REVIEW: THE TURNPIKE KILLER (2012)

Distribution/Production Company: New York Horror Film Productions
Directed by: Evan Makrogiannis
Written By: Evan Makrogiannis & Brian Weaver
Starring: Bill McLaughlin, Edgar Moye, Lyndsey Brown, Vinny Ward, Ruby Larocca, & Manoush
Running Time: 129 minutes
Rating: Unrated

Synopsis:

In a city that never sleeps, a killer prowls the streets at night. Over a span of ten years, the butchered remains of New York City women have been found dumped along the New Jersey Turnpike. The sadistic fiend behind these horrific murders has been dubiously termed “THE TURNPIKE KILLER.” His search for “The Chosen One” leaving an endless trail of bloodshed and brutality, NYPD Homicide Detective Lloyd is on the case as “The Turnpike Killer” continues to evade capture. Keep off the streets at night, stay out of the tunnels, and avoid the bridges because you can’t escape when all roads lead to terror!

Turnpike Killer Still 1

For the past few years, horror fans have been yearning for a return to the heyday of 80’s slasher/grindhouse fare. This is probably due in some part to nostalgia, but I tend to believe that the horror films you and I grew up with, dear fiendish readers, are simply just so much better than the over-polished tripe that we’ve been fed for decades now. That’s not to say that a few gems haven’t shone through the immense amount of sludge, with even a few studio efforts making the grade. The finest horror fare these days, however, is thanks to independent filmmakers who just couldn’t get enough of the genre classics on VHS.

Some of my fondest memories are of going with my brother and father to the local mom ‘n pop independent video stores and staring longingly at hours on end of that wide variety of titles available with box covers, oven in gruesome blood red color, depicting a taste of what I could expect inside. Upon meeting the director of THE TURNPIKE KILLER, Evan Makrogiannis at a special screening of a VHS copy of the original Mother’s Day, I learned that he too was an independent filmmaker and kindred spirit when it came to the genre we all love and admire. After a brief conversation on the re-emergence of VHS as a popular platform, he produced a copy of his film, THE TURNPIKE KILLER, in, of all things, an 80’s style big-box VHS case. That’s right boils ‘n ghouls, Evan, being a true fan, put so much thought not only into his film, but it’s release as well. Inside I found not only the DVD, but a VHS copy and a signed poster for the film signed by none other than budding scream queen Ruby LaRocca!

turnpike-killer-package

With all of this attention to detail, I couldn’t wait to watch the film (though, admittedly, it took forever to find a VCR because I wanted to see the film in the format it so clearly was meant for as well as the DVD). THE TURNPIKE KILLER is a very strong entry into the genre by a first time filmmaker on a budget. Shot originally on DV, the film was later put through a process to give it that grindhouse 16mm look we all know and love to better match the material within. I’m not talking about the fake pops and scratches Tarantino and co. poorly tried to replicate in his Grindhouse double feature. THE TURNPIKE KILLER looks as though it could actually be a lost film from the 80’s era. With this mood set, I was incredibly excited for the ride I was about to take and I was not disappointed.

CONTINUE READING AFTER THE BREAK FOR THE FULL REVIEW FOR THE TURNPIKE KILLER!

SID HAIG, DEVANNY PINN, AND JEFFERY COMBS STAR IN THE PENNY DREADFUL PICTURE SHOW

Source: Horror Society

From Horror Society:

With the premiere of THE PENNY DREADFUL PICTURE SHOW happening at the Fright Night Film Festival, I was provided with information by Picture Show star Devanny Pinn to share with all of us who are unable to make the screening. And let me just tell, I wish I was in Louisville, Kentucky tonight because this film looks amazing!

