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Claymation Zombies: The Dr. Molder Chronicles – Reel Review

(Message to readers: Claymation Zombies: The Dr. Molder Chronicles is a prequel to Claymation Zombies. In writing these reviews I watched them in chronological order and the opinions in the reviews reflect the order in which I watched them.)

Abigail(Kenna Coy) has a special set of powers. After being brought to Dr. Molder’s(Jim Gloyd) research facility she begins a series of tests. Dr. Molder is a leader in the field of telekinesis and believes that he can help Abigail reach her full potential. Unfortunately for Abigail, Dr. Molders latest experiments haven’t gone as planned and he needs funding to continue his research. Emilio Andswarth(Gabriel Kirk) is now bankrolling Dr. Molder’s work and is especially interested in the Chromatron Conductor, a device that, in theory, should focus an individual’s telekinetic powers. The device’s results have proven disastrous in human trails but Emilio Andswarth isn’t concerned. If left unchecked, Emilio might cause an outbreak of claymation zombies.

Claymation Zombies: The Dr. Molder Chronicles is a comedy/sci-fi horror short directed by Jake Jolley. Wildly inventive and original, CZ: The Dr. Molder Chronicles really shines in being consistently captivating due to Jake Jolley’s imagination. The deadpan comedy is a star of the film as we get combinations of wacky and serious characters that play off of each other beautifully. A scene with a special investigation officer taking long sips off her absurdly large water thermos is a great example of this humor. Gabriel Kirk is a standout in the film and does a fantastic job as the bumbling antagonist Emilio Andswarth. The claymation effects also deserve some recognition as they are hard to pull off and commendable when attempted in any film.

A criticism I have with CZ: The Dr. Molder Chronicles is with the overly complex story. It feels as if to many elements were chaotically packed into the short runtime. During a first watch I had only a vague idea what was going on. I was more interested in the character portrayals then I was in what they were doing. Upon a second and third viewing I started to piece together what was going on, but still was pretty confused. I realize this is a comedy and the plot is purposely wacky on a certain level. However, among the craziness, I would also like clear motivations and reasons for when things happen which I feel the film could have worked on.

Overall, Claymation Zombies: The Dr. Molder Chronicles was a decent comedy/sci-fi horror short. While the plot was confusing I did appreciate the work put into the character development, the comedic performances of each actor, and the claymation animation put into the film. I would recommend CZ: The Dr. Molder Chronicles to anyone who enjoys B movies that have a creative take on the zombie sub genre.

I give Claymation Zombies: The Dr. Molder Chronicles 3 out of 6 reels.

Claymation Zombies – Reel Review

(Message to readers: Claymation Zombies: The Dr. Molder Chronicles is a prequel to Claymation Zombies. In writing these reviews I watched them in chronological order and the opinions in the reviews reflect the order in which I watched them.)

Dr. Molder(Jim Gloyd) wants to expose the dangers of his experiments. While his intentions where good, the negatives far exceeded the positives. During a meeting with local reporter Ted(Bill Jolley) an accident occurs and a claymation zombie outbreak starts to spread. Meanwhile, at a nearby comic shop, Jack(Jake Jolley) is handing out free comics. He runs into his buddy Cassidy(Justin Little) who is running from the zombie hoard. They soon meet up with Sheriff Locke(David Ogrodowski) and his small band of survivors. Together they must travel through the woods to the sheriffs pickup truck and hopefully escape the claymation monstrosities.

Director Jake Jolley is back with another installment of his apocalyptic claymation tale. Claymation Zombies is a survival comedy/horror short that continues the exploits of Dr. Molder and his ill-fated experiments. This short takes everything from CZ: The Dr. Molder Chronicles and shapes it into a more coherent whole. It accomplishes this without losing any of the imagination and creativity of the first film. The comedy is still deadpan and funny, with everyone delivering great lines during the absurd situations they are in. Sheriff Locke, portrayed by David Ogrodowski, is a standout being consistently funny throughout. The claymation effects are back and more prevalent than ever as zombies explode across the screen in showers of blood and clay.

A criticism that I had with CZ: The Dr. Molder Chronicles was the complicated plot that was hard to follow. Claymation Zombies sticks to a simpler story that focuses mostly on the survival of the characters as they make their way to the sheriff’s truck. This plot structure works for me better, as I would rather focus on the comedy and claymation elements of the film. At the end of the day, Claymation Zombies is still a low-budget B movie comedy horror. These types of films are quite polarizing with audiences. Simply put, you either love them or hate them. Claymation Zombies, while being creative and imaginative, doesn’t really break any new ground and is still for a specific type of audience.

Claymation Zombies is a quality entry in the Dr. Molder storyline. It simplifies the plot while maintaining the laughs and absurd moments from the prequel. Claymation Zombies is for a specific type of audience, however, with opinions of the short being divided. I recommend Claymation Zombies for anyone who enjoys a funny apocalyptic zombie flick filled with great clay animation.

I give Claymation Zombies 4 out of 6 reels.

Quarantine Filmmaking Competition

These are wild times to be alive!

As creators, we’re constantly making new content. Don’t let a little pandemic get in the way of your creativity! MAKE A SHORT FILM!

If you’re a filmmaker, you’re invited to fight the urge to go stir crazy– and MAKE A FILM for the Quarantine Filmmaking Competition!
A ONE WEEK MULTI-GENRE FILMMAKING COMPETITION!


You’re welcome to produce a film in ANY genre— but MUST stick to the following rules:
Opening text over 5sec black: “Made for 2020 Quarantine Film Competition”

  • Film must be UNDER 5 mins (this includes credits)
  • Post your film live on FaceBook or YouTube
  • Tag @CinemaSlicers and include #QuarantineFilming and #SliceThePlanet
  • Share you submission with CinemaSlice to be considered for awards
  • DEADLINE: before 3/26 at 10PM
  • Must include a brush/comb (of any kind!!)
INCLUDE A BRUSH!!

Just a quick note: your submission will need to be made during the course of the competition (3/18-3/26).In order to prevent any submissions of films made prior to this event, each film must feature a common prop: a comb/brush of ANY kind! Be creative. Be cinematic. Stay safe!

OFFICIAL DETAILS AT CinemaSlice.com/Quarantine

#SupportIndependentCinema #SliceThePlanet

That Wasn’t Supposed To Happen! Reel Review

Former high school football great Zeke Sweet(Isiah Alexx) is stuck in a rut. He spends his days juggling between doing nothing and working sales at his dead-end lawn care job. With his class reunion fast approaching Zeke gets a call from his friend, Spazz McCraze(Manny Sandow). Spazz wants to get the crew back together just like the good old days. So Zeke, Spazz, Alan(Doc Less) and T-Rex(Nathan Niniisto) all head out for a normal night of class reunion fun. Enter Zeke’s former crush Aleezya(Kylie Cunningham), jealous girlfriends, church buses, and cross dressers and you get a night filled with hilarity that wasn’t supposed to happen!

That Wasn’t Supposed To Happen is a full length feature comedy directed by Tonia Carrier and written by Isiah Alexx. Snappy and fast paced That Wasn’t Supposed To Happen keeps the audience continuously captivated. A uniform combination of crude humor and heartfelt moments lead to the excellent pacing. The character development and plot are well executed, considering the large cast. Many scenarios are playing out simultaneously and never once get confusing. The actors do a great job of playing off one another and have back stories, for the most part, that flesh out their characters. Most importantly, the jokes are funny eliciting smiles and chuckles during the tender scenes and all out laughter during the absurd ones.

