Movie Review: MIMESIS!!!

MIMESIS-artWhy watch a horror film when you can live one? For over a century, fans have had their blood curdled and spines chilled by the vicarious thrills of horror films. Whether populated by ghouls, slashers, zombies or vampires, fans flocked to have their pulse quickened and exercise their scream-generating skills. But one thing remained constant: Eventually the story ended because it was only a movie. What if it didn’t have to end? What if the next level of horror was to experience a horror film from the inside?

Sometimes a film sneaks up on you, and it goes from bring something that you didn’t really keep much track of at first, to something you find yourself thinking about long after you watch it. Films like that usually stand the test of time and go down as solid movies to horror fans. Douglas Schulze’s MIMESIS is definitely one of those films. It keeps you entertained the whole time and stays with you after it’s over.

The film follows Russell and Duane, two friends who attend a horror convention. While Russell is a horror fanatic through and through, Duane doesn’t get the appeal of not only the films but the lifestyle that a lot of horror fans live (i.e.-the fandom at conventions, attending panels to hear your favorite filmmaker speak, etc). They’re soon invited, by another convention goer, to an “invite only” party and everything seems to be going great. That is until they, along with a few others, wake up suddenly in what seems to be NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Russell wakes up in a cemetery, dressed like NOTLD’s Johnny, next to Judith (one of the party goers) who is wearing the clothes of the Barbara character. If you’re familiar with NOTLD, which you obviously are, you know things probably won’t go well for Russell..and they don’t. Eventually, Judith makes it to Duane, who at this point, we realize that he’s NOTLD’s Ben character. The film works like that at first. The duo come across a family that resembles the family in Romero’s film, fight off zombies, and so on.
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While this could have easily taken the completely non-original and cheesy as hell route, what Schulze does, is completely knock us for a loop by some pretty interesting twists. While I was initially kind of turned off by how painted the zombies looked at first, it all came together when one of the big reveals happen. I am definitely going into some SPOILER TERRITORYhere, so if you don’t want to know, then feel free to come back to this after seeing the film. You’ve been warned.

We find out that what was painted looking zombies to me, are really painted horror fans, and that there aren’t zombies whatsoever in this film, but instead the killers are fanatics who worship horror films to the point of wanting to emulate them. It catches you off guard so much when it’s revealed and adds such a sad intensity to the film. You’re now left thinking about how numb you were when Russell died because of how used to the zombie violence you can get, and you begin to think about how terrifying it is that the guy had his throat bitten out by a human being. The twist begins a really well done social commentary on how extreme people can get with wanting more and more, to the point of extremism not being enough. While the first quarter of the film was just fun and zombie games, whenMIMESIS switches gears, it becomes a really well done study on fanaticism and how far people will go to get to that next extreme step, without venturing into preachy territory.
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While the movie isn’t perfect (the slow motion to fast motion editing that seems to be flowing through a lot of over-stylized films these days happens a good amount in it), the small things wrong with it are quickly overshadowed by the many things that Schulze did right on it. While being a smaller budget indie movie, it looks just as good as a bigger budgeted film, the cinematography looks beautiful, and the coloring is gorgeous. If this is what he can do with a smaller budgeted film, I’m pretty anxious to see what Schulze would accomplish with a larger studio film, the guy definitely has chops.

MIMESIS comes out on BLURAY/DVD via ANCHOR BAY on FEBRUARY 12th.

 

-SMITH

Bonus Features Revealed For Scream Factory’s PHANTASM II Blu-ray!

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Scream Factory has once again revealed a majorly sweet treat before we all collectively kick off our shoes and relax for the weekend, this time being the full list of bonus features included on the March 26th Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of PHANTASM II!

