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Blood Pageant

USA 2021
produced by
Robert Burton, Harvey Lowry, Mark Askey, Rachel Meyer (= Rachel Morgan), Anthony J. Sands, Todd Lundbohm (executive), Felipe de Castro (executive), Miranda Chen (executive), Martin Forte (executive), Carolyn Forte (executive), Stacy Fouche (executive), Gayle Gaston (executive), Chris Gilmore (executive), Pamela Higgs (executive), Mari Muscio (executive), Richard Muscio (executive), Greg S. Reid (executive), Gerald Wright (executive), Ruth Wright (executive) for Red Velvet Entertainment, Snakebyte Productions
directed by Harvey Lowry, additional scenes by Gene Gilmore, Leo A. Gilmore, David Gutel
starring Stephen Baldwin, David Chokachi, Ellia English, Ted Lange, Danielle C. Ryan, Matthew Marsden, Beverley Mitchell, Vanessa Vander Pluym, JoAnna de Castro, Juliana Destefano, Steve Spiro, Michael Collins, Brent Witt, Gayle Gaston, Snoop Dogg, Emelina Adams, India Ames, Kristen Bailey, Martin Blasick, Natasha Blasick, Tony Boldi, Robert Burton, Ethan Camarena, Miranda Chen, Devin Chite, Travis Samuel Clark, Mark Anthony Collins jr, Otis L. Cooper, Eliza Cortez, Jennifer Day, Jacky Deng, Christina DeRosa, John J. Ernst, Charles C. Feng, Holly Fouche, David 'Shark' Fralick, Gene Gilmore, Grant L. Gilmore, Leo A. Gilmore, Morlon Greenwood, Zachary A. Grossman, Pamela Higgs, Neil Hoover, Diana Jordan, Dianna Renée, Harvey Lowry, Antonio Mace, Brooke Taylor Maimin, Jaleel C. McCoy, Myke Michaels, Daisy Moreno, Evette Murphy, Demi Muscio, Mari Muscio, Richard Muscio, Lesley Pearce, Santiago Postigo, Malea Rose, Edgar Salas, Alena Savostikova, Dominic Tedesco
written by Chris Gilmore, Anthony J. Sands, music by Martin Blasick, visual effects by Eric Del Aguila

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Next American Dream Star is a reality show where the contestants ... well, who cares what the contestants actually competing for as long as the show has pretty women bitching about one another, and the only thing that makes this one distinguishable from the myriad of similar shows is that Snoop Dogg is one of the judges. Amy (Juliana Destefano) is set on winning this and become a superstar in the process, and to that end she has even hired her own lifecoach, Liz (Natasha Blasick), to get her into the right mindset - even if her methods are somewhat unorthodox. Crystal (JoAnna de Castro) on the other hand seems a little out of place in the show as she is a devout Christian and can't lie. And when the sleazy producer of the show, Barry (David Chokachi), hires a medium (Ellia English) for a seance she even wants to quit, but is told by a mysterious priest (Stephen Baldwin) to stay on. However, there are some serious problems on the set of the show, and the medium sure senses as much when she pretty much takes a powder after the séance. What's worse, there seems to be a killer on set, as eventually contestants show up dead, worst of all, two in bed with Barry, who loses his mind over it. And eventually, the police evacuates the set, all but Crystal and Amy - and this is when Amy confesses to Crystal it was her who wished the dead contestants to disappear and figures herself the murderer - but it's worse, as it turns out her lifecoach Liz is a black magician who has used her as a vessel to bring back a witch from 17th century Salem. And now that the witch is here, all that stands between her and causing havoc are Crystal and Amy - and fighting witches is just not scoring high on either of their lists of skills ...

 

I will admit, the Christian angle is a little overdone in Blood Pageant, and Crystal's character is portrayed just a little too pure to really come across as real - but what makes this movie work, and sets it apart from other similar horror flicks, is its generous look behind the scenes of a reality show, with all the ugliness that comes with the format, where actual content always seems to take a backseat to spectacle and sensationalism - so much so that the contestants are usually at their best when they're at their worst. And the film boasts just the right satirical tone to make this feel real - while at the same time ably setting up the real horror of the piece, rolled into a climax that certainly packs a punch and makes this rather cool genre entertainment.

 

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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