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I’m pleased to invite you to a FREE SCREENING of the latest feature film I’m in, “The Bequeather,” a “Young Frankenstein”/”Airplane”-inspired farcical comedy by Justen Overlander.
Admit it. You grew up loving the pun-filled, slapstick comedies of Mel Brooks (“Young Frankenstein”) and the Zucker brothers (“Airplane”). Well, local genius-of-many-hats, Justen Overlander, has written, directed, and stars in his own homage to such screwball comedies in his film, “The Bequeather.” (He also had the good sense to cast me in it!)

Now’s your chance to see it on the silver screen at Minnesota’s premier art deco theater, The Heights Theater, on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. FOR FREE!!! (Donations are accepted but not required.) Only thing is, you HAVE TO RSVP to be guaranteed a seat. When you click on that link, please type in that Sid referred you. I get brownie points for bringing in the most audience members. I could win a banana-seat bike or something equivalently cool! 🙂

“The Bequeather,” private free screening
Tuesday, December 10
7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
The Heights Theater, 3951 Central Ave., Columbia Heights, MN
Click here for details and to RSVP Type in that you were referred by Sid.
If you want to come, please RSVP right away as reservations are first-come, first-serve.  Once the theater’s capacity is filled, RSVPs will no longer be taken.
While the screening is FREE, we will be accepting donations to help cover the cost of the theater rental and hopefully cover the costs of getting into 10-15 film festivals (or more!).  You are under no obligation to donate, but if you’re so moved, there is a link on the movie’s website, or you can certainly donate at the screening.
Also, please patronize the theater by buying some concessions while you’re there.

See the trailer here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfiGTjyN_2w)

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Attack of the Moon Zombies (2011)

REVIEW BY: Jeffrey Long

 

Company: Saint Euphoria Pictures

Runtime: 100 mins

Format: DVD

Plot: A mysterious plant found on the surface of the moon wreaks havoc on the Jackson Lunar Base when its spores change the base’s crew into leafy, undead creatures!

Review: Attack of the Moon Zombies was the Christopher R. Mihm movie that initially grabbed my interest and, by doing some light research into it, alerted me to the entire Mihmiverse Collection. I stumbled upon a thumbnail picture from this movie while looking through Google Pictures for some other B-Movie to use in my review of that one, and as soon as I saw the weirdly cheesy-looking plant-headed Moon Zombie picture I knew I had to find out what movie that was from and thus started my adventure into the Mihmiverse realm. However, once I ordered all the movies, even though this is the one that I was most interested in checking out, I decided to watch them all in release order so that’s why it’s taken me so long to get to my most anticipated one, first sitting through, and enjoying on various levels, The Monster of Phantom Lake, It Came From Another World!, Cave Women on Mars, Terror From Beneath The Earth, and Destination: Outer Space.

And I’m glad I did, because while (for the most part) the movies are stand-alone and you can watch them in any order that you choose, you get so much more out of them by watching them in release order. I say release order because in terms of chronology they jump around back and forth quite a bit, such as the case with this one, taking place in the future (as it may have been envisioned back in the 1950s – the gimmick of all these movies is that, while made now-ish, they’re made with the intent of having them act as if they were made in the black and white 1950s era of B-Movie filmmaking), this one taking place roughly around the timeframe of Cave Women on Mars and Destination: Outer Space, give or take a couple years.

This one is the longest Mihmiverse movie yet, clocking in at an hour and 40 minutes. Now as you may guess from some of my previous reviews, I kind of feel that almost-two hours is way too long for something like this, especially when it takes 40 minutes before we even begin the actual plot of the movie of people getting infected and the Moon Zombies start going around. A bit tighter of a pace in that first half and this movie would be 100% perfect. As it stands it’s only ‘Just About 100% perfect‘, which is still really damn good!
For the most part, Attack of the Moon Zombies deals with almost all-new characters. A lot of familiar faces for fans of these movies, but they’re playing brand new characters from what they played before. Playing the lead female character is Shannon McDonough, who fellow Mihmivites will recognize as the fiance-and-then-wife of Doctor Jackson from It Came From Another World! and a cameo appearance in Terror From Beneath The Earth. I was a bit harsh on her role in those movies, as I found the character she played a bit drab and boring, but after seeing her here I now know that was solely the way the character was written and it was not indicative of Ms. McDonough’s acting abilities because she owns this movie in every scene that she’s in. Within five minutes of being introduced to her new scientist character here, I was totally in love with her. Returning alongside her is also Daniel Sjerven from Cave Women on Mars and Terror From Beneath the Earth, this time playing a rude, childish, alcoholic pilot that still manages to retain a certain level of humor and charm about him, despite being the kind of character you probably wouldn’t like spending a whole lot of time around in real life. Also with them is Michael Kaiser who has been in all of these movies in small bit parts as well as the man behind the costume of I think almost every monster, creature, and humanoid alien to date, and Sid Korpi who played a minor role in Destination: Outer Space but here plays the person-in-charge on this Moon Base, Administrator Ripley. And yes, that is a very clear (and loved!) nod to the Alien franchise. The one person who does return and actually plays a previous character is Mike Cook reprising his role as Dr. Vincent Edwards from Terror From Beneath the Earth, a role I also previously found a bit dull and uninspired but actually really enjoyed this go-around. Also, he hasn’t visually aged a day in the 20+ years between that movie’s timeline and this one! Oh, the wonders of Movie Magic, I tells ya!
Actually, old character and new ones, old actors and new ones, out of all the Mihmiverse movies this one I think is the one that had me loving all the characters in record time and it wasn’t long into the movie before I started genuinely caring about what might happen to them. Sure, the movie has an overly-long 40 minute lead-up to the actual horrific events that make up the plot of the movie, but it uses that time really well to give us some good characterization on everyone and some nice story beats that pay off later in the movie. For instance, lead character Dr. Hacket (as played by Shannon McDonough) is in a relationship with another of the scientists on board and he keeps trying to propose to her but each and every time he does they keep getting interrupted at the last second before she can give her answer, a continuous and hilariously repetitive story beat that keeps playing out even well into the Moon Zombie infestation. Add to that the continuous complaints by some of the staff that there isn’t enough women on-board, Ripley missing the birth of her grandchild due to being on that base, and the sub-plot of Dr. Vincent Edwards’ looming retirement and they really give you enough meat to sink your teeth into for each and every one of these characters, no matter how large or small their role is.
The only issue I have in the character department, and it’s only a minor nitpick and in no way goes against my final score of the movie, but Daniel Sjerven’s perfectly sleazy pilot character drops out of the movie pretty early on to return to Earth, and during the thick of the infestation events of the movie the main cast are trying to survive long enough for him to return so they can leave the base and get the heck outta dodge, so having them constantly make reference to waiting on him, in addition to knowing what a familiar face Daniel Sjerven is to this series, I was fully expecting him to show up at the last minute and save the day, Han Solo style, but sadly we never do see him again, which was slightly disappointing especially since he never got that character redemption moment I was really hoping for. Even though this is a minor nitpick, it also works as a compliment as well because if these characters weren’t so likable and well-written, I wouldn’t have cared about wanting him to return at the end for a redemption moment to begin with.
Making us care for these characters this much actually ends up being a bit heartbreaking, seeing as how once the Moon Plant shoots its spoors out and finally turns the first person into a plant-headed Moon Zombie (which then in turn begins turning everyone else), it’s only a matter of time before most of the characters you’ve come to love bite it, and as much as I enjoyed spending time with everyone leading up to this portion of the movie, it’s really here till the end that it truly shines. Seeing as how the terror begins during the middle of the night when most of the crew is sleeping, there are some authentically creepy moments that play out here, such as a scene where one guy wakes up in his darkened room with no knowledge of what has started, and begins hearing some unknown thing banging savagely on his door, trying to get in to him. The claustrophobic feel of the base as the characters run around the maze-like hallways and run into various random Moon Zombies, either stand alone or in large groups, only adds to the creepy factor. Of course none of that would have been successful had it not been for the best creature designs we’ve seen yet in the Mihmiverse series, nor for the best set designs we’ve seen yet; Never once did I question that this was actually a real Lunar Base and these plant-headed Moon Zombies were a real threat – Within a few minutes of pressing Play I was sucked right in and I was right there alongside all these characters. Micro-Budget as this may be, it did just as good a job loosing me in its imagination as any bigger budget Hollywood movie could, and its this movie that best shows just how far Christopher R. Mihm has come, in addition to everyone who works with him, since the days of The Monster of Phantom Lake, and it shows best just how they’ve all evolved as filmmakers.
As with all the other movies in the Mihmiverse, this self-produced DVD is stacked right up with tons of excellent bonus content. There’s only one Blooper Reel instead of the usual two (but it has a really good length to it and is, just like all the others, simply laugh-out-loud hilarious), a trailer for the movie, a Photo Gallery of tons of Behind-the-Scenes photos, an introduction to the film by Horror Host Dr. Ivan Cryptosis, a half hour long featurette on the whole Mihmiverse itself, and the usual informative full length Audio Commentaries, one by just Christopher R. Mihm and a second more Technical Commentary by many of the Behind the Scenes folks.
Attack of the Moon Zombies is easily my favorite film by Christopher R. Mihm to date. Sure, it’s a bit longer then I’d like and takes it’s sweet time getting anywhere, but it also uses that time to perfectly make us get to know and care about our cast of characters, which is actually a really smart move here since it made it all the more heartbreaking when many of them get ripped away from us during the events of the second half of the movie when the infection has broken out and the Lunar Base is overran with 30+ deadly Moon Zombies shuffling around the dark, empty maze-like corridors. The movie can also double as a fun ‘Find The References’ game, as it’s chock full of references to classic sci-fi/horror flicks like Alien, The Thing From Another World, It! The Terror From Beyond Space, and any number of zombie movies to just point out a few. Plus there’s also tons of inside jokes and references to previous Mihmiverse movies (Such as Doctor Jackson-then-Director Jackson is now the President – Nice!), so be sure to keep your eyes and ears open to catch them all.
Seeing as how most of the advertising for these movies come from simple word of mouth from the fans, then if you do check his stuff out and enjoy it please help get the word out there on these movies and hopefully we can snag in a few other fans that may not even realize these exist. You can order these on DVD (and even BluRay for the latest couple!) over at his official site which is filled with all sorts of other goodies as well (including a monthly newsletter in addition to a very laid back, yet fun and informative, podcast). Hell, there’s even an excellent deal on right now – Buy Three Movies, Get One Free, which seeing as how there’s currently eight of these titles, if you do that twice then that is the perfect way to catch up with all of them and in the end save some dough – that’s how I did it!


10/10 rooms in the Psych Ward

Sci-fi Comedy “EarthBreaker!” Seeks Crowdfunding through Indiegogo

A new sci-fi comedy by writer/director Chad Martin, “EarthBreaker!”, has commenced its crowdfunding campaign at http://www.Indiegogo.com/earthbreaker for startup funds. A new promotional video will be shown each week throughout the six-week campaign.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

EarthBreaker!
EarthBreaker!

PRLog (Press Release)Jan. 29, 2013Help us make it, then watch us break it!

What is “EarthBreaker!” and why the heck should you support its creation?

Imagine “North by Northwest” meets “Spaceballs”
at a café for scones and they’re joined by the Monty Python clan as they trade double entendres with Austin Powers via Skype. Morph them all together and you’d have a movie filled with intrigue and suspense plaguing a group of space travelers (including a hapless hero and super-sexy heroine) being greatly pestered—threatened even—by their evil nemeses, whilst simmering in a stock of lots of low-brow, screwball humor. These are then all congealed together with groundbreaking performances, cutting-edge visual effects, ear-shattering sound design, mind-blowing storytelling, vomit-inducing stupidity, eye-rolling ridiculousness, funny-looking spaceships, fake starfields and cheesy laser guns.

What’s not to love?

The plot: Gary David Keast stars as Jeff Cranston, a high school music teacher who is accidentally teleported from Earth and becomes caught in the middle of an intergalactic conflict of epic proportions! Evil space demon Antagonus Wratch (Eric Lee) and his executive officer Klard (John Hedlund) are hot on the trail of scientist Nigel Reinhart’s (Daniel Sjerven) accidental invention, the HMG, a weapon of such power it could destroy entire galaxies, even the universe itself! With the help of space jockeys Dash Mankato (Justen Overlander) and Aurora Galora (Meisha Johnson), Jeff must secure the HMG before Wratch and Klard can unleash its devastating power and wreak havoc upon all of existence! Each sentence in this paragraph ends with an exclamation point! Some of them with two!!

We’re not going to lie to you. No sick puppies will be rescued if you support us, it’s unlikely that we’ll cure any currently incurable diseases, and it’s doubtful we’ll discover the whereabouts of the lost Ark of the Covenant. That being said, we love animals, we are staunchly opposed to diseases of all kinds, and if we DO find the lost ark, when we open it, we won’t look at it, Marion. We’ll keep our eyes shut.

Our aim is to provide a couple hours’ diversion for moviegoers the world over—to let them, as the modern-day bard, Billy Joel, so aptly put it: “forget about life for a while.” Laughing their asses off quite likely will be a part of that experience as well and, getting back to those diseases we mentioned earlier, we all know that laughter is the best medicine.

What you will most certainly help accomplish with your donation is to give us a chance to let David kick Goliath’s backside once again, metaphorically speaking. Indie filmmakers are the proverbial little guy in this business, usually stuck making movies with whatever money they could amass from breaking into their own piggy banks, guilting their parents into paying them their retroactive allowances, and scrounging their couch cushions for spare change. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Some fabulous stuff is created that way. But with “EarthBreaker!” we have a real chance at if not full-blown commercial then long-term cult-movie success if we can garner the funds to realize our creative vision without having to feed our crew ramen noodles and build our sets with masking tape and paper clips. Quite unfairly, we think, indie films are too often stuck at the bottom of the celluloid heap and wind up being seen by very few people, other than the family and friends of the cast and crew.

Whether it’s a comedy or drama, action or romance, making a movie is a costly endeavor. You’ve got cast and crew salaries. Camera, lighting and grip equipment. Set construction. Insurance. Legal fees. Computer hardware and software. Post-production services. Wardrobe. DVD/Blu-ray manufacturing. Festival submissions. Marketing materials. Location fees. It all adds up pretty quickly.

We need your help to make this film and get it seen by the viewing public. Our goal is to raise $200K, though we’ll resort to ramen noodles and paper clips if we have to. We’ll make this movie No Matter What—we’re too damned stubborn not to see this through. But wouldn’t you like to be able to scream at the top of your lungs as folks leave the theater, “That really funny movie you just saw? The one that made you laugh so hard you clutched your stomach in agony and slipped in a puddle of your own chortle-induced tears? You can thank me for that! I helped make it happen! You’re welcome!”

But, let’s face it, without adequate funding, this movie cannot reach its full potential. What’s more, even if it did turn out every bit as awesome as we believe it is destined to be but then we couldn’t afford to distribute it, chances are that neither you nor your friends would ever get to see itand there would go your bragging rights! Every single contribution made to this site will bring us that much closer to getting “EarthBreaker!” on the silver screen (or your own flat screen) in the very near future.

If we may be so bold, we’ll address a question you may be asking, and rightfully so: “Let’s say I help. How do I know you’re capable of making this movie, let alone finishing it?” We’re glad you asked. We the producers have successfully completed two feature films (“IceBreaker” and “Horror House”), both of which have received limited distribution. A third feature film (“The Bequeather”) is currently in post-production. If you bring our principal cast into the equation, as a team, we have participated in the successful completion of over twenty feature films. We’ve shown that we’re capable of making movies with limited resources. With our collective talent and experience—both in front of the camera and behind it—we can assure you that your donation will land in capable hands.

If you aren’t in a position to make a donation today, you can still help spread the word by Liking us on Facebook, sharing our posts, and inviting your friends to do the same: www.facebook.com/earthbreakermovie. The more who know about the project, the better. Not only will it help our fundraising cause, but it will also develop a fan base for when the movie is released.

If you’ve got that credit card in hand and you’re ready to jump onboard and make a donation, we are offering a variety of perks to thank you for your support, including: “EarthBreaker!” merchandise such as can coolers, hats, and T-shirts; autographed postcards; DVD/Blu-ray combos; autographed movie posters; even your name in the credits.

Thank you in advance. As you can see we’re taking a deadly serious approach to a wildly tongue-in-cheek movie. We promise we won’t let you down.

Here’s the lineup of our upcoming Promo Vids, the first of which is already online (see below):

Feb. 3, 2013: “Dash & Aurora Seek Cash Galora” (Starring Justen Overlander (http://www.facebook.com/joverlander?group_id=0) and Meisha Johnson (http://www.facebook.com/meisha.johnson.90?group_id=0))

Feb. 10, 2013: “Meet the Filmmakers” (Starring Nick Evert (nick.evert.96?group_id=0), Eric Lee (hhttp://www.facebook.com/eric.lee.146?group_id=0) and Chad Martin (http://www.facebook.com/chad.martin.771?group_id=0))

Feb. 17, 2013: “Wratch & Klard Take Charge” (Starring Eric Lee and John Hedlund (http://www.facebook.com/gary.d.keast?group_id=0)

Feb. 24, 2013: “Jeff’s Janky Fundraising Funk” (Starring Gary David Keast (http://www.facebook.com/gary.d.keast?group_id=0))

March 3, 2013: “Meet the Filmmakers Again” (Starring Nick Evert, Eric Lee and Chad Martin)

And here’s our first video starring Daniel Sjerven

Photo:
http://www.prlog.org/12069147/1

I know this is a little off topic, but I’m going to be in this flick (in a small but, I’m assured, pivotal role), so please check it out. It’s unusual for me because it’s in color and not set in the 1950s!

EarthBreaker Art

Without a doubt, this is going to be a bust-a-gut laugh fest…once it gets made…with the help of insanely forward-thinking people with ultra-refined taste in sci-fi comedies who know a fabulous indie film project that deserves their backing when they see the teaser trailer for it. http://www.facebook.com/earthbreakermovie?ref=stream&__req=i

Or visit their website at www.earthbreakermovie.com.

Come January 27, 2013, MY BIRTHDAY by the way, the creators of “EarthBreaker!” will be launching their IndieGoGo campaign. Please follow them on Facebook or Twitter and consider giving whatever you can toward this worthy cause.

I’m not going to lie to you—no sick puppies will be saved, no disaster victims rescued, but some crazy-talented, extremely dedicated, super-creative people (including writer/director Chad Martin of “IceBreaker” and “Horror House” fame) will be given a chance to make their lifelong dream come true—and entertain thousands upon thousands of people at the same time—by successfully creating this film.

If you help out with spreading the word to sci-fi/comedy-loving friends and acquaintances, that’s a start. If, come Jan. 27, you toss them a few (or even not so few) bucks—they need $200K—you’re assured a place in heaven and guarantee yourself bragging rights for your involvement when this movie becomes an everlasting cult favorite in years to come.

The wonderful cast includes: Gary David Keast, Meisha Johnson, Justen Overlander, Dan Sjerven, Eric Lee, and John Hedlund. Several of these folks just finished filming “The Bequeather,” a Justen Overlander film with me in another supporting role. More on that one as the film gets its final editing completed.

“EarthBreaker” is brought to you by Streckfus Entertainment and Chad Martin, Eric Lee and Nick Evert, producers.

Learn what’s happening in the Mihmiverse, namely, the filming of his latest B-movie, “The Giant Spider.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/info-101-at-the-movies-198-further-observations-from-the-mihmiverse?CID=examiner_alerts_article

Interviews: An Interview with Christopher R. Mihm – By Duane L. Martin
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 03:11:34 Mountain Daylight Time by Duane


Last month I had the pleasure of reviewing Christopher R. Mihm’s latest retro b-movie, House of Ghosts. This was a bit of a departure for Christopher, as previously he had been focusing on creating classic style b-movies in the mutant and sci-fi genres. His latest film pays homage to the William Castle style ghost story, complete with its own theater gimmick. I always look forward to Christopher’s films, because he’s one of a VERY few people out there right now making this style of films, and he’s one of an even smaller number of film makers who are actually really good at it.

* * *

DLM – Let’s start out by having you tell us a little about yourself and your background as a film maker.

CRM – After a lifetime of wanting to but never having enough motivation, I officially began making movies in 2005. In 2004, my 13-year-old stepdaughter was diagnosed with bone cancer (of which, she is 100% cured almost seven years later!), I decided it was time to finally get moving on realizing my own dreams because, after all, if a healthy, athletic 13 year old kid could be diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease, I, as an overweight 30-year-old, could easily be next! So, shaken out of my complacency, I sat down and wrote the screenplay for my first film, “The Monster of Phantom Lake.” Driven to finally make a “real movie,” I plowed through and completed it within about six months. The following spring, I held a premiere at The Heights Theatre on the outskirts of Minneapolis, MN to a raucous and excited audience. The film quickly garnered many positive reviews and screened in many events and film festivals across the world. Completely addicted to the experience, I decided I had to keep making movies, no matter what the cost! Thus, here I am seven years later with seven features under my belt and another in the works.
DLM – Back when you first started making films, was it your intention to stick to strictly retro, b-movie style films, or was that something you just sort of stuck with because you enjoyed it?

CRM – I made my first film as a tribute to my late father. Growing up he and I would bond by watching those cheesy old movies together. He passed away in 2000 from a rare form of stomach cancer and had been on my mind quite a bit when my step-daughter was diagnosed just four years later. I felt like I wanted to make a movie that my dad would have loved and one he and I would have enjoyed watching together. This is where “The Monster of Phantom Lake” came from. After releasing it, I had the opportunity to screen it at a drive-in in Wisconsin. Seeing it up on that giant drive-in screen was transcendent! Experiencing my cheesy 1950s-style B-movie at a drive-in is one of the greatest moments of my life because it was THE perfect place to see it. I literally rank that experience up there with the births of my children! During that screening I had an epiphany and decided I didn’t want to do anything other than these retro-style features.
DLM – When it came to writing your latest film, House of Ghosts, you took a bit of a different direction from your other films, in that this one is more of a William Castle style ghost story rather than a monster or sci-fi type film like you’ve made in the past. What inspired you to go in this direction this time around, and is it a style and genre you’d like to re-visit again in the future?

CRM – After making six films, I decided I wanted to branch out A LITTLE. Not very much, obviously, since “House of Ghosts” very much fits in with my other work. After doing sci-fi/monster pictures for so long, I wanted to try something that was a little more straight horror. I figured it would allow me to stretch my filmmaking and screenwriting skills in a new direction while staying within my chosen style. As a fan of the films (and gimmicks) of William Castle, it was the perfect way to start branching out by paying homage to the master!
Lastly, it is a style and genre I will revisit in the future. I very much enjoyed it and I think it gave me the courage to branch out in other ways as well. For instance, my next film “The Giant Spider” is my first attempt at a “giant bug” film. I also have plans to make a sort of western film next year!
DLM – I noticed that in this film you had a lot of inside jokes that related to your previous films. Did you have a difficult time fitting those in so that they’d be funny for people who got the references, while still keeping it amusing enough for people who didn’t?

CRM – In the very beginning, I decided I wanted all my films to be standalone stories while simultaneously existing in the same “universe.” Basically, it’s built in such a way that characters, locations, family lines, products, bad-pseudo-science, etc. from one film may appear in another or be mentioned or directly referenced. In this way, it ties all of my films together BUT, they can all be enjoyed one at a time, completely separate from the others. As I add more films to the library, it’s getting harder and harder to include “inside stuff” without alienating folks who may not be familiar with all of the films. In “House of Ghosts” there are many inside references but I don’t think they’re so heavy-handed as to take away from someone’s enjoyment of the final film.
(It should be mentioned that a fan of the films came up with the term “Mihmiverse” as a shortcut to refer to the universe of my films. It, along with the term “Mihmivites” to describe the fans themselves, have since stuck and become synonymous with my work!)
DLM – You have a “stable” of actors that you tend to go to for each of your films. while throwing new and different people into the mix now and then. Tell us about some of the cast members that have become familiar faces in your films, and the benefits to having reliable cast members to work with from film to film.

CRM – The greatest benefit of using the same actors over and over is the shorthand we end up having with each other. I know their strengths and they know how I need and want things done. They know what to expect and where to take things and I can trust their instincts to create great performances. This also makes the actual process of shooting one of these films smoother and much more relaxed.
There are so many great actors that have been added to the “stable” that it’s hard to name just a few! Instead, I’ll list the ones that immediately come to mind and say this about all of them: they are all my dear friends, are dedicated, easy and fun to work with, and are extremely talented (and would be a marvelous addition to ANY project)—Mike Cook, Sid Korpi, Shannon McDonough, Daniel R. Sjerven, Jim Norgard, Justen Overlander, Stephanie Mihm, Michael Kaiser, Catherine Hansen, Mark Haider, and Anthony Kaczor. (If I forgot anybody, I apologize profusely!) Also, there are a couple behind-the-scenes folks that I have to mention, specifically Mitch Gonzales (my go-to guy for monster designs and special effects) and Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati, my lighting and production designer and the only person who can ever get away with telling me “no!”
DLM – What were some of the aspects of this film that you feel came out particularly well, and are there any aspects of it that, looking back on it, you’d have done differently?

CRM – I think we achieved the right atmosphere and level of escalation we were going for. I think the script is solid and the “scares” we got were very close to how I imagined them. I am actually quite proud of the finished product and wouldn’t change much. There are small things I would change that really wouldn’t affect the overall film that much. I struggled with my William Castle-esque intro and wish I could have shortened it a little but, it’s fine for what it is. Some of the special effects weren’t QUITE as special as I was imagining and I really wish we could have gotten actual snow. I live in Minnesota and I wrote a blizzard into my script not knowing that last winter would have one of the lowest snowfall amounts on record! So to answer the question, the changes would be minimal things that in all honesty, would only ever be big enough to bother my own perfectionist sensibilities!
DLM – Tell us about the ghosts in this film. Who made the costumes for them?

CRM – There are really only two ghosts that required their own special costumes. (SPOILER ALERT!) One is the “Angel of Death,” a skeletal creature with, as I called them, “Loki horns” coming out of its head. It wears a simple monk-like black robe that was created by costumer Carol Eade. The creature’s mask and skeletal hands are latex creations made by the uber-talented artist and special effects expert Mitch Gonzales. Mitch also did some cool zombie ghost make-up that appears later in the film.
The other ghost was a callback to a previous film that required us to pull out an old costume that had been in storage for quite a few years! That costume was created by me and two of my kids!
DLM – There’s a scene where one of your cast is in the basement and is attacked by a bunch of spiders. How hard was that scene to shoot and how difficult was it to move the spiders around the way you wanted to?

CRM – Special effects wise, that one was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be. During that scene, the character’s flashlight keeps failing so it made editing different effects shots together much smoother because we end up with short periods of complete darkness. For some shots, we used spirit gum to attach spiders to the actor and for others, we tossed cheap plastic spiders at him while simultaneously using lots of clear fishing line to add the illusion of webs and movement. All things considered, I think it turned out much better (and much cheesier) than we originally anticipated. The “spider attack” is one of my favorite scenes in the finished film!
DLM – One of the things that I noted in my review that was done particularly well in this film was the use of light and shadow, and this was particularly important in the scenes with the ghosts, and the scene with the spiders. How difficult was it to get the lighting just right in these scenes. Was it really time consuming to get it to look the way you wanted, or did it come together fairly quickly?

CRM – This is entirely on the shoulders of lighting designer Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati. She and I have been friends for many years and she’s not only talented as hell but REALLY gets what it is I need and want. She’s done many theater productions over the years and when she read the script she basically said, “I got this.” I know her inspiration for the film was actually the hard and harsh shadows of film noir. From the beginning, she told me what she needed by way of supplies and I just got out of her way to do what she does best! The final result is 100% her and I could not be any happier with what she was able to achieve! AND, the best part about it is that she works very quickly and efficiently, so it really didn’t cut into our shoot times much at all!
DLM – What was the most difficult scene for you to shoot in this film?

CRM – The hardest scene to shoot involved the first time one of the characters (played by Stephanie Mihm) sees the ghost of her deceased son. In this scene, the spirit keeps appearing in different parts of a hallway in front of or behind Stephanie’s character while the ghost’s face is shrouded in shadow the entire time. It was extremely difficult to get the lighting in that scene JUST RIGHT to hide the actor’s face while still maintaining the tension and moodiness of the setting.
DLM – One of the things I’ve always loved about your films is the selection of music you use. Where do you find all this great old music, and how time consuming of a process is it to pick out just the right selections?

CRM – All of the music I use is old public domain library or royalty free stuff. At the beginning of the editing process I find about five or six big pieces and extract any usable audio. Then during the editing process, I add music at the same time I put together the video—sometimes even editing a scene to the cues in the music. It can add a little extra editing time but it allows me to synch things in such a way that the music becomes almost a secondary character in the film.
DLM – Did you make any technical advancements in this film, like new equipment, new software, etc… that you feel improved your production quality over your previous films?

CRM – Aside from using real theater lights and a “real” lighting designer, the big change was upgrading my camera to HD. In the past I filmed everything on a Panasonic DVX100a, which is a standard-definition 24p camera. For “House of Ghosts,” I purchased a new Panasonic HMC150 AVCCAM. I believe the difference in the way it looks speaks for itself!
DLM – This film, like previous releases, has English subtitles, which are a really fun part of the experience and shouldn’t be missed. It also includes both a language track and subtitles in Esperanto. What language is Esperanto exactly? Who speaks it and what made you want to include it in your films?

CRM – Esperanto was created in the late 19th century and is the most widely spoken constructed language. I’d go into the whole background of it but it’d be much easier to point you to the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto!

Basically Esperanto was started as a language that was supposed to be very easy-to-learn and used for “peaceful, diplomatic purposes.” In the 1950s, the language was quite popular among sci-fi and monster fans with Forrest J. Ackerman (who created the seminal classic-movie magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland) being a big fan and speaker. When I wrote my previous film “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” the action takes place on an international moon base in the 1970s (as imagined from the 1950s). During pre-production, a friend suggested that from a 1950s sci-fi perspective, an international science station would absolutely REQUIRE that all crew members know Esperanto to allow communication. I liked the idea quite a bit so I found an organization of Esperanto speakers and asked them to translate a few signs and the base’s motto that was to appear on the all the characters’ mission patches. One thing led to another and they volunteered to translate the entire script AND record an audio track for it. Seeing no negatives, I gladly accepted. “Moon Zombies” has since been very well received in the Esperanto community and the translation team was excited by the prospect of doing more – thus, we ended up with Esperanto subtitles and spoken audio on the “House of Ghosts” DVD—and I love it!
DLM – I noticed that the dialogue in the film is re-recorded and dubbed in rather than using the live recorded sound. While it makes the sound quality of the dialogue excellent, does it create any significant sync problems or delays from a production standpoint when you do it that way?

CRM – I do that purposely just for consistency. I find it quite difficult to capture dialogue live, especially when using the bare-minimum crews as I do. After so many films, I have my audio process down to a bit of a science and it doesn’t really FEEL like it adds that much time to the creation of the film simply because it’s more or less a standard part of how I do things. I just add spoken audio the same way I add music—at the same time I edit the video. And yes, it CAN occasionally create synch problems. But, since it’s digital, I can do a lot to minimize that and, if I absolutely can’t get something to line up right, it just forces me to cut away to something else in the visuals!
DLM – What are your plans for House of Ghosts? Are you going to send it around to various festivals before you put it out there for sale, or are you planning to self distribute it right away?

CRM – I make my films specifically for DVD. I release them the same day I hold the premiere. I had a distribution deal early in my filmmaking career but it really didn’t turn out so well! So, I self-distribute all my films because it’s the only way I’ve been able to make any kind of money back from my investments into producing them. I do send them out to various festivals and events but, those can be hit or miss. A lot of times, I try to set up events directly with other promoters, theaters or live horror hosts.
DLM – You premiered this film to a live audience. Tell us about that evening and how it all went. How was the film received?

CRM – Every year I hold a premiere of my latest film at a local theater that is the longest continuously running movie theater in the Twin Cities—it goes back to the silent era! Every year the profile of this event has been rising. The premiere for “House of Ghosts” sold out the 400 seat theater six weeks in advance! That was definitely a first! Because this film is a tribute to William Castle, we included some extra “shenanigans” to add extra oomph to the experience. We had a faux doctor and nurse on hand in case anyone died, had a planted woman “freak out,” did a pseudo-Emergo thing with a walking skeleton and rained plastic spiders on the heads of theater goers. All in all, the night was a smashing success and the film has been very well received!
DLM – Your next film is The Giant Spider. Can you tell us anything about it, without giving too much away, and do you have any idea when you’re going to be starting production on it?

CRM – It’s a coming of age story about a boy and his dog. Actually, it’s not but that’s what we sarcastically tell people when they ask. “The Giant Spider,” oddly enough (more sarcasm), is about a gargantuan arachnid that is making its way toward a small town. On the way, it stops off to eat people. Meanwhile, a group of scientists, a newspaper reporter, his fiancee, and an army general try to stop it! It’s a very straightforward script and, if I can pull it off, will most likely be my most ambitious and biggest “blockbuster!” We’ve already been in pre-production for at least a month and we’ll be shooting the first scenes in the middle of July!
DLM – Tell everyone where they can find out about your films and purchase copies for themselves.

CRM – Visit my website at http://www.sainteuphoria.com, the online home of the films of Christopher R. Mihm! There you can view clips and trailers and purchase DVDs, posters and other collectibles AND play a special custom-made Infocom-style text adventure game set in the Mihmiverse I created specifically for the site! (You can find it under “Danny Johnson and the Lucky Coin” in the “Special Features” section!)
DLM – Is there anything else you’d like to mention before we wrap this up?

CRM – My films are funded almost entirely by the fans. If you’re at all interested in contributing, we offer associate producer credits for only $55. For every credit you buy, you get your name in the end credits, 5 copies of the finished DVD to share with family and friends, two tickets to the premiere, and a beautiful, frame-able signed certificate stating your involvement in the associate producer program! AP credits can be purchased in the merchandise section of my website. Thanks!

It was Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The skies were darkening, a threat of severe weather imminent, as people lined up around the block to see the world premiere of Christopher R. Mihm’s B&W 1950s drive-in-style B-movie, House of Ghosts.

We had a sold-0ut show, with just a few scalpers out front selling available-at-the-last-minute tickets.

My gown cost me $6.99 at a Goodwill store! I borrowed a genuine antique brooch from my friend Carol Johnson. Many enthusiastic fans arrived in vintage clothing of their own, and they deserve some runway recognition.

Executive Producer Bonnie Kane, me, and Kailynn Neal (one of Bonnie’s fellow dog groomers at Royal Pet Beauty Shop, where our Westies were made continuously gorgeous for filming)

’50s Fashionista Jenn Farmer with me.

Josette Elstad, owner of JoJo’s Retro and Vintage (www.jojosretroandvintage.com)    and Kiera McMillan, another of                  Royal Pet’s great staff.

Clockwise from top center, the feet of Jenn Farmer, Maggie Schultz, Anthony Kaczor, me, and Christopher R. Mihm.

Writer/Director Christopher R. Mihm with Ann Segar and me.

Anthony Kaczor, my hubby and butler Piers in the movie, shows off his great new Christian Dior tux (ebay $29). To the right, I’m squishing Bonnie Kane.

Ann Segar and “House of Ghosts” lighting designer,        Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati, looking spectacular.

The cast and crew of “House of Ghosts.” From left: Sid Korpi, James Norgard, Dan Sjerven, Mark Haider, Andy Wilkins, Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati, Catherine Hansen, Anthony Kaczor, Horror Host Dr. Ivan Cryptosis, Michael Kaiser, Stephanie Mihm, Liz Kaiser, Christopher R. Mihm and Mitch Gonzales.  I was holding Blanche, and many of the rest of the cast were pouring out an invisible tribute to our “homies” Mike Cook, Mark Scanlan, and Justen Overlander, who’d already left for home.

Nurse Kira checks the Angel of Death (created by Mitch Gonzales) for a heartbeat.

I’m holding Blanche up to Christopher R. Mihm who is beside the Angel of Death and its creator, Mitch Gonzales.

Here I am with the four, four-legged stars of “House of Ghosts.” (Oliver, Blanche, Keely, Ambrose) They’d come down to take their BOWwows.

Stephanie Mihm (Ursula), in a lovely dress made for her by her mother Carol Eade from a vintage pattern, with frequent Mihm-movie star Dan Sjerven, and Mike Cook (Harlan).

Writer/director Christopher R. Mihm prepares to cut the cake by Melissa Dirtzu.

After taking out the bobby pins from my ’50s hairdo (by stylist Hannah Rouser).

The more than 50 bobby pins I’d removed from my hair!

“Doctor” Warren Porter and “Nurse” Kira Pontiff at the Heights Theatre lobby.

Earlier: Getting Nurse Rachet’s hair ready. Behind the scenes, back home just before all the hubbub was to transpire, I helped to prep our faux nurse (Kira Pontiff) and faux doctor (Warren Porter), who were going to pass out “fear shields” to audience members to save them from dying of fright.

Filmmaker Christopher R. Mihm Raises Funds for New Film with Double Feature at New Hope Cinema Grill

Cave Women on Mars

Terror from Beneath the Earth
Terror from Beneath the Earth
PRLog (Press Release)Aug 10, 2011 – A fan-favored pair of Christopher R. Mihm’s 1950s-style B-movies, “Terror from Beneath the Earth” & “Cave Women on Mars,” will screen exclusively on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011, 7 p.m. at the New Hope Cinema Grill at 2749 Winnetka Ave. N., New Hope, MN 55427 (763) 417-0017. At this unique venue, viewers can enjoy both movies and an all-you-can-eat buffet of salad, pizza, and soda for just $15; a full bar also is available to adults.

Mihm’s latest release, the wildly popular “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” screened at the Cinema Grill to a sold-out crowd in July. Mihm’s intention is to attract new fans into the Mihmiverse with this showcasing of two more of his purposely campy, drive-in-style, B&W movies.

B-movie aficionados will have the chance to meet the director, some of the actors, and maybe even a monster or two, so bring along a camera. Audience members, as always, are encouraged to come dressed in their finest 1950s togs to fit in with the era. Contests and a silent auction will help to raise funds for Mihm’s upcoming independent film,House of Ghosts,” an homage to director William Castle (“House on Haunted Hill,” “The Tingler,” and others). Also offered will be special deals on becoming an associate producer of the new movie. Mihm-orabilia, including the full set of his six movies—“Monster of Phantom Lake,” “It Came from Another World,” and “Destination: Outer Space” completing the set—will also be available for sale on-site.

“Terror from Beneath the Earth”—Synopsis
After years of underground atomic testing, one of the animals living within the Wisawa caves (a system that stretches from Phantom Lake to the Deadlands) has undergone a radical and unimaginably horrible transformation! While exploring the caves, Dr. Vincent Edwards (Mike Cook) and colleague Rosemary Bennett (Stephanie Mihm) stumble across evidence in the disappearance of local children. After reporting the find to the local sheriff, Dr. Edwards and Rosemary are tapped to lead a rescue attempt. Along with the sheriff (Justen Overlander) and small-town farmer Stan Johnson, the children’s father, (Dan Sjerven), the rescue party quickly comes to the realization that if the caves don’t get them, whatever unseen terror lurking in the shadows just might!

“Cave Women on Mars”—Synopsis
It is the future: 1987. Humanity has finally left the confines of its home world. When the two-man crew of the MARS-1 spaceship lands on the surface of the red planet, they are astonished to find it strangely Earth-like. After deciding to split up and scout around, Lieutenant Elliott (Dan Sjerven) stumbles across an amazing discovery—primitive, matriarchal warrior women! He is promptly taken prisoner by the Martian beauties and led unwillingly across the alien landscape. While his commanding officer, Captain Jackson (Josh Craig), searches for his lost comrade, Lieutenant Elliott encounters unimaginable excitement in the form of fierce monsters, exotic vistas, strange magic and most unexpectedly… true love! An astounding adventure unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, “Cave Women on Mars” is not to be missed!
Can’t make this event? You can still enjoy all the Mihmiverse movies. Each DVD is available for sale for just $10 at http://www.sainteuphoria.com.

IMPORTANT! Purchasing advance tickets to this exclusive double feature—“Terror from Beneath the Earth” and “Cave Women on Mars”—is highly recommended, as there will be no guarantee of walk-in tickets being available. Purchase yours at www.sainteuphoria.com!

# # #

Christopher R. Mihm has devoted himself to re-creating the campy, cheesy goodness of old B&W B-movies featuring family-friendly monsters. Lowest-of-the-low-tech and high in fun, his movies are singularly entertaining in a non-CGI way.

From his spelling of “neighbour,” I’m guessing this is one of Christopher R. Mihm’s international fans! Great buzz about the movie. It’s exciting to see, even post-premiere. Hope the author feels just as excited about the film once he’s seen it!—Sid
Life beyond Earth- Download Attack of the Moon Zombies Movie
May 30, 2011 | Author: club george | Posted in Movies

Sci-fi films capture the imagination of human mind. All the concepts like flying cars, talking robots, and aliens invading earth that look bizarre to common mind become a reality for at least two hours on the silver screen. No wonder, this genre is a hit among audience. With plethora of films being released, the year belongs to sci-fi. A new film to join the bandwagon is Attack of the Moon Zombies. This film delves deeper into Eartha€™s nearest neighbour moon and showcase the possibility of existence of alien plant life. The dramatic concept coupled with convincing screenplay has aroused positive interest from movie aficionados. This flick is slated to hit US theatres on May 25, 2011. You can download Attack of the Moon Zombies movie from June onwards.

The plot of the film is unique and intriguing. Dr. Vincent Edwards is a renowned scientist with many new discoveries to his credit. His classic experiment that he undertook on certain radiation mutated bat creatures around twenty years ago earned him accolades from the world. As he prepares to retire and trains his protA©gA© on Jackson Lunar Base, the two stumble upon a seemingly new discovery- alien plant life on the surface of the moon. Both are exhilarated on development of this path breaking discovery. You can watch movies online for free from the internet.

Their excitement turns into nightmare when they discover that exposure to the spores of this other worldly flora is fatal and can cause instant death. To add fuel to fire, these dead do not remain dead instead multiply in number endangering the life of others. What will these scientists do? Will they be able to find solution to this impending problem? Find out this and more when the film releases. You can watch Attack of the Moon Zombies movie online from the comfort of your living room. The film stars Daniel Sjerven, Michael Cook, Douglas Sidney, and others. Christopher R. Mihm directs this flick.

The official trailers released have evoked positive response from the audiences. The special effects used in the film will be visual delight for all movie goers. You can download Attack of the Moon Zombies movie or watch Attack of the Moon Zombies movie online and catch the most awaited sci-fi film of the year.

Hey everyone,

I know I’ve been shamelessly promoting this B-movie my hubby, Anthony, and I are in (by famed local writer/director Christopher R. Mihm), but I have HUGE NEWS to report. Today, as a birthday gift to Anthony, Chris Mihm invited us to his and his wife Stephanie’s home to watch the newly completed “Attack of the Moon Zombies” movie!!!!! (The end credits haven’t even been added yet…that’s how “hot off the presses” it is!)

Anthony hams it up with the Mihm clan at a Dad's Belgian Waffle breakfast

Most everyone else has to wait until the official premiere on May 25th at the Heights Theater in Columbia Heights, MN, so we’re feeling pretty special!

I have to report—and this is not just hype or obligation talking—this is Mr. Mihm’s BEST MOVIE YET!! And that’s saying a LOT since I deeply LOVE his other five flicks (“Monster of Phantom Lake,.” “It Came From Another World,” “Cave Women on Mars,” “Terror From Beneath the Earth,” and “Destination: Outer Space.”) And, I’m also not saying this because we’re in it. Actually, that’s the hardest part for me and would normally render me mute on the subject altogether; seeing myself on the screen and shutting up the brutal inner critic is tough. But stepping back and just looking at this movie for being true to its ’50s drive-in-creature-feature heritage, as well as its pacing, humor, themes, performances, direction, special effects (i.e. zombies by Mitch Gonzales) and emotional punch—yes, I said emotional punch—this movie is absolutely top notch.

I know I could go on a talk show circuit and not be having to lie my way through a plug of the movie. Quite seriously speaking, I couldn’t be prouder of having been a part of something creative than I am of my role as Administrator Ripley (thanks again to Stephanie Mihm for recommending me for the role, which she could have had herself) and part of a wonderful ensemble cast including, but not limited to Mike Cook, Shannon McDonough, Doug Sidney, Dan Sjerven, Mark Haider, Bob Arndt, and many, many other talented folks.

If you love old B&W monster/sci fi movies from the ’50s, you simply MUST SEE “Attack of the Moon Zombies.” Contact Christopher R. Mihm at www.sainteuphoria.com for tickets to the premiere or to preorder your copy of the DVD. You’ll thank me for it!!—Sid

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