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Beyond Oz

USA 2012
produced by
Gerrit Nieuwenhuis for Funuda Films
directed by Gerrit Nieuwenhuis
starring Jannalee Nieuwenhuis, Tom Harney, Jacob Thomas Lloyd, Eddie DeVries, Kate Howerton, Sarah Elsheikhi, Diana Howerton, Nina Howerton, Kaleith DeYoung, Gerrit Nieuwenhuis, Marcel Gossett, Liam Battjes, Kristin E.Graef
written by Gerrit Nieuwenhuis, based on the books by L.Frank Baum, music by Isaias Garcia

Wizard of Oz

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Dorothy (Jannalee Nieuwenhuis), a slightly clumsy but good-natured waitress, is caught by a tornado one day on her way home from work, knocked out, and ... suddenly she wakes up in a completely different world, a sort of wonderland. She is promptly accused of having killed a witch - but that's a good thing, it was an evil witch, and thus she inherits the witch's magic shoes. Of course, Dorothy wants to return to her home in Kansas, and she's told to go to the Wizard of Oz (Gerrit Nieuwenhuis), the only one who can help her - and to do so she has to follow the yellow brick road, a road that curiously enough only she can see. Soon, she is joined in her quest by a brainless scarecrow (Tom Harney), a heartless tin man (Jacob Thomas Lloyd) and a cowardly lion (Eddie DeVries), all of whom need to address the wizard for their shortcomings.

However, having killed the witch infuriates the Wicked Witch of the West (Sarah Elsheikhi) - who then though is herself killed by one of her two daughters, who's even more wicked than she. So Dorothy and company must fetch a magic sword from an eccentric professor - which they then lose to the Wicked Witch's other daughter. This is bad news and not so bad news, because this daughter of the Witch knows compassion ...

However, when Dorothy and company finally make it to the wizard's home, they have to face the Witch's two daughters and their associates in one final battle. Will our heroes be able to defeat them and all their trickery?


Now ok, this film doesn't exactly break new ground, storywise (it's probably safe to say almost anybody has seen one or the other adaptation of Wizard of Oz), and it was obviously made on a very tight budget, thus don't expect much on the special effects front here, or lavish sets or somesuch. Also, the film's approach to its story isn't exactly wholly original or postmodernist or anything like that, it's pretty much the story you know, told in a rather traditional way.

And all of this is a good thing, actually, the old-fashioned storytelling is charming and shows honest desire to actually tell the story, the lack of mind-blowing effects and breath-taking sets makes sure the film concentrates on not only the story but also its eccentric characters for their own quirks rather than some superficual visual trickery attached to them, and the lack of postmodernist reinterpretation shows the strengths of the story to tell rather than its weaknesses. Add to this actors who seem to have put their heart into the project, and a solid directorial effort that gets the most out of the movie's budgetary limitations, and you have nice family entertainment.


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




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD