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Showing posts from May, 2023

"Vice Academy" (1989) -

       Photo courtesy of Rick Sloane by Bone Jawnson When I entered the world of Rick Sloane, I was unsure of what I was in for. I was coming off a month of watching the Basket Case trilogy by Frank Henenlotter and saw a series that ranged from a modest $35,000 budget to upwards of $1,000,000 by the third installment. I initially thought, "Ok, as a filmmaker progresses, their budget must increase accordingly." I then found Rick Sloane. Rick's films boasted low- to no-budget filmmaking almost to a fault. Watching his movies made me ponder, "How in the hell is he getting away with this?" This month of movie viewing has made me realize that, if you want to achieve your goals, you have to get as many ducks in a row and just dive in and do it.   "Vice Academy" is the first in a series of movies created by Rick Sloane that aired on the USA television network between 1989 and 1998. Essentially, they seem to be a racy take on the Police Academy movie series th

"The Visitants" (1986) -

     Photo is courtesy of Rick Sloane by Bone Jawnson There is a certain level of "fuck you" to the major motion picture industry built into low-budget and no-budget films. The more films of this nature that I view, the more I see that the only thing keeping enthusiastic non-budget filmmakers and Hollywood superproducers apart is high-level gatekeeping. In my opinion, the low/no-budget DIY culture fuels the drive of everyday people to fulfill their dreams. If you want to make a movie, just make it. Smartphones can be used as movie cameras and editing software is widely available online. If you need actors and extras, ask your friends, family, or classmates for help. "The Visitants," essentially, is a story about a teenager who steals his alien neighbor's ray gun and the ensuing chase for them to retrieve it. Between the mayhem of keeping the ray gun secret, teenage antics occur in school, at a party, and in other settings you'd find in a 1980s low-budget thr

"Blood Theatre" (1984) -

Photo courtesy of Rick Sloane by Bone Jawnson "Just go out and make your own movie now."           - Rick Sloane (, 2/2/2008) Imagine, being popcorned to death. "Blood Theatre," which was written and directed by Rick Sloane, is low-budget, but definitely not as corny as you'd think. When I started actively viewing and reviewing low-budget horror and horror/comedy movies, I was unsure what I would be in for. A cheap thrill? Maybe some blood splatters, killers, and bikinis? What I discovered were writers, directors, producers, and cinematographers, who were often the same person, creating a whole lot of something from next to nothing. These creators were, and are, disrupting the system of big-budget Hollywood blockbusters. When I first dove into the world of Rick Sloane, I started with the cult classic "Hobgoblins." As mentioned in my previous article, it appeared to be something that resembled "Gremlins," purely because the main

Hobgoblins (1988) -

by Bone Jawnson The lower the budget - the more ballsy the production. Widely known by horror fans as one of the worst, if not the worst, movies ever made, "Hobgoblins" put a smile on my face. After conducting pre-viewing research on IMDB , I discovered that this movie was made on an extremely modest budget of $15,000. Accounting for inflation since the mid-1980s, this would still be a budget of approximately $38,000. Writer and director Rick Sloane has a history of making extremely low-budget horror features, which I admire. To give a little insight, during an interview for the 20th anniversary of "Hobgoblins," actress Kelley Palmer (Daphne in the film) explained that, "Working on a Rick Sloane film is raiding your closet, raiding your kitchen, raiding everything you own and bringing it to the set that day." At first glance, I thought that "Hobgoblins" would resemble its predecessor, "Gremlins." The closest thing to "Gremlins&qu

Chopping Mall (1986) -

     Photo credit: Halloween Year-Round by Bone Jawnson This past weekend, I viewed the gloriously 80s techno-horror movie "Chopping Mall" (1986). Originally, I was scheduled to view "Bad Biology" (2008) by Frank Henenlotter but was having issues streaming it. As I was searching on Tubi TV, which is  a  free streaming app available through the Roku TV platform, I stumbled across "Chopping Mall." As I read the description, I was immediately sold. A  mall that goes into auto-lockdown at night, malfunctioning security robots, and teenagers having a party with no way to escape—what else could I ask for? After doing some research prior to watching the film, I discovered that "Chopping Mall" was originally released under the title "Killbots" but did not perform well with audiences. The film was re-cut and retitled to gear it more towards an adult audience that may enjoy horror films. With an estimated budget of around $800,000, I was very imp