Here’s the official post from Scream Factory’s Facebook page:

“Happy Friday Scream Factory fans! Today we finally unveil our “Phantastic” line-up of extras we have on our upcoming Collector’s Edition of PHANTASM II (on DVD & Blu-ray 3/26). Check them out…”

  • Audio Commentary with director/writer Don Coscarelli and actors Angus Scrimm and Reggie Banister
  • “The Ball is Back!” Documentary – featuring new interviews with writer/director Don Coscarelli, actors Reggie Banister, Angus Scrimm, Paula Irvine, Samantha Phillips and more!
  • Vintage Behind the Scenes footage: Makeup Effects
  • Vintage Behind the Scenes footage: On the Set
  • “The Gory Days with Greg Nicotero” Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes from archival film elements from Don Coscarelli’s archive
  • Additional Scenes – alternate takes and deleted gore footage from the workprint
  • Original TV Spots
  • Trailers for Phantasm , Phantasm II & Phantasm III
  • Still Galleries (Behind the Scenes , Makeup Effects , Hollywood Premiere )
  • Rare short film starring Rory Guy (aka Angus Scrimm) as Abraham Lincoln

 

 

-Justin Edwards

BEYOND FRIGHT: New Videos from BRING ME THE HORIZON & ALICE IN CHAINS!

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For our musically inclined readers, 2 new music videos just dropped for 2 bands we love. First up, UK based Bring Me The Horizon has a new album titled “Sempiternal” coming out on April 30th and the video for their first single “Shadow Moses” has debuted via Epitaph’s official You Tube page. It’s a rockin’ tune so check it out below and crank this sucker.

Also of note, Seattle rock legends Alice In Chains also have a brand new album coming out sometime this spring. While a date and title are still being mulled, they have recently released the video for their single “Hollow” from acclaimed director Roboshobo. Check that one out below:

Want some more music related posts? Check out our “Song Of The Week” column for more rockin’ recommendations.

 

-Rob Galluzzo

MOTEL HELL, BLACK SABBATH & More Getting The Arrow Video Treatment!

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UK based cult video label Arrow Video is know for their lavish deluxe edition releases, and their upcoming Spring slate of Blu-ray and DVDs is no exception! The smorgasbord of titles, which range from sexploitation, to exploitation, and everything in between!) include Blu-ray debuts of Jack Hill’s blaxploitation epic FOXY BROWN and his black & white horror trip SPIDER BABY! Two Mario Bava films are also receiving an HD upgrade, the Boris Karloff starring BLACK SABBATH and BARON BLOOD! Brian De Palma’s BLOW OUT is hitting Blu (available stateside here from the illustrious Criterion Collection), but of extreme note is the surprise announcement of MGM’s batshit cannibal horror/comedy hybrid MOTEL HELL finally making it’s bow onto the format! For you lovers of George A. Romero’s non-horror output, his medieval motorbike epic KNIGHTRIDERS is on it’s way as well. Even the italian lover of ass Tinto Brass’ erotics ALL LADIES DO IT and THE KEY are getting the deluxe treatment!

Check out the cover art and list of bonus features below, and be sure to get your pre-orders in before their release dates! One last thing, these discs are region locked to B/2, so if you haven’t already invested in a region free Blu-ray/DVD player, now is the time!AV1


Baron Blood – 4/29/2013

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of three versions of the film: Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga with Italian opening and closing titles and Baron Blood with English opening and closing titles and the European English export version audio, and for the first time on home video, the AIP version with alternate score by Les Baxter
– Three audio versions: Optional Italian, European English and AIP English re-dub and re-score
– English SDH subtitles and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian audio
– Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas
– Introduction to Baron Blood by author and critic Alan Jones
– Trailers for Baron Blood
– Baron Blood Radio Spots
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Oliver James, illustrated with original archive stills and posters


Black Sabbath – 4/29/2013

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of two versions of the film; ‘I tre volti della paura’ – the European version with score by Roberto Nicolosi & ‘Black Sabbath’ – the re-edited and re-dubbed AIP version with Les Baxter score, on home video for the first time
– English SDH subtitles for English Audio and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian audio
– Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas
– Introduction to the film by author and critic Alan Jones
– A Life In Film – An Interview with star Mark Damon
– Three Faces of Black Sabbath – A comparison of the different versions of the film
– International Trailer
– US Trailer
– Italian Trailer
– TV and Radio Spots
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Cairns and a substantial interview with AIP Producer Samuel Z. Arkoff on his experiences of working with Bava, conducted by Tim Lucas, illustrated with original stills and posters


