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Heart Attack! The Early Pulse Pounding Cinema of Kelly Hughes

USA 2012
produced by
Kelly Hughes for Lucky Charm Studio
directed by Kelly Hughes
starring Betty Marshall, Ernest Rhoads, James Peterson, Sarah Katherine Lewis, archive footage featuring: Kitten Natividad, Beautiful Barb, Tom Bliss, J.R. Clarke, Llana Lloyd, Erik Steffen Maahs
music by Odd Ericksen, songs by Gryndur, Haffi Haff


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Back in the early 1990s, way before digital video, way way before YouTube (or general internet access even), but at a time when Seattle and Washington State were hip for a minute or two due to grunge music and Twin Peaks, filmmaker Kelly Hughes shot the series Heart Attack Theatre for public access TV - basically a busload of movies filmed on VHS for low-to-no budget, all of them guerrilla-style (he never bothered about filming permits it seems) - and while he aimed to go for something Twilight Zone-like, the outcome more resembled early John Waters ... but not in a bad way, these were just trashy but entertaining genre pieces shot on the quick, full of consciously corny acting, transvestites, carefully dosed political un-correctness, boobs, bad taste, and general outrageousness. Citizen Kane these movies were not ... just a lot of fun.

About 20 years later, Hughes tracked down some of his co-conspirators (most of his actors appeared in more than one of his movies) to let them recount their past experiences and share their mostly fond memories ...


Everyone who's at least a little bit into low-to-no budget movies will probably love Heart Attack!: It's such a fitting document to a bygone era of no-holds-barred genre filmmaking, where the game wasn't about aping movies of old, trying to follow tried-and-true formulas to the t, or making things politically correct at the cost of everything - instead these films look like so much fun and much more generally open-minded than much of today's genre fair (though to be honest, as of this writing, I haven't seen any of the Heart Attack Theatre-movies yet. But the enthusiasm of the interviewees alone roughly two decades after the films had been shot is enough to really get you nto the right spirit ... and actually make you want to watch some of these movies for yourself, the clips alone shown throughout this film are quite amazing - now again, no Citizen Kane ... but loads of fun!


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD