Indie Spotlight

2014/01/19 20:14:47 +00:00 | Tamika Jones

We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today's massive feature includes a review for Nobody Can Cool, first details on The Night Crew, Heir, and a Doctor Who documentary called Who's Changing: An Adventure In Time With Fans, a new clip from Muck, trailers for Blood Shed, NightBeasts, and Virginia Obscura, and much more:

[Editor's Note: We want to give a big thanks to our Indie Spotlight manager, Tamika Jones, for her constant work on this weekly feature and putting together our largest Indie Spotlight to date this weekend!]

Indie Spotlight Review: Nobody Can Cool

by Heather Wixson

Nobody Can Cool is the rather impressive directorial debut from up-and-coming filmmaking duo DPYX, Marcy Boyle and Rachel Holzman, who crafted a blisteringly taut and thoughtful indie crime thriller with a palpable sense of tension from start to finish. A gritty and engaging tale of deceit, violence and desperation, Nobody Can Cool is anchored by a breakout performance by Nick Principe (best known from his work in the Laid to Rest series, Madison County and The FP) and further demonstrates how good material can overcome any budgetary limitations independent filmmakers may face with an intelligent “less is more” approach that really works in its favor.

The story of Nobody Can Cool starts off simply enough with a young couple, Susan (Catherine Annette) and David (David Atlas), who are hoping to enjoy a weekend getaway at a friend’s cabin only to discover it’s being occupied by a mysterious couple, Len (Nick Principe) and Gigi (Nikki Bohm). Rather than trek out in the middle of the night to look for a hotel in the middle of nowhere, the two couples awkwardly agree to share the cabin for the night and that’s when things get complicated. Susan and David’s suspicions of the offbeat Len and Gigi are soon proven true when they discover that by staying the night, they’ve gotten themselves mixed up in the business of two hardened criminals who aren’t above a little bloodshed if the payday’s right. As tensions rise, devastating secrets are revealed between both couples proving that when you deceive the ones you love, the consequences can be deadly.

Much of the credit as to why Nobody Can Cool works so well is due to the first-time writing, producing and directing team of DPYX (Boyle and Holzman) who wisely focus on building tension as well as creating a surprising and engaging story that doesn’t feel like the same micro-budgeted thriller we often see time and time again, which was really refreshing.

That’s not to say the budgetary limitations were completely hidden in Nobody Can Cool; the need to keep the story confined to one location is evident and the film also suffers from several shoddy CG shots which made me wonder why DPYX didn’t try to just rewrite the gag if they weren’t able to nail it practically. However, when it comes to independent films, when they manage to hook me in with a clever story, it’s really easy for me to overlook the little things that may not necessarily be perfect because in the end, the story trumps them all and Nobody Can Cool did just that in spades.

In terms of performances, Principe is the standout with a rather fantastic performance Nobody Can Cool, proving that this guy should have been doing more work without a mask over the last few years because he oozes a cool charisma that you can’t help but like even when his character Len is being a total prick. The rest of the ensemble- Annette, Bohm and Atlas- are all really strong as well in the film and do a solid job with the material.

As a whole, Nobody Can Cool is an impressive debut that demonstrates you don’t need big bucks when you’ve got a lot of talent both behind and in front of the camera. Definitely a bit of a slow-burn, Nobody Can Cool kicks into high gear once the story’s layers begin to peel back, exposing some deadly secrets that actually managed to keep me guessing through the conclusion. Absolutely worth checking out if you’re a big fan of other indie crime thrillers like Ratline or A Horrible Way to Die.

Film Rating: 3/5

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First Details on The Night Crew: "Premiere Entertainment Group announces today that principal photography has commenced in Palm Springs, CA on its latest feature film The Night Crew. Directed by Christian Sesma and written by Paul Sloan and Sesma, the movie stars Luke Goss (Hellboy II), Danny Trejo (Machete), Bokeem Woodbine (Riddick) and Chasty Ballesteros (Final Destination 5). The Night Crew is being produced by Ryan Noto.

The Night Crew centers on a group of hard up bounty hunters who must survive the night in a desert motel against a horde of savage cartel killers. They soon realize that their fugitive, a mysterious Chinese woman, is much more than she lets on.

The director of photography is Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein (We the Party), the editor is Eric Potter (The Lincoln Lawyer) with casting by Jennifer Cooper (Scenic Route, CSI:NY).

Jack Campbell and Elias Axume from Premiere Entertainment Group are handling worldwide distribution and will be introducing the title at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival."

For more information, visit: http://www.premiereentertainmentgroup.com

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New Details on Short Film, Heir: "After connecting with a stranger of similar interests online, family man Gordon and his son Paul, embark on an ill-fated road trip in which Gordon aims to indulge in a secret passion. Before the day ends a horrible truth will be uncovered and a harsh lesson will be learned.

Combining the best and brightest of our previous film, Familiar, with new and accomplished collaborators (Bill Oberst Jr., Marc Rousse and Ron Basch from Red Sneakers Media), Heir is set to be a disturbing, practical FX driven horror short which examines one of societies darkest taboos in a way only Fatal Pictures can. Heir stands to be our darkest, sharpest and most successful film to date!

Written and Directed by Richard Powell. Produced by Zach Green, Marc Roussel, Ron Basch and Richard Powell. Produced in association with Red Sneakers Media - both Director’s Guild of Canada nominees for Best Short Film. Associate Producer Heather Wixson (Founder Cinemayhem Film Festival, Journalist Dread Central). Special Effects by The Butcher Shop (Familiar, Devil's Night). Cinematography by Michael Davidson."

Heir's Kickstarter campaign has also been launched. On the campaign's site, Robert Nolan "talks about the film and past collaborations."

To learn more, and to support the film's progress, visit:

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New Clip for Muck and 4K/Ultra HD Release Details: "For Steve Wolsh, being independent with a limited budget would not stop him from literally seeing the bigger picture, and he knew that 4K / Ultra HD was the future. Muck is full of stunning slow motion fire, glass explosions, water combat, and rapid-paced fierce horror stunts that will jump off the screen in 2014 in both HD and Ultra HD. Muck pushes the limits of what can be done in both independent filmmaking and within the horror genre. Steve Wolsh aims to get Muck in as many languages and territories as possible, so he partnered up with Blacklist Productions in Hollywood to have the ability to screen Muck in 4K / Ultra HD for interested parties.

With the release of Muck later this year, casting for Muck is already underway. For the prequel, Steve Wolsh has promised to push his practical effects and the phrase “No CGI” into even more dangerous places. The entire original Muck cast, including Horror Legend Kane Hodder and 2012 Playboy Playmate of the Year Jaclyn Swedberg, as well as Australian hunk Lachlan Buchanan (Newcastle, Pretty Little Liars, and NCIS: Red), YouTube sensation Lauren Francesca, Indian beauty Puja Mohindra, Bryce Draper, Grant Alan Ouzts, Stephanie Danielson, and Laura Jacobs (Almost Human), will all be alive and well in the prequel along with the 13 new characters being added to the Muck universe. It could get messy…"

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First Three Minutes of House at the End of the Drive: "Oman, who wrote the original screenplay, lives in the house down the drive from where the actual Manson/Tate slayings took place, and also where most of the principal photography was shot. The independent horror movie was inspired by Oman’s personal experiences residing only a stone’s throw away from the location of one of America’s most infamous crimes.

“House at the End of the Drive,” is based on actual supernatural events that have taken place in my house,” remarks the film’s creator, David Oman. “Like “The Exorcist” and “The Entity” before it, the film is anchored on documented evidence of the paranormal. But after all of my experiences I have learned that you have more to fear from the living than from the dead.”

The story asks this, can a 36 year old mass-murder haunt four people enough to rip open a doorway to the past and catapult them back in time to the night of one of Hollywood’s most horrible ritual slayings?

The chatter of a quiet dinner party in posh Oxford Canyon is rudely interrupted as the real truths are set on the table. Fact and fiction intertwine as the couple’s talk of ghosts and spirits from beyond which prompts them to take steps that will alter that night and their lives forever. Supernatural forces from the past transport the dinner guests through time --back to the night of the original killings. In a cruel twist of fate, they materialize as the soon-to-be victims of the massacre they had been discussing only minutes earlier. Is the knowledge of the future enough to shield them from the horrors of the “helter-skelter” mayhem from the past? Can careful plotting overpower the invasion by the most infamous family of mass murderers? Surely, yesterday is finally over. Only time will tell, as the visitors from the house at the end of the drive are swept into a hell storm of dark forces and fury almost beyond belief. Which is scarier the past or the present? Sometimes there is no difference!

Oman’s famous residence is no stranger to the world of paranormal activity. The unworldly stories of the house will be featured in several upcoming television programs including the History channel’s “Haunted History: The Manson Murders” which aired July 12, 2013 at 7 p.m. PST and “Paranormal Witness: The Manson Curse,” which aired July 31, 2013 at 8 p.m. PST on the SyFy channel.

“House at the End of the Drive"...It’s Where They Died,” features an award winning cast including Lance Henrikson (Aliens), Angela Jones (Pulp Fiction), Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl) and Jonathan Mangum (The Bucket List)."

For more information on this film, visit: http://www.houseattheendofthedrive.com/

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Plus One DVD Details : "Director Dennis Iliadis (The Last House on the Left) delivers thought-provoking suspense with Plus One, a supernatural thriller that tests the limits of survival and the loyalties of friendship. Three college friends head out for the biggest party of the year, each looking for something different: sex, love, a simple human connection. The possibilities are endless at the mansion, where the music throbs, liquor flows and hired strippers dance on an outdoor stage. But an unexplained paranormal phenomenon disrupts the proceedings. Perfect replicas of all the partying kids suddenly appear, and what's even weirder, they are doing everything their originals did 15 minutes earlier. As the party descends into bloody chaos, the three friends must struggle to maintain their wits and stay alive. Ashley Hinshaw (About Cherry), Rhys Wakefield (Endless Love) and Logan Miller (Night Moves) star in [this] mind-bending thriller.

Special Features on the DVD include:

- Commentary with Director Dennis Iliadis & Cinematographer Mihai Malaimare, Jr.
- Visual Effects Behind the Scenes
- Deleted Scenes
- ZAP Entertainment/screenslam.com Interview with Director Dennis Iliadis
- Interview with Dennis Iliadis & Cast at SXSW by Perri Nemiroff, ShockYa.com
- Poster Gallery
- Cast Auditions
- Red Band Trailer

[Plus One was released on DVD] on January 14th, 2014."

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Doctor Who Documentary Release Details and Trailer: "Capital City Entertainment, a London based film and theater production company, has today announced plans to release on DVD and VOD on 27 January 2014, Who's Changing: An Adventure In Time With Fans, a new documentary about the changing face of fandom of the world's longest running science fiction series, Doctor Who, featuring new and exclusive interviews with many stars from the show past and present.

From the first ever Doctor Who convention, through the wilderness years and to cosplayers at the conventions of today, Who's Changing looks at how and why the nature of Doctor Who's fans changed as mainstream interest in the show took hold.

Who's Changing features interviews with many familiar faces from the show such as Louise Jameson (Leela), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Simon Fisher-Becker (Dorium Maldovar), Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Catrin Stewart (Jenny Flint), Caitlin Blackwood (Amelia Pond), Dan Starkey (Commander Strax) as well as faces from behind the scenes such as script editors Gary Russell and Eric Saward and scriptwriters Andrew Smith (Doctor Who, Full Circle), Jane Espenson (Torchwood: Miracle Day, Buffy, Battlestar Galactica) and James Moran (Doctor Who, The Fires of Pompeii).

Who's Changing will be available to buy on DVD from Amazon as well as specialist cult TV and sci-fi retailers such as Forbidden Planet, Galaxy 4, The Who Shop, StarTrader, The Cinema Store and WhoOne, as well as being available to stream online on VOD from the official website.

To purchase this documentary on DVD or VOD, visit: http://www.whoschanging.co.uk

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Walking with the Dead Casting and Production Details: "A month into the zombie apocalypse, a group of survivors, including four who "for safety reasons" go by the names of their favorite cities--Green Bay, Chicago, Brooklyn, and Harlem--a Sheriff fresh off a nice, relaxing, six-week coma, his small-business-owner 10 year old son, and a voiceover-prone zombie, Romeo, who has convinced the group that he's not dead, just a little slow, are forced from the safety of their mall-camp in hopes of finding a rumored safe-haven.

Jacqui Holland (Stretch, My Best Friend’s Girl), Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie) Joey Oglesby (Fruitvale Station), Sophia Ali (The Longshots), and Tim Ogletree (Supernatural Activity) have joined the cast of Walking with the Dead, a spoof of AMC’s popular coffin dodgers series.

The film, currently lensing in San Antonio, Texas, is based on an original script by Ogletree (Supernatural Activity) and directed by Scott Dow.

The film is produced in association with MNDFCK, actress Jacqui Holland’s new production company."

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Dead Sea Full Trailer: "Origin Releasing and Micro Bay Features are proud to release the FULL TRAILER for their "Action Adventure Creature Feature" Dead Sea.

This globe-spanning story follows a Marine Biologist who is thrust into the violent paranoia surrounding a town preparing for the return of an impending sacrifice to a legendary serpentine creature, in this case being a giant LAMPREY, said to have surfaced from hell during an earthquake.

The film stars Britt Griffith (Syfy's Ghosthunters, Ghosthunters International), James Jw Wiseman (The Deadliest Warrior), Devanny Pinn (The Black Dahlia Haunting, Truth or Dare), James Duval (Donnie Darko, Independence Day), Alexis Iacono (The Penny Dreadful Picture Show, World of Warcraft), Tawny Amber Young (Wonderland), Chanel Ryan (Bad Kids Go To Hell, BASEketball), Candace Kita (Barb Wire, Two and a Half Men), KJ McCormick (Syfy's Ghosthunters), Frederic Doss (Transformers, GI JOE The Rise of Cobra) and was directed by Shockfest 2012 "Best Director" Award Winner Brandon Slagle.

The film is set to release on DVD/Blu-Ray late Spring 2014."

For more information about this film, go to its official Facebook page at: http://facebook.com/DeadSeaMovie or on IMDB at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663222/

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NightBeasts Trailer and Release Details: "Nightbeasts is a multiple award winning, theatrically released movie written and directed by Wes Sullivan. This horror/thriller stars Zach Galligan of" Gremlins" fame. Charles Thomas takes his son Tim on a weekend hunting trip to the woods only to have that outing violently interrupted by the appearance of Bigfoot. What starts as a vacation turns into an intense battle of survival against malevolent forces. Robert Miano of Donnie Brasco fame co-stars."

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Virginia Obscura Trailer and Release Details: "Virginia Obscura" has scored North American distribution with Full Moon and Wizard Studios!

The twisty grindhouse-meets-arthouse giallo-style horror film -- which stars Matt Mitler (The Mutilator, Basketcase 2), Thomas Kovacs (My Bloody Valentine), Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead), Jessica Cameron (Silent Night, Truth or Dare), Christopher Marrone (Plus One), and new blood: Jennie Brown and Ed Conrade -- was selected and signed by Full Moon for the first wave of new releases by Wizard Studios.

Now the iconic Wizard label is being relaunched by Charles Band (producer of Ghoulies, Re-Animator, Troll, Creepozoids) and his company Full Moon Features (best known for the Puppet Master series, along with its other horror franchises: Gingerdead Man) with a focus on rising indie filmmakers and their cutting-edge genre films.

With a release date of February 21st 2014, Virginia Obscura will be premiering online via Full Moon's video streaming website, before coming to DVD and other VOD platforms."

To purchase this film and stream it online, go to: http://www.fullmoonstreaming.com/movie/virginia-obscura-movie

To watch the trailer, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-zK9pzW2E0&feature=youtu.be

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My Name is A by Anonymous DVD Release Details: "Loosely based on the murder of 9 yr. old Elizabeth Olten by her 15 yr. old neighbor Alyssa Bustamante; 'A' explores teen self-mutilation, bulimia, rape, bullying and depression in its most real and raw form, incorporating partial found-footage snippets and brief actual acts. Directed by Shane Ryan, the film features Russian pop star Teona Dolnikova (formerly of the band Slot), introducing Katie Marsh as Alyssa, with Domiziano Arcangeli (Scary or Die, Ambushed). Co-produced by filmmaker Ryan Nicholson (Live Feed, Gutterballs, The Profane Exhibit) and actor Kevin Gage (Michael Mann's Heat, Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Knockaround Guys, Blow, Con Air). Wild Eye Releasing has acquired DVD rights for an early/mid 2014 release (the film was completed in early 2011)."

For more information on this film, go to: http://www.madsincinema.com/my-name-is-a-by-anonymous.html

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Lenore #9 Preview Art: "Taxidermy is missing and Lenore has an important question for him, so she forces Pooty and Ragamuffin to join her in a mighty quest, dressed as fantasy heroes, to rescue their lost friend from the evil clutches of something that is clutch-y. What obstacles will be thrown in the path of our brave and noble warriors? Honestly, no idea yet. Seriously, I just thought of this like 2 minutes ago while watching TV. It'll be epic-y though. EPIC-Y!

This is the last issue before the big battle happens that destroys the town of Nevermore and forever costs one of the main characters their lives. It's all been leading up to this. Well, not THIS, this. Next issue is the THIS, this. THIS is confusing. Whatevs...Lenore and gang do a fantasy quest. Funny happens. *Drops mic*"

Lenore #9 was written by Roman Dirge and is available now courtesy of Titan Comics.

  • Tamika Jones
    About the Author - Tamika Jones

    Tamika hails from North Beach, Maryland, a tiny town inches from the Chesapeake Bay.She knew she wanted to be an actor after reciting a soliloquy by Sojourner Truth in front of her entire fifth grade class. Since then, she's appeared in over 20 film and television projects. In addition to acting, Tamika is the Indie Spotlight manager for Daily Dead, where she brings readers news on independent horror projects every weekend.

    The first horror film Tamika watched was Child's Play. Being eight years old at the time, she remembers being so scared when Chucky came to life that she projectile vomited. It's tough for her to choose only one movie as her favorite horror film, so she picked two: Nosferatu and The Stepford Wives (1975).

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