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Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare

USA 2017
produced by
Gary Doust, Megan McMurchy (executive) for Fridgejam Productions, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Screen Australia
directed by Gary Doust
starring Craig Anderson, Gerard O'Dwyer, Dee Wallace, Bryan Moses, Janis McGavin, Robert Anderson
music by John Gray


review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Craig Anderson has worked in all positions on TV for years, but now he thinks it's time to direct his own feature film - with horror being his genre of choice. The film he sets out to direct is Red Christmas, a movie about a fetus that's aborted due to having the down syndrom, but it still grows up to be a man (Gerard O'Dwyer) who's hell-bent on having revenge on the family that didn't want him. Of course it sounds silly - but at the same time like quite likeable low budget entertainment! Craig wants Hollywood veteran Dee Wallace to play the lead in the movie, and she actually loves the script - and after some to and fro with her management and SAG-Aftra, she actually flies over to Australia to be in the film. The shoot goes alright enough, and despite 14 hour days there are no major meltdowns, so that's something. The post production goes so-so then, as Craig, also the editor of the film, starts to realize some scenes still need a lot more coverage - but the rough cut of the film has already been accepted into a film festival halfway round the world, so he shoots and edits pretty much literally until the last minute while working a day job. And the premiere goes rather well indeed, it's just then that the distribution offers don't pile up - and after an initial depression, Craig has to realize he hasn't got the slightest idea about the business side of things ...


Who has ever produced a low budget horror film will probably recognize oneself in this movie (I know I have), as it doesn't only shed light on the bright sides, on the glamour and the fun of moviemaking, but also the darker periods, the frustration that inevitably comes with the business. What makes this documentary work though is that while it refuses to sugarcoat, it doesn't just focus on the downsides, it actually wants its subject to succeed - and Craig is likeable enough that the audience wants just that as well, and his sometimes self-deprecating humour puts a pleasant spin to things as well. So while the film might show what Hell indie filmmaking can be, it's not discouraging. And on top of that, it really makes one want to watch Red Christmas ...


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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