A Life in Blood – Tales of a Horror Queen #10 Shooting Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania

rsz_1bm1Shooting Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania in Calgary, Canada

Herschell Gordon Lewis may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. Thankfully he left horror fans with a parting gift: Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania! Lewis is truly a horror legend and his films will be remembered. In fact, he was recently remembered on Turner Classic Network for those we lost in 2016.

When I came out to Calgary, Canada to shoot Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania I thought this was the beginning of Lewis return to film, but sadly this ended up being his final film. It was a realization of a dream to be in Bloodmania; I was a big fan of Lewis and it was amazing to be leaving New York City to shoot in Canada. I am truly honored to have a celebrity cameo in his final epic film.

rsz_bm2I want to say what an honor it is to be included in a film by such a legendary film director of the horror genre! Lewis’ has made huge contributions to film! My favorites include Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, and Wizard of Gore so give them a watch next time your in the mood for some classic gore!

I arrived in December and was lucky enough to attend a special Meet and Great put together by James Saito, Vice-president of Development and Production at Diabolique Films and President at HGB Entertainment Ltd. I got to meet some of the brightest people in the Calgary independent film scene. It was wonderful to finally meet James Saito after speaking to him for such a long time about are mutual loves of horror, and filmmaking. I am very thankful for the opportunity to come out to Canada and get covered in blood!

rsz_bm3Then I had a very bloody photo shoot with the very talented photographer, Kenneth Locke. Angela White, Sara-Joy Goode, Donovan Cerminara, and I were part of an amazing promo photo shoot. I arrived, had my hair and makeup done by the skilled Ashley Godick, changed into something super sexy and then we were ready for some fun! It was a tantalizing blood orgy for the eyes! Horror fans can look forward to seeing Genoveva Rossi as you have never seen her before! It was a beautifully bloody mess of a shoot!

Next it was on to shoot my part for Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania! First I want to say what an honor it is to be included in a film by such a legendary film director of the horror genre! Lewis’ has made huge contributions to film! My favorites include Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, and Wizard of Gore so give them a watch next time your in the mood for some classic gore!

rsz_bm4One of the many of the high points of working on Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania was working with the amazing special effects expert David Trainor. Look for his work in the hit television show Fargo! It was amazing watching David in action! So much blood and gore for horror fans! It was also a pleasure to work closely with the multitalented James Saito.

When I learned of Lewis’ passing I cried. Perhaps we just all thought he was immortal. Certainly Lewis never planned on dying; he was simply too busy living. I am inspired that this was a man that lived creatively and fully up to the end and to the age of 86. He was a gentleman and a visionary who will never be forgotten. This horror queen is truly honored to be in his final film.

rsz_bm5Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website: http://www.genovevarossi.com

Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

News from the official press release!

rsz_bm6Herschell Gordon Lewis’ final film to be distributed by Monarch Films Inc.

Diabolique Films, and HGB Entertainment Ltd, are pleased to announce the signing of an exclusive worldwide distribution deal with Monarch Films Inc. for their horror anthology, “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania.”

“Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania” is the final film by legendary horror director Lewis, affectionately known as the “Godfather of Gore”, who passed away in late 2016, after a career in film spanning over fifty years.

“I am very excited to add Mr. Lewis’ final film to the quality package of new films we will be premiering at MIP 2017. We have already heard from many of our key TV and DVD buyers worldwide expressing their interest in licensing “BloodMania” for their territories. We will be making “BloodMania” available to horror fans worldwide via Amazon Prime and dozens of additional streaming platforms later this spring”. Art Skopinsky President,  Monarch Films

Diabolique Films and HGB Entertainment Vice President and Producer James Saito says, “It is extremely gratifying to work with Monarch Films to bring Herschell’s final film to his loyal international fan base, and to introduce his work to a whole new generation of horror fans.”

rsz_bm7The horror anthology film consists of four tales – each representing a different genre of classic horror cinema. Lewis himself described the film as, “… a perfect combination of horror and comedy”.

Mr. Lewis wrote and directed two segments. The other two were directed by Melanie Reinboldt and Kevin Littlelight. The anthology stars Roger LeBlanc, Stuart Bentley, Sonia Deleo and Caroline Buzanko.

A release date for “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania” will be announced shortly.

“All of my movies can be traced back to the work of H.G. Lewis”. Eli Roth (Director of “Cabin Fever”, “Hostel”, “”)

“A new film from Herschell Gordon Lewis is a treat for all horror fans!” Tom Holland (Director of “Fright Night”, “Child’s Play”)

Relevant Links:

Official Website: www.bloodmania.ca

IMDb:

Facebook:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BloodMania

Monarch Films: http://www.mfilms.com/

Diabolique Films: http://www.diaboliquefilms.com

HGB Entertainment Ltd: http://www.hgbfilms.ca

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website: http://www.genovevarossi.com

Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

The Triple Six Horror Film Festival announces full line-up and weekend tickets on sale now!!

rsz_triple_six_festival_sponsors_1The Triple Six Horror Film Festival 2017 announces it’s full line-up for May 27th and 28th at AMC Manchester PLUS weekend tickets on sale now!!

Triple Six is a new international film festival that aims to celebrate everything that is great in new independent horror filmmaking . Showing 9 features and 12 shorts over two days at the AMC cinema complex in Manchester, Triple Six has films from around the world while also having a British backbone throughout.

Full Weekend tickets are on sale from April 3rd and are strictly limited . On sale for just four weeks they allow the holder to see all 9 films, 12 shorts and the live Q&A and are priced at just £30 each and are available here – http://bit.ly/2o1mswb

On Saturday May 27th Triple Six kicks off with the European Premiere of Quarries – Nils Taylor’s backwoods horror where a group of women on a wilderness expedition are stalked . A taut and intense feature that will start Triple Six at one hell of a pace.

The Forest of Lost Souls is a Portuguese slow burn horror from Director Jose Pedro Lopez. Filmed in black and white and with a stunning score , this is a story of suicide, love ,loss and much more. Maybe not a traditional festival film The Forest of Lost Souls is something very special and Triple Six has the UK Premiere.

The Unkindness of Ravens is director Lawrie Brewster’s third feature and follows from his stunning Lord of Tears (2013). Ravens follows the story of a homeless veteran who battles his demons in the Scottish Highlands. Visually stunning Brewster shows his vision and direction grows with each film and this is a must on the BIG SCREEN.

hardwareAnd to finish Saturday we have Hardware (1990) on 35mm which will be followed by a full Q&A with director Richard Stanley who will talk about his seminal directorial debut and much more. This is a very rare chance to catch Hardware on 35mm and will be a very special event indeed.

So for Sunday Triple Six starts with the UK Premiere of The Chair from director Chad Ferrin. The Chair is based on the graphic novel from Peter Simeti and tells the story of a man on death row fighting to survive even before the event itself. As dark as the original story The Chair is a claustrophobic, sadistic and harrowing watch starring genre stalwart Bill Oberst Jr, Gremlins Zach Galligan and was the last feature of the legendary Roddy Piper. A tough start for a Sunday but hell this is a horror festival!

Offensive is the latest offering from director Jon Ford (The Dead) . Set in rural France Offensive follows a retired American couple who inherit a house on the proviso they live there for a year first. In what seems a perfect and idyllic setting they soon find out the local youths might not be all they seem! Showing in it’s full uncut version (maybe for the last time) this is a wild ride. Previously only screened at Frightfest 2016 this is a must see!

Cruel Summer is not a new release , in fact it is out on UK DVD. However the Triple Six directors felt that Phil Escott and Craig Newman’s feature was something that NEEDED to be seen on the big screen. Starring Emmerdale’s Danny Miller, Cruel Summer shows how one decision can change lives and is a truly haunting tale based in a single day and you will not be able to shift this from deep in your soul!

tonedeathposter_zpsjt6szourWorld Premiere time as Triple Six welcome Tone Death. A techno producer is followed by a filmmaker as he attempts to invent a device that will send the consciousness of the listener to another level. When the experiments go horrifically wrong he goes to extreme levels to keep going and finding new volunteers. Directed by Roger Armstrong and John Hickman this is a real gem that is British through and through.

And to close Triple Six is the English Premiere of Ben Young’s stunning debut Hounds of Love . One of the most important genre releases this decade Hounds of Love is a masterclass in suspense. A young woman is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive. You will feel almost every emotion in the 110 minute run time and with acting performances to drool over then what a way to finish.

Running times are to be confirmed .

The full line-up is as follows

Hardware (1990) in 35mm followed by live Q&A with Richard Stanley.

Quarries (2016) European Premiere

rsz_hounds_love_redUnkindness of Ravens (2016)

The Chair (2016) UK Premiere

Cruel Summer (2016)

Tone Death (2017) World Premiere

Forest of Lost Souls (2016) UK Premiere

Offensive (2016) Northern Premiere

Hounds of Love (2016) English Premiere

As well as showing some amazing features Triple Six will also be showcasing some stunning short films from around the world and again with many UK films. Each feature will have at least one short before it to highlight the amazing talent in anything from 2 minutes to 18 minutes.

The full line-up for the short films are

rsz_cleansing_hour_poster_zpsobiwiherThe Cleansing Hour – Director Damien LeVeck

Starf*cker – Director Emilie Flory

Gene – Director Nick Padley

The Honeymoon – Director Ruth Pickett

The Night Circus – Director Eskild Krogh

Dissociative – Director Damon Rickard

Shortcut – Director Prano Bailey-Bond

Rats – Director Mark Logan

Your Date is Here – Directors Todd Spence & Zak White

Hada – Director Tony Morales

Pigskin – Director Jake Hammond

rsz_t6_announcementTriple Six are also very happy to welcome Richard Stanley as our special guest for the entire weekend which will include an amazing live Q&A following the very rare 35mm screening of his seminal directorial debut Hardware (1990) . This will be something very special indeed and the Q&A will not only focus on Hardware but also Richard’s colourful and at times unbelievable career in cinema.

Triple Six Co-Director Andy Deen said “ We are so thrilled that we can finally announce the full line-up for Triple Six. As genre fans myself and Chris have spent the last 9 months organising Triple Six and now can’t wait to get until the weekend of May 27th & 28th to sit with real horror fans and watch a weekend of stunning and diverse independent horror cinema”. “The highlight will of course be the 35mm screening of the seminal horror sci-fi classic Hardware (1990) and the live Q&A with Richard Stanley , but in reality there will be many highlights throughout the weekend as we have such sights to show you

Triple Six Co-Director Chris Barnes also added “ The reasons behind starting Triple Six were our love for horror (both Andy and I run UK horror websites) but also we wanted to shine a blood red spotlight on the amazing talent in genre filmmaking. I mean when you look at the range of feature and short films we are showing you can see just what passion, vision and skill everyone involved in these films have”. “ Also we are grateful to AMC Manchester as they have fully supported a new horror festival and have made us feel part of the family. Their knowledge and professionalism ensures we will have a smooth and stunning weekend of big screen horror – and I mean BIG SCREEN!!

Andy finally added “When we set up Triple Six one of the main reasons was to showcase the British talent that we know is out there. Often British horror can be overlooked but at Triple Six we have three British features and six shorts and it is our honour to get these on the Big Screen where they should be seen

The Triple Six Horror Film Festival takes place at AMC Deansgate Manchester on May 27th & 28th and tickets are available on the AMC booking site here – http://bit.ly/2o1mswb

Ibiza Undead (2016) Review

iu1IBIZA UNDEAD (Dir- Andy Edwards, UK, 2016)

Starring- Jordan Coulson, Cara Theobold, Ed Kear, Homer Todiwala, Emily Atack, Matt King, Marcia Do Vales

Out NOW on UK DVD from Soda Pictures

Zombies go on holiday and the last place you would expect it to end up at would be in the Spanish party capital. Renowned for being a mecca of massive club nights, cheap booze and drunken horny teenagers who are more commonly seen to end up collapsing outside a club spewing up their guts and being filmed for a tawdry late night holiday expose of boozed up Brits abroad, IBIZA UNDEAD attempts to combine that tradition (sort of) with an attack of the living dead kind. Admittedly horror and comedy can be tricky bedfellows but with a decent and eye catching title can Edward’s film make the heads of genre fans tick whilst delivering gut busting belly laughs and gut munching?

Three mates, Alex (Coulson), Big Jim (Kear) and Az (Todiwala) are off to Ibiza for a holiday of “booze” and “bitches.” Lo and behold though Alex being a cheapskate hasn’t changed the name on the fourth plane ticket and his ex-girlfriend, who dumped him, Ellie (Theobold), is still coming along much to the annoyance of his mates. They meet up with Alex’s big sister Liz (Atack) who has rented a villa to stay at. Rather than hang out with his sister and her mates who don’t want him there in the first place, Alex and the boys hit the town, managing to meet an angry club girl street promoter (Do Vales) who recommends the the best club in town which is run by shady owner Karl (King) who has smuggled zombies into an already over run by the living dead England, onto the holiday island to be part of his club’s main dance attraction. However a shipwrecked boat full of zombies that was caused by the actions of a dimwit underling of Karl and Big Jim’s stupid decision to feed the undead dancers booze sets off an attack that causes the island to be overran by the rotten kind of tourist who wants to dine on the all you can eat buffet of booze soaked youngsters.

iu4Pitching itself clearly as a combination of THE INBETWEENERS and SHAUN OF THE DEAD, IBIZA UNDEAD does manage to pull out some likeable elements and set pieces throughout its flawed, often uneven 95 minutes. The entertaining irony that is obvious in the film and is pitched nicely is that as much as Ibiza in real life has had an influx of drunken loutish debauched British youngsters invading the island and bringing down some areas over many years since its rise as a party capital, in IBIZA UNDEAD its the Brits again who cause the zombie epidemic. Partly through Big Jim giving booze to zombies and dodgy Karl importing them illegally to his club. It’s a nice swipe at British attitudes and loutish behaviour abroad that is reckless and clueless to its effects. There’s also an interesting brief side story mentioned at the start that explains how Britain is under a zombie epidemic currently controlled by the military and that a certain political party is blaming it on immigrants. The film does deliver at least a decent bit of zombie carnage though not much gore, aside from a pretty grim amputation scene that is played for dark manic gallows humour and is one of the highlights of the film as it sets out to shock in its over the top gleeful gory-ness.

iu3Though the use of CGI blood is an annoyance and one thing that still perplexes me as to why filmmakers would use it. Added to this the cast are obviously having fun and enjoying it but there performances are pitched between mildly irritating to annoying especially Kear as Big Jim. Playing a type of Nick Frost Ed character from SHAUN OF THE DEAD, Big Jim is the loud mouth of the group but unlike the character from SHAUN who is clueless to his idiocy, Big Jim just comes off as sounding crass and annoying with his constant boasts of sexual prowess and wanting to find all the “sluts” which seem almost demeaning rather than being funny. Even in a moment, which is well delivered, where Jim exposes some vulnerability to Liz, he soon steps back into his annoying one note bullshit artist role and returns to grate your nerves.

Whilst the film does balance humour and gore reasonably well in certain areas of the narrative, other scenes come across entirely forced and almost uneven. Such as one character, who I wont reveal but still MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD, who makes an unusual entirely selfless decision and soon regrets it due to his own lack of knowledge. Yet rather than suggest that the same character could pop up in a later comic reveal towards the end, instead it ends up on a rather sombre note that perceives a grizzly fate that seems entirely out of touch with the films tone.

iu2Admittedly in a sub-genre that is always cramming out more fresh/rotten corpses off the production line, in the zombie film arena its hard not to admire parts of IBIZA UNDEAD with its attempt to combine a drunken Brit twat’s abroad vibe with laddish humour with gut munching undead. And Edwards works well with the limited budget he has and certainly pitching this at an audience who are fans of THE INBETWEENERS and, well fans of zombies. But in the end the proceedings come off as predictable, flawed and whose characters might drive some viewers to actually not care at all what happens to them and whether they get off the Island or not.

5/10

Bethany (2017) Review

Bethany PosterBethany (2017)

Director: James Cullen Bressack

Starring: Stefanie Estes, Zak Ward, Shannon Doherty, Tom Green

“You’re not just some stinky zombie, honey.”

After Claire’s (Estes) mother dies, she and her husband Aaron (Ward) move into her childhood home. The couple is struggling both from financial issues, which makes the free rent attractive, and personal setbacks, their son was stillborn and Claire is recovering from a suicide attempt. As Aaron’s job future brightens, Claire seems to descend into a personal hell as old memories of her abusive mother surface amidst strange visions and supernatural phenomena.

Bethany is a solid thriller and twisty ghost story whose disparate threads come together at the very end, possibly too neatly. As well crafted as the film is, it handles some things much better than others. First, some of the good. The film is nicely shot, and while the budget wasn’t listed on IMDB it’s a safe bet that it wasn’t a lot. The cool twilight blue lighting and camera angles make the most of the limited setting. Most of the film takes place in Claire’s mother’s house. To that end the set/location was very important and Bethany makes the most of its real-estate. Much of the plot questions Claire’s sanity as memories of her abusive past intrude into her daily life and weird visions haunt her waking hours.

Bethany 1Claire’s mother Susan (Doherty), was a shallow, looks obsessed pageant mom, bent on turning Claire into the perfect little princess. To escape, Claire turned to her imaginary friend, Bethany, who may not have been as imaginary as Claire thought. There is a literal ghost, and a lot of misdirection. Which is fine, for awhile, not 90% of the film. It is not until the VERY end of the movie that Claire’s visions, past, and the haunting all come together with a series of deus ex machina coincidences that provide all the answers to the viewer. And while the last ten minutes or so are certainly the most enjoyable, as Aaron at last encounters the supernatural, freaks out, and then Claire solves the mystery of her past, it is very predictable. Except for one spectacular moment of wrap-up that is probably the best scene in the entire film and I cannot spoil for you.

The acting is very good. Though at times Estes falls into over-acting. Still, in a horror movie, better more than less. Zak Ward does a good job as the mostly supportive and loving Aaron. In the few marital fights that appear on screen, he is a real jerk and the attitude seems more a contrivance of the script, and doesn’t feel true to the character as established. Tom Green is surprisingly restrained as the couple’s web therapist who pays an ill fated visit to Claire and Aaron. Shannon Doherty practically has “wicked” stamped on her forehead and even when she phones it in, does a creditable job as Claire’s overbearing mother.

rsz_bethany_3After a bit of poking around on IMDB I found out that director Bressack has been called “horror’s new hope”  (StudioCity Patch – Mike Szymanski), among other accolades. He is young, and prolific, that’s for sure. But to live up to such a lofty critique I would expect far more from his work. Bethany is an okay movie , it’s entertaining but nothing that hasn’t been seen and done before in any number of films. It’s a good B-movie but nothing more.

Kudos for: Having a basement.

Lesson learned: Lime Jell-O will help you out of handcuffs.

6/10