ANOTHER HOLE IN THE HEAD FILM FESTIVAL 2022: The Profane Exhibit (2013)

This film started when producer Amanda L. Manuel approached director Michael Todd Schneider to direct her first short film, which is the chapter “Manna” in this movie. Manuel had other story concepts and brought on other directors, including a few who did not appear in the final movie like Richard Stanley (who supposedly was never part of this), Andrey Iskanov (whose segment was complete but needed new sound and some new footage which was too expensive to go to Russia for) and José Mojica Marins (who left the project).

After years of this movie getting press, it finally debuted in August of 2022. There were screenings of some parts of it and the reports were that the film was no good. Yet nine years later, here it finally is.

The film begins in a Paris nightclub that houses a secret society and The Room of Souls, a private gathering place for the world’s richest and most evil people. Madame Sabatier allows each of them to tell a story and attempt to impress one another.

The first segment is “Mother May I,” directed by Anthony DiBlasi, has Sister Sylvia abusing the girls in her halfway house for sins both real and imagianry.

Yoshihiro Nishimura (Meatball MachineKyûketsu Shôjo tai Shôjo Furanken) brings the next movement, which is entitled “The Hell-Chef” and is a quick cut artistic tale of two young Japanese women eviscerating and devouring a man. It’s quick, to the point and well-made, even if there’s no rhyme or reason, which is the point one figures.

The third chapter is “Basement,” directed by Uwe Boll. This is based on the Josef Fritzel case, which was also made into a documentary, Monster: The Josef Fritzl Story. It’s short and well-made, shockingly among the best of the entire film. That said, if you want to watch Clint Howard have sex with his character’s daughter, well…this movie may just be for you.

It’s followed by the part I was most excited about, “Bridge,” directed by Ruggero Deodato. Sadly, it’s only three minutes long and just when it seems like it has some steam, it quickly ends.

Marian Dora, which is a pseudonym for an anonymous German creative, contributes “Mors in Tabula,” which is the same title as another Dora short. This one has a boy being operated on while his father helps the surgeon in a sequence that shows plenty of surgical nightmares over an Aryan rally soundtrack. There’s no real story, just shocks, which is pretty much the Grand Guignol feel of this entire enterprise.

“Tophet Quorom” is directed by Sergio Stivaletti (Italian special effects master and the director of The Wax Mask). It’s pretty wild and is has some incredible gore, like a jaw being ripped off, a practical werewolf transformation and infant sacrifice. Now, as you can see from that description, this tale of a woman looking for the missing twin baby she’s just given birth to might not be for everyone — again, a running theme.

Ryan Nicholson (GutterballsHanger) seems like the perfect person to be part of this and his segment “Goodwife,” in which a woman learns her husband is a killer and joins him in his depravity, might be the limit for some people. There’s no humor in this, just shock upon shock, the kind of madness that seems like someone working out more than just a horror film if it wasn’t so well shot. Apply liberally every trigger warning ever.

I loved Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes, so I was excited for his segment “Sins of the Fathers.” A son has recreated the room he grew up in to place his elderly father into the same mindset he was in while the man abused him. It’s an intriguing idea that could make up its own film.

“Manna,” directed by Michael Todd Schneider goes from BDSM club to that most unimaginable — and impossible of fetishes, vore. That means that someone gets off from being consumed and what follows is a man being treated like he’s the Old Country Buffet for an entire room of latex clad women who break him down and make a meal of him.

“Amouche Bouche” is directed by Jeremy Kasten (The Attic Expeditions) and shows more human meat being prepared and eaten, which seems like how this movie should finish.

This is a movie made for extreme horror fans featuring some of their favorite directors. As such, people who think Hollywood horror is disgusting should probably stay home or keep this out of their streaming device. For those with a sicker bent — and I say that lovingly but also you never get to play with my dog — this is for you.

This movie was part of the Another Hole in the Head film festival, which provides a unique vehicle for independent cinema. This year’s festival takes place from December 1st – December 18th, 2022. Screenings and performances will take place at the historic Roxie Cinema, 4 Star Theatre and Stage Werks in San Francisco, CA. It will also take place On Demand on Eventive and live on Zoom for those who can not attend the live screenings. You can learn more about how to attend or watch the festival live on their Eventlive site. You can also keep up with all of my AHITH film watches with this Letterboxd list.

