Friday, July 12, 2019

Metal Noir DVD Available Now!

SOVHORROR.COM is proud to announce our first DVD release! David R. Williams' Lost Shot On Video Shocker From 1990 METAL NOIR!

Laurel Oberion thinks she's buying a nice house, but gets more than she bargained for! Haunted by a dead anthropologist and his satanic wife, Laurel's newfound home turns into a bloodbath of sexual desires when pain and pleasure mix indiscriminately. A basement of terror hides the secret... blood flows as human sacrifice leads to resurrection of a Dark God... and only Laurel can stop it before it's too late!

Writer's block becomes psychotic madness in METAL NOIR, where blood-spattered sex leads to face-stabbing gore!

Long thought to be a lost movie, METAL NOIR is presented here for the first time on any format complete and UNCUT! Featuring early acting roles by Cult Filmmakers Charles Pinion (Twisted Issues, Red Spirit Lake, We Await) and Hugh Gallagher (Gorgasm, Gorotica, Gore Whore)!

SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Audio Commentary With Director David R. Williams 
  • Audio Commentary With Actor Charles Pinion Moderated By Mike Hunchback and Matt Desiderio
  • S.O.V. The True Independents Episodes - The Making Of Hugh Gallagher’s Gore Trilogy 
  • Behind The Scenes Stills Gallery
  • Metal Noir Trailer
  • Trailers For Other SOVHORROR.COM Releases
1990 / COLOR / 73 MIN. / UNRATED

Available On DVD From SOVHORROR.COM:
http://Kunaki.com/Sales.asp?PID=PX00Z91EBB

Available On VHS From SRS Cinema:
https://srscinemastore.com/products/metal-noir-vhs


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Interview - Metal Noir Director David R. Williams

Interview With Metal Noir Director David R. Williams
By Tony Masiello

What inspired you to get into filmmaking?
I’ve always loved movies. Especially horror films. Growing up, and this is before streaming and dvd and even video, growing up in Niagara Falls, New York, the local ABC affiliate would show a double feature of horror films each Friday night after the 11pm news. It was usually a classic Universal horror film, the Frankenstein series, Dracula, Wolfman and the like, or something by Corman and AIP. The second feature tended to be more poverty row stuff, really B movie stuff but sometimes you would luck out and see something by Mario Bava. Then on Saturdays and Sundays you might see Mexican wrestlers versus monsters types films, like Santos versus the Vampires, or giant bug or Japanese Kaiju films, Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan. At the same time, at the Drive-Ins, and we had a ton of those, like, just off the top of my head, there were probably a dozen screens within driving distance and there we’d see the Hammer remakes of the Universal monsters. Peter Cushing, Christopher Less, and all those great 70s horror films. But, having said all that, the idea of making a movie never entered my head until, a friend of mine showed me his Uncle’s 8mm camera. And I mean, like I said, the idea of making a movie never occurred to me. But I saw that camera, and suddenly, it was like a switch went off in my head. You know, like, holy shit, you can make a movie with that thing. I remember going to the local book store and picking up a book on fimmaking by some group out of New York that was shooting on Super 8 I believe and just devouring that. I also remember, about the same time. Reading Famous Monsters of Filmland, and there was a brief article about some kid, not much older than me at the time, who had made their own Frankenstein movie. So all that came together and, basically it was me getting together with a bunch of neighborhood kids, buying some 8mm film, and making a movie.  And after that I graduated to Super 8 and then 16mm. Mostly short films, mostly horror, but later on, when I was at University, some more experimental works.

What was that first movie?
It was titled The Cavemen. And it was about a scientist who builds a time machine and brings two cavemen into our time. It was very slapstick in the classic silent movie style. But it was quite elaborate. I built the time machine out of all sorts of old television parts we had lying around for some reason. The one guy playing one of the cavemen, his mother sewed them up two cavemen suits. We had army uniforms and guns and…it was quite a production and everyone really got into it. I believe one friend has the original, would be great to see that again.

How did Metal Noir come about?

