jedispyder

IMDb member since December 2003
    Highlights
    2012 Oscars
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    Lifetime Filmo
    5+
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    1+
    IMDb Member
    16 years

Reviews

Primordial
(2015)

Eric Widing introduces us to a character's horrifying downward spiral
This is writer/director Eric Widing's second full feature film. The first, Hellhounds, was a unique film that assaulted the senses with wide use of color and sound. In Primordial, Widing still makes use of sound to assault the senses but makes beautiful use of black and white for serene nature scenes. It was unique to see some of the high paced action with heavy metal music lead into these beautiful, serene scenes shot in black and white.

Widing does a spectacular job with the writing and directing. Widing stated a lot of his inspiration came from things that have happened to him, that he's heard has happened, or that he's dreamed. There is a particular scene that he stated in the commentary was inspired by a dream which is truly horrifying for the viewer. The writing itself is very down-to-earth and the casual conversations felt like something friends would normally have.

The actors were phenomenal with Marylee Osborne portraying a woman, Valerie, who is already down and out of luck finally getting to act out her darkest fantasies and going on a downward spiral into deeper alcoholism. Erin Ryan portrays Tina, one of Valerie's closest friend, who is going through some trouble herself which gives Valerie something to hold onto for majority of the film. Adam Clevenger is Tayshawn, a gangster that upon first meeting appears to be a stereotype but soon shows how well developed his character is. Clevenger brilliantly describes and performs horrendous acts with no remorse.

Widing also inserted several easter eggs for fans of the various indie films from Ohio that the fans will get excited to see.

Overall an excellent film that is highly recommended!

Awkward Thanksgiving
(2014)

Hilariously Crude But Heartwarming
I was able to attend the world premier and have to say, this exceeded expectations! The whole theatre could not stop laughing, there were times were I even missed part of a scene because of the non-stop-laughter. The jokes, while crude at times, fit the scenes perfectly.

The cast was phenomenal! Majority have worked with director Couto before and he knows how to best make use of their acting abilities. I can't think of any scene where an actor underperformed.

A few of the actors went above and beyond, in my opinion: Bradley Diehl stars as David and fits the archetype of overcompensating jokester who hides his feeling behind any type of joke he can make. He even dips into non-joking emotions in a great scene with Haley Jay Madison.

Todd the Fox is a newcomer to acting, in fact I think this may be his first role! His scenes with the amazing Erin R. Ryan are very reminiscent of Overnight Delivery where two strangers bond over a road trip. Most of the time he is a calm and collected person, never losing his cool even in the face of someone screaming at him. As time goes on and the road trip continues, he slowly loosens up and shows a variety of emotions. He did a great job and had great chemistry with Erin R. Ryan, who did the usual amazing job. I look forward to seeing him in more movies! Mike Hilinski did a spectacular job with his character. I can't go into much detail to avoid spoilers but halfway through the movie his character is taken in a very different direction and he tackles the role perfectly. I would even go as far as to say one of his lines was the second most laughed at scene in the movie, and in a movie full of deep laughter that's saying something.

This movie should definitely become a staple for Thanksgiving.

Scarewaves
(2014)

Great new anthology!
This was a very fun movie! It's an anthology with a frame story connecting all the vignettes.

The frame story was incredibly great with John Bradley Hambrick as Amos Satan, a late night radio host who is doing a special show for his final night before he goes his way. Hambrick was great as Satan, giving a great feel of radio host.

The vignettes are "urban legend" type stories that Satan knows and wants to share with his listeners, instead of the usual taking call-ins from people telling him clichéd urban legends.

Each of the vignettes is written by a different author which all give their own unique feel to the movie. All have spot-on comedic moments without trying too hard.

If you enjoy anthologies, I definitely urge you to check this movie out!

President's Day
(2010)

Another micro-budget hit!
I was introduced to writer/director Chris LaMartina through a few of his short movies in anthologies and decided to give this full length film a chance. Wow, I am glad I did! I was blown away by how well this was. The basic plot sounded a bit silly and almost clichéd but it was actually much better than expected. It's a slasher movie with the killer dressing up as Abe Lincoln and killing off students at Lincoln High School, focusing mainly around students involved in the student election. The main character is Barry, who only joined the student election to impress a new transfer student. He takes it upon himself to investigate the murders after his friend is implicated as the murderer.

The graphics in this are great, no CGI that I could see. There are loads and loads of dismemberments since Lincoln's murder weapon of choice is, of course, an ax. Majority of the murders are explicitly shown with buckets of fake blood used. I noticed that most micro-budget movies have really fake looking blood, yet here it truly looked like real blood! And not all murders were by an ax, there are a lot of unique murders. I guess the filmmakers didn't want to get monotonous with all the murders there are (more than the typical Hollywood slasher film).

A lot of the actors and actresses in the movie haven't been in a lot of other films. Going in knowing that, I wasn't expect the best acting. Once again, I was very surprised! I would definitely suggest this to anyone who loves slashers. It's also a great example of how micro-budget, non-Hollywood horror movies can also be top quality.

Veronica Mars
(2014)

It was worth the wait!
This is one of the most satisfying movies I have ever seen! Then again, I am a bit biased since I helped back the movie on Kickstarter.

I was a huge fan of the show when it was on the air and was ecstatic to hear about the movie. It's been almost a year and we finally have it! It was well worth the wait and the contribution to the Kickstarter campaign.

For the first few minutes of the movie, there is a slight recap of the TV show featuring clips with a voice over by Veronica Mars. This is used not only as an introductory piece for new watchers but also a walk down memory lane for the fans.

As expected, there were plenty of "inside jokes" that were casually thrown out in dialog. What was brilliant, though, was the fact that they weren't obvious. They blended with normal conversation and were just added bonuses for the fans and for new watchers it was just another example of how great the dialog was. You don't need any background information about the show to watch this, you won't be left in the dark with the inside jokes.

The movie is self-contained but leaves space for a sequel in one form or another. Characters grow and change during the movie, so it's not just a movie to have a movie.

Characters from the show are brought back but not in a pushy sort of way. It is a large cast but everyone has a proper place. You don't have anybody from the show return for a only second, everyone gets good face time without it being overwhelmed.

Overall, I highly recommend this move to anyone.

Faces of Schlock
(2005)

Chock full of schlock!
Segment 1 is called ButtonHead and it was an incredibly interesting concept. It was a riff on normal Frankenstein's Monster as a character has her clitoris inserted into her brain after she suffers an injury. Upon waking up, she is mildly brain damaged so the nurse who operated on her along with her roommate spend the rest of the segment trying to take care of her while protecting her from her abusive boyfriend. I was surprised at how good the acting was.

The one problem I had with this segment is that the camera was rarely ever held still even if they intended it to. As if someone was holding it in their hands, yet their hands had constant tremors which slightly shook the camera at most times. It didn't distract from the film at all, just a minor annoyance.

Segment 2 is called Diagnoses Terror and it was definitely my favorite of the anthology. The main character is slowly brain washed by a late-night TV Reverend who is preaching about how bad society is today and insisting people should be doing something about it. In the beginning there was a bit of problem with the colors and lighting but it is soon corrected. As usual with all of Henrique Couto's films, the dialogue is casual and never forced, even subtle lines such as the random "That's a huge raspberry Poptart!"

Segment 3 is called Neck Brace and in my opinion it's the weakest of the bunch. Some of the signs appear over lighted, likely due to filming outside when the sun was at its brightest peak. Some of the dialogue seems forced, especially with the character of Paco and his faux-Latino accent. The basic plot of the segment can be summed down to "don't do drugs, okay?" If you watch this, you have to understand that this is in no way a professional collection of films. This is some of the earliest work from 3 now professional filmmakers, so these are all labors of love. Don't go in expecting a Hollywood movie, instead expect something fun to watch.

Watch This
(2013)

Decent collection of no-budget shorts
Like most horror movie anthologies, all segments are framed around a single common video. In this case, it's a guy who is literally watching the movie on his computer. So as each segment ends, we see him click to start the next segment. It's a simple yet unique way to go between each segment.

The first segment is Woodford County. This was my least favorite of the bunch due to some technical difficulties in the film making. One big problem is with the sound. There are scenes at a lake where it sounds as if the camera is in a bucket and it keeps knocking back and forth around the bucket. The excess sound was not removed and it definitely should not have been there as the scene was for the killer swimming and hiding in the water, no way for a bucket to be there. The other problem I had was that the blank space between shots in the segment went on for too long. Normally a cut is only a few microseconds, yet here the cut was at least a full second so you had a blacked out screen for longer than usual.

The one thing about this segment that I absolutely loved was all the various angles provided. Normally in indie horror movies you get one or two angles, usually back and forth between people talking. Here you a lot of quick cuts between angles so it looks as if there were at least 5 cameras filming a scene at any time. They also had some pretty innovative camera shots, possible thanks to a GoPro video camera? So whereas the sound and editing wasn't the best, the cinematography was amazing! The second segment was The Way of the Buffalo. This is centered around a killer stalking a girl at her home and 90% of the segment is shot in only one take. The only downside to that is that because there are not cuts, you get a lot of wasted time and bad angles as the killer runs around the house trying to find a way inside. It was a nice touch to keep the killer out of breath to similar how much adrenaline must have been pumping. The whole point of this type of cinematography is to put you through the eyes of the killer which it perfectly accomplishes. This segment reminds me of V/H/S/2 where a few segments of that anthology is shot in the same manner.

One thing that made this segment definitely shine for me is the fact that in the killer's manifesto he modified Neil Young's lyrics "It's better to burn out than fade away." As a huge fan of that lyric, I was very pleased to hear it here.

The third segment was Ladies Night. This was a twist on the common horror use of men preying on women, where it's now ladies preying on men. The lighting is very basic here with nothing extra added, keeping a lot of shots in partial shadows. The light sources include a car lamp, street lamp, and normal inside lighting which gives it a very natural feel. In the same manner, the background noise is comprised of music played from a boombox or the sound of cicadas on a normal summer's night.

One thing I found very unique was one of the murders. The girl straddles the guy as she smothers him with a pillow all the while listening to his heart beat slowly fade away as he dies. Very unique! The last segment was Summon, which was my favorite. It features a couple going out in the middle of a field to summon a demon to grant their wishes. Erin R Ryan gives a haunting yet amazing performance as the summoned demon, a role unlike any that she has performed. She uses quick but smooth jerking motions and arcing her shoulders back to give off a menacing appearance. It was hauntingly beautiful! Too bad this short was "To Be Continued" as I'd love for it to be a longer segment.

Kill That Bitch
(2014)

Incredibly well done!
I'm a huge fan of Ohio indie horror movies so I was eager to get this in mail. I've watched most of writer/director Dustin Wayde Mills' movies and love everything he's done. They're all no-budget films so you go in with expectations that it's not going to be like a Hollywood horror movie. I've seen people complain about how these horror movies don't look real but I don't think those reviewers actually get how little of a budget most of these directors have.

Kill That Bitch begins with a masked man killing a girl and sending a text to several other girls about said death. No backstory given, the movie jumps right into the action. I figured it would be an in medias res type movie where we'll get flashbacks to why this killing happened and was surprised to find we don't. There's a reason we don't and I'm glad for it. Can't go into it without spoiling the ending which is fantastic. So if you're someone who wants answers right away, just stick with it as it's definitely worth it. Everything makes sense in the end but what I like is that it's not force fed to the viewer, you have to come to that conclusion yourself.

One nice thing about the Ohio indie horror filmmakers is that they get a group of actors and actresses that appear in their various movies. This is good because the actors and actresses create a rapport with the filmmakers which allows them to know what works best for their character. Their acting is always great and they push themselves to do new types of things. All the acting in this movie was great as always.

One actress that really shined here was Haley Madison. I've seen here in a few other movies and enjoyed her performance in Haunted House on Sorority Row. Her performance in Kill That Bitch seemed natural, as if she wasn't acting but just being herself. Out of all the characters, her character is the one that I still think about an hour after the movie. While her role wasn't as large as some of the other actresses, it was still a good part. I look forward to seeing her in other movies, I think she'll eventually be a lead actress!

One thing that surprised me the most was how perfect the music was. This Little Light of Mine was used in several spots here, one of which makes me think I can't hear the song without thinking of this movie. There is also a fantastic scene with the killer in his lair with Fur Elise playing in the background, it fit so perfectly with the scene! As mentioned before, you do have to go in acknowledging that this is a no-budget movie so you can't expect the special effects to be Hollywood level. There were a few scenes that went above and beyond with makeup, though.

Overall this was a fantastic movie. I wish it were long, 68 minutes leaves you wanting more just because of how well done it is!

Everyone Must Die!
(2012)

Pleasantly surprised!
I grabbed this movie on a whim and very pleased that I did. I always go into no-budget horror movies with low expectations and this far exceeded them! The script is great, lots of fun banter back and forth between the characters that "feels" normal. I've had trouble with some horror movies where the dialogue seems forced, is full of clichés, or doesn't allow characters any substance. Not here! The dialogue captured is just everyday material, things that you could easily say yourself. Not all dialogue was used to propel the plot but it wasn't fluff either, it was natural.

There were several scenes that completely shocked me because I did not expect it at all. Usually I'm good at predicting what is going to happen in a movie but not here, I was completely caught off guard! I definitely like that in a movie.

Even though it feels complete on it's own, this movie can easily have a prequel or a sequel. There is room for things to be explained or continued. After I finished the movie, I automatically wanted more out of the series. Not everything is explained but enough was explained to leave you satisfied.

Haunted House on Sorority Row
(2014)

Very fun movie!
An excellent blend of horror and comedy. The background music gave it an 80s feel at times which fits with the type of movie, this would definitely have fit right in with other 80s horror movies (aka the best era of horror). There was a more psychological horror than physical horror and they nailed it perfectly, allowing you to watch as the characters slowly unravel into insanity.

Similar to a lot of horror movies of this type, the movie was lacking in the male department as the focus was more on the girls. There were only 3 guys total and each was very different. Joe Kidd is just a small supporting role but he did well. Eric Widing was a typical frat-boy douche who you could tell had a blast acting in that way! Mike Hilinski played a normal guy who is trying to look good for a girl he's crushing on. I could definitely relate to his character, getting annoyed at the douche friend who was acting out and making him look bad.

All the females were great, with different personalities for each. I've seen too many horror movies where all the females are written as generic and stereotypical but definitely not here.

I enjoyed how the writing did not seem forced for the actors. The dialog was very casual and something you could expect yourself to say in those situations. Sometimes in horror movies there will be excessive cursing simply to have cursing, but that was not the case here.

Only complaint? Who in their right mind tries to get spaghetti from a pot with a normal spoon?!? That's the most I can complain!

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