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Zombies come to Eau Claire in 1950s inspired film

September 22, 2011 By Jenna Campbell

Local filmmaker Christopher R. Mihm is bringing his newest film to Eau Claire. “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” Mihm’s sixth feature, will play at the Grand Little Theatre this Sunday. In the film, a prominent geologist, played by local actor Mike Cook, is about to retire. As he shows his replacement around, they find a plant in a cave, which they bring inside where it comes back to life. Spores from this plant turn people into plant-like monster zombies, using their bodies as vessels. All of Mihm’s films are reminiscent of 1950s style drive-in movies. “Attack of the Moon Zombies” will take place in the far off future of the 1970s on the Jackson moon base in a science station. “I try and get my movies to be somewhat indistinguishable from the old ones,” Mihm said. “I want them to be as authentic as I can get them.” Mihm said “Attack of the Moon Zombies” was filmed entirely in his 15 by 20 foot unfinished basement. From September of last year into February, Mihm said they spent most weeks setting up the set and most weekends shooting the film. “It was kind of a crazy process,” Mihm said. “It was a lot of work just putting up and taking down.” Mihm began to experiment with filmmaking while attending college. Though he was pursuing music, his passion led him to want to continue to make films after graduation. “Something just sort of clicked in my head, and I said, ‘you know I’m going to make a movie,’” Mihm said. “I just never looked back, and I just can’t seem to stop.” Mihm said his decision to pursue the 1950s drive-in style genre was triggered by the time he spent watching movies with his father when he was young. “I was raised on them,” Mihm said. “It was something that we’d sort of sit around and do; we’d watch these old cheesy movies.” But Mihm said honoring his memories of times spent with his father isn’t the only thing that drives him to keep making these types of movies. “I also just absolutely love the sort of honest realness of those old films, where they were really, really trying to make scary things without knowing how, without having the money to do it,” Mihm said. “Back then, it was real. It was everything you could touch. I mean, the space ships are paper plates.” Fans are beginning to take notice of Mihm’s films all over the world, but Mihm said the films still mostly premiere in the Midwest. The film will premiere at Eau Claire’s Grand Little Theatre on Sunday, September 25. Proceeds of the film premiere will go to the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild and will help pay for operating expenses and new sound equipment at the Grand Little Theatre.

 

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From a reviewer at  www.ZMDB.org!

Great Stuff
Attack of the Moon Zombies is a hilarious homage to the 1950s science fiction b movies and other types of films. There’s obvious nods to George Romero with calling the prodution company “All For George Productions.” The homages are also present in character names–Ripley from “Alien, “Ace” Frehley–rock group KISS, Dr. Huer, Rogers, Doering, Theopolis–Buck Rogers In The 25th Century. There’s also clear parallels to the Alien films with an evil corporation. This film was a great tribute. The costumes look very cheesy. It was perfect for 1950s movies. The acting was far from perfect, but that was deliberate and worked perfectly for the 1950s. I loved when the African-American guy says “I’m amazed I lived this long” and then promptly gets killed. It perfectly captured the tone of those old campy movies. Mihm certainly knows how to do those types of films well.

I give Attack of the Moon Zombies 8 out of 10.
by: Verhoskan

“Attack of the Moon Zombies” (2011) By Jason Coffman In 2006, Wisconsin-based filmmaker Christopher R. Mihm released his first feature film “The Monster of Phantom Lake.” A loving tribute to the 1950s creature features Mihm grew up watching with his father, Mihm’s first film established the blueprint for his subsequent oeuvre: low-budget black & white features shot on the cheap that aim not to ironically appropriate the look and feel of 1950s genre cinema, but to actually replicate that look and feel as an end in itself. Each of Mihm’s films— with titles such as “Cave Women on Mars” and “Terror from Beneath the Earth”— build on and add to an overarching mythology and world that has been earning his work a cult following of like-minded fans who grew up on and love the same b-movies that inspired him. Mihm’s latest film, “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” is no exception and may also be his most technically accomplished film yet. In the not-too-distant future on the Jackson Lunar Base, Dr. Vincent Edwards (Mike Cook) is on the eve of retirement. While training his young replacement, Glen Hayes (Michael Kaiser), the two men find a long-dormant plant hidden in a cave on the lunar surface. They return it to the laboratory of the Base Botanist Dr. Hackett (Shannon McDonough) and report the find to Base Administrator Ripley (Sid Korpi). Once removed from the lunar surface and its deadly radiation, the plant springs to life and the scientists learn the hard way that the plant’s spores cause paralysis and death in short order, followed by reanimation as a plant-like zombie! Soon the Moon Zombies have overrun the Base, constantly thwarting Dr. Collins’ (Douglas Sidney) attempts to propose to Dr. Hackett and resulting in the shutdown of radiation shields over two-thirds of the base. A small group of survivors must figure out a way to reach the shield controls and wipe out the Moon Zombies in time for the next supply ship to arrive and take them home. Too bad the base is absolutely crawling with monsters and time is running out— can our heroes save themselves and end the Moon Zombie threat? Shot in “era-appropriate black & white” on digital video, “Attack of the Moon Zombies” looks a bit sharper than Mihm’s other films, but that may be because it’s almost entirely shot on sterile interior sets. The Lunar Base is all white walls, plastic lawn chairs and automatic sliding doors, probably making lighting a bit easier and more consistent than in the outdoor locations that make up much of Mihm’s previous films. The cast is mostly made up of alumni from Mihm’s previous films (and includes his wife Stephanie), and the lo-fi sets, costumes and monster make-up all add to the film’s considerable charm. The Moon Zombies themselves are perfectly realized, looking exactly as cheap as they should (they appear to be masks and gloves) without being too goofy to generate some genuine tension. Mihm absolutely nails the tone and dialogue of his 50’s inspirations, and the game cast does a great job across the board. Aside from the crisp DV picture, the only tip-offs that the film isn’t from the same decade as “It Conquered the World” are the sly pop culture references (be sure to note all the characters’ names!) and the use of some simple CG animation early in the film instead of cardboard-tube space ships and Christmas-light stars. While “Attack of the Moon Zombies” may be most fun for “Mihmiverse” converts— it really does pay to watch all the films and pay careful attention— any fan of classic sci-fi and horror films will find a lot to like, and this is a great introduction to Mihm’s work. Learn more about “Attack of the Moon Zombies” and Christopher R. Mihm’s other films at his official website: www.sainteuphoria.com.

Jason Coffman is a film writer living in Chicago. He writes reviews for Film Monthly and “The Crown International Files” for Criticplanet.org as well as contributing to Fine Print Magazine (www.fineprintmag.net).

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.


Please read this guy’s blog review of the premiere of “Attack of the Moon Zombies.” Woohoo! I got my first rave review!!!

 

I Survived an “Attack of the Moon Zombies!”

Last night I had the thrill of attending the premiere of Twin Cities filmmaker Christopher Mihm’s Attack of the Moon Zombies (AotMZ, hereafter) locally-made film. It’s a throwback to the classic sci-fi flicks of the 50s and 60s and employs all the trappings of the era (glorious B/W, over-dramatized musical score, lovingly dopey visual effects and monsters, and of course–gloriously hamfisted acting!

The Heights’ organist: pre-show entertainment!

Mihm’s been at the homebrew filmmaking game for several years now and AotMZ marks his sixth entry in to the “Mihm-verse” (as he’s dubbed it), his personal pantheon of original science fiction digital cinema. This is my second venture in the the Mihm-verse, my introduction began with Destination: Outer Space. This time I was sure to drag my wife and a friend along to experience what I’d been yapping about since last year.

I’ll be honest– I envy this guy! Every year he releases a new film he made with his friends, family, local thespians, and cinemaniacs and holds a “WORLD PREMIERE” at the historic Heights Theater in NE Minneapolis. The Heights is an old-fashioned (and well cared for) movie house with stage curtain and house organ intact (we were treated to a 30 minute performance prior to the show last night).

Laughing at–and with–films from another era

The film itself was preceded by old news reels, previews from horrendous/classic sci-fi films, and one of his older films. I won’t go into a full review here (or spoil), but the plot centers around a claustrophobic moonbase “in the future” staffed by unwitting scientists who become “moon zombie” prey after discovering an alien plant hidden in a lunar cave (think John Carpenter’s The Thing, but the moon stands in for Antarctica).

The brussel-sprout-headed undead aliens are the true stars of the film, lumbering towards our cowering heroes in spectacular Plan 9 From Outer Space fashion. The film uses well-worn movie cliches (i.e., camera freely gliding over a slow moving hand about to reveal a corpse-under-the-sheet surprise) to great effect. Short of some stilted dialogue in the beginning, the result is a hilarious and well-orchestrated send-up of sci-fi films and their audiences. It’s as if you’re participating in a live episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. AotMZ, much like Mihm’s other films, are a love-letter to cinematic cheddar played to the hilt.

Rubber and latex BEMs, deadly radiation, and silly subplots about marriage proposals, round out the the film’s retro sci-fi caricature. Sprinkled throughout were nuggets of pop culture in-jokes (sci-fi and music mostly) that kept our little group laughing after the credits.

AotMZ boasts an impressive cast of thespians–most notably Mike Cook and Sid Korpi in standout performances as an avuncular senior scientist and a hard-nosed-moon-base-administrator-with-a-golden heart, respectively. Douglas Sidney and Shannon McDonough seem to relish their purposefully 2D portrayals as love interests/leads. Sidney punctuates every scene he’s in with silent goony-faced expressions and McDonough is a twirling, sobbing, wreck of a woman straight out of a 50s soap opera acting class.

‘Moon Zombies, a delicious treat

Seeing the film with his actors, crew, and loved ones must be a huge high for Mihm–as everyone bursts out into laughter, groans, and applauds along with the on-screen action. After we’ve all taken in the hilarity, he offers DVDs of the flick (all of them actually) for a few bucks along with posters, t-shirts, patches, and more. The literal icing on the cake: a a moon + zombie cake, cupcakes, and cookies. Filmmaker, cast, crew, and co-conspirators alike were of course on hand to meet the audience, sign autographs, and ladle thanks on fans for supporting what I’m glad is now a Twin Cities tradition.

In an age of over-produced, financially fire-hosed movies, it’s an absolute delight to not only see independent/locally supported films, but also participate in an event that celebrates imagination, science fiction, and an unabashed love of the movie-going experience. I look forward to exploring new corners of the Mihm-verse next year!

Learn more:
Saint Euphoria Films (Mihm’s production company)
Keep up with the Mihm-verse on Facebook

Posted by Jay at 5:23 PM

Buy your own copy of the “Attack of the Moon Zombies” DVD for just $10. Click here.

The following is an article about the movie in which I and my hubby have cameo appearances—and one line apiece—and for which our dear, departed dog Mortimer was given an associate producer’s credit! Note: some corrections to my quote are 1) I am NOT yet 50!; b) my stalagmite is just over 3 feet tall, NOT man-sized, unless we’re talking midgets/little people, AND I said it was from “Terror from Beneath the Earth” NOT “Cave Women on Mars”; and c) Mihm’s movies are “wonderfully cheesy ’50s drive-in movie homages,” not merely “silly”! I hate being misquoted. She left out the part where I called Mihm “The Roger Corman of Minneapolis,” too, but otherwise, I thought Ms. Ford did a nice job on the piece. Please join us for the premiere on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the historic Heights Theater in Columbia Heights, Minnesota! For more info and to order tickets, go to <www.sainteuphoria.com>.

Also of note, Mr. Mihm is the creator of the wonderful “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss” website! Contact him at <chris@asterisksoftware.com>.

—Sid

An Arden Hills filmmaker’s fans pitch in to

help finance and produce his latest movie.

Marlin Levison, Star Tribune Christopher Mihm displayed some of the props used in his new movie “Destination: Outer Space.” At left is the head of Oculon while the robot at right is named ADAM. The movie will be shown at drive-ins and sci-fi conventions. That’s an asteroid at top left.

‘Destination: Outer Space’
ALYSSA FORD Special to the Star Tribune April 21, 2010

B-moviemaker Christopher Mihm of Arden Hills knew he had a fan base for his black-and-white creature features with their bug-eyed lake monsters, alien-possessed meteorites and matriarchal colonies on Mars.

He’s accustomed to getting fan e-mails from people all over the country, and he’s been able to finance his moviemaking hobby in part through the sale of patches, posters and DVDs of his four previous films: “The Monster of Phantom Lake” (2006), “It Came From Another World” (2007), “Cave Women on Mars” (2008) and “Terror from Beneath the Earth” (2009).

He’s even gotten to the point where he’s pleased (but not surprised) to see fans dress up for his premieres — in ball gowns or their own googly monster eyes made of pingpong balls.

But Mihm says he wasn’t prepared for what happened last year when his fan base pitched in to save his latest film, “Destination: Outer Space.”

It all started when one of Mihm’s financial backers had to back out due to recessionary troubles. “It was a job thing,” said Mihm, with a shrug. “It happens.”

But that left “Destination: Outer Space” in a lurch. “I was kind of racking my brain,” says Mihm, “and I kind of concluded that if I couldn’t figure out a way to raise a little money, I’d have to postpone shooting until I could save some up myself.”

But then Mihm, a 33-year-old freelance computer programmer in his grown-up life, put a notice on his website, www.sainteuphoria.com, asking for $50 donations to the project in exchange for future DVDs, tickets to the premiere on May 25 and “associate producer” credits in the film.

“I knew I’d get maybe four people to do it and that would be it,” Mihm says.

To his great surprise, 50 people signed up to be associate producers for “Destination: Outer Space,” giving this black-and-white B-movie an even bigger budget than it was going to have in the first place.

“I was stunned and pretty touched, too,” says Mihm.

Some fans also offered to help produce the film, donating their time to build sets and engineer monsters. One volunteer was Mitch Gonzales, 45, of Maple Grove, who discovered Mihm’s films while surfing online in 2007.

For “Destination: Outer Space,” Gonzales — a project manager for an injection-molding company by day and a B-movie fan by night — built a starfish-inspired monster out of chicken wire and foam latex with a giant bulbous eyeball for a head. He also created a pair of wiggly antennae for an extra, and was even allowed to make a cameo appearance in the film wearing a tall, made-up forehead. “I was thrilled to be allowed to play in the Mihm sandbox, so to speak,” says the father of two.

Fan Rylan Bachman, 31, of Cambridge, Minn., spent long hours hunting for iron-ore rocks along a railroad bed for an asteroid scene in “Destination: Outer Space.”

“I wanted to find some great rocks with nice pits and crevices,” Bachman says.

Mike Obrecht, 34, of Omaha, made a 14-hour round trip to Arden Hills to help build some sets for the film and play a capitalist alien named B’Kee in a crowded bar scene.

Mihm, 33, says that all of his films have relied heavily on family members and even neighborhood kids from around Arden Hills, but “Destination: Outer Space” is the first one created by the “Mihmiverse” — the name he has given to his small but rabid fan base.

As a result, he says, this production has quadruple the number of sets and costumes of any of his previous movies.

“It’s my B-movie version of ‘Star Wars,’ ” Mihm says.

The reason for all this fan mania is simple, says Sid Korpi, 50, of south Minneapolis, who is such an aficionado of Mihm films that she keeps a man-sized stalagmite in her basement — a souvenir from the set of “Cave Women on Mars.”

“It’s all about Chris,” says Korpi. “When you’re around him, you can’t help but want to get involved in these silly movies. He’s made monsters of all of us.”

Alyssa Ford is a Minneapolis freelance writer.

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