Film and Television has long used the prefix 555 for fictitious phone numbers. With phones being pivotal to society and the entertainment industry alike, this has resulted in most all of the 9,999 possible combinations of numbers to have been used and RE-USED in the media.
In that same alternate reality you call 555-0113 in hopes of reaching Agent Scully to inform her of an extra-terrestrial sighting the night before. Instead you get MR. BUrns.
BE CAREFUL. You might have wanted to call 555-5555 to reach kermit the frog.. bUT INSTEAD CONTACTED "dOCTOR HAROLD'S SEX LINE" ON THE RED GREEN TELEVISION SHOW.
ghost problems...Who You Gonna Call? the ghostbusters at 555-2368! Don't be surprised if kojak answers the phone though.
The Upper Footage (2013) follows socialites Blake Pennington, Will Erixon, Taylor Green and Devon Petrovsky on a quest to embrace everything the New York night life has to offer. Nothing is off limits to the quartet- and after scoring a generous amount of cocaine and picking up a woman known only as “Jackie”- they retreat back to Blake’s apartment, where the real party gets underway. The stage is quickly set for the audience to genuinely dislike the majority of the characters, as the dark nature of both Blake Pennington and Devon Petrovsky take over from the get-go, and the viewer is overcome with a sense of dread and uneasiness.
Back at the apartment we witness the group snorting copious amounts of drugs, and the more they consume, the more everything seems to spiral out of control. The sights are set on Jackie (whose face is pixilated throughout the feature to “protect the identity of the victim”), and she is reluctantly convinced to expose herself to the camera. The accompanying scene was omitted from the picture under the pretenses of respecting Jackie’s family, but the viewer is led to believe that either consensual or nonconsensual sexual acts began to transpire between Jackie and two of the three men.
After the footage picks back up, we see a very different scene beginning to unfold. Jackie is hunched over the toilet, vomiting and convulsing as a result of a cocaine overdose. This is laughed off at first, but as the group discovers she is no longer moving, panic sets in, and Blake, Will, Taylor, and Devon are left deciding what to do next.
First off I want to say that Horror Central absolutely loved Upper Footage! In a sub-genre that has been played upon in most every vein of the horror industry, it was a refreshing and thought provoking film that we'll never forget. I would like to send my undying gratitude Mr. Cole for taking the time to talk to the nerds here at Horror Central today, as we'd certainly love to pick your brain!
Thank you for having me.
In this industry when a film is easily compared to others like it, Upper Footage seems cut from a separate cloth all together. This got the minds at Horror Central wondering, if you could look at The Upper footage from a non-biased point of view, in your opinion, what has made the film stand out in the found-footage genre?
I would have to say because the events of the film could have happened in real life, and in some ways they actually did. The fact that we fooled the media into thinking the project was real for several years, and incorporated it with the final project, gives us something that is unique in this genre.
You mentioned that you were influenced by The Blair Witch project, one of my personal all time favorite movies. What made you want to follow in their footsteps? What was appealing to you about the found footage sub-genre?
The Blair Witch Project is one of my all time favorite movies as well. The experience I had watching when I was younger was something that I remember to this day, and I always wondered why no one really went for it since. So many found footage films have come out since, but no one really attempted to recreate the feeling of watching a film you think may actually be real, which in my opinion is the genre at its best. I always wanted to have that experience again, and figured hey if no one else is doing it why don't I?
At the same time, I knew doing what Blair Witch did in 1999 (making a website stating the events as real) simply wouldn't work in today's day and age. I thought the only way people would believe that the events of the film were real were if they would be able to do a Google search on their own and see the events and people actually show up as real on several popular websites and eventually on TV.
I love the concept of the found footage genre, but I really can't say I am a fan of many films within it. A lot of it is repetitive, but because you can make them cheap and fast they have flooded the marketplace. It's a shame because there have been some amazing found footage films that don't get the credit they deserve, such as "The Dirties", because a lot of these rushed out films give the genre a bad reputation. The genre as a whole has so much untapped potential that has yet to be explored.
When we were in distribution talks it was amazing to hear industry people talk about the genre. Movies within it are treated more like amusement park rides than actual films, with the number and placement of jump scares taking precedent over story and any over-arching themes.
Are you fed up with the so-called Chuck Norris facts? Such as, ‘I hear Chuck Norris is so hard he went into KFC, asked for a Big Mac, and got one!’ If so, then let’s see how he matches up against Sir Christopher Lee, a man not unknown to the odd on-screen battle or two (hundred!)
