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HALLOWEEN REWIND: HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS presents “Ode to Slashers!” Music from Jason, Freddy and Michael! by DARK SIDE

Posted on October 1st, 2010
HALLOWEEN REWIND:  HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS presents “Ode to Slashers!”  Music from Jason, Freddy and Michael! by DARK SIDE

Does anyone remember that bizarre pop song that Alice Cooper did for the Friday the 13th movie franchise? Yeah, I didn’t either until a friend reminded me that it existed. FT13 Part 6 was poised to resurrect (literally) the flailing franchise who already saw the demise of it’s main character, Jason, in IV and replaced him with a temporary impostor in V. Nobody liked that, so what was their solution for 6? Death to Arnold Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter. Just kidding, but not really…

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A SERBIAN FILM… DARK SIDE returns to review the most controversial horror movie of the year!

Posted on September 20th, 2010
A SERBIAN FILM… DARK SIDE returns to review the most controversial horror movie of the year!

So apparently THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE is no longer the most disturbing film of 2010…

A SERBIAN FILM has been shocking and flabbergasting audiences in the festival circuit this summer and for good reason, it features some grisly set pieces and sequences that have caused people to both condemn it for audacity and praise it for its satirical and political messages. I had to see it for myself and now that I have, I see what the big deal is. I also see the movie what it truly is: A missed opportunity.

Milos (Srdjan Todorovic) is a retired Serbian porn star trying to go legit with a Swedish interpreter wife and a 10-ish year-old son. He can’t seem to get a break, so he takes the odd skin flick job to help pay the bills. One of his scumbag ex-co-stars gives him a lead on a supposed well-funded filmmaker offering Milos an exorbitant amount of cash to make an arthouse porn film. This crazed filmmaker, named Vukmir Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic), explains to Milos that the cash agreement will be honored as long as Milos enters the scenes without a script or prior knowledge of what they are about. Milos must then improv his way through the scene. Though uncomfortable with the conditions, Milos cannot turn down the money, so he agrees. The scenes start off mildly disturbing, then escalate to violent and illegal…






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Strange things are afoot at THE MAN BEHIND THE DOOR… by DARK SIDE

Posted on July 23rd, 2010
Strange things are afoot at THE MAN BEHIND THE DOOR…  by DARK SIDE

I love the “paranormal”. Hell, I AM the paranormal and I don’t wait around for Halloween just to get excited about the subject. So when Coop inherited a box of crazy from an amateur paranormal researcher, I was giddy. GIDDY, I say. Now Coop ain’t tellin’ me much about what’s in The Box [cue organ music and mad scientist laughter], but he’s already found some groovy stuff from this rogue investigator named Wes Cotten. Formerly based out of Memphis, TN, Wes has gone AWOL and left a bunch of his research for his old friend Coop to wade through and do what he wants to with it, including Wes’s creepy website THE MAN BEHIND THE DOOR






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Why SPLICE is Overrated by DARK SIDE…

Posted on June 10th, 2010
Why SPLICE is Overrated by DARK SIDE…

I was perfectly willing to let this one go until I read the imminent Stacy Ponder’s negative review of Splice down over at the Final Girl blog. She expressed her reasons for disliking the film stem from the fact that if you take the sci-fi element of the film, you basically have a Lifetime Channel rehash of The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.

Thanks for pointing that one out, Stacy. I admit I somehow missed that one, but now that I look back, you’re 100% right and it’s obviously another subconscious reason why I hate (that which I merely disliked beforehand) Splice. I have several other reasons why the flick failed to iron my britches and I feel the intense urge to list them all below…






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DARK SIDE returns to review THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (2010) **** and to pitch director Tom Six some suggestions for sequels!

Posted on May 14th, 2010
DARK SIDE returns to review THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (2010) **** and to pitch director Tom Six some suggestions for sequels!

Oh… My… God… Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new David Cronenberg. This silly indie movie had me cackling and howling for its full 90 minute run time. Did I say silly? Because I meant AWESOME. Dr. Heiter (The now imminent character actor Dieter Laser) hates humans, despite being a very weird one himself. No longer satisfied with de-freak-a-fying Siamese twins, Dr. H decides to surgically conjoin a trio of Rottweilers from maw to anus just for kicks. The result: His most cherished pet. When his beloved 3-dog dies, he creates a heartfelt tombstone for it and buries 3-dog in the backyard. Afterwards he feels a loss that only escalating unnecessary surgery can cure. His next project: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) is a go. That all happens BEFORE the movie starts mind you….






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DAYBREAKERS (2009) **1/2 movie review by DARK SIDE

Posted on January 18th, 2010
DAYBREAKERS (2009) **1/2 movie review by DARK SIDE

With vampires en vogue at the moment, Hollywood has been struggling to figure out how to cash in on the latest horror movie craze. Understanding that not all viewers are enraptured by the “Twilight” phenomenon, studios have been struggling to develop vampire-themed properties that show potential for larger appeal. “Daybreakers” attempts a big-budgeted stab at making vampires marketable to the action-horror crowd, but the filmmakers don’t seem to realize when they’re flogging a dead horse…






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How to Avoid the Fright of Your Life While Watching a Scary Movie… by DARK SIDE

Posted on October 28th, 2009
How to Avoid the Fright of Your Life While Watching a Scary Movie… by DARK SIDE

(NOTE: Due to… 1. the Halloween Holiday 2. a trip out of state and 3. a lack of a working laptop, The Small Town Critic website will go on vacation until Nov. 4 when I will be bringing you a review of “Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day” – Coop)

Here’s a Halloween tip for those of you NOT particularly jazzed about seeing a horror movie in the theater. It might not be your thing, but sometimes you end up doing it; whether it’s your date choosing the movie, a group decision or it’s something you really want to see despite your aversion to acute fright…






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Belated ZOMBIELAND (2009) ***** movie review by DARK SIDE

Posted on October 16th, 2009
Belated ZOMBIELAND (2009) ***** movie review by DARK SIDE

“Zombieland” is an R-rated “Ghostbusters” for the new millennium. This crowd-pleasing film has won over jaded audiences and critics from coast to coast, taking most of its inspiration from a source I did not anticipate… blockbuster comedies from the 1980’s. It has elements that put it in the same category as “Vacation” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” resurrecting a tone and atmosphere I thought was long gone from the films of today. For this reason, I’m giving it my highest recommendation, not only to horror fans, but to those who miss the heyday of actors like Chevy Chase and Bill Murray.

Set months after the destruction of the world, neurotic college student Columbus (Jessie Eisenberg) has survived the zombie apocalypse by following his own set of obsessive/compulsive rules…






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DARK SIDE sees PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2009) ***1/2 in Memphis with Craig Brewer!

Posted on October 12th, 2009
DARK SIDE sees PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2009) ***1/2 in Memphis with Craig Brewer!

Bless the Oxford Film Freak. After monitoring screening news about Paranormal Activity: Evidence of a Haunting like a hawk, I thought I had the lowdown on when it might show near me, like say in Memphis, TN. The projections: Not likely. Apparently Memphis doesn’t have the cinematic pull as Lincoln, Nebraska or Cleveland, Ohio (bollocks, I say) and wouldn’t be getting a midnight screening. Then I got word of a last minute screening in Memphis at the Indie Memphis Film Festival at the fantastic Studio on the Square Theater. The kicker… Craig Brewer (Memphis native/director of Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan) would be introducing the film.

Jackpot!…






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DARK SIDE says the new DVD release TRICK ‘R TREAT (2009) ***** is the greatest Halloween movie that doesn’t feature Michael Myers!

Posted on October 7th, 2009
DARK SIDE says the new DVD release TRICK ‘R TREAT (2009) ***** is the greatest Halloween movie that doesn’t feature Michael Myers!

That’s right, I said it. The cat’s out of the bag. There’s no going back now…

Michael Dougherty’s long-beleaguered holiday film has finally found a wide-release on video. Originally slated for a theatrical release in October 2007, Warner Bros. suddenly shelved it with no explanation. The rumor was that the bigwigs feared it would bomb competing against Saw IV and then Saw V the following year. Not seeing an end to the Saw tradition of releasing a high-grossing film every Halloween (Saw VI releases this month), The WB decided to dump Trick ‘R Treat to a DVD/Blu-Ray release for Oct. 6 and market the hell out of it for one month.

What a low-down, dirty shame. One of the best Halloween movies of all time, it gets delayed for two years and it doesn’t even get a theatrical release. I hope someone leaves a flaming bag of crap at the Warner Brothers studio gate for that one…






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DARK SIDE sez, “You must see PANDORUM before it leaves the theater!”

Posted on October 6th, 2009
DARK SIDE sez, “You must see PANDORUM before it leaves the theater!”

I’m giving this one 4 and 1/2 out of 5 stars. Now you know how I feel about it right off the bat. Why the urgency? Because like many others, I waffled in seeing it. For this reason, it’s tanking like Ishtar which isn’t fair at all because it’s a great sci-fi film that deserves a dedicated following of fans, and it may not be in the theaters much longer.

It’s one of the oldest pitches in the book: “A guy wakes up in a ______ with amnesia, so he must solve the mystery of who he is, how he got there and why someone (or something) is after him.”…






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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #11: LEATHERFACE has a (Lääz) Rockit in his pocket… Care to blast off? by DARK SIDE

Posted on October 4th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #11:  LEATHERFACE has a (Lääz) Rockit in his pocket… Care to blast off? by DARK SIDE

Texas Chain Saw Massacre III: Leatherface (1990) was the biggest budget production of the original Chain Saw franchise before Michael Bay got his grubby little hands on them. It starred a young Viggo Mortensen as the handsome and deadly “Tex”, reliable character actor Tom Everett as a babbling maniac and genre legend Ken Foree as a heroic survivalist nut.

Oh yeah, and Leatherface sports a sweet mullet…






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Oh, DETHKLOK. You’ve done it again! Review of DETHALBUM II by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 29th, 2009
Oh, DETHKLOK.  You’ve done it again!  Review of DETHALBUM II by DARK SIDE

Nope, it’s not movie news per se, BUT I’m trying to ease back into the horror scene after a long, pre-Halloween slumber. I’m kicking in the movie scene by reviewing Pandorum in the next day or two, but when a bunch of cartoon characters from “Adult Swim” can singlehandedly resurrect the flagging “death metal” scene, that’s news for the ages. Dethalbum II, by the fictional band Dethklok, hit iTunes last night at midnight and I downloaded it immediately. Why? Because Dethalbum I was so popular and completely owned the genre it satirizes…






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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and LAKE MUNGO… two ghostly “mockumentaries” that I want to see. by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 8th, 2009
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and LAKE MUNGO… two ghostly “mockumentaries” that I want to see. by DARK SIDE

Okay, so I’m on an indie horror kick at the moment. Sue me. It’s that time of the year.

These are two that I’m highly anticipating. Not good considering I doubt I (or you) will get to see either anytime soon.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: EVIDENCE OF A HAUNTING
Hitting the festival circuit for awhile now (at least since 2007), this Blair Witch-type found-footage film capitalizes on a very simple idea… A couple move into a new place. Weird things start happening so they set up some video cameras to try and solve the mystery. Things get scary. So scary in fact that it’s rumored that audience members…






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PONTYPOOL review… Zombies vs. Don Imus! by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 7th, 2009
PONTYPOOL review… Zombies vs. Don Imus! by DARK SIDE

I’m making this a spoiler-heavy, in-depth review because of the fact that Pontypool could’ve been a great horror movie. In fact, the first half was near flawless.

But I’ll get to that. Boy will I ever. You see, I got a few favorite concepts out there that work great by themselves. Sometimes a smarty pants comes along and merges two of the concepts to create what I call a “super concept.” It’s kinda like when rock stars from different bands get together to form “super bands.” Sometimes it works (Traveling Wilburys), sometimes it doesn’t (Hear ‘n Aid). This concept worked… almost. In what amounts to a mix of Talk Radio, Night of the Living Dead and War of the Worlds, we meet…






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HALLOWEEN II (2009) * movie review by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 4th, 2009
HALLOWEEN II (2009) * movie review by DARK SIDE

It’s a sad weekend when your best new release choice is another lousy horror remake. I strongly disliked director Rob Zombie’s first “Halloween” remake in execution and in principle. It made a mint, but was so poorly received by critics and fans of the original classic, the indignant Zombie swore to not do a sequel. Two years later he broke that promise with a sequel even poorer than his first. Methinks dollar signs and ego played a part in his decision to beat a dead horse and I sincerely doubt after this stinker, anyone would want to see a third…






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IT CAME WITHOUT WARNING (1980)… Watch one of my favorite horror/sci-fi films online for free! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 31st, 2009
IT CAME WITHOUT WARNING (1980)… Watch one of my favorite horror/sci-fi films online for free! by DARK SIDE

Count yourself lucky if you’ve ever seen this movie prior to today. It’s a rare find on DVD and appears sporadically on the Independent Film Channel. It Came Without Warning aka Without Warning aka Alien Warning aka The Warning aka Alien Encounter aka Alien Shock scared the heck out of me in 1980 with its shocking televised promo spots. The normally tame programming would interrupt to show humans being attacked by frisbee monsters thrown by a giant alien with an over-sized noggin. At 4 (or possibly 5) years old, I was horrified at seeing those images.

Years later, I had completely forgotten the name of the…






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Scary trailer for THE FOURTH KIND inspires DARK SIDE to teach YOU how to defend against alien abductions (seriously)!

Posted on August 24th, 2009
Scary trailer for THE FOURTH KIND inspires DARK SIDE to teach YOU how to defend against alien abductions (seriously)!

Like some kind of evil sequel to Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Fourth Kind takes real file footage from supposed alien abductees under hypnosis in Nome, Alaska and fictionalizes their stories for the silver screen.

Milla Jovovich plays Abby, a shrink who discovers a disturbing similarity in her patients’ nightmares. They all have visions of an owl at their window, paralysis, intense fear, yadda-yadda. The deeper she delves into this mystery, the scarier it gets. Under hypnosis, patients relive their terror as aliens…






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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #9: Wes Craven orders Assistant Director Skinner to SHOCK Peter Berg! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 22nd, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #9: Wes Craven orders Assistant Director Skinner to SHOCK Peter Berg! by DARK SIDE

I’ll wager very few X-Files fans know that Mitch Pileggi (Assistant Director Skinner) on the popular show got his genre start as a crazed serial killer. That’s right, old Uncle Mitch once played Horace Pinker, one of the meanest villains ever to grace the silver screen. He’s so mean, he even nearly beat his son to death for interfering with matricide. He’s so mean, he gets his jollies wasting entire families with a Rambo knife. He’s so mean, even the Electric Satan won’t let him die after an execution by electric chair…






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Is fear of the MPAA the reason why most American horror films (like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) wimp out? by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 20th, 2009
Is fear of the MPAA the reason why most American horror films (like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) wimp out? by DARK SIDE

Just saw the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated (3 out of 5 stars) about how how the Motion Picture Association of America has one of the most powerful, secretive and arbitrarily unchecked bureaucratic systems in the U.S. When you can hand down a rating for a movie (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17) and not have to give a reason, nor reveal who made the decision, you’ve got an abuse of power there, sir! While I usually don’t have too many qualms with their system – because frankly…






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Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival

Trailer for the lost short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

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