Some criticisms I have with That Wasn’t Supposed To Happen are the tone of some action scenes and one character that lacks a back story. At one point a group of women get beaten up by an envious girlfriend. The moment felt more heavy emotionally than intended. I felt concerned for the women’s situation when the hilarious nature of the scenario should have been the focus. The mysterious Mr. Frisky(Richard Pryor Jr.) was also a problem for me. Richard did an amazing comedic acting job but I was continually wondering why Mr. Frisky was popping up unexpectedly. Some answers to this character’s history could have cleared this up.

That Wasn’t Supposed To Happen is a breath of fresh air in our current climate that lacks edgy comedies. Work could be done to the tone of some action scenes and Mr. Frisky deserved a background story. Overall, however, the film was fantastically funny filled with great jokes, fun characters, hilarious scenarios, and heartfelt moments. I recommend this to anyone who wants to check out from the real world for a couple of hours and enjoy a hysterically funny comedy. 

I give That Wasn’t Supposed To Happen 4 out of 6 reels.

The Unwelcoming House 2 -Reel Review

Joe(Joe Covarrubias), his wife, son Landen(Landen Covarrubias), and family dog Bailey finally escaped the house that terrorized them for weeks. They believed that they had left behind the sadistic Larry Adams and his ever-present walking cane. Unfortunately, Joe slowly began to realize that this wasn’t the case. He saw Larry Adams everywhere he went, continually being haunted by his presence. When Bailey dies under mysterious circumstances Joe decides that he must go back. Deep down, he wants to go back. Joe has to learn more about Larry Adams and the demonic presence that seems to surround him. Once again Joe must enter the Unwelcoming House.

Joe Covarrubias, director of The Unwelcoming House, is back in this superbly creepy sequel, The Unwelcoming House 2. Done in the same found footage/documentary style as the first installment The Unwelcoming House 2 ups the ante in a few key areas. First off, the pacing of this film is better. Joe goes back to his earlier home for a week and the nights are clearly delineated for the viewer. This layout makes the move forward fun for the audience as the tension and scares build throughout the movie at a brisk pace. Secondly, the mystery surrounding the house and Larry Adams is better explained giving the viewer context as to what’s going on. The pacing and detailed back story lead to scares that would impress any fan of the found footage horror genre.

A couple of criticisms I have with The Unwelcoming House 2 are ones similar to that of the previous installment. Once again, the story has plot holes that could have been better explained. One is the fact that an entire house filled with valuable items is abandoned. This is barely addressed and no matter how scared Joe was it’s hard to believe he would never try to retrieve some of these items. Another unfortunate problem is with the ending. A tactic that Joe has previously used throughout the films now seems to get him results, without explanation. Because of this the final confrontation feels anticlimactic to a certain degree.

Overall, The Unwelcoming House 2 is a successful sequel in The Unwelcoming House saga. It’s better paced, delivering well crafted scares that range from unnerving to horrifying. Some plot holes still remain but are fewer than there were in the original. For these reasons I recommend The Unwelcoming House 2 for fans of the original film wondering what ever became of Joe and his son Landen.

I give The Unwelcoming House 2 5 out of 6 reels.

The Unwelcoming House – Reel Review

Joe (Joe Covarrubias) is a typical, run of the mill family man. He lives in Mount Pleasant, MI with his wife, son Landon (Landon Covarrubias), and Bailey the family dog. There’s only one problem plaguing this idyllic family. Something or someone has started to haunt their home. What started as harmless noises, such as footsteps and eerie creaking, has escalating into something much more sinister. Joe now has to protect his family by diving into the houses history. A history that has the potential to violently harm not only Joe but also the ones that he loves the most.

Directed by Joe Covarrubias, The Unwelcoming House is an intensely creepy and unnerving found footage horror film. Some notable aspects of this movie are the methods of filming and the superbly scary scenes that arise from this style. Found footage is the coined term for this type of movie, but it would be better described as a fictional documentary. Joe is shooting footage to document his ghostly findings and nobody is really “finding” his work. Due to this you get a more steady and deft hand guiding the camera. This gets rid of the distracting and sometimes annoying “shaky cam” style. Another appreciated aspect of this film is the way the delivery of the script. A natural way of speaking lends to more believable dialogue in found footage films and Joe really nails this performance. 