I really wanted to do a feature film, but one of the big issues with film, is that film is expensive. It’s also difficult to work with. Film is not just point and shoot. There’s a certain level of expertise required to make film give you what you need. People who have only shot on video or digital, have no idea. But to make a feature on film…look at this way, an hour of video back in the day cost something like $20 bucks if I remember correctly. A roll of 16mm film, 200 feet of 16mm films, which is about 5 minutes, cost about $150 bucks at that time. So, assuming a 4:1 ratio, a 90 minute feature film would cost me over $5K just for the film alone. So, impossible at the time. But then, along comes video, and suddenly, like I said, you could shoot 5 hours of video for about 100 bucks. And at that time the whole shot on video thing was beginning to take off. So, the technology was there, and the market was there. I just needed an idea. I had recently discovered Clive Barker and had read his books of blood and then of course Hellraiser came out, and that all tied in with a concept I had been working on, which I came to call “Erotic Violence” which is the juxtaposition of the horrific with the erotic.  And Barker epitomized that concept, especially Hellraiser with the whole bondage angle, right? Actually, Hugh Gallagher’s “Gore Trilogy” is a prime example of the erotic violent. I was also a fan of Cronenberg and that whole body horror idea. So all that came together and I started working on the script.


What was the budget for the movie?
I couldn’t tell you for sure, but all in, I don’t think more than a thousand dollars.

What kind of camera was used for the shoot?
Oh man, I cannot remember. Hugh brought the camera, I believe it was some early prosumer model. Shooting on ½” video tape.

What can you tell us about the casting of the movie?
In all honesty, other than Bill, who plays the Lord of Dark Metal and Charles Pinion, I have no real recollection of how we put together the cast we put together. I do remember that we had a terrible time casting locally because the newspaper refused to run our casting call. When I asked why, I just got some gobbledygook answer that really made no sense. I think they thought we were making a porn film and I say because, for years, any time I told any one locally that I was making a movie, their first question was always “is it porn”? It got to be a running joke. I was, thinking, is there some huge porn industry in Buffalo that I don’t know about? And if so, how do I get involved with that? (laughs). But, I think, at that time, there was really no film industry in Buffalo and this really was long before Youtube and Blair Witch and what have you, so when people thought of movies, they immediately thought of Hollywood, mainstream stuff. They had no clue what we were doing. Now, there’s a booming film industry in Buffalo, though unfortunately, it still leans far more heavily toward helping the main stream rather than local independents.



Can you tell us how you hooked up with Hugh Gallagher and what it was like working with him?
I was publishing a zine titled Festering Brainsore. This was really the golden age of that art form. My goal was to push the envelope of horror as far as I could. Mike Diana of “Boiled Angel” fame was a regular contributor and did a number of our covers. I believe either I sent a couple copies to Hugh or he sent a couple copies of Draculina to me, regardless, we got to corresponding back and forth, and we both wanted to make movies and we both saw video as the means to that end. He had recently purchased a VHS camera. I asked if he’d be interested in coming in to shoot Metal Noir, and he jumped right in. I’ve always considered Hugh a decent human being. I do still hear from him now and again. I hope all is well in his world.


How did you end up casting Charles Pinion?
I had seen a film that Charles had done, I believe that was Twisted Issues. It was about the punk scene in Gainesville, Florida. I believe he sent a copy to me to review in Festering Brainsore. He also sent me soundtrack on cassette along with some other cassette mixes. As with Hugh, we got to going back and forth about various things, and somewhere along the line I mentioned Metal Noir and he mentioned he’d be interested in acting in the film, and so, he did. He brought along his girlfriend at the time who also appears in the film.

What were the challenges of making Metal Noir?
You know, all in all, it really came together without much challenge, other than the local casting issues I mentioned before. I had the script. Hugh had the camera. Charles and his girlfriend were in. Bill was in for makeup fx and also to play the Lord of Dark Metal. I believe I met Bill either through Festering Brainsore or possibly he had placed an ad in the back of Fangoria magazine and I saw that. Bill brought in a couple people as extras for the crucifixion scene. Shelly, the female lead, I do believe came through some local talent agency. Not sure about Scott. This was 30 years ago after all (laughs). I remember it as a fun shoot. It went quickly. I’m not one to get obsessive about takes. You shoot a scene and if it works, it works. And video, we could use mostly natural light and because it was basically a two man crew and a small cast, few scenes had more than two people in them, we could shoot quickly.


