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More Industry Reviews & Further Interviews

Even Redder Velvet

You can check out any of the multimdeia links to the side, or click on any of the links below to check out more of what people are saying about us. You need simply scroll down the page to view the contributions in alphabetical order. People have many wonderful things to say about Red Velvet, along with providing some always welcome critical analysis, so we hope you take a few minutes to enjoy all of the opinions.

Because the Red Velvet Team spends a great deal of time at public venues, we've ended up with a variety of "interviews" with various team members, and so we felt like we needed a place to more or less focus these more personal approaches. As always, feel free to contact us with comments or questions.

The Star Speaks

Henry Thomas talks about life, liberty, and the pursuit of Red Velvet Screenings for all – well, sort of. The nice folks at Live 105.3 in Dallas are letting you decide for yourself, though, and we thank them sincerely.

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Video Interviews

Co-Writer, Co-Producer, and Production Designer all give a live interview at Wizard World in Los Angeles. OK, so they're all the same guy, but it's very informative. Then Producer Sean Fernald joins Joe for an Internet radio chat that you can hear a replay of from here. We're very helpful.

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besthorrormovies - REVIEW

Red Velvet Spins a Web of Storytelling and Manipulation
interview by The Horror Czar

Aaron (Henry Thomas) is going crazy. Day after day he listens to yelling and fighting through the paper-thin walls of his apartment courtesy of his neighbors. As he sits, day in and day out, he scribbles maniacally in a little notebook and mumbles to himself until suddenly… Aaron decides that this has got to stop. What does this have to do with anything? Hard to say at this point.

Cut to Aaron racing to the Laundromat to get some washing done. A random blond strikes up idle conversation, much to his annoyance. Still, no matter how mean he is to Laundromat-girl Linda (Kelli Garner) she keeps coming back for more. The sarcastic banter turns into a lunch date while the clothes are drying.

During lunch the couple find that they have something in common after all; Telling stories about strange and gruesome happenings. After a few shared details and a few false starts, Aaron begins a tale of the violent and bloody demise of Linda’s abusive boyfriend, her best friends spending the weekend at a secluded lake house and her perky sister Patricia.

Red Velvet is an engaging thriller that uses a mixture of present-moment interaction and fantastical stories to weave an intricate web. The interaction between Thomas and Garner works well and the stories have the perfect amount of humor and gore. It’s particularly interesting when a shared detail changes the face of a story segment that has already transpired resulting in a retelling from a different point of view.

Red Velvet is not particularly scary, and there is no use of any of the traditional horror tactics to get a “jump” out of the audience. Many folks would say this thankfully … I myself have just enough juvenile tendencies intact to miss the second when the cat jumps out of the closet during a particularly tense moment. To each his own …

The gore in this one is first rate. Okay, sometimes over the top, like when the guy is cut in half lengthwise with a logging saw, but still. I love to see severed heads flying through the air, blood spurting an amazing distance from a knife wound and heads being crushed by repeated blows with a pink hammer, so I was in luck.

The acting is generally pretty good in this one with the particular stand out of Henry Thomas. Thomas was appropriately intense and nerdy and had me hanging on his every word. Something was bugging me throughout Red Velvet though. I knew that I recognized Henry Thomas from somewhere, but I couldn’t figure it out. After a bit of research I found it – Henry Thomas was Elliot in E.T! Talk about a blast from the past …

Red Velvet epitomizes what Independent Horror is all about, originality and taking the risk of putting an off-beat story on the silver screen. This one will likely release directly to DVD but don’t let that distract you. Horror like this is what keeps Indie Horror alive.

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dreadcentral - INTERVIEW

Red Velvet - Exclusive Dread Videos
by Johnny Butane

I know you’ve not heard a lot about Red Velvet, the new horror movie starring Henry Thomas (E.T., Dead Birds), but we aim to change that cause damnit, it’s a very solid genre flick that deserves more attention.

