Wednesday, April 25, 2012

TDHorror Retro Review

I've been absent again I know. It's unfair and I'm really sorry. I don't have much of an excuse other than that work has been really busy and everyone has been quiting or getting sick, leaving me to take their shifts. Hopefully it'll die down some and I'll have more time for myself if not then we're just going to have to be honest, I can't keep up a review a week. That's not to say that I'll stop completely, of course not. I'm working on a few reviews including Grave Encounters and The Human Centipede 2 but it won't be on a weekly basis. And there wont be a review tomorrow because I haven't even gotten a chance to watch Demons let alone write a review for it. This was actually suppose to be last weeks film but as I haven't had a chance to watch Burnt Offerings I had to move it for a TDHorror review. My writing is suffering badly from this work overload and I'm too tired to write beyond prose, so I apologize.

"The film is led by a talented cast. Aidrienne Barbeau is the late night radio host who turns her voice in a soft sensual thrill for the fisherman out at see. Where Jamie Lee Curtis is the drifter who makes a temporary home with Tom Atkin’s Nick. Legendary shower victim and Curtis’s mom, Janet Leigh, is head of the town’s centennial celebration"

As usual you may read the rest here

I hope that you forgive me for being a bad reviewer. I'm so appreciative of all my followers and those who just simply glance at my stuff. I'm going to try very hard to get back on track but until then I hope you stick around. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Holiday Horrors: Four Twenty Past Midnight

It's four twenty and it'd be wrong if my favorite month didn't follow in the tradition of my other favorite month (October) at succeeding at being generally crappy. I love Halloween and that ended in a horrible night I don't care to relive and today is just getting worse by the hour. I really hoping it gets better, the national stoners day aside and all. If I didn't have to work a double shift I'd stay home and watch horror movies for the rest of the day.

Anyways I'm just here to say Happy Four Twenty. 

And if you're in disagree to the day or the act or whatever...

Chucky says fuck off.

Happy Four Twenty/Follow Friday/Irrelevant Post Friday. Whichever is relevant to you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

You know I'm not a Friday the 13th girl but I could get see myself donning these...

Hmm, maybe a Freddy sweater instead?

Happy Friday the 13th/Irrelevant Post Friday/Follow Friday. Whichever is relevant to you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Play Misty For Me (1971)

Radio jockey David has long been receiving a single phone call with the seductive and soft voice of a woman asking him to 'play misty' for her. David has a reputation of sleeping around a bit and has been trying to change his habits. He makes a slip though when one night he by chance meets the play misty woman at a bar and the two spend the night together. To David it's just another one night stand but to the woman, Evelyn, it becomes her everything. Evelyn begins to make herself persistently present in David's life, simply harmless at first but she becomes much more psychotic and obsessive as he continues to turn her away. When David's old fling, Tobie, appears back into his life Evelyn's insanity is redirected and Tobie is left in danger.

Clint Eastwood's directorial debut features that of a femme fatal in likes to the destructive relationship of that in Fatal Attraction. Where as that film posed as a cautionary tale to cheating husbands Play Misty For Me could be a warning to all men, and women mind you, to be careful who you mess around with. In honesty though the film is a little bit anti-climatic. I would of liked to have seen a longer fight between Evelyn and David instead of the short one we are given. The film mimics similar nature of the song in which it's named after, it reflects that slow instrumental strum to create cool a lightly tinted thriller.

As Eastwood handles the duo role of acting and directing I felt he gave more attention to the latter than the former. Not to attest that he's bad in this film but I believe more of his worries were on how he'd look as a director and less as an actor. From an acting point Eastwood is able to capture that run of the mill douche quality to the earlier part of David's character and tone it down just enough in a subtle yet convincing play for the romantic side that is shown towards the end. Jessica Walter is quite insane as Evelyn, she in general at first appears sweet and only a little bit obsessive and then manages to blow her mind out entirely and lose it. The photography is about average, there's a waterfall lovemaking scene for the romantic horror loves out there that might be of interest but other than that a good but nothing exceptional use of shots. But I loved the retro seventies set design and look for the film, it was diverting for a nostalgic such as myself.

The interesting thing about Play Misty for Me is that unlike Fatal Attraction the two main characters didn't experience this passionate affair in which the man led the woman astray, but rather it consisted of a one night stand a few seductive 'Play Misty for Me' phone calls. Evelyn's obsession towards David was a lot more grounded in her likely not being sane from the start and when she got close it took her past her limitations. Which is why I say it poses as a cautionary tale for men and women, this isn't a 'being faithful to your wives' warning, this is be careful who you bring home. Eastwood's early directorial effort peaks at the later efforts in his career and makes for a good thriller. Not my favorite suspense film but Play Misty for Me is a decent watch for any of those a fan of Eastwood or of the femme fatal films.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Press Release: Indie Horror Short “Microcinema” Scores Two More with Ronda Hatton Kudo and a Slot at Shock Stock Horror Convention

Very happy about this. Congratulations to Skip and everyone involved. Finally some long overdue recognition.

