Must See: Popcornhorror.com’s Voting Deadline For Your Favorite “Blood Games” Horror Short is April 30th!

We discovered this site today (of course, at the last minute, but it’s still not too late).

popcornhorrorlogo.png

We’ll try to (for now) give you the Cliff Notes version, with more to come. You can also just read the “About Us” section on PopcornHorror.com, but if you’re in a hurry:

Most of the staff either grew up in the 80s like us, or are younger but very well-informed and huge 80s horror fans. You just need to look at their’ favorites’ list under bios.

  • Popcornhorror.com is based out of Scotland, started in 2011, and is a website and an app (we do still recommend, when you’re watching the short films,  that you watch them on a laptop rather than a tiny screen the size of an index card, though).
  • Popcornhorror was made –does this sound familiar?– BY horror fans, FOR horror fans. And we know us horror fans always have the coolest shit, right?
  • They want to help out and encourage all short horror filmmakers, or aspiring ones, to send in their work and get it out there (but they don’t own the rights if they decide to post your submitted film). There’s more of that on the FAQ Page.
  • What’s not to love about all the above?

Anyway, since the clock is ticking, we highly encourage you to click here ASAP to check out six quality horror shorts that are the finalists for a contest they ran called “Blood Games.” The theme was basically, well, like it sounds. For the six finalists the tagline could either be It Started Off As A Game…  or  It Was Just Supposed To Be a Fun Game… or Some Games Should Never Be Played.  I believe the longest was ten minutes, another was a little over four, another two minutes.

From the nail-biting  horror short finalist "Click"

From the nail-biting horror short finalist “Click”

We didn’t feel at all like we were wasting out time after watching any of them. One of the finalists is well-made but didn’t stand out, another contender reminded me of a different, better short I saw on BloodyCuts.uk  last year that blew me out of the water,  another only has one word of dialogue yet definitely gets the message across, but all six of the finalists are better than most horror shorts you’ll watch.  One has a twist ending that I’ll bet… hell, I’ll bet our Park Chan-Wook Vengeance Trilogy Boxed Set on that you will NEVER see coming. I pride myself (and get on my own nerves) by almost never being surprised by a twist, it’s pretty rare when I see something I absolutely couldn’t even begin to second-guess. No, I’m not going to tell you which ones are which, go in clean–and not trying to figure out the twist–and find out yourself. It’s much more fun that way!

If you’re short on time and can watch only two, I’d recommend “Click” (for successfully using a simple, very chilling element to scare the hell out of you, while staying understated; I don’t think there’s one drop of blood spilled) and the recently released “Don’t Move” from our horror pals across the pond at Bloody Cuts. Now THAT one is full of gore and sleep-with-the-lights-on scary. Though the budget was very low, you would never, ever guess it from watching. Crank the sound– not so much for the jumps but the amazing stunning, crisp, and terrifying audio. You won’t see (nor have you seen) anything like it. “Don’t Move” is also currently the top vote-getter.

From the show-stopping NSFW horror short "Don't Move" (Bloodycuts.uk)

From the show-stopping NSFW horror short “Don’t Move” (Bloodycuts.uk)

Those are the two that stick in my mind–the chills and suspense in the simple (but very clever) terror of “Click” (that title is in no way internet-related), and the in-your-face horror show that is “Don’t Move,” with the kind of quality you’d expect from Bloody Cuts at the top of their game. Voting closes April 30th (I assume at midnight) so get in those votes for your favorite and most deserving of the prize package now!

Nope, I do NOT mind waiting for the fresh popcorn.

Advertisements

Barricade (2012) Gets A Dreaded One Stabby-Knife (Out of Five) Rating From Dread Central – Read Their Hilarious Review Here!

“My rewritten lyrics to Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” should have been the theme song for Barricade, easily one of my least favorite horror movie experiences of the past year. A tedious and muddled mess boasting an ending so lame it made me reconsider how hard I was on The Devil Inside.”

-from the Barricade Review by Foywonder on DreadCentral.com

So, Mrs. Horror Boom has been having a rough month (as you can see from the almost bare-minimum amount of posts/pieces the last few weeks)*  and watching as much as possible when she can for the entertainment and escapism value. Today I saw The Day (2012), which I was expecting to be about a 5/10 tops, with what I’d heard was a couple unexpected turns and some good acting from Ashley Bell (AKA, the actress whose amazing acting performance was the best thing in The Last Exorcism and the… OK, the only redeeming quality of The Last Exorcism 2). I admit, also heard there was at least one giant-sized, “HOAH!“** contained.

I’ll elaborate with my review later, but I was pleasantly (if you can describe a bleak post-apocalyptic horror/thriller movie with that adverb) surprised. Ashley Bell’s acting was nothing short of amazing (she may well have stolen the movie) and even though she plays a very stoic, tough woman who doesn’t speak one word more than she needs to,  and makes some possibly questionable choices to survive, I was rooting for her to survive the movie.  When I was briefly skimming some reviews before putting it in my Netflix DVD queue, I happened across a spoiler that some inconsiderate bastard didn’t feel it was worth the extra three-second hassle it would have taken them to put a spoiler warning in front of, even though it happens at the climax of the movie. Fortunately,  they mixed up the characters in question, so it was still a jaw-dropper… and a pretty fucking awesome one.

