Hello all you Space Jockey star seekers out there! It's Chris Rennirt here with the latest news, hotter than a rocket booster off the launch pad! What's it all about? The Black Dahlia Haunting--the latest bloody-good movie from director Brandon Slagle, that's what! The film is featured in the current issue of Fangoria magazine--issue #319, with an article by Baker Appleton! With the way this is all going, issue #319 is sure to be a collector's item soon enough.
The Black Dahlia Haunting stars, among many, Devanny Pinn, Alexis Iacono, Jessica Cameron, Sarah Nicklin, Brit Griffith, Noah Dahl, Cleve Hall, Daniel Murawka, and director Brandon Slagle himself. The launch pad at Space Jockey Reviews is already waiting for this one!
What's double special about it is that Alexis Iacono (soon to be interviewed at Space Jockey Reviews) is herself photo-featured in the article. Yes, the photo in the right corner above, in my very hands, is Alexis looking nowhere near her normal beautiful self. Only makeup here does the trick for the movie...and what a wonderful trick it does, indeed!
I already have my copy of issue #319, as you can well see above! (The photo proof is there!) So, fire up those rockets and get yours too,
before they're all gone. If you wait, you might have to pay extra for
one on ebay...and who wants to pay extra for anything! While you're at it, go ahead and take a photo of yourself with it like me, and post it somewhere--like Facebook! Also, be sure to look for The Black Dahlia Haunting, and see it light-speed fast...or, since that's impossible, as soon as you can will do! From the looks of everything--including all the great reviews--it's sure to be more than worth your time, your money, and whatever else! As you can see on the poster below, Chris Alexander, of Fangoria magazine is already calling The Black Dahlia Haunting "Amazing."
The Black Dahlia Haunting movie poster (featuring Alexis Iacono)
While you're waiting to see the movie, check out the first official full trailer for The Black Dahlia Haunting! No! We're not talking teasers here--just that little frustrating bit to get your mouth wet. This is the full meal deal! Enjoy!
Finally, here's a screenshot with Alexis Iacono (left) and Devanny Pinn (right)! This is the kind of treat thrown in like an extra after the credits in the theater! You know what I'm talking about; the kind of stuff you always sit and wait for, just in case. Would I disappoint you? Never!
Space Jockey Reviews has just launched its ten-rocket limit in honor
of the latest superstellar interview with actor, dancer, singer, and
choreographer Jessica Fowler!
Jessica is a truly awesome actor (and overall talent) of the highest
altitude at Space Jockey Reviews--and surely anywhere else in the
universe! She's inspired, ambitious, capable, and as down-to-earth
honest and real as anyone I've met. All of this translates to one
seriously gifted and natural actor. Yes, I'll stake my entire Space
Jockey reputation on Jessica! She's an actor who becomes the part, as if
it's really her, with all the passion and enthusiasm that anyone could
have! The word "superstellar" (often used at Space Jockey Reviews),
isn't nearly enough to describe Jessica!
Yes, anywhere there's a
movie that needs making, Jessica is the one for the job! Looking for
what she's never done before, hoping to outdo even herself, is always
her mission. "No acting or movie-making challenge is too great, so bring
it on," she'd surely say. Yes, from what I know about Jessica, I feel
confident to add that as a quote she'd say herself. To see her at work
doing her magic, don't miss Past Due! As Jennifer--the sassy,
rebellious, but oh-so-loveable girlfriend from next door--Jessica shows
her power of performance, on screen, boldly, for all too see! Trust me!
Jessica rocks as an actor...with aftershocks!
Jessica Fowler herself added this to show how much she truly appreciates the special people in her life:
just wanted to mention my wonderful boyfriend, Joe Helm, who has
supported me through everything that I have ever wanted to do; he has
truly believed in me, has encouraged me to follow my dreams, and I love
him so much for that. I am so blessed to have someone that believes in
me as much as he does! And thanks to my family for all of their support
and faith in me as well--Jaime Westcott, sister, Dad, Bruce Fowler, and
mom--Karen Scharre-Peterson!" ~ Jessica Fowler
now, without further fanfare or well-deserved applause, I present to
you the Space Jockey Reviews exclusive interview with Jessica Fowler! I
had a fantastic time doing the interview, and I'm sure you'll have as
much fun listening to it. Enjoy!
And now for more awesome photos of Jessica Fowler!
Jessica, the day of the interview, at Mimi’s Cafe in Louisville, Kentucky
The most frightening monsters are those that are real and among us,
every day, haunting us, stalking us (although we don’t know it), in the
most common of places we do know—the parks we visit, the roads we
travel, our own neighborhood, and the like. We’ve all seen those types
before, too numerous to count, in too many movies, long ago clichéd.
But, for all the times we’ve seen them, they are rarely less effective.
Most overdone killers from even the best horror films do their evil
deeds in the dark, or at least in the shadows, well hidden from everyone
but the victims. Maybe they’re in darkness to heighten the
mood…again…or maybe what we really see is their own vulnerability in the
darkness, needing protection. Yes, maybe it’s something more complex
and unique…but usually not. It’s mostly the same familiar but effective
killers in the same familiar but effective places. Why not? Mediocrity
is sometimes clichéd, only because it works!
Past Due, the new horror film written, produced, and directed by Chase Dudley
works like a freshly sharpened knife, cutting a new niche in horror
cinema far deeper than your common flesh wound; and, it’s anything but mediocre and clichéd, no matter how you slice, dice, slash, or cut it up! Past Due
hits like daylight, rather than darkness, revealing some unique
elements of cinema suspense I haven’t seen in a long time! In the vein
of retro-style horror, it’s a welcome new throwback to the movies I
love. “How does it do all that?” you ask. “Many ways,” is the answer!
I’ll start with the unusual uniqueness about our serial-killer main
character, Kenneth. He is, of all benign stereotypes, a librarian. He
is the unkempt, ungraceful, socially-inept embodiment of a bookworm in
the occupation of his dreams. Loving books, lending books, and even
protecting books in the most psychopathic, obsessive ways makes Kenneth
even more unique, menacing, and yes…dangerous. If that’s where
Kenneth’s psycho persona ended, we could have the plot for a good horror
film already. However, in Past Due, that’s just the beginning. The rest involves the worst fine for overdue books that even the best horror films could deliver.
Our librarian in need of a lobotomy loves much more than literature
of the written form. Kenneth is also a lover of women in the physical
form—women as stone cold and lifeless as the books he reads; he not only
loves them that way, he goes out his way to realize the metaphor; to
Is that where the insanity ends? No! If all this isn’t enough, Past Due goes several steps further, pushing things well over the edge; and in a movie like Past Due,
“over the edge” is indeed a very good thing. While I won’t mention
everything, there’s one thing I will. Feet! Yes, Kenneth is not only a
lover of women, he is also (and maybe even more so) a lover of their
feet. Is this the result of anything we know about Kenneth—his past,
etc? I’m not telling. Would it really matter anyway? No, not really.
There are plenty of perfectly normal men who like women’s feet, but
Kenneth is not one of them. Kenneth is one of the abnormal men of the
type–one who instead gives the fetish a bad name.
I must say that the whole foot fetish thing in Past Due was
more than an interesting curiosity. It added personality to a character
who, again, could have been a lot (or even too much) like too many
others. Kenneth always paints the toenails of his victims, postmortem,
imagining they are still alive, and even asking them the color of polish
they prefer. He imagines that his murdered victims ask him for various
foot-related things, which he is more than happy to provide, of
course. Kenneth even goes as far as asking a particular victim to
remove her shoes, before he kills her, ironically complimenting her
feet, just before the coup de grâce. Did I mention that there’s dark humor here, as well?
Forgive me for continuing to talk about feet, but it is necessary here. One of the most memorable and chilling scenes in Past Due
did in fact involves feet. After murdering a particular victim,
Kenneth imagines that the girl wants to prop her feet on the dash of his
car. He talks to her and agrees to even assist her, only after
insisting that she must first remove her shoes—of course! How slick is
that? Very, I suppose, especially for a psycho imagining a scenario of
opportunity, contrived as it may be. The soles of the girl’s feet then
disappearing into the darkness, as the car backs away, is gradual,
intentional, and deft; this creates a truly pensive moment, striking the
viewer with an unpolished realism that hits hard. Rather than a quick
cut away, lingering allows for thought about the victim (a human being
just like us) used after death for the petty fetishes of a madman.
After all, rather than for an overdue book, her feet are likely (within
his twisted mind) the only reason he killed her. Control is something
he has over women only in their death, and such violations for his
purpose makes things all the more disturbing…and yes, for a horror film,
Why does Kenneth do all of this? What is the childhood dysfunction,
trauma, or abuse that created such a monster in sheep’s (or rather
librarian’s) clothing? Well, now if I told you that, Kenneth (not I)
might just have to kill you too! No, but seriously, those are certainly
“killer” details that would kill the movie for those of you who haven’t
yet seen it. Actually, if I revealed more, you’d probably want to kill
me for spoiling such a killer film! Okay, enough forms of the word
“kill” used in a single paragraph; let’s move on to a fitting
synonym–something even more murderous about Past Due.
The “how” about Kenneth, the way in which he gains access to his
victims is a detail I will mention, only because it is, by now, so
obvious, and such a great thing to discuss. Earlier, I mentioned that
the most frightening of monsters are those real and common ones (the
humans among us) who inhabit the most common of places. Kenneth as a
serial killer working in, of all places, a library, must indeed be the
ultimate fear in places we don’t expect to find it. What’s worse is,
you guessed it…that Kenneth, as a librarian, has access to all the
personal information he needs to hunt you down—for that overdue book and
whatever else he wants! Yes! A serial killer with your name and
address is, indeed, very scary!
There is one thing about Past Due that could cause criticism
from some–that is if it is judged in too much of an objective way and
misunderstood. The bodies of the victim’s do not decay over their time
on screen, as any dead body should do. There is no rigor mortis, no
sinking, dehydrating flesh, and no other putrefying effects that
normally inflict the dead. Many people, reacting on impulse, without
stopping to consider subjective possibilities, will immediately say that
this is too obvious, a sign of cutting corners, a low SFX budget, and
surely unforgivable. However, before you think so impulsively, think
again. Kenneth is one seriously &^%$ed up,
should-be-institutionalized, dysfunctional nonmember of society. He
does not see things as you or I (that is if we are “normal”), and what
he sees is what we see. Kenneth reacts to the dead women as if they are
alive and truly as beautiful as they were in life. Yes, my
interpretation of this would-be problem is to not consider it a problem
at all. Instead, it is quite an original element that makes Past Due
a true cut above the rest! If, on the other hand, we had seen the
bodies decaying over time, changing colors, with collapsing flesh and
the rest, Past Due would have instead been another
psycho-killer flick, more superficial and physical, rather than deeper
and psychological. Yes, at first I scratched my head a couple of times,
but soon enough realized that Chase Dudley was much too smart to make
such a mistake. There is indeed a method to the madness (literally
here), and Dudley does it with skill and purpose. Kudos to Dudley for
avoiding the pitfalls and keeping Past Due fresh till the end!
“How is the acting?” you ask? Well, now that’s another most impressive feature of Past Due! In a word, the acting is excellent from all involved. Chase Dudley
himself (the writer, director, and producer) plays the part of the
sometimes-devoted, can’t-keep-his-eyes-off-other-women C.J. His
girlfriend, Jennifer (played by Jessica Fowler)
is the devoted but too-busy-all-the-time beautiful woman that men will
put up with most anything to have. The chemistry between Dudley and
Jessica is electrifying and so natural that anyone would bet their last
dollar these two were really a couple. However, whether that be true or
not, Dudley and Fowler are as essential to the movie’s success as is
the star killer himself. And I don’t just mean their characters; I mean
Dudley and Fowler specifically—they are great actors!
