PLUS ONE: Capsule Review

PLUS ONE (aka +1). Directed by Dennis Iliadis. IFC Midnight, 9/13, 97 mins. With: Ashley Hinshaw, Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller.
At the kind of teen party that happens only in movies courting the demo that dreams of going to this kind of teen party — you know: copious booze and drugs; gyrating strippers; million-dollar sound system; general ambiance of Rome-at-the-fall — an alien force of indeterminate origin begins messing with the space-time continuum, conjuring up an alt-party a few minutes out-of-sync with the original. While this essentially means they’re getting double the bang for their liquor buck, it also presents no little threat as the time-lines begin to converge, and the revelers realize that only one party is going to make it all the way to the finish.

Rhys Wakefield is beside himself in PLUS ONE.
Rhys Wakefield is beside himself in PLUS ONE.

Director Dennis Iliadis’ take-down of the PROJECT X brand of teen comedy wraps up in satisfyingly brutal fashion — if your general musings while watching such films tend toward nuclear bombs and attacks by rabid lemurs, you’ll be happy here. But it replicates the flaw of the similarly satirical CABIN IN THE WOODS, forcing you to wade at length through the clichés of the genre in order to get to the (literal) deconstruction. The pay-off is worth it, particularly in regards to the film’s central plot-strand, which has a desperate boyfriend (Rhys Wakefield) struggling to make up with his girlfriend (Ashley Hinshaw) and resorting to some fateful decisions with each rebuff. Vengeance is at hand for those of us who were stuck in basement rec rooms with a scratchy copy of Déjà vu playing in the background.

Godzilla (2014) teaser trailer

Here is an awesome glimpse of the upcoming reboot from Legendary Pictures, the company that gave us PACIFIC RIM. Scheduled for worldwide release in May of 2014, GODZILLA stars Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, Victor Rasuk, David Strathairn, CJ Adams, Richard T. Jones, Brian Markinson, Al Sapienza, Ken Jamamura, Patrick Sabongui, Yuki Morita, and Akira Takarada (who starred in the 1954 original). Gareth Edwards (MONSTERS) directed, from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, derived from a story by Dave Callaham (THE EXPENDABLES).
With any luck, this film will be the polar opposite of the misguided 1998 film directed by Roland Emmerich, which replaced the familiar Godzilla design with an over-sized mutant iguana. Regarding his approach to the new film, director Edwards told Shock Till You Drop:

“Godzilla is definitely a representation of the wrath of nature. We’ve taken it very seriously and the theme is man versus nature and Godzilla is certainly the nature side of it. You can’t win that fight. Nature’s always going to win and that’s what the subtext of our movie is about. He’s the punishment we deserve.”

See a larger version of the trailer below:

Craig Ferguson sings Doctor Who

DOCTOR WHO: THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR – the 50th anniversary telefilm, which aired on BBC this weekend – will screen in theatres across the U.S. tonight, courtesy of Fathom productions (click here for a list of venues). What better way to celebrate this event than with Craig Ferguson of THE LATE SHOW singing a song about the time-travelling Gallifreyan? (Stick around till the end for a cameo by the Doctor himself.)

The Night of the Doctor: A Mini Episode of Doctor Who

Ever wonder what happend to the Paul McGann version of Doctor Who? You know, the one who appeared in the 1996 film on Fox TV? Low ratings put that version of the Doctor in limbo, and the franchise remained dormant for years, until the BBC resurrected the iconic Time Lord for a revamped DOCTOR WHO television series in 2004, starring Christopher Eccleston. During the interim, McGann remained the “official” Doctor, in the sense that it was his likeness that appeared on merchandising tie-ins (novelizations, etc), but he never got another shot at playing the character on screen, until now.
THE NIGHT OF THE DOCTOR is a seven-minute short subject, billed as a prequel to THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR, the 50th anniversary special that will screen for one night only in U.S. theatres on November 25, two days after its premiere on British television. In this mini-episode, we finally learn the fate of the Eighth Doctor. We won’t give it away, except to say that, as you can probably guess, it involves a regeneration; John Hurt is involved in some way; and the time frame is during the devastating Dalek war referenced in the Eccleston episodes. This is just an appetizer, of course; but it certainly suggest that THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR will be something spectacular.

Doctor Who McGann Night of the Doctor

Shade Rupe Talks PLAY DEAD and INSIDE THE FANTASTIQUE

Long-time journalist Shade Rupe joined forces with Teller (of Penn & Teller fame) to make his directorial debut on the feature film adaptation of the deliciously macabre stage show, PLAY DEAD. In this exclusive clip, he talks about bringing all the scares to the screen, and why it’s important to get your support for our new video interview series, INSIDE THE FANTASTIQUE.

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Cargo: must-see zombie short subject

This short subject has been available online for a while now, but we wanted to offer it to those of you who have not been fortunate enough to see it yet. CARGO (a Tropfest Australia 2013 Finalist) depicts a rather dire situation with a father trying to get his baby to safety – after he has been bitten by zombie and knows he is inevitably fated to transform before he can reach help. It is, quite simply, ne of the best short subjects we have ever seen – as good as the best of anything we have seen in the past two seasons of THE WALKING DEAD.

See a larger version of the video below.

Larry Fessenden & Rob Kuhns on BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD: Inside the Fantastique [FULL VIDEO]

From the societal upheavals of the 1960’s to the not-all-that-more-quiescent twenty-first century, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD has managed to chill the blood of horror lovers everywhere and simultaneously cast an unsettling light on the media, racial politics, and the American way of life in general. Now there’s a new documentary, BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD, that uses clips, interviews, and some evocative animation by artist Gary Pullin to not only tell the tale of how George Romero and crew took a shoestring budget and managed to create a film the rewrote the rules of horror, but also explore how this humble tale of the walking dead still manages to resonate today.
Cinefantastique Online’s Dan Persons sits down with BIRTH’s Executive Producer Larry Fessenden and director Rob Kuhns to talk about what NIGHT means to them, the genesis and influences of their project, and what they hope it will say about Romero’s legacy.

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Insidious & Walking Dead at Halloween Horror Nights

This video tour of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood showcases the bloody mayhem of two walk-through attractions inspired by recent horror films: Evil Dead: Book of the Dead and the eerie shudders of Insidious: Into the Further.
Even if you did not care for the films themselves, you may get a kick out of the walk-through versions. Universal Studios’s annual Halloween attraction is known for meticulously recreating sets, scenes, and characters from the films, and the live aspect allows for an in-your-face approach you simply cannot get on the big screen. Thrill to the ghostly apparition appearing from behind a mirror! Shiver at the sound of chainsaws! Gag at the geysers of blood!

Check out a larger version below: