Movie Review of the short poetry film “Hammer”

“Hammer” played at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival, part of its October 2015 best of horror/thriller short films from around the word event. 

First off, watch the Poetry Film NOW:

Read Movie Review of HAMMER by Amanda Lomonaco:

While Hammer lacked a lot of the excitement and action that went along with the other films of the night, I still can’t deny how interesting the concept was. Like all experimental films, there will probably be a strong love/hate split between anyone who see sthis film, but I’ve always been a big proponent of experimental filmmaking.

Pushing the boundaries of any medium is incredibly important to highlighting and understanding its limitations, as well as helping us understand our own psyche. That might seem like a bit of a snobbish reason to justify experimental films, which can be pretty snobbish themselves sometimes, but its something many people don’t consider. Our reactions to new things can teach us a lot about ourselves, and about those around us, so it can be fun sometimes to give these films a try.

The poem that is narrated in Hammer is beautiful and original on its own; taking the perspective of a murder weapon as the narrator. The pictures that acompany the narration, superimposed, blurry, and dark, help emphasize the eeriness of the words. The closeups, forced perspective, and lack of clarity of the images also highlight the narrator’s perspective as an object, rather than a living thing. The merger between both mediums enhances both mediums equally, and puts you in an interesting space, both as an audience member, and as a listener, or reader.

Here is where I admit my massive bias; I am a Halloween freak. I love horror films, gore, SPFX make-up, dressing up, getting scared, gorging on candy, all of it. Naturally, I would always be more inclined to like this kind of film, regardless of the subject matter. Of course not ALL horror films pass the test, but the uniqueness of this one stood out to me. I wouldn’t recommend this film to everyone, but if you’re a fan of the gothic, Poe, melancholic style of horror, you’ll definitely appreciate this one.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of HAMMER:

Movie Review of the short film “Boudoir”

“Boudoir” played at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival at the October 2015 best of horror/thriller short films. 

BOUDOIR, 9min, US, Horror/Mystery
Directed by Gina Lee Ronhovde

An agoraphobic photographer is psychologically tortured by a mysterious client during a routine boudoir photography session, escalating into a battle to stay alive.

Read the movie review of “Boudoir” by Amanda Lomonaco

No. Just no. I spent this entire film excited to hear what I was hoping would be hilariously negative comments about it during mediation, and was incredibly disappointed when I heard its praise. As if it wasn’t enough that the film itself had disappointed me.

Some of this is my own fault. I didn’t realize some of the bad acting in the film was actually intentional. Probably because I didn’t recognize the actress originally (apparently she’s famous – oops!). In any case, I was entirely too distracted by the poor acting to allow myself to actually enjoy the film. With the enlightenment of the comments raised during the mediation period, I could probably have appreciated this film a little more, but I still don’t think I would give it a thumbs up.

The concept itself is kind of cool. It even has a little bit of an air of Black Swan to it; some lesbian implications, a tortured artist with just a dash of schizophrenia, an apparent murder that turns out to be suicide… If you’ve seen Aronofsky’s film this will all sound familiar. Quite a few people in the audience really did seem to enjoy it, although I don’t know how much of that was driven by the supporting character’s celebrity.

Yes, I am being incredibly harsh and bias in this review, but reviews are supposed to be a matter of opinion, so I’m simply giving you my own. This was the weakest film in what would have otherwise been a flawless line up for October’s WILDSound Feedback Film Festival, but I suppose you just can’t please everybody all the time.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of BOUDOIR:

Movie Review of the short film “Redemption”

“Redemption” is a thriller/prison drama that played at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival, part of it’s best of horror/thriller short films event in October 2015. 

REDEMPTION, Australia, 7min, Thriller/Prison
Directed by Tom Vogel

A man in jail finds God and asks his son for forgiveness but is karma about to catch up with him before he can seek redemption.

Read the movie review of REDEMPTION by Amanda Lomonaco

One more point scored by the Aussies for proving that simple stage design, just a few characters, and not much equipment can still make for a good horror film. What’s more – they didn’t even pull out the fake blood! You could argue that the very fact that the cheapness of the production was noticeable makes it a bad film, but I guarantee you many a Blair Witch fan would disagree.

Most of the shots in this film were quite tight, and close-up.The wider two shots were mostly in dark spaces, where little to no background could be seen. This really drew a lot of focus on the acting, which definitely lived up to expectations. It’s a gamble to bank so much of your film on the actors themselves, but I would say Tom Vogel made some good casting calls in this case.

Vogel could have done just a tad better in the make-up department, though. Giving his main, most vicious character, what looked very obviously like a stamp-on temporary tattoo on the neck distracted a little from that character’s brutality. Everything else about the film compensates for this minor mishap, however. Particularly when that same character proceeds to kill someone in an incredibly aggressive and violent manner.

Once again the implication of violence proves more effective than the use of violence itself. It might have begun a little slowly, but Redemption‘s pace picked up quickly enough to not leave you bored or confused for too long. The finale was definitely a very satisfying climax for those of us who love vengeful justice (whether we admit to it or not). I would call this one a good film for cathartic viewing.

Movie Review of the short film “The Blood Of Love”

“The Blood of Love” is a multiple award winning horror/romance short film. It won BEST FILM at the WILDsound October FEEDBACK Film Festival, part of their best of Horror Short Film event. 

THE BLOOD OF LOVE, 19min, USA, Horror/Thriller
Directed by Jeff Meyers

Unwilling to accept the death of her husband, a young widow, acquires a machine that can bring him back to her. But the machine exacts a terrible price: she must provide the blood it needs to revive her beloved. And it starts demanding more and more blood for less and less time.

Read movie review of THE BLOOD OF LOVE by Amanda Lomonaco

There are so many ways in which I loved this film, I’m afraid I won’t even be able to fit it in this review, or that I’ll even be able to describe them properly. So many elements of this film were equal parts clever, funny, creepy, & ironic. What’s best, Jeff Meyers seems to have found the all too elusive balance between telling too much or too little.

You can’t say much about The Blood of Love without revealing the whole plot line. It’s a pretty unique story in itself, but I can start by saying the best part is the end. Not the “official” end, but the end after the credits, when you think the story has finished, and then Meyers steps in with one final jab to wrap the story up a little better. In fact, both endings are funny, and I would have felt satisfied regardless of which one I had viewed, which is a rarity in and of itself.

The one pitfall of the film that I would have to point out is the lack of chemistry between the two characters. While their acting was great, and the scripting was all very natural, everytime I saw things get a little more sexually charged between them I wanted to cringe just a little. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t awful, I might just be nitpicky with this one, but I definitely got the sense that, despite their talent, those two people did NOT want to be kissing each other.

Somehow none of that ruined the film for me. I’m not sure if I should thank the editor for minimizing the instances of intimacy between the two main characters, or if that was simply a directorial choice from the get-go. Nevertheless I never felt at any point like the story was lacking. It was always fun, it was always entertaining, it kept me wanting to see more, and yet when it was over, I was sufficiently satisfied. I always say a good short film leaves you wanting more, but this is one of the few cases where I will say, at 20 minutes, The Blood of Love was about the perfect length.

Don’t expect too much from this one if you’re all about guts and glory, but if you’re a fan of clever plotlines with a healthy dose of irony, give this one a go. Even if you don’t enjoy your average, everyday horror film, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of this one. Meyers definitely seems to have found a little bit of something to please all audiences.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of THE BLOOD OF LOVE:


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DEADLINE TODAY: Submit your best scene from your screenplay.

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Watch this month’s best scene readings:

BEST SCENE- Coyote and the Dust Devil
November 2015 Reading
Written by Jonah Jones

November 2015 Reading
Written by Phil Stokes

BEST SCENE – No Hope For Gomez
November 2015 Reading
Written by Graham Parke

BEST SCENE – The Charlottetown Jackhammer Imbroglio
November 2015 Reading
Written by Marc Lalonde

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Deadline Nov. 30th – Feature Screenplay Festival. Watch November Winners

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Watch the November 2015 Feature Screenplay Winning Readings:

FEATURE SCRIPT – Yellow Touch Red, You’re Dead
November 2015 Reading
Written by Lauren Hoekstra

November 2015 Reading
Written by Margaret Carlyle Price

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