Why are Dudley and Fowler so perfect for Past Due? If what
I’ve already said isn’t enough, I’ll continue with the humor generated
between the two. The way Jennifer (Fowler) keeps slapping C.J. (Dudley)
in the back of the head and the way they berate one another in public
and private (like an old married couple) is spot on and (although I
don’t say this often) funny as hell. I laughed so much that I nearly
forgot I was watching a horror film at times. In one scene where
Jennifer is faced with the possibility (or should I say need)
to kill C.J., the scene becomes more dark humor than reality as Jessica
says she has to do it, while C.J. replies, “No. You don’t have to do
this!” Out of context, it may not sound funny at all, but in the movie,
delivered by Dudley and Fowler, there is an effective (and what I
believe to be intended) tongue-in-cheek humor about it. See
it, and you’ll know what I’m talking about! Before you think humor
could be inappropriate here or elsewhere in Past Due, think
again. When Kenneth is alone with his dead victims, doing the deadly
serious things they often do, it’s very serious and deep indeed! Too
much of this could have made the movie overbearing in its
oppressiveness. However, the humor is just perfect to break it up and
balance it out here and there; this makes it all the more realistic…and
yes, even more disturbing in the end!
I must devote at least one good paragraph to the acting of Jessica
Fowler specifically! Along with Chase Dudley, I was literally blown
away by her performance. And that’s another thing I don’t say very
often. If I had to compare Fowler to any other known actress, just for
reference, I’d actually name Reese Witherspoon—one of my favorites!
However, in Past Due, Jessica Fowler is totally her own person,
burning up the screen in every scene she’s in. I thought of Reese
Witherspoon one time, and from then on, I thought of Jessica Fowler.
Fowler clearly has talent that can take her where she wants to go, and I
will look for more of her films in the future.
When I said I needed “at least one good
paragraph” for Jessica Fowler, I meant it—because I need another one.
“What’s so special about Jessica Fowler exactly?” She’s totally
natural, and nothing about her performance seemed to be acting. She’s
the best of the girls next door, spunky, sassy, and adorable. Even
though her character may get on our nerves from time to time, we still
like her. She’s the kind who shows her strength by making herself
adorable no matter what, even when we should probably dislike her—even
if she winds up being a killer herself. And that’s just a hypothetical,
not a spoiler!
Alicia M. Clark (as
Emily)—the quintessential but original blonde victim—is also
outstanding in her limited role. A girl who is meant to be no more than
film fodder turns out to be, through the force of her acting—another
star of the film on her own. Clark is the kind of horror chick you root
for and want to kill the killer, even if it ends the movie early. I’d
actually like to see Clark in a role as the badass heroine who kicks
killer ass in the end all on her own. I think she could also carry a
film all on her own as a type of Sigourney Weaver/Ripley or Jamie Lee
Curtis/Laurie Strode. Trying not to spoil things, I’ll only say that
Clark does one of the best jobs dying I’ve seen in a while. I actually
found myself squirming as I watched her fight for her life. It was just
that real. Done by actors with less skill, such a prolonged scene
could ruin a movie. Instead, Clark makes death a highlight!
Then there’s also Iva Perdue
(as Summer). I won’t tell you anything about what she does, as I don’t
want to give too much away. I’ll only say that Perdue does just the
job she needs to do to be a hapless girl, out to check out a book, and
instead checking out much more than she wants. (Yes, I’m really trying
hard not to spoil too much, but in Past Due there’s just too
much to talk about.) Let’s just say that you won’t be disappointed with
what Perdue does. Again, done by many others, Summer’s character could
have ruined the movie. Instead, Perdue as Summer supports the success!
Then again, there’s Dori Cagle,
again doing exactly what needs to be done to portray Kenneth’s
bedridden mother–the source of much of what has made him the screwed up
psycho killer he is. What she does, how she does it, and various other
things she contributes I’ll also leave to mystery…as again, that’s where
it’s best left anyway. Cagle could have just been a bedridden
character we forget; but instead, through the force of her acting, she’s
one we remember.
Also making an appearance is Louisville filmmaker Beau Kaelin.
He has a small part as the “Library Guy” in the credits–a customer
looking to check out a book, while Kenneth offers him book and checkout
advice. Although Kaelin’s part is brief, as a cameo, he is impressive
in making a very interesting character in short time. I can only
imagine what Kaelin might do with more screen time. His quirky
performance made me think of him as a possible story within a story, in
another movie I can imagine already. Perhaps the “Library Guy” is
another serial-killer character himself we have yet to meet. Who knows?
But, the suggestion is a nice touch!
Last, but far from least, is the actor who plays the local librarian
whose footing in the neighborhood is the stuff of fetish nightmares. Doug Sullivan is the perfect choice for the part. Although I’m sure Sullivan is nothing like Kenneth in reality, his performance in Past Due
would make one second guess the fact. Sullivan has mastered the look,
the movements, and all the nerdy, over-the-top psycho persona we expect
from such an unlikely villain. He is a misfit who fits himself in
anyway, becoming important only because he has what others need—books!
Sullivan portrays Kenneth as all of the above, exactly as he needs to
be. There was never a moment when I thought anyone else could have done
a better job. Some actors are not capable of muting or containing the
normalcy about themselves, but Sullivan certainly does, again, making me
wonder how he does it. Psychotic, sociopathic nerds are typically bad
actors even in life. Portraying them realistically requires a bit of
being a bad actor, or pretending to be so; Sullivan does it with all the
convincing skill needed to make Kenneth real, familiar, and scary as
Hell! With less talent, Past Due could have been late for its own funeral. With Sullivan, it’s alive and well!
“What about the blood and gore?” you ask. “How much is there, and how realistic is it?” Past Due
is surprisingly less bloody than it could be, but (as is usually the
case) all the more effective for being so. Yes, there is plenty of
violence, some blood and gore, but much is just as effectively copious
off screen. I’d call it another well-balanced compromise, delivering
just what’s needed to get in your head, without making you too familiar
with it. One particular killing scene is, as mentioned earlier, so
prolonged and realistic, that it made me squirm—something I don’t often
do. (Yes, I’m just too familiar with most of these movies!) The actress
made her fear, pain, and death so real that you think, “This girl is
really dying!” even as you try to remember it’s just a movie. Yes, fans
of the genre will not be disappointed with Past Due’s delivery of gore, with realistic touches of fear and death to spice it up!
Another most impressive feature that I must mention is the numerous
times that scenes are done in one continuous take, without any cuts that
are noticeable. All the necessary scenes and angles are captured,
without a hiccup; it’s a great effect that adds even more realism to the
movie, as we see exactly what’s happening without interruptions. I
find edits and hard cuts a bit distracting in general, reminding me too
much that it’s just a movie. However, in Past Due there are
countless scenes where the viewer is not allowed to resist disbelief.
The viewer is treated more as a participant, existing within the movie,
experiencing it just as the characters. Nice touch!
Past Due is a surprisingly complex movie, with depth that
makes the viewer think hard, long after the movie’ over. Rather than
telling us what to think, it gives us enough clues to make our own
conclusions; although we may not be correct, it’s all the more fun
playing psychiatrist from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. While too many
such movies give us all the answers, Past Due makes us think.
“Is there more to Past Due?” Yes! A lot more! However, telling more
would be telling too much, and I’m not about to risk spoiling such a
great movie. About the end, I’ll leave you totally in the dark–or
perhaps the daylight, as this one would do. Yes, I really liked Past Due,
as if that’s a surprise! It’s fresh, complex, but humorous, kicking
the ass of the cliché it could have been! On second thought, I actually
loved Past Due; and I don’t often say that about a movie. I
started watching it expecting something good, but instead discovered
something great! What I expected to be a review of typical length
turned out to be one of my longest—with still more I could have said. Past Due
is a movie that will not just sit on my shelf and never be watched
again; it’s not just another movie I own because I simply like (or love)
it. It’s a movie I’ll watch again, show to other people, and enjoy
just as much or more every time! Look for Past Due yourself!
Just make sure you buy your copy and own it. Borrowing it from your
local librarian could be the last thing you ever do!