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GRACE (2009) *** movie review by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 18th, 2009
GRACE (2009) *** movie review by DARK SIDE

The much-lauded indie horror movie about a motherhood nightmare has gotten a lot of attention as of late. Some critics have called it the greatest and most disturbing horror film of the new millennium. I went far out of my way to check it out based on the enigmatic reviews and praise.

Madeline (Jordan Ladd), a vegan and new-age nut, desperately wishes to conceive a child with her husband (Steven Park) after 2 previous miscarriages. Her doctor/midwife – and secret former lesbian lover – Dr. Patricia Lang (Samantha Ferris) promises to help her…

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #8: The 2 Coreys vs. Vampire Jack Bauer! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 15th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #8: The 2 Coreys vs. Vampire Jack Bauer! by DARK SIDE

Around the time The Lost Boys (1987) released, vampire movies just weren’t scary anymore. I’m going to credit Boys for contributing to that. By no means is it an effective horror movie. However, it’s a culturally iconic movie of the 80’s, full of attractive young stars, a sexy attitude and marks some of the interesting (and questionable) fashion of the decade. If I had to sum up this film in one word, that word would have to be “cucumber.” As in “cool as a…”

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WHOA!!! Awesome trailer for LEGION looks like THE PROPEHCY + THE EVIL DEAD + TERMINATOR!!!! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 13th, 2009
WHOA!!! Awesome trailer for LEGION looks like THE PROPEHCY + THE EVIL DEAD + TERMINATOR!!!! by DARK SIDE

Holy crap!!!

I was sooooo not prepared for the unbridled intensity and kick-assery of the new trailer for Legion. I don’t know if this is supposed to be some big-budgeted remake of The Prophecy or if it’s something new entirely. Whatever the case, you can see from the trailer that it is at least an homage to that film, plus several others by utilizing the Sam RaimiSpook-a-blast” style with Terminator-style action.

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Why I hate “Creepy Kids” horror movies (including a review of ORPHAN). by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 12th, 2009
Why I hate “Creepy Kids” horror movies (including a review of ORPHAN). by DARK SIDE

At the risk of offending some friends of mine who think these movies are the proverbial bees knees, I’m going declare my utter contempt for horror movies in which kids (or kid-sized slashers) are the primary villain. Other than providing good excuses for the promotion of birth control, these films don’t scare me in the least. I imagine there are some of you who feel exactly the same way. Why do these films frighten some while others remain largely unaffected? I will attempt to explain…

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #8 gets silly with YOR: HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 8th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #8 gets silly with YOR: HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE! by DARK SIDE

I’ve been in denial for years over this film. Tried to convince myself that I didn’t actually see this movie in the theater… but I did.

Undoubtedly one of the the worst movies of the 80’s, Yor: Hunter from the Future made absolutely no sense and unapologetically oozed cheese from every celluloid frame it projected. Cashing in on the Sword and Sorcery/sci-fi hybrids of the early part of the decade (shared with films like Flash Gordon, Krull and Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn), Yor features American actor Reb (I played Captain American once) Brown running around in a loincloth, bad blond wig and a stone axe across a prehistoric landscape…

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THE KILLING ROOM (2009) ***1/2 is a riviting, frightening indie thriller! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 6th, 2009
THE KILLING ROOM (2009) ***1/2 is a riviting, frightening indie thriller! by DARK SIDE

Meant for high-brow audiences, it’s obvious the filmmakers intended this film to score at least a limited theatrical release. With an impressive cast, a high concept story and a horrifyingly suspenseful plot, The Killing Room has the formula for cult classic status. It premiered at Sundance this year resulting in a moderate amount of buzz.

An NSA psychologist (Chloë Sevigny) arrives at an unnamed facility to interview for a career-advancing position. She’s immediately put at unease by…

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The short film HEART OF KARL has been creeping me out since the weekend. by DARK SIDE

Posted on July 20th, 2009
The short film HEART OF KARL has been creeping me out since the weekend.  by DARK SIDE

Ever finish a movie thinking “What the hell was that?” only to have it slowly eat at you the rest of the day? What if after an entire weekend, you couldn’t shake that feeling. That’s only happened to me twice this year. The first happened after watching the outstanding French horror film Martyrs. The second after watching the short film Heart of Karl

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #5: Charlie Sheen remakes Clint Eastwood to become a Spectre of Vengence! by DARK SIDE

Posted on July 17th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #5:  Charlie Sheen remakes Clint Eastwood to become a Spectre of Vengence! by DARK SIDE

“It’s a wraith, man! An evil spirit and it ain’t cool!” -Clint Howard The Wraith (1986)

Such a quote from Clint Howard back in the 80’s might suggest a horror movie, but The Wraith is actually one of the most underrated sci-fi action movies of the decade. Why is it sci-fi instead of horror? Because the killer is a good guy and he looks like Robocop. That’s why. Oddly enough, it’s a remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1973 faux-Spaghetti Western/ghost tale High Plains Drifter. Like Drifter, The Wraith tells the story of a guy…

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Has DARK SIDE become jaded about JENNIFER’S BODY? The answer is “Yes” in today’s installment of I AM A HATER!

Posted on July 14th, 2009
Has DARK SIDE become jaded about JENNIFER’S BODY? The answer is “Yes” in today’s installment of I AM A HATER!

Yesterday a female friend of mine asked me if I’d seen the Jennifer’s Body trailer yet. I said, sure I have… I keep up with those things you know. She then asked why I hadn’t posted anything about it on the website. I responded that I didn’t find it particularly interesting.

Her jaw hit the floor.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, it involves Megan Fox as a shallow high school cheerleader named Jennifer who somehow becomes possessed…

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CTHULHU (H.P. Lovecraft) and DOLAN’S CADILLAC (Stephen King)… two movie properties that brushed with greatness! by DARK SIDE

Posted on July 8th, 2009
CTHULHU (H.P. Lovecraft) and DOLAN’S CADILLAC (Stephen King)… two movie properties that brushed with greatness!  by DARK SIDE

Some literary properties, no mater how great, are near impossible to adapt. Some of these properties are so greatly loved that some filmmakers feel the need to at least give it the old college try. These two films didn’t quite rise to the occasion, but they had the potential to reach the same status of ultra-greatness as their source materials. Both are worth a look for fans of the works that inspired them…

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS SATURDAY! #3 listen to a groovy song and watch THE BLOB (1986) for free! by DARK SIDE

Posted on July 4th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS SATURDAY! #3 listen to a groovy song and watch THE BLOB (1986) for free! by DARK SIDE

One of the greatest horror gems of 1988 wasn’t a Freddy or Jason movie. It was a remake. One of the best sci-fi/horror remakes of all time actually, and it rarely gets any love. That’s right, I’m talking about “The Blob.” Pshaw, you say? Who’s afraid of Jell-O? Steve McQueen certainly wasn’t in the original 1958 “Blob.” That’s cuz that kiddie movie didn’t have the amazingly inventive/disgusting kills and the rockin’ 80’s feel of its far superior remake…

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David Cronenberg’s CRASH (1996) NC-17 movie reviewed in 159 one-word statements. by DARK SIDE

Posted on July 1st, 2009
David Cronenberg’s CRASH (1996) NC-17 movie reviewed in 159 one-word statements. by DARK SIDE

No, not that lame, heavy-handed racial character study starring Sandra Bullock and Don Cheadle. This one won a Cannes Special Jury Prize for “Daring, Audacity and Originality.” It premiered with a limited run in America with an NC-17 rating. It stars James Spader, Holly Hunter, Deborah Unger, Rosanna Arquette and Elias Koteas. Its experimental nature inspired me to do some experimenting of my own. Instead of a run-of-the-mill plot description how about one in haiku form?…

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COOL TRAILER ROUNDUP… SHUTTER ISLAND! DAYBREAKERS! THE CRYPT! CARRIERS! by DARK SIDE

Posted on June 30th, 2009
COOL TRAILER ROUNDUP…  SHUTTER ISLAND! DAYBREAKERS! THE CRYPT! CARRIERS! by DARK SIDE

A couple of these trailers are a few weeks old, but chances are you haven’t seen them. These snuck in like a ninja goin’ behind enemy lines to rescue his army buddies from the Vietcong. Very mysterious that I haven’t heard of these until they were upon me… especially considering one is a Scorsese film…

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Move over Japan, those crazy Siamese are moving in on your horror territory! by DARK SIDE

Posted on June 23rd, 2009
Move over Japan, those crazy Siamese are moving in on your horror territory!  by DARK SIDE

Yes, I know they are called “Thai” now, but Siamese had such a great ring to it in the title. No offense intended. Now that I got any potential angry comments out of the way, I’ve said many times before that the French corner the market in good horror at present. Thailand is looking to dethrone them and although they are not as polished, I’d say they have a chance to do it if they play their cards right. Why Thailand, you ask? Why not, says I? How dare you. It is true that…

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS! #1 (every Saturday!) by DARK SIDE

Posted on June 20th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS! #1  (every Saturday!) by DARK SIDE

Many of us grew up in the 80’s watching the movies and listening to music. One song from that era can bring back so many great memories. Sometimes… songs remind us of movies (or vice-versa). HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS brings back those memories by connecting the songs we loved from the 80’s to the movie(s) they were attached to. Visit The Small Town Critic every Saturday to rock out with us to the songs and movies that shaped a generation…

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Watch 10 minutes of TRICK ‘r TREAT online! Film soon to be (finally) released! by DARK SIDE

Posted on June 18th, 2009
Watch 10 minutes of TRICK ‘r TREAT online! Film soon to be (finally) released! by DARK SIDE

How many years have we been waiting for this one? Two? Three years? Whatever, here’s a 10 minute clip of the long-delayed anthology Halloween movie “Trick ‘r Treat” just in time for summer (say what?). Apparently it will receive a possible limited theatrical run then go straight to DVD and Blu Ray in time for the Season of the Witch. Such a shame because…

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Action Flick Chick’s Zombie Survival Guide for a Small Town

Posted on June 15th, 2009
Action Flick Chick’s Zombie Survival Guide for a Small Town

Everyone has at least seen one zombie film, and, if you haven’t, I don’t think we can be friends until you do. So get on it! I’m not waiting around! You have to be prepared for when a zombie outbreak occurs in your own small town. The zombies have to be nipped in the bud (or head) before it takes over the whole world and it is up to you to do it. Prepare yourselves! It’s inevitable…

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THE FINAL DESTINATION trailer looks like scary NASCAR fun in 3-D! by DARK SIDE

Posted on June 6th, 2009
THE FINAL DESTINATION trailer looks like scary NASCAR fun in 3-D! by DARK SIDE

I’m a big fan of the original “Final Destination.” I thought it nailed its creepy concept with originality and zeal. The two sequels didn’t impress me, but were passable time wasters. Months ago, when I heard news of “Final Destination IV” going into production, I yawned and ignored it. Today I noticed a large percentage of the online community was mentioning a lot of positive things about a trailer for the new “Final Destination” film. Hype words were thrown around like “Awesome!” and “A must-see!”…

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DARK SIDE presents: THAT’S FREAKIN’ SCARY!!! #1

Posted on June 4th, 2009
DARK SIDE presents:  THAT’S FREAKIN’ SCARY!!! #1

Remember the scariest moment you’ve ever experienced while watching a movie? Remember that viral video someone sent you that frightened you out of your seat? Remember “Large Marge” from “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure?” Chances are you’ll find them all here. This is where Dark Side shows you the scariest stuff he’s found on the web, whether it’s old and rotten, fresh and bloody or just freakin’ scary…

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First 10 minutes of the British comedy horror movie DOGHOUSE has me hooked! by DARK SIDE

Posted on June 2nd, 2009
First 10 minutes of the British comedy horror movie DOGHOUSE has me hooked!  by DARK SIDE

Jake West, director of the comedic almost goodgore film “Evil Aliens” has a new horror film releasing June 12 (supposedly only the in UK) called “Doghouse.” The synopsis: Six friends, all going through various stages of female problems, get together for a booze-filled weekend retreat. They pick the wrong town to look for a party. Instead of willing women, they get a town full of…

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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 Nightmares Film Festival
2017 A Night of Horror Film Festival
2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
2017 Oxford Film Festival
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
2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
2017 Shiver International Film Festival
2017 Southern States Indie FanFilmFest

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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