Indie Horror Short “Microcinema” Scores Two More with Ronda Hatton Kudo and a Slot at Shock Stock Horror Convention

MASSACHUSETTS (April 7, 2012) – The hits keep coming for Massachusetts-based Harvest Tide Productions first online and internationally self-distributed horror short independent film “Microcinema,”  written and directed by Harvest Tide Productions co-founder Skip Shea.  “Microcinema” recently won a fan-based 2012 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award Honorable Mention for best Short Film ( and this week, on Friday the 13th, “Microcinema” will be screened at the Shock Stock Convention ( at Centennial Hall in London, Ontario with other shorts, Short Stock, from 8 to 10 p.m.

“Harvest Tide and the cast and crew of “Microcinema” are very honored and grateful to be win a Rondo Honorable Mention,” said Shea. “It represents the voice of the fans and there really is no better judge in the horror genre. To be added to the the Shock Stock Convention line up is equally exciting. It is one of the largest Horror Conventions in Canada, which only confirms that our cult status is growing. We are quite honored to be included."

Starring Alex Lewis and Aurora Grabill, “Microcinema” ( is the story of Peter Martell, a highly educated, well-to-do young man with too much free time on his hands. He spends it watching snuff films. One day he makes the bold decision to cross the line from observer to participant, aspiring to bring a philosophical element to his own kind of snuff films. Ready to go to work, he tracks his first victim into a haunted New England wood, where the boundary between participant and observer takes a different turn.

In 2011, “Microcinema” scored on several best-of lists and gained momentum as a cult favorite and a hit with horror reviewers. Chris Conduit of The Conduit Speaks, put "Microcinema" as the best horror short of the year giving it his Conduit Award.

Danielle Holman writing for Truly Disturbing Horror, listed "Microcinema" as one of the five best horror films saying, "Skip Shea’s seven-minute short film is deserving in the ranks of the big films as it’s able to accomplish more in less than ten minutes than an hour and a half feature length film." In her Bleeding Dead, she has called “Microcinema” "…one of the most important horror films of our time."

“Microcinema” wowed critics and audiences last year at several horror film festivals and screenings within the few short months of its release. Screenings in 2011 included the 1st Annual Danish Horror Film Festival: THE TURBINE at Spinderihallerne, Vejle, Denmark; All Things Horror Shudder Fest at the Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA; Short Horror Films at AS220 in Providence, RI; the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival; and before Canadian horror film fans at Fright Night Theater presents: ABSENTIA & Microcinema at the Staircase Cafe Theater in Hamilton, Ontario.

“Microcinema” was originally a storyline for one of the episodes of Harvest Tide’s new horror web series “Longreach,” written by William DeCoff. “Longreach” follows the demise of Daniel Jedrek, the sergeant at arms for the Longreach Association, an ancient global charitable organization that takes charity to extremes. The Harvest Tide production team – Shea, DeCoff, Will Smyth and Emily King – agreed that “Microcinema” stood on its own in the burgeoning new online entertainment and media arena and delivers a brutal and gruesome tale to horror film fans. 

"Microcinema” is now available on the film’s website for under .99 cents. “The best horror for under a dollar.”


What the critics are saying about “Microcinema” 

"In what stands out as a giddy teenager spitting in the face of authority, Harvest Tide Productions and Uxbridge, MA’s own Skip Shea have crafted a short film that solidly runs all the lines of horror while establishing its own "unique and disturbing storyline that scares (pun intended) away from the genre’s usual archaic tropes." - Josh Lyford, Pulse Magazine.

"This is a 6 minute experience genre fans owe themselves. It’s rare these days to find full length Hollywood feature films that feel fresh, let alone 6 minute shorts made on tiny budgets." - Life After Undeath Blog.

"The film is brave and unrelenting. It is a breath of fresh air to a lot of the common horror tricks that are being trotted out time and again." -Alexandra West, Scare Tactics Blog.

"Skip Shea is an adept director with equal ability to write, his short film gets more across than most full length films.  4 out of 5 Stars" - The Bleeding Dead Film Reviews. 

"You will not be expecting to see the events that unfold in this shocking short film." - The Horror Spot

"The script itself deserves kudos for completely drawing your attention to the one aspect we would expect every horror film to contain and then suddenly shocks you with an element you rarely see in this genre."  The Scariest Movies Online 

"I figured I was in for one of three things:  a really solid work, a bite size film that left me feeling nothing, or one of those that makes me want to substitute rat poison for the salt on my dinner table.  Those are the three categories all art falls into for me, always. Yet, when it was all said and done, Shea's vignette carved a whole new icky slot out just for itself. 9 out of 10 Stars" - The Conduit Speaks

"Brilliant. 8.5 out of 10 Stars" - The Gruesome Hurtzogg Horror Movie Review Podcast.

