Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review: Prevues From Hell [Reviewed By Kelsey Zukowski]

Prevues From Hell is a collection of classic horror trailers that are funny, exploitative, and gory. The DVD is hosted by ventriloquist, Nick Pawlow, and his zombie doll, “Happy”. The trailers are from Mad Ron’s collection, who is now chained up and fizzing at the mouth. In between trailers we get cheesy jokes and gags between the two. Half the time they’re not actually funny, but they’re goofy and good natured. Plus, the over the top angle works and it’s clear that they’re in on the joke too.

We are shown horror favorites like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Last House on the Left, and Night of the Living Dead. The Last House on the Left’s trailer brings up the advertising campaign that ended up working wonders. In the trailer over and over again we hear, “To avoid fainting keep repeating, it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie…”. Scaring the audiences in to watching worked, but it was also a nod to Hershell Gordon Lewis’ Color Me Blood Red, which plays immediately following The Last House on the Left trailer, claiming it’s a motion picture which you dare not get too involved.

A common theme with the vast majority of the trailers are how completely horrifying and repulsive they are, warning the viewers to leave the theater. The Undertaker and his Pals claim it’s a vicious part of the young, sick generation and if you don’t like scalpel stabbing or ax murdering you should leave. A very similar warning plays before The Wizard of Gore trailer; pausing it to warn those with heart conditions and impressionable young children.

There are also a number that are heavy on the sexploitation mixing with the gore. One of these is Lady Frankenstein. My favorite part of the trailer is how they make out her unreasonable sexual desires being far too strong for any man. Not only that no man could possibly please her, but that they paralyzed by her “strange cravings”. The only creature that can meet these desires is her own creation. The nazisploitation film, Ilsa: She Wolf of the S.S., was another great trailer with the perfect serving of horror both in the form of torture and sex. They blended together to become one; once Ilsa seduced someone they never lived to tell about it. ”Out of all the butchers in the Third Reich none was as brutal as Ilsa, even the S.S. feared her”.

Prevues From Hell doesn’t focus on one type of horror film too much. There are a few popular horror trailers that are more mainstream, or have become so since their original releases. There are bloody B movie trailers, exploitative trailers of many different bizarre sub-genres of horror, and even lesser known obscure trailers. They all have a similar style of being sleazy, horrid, and better not to be viewed in the first place, often encouraging the viewer further.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Exclusive Interview with Director David C. Snyder

Administrator and Editor in chief Clifford Kiyabu sits down with Writer/Director of The Quiet Arrangement, David C. Snyder, for an exclusive interview! There’s something to be said about the hard work a filmmaker puts into making a movie, from the harsh hours of planning, to making sure everything’s in order for pre and post- filming on each and every scene, the stress that comes with this line of work can sometime be overwhelming for some. No matter how big or small a movie project may be, not many moviegoers realize how much hard work and effort is put into each and every film. Today I sit down with a filmmaker who’ll explain the hard work that’s put into making a movie.

CK: First off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time for doing this interview with me on

DS: My pleasure! Thanks for having me!

CK: Before we go into talking about your film, I think it’s important that my readers get the chance to learn a little about the person I’m interviewing. So tell us a little bit about yourself, David.

DS: Well, I found myself fascinated by film at an early age. I remember my parents taking me to the drive-in (late 70's, early 80's) and then finally to a movie theatre (I could be wrong, but the first film I remember seeing in the theatre was Conan The Barbarian!). I had two younger brothers, so I can only imagine that my parents didn't have a whole lot of options as to what to do with us while trying to get out of the house. So we saw a lot of films as kids.

In 1984 we got cable for the first time, including HBO. Then we got our first VCR (a top-loading Panasonic) and we would record movies and music videos from the good ol' days of MTV. In 1985 my Mom and Dad bought a video camera, and, once I was able to convince them to let me use it unattended, everything changed. My brothers and I took our years of role playing different adventures to the small screen and we made at least 100 different short films over the next two summers. Most of them were terrible, but there would be a flash of inspiration here and there.

What also helped us was the involvement of a neighborhood friend of mine, Don Haring. Don was a year older than me and was one of the most talented artists I had ever met. He also had a great eye for picking up on composition and framing, so when he would come around and direct our films, they turned out noticeably better. We weren't doing any editing of any kind at this point, so it was all in camera.

When I was a kid, I thought I was going to be an architect, because I was good at drawing designs. I thought of film as some sort of magical thing, not as an actual profession, so it never occurred to me that I could get a job doing what I really loved. As I started to watch different films and really pay attention to the details, I started to understand the process of filmmaking better.

In 1990 I did a film project in my French class for extra credit. My teacher, Florence Kairys, knew I was into film and she was really fascinated by that. I think she also saw some potential in me and she took an interest in what I was doing. She was a true Renaissance lady and was also really interested in Napoleon. So my extra credit project was a 45 minute film about the Napoleon's downfall and last days. It's a bunch of kids in crappy costumes shot at my house, but I think it finally convinced my parents that I should really go after filmmaking.

I went to film school at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio for a year and a half and then I ran out of money. But I learned some things about production and theory and I met some great people that I'm still in contact with today. I continued to make stupid short films and one of them, Rogue Cop, became a bit of an underground sensation in North Eastern Ohio. People started trading tapes of it and sometimes my friends, who were the actors in the film, would be recognized by total strangers. It was all a bit surreal.

I'm also a music producer and Hip-hop musician and in 1999 I met Chuck D of Public Enemy. We became fast friends and I began doing music for his new internet label, SLAMjamz. In 2003 he saw a video I directed and another artist on the label, Kyle Jason, asked me if I would do a couple of videos for him. That was how Kyle and I started working together.

Eventually I became the head of the video department for SLAMjamz and I've been the director of all of Public Enemy's videos since 2005. I've also gotten to work with some Hip-hop legends like MC Lyte and D.M.C. I've also done a couple of solo videos for Flavor Flav, which is surreal in it's own right!

CK: I understand you also wrote the screenplay to TQA (The Quiet Arrangement). What was the inspiration behind it’s conception?

DS: A couple years back I wrote a screenplay called The North Woods that I wanted to get into production. However, I didn't prep it well enough and it all fell apart. But I had done casting for it and I needed to get something going.

I was lying in bed one night and I was trying to think of a new story to write. I was thinking in broad strokes and I thought about doing a kidnapping film. But then I thought about Fargo and how the Coen brothers had done it so well. But then I thought about doing a film where the woman who is kidnapped might not actually want to be rescued by her husband. That was intriguing to me, so I started working out the details.

I also decided that I wanted to use some of the actors that I had already cast in The North Woods and that I would write characters specifically for them. Of those actors, I only used two: Kyle Jason and Rob Stone. I also decided that it would be easier to shoot the film if I divided it up into
Chapters that focused on four of the main characters. That way I could treat each chapter like a short film and not have to have all the actors around all the time. This proved to be more of a challenge than I initially thought, but it also gave me the unique structure of the screenplay.

CK: I found it to be quite interesting that every character has their own story to tell with it’s own set of problems, which helps set the tone of the film as well as a link of events which connects them in one way or another. What does this say about the world in which you’ve created in this film?

DS: Well, I wanted to treat the situations and the characters as "realistically" as I could. There's humor in the film, but it doesn't come pre-packaged in the form of the funny sidekick. I also wanted to use certain Hollywood conventions and turn other ones on their heads. In that respect, the film would seem familiar and fresh at the same time. I'm not sure if it totally worked or not, but I think that it did for a lot of people.

CK: Actually, it worked out pretty well from my point of view as both a critic and a spectator. In my honest opinion, and I mean this as a Compliment; my first reaction while viewing the film was the overwhelming feeling of familiarity, and yet there was something I‘ve never seen. in short it felt like something out of a Tarantino film, which believe me is a good thing.

DS: We have gotten the obvious Tarantino comparisons, if only because the structure of the film plays with time as his films usually do. I think it's a shorthand description so that people kind of get what you're talking about, but other than that, and the fact that it's a genre film, it really doesn't resemble a Tarantino film at all.

CK: Interestingly enough, the first rule moviegoers should keep in mind when going into TQA, is you shouldn’t be too hasty to judge a book by it’s cover, because while certain characters are at first presented with vilifying qualities to them in one point of view, we giving a much different take that show depth to who they are on the inside rather than what we’ve perceived on the outside in the next segment. Why is that?

DS: That was a very conscious decision on my part, early on, so as not to give away certain details. The film unfolds itself in a way so that the audience gets specific information at very specific times. It's also meant to put the idea out there that "anything goes," so don't get too comfortable with any of these characters, because they all have something going on and it may not be what you think it is.

CK: one of the biggest attributes that caught my eye with the film was the stunning visuals and how it guide it’s viewers into focus on specifics areas of the film. What was the cinematography like and what form of cameras were used on the film?

DS: We shot the film with the Panasonic DVX-100A. It's a great little camera that achieves terrific results and, when used correctly, looks more like film than video. I had been using it for 4 years prior to making the film, so I was very comfortable with what it could do and I had a pretty good idea of what I would be able to achieve in post.

Cinematography is extremely important to me as a filmmaker as it can obviously be used to great effect. I take a lot of care and interest in the look of the film, in camera placement, composition, lighting, and color because it can quickly set up an environment and immediately let the audience know where they are and what might be happening in terms of mood and ambiance. I'm also a big fan of using the camera in interesting ways to tell a story, so I try to push myself all the time in giving the audience a new way to look at things.

I began The Quiet Arrangement with a basic set of visual rules: very little use of wide angle lenses, a lot of hand held, Cinema-Verite style camera work, and a different color palate for each chapter.

CK: What was the filming like for the cast and crew and how long did filming take place?

DS: We started shooting on January 6, 2009 in the middle of an ice-rain storm. The first thing we shot was Sharon Brigg's abduction from the motel. At first I thought we were cursed, because it was so cold and wet, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because it set the whole visual tone of the film. It wouldn't be the same picture if it was all in bright sunlight.

From there, we shot periodically over the next 5 months. We had to wait on the weather and we hoped for gray days where it looked like it was about to rain. As the weather got warmer, it was easier to shoot, but things became difficult when we were trying to get shots outside in early May and there were leaves on the trees.

Because it was broken up, it was a fairly easy shoot. Kyle Jason lives in New York, so we brought him out twice and had to grab his stuff in a total of 5 days. But we even managed to get some reshoots in, so it wasn't bad at all.

CK: Did you encounter any problems while filming?

DS: Of course. The first two days of shooting, in January, were really cold days. And, right when we got to the set of the safe house, we discovered that the furnace didn't work. So we had to buy space heaters and try to warm up the rooms we were shooting in.

CK: Where did most of the filming take place and what was the reason behind those locations?

DS: We shot in and around the Pittsburgh, PA area, as well as shots in Youngstown, Canton, and Cleveland, Ohio. It was really all about ease and convenience. Most of the actors were from the area and we relied on a lot of favors from people donating locations and time to the production.

CK: What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

DS: Logistics wise, the scenes where the drop takes place in the field, if only because you see what happens there from three different perspectives, and you have to keep that all in mind when you're shooting it. You have to get a shot of something from one angle, for Chapter 1, let's say...and then you have to do it all again, from a completely different angle, for Chapter 3. It's the same event, but it might have to convey a different feeling. So that was a bit of a challenge.

CK: I’ve learned after watching the documentary on how the film was made that you and the crew took some big risks while filming in certain locations. What was that like?

DS: I'm used to guerrilla filmmaking, as I've been doing it in music videos for years. But sometimes the script would require an important detail and we had to come up with some extremely creative ways to get shots. We were extremely lucky in the few instances where we didn't exactly have permission to be shooting in certain locations.

CK: It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the original cut, but from what I can tell by watching the director’s cut is that the film in general felt more polished than it did from my last experience with TQA. What was the reason for going back and re-cutting the film, and what were the scenes in particular that were edited?

DS: I was talking to another filmmaker that I know, Lathan Hodge, and we were discussing documentary filmmaking. Lathan said to me that when you make a film you end up writing it three times: the first time is the screenplay, the second time during shooting, and the third time during editing. After he said that I realized that I only wrote the film twice in that original cut. When I edited the film the first time, I went back to the script and cut the film to that. After really thinking about it, and some comments that I had gotten about the picture, I decided to go back and really look at it again. That's when I rewrote the film for the third time in editing. At first, I actually took too much out, but then I think I was able to find a balance that worked for the benefit of the picture.

Luckily, this being a completely independent production, I had that luxury to do so.

CK: Without giving any spoilers away, I wanted to say that the way the film pans out set the stage for a possible continuation further on down the line, is that by any chance in the cards for you someday?

DS: I never thought about a sequel when I wrote it or shot it, but I joked afterward about the possibility of two of the characters running into each other down the line and teaming up for some kind of adventure. It's in the back of my mind, so I won't ever discount it...but at the moment I have some other stories to tell.

CK: Looking back at the hard work done in making TQA, is there anything you’ve learned from making this film that you’ll take with you to you’re next project?

DS: Always! Preparation is the key thing. You can't prepare for everything, but if you do as much as humanly possible then you'll be ahead of the curve. Also, if you cast right, everything is easier in the long run. That's the most important part of making a film: casting. Even if the script needs work, you can sometimes get away with it if the cast is right.

CK: What does your family think of TQA?

DS: Ha! Good question! Mom and Dad thought it was good, as did my brother Phil. My Mother told me that I had to be a little more family friendly for the next film...I told her the next film will probably be worse! My brother Jeff, for whatever reason, hated the picture. He gave me his reasons why, and they were just personal opinions really, so I can't take those comments for anything other than what they are. Oh, well. My Aunt was really impressed, as was her husband(Joe Lane, who plays Carter Booth) and I'm glad that the cast and crew are very proud of the work. My cousin Ralph and his wife thought it was great, the family seems to dig it overall.

CK: This next question I’m about to ask you has become somewhat of a tradition for interviews here at, so don’t worry, you’re definitely not the first one I’ve asked this question to, and you won’t be the last. [Laughs]


CK: The term ‘For The Sake of Art’ have always been coined in the entertainment industry for how far an actor/actress or filmmaker would be willing to go for the sake of art. So my question to you is; How far are you willing to go for the sake of art in this industry?

DS: Wow...does one really know? In art, I think, you have to pick and choose your battles carefully. You don't want to fight a losing battle for something that will ultimately get you nowhere, but, at the same time, you have to stand up for what you feel is right. And that is difficult in it's own right, because art comes from creation, inspiration, collaboration, and feeling...and feelings can change from one day to the next.

If I really believe in something that is worth fighting for, I'll do it. I'll be there in the battle, trying to get it done. There were days on The Quiet Arrangement where it would've been a whole lot easier to compromise and cheat, but then it would be compromising and cheating the integrity of the film, and you don't want to do that. If you believe in a project enough to start it and fight for it, then you owe it to yourself and your people to do it right.

CK: Last question, now that TQA is making it’s round on the independent film circuits. What do you have in store for you next, is there another project in the works?

DS: As to not get pigeonholed into any one thing, we actually have 3 or 4 new films in the works. They're all in the planning stages right now, and some require more financing and preparation than others, but that's the point. That way, in case the more expensive project falls flat on funding, we can go to one of the cheaper projects and knock it out, much like we did with TQA. Once you start this journey you don't want to lose momentum, and unfortunately for my team and I, we've lost a little bit. However, some things have presented themselves that will be more beneficial in the long run, new alliances and ideas, so the outlook now is better than it ever was.

It's going to be an interesting trip, and we really want to tell stories and entertain people, so we'll keep on doing our very best to get the word out and move forward. It would be a sin to do otherwise.

CK: Well thanks for chatting with us about the film and yourself, David. We certainly look forward to hearing from you again and would like to invite you to come back and do this again someday in the near future.

DS: Thank you, Clifford! Any time. It was my sincerest pleasure.

And that concludes my interview with Writer/Director David C. Snyder. We chatted for a while longer off the record and talked about possibly returning for a second interview in the near future. As a film critic, I communicate with quite the amount of independent filmmakers, and so rarely do I find a filmmaker interesting enough to actually interview, so believe me when a filmmaker is being interviewed by the likes of me it’s either because I think that their work is fantastic or simply unique from the general group. Luckily for Mr. Snyder his work on The Quiet Arrangement proved to be both entertaining and thought provoking, and stands as a prime example to his creativity as a filmmaker who I believe will make some marks, no doubt. The trailer to The Quiet Arrangement can be viewed on it’s official website and more info on the film can be found on it’s Facebook and MySpace page be sure to follow David on Twitter.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Kirsten Vangsness of "Criminal Minds" makes an appearance on "Vampire Mob"

Kirsten Vangsness of Criminal Minds makes an appearance on episode 2 of Vampire Mob, a crime-comedy vampire web series about a vampire hitman who’s stuck with his mother-in-law living with his wife and him for eternity. Vangness plays Laura, one of the daughters of the mother-in-law (played by The Simpsons Marcia Wallace).

In this episode entitled, “You Can’t Choose Your Family”, the most recent episode of the series that can now be viewed only at, things get heated as the debate of what to do with mom arises.

The cast includes Chris Mulkey (Twin Peaks and Boardwalk Empire), Elizabeth Beckwith (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Andrea Cansler (The Groundlings Sunday Program), and Cris D’Annunzio (Chasing 3000). The show was created by award-winning filmmaker and comedian, Joe Wilson.

There isn’t a vicious or tragic story behind the family’s vampirism. Hitman vampire, Don, simply turned his wife even though he never planned to because ”he got hungry”. He didn’t turn himself for power, strength, or immortality, but mostly just because it suited his nocturnal life style and made it a bit easier to do his work. The immortal strength certainly didn’t hurt when every day used to be a life or death situation for him. Things got a bit more complicated when Don’s wife decided to turn her sick, dying mother; unable to watch life drain from her.
Vampire Mob has a different way of releasing its webisodes; it’s based on audience views. The next webisode is only available when the previous one gets 5,000 viewers or more. This is how the rest of the initial 6 episodes will be released through Updates to let viewers know when the next episode has premiered are available through Twitter And Facebook .

