Salt Lake Comic Con Movie Reviews: LA Slasher & Z Nation

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L. A. Slasher– Review

While at Salt Lake City Comic Con I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of L.A. Slasher at the Gateway Megaplex. The movie stars, Brooke Hogan, Misha Barton, Dave Batista, Elizabeth Morris, Andy Dick, Danny Trejo, Elizabeth Morris, Abigail Wright, Drake Bell and Eric Roberts. The movie is written and directed by Martin Owen. The movie is billed as a comedy/fantasy/thriller and it sure is something different. The comedy is spot on; a few scenes were great, most notably with Dave Batista, Danny Trejo and Elizabeth Morris (the exchange). The story is about these different “characters” that reside in LA and on the social media radar.

Each character (Heiress/Stripper/Reporter, etc.) is then visited by the LA Slasher and he then makes an update (from his social media platform) on their new social media status; dead/almost dead or soon to be… Andy Dick was a perfect casting choice, his dialogue and voice talent enhanced the character of the LA Slasher. The LA Slasher is nicely designed, simple, elegant and sharp enough to cut to a chase and a person’s throat. Red really does show up well against white. The movie soundtrack is 80’s pop and at times is a perfect fit.

The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and that works really well. The social commentary on the do’s and don’ts of social media are current and make a person cringe; because sometimes we are guilty of not doing what is appropriate. The audience, myself included, laughed out loud (yep) at some of the social media faux pas that occur in our daily lives that made it into the movie. The real heart of the movie, which the LA Slasher is aiming at, is the reality TV programing and the image of celebrity that some people strive for while working in Hollywood, famous for being famous. The movie pokes fun at social media and reality TV programing, with dark comedy that satires our first world lifestyles (problems) with a psycho that has stylish wavy dark hair and carries a knife, he also drives an ice cream-white muscle van with flames on the front(creepy). Most of the violence is implied and that makes for a great scary movie too. Another twist to the story is the reporter played by Abigail Wright (the Reporter), she is the one character that seems on the level and then something happens and it’s a twist that makes the end of the movie more worth watching.

The movie should be released into the theaters in February of 2015. It will be rated R, for violence, language and adult material. I really did enjoy the movie; it is a dark comedy that has a hack/slasher twist that is colored in style and sound and should be a (cult) hit. The sweet sounds and pretty colors are a nice diversion while the story slides in and delivers a much-needed dose of appropriateness or restraint that some lack in these modern times. Is this movie Do the characters deserve what they get, a better question is why the LA Slasher is not using his knife to cut the power to the social media and reality TV programing, cause his laundry bill must be sky-high. I had a chance to sit down with Martin Owen and ask a few questions about the movie.

The humor in the movie, was any ad libbed?
There was a little bit of ad libbing but not as much as you think, – the humor was there from day one, I wasn’t interested in making an out and out gratuitous violence for the sake of gratuitous violence movie… and being fun and not taking itself too seriously
How did the social media element come about in the story?
It was myself and with Abigail Wright and Elizabeth Morris helped with the writing a little (They are credited with the story of the movie along with Tim Burke) and (I) worked with a VFX guy to make a visual that was like twitter, instagramer, booker pages, it was its own thing that existed in a slight pseudo reality, it was kind of tongue in cheek…we were pleased with how it turned out
Will there be a sequel to the movie?
Yes
Will there be a city or world tour?
yes… (Laughter), we can take out the dots out of L. A. Slasher and make it La Slasher, but no we have ideas and are going to take(it) elsewhere and see what happens when the slasher wipes out all of reality TV, what’s the next thing?
How did you guys get Dave Batista and Danny Trejo in the movie?
Yes, they were really good, the usual thing, these two characters together, we sat down with a casting director and we just saw them as Danny and Dave… we just went through the agency and went through the process… Danny is a really nice guy and never says anything bad to say about anybody, same with Dave too…their cameo in the movie is genius and works really well
Yes, they were awesome, I enjoyed their scenes.
Any other works that you would like to mention?
Yea, we will be working on a project here in Utah, a psychological thriller in October, I can’t mention the title because it is being changed right now.
Thanks for the quick interview.

I also visited the booth for the movie at the convention and was able to get some nice pictures of props from the movie. The cast was also present and were very nice and approachable; signing autographs and doing photo-ops (Eric Roberts was hugging and kissing everyone, well almost everyone). There is also a Facebook/Twitter page if you are looking for additional content/information.
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-Z Nation- Review

 

While at Salt Lake Comic Con I attended the screening of Z Nation. This Syfy entertainment special world premiered exclusive for attendees at Salt Lake Comic Con on Saturday evening. I attended the screening and I am impressed. The show is made from the same people who produced “Sharknado” (Asylum). The show stars George Perineua (Lt. Hammond), Tom Evert Scott (Charles Garnett), Michael Welch (Mack), Kellita Smith (Roberta Warren) and D J Qualls (Citizen Z). The show is created by Karl Shaefer and directed by John Hyams. The show is made on location in Spokane Washington. The television premiere is September 12, 2014.

There is an outbreak of a contagion and people have become zombies, nasty ones at that, and that run fast, but not fast enough to catch the main characters of the show. We’ve seen it all before right? In this show the opening minutes tell the tale of Lt Hammond as the world crumbles. Flash forward three years and the world is still around but changed. We are introduced to a group of people and the story begins to unfold. A cure is found and it must get to a lab that is all the way across the United States…

Zombies, do I need to say more…okay, I will, this show copies what is known about zombies and then does it different. I chuckled at the similarities with the “other” zombie show, cause there is no way it can compete. So as I sat watching, I became aware that it was good, better than I thought from SyFy and then it made me laugh, because I guess those Sharknado guys just want to make you laugh before they make you jump under a pillow. Then I noticed the actors, they were good actors that I recognized, could this be happening, was I beginning to take interest? Yeah, it’s got me, I like the setup, the writing may be what’s been done before but this is SyFy and I want more television like this, B grade. I think there is more than enough of an appetite for more zombie shows and who knows where this on will go. To directly face off against the other show is gutsy though, someone has to have big zombie stones to play this show against the other zombie show(Walking Dead), maybe it will air on the another day of the week(hopefully).

Before the screening, one of the stars of the show, Michael Welch(Mack), came out and spoke to the crowd. He talked about the premise of the show and took a few questions from the crowd, after a couple of questions he was notified that time had run out and he then thanked everyone for attending the screening. There is more information online at SyFy.com and there is also a Facebook page if you want additional information.

Lives in Washington Terrace and a student at Weber State University with a major in communications. He has the best kids in the world that keep him busy and constantly learning new things. He likes to learn and read new things. A supporter of public libraries and likes to hike. He has a trio of cats that wake him early every morning and cover him in their fur. People that he admires and inspire him are, Ray Bradbury, Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Twain and people that teach.