Lifetime Film Review: A Daughter’s Plan To Kill (dir by Ian Niles)


So, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

Greg (Matt Dallas) has got a nice life and lives in a nice house and he’s got a happy family.  He’s married to Katie (Claire Coffee) and he’s got two teenage children who live at home, Lauren (Lauren DiMario) and Tommy (Liam Obergfoll).  However, Greg also has another teenage daughter out there, Samantha (Jordan Lana Price).  Greg was never in Samantha’s life when she younger so why not make up for lost time by inviting her to come live with him, his wife, and her half-siblings?

I mean, what could possibly go wrong, right?

From the minute that Samantha moves in, there are hints that all might not be ideal with the situation.  Samantha is moody and frequently loses her temper.  When Tommy gets his first car, Samantha gets angry and demands to know why she’s never been given a car.  When its pointed out to her that Tommy’s been working hard to earn the car, Samantha accuses Greg and Katie of making her feel like an outsider and, to be honest, she actually does have a point.  I mean, if you’re going to invite someone to come live in your house as a permanent member of the family, maybe don’t make a big deal about how everyone but her is going to get a car.  It’s just common sense.

Meanwhile, all the boys at the high school are fascinated by Samantha, which makes Lauren feel even more insecure than usual.  Samantha alternates between pressuring Lauren to hook up with a shallow jock named Milo (Will Tomi) and trying to drown Lauren in the swimming pool.  “Didn’t any of you see her holding me under the water!?” Lauren demands.  “No,” her friends, “because you were under water.”

Greg’s response is to spoil Samantha, hoping to win her love and maybe some peace.  Katie thinks that Samantha needs some discipline.  As for Samantha …. well, she’s just planning on killing everyone.  Hence, the title of the film.

Let’s talk about that title because I really like it.  A Daughter’s Plan To Kill tells you everything that you need to know about this film but there’s also a wonderfully sordid bluntness about it.  There’s no ambiguity to be found in this title.  This daughter doesn’t have a “secret” or a “hidden past,” or any of that.  No, she has a “plan to kill.”  As a pretty well-organized person myself, I always appreciate someone who has a plan.

Anyway, plotwise, A Daughter’s Plan To Kill is pretty much a standard Lifetime evil family member film.  You know that Samantha’s bad as soon as she shows up and you spend most of the film amazed that no one else seems to have figured it out yet.  That said, the film’s definitely an entertaining example of the genre and Jordan Lana Price seems to be having a lot of fun in the role of Samantha.  Samantha may be evil but she’s evil with just enough style to be entertaining.

Is This The Worst Film Ever?: Right To Believe (dir by Chip Rossetti)


(To be honest, if any film has ever been worthy of being ripped apart and destroyed by the rhetorical fury of the Trashfilm Guru, it’s the one that I’m about to review below.  But I don’t want to force this movie on Ryan so I’ll do my best….)

The 2014 film Right to Believe is currently on Amazon Prime.  The plot description said that it’s about a reporter who is forced to “take a stand for his beliefs.”  Seeing as how the film was distributed by a faith-based production company, I assumed that this would be one of those tribulation films where one man refuses to accept the “mark of the beast,” which is why I watched.  It turned out to be something very different and something much worse.

Tony Morris (Christopher Hunt) is a local reporter who has somehow become the best-known person in his entire town.  Strangers literally walk up to him and say, “Hey, you’re Tony Morris from the paper!”  Tony, however, has been accused of fabricating a quote by the town’s corrupt mayor and, as a result, he’s been pulled off of the “Wilcox Trial” and assigned to write about the upcoming Gay Pride Day celebrations.  Tony’s also a Christian who thinks being gay is a sin.  (Of course, Hunt gives such a stiff performance that, when he first said that he had religious objections to the story, I assumed he was lying just to get out of writing it.)

Markus Fry (Timothy Paul Taylor) is organizing the Gay Pride parade.  He’s a former Catholic who appears to be perpetually hung over and who responds to every disagreement by theatrically burying his face in his hands.  Markus is also a friend of the mayor’s and maybe he can get the mayor to stop trying to ruin Tony’s career which means that Tony could go back to covering …. “THE WILCOX TRIAL!”

(What is the Wilcox Trial?  I have no idea but Tony never stops whining about not being allowed to cover it.)

Together, Tony and Markus solve crimes!

No, actually, they don’t.  Instead, they meet in a coffee shop called Abbey Road.  (Yes, the walls are decorated with posters of the Beatles.)  One would think that Tony could just interview Markus and then write up an impartial story about when the parade is going to be held, why Markus thinks the parade is important, and maybe include a comment or two from the people who Markus says are trying to get the parade canceled.  That’s what most professional journalists would do.  However, Tony is a Christian and his wife, April (Jenn Gotzon Chandler), insists that God wants Tony to interview Markus so that he can show Markus the error of his ways….

