The Northman (2022)

To Valhalla!

Alexander Skarsgard co-produced and stars in the talent heavy Viking epic, The Northman. The film is based upon a tale recorded in the Gesta Danorum, a 13th century record of Danish history penned by Saxo Grammaticus, a theologian and author. Specifically, the film is based upon the legend of Amleth, a Scandinavian figure who also appears in other histories of Denmark, most notably the Chronicon Lethrense (author unknown). Amleth is also considered to be the inspiration for William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, as both characters share similar stories but different fates.

The film’s director, Robert Eggers, teamed up with Sigurjon Sigurosson (Sjon) to write the film. While the tale of Amleth provided the basis for the film’s plot, Eggers and Sjon drew inspiration from a number of other sources including the Prose Edda. With Alexander Skarsgard in tow, the film’s production began meticulously creating the villages, costumes, weapons, and other things needed for the film. Historians were brought in to verify that the production was staying accurate with everything in the film, from religious practices to the look of the characters.

In the film, Amleth watches as his father, King Aurvandill, is murdered by his jealous brother, Fjolnir the Brotherless. Fjolnir then gives the order to have Amleth killed as well in order to end any potential threat to his newly acquired crown. Amleth manages to escape, swears vengeance, and ends up living amongst another group of Vikings. He grows up to become one of the group’s greatest berserkers. After an attack on another village, Amleth hears of Fjolnir’s whereabouts, encounters a seeress who reminds him of his vow of vengeance, and sneaks onboard a ship as a slave headed to Fjolnir’s home. He plans to take save his mother whom Fjolnir has taken as his own bride, murder Fjolnir, and have his revenge. He teams up with another slave headed to Fjolnir’s land, a young woman named Olga of the Birch Forest, in order to execute his plans.

In Fjolnir’s lands, Amleth encounters a he-witch that tells him the location of Draugr, a sword that can only be unsheathed at night, that will be used to end Fjolnir’s life. After finding the sword, Amleth begins murdering key members of Fjolnir’s village, creating a panic amongst the people and making Fjolnir wonder if the gods are angry with him. As Amleth continues his reign of terror, he soon discovers that some people do not wish to be saved. In fact, he learns of betrayal and begins to question whether or not he should even seek revenge. What happens next? You’ll have to watch The Northman to find out!

I really enjoyed this film. It’s fairly predictable, especially if you’re familiar with the story of Hamlet or pretty much any other vengeance story. The action is swift and brutal. The scenes involving supernatural encounters with everything from foxes to ravens could be a tad trippy at times but that was intentional. The acting was especially strong as was the cinematography. Overall, this was a really solid film that should have performed better on the big screen.

Of special note are the performances of Skarsgard (Amleth), Claes Bang (Fjolnir), and Anya Taylor-Joy (Olga). All three of these actors did amazing jobs. The rest of the cast included Ethan Hawke as King Aurvandill, Bjork as the Seeress, Willem Defoe as Heimir, Ingvar Eggert Sigurosson as He-Witch, Ralph Ineson as Captain Volodymyr, and Nicole Kidman as Queen Gudrun. Gustav Lindh portrayed Fjolnir’s oldest son, Thorir the Proud, and he did an amazing job in the role. Eldar Skar played Finnr the Nose-Stub and Elliott Rose played Gunnar, Fjolnir and Gudrun’s son and Amleth’s half brother. The entire cast did extremely well and fans of Eggers’ The Witch will recognize many familiar faces.

According to a number of sources, the film fared much better once it hit video-on-demand. That’s good news, as a quick look at a number of reviews of the film weren’t very kind. Most of the negative reviews that I read focused on the predictability of the film. It’s based upon a Viking legend and, not surprisingly, those tales (as are most historic legends) are pretty predictable. These reviewers couldn’t get beyond that and failed to see just how great the actors’ performances were and how well this film was shot and edited. This IS a good film and if you enjoy epic tales on an epic level, you can’t go wrong with The Northman.

Thanks for checking out my review. If you haven’t seen this film, I highly recommend giving it a look. I think that you’ll enjoy it.

Louisiana Comic Con and Lake Charles Film Festival

First Two Weekends In October!

I had a very busy month in October. I spent the first two weekends at two excellent events. First up was Louisiana Comic Con in Lafayette, LA. Between COVID-19 and a few hurricanes, I believe that this is the first Louisiana Comic Con since 2019. It’s been a long time for me, that’s for sure. Thankfully I was asked to present a panel and I did just that on Sunday, October 2. My panel was The First Superheroes, which focused on the first comic book superheroes to appear on the big screen in cliffhanger serials. Some of the heroes that I talked about included Captain Marvel (Fawcett/DC Comics), Spy Smasher (Fawcett/DC Comics), and Batman (DC Comics).

I also got to hang out with Orey Kimbler of Geeky Vengeance, chatted up a few friends like Patrick Bennett (POP Ninja, Filmsquatch), Jamie Ray (Fave Five From Fans), and Nick Foreman (Toad Sage Cosplay), and checked out the amazing vendor area. The layout was a little bit different than I remember from previous events and I have to say that I loved the way that the crowd flowed this time around. There were a ton of fans at the event and plenty of amazing guests as well. Highlights for me included meeting the amazing Kristy Swanson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Phantom) and Judith Hoag (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Halloween Town) and seeing the beautiful siren singer/voice actor/all around awesome lady, Bonnie Gordon (Star Trek Prodigy, Library Bards), for a second time!

Louisiana Comic Con has already announced next year’s event which will hit on March 11th and 12th. Check that date! The convention has been bumped up a bit to avoid hurricanes and (hopefully) any potential pandemics! Be sure to check their web page as they have been announcing some amazing guests already and are blowing the competition out of the water! Louisiana Comic Con is quickly becoming my favorite in-state convention. They cater to fans, give big support to their panelists (including an in-room assistant), and seem to cater to multiple fanbases from anime to horror to science fiction. I can’t wait to attend next year. I am planning on going for the full weekend.

One week later I assisted (ran the projector and whatever else was needed) Patrick with the Lake Charles Film Festival. I didn’t get many photographs because I was working, but the event was an amazing success. The special guest this year was Jean Bruce Scott of Airwolf, St. Elsewhere, Magnum PI, and tons of other shows from the 80’s. She and her amazing husband, Randy Reinholz, were at the festival all weekend. It was great to get to talk with both of them and learn about their careers. Plus, Jean is definitely one of those childhood heroes that one will not regret meeting. She was so friendly (as was Randy) and it was cool to see Caitlin O’Shanessy/Lt Cmdr Maggile Poole live and in person.

Yours truly, Ken’s Alternate Universe, was a sponsor in kind this year as was Pop Ninja and Fave Five From Fans and the awards ceremony was held at MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub (which is always amazing). We also showed 1922’s Nosferatu in celebration of its 100 year anniversary on the Friday evening of the festival. This event continues to grow each year and it was great to see a few new faces this year.

Thanks for checking out this post! I’ve got a few more things to post from last month that had to take a backseat to the Reign Of The Scream Queens, so keep an eye out for them later this month!

A Month Of Recovery

Photo by Madtown Visuals.

October was a busy month!

Between two awesome events, two The Year Of KISS posts, some excellent films (old and new), a cool new series, and a BUNCH of action figure acquisitions, a lot of things had to take a backseat to the Reign of the Scream Queens. Well, it’s November now and I’ll be going back to my regularly scheduled posts including action figure reviews, a couple of series reviews, and maybe a film review or two as well. I’m also going to make a couple of posts that will cover two amazing events that I attended in October.

The posts begin tomorrow with a look at two wonderful events that I attended in October with a few pictures thrown in for good measure. After that, I’ll go through some action figures and more. Until then, here are a few photos to tease what’s coming up in the month of November!

