“Berberian Sound Studio” (2012)

Detail from the Berberian Sound Studio poster.

Written and directed by Peter Strickland, this film is liable to confuse and frustrate the viewer unless s/he knows something about Giallo films. The film-within-a-film, “The Equestrian Vortex,” has many characteristics of Giallo cinema (about which, incidentally, critics and film scholars disagree on the defining characteristics). “Berberian Sound Studio,” on the other hand, subverts many of these characteristics of the genre, while at the same time celebrating it. Continue reading


The Phantom Cabinet cover

What if the afterlife consisted of a spiritual destination, the Phantom Cabinet, where the spirits of the dead were broken down and redistributed to create new souls for the newborn? What if this process could be resisted by those who don’t want to be obliterated? What if some of these recalcitrant spirits are those who are filled with anger and hatred caused by the events of their lives? And what if one of these spirits conceived a plan to return to the world of the living to destroy it? Continue reading

SESSION 9 (2001): DVD Review

"Session 9" stars Peter Mullan and David Caruso

An uncredited cast member, the Danvers State Hospital, has a palpable, almost living and breathing, presence in this film. Credit for this aspect of the film goes to director Anderson, who conceived of the concept for the film because he drove by the facility frequently and was intrigued by its cinematic potential. Unfortunately, he does not fully realize this potential, as the film builds to a logical, but somewhat stock, conclusion. Continue reading

PLEASE PUNISH ME by Chris Esper (2015)


There is a group of filmmakers in the Providence, Rhode Island, area that consistently puts out quality indie films. In a cooperative way, they take turns in the roles of writer, director, producer, and actors in their productions, of which I have been fortunate be able to review a fair … Continue reading

Indie Docs: American Grindhouse (2010)

Theatrical Poster for AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE (2009)

Directed by Elijah Drenner and narrated by Robert Forster, AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE is a fascinatingly informative documentary about the history of exploitation films in the United States. It premiered at SXSW in 2010 and went on show to several other festivals before its release on DVD in 2011. According to IMDB, … Continue reading

THE OTHER SIDE (2015) Hits the Festival Circuit in a Big Way

OTHER SIDE Taos banner

Just coming off its world premiere last month at the 2015 Taos Shortz Film Festival (where it won a People’s Choice Honorable Mention award), indie dark comedy THE OTHER SIDE has found itself the recipient of high praise and acceptance into several additional festivals this season. Legendary television interviewer Larry King … Continue reading

PLEASE PUNISH ME Trailer Released by Esper


“Please Punish Me” Trailer from Chris Esper on Vimeo. Last night, indie director Chris Esper released the trailer for his upcoming short, “Please Punish Me,” via YouTube and Vimeo (see above). According to Esper’s logline on IMDb and Vimeo, the dark comedy “tells the story of a man who is … Continue reading

Think Ten Releases “The wHole” Pilot

THe wHOLE banner

Think Ten Media Group has released the pilot episode of its new anti-incarceration web series, “The wHole.” A fictional account based on the real-life experiences of prisoners assigned to solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, “The wHole” stars William Brown as Marcus Edwards, a prisoner who is sent to solitary. In … Continue reading

New Must-See Indie Horror Short from Mari Cielo Pajares

Mari Cielo Pajares

From Mari Cielo Pajares: “The Fear Box: 666 Telemarketing” This short film, written and produced by Pajares, tells the story of Anthony Jackson (Gary Anthony Stennette), a young man who breaks up with his girlfriend and is on the verge of losing his job. Immediately after these events, he receives … Continue reading