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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Shallow water - the kickstarter campaign



A few years ago I chanced upon a short film on the internet that in many ways fundamentally changed my life - NO! Clean those dirty little minds you naughty people out there. I'm not talking about one of THOSE films on the internet, you know the ones I mean where a man and a woman (or lots of men with lots of women) who love each other very, very much decide to do what comes naturally....... or in some cases, rather unnaturally.

No, this particular film was something entirely different, though if truth be told it did still include men dressing up in leather and grunting a lot. Batman: Dead End was a short film made by Sandy Corolla for just $30,000, and comes with a simple and straightforward story; 

" The Joker has escaped from Arkham and Batman must once again bring him in - once and for all. Unfortunately for the bat, there is something even more sinister than the Joker waiting in the alley for the dark knight detective....namely a couple of familiar looking Aliens"

The film caused something of a sysmic sensation amongst fans who attended it's premier at the 2003 San Diego Comic-Con. After that the film quickly became an online sensation, so much so that it eventually became one of the most downloaded films in Internet history and none other than Kevin Smith called it "possibly the truest, best Batman movie ever made". 

You really have to know something, old Silent Bob is not wrong. I managed to first see the eight minutes of Bat beauty myself a couple of years after the initial excitement (I know, once again I was laughably behind the times) and blimey, I too was mesmerised. Has anyone - including Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan - ever come as close to capturing the essence of Batman as Sandy Collora did? I think not. If that wasn't enough, this was made just a couple of years before Joel Schumacher gave the whole Batman legacy a well aimed kick to to the groin with the utterly lamentable Batman & Robin. The contrast on every level couldn't be greater.

But don't take my word for it, or the audience of San Diego Comic-Con, or for that matter those in Internetland who made the film an Internet phenomenon. No, if you've never seen it then check it out here.......

Batman: Dead End was intended as a promotional vehicle for the writing and directing talents of its maker, Sandy Corolla. For some unfathomable reason, Corolla's directing career never took off in the way that it should have........ but hopefully this will now change because now he has announced his long-awaited return to producing shorts with an anthology of “long shorts” - 20 to 30 minute original genre films. His first entry in the anthology is Shallow Water“a gritty and intense film that unleashes a new cinema creature unlike anything seen before.” 

To help fund it, Collora has launched a Kickstarter campaign you can find the link at; More about this in a few moments.

So let's dip our collective toes in the lovely synopsis pool shall we? Come on in, it feels great.........

"An innocent adventure: a fishing trip to a remote and mythical fishing hole goes awry and becomes a terrifying predicament that keeps getting worse. Nestled deep in the Sea of Cortez is a tiny island you won't find on any map. 

Six fishermen scour the Baja peninsula to find this magical place, but when they finally reach their destination, they encounter some sea life that they did not expect. This puts them all at odds and it quickly becomes every man for himself."

Shallow Water will be the first of a series of “long shorts” that the filmmaker plans to combine and release as a feature, in the manner of Creepshow and Heavy Metal. Collora believes Hollywood has dropped the ball in introducing fresh new genre concepts. While he attributes it to pressures faced by studios to prioritize safety in meeting their bottom lines, he also feels sequels and remakes are now excessive, and have compromised the art.
I have to say that I completely agree. There are many of us who love the horror genre and always will, but nonetheless feel a sense of disappointment and, dare I say it, boredom at where we find ourselves in 2016. Whether it be the incessant hand-held camera offerings or penchant for quick and easy remakes it could well be argued that this isn't something anywhere near to a golden period of risk taking horror film-making. I'm not saying that there are no worthy offerings, because there are, but they are few and far between. Where are the iconic serial killers? The claustrophobic suspense filled moments? The iconic movie monsters?

Sandy and the monster........ Sandy is the one on the left, I think :-)
Well hold on to your hats because Mr Collora is on a mission to restore the horror genre to its rightful place at the top of the pile. So says the man himself: “I love genre films. I grew up on the original Alien and Predator, and they are awesome. But it’s too long since we had something new, unique and powerful in that space.”

Collora was born in New York and always loved film. He moved to California at 17 and found initial success as an artist at Stan Winston Studios, mastering the art of sculpture and character creation, first on films like “Leviathan” and “Alien Nation” then later on “Men In Black”, “Total Recall” and “The Abyss”. He became a go-to designer of action figures, had a successful stint as a commercial director, then wrote and directed the cult classic Batman Dead End which set records for numbers of downloads for a short. Since then his friends and fans have urged him to produce another short.