Can you tell us about the post production process.
You’d have to talk to Hugh about that.

Why was the movie never released?
That’s a good question. I have been told that a label called American Maniac was looking to release it, but honestly, I do not remember ever having a conversation with them. Possibly that was through Hugh? But they apparently went out of business. I do remember talking to Vestron Video at one time and they did express an interest. But, really, what ended up putting the film on the shelf, was the whole SOV thing sort of died out. The mom and pop shops that would stock this sort of thing, because people would rent anything with a decent enough cover on it, and the sheer novelty of the whole video rental, was giving way to the Blockbusters and the big Hollywood releases and all that. So what was a marginal niche anyway, just got pushed even further to the side and into the shadows. The distributors lost interest in this sort of product. But also, my life took a few left turns and the time I would of had to devote to the film and get it out there and promote it, just wasn’t there anymore.   And really, by the time I got my feet back under me, that window had shut tight.

Reaction to seeing Metal Noir after 30 years.
When you sent me those screenshots it was like, wow, I totally forgot how elaborate and strange Bill’s make up was. The vaginal wounds on Charles’s face. The hypodermic needle fingers. I just laughed with delight at those images. The opening scene was shot in my basement, which was like, much older than the house above it. There was a huge hole dug in one wall and a space inside that which was all dirt, so that’s where we shot the opening scene with Charles Pinion and the “spike ring”. I can’t remember where I picked that thing up, maybe a bondage shop? I can’t see it being used for anything though because, those spikes were real. That thing was dangerous. Martial arts weapon maybe? Figure this was before the internet really, before you could order crazy shit direct from China or wherever. Love the use of shadow in that scene. Very noir. I also forgot my ex-wife appeared in the film, as the realtor.

Really, the whole experience was surreal. I cringe watching Shelly and Scott’s performances. That’s definitely on me. I should have worked with them more but, when you are as time constrained as we were, you cannot afford to take hours getting a single line right. You have to go with the overall. Or at least that was my philosophy back then. I’d also forgotten we shot at Griffith’s Sculpture Park, one of my favorite places in the world, and at my father’s trailer. That was definitely a long day because, Sculpture Park is about a 50 minute drive and then my dad’s trailer was south of Wellsville and that was another 90 minutes, but I think those were good choices as they really add production value. Like the man says, “location, location, location”. I am all about location.

I think Bill designed his own costume. Pretty sure of that.

For me, Metal Noir is an interesting snap shot of the time it was made in. It’s a lot more elaborate than I remember and really wears its influences on its sleeve, the Evil Dead shaky cam, the Hellraiser speechifying (laughs). Bill built that huge wooden cross we stuck Shelly on…there’s a lot good there, though its more very ambitious home movie than professional.

When film first came about, before people had ever experienced film in any manner, one idea was, you could make motion pictures of people and through that medium, they would live forever. Right? Like ghosts but real. Untouched by time. I mean, its hard to imagine now, but back then, people, admittedly for a very short period of time, believed that films were alive. You hear about the Lumiere brothers film showing the train arriving at the station, and the train comes right at the camera, and people were jumping up screaming and running away in a panic. They thought the train was going to hit them! Watching Metal Noir, thirty years, actually over 30 years, later, was a bit like that. Like seeing ghosts come back to life.

But, all in all, I think the camerawork and the editing are solid. Great use of locations. Bill did an amazing job on the makeup fx with literally nothing to work with. I remember him boiling some roadkill he found on the side of the road to create the bone mobile. Bill was nuts. Bill is still nuts. In the best possible way and I’m sure he would agree. The supporting cast, Charles, Hugh, all solid. The one big sore point is the lead actors, but again, that’s on me. Still, not a bad bit of SOV horror history.