One criticism of The Unwelcoming House is the strict adherence to the found footage horror formula. The film stays true to this blueprint and, in doing so, makes things a bit stale in terms of plot. Characters get explained away in convenient ways, a MacGuffin explains the demons ties to the home, and a few other elements echo popular found footage horror movies. None of these are deal breakers, however, as the film overall is impressive and technically well made.

The Unwelcoming House is a horrific and terrifying look into one chapter of a family’s struggle with a demonic entity. The story is an homage to found footage horror films of the past almost to a fault, but is technically proficient and the dialogue is expertly delivered. The Unwelcoming House is definitely a welcomed edition into the pantheon of found footage horror. 

I give The Unwelcoming House 4 out of 6 reels.

No Return

CinemaSlice presents No Return, a Dramatic film by Nic White.

No Return tells the story of a man failing to managing his life as it spirals out of control. This official website will serve as a blog as we ramp up to produce No Return in Columbus, Ohio in March of 2020.

1/12/20 – We’ve received so many amazing auditions! I wish we could cast them all!!! Now’s the time to dig in and review all auditions to find the right actor for each role. Official casting announcements will be made on 1/19/20!

1/5/20 – We’re currently casting for the following roles:

NOW CASTING

  • Helena – 40 yr old woman
  • Stanley – 40 yr old man
  • Randy – 20 yr old man
  • Elizabeth – 20 yr old woman
  • Jacob – 7-9 yr old boy
  • Aubrey – 6-9 yr old girl
  • Roger – Friendly cat
We’re officially past the point of NO RETURN!

1/1/20 – The first draft of NO RETURN is complete!
Let’s begin casting!

LET THE CASTING PROCESS BEGIN.

#SliceThePlanet #SupportIndependentCinema

Cindy’s Birthday Party Reel Review

Cindy’s(Maddie Giorgio) big day has finally arrived. She is excited about her birthday and her mother(Merri Field Giorgio) has a special event planned. It’s a birthday party and the guests are starting to arrive. Jonas(Dylan Busch), one of the guests, gets out of the chauffeured limo and Cindy greets him at her front door. Jonas soon notices that no other guests are at the party. His suspicions further arise when Cindy tells him to go down to where the party is being held. Down into the basement.

Cindy’s Birthday Party, directed by August Aguilar, is a technically proficient and incredibly well acted horror short. The direction and writing are noteworthy due to the use of child actors in the film. It’s clear that Maddie Giorgio and Dylan Busch knew exactly what they were performing and that they had a full understanding of the story being told. The planning, along with some improvisation mixed in, seemed to work well as the children moved and talked very naturally in the environment. This fine acting along with an excellent buildup of tension and suspense in the plot are clear strong points in Cindy’s Birthday Party.

Some criticisms of Cindy’s Birthday Party are a lack of originality in the premise of the film and some unanswered questions which left a few holes in the plot. The celebratory atmosphere of the birthday party counteracted nicely with the ever-present creepiness of the story. Unfortunately, it also felt like a fancy dress being put on a basic “lambs being led to the slaughter” scenario. Perhaps if some questions were partly answered, like where are the birthday guest’s parents and who is the chauffeur bringing them, this may have livened things up. The mystery behind the thing in the basement, however, was fantastic and correctly was left to the imagination.

Cindy’s Birthday Party is a suspenseful and wonderfully acted horror short. It maintains the creepiness throughout and rarely relies on cheap jump scares. The plot is a tad basic which a few answered questions could have fixed, but the overall product is only slightly effected. A big recommendation to anyone who enjoys horror that slowly chills you to the bone.

I give Cindy’s Birthday Party 4 out of 6 reels.