American Courtesans


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Over the past weekend at The Bloody Hero International Film Festival I had the opportunity to see some films that weren’t part of what I had to watch on the jury. American Courtesans was the first one I sat down to watch on Friday. It’s a documentary about the sex industry from insiders in the trade. It was something Kristen DiAngelo, the film’s star, writer and producer, felt very passionately about. She wanted to show what the mainstream media sensationalize with honesty, good or bad. She wanted to interview men and women and let them just talk without fear.

When I first sat down to watch the film I got the distinct impression this was a movie made to sensationalize the sex trade and push for it’s legalization. In fact, that impression stuck with for a while during the film. It really wasn’t until a day later as I reflected on the film that I came to the realization that it wasn’t a propaganda film about legalizing prostitution. It was just a simply a film where these people in the business could open up and share their feelings about the business they’d chosen for themselves, good or bad. 

The film shows women in the industry from all walks of life. One woman who was a real estate agent in Florida and chose this life after the market collapsed and she could no longer support herself in the trade she had originally chosen. Another woman ended up in the life after her husband had introduced her to it. One woman did it in order to support her son. The son was also interviewed. It was an incredibly moving moment watching this man talk about his love for his mother and the sacrifices she made in order to raise him. 

Whether you agree with the lifestyle or not doesn’t matter when watching this film. It’s all about getting caught up in watching these women telling their stories, many of which are heartbreaking. It is definitely worth seeing. It is a more honest look at women in this trade than anything else I have ever seen. 

This movie is a sold 4 out of 5 stars. The women are at times funny, sad and always engaging. 

For more on this film you can see my interview with Kristen DiAngelo soon on YouTube and hear the audio interview later today on my podcast – The Gorram Nerd Hour.

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Some Guy Who Kills People


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Some Guy Who Kills People – Written by Ryan Levin, Directed by Jack Perez and starring Kevin Corrigan, Lucy Davis, Karen Black, Barry Bostwick, Leo Fitzpatrick and Ariel Gade.

This was another of the movies I got to watch thanks to my time on the jury for The Bloody Hero International Film Festival in Phoenix, AZ. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this movie. Sure, I loved the cast but that doesn’t always make for a good movie. Thankfully the script and direction were both just as solid. 

The story is about a man who was the type of guy that was picked on all through high school. It had gotten so bad that he attempted suicide and got locked up in a mental institution. Years later he’s out and working at an ice cream parlor and living with his mom. Soon, we discover that the all the people who picked on him in high school are turning up dead. And, to top it off, he has a woman who’s interested in him and starts to form a relationship with his daughter that his ex never let him know. It must be difficult to juggle a relationship with a woman, family, work and murder. But Corrigan does an expert job of creating a character you root for throughout the movie. You consistantly hope throughout that he is not actually the killer. 

The rest of the cast is amazing. I absolutely loved Barry Bostwick and Karen Black. Not only did they both do an amazing job in their solo scenes but they were amazing together. There is a scene toward the end of the film where they’re sitting at the dining table together talking that is among my favorites from this little gem of a film. 

Leo Fitzpatrick and Lucy Davis were also absolutely perfect in their roles in the film. They brought a certain heart to a movie you’d expect to just be a goofy horror comedy. But the real star of this film is Ariel Gade as Corrigan’s daughter. For such a young girl she has a crazy amount of talent. Her performance was blended with sarcastic humor, genuine sadness and a certain joy that even seasoned actors couldn’t pull off. She was a true find. We awarded her Best Supporting Actress at The Bloody Hero International Film Festival because she was better than the rest by a mile.

The movie itself was a bit predictable but I don’t say that as a fault to the film. This is one of those movies where it’s not about the twist, it’s about the journey getting there that really makes you love it. The script was smart and funny. The directing was solid and his decision to use only practical effects really worked for the film. It’s no wonder John Landis agreed to Executive Produce this film.