Now, at this point, there’s a lot of different directions that the film could go.  It could become a creepy horror film, with Tony and his wife stalking Markus.  It could become a thoughtful discussion about the role of religion in a changing world.  It could become a character study of two men who both have strongly held beliefs.  To be honest, I was half-expecting the film to end with Tony finally coming out and admitting that he was gay himself because, seriously, his reaction to having to interview a gay man was just a bit too overboard.

Here’s the thing, though.  Yes, Tony and April are judgmental, self-righteous, and bigoted.  I mean, they’re portrayed as being so holier-than-thou that they reminded me of Steve and Sarah Newlin, the corrupt televangelists from True Blood.  Unfortunately, the film is totally on their side.  It takes a while for it to sink in because both of them just come across as being absolutely terrible people but, about halfway through this movie, a little light bulb turned on over my head and I said, “Oh My God, we’re supposed to like these people.  What.  The.  Fuck?”

Over the course of three days, Tony and Markus meet in that Beatles-themed coffee shop.  Markus sets up strawmen arguments.  Tony knocks them down.  Markus argues for science.  Tony does the whole, “But who do you think invented gravity?” thing.  Markus cites Kinsey.  Tony yells that Kinsey and Darwin ruined the world.  Markus asks Tony if he thinks the world is flat, because obviously that’s the only possible response that someone could have to someone attacking the theory of evolution.  Finally, Markus talks about being molested by a priest and Tony suggests that Markus look into gay conversion therapy.  At this point, you really want Markus to just punch the living shit out of Tony but instead, Markus thanks Tony for speaking to him respectfully.

But we’re not done yet!  Suddenly, a man pulls a gun in the middle of the coffeeshop and threatens to kill Markus.  Tony talks him out of it.  (If this movie took place in the 50s, Tony would be the segregationist bragging about not being a member of the KKK.)  What’s amazing is that, during the whole scene with the gun, everyone else in the coffeeshop just keeps drinking their coffee as if nothing’s happening.  I mean, it’s not that big of a coffeeshop.

And then Tony is approached by a woman who, because she’s wearing a leather jacket, we’re meant to assume is a lesbian.  She asks about conversion therapy….

I mean, my God!   As I’ve written on this site before, I have a weakness for low-budget, semi-amateur films and I’ve certainly never been the type to dismiss a film just because it has a “faith-based” theme.  But, seriously, Right To Believe is one of the worst and most thoroughly offensive films that I’ve ever seen.  From the terrible acting to the non-existent camera movement to the clumsy script, nothing works from a technical standpoint.  And that’s not even considering the film’s deeply homophobic message.

Being gay is not a sin.  Making a film this bad should be.

See It Or Fold : Casanova Frankenstein’s “Tad Martin” #7


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

So here’s the thing — I’ve reviewed this comic on this site already. But I haven’t reviewed this comic on this site already.

I realize that demands an explanation, so by way of such : Casanova Frankenstein self-published a “rough cut” of the book that would later become Tad Martin #7 in the form of something called The Adventures Of Tad Martin Super-Secret Special #1 about a year or so back and, being a junkie for all things featuring comics’ most endearing junkie character, I jumped on it right away, loved it every bit as much as I was figuring I would, and gave it a glowing write-up — that I’d actually prefer you not to read, hence the absence of any link to it.

The reason for that is simple : this is the way this comic was meant to be experienced. Austin English’s Domino Books pulled out all…

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The Dwelling: Movie preview, review and trailer


Snuggling in your bed this winter….warm and cozy…waiting on the sweet dreams to appear…. Wishing there was no monsters under your bed?…..Well, think again!

The dwelling

 

Technicals: 

Directed by Jeff Maher, and written by Jeff Maher and Cody Calahan and stars Alysa King and Gwenlyn Cumyn

Preview:

Four people find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death. Plagued with frightening hallucinations, they must figure out the bed’s secrets before they are ultimately picked off one by one.

Review:

Will I trepidly sleep tonight? Most definitely! If you ever feel the need to sleep on a friends futon, after watching this movie you might should think again. Oh, and that sound.. just as you are falling asleep…..Yeah, they just might be a friend confessing their deepest, darkest secrets to you just to stay alive. You want to stay alive? Well, confess too!

Ok, as I started my review while watching “The Dwelling” There is a gut-punch moment that I didn’t see coming. “Don’t be scared, just keep your eyes closed” It hit close to home with me.

I’m still processing. This movie kinda messed with me on a couple different levels. Nightmares are not the least.

Would I recommend “The Dwelling”?

If you need sleep, then no! If you want a good horror movie to keep you awake all night, then definitely!

I want to stay awake and watch it where can I:

Well, you will have to wait until November 26th. When Uncork’d Entertainment and Black Fawn Films’ release “The Dwelling” on DVD and VOD.

Until you sleep again here is the trailer: