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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

DVD Review: Lights, Camera, Dead!

Lights Camera Dead

USA 2007
Director: Tim Reaper
Writers: Monica Reaper, Tim Reaper
Starring: Wes Reid, Amy Lollo, J.C. Lira, Monica Moehring, Richard Christy, Coldon Martin, Ashby Brooks, Stephanie Caston.
DVD Released: August 20th 2010
Cert: NR
Running Time: 77 minutes
Aspect Ratio: Letterboxed NTSC
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
Distributor: SRS Cinema
Region: 0 NTSC

The Film:

Ryan Black (Wes Reid) is an aspiring filmmaker attempting to direct his first feature; a gory horror about a couple of wannabe witches that meddle with the dark forces and end up unleashing the undead. Unfortunately he doesn't have a clue what he's doing, his lead actress has been cast for her bra size rather than her acting ability and his half-assed amateur crew are a bunch of complete morons. It doesn't help when Ryan starts berating them all either and since none of them are actually being paid it's not long before they all just give up and leave. Ryan however, with the help of his script-writer Steve (J.C. Lira) decides to ressurrect the failed project with one minor rewrite to the script - actually kill the actors and just film it! Inviting the cast and crew to a special midnight screening of what little was shot before they all quit they all assemble at a remote farm out in the sticks for a premiere they'll never forget.

Synopsis doesn't sound all that bad does it? They never do. Trouble is this is another indie cheapfest made by a bunch of guys in their backyard. They've got heart I'll give them that. An imaginatively put together title sequence is about the most visually arresting thing you'll see throughout this as it's a very amateurish production from all standpoints including the technical. The acting is of course dire which is a shame because there are a few very funny almost Clerks-like moments of dialogue and it's a pity that there isn't much more of that sharp satirical humour about the behind the scenes making of a cheap movie because it's a damn sight more fun than the z-movie horror aspect that takes over the story. But then even good writing fails miserably when spouted by terrible actors so maybe not. Unfortunately this one's also light on gore which is surely unforgivable for what appears to be touted as a low budget splatterfest. OK well there is a pugfaced actress with massive tits at least and great emphasis is put on the fact that she's going to have to do topless nudity to appear in the film within a film but alas even that small, sad, pathetic pleasure is denied us as she remains fully clothed throughout; the pre-pubescent gamerz generation have a phrase that suitably expresses my displeasure - EPIC FAIL.

The Disc:

Dodgy, soft looking, grim, letterboxed transfer. Looks like it was filmed on VHS. English 2.0 track is audible throughout and that's the best thing I can say about it .

Extras (yes there's extras!) include -

A commentary track featuring the director Tim Reaper, actress Monica Moehring, composer Mean Gene, and executive producer Jonathan Straiton - It's a friendly informal light-hearted chat, seemingly filmed in the participants living room with much alcohol to hand. Most interesting fact gleaned from this track; apparently Moehring didn't show her tits because she's a schoolteacher!

A 2nd commentary track featuring actor Richard Christy - Bit of a cheat this one as it actually only runs for 3 minutes over Christy's short scene in the movie and pretty much consists of Christy narrating what we are actually seeing.....

The Music Box - A 16 minute short film featuring Monica (no you can't see my massive tits) Moehring yet again. This was a fairly gruelling quarter of an hour home movie in which she plays a girl browsing a flea market and ends up buying a music box that appears to be covered in human skin (ala the Necronomicon) hilarity ensues........

Review by Giuseppe Rijitano

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