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Screaming Dead

USA 2004
produced by
Michael Raso (= Michael Beckerman), Jeff Faoro (executive) for ei Independent Cinema (Shock-O-Rama)
directed by Brett Piper
starring Misty Mundae (= Erin Brown), Rachael Robbins, Joseph Farrell, C.J.DiMarsico, Heidi Kristoffer, Rob Monkiewicz, Kevin G.Shinnick, A.J.Khan, Marc Gettis
written by Brett Piper, music by Jon Greathouse

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Neal (Joseph Farrell) is a twisted art photographer who likes to take fetish pictures of his models & acts abusive towards them, both mentally & physically. So, when he rents an abandoned insane asylum for his next shoot, the real estate company decides to send a watchdog along with him, Sam (Rob Mankiewicz) who turns out to be a complete & ignorant asshole (though I don't think that effect was intended by the filmmaker).

So, when at the asylum, he sees Neal treating his 3 models (Misty Mundae, C.J.DiMarsico, Heidi Kristoffer) & his personal assistant Maura (Rachael Robbins) - whom he has fallen for - like shit, Sam tries to entice a rebellion, but to little effect, since the girls fear for their careers.

After a few perverse but harmless games Neal plays with the girls though - like encouraging them to have lesbian sex (which they don't), cuffing them to their respective bedposts etc, while filming everything with hidden cameras -, Neal finds the secret torture chamber of a previous owner, &, seeing this is too big an opportunity to be missed, he lures model Bridget (Misty Mundae) down to the room, undresses her & ties her to a cross, relishing in the girl's fear, which he photographs & films with his videocam.

But then something else seems to step in, too, & seemingly out of nowhere, poor Bridget is badly sliced up, with Neal frantically photographing everything before - rather terrified - running off.

Asshole meanwhile has finally persuaded the other girls to leave, but when he wants to fetch Bridget, too, he seems to be unable to find her, & Neal, fearing he would be blamed for the sliced up girl, is unwilling to give away the secret of the torture chamber. Only when Asshole resorts to brute force does he - rather by accident - find the chamber ... which is not necessarily a good thing, since the being that has sliced up Bridget has since manifested itself, & turns out to be the spirit of Rossiter (Kevin G.Shinnick), the evil & torture-obsessed former owner of the place, & he immediately kills Neal & abducts all the girls to his torture chamber, strapping them to various devices.

The dimwitted Asshole meanwhile knows nothing better than fetching his gun, but rather expectedly bullets have little effect on Rossiter.

In the end, asshole finds out though that Rossiter's existence is tied to Neal's videocam (well, he doesn't really find out, Rossiter tells him), & he just presses rewind (really) making the ghost disappear & the asylum (rather fittingly) go up in flames.

All the girls (even Bridget, who did survive her little slicing incident) & Asshole manage to escape though.


As low budget supernatural slashers go, this one, while no masterpiece, is not all that bad, since director Piper did actually put some care in creating a creepy atmosphere, rather than relying on gross splatter effects (though a few effects are wickedly funny). 

The main flaw of the movie though is Sam, the male hero, since the character (as mentioned earlier) proves to be an ignorant macho-asshole who one can't help but wanting to be killed off 10 minutes into the film - & when towards the end he starts wielding a gun in best macho fashion, that doesn't help one bit either. That actor Rob Mankiewicz rather proves the typical show-off you'd expect for such a role, further contributes to this effect.

Does anybody actually remember the time when slashermovies were emancipated enough to have girls in the heroic leads ?


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