Today’s review is about another great Australian film. The film scene down under consistently puts out a few great films a year. WYRMWOOD, Wolf Creek and Animal Kingdom come to mind as great thriller/horror films since 2005. It also goes without saying FURY ROAD is in another category all together! But before I get into KILLING GROUND I think it is worth a moment to clear up what is a HORROR film and/or THRILLER film. When I am asked what makes a film a thriller or horror I often give a quote ex-vice president Al Gore’s wife stated (for another reason, but works for me) during her fight to censor music lyrics. When asked what are explicit lyrics she said, “Well it’s like pornography. I am not sure but I know when I see it.” I feel the same way about a HORROR film or THRILLER film. Hard to define, but I know when I see it. I did a little research and here are the best definitions I can find (although vague) that make it easier to really know the difference and why so many films have been described as BOTH!
Horror: an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust. Thriller: with an exciting plot, typically involving crime or a high degree of intrigue, adventure or suspense.
This is another film I was able to see because of attending Days of the Dead (DOTD) in Indianapolis in early July and I am so glad I did. I was able to meet the director, Brooke Ewing, a first-time director that pulled no punches telling everyone and anyone that she made the film for $0. Brooke had an idea, friends, passion and time. I was able to hear her talk about her film making experience on a panel where she spoke about the joy and pain of being an indie film maker. Making her movie was the easy part and selling her film was a challenge and hence her marketing phrase $5 movie “Buy it, don’t pirate it”. I loved chatting with her at her vendor table and was excited to hear that she had wrapped on her sequel to SHE WAS SO PRETTY!
I spent our last night at the 2017 Indianapolis Days of the Dead just like I did the first one; taking in another screening at their “48 Hour Independent Film Fest!” This time around I’d be seeing Plank Face, an Independent film created by a group of Indianans who’ve managed to put out several genre movies for the past few years. I got my first taste of them here and would categorize them as “B horror films,” though this is not a criticism. I grew up on a steady stream of low budget films that I loved and will forever cherish. In fact, in my home state of Rhode Island, I work with an Independent movie company called Scorpio Films Releasing and consider several of their films to be the hallmark of my movie library.
Terror from Beyond the Daves welcomes our friend and Cinemaphile, Jason Schoolcraft…
The Night of the Virgin (La noche del virgen) is a 2016 Spanish film I’d read about but didn’t get to finally see until this past weekend’s Days of the Dead convention in Indianapolis. The movie was scheduled to screen on that opening Friday night and, after checking out some of their amazing vendor’s (see Dave’s last post), I eagerly made my way to their make-shift theater to see this. Although there was so much going on at Days of the Dead, I was happily surprised to see a small crowd would be joining me for this show. Originally the director was supposed to introduce the film but didn’t make it. I should also mention that shortly after it began we noticed there were no subtitles and, despite repeated attempts from the organizers, we’d all be seeing the film entirely in Spanish. It wasn’t their fault as the director had gotten stuck in transit and this was the only video file he’d sent them. Although a couple of people understandably walked out, most of us stayed and I was glad to be one of them.
The Terror Daves would like to welcome back our friend, Jason Schoolcraft, for his scintillating review of a brand new horror anthology you won’t want to miss!
I just watched The Dark Tapes, brought to the masses from Epic Pictures. Knowing that these are the same guys that have been knocking it out of the park with such great films as Tales of Halloween (loved it), Turbo Kid (wow, what a retro sci-fi masterpiece!), and V/H/S (awesome), I was very excited to see what next they had in store!
With a few exceptions, I can’t say I was overly impressed with 2016’s horror movie selections. In fact, I’d pretty much written it off as yet another lousy year until the other night when I popped on a screener copy of The Autopsy of Jane Doe. The film made its debut last September at the Toronto International Film Festival before receiving a limited theatrical release here in the States on December 21st. It was filmed in the UK and marks the first English-speaking movie by Norwegian Director, André Øvredal, who also directed and produced a film the other Dave discussed back in 2011, Trollhunter. I can only hope this won’t be his last.
Friend of the Daves, Jason Schoolcraft, finishes up his two part coverage of the film SEVEN DORMS OF DEATH by interviewing film maker Richard-Marr Griffin!
Photo courtesy of Scorpio Film Releasing.
Jason: When and where did you get the bug to work in the film industry and make films?
Richard: When I was 12 years old my father bought me a Super 8 camera. I totally fell in love with making short films with friends and family members. When I was 20, I was hired by a local television station, where I spent 14 years directing, producing and editing magazine shows, talk shows, commercials. It was a tremendous way to learn all aspects of production, and get paid while doing it! In 2004 I left TV and formed my production company, Scorpio Film Releasing, with my partner Ted Marr.