Meet the Slicer – Justin

Sup Slicers?!

It’s my pleasure to introduce the super talented, Justin Harlan. Justin is the resident podcaster for CinemaSlice, but he’s also very active in the indy film community, running multiple website in support of independent cinema!
Justin has been running websites since his first Geocities site in 1994, but only did he ever start covering anything of substance years later. After he stopped regularly running local concerts in Northern NJ and the greater Philly area, he knew he needed to step up his writing game if he expected to continue to get free music to listen to. Writing about music lead to writing more about film… then podcasting… and now just being an unapologetic genre film obsessed nerd.
He writes regularly at the site he runs, The Farsighted, and Cinapse, as well as on occasion at Cinepunx. He’s back writing more about music with Rock on Philly, too. He previously wrote for several other sites (Decapolis, Crap Filter, Yule Blog), but he forgets some of them and others no longer exist.
Here on CinemaSlice, he is working on a collaborative film and music podcast called SliceCast. (Check out the SliceCast at CinemaSlice.com/SliceCast or on iTunes ). He aims to release 1-2 episodes per month, but isn’t always super successful with that goal. Doing 3 million things, which includes raising two crazy young boys and balancing all that work/life stuff, can sometimes create speedbumps. Please don’t be mad at him.
And, he’d be remiss if he forgot to say… FLY EAGLES FLY! 

The Monster with 21 Faces Reel Review

Hello, Slicers!

Mark Kelly here and I’m back with another Reel Review. I’ll be reviewing the crime documentary The Monster with 21 Faces (かい人21面相) , directed by Michael Welborn. The film recently had its world premiere at CinemaSlice.coms A Slice of Fright film festival. The movie is part one of an in depth look at the real life incidents surrounding a wealthy Japanese businessman. It details the attack on his career, friends, and family by an unknown assailant calling himself the monster with 21 faces.

In Japan during the spring of 1984 president of Hashiba Homegoods, Sotara Hashiba(Bruce Falcon), is taking a shower at his home one evening. Unbeknownst to him, 3 individuals dressed in dark clothes and white masks have broke into his residence. They have tied up his wife and daughter and are planning to kidnap Hashiba himself. What follows is a decent into mayhem and mystery. Hashiba struggles to protect everything and everyone he holds dear against multiple unknown attacks.

Continue reading “The Monster with 21 Faces Reel Review”

Meet the Slicer: Pete Floyd

Sup Slicers!?

I’d like to introduce everyone to Mr. Peter Paul Socha III Esq. But you can call him Pete Floyd. Pete is the kind of guy that will lovingly call you a douche nozzle on any given Sunday morning. I recently became re-acquainted with Pete, and he expressed interest in writing film reviews for CinemaSlice.com. Well, now that things have been moving, and he’s written a few review articles under his belt– I wanted to take a minute and allow Pete to introduce him self to the SlicerVerse!

This little story I’m about to share with you is a brief look into why it is I am a lover of the cinema. In no way are my opinions facts, nor do I value my opinion over anyone else’s. But I feel 30+ years of enjoying movies at home, in the theater, and even in arenas, going so far as to travel days to see a film debut in an intimate setting, that I have a slightly honed perspective. My story begins like so…

Once upon a time, I was introduced to the wonder of cinema through my parents as a form of babysitting. Plopping me down in front of the ol’ tube to keep me occupied was the first big mistake. It created a love affair that I’ve been maintaining ever since. The second mistake that my parents made was to take me to the theater every weekend. Even if it was to see the silly actioner of the day, it was still an adventure. But the third mistake was encouraging it.

My parents made sure to find ways to get me to the theater no matter what. Or at least to the local video store. (Do you even remember those?) The first film I can remember watching is “The Longest Day“. Considered one of the “great war epics”, the film centers around the invasion of Normandy during World War II. It’s scope and scale are something sorely lacking in Hollywood today. Although released in 1962, a comparable war film wasn’t made until “Saving Private Ryan“, at least in my opinion. I hated it. As a child, who wants to watch a boring historical war movie? I was into Transformers and G.I. Joes. But as I grew older, I came to appreciate the beauty of the movie.

It’s realism at a time when Hollywood avoided showing that level of honesty about one of the most brutal days of the war opened the door for accurate depictions of history in film. Continue reading “Meet the Slicer: Pete Floyd”

Schlock du Jour: Haiku Reviews

It’s that time again!

I have culminated from my miscellaneous notes an all new edition of Haiku Reviews, that will hopefully make up for my recent neglect. Included in this entry are:
Day of the Reaper
Devotion
All Strippers Must die
American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice
Devil’s Weekend
Spoiler, I only really loved one of them.
And stay tuned as November is renamed SOVember. Coming soon. Without further ado, haiku.

Day of the Reaper (1984)

Continue reading “Schlock du Jour: Haiku Reviews”

Halloween(2018) Reel Review

Happy Halloween, Slicers.

