August marks the grim 40th anniversary of the murder of actress Sharon Tate, and four others at the hands of Manson Family cult members. This terrible event closed the 1960′s in a full circle — a decade that had begun with such promise. It ended in assassinations, riots, upheaval and finally mass murder in Hollywood.
Jonny B. just pointed me to an eyebrow-raising new title in pre-production for a 2017 release.
Entitled Berserk, the horror/action/adventure is an adaptation of the popular Manga series written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura.
According to IMDB (who can never be trusted – thus, this is unconfirmed), the feature film adaptation will include this massive list of directors: Christophe Gans (Silent Hill, Brotherhood of the Wolf ), Oliver Stone (JFK, Platoon, Natural Born Killers) and Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives, Drive, Bronson)! READ MORE
Reviewed by Patrick Cooper
Having to sit through DTV found footage movies is starting to get painful. What stings even more is when one of America’s greatest filmmakers stamps his approval on one of these pieces of crap. Written, directed, and starring Sean Stone, son of revered director Oliver Stone, The Asylum Tapes (aka Greystone Park) is an exercise in patience. In a world blemished with countless Paranormal Activity and [Rec] biters, Sean Stone’s film offers up nothing remotely fresh for the audience to sink its teeth into. Instead, it’s another throwaway for the bargain bin.
The film begins with a dinner party in which Oliver Stone, his son, and others are smoking from a hookah and telling ghost stories. Mr. Stone seems really chill. He recounts a time in which he was in the woods and a female apparition scared the hell out of him. Alex, a friend of Stone’s, is really into ghost and urban legends and he suggests they all go to Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital to sneak around and try to catch some juicy supernatural goods on camera. Greystone is an actual former psych hospital located in Hanover Township, New Jersey, which I’m vaguely familiar with from growing up in nearby Sussex County. The funniest part is when Oliver Stone apologizes for not being able to go along, like he would ever really consider it.
Staging it at this infamous hospital sounds interesting, but I couldn’t find any info on whether it was actually filmed there – guerilla style or otherwise. So Alex, Sean, and a woman named Antonella venture into Greystone under cloak of night and start snooping around. Sean is apprehensive and ready to bounce after a few minutes of exploration. Alex, on the other hand, is perversely determined to find this ghost, who sports a gas mask and lugs chains around. The trio then endures a series of cliché found-footage scenarios while becoming gradually possessed by the asylum’s former patients – sometimes with unintentionally comical results.
A number of TV ghost-hunting show tropes also run rampant across the screen. There are quick cuts to doll heads, dark corners, flickering lights – it’s like the title sequence of Are You Afraid of the Dark?. The cinematography is miserable and filled with eye-watering shaky cam, inexplicable cuts, and embarrassingly awkward fade-in, fade-out transitions. The film is painfully unoriginal in content and editing. It’s just a bad film. There are no characters to relate to, no engaging relationship between said characters, nothing. It honestly pains me to say considering Sean Stone’s pedigree, but The Asylum Tapes feels like the work of some teenagers who borrowed their dad’s camera.
Oliver Stone did a few horror films in his early years as a filmmaker: 1974’s Seizure and 1981’s The Hand. I haven’t seen either, but maybe they’re just as bad as Sean Stone’s The Asylum Tapes and he just needs time to blossom into a groundbreaking filmmaker. I sincerely hope that’s the case and this film was just a learning experience and minor stain on his future career.
The Asylum Tapes is presented in 1.77:1 widescreen with 5.1 audio. There’s lots of night-vision, which never looks particularly good. Overall it’s an average looking and sounding film.
Alternate ending with additional robed ghouls.
n October 2009, the filmmakers went into an abandoned psychiatric hospital to explore the ‘haunted’ institution, famous for its radical treatment of patients with mental illness. Electroshock, insulin therapy, and lobotomies were commonplace. Once inside, the filmmakers quickly discovered that they were not alone; this story is based on their experiences.
Greystone Park is available on VOD and hits DVD today, October 16 through Xlrator Media. In the film, “Based on true events, the film follows three aspiring filmmakers trying to document unexplainable events in an abandoned insane asylum known as Greystone Park. Urban legend has it that anyone who ventures into the forsaken hospital will suffer the consequences and face their own horrors. The trio stumble across a mysterious realm of escaped patients, ghosts and demonic shadows, as they try to uncover the truth behind Greystone Park.”
I recently hopped on the phone with writer/director/star Sean Stone to discuss how he got involved in the real-life ghost hunting that led to the project. We also discuss his documentary style approach and how his father, Oliver Stone, influenced the project.
Greystone Park stars Sean Stone, Oliver Stone, Alexander Wraith, Antonella Lentini, John Schramm, Monique Zordan and Monique Van Vooren and written by Stone and Wraith. Head inside to check out the interview! READ MORE
Greystone Park is the feature directorial debut by Sean Stone (Oliver Stone’s son) which will be available on VOD on September 13 and on DVD on October 16 through Xlrator Media. Now we have an exclusive clip from the film. Entitled “Stuck Inside”, it features two of our protagonists trapped with a caped figure.
“Based on true events, the film follows three aspiring filmmakers trying to document unexplainable events in an abandoned insane asylum known as Greystone Park. Urban legend has it that anyone who ventures into the forsaken hospital will suffer the consequences and face their own horrors. The trio stumble across a mysterious realm of escaped patients, ghosts and demonic shadows, as they try to uncover the truth behind Greystone Park.”
Greystone Park stars Sean Stone, Oliver Stone, Alexander Wraith, Antonella Lentini, John Schramm, Monique Zordan and Monique Van Vooren and written by Stone and Wraith. Head inside to give it a look! READ MORE
Jon Lansdale is a comic book artist who loses his right hand in a car accident. The hand was not found at the scene of the accident, but it soon returns by itself to follow Jon around, and murder those who anger him.