Unfortunately we can’t offer to show it to ya, but we did the next best thing; our man Clint chatted up the film’s writer, Joe Moe, as well as two of the superfine co-stars, while wandering the floors of Fear Fest 2 last month, and got it all on tape! Check out the [video] interview below and stay tuned for more on Red Velvet very soon!

| JOE MOE ... with stars Natalia Baron & Cristen Coppen |

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fangoria - INTERVIEW

January 15: Henry Thomas tells tales of RED VELVET
review by Sean Decker

Co-producer/co-writer Joe Moe got in touch with Fango to give us the lowdown and some pics on RED VELVET, a new genre film he co-wrote with Anthony Burns which will soon be making the festival rounds. Helmed by first-time director and seasoned visual FX artist Bruce (SPIDER-MAN 3) Dickson, the movie stars Henry (MASTERS OF HORROR: CHOCOLATE) Thomas and Kelli (BULLY) Garner and, Moe tells Fango, “is meant to be a sort of deconstructed slasher film, which aspires to play with conventions of the genre while hitting all the necessary horror marks.”

Filmed in LA and its surrounding environs last September and October, RED VELVET “was shot on Super 35mm,” Moe says, “and features suspense, shocks, iconic characters and creative imagery, with a sexy young something-for-everyone cast!” Additional players include Eric (KILLER PAD) Jungmann, Michele Nordin and Carlie (AN AMERICAN CRIME) Westerman, with a cameo (his 211th!) by Famous Monsters of Filmland editor Forrest J Ackerman.

With Sean Fernald, Ari Citak and James, Justin and Nicole McConville also on the producing team, RED VELVET revolves around the characters of Aaron and Linda (Thomas and Garner, respectively), who, following a chance meeting at a Laundromat, go on an impromptu lunch date. The conversation soon turns to the fantastical as Aaron weaves macabre and titillating stories in an effort to seduce Linda, although his storytelling turns even darker once Linda confides to him that she missed her best friend’s birthday party the previous night. Aaron postulates that her friends were murdered by a maniac in a white jumpsuit—but what’s his angle? And were her friends actually slaughtered?

Moe says that the mayhem that does appear on screen, provided by Jeff Colbert and Richard Courte of MPFX and Kevin Kirkpatrick, is “fresh, stylized and generous. There’s a high body count too, but our intended difference was to deliver an abstract treatment of the violence on display.” Check out RED VELVET’s official website here for a look at the film’s non-work-safe trailer, a couple of promo clips, cast bios and some slick production photos (a couple of which feature gnarly images of dismemberment).

reprinted with permission

fatally-yours - REVIEW

Red Velvet Review
review by Fatally-Yours

When was the last time you saw an original killer in a horror film? The standard stoic Leatherface, the unflinching Jason, the wise-cracking Freddy, the cold and unyielding Michael, along with their many successors/imitators are all well and good, but sometimes you just wish for a killer with a little more quirk along with his or her bloodthirstiness.

Meet Aaron, a writer who has a bickering couple living next door to his apartment. The paper-thin walls do little to mask the volume of their frequent fights. He runs into his neighbor Linda at a nearby Laundromat early one morning, and the two proceed to infuriate each other. Pretty soon, though, Aaron has convinced Linda to grab a bite to eat and they end up at a Chinese restaurant for lunch. Linda confesses her boyfriend is a dumbass and the cause of most of their fights. The previous night the two got into an argument because her boyfriend was supposed to drive her up to a lakeside cabin, where Linda’s sister and friends were having a birthday party for their friend Frank. The dumbass didn’t want to miss a big game, so Linda didn’t go.

Aaron confesses he is a writer and Linda urges him to tell her a story. He proceeds to tell her tales of their Asian hostess head ending up in the fish soup and another story about a lazy-eyed, psycho mother who meets her demise at the hands of her family. Linda isn’t fazed, though, and asks for something a little more extreme. Aaron then crafts a tale about her friends up at the cabin being stalked and killed off.

Pretty soon the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred when Aaron gives Linda a ride up to the isolated cabin and certain elements of his story seem to be coming true.

Red Velvet is one of the goriest and wittiest horror movies not just of this year, but EVER! Its highly original script, penned by Anthony Burns from his own story with help from Joe Moe (also a producer), gives the genre of horror hope amid all the PG-13 films made for tweens and wretched remakes clogging the video shelves.

The film was screened to a packed house (standing room only!) at this years Fangorias Weekend of Horrors in Los Angeles and no one in the audience left disappointed. The script is uproarious in all the right places while still maintaining its horror sensibilities and having some truly splatterific set pieces. From the opening scenes in the laundromat where Aaron and Linda are trading jabs to the hilarious scene where they come up with the perfect killer, the film is blackly comedic. And then theres the gorethe amazingly bloody gore! Like one scene where an unfortunate dude gets sawed in half. Or the scene in which a couple tries to climb out of a deep holebut the end of the rope is attached to an alligator that keeps getting steadily and steadily closer to falling in the hole every time the couple climbs a few more feet. How’s that for original?

The acting is superb with Henry Thomas giving a manic, off-kilter performance as writer Aaron. Kelli Garner as Linda holds her own as well and proves that she wont be bullied by Aarons snide remarks cause she dishes em right back! It was nice to see her character wasn’t the stereotypical helpless female victim, but one who fights back. The supporting cast holds its own through the ever-changing characters as Aaron molds his story to fit the personalities and looks of Linda’s friends. Despite the many character incarnations, all of the actors held their own, among them Eric Jungmann (Killer Pad), Michele Nordin and Carlie Westerman (An American Crime).

Heightening the atmosphere is the direction by first-time director Bruce Dickson. The shots are engaging and beautifully bathed in unnatural reds, purples, yellows and oranges (especially for the story-telling scenes). The uniquely disconcerting score also gives the audience the impression that they are entering the Twilight Zone and that we are in for something truly special and weird.

My only complaint with the film was the ending, which lacked the punch of the rest of the film. The return of Aaron to his apartment felt a little tacked on and didn’t really add anything to the story, which should have ended five minutes before. Other than that, I am aglow with high praise for Red Velvet. It is truly one of the most memorable and unique horror films I’ve ever experienced.

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feomante - REVIEW

Red Velvet
review by E.C.McMullen Jr.

RED VELVET is a very cool mindfuck film. Rare to see that as most people seem to think that such a movie requires a bunch of psychedelic SFX and a dwarf or midget at some point.

RED VELVET has a SCREAM sensibility to it in that it deconstructs a number of Slasher movie clichés, but it's canny enough not to call self-referential attention to itself and thus become merely clever or cute.

Aaron (Henry Thomas: Masters of Horror: PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING [TV], CHOCOLATE [TV], DESPERATION [TV]) is a man with noisy neighbors. He tries to write in his home but his neighbors are constantly arguing, fighting, breaking things, man what a pain in the ass.

So one day when Aaron spies his female neighbor, Linda (Kelli Garner), run crying off to the laundrymat, he follows apace. He makes himself physically known to her without actually saying anything and when she recognizes him from their apartment and tries to engage him in conversation, Aaron snaps at her cruelly. Being a woman who takes plenty of shit from her own boyfriend, Linda is not about to let the whole world screw with her and snaps back. Aaron enjoines the battle, and the two are soon doing the scorpion dance.


The fun comes in the visual telling of Aaron's Horror story as he unveils it, creates it, and modifies it to fit the moods and personalities of Linda's friends. The dialog, written by Joe Moe, is snappy and the "Twenty-somethings in the woods stalked by a killer" is played for laughs and fun.


RED VELVET is movie geek quotable with great lines and unexpected one-liners throughout adding to the fun, thanks to a tight story and script by Anthony Burns (his first film).

Amazingly, newbie Director Bruce Dickson got the most out of his cast and story on his very first film, which is like hitting a homerun on your first time at bat.

Amazingly, RED VELVET adheres to the shop-worn articles of Slasher movies, their timing, and resolutions even while lampooning them. The maniac slasher with the bunny ear speakers and the pink tool belt is arguably one of the most original killers ever to hit the screen. And his lines are funnier than any pun Freddy ever uttered.

With a dirty carnival gleam that shines as bright as its candy colored sets, RED VELVET is the best Fun House comic book ride of the year.

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horrorfanatics - REVIEW

Red Velvet
"Horror Fanatics" Review

I must say, it’s been awhile since I've seen a good Horror movie, and this one brings you on a thrilling, surreal joy ride. A fresh new look into Horror. It was a story I could easily get lost in and I loved every minute of it. In this Movie we follow Aaron (Henry Thomas), a sarcastic ass writer who wants nothing more but silence from his neighbors who seem to do nothing but argue every night. When he runs into his loud mouthed neighbor Linda (Kelli Garner) in the Laundromat they seem to some what hit it off in a jump down your throat frenzy. He convinces her to have lunch with him and fills her head with stories until she gets a little bored. She lets him know how pissed off she is about missing her Best Friend’s Birthday Party which was taking place in a cabin in the woods, all because of her asshole boyfriend.

