Ninja: Shadow of a Tear (2013)

Casey Bowman has taken over the Kōga ninja dojo and married Namiko Takeda, who is due to give birth to their first child. Well, was, as this movie fridges her and she dies when muggers — who attacked Casey earlier in the day — murder her. After her funeral, a former student named Nakabara (Kane Kosugi) gives him the offer of moving to Thailand, but Casey is trying to figure out his own path. That path starts by finding the muggers and killing them.

Casey ends up going to Bangkok, where he meets with Nakabara and begins training with him. But death follows and it’s revealed that Casey’s teacher — and Namiko’s father — Sensei Takeda once was one of the top three students with Nakabara’s father and Isamu, who was killed by Takeda in his ascension to being the top ninja. Now, Isamu’s son Goro has become the leader of a drug cartel and may have been the one to kill Namiko. Of course Casey is being fooled and used as a weapon, which means that the two men are going to have to fight to the death.

Directed by Isaac Florentine and written by Boaz Davidson, this movie gave me such great happiness, as if Cannon had never gone away. This would be the movie that they would be making, all action, minimal story and even a wacky cab driver.

You can watch this on Tubi.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Go On – The Complete Series (2012, 2013)

Radio talk show host Ryan King (Matthew Perry) has barely taken any time to get over the death of his wife. He just wants to get back to work, but his boss Steven (John Cho) won’t allow him back on the air until he goes to grief counseling.

Ryan joins a support group but he could really care less. However, the way he approaches the sessions actually helps the others in his group. Led by the barely trained Lauren Bennett (Laura Benanti), the members are Anne (Julie White), a lesbian proscutor unable to get past the loss of her partner; Yolanda Mitsawa (Suzie Nakamura), whose fiancee ran off; Owen Lewis (Tyler James Williams), whose brother is in a coma; Mr. K (Brett Gelman), who has a mysterious job with NASA and who also refuses to reveal why he’s there; Sonia (Sarah Baker), who misses her cat; Fausta (Tonita Castro), whose father and brother just died; Danny (Seth Morris), whose wife had a child with another man while he served in the army; George (Bill Cobbs), who is dealing with the loss of his sight and a former member of the group who shows up from time to time, Simone (Piper Perabo), who Lauren dislikes, perhaps because she starts dating Ryan.

Scott Silveri, who was a writer and executive producer on Friends, also created Joey, which was another sitcom with an alumni of the show. While that Matt leBlanc sitcom lasted for two seasons, this show only lasted one. Maybe all the sadness on the show was a bit much for viewers. Or perhaps they didn’t like how  it felt so much like Community.

I love sitcoms and had never seen this show before, so I enjoyed sitting down with it and getting to know its characters. Ever since the first Newhart series and Dear John, group therapy has been a perfect t story engine for comedy shows. It works here, as you really enjoy the interplay between the characters. Gelman is probably the most entertaining of all of them and his governement ties are funny when you consider that a decade later, he’d be known as the conspiracy obsessed Murray Bauman on Stranger Things.

This was streaming for some time on the Roku channel, but seeing as how you can never tell when things are going to be removed, it’s a really cool thing to own this DVD set of the only season of the show. I wish we could have seen where a second season would have gone.

You can buy the Mill Creek DVD set of Go On from Deep Discount.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: WNUF Halloween Special (2013)

April 22: Terror Vision — Write about a movie released by Terror Vision. Here’s the list.

This was originally on the site on October 7, 2021.

I grew up directly between Youngstown, OH and Pittsburgh, PA, which meant that growing up, I got to see UHF channels from Cleveland, Wheeling, Stuebenville and everywhere in between. There are still local jingles that I know by heart — Youngstown’s Remnant Room — and when I see the staticky look of this ancient television, it warms my heart beyond belief. Beyond Superhost and Chilly Billy, I can remember characters like Barnaby and the local news teams that had no hope of ever working for the networks.

The WNUF Halloween Special could have been horrible, but I get the feeling that its creator Chris LaMartina grew up watching plenty of Baltimore TV* (he probably knew Captain Pitt as Captain Chesapeake on WBUF (but we both may have not known that he was also Ghost Host), because this is so authentic that I thought that I went back in time.

A home recording of WNUF’s Halloween special that aired on October 31, 1987, this tells the story of Frank Stewart’s investigation of the Webber House, the site of the Spirit Board Murders. He’s brought along a priest and Louis and Claire Berger, psychic investigators who use a cat named Shadow to speak to the dead.

By the end of the night, the evil inside the house will show itself. And no one is safe.

The story may have been told before, but it’s the entire package that is perfect. There are references to Dust DevilR.O.T.O.R. and so many more movies, plus it captures that strange moment of the pre 90s when UHF stations would air just about anything, when major bloopers happened almost every day and something like a series of occult murders could happen live while you watched.

If you want to own something amazing, you need to own the Terror Vision blu ray.

*Producer Jimmy George confirmed that WNUF TV28 was inspired by Baltimore’s WNUV TV54, a similar TV station that was independently owned until the mid-90s.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: The Canyons (2013)

April 21: Gone Legitimate — A movie featuring an adult film actor in a mainstream role.

Producer Braxton Pope, writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Paul Schrader had the movie Bait get canceled due to money and then decided to make another one that was crowd funded. Paul Schrader. Making a crowd funded movie. They raised $159,015 which got the budget up to $250,00 and had American Apparel doing the clothing, Kanye West re-editing the trailer and creating music and Lindsay Lohan in the lead just as she was getting out of her sixth rehab and starring on a reality show on OWN.

While Lohan and James Deen were cast by the creators, the rest of the cast was handled through a website, Let It Cast. Shrader said, “We’re making art out of the remains of our empire. The junk that’s left over. And this idea of a film that was crowdfunded, cast online, with one actor from celebrity culture, one actor from adult-film culture, a writer and director who have gotten beat up in the past—felt like a post-Empire thing. And then everything I was afraid of with Lindsay and James started to become positive. I was afraid we wouldn’t be taken seriously and people would think it was a joke. My son and daughter didn’t want me to do it. That just shows you how conservative young kids are.”

Of course, everyone argued at the end, as the final cut wasn’t what Ellis had in mind, although he’s come around to enjoy the movie, saying everyone got what they wanted artistically and financially from the movie. He found Lohan to be good in it and the rest of the world judged it just because she was in the movie. It was that kind of time.

Christian (Deen) is a trust fund kid who makes low budget horror movies. We meet him at a dinner with his lover Tara (Lohan), his personal assistant Gina (Amanda Brooks) and her boyfriend — who will bin Christian’s next movie — Ryan (Nolan Funk). Christian loves to push people and keeps revealing how he and Tara use dating apps to have anonymous sex with other people. Also, while he may be sleeping with someone else in secret — Cynthia (Tenille Houston) — he controls Tara, who once dated Ryan and left him for the stability of dating wealthier men.

We soon learn that Christian is forced into therapy to keep the money coming in — Gus Van Sant is the therapist — and he needs the behavioral help, because he sends people after Ryan and attacks Tara. Yet they stay within the orbit of one another, even when she talks him into letting another man — an anonymous hookup — go down on him. This makes him feel controlled and that’s the one thing he can’t handle. By the end of the movie, there’s murder, a movie nearly ruined and Tara trying to escape with her sanity and life.

While Deen’s life ended up mirroring his character — he’s an adult star who has been accused of going too far in his scenes and in his personal life by several partners — he’s not bad in this. South by Southwest may have turned this movie down — they said it had technical issues, as well as “There’s a cold deadness to it.” — but I have no idea why. It’s fascinating, as a major Hollywood name is now making movies with sourced money, cast by a website and featuring people who at one point were so far away from each other fame wise that Lohan and Deen wouldn’t even be in the same reality and here she is, topless and engaging in simulated sex with the guy who put a lemon in Joanna Angel’s ass.

Also: Shrader got nude during this scene to make Lohan comfortable. His idea.

Also also: adult actor Danny Wilde appears and his scenes were edited because unlike everyone else, he was not simulating his masturbation.