FANTASTIC FEST 2022: Local Legends (2013)

Directed and written by its star, Matt Farley, Local Legends is a black and white loose adaption of, well, Matt Farley’s life. It’s probably the best explanation for why the films of Farley and Charlie Roxburgh work so well.

How can one man have seventy bands, make a movie or two a year, release 23,000 songs as of February 2022 and get so much done? Focus and drive.

This film features songs by Farley’s bands Moes Haven. The Toilet Bowl Cleaners, The Guy Who Sings Your Name Over and Over, The Hungry Food Band and Papa Razzi and the Photogs while the film takes a near commercial sell for everything Matt has made and will make. You get to watch him play basketball and impersonate famous players (and yes, he really did have someone do statistics for his one on one games). You see him walk all over town and interact with his friends, many of whom play his friends — and enemies — in his films. And you get real slices of life, like someone who wants to critique his movies and has better ideas, yet has never made a film of their own. Or the girl who has every Billy Joel album, but really just the greatest hits.

Look, Matt would rather have made some movies than had some cars. He walks just about everywhere, when you think about it.

I found this movie utterly charming and inspirational. I love when people are out there in the world making things and no one makes more things than Matt. He’s also willing to place his phone number into movies, so when I texted him mid-movie and we started chatting, it added a strange metatextural experience that I will never ever get from any other movie or filmmaker ever.

That blows my mind.

Just watch it on YouTube for yourself.

THE IMPORTANT CINEMA CLUB’S SUPER SCARY MOVIE CHALLENGE 8: Prisoners of the Sun (2013)

8. A Film Made After 1989 that Features a Mummy, but not Brendan Fraser or Tom Cruise

A multinational expedition discovers a lost city beneath a pyramid and the reawakened gods of ancient Egypt want to end the world. John Rhys-Davies plays Professor Hayden Masterson, the academic who believes that every 5,000 years a celestial event happens and that it’s connected to the pyramids of Egypt. He’s also way too driven, so he needs some balance from his co-adventurer Doug Adler (David Charvet). So yes, we have someone known for being on treasure hunts from the Indiana Jones movies and someone known for being around sand from Baywatch.

Joss Ackland also ends up being in this, as well as a psychic named Claire (Emily Holmes), Carmen Chaplin as Masterson’s daughter and Michael Higgins as Peter Levitz, who blackmailed his way into this quest. There’s also a dude named Adam Prime (Nick Moran) who is not a robot nor made in a lab with a sobriquet like that.

The effects look kind of good, the lasers are cool but this was made in 2006 and sat for seven years, which is never a good thing. What else? Well, Uwe Boll co-produced it. It’s directed by Roger Christian, who in addition to making The Sender also directed Arcadia’s video for “Election Day.” It was written by Peter Atkins (WishmasterHellraiser II: Hellbound) and Anthony Hickox, who directed Waxwork.

That said, this was also known as Dawn of the Mummy and there’s a rumor that it was a remake of a more famous movie with that title, the video nasty Dawn of the Mummy. I think that’s just wishful thinking, as while both of those movies are kind of boring in parts, at least the 1981 mummy movie has Fulci-like shambling gore driven tomb dwellers.

SLASHER MONTH: Chill The Killing Games (2013)

Noelle Bye and Meredith Holland co-directed and co-wrote this movie with Roger Collins, who plays Kyle. The college in this film used to play a game in which players took a piece of paper from a box and learned if they were a killer or victim and acted according. The game ended in 1988 when one player went too far and killed eight students. The game has been illegal since then, but one person wants to bring in back and make it go viral.

This year, the game is going to get played in a theater on campus and live streamed for the whole world to watch. If you’ve seen Stage Fright, you know what’s coming. And despite its low budget, Chill takes the Satanic Panic role playing game mania, ads in some modern internet and isn’t afraid to get talky and have some backstory before getting to the killing.

While not all the acting is great, the filmmakers were smart about their script, the lighting and the kills. That’s what we’re here for, right? Chill is a real surprise, a solid effort that was a rewarding watch. Sometimes taking a chance on new slashers can pay off.

You can watch this on Tubi.

