Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"Laid To Rest" Review

"Laid to Rest", not to be confused with the flick featuring the guy with the chrome skull, is the impressive follow up to Jennifer Valdes' brilliant short film "Isabelle".

Jessie (Jessica Felice) is the forlorn, may-or-may-not-be-a-ghost at the center of the story. Pining to connect one last time with her love (Taylor August) before she can rest in peace, she wanders the cemetery looking for release. A relationship gone bad complicates things considerably when dealing with restless spirits, and the central characters in "Laid To Rest" are no exception. A superb job from the cast & crew makes all of this come across clearly in the relative short running time.

Moody, surreal, atmospheric sequences, juxtaposed with a smidgen of violence are what make this short such a compelling watch. Measured, subdued performances fit perfectly with the ethereal style and the excellent graveyard setting to give the short an almost gothic, Hammer-esque vibe. Felice, in particular, lends the film a solemn sense of dread with her yearning portrayal of unrequited love.

Valdes' certainly put some work in with this, her most recent project, and the film has a quality feel to it that leaves the viewer with a "damn, this shoulda been a feature" feeling. Great cinematography, a fitting soundtrack, and even direction make "Laid To Rest" a compelling example of competent, passionate film making.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Scream King Tom's Best Of 2016

 Yeah, so I'm a couple of days late. 2016 was a year that sucked much ass in terms of beloved celebrity deaths. Independent cinema, on the other hand, while output was down, quality was way up! I didn't review as much stuff as I have in recent years, but what I did watch was phenomenal! Here is the creme de la creme!

Scream King Tom's Best of 2016

Best Film (Feature)

"Harvest Lake"

Runner Up-"Witch Hunt"

Best Director (Feature)

Todd Sheets--"Dreaming Purple Neon"

Runner Up- Scott Schirmer--"Harvest Lake"

Best Film (Short or Anthology Segment)

"Laid To Rest"

Best Director (Short or Anthology Segment)

Jill Sixx Gevargizian-"The Stylist"

Best Actor (Feature)

Jason Crowe-"Harvest Lake"

Runner Up-Rick Chandler-"Witch Hunt"

Best Actress (Feature)

Tristan Risk-"Harvest Lake"

 Runner Up-Angelina Leigh--"Dangerous People"

Best Actor (Short or Anthology Segment)

Marv Blauvelt-"Maternal Instincts"

Best Actress (Short or Anthology Segment)

Najarra Townsend-"The Stylist"

  Best Supporting Actor (Feature)

Ricky Farr-"Dreaming Purple Neon"

Runner Up-Eliot Bayne--"Dark Cove"

Best Supporting Actress (Feature)

Brigid Macaulay-"Plank Face"

Runner Up-Lillith Astaroth--"Witch Hunt"

Best Boobs

"Plank Face"-Director--Scott Schirmer

Best Gore/Violence

"Dreaming Purple Neon"-Director--Todd Sheets