Mark Kelly is BAAAACK with more mini Reel Reviews! This time Mark’s reviewing all of the films showcased at A SLICE OF FRIGHT Film Festival 2019!
Ding. . . You’re Dead
A man(Trevor Larson), who is dog sitting for a friend, decides to enjoy a nice microwave lasagna. It’s after retrieving his delicious dish that he realizes strange things are occurring.
As scary as it is funny, Ding. . . You’re Dead is an excellent addition to the horror/comedy genre. Jay Salahi does a great job directing by setting up frightening set pieces, while adding bits of humor in just the right places. Also, Trevor Larson’s very expressive performance is priceless and really adds to the laughs. Ding. . . You’re Dead does tend to land on the goofy side of comedy, but that doesn’t take anything away from the quality.
I give Ding. . . You’re Dead 5 out of 6 reels.
Little clay men are at the mercy of their creator. . . The Animator!
A delightful dark comedy about the claymation process, The Animator is a really fun watch. Think of being a kid and the joy of toppling over a tower of blocks you’ve just constructed. Now think more gruesome, as you’re destroying things you’ve made out of clay. This is The Animator. Also, director Trent Shy deserves a round of applause as any foray into the world of claymation can be very work intensive and tedious.
I give The Animator 6 out of 6 reels
In Good Health
Marshall(Bryan Landon) has just gotten back from vacation with his girlfriend Val(Rachel M. Beck). As usual with seemingly every vacation Marshall has become very ill. Val leaves and wishes him well but all seems hopeless as he calls sick into work. That is until along comes a spider.
Directed by Jerrod Rachow, In Good Health is a little light on the horror but makes up for that by telling a truly bizarre tale. In the beginning we get some nice aerial shots, which sets the proper mood. The acting, while not outstanding, is good enough to set up an investment in the characters. What follows is a story that is strange and unique. While the ending could have used a little more explanation, In Good Health definitely leaves the audience a sense of unease and dread.
I give In Good Health 4 out of 6 reels
A boy(Ayman Boulahrouz) goes to his grandfathers (Fred Van Der Hilst) after school. As he waits for his mother to return home the boy begins to notice that his grandfather is acting strangely. He doesn’t seem himself and the odd behavior is rapidly escalating.
A look into the world of a real fear that we all share, Watch Out is a horror film directed by Shariff Nasr. The fear of finding a loved one isn’t who they say they are is relatable and makes Watch Out all the more horrifying. The pacing in this film is incredible, giving little morsels of scares along the way until the big feast at the end. While we’ve seen most of these scares before Shariff Nasr puts a personal touch to each scenario, making each unique.
I give Watch Out 5 out of 6 reels
Abbey(Gwen Marcello) is having a hard time going to sleep after being tucked in for bed. She’s hearing strange noises and both her mother(Andrea Zenovia) and father(Andrew Mitakides) don’t want to believe she’s crazy. Maybe there is some truth to the claims, however, as an evil begins to slowly spread.
In Vanishing Point director Michael R. Shea introduces us to a world that, at first glance, appears small and fairly simple. Quickly it opens up into something that is much more large and terrifying. Relying on scares that are otherworldly rather than practical, Vanishing Point frightens viewers with thoughts of the unknown. Even though the overall production is rough around the edges it’s the unsettling feeling that Vanishing Point leaves us with that matters most.
I give Vanishing Point 4 out of 6 reels.
Two grave robbers, Tanya(Holly Stevens) and Preston(Craig Gunn), are looking to get rich quick by scoring some precious jewels. It’s soon clear they are not professionals as they begin to flub up every step of the process with hilarious results.
Directed by Angus Swantee and Walter Forsyth, Grave Sight is a dark comedy that is funny while also containing some pretty disturbing gore. The script is well written delivering plenty of laughs with the constant bickering between the two grave robbers, Tanya and Preston. The situation gets even more hilarious and we get some great physical comedic bits in the process. The ending is something to behold when an evil character enters, spectacularly performed by Dale Bellefontaine. Grave Sight is a little light on the scares but it definitely shines in terms of its comedic and entertainment value.
I give Grave Sight 5 out of 6 reels.
A grandmother(Margaret Elsesser) and her granddaughter(Shannon Grant) are enjoying each other’s company by knitting some scarves. When the conversation turns to problems she is having at school, the granddaughter gets some grandmotherly advice. Remember, grandmothers always know best.
The Scarf, directed by Neil Willoughby, is a unique film in that a full description of the genre would be best left unheard by a first time viewer. However, saying this is a horror tale doesn’t give much away as very early on we get some quality scenes of all out terror. It’s the ending that needs kept under wraps, as it puts a nice bow on the entire short. The acting is a little over the top at times, which makes the story a bit confusing, but it all comes together nicely at the end.
I give The Scarf 4 out of 6 reels.
A man(Damien Reynal) is chasing a woman(Flore Vannier-Moreau) down a deserted street in the middle of the night. At least that’s what it seems. We soon find that there is more to this story that what meets the eye.
Directors Gregoire Vaillant and Charles-Edouard Dangelser take a different approach to the “damsel in distress being chased by a male assailant” horror troupe in the thriller Hypnosis. The chase scenes are well done as they build high tension in the action portrayed on the screen. Previous story bits are woven nicely throughout the chase, giving the viewer a back story to what’s going on. The ending is satisfying, wrapping up the immediate questions that need addressing while leaving others unanswered. Hypnosis is a great short to watch multiple times, as you catch little things in each play through that you may have missed before.
I give Hypnosis 6 out of 6 reels.
A woman(Denise Hill) goes to investigate some music being played in her attic before going to bed. What sounds like a soothing tune quickly becomes something much more sinister.
Directed by Jess Vande Zande, Siren is a micro horror short that answers the question, “What is that weird noise in the attic?”. It delivers an ending that is enjoyable for any fan of old school creature features. What Siren lacks for in budget it makes up in the creative design of all the frightening features found in the creepy attic.
I give Siren 3 out of 6 reels.
Bump in the Night (Jason Interview)
Hosts Da Boogie Man(Johnny Zuko) and The Crypt Keepers Mistress(Ginger Snap) are back with another captivating interview. Today’s guest? The one and only hockey mask wearing terror of Camp Crystal Lake himself, Jason Voorhees!
Bump in the Night, directed by Mizz Moist, is a film that plays out like a dark horror comedy sketch. Something that could have been on Kids in the Hall or The State, we see a premise that is hilarious to watch due to its absurdity. The star of the show, Jason Voorhees, was done exceptionally well and looks like he is ripped straight off the set of one of his cult films. Laughs, horror, and gore we get it all in Bump in the Night.
I give Bump in the Night (Jason Interview) 4 out of 6 reels.
We’re back with Mark Kelly’s mini reel reviews of the remaining SUDS & CINEMA – Knoxville short film selections!
A man(Cody Lovorn) encounters a major dilemma. Should he or should he not eat the delicious snack he has found lying on the floor?
Directed by Cody Lovorn, Cheeto is a comedic micro short. What Cheeto lacks in terms of story it makes up for in quality and entertainment. A hilarious look into a moment that everybody has probably experienced,
I give Cheeto 3 out of 6 reels.
After an evening of browsing the internet, doing some research on purchasing a home security system, a man(Cody Lovorn) decides to call it a night. As he heads for bed, however, he soon realizes that his decision to install a security system may have come to late.
A film directed by Cody Lovorn, Don’t Die is a frightening look into the horror sub genre of home invasion. Close attention is payed to the setup of specific shots, which leads to an authentic feeling of fear without resorting to jump scares. Due to the high quality of the filmmaking and the subject being highly relatable,
I give Don’t Die 6 out of 6 reels.