Devanny Pinn did not disclose full details on this film, but she gave me enough information to hopefully entice an audience into attending any future screenings. First and foremost, she shared with me the absolutely amazing cast that headline this horror flick. The Penny Dreadful Picture Show will star Sid Haig (Devil’s Rejects), Jeffery Combs (Re-animator), Devanny Pinn (Nude Nuns With Big Guns), Josh Hammond (Jeepers Creepers 2), and Eliza Swenson as the title character Penny Dreadful. Supporting cast members include former WWE Superstar Al Snow, Kristina Hammond (American Girls), Brandon Stacy (Dead Men Walking), Alexis Iacono (The Black Dahlia Haunting), Barry Ratcliffe (Vivid), and Collin Galyean (House of Bones).

Synopsis:

The Penny Dreadful Picture Show is a unique horror film experience. Join the delightfully demented Penny Dreadful as she takes you through the history of horror movies… one scream at a time! The short films featured in …Picture Show include Slash-In-The Box, which is written and directed by Nick Everhart; The Scout, which is also written and directed by Nick Everhart; The Slaughter House, which is written and directed by Leigh Scott; and The Morning After, which is written and directed by Eliza Swenson.

Here’s a teaser the PENNY DREADFUL IMAGINARIUM group put out just in time for Christmas last year. And don’t forget to check out their official Facebook Page for further information…

HELP SUPPORT INDEPENDENT HORROR FILM ‘THE THREE’ WITH HALLOWEEN CONCERT/COSTUME PARTY

Scott Goldberg and the rest of the cast and crew (including composer/producer Mark Nadolski, Ed Demko, Hugo Fernandez, and actor Chris Margaritis) need you, the horror film fans of the world, to help make the feature length version of THE THREE a reality.

From the event facebook page:

You Are Invited: “Us and Floyd” Pink Floyd Tribute Band Halloween Show/Halloween Costume Party at the Glen Cove Moose Club at 22 Continental Place in Glen Cove, New York on Saturday, October 20h, 2012. There will be free food, candy, fundraising raffles and more! Invite your friends to this event and help spread the word. Us and Floyd (the band I lead sing and perform in) www.UsAndFloyd.com will be doing three full sets of live Pink Floyd music, jamming out the classic tunes of Pink Floyd.

We are fundraising for our feature length version of THE THREE and hope that you will join us on Saturday October 20th, 2012 in Glen Cove, New York at the Glen Cove Moose Club.

The filmmakers have also started a kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary $250,000  goal by October 31st, 2012.

Your contributions will go towards building the underground bunker set in the Wampum Mine Facility that serves as the centerpiece for the entire film. Your contributions will also go towards necessary production related costs such as camera and equipment rentals and post productions costs. Any level contribution is incredibly appreciated by the filmmakers and, as with other kickstarter campaigns, not only will you help contribute to an independent,  high quality, dark, and thought provoking film, but at certain levels, you will also receive benefits such as a copy of the completed film with a collector’s edition 11×17 poster signed by the cast and crew of the film. At higher levels you can get your name in the credits as a special thanks or producer, as well as two tickets to the NYC premiere of the film with access to the V.I.P. section and an invitation to the after party with cast and crew.

Independent horror cannot exist without you, the fans, making it all possible. So head on over to the official THE THREE site for more information and to help contribute to modern, intelligent, independent cinema!

RED BAND TRAILER FOR SICKLE, STARRING KANE HODDER HITS THE WEB

The first art and trailer for writer/director Robert Conway’s violent opus SICKLE has hit the web. Created as a tribute to the grindhouse splatter mayhem of the 70’s and 80’s, SICKLE stars Kane Hodder, Tiffany Shepis, Rena Riffle, Dustin Leighton, Tarin Carter and Owen Conway.

SYNOPSIS:

A group of punks rob a strip club and head for the border but when they enter the town of Red Stone, they find that crime is a dish best served cold.

Check out the official site for more information, and be sure to check back here at Backwoods Horror for future details as they develop.

DRIVE-IN MAYHEM IN NEW INDY HORROR FILM ‘SCREEN’

Source: HorrorMovies.ca

SCREEN is somewhat a road/horror movie which has the potential to be something really great indeed. Below we have the first teaser trailer for David Paul Baker’s SCREEN which he plans on showcasing at actual drive-ins. The film stars Nicole Alonso & Leslie Andrews.

