Playing Catch-up: Yoga Hosers (dir by Kevin Smith)


I have to admit that the main reason I watched Yoga Hosers is because I’m currently in the process of making out my “worst of 2016” list and everyone that I’ve talked to has insisted that Yoga Hosers happens to belong on that list.

Well, for once, I actually happen to agree with other people.  At the risk of losing my contrarian reputation,  Yoga Hosers definitely belongs on any list of the worst films of 2016.

I mean … Look, I get it.

I know that making crappy-looking films with juvenile humor has, in the past, worked out very well for Kevin Smith.  It’s made him an icon.  It’s won him legions of fans.  Some of my best friends love Kevin Smith and his movies.  I, personally, appreciate that he’s a fan of Degrassi.

And I know that there are literally thousands of interviews with Kevin Smith where he talks about the fact that he’s not the world’s greatest visual stylist.  He always pokes fun at the fact that he rarely moves the camera.  He’s open about the fact that he’s better at writing dialogue than filming it.  And I also know that he has regularly encouraged people not to take anything that he does too seriously.

I get all of that.

But here’s the thing … Yoga Hosers is really, really bad.  And Kevin Smith openly admitting that he’s not a very good director doesn’t make Yoga Hosers any less painful to sit through.

It’s actually kind of sad that Yoga Hosers isn’t better.  The film deals with two 15 year-old Canadian convenience store workers.  They’re both named Colleen and they’re best friends.  They’re also very well-played, by Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp.  In fact, they both give such likable performances that it actually makes the film just a little more bearable than it otherwise would have been.  And, hey — Kevin specifically made Yoga Hosers so that his daughter could have a starring role.  That’s more than my Dad ever for me when I was fifteen!

But, God, the movie is just so bad.

And by bad, I mean boring.  It’s not even so bad that it’s good.  It’s just a boring, bad movie.

Of course, If you just heard a rough outline of the film’s plot, you would probably think that Yoga Hosers was destined for cult immortality.  The Colleens are forced to spend a Friday night working at the store and they end up having to fight off a bunch of Nazi bratwursts, all of whom seeking to continue the hateful legacy of a Canadian Nazi played, in painfully unfunny flashbacks, by poor Haley Joel Osment.  Johnny Depp shows up as Guy LaPointe, a “man-hunter” who has a huge mustache and who speaks with a thick accent that’s obviously supposed to be hilarious.

But seriously, it takes forever for those little Nazis to show up. First, you have to deal with about an hour of the Colleens obsessing over their phones and saying “aboot” a lot.  This is one of the slowest films that I’ve ever seen and Kevin Smith is not the type of director to make a joke and then move on after he gets a laugh.  No, instead, he’s going to make a joke and then make it a second time and then keep pounding you over the head with it.  Watching Yoga Hosers is the equivalent of having Kevin Smith in your face for 90 minutes, screaming, “This is funny, right!?  RIGHT!?”

For instance, do you think it’s funny that Canadians say “aboot” and “oot?”  If you do, Yoga Hosers might be for you.  Or it still might not be, because how many times can you laugh at the Colleens saying “aboot?”  After the 10th time, you’ve gotten the joke but rest assured, you’re going to hear it a hundred more times.  Do Canadians ever get tired of Americans demanding that they say “aboot?”  I think I would.  I’m from Texas and I know I get sick of people from up north going crazy whenever I say “y’all.”

I think the main problem with Yoga Hosers is that Kevin Smith apparently didn’t trust his audience to pick up on all of the film’s comedic details.  Hence, the film never makes a joke without then beating us over the head to make sure that we understand that we’ve just heard or seen a joke.  For instance, it’s clever that, in Yoga Hosers, Canadian cereal is called “Pucky Charms.”  I saw one of the Colleens walking around with an open box of Pucky Charms and I smiled and I thought it was a clever little joke.  But it becomes less clever once Smith starts to have other characters specifically point out that Canadian cereal is called “Pucky Charms.”  Then it becomes just another mildly funny joke that quickly gets old.

I love Canada!  And I’m pretty sure Kevin Smith is a nice guy too.  But seriously, Yoga Hosers is the worst.

Here’s What Won At The Golden Globes!


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Here’s what just won at the Golden Globes!  (For a full list of nominees, click here!)

Best Supporting Actor — Aaron Taylor-Johnson (a.k.a., the most boring actor on the planet) for Nocturnal Animals.  (I’m still in shock about this one.)

Best Original Score — Justin Hurwitz, La La Land

Original Song — “City of Stars,” La La Land

Best Supporting Actress — Viola Davis, Fences

Best Actor (Comedy) — Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Screenplay — Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Best Motion Picture, Animated — Zootopia

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language — Elle

Special Award — Meryl Streep (YAWN)

Best Director, Motion Picture — Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) — Emma Stone, La La Land

Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) — La La Land

Best Actor (Drama) — Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea

Best Actress (Drama) — Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Best Motion Picture (Drama) — Moonlight

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A Movie A Day #8: White Lightning (1973, directed by Joseph Sargent)


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A year after co-starring in Deliverance, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty reunited for another movie about life in the backwoods, White Lightning.

White Lightning starts with two hippies, bound and gagged and floating in a canoe.  While a banjo plays in the background, two rednecks use a shotgun to blow the canoe into pieces.  They watch as the hippies drown in the swamp.  It turns out that one of those hippies was the brother of legendary moonshiner and expert driver, Gator McCluskey (Reynolds).  Gator is doing time but when he hears that his brother has been murdered, he immediately realizes that he was probably killed on the orders of corrupt Sheriff J. C. Connors (Ned Beatty).  The Feds arrange for Gator to be released from prison, on the condition that he work undercover and bring them enough evidence that they can take Connors down.

Back home, Gator works with a fellow informant, Dude Watson (Matt Clark), teams up with local moonshiner, Roy Boone (Bo Hopkins), and has an affair with Roy’s girl, Lou (Jennifer Billingsley).   Connors and his main henchman, Big Bear (R.G. Armstrong) both suspect that Gator and Dude are working for the government.  Since this is a Burt Reynolds movie, it all ends with a car chase.

A classic of its kind and a huge box office success, White Lightning set the template for almost every other film that Burt Reynolds made in the 1970s and 80s.  There is not much to the movie beyond Burt’s good old boy charm and Ned Beatty’s blustering villainy but if you’re in the mood for car chases and Southern scenery, White Lightning might be the movie for you.   Joseph Sargent also directed the New York crime classic, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and he gives White Lightning an edginess that would be lacking from many of Burt Reynolds’s later movies.

For tomorrow’s movie a day, it’s the sequel to White Lightning (and Burt Reynolds’s directorial debut), Gator.

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The OA, The Homecoming; Season 1 Episode 1; ALT Title: Reincarnation and You!


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A new year is here, which means I need to get back into the saddle and get writing! The irony is that “The OA” is from 2016…. Dun Dun Dun.  The great irony is that 2016 had creative losses, but the art was amazing: Stranger Things, People of Earth, and maybe …. just maybe The OA.  I was burned before by seemingly good art that turned out to be a steaming shit show – Channel Zero.   However, the pilot for The OA seems to have all of the weird shit that should make it great.

There are parallel dimensions, Indian Mystics, Naked Bullies, Phyllis from The Office, and Brit Marling.  Side note: If Another Earth didn’t convince you that Brit Marling won the talent lottery, this will.  There are also a number of fascinating plot touchstones: visualization of the world and experiences in general through media, clairvoyance,  and spiritual connection to a multiverse, but without The Flash, and THROAT PUNCHES!

We open with a phone video of a woman jumping off a bridge.  It’s hard to watch, but she wakes and is mostly ok, but with an obsession to get online.  The video goes viral and The girl’s parents see the video and get her from the hospital.  The OA (Brit Marling) has been missing for 7 years, but The OA doesn’t recognize her parents; instead she touches her mom’s face and this act allows her to realize it’s her mom.  Why?  Because before The OA or as they knew her -Prairie disappeared 7 years ago, she was blind!  WHAAAAA????!!!!