This is the best IMDB gossip about the movie: “At one point, the stress of the hectic shoot was wearing on everyone and the crew was upset because they hadn’t been paid in a week. Producer Braxton Pope, hoping to buck up morale, suggested raffling off two Samsung tablets used in the film. Director Paul Schrader said no because he didn’t have a tablet at home and wanted one of them for himself.”

The auteur!

Also (third also): Lily LeBeau is in this, adding even more adult stars to the cast.

You know, maybe I cut Lohan a break, but I really liked this. It just feels so unlike every other movie out there, nearly feeling like the most high budget adult movie while also coming off like a cheap direct to streaming movie with some level of star power. It’s also the kind of movie that may have been more interesting if they just filmed the making of it, as Lohan has an understudy constantly ready to step in, she would stop partying — or so they say — at 5:30 AM for a 6 AM call time and Deen didn’t stop booking porn shoots while making this movie.

Again, let me say: Paul; Schrader wrote Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. Then again, he screwed the adult industry over once with Hardcore, so all bets are kind of even. He did make Cat People, though.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Arrow Video The Lukas Moodysson Collection: We Are the Best! (2013)

After the experimentation and bleak outlook of the past few Lukas Moodysson movies, We Are the Best! is a charming look at growing up young and punk rock in 1982 Stockholm. It’s based on his wife’s autobiographical graphic novel Never Goodnight.

Bobo and Klara are 13-year-old girls ostracized by their peers for their love of punk rock. Androgynous, with short hair and baggy clothes, they endure the wrath of condescending teen boys who play in a rock band called Iron Fist at their youth club. The girls start their own band to irritate the boys, even though neither can play an instrument. Bobo uses punk as a means of escape whereas Klara is angry and political and writes the sardonic lyrics she sings.

Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are young teenage girls dealing with being made fun of for their baggy clothes and boyish looks, particularly a band called Iron Fist. While neither girl has any musical talent, they soon meet a Christian girl named Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) who plays classical guitar and form a band to spite the boys.

The girls deal with the normal trial of growing up — boys and the feelings that come from them — before being booked to play a holiday show in Västerås. After the audience starts to heckle the nervous girls, Klara changes the lyrics of their song “Hate the Sport!” to “Hate Västerås!,” which causes a riot and earns them the respect of Iron Fist and the anger of the adults who run their youth club. As they laugh on the bus afterward, they defiantly keep telling that man, “We are the best!”

I loved this movie, particularly the fact that Hedvig may be the most punk out of all three girls and the conversation about the song “Hang God,” which is a Christian song because you have to believe in God in order to hang Him. The end of this film, with the girls having made an audience outraged through their words and music and their sheer joy at causing such an outrage made me smile so wide.

The limited edition The Lukas Moodysson Collection from Arrow includes high definition blu rays of seven films, as well as interviews with Moodysson and other cast and crew, moderated by film programmer Sarah Lutton. There’s also a two hundred page featuring new writing by Peter Walsh, excerpts from the original press kits for each film, interviews with and directors’ statements from Moodysson and essays on his films from a 2014 special issue of the Nordic culture journal Scandinavica by C. Claire Thomson, Helga H. Lúthersdóttir, Elina Nilsson, Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport and Kjerstin Moody.

The extras include interviews with Moodysson and cinematographer Ulf Brantås, a background on Swedish punk from historian David Andersson, the Q&A from the 2013 London Film Festival screening with Moodysson and stars Liv LeMoyne and Mira Barkhammar and a trailer.

You can get this set from MVD.


Deaf Crocodile Films — who released the amazing Solomon King on blu ray this year — has also released four feature films by acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Shahram Mokri on demand for U.S. audiences.  The four films will be available on Amazon, iTunes and Projectr and tell the stories of aerial killers, kite flyers, vampires and arsonists who disappear into time. You can also buy the blu ray box set from Deaf Crocodile.

Careless Crime (Jenayat-e Bi Deghat) (2020): Inspired by the Cinema Rex fire in 1978 that triggered the Iranian Revolution, this movie follows three different paths: arsonists planning the fire, the students at the cinema interacting with the employees of the theater and the characters on the screen of the movie that played that night. The crime that was committed that night was so horrible that it literally burns through the reality that unites these three storylines.

The night Cinema Rex burned — one of the biggest terrorist attacks in Iran for decades — The Deer was playing. Two women attempt to play that same film in the desert in another storyline as they come across soldiers who have discovered an unexploded munition from another conflict in the past.

The theme of carelessness is carried through by so many in this, as many of the terrorists believed that the audience would just rush out and be unharmed and their message would be heard. Yet the theater manager oversold tickets to the show and his greed is just as responsible for the deaths.

This is a movie that is historical beyond true crime while also telling of the world of film. It may get repetitive and a little long at two hours and twenty minutes, but wow, those last twenty minutes make up for it. You won’t just know about what happened. You will feel it.

Fish & Cat (Mahi Va Gorbeh) (2013): In the Caspian region, students have gathered for a kite-flying event during the winter solstice. Next to their camp is a small hut occupied by three cooks who work at a nearby restaurant, a place that serves human meat on the menu. Meanwhile, the space-time loop within this film both gives away the ending and also makes it seem suspenseful at the same time. And here’s one more thing that makes this break from the pack: The entire movie is one single 140-minute take.

Director Shahram Mokri said, “I like the paintings of Maurits Escher, where you can see a change in perspective in the same visual. In my film, I wanted to give a change in perspective of time in one single shot. So the idea for the film came from his paintings.”

Consider this an Iranian Texas Chainsaw Massacre, yet one where we don’t see the horror of cannibalism yet feel it even more, if that’s possible. What a wild film.

Ashkan, The Charmed Ring And Other Stories (Ashkan, Angoshtar-e Motebarek Va Dastan-haye Digar) (2008): Mokri’s first feature was a black and white comedy about fate that, yes, has the feel of Tarantino yet establishes the director’s own voice as it tells the tales of blind jewel thieves Shahrooz and Reza; Askhan, a man who can’t quite seem to commit suicide, some cops, some hitmen, a young couple who wants to run away to get married, the boy’s angry father, art dealers, two female morgue attendants and, oh yeah, a fish on the loose and a missing ring.

Beyond Tarantino, there are moments that feel like film noir and others that reference Jim Jarmusch. Remember when Crash or Magnolia or any of those post-Quentin movies where everyone’s connected seemed to be every other movie? Sure, this is like that, but it also has an episodic nature and fun edge that makes it stand out from also-rans like Eight Heads In a Duffle Bag.

I know that Mokri made shorts before this, but it’s pretty amazing that this was his first full-length movie.

Invasion (Hojoom)(2017): I can honestly say I’ve never seen another movie like this and it was absolutely astounding.

The sales copy for this describes it as “a science-fiction/detective/vampire story, with nods to stylized 1980s New Wave-era films like Liquid Sky” and yeah, that’s almost as close as I can come to figuring out how to explain it to you.

At some time somewhere in the future, teams of tattooed athletes play a never explained sport in a foreboding and dangerous stadium where a murder has already taken place. The police have been trying to reconstruct the crime over and over again, using the vampiric twin sister of the married man in his place. There’s also a way too long eclipse and a global pandemic happening all at the same time.

I mean, this movie also has the one shot technique of Fish & Cat while also looking like a grimy 70s science fiction horror movie — Thirst maybe? — along with way too much fog and the red-eyed, face-tattooed and androgynous female vampire Negar gliding through all of this. Did Ali kill her brother, his best friend Saman? What’s up with the way he poses in front of the mirror in the beginning? What’s up with all those no gender mixing warning signs? Were Saman and Negar the same person when it comes down to it or were they really just switching lives and souls? How can an Iranian film made in 2017 feel so much like Jean Rollin or Jess Franco?

And most importantly, why did it take me so long to find this? Absolutely essential.


WATCH THE SERIES: The Purge Part 1

James DeMonaco was born in Brooklyn but spent eight years in Paris. When he came back to America,  he “put a microscope” on his life after realizing the difference in the relationship our country has with guns. He stated, “I’m terrified for my country. So I think that cynicism seeps into the film. America itself becomes the canvas, instead of the haunted house, the canvas is America. We don’t need ghosts or vampires anymore when we’re just killing each other, you know?”

Then, a drunk driver nearly killed him and his wife and she said — she’s a doctor, mind you — “I wish we could all have one free murder a year.”

That’s how we got The Purge.

In 2014, the New Founding Fathers of America are voted into office, promising to fix the economic collapse. One of the ways that they do that is by passing a law sanctioning the Purge, an annual event where all crime is legal and emergency services are temporarily suspended.

Somehow, it works, because the news claims that the U.S. is crime-free and unemployment rates have dropped to 1%. However, that only works if you’re upper middle class and white, just one of the many ways that these movies — while a bit too on the nose — really reflect reality almost way too much.

The Purge (2013): Just like Sinister, the first movie in this series stars Ethan Hawke and really is there to lay the groundwork before the much more interesting sequel. Not that either movie is bad, but they create the world that the other film (or films) get to explore.

Hawke is architect James Sandin and his family — wife Mary (Lean Headey), son Charlie (Max Burkholder) and daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane) — are aware that the Purge is coming but he’s invented a security system to protect them all. Well, it works until a stranger shows up injured and Zoey’s boyfriend Henry (Tony Oller) decides to bring a gun and confront James about their relationship.

What follows is a night of horror as the assembled neighbors, led by Grace Ferrin (Arija Bareikis), want the homeless man that asked for James’ help and to gain revenge against them as the Sandin’s wealth has come from all of them, as everyone needs the security system that he has invented to survive this night.

That mysterious man, known as the Stranger (Edwin Hodge), will become more important as the series continues. The budget for this was low and the idea of multiple Purges wouldn’t be possible, but DeMonaco said, “We only had 19 days to shoot and $2.7 million to work with.” And if he ever got the chance to do another, it would be like Escape from New York.

Good news. He got the chance.

The Purge: Anarchy (2014): Frank Grillo is the kind of actor that I love, someone who would be starring in Cannon movies if this was the 80s and instead is the lead in this movie as Leo Barnes, an LAPD Police Sergeant who wants to use Purge Night to avenge his son’s death, with the killer going free as the boy died on Purge Night.

Before the sixth Purge can begin, a resistance group led by Carmelo Johns (Michael K. Williams) and Dante Bishop (Edwin Hodge), the Stranger from the first movie, hijack the American media to denounce the government and the fact that the Purge has reduced poor and non-white people to target practice.

The other storyline in this concerns waitress Eva Sanchez (Carmen Ejogo), her daughter Cali (Zoë Soul) and her terminally ill father Rico (John Beasley) who has sold himself to a rich family as someone to be hunted so that Eva and Cali can live in confront after his death.

There’s also Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez), a couple ready to leave one another, who also are trapped in the inner city on the worst night of the year.

Complicating matters is that the Purge has not worked out how its creators thought: people wait to enact revenge based on personal grudges, killing friends and family instead of random poor people. The government has sent out death squads to up the body count and destroy the lower class.

The Purge: Election Year (2016): It’s kind of crazy how The Purge finally found its real footing three movies in, moving Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) into a Secret Service hero protecting Senator Charlene Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), a U.S. Senator running for President on an anti-Purge platform. She has a true belief in this, as her family was killed during the first Purge.

The New Founding Fathers of America use the Purge to try and kill Roan legally, as this year government officials have no immunity. This film also goes all in on just how close the NFFA is to right-wing religious zealots, even praying for death in church and having a sacrifice on an altar. Minister Edwidge Owens (Kyle Secor) is the other Presidential front runner and he’s been targeted by the underground led by Dante Bishop (Edwin Hodge).

Of all The Purge movies, this feels the most like something John Carpenter would make, as it feels like a non-stop chase and the good guys up against the wall for the entire running time. It expands the world of the film without forgetting the normal people caught up in the Purge, those truly battling for their lives and not just arguing about money and politics.

This is also the most violent in the series with 116 deaths, nearly one every single minute. It also shows that the rest of the world has begun to be part of the event with death tourism increasing along with the government sponsored death squads.

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.


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.