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Beast: A Monster Among Men

USA 2013
produced by
Mike Lenzini, Sean Gearing, T.J. Lavin, Clay Lake (executive), Brion Norris (executive) for Blood Sweat and Fears
directed by Mike Lenzini
starring T.J. Lavin, Blake Farris, Darren Flores, Eric Waltzer, Mike Lenzini, Brandon Feranda, Christopher Styles, Tara Lynn, Ravyn Jade
written by Mike Lenzini, Darren Flores, music by Atra Aeterna, Stacey Gearing

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Bill (Mike Lenzini) thinks it's a great idea to spend a few days camping with his best buddies (T.J. Lavin, Blake Farris, Darren Flores, Eric Waltzer) ... totally forgetting that Ely (T.J. Lavin) and Mike (Blake Farris), once the best friends, can't stand each other's guts of late. And indeed, even on the way to their totally remote camping spot (nobody around for miles, no internet or cellphone connection, the whole shebang) the two are at each other's throats, and ultimately during their first dinner together, Mike, a psychological klutz for whom to be the alpha animal means everything, has upset Ely to such an extent that Ely walks off into the woods. Bill goes after him ... and is found dead a little while afterwards, murdered, while Ely seems to have vanished from the face of the earth.

Now Mike, who quickly makes himself the leader of the others, immediately blames Ely, but fails to come up with any proper solutions once they need to decide what to do ... and thus they lose their way in the woods, arrive at another campside, where Mike almost gets into a totally unprovoked and unnecessary fight with that site's campers (Brandon Feranda, Christopher Styles, Tara Lynn, Ravyn Jade), and when all decide to stick together to get throught the thick of it, it's mostly Mike who drives the group apart and have the other site's campers killed, one (Tara Lynn) pretty much directly.

Thing is, there is a reason why Mike is terribly afraid Ely might do him harm (quite apart from what has happened to Bill and the other campers), as he might be to blame for Ely's sister's suicide - and when he finally confesses, that breaks up the group, and alone in the woods is not a good thing if an insane killer's after you ... but is it really Ely who's after them?

 

What might sound like nothing but your typical slasher in writing is actually a pretty good movie: Instead of focussing on the murders (which almost all happen off-screen) and presenting us with cannonfodder characters with cookie-cutter characteristics and an easy-to-identify survivor, we are treated to a story that thrives on suspense, presents the audience with several original twists and turns (including the final scene), and with characters that are given room to develop rather than walking clichées. And add to this a very cool scenery and decidedly unexcited yet fitting camerawork, and you've got yourself a pretty good piece of genre cinema.

Recommended.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD