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Interview With; Stu Jopia, Stuart W. Bedford and Giovanni Gentile (Good Tidings)

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An interview with the creators of the new Christmas Slasher film, about three killer Santas; “Good Tidings”. Stu Jopia (producer, writer, Santa), Stuart W. Bedford (director, writer producer) and Giovanni Gentile(executive producer, writer, Santa)

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B-Movie Chat: Black and White Film vs Color Film (With Dave DuBose)

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A discussion about the positives and negatives of black and white films, color films, and a bunch of other random topics. Guest; our horror corespondent Dave Dubose.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was not prequel levels of bad. It was worse. There is absolutely nothing unique about this movie. It has no identity of it’s own. The movie follows protagonist Rey, a young woman isolated on a desert planet (Sound familiar). She soon finds herself in the middle of a rebellion against the Empire… sorry “First Order”, where she joins a group of rebel soldiers (*cough New Hope *cough) and discovers that she has an untapped potential to manipulate the force. She even meets an oddly shaped droid, who conveniently holds an important secret. In this case, it’s the location of Luke Skywalker, who has gone awol. Rey is one of the most boring characters in Star Wars history. She’s instantly good at everything she tries and receives no character development throughout the film. Unlike Luke Skywalker, who had to struggle to become a Jedi, Rey manages to use the force with ease, mastering every technique instantly. She’s accompanied on her journey by Finn, a former Storm Trooper, turned comic relief.

Next we have Kylo Ren, or who I like to call “Darth Crybaby”. He’s this film’s attempt to have a Darth Vader like character. His motivation is that he wants to be just like Vader, who (Spoiler) is his grandfather. Kylo is the son of Princess Leia and Han Solo, but unfortunately for them, he resembles Anakin Skywalker in all the worst ways. There are plenty of cameos in “The Force Awakens”, but the manner in which these Star Wars veterans are introduced, makes me wish they hadn’t been in the film at all. Han Solo is just in this film to be Han Solo and to tell us how cool these new characters are. Leia’s role is similar, but far less plot relevant. Later in the film, we find out that the “First Order” built a new Death Star, creatively named the “Star Killer”. Except, here’s the twist. It’s even bigger than the last one. This one can blow up multiple planets at the same time. So the obvious sequence of events play out, Rey and her new friends disable the shields on the “Star Killer”. Han Solo gets killed by Kylo Ren in a manner resembling Obi Wan getting killed by Vader. Rey beats Kylo (a seasoned Sith warrior) in a light saber fight, and everyone escapes right before Death Star 2.0 explodes. In one of the dumbest scenes in Star Wars history, R2D2 just so happens to reactivate, after being shut down for no apparent reason, just in time to reveal where Luke Skywalker is hiding. All so we can get a final scene of Rey meeting Luke before the credits begin to roll. Imagine “A New Hope” without any originality. Imagine “The Empire Strikes Back” without the heart wrenching drama. Imagine “Return of the Jedi” without the satisfying conclusion. If you can imagine these things, then you can begin to see why “The Force Awakens” is so bad. This was a lazy attempt to cash in on the popularity of one of the greatest cinematic stories ever told. The fact that this mess of a film is considered just as canon to the official “Star Wars” universe is just depressing. Mock the prequels all you want (and there is plenty to mock). At least those films attempted to tell a unique story, albeit a bad one.

The Element of Crime (1984)

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The element of crime plays like a Film Noir, set in a dystopian alternative universe, within the mind of David Lynch. Detective Fisher returns to Europe after a thirteen year stay in Ciarro, to catch a murderer responsible for the deaths of several young girls. Fisher takes an untested approach to investigating, after reading a book written by his old mentor entitled “The Element of Crime”. This book argues for an alternative method of understanding the human mind. It requires the researcher to relive the life of the one they are following, in order to gain a greater understanding of who that person is. Fisher soon finds himself, living the life of suspect Harry Grey, living in his home, interacting with his cohorts, and loving his former lover. Fisher’s sense of identity is challenged as his individuality becomes indistinguishable to that of Harry Grey. The film is encompassed in a reddish overtone, resembling an eternal twilight, which could either represent dawn or day break. The story is told from the point of view of a man attempting to recall his memories while in a hypnotic state. Fisher even deliberately skips certain parts of his story, declaring that they are pointless to recall and at times admits that he isn’t sure if certain parts of the story are true. ‘The Element of Crime” is a good introductory film for anyone interested in the works of director “Lars Von Trier” It’s unorthodox style of environment and story telling immerse the viewer head first into the mind of Lars Von Trier, showing them that the typical rules of story telling no longer apply.

Krampus (Christmas Month)

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Paul and Corey must survive the wrath of Santa’s evil counter part, if they hope to review “Krampus”.

B-Movie Interview: Clarence Williams (Gorenos)

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Our interview with Film maker Clarence Williams, discussing his upcoming horror film “Gorenos”.

Good Tidings (2016)

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I don’t exactly know what is about the combination of Christmas and horror that goes so well together. Maybe it’s the fact that after so much cheer, one can’t help but crave a bit of senseless slaughter. “Good Tidings” is about a group of homeless people, locked in a court house who are hunted by three seemingly mindless killers, each dressed as Santa Claus. While the three psychotic, serial killer Santas are silent throughout the film, you manage to get a sense of their individual personalities through their interactions with each other and their victims. The smallest of the three “Curly” seems to simply be following orders from his superiors and doesn’t appear to understand the permanence of death or the consequences of his actions. He is child like and almost sympathetic. The second in command displays the most amount of blood lust, killing indiscriminately and without mercy. The leader and largest of the three attempts to keep the other two in line, demonstrating some kind of intelligence and sense of awareness that the other two lack. The three killer Santas have their own conflicts and at times fight among each other as opposed to their victims. All this is shown through non verbal gestures, that manage to make these three even more terrifying and unpredictable. The idea of having the victims consist of the homeless and former drug users gave “Good Tidings” a level of depth absent from typical slasher films. Seeing the victims being slaughtered by the embodiment of Christmas serves as a metaphor for just how cruel and unfair the holiday season can be to the less fortunate. At the start of the film, the homeless are brought together by a war veteran, who attempts to provide them shelter as well as help with their various problems with addiction. A great scene within the first twenty minutes of the movie shows the veteran talking to a former heroine addict. The veteran explains that he had lost his wife and child long ago and hopes to dedicate his life to helping others. The veteran represents the true altruistic meaning of Christmas, while the three killer Santas represent the materialistic and self serving side of the holiday season. The Santas treat the homeless like objects that exist only for their amusement. The use and break them, like children playing with toys, only to discard them when they get bored. On the opposite end of the dichotomy, the veteran cares only about saving as many people as possible and shows great remorse for those he fails to save. It’s easy to find a slasher with nothing more than gratuitous gore and violence, but it’s less common to find one with an strong underlying message. “Good Tidings” manages to supply enough blood to satisfy most seasoned gore hounds, while managing to serve as an insightful social commentary.