I hope that you’ll join me as I slow things down a bit for November. December will open with a bang as I have a special announcement coming up for a great event that I’ll be attending in that month. I’ll see you tomorrow!

Calcasieu SerialFest Chapter 8!

Welcome To The Jungle!

Calcasieu SerialFest made its triumphant return to Sulphur, LA on July 30th! After a small event in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions and no event at all last year due to the total destruction of the Brimstone Museum in Sulphur after Hurricane Laura hit southwest Louisiana, retro film fans were hungry to visit classic serial cliffhangers. The Henning House hosted SerialFest this year in place of the Brimstone. Both buildings are part of the same property, so while we definitely miss the Brimstone, the Henning House was a wonderful place to hold the event.

Deacon William Necessary was in attendance yet again and he brought along a number of his classic cosplays. Throughout the day, Deacon Necessary suited up as The Phantom, Captain Africa (below, next to a dashing jungle explorer), Captain Marvel, The Green Hornet, and the Lone Ranger. Between chapters of serials, Deacon Necessary would give the audience historical information and trivia tidbits, all while in costume. He also posed for pictures with anyone that asked and was happy to discuss how he created each costume.

This year’s event was the best attended ever if my memory serves me correctly. We had a number of visitors throughout the day who watched serials, ate popcorn, and talked about their favorite characters and serials. They also helped themselves to some wonderful freebies including stickers, 8″x10″ prints of The Phantom, Phantom rings, Green Hornet rings, and festival masks. They also got a sneak peek at a few of the items that will be on display during the Henning House’s upcoming Chaos Theory art event. I won’t post any photos of the Chaos Theory display, as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone that plans on attending the event.

This year’s lineup of chapters.

Calcasieu SerialFest continues to grow and I’m proud to say that Ken’s Alternate Universe was a sponsor in kind this year and will remain so for as long as the event takes place. If you’re in southwest Louisiana in July, be sure to swing by and check out this wonderful event!

Thanks for checking out my post. See you again real soon!

Houston Horror Film Festival 2022!

July 22-24, Houston, TX

I ventured a few hours into the Lone Star State on Saturday, July 23rd, to attend the Houston Horror Film Festival for the first time. Thankfully it took place at the Westchase Marriott, a hotel that I attended another event in a few years ago. That came in handy, as I was already familiar with the layout of the property. Once I arrived I headed to the back of a very long (but swiftly moving) line to pick up my wristband.

The event was well attended despite a number of late and popular cancellations. Rachel True (The Craft), Tiffany Shepis (Abominable), and William Forsythe (The Devil’s Rejects) were just a few of the celebrities that cancelled their appearances. Thankfully the festival managed to snag some amazing replacements including William Ragsdale (Fright Night, Herman’s Head) and Amanda Bearse (Fright Night, Married….With Children) that helped soften the blow of missing out on those that cancelled.

There were two vendor areas, both of which also included celebrity guest areas. Vendor Room One featured a number of great guests, artists, and vendors. It was also the hottest room in the building. The second vendor room was much nicer. It was larger, well cooled, more open for walking, and divided into two areas. One part of the area featured greenish lighting that gave a pretty cool effect to photos. It was in this area where I got to meet both William Ragsdale and Amanda Bearse. Both of them were amazing but Amanda Bearse went above and beyond with her kindness. “Marcy loves you, too!” was the last thing she said to me as I left her table, autograph and selfie in tow. She was so lively and fun. If you get the opportunity to meet her I highly recommend it. William Ragsdale was laid back and very nice as well. I also recommend meeting him if you have the chance.

The vendor area was loaded with items featuring all of the major properties including Friday The 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream, Halloween, and Saw. There were also quite a few vendors selling KISS related items. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a lot of Universal Monsters items with the exception of just a few vendors. One vendor in particular had a lot of Universal Monsters items and I managed to snag two beautiful ornaments that i mistook for busts. I am now the proud owner of an Invisible Man ornament and a Wolf Man ornament.

Due to the limited amount of time that I had I was unable to meet some of the other guests but I did get to enjoy Purgatory Park’s Stranger Things display and I also saw a ton of cool cosplays. The entire event was set up well and ran smoothly. I plan on attending again next year with the intention of staying at the host hotel for the entire event.

I really did have a great time at this festival. They’ve already started teasing upcoming pop up markets and next year’s event. Thanks for checking out my review. Hopefully I’ll see some of you at the Houston Horror Film Festival next year!

Upcoming Events!!!

Will I See You There?????

I have two full weekends coming up beginning on July 23rd! I’ll be attending the Houston Horror Film Fest at the Houston Marriott Westchase in Houston, TX, and will then be attending Calcasieu Serial Fest on July 30th at the Henning House (Brimstone Museum) in Sulphur, LA. The HHFF looks like it is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful guests and check out some sweet independent horror films as well. The official Facebook event for the festival can be found here. Be sure to let them know if you’re attending or are interested in going to the event. More information about the festival guests, films, panels, cancellations, and more can be found on the festival webpage.

Due to a few late cancellations, a few new guests have been added to the festival’s lineup. If you’re a fan of Fright Night, Herman’s Head, Justified, or Mannequin 2, you’re in for a surprise. William Ragsdale has been added to the lineup THIS WEEK. Another amazing guest added this week is Fright Night and Married….With Children star, Amanda Bearse! I cannot wait to meet her! She’s always been one of my favorite actresses and a great director as well.

The festival will take place July 22nd through July 24th, but I am only able to attend on Saturday, the 23rd. If you happen to be attending that day, be sure to visit the Ken’s Alternate Universe Facebook page on Friday to find out the secret word that I’ll be revealing in a special live update at 9PM that evening. Find me at the festival on Saturday and mention the secret word and I’ll give you a free KAU sticker AND an additional special horror-themed sticker. I’ll have a limited number of KAU stickers, so find me early!

I’ll have one week to rest up for a second weekend of fun. I’ll be attending Calcasieu Serial Fest on the 30th. It will take place from 10AM to 5PM. It’s a free event that will feature chapters from classic serials from the 1930’s and 40’s. Popcorn and drinks will be served as well. An official list of serial chapters to be shown has not been published yet, but expect plenty of jungle-themed adventures as this year’s event is dubbed “Welcome To The Jungle.” I’ll be assisting with the festivities but feel free to talk with me about the event or anything else that interests you. This is expected to be the festival’s biggest year yet, and hopefully it will continue to grow.

I hope to see some of you at both of these events. If you plan on attending, comment below, DM me on the KAU Facebook page, the KAU Instagram page or hit me up on Twitter. Don’t forget to check for the secret word next Friday!

As always, thanks for checking out my post. See you soon!

Upcoming Events!!!

Summer Convention Updates

I’m happy to say that I’m in full convention mode this summer! I’m attending three conventions/festivals this summer. I’ll be at two events as an attendee and one event as a guest/volunteer. I’m so happy to be attending events again and can’t wait to blog about each of them after I get home.

The first event that I’ll be attending is the Fouke Monster Festival in Fouke, Arkansas. It’s an all day event on June 18th that will feature guest speakers like Lyle Blackburn, Chester Moore, Marvin Leeper, and Ken Gerhard and a number of actors from The Legend Of Boggy Creek. There will also be a special presentation of The Legend Of Boggy Creek in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary. I’ll be checking out the speakers, looking at the goods for sale from the numerous vendors, and I’ll hopefully get one of my Ghoultown CDs autographed by Lyle! I’ll also be taking a bus tour of Fouke and numerous sites from the film. As many of my regular readers know, cryptids are one of my biggest passions and I can’t wait to attend this event!

The second event that I’ll be attending will be the Houston Horror Film Fest in Houston, Texas! I’ve been wanting to check out this festival for a couple of years now and the stars finally aligned in order for me to attend. This event is three days long but I’ll only be attending on Saturday, July 23rd. This event is loaded with great independent horror films and a ton of actors and legends from horror.

I’ll finally get to meet Felissa Rose at the festival. She has appeared in a number of horror films over the years but she is perhaps best known for her performance as Angela in the shocking Sleepaway Camp. I also hope to meet Christine Elise (Child’s Play), Rachel True (The Craft), and Tiffany Shepis (Abominable). Also in attendance will be Danielle Harris and Scout Taylor Compton of the Rob Zombie Halloween films and other horror films. Harris also appeared in the classic Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 as Laurie Strode’s daughter. The duo will also have a live airing of their popular podcast, Talk Scary To Me, at the event.

The final event that I’ll be attending this summer is very near and dear to my heart. Calcasieu SerialFest makes its triumphant return to the Brimstone Museum Annex! A worldwide pandemic limited Chapter 7 to a small event and just a few weeks later the Brimstone Museum was destroyed by Hurricane Laura, forcing Chapter 8 to be postponed last year due to repairs still underway. Thankfully the Brimstone Annex has been fully repaired but the museum itself is still being rebuilt. I’ll be volunteering at the event this year and watching chapters from tons of classic serials.

This year’s theme is “Welcome To The Jungle” and will focus on serials that take place in the deepest, darkest corners of the world full of wild animals, ancient curses, and bloodthirsty villains! Some of the serials that we’ll get to check out include The Perils Of Nyoka and The Phantom! This has become one of my favorite events over the years and I am glad to see it return!

Let me know if you’ll be attending any of these events. It would be great to meet up with you and you’d also get the chance to nab one of my stickers! I’ll have a limited amount of stickers with me at each event to hand out in order to spread the word about Ken’s Alternate Universe! Find me at the events and let me know that you want a sticker!

Thanks for checking out my post. See you again real soon!

Throwback Thursday: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

“People are scared of things that are different.”

Tim Burton is one of my favorite creators. He’s an amazing director, writer, animator, and artist and I love his unique style. He has had a hand in many of my favorite films including Batman (1989), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Big Fish (2003), and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). While I was growing up, his work inspired me. I saw a lot of myself in him. He was the outsider with a wild imagination. He was the weird guy that made cool things. The only difference between him and myself, at least in my mind, was that he made being weird cool and people wanted to hang out with him. Little did I know that he also struggled with being wanted or included much like I did growing up and still do to this day. His 1990 film, Edward Scissorhands, was a therapeutic retelling of his youth and how he desired to belong in the “normal” world.

The film stars Johnny Depp in the titular role. Edward is a young man that is created by a loving inventor (Vincent Price) who gives him everything for a human body except for hands. Instead, Edward is fitted with scissor-like appendages until the inventor can create a pair of hands for him. Sadly his creator passes away before attaching Edwards hands and Edward is eventually discovered living alone by the neighborhood Avon saleswoman, Peg (Dianne Wiest). Realizing that he is all alone and wanting to help him, Peg brings Edward to live with her and her family in a suburban neighborhood.

As Peg attempts to blend Edward into his new surroundings, they become the talk of the neighborhood. In an attempt to stop the rumors and to properly introduce Edward to the community, Peg and her husband, Bill (Alan Arkin), have a barbecue for the neighbors. Edward befriends most of the neighbors. One neighbor in particular, Joyce (Kathy Baker), becomes infatuated with him. As he continues to get to know the neighborhood and its residents, Edward develops relationships with many of them and he falls in love with Kim (Winona Ryder), Bill and Peg’s daughter.

Edward becomes popular for his sheering skills as he trims hedges into different designs for the neighborhood. He also does ice sculptures, grooms pets, and eventually begins cutting and styling the hair of the neighborhood’s women. His entry into their bland, cookie-cutter world breathes new life into the neighborhood’s residents. He’s something strange and different that most of them come to love and accept.

As the story continues, Edward acquires a few enemies. Kim’s boyfriend, Jim (Anthony Michael Hall), a jock with a huge ego, becomes jealous of Edward’s budding relationship with Kim. He gets Edward in trouble with the law. The town’s religious nut, Esmerelda (O-Lan Jones), fears Edward, believing that he is demonic. Joyce, after failing to seduce Edward, spreads a rumor that he tried to sexually assault her and is believed despite the fact that everyone in town knows that she’s the local “desperate housewife” who chases men. Eventually things come to a head and the neighborhood, save for a few people, turn on Edward and chase him back to the lonely castle where Peg found him. He remains there in hiding after Kim lies and tells everyone that Edward died in an altercation with Jim. I won’t spoil what really happened in case you haven’t seen the film.

This film is simply amazing. It features a ton of stereotypical characters and in a brilliant move, in my opinion, Burton cast actors against type. For example, Anthony Michael Hall was primarily known for playing high school nerds. In Edward Scissorhands, he plays the jock. Kathy Baker was known for her dramatic roles and for portraying strong women or the backbone of a family. She’s a seductress in this film and, might I say, very convincing in the role. Depp was best known for playing heartbreakers and love interests at the time and he completely embraced his role as the outsider. Even Winona Ryder, known for her “weird” roles, was cast against type as the generic popular girl. To see these actors work against type was wonderful.

This film marked the first time that Burton would work with Depp. The duo would go on to work on tons of films with one another (usually with Helena Bonham Carter in tow). Production Designer Bo Welch took a neighborhood in Tampa, FL and coated it in pastels. It was the perfect generic world for Edward to play in and disrupt. The cinematography was excellent. The music by Danny Elfman was amazing. Nothing at all was bad about this film. It’s simply a masterpiece and I love it.

Aside from the attempted sexual assault of Edward by Joyce, a murder done in self defense, a little bit of strong language, and the tragic death of a key character at the beginning of the film, Edward Scissorhands is pretty safe for the entire family. It’s a movie about an outsider who wins over new friends but is ultimately driven away from them just for being different. It doesn’t have the happiest of endings, but I believe that many people will be able to identify with Edward, Kim, Peg, or some of the other characters. If you identify with Joyce, well, I fear for your neighborhood’s repairmen!

This film has a special place in my heart. It’s an outsider’s film that outsiders will completely understand. It has references and callbacks to tons of classic films, the most obvious of which is Frankenstein (1931). It’s also the final major film role for Vincent Price, whose career spanned seven decades.

Thank you for reading this post and thanks to Tim Burton for making a film for freaks like us. See you again real soon.

L to R: Tim Burton, Vincent Price, and Johnny Depp.

Metal Lords (2022)

“Why can’t we all not fit in together?”

I like Metal Lords. The 2022 Netflix tale drops us into the lives of three teens, Hunter, Kevin, and Emily, who don’t fit at their school. Hunter dreams of being in a metal band that takes over the world. Kevin is torn between helping his best friend form a metal band and trying to be a normal high school kid. Cello player Emily has to take medication for her rage issues and feels like a misfit because of it. The three of them ultimately come together and plan to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands.

There is absolutely nothing new about this coming-of-age film. We’ve all seen films where misfits try their darnedest to fit in and eventually except who they really are and succeed at being themselves. This film is exactly like all of those other films but with metal as the “misfit” modus operandi. Hunter is a somewhat unlikable kid who pushes away his best friend and refuses (at first) to allow another outsider (Emily) join his group until he realizes that he’s been wrong about both of them. Kevin is a good guy who is average at just about everything, awkward, and loyal to a fault but finally manages to unite his friends to achieve success. Emily is the ultimate outsider. She doesn’t fit in and believes that she doesn’t deserve to fit in because of her mental health issues. She sees herself as a freak and it is up to Kevin to bring her out of her shell.

The film has other standard tropes you’d find in teen comedies. There’s Clay, the good-hearted popular guy who befriends Kevin and “steals” him from Hunter’s band. Then we have Kendall, who is a character on the periphery of popularity. She’s liked by many of the popular kids at her school but still finds herself a little on the outside of everything. There’s also a former standout at the school who pops up late in the film with an inspirational message for one of the teens. Throw in a couple of parties, a little too much drinking, bullies, and a dream sequence featuring guys that metalheads will definitely recognize and you’ve got a standard teen flick.

The film has nothing new in it, but still managed to hold my attention. There are a few genuine laugh-out-loud moments, a couple of sugary sweet interactions between Kevin and Emily, and the aforementioned dream sequence where Rob Halford (Judas Priest, Fight), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), and Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave) give Kevin some sound relationship advice. It all adds up to a decent movie with heart, tons of great metal music, and some nice laughs.

I got a real Wayne and Garth vibe from Hunter and Kevin. Although they aren’t as dumb as Wayne and Garth, the duo interact and feed off of one another much like that duo. It also helps that Kevin wears glasses and plays the drums and Hunter plays guitar and goes off on rants at moments. Hunter is played by newcomer Adrian Greensmith. He shows a lot of heart and anger as the character. I really wish that his character’s friendship with Robbie (Christopher M. Lopes), a character with his own issues that he has no control over, would have been expanded a bit. Jaeden Martell portrays Kevin. Martell has awkward down pat. He’s an excellent character and the one that I identified with the most in the film. Isis Hainsworth plays Emily. Her character is broken emotionally and Hainsworth does a great job of revealing that in the film. Her awkward moments with Kevin were some of the best moments in the film. The cast is rounded out by Brett Gelman (Stranger Things, Fleabag), Sufe Bradshaw (Veep), Noah Urrea (Now United), Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike), and Analesa Fisher (Pretty Little Liars, Chad).

The film is rated “R” for language, sexual references, nudity, and drug/alcohol use. The language is pretty strong in the film. The name of Hunter and Kevin’s band is Skullfucker (which Emily changes with a few supplies from the art department so that they can enter the Battle of the Bands). There are a ton of images on the walls of the teens’ rooms that some might deem inappropriate for younger viewers. A couple of the teens have sex but nothing is shown and there’s a brief bit of nudity during a skinny dipping scene where we see both male and female bottoms. The drug and alcohol use is limited to brief moments at the parties including Kevin puking after drinking too much.

The film isn’t amazing or cutting edge but it is a nice diversion for an afternoon. If you’re a fan of different types of metal as I am, you’ll definitely want to check this movie out for its soundtrack. Tom Morello was the film’s executive music producer and he definitely made sure to throw in metal from different ages and styles. He also wrote the film’s big track, Machinery Of Torment, which I highly recommend. Be on the lookout for a ton of metal references everywhere in the film as well.

I do recommend this film but I don’t expect you to be blown away by it. It’s a fun film with great music, comedic teen awkwardness, and characters that we can all identify with from different points in our lives. I hope that you watch it and I hope that you like it.

Thanks for checking out my review.

Calcasieu Parish Short Film Festival!

If you happen to be in the Lake Charles area this weekend, be sure to drop by the Calcasieu Parish Short Film Festival! This year the festival will take place at the Cinemark Theater located at the Prien Lake Mall. The festivities begin at 11AM and will feature three blocks of short films from local, state, national, and international filmmakers.

At 1PM in the afternoon the festival will celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s Pay Day. If you get your tickets early they are only five bucks! The price goes up to ten dollars at the door and only cash will be accepted. While you’re at the theater you might as well check out one of the films that Cinemark will be showing this weekend.

Yours truly will be on hand assisting with the event this year once again and I’m also an in kind sponsor this year. Check out www.calcashorts.com for more information and support independent filmmakers!

I hope to see you at the show!!!!