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Human Zoo
Solitary Confinement / Solitary

USA 2020
produced by
John E Seymore, John D. Crawford, Michael J. Jacobs (executive), Ruby Handler (executive) for Seymore Films, Golden Zephyr, The Maine Studios
directed by John E Seymore
starring Robert Carradine, Jose Rosete, Heather Dorff, Megan Le, Ally Holmes, John D. Crawford, Rachel Amanda Bryant, Robert Catrini, Kristyn Evelyn (as Kristyn Chalker), Raw Leiba, Trista Robinson, Jessica Cameron, Loren Ledesma, Jordan Mitchell-Love, Edward Hong, Robert Damian, Jess Matney, Christie Beran, Kelli Stoner, Melanie Troxler, Lucia Oskerova, Brialynn Massie, Patricia Ashley, Alfonzo McCarther, Jeremy Szymankowski, Annie Freed, Willow Ronco, Shane L. Fantozzi, John E Seymore (voice), Ruby Handler
idea by Selfin Morose, screenplay by John E Seymore, John D. Crawford, music by Finn Cain

review by
Mike Haberfelner

It's the newest and most extreme reality show: Contestants are put into solitary confinement with no means of distraction or any contact to the outside world (not even fellow contestants), but given a safe word should they want to/need to bail, and whoever manages to stay in the longest wins $2 million - and of course the usual reality TV "fame". Sounds horrible from the get-go, but of course people from all walks of life apply because there are always those who'd do anything for fame and/or money, from the street-smart girl (Heather Dorff) to the wannabe TV star (Jessica Cameron), from the hobby philosopher (Robert Damian) to the outright hunk (Raw Leiba), from the hypochondriac (Trista Robinson) the the violent hothead (Jose Rosete), and pretty much everything in-between. Nobody did know though how harsh the conditions would be, rations would be one bottle of water and box of oatmeal today, and there'd be no sanitation, just a bucket as a toilet, and other than a thin mattress, there'd be no furniture of any kind, and not even a blanket. So by the by, the contestants break, each in their own time, and use the safe word - only, nobody's coming to let them out, they're just kept in indefinitely, for better or worse - well, mostly worse ...

Top-billed Robert Carradine plays the show's manipulative producer.

 

A very dark satire/social commentary on reality TV and what it has become over the years (with "zoo" actually being one of the nicer words for it), Human Zoo is little surprisingly a bleak exercise in cynicism - but the film's really more than just that, as beneath it all it's also several character studies rolled into one (some more and some less extensive though), with all arcs dilligently woven into its over-arching narrative structure. And a rather impressive ensemble cast really brings the story to life, paired with an actor-centric approach to things that yet manages to create the appropriate atmosphere, and a properly eerie soundscape. In all, a pretty disturbing film, actually, but disturbing in the best possible way.

 

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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