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The Independent Film Thread


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#1 RJDiogenes

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:54 PM

In this thread, we can share recommendations for independent films and filmmakers. I have a few that I can list, so I'll add one a day or so, but I'll start off with a friend.

Chris Mihm has been making a movie a year for quite a while now. He's got fourteen now, I think, with two more in production.  The movies that he makes, as a quick look at his website will tell you, are homages to the Drive-In B-Movies of the 50s, and they are quite excellent. I've been supporting him for quite a while and I even managed to attend a couple of his premieres back when my life was less crazy (he operates out of the Minneapolis area, using local talent and his family, and his premieres are held at a great old retro theater).

On this page is a list of his movies-- oops, there's actually four in production.

One other thing to know is that all of these movies take place in the same universe-- the Mihmiverse-- with characters and events crossing over from one to the other, even though the timeline spans hundreds of years.  It's great stuff, and a new release is always a big popcorn event for me.  Someday I'll be able to attend the premieres again, because they're great fun.  Highly recommended!
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#2 G-man

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 08:46 AM

Have you been following Larry Blemire of Lost Skeleton of Cadavre and Trail of the Screaming Forehead fame?

His films are great fun, even as they pay homage to the old SF Films of the 1950’s, as well as the old murder mysteries in his Dark and Stormy Night.

I first caught Lost Skeleton at a local art house cinema that had also screened Bubba Ho-Tep with a guest appearance from Bruce Campbell.  IIRC, these two films came out within a month of each other.

/s/

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Edited by G-man, 18 September 2020 - 08:50 AM.

Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#3 RJDiogenes

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 06:48 PM

G-Man, you anticipated my next post.  :D I love Larry Blamire's films and I keep hoping he'll do more.  I have Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Lost Skeleton Returns Again, Trail of the Screaming Forehead, and Dark and Stormy Night on DVD.  While his films are all B-Movie homages like Chris's, his approach is very different-- Chris is very straightforward, and Blamire is like a MAD magazine parody.  To get an idea of his type of humor, you can check out his Tales From The Pub series on YouTube.  This one is my favorite:



He also writes.  The adventures of Doc Armstrong from the Lost Skeleton movies continue in Doc Armstrong: Suburb At The Edge Of Never, and he's also got a nice collection of weird Western tales in Tales of the Callamo Mountains.

All of his movies are also available as cheap rentals on Amazon Prime.

Bubba Ho-Tep is a great independent film as well, and it's also available on Prime.
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#4 Virgil Vox

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 04:41 PM

Nice idea for a thread.

I'll mention Full Moon, even though I've been reviewing their movies on here. I'd consider them independent filmmakers, somewhat. I've reviewed the Josh Kirby series, which I recommend if you're in the mood for low budget, cheesy, family fun. The Puppet Master series (at least the first five) are good horror movies.

Oblivion and Oblivion: Backlash are fun sci-fi western romps. I just watched Subspecies, the first film in that franchise and liked it a lot. It is a vampire movie and while it doesn't re-invent the wheel at all and the small budget shows it was still really good.
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#5 RJDiogenes

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 05:42 PM

^^  Full Moon definitely qualifies as an independent studio.  Maybe I should have said Mom & Pop studios.  :lol:

Another great place to check out is the HP Lovecraft Historical Society.  They have so far produced two films, Call of Cthulhu and The Whisperer In Darkness.  Both are retro, with Call of Cthulhu produced as it might have looked if it were made the same year that the story was published-- so it's an homage to the Silent Film Era. Whisperer in Darkness is a talkie, though still very retro, approximately 40s vintage.  I keep hoping more will come from these guys.

In addition to those movies, HPLHS also produces Dark Adventure Radio Theater, an homage to old-time radio.  I don't have all of them yet, but the ones I have are excellent.
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#6 G-man

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 08:46 AM

I was in an independent film as an extra when they were filming at the gravel pit in Upper Marlboro, MD.  It was John R. Ellis’ Twilight of the Dogs/New Genesis.  He had also headed the SPFX for Beyond the Rising Moon/Outerworld which was filmed around the DC Metropolitan area.  Admittedly, this is before Ellis broke into the big times in Hollywood.

I’d share my pictures from the set, except that they need to be scanned :(

Anyhow, in trying to locate a copy of Twilight of the Dogs, I could only find the German copy.  I also understand that it was a big hit in India (go figure -- probably has something to do with the cow).

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself

Edited by G-man, 22 September 2020 - 08:50 AM.

Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#7 RJDiogenes

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 05:47 PM

That's fantastic. It's too bad the DVD isn't available. There's not even anything used coming up on Amazon.  You should scan those pictures!
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#8 G-man

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 08:02 AM

Alas, both pictures and scanner are back at the office which I am prohibited from visiting, thanks to COVID-19.

However, the German Edition (the same as I own) of the film is available on DVD at amazon.ca:

https://www.amazon.c...00865846&sr=8-1

And a copy of the German Edition is available at amazon.co.uk:

https://www.amazon.c...00866017&sr=8-9

I’ve found that at times it is necessary to look outside the US, to find rare items.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#9 RJDiogenes

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 05:32 PM

Pretty sweet. The Canadian option is pretty expensive, but the UK version is cheap-- less than twenty bucks even with shipping.  And my US Amazon login works.
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#10 RJDiogenes

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 07:01 PM

My next recommendation is a very interesting producer by the name of Joshua Kennedy.  What's interesting about him is that he is a very young man who has been producing B-Movie homages literally since he was a teenager. He continued as part of his coursework at film school, and now he is funding his endeavors through Indiegogo. Most of his movies, even his teenybopper efforts, are on DVD-- and the ones that aren't are on YouTube.  I've got them all and not only are they great fun, but it's amazing to watch how his films progress from amateurish-but-inspired to wholly professional.

His most recent completed film is House of the Gorgon, a Hammer Films homage with some big-name guest stars like Caroline Munro. Josh is a big fan of Hammer Films.

His most recent Indiegogo project was Cowgirls vs. Pterodactyls. Unfortunately there hasn't been an update in a while for some reason.
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#11 G-man

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 12:30 PM

Oh, we shouldn't forget Iron Sky and Iron Sky 2 - The Coming Race.

These were a pair of fun, well executed crowd-funded films.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#12 RJDiogenes

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 04:50 PM

Indeed, the first one was great. I also contributed to the second one but never got my copy (lots of problems behind the scenes, from what I gather), so I'll have to break down and buy it eventually.
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#13 RJDiogenes

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 05:11 PM

I don't think I have any more specific producers to share, but I've got a bunch more movies.  The next one is a good choice for Halloween, and it's called House of the Wolf Man.  Not only is it a B-Movie homage, but it's an unofficial entry in the classic Universal Monsters series.  The creators felt (as I do) that it's a shame that the poor Wolf Man, who is my favorite of the Universal Monsters, never got his House movie, so they decided to go ahead and do it.  It's not exactly the same characters, of course, because of intellectual property considerations, but it's a loving homage that I enjoyed quite a bit.



Also of note is that it co-stars Ron Chaney, grandson of Lon Chaney, Jr.

Unfortunately, the DVD seems to be out of print (though still available from third-party sellers on Amazon), but the entire movie is available on YouTube.
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#14 G-man

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 05:44 PM

I'd also recommend Robot Jox which did have some big names behind it, but never got the broad release I felt it deserved.

Then, of course, there is Don Coscarelli's ouvre, which includes such gems as Phantasm, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-Tep.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#15 G-man

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 02:43 PM

Oh, back in the 1950s Sam Katzmen was known for his low budget features, among which were The Giant Claw (a personal favorite of mine), The Zombies of Mora Tora, Creature with the Atom Brain, and a science fictional take on The Werewolf.

In all of these, the script and story were actually not that bad, and they did what they could with the budget they had.  However, it should be noted that the lead actor, when he was at a screening of The Giant Claw, confessed to almost dying of embarrassment when the monster was revealed.  I rather liked the monster, it had character, but the special effects do leave something to be desired.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#16 RJDiogenes

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 06:14 PM

View PostG-man, on 27 September 2020 - 05:44 PM, said:

I'd also recommend Robot Jox which did have some big names behind it, but never got the broad release I felt it deserved.

Then, of course, there is Don Coscarelli's ouvre, which includes such gems as Phantasm, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-Tep.
I haven't seen most of those, except for Bubba Ho-Tep, which is an all-time classic.

View PostG-man, on 28 September 2020 - 02:43 PM, said:

Oh, back in the 1950s Sam Katzmen was known for his low budget features, among which were The Giant Claw (a personal favorite of mine), The Zombies of Mora Tora, Creature with the Atom Brain, and a science fictional take on The Werewolf.

In all of these, the script and story were actually not that bad, and they did what they could with the budget they had.  However, it should be noted that the lead actor, when he was at a screening of The Giant Claw, confessed to almost dying of embarrassment when the monster was revealed.  I rather liked the monster, it had character, but the special effects do leave something to be desired.  
I've seen all of these and I absolutely love The Giant Claw.  The combination of the highly sincere acting and the Muppet-like monster is just perfection. If the actors had known what the monster would look like, they probably couldn't have maintained that level of sincerity.  I hope the actors got over their embarrassment, because it's really a wonderful movie.
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#17 G-man

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 04:43 PM

We shouldn't forget the likes of Roger Corman, who produced all kinds of film across many a genre.

Some highlights are Little Shop of Horrors, Death Race 2000, Battle Beyond the Stars, and more recently, Sharktopus.  I'm sure you can think of a bunch of others, and given how prolific he was, he did turn out more than a few gems (albeit, YMMV) ;)

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#18 RJDiogenes

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 05:34 PM

I love Roger Corman movies. There must be hundreds of them.  :laughtears:  He is the master of low-budget entertainment, but he has also worked with some big stars-- like those Edgar Allen Poe movies with Vincent Price and Peter Lorre.  You really can't go wrong with Roger Corman. And I think he's still working, too.
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#19 Virgil Vox

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 03:07 PM

Quote

I'd also recommend Robot Jox which did have some big names behind it, but never got the broad release I felt it deserved.

I stumbled across the movie (in a not exactly legal type of way) and really enjoyed it. The stop motion work was superb.

To add to the Halloween films I'll recommend Dance of the Dead. This was an indie movie that came out during the zombie craze. It is available on Amazon Prime. It is a fun, tongue in cheek movie about a group of high school students who don't go to the prom and get caught in a zombie apocalypse. It is up to them to stop the zombies and save the prom.

There is also The Green Slime, a 60s era monster movie about slime monsters that get loose on a space station. It is available on YouTube for free. It was much better than I expected and has a really catchy theme song.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#20 RJDiogenes

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 05:44 PM

In the same vein as House of the Wolf Man, we have another movie that is an homage to the Universal Monsters, although this one is a bit different. The movie is Frankenstein Versus The Creature From Blood Cove, and the DVD is still in print-- if a bit steep.  It's filmed in glorious black-and-white, like any Universal homage should be, but the thing that makes it different is that it takes place in the modern era of the Universalverse (if 2005 is still considered the modern era).  Just like the Wolf Man in the other movie was a different Wolf Man, this Creature is a different Creature for copyright reasons, but don't let that stop you from enjoying a cool pastiche and rocking monster bash.

View PostVirgil Vox, on 04 October 2020 - 03:07 PM, said:

I stumbled across the movie (in a not exactly legal type of way) and really enjoyed it. The stop motion work was superb.  
Ah, I love stop motion. It's becoming a lost art.  It's too easy to let software do the tweening.

Quote

To add to the Halloween films I'll recommend Dance of the Dead. This was an indie movie that came out during the zombie craze. It is available on Amazon Prime. It is a fun, tongue in cheek movie about a group of high school students who don't go to the prom and get caught in a zombie apocalypse. It is up to them to stop the zombies and save the prom.
Thank you.  I may add that to my Halloween Marathon list.

Quote

There is also The Green Slime, a 60s era monster movie about slime monsters that get loose on a space station. It is available on YouTube for free. It was much better than I expected and has a really catchy theme song.  
I remember The Green Slime well. It's a fun Sci-Fi B-Movie.

G-Man, my copy of Twilight of the Dogs has arrived.  Where do I find you?
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