Friday, May 31, 2013

Saw Misgivings - David Lilley's Splatter Comedy

I recently had the good fortune to witness one of the most creative and entertaining short films in a very long time.  Saw Misgivings basically takes a sitcom (minus a laugh track) and places it in an alternate Saw reality, where apparently horrifying death traps are no concern and a part of daily life.

Paul comes home from work to find his wife, Janey preparing steak for their dinner with Paul's sister and brother-in-law.  Problem is Janey managed to get a Saw style death trap stuck on here head and to make matters worse, the baby swallowed the key.  What follows is Janey's account of the rest of her terrible day:  She's unable to return a pair of shoes, she gets kicked out of a shop and she can't even enjoy a drink!

Things get worse when Paul informs her that he may have told his sister to be at the house for six instead of seven o'clock.  Will Janey get dinner ready before they arrive?  Will she get out of the death trap?  I think you and I both know the answers to these questions, but I'm not going to tell you.  You'll just have to watch for yourself!

I was able to chat with David about Saw Misgivings and it went a little something like this:

Tell us about the genesis of Saw Misgivings

Saw Misgivings' came about Following Following a call for scripts I put out. Mark O'Connell (the writer) sent 'Saw Misgivings' over to me and I instantly fell in love with it. Firstly, to what it extremely well written and funny script. Plus, I'm a big fan of the 'Saw' films (Mainly the early ones) and I liked the juxtaposition of the horror and the domestic. For me, it was a no brainer, did I simply had to make this movie.

 - What equipment did you use to shoot it?

We shot is using a Canon 550d and it was edited using Adobe Premiere Pro.

 - How long did it take to shoot the film?

It was a two day shoot. We did not shoot Especially long days, so in total it probably only Took about 16 hours to get it in the can. It was one of the most relaxed shoots I've been on, Which is unusual.

 - Any fun stories from the set?

The best thing what happened When did Sylvia (Paul's sister) blocked in one of the neighbors with her car. Sylvia THEREFORE needed to move her car to let the lady out. The only thing was, what Sylvia in the middle of full on horror make-up and had to go outside in the middle of the day and move her car with her full 'face ripped off' make-up on. Oddly enough, the lady did not bat and eyelid, so I guess that kind of stuff must happen all the time in the sticks of Nottingham.

 - That hardware did Janey's wearing is pretty wicked. Tell us about the design process of the headpiece

The hardware for what Janey designed by the wonderful Jayne Hyman who did so all the blood, gore and Paul's Sisters head trap. She Janey's trap Entirely built from scratch and painted it to look like metal. We spent a long time discussing what kind of head trap Janey Should wear. The starting point what the 'reverse bear trap' from the original 'Saw'. HOWEVER, we needed something did connected to her head but did not restrict her mouth shut Because Vicky needed to deliver her lines. Very early on it was DECIDED We Should 'go for the eyes' and then had fun brainstorming horrendous torture devices until we settled on a design which did Suitably over the top and violent, we felt Which We Could deliver on a budget.

 - Comedy and horror are a difficult mix to do right, but you managed to hit just the perfect parodic notes.
What were your inspirations for Saw Misgivings?

The script itself was very funny Already When It came to me, so for me I did not really need to seek any comic inspirations. That was kind of lucky because i what viable to shoot the film 'straight' Principally drawing inspiration from horror films: such as 'Saw' (obviously) and the Final Destination films. So we did not really shoot the film as a comedy, we wanted everyone to take everything very seriously and not play it for laughs. I knew if we did that then the humor would naturally come out of the absurdness of the situation and the fact did no-one is Acknowledging it.

 - I could very Easily see Paul and Janey as reoccurring characters. Any plan to use them again?

At the moment there are no plans to use them again. But I am still in contact with Steve McNeil (Paul), Vicky Album (Janey) and writer Mark O'Connell, so it's not out of the question.

 - What's next for you?

Next up for me is I've just shot a film called 'Rellik'. It's a 4-minute horror thriller Which messes with time, showing the events leading up to a grisly murder backwards. In short, we start at the end and end at the beginning. It's got elements of 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' mixed with the storytelling style of 'Memento'.

 - What's your favorite movie?

Jaws, it's a movie I keep going back to and watching again and again. It never fails to deliver.

 - What's your favorite movie snack?

Pick and mix, Especially the super sour ones did make your tabs laugh.

 - Do you believe in the paranormal?

Yes, but the closest I came to a paranormal experience was visiting the Ghostbusters building in New York.

 - What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Titanic or possibly Showgirls.

 - If you had unlimited funds, talent, IP's, etc. ... what would your dream project be?

A traditional British superhero feature film with lots of blood, guts and cups of tea. (The script is in development).

If you'd like to check out Saw Misgivings (and I highly recommend you do!) and more of David's films, head on over to his website:  Loonatik and Drinks.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Curse of the Cannibal Confederates - And You Thought Redneck Zombies Was Bad!!!!!

Curse of the Cannibal Confederates
Directed by Tony Malanowski
Written by Tony Malanowski & Lon Huber
Starring Steve Sandkuhler, Christopher Gummer & Rebecca Bach

Tag Lines:

The South Shall Rise Again ..... and Again.....and Again

It took over 100 years...But Johnny got even!

Alternate Titles:
Curse of the Screaming Dead (VHS Title)
Curse of the Confederate Cannibals

Theatrical:  Nope
VHS:  Mogul (as Curse of the Screaming Dead); Video Explosion (Australia); TCC (Japan); Troma
DVD:  Troma
Streaming:  Negative, good buddy.  If you wanna watch this one, you'll have to actually acquire physical media!

"It is well that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it."
 - General Lee

If the tombstone's a rockin' don't come a knockin'!

Believe it or not I've watched this one a few times.  Most recently when a friend of mine stated that he wanted to watch a "bad" movie.  Feeling particularly cheeky, I pulled this little gem out and BOOM, just like that, another poor soul was exposed to The Curse of the Cannibal Confederates.  This movie gets a bad rap and I'll admit that it's a pretty wonky little flick, but there is still something about it that I can't help but love.  Perhaps it's the acting, maybe it's the pasty faced confederate zombies......maybe it's the cheap ass tombstones that wiggle around in the graveyard.

Our intrepid group of heroes.  Bikini's huh?  Good idea for a camping/hunting trip.

Mel doing what he does best:  Taking things that don't belong to him!

The "story" as it were follows a group of deer hunters and their girlfriends who go on a weekend camping trip.  I am not going to even pretend to know everyone's name....but they look like rejects from a Boston/BeeGee's tribute band.  Along for the trip are their girlfriends, including a blind girl, who I didn't even realize was blind the first time I watched it.  I totally missed that right int he opening credits, she's listed as "Blind Kiyomi"!

Doesn't camping look fun?  

Blind Kiyomi hears bells out in the woods and Mel (the klepto) goes to investigate.  He comes across a graveyard and an old church.  Inside the church he finds a box that contains a confederate flag and a leather diary.  Naturally, he takes the diary.  This apparently pisses off the long dead soldiers and they rise from the grave, pursuing the group and trying to munch on their guts.  It does not end well for the group.

Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom.........

The action (what little there is of it) is heavily padded out with long scenes of wandering around and bizarre and poorly acted dialog.  Half of the cast looks like they're reading off of cue cards.  All of them act as if they're in a high school play.  These aren't complaints though.....these are the very things that make it a surreal little time waster.

Yep...cause that's what zombies do.......choke people

Lloyd Kaufman stated that this is one of the top five worst films in the Troma library.  I can only imagine that Actium Maximus must rank number one on that list.  Shot entirely in Maryland, Cannibal Confederates is said to be a remake of Night of Horror, which was also directed and written by Malanowski and Co.

Tonny Starke????  Whew, for a second I thought Iron Man was buried here.  

Midnite Cinephile Tally:

Body Count:  5.  Most of the campers and one cop get munched on.

Boob Count:  Nope.  We do get the girls in some bikinis though.  Which is weird in the woods.

Beast Count:  There's a bunch of undead rebels rising from the grave.  Some have the white face paint...others are of the rubber masked variety.  It's fun when they explode though.

Final Thoughts:
I don't know why this gets as bad a rap as it does.  There are far worse films out there.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd sooner watch this than I would subject myself to any of the Twilight movies!  If you like goofy zombie flicks and want to watch a regional flick that is chock full of hilarious dialog and bad acting, you can't go wrong here.  With some booze, snacks and like-minded friends, this is a home version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 just waiting to happen!  DIG IN!

Final Rating: