“Halloweed”: comedy horror about the pothead kids of a serial killer still follows an old formula

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Name: Halloweed
Director, writer:  LizReal Leason, Michael Bussan
Released:  2016
Format:  2.35:1
When and how viewed: private Screener Vimeo free from distributor; available Nov. 8
Length 101
Rating R
Companies: Screen Media
Link: official


Halloweed” (directed by LizReal Leason, based on a story by Michael Bussan)  is a comedy horror film, taking off on a legacy of many others (ranging from the “Halloween” franchises, to “Pieces” (1981), which means exactly what you think it does).

The film has an extended and handsomely drawn animated prologue with the credits, before it switches to an electric chair execution scene, where the victims have shown up in costumes for a Halloween party. The chair is no longer used in California, but dear old Dad (Tim Sizemore), a serial killer, fries on camera as the audience cheers.

His son Trent (Shannon Brown) and mildly charismatic gay stepbrother Joey (Simon Rex) decide to move to a small town, Moosehead, in the California valley to disappear and start over.  Cell phones abound in the film, so it’s not so clear how they escape the Internet.  They have plenty of street smarts, hitchhiking on a rig (I never pick them up), and hooking up with an elderly man eager to take in roommates sight unseen. Did he use Craigslist (and could he use Airbnb?) Is that how asylum seekers are to be housed?

Enter a judge running for mayor, with an agenda, while Joey makes a living hocking semi-legal pot.  Pretty soon bodies start piling up, brutally stabbed and sliced to death by a “mutant” – so his costume makes him look like a star child.  The two bro’s have to clear their reputation again, but it isn’t hard to guess the perp (as in “Pieces”).

The script and photography has some minor references to physical shame; there’s one reference to what my Army buddies used to call “thmooth”, and the old landlord guy isn’t afraid to run around in skivvies showing his balding legs. Holden Caulfield (“The Catcher in the Rye”) would not be impressed.

Picture: from The Lodge, Halloween party, near Hagerstown MD

(Posted: Monday, Oct. 31, 2016 at 6 PM EDT)

See also “Augustine: Killer Toy Robots” (index).

“Marathon: The Patriot’s Day Bombing” from HBO does a sneak preview tonight in DC

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Name: Marathon: The Patriot’s Day Bombing
Director, writer:  Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg
Released:  2016
Format:  1.85:1
When and how viewed:  Sneak, AFI-Docs, free, Landmarl E St. 2016/10/18
Length :About 100
Rating PG-13?
Companies: HBO
Link: TBD

Tonight, AFI Docs held a special free sneak preview of the HBO documentary “Marathon: The Patriot’s Day Bombing”, directed by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg.  It will air on HBO in mid November and show in New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

The documentary recreates most of the events of that week in April 2013 as they happened, with high quality video.  This includes the two bombings twelve seconds apart, with explicit scenes of the carnage;  then video of the shooting at MIT Thursday night, of the call from a convenience store after the carjacking, the shootout in Watertown, and the capture of Jahar.  Video shows the Tsarnaev brothers just before the bombing. Jahar is shown in his jail cell later.

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But, unlike “The Thread” (see Index), which focuses on how technology helped find the bombers, this film focuses on the hundreds injured, and the seventeen who lost limbs.

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Several of these men and women were in the audience, with prosthetic limbs,two with service dogs, one of which sat very near me.

There is a scene where the police ask a novice cameraperson to respect the victims and not photograph them on the street.

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The film focuses on the care these civilians get at Walter Reed (formerly Bethesda Naval Medical Center, across Wisconsin Ave. from NIH), from military surgeons.  It is normally very difficult for civilians injured by war-like injuries in terror attacks to get military care.  This observation would apply to the Pulse attacks.  The civilian patients bond with the military casualties, mostly from Iraq and Afghanistan, who have multiple amputations and incredible disfigurement.

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The love story of one couple, both who lost limbs, was difficult to watch.  I don’t like to use the word “victims” when others influenced by foreign ideology go to war with us as if we were personal enemies.  I personally process this as “casualty”, but I did go through the Vietnam era draft, although I didn’t go into combat.    But the willingness of people to form and keep intimate and marital relationships when challenged by unforeseeable adversities is important to resilience against potential enemies.  This is a personal issue for me, but I’ll take that up soon elsewhere.

At the end, the film covers the death penalty deliberations and sentence handed to Dzhokkar Tsarnaev under federal law (in a state that does not have the death penalty).

The QA was followed by a 7-minute short film “Wicked Strong: A Walter Reed Story

QA 1:

QA 2: In response to my question about availability of military medicine to civilians after terror attack (I also mentioned Pulse); and on the importance that healthy young adults have health insurance because it can happen to anyone (the young man in Central Park July 3). Health insurance often covers basic prosthetics but not specialized limbs for running or water use (as in a scene in Florida).  Prosthetics last about eight years before needing replacement.

Wikipedia attribution link;  by Anna frodesiak CCSA 2.0

Wikipedia attribution link second map  CCSA 3.0?

(Posted: Tuesday: October 18, 2016 at   11:45 PM EDT)