Archive for May, 2011
Nearing the end of the 1980′s, in a time when bizarro-hounds and unsuspecting browsers could rent a VHS copy of Andrew Jordan and Barry Gillis’ homemade horror opus in video stores across North America, the THINGS creators found themselves bored once again. However, the experience of filming an entire feature on consumer Super 8 cameras had rendered them fatigued and getting another 90min project off the ground seemed like a daunting task. Although inspired, Jordan and Gillis, with help from many of the THINGS crew members, began work on an investor reel for a feature titled EVIL ISLAND (above).
Immediately, a raucous voice-over kicks in with that familiar jarring THINGS-atitude which guides the viewer through what EVIL ISLAND’s story might be like given the desired $1,000,000 budget. EVIL ISLAND stars Barry J. Gillis as Barry J. Gillis, an Alcatraz escapee who left the woman of his dreams behind (?) – and now he’s back (??). Assuming then that Barry must fight off some evil force to escape…EVIL ISLAND! Some Casio high-hats now occupy the shrill high-end and then we burst into some wicked bedroom analog delay pedal action – something we’ll examine more thoroughly in the weeks to come. And this is how it ends… For better or worse, EVIL ISLAND was never made into a feature and following the completion of this reel, Gillis began work on his subsequent film WICKED WORLD, which wasn’t completed until 2009. WICKED WORLD is available on Amazon Instant Video for those who are curious.
This reel and more can be found on the upcoming July 12th release of THINGS. With this “On The Road To THINGS” series we hope to expose some of the extras which will be included on the disc and pay tribute to the weird and wonderful world of Jordan/Gillis.
Following SLEDGEHAMMER, director David A. Prior went on to helm some of the wackiest gonzo action films of the ’80s, including the holy zenith of them all: 1987′s DEADLY PREY. Starring Prior’s baby-oiled manimal* brother Ted, DEADLY PREY is about a group of former U.S. mercenaries trained by a ruthless military officer to hunt down and kill people they abduct off the streets of Los Angeles – and oh-sweet-jesus do they finally meet their match when their latest victim turns out to be tough gung-ho ‘Nam vet Prior. Despite being unarmed, the warpaint adorned and Daisy Duke jean short-clad Prior decimates each of the mercenaries with a ferocious Ultimate-Warrioritude one by one in gruesome arm-ripping detail.
David A. Prior has now teamed up again with brother Ted and DEADLY PREY co-star David Campbell to raise funds for the long-awaited sequel DEADLY PREY 2: THE DEADLIEST PREY via Kickstarter. Above see the teaser trailer created by our friends at Everything Is Terrible. Please pledge what you can!
Aaaaand… Austinites can check a rare VHS screening of DEADLY PREY at the Alamo Drafthouse on June 12th! *In the description of this event is where the origin of “baby-oiled manimal” can be found.
THINGS is the quintessential basement horror film and if you’ve endured it, you are most definitely aware of its low-budget charms and transcendent surrealism. At first glance the film seems supremely crude and amateurish, but beneath it’s oozing façade lies a sincere mediation on suburban boredom. From scene one, THINGS takes you back to the time you and your middle shool metal friends toyed in the backyard with ketchup and retractable knives. But did you make it to 90mins with Uncle Ned’s camcorder? Did you post-dub the dialog? And sell the home video rights to Mel Lieberman? Co-Directors Barry Gillis and Andrew Jordan did. And they got the film distributed throughout North America, scored a cameo performance from then adult film star Amber Lynn and landed two(!) major local network news interviews (as seen above).
In the upcoming the special edition DVD (in-stores everywhere on July 12th), Co-Director Andrew Jordan says, “THINGS really isn’t a horror film, it’s a post-modern film about filmmaking.” Now let that sink for second. Ok. That might sound preposterous, but really, if you’ve seen the film and digested it, it mostly really is! THINGS is the cinematic process of two metal friends who bonded in the horror VHS era (many of which were banned in Ontario at the time), having fun drinking beers, referencing George Romero and LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and splashing blood, slime and red and blue lighting schemes around Mom’s house. That compounded with its chronic technical clumsiness, THINGS plummets blissfully into Intervision’s outsider cult cinema canon. Now, enjoy Co-Director/Co-Producer/Co-Writer/Star Barry J. Gillis’ one of two television appearances promoting THINGS. Note: Chyrons were added to the TV spot later by Gillis and Jordan.
Have a great holiday weekend everybody!
In 1989, it became the first Canadian shot-on-Super 8 gore shocker commercially released on VHS. Today, it remains perhaps the most bizarre, depraved and mind-boggling chunk of ‘Canuxploitaion’ ever unleashed upon humanity. Adult film superstar Amber Lynn and co-writer/producer Barry J. Gillis star in this surreal saga about two friends who visit a remote cabin, only to discover a womb of monstrous horror that demands graphic dismemberment. It’s an inexplicable orgy of eye ripping, beer guzzling, boob baring, skull drilling, sandwich making, chain sawing, bad acting and post-sync dubbing from co-writer/producer/director Andrew Jordan that has spawned its own disturbing cult of fans. Some will be repulsed. Others may be transformed forever. But you have never seen anything like THINGS.
Released on July 12th, along with The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer, Things comes loaded with brand-new bonus material and continues the Intervision brand of “outsider cinema from a world all its own.” Check back soon for detailed specs and additional info.
“IN A CLASS ALL BY ITSELF…
Consistently astounding as it unfolds in all its
bizarre glory, and still unlike anything most
viewers have ever seen.” -Canuxploitation.com
Atrophied horror oddity Things is described best by Canuxploitation.com as being “in a class all by itself, accidentally stumbling blindly beyond the realm of B-horror and into a highly ambiguous realm of cinema art.” Combine that with Tom Fitzgerald of Cinefamily’s sentiment that Things is akin to “metalhead pizza delivery boys from Jersey on mescaline who stared too long at Uriah Heep album covers,” or simply, “gatefold fixations” meeting “metalheaditudes”.
Prepare for yourself for Intervision’s July release with the above trailer, and stay tuned for more release information in the coming weeks.
The Alamo Drafthouse didn’t break the attendance record last Tuesday for the most to witness a public screening of David A. Prior’s Sledgehammer at once, it g-damn POUNDED IT TO A PULP! An insanely brave, sold-out crowd of 186 showed to the event to experience the first-ever SOV slasher on the big screen. Tuesday also marked Sledgehammer’s who-would-have-thought-it debut on a 21st century medium and it’s triumphant return to its native format with Mondo’s limited edition VHS reissue. Our team celebrated the release and the relaunch of the Intervision brand with a trip to Austin, TX for this special gala event.
More after the jump, including the Sledgehammer VHS tapes, the sound check, Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson’s hilarious introduction, and BBQ!!
More Sledgehammer reviews are in – including one from The Wall Street Journal, surely their first SOV review.
“Exudes a singular kind of low-tech charm, and even achieves a compelling sense of style.” -The Wall Street Journal
“Seems as comfortable projected on the walls of a gallery, as it does lurking inside a well-worn VHS sleeve.”-Alison Nastasi, The Pineal Eye
“Sledgehammer is the real Trash Humpers…not that far off from Twin Peaks at certain moments.”-Green Cine Daily
“Sledgehammer has been saved from obscurity with a new DVD release…it would be great to see every obscure slasher get this type of treatment!” -Retro Slashers
“Partly ridiculous, partly unsettling, Sledgehammer manages to be completely entertaining.”-Paracinema Magazine
May 10th is here and that can only mean two things: David A. Prior’s SOV nightmare Sledgehammer is officially available on special edition DVD and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin screens the film for “Terror Tuesday” tonight!! A ton of a great reviews of the DVD have hit this past week and here is the first roundup:
“A TOTAL BLAST… a pure ‘call up your friends, grab some beers, and watch it while hammered’ experience!” -Complex Magazine
“The DVD is a VHS fetishist’s dream come true!”-Mishka NYC
“Sledgehammer isn’t watched, it’s assimilated.” -Gordon And The Whale
“A glowingly retro experience that will make anyone who appreciates some lo-fi gore beam with admiration!”-Mondo Digital
“A juggernaut of nightmarish, scummy freakiness!”-Cinesploitation
“Sledgehammer isn’t so much an artifact from another time as it is from another universe.”-WTF FILM
“Unpredictable, quirky, a little creepy, and strangely dream-like.”-DVD Beaver
Intervision announced its partnership with Mondo yesterday to release Sledgehammer in its native VHS form which earned uproarious enthusiasm from the public. The press release was picked up by the AV Club proclaiming Sledgehammer is the kind of “interdimensional, skull-smashing, common sense-eradicating oddity that could only surface during the heady days of the home-video boom.” and Movies.com writes, “a gift from the genre Gods has been bestowed upon horror geeks and VHS enthusiasts in the form of a new partnership between Austin’s Mondo and Intervision Picture Corporation.” The announcement was also picked up by /Film, IFC.com, Badass Digest, Film School Rejects, FearNet, and many others. Mondo Creative Director Justin Ishmael blogged here about the Sledgehammer release, his passion for VHS, and additional details regarding their all-new VHS-only label “Mondo Video”.
The rumor is true! Mondo, the collectible art boutique arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, TX, officially announced today their partnership with Intervision to reissue Sledgehammer on VHS — the inaugural release in their all-new VHS-only label “Mondo Video.” Limited to 100 copies, the collectible tape features the original 1983 box art and copy packaged in a white clamshell case. The VHS will be available to coincide with the film’s May 10th DVD release and “Terror Tuesday” screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz and on sale exclusively at MondoTees.com, retailing for $20, on Wednesday, May 11.
Mondo creative director Justin Ishmael says, “I am downright crazy about VHS, so it gives me great pride that we get to make Sledgehammer the first release on our new Mondo Video label. There has been a major resurgence in VHS collecting the last few years after it was announced that the tapes would stop being made, so being fans ourselves, we jumped at the opportunity to actually resurrect the format and release some of our favorite movies on VHS. People thought they killed the video tape back in 2008, but like a phoenix, it is rising from the ashes! Never Forget!”