What have you been up to since making Metal Noir?
How much space do we have? (laughs). I’ll try to encapsulate the last 30 years best as I can. In a nutshell, once I got my shit together, I went back to University. Originally to study computer science but after six months of that I could feel my eyes glazing over and started looking for the exit. The school I was at University of New York at Buffalo, had a great media study program and that rekindled my interest in film and filmmaking. I was blessed, if you will, to be able to study under Tony Conrad, who's film "The Flicker" is considered one of the greatest works of underground cinema ever. He also worked with Jack Smith, played with The Velvet Underground and his artworks hang on the walls of a number of modern art museums. He really taught me how to look at media, not just consume, but really look and really listen to what was being said. What I learned from Tony has definitely allowed me to succeed in my online marketing business. I also studied under Brian Henderson, rest in peace, who probably had forgotten more about the history of film than I will ever know, and Lawrence Brose, who’s “De Profundis” is a masterpiece of experimental filmmaking.

I spent a good part of the 90s making a number of horror films under the Red Scream label. All of which were shot on video or digital. All of which had some success to one degree or another. These include “Prison of the Psychotic Damned”, “Frightworld” and “Red Scream Vampyres”. All explore, to one degree or another, the concept of erotic violence, especially “Prison” which stars Melantha Blackthorne and Demona Bast, and “Red Scream Vampyres” which is really my revisioning of  Jose Ramon Lazzar’s “Vampyres”.  None of them are perfect, but they all have their moments. A friend of mine calls these films “b horror movies with art house pretensions”. Sounds about right.

The last eight years I’ve really devoted to my online marketing business, but managed somehow to fit in two art house features and a short documentary on boxing. The art house films, “The Algebra of Need” and “The Geometries of Desire” sort of blend Godard with Antonioni with Bergman with Resnais. Both shot on Black Magic. They are 60s Euro-art films targeting the film festival circuit. Combined they were official selection of about 20 festivals over the last couple years and have won a few honorable mentions, finalist and best picture awards so I’m a bit proud of that. In both cases there was no proper script. Instead I gave the actors about 25 pages of notes which included key plot points, set pieces and essential dialogue. We then build the film organically on set. I don’t write characters and then find actors to play them. Instead I find the right actor, and build the character around them. I allow them the freedom to explore the space around them as well as their own internal spaces. I ask them to bring their own life experiences, their own demons to the work and to not be afraid to go off on tangents. Drives the editor nuts but also gives you some extremely powerful performances.

We also recently finished “Goomba’s” which is a short doc about a boxing gym I frequent has just started making the rounds. We submitted to True/False and Hot Docs festivals, so fingers crossed on that. That was shot on a RED. I just finished a screenplay for southern production company for a “dark western” that with any luck at all should go into production in 2019. I am currently working up notes for a “folk horror” film I plan on shooting in 2019. All this while raising a family and holding down my “real job”. So I keep busy.
Can you tell us a bit more about this folk horror film

Absolutely. One of my current…obsessions if you will is, with the whole folk or genre that includes hauntology, psychogeography, and lost transmissions.  Anyone interested in the subject, anyone looking for a crash course on the subject needs to check out the Year in the Country UK website which contains something like four years of almost daily musings about folk horror in film, in literature and in music in and in pretty much everything you could think of. It’s amazing and fascinating stuff.

But anyways Bill Schweikert who is like the greatest cinematographer in the world, who did the camera work for The Algebra Of Need, The Geometries of Desire, and Goombas, and who also worked, along with Sean Michael Argo, on Fable: Teeth of Beasts, mentioned that his sister owned 45 acres of forest in Naples New York. Naples is like about 2 hour drive from Buffalo, so soon as I heard that the gear started grinding. Essentially, I’m going to shoot this without a script. Or at least without a proper script. I have about 10 pages of notes, so similar to what I did with my art films.  Here we’re going to literally build the film set on location. My pitch to the cast and crew was, we’re going to go out into the woods and get lost and see what happens. And I’m lucky enough that over the past number of years I’ve managed to assemble highly talented group of people on both sides of the camera who understand my vision, and who understand how I work, and who when I tell them let’s go get lost in the woods and see what happens they go sure when and where? I’m hoping to shoot this in late September 2019, get it into the 2020 horror film festival circuit and then hopefully into wide release.


Metal Noir will be released on DVD this Friday 7/12/19 from www.sovhorror.com
VHS copies available now at: https://srscinemastore.com/products/metal-noir-vhs

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Video Review - Metal Noir

B Movie Madness just did a early review of our upcoming release of David R Williams Metal Noir. Official release date for the DVD is coming soon!


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Unearthing Metal Noir by Tony Masiello

UNEARTHING METAL NOIR
BY TONY MASIELLO

Hello my name is Tony Masiello and I am the webmaster at www.sovhorror.com. In 2011 I started working on a documentary about the rise of shot on video horror movies of the 80's and beyond. These movies were highly influential to me as a kid and convinced me that with a little bit of money, some friends and a lot of heart I could make my own movies too. Soon after this discovery I started making my own horror shorts and pseudo trailers with my friends and eventually decided to go to school to pursue a career in the film industry. Sense then I have worked on many big budget films as well as my real passion, low budget horror movies.

As I started to amass interviews for the documentary with various people involved in making these movies I realized that there was way too much content to be covered properly in a single feature. So I decided to do the next best thing and create a web series called SOV The True Independents and it's mothership sovhorror.com to release the content.

The way I discovered Metal Noir is a funny story as it mirrors the story of a short film I made for the horror anthology Hi-8 - Horror Independent 8. The short entitled "The Tape" is about a horror nerd named Tim (named after SOV pioneer Tim Ritter) who works in a video store that is closing its doors due to declining sales. Tim is given a bunch of VHS tapes without covers from the owner of the shop, as he knows how much Tim loves this stuff. When Tim gets home, to his surprise he discovers that one of the tapes he is given, Bloodgasm is a lost SOV. Tim becomes obsessed with the movie and decides that it must be released somehow so he tries to track down the mysterious filmmaker to try and obtain the rights to distribute the movie. Little did I know when coming up with the plot of The Tape that someday my life would imitate my art.

In 2012 I traveled to L.A to interview Director Jay Woelfel (Beyond Dreams Door) for the project and during our conversation I mentioned how I was a huge fan of VHS tapes. Jay said he had some old tapes he didn't want anymore so he gave me a stack of VHS tapes including some dubbed ones.


When I got home one tape stuck out to me, it was a dubbed tape with a couple different movies on it including Hugh Gallagher's first feature called Dead Silence (at the time this was a very rare find as it had not been re-released yet). I was a huge fan of Hugh's work so I popped in the tape to watch Dead Silence and noticed before it on the tape was another SOV movie entitled Metal Noir.

Metal Noir was in real rough shape, almost unwatchable so I didn't watch it at the time. About a year later I took a hiatus from the documentary to focus on a series of shorts I was asked to shoot for various anthology projects and eventually forgot about Metal Noir.

Then in the middle of 2018 when I was finished with all these other projects I decided it was time to resurrect the SOV doc series and website. I started going through many of the interviews, DVDs and tapes I had amassed during the process and rediscovered the VHS with Metal Noir on it. At this point I had started writing reviews for the website so I figured I would watch the movie and write a review on it.


When I watched the movie the first thing I noticed was the names Charles Pinion and Hugh Gallagher in the opening credits, and in acting roles at that. Now I was really pumped to watch this movie as I was a fan of both of their directorial work.

The video quality was pretty bad, at points it resembles the way cable companies would scramble adult channels. As someone who used to watch plenty of crappy bootlegs though I motored on, I really wanted to watch this movie.

I ended up really loving the movie and wondered why I had never heard of it before, surely this is a movie you would think SOV fans would rejoice.  As I started to put together my review for the site I also started doing research on the movie, something I do for all titles I cover.


I discovered in an old issue of Draculina Magazine a making of article written by Hugh Gallagher (who not only acting in the movie but also served as the director of photography) and then another issue that stated the movie was slated to be released but the distributor went out of business before it could happen. I now realized that I had a lost SOV in my hands and just like the character in The Tape I was determined to help get it released somehow.

So I contacted Hugh, who I had been in contact with from covering his work as part of the web series. Hugh didn't remember much (it was 30 years ago) but he put me in contact with Metal Noir's Director David R Williams. David was really cool and seemed a bit surprised that someone cared about a movie he made 30 years prior. I then asked him if he would be willing to license the title to me for a release and he said yes!

David still had the 3/4 inch master tapes so he mailed them to me so I could get a new transfer of the movie made for the release. Unfortunately when the masters arrived they were covered in mold and the transfer facility said they could not transfer them.

