You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Sid Korpi’ tag.

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

Introducing my latest creative venture: I’ve joined the acting troupe known as the Murder Mystery Co. I LOVE doing interactive theater, so this is my dream gig. As there is a sizable group of actors portraying the available roles, I work sporadically. The dates of my appearances will be posted on my website at http://www.goodgriefpetloss.com/appearances.html. Please check this site if you’re in the Twin Cities area, specifically near the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant in Minneapolis. NOTE: You may have to purchase tickets a fair ways out because these shows tend to sell out fast. I can give you a 50% off coupon if you email me directly at goodgriefpetloss@gmail.com and request it. At the end of August, we will have finished up the show “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” in which I’ve played Miss Prissy Dorite, wedding planner; Anita Goodman, maid of honor (shown below with fellow actor, Patrick Genelli as Bob Wire, best man/Peter Ness, detective); and Summer McDonald, Bridezilla.

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Come September, I will be playing Oola La, a French maid (and possibly Mary-Katen Ashley, production assistant) in the 1930s-Hollywood-set show “Best Laid Plans.” One of my costars will occasionally be Justen Overlander (Ray from “House of Ghosts” and star/writer/director of “The Bequeather,” a comedy currently in postproduction in which I play Goldie). In the new Murder Mystery Co. show, he will portray Warren Peace, movie producer.

I would love to meet any of my readers in person at/after one of these shows. They are such a fun experience! I get paid to flirt with and/or abuse people. What could be better suited to me?

Just for fun, here’s a shot of me with my husband, Anthony, in the show “Crime and Punishment,” wherein I was an audience member who won a Best Actress award (my SECOND), which prompted me to join the cast. My character’s name was Jenna Side, Russian spy and assassin. All shows are directed by Jody Bee.

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Film Review: Attack Of The Moon Zombies (2011)

Attack Of The Moon Zombies poster 325x500 imageSYNOPSIS:

“Twenty years have passed since Dr. Vincent Edwards took on a certain radiation-mutated bat creature and he is ready to retire. While training his replacement on the Jackson Lunar Base, the two stumble upon a seemingly impossible discovery: alien plant life on the surface of the moon! Unfortunately, exposure to the spores of this otherworldly flora cause instant death. Too bad those killed by them don’t stay dead and instead, want nothing more than to replicate!” (courtesy IMDB)

REVIEW:

This week I present to you one of the most incredibly implausible introductions to one of the…movies in the history of Horror News – that’s right, I’m talking about my fabulous introduction to Attack Of The Moon Zombies (2011)! It goes a little like this…

Attack Of The Moon Zombies photo 1 400x470 imageIt may look like it was made in 1961 but don’t let that fool you. Made fifty years later than you’d think, by my old American friend Christopher Mihm, Attack Of The Moon Zombies stars Shannon McDonough, Mike Cook, Douglas Sidney, Michael Kaiser and my old sweetheart Sid Korpi, in a science fiction extravaganza that promises to go one better than Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, with zombies – on the moon! The crew of an isolated moonbase find themselves inundated with mutated monster-men and sinister space-spores! Despite the serious situation, it’s a loony lunar laugh-fest that lovingly lampoons low-cost movies while remaining remarkably respectful to those bizarre but beloved B-graders. So strap yourselves in and count backwards from ten, as we prepare for the coming zombie apocalypse – on the moon!

Attack Of The Moon Zombies photo 2 400x469 imageI’m very happy to announce that my introduction this week has been nominated for a Rondo Award for Most Gratuitous Alliteration In A DVD Review. If you see me on the red carpet, please help me back into my seat. Now to tell you exactly who and what you’ve been watching. Only you know why. Attack Of The Moon Zombies, Christopher Mihm’s sixth – yes, sixth! – movie in just as many years. He doesn’t mock the originals so much as replicate the organic elements that make these films so enduringly endearing – including their low-budget shortcomings and questionable talents – with 21st century sensibilities. This delicate balance of parody and homage is not easy, but Mr. Mihm is a master of this special brand of fifties-style satire, which has become its own sub-genre, as evidenced by films like The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra (2001) and Frankenstein Versus The Creature From Blood Cove (2005).

Attack Of The Moon Zombies photo 3 400x471 imageWithout effecting the plot or pacing, there are plenty of references to fifties classics for you trainspotters out there: The Mole People (1956), The Thing From Another World (1951), This Island Earth (1955), The Day Of The Triffids (1962), The Green Slime (1968), and the subtly-titled It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958). You may also recognise bits of Star Trek, THX-1138 (1971) and the Alien (1979) franchise. The real reason he chose to set the film on the moon was because it had nothing to do with any of his other films and, since the movie had to be shot during the winter, his choices were filming ‘in the snow’ or ‘in his basement’. Lacking enthusiasm for hypothermia or yetis, the basement was the way to go. Ordinarily, to create a moonbase you’d need a skilled crew and vast amounts of money, but if all you have is US$3,000 and five people with day jobs, the best you can hope for is a lot of duct tape and plywood. Fortunately, these are the same materials used by NASA so it’s perfectly authentic.

Attack Of The Moon Zombies photo 4 400x472 imageJust like the sets, the acting is also perfectly…wooden, and Shannon McDonough really shines in this aspect as the moon-based botanist, Doctor Hackett. Douglas Sidney plays her boyfriend, Doctor Collins, whose attempts at proposal are repeatedly thwarted. Mike Cook plays Doctor Vincent Edwards, the wise old professor days before retirement, who is training his young replacement Glen Hayes, played by Michael Kaiser. But my personal favourite is Sid Korpi as Commander Ripley. Born January 27th 1962, Korpi’s real name is Keanu but changed it to something less preposterous. A cold-eyed calculating expert in conspiracy, torture and murder, a master villain and head of the secret society known as the Si-Fan, she operates all over the globe, her aim being the ultimate domination of the world. However, her nefarious plans are repeatedly foiled by the stout British agent Dennis Nayland Smith…wait a minute, that’s Doctor Fu Manchu. Ah, here we go – Sid Korpi’s stage career was a series of hits and misses – mostly Mrs. I’ll explain: She played Mrs. Boyle in Agatha Christie‘s The Mousetrap, Mrs. Banks in Father Of The Bride, and Mrs. Gertrude in Steve Martin‘s Underpants…yes, that’s the title of the play.

Attack Of The Moon Zombies photo 5 400x471 imageShe was then kidnapped by Christopher Mihm and forced to appear in Attack Of The Moon Zombies, which earned her a nomination for a Dead Letter Award for Best Actress In A Zombie Movie. But that was a long time ago, way back in 2011. Since then she has appeared in at least two more films: House Of Ghosts (2012) and The Giant Spider (2013), both of which I hope sully your monitors with soon. The reason Attack Of The Moon Zombies looks sharper than Mihm’s previous efforts is because it’s been shot entirely in a controlled environment, making it easier to light and more consistent than the outdoor locations in most of Mihm’s movies. The low-tech sets, costumes, makeup and cast all add to the film’s considerable charm. The Moon Zombies themselves are perfectly realised, and look exactly as cheap as they should – simple masks and gloves – without ruining the scary bits…too much.

Attack Of The Moon Zombies photo 6 400x473 imageWhile Attack Of The Moon Zombies is a great introduction to the Mihmiverse, it’s worth watching all the films – found at http://www.sainteuphoria.com – and pay attention. Any fan of classic genre films is guaranteed to find a lot to like. And it’s with that rather masochistic thought in mind that I’ll make my farewells, and ask you to hit the highway to hell with me again next week while I drive you to delirium to witness another car crash on the boulevard of broken dreams for…Horror News! Toodles!

Attack Of The Moon Zombies photo 7 400x474 imageAttack Of The Moon Zombies (2011)

Read more at http://horrornews.net/69058/film-review-attack-of-the-moon-zombies-2011/#1y5K8RT2rhzdbJEz.99

Hey gang!

Great news! The movie I was in and that was filmed in our home, “House of Ghosts,” is up for The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards!

http://www.rondoaward.com/rondo/rondos.html

The awards are determined via online votes. You can visit the site above and votes for any or all categories OR if you wish to cut to the chase, just send an email to taraco@aol.com with this sentence cut and pasted into it:

8. Best Independent Feature of 2012 “House of Ghosts” by Christopher R. Mihm

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Here’s the movie trailer if you haven’t seen the film yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3jBK2c0rJg

If that makes you want to see it (again), you can order the DVD at www.sainteuphoria.com. Also, please order your tickets to the May 22 premiere of “The Giant Spider” at that same site right away. It’s more than 3/4 sold out and the tickets only went on sale a week ago! You will lose if you snooze!

Voting ends in April, but why not get yours out of the way now, while you’re thinking of it.

We made the paper for our Fish Fry Friends group. There were a few inaccuracies, however. I am not a coffee-drinking Lutheran, and our friend Keith Davis was renamed “Kevin.” But all in all, it’s a fun piece of fluff in the “St. Paul Pioneer Press.”

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http://www.twincities.com/ci_22640847/lenten-fish-fry-dinners-an-annual-tradition-minneapolishttp://

Join me today (Sunday, Feb. 10) for a discussion of pet loss and how to cope with it on Animal Blessings radio online at 5:30 p.m.–6 p.m. Central time.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/animalblessingsradio

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.

As many of you know, I am a licensed wedding officiant and my business is called Nonconformist Nuptials. I write one-of-a-kind nondenominational ceremonies for those who dislike the typical cookie-cutter approach to weddings.

One of things I love to include in these ceremonies is the couples’ beloved pets. My dearly departed Westie, Ludwig, was the ring bearer in my wedding! To that end, I want to promote The Dog Perk (owned and operated by Tony and Amy Waara, colleagues of mine through the PetPAC business networking group) and their new line of wedding-focused dog bandanas.

Get a load of these terrific designs:

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

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