Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 3rd, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2003 (Screaming Dead), USA, 2004 (Bite Me!), USA, 2005 (Shock-O-Rama), USA, 2006 (Bacterium)
Director: Brett Piper (All films)
Writer: Brett Piper (All films)
Cast: Rob Monkiewicz, Rachael Robbins, Misty Mundae, Joseph Farrell, Heidi Kristoffer, Kevin G. Shinnick, A.J. Khan, Sylvianne Chebance (Screaming Dead), Misty Mundae, Julian Wells, Rob Monkiewicz, Erika Smith, Michael R. Thomas, Caitlin Ross, Sylvianne Chebance (Bite Me!), Misty Mundae, Julian Wells, Erika Smith, Caitlin Ross, Michael R. Thomas, Rob Monkiewicz (Shock-O-Rama), Alison Whitney, Benjamin Kanes, Miya Sagara, Andrew Kranz, Tom Cikoski, Shelley Dague, Jessica Day, Chuck McMahon, Duane Polcou (Bacterium)
DVD released: June 15th, 2010
Approximate running times: 88 minutes (Screaming Dead), 85 minutes (Bite Me!), 75 minutes (Shock-O-Rama), 79 minutes (Bacterium)
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame Screaming Dead, Bite Me!), 1.78.1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Shock-O-Rama, Bacterium)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English (All films)
DVD Release: Shock-O-Rama / Pop Cinema
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
Screaming Dead: A eccentric photographer and his three models encounter unspeakable horrors while working at an abandoned insane asylum.
After a clever use of misdirection in the film’s opening scene, everything starts to go south. The film spends too much time where little if anything happens. To further complicate matters the film’s lack of tension or anything remotely frightening doesn’t bode well for a film that sets itself up as a horror film. The film’s premise and setting at an abandoned insane asylum should have made for a much better film. And yet, when everything is said and done The Screaming Dead is a grueling test of endurance that even the most seasoned bad movie aficionado will have trouble digesting.
Bite Me! Deadly spiders that were transported in a crate containing marijuana are unleashed on the patrons of a bar.
After suffering through Brett Piper and Misty Mundae’s first collaboration The Screaming Dead. I went into Bite Me! cautiously. Thankfully the tone of film which is essentially a send up of schlocky cinema. Instead of trying to be a straight forward horror film like The Screaming Dead. Without a doubt this film’s greatest asset is how it never takes itself seriously. Another area where this film works well is its absurd cast of characters who are deliriously realized by the cast who are obviously having a blast. Not to be overlooked are the giant spiders who wreak havoc throughout the film. The film’s standout performance comes from Julian Wells in the role of Teresa, a widow who is determined to get her husband’s bar away from a associate who her husband sold the bar too. The scene where her character is bitten by one of the toxic spiders and thus turned into a raging lesbian, is just example of the off the wall humor rampant throughout.
Shock-O-Rama: Rebbecca Raven (Misty Mundae) is the reigning queen of B-films. The company she helped build has decided to not renew her contract and let her go. Rebbecca goes on a vacation while her former employers try to find her replacement.
Veteran B Film director Bill Piper who has directed such classics like Galaxy and A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell puts together his most accomplished film to date Shock-O-Rama. The screenplay which was also written by Bill Piper is a tongue and cheek look at the B films it is lampooning.
The story is actually three stories the first and main story is about Rebbecca Raven as the film opens with scenes from her latest opus. After she is fired later in the film we get to see what she is up at a remote farm house where dead things come back to life. The next two stories are one about aliens who land in a junkyard and terrorize its owner and a giant brain that gets it rocks off by experimenting on beautiful young women. These two tales make up the part of the plot in which Rebbecca Raven’s former employers are looking for her replacement. The story while not completely linear is easy enough to follow and provide a lot of laughs like the scene where a killer tries to kill his victim with a weed whacker.
The acting in most B films tends to be anywhere from bad to awful. Surprisingly all the performers in the film especially the three female leads Misty Mundae, Caitlin Ross and A.J. Khan. The biggest surprise of all is Misty Mundae who gives her best performance to date. The special effects while not as polished as the CGI crap Hollywood creates are still effective as they are not meant to look flawless. There is plenty of funny moments in the film and most of comes courtesy of the films excellent and witty dialog. Oh yeah there is plenty of T&A in this film.
Bacterium: A group of friends stumble upon and abandon house while playing paint balk in the woods. Once inside the house they soon are confronted by a scientist and his biological disease he has created. They are unable to leave the house because the military has is surrounded and they have orders to shoot to kill anyone who tries to escape. They soon discover that they have only forty eight hours before the biological disease will be so powerful that it will wipe out every living being on Earth.
Bacterium was directed by Brett Piper, who has directed other classic schlock cinema like A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, Psyclops and my personal favorite of his films Shock-O-Rama. If you love Horror / Sci-Fi cinema which reveals in its B film roots then you won’t want too miss Bacterium or any other film directed by Brett Piper. I have yet to see a Brett Piper film that not only looks good it is also filled to the brim with so much TLC from its creator that I find it impossible not to be entertained by his unique style of cinema.
Bacterium opens with a bang literally as we are shown are aerial view of the land below from a helicopter. We then are briefly introduced to the man they are chasing who crashes into a car. It appears the man was in possession of a deadly bacteria and they where sent to stop him. Once they find his lifeless body and the bacteria they burn everything with their flamethrowers that came in contact with the man or the bacteria. With a larger then life opening like this one knows that you are in for one hell of an adventure.
The rest of the story after the group of friend’s come into contact with the scientist who created the bacteria is really moves and there is never a dull moment. The Creatures that are born form the bacteria look convincing and the FX job on this film is simply amazing. I enjoyed everyone’s performances in the film with no one really standing out more then the rest of cast. The story and look of the films at times reminded me of George Romero’s The Crazies. There are so many films that are made each that many just get lost in the shuffle. If you are in the mood to see something outside of the norm and far removed from your typical Hollywood tripe then I suggest you check out Brett Piper’s Bacteria because it is film that deserves to reach the widest possible audience.
Watching these four films in the order in which they were made provides a interesting perspective on director Bret Piper’s collaborations with Shock-O-Rama Cinema. Things start off roughly with The Screaming Dead and they reach their apex with Shock-O-Rama.
All four films are presented in their original aspect ratio’s Screaming Dead and Bite Me! (4:3 Full Frame), Shock-O-Rama and Bacterium (1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen). All the transfers are in great shape as colors look strong, flesh tones look accurate and details look crisp throughout.
Each film comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. All the audio mixes sound clean, clear and balanced throughout.
Extras for The Screaming Dead include a photo gallery with music from the film playing in the background, a premier footage segment titled “Eye on Cinema”, footage from a screening of the film at Fangoria’s “The Weekend of Horrors”, a fifteen minute behind the scenes segment titled “Inside the Asylum”, which is essentially a tour of the film’s main location, a seventeen minute featurette about actress Misty Mundae titled ” Misty Mundae: From Skin to Scream” and a seven minute behind the scenes segment. Also there is a Easter Egg which can be found on the Fandom Stuff menu, it is footage from the film’s world premier. Rounding out the extras is a trailer gallery for other Shock-O-Rama also available on DVD.
Extras for Bite Me! include footage from the film’s world premier at Rogue Morgue’s Festival of Fear, a music video, a six minute segment titled “How to Crash a Car in Two Minutes”, a brief segment titled “Camera Test”, a sixteen minute interview with actress Misty Mundae and a fifteen minutes behind the scenes featurette. Rounding out the extras is a trailer gallery for other Shock-O-Rama also available on DVD.
Extras for Shock-O-Rama include a behind the scenes segment that runs about nine minutes, a six minute segment for the New York premiere of the film and a question and answer session with director Bill Piper that runs about five minutes in length. Other extras include a sixteen minute interview with director Bill Piper and producer Michael Raso. They discuss how the film came about and working with the various actors on this project. Rounding out the extras is an audio commentary with director Bill Piper and producer Michael Raso. The audio commentary while it includes come info also in the interview included on this DVD it does dig deeper into the making of Shock-O-Rama. Rounding out the extras is a trailer gallery for other Retro Shock-O-Rama and Shock-O-Rama also available on DVD.
Extras for Bacterium include a blooper reel, a twenty three “Making of” featurette and a informative audio commentary with producer Michael Raso and writer/director Brett Piper. Rounding out the extras is a trailer gallery for other Shock-O-Rama also available on DVD.
Also included with this release are booklet with liner notes for the following films Screaming Dead, Bite Me! and Shock-O-Rama. Overall this is a solid DVD release from Shock-O-Rama that brings together four films that they had previously released separately at a very affordable price, highly recommended.