Home Is Where The Hurt Is: Michaud’s DYS- is near!

Maude Michaud is a shining example of independent horror done right.  Aesthetically pleasing short films that hit on all levels- flawless execution, fantastic scripts, white knuckle suspense and just the right amount of the red stuff. 


Maude Michaud behind the scenes on DYS-

Ms. Michaud has made quite a name for herself within the film community thanks to excellent shorts like 2011’s RED and her segment “Hollywood” in the horror film anthology I HATE L.A., a delicious 2011 flick directed by five other women in horror as well as Maude.

Now, after a positive crowd-funding campaign and less than nine months following the first day’s shooting, DYS- is almost ready to rip your heart out!

DYS- is Maude’s first feature film.  Check out the official synopsis:

“A strange disease is plaguing the city; classes are cancelled, businesses are closed, all is under a state of emergency. What at first seems like a normal flu quickly leads to blind rage and cannibalistic behavior. Narrowly escaping contamination, Eva and Sam, a young married couple, are forced to barricade themselves in their high-rise apartment despite the palpable tension between them. Now forced into isolation in their small living space, they struggle with their own frailty in a world that can only offer the worst horrors imaginable.”



Dega Lezare stars as James.


Shannon Lark, a fellow Woman In Horror titan, and Alex Goldrich, a top notch theatre actor, star as the young married couple, Eva and Sam.

The film’s trailer, which can be viewed here, has a nice little claustrophobic terror feel to it.  Some may feel a tinge of THE PURGE here, but make no mistake- Ms. Michaud will have more suspense and depth in her film’s opening sequence than that crap-fest had in it’s entire running time.

Maude herself calls her film more along the lines of “REPULSION and ROSEMARY’S BABY than NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and 28 DAYS LATER…. I think we’re a bit oversaturated with zombie flicks right now, so rest assured, it’s (DYS-) not one of them.”

Whatever it is, and whoever is knocking on the other side of the door, I’m ready!

The film is currently in post-production as Michaud continues to work at a break-neck pace to get it ready for the film festival circuit.  Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for all forthcoming news on the release and festival schedule of DYS- and if I’m lucky, you’ll be able to read my review of the film at some point in the very near future!



Posted in horror, horror films, independent filmmaking, Maude Michaud, Uncategorized, Women In Horror | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

‘They Will Outlive Us All’: A Mangled Matters Review.


Directed By: Patrick Shearer
Written By: Jessi Gotta
73 minutes


If you are any part of the independent horror scene, you most definitely must know the name Jessi Gotta.  First, it was the awesomely hairy splatter-fest THE BIG BAD and then it was the dark and jumpy zombie love-fest ANNIVERSARY DINNER. Now, be prepared for one of the best horror comedies available today.

THEY WILL OUTLIVE US ALL has it all- bugs, blood, laughs, slime, ass kicking and a tandem of main characters whom you can’t help but relate to and love.

Gotta and Nat Cassidy play Margot and Daniel, respectively- roommates who spend most of their free time watching horror films and drinking or smoking away the stress of another day of work.  They live in a run-down apartment complex in New York City.  The year is 2016 and the eastern seaboard has been battered by round after round of “Frankenstorms” in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

When neighbors start dying mysteriously and an odd ooze is found under doorways and in the building’s basement, it doesn’t take long for Margot and Daniel to realize things are about to get weird.  And boy, does it get weird!

Soon enough, a bug straight out of a 1950’s atomic horror flick is darting around the dark apartment, moments reminiscent of DREAMCATCHER (always close the toilet lid!) make you cringe and some good old fashioned viscera makes the final act of the film just as delightfully crazy as the first two stanzas.


Nat Cassidy realizes if the bathroom door is a’knockin’, don’t open it.

One thing that always makes me nervous about low-budget comedy films is the dialogue.  The jokes can come off as forced and the witty commentary often seems too long-winded or too researched by the film’s writing team.  Not so with good ol’ THEY WILL OUTLIVE US ALL!  The chemistry between Cassidy and Gotta is strong, making them very likeable characters.  Their banter amongst one another on everything from hogging the shower to figuring out how to kill a big (and I mean freakishly big) bug scuttling around their apartment is loose and smart.  I guarantee you won’t find another film this side of the sun that makes better use of the word “cunt”.

It’s hard enough making an indie comedy funny, but this film does more than that- it mixes in the heebie jeebies of bugs and gross slime and also the darkness of impending doom with ease. 

As with all of Gotta’s projects, the behind-the-scenes crew is just as top notch as the people in front of the camera- and some of them manage to do both!  Alyssa Simon, Jane Rose, Patrick Shearer and Stephanie Cox-Williams all return to help on this project after making ANNIVERSARY DINNER such a success. 


too bad this wasn’t the last thing that damned bug ever saw…

The camera work is fantastic, only topped by the incredible use of lighting throughout the film.  Whether in the protagonists’ apartment or running down the desolate hallway, the lighting sets the mood for every scene and once things start to get messy, the use of blues and greens really set this film up in a big way. 

Gotta’s writing and Shearer’s directorial style seem a perfect match.

If you like vulgar language, awesome practical effects and a smart and fun story, THEY WILL OUTLIVE US ALL is a must-see.  If you don’t, then you probably are on the wrong blog, but check out the film anyways!


Rating:  4/4 skulls


Posted in horror, horror films, independent filmmaking, Jessi Gotta, review, Women In Horror | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tamara Glynn: from fan to victim of Michael Myers

Tamara Glynn has lived the ultimate horror fan’s dream.  From watching an icon of terror on the big screen to being hacked to pieces by the same monster, Tamara is a beloved fixture in the HALLOWEEN universe.  And make no mistake, she is just as in love with the fans who still celebrate her memorable demise in a barn compliments of Michael Myers some twenty-five years ago.

Glynn has been one of the busiest women in the industry, having seen her 2013 schedule jam-packed all the way through the Christmas holiday only a few months into the year.  Whether she is showing the love to her rabid fan base from all over the world or getting herself ready to host a film festival in her home state of Arkansas, Tamara loves what she does and loves the people who celebrate the blood and guts. 

This year, she will have the opportunity to trek around the country promoting the HALLOWEEN franchise in all its glory and she is looking forward to every second of it.

Recently, I was lucky enough to catch up with the energetic and wonderful Ms. Glynn for a nice long chat.


 Growing up, were you a big horror movie fan? If so, what were some of your favorite movies?

TAMARA GLYNN:  I was. In fact, the first horror film I saw in the theatres was the original HALLOWEEN. Right out of the gate, as a child, I always had a love for horror movies. My friends would think I was honestly freaky. (laughs)

I’ve always been drawn to horror, strange news stories, all kinds of crazy.

MM:  With respect to Friday and Freddy, Each installment in the Halloween franchise has a very stand-alone storyline, with H5 being a blast. What thoughts were going through your head when you first got the role of Samantha?

TG:  For me, I just stopped and was frozen. In amazement… “Wait a minute, this isn’t really happening!”

What an honor to have been a fan of the original and then to be able to be a part of the most amazing franchise ever! That is just, I mean, oh my God! (laughs) Talk about a dream come true!

When I found out I had booked Part 5, I was honored and thought it was cool as anything, it even have the opportunity to audition, let alone book it.

MM:  What makes the HALLOWEEN franchise so special, in your mind and to the millions of fans all over the world who hail Michael as the ultimate horror boogie man?

TG:  I have a great amount of respect for all horror franchises. At the end of the day, in the big picture, we are all family. But the HALLOWEEN series, as opposed to FRIDAY THE 13TH and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, with all due respect, it’s the way, the class of the franchise. It’s a very clean franchise. From the way Michael executes the kills to the writing. People are guaranteed to get the most bang for the buck. The films are so well executed, with so many dynamics and elements coming into play. The films don’t go over the top or for these super massive, bloody gory kills. Everything is precious. Michael executes his target and then it’s on to the next victim. (laughs) It’s as much what you don’t see as what you do see that really makes these films work.

Let’s take a moment to really give respect to the writers of the franchise. It’s just nice that they have been able to keep it fresh. They haven’t looked for the easy way out- the really bloody, gory kills. Kudos to them. I have a huge, huge amount of respect for that.

Then, of course, there’s all of the other dynamics throughout the series. The lighting, the simplicity of it all. Keeping it real. It’s just nice to know that the fan base it out there for this caliber of work in the genre.

The beauty of all of this, the success of HALLOWEEN, is that John Carpenter and Mr. Moustapha Akkad really paved the way for this genre in so many ways. I’m not dissing any of the other franchises, but I appreciate, myself coming from a fan’s standpoint, where they have driven this incredible beast. It’s beautiful.

MM:  We are nearing the 25th anniversary of H5, how time flies! What were some of the most memorable moments/stories from on set?

TG:  I will share something with you that I haven’t shared with many interviews. Originally, it was not in the script for me to die as I did. Samantha (Tamara’s character in the film) is just a quiet girl, not as boisterous as Tina is in the film. Samantha was more on the conservative side.

I actually went to Dominique (Othenin-Girard, director) because the kill would have been executed different if the script’s way were the way we were going to go. I said, “Can we finally see that Samantha has some strength?” She is a bold character and I suggested she come back and tackle Michael (Myers).

The whole game in the barn of “is it Michael or isn’t it?” with Spitz (Samantha’s boyfriend in the film) really rattled the nerves. So by the time it was really Michael trying to kill her, she was ready to tangle a little.

I don’t even remember off the top of my head what the original kill was supposed to be!

At least the cat survived...

At least the cat survived…

MM:  What caused you to step back from the acting scene in the first place after your career seemed to just be taking off?

TG:  I moved from LA back to Arkansas due to my grandfather’s health. Family has always and will always come first for me. That’s the primary reason. Then, after a very unfortunate series of events, I ended up staying in Arkansas a bit longer than I ever expected. One family issue led to another and I was more focused and concerned with what was going on with that than any film projects that may have come up. I was dedicated and committed to seeing my family through some health challenges. I certainly don’t regret any of my decisions, but it’s also great to be back meeting fans and loving the horror world!

MM:  Who or what brought you back into the bloody limelight recently?

TG:  I am very honored and humbled to have met Justin Beahm. The reason being, after all of these years, last August 27th, Justin and I connected and I will never forget the day. I swear to you, as much exposure as he’s given me, to be able to reach all the fans that I just love and adore so much, all of these amazing opportunities… Bumping into Justin on Facebook was a miracle.

Once Justin and I started emailing back and forth, he linked my Facebook page on the Fangoria Feed page and… I thought I would get maybe two friend requests. It was a barn scene from twenty years ago! Nobody gives a crap, not a big deal! (laughs) I kid you not, I had nearly 1,000 friend requests in a three or four-hour period! My computer almost crashed!

I started crying. I was sitting there, in tears, my heart was just so overwhelmed and full. I was so appreciative and still am. I’ve never in my life felt that sort of appreciation. I will never, ever forget that.

In this part of the country, horror has never really been a huge thing. The genre has really come up the ladder over the years and it’s nice to see so many people broadening their perspective on the genre around here.

MM:  Care to spill the beans on the film festival you are hosting and co-director of later this year?

TG:  My business partner, Bill Volland, and myself just sitting around and started talking. We really wanted to do a horror fest last year at the theatre, but looking back at all the opportunities coming up now, Bill and I agreed, “Ok, this is the year we have to get it done!”

It is called the Hot Springs Horror Film Festival and I am co-director and the proud hostess! It’s going to be such a breath of fresh air for me to be able to bring the elite of the elite in the genre to a state that is not as familiar with everything the horror world has to offer! To be able to introduce people to so many amazing, talented and well-respected directors and people- for the public to be able to just witness that we are respectful people, we do have morals and values. My own personal moral and value system is very deep, believe you me. It will be so great to share that with everyone here in Arkansas.

Beyond screening films, we also will have workshops. So many talented people in special effects are working in horror these days and since before I even started watching horror films, it just overwhelms me. So we will have technical AP panels where the panels will help educate fans and young directors. We will discuss the transition from film to digital, as well. I’m so excited about the technological change going on so fast. It’s so inspiring, especially to see so many female filmmakers out there these days! It is going to be awesome.

My partner from New Mexico, Gene Savee, will be bringing in lenses that are going to open up a lot of eyes.

Everybody is bringing their game to the table. I’m so focused on filmmakers. I will feel this fest is a huge success if one person comes in and learns something, one thing- a trick of the trade, whatever it is. If he or she takes away one piece of knowledge and can utilize it into their next project to make it better, that’s success to me.

This is an international film festival. What’s really cool about this is we’ve had submissions coming in from all over- amazing films from Norway, Belgium, India, Iran.. it’s crazy!

I asked Justin (Beahm) if he would attend and he was an emphatic yes. To have Justin, being a senior editor of Fangoria and just such an expert in horror, I can’t think of anyone in the industry who has a stronger grasp on the genre than Justin.

I’m just so excited for everything. It’s like the planets all lined up just right. I have been praying to the man upstairs that everything would work out and it’s really shaping up to be something really, really special.

I reached out to Steven C. Miller, as well, so he’s involved. Jeff Burr (director of LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3) also accepted an invitation.

September 26-29! Hot Springs, Arkansas… be there! I feel like I’m doing it the right way with this festival.


MM:  Having worked on the Freddy’s Nightmares television series and come face to face with Michael, who do you got in a good old-fashioned melee?

TG:  Oh, I plead the fifth! (laughs) Just to keep everyone happy, I’m really trying to be proactive.

I have my opinion, but like religion and politics, with horror, I don’t really feel like you have to express them publicly. (laughs)

I don’t want anyone to think I have less respect for anything or any other franchise. I love all of them and we are all one big family.

MM:  What advice would you offer an aspiring actress?

TG:  Passion, baby, passion! You’ve gotta have tenacity. Go for your dream. I don’t care what your job title is- whatever you want to be, go for it. Have fun and live the dream! Believe in yourself!

MM:  You are seeing first hand the love and support of the horror community. There isn’t another collection of friends out there quite like horror fanatics. We get a bad rep with the stereotypes sometimes, but we are one hell of a family!

TG:  I did my first convention ever this past March, at HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati. What a fun time we had! It was amazing. Just overwhelming. It was very heart warming. I’ve never in my life been so overwhelmed with the fans and their love. Put that on record. I mean it. It was the largest HorrorHound ever! Kudos to Shawn Clark and Nathan Hanneman for putting it all together.

I had one little girl approach my table completely dressed in the Jamie clown costume that Danielle (Harris) wore in 4 and 5. Talk about tugging at your heart strings!

I would also like to do a super, super shout out to my super fan, Sarah Church. We had been friends online for a while and she was excited that I was going to appear at HorrorHound. She started to walk up to my table and tears just spilled down her face. I almost couldn’t talk. It was the most amazing emotion- of the most incredible moments I’ve ever experienced. She’s such a beautiful girl, so special and so dear to my heart. So special, in fact, that she is going to be one of my personal guests at the film festival! I am so honored to have her coming, even though I’m going to make her work her butt off helping me! (laughs)

So many fans are reaching out and wanting to be volunteers with the festival, I just love it.

MM:  There is a lot of buzz about a Youtube channel dedicated solely to the Halloween franchise. Can you tell us a little about that?

TG:  The Halloween Network on Youtube is just awesome. I would love to see a ton of fans get on board with that. It’s just so much fun. Check it out!

MM:  Do you have any other big news regarding any Halloween-related awesomeness going on these days?

TG:  Justin Beahm’s book is coming out! Halloween: The Complete Authorized History By Justin Beahm.

It is going to make a great gift for any horror fan- full of never before seen photos, one of which I’ve sent in. Justin is aiming for next fall, 2014, release.

Just keep your eyes and ears peeled because there is a lot of stuff going on and many more announcements will be made in the future with HALLOWEEN!

MM:  Are you going to participate in the big 35 YEARS OF TERROR celebration this November in California?

TG:  2013 marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the franchise! Oh yeah, baby! I just got goosebumps! (laughs)

I will be attending. Everyone watch out- there is going to be a lot more info in the coming days ahead!

Everyone needs to be on high alert!

We are going to have fun, fun, fun!

MM:  Any last words?

TG:  Please, just believe in yourself. Your inner passion is such a beautiful driving force. In addition to love, passion can move mountains. It really can. Dreams can come true. Just get in there and educate yourself, work hard and everything else will pretty much fall into place.


It was quite a treat to speak with one of the nicest ladies in the horror game and I wish nothing but the best for Tamara as she continues forward with her career as well as the film festival she is hosting! Here’s hoping a trip from Illinois to Arkansas is in the cards for me later this year!



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The Macabre And The Beautiful: A Mangled Matters Interview With Teresa Magaña



Teresa Magaña is the proud owner of VIDA Y ALMA, a one-woman business that promotes creativity through art workshops and numerous art exhibits while also paying respect to the deep rooted traditions millions of people from around the world celebrate every November 1 and 2.  Dia De Los Muertos, or Day Of The Dead, is a time to gather as friends and family pray and remember those who have passed away.  With these gatherings come an array of vivid and meticulate art work, from Catrinas to painted masks. 

While Teresa specializes in masks that symbolize everything from traditional Dia De Los Muertos art to customized pieces, she simply has a knack for art.  Recently, she painted a series of piggy banks for a contest a bank was running.  Earrings, bottle caps and canvas also are fair game for Teresa whenever the creative bug bites.

After meeting Teresa at a local horror get-together last year, I was recently lucky enough to catch up with this talented Chicago-based artist to chat about everything from her work to why our mothers would get along wonderfully.

MANGLED MATTERS:  It was a pleasure meeting you at last year’s Monster Mash-Up. How many shows do you attend in a year?

Teresa Magaña:  It was great meeting you too. Thanks so much for the opportunity to be featured on your blog. I’m flattererd and humbled.
I try to do at least one show a month, sometimes I do two per month. Last year I did about 20. These are a combination of festivals, farmers market, and the random “Hey Teresa, do you want to set up a table at our event?”

MM:  Your artwork is beautiful- vivid and mesmerizing. How did a creative hobby become a well established career for you?

TM:  Thank you. This definitely did start out as a hobby. I would make examples for my kids, family and friends for our annual Day of the Dead craft day, and every year my examples became more and more elaborate. I found myself painting skulls well after November, for my own therapeutic needs, and then fulfilling orders from friends that wanted to give my artwork out as gifts for Christmas. As I began to share my work and receive lots of support and positive feedback. With all the encouragement, I built up enough confidence and motivation to begin selling my work in a more public setting. Every show or festival I signed up for went well and continues to go well. It has become apparent to me that skulls are in season all year around, and I have been able to create and offer affordable pieces of work to those with the appreciation for this type of art. That has been the evolving state of my hobby to career.

MM:  Where does the name Vida y Alma come from? What is its importance to you?

TM:  The name translates to Life and Soul. I decided to create this name for my artwork for two reasons. First because of the deep significance the Day of the Dead celebration. Its a celebration of the lives our past loved ones had and keeping their souls alive by speaking of them and honoring them. The second reason is because of how I live and look at my life and those around me on a day to day basis. We live running through our day to day on goings and I believe we get so caught up we forget to be still and recognize what makes us who we are in this life, our Soul. When I began to follow more of my instincts and thoughts created by my heart and soul, I noticed many things changed in my life. I strongly believe when we are in tune, or at least try to be in tune and in touch with our Soul on a deeper level than just this physical life, we are lead to where we need to be and become surrounded with the people that belong with us in this life. The skull itself is such a powerful symbol. And when decorated, a beautiful way to even further symbolize this cycle our Soul goes through. We physically live, we physically die, but our Soul, our essence lives on in some way, even if through just the thoughts of our loved ones.

vida y alma logo
MM:  My birthday is on November 2 and I’ve always been fascinated with the traditions of Dia De Los Muertos. Can you explain a little about the symbolism of the masks you create?

TM:  One of the main reasons skulls and skeletons are used during this time of celebration is to make light of and bring about a more light hearted way of looking at death. To recognize its always around us but its an inevitable part of our life cycle so we shouldn’t be afraid of it.
The symbolism of the masks I create is varied. The majority of the ones I create are designs and colors I come up with to make it look lively. When someone sees one of my skulls, I want them to be captured by the beauty of the piece before fully realizing it is on a skull. Its an interesting feeling when you know you are looking at what is traditionally a symbol of death and your thinking, “wow, look at how beautiful this is”.
I also do custom orders for people that want their piece to symbolize someone or something.
MM:  Deeply rooted in your cultural traditions, you are proudly carrying on a legacy of fantastic artwork and revered heritage. What inspires you as a painter?

TM:  My culture is a huge part of my inspiration. I was born and raised here in the US and have lots of Mexican-American fused traditions and beliefs. Seeing, knowing, and continually learning of where I have come from has opened me up to explore the feelings it evokes in me and bring it out through my artwork.

MM:  How many skulls/masks do you create in a regular work week?

TM:  There is no straight answer for this question because I don’t have a “regular” work week. And I shutter at the sound of those three words, “regular work week”, because I worked in corporate for many many years. (laughs) Ohhhhh, shaking thoughts of cubicles out of my mind now. (laughs)
Depending on current projects and shows I have coming up is what determines what I create every day. I have created 30 to 50 small skullies in one day and or two large skulls in a day. But I have also worked on pieces that have taken me a few weeks.

valentine skulls

MM:  Where do you see Vida y Alma in ten years?

TM:  It has actually been a goal of mine for a very long time to open a small store/gallery/workshop space. I would sell my artwork along with the work of other local artists, have opportunities for artists to have show exhibitions, and I would also host art workshops for children and adults.

MM:  As a horror fanatic, what are a few of your favorite horror films? Who is your favorite horror icon?

TM:  Aww mann, there are so many horror films I’ve watched and favorited. There was one year (when small video rental stores were still around), my older sister and I made it a goal to watch every single horror movie on their shelf. We made it through every great and every bad horror film! Some favorite films are FINAL TERROR, EVIL DEAD, THE EXORCIST, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (just the first two), FRIDAY THE 13TH, SLEEPAWAY CAMP, PSYCHO, IDENTITY, ROSEMARY’S BABY, THE OMEN…from gory, to psychological, to the ghostly spiritual horror movies, I like them all. Oh wait, can’t forget THE HILLS HAVE EYES, JEEPERS CREEPERS, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES… I can keep going…(laughs)     I honestly don’t have a favorite horror icon. They are all so unique and special in their own ways. I love and appreciate them all!

MM:  La Llorona creeps the bajeezus out of me. I’m fascinated and terrified. What are your thoughts on this mythology?

TM:  She creeps me out! My mother believe it or not, traumatized me and my sister when we were kids about her. For a few years, we lived in a small town in Texas that was near a river. We had to drive by it on our way to the Drive In and of course being out in the boonies, it was pitch black and scary. She would pretend the car would stall, conveniently by the river, and tell us the story of how her children drowned and she would take the souls of children that were near by.  (laughs) Yes, my mother is a horror fanatic too, and had a crazy sense of humor. I owe it to her that I have this fascination with scary, bloody, horror movies, and stories! Oh yeah, and I like to share my scary sense of humor with my kids now too!

MM:   Who are some of your favorite artist?

TM:  I, of course, admire and appreciate the work of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Jose Guadalupe Posada. There have been many local artists that I have seen very recently as well that have absolute talent. If I name one, I have to name them all and that list would be too long.
MM:  What are some upcoming events people can visit you and your art at?

TM:  My artwork is always on display at Blue Betties Boutique in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. The biggest shows I do are in Oak Park, Elgin, and at the Congress Theater Artopia Festivals, which are all this upcoming summer. Info on all of these are available on my Facebook page.

I would like to thank Teresa for her time.  I hope you all check out the links provided in this interview to learn more about Teresa’s work as well as check out tons more photos of the awesome and beautiful work that she is making her career.

skull white and pink

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A Karen Lam Double Feature: ‘The Meeting’ and ‘Stalled’ Reviewed!

What do your weekends usually consist of? Odds are, they aren’t nearly as productive or bloody as Karen Lam’s.

During the course of one weekend, Lam managed to put together two of the most entertaining shorts of the year thus far. Both starkly different in story, The Meeting and Stalled work wonderfully. They are tight, aesthetically pleasing films that combined come out just under twenty-five minutes.

Whether you prefer your horror to be grounded in real-life terror or swimming in dark comedy, Karen Lam has a treat for you…



The Meeting

KLam The Meeting


Written, directed and produced by Lam, The Meeting is a charming horror comedy focused on just another regular SKA meeting. You’ve heard of AA and NA, but what about those in our society who should be having their meetings within the confines of a padded cell? Here, they share their thoughts and stories in the basement of a church, avoiding an ugly ending to their lives by spilling their guts (figuratively) about the people whom they’ve spilled the guts of (literally).

Each character is entirely different, from the stereotypical serial killer Lyall (aced by Charles Zuckermann) to the Ned Flanders-esque Joel (David Lewis). David (John Shaw) and Ogden (Linden Banks) round out the queasy quartet. All four have their moments of ghoulish comedy. Am I a bad person if I say I actually liked these characters in the film? I certainly hope not, because you should, too.

The shit really hits the fan when a new member joins the group, a widow by the name of Harriet. A beautiful woman offering cupcakes and the seemingly archetypical naive ways of your run of the mill slasher flick victim, Harriet can hold her own just fine in a room full of woman-loathing murderers. She’s as sweet as her cupcakes and in the end, it’s a recipe for disaster for the recovering killers.

The dark humor really excels here, thanks in no small part to fantastic acting and Lam’s delightfully twisted sense of humor.






Written and produced by David Lewis (who also plays the lead role in the short) and directed by Lam, Stalled should get a lot of recognition from short film festivals throughout this summer.  

Lewis proves he is just as good a writer and behind the camera as he is an actor, starring as a man who is struggling to cope with the fact that his life is turning upside down and there’s little he can do about it.  After an emotionally draining phone call to his soon-to-be ex-wife loses signal in a parking garage, Lewis heads back to his car to do God knows what. Only there is a man trying to jimmy the lock of Lewis’ car and it’s easy to root for the down-on-his-luck lead to take some frustration out on a thief.

The film brings up a problem we all face from one time or another- when is it OK to stand up for ourselves and how far is too far?

As with every Lam film, the technical aspects and production value of this short are top notch. The dark parking garage adds an extra layer of melancholy atmosphere that allows the viewer to be in Lewis’ character’s world.

Simon Chin as the suspected criminal is an imposing figure, thus making it quite easy to root for Lewis when a physical altercation begins.

With a stunning climax that will leave your jaw hanging, Stalled is a helluva way for Lam to have spent a weekend.


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