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My Pure Joy

USA 2011
produced by
James Cullen Bressack, Jarret Cohen, Gordon Bressack (consulting) for Psykik Junky Pictures
directed by James Cullen Bressack
starring Alexei Ryan, Cory Jacob, Christopher Chandler, JD Fairman, Phillip Andrew Christopher, Kimberly Night, Emily Bordignon, Jon Bloch, Kevin Flood, Laura Meadows, Nathan Blaiwes, Bailey Gaddis, Mark Glasser, Carlo Figlio, Dakota Hoffman, Arman Karatavuk, Bryan Calvert, Kimberly Flores, Jarrett Furst
written by James Cullen Bressack, music by Jarrett Furst, special makeup effects by Sydney Cassatta, Elise Whitaker

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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On the surface, Adam (Alexei Ryan) is the most normal of teenagers, with the most trivial of lifestyles and problems: He likes to hang out on the porch with his friends (Christopher Chandler, JD Fairman) and drink booze and smoke weed, hw loves to discuss slasher movies, and he's hopelessly in love with Cindy (Kimberly Knight), who's into wannabe rapper Derron (Phillip Andrew Christopher) though, so Adam has to ask slightly dull Wendy (Emily Bordignon) to be his prom date. To make matters worse, Derron likes to bully Adam before Cindy's very eyes.

But there's another side to Adam, because at night, he's a porcelaine-masked serialkiller, who actually focuses on people he knows, like annoying classmates and their families ... and yes, even Cindy and Derron, when he catches them having sex.

Why does he do it?

He saw his dad, who was his hero, die a long and painful death, and his dad fed him with gore-movies and an unhealthy philosophy based on pain and suffering to go with it. Since dad's death, Adam needed something to compensate, and heck, why not slaughter a few people?

Eventually, Adam's long lost brother Joe (Cory Jacob) comes back home to live with him and mom (Lisa Frantz) - much to Adam's dismay, since he thinks Joe has abandoned the family prior to dad's death (he was in rehab, actually). The atmosphere is tense, and erupts when Joe finds Adam's diary in which he has detailed his murders. When Joe and mom confront Adam with this, he pulls a knife and ...

Click here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!


Considering director James Cullen Bressack was a mere 18 years old when he directed My Pure Joy, this is a pretty impressive film, it's well-structured and thought-through, doesn't follow the usual slasher formula (without betraying the genre), features quite gruesome murder scenes and a rather bizarre killer, and it stays well within its (low) budget and doesn't try and fail to achieve anything outside of budgetary limitations (the bane of many an indie movie).

And yet, My Pure Joy is not a masterpiece, more a diamond in the rough, basically because at times the young filmmaker's unchanneled enthusiasm about making his first feature film does shine through (like in the many scenes where Adam discusses horror movies with his friends), and scriptwise, the whole thing could have done with some tightening - all shortcomings Bressack has learned to circumvent in later efforts.

But even if My Pure Joy is not exactly a masterpiece, it's still good genre entertainment, and (excuse the pun) pure joy while watching ...


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