Motel Hell – 5/13/2013

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the film
– Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Audio commentary with director Kevin Connor moderated by Calum Waddell
– Another Head on the Chopping Block: Interview with star Paul Linke
– From Glamour to Gore: Interview with co-star, and former Playboy Playmate, Rosanne Katon
– Ida, Be Thy Name: A look back at Motel Hell’s frightful female protagonist Ida Smith – and the secrets of creating a convincing slasher siren, with Scream Queens Elissa Dowling and Chantelle Albers, genre commentator Staci Layne Wilson and critic Shelagh Rowan-Legg
– Back to the Backwoods: Director Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red) speaks about the importance of Motel Hell
– Original Trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jeff Zornow
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kim Newman, illustrated with original archive stills and posters


Knightriders – 4/22/2013

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
– Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Audio commentary with George Romero, Tom Savini, John Amplas and Christine Romero
– The Genesis of a Legend – Star Ed Harris remembers his first leading role
– A Date with Destiny – Co-star Tom Savini reflects on Knightriders
– Medieval Maiden – An interview with actress Patricia Tallman
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spots
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nat Marsh
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and critic Brad Stevens, an archival interview with Romero and a new interview with composer Donald Rubinstein, illustrated with original archive stills and posters


Foxy Brown – 6/24/2013

– Restored High Definition Blu-ray presentation (1080p)
– Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Audio commentary with director Jack Hill
– From Black and White to Blaxploitation – Actor Sid Haig speaks about his long and influential friendship with Jack Hill
– A Not So Minor Influence – An Interview with Bob Minor, the first African-American member of the Stuntman’s Association, and co-star of Foxy Brown
– Back to Black – Legendary actors Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (Black Caesar) and Austin Stoker (Sheba Baby, Assault on Precinct 13), alongside Rosanne Katon (Ebony, Ivory, and Jade) and film scholar Howard S. Berger speak about the enduring popularity of the Blaxploitation film
– Photo gallery of behind-the-scenes and publicity images
– Original Theatrical Trailer
– Trailer Reel – Trailers for all the major works by Jack Hill including Foxy Brown, Coffy and Switchblade Sisters
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide, a new interview with Pam Grier by Jack Hill biographer Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and posters


Blow Out – 5/27/2013

– New, restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Brian De Palma
– Original Dolby 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
– Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Black and White in Colour: An Interview with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond
– Rag Doll Memories: Nancy Allen on Blow Out
– Return to Philadelphia: An interview with Producer George Litto
– A gallery of on-set photos by photographer Louis Goldman
– Original Theatrical Trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Wilson
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Atkinson, a conversation between Quentin Tarantino and Brian De Palma and more to be confirmed!


Spider Baby – 6/24/2013

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the main feature, available in the UK for the first time
– High Definition transfer of the feature approved by director Jack Hill
– Isolated Music and Effects track
– English SDH subtitles for deaf and hearing impaired
– Audio commentary featuring Jack Hill and star Sid Haig
– The Hatching of Spider Baby – Interviews with Jack Hill, Sid Haig, star Mary Mitchel, fan Joe Dante and more on the making of the film
– Spider Stravinsky: The Cinema Sounds of Ronald Stein – The composer of ‘The Terror’ and ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Woman’ among others is remembered by Harlene Stein, Jack Hill, American Cinematheque’s Chris D. and others
– The Merrye House Revisited – Jack Hill revisits the original house that was used as the main location in the film
– Alternate opening title sequence
– Extended scene
– Gallery of behind-the-scenes images
– The Host (1960) – Jack Hill’s early short film featuring Sid Haig in his first starring role [30 mins]
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humpreys
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by artist and writer Stephen R. Bissette, and more to be confirmed!


All Ladies Do It – 5/20/2013

– High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD Presentation of the film in widescreen for the first time!
– Optional English and Italian audio
– Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian audio
– Featurette on the film with director Tinto Brass
– Original Trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly illustrated artwork by The Red Dress
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Flint, illustrated with rare production stills


The Key – 5/20/2013

– High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD Presentation of the film in widescreen for the first time!
– Optional English and Italian audio
– Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian audio
– Original Trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly illustrated artwork by The Red Dress
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Tinto Brass scholar Alexander Tuschinski, illustrated with rare production stills