MOVIE: EMPATHY, INC.
DIRECTED BY: YEDIDYA GORSETMAN
SUNDAY JUNE 24TH @5:00PM
There is a lot of focus on the horror genre at Cinepocalypse, but that's not to say there isn't other genres to enjoy. Empathy, Inc. is proudly an independent film, and even though it might not wow or shock audiences at the fest, I found it to be a fantastic accomplishment. This is a black & white production, about Joel (Zack Robidas), an investor who's lost all his money on a project at his financial firm. He's without a job, down on his luck, but when a friend introduces him to a Virtual Reality company—Empathy, Inc. which allows you to see life through the eyes of those who have it worse, he jumps all in. Little does he know that this is not just a game, but a real life experience that could change his life forever. Director Yedidya Gorsetman has made a film that is part Christopher Nolan's Following mixed with Shane Carruth's Primer. Empathy, Inc. is the kind of successful independent film that deserves praise because you can see that everyone involved has a bright future ahead of them.
The name of this film festival is Cinepocalypse, how could you not expect to have a wild time at the movies? This is a festival that was such as massive hit last November at The Music Box Theatre, they decided to move it up to the start of the summer, beginning Thursday June 21-28. In its brief existence, Cinepocalypse is already the coolest and this year they have turned it up to 11! With the premiere of Michael Winnick's Malicious, the drone killer picture Hover, and the opening night film-The Domestics, that might be enough for some, but there's so much more. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill are co-presidents of the jury and the Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented to Ernest R. Dickerson, including a 35mm screening of his film Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight. You will not want to miss that or the Wachowski sisters (The Matrix) in person for a screening of Bound, and a closing night screening of the cult-classic Killer Klowns From Outer Space. There are plenty of more movies to see so get your tickets HERE! These are only some of the movies that AMovieGuy.com recommends:
MOVIE: THE DEVIL'S DOORWAY
DIRECTED BY: AISLINN CLARKE
FRIDAY JUNE 22ND @4:45PM
When it comes to found footage films, you need to be in the right mood. I guess I was in the right mood, because The Devil's Doorway is one of the cooler movies in its form. This is an Irish film from director Aislinn Clarke about a pair of priests visiting a convent to inspect recent occurrences of blood pouring from the eyes on a statue of the virgin Mary. The two priests are skeptical of what is happening, but as they continue to stay longer, they discover the convent has been hiding deep disturbing secrets. What makes this version of a found footage film so interesting is that instead of your typical camcorder or iPhone footage, this all takes place in the 50's and the use of a 16mm camera. That makes it all a bit of a stretch, but it also gives the cinematography the perfect grainy and crackling look. Plus, it heightens the creepiness when the convent looks like ghosts have literally been lurking there for centuries. The Devil's Doorway was good fun on my laptop, but it will be even better with a full Cinepocalypse audience!
MOVIE: KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE
DIRECTED BY: THE CHIODO BROTHERS
THURSDAY JUNE 28TH @8:30PM
I cannot wait for Killer Klowns From Outer Space to play in 35mm at The Music Box Theatre for the closing night film at Cinepocalypse! The crowd will be amped up, ready to go, and the Chiodo Brothers will be there for a post-screening Q&A. And if you have not seen the campy horror cult hit, then what better time to see it than with a bunch of fans who already love the film? Killer Klowns is the kind of movie where fans know how silly it is and they do not care because only people who know how to have fun will truly know what's going on at the Music Box!
MOVIE: TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT
DIRECTED BY: ERNEST R. DICKERSON
SATURDAY JUNE 23RD @5:00PM
Two words: Billy Zane. His performance, along with a delightful supporting cast of characters, including Jada Pinkett Smith, William Sadler, and Dick Miller, is more than enough of a reason to see Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight at Cinepocalypse. It's rare for a movie to be associated with a TV Series and feel like it doesn’t miss a beat, but Demon Knight is a mixture of Fangoria-style makeup, a campy appreciation for the horror genre, and plenty of laughs. Not to mention, director Ernest R. Dickerson will be there in person to do a Q&A after. Playing in 35MM at the beautiful Music Box Theatre is the way to see Demon Knight!
MOVIE: SATAN'S SLAVES
DIRECTED BY: JOKO ANWAR
FRIDAY JUNE 22ND @12:30PM & MONDAY JUNE 25TH @ 9:45PM
Let's talk about “jump scares”. Some fans of the horror genre hate them, often find them to be cheap thrills. I like it when it is done well, but too much of it can be a bad thing. That's not what is going on in Satan's Slave's, an Indonesian film that does a great job with the use of a “jump scare”. The mother of a family dies from a mysterious illness and returns as a spirit to torment her children. This is the kind of film that will send chills down your spine, with creepy dark lighting, great ghoulish makeup, and an ending that feels right out of Return of the Living Dead. I highly recommend this one.