Reviews written by registered user
james_depaolo

Send an IMDb private message to this author or view their message board profile.

Page 1 of 3:[1] [2] [3] [Next]
21 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A Great Indie Film for horror fans, 7 July 2015
8/10

Review-American Backwoods has the honor of being the first film I have ever witnessed that made me feel like I was using drugs when I was not. One thing for sure, director Floor Reed is a much messed up individual but my god is he very creative and genius. This film has some of the most insane dialogue I have heard in a horror film; let me rephrase that, in any film this year. There is a scene in the film when the radio is playing a "sexy song", and that song is so absurd that you feel obligated to join in the catchy feel of it. You would never guess from the opening sequence this is a low budget film. Mixing a genre like horror with comical elements is always a hard pill for most horror fans to swallow. The results and reactions are usually mixed at best. I feel this film that film in the early stages had a direction, but as the film was filming that direction went out the window in favor of making the viewer guess where the film is heading.

This film revolves around the simplest premise, the premise of four college students making their way to a strip club. We learn as this film starts going, that the group has a past together. Bro it seems was injured one time when they were on snowmobiles. There is really not much in terms of substance and character development when we see the college guys interact, but this is horror and we sort of expect it. The film finds itself when it comes to both the horror element and also the humor element. What shocked me the most was as bloody and disgusting this film gets, you always feel like they are winking at you. Well our college boys find a bunch of redneck hillbilly types who seem to enjoy hunting for human beings. Well, they also practice the lost arts of raping and killing as well. As we think the hillbillies and being raped could be our worst hope in this side of the world, there is something out there as well that seems to be a bigger threat.

The one word that stuck out to me the most in this film was "unique". This film really does not mind taking gambles and hoping people can follow. This film is not afraid to test boundaries. This film gives you plenty of sick and disturbing moments that fans watch a film like this for. The pacing in this film was a small issue I had, it seemed that as the hour mark hit, the film lost some of its humor flare and felt a little too similar to other films like a Chainsaw Massacre or a Wrong Turn. I really liked the last ten minutes of this film, and felt that it made a good statement about what we just witnessed. This film to me was a great welcome to a director I feel has his head in the right place, and his heart firmly in this genre. This is a horror film that can only be pulled off by a true fan of the genre. While this film is far from perfect, it does deliver in good doses what we watch these little films for. With any justice, this film will get some good word of mouth from both buyers and critics. Slew Hampshire is a odd place but boy was it fun to visit.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
One of 2015's best films...., 11 May 2015
10/10

The ad campaign for "It Follows" sold us on the fact that it was the so-called best indie film of 2015. I hate to rain on the campaign of the billion dollar Weinstein Company, but you have not seen How to Save Us. Shot for less than 20k, the new film by Jason Trost is something to really brag about. The premise may sound like a done to death very formulaic disaster film but the results is anything but. You have a brother named Brian who is traveling thru a plagued wasteland to find his brother Sam. How to Save Us takes that plot and gives us a twist that goes into both the supernatural and emotional. Brian seems to be one of the very few people left after this mass annihilation by plague. He knows his brother Sam is somewhere in Tasmania which is now being taken over by some kind of ghosts. Now before you start thinking hokey sheets or some done to death Poltergeist, these ghosts are a little bit different than what you would expect which leads to the horror element of the film. We learn early in the film that you have to hide from them like put human ashes on you so the spirits cannot find you or smell you. The spirits have this ability to change them that really adds to the creepy factor.

The most effective is when they take over the radio and warn Brian constantly about Tasmania, or try to manipulate him by giving him voices of his family. The last twenty minutes of this film throws us a huge curve ball that shows a very emotional finale that people will really get freaked out by and also feel for our main character and know why it was so important for him to take this journey to find Sam. Trost showcased his love of trying to change the formula of the normal with All Superheroes Must Die which to me was a very fun film and very underrated. How To Save Us is an early favorite for Film of the Year not only because it changed the normal but also for the simple fact from script to characters to how this film plays out, it is just simply brilliant. In the summer of all the giants, this small indie film is simply one of the best films you will see this summer. I will also say, this is an early contender for film of the year. What a brave statement, Jason Trost has arrived. I am simply blown away and I feel all of you who read this will be as well. Seek this film out immediately. How to Save Us is going to rock your world.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Cindy Maples may be an indie actress but she has major talent, 27 February 2013
8/10

All the people involved in this film really worked hard for this film to work for fans, and it does. This film is a great little start for something much bigger and better, but remember even the biggest goal started from the smallest thought, and this little film needs all your support and help so it can grow. Take a minute and read all the hype and find out more about Cindy, Rusty and all involved and go like their face book site and ask them how you can find out about seeing this film and helping this film grow.

If you like this film and want more, check out Cindy's IMDb page and look into some of these films, the lady never fails to ignite a spark and get fans talking, she may be an indie actress but she has Hollywood talent and appeal.

Hayride (2012)
18 out of 41 people found the following review useful:
A new horror icon?, 8 January 2013
8/10

Hayride is a story about a convicted serial killer who is being transferred and escapes. While this is happening a little ways down the road is the annual hayride event that is built around the legend of Pitchfork. Pitchfork's story is told to us as flashbacks at a campfire hang out, his story is not so much a serial killer one at first, he is a man who was over protected of his daughter and family and when his daughter ran away he went into a rage and started killing people to find her. The locals are not sure if this story is fake or real, and they are also unaware that a couple miles down the road an escaped serial is on the run. That is what makes this film such a fun little watch; it gives you two threats, one that is real and one that is an urban legend? This film plays out like the beginning of something more than an actual film, which is not a knock. This felt like the first chapter of a story that I hope we get more stories from. Like the original Halloween, a lot of the movie is story based and dialog based, but the dialog all seems like they are trying to build a franchise or at least a sequel, they are making the story so interesting that you know they were looking past part one.

This is a low budget indie slasher, and the film really kept a decent pace, though the story telling at times does seem to get a little heavy, but trust me the third act of this film makes up for it. While the kills are low budget, the suspense and music to the scenes really was a winner. This film builds a tense, and does not let up till it gets to the payoff to the scene, which for the most part was fun and jump worthy. The ending was smart and clever, and it will get you trying to think about everything you just watched, because it painted a scenario that has me hoping they give us more. This is a horror film made by a fan for the fans. This makes The Texas Chainsaw Massacre look like Sesame Street, the chainsaw is dead it is time for you to meet the Pitchfork. Horror has a new icon. Forget Hollywood, support the Indies they are still respecting you horror fans, wait till you see this one.

8.5 out of 10 wicked channel.com

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Do not be fooled by the title, this film is more fun than you would expect, 9 December 2012
8/10

All American Zombie Drugs on the surface may sound like yet another one of those low budget zombie comedies, which at times it is, but this film with its odd little charm and very interesting characters and dialogue will win you over by the end of the film. This film centers around two slackers who are the kids that you knew in school would never really amount to anything, and that being Vinny and Sebastian who after a chance meeting with a kid they bullied in school named Barry, decide that they should get into the drug business. Well, as you can guess things do not go as planned and our hapless duo who with the help of Sebastian's insane girlfriend and her best friend seem to encounter geeks, gangsters and zombies.

This film starts off oddly enough, with some very odd humor that I am not sure whether I should have laughed or been scared to keep going with the film. To see a guy who claims he suffers from narcolepsy dry humping on anything was an odd way of introducing us to a character who we would want to invest in. The humor was hit and miss, the hit stuff was not really laugh out loud funny but maybe oddly amusing. The miss stuff was not as bad as it could have been, it was not irritating or boring, it was a comedian who you think can make a joke that will catch your attention trying to warm up with not so funny material. When the drug addicts turn to zombies is when this film really showcases what it can do, and that was the part I would recommend to anyone to give this film a shot. Alex Ballar who directed this film, also has a bit role as the deceased brother and conscience of one of the characters who is trying to make them stop using drugs and maybe growing up.

This film for the most part is really a fun ride. It has a few bumps here and there, but overall I really like this film. The title though is a bit deceptive because this film is not what you will expect if you think this is going to be Zombieland or even Mourning Wood. This film has so much charm and personality, that you can overlook the negatives because by the end of the film you know you are going to be very entertained. This film almost guarantees that Alex Ballar's best days are coming. This film is comedy, zombies and lots of fun. You are really going to be entertained by this film, and I really hope we see more from Alex soon.

Trashology (2012)
14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
John Waters would be proud, 9 December 2012
9/10

This film is the reason why I think therapy is highly recommended. Trust me, after the 3 stories we get to see the closing moments with Tracy and her male friend, and they do something that is so vile and disgusting that I cannot even begin to describe how absolutely bizarre it came across as. John Waters himself would love this film, but I think he would hate himself afterwards for knowing he inspired this wave of film. This film without question is not for everyone and would more than likely offend anyone who watches it. But, the film was well written and very unpredictable. And, when you have Manoush singing your theme song, you almost know that this ride is going to be something that either you are going to praise and talk about a lot, or never tell a soul what you watched and when your whole house is empty rewatch it. This film is John Waters for 2012, and I absolutely had fun with it and think that people who are in the mood for a slice of the perverse would love this film as well. John Waters would really be proud.

Silent Night (2012/I)
6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Santa Claus is coming to town to kill you, 2 December 2012
9/10

I remember when I was a teenager and I heard they were doing a slasher film with a killer Santa Claus. 20/20 and everyone was up in arms about this concept and Silent Night, Deadly Night's hype was born. And to any horror fan or movie nut in general, when people complain and try to ban a film, those are the ones you have to go see first. The sad news is most of us did get to see this film when it hit home video a year later we did not think it was warranted of what the uproar was about. Now that being said, if Silent Night which is directed by Steven C. Miller would have been the film coming out at that time, I would have seen what the uproar was about. While this is a very loose remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night make no mistake about it, this film is a million times better than any other Christmas slasher film I have seen so far. In a small quiet town in Wisconsin, Santa Claus seems to be coming to town a day early and seems to know who has been naughty and nice. This film has some of the weirdest yet amusing one liners I ever heard, like one I felt could describe this film to a tee. "Once you see it, you can't unsee it". This film is a gore hound's dream, and there is no lack of killing, death scenes and fun ways to kill someone. I mean, the film starts off with an electric chair made out of Christmas lights.

Malcolm McDowell plays the town sheriff and you talk about someone who is having a ball in his role, Malcolm uses so many dopey and silly one liners that you will find yourself just waiting for what gem he will say next. When he keeps on describing a situation as putting toppings on a hamburger, you just sit there and think this is dark comedy fun. Jaime King plays the deputy who we learn is going thru a crisis of her own, this is her first Christmas single and she is spent trying to piece the puzzle together and stop the evil Claus. Jaime I was ready to write off after she followed up Sin City, with so many bad films till she got a second life with Mother's Day. And now this, she may have found her calling with these horror remakes.

The funny thing about this movie is that Steven with his wide range of characters touched on everything a small town could never ask for. Also, this film breaks a lot of taboos, and this viewer blesses them for doing so. A foul mouthed little girl gets killed in one of the more fun scenes of the film and when the mother of the girl talks to the police she claims that she did not wish for this to happen she just was hoping for some kind of break or something. Then, you have the perverted priest, who is also another scene stealer especially when in this town; every woman looks either like she stepped out of a modeling agency or off the pages of Playboy. Did anyone else ever notice that in this town, there is no lack of beautiful women and guys who are either drug users, dealers, clueless, perverts or drunks? I think Steven made this film hoping for backlash, he wanted to give fans a fun horror film that had guts and did not care if it offended anyone. This film is what people expect when they see a slasher film and looks like all involved were having a blast with this film, and it shows when you watch it. This film gives so much fun, I mean I can go on and on about scenes that really shined in this film. When people think about Christmas films, they think of those films that your family or girlfriend drag you to with that feel good message and romance, thank god Steven made the cure for that with this film that is geared towards the horror fan. This film is insanity from start to finish, and if you sit there and you are not entertained by this very violent bloodbath full of hate, dark humor, cruelness and breasts then maybe you should seek out Four Christmases or something in that nature, this is by far the best Christmas themed horror film I have seen.

This is the rare case of someone following up a really great movie like The Aggression Scale with another great film Silent Night. In film much less horror, this feat these days is rare. All in all, this was a very fun film that offers something for every horror fan on your Christmas list. To me, this feels like the original and the one from the 80's feels like the inferior remake. This is a must see for all horror fans, perverts and anyone who is a fan of anything that pushes boundaries and does not conform to the norm. And fan boys, Steven heard your silent prayers he gives you a cameo of Jessica Cameron playing a nurse and Wanda from Todd and the Book of Pure Evil in some seductive outfit as well. This film has cult classic written all over it, and there is so much more I did not talk about like the topless chase scene, and the total brutality of the kills in this film. This film is vile, disgusting, perverted, cruel and full of humorous hate but damn if I was not entertained from start to finish.

You have fun, action, suspense and Cindy Maples, 16 October 2012
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Two females who are room mates, one loses her job at the bookstore and the other is an escort. Well, we will learn that the unemployed wants to be an escort, but her friend says she is not capable of being one. So, while the roommate goes on a trick, the girl decides to take on a client to show she can be an escort. Well she picks the wrong client, because these guys are out to rape and murder her. Well, in comes her friend to save her and they kill the guys. Now, they have the wrath of the guy's mother who sends her other son and his friends out to settle the score.

Cindy Maples for all of us indie geeks, always love to see Cindy do something on screen because we know the magic she brings to her roles. Jakob Bilinski, before this short never heard the name in my life. Now, I have to see if this guy has any other films or is there going to be a full length to this film. The script alone is just so funny, and the action was cheesy but so fun. If you have no other selling point to buy this DVD, this is all you need. Bloody Hooker Bang Bang is 2012's answer to Roid Rage.

Nailbiter (2013)
9 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Hitchcock would be proud, 24 July 2012
10/10

If Hitchcock was alive today, this is the film he would be putting out" Plot-A mother and three daughters get caught up in a tornado and take shelter in a storm cellar. While trapped inside the cellar, they quickly discover that they are not alone. Review-Patrick Rea, I first discovered thru his short films in August 2010.( If you have not seen a Patrick Rea short film, you are truly missing out on something amazing) This is a director who if The Twilight Zone was looking for ideas and fresh concepts they should call him up and fire up the series again. He is quite frankly one of the best new directors of 2012, with the film to beat in 2012. Patrick Rea is a very smart director, and he treats his audience with respect as well as the material. This is clearly a director, who knows his limits, but what he lacks in budget, he truly makes up for in old fashioned suspense and tension. They did not call this Nailbiter because the title was catchy. This film is definitely the edge of your seat, what is that noise, how they will make it out alive nailbiter. Patrick Rea, is becoming the second coming of Alfred Hitchcock. And I will go one further, if Hitchcock was alive today and making films Nailbiter would be his latest creation. Like Hitchcock in his time, Rea is very familiar with what is what in the genre right now, and instead of caving in and succumbing to it, he is trying to revolutionize it and take old concepts and make them feel new. And with Nailbiter, Patrick Rea created a film that may not change the genre overnight but with any justice in this world of film, should put him on the map. To describe NailBiter would be like taking Rear Window and mixing it with the Descent. And that does not even begin to do this film justice. This film is so much more than a monster film, so much more than a suspense or family drama. This film is a masterpiece and should be on every critic and fans top ten lists in 2012 easily. This film has so many twists and turns, and even hints along the way that it makes the audience pay attention. From the mom and her three kids on the road to go pick up dad, to the girls trying and avoid the tornado to them being trapped in a cellar. This film just creates such a tension, that you just want to fast forward so bad to see where it is all leading to. But, that is the fun of this film. It is like a Christmas tree full of presents. Each one you get to just makes you crave the next one and next one. This film from start to finish had me entertained, from the script to the characters there is not one flaw in this film. This film deserves an audience. If Bravo puts out another " Top 100 horror films of all time" show, like they seem to do once a year ( lord does number one film of all time change every time they do that show)this film should be on the list. This is Patrick Rea, wait till you guys see Nailbiter, and you will not be let down.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Give this film a shot...Elisabeth Fies has talent.., 9 June 2012
7/10

Plot-this is a Greek tragedy mixed with a 70′s sexual thriller. This movie centers on the summer of Jenny's 16th birthday. Her mom wants her to spend some time with her deadbeat father in his commune. Jenny does not want to go or be part of her dad's life. Once she gets to the commune she starts to see things that disturb her, and does not know who is who.

Review-Elisabeth Fies is in the movie, and even does a nude scene. I am not sure if this is a first, the director being the only person to go nude but I had to mention this because for a film like this it is a brave move. The beginning of the movie has a disturbing scene, which I will not talk about but tell you guys it sells the film and what it will offer you. The movie does a great job of explaining how we get to certain parts of this film, in almost a way that would make Hitchcock smile. This movie is a very slow build, but the script is pretty good and keeps you the viewer involved and your attention, and the characters are not boring or one sided, that you question each one, and not sure who to follow or believe in. This film created paranoia about it that you feel like you are watching a very head scratching episode of the Twilight Zone. The movie has a few scenes that really are creepily awesome and very well done for a small budget indie, and for that the acting deserves so much respect. This is what M Night should have put out instead of the shitty Village, and it is sad to watch this film and know that if they had a much bigger budget what could have come out of it. Films like this make me question what Hollywood is putting their money into these days, and what they are ignoring. This movie is impressive if you think about the budget, and also you can see Elisabeth's heart and passion all over this film. This is not a typical horror movie as it is a thriller that would be good to show someone who wants mood over blood and a movie to make them think scene to scene and catches you on surprise as well. I also want to point out the bonus features that there was a lot of work put into them. And Elisabeth really shines throughout. I am impressed with Fies talent and thinks she has a bright future. Hollywood give this woman a budget and let's see what she can give us next. Plus any director who will do her own nude scenes and really go outside the box with her performance deserves a break.

The typical horror fan may or may not like this film; it depends on their attention span. If you can sit thru a film and can invest into a slow build and know that the payoff will be worth it, this is a film for you.

7 out of 10

Also, I want to tell the fans to keep Chauntal Lew is in their prayers.

A few years ago, the lead actress of this film lost her hand and is recovering day by day


Page 1 of 3:[1] [2] [3] [Next]