If you have any drive-ins local to your area, check out the official site and request a drive-in screening. Also be sure to go over to their Facebook page for more information and a chance to help independent horror. Remember, keep America strong…watch horror movies!

SEE JIM VANBEBBER’S THE MANSON FAMILY & MY SWEET SATAN TONIGHT IN NYC!

TONIGHT!

Taking place on LONG ISLAND, New York at the signature art house theatre THE CINEMA ARTS CENTER on Tuesday, July 3rd at 7:30pm in Huntington. Starting off with an exclusive video introduction by Jim Vanbebber himself, this event will feature the short film MY SWEET SATAN (about Long island serial Killer Ricky Kasso) making its long Island Premier, and a super rare, 35mm print screening of his cult film THE MANSON FAMILY. The film that Roger Ebert said “…has an undeniable power and effect, but be sure you understand what you are getting yourself into. This is not a “horror” film or an “underground” film, but an act of transgression so extreme and uncompromised…”- 3 stars.


This event is $14 with a portion of the proceeds going towards the production of GATOR GREEN.

GATOR GREEN is a horror/thriller about a Veteran who returns from the war to take over the operation of an alligator farm in Florida. Much madness, mayhem and murder ensues. This will be Jim Vanbber’s first film since THE MANSON FAMILY, which was completed almost 10 years ago. Its begins shooting this September in the swamps of Florida. Being made the Jim Vanbebber way, completely independent and being shot on 16mm film.

If you are in the area, please come out to one of these exclusive events, be a part of American cinema history and keep independent film alive!

HELP FUND DARK INDEPENDENT CINEMA BY CONTRIBUTING TO SCOTT GOLDBERG’S FEATURE FILM PRODUCTION OF ‘THE THREE’

About a week ago, we introduced you to a conceptual short horror film written and directed by Scott Goldberg titled THE THREE. Scott Goldberg, for those who haven’t heard of him, has made a name for himself within the indy horror community by writing, producing, and directing many award winning and festival favorite films. Much like what Sam Raimi did when he created WITHIN THE WOODS, Goldberg filmed the short film THE THREE  (filmed in the Wampum Mine storage facility where DAY OF THE DEAD was shot, and stars DAY OF THE DEAD Romero alumni Lori Cardille (DAY OF THE DEAD) and John Amplas (MARTIN)) as a concept film to raise the funding necessary for a feature length version of the film.

Now Scott Goldberg and the rest of the cast and crew (including composer/producer Mark Nadolski, Ed Demko, Hugo Fernandez, and actor Chris Margaritis) need you, the horror film fans of the world, to help make the feature length version of THE THREE a reality. The filmmakers have started a kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary $250,000 goal by October 31st, 2012.

For several years, the feature length version of THE THREE has been a dream for the filmmakers involved, and with your help they can make this dream a reality. In the video above, filmmakers Scott Goldberg and Mark Nadolski talk about the lack of originality in many modern horror films, as well as having what it takes (the right mindset and ideas) to make dark, original horror films.

Your contributions will go towards building the underground bunker set in the Wampum Mine Facility that serves as the centerpiece for the entire film. Your contributions will also go towards necessary production related costs such as camera and equipment rentals and post productions costs. Any level contribution is incredibly appreciated by the filmmakers and, as with other kickstarter campaigns, not only will you help contribute to an independent,  high quality, dark, and thought provoking film, but at certain levels, you will also receive benefits such as a copy of the completed film with a collector’s edition 11×17 poster signed by the cast and crew of the film. At higher levels you can get your name in the credits as a special thanks or producer, as well as two tickets to the NYC premiere of the film with access to the V.I.P. section and an invitation to the after party with cast and crew.

Independent horror cannot exist without you, the fans, making it all possible. So head on over to the official THE THREE site for more information and to help contribute to modern, intelligent, independent cinema!

FILMMAKER’S DISCLAIMER:

We appreciate Lori Cardille and John Amplas’s involvement in the short concept version of THE THREE. However, due to independently producing the feature length production of the film without studio backing, we unfortunately will not be able to cast them in the final film due to Union restrictions. We will, however, be working with up and coming talent and appreciate your contributions for the feature length production of THE THREE.

INDY ZOMBIE FILM ‘Z*CON’ UNLEASHES ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE FOR CHARITY

Z*Con is the second film being produced by Big Damn Films. Writer/Director Michael C. Dougherty has said that much like their first film, Browncoats: Redemption, 100% of the total Net Proceeds from the film will be donated to a handful of charities. Big Damn Films is donating the proceeds from this film to three different charities. Two of them, The Red Cross and Kids Need to Read, have already been chosen. It’s up to you to help choose the third charity.

While the last time around the focus was a well-established sci-fi setting, Z*Con takes things in a distinctly different direction taking on the horror (and comedy) of a zombie outbreak at a sci-fi convention.

Big Damn Films is currently raising funds via kickstarter. Follow this link to view a promotional video about the film and information on how you can invest to make the film a reality. The film is scheduled for a late 2013 release. For more info, check out the official Z*CON site, “like” Z*Con on Facebook and follow Z*Con on Twitter (@zconmovie).

SYNOPSIS:

Z*Con is about 14 year old Matt Moore, and his three friends, who attend a local comic convention to get interviews for their podcast but end up stuck in the middle of a Zombie Outbreak at the con. Using social media, and their wits, to report on what’s going on inside the four walls of the con while dodging all kinds of cosplay zombies.

NEW TRAILER FOR 3D INDY HORROR ‘STATIC’ HITS THE WEB

Thanks to the Cannes Film Market, it seems like a new horror trailer or poster is coming coming out every day. Rumors about Todd Levin’s STATIC 3D began at last year’s American Film Market and now, thanks to Cannes, a new trailer has been released for the film with just enough to have us here at Backwoods Horror wanting to know more. Staring Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi, and Sara Paxton, and with a budget under one million dollars, STATIC is the first independent feature to be shot in 3D using two Sony PMW-F3 cameras – Sony’s version of the RED camera – rigged specifically to to film in 3D (similar, if on a smaller scale, to Peter Jackson’s setup with the RED cameras for the upcoming HOBBIT feature). I can’t wait to feast my eyes on the work they’ve done with such limited resources as it could herald in a new wave of low budget, independent 3D horror films.

Synopsis:

As a young novelist and his wife are coping with the loss of their child, their lives are turned upside down when a panicked girl appears at their home in the middle of the night with stories of masked intruders stalking her. That night the stalkers strike, sending the couple on an horrific game of cat and mouse, where they are forced to uncover shocking details from their past that may be the reason for the attack.

BEWARE THE WITCH HOUSE IN ‘THE WICKED’ TRAILER

Source: Dread Central, The Wicked Facebook Page

If, like me, you grew up in a small town, there was always that one ramshackle old shunned house that inspired horrific myths and legends. That one house the kids would avoid and parents would speak of in hushed whispers. Over time, as the legend grew, some of the braver (or more foolish depending on how you look at it) kids in town would break in or throw rocks at it’s edifice. Out of such tales comes the micro-budget indy horror film THE WICKED. Directed by Peter Winther and written by Michael Vickerman, the film stars  Devon Werkheiser, Justin Deeley, Jess Adams, Diana Hopper, Jackelyn Gauci, Chase Maser, Caitlin Carmichael and Jamie Kaler.

Synopsis:

The Wicked is the story of a witch who lives in a haunted old house in woods. Story has it, she survived the witch hunt of the 1700’s. A story passed down from generations, it is believed by the town’s people that if you throw a rock and break her window…”The Wicked” will get you! 

The old folklore is revisited when a 7 year old girl turns up missing from her home The rumor around town was that the little girl had broken the witch’s window the night before.

“THE SEASON OF THE EQUINOX, THE WITCH BESETS HER KILL. ONE LESS SOUL THE TOWN TO KNOW, TAKE AGAINST THEIR WILL.”

Keep it tuned right here to Backwoods Horror boils ‘n ghouls for more news about this film as it develops.