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The Finale
Final Dress

USA 2023
produced by
Christie Vela, Michael Federico, Brandon Potter, Max Hartman (executive) for Bad Omen
directed by Christie Vela
starring Gabrielle Reyes, Madison Calhoun, Kenneisha Thompson, Liza Marie Gonzalez, Tex Patrello, Ania Lyons, Edgar Flores, Parker Davis Gray, Isa Flores, Katy Tye, Carson Wright, Brandon Potter, Joel Ferrell, Christie Vela, Michael Federico, Max Hartman, Nicole Berastequi, Jeffrey Schmidt, Natalie Young, Drew Wall, Lydia Mackay, Sally Vahle, Paul T. Taylor, Aspen Taylor, Maddie Kuenzer, Kateri Cale, Jeremiah Johnson, James Stroman, Gloria Vivica Benavides, Chachie Hood, Ani Vera
written by Michael Federico, music by Brad Dale, Max Hartman, special effects by Emma Siate

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Eight kids in their late teens (Gabrielle Reyes, Tex Patrello, Ania Lyns, Edgar Flores, Parker Davis Gray, Isa Flores) are chosen for all over the country to take part in a ridiculously overpriced acting workshop where they'll in two weeks put up a show, but not just any show but a musical murder mystery, under the guidance of director Margo (Liza Marie Gonzalez), acting teacher Bernard (Brandon Potter), choreographer Charles (Joel Ferrell), singing coach Steph (Madison Calhoun), and of course the totally overworked floor manager Lindsey (Kenneisha Thompson). Of course the head of operations (Jeffrey Schmidt) should have also been present, but he bailed out in the nick of time - and had so good a trumped up excuse nobody even suspected he could have been murdered by a masked maniac. Anyways, at first everything goes very well at the camp with just the usual frictions between students and teachers, students and other students, and of course also between teachers. But there's even romance between the camp's main beauty and lead actress Sagan (Gabrielle Reyes) and brooding lead singer Nixon (Parker Davis Gray). But then one night while Bernard has invited Sagan to go over the opening monologue with her, he tries to drug and rape her, and she gets away only just, being a trained dancer. That same night though, the masked maniac kills Charles. The two cops on the case (Christie Vela, Michael Federico) are quick to zero in on Bernard as the main suspect, and digging in his past they find out that taking advantage of young and innocent actresses was pretty much something he's always done, and all the staff at the workshop actually knew about this - but then Charles gives them the slip, while more and more of the workshop's staff and students drop like flies ...


This film achieves something really remarkable as objectively speaking it's a by-the-book slasher - only subjectively it doesn't feel like one. Basically that's achieved by giving the murderous proceedings a very solid narrative foundation in the goings-on in the workshop, something that's in itself also strong as a story even before serving as backstory (in a roundabout way) for the killer, that dares to include social commentary and a strong #metoo message, and that's populated by fleshed out and colourful characters, plus writer and director Michael Federico and Christie Vela, respectively, as the investigating cops lend just the right comic relief to the whole thing, without ever coming across as moronic or forced. That all said, I can also assure all slasher afficionados the violence in this film is also fittingly creative and hard-hitting, making this a well rounded-out piece of genre entertainment for sure.


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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




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