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August 31, 2015

Simplistic Interviews – Marc Ferman of Popcorn Frights Film Festival

It’s been a while since we’ve actually had a legit interview on this site, but we have a good one for all you horror fans out there. This October 1st through the 4th, the Wynwood District of Miami will be dripping with horror as the 1st Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival takes over O Cinema. One the men behind the madness, Marc Ferman, was kind enough to take some time out of his schedule and answer some questions.

Q: What was your first experience with the horror genre? What made you a fan?
A: When I was young, I was actually terrified by horror films (which is probably normal for little kids).  I would watch them on TV and then proceed to have nightmares.  I can’t recall exactly when my feelings towards horror had shifted but I believe one of the first films in the genre that I truly fell in love with was John Carpenter’s “Christine”.  After that, I wanted to watch any film based on a Stephen King novel and any film directed by Carpenter.
Q: Being the first, and only, horror festival in Miami, what pressure did you feel on the need to make it special? What are your expectations?
A: There are successful horror film festivals all over the world and I have always wished one would pop up in Miami.  For the past five years I have been attending the SXSW Film Festival in Austin Texas and the midnight films have been some of my favorites.  The film community in South Florida has been slowly maturing and I felt (as well as Popcorn Frights co-founder Igor Shteyrenberg), that South Florida is ready for a festival like this.  Our expectations are realistic.  We didn’t want to book a large amount of films for our first year. We are treating this first year of the festival as an introduction of things to come.  We want to show horror/genre fans that we can bring them films that they will love.  We also want to show the filmmakers that there is a market for their films here in South Florida.  It just hasn’t be successfully tapped into yet.  We plan to help change that.
Q: What was your criteria for the films that you chose to be in the festival?
A: We want films that stand out and we also wanted films that are very different from each other. Yes, our four nights of films are horror, but they couldn’t be more different.
Q: What has the reception been like around the horror community in Miami? How have genre fans embraced this festival since it’s inception?
A: Based just on social networking, the response has been fantastic.  We feel like we have impressed a great deal of people with the films we were able to secure for the first year of the festival.  The word has also spread worldwide about the festival due to us having the North American premiere of “Howl”. 
Q: The state of horror as it stands today….thoughts on if you think the genre is becoming stagnant or do you still think that are still fresh ideas out there to be had?
A: I feel the horror films that get wide theatrical releases from major studios have become stagnant.  They all feel like remakes of Poltergeist (including the actual “Poltergeist” remake), just with different titles.  However, I believe there is some great horror out there.  Films like “It Follows”, “The Town that Dreaded Sundown” (remake), “You’re Next” are terrific.  There is also a film coming out this fall called “The Final Girls” which I fell in love with at SXSW back in March.  I feel that people who grew up loving films like “The Howling” will get a kick out of “Howl” which we are thrilled to be showing this year.
Q: Films like “The Babadook” “Housebound” and films by directors like Ti West and Adam Wingard are bringing back an old-school 70s and 80s feeling back to the horror genre, is this something you feel helps horror or are films like this keeping old fans happy while forgetting about creating new fans of the genre?
A: I feel bringing back the old school style of horror works if the movie you are making is actually good.  Anything can become stagnant if the same thing gets churned out over and over again.  The trick is to try and reinvent an idea that has already existed. BTW, Ti West and Adam Wingard are both fantastic filmmakers.  I would also like to see more from Fede Alvarez (his remake of “Evil Dead” impressed me).
Q: What films would you put on you “Horror Mount Rushmore?”
A: A Nightmare on Elm Street, An American Werewolf in London, Halloween, and Superman IV” The Quest for Peace.  Friday the 13th Part II
Q: What are your thoughts on “found footage?”
A: Remember that stagnant question you asked me earlier?
Q: What are your goals for future edition of “Popcorn Frights” and do you see this as a jumping off point for more film festivals in the Wynwood and Miami area?
A: We have some big ideas in regards to following up this festival.  This will be an annual event but we will also have special film events taking place throughout the year.
Follow Popcorn Frights on Facebook 
Buy your tickets HERE before they run out
August 27, 2015

“Razor Blades in the Popcorn” Horror Film Fest Comes to Miami This October

Looking for a film festival? Looking for a film festival in Miami? Looking for a film festival in Miami centered around horror? Well you’re in luck this October as O Cinema, in Miami’s Wynwood District, hosts The 1st Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival.

From October 1st to the 4th, O Cinema will be featuring several horror films, including Florida premieres of “Tales of Halloween” and “Howl.” Short films will be on display too that run the gamut of a Thanksgiving robbery gone wrong to a man with a crow growing out of his hand.

For more information click on the links below, and as a special treat, next week we’ll have an interview with Marc Ferman and Igor Shteyrenberg, co-program directors of this year’s festival.

Location: O Cinema Wynwood (90 NW 29th St)

Scare up some tickets right HERE

Give the film schedule a peek right HERE

HERE are the films on the docket 

Be in the know about all things Popcorn Frights by following on Facebook and Twitter.

February 21, 2015

SR Podcast (Ep. 39): Miami Connection – Movie Commentary: February 2015

Friday Night Movie Night!

Tagline: Survival the ultimate test…

The year is 1987. Motorcycle ninjas tighten their grip on Florida’s narcotics trade, viciously annihilating anyone who dares move in on their turf. Multi-national martial arts rock band Dragon Sound have had enough, and embark on a roundhouse wreck-wave of crime-crushing justice. When not chasing beach bunnies or performing their hit song “Against the Ninja,” Mark (taekwondo master/inspirational speaker Y.K. Kim) and the boys are kicking and chopping at the drug world’s smelliest underbelly. It’ll take every ounce of their blood and courage, but Dragon Sound can’t stop until they’ve completely destroyed the dealers, the drunk bikers, the kill-crazy ninjas, the middle-aged thugs, the “stupid cocaine”

…and the entire MIAMI CONNECTION!!!

Podcast Notes

Deleted Scene “Music Store”


Dragon Sound “Friends”
Dragon Sound “Against The Ninja”

Miami Connection OST – Jon McCallum – Trainyard

September 3, 2013

Miami Connection


Miami Connection – Friendship

Being born in the early 1980s, I really missed out on that grand decade of acid-wash, cocaine cowboys, and mustaches.  Even though the early 1990s were simply an extension of the late 80s, I really wasn’t cognizant of what the 80s had to offer until I was much older.  Once a decade of ridicule, the 80s have come back in a big way.  Between styles that hipsters are co-opting for their own gain, the revival of new wave pop, and of course the film “Drive,” the 80s are back; at least in spirit of course.

Aside from the fashion, the 80s had no lack of action films.  For every “Die Hard” there was another “Surf Nazis Must Die.”  For every “Predator” there was a “Krull.”  The list goes on and on when it comes to cheesy 80s action films.  However, there was another constant in action films from the 80s; and that would be friendship.  From “Tango and Cash” to the bond between Riggs and Murtaugh in “Lethal Weapon,” where would the action genre be without a great friendship?  This brings me to the forgotten classic from 1987, “Miami Connection,” a study in how not to make a movie, but at the same time, the exact way every movie should be made.

“Miami Connection” is at heart a film about friends playing in an awesome band, “Dragon Sound,” practicing Tae-Kwon-Do, chasing girls on the beach, and helping one of their own find their long last father.  There’s a minor subplot about ninjas that sell cocaine, but never mind that…..because it makes NO SENSE!  If you’re going into “Connection” looking for anything that doesn’t fit a stereotype, you better return your VHS to your local Blockbuster Video.  However, if you want to experience the 1980s in all its glory there is no better way to celebrate the decade you’re either trying to relive or forget than with this masterpiece.

The story behind “Connection” is nearly as entertaining as the film itself with star Y.K. Kim nearly bankrupting himself trying to make his masterwork  The Korean immigrant, and Tae-Kwon-Do master with no film experience whatsoever, decided to make a film, which at the time was considered a slap in the face to the industry, had to wait nearly 25 years to receive the credit that he thought he deserved back in 1987.  While that credit is entirely ironic, since “Connection” is really a schlock-fest cashing in films like “The Karate Kid,” any credit it better than no credit at all.

What sets “Connection” apart from other action dribble from the 80s is it’s earnest and sincere message.  Hell, during the closing credits a message pops up essentially saying “The only way to obtain world peace is through the elimination of violence;” a cheesy message that could only be said in decade that also introduced into our lexicon “Peace in the Middle East.”  I just love the irony that the only way to stop violence is with violence to start.  But hey, the day you’re in a pop-synth band playing the keytar shirt-less fighting cocaine-dealing ninjas from Miami, you might feel the need to be a little violent as well.

Bottom line, “Miami Connection” at heart, is a film about the bond of five orphans who are fed up with “stupid cocaine” looking for a friend’s long-lost father, while playing some awesome music and fighting ninjas in Orlando.  What could be better?  Well, a lot, but it wouldn’t be as rad as “Miami Connection.”

Fun Fact: The song “Friends” was used in the retro-grade spin-off to “Far Cry 3;” “Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon,” starring 80s hunk, Michael Biehn.

Also, make sure to check out Slaughter Film’s live “riff” of “Miami Connection” on September 6th at midnight (so technically, September 7th) through this link, Click here dummy!

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