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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: Isolation (2005)

Genetic experimentation has been a trusty staple in the book of horror damn near since its advent.  Encompassing the fear of the unknown with the fear of science and man's ever-willingness to mess around with Mother Nature, the topic always sparks debate and controversy ripe for dramatic license.  Not to mention that it affords the opportunity to portray more strange things to go bump in the night for our enjoyment.  Isolation takes the well-worn premise to pasture and fertilizes a truly scary scenario involving bovine gene manipulation gone horribly wrong.

We are first introduced to Dan, who is a struggling rancher on an inherited bog farm.  To subsidize his dwindling profits he rents an adjacent structure to a scientist named John, who is making progress in new fertilization techniques.  Rounding out the slight cast is Dan's ex-girlfriend Orla, a veterinarian who still assists in the care of the animals; and a mysterious couple squatting illegally on the land who may be possible fugitives from the law.

During the difficult birthing of a calf, Farmer Dan is forced to kill both parent and offspring much to his shocked dismay.  An inspection of the bodies reveals anomalies present in their anatomy that presumably lent to the unfortunate incident.  This becomes the least of Dan's worries however, as both humans and cattle swiftly become victims to a monstrous mutation faster than you can say "where's the beef?".  Can this deadly abomination be contained and eradicated before it seeks hosts beyond its secluded origin?  Watch the suspenseful barnstorm that follows for the answer.

And that is the meat of Isolation in a nutshell.  It's very reminiscent of films like Alien and The Thing, yet the somewhat derivative plot is greatly enhanced by excellent atmosphere, strong performances and some real hair-raising sequences.  Those with weak stomachs will likely find all the convincing carnage hard to digest, most especially the various livestock mutilations depicted.  Director Billy O'Brien wisely refuses to reveal too much of his Bovineal (sic) beast, instead opting for slight glimpses that accumulate to disturbing effect.  The pacing is excellent and leaves little room for any interest withdrawal.  Additionally, the film's dark foreboding ambiance adds to the restrained yet jarring imagery, making for an enjoyably upsetting experience.

Isolation offers a solid script, fine acting, admirable FX, an unusual setting, and some polished photography all cloaked by a wonderful score.  I dare say we have here a nearly perfect creature feature.  It keeps you engrossed until the end, no small feat considering we've all seen these types of fanciful forays before.  Another fine example of how ol' Mama N. can be a real bitch when you step on her toes, or in this particular instance, hooves.  Recommended by yours truly and The Food and Dairy Council.

Monday, April 16, 2012

2012 Viscera Film Festival, Hollywood

click for larger image

2012 Viscera Film Festival
Red Carpet Ceremony Venue Announced

Set your calendar for the red carpet event of the year!
Viscera, an organization dedicated to female genre filmmakers,
is thrilled to announce that the 2012 Los Angeles bloody carpet ceremony
and film festival showcasing the best new horror films by women
will be held at the fabulous Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on July 7th, 2012.


Built in 1922, the glamorous and historical Egyptian screams, “Classic Hollywood!”.
The film festival co-presentation is open to the public and will feature
carpet and award ceremonies, the screening, food, open bar, and performers.

Viscera works all year around to increase opportunities for women filmmakers
by hosting events all over the world and educating the public about
creating equality in the film industry.  The organization is excited to be working with
the American Cinematheque and intends to throw a fantastic party.
The Viscera Organization is about supporting the filmmakers, creating equality,
and a night of horror films you will never forget.

So, make your travel plans to land at the Egyptian this summer
and celebrate another year of phenomenal female horror filmmaking.
It’s going to be bigger and better than ever with filmmakers, celebrity guests,
ceremonies, networking, and an after party: all the things you have come to love
and expect from Viscera; all of it will have a backdrop as monumental as
Hollywood itself in the stunning, renovated Egyptian Theatre.

  2012 Viscera Carpet Event

Where:  The Egyptian Theatre
When:  07 July 2012

Viscera Film Lineup: TBA


2012 Viscera Sponsors:
FEARnet, Curio Media, Inc., LyzArts, Bloodcurdling Baubles,
Rotten Cotton, Irene Langholm, Matt Orsman, Desert Pinups, KC SoapsNMore,
Jessica Grundy, Starfruit Productions, Laughing Vixen Lounge, Humphrey’s Handmade,
The Poisoned Apple, PlanetFury.com, PlanetEtheria.com, thechainsawmafia.com,
Fangoria, mrfrights.com, Rude and Reckless, Emerald Angels, Bob's Imagination,
The Spooky Bones Company, Crye's Creations, Cherry Lock, Hot Chick Physics,
Vena Kava, and Devour the Blog

If you would like information on how to become a Viscera Sponsor, please contact:

If you have questions or would like information about marketing, please contact:

If you have questions about Viscera the organization, please contact: 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Fox and the Mounds

British beauty Samantha Fox initially found fame in the 80s as a topless Page 3 Girl
before turning her attentions to pop music. Between her successful modeling
and music careers, she quickly became one of the leading sex symbols of the era;
not to mention a huge pubescent fascination for yours truly.
She turns 46 today.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thrill Me

Posters for the 80's cult classic Night Of The Creeps (1986)
Director Fred Dekker celebrates a birthday today.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Roger Corman

Roger Corman, between producing, writing and directing, has been associated
with nearly 400 features.  Best known for doing things on the quick and cheap,
he is most acclaimed for his cycle of Edgar Allan Poe films made for AIP.
He has also served as a mentor for countless fledgling directors and actors
throughout his most impressive and lengthy career.
The King of the B-Movies turns 86 today.
Here's a small poster gallery from a few of the films he personally directed.