4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Michele Soavi Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today, we wish a joyous 63rd birthday to Italian filmmaker Michele Soavi!

Soavi, of course, started his career as an actor.  You can find him in Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead and Lamberto Bava’s A Blade In The Dark and Demons.  Reportedly, he came close to playing the role that was eventually played by Giovanni Lombardo Radice in The House On The Edge of the Park.  Soavi, however, eventually moved behind the camera.  He was an assistant director on both Dario Argento’s Tenebrae and Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and The Brothers Grimm.

He also, of course, directed four of the greatest Italian horror films of all time, Stage Fright, The Church, The Sect, and Dellamorte Dellamore.  Though a family tragedy temporarily put his career as a director on hold, Soavi has since returned to directing.

In honor of Michele Soavi and his birthday, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Films

Stage Fright (1987, dir by Michele Soavi)

The Church (1989, dir by Michele Soavi)

The Sect (1991, dir by Michele Soavi)

Dellamorte Dellamore (1994, dir by Michele Soavi)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Evil Dead II, Near Dark, Stage Fright, The Stepfather


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 1987 Horror Films

Evil Dead II (1987, dir by Sam Raimi)

Near Dark (1987, dir by Kathryn Bigelow)

Stage Fright (1987, dir by Michele Soavi)

The Stepfather (1987, dir by Joseph Ruben)

2017 in Review: The Best of Lifetime


Today, I continue my look back at the previous year with my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2017!  Below, you’ll find my nominations for the best Lifetime films and performances of 2017!  Winners are starred and listed in bold!

(As a guide, I used the credits for the imdb.  If anyone has been miscredited or let out, please feel free to let me know and I’ll fix the error both here and, if I can, on the imdb as well.)

Best Picture

Drink Slay Love, produced by Tina Pehme, Kim Roberts, Sheri Singer, Bella Thorne

From Straight A’s to XXX, produced by Austin Andrews, John Bolton, Anne-Marie Hess, Tina Pehme, Kim Roberts, Sheri Singer

Four Christmases and a Wedding

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell, produced by Deen Dioria, David Manzanares, Ron Schmidt, Judith Verno, Frank von Zerneck.

The Rachels, produced by Paige Lauren Billot, Margaret H. Huddleston, Maggie McFarren, Hannah Pillemer, Rebecca G. Stone.

Running Away, produced by Dureyshevar, Jeff Faehnle, Jack Nasser, Jacob Nasser, Joseph Nasser, Bri Noble.

Sea Change. Produced by Sharon Bordas, Alec Chorches, Adam Fratto, Steven Gilder, David MacLeod, A.J. Mendez, Shawn Piller, Lloyd Segan, Stephanie Slack, Fernando Szew

Secrets in Suburbia, produced by Kristopher McNeeley, Jacobo Rispa, Damian Romay, Stephanie Slack, Fernando Szew.

The Watcher in the Woods, produced by Simon Barnes, Alexandra Bentley, Andrew Gernhard, Jennifer Handorf, Paula Hart.

* Web Cam Girls, produced by Tom Berry, Pierre David, Hank Grover, Sheri Reeves, Ken Sanders, Noel Zanitsch* 

Best Director

* Doug Campbell for Web Cam Girls

Michael Civille for The Rachels

Vanessa Parise for From Straight A’s to XXX

Damian Romay for Secrets in Suburbia

Brian Skiba for Running Away

Stephen Tolkin for New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell

Best Actor

James Franco in High School Lover

Zack Gold in Psycho Brother-in-Law

Stephen Graybill in Web Cam Girls

Timothy Granderos in The Twin

Ted McGinley in Fatherly Obsession

* Ryan Patrick Shanahan in Sinister Minister

Best Actress

Barbie Castro in Boyfriend Killer

Holly Deveaux in Running Away

Sedonna Legge in Web Cam Girls

* Penelope Ann Miller in New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell

Heather Morris in Psycho Wedding Crasher

Haley Pullos in From Straight A’s to XXX

Best Supporting Actor

Francois Arnaud in High School Lover

Joe Hackett in Web Cam Girls

William McNamara in Running Away

Patrick Muldoon in Boyfriend Killer

Judd Nelson in From Straight A’s to XXX

* Daniel Roebuck in New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell

Best Supporting Actress

Madison Iseman in The Rachels

Anjelica Huston in The Watcher in the Woods

* Tonya Kay in Web Cam Girls

Paula Trickey in Running Away

Ashley Wood in Wicked Mom’s Club

Lorynn York in Web Cam Girs

Best Screenplay

From Straight A’s to XXX. Anne-Marie Hess.

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Stephen Tolkin.

The Rachels. Ellen Huggins.

* Running Away. Sheri McGuinn.

Secrets in Suburbia. Damian Romay.

Web Cam Girls. Stephen Romano.

Best Cinematography

Drink Slay Love. Vic Sarin.

Four Christmases and a Wedding. Mike Kam.

Off the Rails. Denis Maloney.

Running Away. Patrice Lucien Cochet.

* Sea Change. Jackson Parrell.

Ten: Murder Island. Richard Clabaugh.

Best Costuming

* Drink Slay Love. Liene Dobraja.

From Straight A’s to XXX. Liene Dobraja.

The Lost Wife of Robert Durst. Tina Fiorda.

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Maria Bentfield.

The Rachels. Courtney Stern.

Stage Fright. Monique Hyman.

Best Editing

* From Straight A’s to XXX. Rob Grant.

Four Christmases and a Wedding. Paul Ziller.

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Mark Stevens.

The Rachels. Brett Solem.

Sea Change. Matthew Anas.

Web Cam Girls. Jordan Jensen.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Drink Slay Love. Jessica Green, Catherine Long, Alysha McLoughlin, Sahar Sharelo.

The Lost Wife of Robert Durst. Lorna Bravo, Kelly Grange, Shelly Jensen, Mary Renvall, Melissa Sahlstrom.

* New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Claudia Breckenridge, Daniel Casillas, Nicole Gabaldon, Pepper J. Gallegos, Madeline McCue, L. Taylor Roberts

The Rachels. Taylor Bennett, Austin Cuccia.

Secrets in Suburbia. Andrea Ahl, Trevor Thompson

The Watcher in the Woods. Chloe Edwards.

Best Score

Drink Slay Love. Justin R. Durban

Fatherly Obsession. Aiko Fukushima.

Sea Change. Shawn Pierce.

* Story of a Girl. Travis Bacon.

Ten: Murder Island. Ceiri Torjussen.

The Watcher in the Woods. Felix Bird.

Best Production Design

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Will Albarz, Anthony Medina.

Running Away.   Vincent Albo, Rose Beltran

Secrets in Suburbia. Brendan Turrill.

Ten: Murder Island. Eric Whitney, Caley Bisson.

Tiny House of Terror

* Web Cam Girls. Catch Henson, James W. Thompson Jr., Katherine Bulovic, Valerie Munguia

Best Sound

Britney Ever After

Drink Slay Love

From Straight A’s to XXX

Sea Change.

Under the Bed

* The Watcher in the Woods

Best Visual Effects

* Drink Slay Love

Fatherly Obsession

Sea Change

Stalker’s Prey

Ten: Murder Island

The Watcher in the Woods

And there you have it!  Those are my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2017!  Thank you for your indulgence!  On Friday, I’ll be concluding my look back at 2017 with my picks for the 26 best films of the year!

Previous entries in the TSL’s Look Back at 2017:

  1. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Single Issues by Ryan C
  2. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Series by Ryan C
  3. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Edition (Contemporary) by Ryan C
  4. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Editions (Vintage) by Ryan C
  5. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Graphic Novels By Ryan C
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I saw in 2017 by Valerie Troutman
  7. My Top 15 Albums of 2017 by Necromoonyeti
  8. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Picks For the 16 Worst Films of 2017
  9. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Final Post About Twin Peaks: The Return (for now)
  10. 2017 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 14 Favorite Songs of 2017
  11. 2017 in Review: The Best of SyFy by Lisa Marie Bowman
  12. 2017 in Review: 10 Good Things that Lisa Marie Saw On Television in 2017
  13. 2017 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 12 Favorite Novels of 2017
  14. 2017 in Review: Lia Marie’s 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2017

Cleaning Out The DVR: Stage Fright (dir by Fred Olen Ray)


(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 188 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on January 15th, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded Stage Fright off of the Lifetime Movie Network on January 29th, 2017!)

(aka Stage Fright)

Right above this sentence, you’ll see the original “poster art” for the film that was eventually broadcast on the Lifetime Movie Network as Stage Fright.  Even though the title changed (and personally, I think Stage Fright does carry a bit more oomph than Her Final Bow), I love this poster.  It’s just so melodramatic and I like how the stalker’s blue eye is staring straight at the viewer.  Even though the scene itself never actually occurs in the film, the poster still tells you everything that you need to know about this movie.  If I saw a paperback novel with this poster as the cover, I would definitely buy it and probably read it in one sitting.

Stage Fright tells the story of Sarah Conrade (Jordan Ladd).  At one time, Sarah was one of the most popular and famous opera singers in the world.  But then she was attacked by an obsessed fan.  Though he was subsequently gunned down by the police, he left Sarah with scars that are both physical and mental.  After she had a nervous breakdown, Sarah retired from performing and devoted her time to raising her daughter, Haley (Savannah Osborn).  However, one day, Sarah gets a call from a producer, letting her know that another singer is planning to perform Sarah’s signature songs and claim them as her own.  Though Sarah may be frightened of stepping back out on the stage, she’s a performer and she has her pride.  Sarah agrees to make a comeback and perform for one night only.

A lot of people are happy to hear this but it’s debatable whether any of them are as happy as Kevin (Peter Stickles).  Kevin works in a music store and he is one of Sarah’s biggest fans.  When she happens to step into the store, he not only tells her that he listens to her voice regularly but he also contrives to take a quick look in her purse.  Of course, Kevin also has a shrine to her in his house.  That’s … well, that’s a little bit creepy…

Audiences have waited for years for Sarah to make a comeback and now that she’s making it, the people around her are mysteriously dying.  The police even suspect that Sarah might have something to do with it.  Of course, we suspect the truth…

State Fright was directed by Fred Olen Ray, who is a veteran of these type of thrillers and who specializes in giving the audience what it wants.  In this case, the audience wants melodrama and Stage Fright certainly delivers that.  (Ray also delivers some effectively creepy shots of characters running around in the dank, lower levels of the opera house.)  Personally, I would have liked it if there had been a little more mystery about the identity of Sarah’s stalker but Jordan Ladd gave a good performance as Sarah and the mother-daughter relationship between Sarah and Haley felt real.  This is an entertaining little Lifetime movie that delivers exactly what it promises.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Michele Soavi Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

This October, I am going to be using our 4 Shots From 4 Films feature to pay tribute to some of my favorite horror directors, in alphabetical order!  That’s right, we’re going from Argento to Zombie in one month!

Today’s director: the brilliant Michele Soavi!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Stage Fright (1987, dir by Michele Soavi)

The Church (1989, dir by Michele Soavi)

The Sect (1991, dir by Michele Soavi)

Dellamorte Dellamore (1994, dir by Michele Soavi)

 

6 More Exploitation Film Trailers That I Love


Back in May, I posted 6 old school exploitation trailers that I love.  At the time, I said that even though I only posted 6 of them, I could have easily listed 666.  While I don’t have the space to put up quite that many, here’s 6 more exploitation film trailers that I love.

1) A Black Veil For Lisa — There’s several things that I love about this trailer.  I love the faux-noir narration.  I love the teasing tone.  I love the old school femme fatale attitude of lead actress Lucianna Paluzzi.  But, to be honest, the main reason I love it is because it’s all about a redhead named Lisa.  That and the line “Every man wants a Lisa…”

2) The Italian Stallion — This is the trailer for the re-release of Sylvester Stallone’s porn debut, A Party At Kitty and Stud’s.  I’ve never seen the movie nor do I have much desire to see it but this trailer just amused me to no end.  Whether its the awesomely phony line readings of Gail Palmer or the catchy and empty theme song, this trailer feels like a genuine time capsule.

3) The House On The Edge of the Park — Speaking of catchy but empty theme songs, Ruggero Deodato’s The House on the Edge of the Park features my personal favorite, Riz Ortolani’s infamous Do It To Me (Once More).  It can be heard at the end of this trailer and once it gets stuck in your head, it’ll stay there forever.  As for the trailer itself, it’s a perfect example of how a well-edited trailer can actually make a somewhat draggy film seem exciting (that said, this movie is one of my all-time guilty pleasures, as misogynistic and wrong-headed as it ultimately is).  A few things I love about this trailer — the blue-tinted views of New York City, David Hess’s iconic psycho performance, the sight of my man Giovanni Lombardo Radice dancing, and the fact that the trailer actually manages to 1) get the movie’s name wrong and that 2) nobody ever bothered to fix it.

(Author’s note: Whoops!  Before you watch this, I have to admit that I’d forgotten just how explicit, violent, and exploitive this trailer really is.  So, consider this to be definitely NSFW — not that you should be watching any of these trailers at work, to begin with — and seriously, no joke, don’t watch this trailer if you are easily upset or offended.  Honestly, if I saw this trailer without having any knowledge of how silly the actual movie really is, I would probably find this trailer to be deeply offensive.  Well, no, actually, I probably wouldn’t.  For the most part, I’m only offended by things that happen offscreen in the real world. — Lisa Marie Bowman)

4) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre — Yes, I know everyone’s probably seen this trailer a hundred times but it’s still probably one of the best and most effective trailers of all time.  Plus, I’m from Texas so you know I had to mention this movie at some point.  (I may have mentioned this in the past, but seriously — try to imagine this movie being as effective if it was called The Vermont Chainsaw Massacre.)

5) Mindwarp (a.k.a. Galaxy of Terror) — I’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to buy this film on DVD ever since seeing this trailer on the latest 42nd Street Forever compilation.  Rumor has it that this film was actually directed by James Cameron, back when he was still interesting.  Supposedly, this film features a very aggressive tentacle but, to be honest, I mostly just want to see Sid Haig’s arm get cut off.  (Seriously, who doesn’t?  Take that, Capt. Spaulding!)

6) Stage Fright — This is the wonderfully intense and claustrophobic trailer to the great Michele Soavi’s 1st film, Stage Fright, a movie I’m going to watch as soon as I finish up this post.  So, with no further delay…