Friday, August 6, 2010

Review: The Informers (2008) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Gregor Jordan
Written by: Bret Easton Ellis (screenplay) & Nicholas Jarecki (screenplay)
Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller
MPAA: Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, drug use, pervasive language and some disturbing images.
Released: 5 November 2008 (USA)
Starring: Jon Foster, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Brad Renfro, Mickey Rourke, Mel Raido, Billy Bob Thornton, Amber Heard,

Plot: Loosely connected stories capture a week in L.A. in 1983, featuring movie executives, rock stars and other morally challenged characters in adventures laced with sex, drugs and violence.

Review: 4/10

The Story is about: Set in the early 1980's Los Angeles, The Informers is a multi-strand narrative centered on an array of characters who represent both the top of the heap and the bottom of the lower class. Connecting the intertwining strands are a group of beautiful, blonde young men and women who sleep all day and party all night, doing drugs -- and one another --with abandon, never realizing that they are dancing on the edge of their own humanity.

My Thoughts: When looking back at the 1980’s, there’s a lot of eventful things that happened in this particular decade, to recall just a few things from this whacked out decade (aside from my being born into the world), there was the death of beloved rock and roll icon, John Lennon, the rise of contemporary 80‘s rock, big hairdos and embarrassingly hip clothes that made you too cool for school and ridiculously huge jewelry. There was also the fear of a cold war that felt like was never going to end, and the assassination attempt on a US president’s life, and of course the rising dangers of Aids. Yes folks, the 80’s was certainly a time out of the norm for all who remember it (or don‘t due to a LOT of experimenting) it was a decade that change our society forever, and while some say the 70’s was the last innocent time, the 80’s was era of denial because it was better to pretend your problems away rather than face them head on.

I’ve become somewhat of a fan of Author/Screenplay writer Bret Easton Ellis since I first saw the film American Psycho (2000) when it was first released about a decade ago. Ellis, the man who’s written such acclaimed classics as Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, The Informers, Glamorama, and Lunar Park, is widely known for writing violently disturbing novels and short stories. while it’s largely debatable among his fans and his most out spoken critics over which of his books are the best or worst in the bunch, it’s clear though that it’s been quite difficult for him over the years in the transference from literary writing to big screen adoption on almost all of his works over the years. And though I’ve never really read his books or followed his writing as closely as some of his dedicated fan base, I’ve grown quite found of his literary works over the years and I’ve keeping an eye out for his work adapted to film, so believe me when I say I’ve been longing to check out his latest book to be adapted to film The Informers since I first heard of it awhile back. The only question now that remains is, does his latest adaptation live up to the source material or does it follow suit with the previous film’s hit or miss curse? The film sadly follows it’s predecessors in the vain sense that the film’s plot doesn’t fully follow through consistently enough to capture it’s viewing audience, nor does it manage deliver it’s message clearly enough to it’s viewers to make it’s point, what we see is what we get with The Informers, and unfortunately what we see is a film with a fantastically authentic setting with much promise going for itself but not enough substance to go on to live up to said promise.

The stellar ensemble cast was spot on but sadly far from being perfect. The setting however couldn’t have worked better than this, there are times when you could easily get fooled into believing that the film was actually made in the 80‘s if it weren’t for the easily noticeable modern day cast starring in it. Everything about this film screamed winner in my opinion except for the thing that mattered the most, which was it’s plot, I mean it had everything else going for it, it had a decent enough cast, outstanding pacing, it was exotic and sexy, oh was it sexy alright! But at the end of the day what you want is to be told a really good story with an adequate ending, maybe not a Hollywood generic style ending where the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve, but an ending none the less. Sadly we’re robbed of the ending a film like this deserves, we’re giving a film that just ends, it doesn’t give you an ending, though it builds up to what would have been a great ending, but just ends right there in the thick of it all just like that… I understand that Ellis’s books normally does that sort of thing to a degree and the films their based on do just that as well (American Psycho (2000) and The Rules of Attraction (2002)) but unlike those, the book the film is based on would have made more sense if they included more of it’s source material (mind you that part of the original did include Vampires and a supernatural setting) never the less The Informers feels like the lesser out of the bunch and a hug disappointment for me especially since Ellis himself took part in writing the adaptation. I therefore cannot respectfully recommend this film to even the most hardcore fans of the book without feeling a tad bit ashamed of myself.

As for the acting: despite the film’s plot not working out as well as I’d have liked, the cast was a great selection with the exception of a few bad apples. Jon Foster did incredibly well in his performance which will have viewers empathizing over the tough decision his character will have to make at the end to move on in life, and I feel he did it quite will in delivering this in the film. Whoever came up with the ideal of casting Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke and Billy Bob Thornton in this film was a genus as they all fit wonderfully in the era the film takes place in, Basinger looks almost as good as she did back in the 80’s, it’s sad that her performance on the other hand was lagging a great deal. Ryder and Thornton’s presence in the film works effectively and is notable, but does comes up quite sort in the delivery towards the end. Rourke was a nice pick to play one of the film’s antagonists, because no matter how you want to put it, you’ll just hate him deeply in this film, his performance was in my opinion superb! Though I wish his character was giving more development as there was none. Amber Heard was okay but… look I’m as much of a red-blooded male as the next guy who appreciates the lovely female physique, but there is such a thing as too much eye candy if you know what I mean (If you’re a guy you‘ll probably won‘t, trust me it pains me to say it! [Laughs]) but her chance at letting her potential shine was clouded by the overuse of her ‘other’ talents which believe me was such a disappointment. And lastly, actor Brad Renfro was a great actor who’s life and career was both cut short before it’s time, it was a tragedy indeed, what is even more so a tragedy was the fact this film will be very last film with him in it, not only was his performance lacking a great deal, there was just nothing for the viewer to relate to, plus his character seemed way to single layered. He was a good actor with the potential to hit it big, but never quite perfected his acting technique. It’s a sham that a life and career had to end on such a low note.

Final Say: The Informers was an interesting yet highly disappointing follow up to Bret Easton Ellis’s previous adaptations, do I hold him accountable for this disappointment? No, because in my opinion the fault was not his to have in the first place, as many who’ve read his books would know, his stories can sometimes be quite difficult to present in a live action format due to the difference of opinion over the controversially overzealous statements his books often at time present to it’s targeted audience, and as the saying goes, what works for me may not entirely work for the other guy. And just like that, The Informers was a hit on re-creating a stellar 80’s setting that worked incredibly well, but missed on a plot that had the opportunity to develop into something great and failed. Watch at your own risk!

Copyright 2010
All Rights Reserved

Review: Warning!!! Pedophile Released (2009) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Shane Ryan
Written by: Kai Lanette (story) & Shane Ryan (creator)
Genre: Crime / Drama / Romance
MPAA: Not Rated
Released: 2009
Starring: Kai Lanette, Shane Ryan, Molly Wryn, Sean Cain, Joanna Angel, Rob Dale, Elina Madison.

Plot: Warning!!! Pedophile Released, follows Echo (Kai Lanette) a young woman who’s life is thrown down a spiraling path of unfortunate events after 19 year old Malachi (Shane Ryan) is sentence to 6 years in prison for allegedly molesting her at a younger age.

Review: 4/10

The Story is about: A pedophile is released out of prison from a 6-year sentence after allegedly molesting a 12-year old girl. The victim, now 18, reunites with her assailant whom she calls her "soul mate" only to spark outrage in the community. Not only do they attack the Pedophile, but soon cause more harm and chaos to the girl that they supposedly were protecting.

My Thoughts: It’s known by those close to me that I’m a strong advocate for tougher law enforcement over sex crimes and harsher punishment on offenders, personally if it were up to me, I’d lock them all up and never let them see the light of day for such crimes against humanity. But that’s just my opinion, and while I may express this there are those who’ll think otherwise. Though aside from having strong feelings against sexual deviants, I do however feel that the wrongfully accused should have a second chance to prove their innocents and liberate themselves of charring the burden of a crime they did not commit.

When I first heard of director Shane Ryan’s film, Warning!!! Pedophile Released, I instantly had mixed feelings over it, because while the film critic inside me was curious enough to see how the filmmaker would attempt to capture the intensity of such a wickedly heinous act in a manner which would remain tasteful enough to be viewed by audiences. The humanity within me cringed at the very idea of watching it. As you already know it’s topic of choice is something I’d rather not get into, because it would be the equivalence of animal rights activist being invited over to Michael Vick‘s house for a BBQ, it simply won‘t end well. So after taking a leap of faith on my part, I jumped right into viewing this film, and I must say I was rather shocked, surprised, and very disappointed. First off, I was shocked at the course his film took from the get-go, which chronicles the teenage years of Echo (Kai Lanette) a young girl who’s been thrown out on the streets at age 15 after her father discovers a pregnancy test strip in the trash, her father’s decision comes about after having to deal with the resulting stress he and his wife endured after their daughter made-out with 19 Malachi (Shane Ryan) at age 12, which lead to Malachi being charged as a pedophile and incarcerated for 6 years in prison.

The film is broken up into three parts, "Female, Age - 15", "Little Girl Gone Bad", and "The Sex Offender", each focusing on a specific time in Echo’s life. The first segment, FEMALE, AGE - 15 focuses on Echo at age 15, after enduring a horrific gang rape by three unknown assailants she’s kicked out of her parents home because her father cannot take the overwhelming stress of having to deal with anymore drama that arose from the prior incident. FEMALE, AGE - 15 gives the viewer an interesting insight of the pressures young girls like Echo go through when such incidents occur, which is feeling partly at fault for the crime when such guilt was never their’s to bear. However aside from a few quick flashbacks of the questioning and accusations of her and Malachi by the authorities. The first segment doesn‘t offer much quite frankly, other than an incoherent start that sadly only becomes more incoherent as the viewer journeys further down the rabbit hole. The second segment, LITTLE GIRL GONE BAD, follows Echo after the events of being kicked out on the street by her father, though it doesn’t very much specify how much time have passed from the first segment and the second, it’s assumed that Echo is much older since the character is dressed in a more provocative tone and appears to have taken living on the streets much more easily. Sadly though, like the first act, the second act doesn’t really bring anything much to the table other than a repetitive routine that’s long overstayed it welcome during the first act. The third and final act, THE SEX OFFENDER, serves much of the film’s dialog, which believe me isn’t much. The main problem with the film is the disappointing lack of dialog, I understand that the director was trying to tell a story through emotion, but in case and point, emotion isn’t enough to advance a story onwards. However I admit that the film does have it’s qualities, the musical score is unbelievably remarkable, each track works spot on with the scene it’s presented in. The cinematography was very original in the sense that it’s a combinational style I have never seen on screen before. Sadly though the lackluster in dialogue killed it for me in the end because the film lost it’s sense of direction with the lack therefore of it.

As for the acting: well what can I say, the performance of these actors were both a hit and miss. It seems that when none of them are speaking on screen we get a reasonable performance, however the moment someone opens their mouth all bets are off, but luckily for the actors, there’s barely any dialog to begin with. Kai Lanette was okaying in her performance as ,Echo, though I’d hardly consider her performance in the first act passable playing a teenager. Where some actors and actresses have that natural presence about them which makes them possible in portraying an age younger than they are in real life, Lanette on the other hand left me unconvinced as she obviously lacked that ability from the get-go. Though she did redeem herself in the second and third act, with a more mature look to the character which worked organically authentic towards the actress’s real age, however, her delivery in what little dialogue the film had quickly botched whatever chances she had at a spot on performance. Shane Ryan is without a doubt one of the most peculiar filmmakers I’ve come across in a quite awhile, sadly however an actor he is not. His performance in the role of ,MalachI, was painfully delivered. I’ve tried real hard to take his character seriously, but I found it overwhelmingly impossible to do just that when his performance was laughably unconvincing. I’ve got nothing against actress Molly Wryn, she had a small role in the 1984 Sci-Fi action epic DUNE, and well… that’s about it really, but I’ve got nothing against her acting personally, my only problem though, is that I wasn’t really feeling her performance, her delivery seemed too dry and way too two dimensional. Rob Dale’s performance surprisingly wasn’t as bad as I’d expect coming from a first timer (Yes I looked him up on IMDB). Elina Madison, Joanna Angel, and Sean Cain’s performance’s were… hard to judge really, I mean the only real scene in the whole movie where we’re able to see these three actors show off their acting talents, and instead we get a scene which was completely uncalled for, it makes absolutely zero sense to the film’s advancement. More than half of the dialogue doesn’t make all that much of sense, nor does the scene contribute to anything but simple eye candy by none other than miss Angel herself for the male viewers, other than that it just wasn’t called for if you ask me.

Final Say: Warning!!! Pedophile Released, surprisingly didn’t quite turn out to be the film I had originally expected, however it also did not become the film I’d have liked. It was an idea which had it‘s own unique atmosphere that presented much promise, but the execution was horribly handled, thus giving us an unsatisfying finished product. It had it’s chances to become a ground breaking cinematic piece of art but ended up becoming sub-par film with nothing to show for itself other than a decent soundtrack and an interesting take of cinematography. I cannot recommend this film as it is not deserving. Watch at your own risk!

Copyright 2010
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Academy Award™ Winning Film Editor Richard Halsey Joins “The City of Gardens"

From the interesting cast lineup, to it’s filming locations, The City of Gardens is a film that is looking more and more like a sure winner, especially now that Academy Award™ Winning film editor Richard Halsey is officially attached to the project now that the film is in post production. Halsey is set on crafting his editing skills to the movie which will piece the film together in what can be only described as magnificence at it‘s best. But don’t take just my word for it, read the press release for yourself!

