“Midland Street Wicked” Reel Review

CinemaSlice.com’s Indy Film Spotlight rolls on with the 3rd installment of the monthly cinematic series.

Next up is “Midland Street Wicked”, a horror film by Even Keel Productions and a movie that was also shot right in my neck of the woods, Bay City, MI. When people are found dead on Midland St. the local community starts to become concerned for their safety. In the area, a group of women get together to have some drinks and we find that one of them may have a connection to a mysterious pair of sunglasses that were lost years earlier.

A connection between the murders on Midland St., the strange sunglasses, and the female friends all lead up to a horrifying conclusion.

This was very entertaining and terrifying short film that showcased awesome gory special effects for a low budget movie. The pacing is good with a suspenseful intro that sets up the events nicely, which leads to a fun middle section that introduces us to the main characters in lighthearted way. This makes the back half of the story very effective when we start to see the horror and carnage that unfolds throughout the last 10 minutes of the film.

“Midland Street Wicked” is part of a series that centers around the pair of sunglasses that are described in the film. It can, however, be watched as a standalone experience although I could see the sunglasses being a bit confusing to first time viewers.

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Under the Radar

On Halloween, 2017, CinemaSlice‘s Michael Welborn released a short film clip paying homage to the 1940 film The Devil Bat (starring Bela Lugosi) – also called The Devil Bat. I asked an old college friend (an avid film fan, and a classmate in Andrew Jefchak‘s Literature and Motion Pictures class at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan) for his input on the film before I wrote this.

Talking with Welborn, he mentioned that his intention was to cover what he felt was the main scene(s) in the original film – explaining the short length (a little over three minutes) of this project. He also had some ideas he’d like to try for an expanded homage – though to my knowledge those are still in the concept stage.

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Bump in the Night – Short Film Fest 2017

Happy Halloween! Devils Night brought the return of Bay City’s Bump in the Night Short Film Fest and with it six scary tales shown at Bemo’s Bar for those brave enough to attend. Here are my thoughts on each of the films.

Killer Shades Saga

The first three shorts shown was a trilogy of sorts. They are connected by a mysterious woman that arrives at various times throughout the three films with a pair a sunglasses that seem to have strange powers.

The Ronnie Blu Obsession

First up in the trilogy was The Ronnie Blu Obsession. This was about the story of a guy whose love for an actress named Veronica Blu leads him down a dark path when he is visited by strange woman. The man receives a pair of sunglasses when he confesses to her that he would do anything for Veronica Blu’s love, even sell his soul.
Out of all of the Killer Shades Saga shorts, this film utilizes the idea of the mysterious sunglasses the best. It added the creepy supernatural element that carried the plot to the end and it kept me interested to see what would happen.

It was the least scary of the trilogy, however, so I’m giving it 3 out of 6 reels.

Midland Street Wicked

People are being found dead on Midland St. and when a group of women get together to have some drinks we find that one of them may have a connection to the sunglasses that were lost years earlier. A connection that shows that the sunglasses evil power has grown.
I thought this short was great. Good build up to the end and some great special effects for a locally made movie.

I give this 5 out of 6 reels.

Zoe

A conversation between a mother and her daughter about starting a new chapter in their live goes awry when the dreaded sunglasses once again make an appearance.
It’s really short at only about 5 minutes but I’m a sucker for creepy, evil looking children.

4 out of 6 reels.

8 Years Ago In February

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One For the Show, Two For the Money

This will be a review of the CinemaSlice Short Film Double Feature, covering two short film releases by Michael Welborn: Sleep / Humans

The first entry is “SLEEP

A horror film with a mix of humor and sadism. I feel this film is a lot longer than it needs to be. The opening itself running a slightly-past-tolerable 2 minutes, plus. I’m not sure if the background images really do much for setting up the story itself (rather, justifying the amount of time spent on them). It’s possible there’s some key element among them, but after a couple of viewings it still eludes me – other than establishing a medical-theme. The one nice thing though is the opening soundtrack (by AVZTN), which has a special creepiness to it – the classic haunting sounds do produce a chilling effect, causing uneasiness in the viewer (or at least to me).

The first shot is a close-up of an anesthesiologist (played by Michael Welborn), explaining to a patient who he is and what his duties are suppose to be. We then see the patient (Mr. Covington, played by Brandon Guiles). We quickly learn this is suppose to be an appendectomy. However the bedside manner of the physician is disturbing Covington a bit.

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Top 5 Torture films

In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to write a list of my top 5 torture films!

As I researched my memory for ‘torture porn’ films I’ve enjoyed, I began to think of some of the more extreme examples– ABC’s of Death, Cannibal Holocaust, A Saberian Film, etc. — And frankly, I’ve realized I have limits! (Woah!) I prefer my torture films to be gorey, but fun!– both disturbing and surreal.

I decided not to include hyper bloody horror films such as Dead Alive, House of 1000 Corpses, Return of the Living Dead, etc– but rather those films that make you[me] uncomfortable, and at the same time, begging for more.

5. Hostel (2005)

Eli Roth broke into the genre with Hostel.
Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.
Various rich sadists are involved in a sinister secret society called, Elite Hunting. Here they are free to select from a room of torture tools, and get their jollies torturing blind-sdied tourists!

4. Saw (2004)

The original Saw film was a huge inspiration for me as a filmmaker. The majority of the film took place in 1 room! With only 2 actors!  Continue reading “Top 5 Torture films”

5. The Devil’s Candy (Movie Review)

The Devil’s Candy (86%Netflix Match)

Netflix Description: A struggling painter moves his family into a house with a horrific past and soon finds himself being artistically inspired by demonic forces.