Mark Kelly here and I’m back with a Reel Review of Halloween(2018). Having enjoyed the Halloween franchise over the past 40 years I was beyond excited hearing about this new installment. Taking place directly after the events of Halloween(1978) this movie opts to forgo the lore built over the years. Although I have enjoyed the previous films it was nice to see some new life breathed into the franchise. So, without further ado, onto the Reel Review of Halloween(2018).

It’s been 40 years since the murder of 4 people occurred in Haddonfield, IL on Halloween. That night the serial killer Micheal Myers was apprehended and has been held in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium ever since. Even though Micheal is in captivity this has provided little comfort for Laurie Strode. That night two of her best friends were murdered. Over the years she has become increasingly paranoid and has developed Agoraphobia. Although this has affected her family and friends it has also made her prepared for if Micheal ever escapes again. Continue reading “Halloween(2018) Reel Review”

A Slice of Fright – Mini Reel Reviews (pt 2)

I’m back to review more short films from A Slice of Fright Film Festival!

*6 YEARS

directed by: Kamil Wojcik

Year by year, we see events play out in a mans life. As we go through each event things get progressively more disturbing and terrifying. 

An abstract telling of a series of horrifying and gory scenes, at first I thought this animated short would turn me off. After multiple viewings, however, I find myself constantly amazed at how many interpretations I have about the plot of this film. I’m more fascinated by this short with each and every viewing.

6 out of 6 reels.

*MEAT SACK

directed by: Wages of Cine

A detective and her partner come across a horrific crime scene. After the investigation she must track down the killer that committed the unspeakable act. 

This short is oozing with style. The extremely grainy film footage combined with the excellent practical gore effects makes this film have strange sense of realism. It feels as though you’re watching footage found directly at a real crime scene. Unfortunately, this film also suffers from a case of style over substance. It’s as if this film is missing a second act, something that could explain how we get from the murder to the apprehension.

3 out of 6 reels.

*PLAY WITH ME

directed by: Ash Hamilton 

A girl (Katie Schooley) finds that she and 3 other “strangers” are in a very dangerous situation. A skull-masked murderer is after them and their options for survival are quickly running out. 

I’m a big fan of movies that nail their surprise endings. Without giving anything away this film begins with a brutal “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” type feel, but ends in a completely different fashion. The two components complement each other without ruining the overall cohesiveness of the short. In my opinion things get a bit overly silly at times, especially near the end of the film. It was also very interesting to find out that this film also doubles as a clever advertisement.

5 out of 6 reels.

*AM I SCARY NOW

directed by: Jon David Leslie

After losing a Halloween pumpkin carving contest a boy decides to go out trick or treating. His pumpkin may have lost the contest but it may be more scarier than we previously thought. 

I loved this animated short. In starts off with a “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” feel, making it seem like you’re watching a children’s Halloween special. By the end I was surprised, to my delight, at the gruesome twist that it takes.

6 out of 6 reels.

*COMPENSATION

directed by: Chu-Yi Chen

A man (Ying-Hong Li) is shackled in a dark and dirty room. He has committed a crime, a crime with which a creative punishment is in store for him. 

In a sense this is a revenge film, and a good one at that. With most revenge films we see killing as the chosen course of action. In this film we see that idea being turned on its head. Although a bit more details about the plot could have been useful for clarification, it’s an excellent film nonetheless.

5 out of 6 reels.

*THE LAST CRY

directed by: Cynthia Bergen

After receiving reports of mysterious sounds coming from a abandoned warehouse a paranormal investigator looks into the situation. What she encounters within will haunt her dreams forever. 

At first I thought, “Oh no, not another one of these paranormal investigation films again.”. When this type of movie is done well, however, it can feature some of the creepiest imagery in all of the horror genre. This film is an example of getting it right. It’s the only short that gave me a nightmare in which the creepy old man standing next to the crib made an appearance. Super scary stuff.

6 out of 6 reels.

*ANGEL WATCHING OVER ME

directed by: Even Keel Productions

Kendra(Kendra Lodewyk) is being tucked into bed for the night by her mom(Kelly Fortier). Her grandmother has recently passed away and she confides to her mother that she can hear grandma calling to her every night. Every night at exactly midnight. 

Every element of this film was done fairly well. For me it borders on being a bit forgettable, but definitely deserves a watch for the likable characters and creepy villain at the end.

3 out of 6 reels.

*DETROIT EXPLOITATION ANIMATION BLOCK

directed by: Matthew MCR Ellison II

Disturbing animation and experimental music is abound in this collection of animated shorts. 

This feature is comprised mostly of short bursts of chaotic scenes with deformed creatures being ripped apart and jarring distorted sounds. While I wouldn’t say that these would be for everyone, I also see the creativity and imagination that is put into the final product.

3 out 6 reels.

*LA ROI DE LA MORT

directed by: Jeremy Borden

Madame (Diana Moore) is excited to find that her ancient artifact has arrived. The artifact is soon revealed despite warnings of danger from the attending archaeologist (Jose Bastidas). 

A very enjoyable watch. It executed the classic silent film elements perfectly and had an old school monster movie feel. The costumes felt period accurate which was also a very nice touch. I story was fairly basic but was performed well enough that it complemented the overall esthetic. 

4 out of 6 reels.

*I’M HERE

directed by: James Pinson

A husband (Azhar Ali) has stayed over at work to catch up on some “extracurricular activities”. When he starts receiving texts he begins to realize that maybe this tryst wasn’t such a good idea after all.

The atmosphere of a darkened office coupled with the growing realization that this man is up to no good creates a setting that is perfect for tense thrilling moments. As the time of his rendezvous draws near you can actually feel the heightened apprehension that leads to the realization that he may have made a grave mistake.

5 out of 6 reels.

*CUT

directed by: Jeremy Allen

In a scene reminiscent of “Saw” we see a woman (Valerie Gilbert) and a man (Ian Beckroege) wake up in an abandoned hallway. Bloodied and beaten they both struggle to figure out what has happened. They soon find out that they are in a situation that is more dangerous then they could have ever imagined. 

I enjoy films that are able to borrow an idea and breathe new life into it. The “group of people trapped in a room” idea has been done before but never quite like this. I’d also be remiss not to mention the acting of Tommie Grabiec. He was phenomenal in “Par-A-Site” but arguably even better in this.

6 out of 6 reels.

A Slice of Fright – Mini Reel Reviews (Pt 1)

Sup, Slicers?

Mark Kelly here– I wasn’t able to attend the festival in person, so I’ve decided to write mini REEL REVIEWS of each film featured at A SLICE OF FRIGHT FILM FESTIVAL.

On Saturday the 13th, at The State Theatre in Bay City, MI, CinemaSlice hosted the first ever, A Slice of Fright Film Festival. Dedicated to the mad and macabre side of storytelling, A Slice of Fright Film Festival consisted of films ranging from the truly disturbing to the darkly hilarious. So strap in because we are coming at you with mini Reel Reviews of all the selections that were shown at the Fest.

ACNE

directed by: Arturo Uspango

A woman (Ashley Daniello) stands in front of her bathroom mirror fretting over her complexion. We soon find out the disturbing places she will go in order to fix her acne problem.

Continue reading “A Slice of Fright – Mini Reel Reviews (Pt 1)”

HHM Day 4

Hello, Slicers!

Bay City’s Hells Half Mile Fest wrapped about a week ago and I’m back with some coverage from the final day. The past couple of days I had attended movies that were more tension filled and suspenseful. On the last day I wanted a taste of something different so I ended up attending a comedy and a drama that I found particularly interesting. We’ll start off with “The Go-Getters”.

The Go-Getters”, directed by Jeremy Lalonde, is one of the most heartfelt, extremely vulgar, and entertaining comedies I have ever watched. The premise is simple, in order to fix up their extremely messed up lives Owen (Aaron Abrams),a drug addict, and Lacie(Tommie-Amber Pirie), a prostitute, must raise 98 dollars in order to buy two bus tickets out of town. Try as they might, this simple task proves to be an extremely impossible, dangerous, harmful and hilarious task in more ways than one. I found this movie immensely enjoyable. Although it isn’t for the easily offended, it was very charming similar to the tv series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. The characters are nasty and deplorable, but through good comedic acting, direction, and writing(Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall) you are rooting for them all the same. Continue reading “HHM Day 4”

Meet the Slicers: Nic White

Sup Slicers?!

I thought it about time to feature myself in this edition of “Meet the Slicers“!

At age 7, my parents asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up. I told them, “I want to be an actor, like Bugs Bunny.” Little did I know, several decade later, I’d be an animator.

I realized I was a filmmaker at 8 yrs old. I got my hands on an aunt’s VHS-camcorder, and almost immediately started shooting footage of my toys. I was eager to record elaborate scenarios for my TMNT and Master of the Universe action figures. I quickly learned the art of claymation, and stop-motion. I still remember fondly my ‘Robot Chicken’-eque cartoons about my various action figures: Transformers, GI Joes, and The Toxic Crusaders.

As soon as my family bought a Hi-8 camcorder, I was off to work. I went to the library and read countless books on filmmaking, and actively wrote (terrible) scripts. I shot short films, dragging friends and family to ‘act’ in my movies.

I edited “in camera” as much as possible– and eventually graduated to the old “two VCRs” technique. Continue reading “Meet the Slicers: Nic White”

Hell’s Half Mile 2018 – Day 2 & 3

What’s up, Slicers!

Mark Kelly here and I’m back with more Reel Reviews from the 13th annual Hells Half Mile in Bay City, MI.

The films we are looking at today were screened during the 2 and 3 days of the festival. They are selections that I felt ranged from challenging and thought provoking– to extremely fun and thrilling. We’ll start off first with “First Reformed”.

Continue reading “Hell’s Half Mile 2018 – Day 2 & 3”