Aaron then takes her on a thrill ride of telling her a story about how her friends are being stalked and killed off one by one by a Psychotic freak in a white jump suit. Linda then finds herself helping out with the story, letting him know how her friends are, and helping out with their murders. Through the movie you get to meet their characters and cringe over their deaths. I would really hate to give anything away about this movie, I will say though from beginning to end you will not be disappointed. The gore and screams will have you locked down wanting more. There are also some scenes to laugh to. I must say it was a very well written script and well done movie that leaves you thinking about it even when it is over.

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horrormoviefans - REVIEW

RED VELVET takes the cake (and kills with it)!

RED VELVET is a fast-paced, unique and entertaining horror movie. It’s also a refreshing and fun alternative to the “torture porn” splattering across movie screens of late.

Aaron (Henry Thomas) is trying to get some writing done. Sequestered in his atmospheric apartment, city noise seems to infiltrate his room like a bad garage band. None of the clatter is more distracting than that of an upstairs neighbor couple who bickers and fights incessantly. One of the upstairs combatants, Linda (Kelli Garner), tearfully makes her way to a neighborhood Laundromat. Aaron shows up soon after (intentionally? coincidentally?) After vibing each other, the two engage in a cat and mouse verbal joust in which Aaron’s quirky, anti-charm intrigues Linda. Within one wash cycle the unlikely couple goes on an impromptu lunch date at a nearby Thai restaurant. The tug-o-war banter continues with Aaron reading Linda and Linda handling him like a bad 2-year old. Aaron confides that he’s a storyteller. Linda challenges him to tell a story. After some creepy foreplay, Aaron launches into the story of a party Linda had missed the day before. Aaron methodically spins a yarn in which a maniac massacres Linda’s friends. Titillated, Linda actually contributes facts and corrections to Aaron’s scenarios. Aaron implements the changes and we see vignettes morphing before our eyes.

On the surface, RED VELVET threatens to be another “also ran” entry in the spread-thin genre of slice & dice horror. But upon viewing, it proves itself a surprisingly fresh and ambitious film. The movie hits dutiful horror marks while pushing the envelope with witty commentary about other “formula” slasher flix. There is a scene where Linda chastises Aaron for describing the killing of a young couple having sex. “Isn’t it derivative to kill kids for having a good time? When tits come out, can hockey masks and machetes be far behind?”

Kelli Garner and Henry Thomas give inspired, buoyant performances. They both assert intensity without ever sloshing over-the-top. They take turns controlling scenes as they win some and lose some verbal matches. They seem to be truly enjoying the chase. It must be fun to toss this well-crafted dialog. There is a degree of humor not easy to mine from this genre. The jokes are sophisticated without being pretentious and subtext is evident without being too on-the-nose. The story within a story aspect of the script (by Anthony Burns and Joe Moe) is a brilliant turn as we observe two three-act structures interwoven expertly. I personally like movies that dispense with back-story and in RED VELVET we meet characters as they meet each other. We learn only what they tell each other about themselves – or what we can glean from their behavior. I feel this ads to the fun and suspense.

Supporting performances are credible and appealing. The usual throwaway, secondary characters present a convincing familiarity that accomplishes a couple of things. It makes us buy into the characters without too much exposition. It also makes us relate to the camaraderie of these kids who properly appear to have known each other for a long time. Notable performances are turned in by hilarious Cristen Coppen (Pat), grousing but way adorable Natalia Baron and uber-sexy Bret Roberts (Frank – by turns gay AND straight). The other cast is also terrific, but truthfully don’t have much to do other than cleverly banter then die spectacularly. A standout performance is given by Carol Ann Susi who plays a horror-Mom (crazy-eye contact lens a-spinnin’) the likes of which should become a beloved icon in the monster movie pantheon.

