Friday, October 30, 2009

What I Learned From "ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction"

Well, I thought I was going to have an interview for you today... I sent out a whole bunch of them a couple days ago and I thought I'd get at least one back to share. Nope. But that's cool... because I got an email from the After Dark Film Festival, announcing that they've picked up their fourth film for Horrorfest 4, "ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction". I guess the film would be best described as a political zomedy and it's probably the first entry into that very specific sub-genre. However, at the end of the day, it's a zombie movie. Probably the oldest and most tired horror genre out there, right? Before we judge, let's check out the plot... ZMD is about a conservative island community that's under attack by the living dead and the rag-tag band of rebels, led by Frida, an Iranian college student, suspected of being an Iraqi terrorist, and Tom, a gay businessman who has returned to town with his partner to come out to his mother, that try to turn the tide and push the invading hoards of the undead back. Hmmm... interesting characters. Could make for a good story. Now, I'm intrigued...

You see, when I read the title of the press release, "After Dark Films Eats Up The New Horror Comedy, "ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction", I thought... Man alive, when's the zombie genre going to slow down? Isn't this getting a little old? But, when you watch the trailer and read about the characters, you realize that the movie is fresh. From a political and social perspective, it's extremely fresh. So, really, here's a formula for you: tired genre + fresh story = something new and exciting. Now, I want to juxtapose that with a film that I watched yesterday, which will remain nameless... we'll call it "Film X". The logline and premise for "Film X" were both exciting. It seemed very new, it was a great idea and extremely intriguing. Long and short, I was pumped to check it out. However, a few minutes into the film, I realized that they just wrapped that idea around a very tired and old storyline. The characters were basic cardboard cutouts and I've seen them a million times. So, in this case: fresh genre + tired story = something old and boring.

I don't know why, but I think this is a concept that a lot of filmmakers forget. I don't care how new your core idea is... I don't even care if you've created a new genre. Your characters need to interact, they need to have a story and they can't just be a rehash of something that we've seen before. If it is, your audience is going to lose interest in a hurry. Think about it, why have there been new entries into the zombie genre, year after year, that continue to entertain? The backdrop never changes! The dead come back to life to eat the living... I got news for you, that's not fresh! However, the storylines are. The genre and/or concept will always be the backdrop and the characters and story needs to be equally, if not more intriguing. A lot of films have such great core ideas, but they flop like a dead carp when it comes to the actual plotline and characters. So, please, if you've got a good idea, put as much time and effort into creating interesting characters and plotlines as you put into that backdrop. At the end of the day, the concept is just that - the backdrop. The characters, and how they interact, need to drive the story.

Anyhow, here's the trailer for "ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction". Check it out and see what I mean.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Dash of Perspective, Sprinkled with Procrastination

Right now, I'm on a farm... in the middle of nowhere. I'm not going to get in to why I'm in the middle of nowhere on a farm, but I'm here all week, back home on Sunday. During the day out here, it's just me... and the horse, the goats, the chickens, hens, dogs and, what appears to be a mild gopher problem. Now, if you're wondering, I'm not originally from farm country, so I'm not visiting my parents or anything like that. This is very foreign to me. I'm a city guy and my parents are city people. Regardless, here I am, alone... in a 100 year old farm house. My plan is to get a lot of work done while I'm down here, plus get caught up on some indie horror... Another goal is to get started on a new screenplay, as I've got the time and I can only procrastinate out here for so long. So, I'm laying the groundwork, drafting some character sketches and working on a treatment... but being out here got me thinking.

Now, I'm not really in the middle of nowhere, I'm around 45 minutes to an hour South of Portland. So, it's not like I needed to be choppered in here or anything. The GPS in my car found it without any issue and I'm 20 minutes from a Target. Really, this is what the bulk of the country is like - mass, sprawling suburbia. Land of strip malls. What I find really interesting about out here is, they really only consume mass media... if it's not on a major network TV or playing at the local movie theater, it's independent, 'out there' or niche. So, you can imagine the looks on people's faces here when I talk about micro-cinema horror. They laugh... and I mean, they laugh and point, like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears.

For a lot of us, who cares? If you're making a small, micro-cinema horror film, you're not catering to these people. Success may be getting in to an indie horror festival, selling a few DVD's, breaking into the indie scene and making enough money to make another film. For most indie filmmakers, that's the case and all you need to do is to reach a small sub-sect of a big market. Don't cater to the masses, make the film you want. However, what if you're a screenwriter? Truth is, as a screenwriter, technically, what you create is not a finished product. You're coming up with an idea and trying to sell that idea to someone, someone who will either buy it and make it, or give you the money to make it... or something in between. Long and short, when you're writing, you're trying to sell someone on an idea.

The way I look at it, in life, you're always selling, really. You're selling yourself to an employer, you're selling a product, you're selling your script, you're selling an idea, you're selling your movie, whatever... we're always selling, whether you know it or not. In sales, they say that the most important trait to have is empathy... and it's something that doesn't come easy to most people, but should come easy to filmmakers and writers. What's empathy? Empathy, which literally translates as 'in feeling', is the capability to share and understand another's emotions and feelings. It is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes". Why's that important? Well, think about it, if you're making a film for just you and your buddies to watch, great. Make something that just you guys like. However, if you're trying to reach a bigger audience, you need to think about what they'd like. What they'd ALL like. As they say, people don't like to be sold, but they do like to buy. So, create something that they like and they'll buy it... and you need empathy to create something that they'll like.

Anyhow, those are the thoughts that are swirling in my head, as I sit here in this 100 year old farmhouse, flushing out my ideas. Do I go balls out and write some fucked up story that only a small group of people will actually enjoy or do I write something that caters to the masses? Chances are, now, I'll go somewhere in between... I'd like it to be something that would have some sort of mass appeal, but I can't do PG-13 Hollywood pablum for the masses, it's just not my style. What to do? I don't know, maybe I'll just sit back and catch up on some indie horror and think about it some more... who says it's tough to procrastinate out here?

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Horror Out On DVD This Week... including one with a mutha f'ing puppet

I apologize for getting this post out so late, but I'm out of town and find myself on a farm, around 45 minutes South of Portland, right now. I thought it would be easy to just set up the old laptop and get to work without skipping a beat, but... that's proven to be just a little more than difficult. In any case, I've been working on this post, on and off, all day. It may be cryptic, but it's all here...

I'm almost sick of mentioning it, but I have to because it's just unbelievable. "Paranormal Activity" has now grossed over $62Million, having just pulled in $22Million this weekend and, on its fifth week in release, beat out "Saw VI" for the top spot, which came in second, grossing just over $14Million. Otherwise,, really, horror appears to be hot right, as I'm looking over what's in the theaters now and in the top 10, you've got "Paranormal Activity", "Saw VI", "The Stepfather", "The Vampire's Assistant" and "Zombieland". Not bad, we're definitely well represented. I guess it's that time of year, though. It's also a fantastic week for horror on DVD. There's a lot to go through, so I'll go through a few of the more interesting releases in detail, but mention them all... and, of course, you can check out all the trailers on our Youtube page, found here, and/or you can click on the titles and be taken to their page on Amazon where you can read more and/or buy them.

I'm not going to lie, I've been anxiously awaiting the release of this first film for quite some time. I read about it forever ago, watched the trailer, talked about the trailer, forwarded the link to the trailer to tons of people... and now, finally, I can get my hands on my own copy of "Black Devil Doll". It's screened at tons of festivals and has already built up a huge cult following. How can you not get pumped about a 70's retro, blacksploitation film, where the killer is a black, shit-talking puppet? Check out the trailer, you'll be rushing out to get this one, I promise.

This is actually another one that I've been interested in checking out for a while, but I actually already have a copy of it... in fact, I brought it with me and I'll be checking it out over the next few days. "Rotk├Ąppchen: The Blood of Red Riding Hood" is written and directed by Harry Sparks and I'm assuming that it's loosely based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but it's definitely not a kids story... in fact, it's apparently almost soft-core porn. I hope to have an interview with Sparks done soon, as well.

I didn't actually go out and see "Orphan" when it was in the theaters, but I've been wanting to check it out ever since I heard the interview that Creative Screenwriting did with the screenwriter, David Leslie Johnson. If you google "creative screenwriting orphan", you should be able to find it. It's a great interview and it's a cool story because he had to pitch his take on the idea to Joel Silver, then, after getting the job, go and flush it out. The film's got a crazy twist, but if you like studying how screenwriters get their ideas and how they work, I'd suggest finding that interview, then watching the film.

I'm going to just touch on these other films, but the trailers are on our Youtube Page and you can click on them and find out more on their Amazon pages.

I wish I could look into this one more, as "Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet" looks wicked AND it has a naked girl on the cover, so, all in all, that's a good start.

I'm not sure if it's up your alley... or up anyone's alley, for that matter, but the Executive Producer of "Scary Movie" has come out with another horror spoof, this one's called "Stan Helsing". I liked the whole spoof thing when "Airplane" and "Naked Gun" did it, but... it's a little old for me now.

"Fear(s) of the Dark" is a French, animated horror anthology and it's being called one of the most "visually stunning and unsettling anthologies in modern animation history". Check out the trailer, it does look pretty f'ing good.

Fans of extreme Asian horror, rejoice! "Jin Won Kim's The Butcher" is finally hitting the shelves... My bet is that this flick is one harsh movie. I mean, the trailer is creepy and gory enough...

I can't find much on "Dead Air", but you've got a bit of Bill Mosely and that's alright with me.

Don't let the title fool you, "Sauna" is not about a sauna.... well, actually it is, but it's way creepier and violent than that mild title would lead on. Who knows, maybe there's something lost in translation, but it's a Finnish/Russian film and it's about the space between Christianity and paganism... where two brothers find a sauna where all sins are washed away. Check out the trailer, it's definitely not the feel-good movie of the year.

"Breaking Nikki" has hit the festival circuit pretty hard over the last year or so and it's about a call girl that ends up being the victim in a sick game that's going to spiral bloodily out of control.

"Deadlands 2: Trapped" was the winner of best zombie film at 2009's Fright Night Film Fest. It's an indie horror and it looks damned good, too.

"Late Fee" is an indie horror where a couple tries to rent the scariest movie on DVD on Halloween, but end up being in a real life horror show that they might not live to regret...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Setting Goals and Getting Shit Done... and Slamdance

If you've tried to reach out to me or sent me an email over the last few weeks, you may not have heard back... and, quite frankly, it's because I'm swamped. I'll get to it, I promise. I'm heading out of town next week and I anticipate a lot of time to catch up on shit, but that's beside the point. Lately, my 'day job' has been insane and, as far as Dead Harvey is concerned, we've been working on a few projects, plus I want to make sure that I at least attempt to keep the site fresh... One of our projects, as some of you may know, was born from our "Dead Harvey TV" idea. It's moving along, but its transformed into something completely different than what we had originally conceived. That's not to say it's bad, I really like where it's going and hopefully something comes of it. I know we're pretty excited about it. On top of that, Brad is finishing up a wicked looking documentary right now I'm starting work on a new feature script. Me, I'm really into the ideas and concepts, producing and writing and I've had a few ideas rolling around in my head, but then this one just really solidified for me and now I want to get it out there. My goal for this one will be to enter it into the screenwriting festivals and competitions and see how it does... and, of course, that will give me a deadline to work towards.

Now, I want to write about this because it's really the only thing that works for me and, well, if it helps bring one other indie project to fruition, it's worth writing about. Quite frankly, if I don't have a goal or deadline, I'm not getting it done. Ideas will never get past the 'notes' phase. However, if I set a goal and create a deadline, then work my way backwards, giving myself milestones to reach, I tend to get things done. For me, the goal can't be just "write a screenplay", it has to be something like "write a screenplay to enter into Slamdance's screenwriting competition". Then, I have a date to work towards and I can say, "well, let's pump out an outline by this point, a treatment by here, let's break out scenes next, then let's have a rough draft by February". It's the same as school. If a professor or teacher said, "You have to write two papers this year, but I'll give you a choice - I'll either give you specific deadlines OR you just have to hand them to me at the end of the semester". Guess what? If you picked the latter, you'd do a way shittier job and, possibly, not even get them done. Don't believe me? They did a study on it... it's outlined in the book, "Predictably Irrational". I hate to break it to you, but at the end of the day, we work better and more efficiently when we set goals and deadlines.

So, what about those goals and deadlines? I guess you could just draw a line in the sand and say, "this is when my film will be done by". However, it's probably a lot easier to just pick an existing goal. Lucky for you, there's a shit-ton out there. They're called film festivals and they all proudly display their deadlines. Your first step should be to research the festivals and competitions. Read about the past winners and finalists... watch the films that did well or read about the scripts that were finalists. Pick a festival or competition that suits you, then find out their deadlines and work out a plan to have your film or screenplay ready for that deadline. You want to research them? We have a list of screenwriting competitions and film festivals made up, it's all on the left there. It hasn't been updated in a while, but the links still work... and I'll get to that updating soon, really.

Now, just to throw something out there, as far as objectives and goals go, there's no better than Slamdance. I mention it because the deadline for this years festival, which takes place in January, is rapidly approaching. Next years screenwriting competition is going to be my goal. I figure a year is plenty of time to take a screenplay from concept to polished completion. Anyhow, Slamdance is the King of the indies and it's helped many films find distribution, including this years success story, "Paranormal Activity". If you need some motivation, check out the interview that we did with the Executive Director of Slamdance, Drea Clark. It's from a year ago, but it was a great interview and it's well worth the read. You can find it here.

Have a great weekend and we'll talk to you next week!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Interview With Belinda Greensmith, writer/director of "For One Night Only"

I'm staring at my computer screen, trying to think of a smart way to lead into this interview that we did with Belinda Greensmith, the writer/director of the upcoming indie horror flick, "For One Night Only". However, I just listened to an interview that KCRW's "The Business" did with Jonathan Knee about his new book, "The Curse of the Mogul", which is all about how media moguls act like a bunch of spoiled brats and squander shareholders money, and now I've got guys like Michael Eisner, Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone on my mind... and they're a pretty far cry from the indie horror world, but I guess I can use that...

On one end of the scale, you've got these guys that are running multi-national media companies (and the book argues that they're running them poorly) and they're all about massive corporate moves, increasing shareholders value and, of course, making money. I get that, I do. It's just business... it's not about art. The business is really about market share and reaching as many people as possible and, therefore, niche, indie projects aren't really on their minds... far from it. That's why indie filmmakers are carving their own way. They're utilizing the tools that are available, most of which are online. They reach out through social networking sites, they create websites, they create blogs and they reach out to sites like ours, even when they're not even finished the film... and we'll always oblige an up-and-coming filmmaker and do what we can.

So, with that, please check out this interview that we did with Belinda Greensmith about her upcoming indie horror film, "For One Night Only". It's always interesting to hear from filmmakers as they're in the trenches... and they always offer up something that other filmmakers can take away. Lastly, if you're somewhere between concept and completion and want to talk to us, shoot us an email. We'd love to hear from you, too...

First off, tell us a bit about yourself. What got you into indie film and what are your influences?

I come from the North West of England and was brought up on a steady diet of horror films from an early age thanks to my older brother and growing up in the 80's. I loved all those 80's horror movies - Evil Dead, Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, Driller Killer, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday 13th, Halloween... I could go on forever. They were all great in their own way, but I particularly loved those that had very little budget and managed to make the grade.

This is what I've been aspiring to. It's been really interesting watching all the remakes coming out over the last few years and seeing the difference a huge budget has made. Sometimes good, sometimes not... I'm hoping that they leave An American Werewolf in London for me! Very doubtful, but who knows?

Film school: yes or no?

Yes. I've been back to film school after spending a decade in the sfx makeup film industry. Mainly to retrain so that I can write and direct, but mostly to use their free equipment and make as many films as I could to build up my showreel. I came out with a great amount of decent short films for my showreel and had some success with them in festivals so it was worth it.

Tell us a bit about the idea behind "For One Night Only"

I love the supernatural and wanted to write something that mixed all aspects of horror - I wanted the gore, and the sex, as well as the scares in there - so I wrote something that would enable me to combine all of this in one place. I originally set it in an underground cave system based on the old Hellfire Caves here in England where they say a secret club was set up to participate in some seedy activities. The story centered on a group of students looking for the ultimate scary place to hold a halloween party. After I started looking for locations I changed it to an abandoned asylum when I found a real abandoned asylum that I just had to film in.

Talk a bit about how the project came about.

My DP and I were sitting there one day discussing plans for the film, and I had some cash available, and a good few months off, so we decided we should make the film. I started preproduction soon after that and that was it - we were off and running.

What's your budget for the film and how are you going about financing it?

I financed it all myself with earnings from my makeup days, with some cash from my DP Matt Cross. We had a very small budget compared to what they're throwing at horror films these days. Not a lot really but we did it. We had to compromise on the location, as the actual asylum I wanted to use were asking a ridiculous amount of money. We used a smaller asylum, but it still worked and I'm pleased with the results.

What stage are you at right now and what hurdles are you facing right now?

We're actually at post production right now and in the middle of completing the sound design. All our hurdles were during production so now we're over them it's more a case of when are we getting to the finish line. I have two more projects that I am working on at the moment and so the only issue is time and fitting everything in. The film itself looks gorgeous so there are no complaints there.

Speaking of hurdles, talk about some of the hurdles that you've faced getting to the point you're at now. What kinds of unexpected things have you faced that other indie filmmakers may be interested to learn about?

We had lots of hiccups during production. Before we had even started filming we went in to the location - which was an old abandoned asylum in Lancashire - and found that some bees had moved in so we had to push filming back in order to have them removed. They were honey bees so had to be removed safely and not harmed in any way. When we got to actually filming there were all sorts of creepy things going on that we had to contend with. Some of the cast and crew were camping out in the location in one of the wards, and with it being 'allegedly' haunted, minds were working overtime. Plus we were shooting at night so that just added fuel to the fire. Everyone was on edge, especially when we were shooting in the morgue. Plus we had a seance to shoot and so I was asked to try and find a psychic medium who could come and advise the actors that there was no psycho inmate spirit waiting to possess them or murder them in their beds. I couldn't even get a medium to come to the location at night time. In the end I gave them all 'protection' stones that I bought from a wicca shop. There were scratches appearing on peoples arms, things being thrown around, the usual knocks and bangs, lights being turned on in rooms that were locked, whispering in ears - all sorts of things scaring the bejesus out of people. We did spend a lot of time trying to relax the cast and crew and make sure they were feeling okay, and trying to ensure them that there were no ghosts etc. I'm on the fence when it comes to things like this and so I was more afraid of the spiders than the disembodied 'hello' I heard. And I kept all the scary pictures away from the cast and crew until we'd finished shooting. We got some great faces appearing in windows and stuff. Very spooky. So I would say don't shoot in an abandoned lunatic asylum on night shoots doing a seance scene in the morgue, because your cast and crew will shit their pants. Although I think this helped with the film because all the actors were genuinely afraid in their scenes.

What's the goal for the project and when do you think it'll be completed?

My goal is to get a final cut by December and then get it out there.
At the moment, as we're having the score composed, I'm working on a trailer to get out there to create some buzz.

Are you thinking about the festival scene or distribution at this point? If so, what kinds of things are you doing to prepare for it?

We already have a few distributors interested in the project so once we have a screener ready it will be going out to all of them and hopefully will be available to audiences Spring 2010. Although I have to admit that a premiere at Halloween would be my preference. Not to be a cliche, or anything...

Talk about the indie horror scene. Where do you think it is now and where do you think it's going?

I think the indie horror scene at the moment is massive, and just keeps growing. With new technology and filmmakers able to use various platforms for promoting their films it means that there are more out there and easier ways to watch them. There are obviously those that create a buzz, you know, being made for pennies and making millions.

Then there are those that are genuinely independent and actually interesting that you can find on dvd. It's unfortunate though that more independent horror is going straight to dvd without getting a theatrical release now. It seems that special effects are the key for cinema these days.

Where can people find out more about "For One Night Only"?

We have a website - www.foronenightonlymovie.com - which should be up and running soon with the official trailer, cast and crew bios, stills, and information about the real asylum. Until then people can email me with any questions they may have, belinda@foronenightonlymovie.com, if they wish.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Horror Out On DVD This Week, a great week for the indies...

Just to continue following "Paranormal Activity" for a bit longer, it continued its success over the weekend and has now grossed over $33Million domestically. Not too bad for a film that cost $15,000 to make. If you're interested in the film, read our last few posts, as we definitely over-covered it. That's the last time I'm going to mention it for a while, as we're on to new shit... now, we're looking at the new horror that comes out on DVD this week and it's not a bad week at all. As usual, you can go to our Youtube page by click here and watch all the trailers and/or you can click on the titles of the films and go to their Amazon page, where you can learn more about them or even buy them...

I feel like I'm showing up to the party just as the keg's running dry here, but "Blood: The Last Vampire", from Sony Pictures, had a very limited theatrical release in North America a few months ago, but was a hit in its native Japan. (It's also available on Blu-ray) I should mention that it's an English language film, as well. So, it's not like you have to do any reading or suffer through a bad dub job. I say I'm late to the party because the roots to this film date back to the 2000 anime film of the same name, which inspired the anime series "Blood+", which spawned a manga series, novels, soundtracks, video games and fan books... and I've never heard of it. The plot revolves around Saya, a half-human, half-vampire samurai who preys on those who feast on human blood and you should really check out the trailer. If you like Asian action/horror films, you'll probably want to check this one out.

I just watched the trailer for "Blood Ties", directed by Nathaniel Nose, and they mention a production company called Indiehorror Pictures. Anyone heard of them? I can't find anything, granted I didn't search too hard. Anyhow, this film is about a group of graduate students that find themselves in a bit of shit when they uncover a conspiracy while writing a thesis paper on some unsolved campus murders from 20 years ago. It's definitely an indie film, but the production quality looks great and it also looks like it could have some good gore in it, too.

"100 Feet" comes from The Asylum and is directed by Eric Red, staring Famke Janssen... it also comes from the writer of "The Hitcher". It's obviously got a bit of budget behind it... although, I don't think it had a theatrical release. It's an interesting plot, as Famke is under house arrest and is forced to stay within 100 feet of her house, which happens to be haunted. I'm also assuming that it's haunted by some sort of criminal partner of hers - one that wants 'something' back. That's what I get from the trailer, anyhow. It looks alright and has had some great reviews.

"Last of the Living" is a horror comedy or, more specifically, a zomedy, out of Australia. It's about a bunch of slackers in a post-apocalyptic zombie-laden world who run into a hot girl that wants to save the world with their help. If you didn't know or weren't aware, there's one thing that Australians do kick ass at... and it's indie horror. The budget's low, but the trailer has helicopters, car chases, violence and lots of blood and guts. Bless all those Aussie's little hearts...

Hey, I like strange titles like "P" as much as the next guy, but it sure makes it tough to do any kind of search for a trailer or other information. You think I have all day to come up with different combinations of words that can be searched with the single letter "P"? I couldn't find the trailer and I couldn't find much else out, either. It comes from Tartan Video and is part of their Asian Extreme films series. It's a Thai film about a young orphan that's taught magic from her Grandmother. However, when she goes to work in a go-go bar, her magic gets darker and the consequences get increasingly horrific.

It's unfortunate that I can't find the trailer for "Ravage the Scream Queen" on Youtube, but knowing Bill Zebub, it may be because it was banned. Zebub is an absolute legend in the indie horror world and when he pumps out a film, you should just accept the fact that it's a must-see. "Ravage The Scream Queen" will be no different. Check it out, it's a must-see.

Everyone's favorite cannibalistic, backwoods, mutant hillbillies are back with a vengeance! "Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead" is the third and lowest budget installment in to the "Wrong Turn" franchise and it looks to have more sliced up, diced up and mutilated bodies than "Wrong Turn" and "Wrong Turn 2" combined. This one is directed by Declan O'Brien and stars Tamer Hassan, Tom Frederic and Janet Montgomery.

They're rereleasing the original "Satan's School for Girls", which originally came out in 1973. So, we're not talking about the Shannon Doherty remake here. I only mention it because I remember seeing this as a kid, even though I was born after 1973. I can't find a trailer or anything, as the title has been used in so many different ways since 1973... I wonder if it's as good as I remember it?

Lastly, I want to mention that there's a "William Castle Film Collection" being released this week and it's definitely one for the horror historians. If you're not a horror historian or you don't really care, you should know that Castle is one of the filmmakers that you should actually take note of. You see, Castle was one of the original B-movie, indie horror guys and he was famous for tacking on gimmicks to his films... He's the kind of guy that would've eaten social media alive and we could probably all learn a thing or two from him. For example, for his 1958 film "Macabre", he took out life insurance for each customer in case they died of fright during the film and he even went as far as to have fake nurses stationed in the lobbies of the theaters... His 1959 film "House on Haunted Hill" (which was recently remade) was filmed in 'Emergo' and had an inflatable glowing dark skeleton float over the audience during the final moments of the film. For his film "13 Frightened Girls", he launched a worldwide hunt for the prettiest girls from 13 different countries to cast in the film... and the list goes on and on and on, as he did some sort of marketing stunt for each of his films. Definitely one to look in to.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Three Thoughts and A Cocktail

I don't know about where you are, but here... it's officially Fall. So, to celebrate, let's share a good, Fall cocktail. It's called a 'Dr. Morgan'. First, you take 2 oz (minimum) of Captain Morgan's Original Spiced Rum, then add a splash of Dr. Pepper Soda... and stir together in a highball glass that's filled with ice cubes. Delicious.

So, as happens about once a month or so, I've been dealing with internet problems this morning... I finally got it working again, but now I only have a short period of time before I have to head out. However, there are a few, cool things that came through my inbox this week and I wanted to share.

First off, we've been talking about "Paranormal Activity" quite a bit and so we should. It's a film that was born from our little world of micro-budgets that broke through to the big time and launched a career. Really, all we can hope is that this story shines just a bit of the spotlight on the indie scene and maybe, just maybe, it can help other filmmakers out... in any case, TheWrap.com did a piece on writer/director Oren Peli and it discusses the film, what it's done for him and what's next for him. Here's a link to the article, it's pretty cool... even though it downplays how long it took for the film to get to this point.

I was reading an article on Indieflix that directed me over to a blog by Jon Reiss. He's a filmmaker, but he also just wrote a book called "Think Outside The Box (Office): The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution And Marketing For the Digital Era". I'm going to do my due diligence and look in to the book a bit more and I may actually try to reach out to Jon to see if he'll talk with us, but I highly recommend you look into it, too. As an indie filmmaker, you really need to know about marketing. It's essential knowledge. Even if you have someone doing the marketing for you, you should know how to be marketable. Really, at absolute worst, you should read through his blog every once in a while. There's some great info in there. Here's a link.

Lastly, I'm going to embed episode one of a new web series called "The Scare Game". It's a horror/comedy series from Uncanny Entertainment that's cast and crewed out of New Mexico. Season one will consist of thirteen 7 - 10 minute episodes exploring horror, voyeurism and fandom...



Have a great weekend... see you next week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More "Paranormal Activity" Talk and What You Can Learn From It

So, it's official... "Paranormal Activity" can be added to micro-cinema filmmaking lore. It has done what only "El Mariachi", "Open Water" and "The Blair Witch Project" have managed to do before it... and that is make a film, for next to nothing, and have it become a veritable Hollywood hit. How much of a hit was "Paranormal Activity"? Well, The film opened on September 25 on 12 screens, taking in $77,873 on its first weekend for an average of $6,489 per venue. Then, it opened to 33 theaters on October 1, doubling the box office reception, and it grossed $532,242, for an average of $16,129 per venue, bringing the 10-day total to $776,763. After that, it expanded to 160 theaters on the October 9-11 weekend and has now grossed, in total, $7,900,695. Should we compare that to the other big-budget Hollywood films that came out over the weekend? Why not? "Paranormal Activity" came in at #4 for the weekend, behind "Couples Retreat", "Zombieland" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", but it had the best per-theater average for any film in release... and the buzz isn't dying. In fact, you can expect another big weekend, this weekend. There's not question about it - made for $15,000, it's going to be the most profitable film in Hollywood this year.

I'm sure that a lot of budding and fledgling filmmakers are salivating at the fact that a no-budget film came out of nowhere to make millions. Hey, if they can do it, we can do it! Of course, people rarely know the backstory, they just see it as an overnight success. So, what is the backstory? The idea came to writer/director Oren Peli a few years back, who knows when, really... Around 2005, he began prepping his house for shooting, while doing piles and piles of research on actual paranormal activity. The film was shot over 7 days in 2006, then he went into post-production.... for a while. He pushed the festival circuit as much as he could and eventually caught the attention of a rep at CAA, who signed him and helped him get the film into Screamfest in 2007. They gave away DVD after DVD to any distributor that would listen, but all to no avail. Then, they tried to get it into Sundance, but Sundance wouldn't accept it, but they did get it into Slamdance in 2008 and it screened well, but STILL no distributor would accept it. Later in 2008, a copy wound up at Dreamworks and it was passed around, people pestered their superiors, and it wound up in the hands of Studio Chief Stacey Snider, who then passed it on to Steven Spielberg... who gave it a thumbs up and THEN it got it's limited theatrical debut, which brings us to about where we are today. Easy journey, huh? Only 5 years or so for the pay day... and that goes without mentioning the amount of luck involved.

By no means am I trying to dissuade you from making your film, I'm just trying to tell you what was involved in making this film the success that it was... and if you have aspirations to follow suit on these very few films that have made the jump from micro-cinema to Hollywood success, we should look at the traits that they share. First up, notice that NONE of them were comedies... or even had comedic elements. They all took their subject matter realistically and extremely seriously. The only exception may be "El Mariachi", but it was more of dramatic piece and the humor fit. Further, they used the format to fit the film. "El Mariachi" was shot on grainy 16mm, which fit the film; "Blair Witch" and "Paranormal Activity" used camcorders and shot the films as if they were documentaries; and "Open Water" was shot on HD digital video, which gave it that real-life feel. So, use the format to your advantage and make it make sense. Also, all of the filmmakers took years, with huge sacrifices, before finally getting the film out. Oren Peli and company showed enormous amounts of patience over 5 years to get it to this point. The "Blair Witch" guys dedicated years into building an online campaign that built their fanbase. Robert Rodriguez lived off giving blood while he made "El Mariachi". Lastly, and possibly most importantly, all of them managed to get someone in the industry on board at an early stage and almost all of them passed on early distribution deals, holding out for some sort of representation and a better deal.

At the end of the day, "Paranormal Activity" will not be the last micro-cinema hit... there's more to come. The next one could come out this year, it could come out in 5 years... but it will come out and it may be because they watched what these guys did and built on that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Wicked Week In New Horror DVD's

Well, well, well... it's a great week for new horror on DVD this week and I'm just going to get right to it. Check out all the trailers on our Youtube page, which you can find by clicking here... or you can click on the titles and be taken to their pages on Amazon, where you can read more about them and even buy 'em.

Without question, the biggest DVD release of the week is "Drag Me To Hell" and it's available both on DVD and Blu-ray. It's Sam Raimi's return to horror and he and brother Ivan actually wrote it before Sam went to work on the "Spiderman" films, so it's been sitting around for a while. Not only that, it's his first horror film since "Army of Darkness". I loved it and thought it was very 'Sam Raimi'... I'm not alone, either. It premiered at Cannes and was released to huge critical acclaim and was also considered a box office success, grossing over $80Million worldwide against a $30Million budget.

"The Haunted Airman" was actually a TV Movie that came out in 2006, but it's getting rereleased on DVD now, mainly because it stars "Twilight" star, Robert Pattinson. It's also got the "Warlock", Julian Sands, in it, who's one of the creepiest actors in Hollywood... it's about a Flight Lieutenant that's confined to a wheelchair after being wounded in action. He's suffering from terrible nightmares and visions, while he recuperates from his injuries in a mansion in Wales and is being treated by a psychiatrist, played by Julian Sands.

I'm not sure of the budget of "Infestation", but the production quality looks unreal. It's written and directed by Kyle Rankin, who also did "Hellholes", "Insex" and a few other films. It's being described as "28 Days Later" meets "Shaun of the Dead", but about giant alien insects. Trailer looks good... and if you're in to horror-comedies, it'll be a must-see.

"How To Be A Serial Killer" has been making the rounds at the horror fests, has been getting a lot of great reviews and I'm really excited to check it out. It's about a young serial killer who imparts his knowledge to an eager pupil and it looks f'ing awesome. It's written and directed by Luke Ricci and stars Dameon Clarke and "Criminal Minds" Matthew Gray Gubler.

"The Objective" is directed by "Blair Witch" vet Daniel Myrick and it stars Jonas Ball, Matthew R. Anderson and Michael C. Williams. It didn't have a huge budget and it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008 and had a limited theatrical release in February of 2009. It takes place in Afghanistan, where a special forces team is on a mission to find an Afghan cleric. As they head in to the mountains, they begin to have strange encounters with armed gunman that disappear and later with unseen forces... check out the trailer, looks good.

"iMurders" is written by Robbie Bryan and Ken Del Vecchio and is directed by Robbie Bryan. It stars Gabrielle Anwar, William Forsythe, Tony Todd and even has Billy Dee Williams in it. My God, the cast is awesome... Anyhow, it's about eight members of a Myspace / Facebook type chat room that are gruesomely being murdered in the privacy of their own homes...

"Gnaw" is another film that's being doing well on the horror film fest circuit. Out of the UK, it's a gnarly films about a group of six friends that encounter a group of slaughter-happy psychopaths with expert skills in butchery and a ravenous hunger for teen-meat pies. It's tongue-in-cheek humor plus carnage multiplied by graphic violence and that equals good times.

"Left Bank" is an acclaimed Dutch horror and it's the debut feature from writer/director Peter Van Hees. The only review I read says it has some similarities to "The Wickerman", in that it deals with pagan tradition and the supernatural. Also, it has a slow, creepy build towards a huge finale. Check out the trailer, looks really f'ing weird... it also looks to have a lot of graphic sex scenes.

Man alive, I feel like we're just overdoing the vampire thing here, people, but if they keep selling, who am I to judge? I'm still waiting for a big stinker to get released, which will kill the genre. Remember how "Captivity" killed torture porn? Well, I think there's a big-budget vampire flop coming soon and it'll kill this whole thing. Regardless, "Loved Ones" comes out on DVD this week and it takes place in Seattle and is about a struggling artist that gets bitten and finds himself on the fast track to leading a broken Vampire Coven.

"Oral Fixation" is directed by Jake Cashill and it's about a woman's obsession with her dentist that drives her to masochism, madness and murder. It ran at a bunch of festivals and... I don't know much more than that.

Is it just me or has Roger Scheck's "Nobody Loves Alice" already been released... a few times? Anyhow, we talked with Scheck about it a LONG time ago, over a year ago. You can see our interview and discussion on it by clicking here. In any case, it's a great indie film and he made it while he was in school, which makes it all that much more impressive. Definitely worth checking out.

Also, check out the rerelease of the f'ing classic, "Hardware", which comes out on both DVD and Blu-ray - I LOVED this film when it originally came out. You can also get a rerelease of "The Stepfather" - out because of the remake, which comes out soon and a rerelease of "Happy Birthday to Me" - because it's awesome.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jon Heder's "Woke Up Dead" and Rhetorical Questions

Here's a couple of rhetorical questions... would you make a film if no one could ever see it? How about, would you still want to be a filmmaker if it was a profession where it was a technical impossibility to make money? Truth is, probably not. If there was no audience and no money, chances are you'd get into something else. Thankfully, there are audiences and there is money... and, obviously, the two are closely tied. An audience is an audience and it's fairly easy to define and we all know that it needs to exist to make money, but there are two ways to make that money. One is where the audience pays and the other is where the audience doesn't pay. Traditionally, if the audience is paying, they're seeking out your product. They're going to the movie theater or they're looking for your film at Best Buy or at Blockbuster - the bigger the audience, the more ticket sales, the more money. On the flip side, with a free model, you're looking to reach people by offering something that they'll watch if they happen to stumble across it. This model is born from radio and TV, really. However, although the audience doesn't pay, someone has to and that 'someone' is advertisers. Advertisers like to pay on a metric called CPM's (Cost Per Thousand), where they pay X amount of dollars per thousand people reached. So, you can see how having a bigger audience is more lucrative. Either way, Audience = Money.

Years ago, the two models were cut and dry. You paid to go to the movie theater, as it was classified in the same category as live theater and there weren't really any ads. On the other side, you simply received TV and radio for free, mainly because there was no way to make an audience pay, as the technology wasn't there. You wanted to hook people with news, info and programming, so they would watch or listen to the ads... Now, we're at an amazing point in the history of media consumption. I can make you pay for radio, such as XM/Sirius on a subscription model, and make you pay for TV cable programming or video on demand. Also, brands are working with studio's to basically put ads in films... so, it's all f'ed up.

As an indie filmmaker or, as I like to say, an indie content creator, you're probably not going to get on TV or get a theatrical release right away, but there's another media distribution format that's just in it's infancy and I didn't mention it above... it's a little thing called the internet. It's something that people haven't really figured out, as there really aren't any barriers from a technological standpoint. Pay or not to pay? We could do either. Advertising or no advertising? Stream it, download it, embed it... watch it on it's own or through an aggregated site? No one knows... but it's there, it's growing, the money is coming and, personally, I believe the future of indie film is in online (and in the festivals, but that's a different post)

So, why was I thinking about all this? I was thinking of this because I came across Jon Heder's new project, called "Woke Up Dead", through an interview he did with TheWrap.com. First up, you know Jon Heder, he's Napoleon Dynamite. He went on to do a few films, but now he's doing this online project for Crackle.com. What's Crackle.com? Well, I'll tell you. Originally, it was a site called Grouper, which created a new way to share personal media files using P2P technology... In 2006, it was bought by Sony Pictures Entertainment to become a country-limited multi-platform web television network and studio. They distribute original, digital content that's broadcast quality, as well as distribute Sony's library of television and films. So, where's the money come from? They have sponsors and ads on the site, plus, of course, Sony promotes the crap out of their own stuff, so it's a bit of a loss-leader. So, what's Heder's project about? It's a live-action sci-fi/horror comedy about a guy named Drex, a 20-something USC student who wakes up one morning to find himself dead. They made 23 high-quality 4-5 minute episodes...

Now, I'll give you your action step! The long and short is, the media landscape is changing and I think it's changing in our favor. I know we all love our big-budget Hollywood studio films, but here's what you need to do. You need to dedicate some time to paying attention to niche-cable shows and original content on the internet like Heder's "Woke Up Dead". Programming like this may end up being your way to actually find that audience and make some money.

By the way, you can read that article from TheWrap.com here and you can check out the actual show on Crackle.com here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A little "Paranormal Activity" and a dash of "The Filmmakers Book of the Dead"

By now, I'm sure you've heard of this little no-budget indie horror film from Oren Peli called "Paranormal Activity". No? Well, it premiered at Screamfest in 2007, then Peli got picked up by CAA, then it had a big screening at Slamdance in 2008, was eventually picked up by Dreamworks / Paramount and is now getting a limited theatrical release. It was shot for around $15,000 and rumor around the campfire says it's genuinely frightening... in fact, when things were stalled at Dreamworks, Studio Chief Stacey Snider and Production Chief Adam Goodman gave a copy of the DVD to Steven Spielberg, who took it home to watch... and then, legend has it, he brought it back in a garbage bag the next day because he thought the DVD was haunted. Another story has him turning it off halfway through... but only because he was too scared to get through it. In any case, he did see it and he did get it the release they wanted AND he greenlit a remake that was to be made by Oren Peli because they wanted to be "in business" with him. It's the kind of story that indie horror filmmakers lean on. Bank on. Get jealous of. It's the kind of story that makes an indie filmmaker think, "I can do that".

Well, our congratulations go out to Oren Peli, it's an awesome success story, and I'm not saying you can't do what he did. In fact, you most certainly can... but, you need to realize a few things first. One, success stories like this aren't exactly common. There's probably 5,000 micro-budget films released every year (and I feel like I see maybe 1,000 of them). Then, there's probably more than that that are actually made, but never see the light of day... we can call them wastage. Films that probably didn't get finished because the filmmakers didn't actually think things through. Further, we'll go years before seeing a "hit" out of that pool. In fact, you can count the micro-cinema "hits" on one hand. "The Blair Witch Project", "Open Water", "El Mariachi" and... "Paranormal Activity"? I can't think of any other MASSIVE success stories off hand, please post a comment if you can think of others. Now, do the math. That's around 5 films over 10 years. So, 5 in a minimum of 50,000 or a 1 in 10,000 chance.

I don't mean to dissuade you, the odds are better than winning the lotto and Lord knows how much money I waste on that. Also, your goal may just be to get a film made and, obviously, the definition of a successful film is different for everyone. Maybe you don't want a blockbuster, maybe you just want to make more than your initial investment back? Regardless, what I would urge you to do is to know what you're getting in to. Know how this scene works and really figure things out before you spend your first dollar. There's various ways to do this... the easy, and most entertaining way is, watch a lot of indie horror films. The other, read everything you can on the subject. Blogs like this, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, other horror sites and whatever books you can find. Granted, there aren't too many books on the subject, but they do exist and we had the chance to talk to the author of one such book, here.

The following is an interview with Danny Draven, a filmmaker and author. He recently wrote the book "The Filmmaker's Book of The Dead" and it's all about the indie horror industry. We discussed the book and he offered up some good advice for you filmmakers... if you want more advice than this, well... you're going to have to pick up the book.

First off, tell us a bit about yourself. What are your influences, what got you into indie film?

I'm an independent filmmaker that mainly makes horror films. My new film, GHOST MONTH, just came out on DVD and Blu-Ray. I started out making movies with J.R. Bookwalter of Tempe Entertainment and that led to making films with Charles Band at Full Moon Pictures. I've always wanted to make indie films as a springboard to learn everything I could about making movies.

Film school: yes or no?

Yes. I'm a graduate of Emerson College in Boston where I attended film school. I learned a lot of theory and practice and was turned onto a lot of films and filmmakers at school, so for that I'm grateful. But, almost everything I learned about filmmaking was from being on set and doing it myself. I would say take your film school money and make your movie! You don't need a school to validate or qualify you to make a film, all it takes is your desire to do it yourself.

Tell us a bit about your book, “Filmmaker’s Book of the Dead”

The book was written for indie filmmakers. It's over 300 full color pages and I promise you it's packed with information you need to avoid the pitfalls of making and selling a film. It took me a year to write it, and I include everything I wish someone told me before I started making movies. The goal is to give you an insider's look and help you along the way.

Take us through the process of getting a book published… as an indie filmmaker yourself, what are the similarities and differences between that and getting a film distributed?

Actually, writing a book is a lot like a film production except it takes a bit longer. It all starts with an idea and concept, develops into an outline, gets approved, goes into the writing stage, gets edited, and finally gets printed and marketed like any product.

Is the book specifically for indie horror filmmakers or would the casual reader get anything out of it?

It's NOT just for horror filmmakers, anyone interested in indie filmmaking and distribution can benefit from the information. Don't let the cover fool you, it is very specific for horror subjects in areas, but the content on how to save money, run an efficient production, marketing, and distribution make with a valuable guide for all. It also has very exclusive interviews with filmmakers like Lloyd Kaufman, Robert Kurtzman, James Wan, Stuart Gordon, Robert Englund, and many more, talking specifically about things like directing, acting and production tips.

As our readers our mainly indie horror filmmakers and your book is about indie horror filmmaking… if you could pass on just a few key tips, what would they be? What should every indie horror filmmaker know?

Shoot your movie in the highest HD quality you can afford, and make sure the quality stays high throughout the post process. If you want to SELL your film, it must be deliverable to a distributor. You must create an attractive, sellable product.

As it’s the one topic that everyone’s interested in, let’s talk about getting distribution for an indie film. What should every filmmaker know before they start sending out screeners and contacting distributors?

This is such a massive topic and I go into detail in my book on it. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your movie is deliverable to a distributor. This means having the proper masters and documentation ready and a passed QC report.

Talk about the indie horror scene right now. Where’s it at and where do you see it going?

I think the horror genre is better than ever, however, there is a lot of product on the market. There are a lot of films not getting distribution deals. In my book, I talk about getting a studio distribution deal VS. self-distribution. I think the biggest problem for the indie horror guys is usually distribution.

Where can people find out more about “The Filmmakers Book of the Dead” and/or buy a copy?

It will be in bookstores everywhere from Focal Press on Janaury 8, 2010. You can pre-order a copy at Amazon.com, buy.com, bn.com, borders.com, and many other fine retailers. I recommend pre-ordering to secure your copy!

What’s next for you?

A new film and book coming soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Horror Tears Back: A Big Weekend At The B.O. and A Big Week In DVD Releases

Well, my hunch was right... I thought "Zombieland" was going to kick some ass. It did and it was an official hit. It pulled in over $25Million from 3,900+ screens and it proved that, although strange bedfellows, horror and comedy can make a lovely couple. To put it in perspective, "Zombieland" actually had the second highest opening gross for a zombie movie, just behind the "Dawn of the Dead" remake. This is good news for horror, as there have been some real stinkers coming out lately, including "Jennifer's Body", "Pandorum" and "Whiteout". Hopefully it turns the tables and sets the tone for upcoming horror releases, as there's a bunch of films to look forward to, including: "The Crazies", "Saw VI" and a few others... Raise your glass, here's looking to closing out 2009 on a high note.

Anyhow, there are so many movies out on DVD this week, I'm flustered and I don't know where to start. Not only that, a lot of them are good. I've seen a few of these already and there's a few that I've heard lots of good things about. So, as I can't really comment on many of them, I URGE you to go to our Youtube page and check out all the trailers. Also, you can click on the titles and go to their Amazon pages, where you can learn more and even buy them. So, right to it...

Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures is coming out with a few films this week, including the highly acclaimed "The Children"; plus the "The Thaw" with Val Kilmer, which looks like a bit of a rip-off of "The Thing"; "Seventh Moon", which is from "Blair Witch" helmer Eduardo Sanchez; and, finally, "Offspring". I'd like to duly not that TWO of these films are what I term 'killer kid' movies. Both "The Children" and "Offspring" are about psycho kids... and I picked this a few months ago - killer kid films are going to be the next big thing. That and 'adult baby' films. Well, one out of two ain't bad.

Just in time for Halloween, from Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures, it's the straight to DVD "Trick 'r Treat". It looks like they were originally going for a theatrical release with this, as it looks pretty good and has great production value. Also, I may be mistaken, but I think they may have an adult baby in the film... watch the trailer, it's quick... but it's there.

Oh, what's that? ANOTHER killer kid film? That's right, this one's called "It's Alive" and, once again, it looks good. 'When the baby sleeps, be quiet. Be very, very quiet.'

Don't paint me in a corner, just because I like slasher films, gore flicks and I'm a big advocate of nudity, I DID go to film school and that means that I can appreciate a good artsy film, especially if it has horror elements... and Ron Pearlman. "Dark Country", from Sony Originals, fits the bill. I'll check it out. It's also got Thomas Jane in it.

And then there's the remake of "Children of the Corn", which is a SyFy original. Draw your own conclusions here.

I briefly read about "Staunton Hill", then checked out the trailer. About 30 secs in, I thought I had it pinned. Then came the creepy farm folks and the TCM references... Sold. I'm in.

"Feeding Grounds" looks like an indie horror, very slow build up in the trailer. Not sure, need to know more on this one.

Oh, Lance Henrickson, either you're going for the creepy old man look these days or the sands of time have not treated you so well. Honestly, does he smoke 10 packs a day and sleep in a tanning bed? Check out the trailer for "Seamstress" and take a look at that face. The film actually looks pretty good, though. Could be one of the best of the week.

I can't really figure out "Senseless", as I'll I could find was a German trailer. Is it a German film? I think that trailer's dubbed, though. Either way, I have no idea of what's going on in the trailer, but it looks like it could be pretty good.

For a second, I thought it was 1994 again... Check out the trailer for "Skull Heads" and tell me you don't long for the days when you used to wait for new Charles Band films... or was I the only guy that was excited about "Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge" before it came out?

If you're a Dead Harvey reader, you'll want to check out "Horror 101". It's a collection of five indie horror films, including "Beneath the Surface", "Zombies Anonymous" and a few other Dead Harvey favorites.

I love the title "It's My Party and I'll Die if I Want To!" and the film looks pretty damn good, too. Also, it looks like it's full of practical effects and even has a cameo from Tom Savini. Not only that, what's with the 'choose your own adventure horror'? How's that work? I'll bite...

Also, look for "Hide And Creep", which looks alright; "I Spit Chew on Your Grave!", which looks EXTREMELY low budget, but in a good, good way... there's "Bleed With Me" and I don't even know what language it's in. Also, "Splatter Movie: The Director's Cut", which is from Amy Lynn Best and is FULL of indie horror legends, such as Debbie Rochon, Aaron Bernard and Tom Sullivan.

Oh... and look for rereleases of "The Gate" and "Audition: Collector's Edition"

Damn, that was a lot to get through...