Academy Award™ Winning Film Editor Richard Halsey Joins “The City of
Gardens” Movie

The Respected Editor and Academy Award™ winner for Sylvester
Stallone’s “Rocky,” has Begun Working on crafting “The City of

Produced by Four Fish Films/Dragon Tree Media

As the film enters into post-production the addition of acclaimed film
editor Richard Halsey (“The Net,” “American History X,” “Edward
Scissorhands,” “Sister Act,”) brings movie history to The City of
Gardens. The intense action/drama, is the story of a free-spirited
American surfer who attempts to rid himself of his father’s wealth by
running off to Peru where he is accused of trafficking cocaine and is
sent to prison.

Editor Richard Halsey has been responsible for crafting together
almost 60 films in his distinguished career. His talent and artistry
led to his winning the Academy Award™ for Best Film Editing for the
1976 film “Rocky.” Also nominated for BAFTA™ Emmy™, and American
Editors of Cinema Awards™, Halsey was inspired by editing master
George Nicholson.

Mr. Halsey, who began his career working at 20th Century Fox and
Warner Bros.’ Studios in sound and film editing, commented, “I knew
immediately that Camilo Vila’s film was a project on which I wanted to
work. The material shot in Lima, Peru is beautiful. And the ensemble
of this young, dynamic cast brings tremendous talent and freshness to
this amazing story of survival.”

Director Camilo Vila, “The chance to work with Mr. Halsey is an honor.
I feel that Richard’s artistry will help bring together the vision we
all share.” Co-Producer, Rami Rivera Frankl added, “We could not be
happier and more thrilled.”

The City of Gardens is an intense action drama and coming of age story
that stars John Robinson (“Lords of Dogtown,” “Transformers,”
“Elephant”), Alex Meraz (“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” and “New Moon”),
Johnny Lewis (“Sons of Anarchy,” “The Runaways,” “AVPR: Aliens vs.
Predator – Requiem”), Michael DeLorenzo (“A Few Good Men,” “Not
Forgotten,” “Resurrection Blvd.”), Deborah Unger (“White Noise,” “The
Hurricane,” “Angel and the Bad Man,” “The Game”), James Remar (“Red”
with Bruce Willis, “Gun” with Val Kilmer, “Pineapple Express,” “2 Fast
2 Furious”) and Grant Bowler (“Killer Elite” with Robert De Niro,
Jason Statham & Clive Owen, “True Blood” 3rd Season, "Atlas Shrugged",
“Ugly Betty”). The City of Gardens is directed by Camilo Vila (“18
Wheels of Justice,” “Resurrection Blvd”), who wrote the script with
Monty Fisher. Fisher and Alicia Rivera Frankl (“Gettysburg,” “Babysitter,”
“The Mask of Zorro”) are producing alongside co-producer Rami Rivera
Frankl. DragonTree Media president Rami Rivera Frankl is in
discussions for Domestic and International Distribution. Production is
currently casting the role of Wayne’s (John Robinson) mother.

The action drama, The City of Gardens follows a blond Californian
surfer, Wayne Montgomery (John Robinson), who is a fun loving beach
bum escaping the influence of his wealthy and powerful father (James
Remar). Wayne leaves his home in Beverly Hills for the enchantment of
exotic Peru. Wayne’s carefree lifestyle and love affair with his
beautiful girlfriend, Maritza, ends when he is framed during a
political upraising. Framing turns into extortion in the sadistic

In the nightmarish Peruvian Prison, Wayne finds himself surrounded by
a group of social misfits and political activists. There his eyes
begin to open to the political strife of a people on the verge of a
revolution and the value of freedom. Wayne is forced to confront the
animalistic beast named Nicaragua (Alex Meraz).

In a desperate attempt to gain freedom, Wayne meets with Consul Powers
(Debra Unger) whose hands are tied by the false drug charges. As
Wayne's naivety dissipates, another nemesis, the power hungry Lt.
Gutierrez (Michael DeLorenzo), is bent on breaking Wayne’s spirit and
extorting money from Wayne and his family. Left with few options,
Wayne adopts a new ethic – engaging the Peruvian activists, sharing
his gifts with them and learning the importance of hard work and faith
through his sympathetic friend, Jorge (Johnny Lewis). Wayne challenges
Lt. Gutierrez’s authority, confronting the depravity of corruption and
abuse with his newfound spirit and courage and in doing so finds the
redemption through his relationship with a schizophrenic named Jesus
Christ (Grant Bowler).

Monty Fisher’s Four Fish Films endeavors to develop and produce
feature films, focusing especially on the cultures of both North and
South America.

DragonTree Media, founded by CEO Alicia Rivera Frankl and President
Rami Rivera Frankl, specializes in developing successful entertainment
properties for the mainstream market with a multi-cultural awareness.
DragonTree Media has several projects in development