This is the GOOD movie, not to be confused by "Barricade".

This is the well-reviewed movie, not to be confused with the terrible “Barricade”.

I’d give The Day 7/10, only taking it down from an 8/10 because it was one of those bleak/dark movies the film-makers decide to bleach nearly all the color out of (à la 30 Days of Night, I’m too tired right now to look up the technical name of the process) expect for one flashback scene and adding some slight color to a couple other scenes, which isn’t a favorite choice of mine. Though in the filmmaker’s defense, I’m pretty sure in this case it was no avoid an NC-17 rating, because it is a violent, bloody movie, most of the gore coming from two or more humans trying to kill (and in one nasty case, torture) one another to survive. None of it is exploitational or really unnecessary, it fits in the plot and is earned, rather than just gore for the sake of gore. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love Grand Guignol, as long as there’s some sense of showmanship about it, done right.

OK, I’ll save a longer review for later, but I do recommend The Day, especially if you like the survivalist genre, realistically tough chicks, and a clever script where the choices characters make are ones you could see yourself making. ANYWAY! The DVD rental showed a decent-looking preview for the movie Barricade, and it actually looked like a potential decent rental with a couple creepy moments in the preview. Not a lot of plot background, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie. Turns out in this case, it does!

“Detailed” plot synopsis from the IMDB, which doesn’t exactly set you on fire to see the thing in the first place:

This movie is about the Shade family, a year after the death of the mother/wife Leah, the husband and father (Eric McCormack) and his two children go to a cabin retreat in the mountains. While there they are tormented by visions and happenings that start to scare them. But are these incidents real or in their minds? The father feels compelled to barricade them in the cabin in order to keep them safe. But will it work out?

Ooooooo!

No, no it probably won’t work out, for them or the audience. Oh, and the Parent’s Guide (contributed to by one of those neuters individuals that lists a man not wearing a shirt or a woman wearing a bikini, under “sex/nudity” …sigh)  lists the following under ‘Violence/Gore’:

A younger man rough-houses an elderly man. There are sounds of someone in pain being heard frequently throughout the residence.

Oh, I don’t know if even us jaded horror buffs have the stomach to experience that!  Inside (2007) and Hatchet 2 (2010) were one thing, but rough-housing is where I have to draw the line! Anyway, I had a dim memory that I may have been strongly warned against it, but since I could have confused it with a similarly-titled movie, I headed to trusty Dread Central (after seeing a 4.3 average on the IMDB) and discovered this hilarious review. Check it out below if you want a good laugh!

Barricade (DVD) | Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central.

I don't know, this looks like it might be a little bit  too scary for us...

I don’t know, this looks like it might be a little bit too scary for us…

*Sorry for the skimpy content, an old friend had a very sudden, serious medical crisis last month and passed this week. Hard to focus much on anything and both all of us at Horror Boom appreciate your patience – and thanks to those of you who sent kinds words.

**We’ve also heard this described as a “Holy Fucking Shit Moment” (or HFS moment, depending how easily offended the person you’re discussing it with is) Moment. Once we figured out how to spell it phonetically to exactly reproduce it, though, we like to use it a lot more. Example- audience reaction to a bus/car/truck coming speeding into frame out of nowhere suddenly and mowing down a character, often when they have just finished (or are even in the middle of) a sentence, sometimes causing them to more or less explode on impact. “HOAH!”

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 4.53.18 AM

 

‘Snakes on a Plane’ director David R. Ellis, 60, dies | Inside Movies | EW.com

‘Snakes on a Plane’ director David R. Ellis, 60, dies | Inside Movies | EW.com.

Sad news.

Plus, he directed one so-so Final Destination movie (#4)(though also very gory, mean-spirited, and in 3D- we saw a midnight showing and while no-one in the place was scared, we all howled and applauded through the whole thing, and we all sure got every cent of entertainment we could from the ticket price) and another great Final Destination entry (FD2).  RIP.

I need to dig up my “I’ve had it with these mothafucking snakes on this mothafucking plane!” T-shirt to wear (which has nice a crisp, giant font size that almost takes up the entire shirt front, so I can only find an appropriate social occasion to wear it in public once a year or so). That may sound like kind of an offensive tribute, but it seems fitting, and I don’t think he’d mind. From the audience reaction when we saw SOAP opening night, you would have thought Samuel L. Motherfucking Jackson had personally entered the theater to deliver that now-classic (if not classy) line. David Ellis and Samuel L. Jackson also were great together on the DVD commentary. Yes, I purchased a copy of Snakes On A Plane  on DVD at retail price !I admit it!  Proudly! It had a commentary with Sam Jackson and a really funny out-take reel, and I would still have bought it!   I was proud to say it back then and I’m proud to say it now!

Plenty of clever “commentators” on Facebook are carefully crafting Final Destination jokes about the cause of death to show how funny and cool they are. I must be getting old older older-ish…  since it would be nice if they waited a few days, till his loved ones finish making funeral/burial arrangements, you know, that kind of thing. Probably funny later (depending who comes up with the joke- Jeff Ross might fit it into his “Too Soon? portion of The Burn in the next couple weeks), not really funny now. Also it seems morbid to just pop right in Final Destination Two or The Final Destination.

Nope, I’ll listen to the SOAP commentary instead. There’s also a stunt director, the main snake wrangler, a script supervisor, and a small handful of others who introduce themselves at the beginning, (who all sound more than happy to let Ellis and Jackson do most of the talking, and sit back and be entertained). They both joke and laugh boisterously throughout the whole commentary (mostly laughing at Sam Jackson’s jokes, but that’s a guy who deserves to laugh at his own jokes, he’s earned it). They’d worked on four other projects together, but this was Ellis’ first chance to direct Samuel L. Jackson. He says when he got the offer after Ronnie Yu dropped out as director, he was thrilled to work with his friend (though he points out, “Well, you don’t really “direct” Sam, because he’s on and nails it first take, every time”). Also, when the studio marketing wanted to re-title it with the zesty, exciting title “Pacific Air,” SLJ had enough pull as an A-list star/actor to say he was only doing the movie if they used the title Snakes On A Plane:  “We’re gonna deliver what the fans want to see. From the beginning, when I heard the title… you know you in for an hour an a half of snakes attacking a plane! That’s it! I wanna be in that movie, ’cause I love that kind of movie.” Guess what title they ended up with…

Sample joke on commentary(about the straightforward title)-

SL.J: “Look, with this …either you wanna see the fuckin’ movie or you don’t. When I was a kid… Frankenstein meets the Wolfman.   Well, okay! That’s what you’re there for, that’s what you’re getting. You know, and… House on Haunted Hill.  You will see a haunted house on a hill. That’s it! That’s the movie, you’ll be entertained. No confusion there. Bam!”
Ellis: “Titanic should have been called Big Fucking Ship Hits Iceberg.”
(Uproarious laughter from everyone in the room)

David Ellis proudly points out his family members in cameos during the first act of the movie.  He also sounds completely genuine when he thanks the fans for the support, especially on the internet, that helped them make the fun popcorn movie–just a summer movie, entertainment, where you can escape and scream and have fun for 99 minutes– that they wanted to make.

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the scene where the snake rises out of the toilet in the airplane bathroom stall and suddenly chomps down (fangs fully out) on some poor passenger’s dick, and they get a chance to take a breath after Sam Jackson stops yelling things and cheering and Ellis finishes laughing,  he jokes, “You know, I’d like to point out something… every director has a legacy. And this is what I’m leaving.”

Samuel L Jackson responds, “And we are DOWN with that!”

Screen shot 2013-01-08 at 2.13.00 AM

Mr. Ellis will be missed.

The ABCs of Death-Horror Boom’s Top Twenty Picks from the T Competition (1/5)

 

 

Let me preface this with a pro-active apology. The temperature is at least in the high 90s here, and I’ve discovered over the years that for each degree over 80, I lose at least ten IQ points. I’ll be polishing it up later, but if you’re reading this before it cooled down here and I had a chance, that’s my excuse for this piece sounding slow-witted and clunky!

Anyway, if you’ve read my blog in the last 30 days or so, you know I’ve been geeking out about this contest since I discovered it. Unfortunately, I missed the voting deadline for the 26th director in The ABCs of Death competition by oh… almost ten months.  Shit.  So instead, I decided to get in a little over my head by choosing and compiling a list of what I thought were the best twenty, plus five runners-up.  The first I heard about the contest, I dove in fast and watched a few of the top entries; the ones I saw first blew me away, and I loved them so much I needed to do a piece on them and get them up for other horror fans to enjoy that night. I already devoted an entire post on the contest winner, Lee Hardcastle’s T is for Toilet, and Michael Foulke’s flawless, fun entry T is for Temptation.

That was when I decided to watch all of them, without counting the entries first, guessing there were approximately 50, 75 TOPS. I had no goddamned idea what I was getting myself into time-wise, but it ended up being worth it. The plan was to select and post/share the best ones, with five runners-up that I thought were very close but still a hair or two away from making the top twenty, yet good enough to deserve a watch and a recommendation. Turned out we’re talking twenty out of over 170, all short films I watched. I only skipped ones that were marked private, locked, or taken down. I think it roughly evened out to one in ten singled out for recognition.

Some really kick-ass ones didn’t even get what I felt was a fair number of views, let alone votes. I did some formatting and pasting and printed out a list of every single entry, got out a pen and paper, and set in. I figured I’d be able to post my picks in a couple of days, but I REALLY misjudged the amount of time to just watch. I did the math after I watched them all, (rather than, say, before I decided whether this would be a good idea and started, because hey, why plan THAT out in advance)? 170 shorts times four minutes is , rounded DOWN, ten hour’s time just to see them all, let alone the time for note-taking, organization, plus re-watching if they lost me halfway in.

Anyway,  seems fair to give you an explanation of how I picked what I thought were the best of the best (if you want to just skip to today’s five entries, you can hit “more”). Continue reading