The OA returns home to a mob scene of well wishers.  The police try to find out where she was and get nowhere, but we do know that she was with others.  She goes for a walk and sees a guy doing Jackass style stunts.   The next scene embarrassed me… alot.  We cut to a Naked Guy and Perfect Student having pretty great sex.  I’m all for sex, but when I saw this scene, I was at the gym on the elliptical and there was a lady next to me, who looked over, looked away, and shot her eyebrows up into the ceiling.  The Perfect Student opines that she just likes Naked Bully for sex and that she has a torch for a guy in choir.  HMMMM.  Okay.  We learn that naked guy is a bully too, who from hence forward shall be called Naked Bully.

The OA is lamenting her lack of wifi access.  She goes on the hunt for it and she goes to an abandoned home and sees Naked Bully is selling drugs.  The OA wants wifi access, but Naked Bully sicks his dog on her and she takes a few bites, gives a few bites, and tames the dog.  REALLY.

The Naked Bully visits the choir and they are all singing like Glee, which makes me wish that we weren’t so effective at stamping out bullying in schools.  Naked Bully follows the guy that Perfect Student has a crush on and throat punches him. BAM!  There is now one fewer acappella singer in the world … let’s all slow clap.

Naked Bully climbs up the wall to The OA’s room and gives her a pre-paid wifi router if she agrees to pose as his stepmom and convince his teacher not to expel him because if he’s expelled, he’ll get sent to a scared straight school in North Carolina.  The OA agrees if he gets five strong people together for some weird seance thing.

Naked Bully takes her to Value Village and damn it doesn’t cost much to make her look hot… Macklemore would be proud …. POPPIN’ TAGS!  At one point, it becomes clear that The OA can read minds.  Also, we learn the OA is in love with a guy named Homer…no not that one…sorry fat guys everywhere; Homer is a briefly dead football star.

She meets with Phyllis and pretends to be his step-mom.  Phyllis says Naked Bully is a bully and sucks.  The OA lays some great new-age jibber jabber and Phyllis is totally charmed.  The plan appeared to work because Phyllis gives Naked Bully a wink, but it doesn’t last because Phyllis runs into Naked Bully’s real mom at Costco.  DUN DUN DUN.

Naked Bully’s parents confront The OA’s Parents and all appears to be lost: no seance thing and Naked Bully will be scared straight- preventing him from stopping the Acapella Hordes.  What does The OA do?  She posts an eyeball video to get people to attend her seance thing.  If you light the candles….they will come.  Yep, 3 smaller part dayplayers come, Naked Bully turns down sex for it, and even Phyllis shows up for the seance thing.

Then, whammo…..roll credits!!! VERY VERY VERY COOL!

We learn that The OA started as the daughter of a wealthy Russian Oligarch (Nikolai Nikolaeff) was her single dad.  She ran in circles of extreme wealth, but was plagued with nightmares of drowning.  Her father has her go into an icy lake to conquer her fears.  This works! Later, she is on a private shuttle to school, but careens into a ravine and everyone drowns, including The OA.  She is pulled into a multiverse galaxy by an Indian Mystic Superbeing who allows her to go back to earth, but blind because she doesn’t want The OA to see what is coming.  I know this reads as some crazy shit, but it’s very well done and truly compelling.

2016, you slipped this one right under the wire and it was awesome!!!

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2016 in Review: The Best of Lifetime


Today, I continue my look back at the year 2016 with the best of Lifetime!  Below, you’ll find my nominations for the best Lifetime films and performances of 2016!  Winners are starred and listed in bold!

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Best Picture
Bad Sister, produced by Robert Ballo, Timothy O. Johnson, Rukmani Jones, Ken Sanders
The Cheerleader Murders, produced by Sharon Bordas, Arthur Edmonds III, Hannah Pillemer, Fernando Szew, Jennifer Westin
Girl in the Box, produced by Stephen Kemp, Charles Tremayne, Thomas Vencelides
Inspired to Kill, produced by Johnson Chan, Michael Fiefer, Douglas Howell, Stephanie Rennie, Vincet Reppert, Nathan Schwab, Tammana Shah, Shawn Tira
Manson’s Lost Girls, produced by Nancy Bennett, Kyle A. Clark, Lawrence Ducceschi, Joan Harrison, Jonathan Koch, Stephen Kronish, Steven Michaels, Lina Wong
Mommy’s Little Girl, produced by Tom Berry, Steve Boisvert, Neil Bregman, Cinthia Burke, Christine Conradt, Curtis Crawford, Pierre David, Donald M. Osborne, Andrew E. Pecs
*A Mother’s Escape, produced by Sharon Bordas, Lori Bell Leahy, Michael Leahy, Kristofer McNeeley, Fernando Szew
My Sweet Audrina, produced by Dan Angel, David Calvert-Jones, Harvey Kahn, Kane Lee, Tom Mazza, Mike Rohl, Jane Startz
The Night Stalker, produced by Matthew R. Brady, Patrick G. Ingram, Michel Rangel, Alisa Tager
The Wrong Car, produced by Mark Donadio, Miriam Marcus, Molly Martin, Michael O’Neil

Best Director
Doug Campbell for Bad Sister
Megan Griffiths for The Night Stalker
*Blair Hayes for A Mother’s Escape
David Jackson for The Cheerleader Murders
Leslie Libman for Manson’s Lost Girls
Mike Rohl for My Sweet Audrina

Best Actress
*Tara Buck in A Mother’s Escape
India Eisley in My Sweet Audrina
MacKenzie Mauzy in Manson’s Lost Girls
Alyshia Ochse in Bad Sister
Karissa Lee Staples in Inspired To Kill
Addison Timlin in Girl in the Box

Best Actor
Zane Holtz in Girl in the Box
Lou Diamond Phillips in The Night Stalker
*Eric Roberts in Stalked By My Doctor: The Return
Antonio Sabato, Jr in Inspired To Kill
Jason-Shane Scott in The Wrong Roommate
Jeff Ward in Manson’s Lost Girls

Best Supporting Actress
*Toni Atkins in My Sweet Audrina
Eden Brolin in Manson’s Lost Girls
Zoe De Grande Maison in Pregnant at 17
Beth Grant in A Mother’s Escape
Ryan Newman in Bad Sister
Zelda Williams in Girl in the Box

Best Supporting Actor
Blake Berris in Wrong Swipe
Rogan Christopher in Pregnant at 17
*Rhett Kidd in The Wrong Car
Christian Madsen in Manson’s Lost Girls
William McNamara in The Wrong Roommate
James Tupper in My Sweet Audrina

Best Screenplay
Bad Sister, Barbara Kymlicka
*The Cheerleader Murders, Matt Young
Girl in the Box, Stephen Kemp
Mommy’s Little Girl, Christine Conradt
A Mother’s Escape, Mike Bencivenga, Blair Hayes, Kristofer McNeeley
My Sweet Audrina, Scarlett Lacey

Best Cinematography
The Cheerleader Murders, Denis Maloney
Mommy’s Little Girl, Bill St. John
*A Mother’s Escape, Samuel Calvin
My Sweet Audrina, James Liston
The Night Stalker, Quyen Tran
The Wrong Car, Terrence Hayes

Best Costuming
Girl in the Box, Barb Cardoso, Tania Pedro
Manson’s Lost Girls, Dorothy Amos
*My Sweet Audrina, Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh
The Night Stalker, Rebecca Luke
The Red Dress, Sophie Pace
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, Mary McLeod

Best Editing
The Cheerleader Murders, Eric Potter
Girl in the Box, Julian Hart
Manson’s Lost Girls, Josh Hegard
*A Mother’s Escape, Travis Graalman
My Sweet Audrina, Charles Robichaud
The Night Stalker, Celia Beasley

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Girl in the Box, Claudia Breckenridge, Jen Fisher, Oriana Rossi, Alex Rotundo, Collette Tolen
Killing Mommy, Cinthia Burke, Christie Capustinsky, Kevin Crawley, Kirsten Fairfield, Margaret Harding-Crawley, Corey J. Stone
*Manson’s Lost Girls, Jenni Brown Greenberg, Randi Mavestrand, Kelly Muldoon, Natalie Thimm
A Mother’s Escape, Jenny Hausam, Toni Mario
My Sweet Audrina, Alannah Bilodeau
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, Tara Hadden-Watts, Alexandra Holmes

Best Original Score
911 Nightmare, David Findlay
*The Cheerleader Murders, Cladue Foisy
Inspired To Kill, Brandon Jarrett
A Mother’s Escape, Todd Haberman
My Sweet Audrina, Graeme Coleman
The Wrong Car, Ed Grenga

Best Production Design
Bad Sister, Lia Burton, Danielle Lee
Girl in the Box, Andrew Berry, Jere Sallee
*Manson’s Lost Girls, Cynthia E. Hill, Linda Spheeris
A Mother’s Escape, Zackary Steven Graham
My Sweet Audrina, Tink, Janessa Hitsman
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, James Robbins, Courtney Stockstad, Amanda Christmas

Best Sound
*Center Stage: On Pointe
The Cheerleader Murders
Honeymoon from Hell
I Have Your Children
Inspired to Kill
Toni Braxton: Unreak My Heart

Best Visual Effects
Final Destiny
*Flashback
House of Darkness
The Inherited
Little Girl’s Secret
The Watcher

Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you for keeping us entertained in 2016!

Want to see my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2015?  Click here!

And if you want to see my picks from 2014, click here!

Tomorrow, I’ll continue my look back at 2016 with the 16 worst films of the year!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2016:

  1. TFG’s 2016 Comics Year In Review : Top Tens, Worsts, And Everything In Between
  2. Anime of the Year: 2016
  3. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw In 2016
  4. 2016 in Review: The Best of SyFy

What Lisa Watched Last Night #161: Under The Bed (dir by Daniel Myrick)


Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere film, Under the Bed!

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Why Was I Watching It?

Well, there were a few reasons why I watched it.  First off, it was on Lifetime and, by this point, it’s kind of a tradition around these parts that I always live tweet every Lifetime premiere.  Secondly, I watched it so that I could write this review.  After all, it’s a new year and that means that it’s time for a new set of What Lisa Watched Last Night reviews!

Add to that, the film had the word “bed” in the title so I assumed there would be a lot of sex.

What Was It About?

It’s yet another Lifetime stalker film!  This one, which is apparently based on a true story, features Hannah New as Callie Monroe.  Callie’s an acclaimed journalist who has a beautiful home, a cute dog, and absolutely no love life.  She’s just broken up with her longtime boyfriend and its going to take more than winning a Pulitzer for her article about climbing Kilimanjaro to fill the void in her life!

What Callie doesn’t know is that there’s a man  (played by Pat Healy) living underneath her bed.  Seriously.  He’s broken into her apartment.  He’s put secret cameras all over the place.  And he is now literally living underneath her bed, from which he regularly sends her messages.

Say it with me now — Agck!

What Worked?

Under the Bed was directed by Daniel Myrick, who co-directed the original Blair Witch Project.  There were a few effectively creepy scenes in the movie.  I mean, just the idea of having a stranger living with you in your bedroom without your knowledge is creepy in and of itself.  You could probably argue that the success or failure of this film depended on whether or not it inspired you to look underneath your bed after watching it.  I know I did.

Hannah New gives a good and sympathetic performance as Callie and Pat Healy is appropriately frightening as her stalker.  Beverly D’Angelo also provides some good support as Callie’s mother.

What Did Not Work?

(Spoiler Alert)

Freddy the Dog dies.  Freddy is an adorable little dog that Callie owns.  Unlike his owner, Freddy understands that there’s a man living underneath the bed.  So, one day, the man puts Freddy in a bag and buries him alive.  And we see all of this happen and, quite frankly, it’s too much.  First off, there was no reason to kill Freddy.  Secondly, the burial scenes ends on a somewhat ambiguous note so you’re not really sure whether or not Freddy was fully buried or not.  I spent the entire final hour of the film waiting for Freddy to suddenly show up and it really depressed me when he didn’t.

There’s more to the thing with Freddy than just the fact that I don’t like scenes of animal cruelty.  The scene itself didn’t only feel unnecessary but it also felt incredibly mean-spirited as well.  If you want to kill the dog that badly, have him dragged off-screen and do the little whimper thing.  Instead, by having us watch as Freddy’s buried alive, it felt like the film was saying, “Look how edgy we are!  We killed the dog!”  It felt terribly out-of-place and it soured me on the entire film.

It also didn’t help that the stalker was so obvious about what he was doing that, pretty soon, you started to resent Callie for being so naive.  When Callie finally discovered her stalker and started to fight back, it never felt empowering.  Instead, I was just kinda like, “Well, it’s good that you’re finally aware of what’s going on in your apartment but this could have all been avoided if you had just happened to glance under your bed once or twice over the past week.”

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

In some ways, I could relate to Callie but — and this is the important thing — I know I don’t have to worry about anyone living underneath my bed because, between all of my scrapbooks and old magazines, there’s no room under there.

(That said, Doc Bowman does enjoy hanging out underneath my bed but I’m pretty sure he can be trusted.)

Lessons Learned

Be kind to animals, dammit.

Happy Birthday Elvis!: THE TROUBLE WITH GIRLS (MGM 1969)


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Elvis Aron Presley was born on this date in 1935. The King of Rock’N’Roll got the older generation “All Shook Up” when he burst on the national scene in 1956 with hits like “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Hound Dog”. He also made his first film that year, the Western LOVE ME TENDER, and was an immediate box office sensation. His following three films, LOVING YOU, JAILHOUSE ROCK , and KING CREOLE, were well done, but after his stint in the Army, and the success of 1961’s BLUE HAWAII, Presley’s 60’s movies followed a strict formula, thanks to manager Col. Tom Parker, with interchangeable titles like KISSIN’ COUSINS, HARUM SCARUM, and DOUBLE TROUBLE.

By the late 60’s, things had changed. The Beatles  were top of the pops, the psychedelic revolution was in full effect, and Elvis hadn’t had a hit record in a few years. The movies were still profitable, but lacked energy. Presley’s 1968…

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Can Anything Stop “The Unstoppable Wasp”?


Trash Film Guru

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If there’s one book among the “Marvel Now!” 2.0 titles that it seems folks were reasonably eager, if not downright enthusiastic, about checking out, it was The Unstoppable Wasp. Okay, yeah, Marvel’s obviously running out of goofy adjectives to shoe-horn into their series’ names, but the talent being assembled to bring the story of the “new”(-ish, at any rate) Nadia Pym iteration of the world’s smallest female super-hero to life was such a promising assemblage of up-and-comers from the indie scene that this one looked to be yet another “offbeat, girl-centric” comic that would easily, and probably immediately, appeal to fans of The Unbeatable Squirrel GirlMs. MarvelMoon Girl And Devil Dinosaur, and Spider-Gwen, among others. Heck, even me, “down-on-Marvel” curmudgeon that I am, has to admit that they’ve been doing a terrific job on light-hearted-but-smart “outreach” titles like this and, credit where…

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The “Other” Ryan C. Pulls Out All The Stops For “Where Demons Dwell : The Girl In The Cornfield 2”


Trash Film Guru

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If it seems like we’re turning into an unofficial PR arm for Ryan Callaway and his “micro-budget” film production outfit, Shady Dawn Pictures, around this place, rest assured that we’re (or, rather, I’m) not, but when Callaway took notice of my reviews of a couple of his previous efforts and found them to be fair-minded appraisals of his work, he hooked my up with a digital “screener” for his latest (the first film with a 2017 release date reviewed for this site), Where Demons Dwell : The Girl In The Cornfield 2, which will be available via any number of so-called “home viewing platforms” later this month (hopefully he’ll drop by the comments section here with more specific details when he knows them). Now, I get folks sending me their “homemade horrors” all the time, and I generally do watch them — or start to, at any rate…

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