"4 out of 5 Stars" - Char Hardin 

"What I find particularly interesting about Microcinema is its plot and how it seems to blend together torture, voyeurism, and a lot of other really weird horrific topics like snuff films." - Horror Society 

"Microcinema Doesn't Disappoint" - Victor Infante, Worcester Telergram & Gazette

"The new indie horror romp Microcinema and it is a doozy." - Truly Disturbing Horror

"Interesting short that starts as your usual slasher/serial killer fare before taking a wicked little turn."  -Shaun Sjolin Cenobiteme Blog

"Unicornsblud Horror Review Stamp of Majestic Approval"  - Unicronsblud's Horror Reviews

“Twisted and sick but with a new vision.” - The Dr. Chris Radio of Horror

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Horror Short: Familiar (2012)

Written and directed by Richard Powell
Staring Robert Nolan, Astrida Auza, and Cathryn Hostick
Director of Photography Michael Jari Davidson

Sanity fights an inner monologue as husband and father John Dodd increasingly begins to lose his mind, taking his inability to tolerate the mundane of his life to a drastic end. The name Cronenberg is being thrown around with this short and short duo (director Powell and producer Zach Green), for good reason too as they create a film with a very much body modification horror but without the schlock that came with Cronenberg's early films. Which I'll address first more than anything is the exceptional special effects by The Butcher Shop, good not only for a low budget short film but good for any film with an illimitable amount of money. Richard Powell's script is the essence of fear as his character John Dodd engages in horrifying acts, the first which occupies the build of the story and the latter which proves for a flinching climax.

Where is Robert Nolan in mainstream horror? Nolan delivers an aberrant performance in John Dodd, a man lost in his own head and life. Powell's direction is on par with his script writing. He and Nolan are made for each other on screen as he directs one of the most bleak horror shorts I've seen. Again my favorite use of a real life horror act paired with an inhuman one creates a more faceted horror film. Photography for the film is subtle and makes for a fitting background to Dodd's disturbance. The contrasting darkness in the bright suburban home sets a dense mood and easily reflects the character's emotions. Green and Powell's twenty minute short film is not only a testament to independent budget film making but an effectual addition to the genre itself. It stands without sympathy or generosity from the limitations and is by itself a rather chilling horror film. The ending may not be for the squeamish but if you can stomach it this a definite short film watch.

As usual Familiar is making its way around film festivals so look for it. You can keep updated with Familiar on its Facebook page and follow Fatal Pictures on Blogspot for more info on this short and others.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Phenomena (1985)

Phenomena is about Jennifer, the precocious daughter of a famous actor, recently sent to a Swiss boarding school. Upon arriving Jennifer is introduced to a few things the first being torment by her classmates who are more or less jealous of her father and put off by her odd love of bugs, and the second that a killer has been lurking the school for months. The mysterious murder preys on the young female students and has remained anonymous entirely to the police. When Jennifer sleep walks one night and is witness to one of the murders she ends up at a Dr. John McGregor, an entomologist, house with his pet and friend monkey Inga. Instantly McGregor takes a liking to Jennifer as they both have a love of insects in common but McGregor also notices her unique ability to handle them. Suspecting that Jennifer is able to telepathically communicate with bugs is proven true when she summons them to her school. With her new gift Jennifer may be able to solve the murders but it doesn't exclude putting her life in danger.

Insanity at it's best we have a crazy plot but with a much more mature director, especially at the beginning. A visual forepart of Swiss alps scenery, and in particular a waterfall, make this the 'nature version' of the Argento deaths. Often I felt the 'I've seen this girl's head fall through a glass window before' but got over it as I got way that our killer was rather keen on impalement and decapitation. Jennifer's sleep walking visions are intensely effective and appear almost nightmarish for the viewer. Often the sub-plots hit dead ends throughout the story and some things that occur in the beginning didn't connect to the end. The film falls apart in the latter half, and I preferred the story buildup to the absurd climax, but I had fun there too. A monkey wielding a straight razor is not a bad day in my opinion.

Jennifer's personality becomes a little high strong as the film progresses but still holds a likeability that's usually not allotted to her type of character which appeals directly in her being different. This is one of Jennifer Connolly's first roles and it displays her as a mature actress at her age. Donald Pleasence is the entomologist who helps Jennifer and alone steals the film with his quiet but great performance. I really did like his character and I was sad when he died. Unlike a lot of his works the film isn't enriched with a tantalizing blue and reds, instead we are treated to a more green scope of nature with the choice of scenary. And of course the deaths are as up close and personal as ever. I labeled this as Argento's heavy metal rock film of the eighties, an odd yet somehow brilliant combination I did not believe could exist. The film blares loud chords of rock music and in it makes itself much younger, maybe to appeal to the slasher teen audience of the eighties.

Phenomena doesn't really care that it doesn't make sense or that it leaves near dead plots, it's just a usual Argento; great soundtrack, great visuals, and interesting deaths. There's of course the inevitable similarities between it and Suspiria, but really only in plot. The two girls are Americans who go to a boarding school run by strict women but other than that the two scenarios vary greatly. Suzy is naive and doesn't do that much to get out of her situation where Jennifer is constantly pushing and has an ability above the typical final girl unfortunate. After seeing this its not hard to conclude what scares the director, in common theme I feel that boarding schools with strict cruel headmasters (Suspiria, Phenomena), and faces with distorted features that expose buck baby teeth (Phenomena, Deep Red) give him quite a scare. Or at least what he attributes to be the most effective. Either or Phenomena is a fabulously absurd eighties horror film, for any fan of Argento or for those looking for a light on the camp and high on the strange film.