The movie's status as cult favorite and must-have for fans of the genre or SFX in general has done little to erase the effects of the deeply mixed reactions of critics at release – at best it was dismissed and at worst it was panned. John Carpenter's The Thing was a film way ahead of its time.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Ejecta (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ejecta (2014)

By Nick Durham

ejecta2

I'm a sucker for anything alien-related. I've always had an intense love for science fiction, and any science fiction that gets blended with any kind of horror elements pretty much makes me cream my jeans at the thought. That's why whenever there's any kind of sci-fi/horror flick hitting the scene, I'll usually end up checking it out, even if it's against my better judgment. I should also mention now that if said film involves any kind of alien abduction-type stuff, I'm usually there front and center. That's why when I took one look at the synopsis for Ejecta, I decided to check it out.

A Canadian film from directors Chad Archibald (The Drownsman) and Matt Wiele, Ejecta stars Julian Richings (better known to most as Death from Supernatural) as an alien abductee named Cassidy who gets tracked down by a conspiracy blogger named Sullivan (Adam Seybold). What happens next unfolds out of order, mixing elements of found footage style and traditional narrative styled jump scares and suspense (i.e., you can easily tell that this film had two directors). Somehow, even though this makes Ejecta feel pretty uneven as a whole, it still works...for the most part anyway.

As the film's overarching plot begins to further reveal itself, we get the usual tropes of government conspiracies and alien creature jump scares that end up being fairly predictable, but there are some really surprisingly well-crafted ideas buried within the film's script. Some of these ideas are rarely seen in films of this type, and while they're nothing revolutionary, they make for a welcome change of pace. That, and some really nice twists towards the end, separate Ejecta from other films of its ilk.

The one department where Ejecta deserves a ton of praise is in its acting. Everyone in this film performs really well in their roles, which in all honesty I was a bit surprised at. Films of this type usually feature the standard character tropes of "dude who's been abducted before and knows shit", "dude who believes in aliens and doesn't know shit", and "government operative who knows aliens are real and knows all the shit". While Ejecta does feature all those tropes (in fact, those are our three leads), it uses them all to wonderful effect, and each one is extremely well acted from Richings, Seybold, and Pontypool actress Lisa Houle as the interrogator/doctor who gets way, way more than she bargained for.

Ejecta isn't anything bad, it isn't anything all that special either, and it definitely isn't for everybody. It has its slow burn elements, but when it gets good, it's pretty good. Plus, it runs at a fairly brisk running time, so you could do much, much worse than what this film has to offer. If alien abduction-type scares or anything I've described sounds up your alley at all, check this out.

Rating: 3/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments