Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Movies Seen in 2015

For the last couple years I've kept an ongoing list of the films I see for the first time, whether it's new or old.  It's fun and it motivates me to watch more.  You should try it.  A lot of these titles will make you say, "How have you not seen this until now?!"  Sorry.

The ( * ) represents favorites, and the more ( ** ) the more I loved it.

1. Coherence. (2013)
2. Citadel. (2012)
3. Foxcatcher. (2014) ******  <Would have at least made top 3 of 2014, had I seen it.>
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel. (2014)
5. Birdman. (2014)
6. Me and You and Everyone We Know. (2005) *
7. Labor Day. (2013)
8. The Interview. (2014)
9.  Zodiac. (2007) ******
10. Jennifer Help Us. (2014)
11. Wolf Cop. (2014)
12. The Editor. (2014) *
13. Wyrmwood. (2014)
14. Final Girls. (2014)
15. What We Do In The Shadows. (2014) *
16. The Town that Dreaded Sundown. (2014)
17. White Bird in a Blizzard. (2014)
18. Killers. (2014) ***
19. Whiplash. (2014) *
20. Hole in the Wall. (2014)
21. Chappie. (2015)
22. Stakeland. (2010)
23. Resolution. (2013)
24. Open Windows. (2014)
25. It Follows. (2015)
26. Under the Skin. (2013) *
27. The Imitation Game. (2014)
28. The Den. (2013)
29. Nurse. (2013)
30. Unfriended. (2015)
31. Furious 7. (2015)
32. Roadside. (2013)
33. Labyrinth. (1986)
34. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) *
35. Poltergeist. (2015)
36. Insidious: Chapter 3. (2015)
37. We Are Still Here. (2015) *
38. Selma. (2014) *
39. Jurassic World. (2015)
40. Vendetta. (2015)
41. Point Break. (1991) *
42. The Mist. (2007)
43. The Selfish Giant. (2013) ***
44. Magic Mike XXL (2015)
45. The Gallows (2015)
46. AMY (doc) (2015) *
47. Ex Machina.(2015) ******  <Favorite Film of 2015>
48. Sharknardo 3. (2015)
49. Southpaw. (2015) ****
50. The Gift. (2015)
51. We Need to Talk About Kevin. (2011) *
52. Straight Outta Compton. (2015)
53. Monster. (2003) *
54. Hot Girls Wanted. (doc)(2015)
55. What Happened: Miss Simone? (doc)(2015) *
56. The Hurt Locker. (2008) *
57. Cake. (2014)
58. The Last House on the Left. (1972)
59. Turbo Kid. (2015)
60. Contracted: Phase 2. (2015)
61. Sling Blade. (1996) *************  <How had I gone my whole life without this film?>
62. Heavy Water. (2015)
63. The Blind Boys of Alabama. (doc)(2015)
64. Into the Abyss. (doc) *
65. Black Mass. (2015)
66. The Visit. (2015)
67. Her. (2013)
67. Wes Craven's New Nightmare. (1994)
68. Love & Mercy. (2015)
69. Goodnight Mommy. (2015) ***   <Favorite Horror Film of 2015>
70. The Return of the Living Dead.(1985) 
71. June. (2015) *
72. They. (2002)
73. Knock Knock. (2015)
74. The Final Girls. (2015)
75. The Loft. (2014)
76. Tales of Halloween. (2015) *
77. Crimson Peak. (2015) *
78. Ginger Snaps. (2000) ******
79. Bone Tomahawk. (2015)
80. Damien: The Omen II. (1978)
81. The Canal. (2014)
82. The Lazarus Effect. (2015) 
83. The Others. (2001) *
84. Motel Hell. (1980) *
85. Would You Rather. (2012)
86. An American Werewolf in London. (1981)
87. Pieces of Talent. (2014)
88. Horrible Bosses 2. (2014)
89. My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. (Doc)(2015) *
90. Everest. (2015) *
91. Life Itself. (Roger Ebert doc)(2014)
92. Cat People. (1942) ***
93. Wild. (2014) *
94. I Will Follow. (2010)
95. The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas. (2008)
96. The House on Pine Street. (2015)
97. Charlie Countryman. (2013)
98. The Vampire Lovers. (1970)
99. Shelter. (2015)
100. Interview with the Vampire. (1994)
101. The Hunger. (1983) ******
102. Star Wars: A New Hope. (1977) *
103. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. (2014)
104. The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. (2011) *
105. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. (1980)
106. Krampus. (2015)
107. American Sniper. (2014)
108. Chiraq. (2015) *
109. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. (1992)
110. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015) *
111. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
112. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) ***
113. 50 Shades of Grey. (2015)
114. Super 8. (2011) *
115. The Hateful Eight. (2015)
116. Joy. (2015)
117. The Master. (2012) *
118. Spotlight. (2015) *
119. Fatal Attraction. (1987)
120. Tangerine. (2015) *