This movie deserves 4 and 1/2 stars. It’s a smart, well crafted horror comedy that any fan of the genre will love.

Matt’s Chance – An Early Review


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Before I get into the proper review of this movie I want to talk about my experience meeting the director and his co-writer/supporting actor over the weekend at The Bloody Hero International Film Festival. Nicholas Gyeney (co-writer/director) and Edi Zanidache (co-writer/”Daddy Dave”) both came to Phoenix this past weekend to support their movie, Matt’s Chance starring Edward Furlong, Gary Busey, Lee Majors and Margot Kidder. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a sit down interview with either of them during our time there. They didn’t come back on Sunday when we were recording our podcast. But I did have a chance to talk to both of them.

Over the course of the weekend I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Edi. He was a very funny and engaging guy. We talked a little about his performance as Daddy Dave in the movie, a role he won Best Supporting Actor for at the festival. He said that he and Nicholas have been friends for years and he never imagined he would be acting. It was something that he just sort of fell into. I’m glad he did. He was hilarious in the film, one he helped write. The subject rarely stayed on the topic of the movie, though. Instead he was asking me about the whole podcast thing and how he’d like to do that himself. He also told me about a series of sketches he’d like to do and post on the internet. I won’t tell you what they were because I don’t want anyone stealing his ideas because of me.

Nick was a really nice guy as well. Unfortunately, I had less time with him. Most of what I heard from him was the Q&A after the Saturday screening of the movie. He talked about the funding a bit…which is a very interesting story. He had made one film and his mother had a movie poster of it in her office at work. A Chinese man came in to have some repairs done on his car and asked her about the poster. They got to talking and then Nick said he got a call from his mom telling him to get down there right away. Nick went there and met with the man. He said they talked for about two hours. Shortly after he was signing contracts with a billionaire Chinese family for a ten picture deal. Unfortunately we can’t all be that lucky. But it goes to show that you never know when or where your break will come.

On to the movie itself – Matt’s Chance is the story of Matt, a down on his luck loser who discovers his girlfriend screwing another man in their bed while she’s pregnant with Matt’s baby. He then meets a mobster…excuse me…an Eastern European Businessman, and is asked to dress like a bunny for a children’s birthday party at the EEB’s house. Things just go from bad to worse from there.

Overall, this movie was quick and funny. I loved Matt’s best friend Daddy Dave. He was the funniest part of the film. The small roles filled by Majors, Busey and Kidder were all great as well. One thing I noticed as I was watching the film was that Gyeney seemed to have a good eye for composition through about half of the film and the other half looked very low budget. I don’t know if it was an issue of money or if a director of photography just wasn’t working out. It’s hard to say. Either way it takes nothing away from the movie itself.

I have to give this movie 4 out 5 stars. Smart dialogue, fun characters and really messed up situations make this movie a must see for fans of crime comedies.

The Bloody Hero International Film Festival


Hello out there. I’m coming to you live from The Bloody Hero International Film Festival. It started this morning. I have to say that I’m already exhausted. That’s not the fault of the fest. That’s my fault for working until 5am then coming here just 5 hours later.

Being on the jury I have already seen many of the movies showing over the weekend. Bit I didn’t see them all. I just sat through a documentary called American Courtesans about sex workers in the United States. I will hopefully be interviewing the woman behind the documentary for The Gorram Nerd Hour this weekend as she made a special trip to Phoenix just to be here. She seems like a fascinating woman.

Several of the movies have multiple screenings this weekend. If you’re in the area we would love for you to come and support the fest in its first year. There are some great movies being shown and we are very happy with the winners in each category.

I will be reporting back later this weekend with a recap. Tonight there is an industry mixer for all the local talent, guests and filmmakers that made the time come. I’m sure we will really he enjoying our time here for the rest of the weekend. And I can’t wait to unleash our little surprise of what’s to come for our podcast this weekend. We have something really crazy planned. If you can’t see it live make sure you check out the podcast on Wednesday.