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SCREAM QUEENS rocks, HEROES REBORN fumbles and THE MUPPETS are pervs???

Posted on October 2nd, 2015
SCREAM QUEENS rocks, HEROES REBORN fumbles and THE MUPPETS are pervs???

by Coop Cooper

One new TV show premiere stood out last week while another bombed and third left me scratching my head. Here is a breakdown of last week’s most anticipated new shows…

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The most promising new genre TV shows of the Fall 2015 season…

Posted on September 25th, 2015
The most promising new genre TV shows of the Fall 2015 season…

by Coop Cooper

With far too many original shows in development to fit into a feature article, I’ll focus on the ‘genre’ shows which have some sort of sci-fi/horror/fantasy element to them. Here are a few of the brand new shows premiering this season that look watchable and have already gotten some critical acclaim (P.S. “Fear the Walking Dead” was such a disappointment, I didn’t even include it in the ‘not-so-hot’ list):






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FEAR THE WALKING DEAD is not what this fan wants…

Posted on August 28th, 2015
FEAR THE WALKING DEAD is not what this fan wants…

by Coop Cooper

Set on the eve of the zombie outbreak from the original series, Nick (Frank Dillane), a young heroin user, awakens from a stupor at an abandoned Los Angeles church to find his friends dead and his girlfriend eating them. He runs away from the horrific scene, is promptly hit by a car and taken to a hospital. His estranged mother, high school guidance counselor Madison (Kim Dickens), and her English teacher boyfriend, Travis (Cliff Curtis), don’t believe Nick’s story, but Travis decides to check out the church anyway. Inside, he finds evidence that Nick was telling the truth. Meanwhile, Madison confronts an honor student who brings a weapon to school only to receive an ominous warning that something terrible is happening in the community and around the country that is being covered up. As Nick escapes from the hospital and Madison and Travis search Los Angeles to find him, a viral video of LAPD officers shooting a zombie sends the city into panic…






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SCREAM and MR. ROBOT… One of these TV shows is something you’ve never seen before

Posted on August 3rd, 2015
SCREAM and MR. ROBOT…  One of these TV shows is something you’ve never seen before

by Coop Cooper

“Scream” (MTV Tuesdays at 10/9C) – Based off of the hit 1996 horror film, this series brings the “Scream” franchise into the episodic world of TV and the internet. When a clique of high school teens maliciously leaks an embarrassing video on the internet, it goes viral and soon after, members of the clique and those around them start dying off under grisly circumstances. When the good girl of the group, Emma (Willa Fitzgerald), starts snooping, she learns the deaths might be connected to a murder spree in which her own mother was the sole survivor. As her friends die off, the list of suspects narrows and the situation becomes more deadly…






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MAGGIE shows you a Schwarzenegger you’ve never seen before…

Posted on May 15th, 2015
MAGGIE shows you a Schwarzenegger you’ve never seen before…

by Coop Cooper

I once joked many years ago that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career would have another shot in the arm if he ever took a role as a transvestite prostitute in an indie drama. I didn’t say that to insult the guy, I just meant he’s never taken a risk to try a starring role outside the bombastic action film genre (and the occasional high-budget, goofy comedy) he worked so hard to define in the 80’s and 90’s. Now, after 46 years of working in the film industry, ‘The Governator’ has finally taken that risk with the minimalist zombie indie tearjerker, “Maggie”…






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IT FOLLOWS is the new HALLOWEEN

Posted on April 3rd, 2015
IT FOLLOWS is the new HALLOWEEN

by Coop Cooper

In 1978, director John Carpenter and producer Debra Hill set out to make a low-budget horror film called “The Babysitter Murders” which had a very simple, yet chilling premise. The movie was eventually re-titled “Halloween” and became a cult phenomenon. “It Follows” may have achieved something similar to the magic of the original “Halloween” by mixing the old style with the new, but it runs the risk of getting lost in the poorly-managed sprawl of low budget horror…






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Most anticipated films of summer 2015…

Posted on March 20th, 2015
Most anticipated films of summer 2015…

by Coop Cooper

The summer movie season is nearly upon us and here are a few of the most anticipated films that could rake in the big box office bucks…

“The Avengers: Age of Ultron” (May 1) – In this sequel the superhero team fights Ultron, an omnipotent robot villain born from Tony Stark’s technology. This film will greatly expand the Marvel mythology and introduce some new heroes and villains who are sure to appear in future films.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” (May 15) – This will be the first “Mad Max” movie in thirty years and according to the spectacularly chaotic trailer, this franchise rebooting may be worth the wait. Tom Hardy plays the new Max who faces off against two warring clans of survivors, one of which is lead by a one-armed Charlize Theron…






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GOTHAM, SCORPION, SLEEPY HOLLOW… Prepare to set your DVRs for Mondays this fall

Posted on September 26th, 2014
GOTHAM, SCORPION, SLEEPY HOLLOW…  Prepare to set your DVRs for Mondays this fall

by Coop Cooper

Prime time fall TV pilots have arrived and Monday is shaping up to be the must-see night of the season. Here are three you might want to set your DVR for…

“Gotham”:

Possibly the most controversial new series of the season, “Gotham” chronicles the origin of Batman from his days as a pre-teen. The young Bruce Wayne plays a small part in the series as rookie detective Jim “future Commissioner” Gordon (Ben McKenzie) tries to solve the murder of Bruce’s parents, a crime that a young Selina “Catwoman” Kyle is secretly a witness to…






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10 gritty ‘Rural Noir’ films to catch up on…

Posted on September 12th, 2014
10 gritty ‘Rural Noir’ films to catch up on…

by Coop Cooper

Rural Noir’ is a category that can include western, horror or Southern Gothic elements, but more accurately, they are dark and gritty crime thrillers based in rural locations, giving them a kind of isolating, ‘country’ feel. Here are ten of my favorites in chronological order…

10. “Deliverance” (1972) – Over forty years later this Oscar winner still packs a punch. Many mistake it for a horror film and while it has become the inspiration for many backwoods horror films to date, it remains a solid and shocking mainstream thriller about four men pursued by bloodthirsty mountain men while rafting on a Georgia river.

9. “Badlands” (1973) – This artfully-scripted Terrence Malick thriller about two teen lovers (Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen) on a killing spree in rural South Dakota was the inspiration for “True Romance” and “Natural Born Killers”, both scripted (but not directed) by Quentin Tarantino…






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COLD IN JULY… Lansdale’s gritty rural noir is destined to become a cult sleeper

Posted on September 8th, 2014
COLD IN JULY…  Lansdale’s gritty rural noir is destined to become a cult sleeper

by Coop Cooper

“Cold in July” fills a genre niche that’s rare in the modern world. Gritty, rural thrillers are few and far between but there have been some notable ones in the recent past. “No Country for Old Men” and “Winter’s Bone” come to mind but this is the first time pulp novelist Joe R. Lansdale has contributed to it in the cinematic sense. Known mostly for his horror fiction and pulp crime novels, Lansdale has developed a cult following over the decades and has now crossed-over into the crime cinema genre aided by iconic horror director Jim Mickle and actor/screenwriter Nick Damici.

In 1980’s rural Texas, mild-mannered frame store owner Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) awakens in the middle of the night to find a masked intruder in his home. To protect his family, he shoots and kills the intruder. The local sheriff (Nick Damici) assures Richard the shooting was clean and that he did the right thing. As Richard and his family attempt to return to normal, the intruder’s father, Russel (Sam Shepard), recently released from prison, begins stalking and threatening Richard. Amidst this dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Richard uncovers a web of deception with the aid of the flashy, charismatic private eye/pig farmer Jim Bob Luke (Don Johnson). They uncover a horrible truth and must travel a dark path with Russel to put a stop to an evil that is worse than all of them…






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SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR… a day late and a dollar short (but watchable)

Posted on September 8th, 2014
SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR…  a day late and a dollar short (but watchable)

by Coop Cooper

The first film was a gritty and grand cinematic experiment. A brilliantly stylish adaptation of a comic book revealed in contrasty black and white with the occasional red blood thrown around and a few other primary colors splashed in for punctuation. It presented an all-star, ensemble cast and hardboiled film noir with a dash of horror. Here it is again, but with a little less of all that good stuff.

This film seems to take place after the Bruce Willis segment of the first film but before the Mickey Rourke and Clive Owen segments of the the first film – that’s going to confuse some people, especially since it was out of sequence to begin with. It starts with psychopathic protector of women, Marv (Mickey Rourke), doing what he does best, killing scumbags and not remembering how he got there. Meanwhile gambling shark Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) comes to town with a reckless agenda and a hankering for a game of poker, and runs into exactly the trouble he was looking for. Exotic dancer Nancy (Jessica Alba) still bitter over the death of her would-be lover, Hartigan (Bruce Willis), self-mutilates and plots revenge while the ghost of Hartigan tries to talk her out of it. Private investigator Dwight gets in over his head with Ava (Eva Green), a fem fatal who appears to be in danger but obviously cannot be trusted…






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THE PURGE: ANARCHY… far superior to its promising predecessor

Posted on September 8th, 2014
THE PURGE: ANARCHY…  far superior to its promising predecessor

by Coop Cooper

When the first “The Purge” movie was released last year, I reviewed it and decided it was an exciting idea for a franchise but the execution did not live up to the intriguing concept. I made a wish list of what I wanted to see in the next “Purge” film: 1. Take the action outside to the streets to show the carnage going on in a more open environment. 2. Show what different classes of people have to do to survive the night. 3. Show the futility of society in this version of America. Not only did “The Purge: Anarchy” completely fulfill my wish list, but it added a few new ideas by expanding on its mythology.

Set in a future, dystopian version of America, crime and population-related problems have become nearly non-existent thanks to the annual ‘Purge’. On that day, for a period of twelve hours, all emergency services are suspended and all crime is legal. Citizens are allowed to hunt each other down with impunity. The only rules are that high-level public officials are off-limits as are ‘class 4 weapons’ (explosives)…






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THE STRAIN and THE LEFTOVERS… supernatural TV shows with potential?

Posted on July 18th, 2014
THE STRAIN and THE LEFTOVERS…  supernatural TV shows with potential?

by Coop Cooper

“The Strain” (FX channel Mondays at 9pm Central) – “The Strain” is a modern update of “Dracula” that mixes science into the mysticism of vampires. When a international flight from Berlin lands in New York with all of the crew and passengers either dead or in some strange state of hibernation, Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his Center for Disease Control team investigate, suspecting a rare viral outbreak. They soon discover a giant sarcophagus filled with dirt, teeming with worm-like parasites. After a series of brutal deaths, they begin to suspect that something larger is responsible for the outbreak and is attempting to escape the airport. Meanwhile, a shadowy millionaire (Jonathan Hyde), who arranged the delivery of the sarcophagus, attempts to secure it while a mysterious old pawn broker with a sword cane (David Bradley) tries to convince Goodweather to destroy the coffin before it leaves the airport.

Adapted from a series of comic books, this story isn’t very original as it culls many derivative ideas from a multitude of horror films…






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PENNY DREADFUL… please don’t be the next HEMLOCK GROVE

Posted on July 16th, 2014
PENNY DREADFUL…  please don’t be the next HEMLOCK GROVE

by Coop Cooper

Not since “Dexter” has Showtime taken a stab at another ambitious cable horror series. Now, with “Penny Dreadful”, the premium network attempts to capture lightning in a bottle again by putting famous horror literary figures in a weekly show. ‘Penny Dreadfuls’ were cheap pulp fiction novellas produced during the turn of the century. If Showtime does this show justice, they have a shot at emulating the tone and atmosphere of those namesake novels.

In Victorian London, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) is roped into an underworld where vampires hunt freely, scientists resurrect the dead and the supernatural is commonplace. Hired as muscle by the mysterious psychic, Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), Chandler aids Ives and a famous explorer named Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) in a rescue attempt to save Sir Malcolm’s daughter Mina from a vampire nest. Intrigued by this dark world he has discovered, Chandler is drawn in by Ives but seems to have his own dark agenda. Meanwhile, Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) helps dissect vampires for Sir Malcolm and accidentally creates new life…






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ORPHAN BLACK, RICK AND MORTY and SALEM… 2 good TV shows, 1 bad

Posted on July 16th, 2014
ORPHAN BLACK, RICK AND MORTY and SALEM…  2 good TV shows, 1 bad

by Coop Cooper

“Orphan Black” – Premiering on BBC America last year, “Orphan Black” begins with a career criminal named Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) who witness her exact double committing suicide by jumping in front of a train. Sarah steals the identity of the dead double to rob her bank account, but instead she uncovers a group of clones the double was protecting… and Sarah is one of them. Sarah teams up with her clone sisters to determine where they all came from and why someone is murdering them one by one.

“Orphan Black” began its second season this month and only now am I discovering what a superior show it is. Its success is partly due to the twisty storytelling and witty dialogue, but mostly because of Tatiana Maslany’s uncanny ability to play multiple characters and completely disappear into them…






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CARRIE remake review… the best of the remakes

Posted on November 4th, 2013
CARRIE remake review…  the best of the remakes

by Coop Cooper

Based on the bestselling book by Stephen King, Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a shy, sensitive high school girl who is mercilessly picked on by the other students. After a particularly cruel moment where Carrie is bullied in the gym shower, Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) a popular girl who took part in the bullying becomes overcome with guilt and tries to find a way to make amends. She convinces her goodhearted jock boyfriend Tommy (Ansel Elgort) to ask Carrie to the prom to give the meek, tormented girl a confidence boost. Carrie accepts but along with puberty, she has developed a frightening power, the emergence of which her psychotically religious mother (Julienne Moore) has been dreading since Carrie’s birth. When the school’s meanest girl plans a humiliating prank on Carrie at the prom, Carrie is pushed too far causing her powers to erupt with deadly results…






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Most anticipated films of Oct./Nov. 2013

Posted on November 4th, 2013
Most anticipated films of Oct./Nov. 2013

by Coop Cooper

With blockbuster season over, Hollywood will release their holiday and wild card films to get audiences into theater seats. Here are a few that have potential…

“Gravity” (releasing Oct. 3rd) – Sandra Bullock plays a medical engineer on her first space mission with a soon-to-be retiring veteran astronaut played by George Clooney. On a routine spacewalk while the two are tethered, their shuttle explodes, hurling them far away from the space station leaving them stranded and helpless, floating in the vacuum. I wasn’t quite sure where a story like this could go (other than certain death for main characters) but unfortunately the TV spots promoting the film give far too much away. However, early word from critics has been overwhelmingly glowing and many are saying this film could sweep the Oscars…






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RIDDICK, YOU’RE NEXT, THE WORLD’S END… only one of them is awesome

Posted on September 13th, 2013
RIDDICK, YOU’RE NEXT, THE WORLD’S END…  only one of them is awesome

by Coop Cooper

“Riddick” – Based off of the prequel films “Pitch Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick,” Vin Diesel once again finds himself stranded on desert planet full of hostile wildlife after his duplicitous compatriots double-cross him and leave him for dead. Raising an alien wolf and becoming an interplanetary version of Robinson Crusoe, Riddick discovers a secret about the planet that compels him to quickly find a way off of it. He locates a remote mercenary supply depot and alerts them to his presence despite the ever-increasing bounty on his head. Two competing bounty hunter ships arrive, causing a dangerous standoff between them, Riddick and the impending alien danger that approaches…






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WORLD WAR Z… The worst movie of the year (so far)

Posted on June 27th, 2013
WORLD WAR Z…  The worst movie of the year (so far)

by Coop Cooper

One of my favorite online comic strips theoatmeal.com released a humorous Venn diagram this week called “What the ‘World War Z’ movie has in common with the book.” The answer: “It’s titled ‘World War Z’.” That’s a pretty fair assessment and although I think the film is rotten on its own merits, I cannot write this review without explaining why the book is important in this case.

Max Brooks (son of the legendary Mel Brooks) wrote an in-depth analysis of what a post-zombie apocalypse world would look like if humans had survived it. It features a journalist who trots around the globe collecting stories – a chapter per-story – from people who survived the outbreak and how they may have contributed to saving the world. It also explains how the world had to change in order to live in a post-zombie world should it ever happen again. It was a brilliant, compelling best-seller and would’ve made a great episodic HBO series.

In the film version…






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THE PURGE could one day be a great horror franchise… but not today

Posted on June 14th, 2013
THE PURGE could one day be a great horror franchise… but not today

by Coop Cooper

The story takes place in near future America that is now virtually crime and poverty free. The credit for this golden age is given to the annual “Purge” in which for one 12 hour period out of the year, all crime – including murder – is legal. This cathartic moral hiatus allows citizens to release pent up rage, frustration and perceived revenge upon society so that the survivors might live the rest of the year in peace. Security salesman James Sandlin (Ethan Hawke) provides protection systems for his entire neighborhood and with his business booming, he is at ease with the annual event, especially since the system on his house is top-notch. His wife (Lena Heady), son and daughter become less at ease as the beginning of the Purge grows closer. When James’ naïve son witnesses a homeless man (Edwin Hodge) being chased by a bloodthirsty mob, he puts his entire family at risk to let him in. The dangerous gang tears through the house’s security measures to get at them while James and his family fight to survive the night.

It’s a preposterous, yet fascinatingly simple premise that begs for analysis on a ‘what would you do in this situation?’ kind of level…






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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 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

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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