We howled when we first heard the title. It still makes us chuckle. Written and directed by Keith Wright and produced in the U.K. by Richard Guy, Harold’s Going Stiff (Level 33 Entertainment) stars newcomers Stan Rowe and Sarah Spencer in this award-winning zombie-themed “mockumentary.” The flick was an official selection of 19 International Film Festivals and recipient of the Narrative Feature Award at the Austin Film Festival. It’s having a multi-platform release on August 20, including select theaters nationwide and on VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, PlayStation and XBOX rentals and purchase. Harold’s Going Stiff takes place in grey-skied, rural England and centers on Harold (Rowe) who is suffering from a new disease that is slowly transforming him into a zombie. A young, lonely nurse, Penny (Spencer), is sent to help ease the symptoms of Harold’s frightening illness and they quickly and unexpectedly become very close. After an experimental treatment fails, Harold’s condition deteriorates rapidly and the two end up on the run from a group of violent vigilantes seeking to rid their town of zombies.
Not Today (Friends Media) is special. For a few reasons. It is the first church-made film that focuses focused on the fight against international human trafficking Not Today was produced by Friends Media, an arm of Friends Church of Yorba Linda, California. Cody Longo plays Caden, a spoiled, SoCal rich-kid partying in India. On mean city streets, he’s oblivious to the so-called “untouchables” until a chance encounter with a young girl sold by her impoverished family to find a “better life” draws him into the world of India’s outcast Dalits. Fighting to find her, Caden finds himself and his faith re-energized. Also featured: John Schneider, Shari Rigby and Cassie Scerbo. Church profits from the film go toward building schools for Dalit children. Amen!
Suddenly pawn shops are hot. Pawn Shop Chronicles (Anchor Bay Entertainment) is hotter. What a cast! Brendan Fraser, Elijah Wood, Vincent D’Onofrio, Matt Dillon, Norman Reedus, Thomas Jane, Lukas Haas and Paul Walker star in three twisted tales all connected by items from a Southern small-town pawn shop. A man searching for his kidnapped wife, a couple of white-supremacist drug-dealers and a sad-sack Elvis impersonator, as well as other desperate characters, come to life in the action-packed and hilarious flick.
Talk about beauty and the beast. Talk about how love can sometimes wait a lifetime. Talk about A Werewolf Boy (CJ Entertainment America). An unexpected phone call summons an elderly woman, who has lost interest in life, back to Korea and the remote cottage in the countryside where she spent a tumultuous time in her youth. Memories overwhelm Suni of a feral and mute orphan who the family took in … only to discover that he was a creature never meant to exist. But damaged by life’s struggles herself, the beautiful, young Suni is patiently determined to tame the “wolf boy” and teach him to live among people. In return, he repays her uncommon kindness with unparalleled devotion. When a threat to Suni brings out the boy’s unrestrained, bestial instinct, he abruptly becomes the target of the villagers’ fears. To save his life, Suni must abandon him, but promises she will return. Which begs the question: Is it possible he continues to wait for her?
An unlikely connection saves a mother and daughter in times of hopelessness in the Civil War-era romantic drama War Flowers (Green Apple). In an inspired story of tragedy and love during the emotionally wrenching Union-Confederate conflict, Sarah (Christina Ricci) and her daughter, Melody (Gabrielle Popa), struggle to survive the harsh times. With her youngest child lost to scarlet fever and her husband, Confederate soldier John Ellis (Bren Foster), away at war, the young mother’s spirit is tested. When the battle crosses family land and a Yankee soldier (Jason Gedrick) is left behind badly wounded, Sarah can’t abandon him to die. In the midst of despair, an unlikely bond is forged over time. But when the soldier is well enough to return to battle, it’s another devastating loss. As the war dwindles, so does their hope for John’s safe return. Hungry and broken, they have endured as much as humanly possible when promises of a new life and new love appear on the horizon.