E.L. Katz directing

Cheap Thrills was one of the films on the massive list of 50 great films to see in 2014, and the director of that movie is now signed to do a new film with Lionsgate. E.L. Katz (center, above, with his Cheap Thrills cast) who also did the first entry in The ABCs of Death 2, will make the comedy/thriller You’ll Be the Death of Me, for Lionsgate and Mandeville Films. Read More »

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Cheap thrills making of

Cheap Thrills is one of my favorite films of the year so far — a simple, tightly contained and very vicious punch to the gut. Now we’d like to show you a clip from the making-of documentary that is on the new Blu-ray release. The film stars Pat Healy and Ethan Embry as two not-quite-friends who are down on their luck. Potential financial salvation arrives in the form of a couple, played by Sara Paxton and David Koechner, who are celebrating a birthday with a night on the town. But their night on the town isn’t like yours — they’re willing to pay ever-larger sums of money to see Healy and Embry do crazy things, all in the name of entertainment.

One of those crazy things (well, several of them, really) is beyond crazy — it goes into the realm of totally insane. Below, you can see a clip of how the sequence, and the prop associated with it, was put together. What follows is both a spoiler for the film, and not for the squeamish. Read More »

Cheap_Thrills_SXSW

Cheap Thrills is one of my favorite movies of 2013. It’s a genre fan’s paradise: one messed-up idea, explored to the limit of its potential, with some supremely squirm-inducing moments. It is also a damn good movie, period — a killer directorial debut from E.L. Katz, with good performances all around, and work from Pat Healy and David Koechner that you won’t forget. If you’ve ever sensed that Koechner has a weird mean streak running through his comedy, this is the movie for you, because he taps into that and turns it into a river that propels this movie along.

Healy and Ethan Embry play a couple of guys, both facing hard times, who reconnect at a bar. Then a couple at the bar, played by Koechner and Sara Paxton (who co-starred with Healy in The Innkeepers) offers them a potential economic windfall. All the guys have to do to win some big bucks is follow through on the dares proposed by the couple. And then things get weird.

Watch a red-band trailer below.  Read More »

ABCs of Death

The horror anthology V/H/S did well enough that a sequel went into production pretty fast, and you can already see the red-band trailer for V/H/S/2 from Magnet. Now another Magnet-released anthology, The ABCs of Death, is also going to be followed by a sequel.

The hook for The ABCs of Death was that the film featured 25 directors (and a 26th crowd-sourced entry) making short films based around a single letter. The sequel will take the same approach, and as with the first film the hook isn’t the concept, but the people bringing it to life. The new crew includes animator Bill Plympton, Day of the Beast and The Last Circus director Álex de la Iglesia, and Room 237 director Rodney Ascher. More participants in the gruesome sequel are listed below. Read More »

Austin’s biggest media festival, SXSW, is coming up in about five weeks, and the film portion of the fest has unveiled a list of films that will play in the midnight and shorts categories. Running March 8-16, the film portion of SXSW has been growing into one of the country’s premiere film festivals.

The biggest inclusions on the midnight side are Rob Zombie‘s The Lords of Salem (new trailer), Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next (interview), and the very entertaining S-VHS (Sundance review). That horror sequel, incidentally, has evidently been renamed V/H/S/2, just to make the connection to last year’s horror anthology V/H/S much more clear.

There’s also the premiere of Xan CassavetesKiss of the Damned, and Haunter, the new film from Vincenzo Natali (Splice). The image above is from Cheap Thrills, and shows how ”Craig (Pat Healy) and Vince (Ethan Embry) begin their descent into hell with Colin (David Koechner).”

Info on the full midnight lineup is after the break. Hit the SXSW website for the complete shorts list. Read More »

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