Monday, February 23, 2015

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS: Helps us make this film.

James Bickert and me at HorrorHound Weekend Indianapolis 2012.
Hello everyone.  I haven't written in awhile!  But what could be a better reason than to promote my friend, James Bickert, and his new film, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS?!  FCB is the much anticipated sequel to DEAR GOD NO!  Which is also set to feature one of my favorite actors and people, Laurence R. Harvey.  James has a very serious passion for real film.  DGN was shot on super 16mm and FCB is set to be shot on 35mm.

I met James and the DEAR GOD NO gang at Texas Frightmare Weekend in 2012.  I truly have them to thank for my introduction to the horror-filmmaking-world.  I started my screening series, Slaughter Movie House, with their film.  They also introduced me to Laurence R. Harvey that weekend, who would later star in my directorial debut, CALL GIRL.  It means the world to me to try my hardest to help them now.

Help us out if you can by pledging to the Kickstarter campaign and spreading the word.

Press Release:


Poster design by Tom "The Dude Designs" Hodge (censored)
ATLANTA – February 23, 2015 – Big World Pictures announces its latest production, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS, will be shot on 35mm motion picture film. The producers have unearthed 20,000 feet of unexposed Kodak Vision 3 film stock leftover and carefully stored from a major Hollywood production. FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS is the sequel to the award-winning internationally distributed Super 16mm film DEAR GOD NO! and will be shot with Arri cameras and Zeiss lenses.
“We’re really excited to extend our love affair with film.The medium injects our production crew with a hand-crafted sense of pride that we don’t often experience from using digital equipment,” explains director James Bickert.  “Film is a real motivator; it reminds me of soda made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. You forget what you’re missing until you experience it.”
35mm Film Brings New Challenges
With film becoming obsolete, development and telecine post-production houses disappearing, the race is on to start principal photography on what may be the last “shot on film” horror genre picture for the production team. Big World Pictures has started aKickstarter campaign to help get the project in motion.
“We don’t want to waste this opportunity on teenagers stalked in the woods or flying CGI sharks,” adds Bickert. “Our script is very ambitious with a production design that will maximize the natural properties of the medium. We’re using practical effects and we really hope the fans of our previous film will contribute to getting this unique vision in the can. We believe there is a market for the films we love, making the public aware of what we’re doing is the hurdle and hopefully the Kickstarter campaign can bring attention to our cause. We’re offering some really great rewards for investors. ”
Old School Ballyhoo and a Twisted Vision
FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS centers on the re-animation of the South's most notorious biker gang - The Impalers. Dr. Marco and his assistant are performing gruesome experiments in their asylum lab and have resurrected the thrill-kill Motorcycle Club to capture a Bigfoot containing a pathogen that will allow them to perform a human head transplant. When news of the gang resurrection draws the attention of bounty hunters, law enforcement and rival gangs, the lofty aspirations of these mad scientist starts to spiral out of control. Things get even worse for the occupants when past failed- experiments escape from the basement and the lab is attacked by a bomb-happy femme fatale named Val. Stylistically FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS pays homage to several of the production team’s favorite films such as the Hammer Studio's Frankenstein series, FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL!, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE, HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB, THE RE-ANIMATOR and Biker drive-in pictures from the 70s. Blood, scares, nudity, action, weirdness and real explosions are on the menu, and the dessert is an underlying theme about addiction and what hampers humanity from feeling fulfilled in life. These issues are explored through the actions of really rotten characters doing rotten things - all in the context of a fun-filled smorgasbord of entertainment.
Dedicated Professionals
The self-proclaimed team of "awesome" fanatics at Big World Pictures are made up of crew members from other productions, including THE WALKING DEAD, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, CONSTANTINE, Adult Swim's YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL and TOO MANY COOKS. The camera crew worked on HBO’s THE WIRE and the grip department has worked on productions that include the HUNGER GAMES and THE FAST & THE FURIOUS series. Cast members include Laurence Harvey (HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 & 3), Celebrity Chef Jim Stacy (DEEP FRIED MASTERS, OFF BEAT EATS) and Ellie Church (TIME TO KILL, HEADLESS). The majority of the DEAR GOD NO! cast will be returning to reprise their roles.
For the Love of the Genre
The Atlanta based Big World Pictures was formed to create films by horror fans for horror fans. Shooting on film has been a binding force for the group who enthusiastically tour the country to horror conventions, festivals and theatrical screenings.
“It’s all about comradery and being part of a bigger community.  Due to the bottom line of larger productions, the horror genre gets stuck in trends. Our fan base is growing quickly, and we hope to keep delivering the solid entertainment that we enjoy making. We have a deep sense of pride in what we’re doing and love sharing the experience with like-minded audiences. FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS is going to electrify them,” concludes Bickert.
How to Contribute If you love film, horror movies and crazy spectacle, you can help by contributing atwww.kickstarter.com/projects/1334887287/frankenstein-created-bikers-a-35mm-feature-film.
Also, stay up-to-date on our latest news and happening by following us on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/DearGodNoMovie, Twitter (@jamesbickert) and our websitehttp://www.bigworldpictures.us

And, now, the glorious uncensored version!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Movies Seen in 2014

Last year I kept track of all the films I saw for the first time.  It inspired me to watch more.  So I'm sharing my list with you, no matter how embarrassing!  You should do it this year with me.  I just keep the list on my phone- super easy.  Give it a try!

* = new release/film festival screening
< = favorite

1. Cannibal Holocaust. 
2. The Grey. 
3. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. *
4. The Campground. 
5. Hypothermia. 
6. Macabre.    <
7. Antiviral. 
8. Like Crazy.
9. Drinking Buddies. 
10. Only God Forgives. 
11. Old Boy.   <
12. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. 
13. Gremlins. 
14. Dracula (1931). 
15. Sightseers.
16. Big Bad Wolves. *   <
17.  Thanatomorphose. *
18. Truth or Dare. *
19. Raze. *
20. Knights of Badassdom. *
21. Waiting for Forever. 
22. 24 Exposures. *
23. Thelma & Louise.    <
24. Snow Town Murders.   <
25. The Wolf of Wallstreet. *   <
26. The Iceman.
27. The Other Woman. 
28. Safe Haven. 
29. Fruitvale Station.   <
30. Princess Bride. 
31. Bride of Frankenstein.  <
32. Cropsey.  <
33. Dallas Buyers Club. 
34. The Lego Movie. *
35. Robocop. (remake) *
36. The Jeffery Dahmer Files. 
37. Almost Human. *
38. Bad Milo. 
39. Fargo.  <
40. American Hustle.  <
41. Dead Alive.
42. Eraserhead. 
43. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. 
44. Night of the Living Fred. 
45. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. *
46. The Lifeguard.
47. Safety Not Guaranteed. 
48. Cheap Thrills. *
49. Blood Junkie.
50. Mudjackin. *
51. Before I Disappear. * 
52. Why Don't You Play in Hell? * 
53. Enemy. *
54. Oculus.* 
55. Proxy. *  <
56. Banshee Chapter. 
57. The Quiet Ones. *
58. Adam Chaplin.
59. The Sacrament. *
60. Don Jon.
61. Raging Bull.   <
62. Red State. 
63. X Men: Days of Future Past. *
64. Malificent. *
65. The Amazing Spider-Man 2. *
66. Four Rooms. 
67. Cold in July. *  <
68. The Counselor. 
69. Deliver Us From Evil. *
70. Crossbearer. 
71. Reanimator. 
72. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. *   <
73. Jug Face. 
74. Sharknado 2. *
75. The Purge: Anarchy. *
76. Boyhood. *    <   <   <   <   <   <   <   < - MOVIE OF THE YEAR
77. Bronson.   <
78. Prince Avalanche. 
79. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. *
80. Guardians of the Galaxy. *  <
81. The Tourist. 
82. The Green Inferno. *  <
83. Late Phases. *  <
84. Housebound. *  <
85. Starry Eyes. *
86. Digging up the Marrow. *
87. The Babadook. *  <
88. Nymph. (Killer Mermaid) *
89. VHS Viral. *
90. The Signal. *  <
91. Draft Day.
92. Transcendence. 
93. All Cheerleaders Die. *
94. As Above So Below. *
95. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. *
96. Wolf Creek 2. *
97. Tusk. *
98. ABCs of Death 2. *  <
99. I Saw the Devil.    <
100. This is Where I Leave You. *
101. Ju-On (The Grudge).   <
102. The Pact. 
103. Honeymoon. *
104. DYS-. *
105. The Cemetery.
106. Lizzy Borden. *
107. Ichi the Killer.   < 
108. Annabelle. *
109. Circus of the Dead. *
110. Dracula Untold. *
111. X Moor. *
112. Preservation. *
113. Exists. *   <
114. Dead Snow 2. *
115. The Guest. *  <
116. See No Evil 2. *
117. Dread. 
118. Godzilla (2013). 
119. Suburban Gothic. *
120. Spring. *
121. Blue Ruin.   <
122. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. 
123. John Wick. *   <
124. The Holy Sound. 
125. Horns. *
126. Gone Girl. *
127. In Fear. *
128. Nightcrawler. *   <
129. Ouija. *
130. Interstellar. *
131. Maniac. (1980).   <
132. Time to Kill. *
133. Mr. Jones. *
134. Torment. 
135. The Rover. *
136. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. *   <   <   <   < - HORROR FILM OF THE YEAR 
137. Snowpiercer. *
138. Into the Woods. *
139. Inherent Vice. *

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rio Grind Film Fest: Vancouver

Me, Jen, Sylvia & Tristan.
I think every director dreams of being able to attend a screening of their film with their cast & crew in tow. For me that has been especially a challenge with one actor in England and the other in Canada. I have been fortunate enough to meet with Laurence R. Harvey at two screenings. I was beginning to think I would never get the chance to see it with Tristan Risk. 

That was before I saw the Rio Grind Film Festival pop up out of what seemed to be no where about a month ago. It's in Vancouver, where Tristan is from. I had heard of the Rio Theater a lot from her and jumped at the opportunity to submit the film. 

Vancouver is also home to the twin powerhouse directors, Jen & Sylvia Soska (American Mary). When I arrived last Friday afternoon Tristan and I met up with them and their composer, Kevvy Mental. All of us worked on the Soskas' ABCS OF DEATH 2 segment- which was making its Vancouver premiere at Rio Grind that evening. It was really special to see the film together. 

Me and Tristan.
The short film program started Saturday afternoon and included lots of films CALL GIRL has played with in the past like - SHE, RUBY'S SECRET, SPLIT, NO PETS ALLOWED. It's a cool thing because my film feels like an extension of myself. I feel so connected with these other filmmakers, even people I've never met in real life. It's such an awesome and close community. My favorite short of the day (that I hadn't seen before) was EL GIGANTE by Gigi Saul Guerrero.

OH!! We won our first award! Laurence R Harvey won Best Actor (short film)!! I am so proud!!

Sunday Tristan took me on a lovely walk through Stanley Park.  Vancouver is such a beautiful city.  We passed a creek where they filmed a scene in the movie, IT.  And we got lunch at this adorable place, Prospect Point Cafe, with an incredible view of the water and Lions Gate Bridge.  Many films have been shot on that bridge including FINAL DESTINATION 5. I love that scene!

Other highlights of the trip would be sushi, sushi and more SUSHI! I ate so much sushi! Everyday we got sushi! YUM!

Thank you Tristan, Jen, Sylvia & Kevvy for showing me such a great time!

Tristan, Jen, Kevvy, me, & Sylvia.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mile High Horror Film Fest - Denver

Last weekend I attended the Mile High Horror Film Festival held at the Alamo Drafthouse Denver.  I met Jerry Pyle there and we screened both of our films- CALL GIRL & SERVICE!   The festival was amazing!  When we pulled up to the theater the parking lot was full.  We took this as a great sign!  Every movie we saw- the theater was nearly sold out.  Even when we were seeing the underdog film (multiple films showed a the same time) they were packed full.  This is the biggest fest I've been to besides Film4 FrightFest in London.

Jerry Pyle and me.
Mile High likes its short films!  They had 7 blocks of shorts- 6 horror and 1 scifi.  Each block played twice throughout the festival.  CALL GIRL and SERVICE played in block #5 with a slew of great films.  We were in the same block as THE MUCK, by Tony Walsh, a gnarly creature movie set in the 80s.  That was shot by Robert Patrick Stern, who I plan to work with on my next project!  There were some serious stars in these shorts.  One of my favorites starred Amanda Seyfried, DOG FOOD, and was super disturbing.  Another that stood out- THE BODY by Paul Davis starring Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) was very clever, funny, and morbid.  I met Jeffrey Reddick, writer of FINAL DESTINATION (I'm a huge fan), who was there with his short GOOD SAMARITAN.

The film I was most anticipating seeing was EXISTS by Eduardo Sanchez, who also directed THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.  It's a found-footage film about Bigfoot and it fucking blew me away.  I loved it.  It was fucking scary!  I'm serious.  It's for REAL scary.  He did it again!  Eduardo and his producer Gregg Hale were both there.  It was awesome to meet them as they are a huge inspiration to me.

Eduardo will be here in Kansas City on October 29th for a double-feature screening of EXISTS and THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT at Screenland Armour.  DownRight Creepy is hosting a Q&A with him.  It will be a blast.  I'll be there.  Get your tickets while you still can!

Eduardo Sanchez and me.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

ABCs of Death 2: World Premier

With the Soskas at Texas Frightmare Weekend.
ABCs OF DEATH 2 had its world premiere last Thursday at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.  And they did something I've never heard of before- Fantastic broadcasted their opening night to multiple Alamo Drafthouse cinemas across the country, including the one here in Kansas City.  I was so excited to watch the film at the same time as the premiere.  Plus, they broadcasted the Q&A afterwards with all the filmmakers who were down in Texas.

I had the honor of working on the film!  I was asked by Jen & Sylvia Soska aka the Twisted Twins to second unit direct a scene for their segment.  I was head over heels excited to have an opportunity like this.  This was September 2013, right after we shot CALL GIRL.  Laurence R. Harvey was still in town and the Twins wanted him in the film.  Talk about being in the right place at the right time!  Brian Hicks shot it and Adam Roberts did damn near everything else.  We filmed it in my friend, Lindsay Solomon's, awesome loft.  I don't want to spoil it, but we had a blast.  Laughed our asses off.

So, last Thursday a group of us went to see the movie.  I was impatiently waiting throughout the film for our segment to play and the scene we shot wasn't in the Soskas segment.  I started to freak out.  We watched the credits to see if we'd still be in there.  And much to my SURPRISE the scene was at the very end of the credits.  The secret scene!  Just like all the superhero movies do!  SO COOL!

Today the movie released on VOD & iTunes.  If you're free you should join the watch party and live tweet along with the cast and crew tonight.  The plan: push play at 9 PM (CST) and include  "#DeathParty" in your tweets.   I'll be there.

With Laurence R Harvey on set.