Tag Archives: Independent Films

Hey Ricky, Oh Lucy! is not What You Think … A Movie Review

12 Jun

oh_lucyBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy! is an indie film which can easily evoke feelings of self-pity for those believing they are in the same boat as her. When life tears you down, you are middle-aged and have nothing great to look forward to in life, just what can you do? Some people will get a handle on it and add excitement. Others feel resigned to their fate. They stop trying. I know of a certain person like that and can only feel sorry for him. All I can hope is that one day he will wake up, and achieve happiness. In my experience, that’s not easy to do unless chances are made, and risks are taken.

In this film, I wonder if Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima) even has people she can call true friends. This actress is terrific at creating a deadpan attitude and to go into that place to convey what looks like eternal sadness. She’s simply trying to survive life in the concrete jungle known as Tokyo. After witnessing a suicide in the subway, her reaction and lack of empathy make me wonder how rough can life in the city be? I lost a good buddy decades ago. He had the pressures of living up to family expectations and the Japanese societal norm. We had good times hanging out when he was still in Canada, but when the family decided to go back to Japan, things changed.

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From Kitty to Zombie Cats From Mars & A Sequel Seeking Crowdfunding Help

10 Jun

zombiecats.pngBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The production team behind the first Zombie Cats from Mars movie wants to make a sequel. They are hoping the faithful will support the crowdfunding effort, and the curious to check out the film currently available on Amazon Prime Video.

This work is a tongue-in-cheek budget film that’s clearly a labour of love, as they learn for themselves in what makes a B-Movie memorable. With such a name like Zombie Cats, my curiosity was immediately peaked! In the past, works like Lesbian Vampire Killers, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and Amazon Women on the Moon also tickled my fancy. They had bigger budgets and looked good. ZCfM has the production budget of a student film and it shows. This detail is not a bad thing as any new up-and-coming talents need to start somewhere. Who knows, one of them might become the next Sam Raimi.  For instance, director Montetré certainly has an impressive filmography on the IMDB which is worth investigating.

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What is Hiding in “Asylum of Darkness?” A Movie Review

11 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)mv5bmjeyodm2ndiynl5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjq3odm5mdi-_v1_uy268_cr30182268_al_

Arriving on VOD April 11th.

Does being insane allow one to see the world in a totally new light? Only Jay Woelfel’s horror flick Asylum of Darkness can tell, and oh boy, can he tell! Although the soap opera effects budget and narrative seem distracting, perhaps that was this director’s intention. He’s made a very melodramatic and vaguely supernatural film. With Richard Hatch (in one of his final film appearances) enjoying himself in the role of a doctor (psychologist) trying to calm Dwight Stroud (Nick Baldasare) down, the chuckles are well-earned. This product has a feel of Creepshow meets Dark Shadows.

From inside a padded room, a very beleaguered Stroud narrates, still unaware of all that he’s going to experience in the next few days. Insanity offers foresight into the terrors to come, and this film recalls the style of David Lynch. Not only does this narrative keeps the viewer and Stroud off-kilter but also requires the audience to fully pay attention to the story to realize what is going on in this crazy person’s life.

The tale he tells suggests the world is filled with secret agendas and monstrous beasts in disguise (as humans). The question of who Dwight Stroud truly is gets asked. Is he simply nuts, a serial killer, or someone else? This film moves Donnie Darko style and injects a good measure of Twilight Zone uncertainty into it. There’s a painter Dwight knows whose works “come to life.”

The problem with indie films these days is that it is hard to get noticed by the masses. On the Internet Movie Database, two entries suggest this movie was most likely made in 2012 than recently. In light of Hatch’s death early this year, perhaps acknowledgement for this film can come for those curious in seeing what Hatch has done the past few years after the short, Prelude to Axanar, was made. He’s been very supportive of the indie film-making scene by appearing in them, and this movie is no exception.

3½ Stars out of 5

Occupants Set to Screen at San Deigo Comic Con & Looking Beyond

20 Jul

Occupants Poster JPEG Small

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Quite often, movies using the found footage format is used synonymously with a supernatural horror film and Occupants is a film that subverts this idea. This movie will be screened during San Diego Comic-Con‘s Film Festival on July 23 and San Antonio Film Festival on July 28. For me, as an enthusiast of paranormal studies, this movie is highly recommended.

I would call this product more of a budget thriller instead of in your face horror. For once, this movie is not about another ghostly haunting. This time, the viewer (me) gets to see how one of these found footage films are constructed within the confines of itself. Director Russ Emanuel crafted a wickedly fascinating look into the mirror darkly of the lives of a believably happy couple — Annie (Briana White) and Neil Curtis (Michael Pugliese) — who are about to cleanse their body of various toxins found in food. Buried in the narrative is also a cleansing of who they are mind, body and soul.

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