Indie Spotlight

2012/04/08 17:42:02 +00:00 | Jonathan James

We’re back with the latest installment of our Indie Spotlight. Today’s feature includes two book reviews from Derek Botelho, Japanese zombie craziness, a scarecrow shirt design, and more:

Mile High Horror Film Festival: Taking place in Denver this October, the 2012 Mile High Horror Film Festival is now open for film submissions:

"The festival is accepting submissions for four categories, including feature length, short films, animated films running less than 50 minutes, and local Colorado films. Filmmakers are encouraged to submit early.  

This year’s film festival will run October 5-7, 2012 at Denver FilmCenter/Colfax, located at 2510 East Colfax in Denver, CO. An IMDb-qualifying festival, the festival’s mission is to showcase the best in independent horror film. The 2011 festival featured more than 30 films from 11 countries. Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Horror Film was given to guest Michael Berryman (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, “The Hills Have Eyes” and Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s Rejects). Guest judges included Jeffrey Reddick (creator of of the “Final Destination” series) and Dan Myrick (director of “The Blair Witch Project”)."

For more information, visit:

The Bag And The Crow: Our featured image for this weekend's Indie Spotlight is the latest shirt design from The Bag And The Crow:

"The Bag And The Crow is not your run-of-the-mill horror apparel brand. Jassen Bailey, a big horror fan, was tired of seeing clothing with the same old movie icons and designs on them; he wanted to see something fresh and original. So he decided to take matters into his own hands. In 2010, he started The Bag & The Crow, proudly featuring original designs and artwork created exclusively for TB&TC by some of the best independent horror artists in the genre – artists like Joel Robinson, Bob Freeman, Zach McCain, and Chad Savage. 

The Bag And The Crow’s newest design came about after meeting artist Joel Robinson at Rock And Shock 2011. You will notice that The Bag And The Crow logo features a crow on a scarecrow head. I really wanted to make the scarecrow come alive in one of our designs. I envisioned this badass-looking scarecrow with stick-like claws, and at the beginning of 2012 got in touch with Joel."

They are offering Daily Dead readers a chance to receive a poster with their order while supplies last. To claim your 11x17 poster of the scarecrow design, write Daily Dead into the comments section in Paypal when checking out. For more information on The Bag And The Crow, visit:

New Images from The Road: We've received 4 new images (see below) from The Road, the first Filipino horror film to receive a mainstream U.S. release:

"THE ROAD tells the story of a twelve-year-old cold case that is reopened when three teenagers vanish while while traversing an infamous and abandoned road. As investigators try to find leads to the whereabouts of the missing teens, they also unearth the road’s gruesome past that spans two decades – a history of abduction, crimes and murders."

For more information, visit:

ZOMBOOBIES! (OPAI-ZUKI-ZOMBIE!): "ZOMBOOBIES! (OPAI-ZUKI-ZOMBIE!) is the feature film debut of Director Franky Fuji (Francois Fujimoto). Franky is the son of a French fashion model and a Japanese business man. Raised by his globe trotting mother, Franky developed a love for the films of his Father's homeland from spending much of his youth in Liberdade, the worlds largest “Japan Town” in São Paulo, Brazil. In his late 20’s Franky made a life changing trip to Tokyo where he realized his true destiny! "To make the world’s best Japanese horror comedy movies; full with giant monsters and giant-er breasts." ZOMBOOBIES! (OPAI-ZUKI-ZOMBIE!) is the first of many such films soon to arrive from this talented new film maker."

View the teaser trailer at:

Familiar: A new clip from the horror short film Familiar has just been released. It will be screening next week at the Chicago Fear Fest (April 13-14) and Texas Frightmare Weekend on May 4,5, and 6. Written/Directed by Richard Powell and produced by Zach Green, Familiar stars Robert Nolan, Astrida Auza and Cathryn Hostick "as the seemingly idyllic yet ultimately doomed Dodd Family.”

“Through a series of tragic events a middle aged man grows to suspect the negative impulses plaguing his mind may not be his own.”

View the new clip at:

Book Review: Lost Horizons Beneath the Hollywood Sign

David Del Valle, noted film historian, journalist, and former talent agent has assembled a merry menagerie of interesting figures in the film industry for his book Lost Horizons Beneath the Hollywood Sign. The book is an intriguing memoir of a truly unique personality in the Hollywood scene during the 1970’s to the 1990’s. In his capacity as film journalist and talent agent, David ran across every manner of actor, director, producer, and writer one could think of. And these encounters, whether professional or personal, are what make up this collection of stories.

Thematically the book revels in the stories of those in Hollywood whose star never shone as bright as the likes of Elizabeth Taylor or Paul Newman, yet they all made a mark in one way or another. Many of these people were never respected as they should have been or desired to be. Of course there are a few standouts, such as Price, Gloria Stuart, John Carradine, and Christopher Lee. But for the most part, Del Valle illuminates many obscure people, who are just as fascinating, if not more so than their better known colleagues.

Del Valle writes in a very conversational, yet intelligent style. It’s like eavesdropping in the hippest, craziest beauty salon that only existed in the movies. There are some outrageous moments chronicled here, such as visiting a West Hollywood gay bar with Martha Raye only to encounter the eccentric German filmmaker Rainer Fassbinder patronizing the place as well! Another chapter tells of David’s encounters with Timothy Leary in and out of the lecture halls.

A favorite is the chapter in which David recounts working on Jeff Burr’s film From a Whisper to a Scream as the unit publicist. He fondly recalls after weeks of working with Price, knowing it was the last night they would work together as he drives away from the set in tears. “Hollywood is one of the most evil cities on the planet.”, Vincent Price once told David in earnest. Regardless of its moral turpitude, it is one of the most fascinating places you will travel to courtesy of David Del Valle in this anthology of fascinating vignettes of a truly unique life.

Review written by: Derek Botelho

Book Review: Dario Argento

Irish film critic, James Gracey has put his love of all things Argento into book form with the release of the simply titled: Dario Argento, part of a series of books from Kamera Books in the U.K. The book is an easy read, written in a simple, straightforward yet academic style that is appealing. Broken down into a primer on Argento of sorts, it’s an interesting approach. There is a section devoted to each “cycle” in Argento’s career, and each film has its own section within these sections. Further, each film chapter is broken down into: the cast and crew, a brief synopsis, background, comments, style/technical, themes, music, trivia, and verdict.

A nice thing about what Gracey has done here is that he has no interest in being a sycophant and heaping praise upon everything Argento has offered over the years. While he is a bigger fan of Giallo than I was, he doesn’t lavish Phantom of the Opera or Mother of Tears with undue accolades. He can see them for what they are: oddities in a rather outstanding career that feel out of place. But again, that is what criticism and analysis is all about, personal interpretation. So nothing he has to say is without merit, because it is valid to him and he has some valid evidence for his claims.

Once Gracey has thoroughly examined each film Argento has written and directed there is a section on the films he has produced and the screenplays he wrote earlier in his career. The text is what matters here, and it is written well, but unfortunately the book is sparsely illustrated with only a small color selection of photos in the middle of the book that have been seen many times over the years.

The book should appeal to anyone with an interest in Argento’s career, or scholars of the horror genre at large. However, there isn’t much that is revelatory to the dyed in the wool Argento fan as others have said it all before. That being said, the book is worthwhile, and Gracey has created a “pocket guide” to Argento’s career, that is a nice introduction to the Italian auteur’s career.

Review written by: Derek Botelho


Photos from The Road: