Tuesday, July 27, 2010

FACES OF SCHLOCK (Boobs and Blood Edition)

On September 21, 2010, with the DVD release of "Faces of Schlock", Gonzoriffic will have completed its circle around the world of no-budget film. Around 2000, this site (originally on Yahoo! Geocities) began publishing features about such movies as "Caress of the Vampire" and "Erotic Witch Project", and quickly became one of the biggest supporters of Alternative Cinema. What readers didn't know was that Gonzoriffic was not on some special list to receive free DVDs from the company in exchange for all the positive reviews, we actually bought them in stores like all the other fans. Difference was, we wanted to share our enthusiasm and thoughts with the rest of the world.
Sometime around 2003, we decided to take a crack at making our own films. Largely influenced by the Seduction Cinema release "Mistress Frankenstein", we produced "Buttonhead", our first adventure with film making in the digital age. Falling head first into the close-knit microcinema universe, we found ourselves sharing a booth at the 2004 Twisted Nightmare Weekend convention, and returned home with a suitcase full of movies made by all the contacts we made at the show. One guy, a teenage whiz kid auteur by the name of Henrique Couto, wouldn't leave us alone after we published a story about his films. He sought to partner up with us on a project that would incorporate short films by a few of his friends, and while it wasn't the first time anyone approached us about distributing our stuff, Henrique was the most genuine and had an impressive DVD release catalog to back it up. We gave him "Buttonhead" on good faith, and "Faces of Schlock" was born. Our experience was a great one, so we signed on for the follow up volume, providing our film festival workhorse, "Psycho Vixens", as well as the script for Henrique's contribution, "Songs in the Key of Satan".
Reviews were good, sales were good, and by the end of 2005, we were already planning another collection. As a gift to Henrique for all his hard work, a script for a holiday-themed slasher film was tailor made for him to direct as his segment of the third "Schlock" release. "Slay Ride" was the first time we'd written a movie for someone else to make ("Songs" was originally intended as a Gonzoriffic production), and was very much a "kitchen sink" effort featuring modern b-movie staples like lesbians, chainsaws, gore and excessive nudity, while still maintaining our sense of responsibility toward unusual roles for women in cinema. On our end, we produced a re-tooling of one of our very first experiments, "Cannibal Sisters", and made efforts to secure higher production value so the new compilation would have a more uniform look (our previous segments were shot with dirt cheap equipment). The project went on hiatus for the better part of two years while the "schlock" gang, including Gonzoriffic, all went to work on our own respective feature-length films, but reconvened at just the right time in early 2008. By then, we had decided to release "Cannibal" on our own and instead provided a brand-new short for the new disc, "Blood Witch". We felt it represented our best work to date, and might help us catch the eye of a professional distributor.
The circle began to close when actor Ruby LaRocca accepted the lead role in "Slay Ride". A staple in many of Alternative Cinema's films, and recipient of much praise from reviews on Gonzoriffic over the years, it was huge thrill for us to know that Ruby would be reciting dialog in a film we wrote. The next thing we knew, the movie was done, and we were sitting at a convention booth next to her, signing posters and DVDs. We all had our fingers crossed that Alternative Cinema would like the movie enough to want to release it, and sure enough, they did. In ten years' time, we went from fans buying their films in stores and writing about them on the internet to actually getting to make one. There's a lot to be proud of. The movie is great and contains everything the packaging and the trailer promise, plus more that just might surprise you. Today's landscape is flooded with people making their own low-budget backyard zombie fests, but the herd thins out in a significant way by the time you get to the final stages of production. To see this kind of project through to completion is no easy task, and as you have read, takes a long time. We stand by the DVD and our contributions to it, and hope that the people who pick it up feel like they got what they came for. In my years as a reviewer, I was always critical of movies that tried to pass themselves off as something they weren't, using deceptive cover art and marketing tactics as an underhanded grab for the exploitation / cult film / b-movie audience's hard-earned dollar. I can honestly stand behind this one and say it is the kind of movie I love to watch.

Available on Amazon here:

Check out the trailer and see for yourself. Not work safe, but you should expect no less!

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