Thursday, December 25, 2014

Lamb Feed (2014) Review

Benito Mussolini was an Italian politician, one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism. Leading the National Fascist Party he was the prime minister of Italy under Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, from 1922 until 1943, when he was overthrown; rescued by German commandos, he then became the leader of the Italian Social Republic from 1943 until his summary execution by members of the Italian resistance in 1945.

He is credited in history with the following quote, "It is better to live one day as a lion, than 100 years as a sheep." Though not precisely a repetition of any of them, this somewhat resembles far earlier remarks attributed to others, including Tipu Sultan, Alexander The Great, and Chabrias.

Why the history lesson in a movie review? No real reason, other than the title of the film as well as the actions depicted within triggered some long lost little nugget of useless information my brain had stored, and I thought it a fitting opportunity to continue it's expansion into the universe.

That brings us to, Lamb Feed!

The first thing that caught my eye, as well as my attention, was the absolutely amazing title sequence that is credited to Hayden Blades. A quick search didn't turn up much about him, but I am positive that with work like this, it won't be long before people know the name and are scrambling, begging, and back alley fighting for his talents.

Another gem from the film is the acting of Luke Church, who plays Mitchell Barnes, the relationship troubled young whipper snapper, who is trying as hard as he can to subconsciously tear his own world apart, while screaming about the injustice of it all. Church's ability to play the jaded young egomaniac is either a testament to perfect casting, astonishing acting ability, or both.

In truth, the acting is strong throughout the cast of Lamb Feed, with no real deal breakers in the mix. Since I already probably bored you with a history lesson earlier I will refrain from listing every actor (although I really want to) and just get to the guts of the issues at hand, er, mouth. You'll see what I mean later.

I can not however, in good conscious, pass up the opportunity to highlight some great writing and directing by a young fellow named Michael S. Rodriguez.

Rodriguez does not bore you with a seven year back story, or drone on and on over a sunset. Instead, he slaps you awake from the first couple scenes, and keeps your attention through out the film with innovative and creative use of direction as well as superb writing.

Take for instance the introduction of the massive Rev Wicker, played by the 6'1" Michael Wainwright, who towers menacingly over our young Mr. Barnes, but does so with a theatrical flair and grace akin to a Carny barking out the promises of a sure fire giant teddy bear for the missus. You immediately think to yourself, "Okay, this is the big guy of the film, I can't wait to see him in action."
Don't be so quick to think you know what Michael S. Rodriguez has up his sleeves though, because you won't truly have any idea, until he decides to show his hand. Only then will you clap excitedly and wiggle happily in your theater chair as you await the next tidbit of goodness.

Could I kiss the ass of this films creators any more? Yes, yes I do believe I could, but I know what you really want to ask, "Is there any problems with this film? Because you know, it costs money to go see it, and I don't want to break open my five year old's piggy bank if it isn't worth it."

The only real problem I had with the film was in one of the opening scenes and that was simply a sound issue. There is a scene where Mr. Barnes is driving down the road and it sounds a lot like an actor sitting in an immobile car in front of a green screen. A little tweak here and I wouldn't have anything negative to write about though, so, for that I am thankful at having something to say that doesn't make me sound like a family member of the crew or something.

Having said that though, you should definitely go see this film if you like cutting edge horror films that use their own creative license to bring new things to the screen! Apologize later for breaking open the piggy bank, it'll be worth it!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bronson (2008) Movie Review

Bronson is a film for those who enjoy artistic violence and dark comedy. If you find yourself naming "Fight Club", "A Clockwork Orange", "Trainspotting", or any Quinten Tarantino film as among your favorites, you should definitely give Bronson a try.

Tom Hardy ("Inception", "The Dark Knight Rises") plays Michael Peterson, who at the tender age of 19, finds himself wanting more than what life is ultimately offering. So he cuts down a shotgun and robs a post office, semi-successfully. Ultimately, he is caught, arrested, and sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Unfortunately for the young Michael, his dreams of grandeur land him in even more trouble as he continues to try and buck the system. His aggressive and violent nature condemns him to spend the next 34 years behind bars. 30 of those years, in solitary confinement.

The film is narrated by Hardy as Charles Bronson, the name and personality that Peterson assumes in his time spent bare knuckle fighting while enjoying a short time outside of prison in his 69 days of freedom in 1988. Bronson would then spend his time creatively capturing the hearts of all with his eclectic theater performances as well as his uncanny ability to smother butter over his naked body to make it harder for the guards to wrestle him to the ground when he is feeling a bit frisky and violent. 

The film itself is actually based on a real inmate in Europe named Charles Slavador, born Michael Gordon Peterson, whom the press dubbed "The most violent prisoner in Britain". Salvador robbed the post office in 1974, he has been incarcerated pretty much ever since. He is currently being housed at Wakefield Prison as of this review in 2014.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Naked Zombie Girl (2014) Review

Naked Zombie Girl takes the Grindhouse genre and mixes in some new school Indie Art to give you a mouth watering, chainsaw wielding good time!

Meghan Chadeayne plays Barbara, who leads a group of friends out of the infected inner city in the hopes of finding salvation while her boyfriend Tony (Joshua Keith Mathews) struggles with the effects of being bitten.
As the sun sets, infection creeps across the land and we find ourselves riding shotgun as Barbara has her lucidity shredded, along with her clothes.

Naked Zombie Girl has something for everyone. From the unique and amazing infection scene with Joshua Keith Mathews, the Grindhouse chainsaw wielding nudity of the heroine Meghan Chadeayne covered in blood and determination, as well as the old school horror of being absolutely and completely surrounded by death with no modern day miracle explosions to clear the way.

Leading the cast of zombies is none other than D.T. Carney ("The Lackey", "World's End") whom, along with the makeup genius and artist Nick Reisinger ("Grimm", "Scary or Die") adds a true sense of doom and destruction to the normal brainless and semi harmless zombie actions of some other movies.  In Naked Zombie Girl, we learn that not all bad things can be washed away and forgotten, that the world doesn't return to normal for those who truly want to survive. Instead, we must embrace a certain amount of madness to triumph over the dead!

Grab a weapon and prepare to fight, clothing, modesty, and timidity are no longer required for living, tenacity is the only option. Welcome to Naked Zombie Girl!

Special Screening Sunday May 4th at the Bakersfield "Mini" Comic Con located at the Bakersfield Museum of Art.