Ted Levine

review banshee chapter

Just as non-existent video store shelves are overflowing with found-footage horror films, the internet is bursting at the seams with people bitching about them. It’s well deserved as the vast majority of movies utilizing that format are criminally terrible, but they’re cheap to produce, capable of turning our the occasional winner, and aren’t going away anytime soon. Faux-documentary horror movies aren’t nearly as ubiquitous, but the best ones manage to cherry pick elements from the format above while avoiding many of the pitfalls. Banshee Chapter is both found-footage and faux-documentary, and yet it’s also neither. The U.S. government has admitted to various highly unethical tests and experiments performed on unwitting civilians in the early ’60s, and while official apologies have come and gone the details of the incidents have never been fully known. Until now, apparently. Anne Roland (Katia Winter) is a working journalist who begins an investigation when an old friend of hers disappears after experimenting with one of the C.I.A.’s test chemicals. The drug in question, MK-Ultra, appears to stimulate the pineal gland leading to a greater awareness of the world and its less visible inhabitants. But just as H.P. Lovecraft warned in “From Beyond,” the strange beings that the drug’s users are made privy to can also now see them, and anyone could tell you that’s not going to end well.


No Pay Nudity

I’m not exactly sure what I’m selling here. At first I thought No Pay, Nudity was a documentary about actors. I thought Laurie Metcalf, Nathan Lane, Ted Levine and others were appearing to talk about the positives and negatives of their profession. Then I thought maybe they were at least playing themselves in the movie. After watching the Kickstarter campaign video I don’t know what the finished result will be. It has a scrip by Ethan Sandler (Whitney… wait, don’t go away yet), so it’s fictional. And in addition to the actors already mentioned, the huge ensemble on board includes Lewis Black, Brent Spiner, Jessica Hecht, Austin Pendleton, Boyd Gaines, Mark Blum, Peter Jacobsen and many more whose face you’d recognize before their name. It’s basically a movie full of “that guy” non-stars. But not Curtis Armstrong, apparently, though he does show up in the campaign video. I guess having someone in your Kickstarter video who isn’t in your movie is like today’s equivalent of having a ton of people in the “Ghostbusters” music video who aren’t in Ghostbusters. Too bad, I like Curtis Armstrong. I had wished Teri Garr was in Ghostbusters, too. Anyway, I’m just typing filler here because there’s not a whole lot to say about No Pay, Nudity except that it will have music by Loudon Wainwright III and it has a pretty funny video hosted by director Lee Wilkof (another character actor himself) and it has some pretty neat incentives, including voice mail greetings from […]



Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down weighs in on Shutter Island and the slate of Oscar-nominated short films, in theaters this week.

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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