Review:

As soon as I saw IFC Midnight scroll across the screen I immediately knew I was in for a ride. IFC either has really bad movies, really good hidden gems or movies that make you question your moral standings just for watching them lol. Thankfully The Devil’s Candy is one of those gems you never thought you would uncover, but you do. This film shows us the reality of true evil which is man.

Lets start off with the acting on this one. Not a single poor performance across the board. I love it when I can watch a movie and feel like i’m getting to peer into this other dimension into peoples lives. That is exactly what a film should be. When you can tell someone is acting it ruins the whole thing, it breaks your concentration. This movie pulled me in from start to finish and left me on the edge of my seat.

Pruitt Taylor Vince plays such a damn good killer/mental patient that it makes you fear you never see his character in real life. I assumed this movie was going to be some typical black contact wearing, people flying across the room jump fest and it wasn’t. He can get that look in his eyes where he looks like he his off in his own world and it sells his character even more. That disconnect he can do is amazing.

I didn’t realize it at first but at the end I saw Ethan Embry as almost like this Christ like figure. Not sure if they meant him to seem that way or not but it came off to me like he was. He was rocking that medium long hair with the short beard defeating the evil that was Vince. I would really love to talk the writers on this one and pick their brain. The same look goes for most metal dudes though so maybe it’s just me reaching for more than it’s worth. Continue reading “5. The Devil’s Candy (Movie Review)”

4. XX (Movie Review)

XX (90% Netflix Match)

Netflix Description: This four-part anthology of short horror films features stories that include some traditional themes but all are shown from a female point of view.

Review: Right away we see that this movie has broken off from our Netflix suggested trend of ghost/demon movies. Why doesn’t this one fit with the Netflix algorithm we have been seeing (refer back to first article of this series to get filled in)? Well good reader I can tell you exactly why.

This is a Magnet Releasing movie. No matter how many bad movies I dive into, no matter how many times I share my account password and friends ruin my suggested list, Magnet will always be there. That is because not a single Magnet movie I have watched on Netflix has received anything less than a 4 star rating from me or a thumbs down if we are talking the new rating system. They will always be the highest rated suggestion on Netflix for me. Simply put without going total fan boy right now, THEY ONLY RELEASE GOOD MOVIES! Oh yes there will be a whole article series just for their films coming up, don’t you worry. Until then lets start breaking this movie down.

This movie is split up into 4 short films which are all shown from a female point of view and are all directed by women. I would say there is actually 5 films in this because of the intro and its continuation as a transition piece between films. Not sure if that is actual considered “XX” or if it had a name at all, but it was one of the coolest stop motion animations I have seen in a long time. As far as the short films go they span the full spectrum of horror, Lets look at the first!

Continue reading “4. XX (Movie Review)”

3. Demonic (Movie Review)

Demonic (96% Netflix Match)

Netflix Description: When amateur ghost hunters visit an abandoned house, their investigation turns into a massacre, leaving questions for a detective and a psychologist.

Review: I hate to keep rating these movies so low but I mean come on. Snooze fest after snooze fest. No literally, I fell asleep during this movie and had to start over where I left off at a later time. When you watch a movie it shouldn’t feel like work and that’s exactly what it felt like to watch this.

Lets start with the characters. Not a single one stood out to me. I usually like fresh actors in movies instead of stars we’ve seen time and again. With the exception to movies like this. You could have went to any college campus anywhere and picked random, generic people to be in this and that’s exactly what this cast felt like. “Hey kid, do you want to be in a movie, cuz now you’re in a movie!” The only character I felt anything for, and don’t ask me why was Jenkins played by Terence Rosemore. He just seemed like one of those guys you really hoped nothing would happened to in the movie because he looked like a genuine guy. That’s just me though, I like interesting characters. As my mom always says, “If everyone in the world was the same, it would be a really boring place” and that is what most of this cast makes… a very boring movie. Continue reading “3. Demonic (Movie Review)”

2. House on Willow Street (Movie Review)

House on Willow Street (98% Netflix Match)

 

Netflix Description: A group of desperate kidnappers learn the hard way that their captive isn’t just another damsel in distress… She’s a demon.

Review

Have to be honest with this, I don’t recognize a single actor in this one. I see that a few have played in some bigger movies recently like Robocop and Step Up 3D but I haven’t seen either to be able to fully judge on these actors skills. The actor that stood out the most to me didn’t even get the spotlight and that was Gustav Gerdener who played James. Gustav seemed like a natural and did a hell of a job at acting possessed. Hopefully he will get picked up for some bigger roles in the future!

Now on to the camera work which is something I usually do not touch on. For not being a blockbuster hit, the camera work was on par and looked very fluid. I especially liked the scenes that required the camera to follow the actors. There was just enough stability to make it not “shaky cam” but still give it enough bounce to make the camera seem natural. To which I give the team props. Continue reading “2. House on Willow Street (Movie Review)”

Hello, This is QuEsT

Hello people of the Slice,

People of the sun,

People of the arts.

My name is Michael Gonzalez, owner operator of Crowded Couch, which is an art music and networking platform. Our motto is art, comfort, community.I am from bay city, Michigan, where I still reside, but my heart is with all causes that relate to my own dream for MORE ART, MORE EVENTS, MORE PARTICIPATION, MORE LOVE and APPRECIATION FOR ARTS.

I consider myself a jack of all arts, with the intent to incubate, network, and accent art comfort and community. I use art to shock the beauty out of people. Poetry. Photography, music, sculpture, mixed media painting and collage, etc.

Cinema slice is naturally an extension of all if this by virtue of it’s existence, and so being invited to contribute to the Creative Soup is a true blessing.

  • Why do we art?
  • And what is the purpose of a collective?

Continue reading “Hello, This is QuEsT”