The Black Dahlia Haunting Review


I spent the entire weekend at The Rapture Horror Expo in Mesa, Arizona. It was a great experience. I got in with a press pass and was able to record our podcast, The Gorram Nerd Hour with Brian Smith, as well as get several interviews for you all to see soon. The should be up later in the week. You can find them at http://facebook.com/TheGorramNerdHour or http://gorramnerdhour.blogspot.com. A few of the girls from The Black Dahlia Haunting were there. I had a chance to sit down with Devanny Pinn and talk about the film which had its Southwestern premiere last night.

Before I get into the bulk of the review I would like to say that this movie was made over the course of three weeks for $1000 roughly. The cut I saw still had a temp music score and the sound mix was not done. There is still work to he done on this film.

The story for The Black Dahlia Haunting is as follows – a young woman named Holly, abused by her father had run away at an early age. She had a young half brother who doesn’t know her. The brother had just murdered how parents and was locked in a mental institution awaiting trial. Holly comes to see him. As the movie begins to unfold we find that her brother is blind and drawing beautiful detailed pictures of Elizabeth Short aka The Black Dahlia. At the same time Holly is having very vivid dreams of being tortured. That’s when the haunting begins.

The movie was obviously low budget. Some of the performances were great. I really warmed up to Devanny Pinn as she began to play the possessed version of Holly. She really took to the role and had a lot of fun with it. Noah Dahl who played her brother was amazing. He is a 14 year old genius in real life who seems able to do anything he sets his mind to. The weakest performance in the film was Britt Griffith. He seemed very stiff at the start of the film, very unsure of himself. He was never an actor before this. He was known for Ghost Hunters on SyFy. Even he wasn’t bad as the movie progressed. He really seemed to take to the role about midway through the production. I see potential in him even if he isn’t quite there yet.

The cast is rounded out by the lovely Jessica Cameron and Sarah Nicklin. They both came in for brief roles in the film. Alexis Iocono came in to play Elizabeth Short and was very good, especially her flashback scenes in 1947. But the person who stole the show is Monster Man Cleve Hall. I don’t want to give away what he does in the film but he was fantastic in it.

I am grading on a curve for this film as I was given a lot of background about it before doing this review. But I did enjoy it and I really loved talking to the actresses from the production. They were so kind and beautiful and very full of enthusiasm for the project. The reason I say I am grading on a curve is because if this movie had cost $1 million and came out this way I would be more critical. I still do want ti say a few things I noticed and didn’t like. First, there was an overabundance of establishing shots. Holly says she’s leaving for Los Angeles and then we see the Hollywood sign, then an airplane, then Holly in the plane, the a shot of a plane landing, then shots of Los Angeles traffic, then some buildings before Holly goes into a hotel. And this happened a few times. It almost seemed like they were padding their running time a bit. Some of the camera shots were repeated too many times. And every time there was a flashback to 1947 there was a title card that said “1947”. Once would have been enough.

Overall it was a nice take on a true crime that remains unsolved to this day. There was some really great ideas I think they almost succeeded on and would have with the proper budget. I’m going to give it 2 1/2 out of 5 stars. I see what they wanted from this movie and they succeeded more than they failed. And they wouldn’t have failed had it not been for the budget issues.

The movie has yet to gain a distributor but is playing the festival circuit right now. If you have a chance to see it I would tell you to go in with the mindset that this was a labor of love and made almost for free.

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A Quick Update From Rapture Horror Expo


Things have been going well at Rapture Horror Expo this weekend. They could have been a little better. Unfortunately they ran into some snags and a few guests dropped out at the last minute prompting a rumor the show was being cancelled and so attendance was a bit low.

They still had a lot for people to do, though. Brian and I worked like crazy to provide you, the readers and listeners of the podcast, with some great stuff. First off we recorded yesterday morning with special guest Bill Oberst Jr. who told us up front we didn’t have to hold back when reviewing Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies on the show. He stayed and talked with us for the first half of the show. After that we talked with guys producing an upcoming web series called The Dead Inside. Then Randy Robinson who will be playing the coroner in Lepus popped in to say hello. Not only did we record audio for the podcast but also video. The audio will be up tomorrow. The video portion will be up later in the week.

Besides the podcast we also went around and talked to some very nice people in the horror community. Brooke Lewis, actress/motivational speaker/life coach was nice enough to talk to me for a while. I had a chance to interview Betsy Rue from Halloween 2, True Blood and My Bloody Valentine. She talked about being naked so much in Valentine without any prompting from me. Jessica Cameron, whom we spoke with in episode 3 of the podcast, was nice enough to a video interview with me. Ari Lehman, the very first Jason from the original Friday The 13th, talked to me about his experiences as well as his band called First Jason. I also got to see his band perform at Monsterland in Downtown Mesa.

Today I will be getting a few more interviews. Devinny Pinn will be talking to me about The Black Dahlia Haunting which had it’s southwestern premiere at the Expo last night. I’m also going to try and talk to Erik Marie Hogan from Paranormal Entity and hopefully Brian Pulido.

All our video interviews will be up hopefully by the end of the week. Check them out at http://gorramnerdhour.blogspot.com and don’t forget to like our Facebook page http://facebook.com/TheGorramNerdHour

The Gorram Nerd Hour Episode 3


We just finished recording our latest episode of The Gorram Nerd Hour. It was an episode of firsts. Brian and I both agreed on something. That was a first for the show. We also conducted a couple of phone interviews. As I mentioned previously The Rapture Horror Expo is coming up October 5-7th. We had the man behind the con, KB, talk to us via phone to tell us what we can expect from the first horror con of it’s kind at the Mesa Convention Center. Then we got on the phone with Dave Reda and the lovely Jessica Cameron and talked about their upcoming movie “Shadow”. It sounds like an awesome concept. I can’t wait to see it. They were both driving to a convention in Sacramento and we lost signal a couple times but we got through it. Jessica was telling us about a movie she will be promoting here called “The Black Dahlia Haunting” and Dave told us about his time as an extra on “So I Married An Axe Murderer”. They were very nice folks.

During the time we spoke with KB he told us that there will be a bunch of special guests coming. He mentioned Jake Busey and Tony Todd, which we already knew about. We found out that “My Bloody Valentine” star Betsy Rue will be there, the man who played Kincaid in “A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 and 4”, the star of “Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies”, director and comic book legend Brian Pulido, and a lot more. Visit their website for full details http://rapturehorrorexpo.com

Brian also ranted a bit about Superman Issue 0 that just came out and how they’re changing everything. We talked about the cinematic stink bomb that was C.H.U.D. and even managed to squeeze in time to talk about some potentially big news about the upcoming X-Men movie sequel/prequel. And we had a chance to plug our friend Ricardo Vasquez’s movie “The Fallen One” which shares a couple cast members with our upcoming short film “Lepus”. It was a good episode. You can find it Monday at http://gorramnerdhour.blogspot.com and http://facebook.com/TheGorramNerdHour.