SLASHER MONTH: Curse of Chucky (2013)

A return to pure horror, Curse of Chucky finds a Good Guy doll delivered to the wheelchair-bound Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif, yes, the daughter of the voice of Chucky) and within one night, her painter mother has killed herself. Or at least she’s stabbed, so…you can figure it out, right?

Nica is visited by her sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) and her husband Ian (Brennan Elliott), their daughter Alice (Summer H. Howell), nanny Jill (Chantal Quesnel) and Father Fran (A Martinez), but don’t get to know any of them too well. How do I know? Look, when you watch a family movie where Charles lee Ray randomly shows up and a little kid says that the Chucky doll keeps coming in her room at night and telling her she’s going to die, bad things are all over the place.

This is one of the few Chucky films where he pretty much wins. He wipes out nearly the entire cast before revealing that he stabbed Nica’s mom in the stomach and caused her to be born without the use of her legs. And somehow, he’s able to create a crime scene that has the cops blame her for every murder.

And then! Then! Fan service gone wild! Tiffany shows up to take Chucky to his next target: Andy Barclay and it’s really Alex Vincent, who plays dumb and just when Chucky sneaks up on him, he blows him away with a shotgun!

While a straight to video entry, I really dug this one. It has some nasty kills, it’s mean-spirited and has a great little bit at the end with Andy.

THE IMPORTANT CINEMA CLUB’S SUPER SCARY MOVIE CHALLENGE 6: Coherence (2013)

6. A Horror Film That Takes Place In One Room (No CUBEs)

Eight people — Em (Emily Foxler), Kevin (Maury Sterling), Mike (Nicholas Brendon), Lee (Lorene Scafaria), Hugh (Hugo Armstrong), Beth (Elizabeth Gracen), Amir (Alex Manugian) and Laurie (Lauren Maher) — gather for a dinner part on the night Miller’s Comet passes. Em and Kevin are dating but she’s unsure. Amir has brought Laurie, who used to date Kevin. Beth and Laurie hate one another, yet Laurie is being really tough on Em.

Then things get really weird.

As the lights go out in the entire neighborhood, they realize that everyone in their dining room has exact duplicates in another dining room one house over. Basically, the movie takes place all inside one house, along with another house that has another group of eight people.

Did I say one house? By the end of this movie, every choice has made another reality and some of those are bleeding into one another.

Directed and written by James Ward Byrkit from a story by Manugian, this movie didn’t have a script as much as getting their own unique paragraph which had their goal for the day. This allowed for the story to unfold naturally as the movie shot over five days, which is why so many of the reactions seem so real. Manugian also was on set as Amir to guide any scenes that went too far off the story.

I have to go back and watch this again, as Wikipedia reports that the movie “…cuts to black at 0:02, 0:03, 0:05, 0:05, 0:07, 0:09, 0:19, 0:27, 0:32, 0:34, 1:06, 1:18, 1:22, and 1:23.” Bykirt says that there’s a meaning there but won’t say what it is. He also said that this movie was an attempt “to strip down a film set to the bare minimum: getting rid of the script, getting rid of the crew.”

This movie should be discussed way more than it is and I can’t believe that it took me so long to find it.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Arnold Week: Escape Plan (2013)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first on the site on September 2, 2019.

Despite the teaming of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Escape Plan underperformed at the U.S. box office. So how have there been three of these films? Simple. International box-office success, as this movie debuted in first place in several foreign markets, with the total international gross more than doubling its $50 million budget, leading to a worldwide gross of $137.3 million.

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is a former prosecutor, businessman and skilled structure engineer, but he’s really known for being the world’s best escape artist. As part of Breslin-Clark, he poses as an inmate to test supermax prisons from the inside out. His goal? Keeping criminals in jail, because back when he was a lawyer, his wife and child were killed by a convict he put away that escaped.

Breslin and business partner Lester Clark (Vincent D’Onofrio) get a multimillion-dollar offer from CIA agent Jessica Mayer, who wants them to test a top secret prison where several prisoners have disappeared. They’re not told where this prison is, but Breslin allows himself to be captured. However, things go wrong right away, as his tracking chip is removed and he has no idea where he is.

Now, he’s under the control of Warden Hobbes (Jim Caviezel) and meets fellow prisoner Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger). Together with Javed, a Muslim prisoner, they start to create an escape plan — but soon learn that they are on a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean.

This movie is packed with interesting supporting players. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson plays Hush, Ray’s best friend and technical expert. Sam Neill is a prison doctor. And former soccer star Vinnie Jones is the lead guard.

Escape Plan was directed by Mikael Hafstrom (1408) and was written by Jason Keller and Miles Chapman, who has written all of the Escape Plan films. It’s way better than the next two films in the series, but that kind of goes without saying, right?

See also: Escape Plan 2: Hades and Escape Plan: The Extractors.

Arnold Week: The Last Stand (2013)

The American directorial debut of South Korean director Kim Jee-woon (I Saw the Devil), this was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first lead acting role in a decade.

He plays Sheriff Ray Owens, who has left behind Los Angeles for the small town of Sommerton Junction, Arizona. A failed mission led to his partner being crippled and his team killed, so now he writes parking tickets and tries to hide his depression.

Now, Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) has escaped from custody and his men have cleared a path to Mexico for him. The only thing stopping him is the town of Sommerton Junction. Owens realizes that the odds are against him, so he deputizes a vet with PTSD named Mike Figuerola (Luis Guzman) and goofball weapons collector Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville).

You know why I love Arnold? During filming, he was spotted at a WalMart. He was there buying clothes for the crew, who were freezing during the desert night shoots.

009-1: The End of the Beginning (2013)

A live action adaptation of Shotaro Ishinomori’s 1967 adult manga — which in turn came from the manga Cyborg 009 — this movie was made to celebrate its creator’s 75th birthday.

Taking place in the year 20XX, Mylene Hoffman is Agent 009-1, constantly battling the Cold War between the Eastern and Western Blocks as part of the Zero Zero Organization. When she loses her license after a mission gone wrong, she must discover her lost memories.

Sure, you’ve seen it all before, but have you seen a secret agent not named Chesty Morgan who has machine guns inside her breasts?

Director Koichi Sakamoto and writer Keiichi Hasegawa have both worked on the Kamen Rider and Ultraman franchises, but this film allows them to go all out with blood — most of it CGI — and suggestive situations. Well, it’s still a soft R-rated film, so don’t expect Naked Killer. I mean, it does have a sapphic BDSM scene where an evil cyborg has her way with the movie’s heroine, so maybe what I find dirty has a design error.

There’s also a 1969 TV series called Flower Action 009/1 and an anime with the same name that was made in 2006.

Abner the Invisible Dog (2013)

Mark Lindsay Chapman sounds like the name of the man programmed to kill John Lennon, Mark David Chapman, which kept him from playing the man who put a tampon on his head and yelled “I love May Pang” in John and Yoko: A Love Story, a biographical NBC made-for-Tv movie that had involvement from Yoko Ono, who liked his audition but felt it was bad karma and Mark McGann got the role instead. Chapman did end up playing Lennon in Chapter 27 and got killed by real life cult leader Jared Leto who played Chapman.

Chapman — the actor, not the MK Ultra killer carrying a marked-up copy of Catcher in the Rye — is the voice of the invisible dog Albert in this movie.

As for the movie, imagine Home Alone with an invisible dog who is not above dragging its hero whenever he screws up — which is often — and burglars trying to get a secret hidden in a birthday gift.

Common Sense Media said that this movie was the “familiar tale of a boy and his dog running from wacky criminals who are trying to get back a secret formula.” Have we as a movie-making society become so cynical to film that there is more than one canine espionage movie? I mean, Abner is an English sheepdog, which explains his accent and sometimes that’s enough for me. Throw in David DeLuise and David Chokachi from Baywatch working from a story by Andrew Stevens and how can you watch any more, Common Sense Media? You warned parents that this movie has scenes in which “elderly folks are the butt of numerous jokes; there are farts aplenty and some mild sexual innuendo” and to me, you’re describing pretty much the movies that I wish were being discussed by Film Twitter’s most tight assed and unhumorous critics in the same way they point their magic fingers at a film no one has cared about ever and made it something worthy of pedestal raising. I implore you, do the same for Abner the Invisible Dog!

It has to be better than how Common Sense Media summed up this Fred Olen Ray movie: ” A time waster for all but those kids who think it’s hysterical to hear dogs fart and watch brainless grown-ups trip on banana peels, smash their fingers in doors, and react to stink bombs.”

For shame.

You can watch this on Tubi.