Novelist Jared Draybeck(Michael McCallum) is going through a rough time. He’s got a bad case of writers block and the relationship with his partner Jalynne(Rachel Mender) is crumbling. Jared plans a long session of writing at his friend Davids(Wolf Hogan) house where he reads the most important piece of fan mail he’s ever received.
Foreword is a mind bending tale of jealousy and revenge directed by Michael McCallum. The plot and excellent way in which the director leads us through the story are what makes Foreword intriguing. Some questions were purposely left unanswered which supports a sense of mystery and suspense. The acting is not a strong part of Foreword, but doesn’t distract from the film.
I give Foreword 5 out of 6 reels.
Voice in the Radio
Kevin(Vince Hobart Smith) is trying to find meaning in his life and of a voice(Haydn Wolfie Koeller) that he hears. A voice that has reassured in the past, but is now asking more of Kevin. A voice that comes out of an old, static filled radio.
Voice in the Radio is a drama directed by JW Cox. It’s a moving look at a mans search for the meaning behind a mysterious voice he hears on an old radio. Effective acting is an essential element to many dramas and Voice in the Radio doesn’t disappoint. Vince Hobart Smith does a terrific job as Kevin and he goes to incredible places with the smartly written script. While the film does walk the line in being overly dramatic in delivering its message,
I still give Voice in the Radio 4 out of 6 reels.
A father(Curt Willis) encounters a strange being(Kristin Cochell) in the woods. A strange being that threatens to destroy his wife(Chloe Zeitounian), daughter(Ava Culpepper), and his own sanity.
Papa, a folk horror film directed by Brain Peery, is a terrifying look at a mans mind slowly disintegrating and the destructive relationship with his family. In nuanced fashion we see how a variety of relationships, whether it be man/nature, wife/husband, or daughter/father, can begin to crumble. The acting, the writing and the cinematography were all done with great care in furthering the disturbing story.
I give Papa 6 out of 6 reels.
At the grocery store a customer(Tyler Broadway) walks to the self checkout, ready to ring up his items. As we all know, sometimes these machines do some pretty weird things. It’s almost as if they have a life of their own.
A hilarious comedy directed by Hanson Devil, Self Checkout is a slightly off kilter look at the self checkout process, in which most of us know the problems. Self Checkout is an absurdist take on one of these scenarios. The jokes are well written and come at a brisk pace. Tyler Broadway’s over the top delivery also contrasts well with Megan Jones’s dry humor as the self check automated voice.
CinemaSlice is proud to have showcased so many awesome short films at SUDS & CINEMA – Knoxville! Join Mark Kelly as he writes a mini Reel Review on each of the official film selections for this event.
A young woman, who is walking through the woods, suddenly notices that someone is following her. Who is following her and will she be able to escape?
A micro horror film directed by Seth Young, Hunted is an effectively scary thriller. Based on being chased by an ominous danger, it plays on our real fears. Hunted feels lacking in story due to the length but in doing so it leaves the viewer haunted by the questions it leaves unanswered.
I give Hunted 3 out of 6 reels.
A game of tennis turns into an epic battle for the ages as Jordan(Chance McDuffy) faces of against his overly eager buddy Nick(Greg Collins).
A comedy directed by Logan Solana, Tennis is a hilarious look at two buddies in a “friendly” competition. Jordan and Nick are instantly likable characters that play well off each other due to their contradicting personalities. The writing is fine, but what really shines here is the physical comedy and timing. The joke delivery is spot on and the level of absurdity is appropriate.
I give Tennis 4 out of 6 reels.
While working on a nature program a producer(Forrest Ferguson) and an editor(Jamie Hickman) encounter something strange. Is it a glitch in the equipment or is something more otherworldly occurring.
Drop Frame is a suspense/mystery film directed by Philip Tatler IV. Although some might classify this as horror, Drop Frame is different. Instead of bombarding the viewer with jump scares and gore, it leaves the viewer with a sense of unease and dread. You’re never quite sure exactly what is going on and just when you think you do Drop Frame gets even weirder. Playing out like a classic episode of Twilight Zone, Drop Frame doesn’t disappoint.
I give Drop Frame 6 out of 6 reels.
Back to the Drawing Board
Using their newly acquired ability of travel time a group of friends, Hannah(Hannah Riddle), Nicholas(Nicholas Mariano), Justin(Justin Simerly), and James(James Maines) try to change past events for a better future. What actually ends up happening is something more hilarious than heroic.
A sci-fi comedy directed by John Queener & Gabe Hobbs, Back to the Drawing Board is a hilarious look into the world of time travel gone wrong. The comedic writing in Back to the Drawing Board is great with the jokes coming at a fast pace. Even with the unrealistic elements of time travel, the script remains grounded and relatable. Although the delivery and timing could have used some work and we’ve seen time travel done in this way before, Back to the Drawing Board is entertaining nonetheless.
I give Back to the Drawing Board 4 out of 6 reels.
I Will Not Disappear
Alan(Merrit Brakebill, Paul Smith) is reminiscing of past experiences with his wife Victoria(Heather Arnwine, Sarah Smith). In their golden years, Victoria’s memories are slowly disappearing as she struggles to remember the past.
I Will Not Disappear is a heartfelt and emotional drama directed by Jared Sutton. A relatable film for those with loved ones dealing with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, I Will Not Disappear will tug on the heartstrings. The cinematography and direction are on a top-tier level and the acting is phenomenal. While many films of the past have covered this same topic, I Will Not Disappear is certainly among the greats.
I give I Will Not Disappear 5 out of 6 reels.
During a rigorous Zumba session at the local YMCA tragedy strikes when a man goes into cardiac arrest. Never fear as there is somebody magical in the class to save the day.
An absurdist comedy directed by Chris Rodgers, The Workout is an enjoyable film that relies heavily on its core premise. The writing and acting, while not outstanding, are woven expertly to serve this premise. Though not really relatable in any way to everyday life, The Workout is still a fun and entertaining watch.
As the leaves begin to change colors, and the darkness overtakes the daylight, CinemaSlice is preparing to present short horror films from around the world!
Saturday, October 12th, 2019 is the 2nd annual A SLICE OF FRIGHT Film Festival at the State Theatre in Bay City, MI!
We want to take a moment to thank all of the awesome businesses that have taken their time to support CinemaSlice by sponsoring A SLICE OF FRIGHT Film Festival 2019!
Sticker StAsh Customzoffers custom services such as but not limited too:Stickers, Decals, Banners, T-Shirts, Flyers, Business Cards, Sublimation printing, CBD products, Glass bowls & other Glass products, Tobacco products and much much more!!!!
It’s the last months of WWII and Germany is in shambles as the allied forces are closing in on the country. The Nazi party is desperate and willing to do anything to turn the tide of the war. German soldiers are ransacking the entire country and after a few alterations with the locals that end in tragedy, a group of German resistance fighters is born. They begin to track a group of Nazi soldiers lead by General Wolff. General Wolff, however, has been busy with much more than looting German homes and killing Jews. The resistance soon discover General Wolff has attempted to raise the dead by opening the gates of Valhalla.
Directed by Daniel Konze, The Rise of Valhalla is a feature-length horror/war drama. Due to the subject and genre that it encapsulates, The Rise of Valhalla isn’t exactly a comfortable film to view. It, however, is definitely a well executed one. In terms of cinematography and setting the mood, The Rise of Valhalla is a masterclass. Careful attention is shown to the location, costuming, and sound design. It feels as though you are actually experiencing the horrors of war. The resistance fighters form a fantastic ensemble. Hermann (Thomas Binder), Wilhelm (Mario Kaspras), Ludwig (Fabio Sorgini), Paul (Marc Bluhm), Leopold (Armin Barwich) and Gustav (Javier Wolf) all do excellent jobs in the tough setting given and the challenging emotions they portray. Without any spoilers, the last act of the film has some top-notch practical gore effects that are stunning to behold.
Some criticisms I have with The Rise of Valhalla have to do with issues in the pacing of the film and its script. There are many scenes in the middle part of the film where we are traveling with the resistance. It’s during these scenes were the film slows down to an uncomfortably slow pace. To help reduce this slower pace, more dialogue for the characters could have helped. The resistance don’t seem to connect much during their journey, and it’s during these slow moments that more bonding could have occurred.
The Rise of Valhalla tells a great alternate history tale that mixes in moments of suspense and horror. At times the pacing felt slow, and with more dialogue the resistance could have developed more emotional bonds. Despite this the cinematography, costuming and sound design work together nicely bringing a convincing portrait of WWII. The finale is a riveting and harrowing portrayal of all out madness.
CinemaSlice is proud to present the first ever SUDS & CINEMA Film Festival event in Knoxville, TN!
A celebration of short films and craft beer. CinemaSlice is hosting an evening of amazing craft beers and finely crafted short films.
Saturday, September 28th, 2019 • 6pm – 8pm Central At Brickyard Bar & BBQ 4928 Homberg Dr Suite A6-8 Knoxville, TN 37919
SUDS & CINEMA is a multi-genre short film celebration, uniquely organized and carefully curated to entertain audiences with independent movies, both locally and on a national level!Hosted by August Aguilar, this film festival will showcase close to 12 short films (ranging in length from 1 min – 15 mins) from Knoxville and beyond. Immediately following the short film presentation, we’re announcing the award winning films, including the “Judges Pick” Best in Fest Award, “Best Actor” award, and the “Best in Fest” Award (selected by the audience). So, come on out to this FREE film festival, grab a cold one, and watch some awesome independent short films!
About CinemaSlice With the spirit of Independent Filmmaking at the fore-front, CinemaSlice was conceived as a platform to support and promote original content and collaborative projects. Through an intense creative process we’re able to produce high-level entertainment by combining the efforts of talented musicians, writers, actors, designers, illustrators, cinematographers, animators, producers, directors, actors, and wandering vagabonds from around the U.S.!
Jargon aside, we are a couple of creative-types who work together to make cool films, videos, free downloadable content, film reviews, articles, music videos, web-series, theatrical events, and film festivals.
History of the ‘Slice CinemaSlice understands the tremendous amount of work that goes into creating indy films, and the large scale collaborations required to execution projects. CinemaSlice began as a way to facilitate collaborations between contributors in various states. This trend continues to expand and evolve.
CinemaSlice produces original films and videos, and currently has several annual events (Black Friday filmmaking event, A SLICE OF FRIGHT FILM FESTIVAL, and Suds & Cinema Film Fest), as well as more spastic events (pop-uptheater, theatrical premieres, filmmaking competitions, etc). We’ve been very fortunate to work with some of the most talented musicians, artists, and filmmakers over the last few years! From producing music compilations to short films, from film posters to film reviews, and from feature films to festivals— CinemaSlice continues to strive for quality entertaining content.
In addition to our Indy Film Spotlight, and horror anthology web-series’, CinemaSlice also produces short films, skits, and feature films (CinemaSlice.com/films).
Current At the moment, CinemaSlice is: • Producing a series of multi-genre film festivals that all take place at breweries— SUDS & CINEMA (CinemaSlice.com/suds)— in various states around the U.S. • Preparing for Short horror film festival this October (CinemaSlice.com/FrightFest) • Festival shopping and 4-walling the release of my new short film, BLOOD ON THE LENS (CinemaSlice.com/Blood), a satirical horror film • Finishing production on feature film, THE MONSTER WITH 21 FACES pt.II (CinemaSlice.com/21Faces), a docu-drama-thriller about a Japanese cold-case • Scripting a short horror anthology film
Call for Collaborators In order to maintain a steady stream of original content, we’re always seeking new contributors to work with. In order to grow, we need your help– If you’re interested in collaborating or contributing to CinemaSlice.com, drop us a line!