I then reached out to all the people I could involved with the movie to try and see if I could obtain a better quality copy from one of them for the release, opposed to using my crappy dub.

The only person other than myself who had a copy was Charles Pinion, who had digitized his VHS copy a few years back but had gotten rid of of the physical tape.


When I got the copy from Charles I realized that it was an unfinished workprint of the movie. The workprint had no music, no credits, was missing a bunch of footage and had inferior takes of some scenes. Also because of the digitization process there was a pixelation issues at certain points in the film. Overall though the video quality was far superior to the version I had, so I then decided that my best option would be to re-edit the digitized version to match the cut I had in my possession.

As I mentioned before though the Charles's cut had no music and was missing footage, so I had to edit the music back into the movie. As for the problem with the missing footage and alt takes, I would use my cut to fill in those gaps.

I then remastered the audio tracks of both prints to remove unwanted audio hiss and got to work on re-constructing the film. One thing that was very important to me was trying to match the original cut as much as possible. I also wanted to make sure David was involved in the entire process as this was his baby, his artistic vision and I wanted to make sure he would be happy with the final product.

A lot of hard work has been put into making this release the best it can be. It may not look perfect but unless another higher quality print of Metal Noir surfaces this is as good as it's going to get. I want to thank everyone who has been supportive and helpful in making this release happen especially David R Williams, Charles Pinion, Hugh Gallagher, Jay Woelfel, John Thonen (R.I.P.), Wild Bill Meyer, Judy Jackson, Mike Hunchback and Matt Desiderio. I'm so excited to get this out there so SOV enthusiast of the world can fall in love with Metal Noir just like I have.

All Hail The Dark Metal!
- Tony Masiello

Book Written By John Thonen

THE MAN BEHIND THE DUB

- Side Note about John Thonen from Jay Woelfel

I forgot that I gave you that tape but I remember the tape and the movie. Tell the producers the person they have to thank is John Thonen, who sadly died 15 years ago now. 

John wrote for all the genre magazines and knew me originally from BEYOND DREAM'S DOOR having reviewed it, he was always aware of Indie films --he was given a group of them and picked my film out as being worthy of writing about--so he would get screeners and we would exchange tapes--I never met him as he lived in MO. So he picked out those films on that VHS as being ones he thought I'd enjoy. He was the first "internet" friend I had, though back then it was more telephone than internet.

John would be happy to have helped them out, even from beyond the grave now, I'm glad to see him still have some impact all these years later for some indie filmmakers who he always tried to support--though the magazines he wrote for usually just wanted main stream articles and reviews. 


METAL NOIR VHS PRE-ORDERS:
SRS Cinema

DVD COMING SOON FROM:
SOVHORROR.COM

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Metal Noir Special Edition DVD

SOVHORROR.COM is proud to announce our first DVD release! David R. Williams' Lost Shot On Video Shocker From 1990 METAL NOIR!

Laurel Oberion thinks she's buying a nice house, but gets more than she bargained for! Haunted by a dead anthropologist and his satanic wife, Laurel's newfound home turns into a bloodbath of sexual desires when pain and pleasure mix indiscriminately. A basement of terror hides the secret... blood flows as human sacrifice leads to resurrection of a Dark God... and only Laurel can stop it before it's too late!

Writer's block becomes psychotic madness in METAL NOIR, where blood-spattered sex leads to face-stabbing gore!

Long thought to be a lost movie, METAL NOIR is presented here for the first time on any format complete and UNCUT! Featuring early acting roles by Cult Filmmakers Charles Pinion (Twisted Issues, Red Spirit Lake, We Await) and Hugh Gallagher (Gorgasm, Gorotica, Gore Whore)!

SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Audio Commentary With Director David R. Williams 
  • Audio Commentary With Actor Charles Pinion Moderated By Mike Hunchback and Matt Desiderio
  • S.O.V. The True Indepedents Episodes The Making Of Hugh Gallagher’s Gore Trilogy 
  • Behind The Scenes Stills Gallery
  • Metal Noir Trailer
  • Trailers For Other SOVHORROR.COM Releases 

1990 / COLOR / 73 MIN. / UNRATED

Available On DVD From SOVHORROR.COM
Link Coming Soon!!!!

Available On VHS From
SRS Cinema