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‘Lavalantula’ DVD Review

Stars: Steve Guttenberg, Nia Peeples, Patrick Renna, Carlos Bernard, Michael Winslow, Marion Ramsey, Leslie Easterbrook, Ralph Garman, Danny Woodburn, Noah Hunt, Diana Hopper | Written by Neil Elman, Mike Mendez, Ashley O’Neil | Directed by Mike Mendez

Back in 2012 I reviewed a Syfy channel monster movie called Arachnoquake, which saw an earthquake in New Orleans unleash fire-breathing giant spiders. Flash forward to today and we have a Syfy channel monster movie called Lavalantula which… features giant fire-breathing spiders unleashed by an earthquake And erupting volcano in Los Angeles! Retreading old ground? Technically yes. But given that this is a movie by Mike Mendez, there’s guaranteed to be some air of originality about it.

As the cover art states, Lavalantula is something of a Police Academy reunion. Not only does the film star Steve Guttenberg, but also featuress Michael Winslow, Marion Ramsay and Leslie Easterbrook – who buys the farm in truly spectacular fashion,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Interview with Tales Of Halloween’s Mike Mendez

  • DailyDead
To celebrate the October 16th release of the horror anthology Tales of Halloween, Daily Dead spoke to the filmmakers behind the movie to discuss the project, their individual contributions and more.

Mike Mendez is best known as the director of films like The Convent, The Gravedancers, Big Ass Spider! and, most recently, the horror comedy Lavalantula for Syfy. He’s both a producer and a director on Tales of Halloween, contributing the ’80s slasher-inspired “Friday the 31st.”

This project started with you and Axelle Carolyn, right?

Mike Mendez: It’s Axelle’s concept and she’s the one who got the ball rolling. She told a few of us about it, and I brought in Epic Pictures and got it financed. From that point on, it’s been Axelle’s and my burden to bear, for better or worse. A very fun burden to bear.

Was it a case of,
See full article at DailyDead »

Round-Up: Trick ’R Treat Graphic Novel, Lavalantula Release Details, The Society Of Blood Excerpt, Crazy Bitches

The pint-sized burlap-clad Sam is back in the four-part graphic novel Days of the Dead from Michael Dougherty, the creator of Trick 'r Treat. Also: release details for Lavalantula, an excerpt from Mark Morris' The Society of Blood, and a special Halloween weekend iTunes release for Crazy Bitches.

Trick 'R Treat Graphic Novel: "From the twisted imagination of Trick ‘r Treat creator Michael Dougherty (director of the upcoming Krampus and Trick ‘r Treat 2 and screenwriter of X-Men 2 and Superman Returns) alongside a top-notch team of creators including writers Todd Casey and Zach Shields (Krampus), Marc Andreyko (Batwoman) and artists Fiona Staples (Saga), Stephen Byrne (Buffy/Angel), Stuart Sayger (Bram Stoker’s Death Ship) and Zid (Son of Merlin) comes this 4-part collection that paves the way for the Trick ‘r Treat film sequel.

Days of the Dead takes readers on a journey through Halloween history with 4 chilling new Trick ‘r Treat tales.
See full article at DailyDead »

Things gets hot when Lavalantula Terrorizes DVD/VOD beginning November 3rd

Confession: all of us at Icons of Fright love Mike Mendez. A friend of the site and an overall great filmmaker, he’s able to jump from one type of genre film to a completely different kind, all while making every single film an entertaining and wild time. In between films like The Convent, The Gravedancers, and various other, Mendez directed the 2013 horror comedy Big Ass Spider, a film that could have very easily been passed off as yet another awful Sharknado-like film, but was elevated into something really fun and special with great performances, tons of horror industry cameos and something that a lot of the other syfy-like films lacked: heart. It was easy to get on board with that film, so when it was announced that before jumping into both his action film The Last Heist and his segment in Tales Of Halloween, Mendez had signed on to direct another creature film,
See full article at Icons of Fright »

Don’t Kill It: Dolph to Demon Hunt for Big Ass Spider! Director

Mike Mendez, director of Big Ass Spider! and The Convent, will team with action icon Dolph Lundgren for Alaskan demon hunting tale, Don’t Kill It. Written by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen (directors of current fest hit, the wicked indie Body), Don’t Kill It has Lundgren’s demon hunter ‘team with a reluctant FBI agent to battle an ancient evil unleashed in a…

The post Don’t Kill It: Dolph to Demon Hunt for Big Ass Spider! Director appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.
See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

This Week In The Vault: Mike Mendez and Ryan Turek Commentary For 'The Crazies'

  • FEARnet
This Week In The Vault: Mike Mendez and Ryan Turek Commentary For 'The Crazies'
Ready to crack open another horror title from 'The Vault?' This week, we're unleashing an early cult classic from legendary director George A. Romero. That's right, it's the original 1973 version of 'The Crazies!' And this week's commentators are two of the most well versed horror minds working in the industry today. Director Mike Mendez ('Big Ass Spider,' 'The Gravedancers,' 'The Convent') is paired up with the managing editor of Shock Till You Drop Ryan Turek to talk all about Romero and 'The Crazies.' 

Although technically George followed up his monstrous debut 'Night Of The Living Dead' with 'Season Of The Witch' (and 'There's Always Vanilla'), 'The Crazies' is what many consider his true follow-up to his defining zombie classic. Starring a young Lynn Lowry and Richard Liberty (who'd later play Logan aka Dr. Frankenstein in 'Day Of The Dead,
See full article at FEARnet »

Six More of Our Favorite Underrated Horror Film Directors

  • FEARnet
Six More of Our Favorite Underrated Horror Film Directors
The big names in horror are often recognized by both the genre community and mainstream entertainment culture, showered with accolades by horror fans and film critics alike. Directors like John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, and Wes Craven have secured their place in film history, but many more talented directors go largely unsung for their hard work and noteworthy contributions to the genre. To remedy that, we recently kicked off a recurring segment that gives much-needed credit to those groundbreaking horror filmmakers who aren’t always given the praise they deserve. [You can check out part one here and part two here.] Since the first two installments proved popular, we're back with another round, and this time we present not five, but six more of our favorite underrated genre film directors. Mike Mendez Director of The Gravedancers and Big Ass Spider, Mendez and frequent collaborator Dave Parker (Coldwater, The Hills Run Red) helped to inspire the popular Showtime series Masters of Horror, but
See full article at FEARnet »

Halloweek: Horror Heavyweights Share Their Biggest Fears and Favorite Scary Movies!

With Halloween in the air, we thought it would be fun to reach out to the horror genre's biggest and brightest stars - both legends in the industry and up-and-coming superstars - to ask them two quick questions: What's your biggest fear, and what's your favorite scary movie? Read on for the results!

Some of the results will make you laugh. Some will make you shiver... and some, well some are just too funny for words. Sit back and get ready to hear from the likes of Anne Rice, John Carpenter, Robert Englund, the "Ghost Adventures" crew, cast members from "The Walking Dead," George A. Romero, and many - Many - more. Who knows? You may even find some new movies you should check out or at least revisit.

Let the scares begin!

A

Jace Anderson

Writer - The Toolbox Murders (2004), Schism, Night of the Demons (2009), Mother of Tears

1) I
See full article at Dread Central »

Toronto After Dark 2013: It’s Exactly What You Think It Is – A Review of Big Ass Spider!

Giant insect movies have been around for the better part of the last century. There’s just something about those tiny things that creep so many of us out running amok and squashing us for a change that seems to speak to moviegoers. When you couple that notion with the recent public adoration of made-for-cable campfests like Sharknado, Piranhaconda, or Mega-Whatever-Animal-Meets-Some-Other-Mega-Thing, it’s not hard to figure out why a movie called Big Ass Spider! (orginally known as Megaspider) would be a real thing. Well, as far as movies featuring giant CGI bugs go, Big Ass Spider! is far from the worst of the lot, but it’s also nothing that you need to rush out and see as soon as possible either.

The plot of the film is simple: Everyman exterminator, Alex (played by HeroesGreg Grunberg), gets bitten by a brown recluse, resulting in a trip to the hospital.
See full article at The Liberal Dead »

Toronto After Dark 2013 Journal: Day 1 – We Are What We Are (2013) / Bounty Killer

It’s that time of year again… The leaves are changing color and falling to the ground, every single product has a pumpkin scented/flavored option, the stores are filled with monster masks and skeletal decorations, and horror fans all over are rejoicing and counting the days until our version of Christmas; Halloween. While I love all of these things just as much as all of you, there is one other reason that I look forward to October each year, and that is the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, which kicked off last night.

For more comprehensive info on exactly what the festival is all about, you can either check out our previous coverage of past years’ fests, or you can visit the festival’s official website. However, the short and skinny of it is that it is a genre fest specializing in horror, sci-fi, action, and cult films that
See full article at The Liberal Dead »

Mike Mendez Heading Back to The Convent?

If you're unfamiliar with Mike Mendez's classic The Convent from 2000, then you cats should fix that immediately by getting a copy of the DVD. Simply put, it rules. I mean really, really rules. As someone with Nun-o-phobia, I can tell you this one screwed me up good!

The movie is notable for quite a few things, including putting Bill Moseley back on the horror map after a fairly long absence. Hell, it's worth seeing for that alone. In any event... while doing press for his new film Big Ass Spider!, Mendez mentioned that he may just be about ready to head back into this demonic world for a sequel.

Chaton Anderson [who scripted the original] wanted to revisit it, and I was like, ‘I only want to do it if it has a unique point of view,’ Mendez tells Fangoria. "For those who saw the first movie, there’s something that happened in
See full article at Dread Central »

Mike Mendez on Wrangling 'Big Ass Spider'

  • FEARnet
Mike Mendez on Wrangling 'Big Ass Spider'
Mike Mendez (The Gravedancers) has been making horror films since before the dawn of the new millennium. He has been drawing a great deal of attention over the last couple of months with his latest addition to the genre, Big Ass Spider. FEARnet had the opportunity to check in with the man himself about Big Ass Spider. The film has garnered rave reviews through its debut at SXSW. Big Ass Spider has been getting praise for good-naturedly laughing in the face of its farcical premise but still taking itself seriously enough to provide the viewer with a fun experience.

We talked with Mendez about his struggle to get approval from the produces to call the film Big Ass Spider, how he reluctantly learned to embrace digital effects, and what kind of distribution the film is headed for.

Can you give us a brief rundown of what we can look forward to in Big Ass Spider?
See full article at FEARnet »

“Big Ass Spider” and more invade Boston fest

  • Fangoria
“Big Ass Spider” and more invade Boston fest
Among the movies joining those already slated (see item here) for the fest, which runs Wednesday-Sunday, March 27-31 at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Ma, is the tongue-in-cheek big-bug epic Big Ass Spider (pictured above), fresh from its world premiere at this month’s SXSW. Accompanying this closing-night screening will be director Mike Mendez (of The Convent and The Gravedancers, who discussed Spider here), and producer Travis Stevens, also repped at Buff by E.L. Katz’s Cheap Thrills.

Also added to the Buff lineup are Chad Crawford Kinkle’s rural shocker Jug Face (see story here), with Kinkle and producer Andrew van den Houten on hand for this East Coast premiere; Guilty Of Romance, an eerie thriller from Suicide Club, Exte: Hair Extensions and Cold Fish director Sion Sono; The Rambler, an exercise in comic brutality from The Oregonian director and V/H/S co-star Calvin Reeder, also making its
See full article at Fangoria »

“Big Ass Spider” and more invade Boston fest

  • Fangoria
“Big Ass Spider” and more invade Boston fest
Among the movies joining those already slated (see item here) for the fest, which runs Wednesday-Sunday, March 27-31 at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Ma, is the tongue-in-cheek big-bug epic Big Ass Spider (pictured above), fresh from its world premiere at this month’s SXSW. Accompanying this closing-night screening will be director Mike Mendez (of The Convent and The Gravedancers, who discussed Spider here), and producer Travis Stevens, also repped at Buff by E.L. Katz’s Cheap Thrills.

Also added to the Buff lineup are Chad Crawford Kinkle’s rural shocker Jug Face (see story here), with Kinkle and producer Andrew van den Houten on hand for this East Coast premiere; Guilty Of Romance, an eerie thriller from Suicide Club, Exte: Hair Extensions and Cold Fish director Sion Sono; The Rambler, an exercise in comic brutality from The Oregonian director and V/H/S co-star Calvin Reeder, also making its
See full article at Fangoria »

“Big Ass Spider” and more invade Boston fest

  • Fangoria
“Big Ass Spider” and more invade Boston fest
Among the movies joining those already slated (see item here) for the fest, which runs Wednesday-Sunday, March 27-31 at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Ma, is the tongue-in-cheek big-bug epic Big Ass Spider (pictured above), fresh from its world premiere at this month’s SXSW. Accompanying this closing-night screening will be director Mike Mendez (of The Convent and The Gravedancers, who discussed Spider here), and producer Travis Stevens, also repped at Buff by E.L. Katz’s Cheap Thrills.

Also added to the Buff lineup are Chad Crawford Kinkle’s rural shocker Jug Face (see story here), with Kinkle and producer Andrew van den Houten on hand for this East Coast premiere; Guilty Of Romance, an eerie thriller from Suicide Club, Exte: Hair Extensions and Cold Fish director Sion Sono; The Rambler, an exercise in comic brutality from The Oregonian director and V/H/S co-star Calvin Reeder, also making its
See full article at Fangoria »

“Big Ass Spider” and more invade Boston fest

  • Fangoria
“Big Ass Spider” and more invade Boston fest
Among the movies joining those already slated (see item here) for the fest, which runs Wednesday-Sunday, March 27-31 at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Ma, is the tongue-in-cheek big-bug epic Big Ass Spider (pictured above), fresh from its world premiere at this month’s SXSW. Accompanying this closing-night screening will be director Mike Mendez (of The Convent and The Gravedancers, who discussed Spider here), and producer Travis Stevens, also repped at Buff by E.L. Katz’s Cheap Thrills.

Also added to the Buff lineup are Chad Crawford Kinkle’s rural shocker Jug Face (see story here), with Kinkle and producer Andrew van den Houten on hand for this East Coast premiere; Guilty Of Romance, an eerie thriller from Suicide Club, Exte: Hair Extensions and Cold Fish director Sion Sono; The Rambler, an exercise in comic brutality from The Oregonian director and V/H/S co-star Calvin Reeder, also making its
See full article at Fangoria »

'Big Ass Spider' Trailer: See Footage from SXSW's Most Talked-About Midnight Movie

If Syfy hasn’t been filling all your low-budget giant monster movie needs, then Mike Mendez has you covered. The director of The Convent and Gravedancers is back with his latest film – the accurately titled Big Ass Spider. The name tells you all you need to know with this one – a giant alien spider escapes from a military research facility (naturally…) and is now destroying L.A. Scientists and a “clever exterminator” are called in to try and stop the beast once and for all and save Southern California from complete devastation. Mendez has launched a new trailer for the film (complete with a director’s intro where he tells viewers he’ll hunt them down and kill them if they pirate his movie), and it delivers pretty much...

Read More
See full article at Movies.com »

SXSW 2013: First Trailer For Big Ass Spider Does What It Says On The Tin

Mike Mendez is one of the great underrated directors of low budget splattery horror. I first came to notice him with The Convent back in 2000, a fun little haunted house/possession film starring the great Adrienne Barbeau. In the years since then he hasn't done much feature directing, but managed to pop out one of the best films in the After Dark Horrorfest series, Gravedancers. He has kept himself busy in the editing bay on any number of unrelated projects, but I'm glad to see him returning to features with his latest, Big Ass Spider, premiering as part of the Midnighters series at SXSW 2013. Here's the synopsis and trailer:When a giant alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampages across the city of...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Mike Mendez’s Big Ass Spider Finally Spins Together A Trailer!

The Convent” director Mike Mendez is all set to debut his new creature feature “Big Ass Spider” at SXSW this year. Judging from the trailer that has been carefully embedded below, the flick formerly known as “Mega Spider” looks beyond insane. Although I’m terrified of arachnids, I’m always down for a giant spider movie. However, Mendez’s offering looks like it’s own separate beast. Let’s call it a punk rock spider flick. I can’t wait to see it. Check out the film’s official synopsis: Big Ass Spider is a Tremors-style creature feature about a towering mutant arachnid rampaging across Los Angeles and the two unlikely heros who try to stop it. An exterminator (Greg Grunberg) and his sidekick (Lombardo Boyar) are caught in an epic battle when a military assault fails to contain a giant alien spider rampaging through the city of Los Angeles.
See full article at Beyond Hollywood »

The Trailer For Big Ass Spider Spins Its Big Ass Web!

Mike Mendez (The Gravedancers, The Convent)’s once titled Mega Spider has now been appropriately retitled as Big Ass Spider, and has a debuted its first look with a trailer that shows the monstrous arachnid destroying Los Angeles. Big Ass Spider will make its premiere at the South By Southwest film festival, and should receive a limited release before hitting video and streaming services.

I’m digging the humor in the trailer, and glad it’s not veering into a tongue-in-cheek mockbuster like the kind that plagues the SyFy channel. Be on the lookout for an effect that homages Raiders Of The Lost Ark, which is pure win in my book. Check it out below!

Synopsis: “When a giant alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampages across the city of Los Angeles, it is up to one clever exterminator and his security guard sidekick to kill the creature before the city is destroyed.
See full article at Icons of Fright »
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