Chuck Norris played such unforgettable tough guys as Colonel James Braddock (in Missing in Action and Missing in Action II), the titular role of Walker, Texas Ranger, several assorted martial artists, erm, that’s about it...
Christopher Lee has appeared as, among many others, Count Dracula (several times), Frankenstein’s monster (also several times), The Mummy, Lucifer, Sherlock Holmes (not only Sherlock but also his brother Mycroft and Sir Henry Baskerville), Saruman, Count Dooku (for which he received the MTV Movie Award for Best Fight, at the age of 80 no less!), Scaramanga etc etc.
Am I the only one who remembers Prank from 2008? Directed by Heather Lagenkamp and Danielle Harris and starring Jennifer Blanc, Prank was set to light the horror world on fire. The only problem was… We never got to see it. It disappeared off the genre map and everyone was left to wonder. Fast forward to 2013 and Danielle Harris finally hits the nail on the head with Among Friends, and since this one has actually been released, we can gladly refer to it as her directorial debut.
Among Friends takes place at a twisted dinner party. Bernadette serves as the psychotic hostess, and takes it upon herself to distribute justice amongst her friends that have wronged either themselves or each other. From a drunken ménage à trois to date rape, the punishments are served one by one, and it’s up to each friend to vote for what happens to the other person. Justice isn’t served without meaning at this party, rather it is methodical and cruel. Castration, scalping, nailing hands to the table, and sawing off fingers; it’s all just an average Friday night at Bernadette’s house.
The cameos in this film might be more memorable than the film itself. Jules, tripping on mushrooms, has a vision of Michael Biehn strapped to the table beside her, and in what might be standout scene of the film, clearly sees Danielle Harris herself in the famous clown costume from Halloween fame uttering the name “Rachel…Rachel”. AJ Bowen does a fantastic job in this film in his role of Adam, continuing his recent horror movie familiarity (House of the Devil, You’re Next, Hatchet II, A Horrible Way to Die). And of course, Mr. Kane Hodder himself as the Limo Driver. I found it quite humorous to see the mighty Jason brought down by such small woman.
Among Friends is an amazing addition to any collection out there. Danielle Harris has proven herself time and time again to be the reigning champion of the horror world. This movie offshoots murder with personal vindication and exposes how far human beings will go when they believe they have been wronged. The storytelling is miles ahead of the mainstream horror movie, brilliantly written by Alyssa Lobit. Danielle Harris has finally added director to her resume. And that’s a damn good resume.
I would like to begin this glimpse into Jessica Cameron's directorial debut 'Truth or Dare' by pointing out that I had high expectations for the scream queen's anticipated film. However the motion picture that pushed it's proverbial cork screw into my retina was entirely unexpected as it truly surpassed my expectations and that of the atypical “Safe” film debut by a director.. It was a masterpiece painted in gore and the controversial, the beautiful and the simply cringe worthy. BLOODY FUCKING BRILLIANT. I'll get more into my analysis of the film after we take a step back and take a look at the plot itself.
Truth or Dare follows a doomed group known as “The Truth or Dare Devils”, friends and talented film-makers who've found success with viral videos depicting the troupe playing dangerous yet fake interpretations of the social game we all have played at one time or another. It is in their most recent filming of the popular internet based “reality” show, that one obsessed fan decides that not only should he be a part of the upcoming episode, but lend his own demented form of “realism” that he believes the show is lacking. The events that follow will prove to be eye-opening for those whom chose falsehood in the shadow of truth, and painful for those who thought “dare” was a welcomed friend.
I remember when this movie was announced at the Days of the Dead horror convention in 2013. I sat in the audience watching the trailer with my eyes wide and my jaw dropped. I saw no trace of Bruce Campbell or Ash. Instead, we were given Jane Levy in the role of Mia, a recovering drug addict taking refuge from the outside world and temptations with a group of friends in a secluded cabin in the woods. We all know the story of Evil Dead, so I won’t insult your intelligence by summarizing the story here.
As horror fans, we take what we can get these days. Most theatrical releases are less than original, and if we even see them at all, odds are the majority of us go in with our expectations low. Though there have been exceptions recently (the fantastic “You’re Next” comes to mind), mainstream producers seem to target a very specific audience for a quick cash grab, either in the form of the all-too-popular remake, or the monotonous sequels that (most of) us die-hards are neutral of anyway.
In this day and age, the bottom line is profit. This almost always means sacrificing the budget of the film and capitalizing in earning more revenue than it took to produce the picture in the first place. The easiest way to achieve this, or so it would seem, is the found-footage genre of horror. Though Cannibal Holocaust is usually noted as the “first” in this series, it was The Blair Witch Project that catapulted this style into the mainstream psyche and left an almost constant string of successful “do-it-yourself” motion pictures in the memory of the movie going audience.
With this fact virtually undisputed, it is without question that big business filmmakers are aware of the fact that the horror audience is growing tired of the found-footage films. As excited as we were for films like Cloverfield, [REC], and Paranormal Activity, the magic has worn off, so to speak, and we are all left asking each other the same question: what next?
20th Century Fox has come close to answering that question for us in the upcoming release of the Matt Bettinelli-Olpin directed Devil’s Due, coming to theatres January 17, 2014. The trailer itself has generated some buzz in the horror world, yet mostly for how it reminds us of The Devil Inside and feels reminiscent of Rosemary’s Baby. Yet they have taken things quite a step further, and by navigating through the official movie website, you will arrive at a tab under the title of “Convert”...
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) psychometric personality test has been proven to give an unparallelled analysis of one's personality and how they process information as well as make decisions on that information. The results rate the test taker on 4 dichotomies and can render a fairly accurate representation of one's inherent psychological traits.
Using the results from this test and contrasting with this wonderful infographic from our friends at GeekxGirls, YOU can determine not only which character from STAR WARS you most emulate, but also discover a little more about yourself in the process.
WHICH STAR WARS CHARACTER ARE YOU?
Though founded in 1934, and making films from then up to the present (albeit very off and on at times) with The Quiet Ones being scheduled for release here in the UK April 2014, Hammer Studios will forever be linked with its dark and gothic Hammer Horror films. These were chiefly produced between mid 1950s to the mid 1970s, frequently at a fairly prolific rate. As a forty something, English, horror fan, Hammer films were the staple diet of my ‘formative’ years. For that reason I consider myself incredibly fortunate. To cut my teeth (fangs?) on films with the maestros of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in lead roles was just the best apprenticeship.
From its inception in 1934, through various financial comings and goings and of course World War 2, Hammer Productions eventually found a home at Down Place on the banks of the River Thames in 1949. Though it was later renamed Bray Studios and was used throughout the majority of the heyday until 1966. Its grounds were used for much of the location shooting that followed and contributed much to Hammer’s look and feel. Hammer studios first foray into horror came in 1955 with The Quatermass Xperiment, an adaptation of the BBC television series.
Compiling a list of horrors most noteworthy scream queens is no easy feat. To include every talented woman that I have had the honor of witnessing on the silver screen would take an entire encyclopedia volume. So, instead of giving you the official list that you might have expected to see when you clicked on this article, I have instead opted to go entirely on opinion. The women featured here are based on my favorite and most influential horror movies. So, without further hesitation, here we go. My top five scream queens I would love to make scream.
5. ASHLEY LAURENCE
To me, Hellraiser always took it a step further than some of the other popular horror franchises. The series explored the world between pleasure and pain, and in some cases blurred the lines between the two extremes to show us that sometimes they were one in the same. The ancient battle between good and evil was exemplified in modern times as the ongoing battle of Kirsty Cotton vs. The Cenobites.
Kirsty is the modern example of a strong-willed independent woman. To have survived the events with her stepmother and Uncle Frank in the first film is a feat in and of itself, but to wake up in a psychiatric hospital and inevitably explore the labyrinths of hell itself in another encounter with the cenobites would be enough to make anybody give up on life. She eventually gets married, survives a horrific car accident, is presumed dead, and faces the cenobites yet again to offer Pinhead five souls in exchange for her own. To make matters even more tragic, four of the souls are women who are sleeping with her husband; the fifth is someone who is planning on killing Kirsty.
Kirsty Cotton is a tragic character, yet in each film she seems to still carry a “glass half full” mentality. Not to mention, Ashley Laurence is just beautiful to behold- and her innocent look (beautifully rendered by simple facial expressions), even after all she has been through, is just flat out sexy. If Hellseeker is the last time we will see Ashley Laurence portray Kirsty, then at least she went out with a fight.
I'm sure there are plenty of Trekkies out there who would scoff at the notion or claim to have noticed all of these actors in their resume building roles on various adaptions of the Gene Roddenberry classic... I'd be willing to bet they didn't. Although some of the following actors grew a career from their small and often forgettable characters on their respective Star Trek series', some already had substantial fame and outside of a way to make ends meet, had no real purpose on the television series beyond another check on the bucket list or a one off joke.