After producing the feature film “Hunter Prey”, and publishing three volumes of The Art of Creature and Character Design, which he funded with the help of Kickstarter, he now returns to the short film, and to Kickstarter. 

Shallow Water proved too costly to finance as a feature with crowd funding, and that started Collora to thinking about doing the anthology. He sees his current Kickstarter as crucial. He seeks $85K, and with just 10 days to go is well on the way....... but he still needs our help. “With Kickstarter, I can stay independent, and not compromise my vision. That was a big factor in the success of Batman: Dead End. But Shallow Water is longer, with more effects – more ambitious, if you will – so I hope to augment the cost with monies from Kickstarter. For this reason, I went to town on the Rewards for people who back it - great value at a low cost, and for those with more to pledge, some pretty intense limited edition collectibles. I was proud Kickstarter designated this campaign as a “Project we Love” on its very first day, and I think it was because of the cool Rewards.”

If only I had the money for one of these suits.....
As with any crowdfunding campaign worth its salt, the success in reaching the funding target rests partly the source material and secondly the rewards on offer for parting with ones hard earned money. Well the first part seems on solid ground, the rewards are also a little bit on the interesting side. For example at the 'lower end' of the pledges there are is the usual range of tasty dvd, book, t-shirt and action figures on offer. 

A little higher up the pledge ladder there is the reward of a full figure, painted, resin production maquette which was used as reference to create the full body creature suits for the film. It was sculpted by writer/director Sandy Collora and renowned creature creator Jordu Schell. This absolutely stunning piece stands approximately 12 inches tall and will be offered painted, unpainted and unbuilt as well, for all the model kit enthusiasts who want to build and paint it themselves.   Erm, cough!.......Mr Collora.........cough!.........I would love one of these!............cough..........

Then as one goes 'higher' then it starts to get really mouth watering, with perhaps my favourite reward being the ULTIMATE reward-- a screen used creature head or full suit from the film! There will be a VERY limited number of these available after they finish shooting the movie. This is our chance to own an original screen used piece from Shallow Water.

So, if you want to see a potentially great anthology horror film and want to contribute to the creation of it, then do that crowdfunding pledging thing that you do!

The Facebook page for Shallow Water can be found at RIGHT HERE.

The Kickstarter campaign is live at

This article can also be found via the 5D website There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth, you know. 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Game of Thrones - Series 6. Episodes 2 to 4

It was with great pleasure that 5D some time ago agreed to contribute a series of news articles for the social media phenomenon that is Blasting News, the independent online magazine based on the principle of social journalism and powered by the voices of thousands of people called Blasters. 

So now 5D,  apart from being quite possibly the finest Scifi/fantasy & horror website on the planet, is now a blaster. I know I've been called worse.

You can access my pearls of wisdom (sic) via my Blasting News profile RIGHT HERE.


As part of my insatiable need for positive affirmation and adoration, not to mention my raging & some may say rampant narcissism, a vote took place at 5D headquarters which resulted in the decision to also publish the Blasting news articles on here. I know, I'm just too shallow nice. 

So here you go with the pieces I put together for episodes 2 to 4. They're brief, to the point and guaranteed to make you think............... of doing something else.

Game Of Thrones Recap: Season 6 , Ep 2 - HOME

The return of the man who knows nothing finally proves many right, and me wrong, in Game of Thrones.

Before I begin I have two disclaimers; the first is that this and every subsequent piece will most definitely contain a number of spoilers of each episode of Game Of Thrones – so look away now me hearties if you don’t want your day ruined beyond all redemption! The second disclaimer is that these are not critical reviews of each episode; I may get some facts wrong (no doubt), I may miss some information out (most probably) and  I may constantly bang on about how Lena Headey as Cersai is about as delicious as delicious can be (that’s a given). 

Arise Jon Snow

So yes I and countless others around the world who are obsessed more than a sane person should be with Game of Thrones were wrong, the man who knows nothing returned, though not until after some pruning, brushing and cleaning by the by now angst-ridden Melisandre. This was swiftly followed by some mumbled incantations designed to elicit the life into the near naked body of Mr Snow. 

Thankfully the Red Witch decided to wear her necklace and thus portray her younger form and put aside the image of her old decrepit self. The result being that many of we guys may never rid from our collective memory ever again after last week’s revelation. Will the resurrection leave Jon less of a man than he was before? Will it leave him more of a man than he was before? Or will it leave him as mad as a box of Frogs when he realises that his clothes have been sold off and all he now has to wear at the wall is a small loin cloth?

Ramsey, you're a bad boy

Talking about being as mad as a box of Frogs – Back at WinterfellRamsey Bolton, come on down! Bless his murderous little monster monster heart as the he yet again wins the ‘King Joffrey nasty little bastard award’ for the umpteenth week running. Not only content with knifing his Pop, Lord Roose Bolton, after realising that his new born step-brother could potentially usurp his right to succession he then proceeds to feed the dogs…..with his step mother & her new born. 

Go get him Jaime

Perhaps the most electrifying scene of the week took place between Jamie Lannister and the High Sparrow. I’ve made it no secret in the past that old ‘Leftie himself is my favourite show character of whom I would argue has by far the most interesting arc of character development of all, both in the books and in the TV series. The scene of unspoken threat and violence between the two men was quite simply delicious, the old Jaime would have automatically chopped off the head of old Sparrow. Something tells me his time will come.

And special mention to………

Notable Deaths - Ser Gregorstein and the drunks head mash, Wildling giant and the Nightwatch body mash. I should be a little embarrassed and possibly ashamed at laughing out loud at the sight of a character being mashed against a wall, I really should. But I don’t. 

Cersai – Looking as gorgeous as ever with the short hair look. 

Tyrian one liners – To be quite frank it’s a toss-up between “The next time I have an idea like that again, punch me in the face” or “That’s what I do. I drink and I know things”

And finally

Before you say it, I know, I know. I haven’t even mentioned the dragons……..or Arya…….or Sansa……..or Bran. Maybe next week.

Game Of Thrones Recap: Season 6, Ep 3 -  OATHBREAKER

Something of a slow burning episode in which violence (mostly) takes a backseat to chat.

Game of Thrones this week did what it sometimes does best. Namely to take a breath with some sparkling yet understated dialogue whilst tantalising its audience with some hope (Jon Snow's resurrection), some pain (Jon's depression at his resurrection) and a the hint of an answer to the biggest of fan theories (just who are Jon's parents?).

Well hello cheeky
So now, after the shock of last week's episode, Jon Snow actually does know nothing as the poor so-and-so wakes up from death to find himself stark naked on a cold wooden table up there in the frozen north. “I shouldn’t be here” he mumbles. That was nothing compared to the look of shock on the faces of the gathered Wildlings and Night’s Watchas he later decides to hang up his Lord Commander's cloak and depart from the watch. Ah but at least he got a hug from his mates. 
The real story of Ser Arthur Dayne

It’s another trip into the past for Bran and the Three-eyed Raven as they visit the scene of the legendary confrontation between Bran’s father, Ned Stark, and “ the best swordsman he ever saw." Sadly for Bran, it seems Ned’s story of heroism may have had some element of, well, big fat lies as it turns out Dayne was stabbed in the back of the neck by Howland Reed. However, the real stunner for Bran is his calling out to his father and old Ned hearing him……can he now affect the past?

Ramsey gets a present

So what the heck is Umber up to? First he insults the mad-as-a-box of frogs Ramsey by calling his dead but probably still warm father the C word, not once but twice, but he also refused to bend his knee and swear allegiance to the new Lord Bolton. Instead he presents him with a trio of presents; a Direwolf’s head, Osha,6 and Rickon Stark. So we’ve either got a few weeks of torture from Ramsey or maybe it’s a ruse by Umber & Rickon? The Internet Is awash with countless conspiracy theories to that effect.

Notable mentions........

Ser Alisser Thorne and his not-so-merry band of stabbers get what many felt was coming to them at the end of a hangman's rope. Plenty of muffled chokes, swinging legs, and bulging eyes after the deed was done. I’ll miss Alliser, even he did try to kill old cheeky bum Jon.

Cersai – still looking as gorgeous as ever with the short hair look. Talking about looks, the look of death that she gave the Small council as they left her to face more lonely humiliation was a sight to behold. Silly people, I expect they'll pay. Here's hoping!

Tyrian one liners – “The true history of the world is the history of great conversations in elegant rooms."

Arya gets her sight back. Tommen is, well, still poor little wet Tommen.

Tyrian fails miserably in his attempts to socialise. 

Game Of Thrones Recap: Season 6, Ep 4;

This week sees the seeds sown to make the future look decidedly bloody for all concerned.

Well, after last week's slow-burner episode this week's Game of Thrones saw proceedings take a distinct up-turn for one particular storyline, while a number of other story strands began to ever increasingly hint at a number violent confrontation soon to come. If that wasn't enough, the Internet was almost broken by the mother of dragons.

There's something in my eye....

I don’t know about you, but I swear that I heard a collective “Ahhhhh, bless” the moment when Jon Snow and Sansa embraced each other after travelling with Brienne to the wall. Unfortunately I wasn’t really able to concentrate too much on the scene due to getting something in my eye, in fact both of them) right at the very moment of the reunion. It was so bad (probably dust, yes that’s right, it was dust) that my eyes began to water – thankfully my eyes were better, just after Sansa apologised for being selfish and Jon said sorry for being a sulky git (well no change there, Jon mate).

There’s going to be a rumble……..number 1

If this episode was good for anything it was to provide the reference point for a number of tasty little clashes coming up later in the series. For a while it seemed that the Jon/Sansa reunion was going to fizzle into a sibling fall-out when Jon declared that he had no stomach for further fighting, even though Sansa said that she would go alone to retake Winterfell (you go girl). However the letter from cuddly Ramsey threatening to do all sort of unspeakable acts to just about everybody and his pet dog currently living in the North was enough to spur him into action. 2000 wildlings against 5000 Bolton troops? Bring it on baby!

There’s going to be a rumble…….number 2

Ahh Cersei you gorgeous looking manipulative devil you. Not only does she manage to get some tasty tit bits of information on the High Sparrow by playing on the maternal needs of poor insipid Tommen. But she also manages to persuade the Tyrells to march their forces into the city and retake the power back from the dastardly fanatics without the need to spill much, or any of the last remaining Lannister blood. Brains as well as being drop-dead gorgeous.

There’s going to be a rumble…….number 3
Things haven’t been going to well for the old mother of dragons herself, Dany, having recently been run out of town by the dastardly son’s of the harpy, only then to be captured by the Dothraki horde who seem intent on putting her with the rest of the widowed Khaleesi gals. So instead she decides to turn the tables on them and in doing so create a collective gasp amongst the program’s worldwide audience; Firstly by destroying the collective Dothraki Khal leadership in the house fire from hell; secondly by walking out naked to the gathered now kneeling throng, completely unscathed by the flames. I think she may have found an answer to retaking her cities & finally giving those across the water in Westeros a good damn good thrashing. Oh and did I say she was naked?

And notable mentions to………

Deaths of the week – Did I really see blood splatter onto the screen from the  pulverising to the Dothraki's head? I think I did – awesome! Ok, so technically he was already dead but we get our Game of Thrones death thrills where we can.

Oh poor Osha, clearly underestimating his mad as a box of frogs lordship by thinking that she could give Ramsey a swift knife to the throat, only to have her own neck well and truly slit in between his apple munching…..Rickon, you’re for it mate!

The return of the redoubtable Littlefinger getting up to his Machiavellian best.

Tormund giving Brienne his best ‘Loved up eyes’ routine across the table.

Brienne making it quite clear to Melisandre that if they do travel together to Winterfell the conversation is going to be a little strained to say the least.

This article can also be found via the 5D website There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth, you know.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

EXIT: An experimental art film from David King

Way back in the deep cold month of February 2015 I wrote a blog article on a remarkable piece of film making from Aussie writer/director David King. In truth I found it difficult, albeit enjoyably so, to place it in any recognisable genre as it seemed part science fiction, part cyberpunk, part art house, part schlock horror and at least a dozen other influences lay within the film's consideration about what reality and illusion actually are. Watching Purge was a genuinely unusual experience. If you feel so inclined you can find the link to the article RIGHT HERE.

So it was with genuine interest when a little while ago David emailed me and asked me just how far my interest extends into art films. Did I go all the way to experimental? Or did I fear to go quite that far?

Now putting aside for a moment the minor fact that I've only ever been asked those questions in a court of law, well you should know me by now........ No! I'm not talking about that other matter! I'm currently bound by some pesky little legality apparently so I'm not allowed to talk about it. Besides which, how was I to know 39 emails a day counted as stalking and not a sign of admiration?

No, the thing that you should know about me is that I rarely can resist a challenge, especially when it concerns independent films. So in true 5D jumping before thinking form, I responded with a 'let's do this. Let's get experimental!'..... Or words to that effect. 

Exit is David King's latest offering and certainly shares some of Purge's theme of the notion of what constitutes human reality and the concept of illusion. However that is where the comparison ends because this film has thrown aside any conventional mainstream movie luggage and taken a one-way trip aboard the experimental train on it's journey to the fabled city of deconstructed narrative and abstract imagery. 

The synopsis of the story (and I use the term 'story' in the loosest sense) is thus;

"Y is immortal and lives in paradise. Or so he believes.

When paradise starts coming apart around him and he begins receiving messages from his dead wife, he realises he's either losing his mind........or nothing is what it seems."

I think it is fair to say that I haven't seen anything quite like EXIT for quite some some time. I also think that it is fair to say that it is an experience that will divide opinion of those who see it, something I could quite understand depending on what preconceptions a person may have beforehand. By 'preconceptions' I mean the notion of what should constitute as a film experience. The problem is that in this modern world of studio executive and audience focus group led cinema there is little room for ambitiously ambiguous narrative in film making. Every stage of mainstream movie making has to be neatly packaged with the requisite narrative arc together with it's neatly satisfying ending and thus accessible to the lowest common denominator. In other words, experimentation to the studios and consequently to many of the movie going public, is a definite no-no.

EXIT follows no linear trajectory in its 27 minute narrative, but instead relies on a series of connecting images and sounds that continually assault the viewers senses whilst simultaneously examining a plethora of philosophical ideas and questions of immortality, love and reality in the spaces in between.

But please don't be put off by such concepts as 'philosophical' and 'experimental'. I have watched the film twice now and in all honesty I'm still little the wiser about the answers to some of the questions raised, or whether in fact there are even any any answers or questions in the first place. 

On both occasions of viewing the film I've broken off to do something else and returned a little while later to watch a new segment of intensive psychedelic and philosophical imagery. This isn't meant as a sign of criticism, on the contrary it should be regarded as a strength of the film. In other words, the choice is yours; you can either be swept along an existential journey of contemplation about what you are watching and hearing; or you can simply sit back and taking in the mind bending array of images and sounds as your senses real from the impact. You can watch it in one glorious mind goggling stretch, or you can take the assault on the senses piece by piece.

Whether you want to take a message from EXIT or simply enjoy the film for the visceral experience that it is is entirely up to you. What is clear is that there is still room in this audience focus group driven movie world to be given the chance to appreciate someone who wants to be bold and take chances with their art. You may not like or understand EXIT, but you certainly won't forget it. It is not David's intention to make this film for a mass audience, he knows full well that there will be many who do not want to to watch something as this. Instead he wanted to make a work of moving visual art intended for a smaller more select audience. Well this part of that niche audience loved it.

EXIT has been entered into a number of film festivals so watch this space for further news of when it may be seen. However, anyone interested in experimental film can contact David at his email address below to preview the film and purchase it from him directly if they wish. It is anticipated that the film will be available on Amazon in three - four months' time. Anyone who buys before it goes to Amazon will get the preview edition, but only a small number of DVDs will be printed at this price.

David King can be contacted via his email address at

This article can also be found via the 5D website There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth, you know.

There is also a newly launched forum on the website designed for ANYONE involved or interested in the Independent film industry related to genres of Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror. Feel free to register and contribute - Everyone is welcome!

In addition the 5D website now has PayPal Donate button. Any donations kindly made will be fed directly back to help with a podcast materials, competition prizes and other general costs etc. If you wish to contribute to the exciting growth of the website & blog then we here at 5D headquarters would be eternally grateful. If you would like your contribution to be acknowledged publicly then simply send a message via the website’s contact section and we’ll send you some love!

If all that was enough to entice to 5D land, should any of you fine people out there wish to advertise on the 5D website then have a look at the offer below.