The look of this film is a throwback. An old-fashioned 35mm delight. Thanks to DP Jim Dickson and art director John Goss with creative director Joe Moe. The colors and composition of the film have a WIZARD OF OZ purity, shocking to see in a digital age. The production design is at once creative and seductive. Imagine Dorothy and Toto running through a Dario Argento landscape. The cast is photographed like 1940’s movie stars: bigger than life, glamorous and flawless. The special effects (provided by Motion Picture FX) are stylish and sometimes abstract with silhouettes, fantasy sparkles and glittered fountains of blood splashing across scenes. What could have been cheesy is restrained, elegant and allows a good amount of audience imagination to do the dirty (wet) work. The Maniac? Well, you gotta see this psycho for yourself. In a world where movie killers are designed for the lowest common denominator, the RED VELVET Maniac is a surrealist’s dream. Something cobbled together by Salvador Dali and Bill Gates. Ingenious in its’ simplicity and horrifying in it’s innocuous facade. Bunny-ear speakers. LED grin. Polaroid headgear. Enough bells and whistles that I can imagine this character returning and growing with each sequel – and there should be a sequel! At the very least, I want the Halloween costume!

The audience I sat with for RED VELVET reacted gleefully. They laughed out loud, jumped out of their seats and hid their faces on appropriate occasion. Surprisingly, the 50% female audience reacted positively to this film. That is not always a foregone conclusion in the horror genre. Too often, women are relegated to the role of sleeve clinging, whimpering victims reluctantly dragged along to a gory date movie by their boyfriends. In RED VELVET, women seem attracted to creepy Aaron while laughing and cheering for Linda all the way to the end. Meanwhile, the male demographic is not left wanting.

To quote the introduction of this film by producers Jim McConville and Sean Fernald, “We’ve got to warn you…the movie you are about to see is a lot of fun!”

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scarletstreet - REVIEW

Red Velvet
"AV Maniacs" Review

Though the prospect of yet one more exercise in slasher-inspired antics may initially seem unappealing, an independently produced effort currently making the convention rounds produces quite the opposite reaction. RED VELVET, the maiden voyage of 3Mac Studios, functions as a simultaneous celebration and wry deconstruction of the hallowed likes of HALLOWEEN (1978) and FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980). The keen perception of the filmmakers in hitting upon each and every genre convention imaginable is immediately evident; slasher clichés have been routinely burlesqued in the past, but not in quite this way.

RED VELVET tells of intense, jumpsuited Aaron (Henry Thomas), a young man who, after being told of a birthday bash being held at a nearby lake, spins a scenario of horror to winsome Linda (Kelli Garner). As the day unfolds over Thai cuisine, we are subjected to Aaron's increasingly warped delirium as he mentally metes out grisly fates to each and every one of the unsuspecting partygoers. At the center of Aaron's deadly milieu is the Maniac, a fanciful-looking malefactor who sports a camera atop his head … this to preserve for Polaroid posterity the death throes of his victims. As an added refinement, a pair of attendant speakers facilitate the killer's theme music (a prerequisite in this line of work, you know). The mayhem ultimately includes Linda's sister Pat (Christen Coppen) as well as Linda herself. But it's all in fun, of course. Just a story … or is it?

In addition to its clear-sighted references to numerous cut-ups of the 1980s, the genre's true salad days, RED VELVET works in subtle homages to everyone from Alfred Hitchcock and Dario Argento to David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky. It's a rare film that can pay tribute to the respective makers of VERTIGO (1958) and EL TOPO (1970) in a single breath, but this one manages. There's also a great subtextural line of thought regarding the nature of storytelling itself, one that plays upon our very familiarity with these sundry situations. Aaron and his Maniac run through the standard list of slasher conventions seemingly from rote; he, and we, have been reared and rehearsed on these essential ingredients from Day One. So has the no-nonsense Linda, who at one point chides Aaron for indulging in a cliché bit of "sex equals death" that will resonate immediately with longtime fans of the form.

But RED VELVET isn't content to simply name check the various aspects that made slasherdom into the familiar brew it is today. It also has fun in stretching them into sometimes surprising ways, as when Aaron abruptly switches the sexual orientation of a certain character/partygoer after having his previous version of events corrected by Linda. Likewise the Maniac, in addition to having the outward appearance of a malignant Mickey Mouse, straps a specifically pink tool belt onto his waist simply because Linda thinks it might be pretty.

To say much more would be to give away the delicious stream of surprises and intriguing melding of dream with reality. Much better to catch RED VELVET, directed by Bruce Dickson from a script by Joe Moe and Anthony Burns, at one of its special showings as it tours across the country (the modestly budgeted film was shot on 35mm for the big screen). Until next time, remember …"it's all about the stains, baby!"

Earl Roese (reprinted with permission)l
read full review at Scarlet Street/AV Maniacs

scarsmagazine - REVIEW

Scars Magazine
Red Velvet Review
By J. Travis Grundon

A new film on the horizon that true horror fans will be talking about  for rest of their lives is, without a doubt, Red Velvet. Wonderfully written by Joe Moe and directed by first-time director and established FX artist Bruce Dickson (Spider-Man 3). Stars in Red Velvet include Henry Thomas (E.T., Masters of Horror: Chocolate), Kelli Garner (Bully). Additional players include Cristen Coppen (Art School Confidential, Staunton Hill), Eric Jungmann (Killer Pad), and Carlie Westerman (An American Crime).

Red Velvet focuses on Aaron (Thomas) and Linda (Garner), who after a not-so-chance meeting at a laundromat; agree to a lunch date. When they meet, Aaron spins a series of sinister tales in an attempt get inside Linda's head.  The storytelling takes a wicked turn when Linda tells him about missing a friend’s birthday party. Before long, his story is about Linda's friends, murdered one by one, by a killer so unique his match had not been seen in decades, slaughtering with some seriously uncanny twists and turns.

The puzzling yet playful story will grab spectators from the opening scene and hang on all the way to the unpredictable climax. The beauty of this movie is not only what it shows, but also what it leaves to the imagination. While many films claim to keep audiences guessing, Red Velvet delivers.

The fact that they shot the movie on Super 35 MM gives a classic Italian feel complimenting its originality. Everything about the film breaks cliché from the storytelling and the killer to its amazing cinematography and acting.

Henry Thomas gives a chilling performance that would rival even Anthony Perkins (Psycho) or Christian Bale (American Psycho) and his chemistry with Garner is mesmerizing.

Another notable performance was that of Cristen Coppen. Her role of Linda's sister Pat proves that she is a force to reckon with. Coppen, who has worked with the likes of G. Cameron Romero, is a clear cut Scream Queen for years to come. Red Velvet is stellar example of her abilities.

Red Velvet is a breath of fresh air compared to the torture gore porn currently flooding the market. This movie has all the potential to set many new trends and open the door for in depth plot in horror again. Red Velvet is a devilish labyrinth of storytelling and death!

While there is still not a slated theatrical or DVD release date, screenings of this film can be caught at many horror and comic conventions around the country.

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screamtv - REVIEW

Red Velvet Premiering at Fear Fest 2
Written by Administrator
Monday, 03 March 2008

A chance encounter at a laundromat between off-beat Aaron (Henry Thomas) and hot young Linda (Kelli Garner) turns into an impromptu afternoon lunch date. As they get to know each other, Aaron spins bizarre stories to titillate and seduce Linda. Spurred on, Aaron's stories get darker and darker. When Linda confides that she's missed her best friend's birthday party at a cabin in the woods the night before, Aaron fashions a story about that birthday party in which the guests (Linda's friends) are systematically killed off by a maniac in a white jump suit. Linda becomes more and more intrigued with the tale (and Aaron) as the mayhem mounts. She actually contributes ideas to the story. Is this the beginning of a beautiful relationship or a spiraling path toward something more sinister and deadly?

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terror tube - REVIEW

Rated: 5.00/5
review by Wes Laurie

Coming soon to the festival circuit and perhaps an event near you will be the film project named Red Velvet. The movie is co-writtenby Joe Moe and Anthony Burns and directed by first timer Bruce Dickson. The story revolves around a man and woman who meet at a Laundromat and make a lunch date. On their date the man tells some macabre stories and the woman reveals that she missed her best friend’s birthday party the night before. After he has this information the man tells her that all of her friends were killed by a man in a white jumpsuit. Huh?

The plot synopsis may seem a little bit confusing, note the film itself is being touted as something with lots of shocks, a high body count, and a sexy young cast. It is also being stated as being a “deconstruction of a slasher film.”

The cast for Red Velvet includes: Henry Thomas, Kelli Garner, Eric Jungmann, Michele Nordin Bret Roberts, Natalia Baron, Kevin Wheatley, Ryan Doom, Cristen Coppen, Jordan Hagan and Carlie Westerman.

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yourmusicmagazine - REVIEW

Red Velvet Movie Review
by Darien Lomeli

Red Velvet takes you on a journey. A journey of the mind while along the way treating you to a sassy and vibrant spectacle that is intelligent yet intriguingly quirky. Henry Thomas stars as “Aaron” a storyteller of sorts who meets “Linda” (played by Kelli Garner) at a Laundromat. Aaron begins to tell tales that seduce Linda further into his mind setting the scene for what is to come. Henry Thomas with his years of film experience does a superb job diving into the psyche of Aaron and making the audience believe him every step of the way. His character is somewhat reminiscent of classic characters like Norman Bates and Hannibal Lector. There intelligent yet mischievous with a twisted mind. With all these elements, he also has the ability to suavely earn your trust along the way. Kelli Garner plays a young blond who lives upstairs from Aaron who constantly fights with her boyfriend. They meet up in a Laundromat, which sets the scene for the 90-minute spectacle. Linda is annoyed with Aaron, but at the same time is intrigued with Aaron getting entwined into his web of stories that he tells her.

Kelli Garner’s performance as Linda is solid giving Aaron just enough challenge and tease which gives her a nice edge. She speaks her mind and won’t take things lying down, a welcome change to see in a horror film. She is not the typical “damsel in distress” like in the early 80’s slasher flicks with young college students running through the woods, but she gives Aaron a run for his money and an attitude to match. Together they set the scene for some mind twists and erotic turns. With Hitchcock style manipulation, Red Velvet gives the viewer something new and fresh in horror. It provides you with the required elements that all horror fans crave for, but without being a gory, over the top, slasher film. The story is what pulls the viewer into its warm and cozy cocoon.

The supporting characters are genuine and at times slapstick funny. There are some controversial elements present in this film such as homosexual references and a sex scene that is visually stimulating yet tastefully done. It’s interesting that you can call these elements “controversial” especially by today’s standards since that’s about as controversial as a Walt Disney film. Never the less, large film chains are refusing to carry this movie into the mainstream theaters, which is all the more reason to see this film. The public should not be censored in choosing what movies they want to see.

The sets are simple and uncomplicated delivering the atmosphere and vibe to the audience. Filmed in Super 35mm it displays splashes of bright color followed by rich textures that extenuate across the screen giving this movie a modern feel. Unlike most horror films that have a dark/grey/foggy edge to them, this movie has a stylistic approach making it stand out. If you watch carefully, there are little “surprises” planted throughout the movie that make this film much more fun to watch. Who doesn’t like surprises? Personally I enjoy getting a box that is wrapped in pretty paper wondering what’s inside. Unwrapping the paper is the fun part and watching Red Velvet is the same experience…. You don’t know what you’re going to get!

The murder character is something to discuss. Now, I wasn’t quite ready for what I was about to see but Ill explain it the best way I can. You have a man dressed up as a bunny with a black nylon stocking over his head. An LED computer style grin, speakers for ears and Polaroid camera ready to snap a shot of you right before you die. To top it off, he is wearing a white jumpsuit. Now in this case I most definitly give points for originality.

Johnny Mac and the Cadillacs provide the soundtrack and music in this film. A Rockabilly/Psycobilly group hailing from Fremont, Ca they offer their unique sound to this similar unique film. I asked Justin McConville guitarist and lead vocals why this type of music was used in Red Velvet. “It’s a mix of Johnny Cash and Satan. ... Psychobilly is based on horror movies. You know maniacs splitting someone is half while feeding people alligators … that type of thing”.

Adding to the soundtrack is Mark Doten who resides in Pasenda Ca. With Red Velvet being his first feature film, his current repertoire consists of rock and experimental music. A composer, he plays a multitude of instruments including bass, piano and keyboards. While most horror films have a predominately male audience, Red Velvet has mass appeal with both male and female audiences. A moviegoer can see Red Velvet and not necessarily have to be a “horror fan”. It has all the various elements in it that make it open to movie fans from all walks of life.

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